Understanding through Discussion


Welcome! You are not logged in. [ Login ]
EvC Forum active members: 81 (8972 total)
180 online now:
14174dm, AnswersInGenitals, frako, GDR, PaulK, Percy (Admin), ringo (7 members, 173 visitors)
Newest Member: Howyoudo
Post Volume: Total: 875,397 Year: 7,145/23,288 Month: 1,051/1,214 Week: 63/303 Day: 24/39 Hour: 6/3


Thread  Details

Email This Thread
Newer Topic | Older Topic
  
Author Topic:   How Do Scientists Believe in God and Evolution?
brendatucker
Member (Idle past 3608 days)
Posts: 168
From: West Hills, CA
Joined: 05-22-2008


Message 121 of 145 (469445)
06-05-2008 4:38 PM
Reply to: Message 113 by Coyote
06-05-2008 1:39 PM


Re: A new theory of evolution
This theory includes all of the evidence that exists in the world because it embraces the work of science as its own. This theory wants everything accomplished by science EXCEPT the belittling and denial of the value of religion.

By using this theory, we can embrace both sides of the debates and create a patient understanding of the two points of view. Science shows what? That forms progress. That was known long before Darwin. Science shows a method from which to accumulate information. So does religion. The information that we received from religious people such as THE SECRET DOCTRINE by H.P. Blavatsky is instrumental in advancing the goals of both sides of the debate.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 113 by Coyote, posted 06-05-2008 1:39 PM Coyote has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 122 by Coyote, posted 06-05-2008 4:52 PM brendatucker has not yet responded
 Message 126 by brendatucker, posted 06-05-2008 5:58 PM brendatucker has not yet responded

  
Coyote
Member (Idle past 613 days)
Posts: 6117
Joined: 01-12-2008


Message 122 of 145 (469448)
06-05-2008 4:52 PM
Reply to: Message 121 by brendatucker
06-05-2008 4:38 PM


Re: A new theory of evolution
This theory includes all of the evidence that exists in the world because it embraces the work of science as its own. This theory wants everything accomplished by science EXCEPT the belittling and denial of the value of religion.

By using this theory, we can embrace both sides of the debates and create a patient understanding of the two points of view. Science shows what? That forms progress. That was known long before Darwin. Science shows a method from which to accumulate information. So does religion. The information that we received from religious people such as THE SECRET DOCTRINE by H.P. Blavatsky is instrumental in advancing the goals of both sides of the debate.

You are using the term "theory" incorrectly. It does not mean an idea. In science when that term is used it refers to an explanation that covers all known facts, has withstood numerous tests, and which has successfully made predictions.

Here are some definitions I have put together:

    Theory: a well-substantiated explanation of some aspect of the natural world; an organized system of accepted knowledge that applies in a variety of circumstances to explain a specific set of phenomena; theories can incorporate facts and laws and tested hypotheses. Addendum: Theories do not grow up to be laws. Theories explain laws.

    Theory: A scientifically testable general principle or body of principles offered to explain observed phenomena. In scientific usage, a theory is distinct from a hypothesis (or conjecture) that is proposed to explain previously observed phenomena. For a hypothesis to rise to the level of theory, it must predict the existence of new phenomena that are subsequently observed. A theory can be overturned if new phenomena are observed that directly contradict the theory. Source

    When a scientific theory has a long history of being supported by verifiable evidence, it is appropriate to speak about "acceptance" of (not "belief" in) the theory; or we can say that we have "confidence" (not "faith") in the theory. It is the dependence on verifiable data and the capability of testing that distinguish scientific theories from matters of faith.

As for Blavatsky -- not interested.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 121 by brendatucker, posted 06-05-2008 4:38 PM brendatucker has not yet responded

  
Straggler
Member (Idle past 137 days)
Posts: 10285
From: London England
Joined: 09-30-2006


Message 123 of 145 (469451)
06-05-2008 4:59 PM
Reply to: Message 116 by Wumpini
06-05-2008 3:17 PM


Re: Chance
Is it not true that the deeper that you dig into the natural world the more complex everything seems to become? (The atom, the cell, the universe, the earth, etc.)

Like I said before - Yes and no. In some ways the more we know the more we find that there is to know and in other ways the more we know the more we realise that seemingly disparate phenomenon are actually different aspects of things of which we already have some understanding.

The “natural processes that led to each of us being here individually”

AND

The “intention that resulted in the ORIGIN of all that we see.”

You seemed to be arguing the theistic position based on probability in some way. No?
My point was that the probability of the exact set of individuals that inhabit this Earth as you read this is so astronomically minute as to be impossible. Yet here we are. We could therefore conclude, based on the improbability of this occurrence, that this situation must have been intelligently planned by God.
The fact is that any given set of individuals would be equally improbable.
The fact is that nature gives rise to improbable things because all of the alternatives are similarly improbable. Our assumptions of intention are taken from the vantage point of being the improbable thing that actually came to be. That is all.

You can have Creation, and then natural processes from there forward.

You could indeed. But what leads you to such a conclusion? Incredulity? That is no argument? I suspect that I am equally incredulous of your God. So what?

Why did it take man hundreds of thousands of years to communicate in written language?

