Understanding through Discussion


Welcome! You are not logged in. [ Login ]
EvC Forum active members: 77 (8905 total)
Current session began: 
Page Loaded: 04-21-2019 6:28 PM
24 online now:
AZPaul3, Coragyps, JonF, Meddle, Tanypteryx (5 members, 19 visitors)
Chatting now:  Chat room empty
Newest Member: WookieeB
Post Volume:
Total: 849,999 Year: 5,036/19,786 Month: 1,158/873 Week: 54/460 Day: 54/91 Hour: 0/0


Thread  Details

Email This Thread
Newer Topic | Older Topic
  
Author Topic:   Questions from a Creationist
sonofasailor
Inactive Member


Message 1 of 12 (16492)
09-03-2002 11:28 AM


Hey all. Thanks for answering my questions on the previous thread. I was presented this argument from a creationist and curious to your understandings of it.

Creationist Writes:

I'll be happy to defend my faith (in re: your initial post), if you promise you'll defend yours.

As to the evolution question, I think the others miss that it has nothing to do with evolution and everything to do with a naturalist bias among most scientists.

Science mustn't neccessarily be based upon Naturalist assumptions and currently it is.

I'd ask you, what the proof is that the variety and complexity of life on Earth came to be by random natural forces?

I'm not closed to the idea, mind you, but I have to see the evidence to be convinced.

For starters, take the various lab experiments which purport to prove basic amino acids form when electricity is applied to 'primordial soup'.

Does it matter that a creator (the scientist) was involved in setting the conditions up for this to occur?

Does it matter that these protien strings are too fragile to survive outside of the lab?

If we can make the leap that the creator-scientist isn't involved and that lightning struck the organic soup all those millions of years ago and randomly generated amino strings, how then did they evolve into DNA?

Moreover, since we know through backward engineering (the Human Genome project) that DNA is actually a complex code directing the growth and functioning of every living thing, how exactly did this code come into being?

Can you show through scientific explaination how all this happened?

Please keep your answer to what is known by experiment or logic and avoid Naturalist supposition!

Thanks Mark for helping me learn so much with your emails. Hope others can help on this topic.

SOS


Replies to this message:
 Message 2 by nator, posted 09-03-2002 12:10 PM sonofasailor has not yet responded

  
nator
Member (Idle past 277 days)
Posts: 12961
From: Ann Arbor
Joined: 12-09-2001


Message 2 of 12 (16495)
09-03-2002 12:10 PM
Reply to: Message 1 by sonofasailor
09-03-2002 11:28 AM


[QUOTE]Originally posted by sonofasailor:
[B]Hey all. Thanks for answering my questions on the previous thread. I was presented this argument from a creationist and curious to your understandings of it.

Creationist Writes:

I'll be happy to defend my faith (in re: your initial post), if you promise you'll defend yours.

As to the evolution question, I think the others miss that it has nothing to do with evolution and everything to do with a naturalist bias among most scientists.

Science mustn't neccessarily be based upon Naturalist assumptions and currently it is.[/QUOTE]

Science is not based upon the naturalist assumption that "Nature is all there is."

Science is based upon the assumptions that nature is knowable by means of evidence which can be detected by our five senses. Whether there is "something else" working out there which we can't detect with our five senses, science cannot address because it wasn't designed to address that.

On the other hand, Creationism is based not upon evidence, but upon revelation.

I would ask this person what benefit to scientific inquiry would be gained if we allowed supernatural explanations for naturalistic phenomena.

quote:
I'd ask you, what the proof is that the variety and complexity of life on Earth came to be by random natural forces?

Strawman.

Evolution is not an entirely random process. Mutations are random, but natural selection is the opposite of random (hence the word, selection).

Also, where is the evidence that anything other than natural forces were involved?

Just because the idea that the variety and complxity of life on this planet arose by naturalistic means is difficult for some people to believe doesn't mean that it isn't true. This is the fallacious "Argument from Incredulity", or, "I can't imagine how this could happen, therefore it couldn't have happened."

quote:
I'm not closed to the idea, mind you, but I have to see the evidence to be convinced.

Good. Then you must also need positive evidence to be convinced of ID, special creation, or whatever flavor of Creationist you are.

quote:
For starters, take the various lab experiments which purport to prove basic amino acids form when electricity is applied to 'primordial soup'.

The ToE and Abiogenesis theories are not the same thing. The ToE applies as soon as the first life got here. How it got here is not part of the ToE.

quote:
Does it matter that a creator (the scientist) was involved in setting the conditions up for this to occur?

