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Author Topic:   Physical Laws ....What if they were different before?
dwise1
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Posts: 3712
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(12)
Message 19 of 309 (662309)
05-14-2012 3:33 PM
Reply to: Message 1 by foreveryoung
05-11-2012 10:44 PM


All of nature abides by the physical laws of the universe. Much of creationism is "proven" wrong because its claims violate known physical laws. What if there were a different set of values for all the constants and the equations for forces and fields and energies were slightly different at the beginning than they are today?

First, I disagree with your basic premise about what proves much of creationism wrong. And by "creationism," I am sure what we both are not talking about belief in Divine Creation (which cannot be disproven, except through creationist logic), but rather the set of very specific claims about the physical universe based solely on a particular interpretation of the Bible (and which include a 6,000-to-10,000-year-old young earth and the Noachian Flood), claims which are contrary-to-fact, and the supporting "scientific" claims of "creation science" which all turn out to be false and even, in a few cases, fabricated. It is because those claims are contrary-to-fact that disproves them and it is because supporting claims are demonstrably false that disproves them.

One problem that creationists face is radio-dating and the constancy of decay rates, so in order to try to neutralize that problem creationists have taken Q's advice and have attempted to change the laws of physics in order to have those decay rates to have somehow changed and been different in the past. This is where your exercise comes from and Setterfield's disproven claims of the decay of the speed of light, which would have affected decay rates, is one of the better-known examples. However, one thing that has always been lacking from such creationist claims was lack of follow-through. They would change a physical constant and claim that it would produce the effect that they wanted, but they then neglected to also determine what other effects that would have, whereas part of the disproof of their claims would be to look at those other effects. They didn't think it through completely and hence hoisted themselves on their own petard (research that expression; it has an interesting history, albeit short and explosive).

An example would be one that you may have seen me describe before, Kent Hovind's solar-mass-loss claim. Hovind had read that the sun loses 5 million tons of its mass every second through "burning its fuel" (ie, through nuclear fusion), so in his own Gedankenexperiment he figured that the sun had to have been more massive 5 billion years ago, so much so that it would have "sucked the earth in" (his own words) and hence the sun and the earth could not be anywhere near that old, more like about 10,000 years old. But he did not follow through; he did not do the math. But I did follow through and do the math. That rate of mass loss is correct (though it's more like 4.5 million tons per second) and the astronomical number of seconds in 5 billion years times that rate does yield an astronomical mass to the order of 1024 tons. But the sun's is about 1,000 times greater than that, to the order of 1027 tons, meaning that in 5 billion years it had lost a few hundredths of one percent of its total mass, the effect of which on the earth's orbit would have been negligible, "sucking it in" much less than 100,000 miles.

You keep bristling over being asked to produce evidence. Now, since you're doing Gedankenexperimente, I can understand your frustration, because you're not doing a physical experiment that would produce physical evidence. But Gedankenexperimente also produce evidence. After the initial imagining "what if?" to set up your hypothetical situation, then you need to examine that situation to figure out what the effects will be. Part of that would involve some calculations, which would not only be of use to determine what would happen, but also give you some idea as to the magnitude of the effect. That produces evidence! And it also suggests to you what kind of physical evidence you would expect to find and how to set up a physical experiment to test your Gedankenexperiment. So when they're asking you for evidence, they're wanting to see how much you've been able to think it through and what results you've been getting; they don't want a lot of hand-waving, like Hovind used in his solar-mass-loss claim.

For that matter, since you will undoubtedly find yourself picking up on or relying on another creationist's work, you will need to know exactly what they had done. Most of them will just publish their conclusions with a minimal description of their work; that is perfectly normal and there's nothing wrong with it per se. But then when you contact them for more information, they should be forthcoming with more information and with more complete explanations. Hovind was not. Instead, he repeatedly ducked and dodged and did everything he could to avoid answering my simple requests for information, including twice trying to pick a fight with me over my AOL screenname; IOW, what I have found over the past three decades to be sadly typical creationist misconduct. You will be in the same position as I was, you will be contacting creationists for more information on their claims because you will be trying to do scientific research based on their work.

That last point is very important. A decade and a half ago, I had one of many epiphanies, this one about the primary difference between scientists and creationists and the reason for that difference. In science, honesty and scholarship are of paramount importance. The reason for that is that every scientist's own research depends on the research of others, so if that other research is flawed then your own research will be adversely affected. That is why scientists need to publish and why scientists critically read the research of other scientists. That is why repeatability and testability of one's results is so important, so that other scientists can test your research for themselves -- for example, almost literally the very instant that the research on cold fusion was published, scientists around the world raced to set up their own experiments to test that research, and they all found it to be flawed when nobody could reproduce the results. And if any scientist is found to have falsified their data or committed a hoax, then they are dealt with harshly by the scientific community, often with their careers coming to an end.

But while the goal of scientific research is to discover more about the universe, the goal of creationism is to persuade. Creationists are trying to persuade the public to support their political agenda (primarily to remove or to try to neutralize the teaching of evolution in the public schools), to persuade non-Christians to convert, and to persuade themselves that they are indeed right and that science is wrong. A creationist's "research" only has value if it sounds convincing; whether it is actually true has no bearing. And if a creationist is found to be false, then it will continue to be used just so long as it sounds convincing. And if the publicity of that claim being false becomes to great and embarrassing, then the creationists will retract it and, if it is convincing-sounding, wait a few years for the public to forget about it and then re-release it as "new" evidence. And if a creationist is caught lying, nothing will happen to him, just so long as his claims sound convincing. And it doesn't matter that all the creationist does to "support" his claims is to wave his hands; as long as his claim sounds convincing to the audience, he never has any need to show his work -- indeed, the last thing he would want would be to show his work, since that would expose the flaws in his false, but convincing-sounding, claim.

