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Author Topic:   faith based science?
eclectic1993
Junior Member (Idle past 3410 days)
Posts: 9
Joined: 10-20-2012


Message 1 of 171 (676257)
10-20-2012 11:47 PM


Hi,
I have been a creationist for a long time. I have always loved science and sci-fi. As a creationist I absolutely am influenced by faith regarding origins. There are bits I don't understand. However I know clearly the boundary between my knowledge of science and my faith.

I'm curious in learning from thinking evolutionists who have looked at the strengths and weaknesses of their knowledge and beliefs.

What 'holes in your understanding of origins (bangers and toe) have you had to accept by faith? Just because you use faith to fill in the gaps doesn't mean it is bad science or not true. For now, given our clearest empirical understanding of origins, what do you accept on faith?

Gotta get back to "walking with dinosaurs" on TV. Aren't dinosaurs great? You now that us creationists really loved Jurassic park. Dinosaurs and man living in harmony. =)

Regards,
Chuck


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eclectic1993
Junior Member (Idle past 3410 days)
Posts: 9
Joined: 10-20-2012


Message 10 of 171 (676308)
10-21-2012 5:04 PM


Hi Everyone,
Thanks to the warm welcome and responses.

Kudos to 'nwr' and his detailed thoughts. I had to read that post three times to soak it into my old brain. I appreciate you giving up the better part of a day to write it. =) However, I understand where you stand. Your "Issue 4" response was very honest and you admitted to not knowing about the origins of life. That's cool. Thanks.

@Dogmafood,
Yes I was joking about my 'dinosaurs and man living in harmony' comment. I hope things are not too intense around her to permit some humor. But then again, that's the problem with text only...can't see sarcasm or wit.

@NoNukes
Gotta agree with your comment about Higgs and how science should be done. I helped my sons years ago with science experiments in the garage. We started with a hypothesis, constructed an experiment, took measurements, and analyzed results. I really like this kind of empirical based science.

@Panda,
Your statement 'there is no "science of the gaps"' is interesting. I have found your post and others in this thread helpful in understanding terms and concepts. Thanks.

Allow me to elaborate on gaps.

My evolutionist friend at work has an interesting way of dealing with life spawning from inorganic matter. He explains that it is outside the purview of evolutionary science. He stated that was a matter for a chemist to work out. He is able to embrace evolutionary theory and "ignore origins of life", and is quite happy. He takes this gap in 'faith'. We laugh together that we're both a couple of 'believers'.

I know that this perspective is actually quite common with many adherents to evolution. After all evolution is focused on life changing/developing/mutating/etc. from life, not from non-life.

First and foremost, when a creationist speaks about the problem of evolution, it begins with origins. This is why, technically, creationists and evolutionist cannot really debate, because they are not debating the same thing. I bet you all have seen this time and time again on this site.

Second to 'origins of life' is another gap I've seen taken on faith.
That is the decoding/reprogramming of DNA to produce more complex forms/combinations of DNA.

I must admit, as a programmer I love to make video games and even dabble with Artificial Intelligence/Life coding. I've written code that appears to morph into something more intelligent. I've even written some basic self-replication programs. However, it only behaves in the way in which I programmed it to behave. If any of you have ever tried to write code that rewrites itself with each iteration using basic rules (external influences), then you know how nearly impossible it seems.

My friend from work explains this 'gap' by saying that millions of years have elapsed, and that anything could happen in that amount of time. I'll be honest, I'm convinced that given trillions of years that life would not 'find a way'.

So, IMHO, evolutionists generally accept that life originated 'somehow' and that cells can replicate into more complex bits 'somehow'.

From a man of faith, it seems that evolutionists at the macro perspective do in fact operate on faith and can be downright dogmatic about it. That is why I say "faith based science".

If you have read this much, thanks for indulging me.

This leads me to another question. Have you actually considered what we (evolutionists and creationists) share in common in terms of science and beliefs?

I want to share my fish cam with you. http://myfish.camstreams.com/ Don't worry, it's not a setup for a 'growing legs' joke. =) We started an organic garden three years ago and now I'm breeding and raising Tilapia for a food source in my garage. I'm trying to understand the science well enough to help a fellow in an African village supplement their protein intake.

Regards,
Chuck


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eclectic1993
Junior Member (Idle past 3410 days)
Posts: 9
Joined: 10-20-2012


Message 11 of 171 (676309)
10-21-2012 5:10 PM


Ringo,
Just saw your post.