Yes, because it is the only way we can hope to approximate what we think the conditions were on Earth at the time.

quote:
Does it matter that these protien strings are too fragile to survive outside of the lab?

Faulting science for not having perfect knowledge all at once hardly seems fair, does it?

quote:
If we can make the leap that the creator-scientist isn't involved and that lightning struck the organic soup all those millions of years ago and randomly generated amino strings, how then did they evolve into DNA?

We don't know. MAking the leap from "We don't know", to "Godidit" is the God of the Gaps fallacy.

quote:
Moreover, since we know through backward engineering (the Human Genome project) that DNA is actually a complex code directing the growth and functioning of every living thing, how exactly did this code come into being?

Science is still figuring this out, but self-replicating molecules are thought to be precursors.

[QUOTE]Can you show through scientific explaination how all this happened?

Please keep your answer to what is known by experiment or logic and avoid Naturalist supposition![QUOTE/]

See above.

[This message has been edited by schrafinator, 09-03-2002]

[This message has been edited by schrafinator, 09-03-2002]


This message is a reply to:
 Message 1 by sonofasailor, posted 09-03-2002 11:28 AM sonofasailor has not yet responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 3 by John, posted 09-03-2002 1:43 PM nator has not yet responded

    
John
Inactive Member


Message 3 of 12 (16504)
09-03-2002 1:43 PM
Reply to: Message 2 by nator
09-03-2002 12:10 PM


quote:
Originally posted by schrafinator:
Science is based upon the assumptions that nature is knowable by means of evidence which can be detected by our five senses. Whether there is "something else" working out there which we can't detect with our five senses, science cannot address because it wasn't designed to address that.

Put another way, if something is not percievable via our five senses, or inferrable from sensory information, how can we know anything about it? This is the point as I see it. All we have with which to reason is sensory information.

------------------
www.hells-handmaiden.com


This message is a reply to:
 Message 2 by nator, posted 09-03-2002 12:10 PM nator has not yet responded

  
sonofasailor
Inactive Member


Message 4 of 12 (16549)
09-04-2002 9:41 AM


Hey Schraf. Nice meeting you. Here is the response back from your initial post. Im learning on here and love your opinion. You can email me if you want to talk there. Thanks SOS

Sorry, he doesn't use (quotes)

Re: Naturalism in Science
I realize the necessity for small “n” naturalism in scientific inquiry.
I’m also not a creationist. I don’t ask supernatural revelation be imposed upon science at all. That would dilute our ability to understand the subject of study.

However, the need to keep science limited to our senses does not support a Naturalist world view – and yet…that is what I’ve been told by many ardent Darwinists.

In fact, many prominent Naturalists (Gould, Dawkins, etc) have admitted Darwinist evolution provides scientific ‘evidence’ of Naturalist assumptions, and this is what I’m talking about.

If there are forces and actors outside our realm of sensory experience which have effect within, they are real even if we cannot measure them. I’m open to the idea of eternal (timeless) existence – We can conceptualize such a dimension (ever see the first episode of ST DS9?), but if there is an eternity, how can beings such as ourselves comprehend it? It would be like asking a being that exists with only width and length to describe height.

But I digress.

We agree science must rest on the quantifiable, and yet… You would agree emotions are real – love, for instance is real? Can you quantify and measure love scientifically?

Re: My strawman

I’m having trouble with your logic here.

I always understood natural selection to be another way of saying random natural forces.

First, there are random mutations. Then those mutations which benefit the organism ‘select’ it to survive. Nevermind the absurd notion that nature ‘selects’. To select something implies an actor and unless you are going to tell me nature chooses and acts with intent, then it seem logical natural selection is a misnomer for random forces.

It isn’t just that the idea that the variety and complexity of life arose by ‘naturalistic’ menas is difficult to believe – it is difficult to believe because of science, in my opinion.

And what do you mean by ‘naturalistic’ means? Aren’t you saying undirected random natural forces? Is that not what ‘naturalistic’ implies?

Re: Flavor of Creationism

The disingenuous association of ID as a subset of Creationism sets my spidey senses a tinglin. The scientist in the growing Intelligent Design movement have published what they can to be peer reviewed, but look at what happened at Baylor to the chap who set up the ID center for study.

Darwinists dominate the journals which you require for ‘peer review’ and so far as I have read, have only offered ad hominem critiques of ID, or snidely dismissed their work as a ‘flavor of Creationism’, as if the association is enough to discredit their arguments.

I’m not AT, please spare me the arrogance, okay?

There is plenty of positive evidence for Intelligent design, which I’ll get to in a bit.