So here's where you can make a difference. Even though many other creationists have gone that way before, you can do what none of them did before: you can think it through thoroughly and apply the due diligence and rigor to determine all the effects of the hypothesized changes. And even if you do not succeed in your quest, what you will have learned about physics and chemistry and astronomy, etc, will be more than ample reward.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 1 by foreveryoung, posted 05-11-2012 10:44 PM foreveryoung has not yet responded

    
dwise1
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Posts: 3712
Joined: 05-02-2006
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Message 21 of 309 (662336)
05-14-2012 9:26 PM
Reply to: Message 1 by foreveryoung
05-11-2012 10:44 PM


This is food for thought for the anti-creationists. It is true that if all the physical laws and constants have been the same as they are today then the claims of creationism are impossible without invoking "poof" type magic. Of course, changing all the laws and constants would be "magic" because there is no physical mechanism that could make such a thing happen. But, what if there is more to reality than the physical world. What is there is another reality that cannot be detected by physical means? If so, such a change in laws and constants would not be magic; it would merely be the result of actions of beings in the non-physical world.

OK, the supernatural. Could it exist? Yeah. Does it? Who knows? It is outside our ability to perceive or detect in any objective manner, and subjective means are notoriously unreliable. I don't know, and neither do you. All you know is what you had been taught by teachers who only knew what they had been taught, and so on, for generation after generation, since long before 2000 years ago, with each generation injecting its own ideas and interpretations, just as you had.

Discussing the supernatural, especially with respect to science, is a non-starter. The supernatural cannot possibly play any role in science and incorporating the supernatural into science, as the IDists want to (refer to the Discovery Institute's Wedge Document), could only serve to kill science, which is not an option.

And yet your message raises yet again an old question that keeps resurfacing. Very much like a quote from Dr. Adequate that subbie keeps in his signature block:

quote:

It has always struck me as odd that fundies devote so much time and effort into trying to find a naturalistic explanation for their mythical flood, while looking for magical explanations for things that actually happened. -- Dr. Adequate

Just what exactly is creationism trying to do? Most fundamentally, it's trying to support belief in Divine Creation, which is, as you put it, "'poof' type magic." And for three decades, the one consistent line of reasoning that I have seen used in so many creationist claims and arguments has been that a naturalistic explanation for something denies God; as ID founder Phillip Johnson once put it in an essay, his main opposition to evolution was because "it leaves God with nothing to do." (a very mistaken idea) Both in creationism and IDism, not having a naturalistic explanation for something is evidence for God (ie, the only "explanation" is "goddidit!") and having a naturalistic explanation is evidence against God. As I said, this line of reasoning has pervaded creationism for decades and continues to.

And yet, creationism and creationists and many other Christians as well also spend an inordinate amount of trying to come up with naturalistic explanations for miracles! Whiskey-Tango-Foxtrot, Over? What are they doing? What are you doing? Miracles are, virtually by definition, examples of "'poof' type magic.", of the direct intervention of an omnipotent supernatural entity, YHWH (that's your god's name). It's magic, so why try to explain it away? Because, by that one consistent line of creationist reasoning that if there's a naturalistic explanation then you're disproving God, the very last thing a creationist would want to do would be to explain away a miracle with naturalistic causes! WTFO? That just doesn't seem to make any sense!

As best as I can guess, I see two causes for this for creationists with other Christians sharing this first one with them. There's an old joke in academia about the other sciences suffering from "physics envy", since they are not as purely mathematically rigorous as physics is. Similarly, it seems that many Christians have suffered from a form of "science envy", though the reasons for that may be varied and not altogether clear. Certainly there has long been tension between science and religion, though I feel that it's felt mainly on religion's side, especially as it must have appeared that science was laying claim to areas of knowledge that used to be the domain of religion. And certainly, science's discovery of natural causes for what used to seem supernatural (eg, lightening, St. Elmo's Fire, disease) had to have been disconcerting. One of the oldest uses of gods was to explain the unexplainable, like lightening and the changes of the season, so when science started providing the actual explanations, that need for the gods started to go away; obviously, many Christians must have thought that science had that fate in for their god as well.

But at the same time, regardless of what they felt about science, those concerned Christians had to admit that science was very successful at what it did, which was learning things about nature and the physical universe, plus there were the immense advances being made in technology fueled by scientific discoveries. Scientists became authority figures, especially in the time before our Vietnam experience and Watergate. What science did had an air of authority about it that religion seemed to be losing, so that was probably something that the Christians wanted to gain for themselves as they talked about the miracles in their faith.

There's a tradition of trying to find scientific evidence for the Bible that's almost as old as modern science itself. Along with the development of geology entering into the 19th century, there was an effort to find geological evidence for the Flood, Scriptural Geology (AKA "diluvialism"). Even though the movement continued for many years despite never finding that evidence, many members quickly gave up, including its founders William Buckland and Adam Sedgwick whose own work ended up undermining diluvialism; they went on to become vocal critics of the diluvialists. That diluvialist tradition was revived in the 1920's and 1930's by George McCready Price, a non-geologist, whose work in turn was taken up, largely without credit, by the "Father of Flood Geology", Dr Henry Morris, PhD Hydraulic Engineering (ie, another non-geologist). In addition, throughout the 1940's and into the 1960's, there were many educational and inspirational films produced that tried to merge science and religion, such as "Sermons from Science" and the Moody Institute educational films, which would first present the science and then conclude by giving God the credit for having set it all up that way -- actually, not a bad approach to take.