Who knows. At a guess I would say several factors played a part. We were too embroiled in sheer survival to dwell on such abstractions. Populations were not large enough to make written language particularly useful on a day to day basis. A nomadic lifestyle was not conducive to such things and the advent of agriculture required certain environmental conditions to be in place. Etc. etc. etc. We can speculate and through historical and scientific investigation we may one day have more definite answers.

Men can work in the field of science whether they believe in God or not. That does not change the natural world that exists today; it only changes their perception of what exists.

What do you perceive Straggler?

I perceive that the history of science is full of examples of things that God "must" have been responsible for. Things which we now not only understand but which we can, in many cases, now manipulate. I perceive that the answer "God did it" is a barrier to progress, advancement and understanding. Science and humanity are driven by the desire to understand. The "God hypothesis" explains everything and nothing and leaves us with only ignorance.
Of the near infinite number of natural phenomenon that have been attributed to God in the past the only answers that are now regularly attributed to God are "How did life begin?", "How did the universe begin?" and "What is consciousness?". These are the only major answers that science has thus far failed to prise from the grip of religion. Would you really bet against science delivering substantial progress on at least one of these marvellous questions in the next few decades? The God of the gaps is a shrinking god.

Are we here because a number of chance circumstances have taken place from before the beginning of time back into an infinity that we cannot even comprehend?

Can we comprehend God if it exists? Is incomprehension an argument for any position?
If ever we do comprehend the seemingly incomprehensible it will be because we did not accept the God hypothesis. Because we did not accept that non-answer and we researched and we investigated and we pushed ever forward the boundaries of human ingenuity in order to discover nature’s secrets.

Is all this interrelatedness that we see on the earth, and the complexity that we see in life by chance? Is this earth a mass of atoms that formed into a complex (As scientists recently have said) living organism by chance, or is it a spaceship or dwelling place for us to live on for only a limited period of time until the reason for that time has ended?

Quite possibly.
If we were actually here by "chance" in the ways that you describe do you think it likely that we would consider the great impossibility of it all and invent reasons and meaning for our being here that were false and untrue?
Is this any different really to the impossibility of the exact combination of inhabitants of the Earth discussed earlier?

These are all questions that we must ask ourselves. How we answer could have eternal consequences. We each have a choice as to what we will believe.

Yes it will have consequences. Lets say that the investigation into abiogenesis leads to an understanding of the nature of life that leads to a cure for cancer. Lets say that the search into the origins of the universe leads to future technologies that one day in the dim and distant future take man to the stars. Overly optimistic? Maybe. But one thing is certain. If we accept that God created life and God started the universe we have no reason to look for the natural phenomenon relating to these areas and no reason to ever progress beyond that simplistic answer that actually tells us nothing about anything other than our own delusions of grandeur.

The Bible tells us in PS 14:1 that,“The fool has said in his heart, "There is no God."

Yes yes yes. It also tells us that "blessed are those who believe but do not see" etc.
If there is one thing religion, and Christianity in particular, is very good at it is delusional self justification.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 116 by Wumpini, posted 06-05-2008 3:17 PM Wumpini has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 125 by brendatucker, posted 06-05-2008 5:41 PM Straggler has not yet responded
 Message 129 by Wumpini, posted 06-05-2008 7:15 PM Straggler has responded

  
Straggler
Member (Idle past 137 days)
Posts: 10285
From: London England
Joined: 09-30-2006


Message 124 of 145 (469452)
06-05-2008 5:03 PM
Reply to: Message 120 by brendatucker
06-05-2008 4:34 PM


Re: Theories
Dude I did not mean that you should leave the whole EvC forum. I meant start your own discussion thread in the new topics section of the Evc forum.

So you are the new Darwin huh.....?

Hmmmm time will tell.

Start your own topic and people will either challenge your ideas or ignore them.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 120 by brendatucker, posted 06-05-2008 4:34 PM brendatucker has not yet responded

  
brendatucker
Member (Idle past 3608 days)
Posts: 168
From: West Hills, CA
Joined: 05-22-2008


Message 125 of 145 (469470)
06-05-2008 5:41 PM
Reply to: Message 123 by Straggler
06-05-2008 4:59 PM


Forbearance
I am hoping that you will understand, Straggler, that I have been doing what I am doing now for many years. Over these 13 or so years, I have had many experiences, including the invitation to "go start my own." I have complied and it has not been a success. No one wants to talk about something they are unfamiliar with.

We all like to talk from the basis of our education. The only difference with me is that I had to "nearly" provide my own education. You see, neither of the groups that I participated with taught the theory - that you can actually read, if you are interested in. When I discovered the ideas and could produce them coherently, neither of the organizations were interested in helping me to publicize my findings.

The only solution is for me to break in where I am not wanted and to attempt to drum up interest there. I'm sorry.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 123 by Straggler, posted 06-05-2008 4:59 PM Straggler has not yet responded

  
brendatucker
Member (Idle past 3608 days)
Posts: 168
From: West Hills, CA
Joined: 05-22-2008


Message 126 of 145 (469474)
06-05-2008 5:58 PM
Reply to: Message 121 by brendatucker
06-05-2008 4:38 PM


Re: A new theory of evolution
In science when that term (theory) is used it refers to an explanation that covers all known facts, has withstood numerous tests, and which has successfully made predictions.