Re: ToE and Abiogenesis

For the uniformed, Abiogenesis is the study of how life began, the Theory of Evolution is how that life specialized (Origin of Species).

It would be intellectually dishonest to deny that Darwinism and the notion that all life arose entirely within the natural realm are essentially the same.

Watch Discovery Channel on cable sometime. In every presentation Darwinist theory is dominant and unchallenged by alternate theories. This is the problem folks like me have with Darwinist dogma being taught in government schools. It is one sided and I don’t recall any of my science classes in HS or college ever presenting critical evaluations of Darwinism.

That science can only approximate what we think conditions were like on Earth hundreds of millions of years ago lessens the credibility of any experiment purporting to show life could arise from the inorganic, doesn’t it?

I mean, we know conditions everywhere on this planet are volatile and constantly changing. What kind of giant leap must one make from simple amino strings forming under certain controlled lab conditions to the same forming in our volatile environment?

Moreover, there is the question of the coding of DNA.

DNA is a patterned code, SoS. A CODE

What is it our boys over at SETI are listening for among the random radio noise in the galaxy? A PATTERN.

Why? Because a pattern or code indicates INTELLIGENCE!!!

Suppose you have a mountain in your area that has human characteristics – a protrusion that looks like a nose and hollows which look like eyes. Maybe some trees form a hairline of sorts. Say it looks like an American Indian and is called Indian Head Hill by all the locals.

Now, say you compare this hypothetical mountain to Mt.Rushmore. On the one hand, we have a mountain that, because of erosion and tectonic upheaval looks somewhat like an Indian. On the other hand, Mt Rushmore clearly had a designer behind its shape!

Are you familiar with the idea of irreducible complexity?

Self replication of certain molecules seems a weak answer to this line of inquiry. DNA is a code, but I repeat myself. I’m sure we’ll expand our discussion on this issue in the future. It is getting late.

Answering your questions

First, I think I have quite handily rebutted your last post to me. You seem guilty of some faulty logic, as evidenced by your claim that natural selection is the opposite of random selection.

I’m going to have to read you initial post. I stopped after the first scroll down because it was so dang long and I have so little time.

Actually, what I’ll do is read down to the first few questions and address them as I can. But not tonight.

My point in asking you to defend ToE was to make the point that there are plenty of holes in it, logical as well as evidentiary.

There is plenty of evidence for design, which I’ll be happy to expand upon if you like.

There is precious little in the way of evidence for organic life as we know it arising from the non-organic. This is what AT means when referring to ROCKS.

Well, I’m approaching the babbling stage of the day and must retire.

I look forward to your response.

H

[This message has been edited by sonofasailor, 09-04-2002]


  
Rationalist
Inactive Member


Message 5 of 12 (16563)
09-04-2002 12:04 PM


quote:
However, the need to keep science limited to our senses does not support a Naturalist world view – and yet…that is what I’ve been told by many ardent Darwinists.

Science needs objective evidence to support a claim. If five different religions all compete to persuade you to believe five different stories as to how the world began, how do you decide among them except by seeking objective evidence.

Everyone has hunches, unevidenced beliefs, notions, feelings about things, intuition, etc. The problem is that everyone seems to have a 'different' set of these subjective notions, and there is no way to resolve the truth except by resorting to empirical evidence when and where it exists. That doesn't mean that you are necessarily 'wrong' about something if you accept it with no physical evidence, it simply means that it can't be proven to anyone else that it's true.

quote:
In fact, many prominent Naturalists (Gould, Dawkins, etc) have admitted Darwinist evolution provides scientific ‘evidence’ of Naturalist assumptions, and this is what I’m talking about.

Naturalism is what we're left with when we eliminate all other phenomena which seem to never offer any reliable evidence. We've come to simply label as "natural" all that can be seen, touched, and reliably experienced repeatably by everybody the same way. Phenomena such as divine creation, God, magic, psychic viewings, telekinesis, and other phenomena that "could" be true but never seem to offer any reliable evidence (even when they should be able to), are classified as supernatural.

quote:
If there are forces and actors outside our realm of sensory experience which have effect within, they are real even if we cannot measure them. I’m open to the idea of eternal (timeless) existence – We can conceptualize such a dimension (ever see the first episode of ST DS9?), but if there is an eternity, how can beings such as ourselves comprehend it? It would be like asking a being that exists with only width and length to describe height.

