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Author Topic:   Why do people believe what they believe?
Lammy
Member
Posts: 3607
From: Chicago
Joined: 03-29-2004
Member Rating: 1.9


Message 1 of 51 (95853)
03-30-2004 3:15 AM


Ok, I am completely new to this forum. As I explained a little bit in the visitors' forum, I'm here to rid some of my frustration toward creationists from my system.

Below, I will post some of the arguments I've seen creationists try to make. Does anyone here know exactly why the creationists use these arguments, even though they show a complete lack of understanding of science?

(1) I've heard this from at least 5 people that I can remember. Unless they can see a protozoan turn into a pigeon through random mutation, to them evolution is nothing more than a false belief.

Ok, does anybody see what's wrong with this particular claim? Not only does it truly show just how ignorant these people are of the theory of evolution, it also show how insecure they are about their faith. Disproving the theory of evolution won't help promote their faith one bit.

(2) Creationism originated from ancient texts, or history books, that were written down by ancient people. Since witness accounts are always more reliable than speculation, the creationist's view is more accurate than the evolutionist's view.

Again, I see nothing but desperation in their argument. In order for this conclusion to be true and the argument to be valid, they need to assert the premise that what ancient people wrote down were completely accurate. Another premise they need to have is that ancient people were sane when they wrote these things down.

I can easily point out Greek mythology or Roman mythology and assert that we can also base on those ancient writings as true, because they were written down by the ancients. I seriously doubt that anyone these day believe in the Olympian Gods living on Mt. Olympus and sane at the same time.

(3) Some have claimed that they don't believe anything they can't see. They can't see evolution taking place, therefore, creationism is truth, not evolutionism.

First of all, the theory of evolution from the scientific point of view doesn't try to give any truth. It's there to attempt to explain some of the natural phenomena observed by people.

Secondly, these people are not supposed to believe in God, because they can't see God. If any of them claim to be able to see God, I will need to buy a bullet proof vest for myself.

(4) Believing in God is more pleasant than not believing in him, because it is better to go to heaven after death than to become nothing.

Although I admit that the idea of eternal bliss is an attractive idea, just because something sounds more pleasant doesn't mean it's true. To people 5 hundred years ago, it was more pleasant for them to think that the universe revolves around the Earth. They even burned people at the steak for believing otherwise. Again, this argument is completely rediculous.

(5) The big bang wasn't written in any history book, therefore, it never happened.

Again, false conclusion that came from false premises, if there were any. I'd like to see this person explain in his own word what the big bang theory says and how the string theory directly connects to the big bang theory.

(6) I've even heard some that claimed God spoke to them in person.

I am very very afraid of these people, because I don't know when "God" will tell them to go to the top of a building and start snipering people.

(7) Only weak minded people believe in the theory of evolution.

This argument was made by someone only yesterday. After a couple posts from this person, it became very apparent that she doesn't know a thing about the theory of evolution. In fact, she said that she'd read a book on evolution before and found it completely unbelievable. When asked what part of the book she had trouble believing, she said that she don't remember a thing about the book. And get this, she didn't even know how natural selection works.

(8) Some have claimed that evolution tend to have a goal, which leads to a higher power that controls it.

Coincidently, this guy had absolutely no idea what natural selection was, how mutation could benefit or condemn a species, and why it takes millions of years for evolution to work. This is also the same guy that wanted to see a protozoan evolve into a pigeon and made the assertion that evolution has a purpose.

After a few posts from this guy, it became very clear that he doesn't know squat about the scientific method or what it means to be scientific. He is some kind of leader for a youth group at his church. This is a very scary fact, as we have someone in a position to permanently affect today's youth and he is obviously as uneducated as the youths he teaches.

(9) Speciation is make-belief, because we've never observed it happening.

Ok, besides the millions of years worth of fossile records, we are seeing new species of plants springing up everyday. We've also recently discovered a brand new species of rat that only came into being this generation. In 1997, they found the polyploid rat in Argintina. This rat, which has twice as many number of chromosomes as other rat species, came about through some errors in mitosis or meiosis in the sex organs of some normal rats.

(10) Scientists will ultimately say "I don't know..." when asked enough about a subject. Therefore, scientists are really the ignorant ones, and the children of God are really the educated ones.

When I heard this argument, all I wanted to do was get up and leave, because I didn't want to argue with a person that was obviously willing to crap anything out of his butthole to support his belief.

First of all, no good scientist in his right mind would claim to know everything. That is the strongest part of science: to be able to acknowledge that current scientific knowledge doesn't have an answer for everything. That is why scientists continue to learn new things themselves.

Secondly, if you ask a physicist about the theory of gravity enough question, he will admit that he doesn't know. To come to the conclusion that evolution is false because a biologist can't answer certain question is like saying things will fall upward because the physicist can't answer everything about gravity (this example was put forth by someone I know).

I can go on and on and on with the rediculous arguments made by creationists. As my philosophy professor put it, these people are doing nothing but "blow hot air out of their buttholes" to make their argument.