So we see that there was a long tradition of trying to meld the success and authoritativeness of science in with religion, but this must have also started to create some embarrassment for believers when they talked about the miracles, which clearly went against science. Apparently, this was part of what motivated them to come up with scientific explanations for those miracles, a new tradition that continues to the present -- in a recent trade journal, I read of research an on-line acquaintance, a fundamentalist Christian and opponent of "creation science", is doing in determining whether wind could have backed up the water causing the Parting of the Red Sea.

The second cause, which applies only to creationists, is the original deception of "creation science": the need to hide their religious purpose in order to circumvent the post-"monkey law" courts (since now it was unconstitutional for a law to ban the teaching of evolution for religious reasons) and instead to pretend that their opposition to evolution was "based purely on science, nothing religious about it." This was the start of creationism's old game of "Hide the Bible". From the 1970's on, they played that game to the hilt -- though in 1987 when the courts found that "creation science" was just religion in disguise, they switched to the game of "Hide the Creationism" by using "intelligent design" as their new cover, which in turn was also found to be just "creation science" in disguise in 2005 (Kitzmiller v. Dover Area School District); they don't seem to have decided yet on a new game to play. "Creation science" practitioners cranked out "scientific" claim after claim, all of them false and misleading. Their goal was to create the appearance that scientific evidence actually supports their young-earth creationism claims ... and perhaps they actually believed that it did, though there are too many cases in which it greatly strains credulity to believe that they couldn't have known they were engaging in deliberate deception. At any rate, that body of false "creation science" claims found its way back to the creationism-based Christian community and contaminated its water supply. Followers began basing their proselytizing campaigns on "creation science" claims and to use those false teachings to reassure themselves and to bolster their own faith.

So now we have the situation where creationists hold mutually contradictory beliefs, that naturalistic explanations deny God and that they should embrace naturalistic explanations of miracles. I've tried to make sense of that. Do you have anything to offer?

I guess I'd be remiss if I weren't to mention Omphalos (Greek, "belly button"). It's already been mentioned to your as Last-Thursdayism, which competes with Last-Tuesdayism, both of which distrust that middle-of-the-road theology, Last-Wednesdayism.

As you will recall, back at the beginning of the 19th century the science of geology was growing and Christians felt threatened by it and its discoveries, both of the great age of the earth and the lack of any evidence for Noah's Flood. As I had reported it on CompuServe back in 1990 (reposted on my website):

quote:
The Omphalos Argument was advanced in 1857 by an experimental zoologist, Philip Henry Gosse, who was obsessed with the need to protect his extreme fundamentalist view of special creation from the geological evidence against it. The argument derives its name (Omphalos means "navel" in Greek) from an old theological question (of the same general class as counting angels on the head of a pin): Since the navel is evidence of a past event (i.e. having been born of a woman) and Adam was not born of a woman but rather was created whole and fully formed, did Adam have a navel? The answer is: if it would have so pleased God for Adam to have the appearance of having been born of a woman, then he would have had a navel.

In his book, _Omphalos: An Attempt to Untie the Geological Knot_ (1857), Gosse argued that everything was created with the appearance of a history; everything was created fully-formed with evidence of its growth and development and pre-existence, all of which had never actually happened. Thus, any scientific findings supporting the earth's great antiquity could immediately be discounted as false evidence of a non-existent past. The earth only appears to be ancient because it was recently created with the appearance of great age. It isn't that the scientists have gotten the story wrong, it's just that they don't realize that it is ONLY a story.

So the apparent fossil remains of non-existent creatures were created in the strata to give the false impression of evolutionary change. The proper ratios of parent and daughter isotopes were created in new rock to lend it spurious age. Light was created in space with the proper Doppler shift to make it appear that the distant galaxies had produced it. And so on.

Indeed, Gosse himself developed this effect of "Indeterminate Creation" to its logical conclusion. Why assign the Creation to 6000 years ago? Why not 4000 years ago or 1000 years ago or 100 years ago or 10 years ago or 10 days ago or even a few minutes ago? If the Creation had occurred a few minutes ago with all the false evidence of pre-existence, even down to our individual memories, intact, then how could we know it?

Of course, the Omphalos argument fell into disrepute with everybody almost immediately. Many just laughed at it, but others were deeply offended by the idea of God being a lying and deceitful prankster who had written an enormous and superfluous lie in the rocks. But even worse for many believers was the thought that the events of the Bible, most importantly the Resurrection, might have never happened and so their faith might be based solely on a Divine Hoax.

So why bring it up again? Because it is still being used. Some months back, a Forum member tried to argue for the Creation of an "established earth" along with all its apparent geological history. More recently, another Forum member tried to argue that life only appeared to be interrelated because of common themes used by the Creator. Even the ICR will use Omphalos on occasion, but not by name. The argument that the light from the distant stars and galaxies were created en route is pure Omphalos. In his standard textbook, _Scientific Creationism_, Morris states that the universe was created with the appearance of age.


I once received an e-mail from a creationist, one of the very few cordial ones, in which he proposed a variation on Omphalos. He suggested that since Satan was given dominion over the earth, it was He who had planted all that false geological and fossil evidence to fool us into not believing in God. After a moment of reflection, I responded with a different, more likely scenario. What he described was an awful lot of work and Satan is, after all, a clever devil. Instead, all he had to do was to create a false religious belief, that if the earth is as we do find it then Christianity is false, and give it to some zealous fundamentalists who will knock themselves out spreading it. Worked like a charm. Clever devil, that.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 1 by foreveryoung, posted 05-11-2012 10:44 PM foreveryoung has not yet responded

    
dwise1
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Posts: 3712
Joined: 05-02-2006
Member Rating: 4.6


(1)
Message 50 of 309 (662461)
05-15-2012 11:24 PM
Reply to: Message 48 by jar
05-15-2012 11:07 PM


Re: change leaves evidence.
A couple cities in Japan in the summer of '45, as I recall. Seem to recall that they got a lot of press coverage for it.