Oddly enough, the known facts that successfully predict a certain result associated with this theory, are the world's religions. I am hoping that we can attempt to find explanations associated with known facts when we more thoroughly understand the implications after careful study and thought.

The theory as presented in THE SECRET DOCTRINE shows a progression from religion to religion and race to race. We have one definition of race and a new definition for race would have to be added since the one used by the theory doesn't currently exist.

This new definition of race can be illustrated by the progression of religion, one to the next. I suggest to you that there are subtle hints that help to association the Egyptian religion with the 1st race, the Hindu religion with the 2nd, the Greek/Roman myths with the 3rd, the Buddhist, Zen, or Taoist religion with the 4th race, the Christian with the 5th race, ????? unknown for 6th race, and the curious nature of the 7th race (a family race as indicated by THE SECRET DOCTRINE) suggests Judaism with beginnings in Chaldea as a 7th, which is challenged by the Muslim religion also appearing as characteristically 7th race.

The clue here is that the 7th begins at the same time as the 1st and 2nd races, however the 7th is only a small, small percentage of the population that remains small over time while continuing alongside the people in the population as they more typically progress through the different races, one after another. Because we have no sixth race, I can only guess that we have what will someday become the foundation of the sixth race with the two organizations that I have studied: The Theosophical Society and The Saint Germain Foundation and that this sixth race will grow in a slightly different manner than a seventh race will grow.

If you read the available books on the subject, you will understand more thoroughly, but I can suggest that the 6th race itself will not begin for another 400,000 years. We may have a 6th subrace (as are each of the religions enumerated above subraces) whereas the entire population on earth today is characterized as the 5th root race. The 4th root race went extinct (I believe the book records the last remnant sinking - a white island - 11,000 years ago.)

A race slowly grows and slowly declines in numbers, subraces however may repeat themselves numerous times in the period of a race. The cycle is somehow instructive to people, although there is little evidence of how this helps us to keep repeating the same lesson - descent through animals for the purpose of acquiring the necessary form followed by ascent through girasas for the purpose of increasing our spiritual awareness of ourselves and life in general.

As we repeat these, the religions unfold from each other in accordance with this numbering of our stage - whether on the descent three-fold side or the ascent three-fold side or on the vortex.

This is how the theory holds up when studied. The most puzzling aspects are 1) the illusion that we exist currently with plants and animals that are evolving when the theory suggests these living things have moved on to live as kingdoms on their own globes, and 2) that involutional life waves exist that occupy the forms we associate with evolving lives just for the period of time that we occupy the globe - the angels act as our virtual worlds and ecological habitat.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 121 by brendatucker, posted 06-05-2008 4:38 PM brendatucker has not yet responded

  
Wumpini
Member (Idle past 4270 days)
Posts: 229
From: Ghana West Africa
Joined: 04-23-2008


Message 127 of 145 (469479)
06-05-2008 6:22 PM
Reply to: Message 118 by Blue Jay
06-05-2008 4:15 PM


Re: Scientists and Belief in God
Hi Bluejay,

This assumes that “the beginning” could only be the beginning of reality, when it could just as easily refer to the beginning of the Christian religion, or the beginning of humans, for that matter. Biblical literalism doesn’t require you to take the most extreme interpretation every time.

Here Jesus is quoting from the book of Genesis, so it has to be when God created man and woman. We cannot try to twist everything in the Bible to fit into a mold that agrees to present scientific theories. It will not work. Somewhere along the line you have to give up something that matters.

With this statement, you’ve assumed that “creation” has to refer to an instantaneous “big poof” event, and cannot refer to a gradual, long-term process such as presented by evolution.

I do not guess I have ever thought of creation as an instantaneous “big poof” event. I guess that is one way to describe what could have happened. Let us look at this closely for one moment because I feel this is about as close as you can get to the topic of this thread. You go on to say:

I see nothing in the genesis account that definitively rules out the possibility that evolution was the mechanism of Creation.

You see that is what I am trying to figure out. How can you make that statement? I have not gone back and looked at any old threads on this subject. My computer link is too slow.

Explain to me how you deal with Genesis and make this statement?

Let us surmise that you say the creation story is not literal. If there was nothing else in the Bible related to this situation, then I do not think this website would exist. But, there is! What about the genealogies? Living in Salt Lake City, I know you know a lot about genealogies. My mother goes there to go through your library so she can figure out our family tree. Those genealogies give specific names and ages. They go all the way from Adam to Jesus with Noah along the way. These genealogies were very important to the Jews. The Bible explicitly says that Adam was the first man. How can we have men on this earth for hundreds of thousands of years when Adam was the first man and we have his genealogy all the way through to Jesus? The problems keep piling up. As I said above, you can only twist the Scriptures so much and then you have to give up something that really matters.

I would say the mechanism is the supernatural power that the mechanic used. I would not say it was the mechanic.

I agree completely.

What you seem to believe is that “God” is synonymous with “the power that God has.”

I do.

He cannot be both the agent and the mechanism: He can’t grab Himself out of His toolbox and use Himself to loosen a bolt. Neither did the mechanic in your example grab himself out of his toolbox and use himself to fix his car. The “mechanism” (or “power” or “tool,” whatever) is different from the entity wielding it.