If something that is true has no measurable effect on our existence, it is meaningless. It seems as if the existence or non-existence of eternal (timeless) existence makes absolutely no measurable difference here and now. It is untestable, unknowable (with our present means), and seems to make little difference. It may indeed be 'true', and if we discover so in the future, it will certainly be meaningful then, but right now it is merely idle speculation.

quote:
We agree science must rest on the quantifiable, and yet… You would agree emotions are real – love, for instance is real? Can you quantify and measure love scientifically?

Theoretically, yes. These are operations taking place in the biochemical machinery of your brain. Concievably they can be quantified, recorded, and understood. That may be extraordinarily unsatisfying to hear, but nonetheless, it is almost certainly true.

quote:
I always understood natural selection to be another way of saying random natural forces.

First, there are random mutations. Then those mutations which benefit the organism ‘select’ it to survive. Nevermind the absurd notion that nature ‘selects’.


What is absurd about it?

A polar bear with short fur (a mutation that can occur), will freeze. This means that polar bears will not have the gene for short fur in the arctic, as those that do tend to die. Were it not in the arctic, it could have any random length of fur. Being in a given environment (the arctic) means that the genes for fur are automatically selected for adequate length.

quote:
To select something implies an actor and unless you are going to tell me nature chooses and acts with intent, then it seem logical natural selection is a misnomer for random forces.

In this case, selection means precisely the process of gene frequency being culled by differential survival of individuals in a species. Don't confuse the technical description with the colloqial meaning of the words used to describe it.

quote:
It isn’t just that the idea that the variety and complexity of life arose by ‘naturalistic’ menas is difficult to believe – it is difficult to believe because of science, in my opinion.

That is your opinion. It is not shared by the overwhelming majority of biologists, geologists, paleontologists, and other experts.

Why should we take your opinion over theirs?

quote:
And what do you mean by ‘naturalistic’ means? Aren’t you saying undirected random natural forces? Is that not what ‘naturalistic’ implies?

No, evolution is not a random process. Selection is not random.

quote:
There is plenty of positive evidence for Intelligent design, which I’ll get to in a bit.

ID ignores several well known facts.

1. Evolution is a stepwise process where the probability of any complex function is the cumulative high probability of each individual step.
2. Evolution is quite capable of producing specified information.
3. Evolution is also quite capable of producing I.D.'s irreducible complexity through scaffolding, change in function, and other methods.

These facts can be demonstrated quite easily, and I can even explain how they work right here on this forum.

ID is classified as creationism because these issues are well known and well understood in the scientific community, but the proponents of ID simply ignore them or deny them.

The greater body of the scientific community will engage in debate given a new theory or idea, but once questions such as these above have been settled beyond any shadow of a doubt there is little interest in continuing the debate further.

quote:
Watch Discovery Channel on cable sometime. In every presentation Darwinist theory is dominant and unchallenged by alternate theories. This is the problem folks like me have with Darwinist dogma being taught in government schools. It is one sided and I don’t recall any of my science classes in HS or college ever presenting critical evaluations of Darwinism.

They don't present critical evaluation of gravity either, even though gravity is far less well understood than evolution. We still don't even know what gravity is, or what causes it.

quote:
That science can only approximate what we think conditions were like on Earth hundreds of millions of years ago lessens the credibility of any experiment purporting to show life could arise from the inorganic, doesn’t it?

Perhaps, but there is a good reason to believe that if the common processes of evolution can be responsible for all life from bacteria on us (for which we have overwhelming fossil, genetic, and geological evidence), it can also be responsible for life from bacteria to naturally occuring chemical replicators. After all, the evolution of simple bacteria to complex metazoa seems commensurate with the evolution from chemical replicators to bacteria. There seems to be no reason 'not' to extrapolate the trend backwards all the way to chemical life.

However, if we discover any physical evidence of miraculous spontaneous creation I'm sure that will certainly be taken into account. Until then, it seems quite reasonable to accept as our working hypothesis that the same process which has been going for the recorded history of life extends back to its simple chemical beginning.

quote:
I mean, we know conditions everywhere on this planet are volatile and constantly changing. What kind of giant leap must one make from simple amino strings forming under certain controlled lab conditions to the same forming in our volatile environment?

That is not presently the line of research scientists are pursuing.

Do a search on the web for thioesters, RNA world, lipid spheres, pyrite substrates, and clays.

quote:
What is it our boys over at SETI are listening for among the random radio noise in the galaxy? A PATTERN.

Why? Because a pattern or code indicates INTELLIGENCE!!!


This is an invalid leap of logic. It ignores any other process which might create complex patterns or information.

We actually know of two processes which produce complex specified codes: intelligence and evolution.

One way to distinguish between the two is to determine whether information is being communicated between individuals, or is encoded in a mutating genome in a self replicating organism.