As I advised, foreveryoung, you need to follow through and work out all the consequences. Unless you try to call for a string of miracles to keep those consequences from having happened, in which case you'd be right back at poof-magic. Remember, you aren't the first one to ever attempt this, but the others all failed because they did not follow through, work out all the consequences, and do the math. If you also fail to do due dilligence and apply rigor, then you will also fail in your attempt. Hand-waving won't do the job ... besides, we've already seen that kind of hand-waving before and are quite familiar with its problems.

Which brings us right back to my question: why do creationists and other Christians work so hard to come up with naturalistic explanations for miracles? By trying to deny God's miracles, aren't they also trying to deny God?


This message is a reply to:
 Message 48 by jar, posted 05-15-2012 11:07 PM jar has acknowledged this reply

    
dwise1
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Posts: 3712
Joined: 05-02-2006
Member Rating: 4.6


(7)
Message 149 of 309 (663967)
05-28-2012 1:44 AM
Reply to: Message 123 by foreveryoung
05-27-2012 8:46 PM


Re: copied from RAZD's dendrochronology thread
I don't believe things just so that it will contradict science. I know that is your impression of creationists. Perhaps that description fits some of them.

That is not just my impression of creationists, but my opinion. Keep in mind that an opinion is formed, not just assumed; if one's opinion is just assumed without any actual thought having been put into it, then it is not an opinion. My opinion of creationists has been formed through study and through direct discussions with creationists over decades, with the studying having started in 1981 and the discussions around 1985. I had gone into those discussions with assumptions about creationists which proved to be wrong and which I abandoned in favor of what I have learned through direct experience. As I am always ready to do again.

While my opinion of creationists informs me of what to expect, I also realize that there are individuals within that group who may think and believe differently than that group. I watch for that, but have very rarely encountered it.

The reasons why most creationists look for claims that they will cleave to just because they contradict science is because of the "warfare between science and religion" mentality that they have been taught. Science is not at war with religion nor wants to attack religion, but apparently religion thinks that science is attacking them because the findings of science contradict some of religious beliefs (most of which are not biblical, but rather are the result of fallible human interpretation). Finding themselves self-caught in that situation, one of creationists' responses is to try to invalidate the science that they feel is attacking their religion, and certainly most PRATTs are indeed attempts to discredit science or at the very least to erode public confidence in science. Indeed, practically the entirety of "creation science" has proven to consist of nothing else other than attacks against science, such that no creationist is ever known to have ever presented any scientific evidence for creation, even though they continuously claim to have mountains of such evidence, but rather all they have ever presented has been attacks against evolution and the rest of science. That is not prejudice speaking, but rather decades of personal experience.

I most certainly do hope that you are not a creationist who believes things just so that it will contradict science. I am still observing to see how that eventually turns out.

4.56 billion years is a ridiculous amount of time for mankind to be around and for the bible to be absolutely silent about most of that time.

What? Just what are you talking about? Just who the frak has ever proposed that mankind has been around for 4.56 billion years?

I am anti-creationism, with the proviso that I'm talking about "creation science" style creationism -- I'm cool with belief in Divine Creation so long as you don't start dictating how the world has to be as a result and then getting your panties in a huge twist when the world turns out to different. My position which I have held for decades and proclaim for decades is that, if you really want to oppose evolution, then go ahead and oppose it. However, I must insist that you do so honestly and truthfully. That means that you cannot lie about anything and that you cannot make false claims. That also means that you need to address evolution itself and not some false and misleading caricature that some creationist has dreamed up; creationists never address evolution itself, but rather always attack a strawman caricature. The same holds for any scientific idea that creationists may choose to oppose and, yet again, they don't fail to attack a strawman caricature. "Creation science" violates all of my provisions.

So just where did you get that strawman caricature from? Homo sapiens sapiens only dates back about 200,000 years, the genus Homo about 2.5 million years back, and Australopithecus about 4 million years back. So just what the hell are you talking about, mister?

If you want to oppose or refute a position, then oppose or refute that actual position, not some strawman bullshit that you just make up!

I continue to observe you. And so far, more and more, I'm just seeing a typical creationist. Show me that you're something else.

The bible says all the original animals were created whole and did not come from prior animals. It specifically says they were created in a 2 day period. That does not allow for darwinian evolution. We do know that evolution has occurred and is occurring right now. Darwinian evolution requires millions of years to work. Darwinian evolution is in direct contradiction to the creation of animals in a 2 day period.

I'll take a wild stab and assume that you've read some of the Bible, such as the New Testament.

Would you feed a baby meat or milk? Milk, of course. And to a new convert to your religion, would you feed him spiritual meat or spiritual milk? Spiritual milk, until he has grown and matured enough to be able to handle spiritual meat.

Now, to a pre-scientific people, do you feed them scientific meat or scientific milk? You tell them what they can understand in terms that they can understand; ie, scientific milk. They could not possibly understand the full science; when it has been tried, they just reinterpreted it in terms of their own mythology, most often incorrectly *.

A common example would be the question of where babies come from and how parents might explain it to their young children (like pre-Kindergarten). If the parents tried to explain it with complete scientific accuracy, would that make any sense to the children? Would that even be the answer that was being sought? So we get stories of storks and cabbage patches and whatever else, but the details don't matter. What does matter is what the stories say, not the details that it uses. Each of those stories tell the young children the same thing, that their parents love each other so much that they wanted a child to share their love with. That is the real story, the real answer that the child wants and needs to hear.