It's not my intent to scoff at evolutionary theory. Evolutionists have contributed a lot to our knowledge of the known world.

I could go to a creation site and chime in with others in bad mouthing evolutionists. But frankly that's a bit immature in my opinion. My goal for coming to a site where I suspect I'm in the minority is to discover our common ground and to understand and respect our differences.

Regards,
Chuck


  
eclectic1993
Junior Member (Idle past 3410 days)
Posts: 9
Joined: 10-20-2012


Message 20 of 171 (676451)
10-22-2012 8:17 PM


Hi Everyone,
I appreciate everyone's effort to inform and to clarify my misunderstandings.

quote:
evolution is biology and abiogenesis is chemistry

This is an important distinction for creationists to appreciate. I've certainly learned this in just a few days.

I believe that God created life from inorganic matter...and that triggered biological processes that we 'observe' today. I see now that ToE (I'll use this instead of evolution) adherents can believe God, natural processes of causality (abiogenesis), or advanced aliens using terraforming could have jump-started life which then follows the evolutionary process.

Generally speaking, is that correct?

@Subbie,
I read the Murrey/Urey topic. Thank you. Given all the research over the past 60 years it still has NOT resulted in a quantifiable recipe for creating life NOR is there a guarantee that it can ever be accomplished.

I do support scientific research in this regard. Who knows the research might help me to grow something in that barren part of my backyard. j/k

I will admit this bit of ignorance. If we work evolution backwards through the precambrian period, what do we end up with that represents this transition between abiogenesis and life?

@Dr Adequate

quote:

Knowing what mutations occur, it is perfectly obvious that there are many --- indeed, infinitely many --- sequences of mutations that would get you from the genome of a fish to the genome of a frog, or from the genome of a monkey to the genome of a man. The limiting factors are the mutation rate and time. That's not faith, that's math.

You did respond to my question about what do we have in common by saying 'very little'. I beg to differ. I agree with what your wrote above with the exception of your transition order. The science that you are speaking (e.g. mutations) is where we agree. I think you'll agree with this example.

Billions of female monkeys each conceive one monkey. Let's say for the discussion that each conceived monkey has had its genome mutated, randomly of course.

Many of these monkeys will die after the first few cell divisions. Many will develop some and then die in utero. In fact, quite a few. Others will be stillborn. Those that live after birth may have some variation (hair length, eye color, size, defects, etc.). A significant number may in fact continue on as if nothing has happened, because some combinations of mutations do not have an immediate effect but linger for several generations.

I will go out on a limb and state that there are more ways to 'break' a species than to maintain it. (think intermarriages)

Mathematically, given enough time, its possible that all species will eventually die out due to enough mutations OR given enough time it is possible that species can change into higher forms. I believe the former to be true, based upon what we know. I think ToE leans toward the latter.

@ringo,

quote:

Congratulations. You just scuttled Intelligent Design.

Excellent! I'm making some progress. =) I got say as a Christian, I balked at Intelligent Design. I never appreciated God being removed from the discussion. You could replace ID with God, Ancient Astronauts, creatures from the 5th dimension, etc.

@PaulK,
I think I responded to your comments. It's important as you talk with creationists that you state that origins of life (abiogenesis) is different from evolutionary biology up front. You'll then receive a blank stare. Maybe an "Oh, ok! Have a nice day". =)

quote:
answer favoured by the evidence cannot be seen as dogmatic faith
In the absence of any other information, operating on the best information, I would agree. However, if the evidence can point two ways, each of which have merit, then ITS reasonable in my way of thinking to be 'open minded'. I can't tell you how much open-mindedness I've had to muster as a Christian reading and studying science. Of course I admit dogmatic faith since I can't prove that God exists 'scientifically'.

@Alfred,

quote:
You need to learn basic rigour in English and math
Most of the time, we share very little. What creationists call science and what evolutionists call science are often very different. For example, you confuse evolution and abiogenesis. Scientists don't do that. Creationists do. We just view science from very different places. It seems to me that creationists see science as a competing theology while scientists view science as a tool for figuring out how reality works. That is why you insist that there is religious faith as part of science. You project your own religious beliefs onto science and assume we believe things based on faith. At least that has been my observation in discussions like these.
I can accept this. I think it is a correct assessment.

