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Author Topic:   What is Creationism?
dwise1
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Posts: 4194
Joined: 05-02-2006
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Message 56 of 88 (809912)
05-22-2017 4:24 AM


Basically, "creationism" has become anti-evolution.

It's really that basic. Regardless of their actual theologies, it always basically boils down to them opposing evolution in whatever form they misconceive it as being.

BTW, there is no conflict between divine creation and evolution.

Chew on that one a bit.


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dwise1
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Posts: 4194
Joined: 05-02-2006
Member Rating: 2.8


Message 73 of 88 (810127)
05-23-2017 11:07 PM
Reply to: Message 59 by Phat
05-22-2017 2:10 PM


Re: Source vs Content
Wiki writes:


The expression, "God of the Gaps," contains a real truth. It is erroneous if it is taken to mean that God is not immanent in natural law but is only to be observed in mysteries unexplained by law. No significant Christian group has believed this view. It is true, however, if it is taken to emphasize that God is not only immanent in natural law but also is active in the numerous phenomena associated with the supernatural and the spiritual. There are gaps in a physical-chemical explanation of this world, and there always will be. Because science has learned many marvelous secrets of nature, it cannot be concluded that it can explain all phenomena. Meaning, soul, spirits, and life subjects incapable of physical-chemical explanation or formation.


First I would need to ask which "Wiki" you quoted and why no link? BTW, Wikipedia' article at https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/God_of_the_gaps points out that the term was created by theologians " to point out the fallacy of relying on teleological arguments for God's existence."

BTW, I see that you were not quoting Wikipedia, but rather their quoting of one R. Laird Harris, a Presbyterian minister. You should have also informed us of whom you were quoting rather than misattributing that quote.

But that doesn't really matter, because I have repeatedly seen creationists rely on "God of the Gaps" thinking, especially the "intelligent design" movement, though the ICR would frequently go there as well. They seem to hold the position that if you present a natural explanation for something, then you are denying God; eg, that if evolution is true, then God doesn't exist. For example, I read an essay by Phillip Johnson, the lawyer co-founder of ID, in which he expressed his opposition to evolution because "it leaves God with nothing to do." Sheer idiocy, which is shared by far too many creationists. I view these gappists as "fake creationists"; they don't really believe in the Creator, but rather only in their own inadequate theologies for which they will go to the ends of earth to protect from reality.

A real creationist would not say that naturalistic explanations disprove God, but rather that their Creator God is behind all those naturalistic processes. There is no conflict between evolution and creation. The only conflict comes when one tries to misinterpret and misrepresent evolution and creation. When one tries to insert whatever contrary-to-fact beliefs that their theology demands. When one resorts to "God of the Gaps" theology instead of a "God as Sovereign over Nature" theology.

A Creator does not fly in the face of evidence. The "creators" that creationists want to invoke do -- "creators", because there are so many different creationist theologies, such that I feel that we should call them "Legion" (yes, I do wish to invoke the demonic connotation there). Bad theology is a big problem which does so much personal and social damage and I see so much bad theology among creationists.

As I've already said, the definition of "creationist" is "anti-evolution" (and anti-any-science-they-think-conflicts-with-their-theology, but then they misrepresent all those ideas as "evolution", so "anti-evolution" should suffice). I've seen many creationists try to tie you down to a more specific definition of "creationist" and then they would claim to not fit that definition -- I'm sure I saw Dredge do that to dodge the label of YEC by claiming that he accepts an old earth, but everything else was still according to YEC theology. And you will find IDists (or those using that as a smoke screen) who will try to exempt themselves by claiming to not be young-earth. But still, the fundamental definition of "creationism" is opposing evolution and whatever other science because of their theology or even just some kind of philosophical discomfort.

There's a filk song, The Word of God whose refrain is: "Humans wrote the Bible; God wrote the world." When AOL used to host websites, I encountered a Christian grandfather (since passed away, I'm fairly sure) who wrote about The First Testament. The First Testament is Nature, God's Actual Creation. The Second Testament was the Bible whose purpose was to guide Man to the First Testament. I once tried to point our member, Faith, in that direction, that "God wrote the rocks, God wrote the world." She quite literally could not understand that idea and rejected it outright, refused to even consider it. A true creationist would have understood it; a protector of one's own theology would not.