So what's the story of Genesis? Is it in the details? Or in the actual answer it gives, that God created all this and is very much involved in His Creation? Which matters, the actual answer or the measly details?

That does not allow for darwinian evolution. We do know that evolution has occurred and is occurring right now.

Yes, evolution does take time, which is another reason for creationists to try to deprive it of that time -- not my own opinion, but rather that has been proclaimed by creationists.

One famous opponent of evolution was Baron Georges Cuvier, a pioneering natural scientist and the Father of Paleontology. One of his pioneering efforts was the reconstruction of an entire animal from a few bones. He was an outspoken opponent of evolution because of his work with the newly discovered Egyptian mummies brought to Paris by Napoleon's army. He found the human and animal remains from thousands of years ago to be virtually identical to modern humans and animals, thus showing him that there had not be any evolutionary change during that time. Since he still believed in a young earth, that was sufficient evidence for him. And OBTW, it was Lamarckian evolution he opposed, not Darwinian, since Darwin was only about 22 years old and not yet published when Cuvier died -- indeed, he had just left on his voyage on the Beagle the year before.

But at least you do acknowledge that evolution is observed to be happening.

Created animals that came off the ark with environmentally cued evolution preprogrammed into their genes does not require millions of years to work.

Hmm, a whole new can of worms. Other creationists have come up with such claims. Oh, I'm not trying to discourage you. You should research what other creationists have come up with, but then you also need to research the responses and criticisms of those ideas.

OK, maybe I should introduce you to Ed, a creationist I met on-line. He had been a young-earth creationist, describing himself as being addicted to creationist materials and video tapes. Here's how he described his epiphany moment after having popped in a new tape as a "fix" for his addiction:

quote:
One day, being psyched-up for a new fix, I popped in a video I had received from a young man at Church. The tape was a series of debates (about eight), between a famous "young-earther" and various evolutionists. After viewing them, I found my jaw on the floor. I truly expected these evolutionists to roll over and die after being presented with this battering of "facts" - they didn't! I was truly numbed and frankly, pretty upset with the manners of this "young-earther." I was forced to come to some serious conclusions that day.

1. Scientists have answers for each point raised, e.g., shrinking sun, polystrate fossils etc., they were not surprised at all!

2. Creation Science is not science. I watched as this creationist fellow was repeatedly being cornered, relying on miracle after miracle to answer their questions. Yes, God can and does perform miracles, but these were miracles that were not even in the Bible - that's not science!

3. I have been a hypocrite! My favorite reasoning with skeptics is to challenge them to examine both sides of an issue before reaching their conclusions. "How can we dialogue fairly if we only have one point of view?" I would ask. But I have NEVER given an evolutionist nor an old earth creationist the opportunity to present their case!



Please note his second observation, that the only way the creationist could fight his way out of the corner was to invoke one miracle after another. That is what made me think I should introduce you to Ed. That is what I see you having to start to do.

Ed disappeared for a while, during which I mirrored his webpages on my former site, but then he reappeared and continues to host his own pages at http://home.comcast.net/~whatrymes/index.html; he leads in by quoting 1 Thessalonians 5:21: "Test all things; hold fast what is good" -- one that I like to throw back into creationists' faces. In particular, read his My Search page, from which I had quoted. He repeats my decades-old message, also repeated by Don Batten and Safarti at Answers in Genesis, that creationism has to deal in real and truthful claims instead of in lies.

The 1 million year figure comes from the absurdity of expanding 20 generations in a genealogy to several million generations of humans who are not even mentioned in passing.

Let's assume a new generation every 20 years, kind of a lower limit that will yield too many generations.

Homo sapiens sapiens, been around for about 200,000 years: 10,000 generations.

Genus Homo, been around for about 2.5 million years: 125,000 generations.

Genus Australopithecus, been around for about 4 million years: 200,000 generations.

Where the frak is this fracking "several million generations of humans" that you're talking about?

Also, what's history? It's what's been written down. Before writing, there's no history. Case in point: Japan. Around 600 CE (AD to you), Buddhist missionaries from China reached Japan and brought much knowledge to the Japanese, including writing -- even today, most Japanese writing is in Kanji, Chinese characters, with some phonetic Kana that they invented about around 800 CE. So in Japan, pre-history is up until about 600 CE. No writing, no history. Oh, sure, there was oral tradition, but despite Romantic Era romanticism, it doesn't actually go back that many generations nor is it immune from new information getting incorporated into it **.

As for history, well, that only goes back about 5,000 to 6,000 years ago. Everything before that would be pre-history. And pre-history could have lasted an indeterminately long time. Your concern of no historical record (assuming the Genesis genealogies could be considered historic), going back beyond history is ... well, meaningless. No offense intended; just trying to provide you with some perspective.

It also comes from the necessity of providing an explanation for the fossil record and observed evolution that does not contradict the clear wording of scripture regarding the creation of animals.

The fossil record stands on its own. No universal flood. Very long history.

"clear wording of scripture regarding the creation of animals" Mmm! Na, also, wie könnte ich dies denn mal sagen?

What languages do you know? I would assume only English. Tja! Das sagt ja alles! "clear wording"? Of scripture? And just what the frak language was that written in? Certainly not in English!

Do you know any languages other than English? Do you have any experience with other languages? "clear wording"? Seriously?

I'm going to let you in on a secret. Ok, not really a secret, just something that fundamentalists like to gloss over.