With us that is true. With the mechanic that is true. With God that is not true.

So, you can say the mechanism is a supernatural, unexplanable “power,” but this is different from saying that the mechanism is the person who wields this “power.

The mechanism is a supernatural unexplainable power called God. You cannot separate the power of God from God.

” The mechanism of creation is the “power” that God wields, and I believe that “power” to be natural selection (in the case of life being “created” from pre-existing forms of life).

However, we are not talking about natural selection when we are talking of creation. We are talking about that instantaneous “poof event” that you mentioned above.

Also note here that a God who can spontaneously---without any tool or mechanism but His own will---cause things to happen, is not a God of order, but a God of chaos.

Why would a spontaneous miracle cause God to be a God of chaos? Aren’t there miracles in the Bible that are instantaneous?

I do not believe that God can just act in any way He wishes.

This is true.

Consider this: is God good? Does He have to be good? Does He have the power to do evil? If He can switch to evil for no reason, He could just as easily have lied about the whole Bible, and you can’t really be certain it’s true. If He cannot switch to evil, He is governed or restricted by something. This would mean that there are rules that even He has to follow, which makes His power conditional.

This is somewhat true. He does not follow rules. He is who He is. God does not lie! Why? Because God does not lie! It is that simple. There is no rule book.

If His power is conditional, than it is being governed by something other than Him.

This is not true. Are you saying that God has a God? His power is limited by who He is, not by some outside force.

Thus, a God of order is not the mechanism for His own work.

This statement does not even fit into your argument. You will have to explain your logic.

It’s really quite simple: if I’m using a word in a certain context or with a certain definition, your rebuttal must address the definition I’m using. Otherwise, the rebuttal is invalid, because it doesn’t even address what I actually said, it only addresses a point of semantic confusion that isn’t really relevant to the argument anyway.

Okay. I will try to do better.

Perhaps you just overlooked this semantic error, or maybe you’re deliberately trying to confuse me. But I think it’s more likely that you really do see faith as “belief without evidence,” but you’re attacking that definition because it sounds derogatory.

I assure you I was not trying to confuse you. I may confuse myself. I think you have confused me. I do not see faith as belief without evidence. However, it is obvious that I cannot use the word consistently so maybe I should quit using it altogether. From now on, in our discussions I will try to describe what I mean instead of use the word faith. I will probably forget, but maybe you can remind me.

Yet, all the definitions you provided for the word “magic” basically said “a supernatural power,” and none of them said anything that could not be applied to the power of God.

I said that I would not use the word. I told you my reasons. If you want to use the word then it is fine with me.

Further, how can you be sure that your feelings are any more reliable than mine?

I do not compare my feelings to others to determine what they mean.

That’s what I’ve been trying to tell you, and you’ve been largely rejecting it. There is a lot to be learned from the natural world, and what it is trying to teach us in relation to life is evolution. Whether or not God was involved, science will never know, because the natural world is unable to tell us that.

I have not been rejecting anything about the natural world. I have been studying about evolution, the cosmos, meteorology, geology, chemistry, biology, and even some physics, for starters. I believe that there is a lot of good that can come from science. I have no problem with science. I only have a problem with some of their theories and conclusions. Most of science is fine with me.

Just a thought exercise here: if I (or anyone) thought science had all the answers, why would I (or anyone) still be doing it?

You can try to read a little into what I say. Obviously, I mean that science cannot give us all of the answers. Why I did not word my sentence that way originally, I do not know.

Wrong. Science can only say, “outside of what we can see, hear, smell, touch and taste there is nothing that we can comment on.” Get that through your head: science doesn’t say that what it can’t test doesn’t exist, it only says that what it can’t test it can’t test, and it can’t incorporate what it can’t test in its tests of things that it can test.

Sometimes, I think that I may confuse science with this forum. They do a lot of commenting about God on this forum. You know that there are a lot of posts that try to make people feel foolish for believing in God.

Basically, with the EvC debate, I regularly face this very question: is it more important to preserve people’s faith, or to tell them the truth?

Are you sure you know the truth?

Every creationist I have ever met or conversed with on this site has provided nothing more than PRATTs as “evidence” for creationism, cannot answer the arguments brought against creationism with anything more than “you can’t prove it’s not true,” or “it seems hard to believe,” and generally doesn’t even understand what the theory they’re disagreeing with says in the first place. Do you expect me to support arguments like that, just because it helps people’s faith? If so, I sincerely believe that you are the one who should be on pills, and not me.

I do not know what you should do. I would be careful though. If God does exist, the scientifically correct answer may not be the truth. If you believe in the miracles of the Bible (and I do not know if you do) then you know there are events that cannot be explained by science. Think about that.


"There is one thing even more vital to science than intelligent methods; and that is, the sincere desire to find out the truth, whatever it may be." - Charles Sanders Pierce

This message is a reply to:
 Message 118 by Blue Jay, posted 06-05-2008 4:15 PM Blue Jay has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 134 by Blue Jay, posted 06-06-2008 2:19 PM Wumpini has responded

  
obvious Child
Member (Idle past 2622 days)
Posts: 661
Joined: 08-17-2006


Message 128 of 145 (469489)
06-05-2008 7:11 PM
Reply to: Message 103 by Wumpini
06-05-2008 5:28 AM


Re: Evidence
except that anyone can see that you substitute evidence with faith.