There's also an issue about answering questions. I think you have another reply about that that I can reply to.


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dwise1
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Posts: 4194
Joined: 05-02-2006
Member Rating: 2.8


(1)
Message 74 of 88 (810132)
05-24-2017 12:25 AM
Reply to: Message 70 by Phat
05-23-2017 11:44 AM


Re: Source vs Content
If you expect every question to eventually be answered by evidence, you will be waiting for an eternity.

There are different kinds of questions. Quite different.

This is bringing in another idea, the call to include "goddidit" into science. Bad idea. Very bad idea. And completely useless.

A lot of discussion and philosophical waffling has gone into trying to decide what's scientific. As a professional engineer (albeit software, with which other engineers will take strong issue), I must protest, "Dammit, Jim! I'm an engineer, not a philosopher!" But practically speaking, the primary quality of scientific questions is "How does it work?" Not "why", but rather "how".

Now, what does a "goddidit" "answer" do for a scientific "how does it work" question? Absolutely nothing whatsoever. It actually does great harm, but wait for the next paragraph or the next one or few after that. If we ask whether God did it or didn't do it, what actual effect does that have on the question of "how does it work?". None whatsoever. Did Ganesha do it? Same outcome.

But you may protest, "But if God exists, then why not acknowledge it?" Whatever use can including irrelevant facts have? My family's last dog was a Chihuahua-mix. My current car is a Honda Accord Hybrid. Those are true facts! Whatever relevance does that have to the question of how does a computer work? None whatsoever! There are multiple encylopediae of true facts that you could insist must be included in every scientific answer. What does it add to that answer to include those absolutely true facts? Absolutely nothing whatsoever. What does it subtract to leave out those same absolutely true facts? Absolutely nothing whatsoever. What effect does "goddidit" have on scientific answers? Absolutely none whatsoever. Except for the great harm it can do.

First, let's return to an earlier theme. An actual creationist would believe that God created everything and is behind everything, so why would anyone need to state the obvious. A fake creationist would have a shit fit.

What harm can "goddidit" do? Plenty! Actually, we covered most of that in an old closed topic, So Just How is ID's Supernatural-based Science Supposed to Work? (SUM. MESSAGES ONLY).

First, if you answer a "how" question with "God did it", then you have not actually answered the question. You just answered a "who" question, but that does not respond to the "how" question at all. IOW, you just side-stepped out of the way of the real question. In case you don't know, real questions are extremely important, so you should avoid side-stepping them.

Plus, there's a little side-rule of science: The best answers are the ones that lead to new questions. This reasoning was part of what immediately informed me that IDist Phillip Johnson's "rules of courtroom evidence" argument against evolution was pure and utter bullshit. Metaphorically, science is not a courtroom procedure, but rather science is a police investigation. We are looking for clues and we will follow clues to wherever they lead. We are not trying to make a case (courtroom), but rather we are trying to seek out the truth. We have these few clues, but we are sure that there are more clues out there. So those clues that lead to those more clues would be more valuable to us than clues that lead to dead ends. In that sense, "goddidit" leads to no new clues. Your entire investigation has arrived at a screeching halt. Do you see how that feels?

Now to the most insidious part of "godddidit". You have a question about how the world/universe works. Some idiot proclaims "goddidit!" You don't accept that, but rather you want real answers. What are you actually doing? "GOD DID IT!!! WHAT PART OF THAT DO YOU NOT UNDERSTAND????" In other words, "goddidit" is a way of closing any further investigation. To question "goddidit" is to question God Herself! You simply do not do such things and retain certain body parts.

At this point, I feel that I need to remind you that I have been a confirmed atheist for more than half a century (ie, I became an atheist around the standard age of confirmation when I started reading the Bible and found it completely unbelievable).