Humans are fallible. All human efforts are fallible. No, that's also what fundamentalists teach. But what they don't tell you is that human interpretation is also fallible, because you're supposed to believe that their own fallible human interpretations of Scripture is somehow infallible, but it's not. I guess that's the secret.

Now let's take the next step. Have you ever performed an act of translation? Do you know what translation is? It's interpreting what is being said in one language and expressing it in another. The key word there is "interpret". A fallible human act.

Different languages are ... well, different. Some languages group several ideas together, while others differentiate between them. "know". That's only one word in English, but German diffentiates between knowing a fact, knowing a person, and knowing how to do something (wissen, kennen, and können). Greek is renowned in diffentiating between four or five different kinds of love, where English only has one word.

Obviously, "clear wording" can only have any real meaning in the original language.

Oh and BTW, the fossil record is relatively well known. And the dates for the various strata are also well known via tie-points ****. Sorry, but the fossil record does not in the least support any creationist scenario that I am aware of.

It also comes from the necessity of providing an explanation for the fossil record and observed evolution that does not contradict the clear wording of scripture regarding the creation of animals.

Sorry, but here's where it becomes heartless.

The fossil record is what the fossil record is. The record is what it is. You cannot do anything about it.

The only necessity of providing an explanation for the fossil record that meets your specifications are if what we find were to not contradict our own specific and fallibly human interpretation of the humanly fallibly translated humanly produced writings about the creation of animals, ... . I'm sorry, but I myself got lost in my having to bend over backwards multiple times in order to set up your incredible scenario.

OK, let's face it. The fossil record does not even begin to start to support your scenario.

The tie-points in the geological column (please, please, please do not embarrass yourself here) go much more than a mere million years back in time.


{ * FOOTNOTE:
In areas of New Guinea where cannibalism was practiced, there's a degenerative brain disease that is spread by a virus that is acquired by eating infected brain matter. The natives believed that it was caused by evil spirits, so modern doctors trying to treat it showed them the real culprit through a microscope. The natives walked away even more convinced that it was caused by evil spirits, because now they've see those evil spirits with their own eyes!
}

{ ** FOOTNOTE:
When I was growing up, I would have envied your knowing what you want to do. I had been so pummeled down in my youth and thoroughly convinced that I couldn't do anything that I had no idea what to do with my life. I just skated through school, being able to learn everything with no effort, but never exerting any effort to achieve anything. But then I became interesting in learning a foreign language and high school German was the first class where I had ever applied myself (BTW, I also took science every year and just ate it up; in junior high I was always a year ahead of everybody else), so that is what I pursued going into college. After receiving my first degree, BA German, I married and enlisted in the Air Force as a computer technician, which led to my other two degrees, BS Computer Science and BA Applied Math, which led to my civilian career as a software engineer.

OK, back when I was a kid, I would have envied you. But now, I kind of ... I don't want to say "pity you", but it's kind of like that. It's a sorrow at an opportunity that is lost to you. Part of learning another language is also learning the culture that that language is a part of. So in our German program we studied the literature and arts in the different periods, which was also to some degree a history of the development of European culture through the centuries. Basically, a liberal arts education that most technical and science majors don't have much chance to get a taste of; I know that engineering degrees can be extremely rigorous and offer their students virtually no free time.

OK, coming out of the Baroque, which emphasized order (and during which most of music theory had been worked out), we went into the overly ornate Rococo. Then we went briefly into the "Sturm und Drang" (Storm and Stress) of extreme emotions -- a young Goethe wrote an emotion-charged book, "The Sorrows of Young Werther", that touched off an epidemic of young suicides throughout Europe. That quickly developed into the Classical Period which again emphasized order, symmetry, rational thought, etc; it was during this time that the Enlightenment developed, whose crowning glory was the founding of the federal government of the United States of America.

But then in the early 1800's came the Romantic Era. Again, it reacted against the previous period by embracing the emotional, the irrational, even the macabre. Ghost stories and the supernatural abounded, including Mary Shelley's Frankenstein. It was also during this time that there was an upsurgence of nationalism and an interest in folk stories. The brothers Grimm, linguists studying the history and development of the German language, collected folk stories which later were published as "Grimm's Fairy Tales" (the German version is much bloodier and more violent than the sanitized ones we were told in the USA).

Now this is the important part and the reason for this footnote. Part of the conceit of that time was that these folk stories had been passed down for countless generations, unchanged. That is clearly false and instead changes happen which a few generations or even more rapidly.

For example, in Africa there is/was an isolated tribe whose mythology included a god associated with the star Sirius (the "Dog Star", because it is the brightest star in the constellation Canus Major, "Big Dog"; indeed, it is visually the brightest star in the sky, outside of Sol). A few decades ago, astronomers discovered that Sirius is a binary system with a much fainter companion that can only be detected with a telescope, absolutely not with the naked eye. After that discovery, anthropologists visiting that isolated tribe were astonished to hear the Sirius myth talk of a small companion to that god. How could they have known that? But then when they examined the notes of the anthropologists who had previously visited that tribe before our discovery of Sirius' companion, and the myth as told to those anthropologists did not contain any mention at all of any companion to Sirius. Obviously, news of that discovery had reached the tribe, whereupon that new information became incorporated into its mythology.

Creation/Evolution, Issue 32, Summer 1993 (http://ncse.com/webfm_send/1162) contained an article starting on page 20, Creation Science and Creation Myths: An Ethnological Perspective by Jeffery JR. Hanson and Jerry E. Hanson, which examined the creation myths of the Mandan Indians (located around Bismarck, ND; Lewis & Clark's party had wintered over with them). Repeatedly, as the knowledge and life-style of the tribe changed, so did its mythology, and radically so (as befitting the radical changes in its life-style).