Furthermore you're still using the dishonest argument that only one god exists.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 103 by Wumpini, posted 06-05-2008 5:28 AM Wumpini has not yet responded

  
Wumpini
Member (Idle past 4270 days)
Posts: 229
From: Ghana West Africa
Joined: 04-23-2008


Message 129 of 145 (469490)
06-05-2008 7:15 PM
Reply to: Message 123 by Straggler
06-05-2008 4:59 PM


Re: Chance
Straggler writes:

You seemed to be arguing the theistic position based on probability in some way. No?

I guess not since I have no idea what the position may be.

Wumpini writes:

Why did it take man hundreds of thousands of years to communicate in written language?

Straggler writes:

Who knows. At a guess I would say several factors played a part.

Possibly there were not any humans here to write anything down.

I perceive that the history of science is full of examples of things that God "must" have been responsible for. Things which we now not only understand but which we can, in many cases, now manipulate. … The God of the gaps is a shrinking god.

It sounds like you are predicting the end of theism as we know it in the world today.

Yes it will have consequences. Lets say that the investigation into abiogenesis leads to an understanding of the nature of life that leads to a cure for cancer. Lets say that the search into the origins of the universe leads to future technologies that one day in the dim and distant future take man to the stars. Overly optimistic? Maybe. But one thing is certain. If we accept that God created life and God started the universe we have no reason to look for the natural phenomenon relating to these areas and no reason to ever progress beyond that simplistic answer that actually tells us nothing about anything other than our own delusions of grandeur.

Why would a belief in God keep us from researching abiogenesis? It does not change anything if it is possible for life to come from non-life. Why would a belief in God keep scientists from probing further back towards T=0. A better understanding of physical principles cannot change whether God created the universe. This sounds like something that was invented by those who are involved in this argument. I would not think anyone is saying that we should not research in these areas. Am I misunderstanding something here?


"There is one thing even more vital to science than intelligent methods; and that is, the sincere desire to find out the truth, whatever it may be." - Charles Sanders Pierce

This message is a reply to:
 Message 123 by Straggler, posted 06-05-2008 4:59 PM Straggler has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 130 by Straggler, posted 06-05-2008 7:41 PM Wumpini has responded

  
Straggler
Member (Idle past 137 days)
Posts: 10285
From: London England
Joined: 09-30-2006


Message 130 of 145 (469494)
06-05-2008 7:41 PM
Reply to: Message 129 by Wumpini
06-05-2008 7:15 PM


Re: Chance
Possibly there were not any humans here to write anything down.

When are you talking about exactly and what other evidence is there for human existence at that time?

It sounds like you are predicting the end of theism as we know it in the world today.

Nah. People will continue to believe irrational and evidentially unsupported things because they need to even if for no other reason. But I do think the physical role attributed to God will continue to shrink as science progresses.

Why would a belief in God keep us from researching abiogenesis? It does not change anything if it is possible for life to come from non-life.

Really? If life can come from non-life whre is the need for God in this process?

Why would a belief in God keep scientists from probing further back towards T=0.

Really? If, for example, it is shown that the Big Bang and our universe were all but inevitable by natural means where does that leave room for God?

It all depends what role someone believes God plays in the physical universe.
To the biblical literalist all such reearch is presumably folly at best and a huge anti-God conspiracy at worst.

This sounds like something that was invented by those who are involved in this argument. I would not think anyone is saying that we should not research in these areas. Am I misunderstanding something here?

If we "know" the answer - God did it - The incentive to search for natural answers that actually add to our understanding disappears.
This is something that has happened in the past. Questions regarding unexplained phenomenon attributed to God were left to stagnate until someone unwilling to accept that thinking was willing to rise to the challenge.

This message is a reply to:
 Message 129 by Wumpini, posted 06-05-2008 7:15 PM Wumpini has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 132 by Wumpini, posted 06-06-2008 4:57 AM Straggler has not yet responded

  
dwise1
Member
Posts: 4163
Joined: 05-02-2006
Member Rating: 2.9


Message 131 of 145 (469508)
06-05-2008 9:29 PM
Reply to: Message 119 by Wumpini
06-05-2008 4:26 PM


Re: Chance
It would no doubt advance the discussion if you were to explain what you mean by "by chance", since you are the one who introduced it (my emphasis):
Wumpini;Message 86 writes:

dwise1;Message 81 writes:

The reason why researching into how the universe works does not automatically convert scientists into believers is because they are still asking the old question of how the universe works and they keep finding that the answers are in nature, not in the supernatural.

. . .

Are there not areas where it seems that it is so improbable that what scientists are looking at could come about by chance that it would be logical and rational to infer something other than a natural explanation?

. . .

The more I study about these things the more convinced I become that this existence could not have come about by chance.