There are different kinds of questions. As we have already discussed, the scientific question are "how" questions as in "how does this work?". There are also the "how" questions of "how should we do this?" As our minister would say (Unitarian-Universalist), the truly religious question is "How then should we lead our lives?"

Science works best for scientific questions, for questions of "how does this work?"

Science does not work as well for the really important questions, the questions of "How then should we lead our lives?" For those kinds of questions, philosophy and theology work far better. Considering their severe limitations.

The real problem is that the methods for addressing those kinds of questions, the really interesting and important kinds of questions, really suck big time.

Science can't answer them, but neither can anything else.


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dwise1
Member
Posts: 4194
Joined: 05-02-2006
Member Rating: 2.8


Message 81 of 88 (810284)
05-27-2017 4:23 AM
Reply to: Message 80 by CRR
05-27-2017 2:05 AM


Re: The cat kind
Yes, there is such a thing as the "Species Problem". Biology is messy. It is difficult to arrive at a neat and tidy solution to biological problems such as species.

So you have yourself some kind of "tidy" "feline basic created kind". Really? Well, gee, isn't it funny that none of the hybrids jump that panthera line (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Felid_hybrid)? Funny, isn't that? Like there's some actual reproductive barrier there. Which had to have happened after that "feline basic kind" had emerged from the Arc and evolved the shit out of itself at such radical rates that even the most radical evolutionist would never dream of invoking.

And of course, the "basic worm kind" and the "basic insect kind" pose far greater problems for creationists. So when are you going to abandon that stupid argument?

Edited by dwise1, : url cleanup


This message is a reply to:
 Message 80 by CRR, posted 05-27-2017 2:05 AM CRR has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 83 by CRR, posted 05-27-2017 7:09 AM dwise1 has responded

  
dwise1
Member
Posts: 4194
Joined: 05-02-2006
Member Rating: 2.8


(1)
Message 84 of 88 (810299)
05-27-2017 2:19 PM
Reply to: Message 83 by CRR
05-27-2017 7:09 AM


Re: The cat kind
DWise1 writes:

Well, gee, isn't it funny that none of the hybrids jump that panthera line

P. concolor × L. pardalis (puma × ocelot) bridges the gap between larger and smaller cats. Is that what you were looking for?

Puma is not panthera. Neither is ocelot. They are both Felinae, more closely related to each other than with any member of Pantherinae.

You did not address the divide between Felinae and Pantherinae and why that divide refutes the creationist "basic created kind" arguments. So what point were you trying to make? Or were you just trying to cause confusion?

Speaking of the "basic created kinds" argument that pairs of basic created kinds (eg, basic canid kind or basic felid kind) were on Noah's Ark (thus trying to solve the space problem) and that all species within a "basic created kind" are descended from that kind's Ark pair. Of course that requires that they all evolved and did so almost instantaneously. Creationists try to explain that away by quibbling over "macroevolution vs microevolution" and point to hybrids to claim that "macroevolution" never happened. But that reproductive barrier between Pantherae and Felinae demonstrates that "macroevolution" does indeed happen and that it's just microevolution happening for more generations.

You weren't here when Faith tried to argue against macroevolution using felids. She argued and demonstrated that the various felid species all came into existence through microevolution and accidentally proved that macroevolution is accumulated microevolution. As soon as she realized what she had done, she started frantically denying it and redefining practically every word in the dictionary.

There's also the little matter of Georges Cuvier (Jean Léopold Nicolas Frédéric Cuvier (23 August 1769 – 13 May 1832)), acknowledged founder of vertebrate paleontology. He was also strongly opposed to evolution and appeared to believe in The Flood. I read some of his writings at university. Based on his examination of animal mummies brought to France from Egypt and comparison with modern animals, he concluded that there had been no evolutionary change for most of the history of the world.

The problem that Cuvier poses for the "basic created kinds" claim is that he leaves creationists with far less time for species to have evolved after the Flood. Those mummies he examined and found to be identical to modern animals dated from right after the Flood. Instead of having several thousands of years, creationist evolution had less than a thousand, maybe a few centuries or days. The radically extreme speed required by creationist evolution is now required to be that much greater. And ludicrous.


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