As I had been taught, the Torah (AKA "First Five Books of Moses"; ie, the first five books of the Bible) were at first oral tradition, which is what we've been talking about here. These were the stories told around the campfires, memorized and retold and memorized by each generation as per oral tradition ***. As I had been told, it was not until their first captivity that, in order to avoid assimilation in Babylonian, they finally wrote down their oral tradition. Of course, by that time, how much had they assimilated into that oral tradition? Gilgamesh, which tells of a universal flood, comes to mind.
}

{ *** FOOTNOTE:
If you have never watched Mel Gibson's "Mad Max" movies, do so. At the very least, watch the last one of three, Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome. Post-apocalypse Australia (OK, that hadn't happened until the second movie, the first one just showing a break-down in society), in the desert Max falls in with a group of kids living in a oasis in that desert, having been stranded there when the plane they were on to escape the apocalypse crashed nearby and the pilot, Captain Walker, went out into the desert for help, only to have died. The kids kept alive the story -- "We kept it straight, Captain Walker!" -- , an oral tradition telling the story of where they had come from and why they were there. Watch that and listen to it. It always follows the same format, starting by telling them to listen close and remember the words for when it's their turn to tell the story to the others.

Similarly, author Alex Haley wrote of his genealogical research into his family, trying to work his way back to his ancestor, Kunta Kinte, who had been captured in Africa and brought here as a slave. His book, and the award-winning TV mini-series, was named Roots. In a pivotal point in the story (not the one in the Library of Congress where he cried out, "Kunta Kinte, I have found you!"), he was able to trace back to the location in Africa where his ancestor had been taken into captivity. As depicted in the mini-series, a tribal elder who had memorized the oral tradition of the tribe was asked about Kinta Kinte, but he could only tell the entire story from the beginning. After many hours, even days, he got to the point where a boy going through the passage rites of manhood went into the forest to gather the materials to make a drum but never returned, which matched the oral tradition in Alex Haley's own family about Kunta Kinte.
}

{ **** FOOTNOTE:
I know that you want to stereotype anti-creationists in a specific way, that they are close-minded and wouldn't ever question their assumptions, but you are dead wrong.

For example, when I read Richard Dawkins' The Blind Watchmaker, especially the third chapter (WEASEL), I questioned it, immediately! It was just too good to be true! So I wrote my own WEASEL program, which I named MONKEY in honor of A. S. Eddington's famous quote about an infinite number of monkeys on an infinite number of typewriters pounding out Hamlet -- actually, he was talking about thermodynamics, not evolution. So I wrote my own program to test it out. Which was so phenomenally successful that I had to calculate the probabilities and do all the math. And that math showed me that the probability of failure was so much less than success, that the probability of an evolution-driven process of succeeding was virtually inevitable. My pages on that start at http://cre-ev.dwise1.net/monkey.html.

Here's another case where I started to question what I had thought. Here in Southern California, we have mile-high mountains very close by. Driving up to a weekend event with my sons, I looked at the strata I was driving past and I got to thinking. Just how are strata dated? Most strata are sedimentary, so they consist of bits and pieces of older rock. Just how are they dated when they consist of older rock?

OK, back in the early 1800's, William Smith in England learned to identify strata by their distinctive features, which included what I understand to be called "index fossils". This led to various strata being identified. OK, but how old were they? I didn't learn that during that drive up to the mountains, but I found it later on in a textbook. We cannot intrinsically date a sedimentary layer, but through biostratigraphy or other methods we can identify what era it belongs to. The only things we can radio-date are igneous formations -- if you have not already, read the isochron article at talk.origins at http://www.talkorigins.org/faqs/isochron-dating.html -- though I did not learn this until further research, even though this suspicion had fueled my further research.

So then, basically we have worked out the relative ages of the strata in relationship with each other, and then have gotten more specific dates from igneous intrusions, volcanic layers, etc.
}


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dwise1
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Posts: 3712
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Member Rating: 4.6


(1)
Message 236 of 309 (664849)
06-06-2012 12:41 AM
Reply to: Message 234 by foreveryoung
06-05-2012 11:28 PM


Re: Speed of Light: the Sequel
First, none of us would be here and there would be no star sitting at the center of this solar system.

HUH?


That reminds me of something that the late Dr. Henry Morris, "Father of Flood Geology" (even though he lifted a lot from George McCready Price without attribution) had written about residence times. Though he didn't call it that, since he didn't know what he was talking about. You see, as certain elements and compounds enter the oceans, they are also accreting out of it, such that there is an average amount of time that they remain in solution, their "residence time". This is the basis of the bogus creationist "sea salt" claim. Morris noted that the residence time of aluminum is 100 years. Now if we were to apply the logic of the case that Morris was building, then the seas could be no older than 100 years, which would mean that they could not have existed when in 1492, "Columbus sailed the ocean blue". Right? Morris' reaction to that bit of evidence that completely contradicted his claim was something to the tune of "Huh? I wonder what that might mean?"

It's classic. We need to learn from the classics.

As for the rest, you appear to still be waving your hands. I already described what happened when the mighty Kent Hovind just waved his hands about solar mass loss. You do need to do better.


This message is a reply to:
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Replies to this message:
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dwise1
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Posts: 3712
Joined: 05-02-2006
Member Rating: 4.6


Message 238 of 309 (664852)
06-06-2012 1:39 AM
Reply to: Message 237 by foreveryoung
06-06-2012 1:02 AM


Re: Speed of Light: the Sequel
Then perhaps you could explain your position. Rather than wave your hands.