One reason why we need for you to explain what you mean is that creationists have for decades used "by chance" to describe naturalistic explanations, particularly evolution. A favorite analogy of theirs is to say that it is more improbable than for a tornado to tear through a junkyard and create a fully functional 747 jet. So their use of "by chance" means having things just fall right into place on their own. And when we hear a creationist (or one leaning in that direction) say "by chance", then we immediately interpret their usage as being the standard creationist one.

But what they describe is not how nature works. Not even close. Which is why I responded that it's not by chance, but rather through natural processes. If you follow the creationist model and toss the parts of a mechanical assembly into a coffee can, seal it, and shake it vigorously for any appreciably long period of time, all you will get is deaf. But if you pour the right chemicals into a jar you will get a reaction, often without even needing to stir it. Natural processes. The first creationist example demands the system to behave in a manner inconsistent with natural processes and so will be virtually impossible to succeed, whereas the second example is completely consistent with natural processes and so will work every single time.

That is the difference between something happening "by chance" and it happening through natural processes. If you mix certain chemicals together and induce a reaction, they will form amino acids. If you heat amino acids they will form protein-like chains. If you heat them in water, they will form microspheres where are very much like fossils found in pre-Cambrian rock. That is not by chance, but rather through natural processes.

When the specific outcome of the process, such as the order of the amino acids or the combinations of genes, is random or non-deterministic, then the words "by chance" may and is often used to describe the non-deterministic nature of the outcome, but that is not the same as the creationist meaning of "by chance". Even though the outcome is random, [i]that random outcome was produced by natural processes[/b], not "by chance" in the creationist sense (which also tends to be the common everyday sense).

Everybody tends to use simplifications in their speech. For example, most people accept heliocentrism and yet they still talk about the sun rising and setting in the sky. Just because they talk like that does not mean that they are geocentrists, and yet one could use their use of those terms to "prove" that they're geocentrists, just as you are trying to use scientists use of the term "by chance" to prove your point.

BTW, do you understand genetic drift? In those quotes, the term "by chance" is used to indicate that there those are cases where natural selection is not operating on those genes and that the survival and propagation of those genes are due to other "random" factors. "Random" factors that are themselves natural processes and which can even be very deterministic; it's just that we don't know what they might happen to be in any particular case.

Does that make things any clearer?


{When you search for God, y}ou can't go to the people who believe already. They've made up their minds and want to convince you of their own personal heresy.
("The Jehovah Contract", AKA "Der Jehova-Vertrag", by Viktor Koman, 1984)

Humans wrote the Bible; God wrote the world.
(from filk song "Word of God" by Dr. Catherine Faber, http://www.echoschildren.org/CDlyrics/WORDGOD.HTML)

Of course, if Dr. Mortimer's surmise should be correct and we are dealing with forces outside the ordinary laws of Nature, there is an end of our investigation. But we are bound to exhaust all other hypotheses before falling back upon this one.
(Sherlock Holmes in The Hound of the Baskervilles)

Gentry's case depends upon his halos remaining a mystery. Once a naturalistic explanation is discovered, his claim of a supernatural origin is washed up. So he will not give aid or support to suggestions that might resolve the mystery. Science works toward an increase in knowledge; creationism depends upon a lack of it. Science promotes the open-ended search; creationism supports giving up and looking no further. It is clear which method Gentry advocates.
("Gentry's Tiny Mystery -- Unsupported by Geology" by J. Richard Wakefield, Creation/Evolution Issue XXII, Winter 1987-1988, pp 31-32)

It is a well-known fact that reality has a definite liberal bias.
Robert Colbert on NPR


This message is a reply to:
 Message 119 by Wumpini, posted 06-05-2008 4:26 PM Wumpini has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 133 by Wumpini, posted 06-06-2008 5:11 AM dwise1 has not yet responded

  
Wumpini
Member (Idle past 4270 days)
Posts: 229
From: Ghana West Africa
Joined: 04-23-2008


Message 132 of 145 (469570)
06-06-2008 4:57 AM
Reply to: Message 130 by Straggler
06-05-2008 7:41 PM


Re: Chance
Straggler writes:

When are you talking about exactly and what other evidence is there for human existence at that time?

I have not researched this at all. I am basing these statements on someone else’s comment that humans had been here for hundreds of thousands of years. Doing a quick Google, it looks as if science may think this number may be a little smaller. Am I wrong that scientists think humans have been here for a long time?

Really? If life can come from non-life whre is the need for God in this process?

The question is not whether God is needed. Many of the miracles in the Bible could be reproduced naturally through other means. That does not change the fact of the miracle. Does the fact that men can grow wheat and catch fish mean that God did not need to perform the miracle where Jesus fed thousands of people with a few fish and loaves of bread? If science does solve the mystery of abiogenesis that does not eliminate the possibility that God was involved in the process.

Really? If, for example, it is shown that the Big Bang and our universe were all but inevitable by natural means where does that leave room for God?

Same reasoning as above.

It all depends what role someone believes God plays in the physical universe.

To the biblical literalist all such reearch is presumably folly at best and a huge anti-God conspiracy at worst.

I see no problem with the research in any area of science.

If we "know" the answer - God did it - The incentive to search for natural answers that actually add to our understanding disappears.

I do not understand this reasoning. Whatever happened supernaturally in the past does not change what is happening naturally in the present. It also does not negate man’s ability to project these processes backwards and forwards. The only thing that supernatural intervention at some time in the past would change is the conclusions that scientists reach about events that happened in the past. The truths about the natural world would not change.


