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Author Topic:   Best evidence for Creation
Rahvin
Member
Posts: 4046
Joined: 07-01-2005


Message 5 of 176 (477015)
07-29-2008 12:20 PM
Reply to: Message 4 by rueh
07-29-2008 11:54 AM


Just a quick question Brian. Does scripture count as evidence? Would reciting passages from the bible be enough to justify their athunticity or are you looking for scientific evidence? Just curious since I can see one form of evidence more forthcoming than the other.
Why should the unsupported contents of an old series of books count for evidence?
I mean, if you go that route, then all ancient texts are evidence for their own brands of creationism, and the whole thing becomes moot. Hell, why restrict it to old texts? Harry Potter has just as much relevance to real-world events and locations as the Bible - clearly reciting passages from Harry Potter should justify the authenticity of the novel!
Watch out everyone, VOLDEMORT is out to GET you!
Sarcasm aside, the claims of an ancient text are utterly worthless without objective corroboration. It doesn't matter how widespread the text is, it doesn't matter if the text has prophesies fulfilled within itself, and it doesn't matter how many people believe in it. Without corroboration with objective, verifiable evidence for each claim, the text is worthless.
If we found an ancient chronicle of a dynasty in Egypt that claimed Egypt took part in a series of wars and various supernatural events occurred, we would not simply take the text to be "gospel" truth. Instead, we would need to search for objective evidence to back up the claims of the text. If some of the claims are verified, then it becomes more likely that other claims may also be true - but as always, extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence. Even if the text was 100% accurate so far as verifiable history is concerned, if the text also claimed that a lion spoke or that the Pharaoh was a living god, those claims would still not be verified by the authenticity of the remainder and would require their own extraordinary evidence to support them.
Likewise, when the Bible makes claims of who begat who or where this or that city was located or who was governor at what time, we can verify these things or even just accept some of them because they are everyday occurrences that are not unusual in teh least. Lineage is accepted, locations and governors and time periods can be verified with objective evidence. But when the Bible claims that the Earth was created in 6 days, or the entire planet was flooded, or the Exodus story, or any of the other supernatural claims in the Bible, the verified portions in no way support the unverified portions. They give us a reason to look for supporting evidence, sure...but they don't constitute evidence themselves.
And when we look in all the places the evidence should be for things like the Flood or the Exodus of a young Earth and find either nothing at all or directly contradictory evidence, there's no reason to accept the Biblical claims at all.

This message is a reply to:
 Message 4 by rueh, posted 07-29-2008 11:54 AM rueh has not replied

  
Rahvin
Member
Posts: 4046
Joined: 07-01-2005


Message 16 of 176 (477077)
07-30-2008 12:54 AM
Reply to: Message 14 by jamison
07-30-2008 12:07 AM


Creation. Self-evident.
Welcome to the fray, jamison.
Unfortunately that's a very poor start, even for a three-word post.
That the Universe was created is not self-evident; you simply assume it to be so. And unfortunately, personal credulity proves absolutely nothing.
How would you differentiate between a Created Unvierse and a non-Created Universe? What would be the properties that distinguish one from the other, and why?
If you cannot answer that question and a Created Unvierse is identical in every way to a non-Created Universe, you have nothing more than a base assumption.
(and to pre-empt the question of why it's okay to "assume" a non-Created Unvierse but not a Created one, well...we have evidence that the universe exists. We're part of it. We do not have evidence of the existence of a Creator)
To propose an analogy, let's take an image:
Is this art, the work of an intelligent designer? Or is this simply spilled paint, random chance and chaos? The probability of the paint landing in exactly the pattern seen is astronomically small...but then, it had to land in some configuration, didn't it?
How would you distinguish simple spilled paint from an abstract masterpiece?
How would one distinguish a Created Universe from a non-Created one?
We have an advantage with art - we have multiple examples of both accidents and actual art, while we have only one Universe to study, with no other Universes to compare it to and contrast their properties. We also have artists who are more than willing to take credit for their work, while any deities seem fairly silent - the only claims of their existence come from their followers, who both can never objectively substantiate their claims and are so disparate that it seems every culture has their own proposed Creator, each with a completely different methodology and personality, and sometimes not even just one. Sure, we have ancient texts like the Bible, but we also have thousands of other texts from ancient religions around the world. Given the same objective amount of evidence, you embrace one but would scoff at, say, the Egyptian religion, or the Norse gods.
So clearly, the mere existence of the Universe is not self-evident support for a Creator, any more than paint necessarily provides evidence for a painter - particularly with no additional examples to compare with.
Your claim that a Creator exists leaves a lot to be desired.