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dwise1
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Posts: 3712
Joined: 05-02-2006
Member Rating: 4.6


Message 240 of 309 (664854)
06-06-2012 1:48 AM
Reply to: Message 234 by foreveryoung
06-05-2012 11:28 PM


Re: Speed of Light: the Sequel
Here's an HTML hint:
Well the mass of the Sun is currently about 2 x 1030kg.

If the mass was "less by an amount equal to the square root of its former value" what would the effect be?

Well the mass would be √2 x 1015 or 1.4 x 1015kg.


Well, guess what? That comes through as nonsense!

Use the <SUP></SUP> HTML tags. One of the benefits of this forum is that you can mix HTML with BBCODES -- indeed, sometimes it's required. Using those SUP HTML tags, here is what your post looks like:

quote:
Well the mass of the Sun is currently about 2 x 1030kg.

If the mass was "less by an amount equal to the square root of its former value" what would the effect be?

Well the mass would be √2 x 1015 or 1.4 x 1015kg.


Do you see the difference that makes? Then please use it. And use the Preview before you submit so that you can see what it looks like.


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dwise1
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Posts: 3712
Joined: 05-02-2006
Member Rating: 4.6


(1)
Message 247 of 309 (664865)
06-06-2012 3:05 AM
Reply to: Message 172 by foreveryoung
05-31-2012 1:40 AM


Re: first assumption
Science used to be called philosophy. It was the search for certain knowledge.

Oh for frak's sake! We've been through this oh so many times before.

Ok, I guess philosophy has its place. Mind you, I'm an engineer, so I have very little patience for philosophical bullshit.

Here's a little story that's been attributed to Carl Sagan:

quote:
The Physicist and the Metaphysicist

In the 1920s, there was a dinner at which the physicist Robert W. Wood was asked to respond to a toast. This was a time when people stood up, made a toast, and then selected someone to respond. Nobody knew what toast they'd be asked to reply to, so it was a challenge for the quick-witted. In this case the toast was: "To physics and metaphysics." Now by metaphysics was meant something like philosophy -- truths that you could get to just by thinking about them. Wood took a second, glanced about him, and answered along these lines: The physicist has an idea, he said. The more he thinks it through, the more sense it makes to him. He goes to the scientific literature, and the more he reads, the more promising the idea seems. Thus prepared, he devises an experiment to test the idea. The experiment is painstaking. Many possibilities are eliminated or taken into account; the accuracy of the measurement is refined. At the end of all this work, the experiment is completed and ... the idea is shown to be worthless. The physicist then discards the idea, frees his mind (as I was saying a moment ago) from the clutter of error, and moves on to something else.

The difference between physics and metaphysics, Wood concluded, is that the metaphysicist has no laboratory.

(reportedly from an essay by Carl Sagan)



How far are you into your college education? Have you taken a course in logic yet? I did by my second year -- being a devoted fan of Star Trek from the very first broadcast episode, I took that Logic class as soon as was humanly possible. Fascinating thing, logic is. Structure. Every syllogism is a structure. You can analyze every syllogism and determine whether it is valid. Then, whenever you feed true premises into a valid syllogism, you get a true conclusion. So just how do you determine that your premises are true?

Just because science has bastardized itself from the nineteeth century onward from its honest beginnings, does not mean it is more correct than its original state.

godsriddle demonstrates what happens when philosophical considerations take precedence over reality. He is clearly lost and confused.

What is real? That is the true test. Philosophy be damned!


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dwise1
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Posts: 3712
Joined: 05-02-2006
Member Rating: 4.6


(1)
Message 248 of 309 (664866)
06-06-2012 3:16 AM
Reply to: Message 246 by foreveryoung
06-06-2012 2:55 AM


Re: Speed of Light: the Sequel
OK, I talked about this elsewhere tonight.

Consider Roman Catholicism. Many different beliefs. How many of them are biblical? To be honest, many come from the Church Fathers, not from the Bible.

Fundamentalist Christianity. It claims to be completely based on the Bible.

OK, is that true? Are all the fundamentalist Christian claims based on the Bible? Show me!

Is every single fundamentalist interpretation of the Bible in the Bible? Show me!

Is it true that the Bible cannot contain any single error? Does the Bible tell you that? Show me!

If the Bible is ever shown to contain even one single falsehood, are we to cast it upon the trash heap and forever forsake it?
Does the Bible tell you to do that?
Show me!


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dwise1
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Posts: 3712
Joined: 05-02-2006
Member Rating: 4.6


Message 259 of 309 (664888)
06-06-2012 11:25 AM
Reply to: Message 257 by Taq
06-06-2012 11:13 AM


Re: Speed of Light: the Sequel
Slight quibble:
foreveryoung writes:

If so, why aren't you interested in seeing if the claims of the bible have in basis in reality?


That is exactly what we are doing. As it turns out, the claims in the Bible are contradicted by reality.

The claims in question are not in the Bible. Rather, the claims are based on a particular interpretation of the Bible and are firmly held because of a dogmatic belief which is extra-biblical (at least nobody has ever cited any biblical source for it). A particular interpretation which is very likely wrong to begin with, as that extra-bibilical belief blatantly is as well.

And, yes, those claims are indeed contradicted by reality.


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dwise1
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Posts: 3712
Joined: 05-02-2006
Member Rating: 4.6


Message 278 of 309 (664919)
06-06-2012 3:16 PM
Reply to: Message 267 by foreveryoung
06-06-2012 2:41 PM


Re: SN1987A -- part 2: correlations with the speed of light
I gave a boatload of substantive last night ...

What messages are you referring to here? Message 234 and
Message 235? Where you presented one piece of evidence after another and argued repeatedly for the constancy of physical constants?

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