"There is one thing even more vital to science than intelligent methods; and that is, the sincere desire to find out the truth, whatever it may be." - Charles Sanders Pierce

This message is a reply to:
 Message 130 by Straggler, posted 06-05-2008 7:41 PM Straggler has not yet responded

  
Wumpini
Member (Idle past 4270 days)
Posts: 229
From: Ghana West Africa
Joined: 04-23-2008


Message 133 of 145 (469571)
06-06-2008 5:11 AM
Reply to: Message 131 by dwise1
06-05-2008 9:29 PM


Re: Chance
dwise writes:

It would no doubt advance the discussion if you were to explain what you mean by "by chance", since you are the one who introduced it (my emphasis):

My introduction of "by chance:"

Wumpini msg 86 writes:

Are there not areas where it seems that it is so improbable that what scientists are looking at could come about by chance that it would be logical and rational to infer something other than a natural explanation?

Your response:

dwise msg 88 writes:

By chance? Of course not.

By natural processes? Yes, of course.

Whatever gave you the idea that it's by "chance"?

Since that time you seem to have been trying to convince me that there is no such thing as chance when natural processes are involved. I am beginning to see your reasoning with your illustration. Maybe I can help us to begin talking about the same thing. Don't worry. I am not trying to pull you into some creationist trap.

A suitable definition:

quote:
The unknown and unpredictable element in happenings that seems to have no assignable cause.

However, let us not argue the definition. I think from reading your post I can see where we are not understanding each other. I am not talking about a tornado putting together the parts of an airplane.

Let me give an example using natural processes, and then try to apply it to our discussion. Let us say that you dropped me in a strange part of the world, blindfolded me, and then sent me on my way. What would be the probability that I would reach any destination? Well there is no chance element in that case. The probability is certain. It is a natural process with an assured outcome. I believe this is what you are trying to assert with the processes of evolution.

However what is the probability that I will reach any specific destination? Since I do not know where I am, and I do not know where I am going then it would be “seemingly impossible” for me to reach a particular destination by chance. The probability would be close to zero, and it would become more unlikely as the distance from my starting point increased. Now let us compare that to the question at hand.

Remember my original comment:

Wumpini msg 86 writes:

Are there not areas where it seems that it is so improbable that what scientists are looking at could come about by chance that it would be logical and rational to infer something other than a natural explanation?

Is abiogenesis (for example) so improbable through natural processes by chance that it would be logical and rational to infer something other than a natural explanation? That was my original usage of the expression "by chance."

I have read only a little on the process of abiogenesis. However, it does not seem as simple as a few chemical reactions taking place in the proper order if my understanding is correct. You have left hand and right amino acids and whatever else to deal with that would seem to make it difficult for natural processes to have resulted in sustainable life.

dwise writes:

The first creationist example demands the system to behave in a manner inconsistent with natural processes and so will be virtually impossible to succeed, whereas the second example is completely consistent with natural processes and so will work every single time.

I think I discussed this above. Yes, natural processes will work every single time. However, it is very unlikely that these natural processes will result in any specific outcome.

dwise writes:

That is the difference between something happening "by chance" and it happening through natural processes.

I am not sure whether we understand each other or not. I see certain events as being very improbable. Whether they could theoretically happen through natural processes does not change the fact that they are very unlikely to occur. You seem to be saying that because things exist today then that proves that they have come about through natural processes. I believe there is a flaw in this line of reasoning. I agree from a scientific standpoint that you must have this viewpoint. However, it is a completely naturalistic view that does not accept that it is possible that something can come into existence through some process that was not natural.

BTW, do you understand genetic drift? In those quotes, the term "by chance" is used to indicate that there those are cases where natural selection is not operating on those genes and that the survival and propagation of those genes are due to other "random" factors. "Random" factors that are themselves natural processes and which can even be very deterministic; it's just that we don't know what they might happen to be in any particular case.

I am coming to an understanding of some of these concepts. I would think that genetic drift would fall under my definition of chance. Some unknown and unpredictable event comes along and eliminates all (or many) members of a population that have a specific gene. Therefore, the population drifts “by chance.”

Does that make things any clearer?

I think so. Do you think so?


"There is one thing even more vital to science than intelligent methods; and that is, the sincere desire to find out the truth, whatever it may be." - Charles Sanders Pierce

This message is a reply to:
 Message 131 by dwise1, posted 06-05-2008 9:29 PM dwise1 has not yet responded

  
Blue Jay
Member (Idle past 1204 days)
Posts: 2843
From: You couldn't pronounce it with your mouthparts
Joined: 02-04-2008


Message 134 of 145 (469627)
06-06-2008 2:19 PM
Reply to: Message 127 by Wumpini
06-05-2008 6:22 PM


Re: Scientists and Belief in God
Hi, Wumpini.

Wumpini writes:

Here Jesus is quoting from the book of Genesis, so it has to be when God created man and woman.

Allright, well there’s a conflict then: Matthew 19:4 said man and woman were created in the beginning, when Genesis said they weren’t made until six days after the beginning. This leads me to believe that either “the beginning” in Matthew refers to the beginning of the human species or of human civilization, etc., but probably to a different beginning than the one mentioned in Genesis.