Ok, anyone know why these people embarrass themselves like this? Can't they do some research ahead of time before they enter a debate? I am president of the student philosophy club at my school, and we get these arguments all the time by everyone from students to preachers. Since we almost have weekly debates about everything, I am amazed at how many times these arguments are brought up again and again, even after we shot them out of the water like 10 million times. Argggg!

[This message has been edited by Lam, 03-30-2004]


Replies to this message:
 Message 2 by Denesha, posted 03-30-2004 3:38 AM Lammy has not yet responded
 Message 3 by secondlaw, posted 03-30-2004 8:45 AM Lammy has not yet responded
 Message 5 by mike the wiz, posted 03-30-2004 9:24 AM Lammy has not yet responded
 Message 12 by MrHambre, posted 03-30-2004 10:10 AM Lammy has not yet responded

    
Denesha
Inactive Member


Message 2 of 51 (95856)
03-30-2004 3:38 AM
Reply to: Message 1 by Lammy
03-30-2004 3:15 AM


Good synthesis Lam,

Each YEC statement is easy to demolish with a minimum scientific knowledge.

I'll love to visit your spider site too.

Denesha


This message is a reply to:
 Message 1 by Lammy, posted 03-30-2004 3:15 AM Lammy has not yet responded

  
secondlaw
Inactive Member


Message 3 of 51 (95898)
03-30-2004 8:45 AM
Reply to: Message 1 by Lammy
03-30-2004 3:15 AM


there are a number of different reasons
Dear Lam:

I don't know that I can answer the complete context of your question, but I can give you a few reasons.

Before I begin, I would like to point out that I'm disappointed in some of the responses you received. People should have a better head on their shoulders than to shovel in emotional arguments.

For starters, I will state that I am not an adherent to the theory of evolution.

It comes down to a couple of things very simply:

1) I have a hard time reconciling life coming from non-life.
2) Laws of Thermodynamics: particularly the law of entropy.

The difficulty in all this comes from the fact that whether you believe in evolution or creation, it comes from a 'belief' structure. You have to have faith in order to follow either one. To me, it is a matter of preference and how you view the data.


This message is a reply to:
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Replies to this message:
 Message 4 by DC85, posted 03-30-2004 9:10 AM secondlaw has responded
 Message 6 by truthlover, posted 03-30-2004 9:38 AM secondlaw has responded

  
DC85
Member (Idle past 408 days)
Posts: 875
From: Richmond, Virginia USA
Joined: 05-06-2003


Message 4 of 51 (95909)
03-30-2004 9:10 AM
Reply to: Message 3 by secondlaw
03-30-2004 8:45 AM


Re: there are a number of different reasons
Not true... I don't "believe" in or have "faith" in Evolution Ijust think it is the most reasonable answer for the diversity of Species. If you add in the mounds of evidence it comes out much better then Christianity and other religions.
1) I have a hard time reconciling life coming from non-life.

Now just to let you know alot of Evolutionist also Believe in a god.
you don't need to believe life came from noting to support Evolution

[This message has been edited by DC85, 03-30-2004]


This message is a reply to:
 Message 3 by secondlaw, posted 03-30-2004 8:45 AM secondlaw has responded

Replies to this message:
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mike the wiz
Member
Posts: 4637
From: u.k
Joined: 05-24-2003


Message 5 of 51 (95913)
03-30-2004 9:24 AM
Reply to: Message 1 by Lammy
03-30-2004 3:15 AM


Welcome to the forum Lam.

First of all, I'm a little unsure this covers all creationists. Many creationists accept speciation and know that Natural Selection is fact. Infact, that means that we almost are evolutionists as evolutionists claim that there is no macro/micro and that lots of micro = macro. Therefore, I personally - though I am creationist, am almost evolutionist as I seem to agree with speciation and Natural Selection is, well - fact. Speciation however, I would say, was/has been shown is speciation within a kind. And at the moment I fail to see how Natural Selection - being a culling process of information, can = evolution. I don't think this way because I need to, and if creationism was disputed and recognised as false tomorrow I wouldn't lose a wink of sleep and an iota of faith. As a creationist I am ultimately in search of truth.

If what you are saying is that evolution because of Natural Selection = no G-d, then I can never become evolutionist and can never think evolution is truth because of my deep religiosity when dealing with Hashem.

Drop the "evolution = no G-d" and I would probably become an evo. However, for the moment I cannot see time as a contributing factor or a helper of evolution. I see time as an enemy of life which = degredation/death and age.

Hope you understand my full position is not one of bigotry, and maybe you can come to see that we are not all ignoramuses for pretence of scientific achievement.
God bless. Mike.

P.s. DC85, I think "secondlaw" confuses abiogenesis with evolution.

[This message has been edited by mike the wiz, 03-30-2004]


This message is a reply to:
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Replies to this message:
 Message 8 by secondlaw, posted 03-30-2004 9:53 AM mike the wiz has responded

  
truthlover
Member (Idle past 2136 days)
Posts: 1548
From: Selmer, TN
Joined: 02-12-2003


Message 6 of 51 (95914)
03-30-2004 9:38 AM
Reply to: Message 3 by secondlaw
03-30-2004 8:45 AM


Re: there are a number of different reasons
2) Laws of Thermodynamics: particularly the law of entropy.