Creationism covers a multitude of scientific fields. I hope you will allow me to put creationism and scientific into the same sentence. =)
The forum could be called something like big bang, abiogenesis,evolution vs creationism. 'evcforum' is sort of misleading....or a 'honey pot'. Well, I'm glad I feel in.

@Dr Adequate

quote:
At most, I am misguided. Therefore, we can engage in rational discussion. Maddenstein, on the other hand, is completely round the bend.
Alfred did teach me to mind more words.

Thanks everyone for your responses.

Regards,
Chuck

Edited by eclectic1993, : No reason given.


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eclectic1993
Junior Member (Idle past 3410 days)
Posts: 9
Joined: 10-20-2012


(1)
Message 37 of 171 (676714)
10-25-2012 1:10 AM


Hi Everyone,
I've only been a member for a few days and already I enjoy the discussion. As I read I'm beginning to pick up on a few nuances at word usage. This is important to me so that I might understand what each of you mean.

I'll do my best to respond to everyone. It's not my intent to be rude and to ignore postings.

@jar

quote:
If we go back far enough, back when life first showed up here on the Earth, it was just single celled (or maybe even less complex than that). At that point the only possible direction life could go was towards more complex critters.

I call the first life form in the evolutionary process 'protobug'. (Is there an actual name?) Whatever it is, it represents the point at which the abiogenesis crowd passes the baton to the evolutionary crowd. I think protobug could actually go two ways. It could 'acquire' more genetic information so that a successive offspring could be classified as being more advanced. Or it could continue on, with 'loss' of genetic information, killing the species.

@Alfred,

quote:

Panspermia theorists postulate a strikingly different mechanics of change from species to species, etc, if you don't know that.

I had heard of this. However, I didn't know the name, Panspermia. Just took at wikipedia to read some more. Thanks.

@PaulK

quote:

I don't think that such experiments are expected or even intended to give a "quantifiable recipe for creating life". The original Miller-Urey experiment was a stunning breakthrough as it was.

We creationists agree with the breakthrough! It's undeniable.

Creationists wholeheartedly support science with results that are observable and repeatable. You all remember as we were learning this in our biology/chemistry/physics course there was a tendency for ourselves or our classmates to infer something that wasn't substantiated by the evidence. My wife teaches biology labs to high school students and this is still true today.

The Miller/Urey experimental results produced interesting results. However, to state that it gets us closer to creating life is an overstatement. Extrapolating scientific data toward a particular outcome is okay, it simply isn't scientific. You must admit at that time, evolutionists were excited. It gave them 'hope' that life could be created naturally without divine intervention. After 60 years, it still inspires evolutionists.

The focus of abiogenesis researchers, I believe, is to create life. Technically, I believe they only need to 'show' it is possible. Of course, anything short of actually creating life falls short of my expectations. Since life has not been created through this process, there is no scientific reason to believe this is possible.

I reject the notion that life can be created from non-life. There is no compelling evidence to even suggest this is possible. If you are a supporter of abiogenesis (it's intended goal) then you do so by 'faith'. I'm okay with faith-based science.

quote:
So far as I can tell the main arguments to try to support creationism in regard to abiogenesis are either arguments that abiogenesis can't happen (which can only hurt the case for abiogenesis - they aren't positive evidence for creationism)

Paul I do agree with this.

In fact, I can state unequivocally that there is no evidence for divine creation of life, abiogenesis, or even Al's thought of Panspermia.

quote:

I don't really think that there is a creationist equivalent or the Miller-Urey experiment or the RNA World hypothesis (both major advances). So I'd have to say that the evidence clearly favoured abiogenesis on Earth, with panspermia a distant second (thanks to evidence like the Murchison meteorite) and creationism - even Old Earth Creationism - coming in third.

Paul, a hypothesis is a proposal. The problem here, I think, is that you are ranking possibilities without conclusive evidence one way or the other. You are simply "conjecturing" and moving the discussion from science to philosophy. ( I don't mean to offend philosophers). Many university courses combine philosophy and religion.

I'm a Christian, and I like religion as much as the guy on the pew next to me. But regarding this forum, I would prefer to stick to science. Oh yeah! If I don't practice what I preach, please correct me. I'm very thick-skinned and imperfect, and forget what I wrote minutes earlier.