This message is a reply to:
 Message 14 by jamison, posted 07-30-2008 12:07 AM jamison has not replied

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Rahvin
Member
Posts: 4046
Joined: 07-01-2005


Message 52 of 176 (477173)
07-30-2008 6:46 PM
Reply to: Message 51 by ICANT
07-30-2008 5:21 PM


Re: no sense whatsoever
The question then becomes what was that some thing.
Any answer must begin with I believe which is faith.
Except that, since your belief is admittedly based on no evidence (which is what faith is, by definition), it's literally the same as making up any story you like. You're litterally filling in the blanks of unknowns with whatever you feel like, in tehis case the Judea-Christian deity. It's just god-of-the-gaps. Whenever you face something where our knowledge is limited or nonexistant, you say "God!"
That puts your deity in an ever-shrinking box.
If there was no thing prior to the beginning 13.7 billion years ago give or take a few billion there would still be no thing today.
I shudder at the idea of approaching cosmology even as an aside like this with you, but your concept of the Universe is extremely limited because you assume causality for everything. While this is a valid approach within the "confines" of our Universe, causality simply doesn't make sense without the dimensional structure of the Universe. Time is a component of the Universe, and as we tried to show you hundreds of times in multiple other threads, discussion of time stops at T=0 because that is the boundary of that particular dimension. Since causality requires time in order for one causal event to precede its effects, talking about "causes" for the Universe no longer makes sense in the way you're discussing it. There is no positive number preceding 0, and so there cannot be any event in time preceding T=0 in order to cause it.
If you ask the question "why does the Universe exist," the answer is "we don't know." We may not be able to know; all of our knowledge right now is confined to this Universe because we are a part of it. There may be many Universes in some superdimensional space, or this may be the only one. There may be a time-like dimension external to our Universe that contains its own causality and allows the existence of Universes to be "caused," or there may not. We simply don't know.
All we know is that the Universe exists, and we know what its properties were like to a high degree of certainty from moments after T=0 (10^-43 of a second) all the way up until today.
We don't know whether a deity exists. We know we've never directly observed one, and if one is leaving evidence of its existence, it doesn't seem to care what we know given all of the different views on deities on Earth that have existed. Humanity hasn't been able to agree that deities exist, their properties, or how many of them ever.
And since this is in the science forums, faith-based "I beleive it was , based on nothing whatsoever other than my personal subjective feelings" really has no place.
The question here is "was the Universe created?"
This question extrapolates to several others:
1) Do all things that exist require a cause?
2) Do all causes require an intelligent entity?
We know that within our Universe events happen as a causal sequence; that is, a butterfly flaps its wings in Africa and startles an elephant which subsequently begins a stampede that destroys a village.
We also know that not all events require an intelligent or even living facilitator; earthquakes and rainstorms and supernovae all have causes, but they have nothing to do with an intelligent or living agent so far as we can tell. The picture I posted earlier of either spilled paint or an abstract work of art illustrates that random chance and the extant properties of the Universe can be a cause, and that it can be difficult to distinguish whether the effect was caused by an intelligent entity or not. This is much more the case when we have no other examples to compare with, like our Universe.
The problem is taking an intelligent Creator as an axiom, as many have done. We don't know there is an intelligent Creator, it is not self-evidence, and neither is it possible to prove the existence of such a Creator through philosophy or "common sense." You may as well say that lightning is caused by Thor, that this is self-evident because lightning exists, and that simple common sense tells you that all things require a cause. Hopefully you can see the flaws in that line of reasoning. We gave up on Thor because we figured out how lightning actually works, and found that an intelligent Thunder God was not actually necessary; with no evidence supporting his existence, we discarded him and restored parsimony.
At the end of the day, no one here has provided any evidence for Creationism whatsoever. The self-desribed best argument you could all come up with was "Well, the Universe is here, so it must have been created. Duh."
If that's the best argument, it's no wonder Creationism is on the decline.

This message is a reply to:
 Message 51 by ICANT, posted 07-30-2008 5:21 PM ICANT has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 54 by ICANT, posted 07-30-2008 11:10 PM Rahvin has not replied

  
Rahvin
Member
Posts: 4046
Joined: 07-01-2005


Message 64 of 176 (477242)
07-31-2008 12:13 PM
Reply to: Message 63 by ICANT
07-31-2008 7:30 AM


Re: no sense whatsoever
Sure I get it.
You don't know.
There is some speculation but nobody knows.
I still say that is the best evidence for creation. It makes just as much sense.
In exactly what way does
"I don't know, I don't have enough data"
make just as much sense as
"An invisible man in the sky magically poofed everything into existence?"
You're violating parsimony, ICANT, by inventing an entity for which there is no external evidence to fill in an unknown based not on data, but on your own subjective feelings.
I don't think you know how not to violate parsimony.
I mean seriosuly, if we can just make up whatever we want to fill in unknowns they way you're doing it, I may as well say "Mr. T is actually an immortal deity, and He created the Universe" or "a miniature giant space hamster did it." If we aren't basing our beliefs on evidence, we're basing them on our imaginations.
So you believe through faith that your imaginary friend created the Universe, and you believe the best evidence for this is that scientists don't know all the answers?
That's the stupidest position you've ever held.
It's like a child who says "I don't know where babies come from. I believe this is the best evidence for storks delivering children to new parents." Or "I don't know where my christmas presents come from. I believe this is the best evidence for Santa Claus."