Evolution must have genes, mutations, replication, and selection. If a complex thing has these four properties then it is likely that it evolved, if it doesn't then it was probably designed.

quote:
Suppose you have a mountain in your area that has human characteristics – a protrusion that looks like a nose and hollows which look like eyes. Maybe some trees form a hairline of sorts. Say it looks like an American Indian and is called Indian Head Hill by all the locals.

Now, say you compare this hypothetical mountain to Mt.Rushmore. On the one hand, we have a mountain that, because of erosion and tectonic upheaval looks somewhat like an Indian. On the other hand, Mt Rushmore clearly had a designer behind its shape!


But remember that there are two processes which produce complex specified information: evolution and design. Mt. Rushmore does not have genes, does not mutate, does not replicate, and does not undergo selection. Thus evolution can not be the cause of its patterns. Therefore it must be something else, and intelligence is the only other answer we know of.

quote:
Are you familiar with the idea of irreducible complexity?

Quite. It's one of the things that ID proponents say evolution can not produce, but which is usually produced by evolution. The notion of irreducible complexity is one of the primary reasons why ID proponents are not taken seriously by other scientists. Everyone familiar with how evolution works knows that IC is produced by evolutionary processes. It seems the only people who don't are ID proponents and their followers.

The majority of scientists simply no longer bother to discuss it, as they consider the matter long settled (the idea behind ID is not really new after all). They realize that reason ID proponents will not accept the evidence that irreducible complexity is produced by evolution is because of their a-priori commitment to miraculous creation.

However, I'll discuss it with you at length if you'd like. Scaffoldinig, change in function, stepwise co-adaptation, etc. It's all very simple.

[This message has been edited by Rationalist, 09-04-2002]


Replies to this message:
 Message 9 by nator, posted 09-05-2002 1:27 PM Rationalist has not yet responded

  
sonofasailor
Inactive Member


Message 6 of 12 (16567)
09-04-2002 12:41 PM


Rationalist, may I use your words with a cut and paste.
SOS
  
Rationalist
Inactive Member


Message 7 of 12 (16610)
09-05-2002 3:19 AM


I afraid I don't follow you sonofasailor.
Replies to this message:
 Message 8 by nator, posted 09-05-2002 1:25 PM Rationalist has not yet responded

  
nator
Member (Idle past 277 days)
Posts: 12961
From: Ann Arbor
Joined: 12-09-2001


Message 8 of 12 (16646)
09-05-2002 1:25 PM
Reply to: Message 7 by Rationalist
09-05-2002 3:19 AM


quote:
Originally posted by Rationalist:
I afraid I don't follow you sonofasailor.

Sonofasailor is engaging in debate with creationists on another board and is wanting to cut n paste our arguments there. He tells me that he is giving us attribution.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 7 by Rationalist, posted 09-05-2002 3:19 AM Rationalist has not yet responded

    
nator
Member (Idle past 277 days)
Posts: 12961
From: Ann Arbor
Joined: 12-09-2001


Message 9 of 12 (16648)
09-05-2002 1:27 PM
Reply to: Message 5 by Rationalist
09-04-2002 12:04 PM


Rationalist has covered the response to this message admirably. I have nothing to add.
This message is a reply to:
 Message 5 by Rationalist, posted 09-04-2002 12:04 PM Rationalist has not yet responded

    
sonofasailor
Inactive Member


Message 10 of 12 (16653)
09-05-2002 2:39 PM


Thanks Schraf and Rationlist. You have been very helpful and have helped me with things I don't understand completely. THank you, Erik
Replies to this message:
 Message 12 by nator, posted 09-06-2002 11:32 AM sonofasailor has not yet responded

  
Rationalist
Inactive Member


Message 11 of 12 (16716)
09-06-2002 12:40 AM


Fine with me if you want to post it somewhere else.
  
nator
Member (Idle past 277 days)
Posts: 12961
From: Ann Arbor
Joined: 12-09-2001


Message 12 of 12 (16774)
09-06-2002 11:32 AM
Reply to: Message 10 by sonofasailor
09-05-2002 2:39 PM


quote:
Originally posted by sonofasailor:
Thanks Schraf and Rationlist. You have been very helpful and have helped me with things I don't understand completely. THank you, Erik

You're welcome


This message is a reply to:
 Message 10 by sonofasailor, posted 09-05-2002 2:39 PM sonofasailor has not yet responded

    
Newer Topic | Older Topic
Jump to:


Copyright 2001-2018 by EvC Forum, All Rights Reserved

™ Version 4.0 Beta
Innovative software from Qwixotic © 2019