@Taq,

quote:
That would seem to be a statement based on faith. The evidence shows us quite a different result. You and me were both born with about 50 to 100 mutations. How many genetic diseases do you suffer from? I don't suffer from any, and I doubt that you do either. If we multiple this over just the last 10 generations it results in each of us carrying between 500 and 1,000 mutations. Again, I don't have a genetic diseases that I am aware of. It would seem to me that the vast majority of mutations do not result in lethal diseases contrary to your faith based claims.

Alright, I'll retract my statement.

quote:

The problem is that creationists confuse evidence with faith based beliefs. One is not the other.
Evolutionists that reject divine creation or Panspermia have only one recourse, abiogenesis. Since that is not scientific (see my comment above), you might be invoking a philosophical viewpoint. That is faith-based.

@dwise1

quote:
No, that is not what the ToE leans toward. What you are describing there is the "Ladder of Life", an old Lamarckian concept of evolution being a progression from lower life forms to ever higher ones culminating in the Acme of Creation, Man. That is an old, long-discarded view which lives on only in creationists' misconceptions about evolution.
First, thanks for the detailed post. I guarantee I'll take a second read on it.

I remember my science book in the 8th grade. My friends and I would point to the various transitions of man from ape and try to figure out which one we looked liked the most. During the 70s our science books indoctrinated us into the theory of evolution. I wasn't a Christian and had no other perspective. So I sucked it up. We began with something like primordial ooze, life beginning, then apes, eventually man. That's how evolution was presented in American public schools. The hard evidence consisted of various bone fragments and chips. Of course all of the evidence at that time could be placed on top of your desk. Not very scientific.

During the 80's I noticed that the presentation of evolution began evolving. The first one of course is that ToE ignores the primordial ooze bit and begins with hypothetical 1st life form. ( I refer to that as protobug above...my word). Another change that happened was the differentiation on a widescale of microevolution and macroevolution.

Its important to understand that the debate changed. I must admit a lot of the older creationists slowly adjusted to the new rules for debate. Me too!

So, abiogenesis moved outside the purview of evolution. I understand science needs to be broken into smaller buckets as knowledge increases. Now it is no longer an issue for ToE. I suspect that Charlie Darwin might roll over in his grave to know that his "Origin of Species" has nothing to do with the Theory of Evolution. But I'm not a revisionist so I'll let that small travesty stand. j/k

Evolution itself has morphed in meaning. We were taught over 30 years ago that evolution was ooze to man. Now the term evolution can be applied to random genetic variations within a species. Creationist except this aspect of evolution, changes within a type of organism, that we can observe within our lifespan.

Our problem is when we consider a single celled organism (proto bug) evolving eventually and producing a male and female of a creature, that then produces a human zygote. The information that is packed into that one cell will eventually produce a human being with an anatomical structure, and all the bits functioning together from the beginning of conception to maturity.

That sort of information development, on this grand scale, has not been shown with research. Though there are some experimental results that you can toss at me, the conclusions, when summed together, are not nearly sufficient to make this big jump that we evolved from the proto-bug.

quote:
One of the fundamental problems is that both source code and machine code are very brittle. It takes very little to break it. But life's "source code" is not at all like computer code and is much more flexible and robust.

I do agree that an organic analog computer would be much more robust than a digital computer and its software.

quote:
This is reaching back a couple decades, but have you ever heard of Thomas Ray's TIERRA program? Instead of trying to have actual machine code evolve, he created virtual machines to act as organisms and a flexible code for them to run.
No I haven't. However, I did read a book regarding Rodney Brook's research with small robots. It used something called subsumption architecture. I was an electronics/programming mentor for a high school robotics team and I stumbled upon his research. The students and I had an interesting time talking about that research. I'll look into the TIERRA program.

@dwise1, let me read your post more thoroughly. This old man is getting tired.

*********************************
@Everyone,

Just for the record, I was pretty active at an Artificial Intelligence site. It's one of my programming interests. There was a fellow there that seemed to ramble on anything and everything. He even had a site with original material. He was lambasted by a lot of the board members. I figured as long as the owner/moderators of the board permitted his posting, then I wouldn't give him a hard time.

I'm an optimist and am always looking for something that might take me on a journey of thought outside the norms and conventions of the day. Guys like Alfred might just say something of value. As evolutionist, I thought you might appreciate random rantings because over a long period of time they might produce something intelligible and meaningful. =)

Thanks all,
Chuck


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