This message is a reply to:
 Message 63 by ICANT, posted 07-31-2008 7:30 AM ICANT has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 67 by ICANT, posted 07-31-2008 9:58 PM Rahvin has replied

  
Rahvin
Member
Posts: 4046
Joined: 07-01-2005


Message 70 of 176 (477291)
07-31-2008 11:00 PM
Reply to: Message 67 by ICANT
07-31-2008 9:58 PM


Re: no sense whatsoever
Where in this thread have I mentioned anything about an invisible man in the sky doing anything?
OR
What I believe?
When you speak of a Creator, you are speaking about the judeo-Christian deity. Even if you were trying to be more general, you are still invoking a magical entity that poofs the universe into existence.
You have said that a Creator makes "just as much sense" as the scientific responses, but a Creator violates parsimony and invokes magic to fill in an unknown or make "common sense" out of something that is not at all understandable in normal terms.
Causality as we understand it ceases to have meaning when universal origins are concerns because causality requires time to be relevant. It's like asking for something's location without any spacial dimensions or directions! I wouldn't even attempt to comprehend that without a physics degree - it's not something that's going to make sense to a layman, becuase it's completely different from anything a human being can experience.
Your claim that "it makes just as much sense" violates parsimony, ICANT. You're invoking an additional entity without any evidence for the entity's existence. If the best evidence for a Creator is that science hasn't explained the existence of the Universe to your liking, then a Creator has no evidence whatsoever.

This message is a reply to:
 Message 67 by ICANT, posted 07-31-2008 9:58 PM ICANT has not replied

  
Rahvin
Member
Posts: 4046
Joined: 07-01-2005


Message 116 of 176 (477536)
08-04-2008 11:08 AM
Reply to: Message 114 by ICANT
08-04-2008 9:41 AM


Re: Existence
I'm really not going to go into cosmology with you, ICANT. Not again. You have shown a complete inability to comprehend even the most basic of concepts in that regard, and it's a dead end.
Fortunately, that's not actually the topic. So rather than rehash that tired old argument yet again, I'll just concentrate on the portion of your post relevant to the topic.
'If the universe had a beginning/origin, It had to be created. (brought into being/existence)
That is the best evidence for creation.
Fortunately, this doesn't depend on cosmology, because the flaw is your root assumption: all things that have a beginning have a creator.
Your basic assumption is completely bogus. A storm system has a beginning, and yet it's a natural phenomenon without a creator. Earthquakes have beginnings, but no creators. Stars have beginnings, but no creators. Galaxies have beginnings, but no creators.
Why then does the Universe, which also has a beginning, require a creator?
Do you mean a violation of thermodynamics by creating matter and energy requires a creator? Perhaps - I wouldn't know, since that's not possible in our Universe. Big bang cosmology certainly says nothing about matter and energy being created - all of the mass/energy of the Universe has existed for then entire time the Universe has existed. There is no point in time where it did not exist. And since we have no examples of spontaneous formation of mass/energy ex nihilo (barring the spontaneous formation of particle/antiparticle pairs in quantum physics that then immediately self-annihilate and cause no actual change in the mass/energy total of the Universe, which of course also do not seem to have a creator), it's logically unfounded to insist that even such a thing would require a creator.
You say that the fact that the Universe has a beginning is the "best evidence" for a creator, but it's not evidence for a creator at all. So if this is the best you have, you really don't have any evidence at all. It seems to me you're just manipulating layman dictionary definitions that were never intended to be binding from a scientific standpoint in an attempt to prove your assertion, and instead you're just repeating nonsense.

This message is a reply to:
 Message 114 by ICANT, posted 08-04-2008 9:41 AM ICANT has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 119 by ICANT, posted 08-04-2008 12:18 PM Rahvin has not replied

  
Rahvin
Member
Posts: 4046
Joined: 07-01-2005


Message 124 of 176 (477571)
08-04-2008 11:12 PM
Reply to: Message 123 by ICANT
08-04-2008 11:01 PM


Re: I Concede
"If the universe had a beginning/origin, It had to be created. (brought into being/existence)
That is the best evidence for creation."
"If an earthquake had a beginning/origin, it had to be created (brought into being/existence)
That is the best evidence for creation."
Not all things need to be created, ICANT. You havent in any way shown that they do. All you've done is repeat the same failure to comprehend the concept of time as it applies to the universe, and make a bare assertion with no evidence at all.

This message is a reply to:
 Message 123 by ICANT, posted 08-04-2008 11:01 PM ICANT has not replied

  
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