Wumpini writes:

Somewhere along the line you have to give up something that matters.

Or, alternatively, you could give up a bunch of semantics that don’t matter, and you don’t lose anything that does matter.

Wumpini writes:

I do not guess I have ever thought of creation as an instantaneous “big poof” event.

But, that’s all you’ve been arguing for all along: that God said it, and, “Poof!” there it was.

You find it hard to understand how I can believe in God and in evolution, and keep saying that the mechanism that brought us into life was supernatural. Supernatural origins = unexplanable-by-science origins = magical origins = “Big Poof.”

Wumpini writes:

What about the genealogies?

What about them? I met people in Taiwan who claim to have their genealogies back to a thousand years before Adam, and they have it all recorded on little wooden plaques that they stack in their family shrines.

Wumpini writes:

As I said above, you can only twist the Scriptures so much and then you have to give up something that really matters.

You can only twist the results of a scientific experiment so much and then you have to give up something that you used to think mattered.

Wumpini writes:

You cannot separate the power of God from God.

I disagree. Where does the Bible say this?

Wumpini writes:

Why would a spontaneous miracle cause God to be a God of chaos?

Because spontaneity is, by definition, not orderly. Essentially, if He can do whatever He likes, despite the laws of nature, and on a simple whim, with nobody or nothing to restrict what He does but His own will and power, He is not orderly. This is the very definition of chaos.

Wumpini writes:

He does not follow rules. He is who He is. God does not lie! Why? Because God does not lie! It is that simple. There is no rule book.

What? You just said “God does not lie”: how is this not a rule?

Wumpini writes:

His power is limited by who He is, not by some outside force.

If God is the only thing restricting Himself, is there something that forces Him to restrict Himself, or is He just doing it by choice? If He’s doing it by choice, He also has the choice to do things differently. If He’s not doing it by choice, it is being enforced on Him, whether by some outside entity or by the office that He fills, it doesn’t matter. But, the point is, if there are no checks and balances except Himself, He is chaotic.

Wumpini writes:

I do not compare my feelings to others to determine what they mean.

But, you should. If your only source for confirmation of your feelings is your feelings, you are also chaotic and unreliable. You cannot make pull yourself up by your own shoelaces.

Wumpini writes:

Are you sure you know the truth?

No. But I'm sure the materialistic explanation is closer to the truth than the "Big Poof" explanation. In fact, I'm sure the materialistic explanation is the best one that humans have ever come up with (Straggler's "God-hypothesis" included) and I will support it, work on it myself, and improve upon it until I die, and then, in the next life (I hope there is a next life), God (I hope there is one of these, too) can fill in the gaps that will inevitably remain.


Darwin loves you.

This message is a reply to:
 Message 127 by Wumpini, posted 06-05-2008 6:22 PM Wumpini has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 135 by Wumpini, posted 06-06-2008 8:03 PM Blue Jay has responded

  
Wumpini
Member (Idle past 4270 days)
Posts: 229
From: Ghana West Africa
Joined: 04-23-2008


Message 135 of 145 (469683)
06-06-2008 8:03 PM
Reply to: Message 134 by Blue Jay
06-06-2008 2:19 PM


Re: Scientists and Belief in God
Hi Bluejay.

Bluejay writes:

Allright, well there’s a conflict then: Matthew 19:4 said man and woman were created in the beginning, when Genesis said they weren’t made until six days after the beginning.

Oh come on Bluejay. I am sure that you can see the entire creation week as the beginning.

You find it hard to understand how I can believe in God and in evolution, and keep saying that the mechanism that brought us into life was supernatural. Supernatural origins = unexplanable-by-science origins = magical origins = “Big Poof.”

If that is the case, then what has the God that you believe in ever done that cannot be explained by science?

What about them? I met people in Taiwan who claim to have their genealogies back to a thousand years before Adam, and they have it all recorded on little wooden plaques that they stack in their family shrines.

So you are saying that the genealogies in the book of Genesis are fabricated, and Jesus’ genealogy in the book of Luke is worthless also.

Wumpini writes:

You cannot separate the power of God from God.

Bluejay writes:

I disagree. Where does the Bible say this?

Why do you disagree? Can you tell me your logic?

But I'm sure the materialistic explanation is closer to the truth than the "Big Poof" explanation. In fact, I'm sure the materialistic explanation is the best one that humans have ever come up with (Straggler's "God-hypothesis" included) and I will support it, work on it myself, and improve upon it until I die, and then, in the next life (I hope there is a next life), God (I hope there is one of these, too) can fill in the gaps that will inevitably remain.

Does this not seem a little contradictory? You rely upon materialistic explanations in this life, and look forward to a “next life” provided by a God that in no way can be explained by a materialistic explanation.


"There is one thing even more vital to science than intelligent methods; and that is, the sincere desire to find out the truth, whatever it may be." - Charles Sanders Pierce

This message is a reply to:
 Message 134 by Blue Jay, posted 06-06-2008 2:19 PM Blue Jay has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 136 by Blue Jay, posted 06-06-2008 8:57 PM Wumpini 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 © 2020