Well, you're just going to madden Lam some more, since this is another argument that's been shot down hundreds of times.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 3 by secondlaw, posted 03-30-2004 8:45 AM secondlaw has responded

Replies to this message:
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secondlaw
Inactive Member


Message 7 of 51 (95916)
03-30-2004 9:48 AM
Reply to: Message 4 by DC85
03-30-2004 9:10 AM


Re: there are a number of different reasons
Not to play with semantics, but your last statement kind of sums up exactly what I am saying.

You mention that evolution just happens to make more sense to you then Christianity or other religions. To read between the lines, that is a statement showing how much of a role religion plays in evolution. Religion in definition is the holding of a certain group of beliefs. In a great deal of ways, evolution is just as much a religion as Christianity.

Now in regards to life from non-life, I don't see where you or Mike can think that I am confusing this matter. Evolution is the gradual movement upward (which is completely contrary to entropy). Evolution in its barest form is have a soup or mixture of different chemicals that somehow became amino acids, to proteins, to simple celled organisms, to plants, to animals... How is that not life from non-life. Just because chance played the great decider in all this does not erase that fact.

Furthermore, the mathematical impossibility of the said lineage of life is more proof that you need to have a belief structure to follow the tenets of evolution.


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secondlaw
Inactive Member


Message 8 of 51 (95919)
03-30-2004 9:53 AM
Reply to: Message 5 by mike the wiz
03-30-2004 9:24 AM


as a side note
I realize that this is a completely different idea to post here, but in response to your statement as far as God and evolution. It truly depends on what religious base you hold to. For a born-again Christian, then evolution (macro) is completely incompatible. That has more to do with salvation, but that is on a completely different thread.

As I mentioned to DC, I am not confused are far as evolution and abiogenesis. The two play a role together and I reference that in the response to him


This message is a reply to:
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Replies to this message:
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secondlaw
Inactive Member


Message 9 of 51 (95920)
03-30-2004 9:55 AM
Reply to: Message 6 by truthlover
03-30-2004 9:38 AM


I am sure
I imagine the first response is going to be the closed/open system argument. However, I still do not agree with the statement that that has been disproven in the past.

I do not have the time to review all things that have been stated before, but I can take up that measure in another post at another time.


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Replies to this message:
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mike the wiz
Member
Posts: 4637
From: u.k
Joined: 05-24-2003


Message 10 of 51 (95922)
03-30-2004 10:02 AM
Reply to: Message 8 by secondlaw
03-30-2004 9:53 AM


Well, I don't really disagree with you, I just thought that your first reason described abiogenesis, which evolutionists claim has nothing to do with evolution as evolution deals with how life changed and survived, and not how it started. That is what they claim anyway. Apparently, I think abiogenesis used to be a part of the Theory but is no longer, I can't be sure but I think that is what happened.
This message is a reply to:
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Replies to this message:
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Dr Jack
Member (Idle past 181 days)
Posts: 3507
From: Leicester, England
Joined: 07-14-2003


Message 11 of 51 (95924)
03-30-2004 10:10 AM
Reply to: Message 8 by secondlaw
03-30-2004 9:53 AM


Re: as a side note
For a born-again Christian, then evolution (macro) is completely incompatible.

This is also false. I know born-again Christians who have no problem with evolution.


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MrHambre
Member (Idle past 189 days)
Posts: 1494
From: Framingham, MA, USA
Joined: 06-23-2003


Message 12 of 51 (95925)
03-30-2004 10:10 AM
Reply to: Message 1 by Lammy
03-30-2004 3:15 AM


quote:
Didn't mean to insult you by exposing your ignorance of this, or your trust of "authorities" that have asserted dogmatically, religiously actually, that such experiments are impossible or never happened. Hey, it's Satan's job to make a fool of you. It's your job to decide whether you want to let that happen, or would rather face the pain of knowing that you believed something that someone evil wanted you to believe, and got you to believe.
Stephen ben Yeshua

The risk of not believing in evolution--whether it be true or not--is dying while feeling ridiculed and mocked by "educated people"... but the risk of not following Christ and believing that God made us all the way we are is dying and facing eternity in hell.
Servant2thecause (ellipsis in original)


Both of these quotes were made during the past week here at EvC. The insults and threats upon which these arguments are based draw a clear picture of the lack of empirical support for creationism, as well as its appeal for the psychologically unstable. The message is, as always, believe or else. Nevertheless, the proponents of creationism insist on calling their pet concept a scientific alternative to evolution by natural selection.

In his 1981 decision in McLean vs. Arkansas, Judge William R. Overton outlined four criteria that describe a scientific theory:

1. It is guided by natural laws, and is explanatory by references to natural laws.
2. Science is testable against the empirical world.
3. Its conclusions are tentative, not the final word.
4. It is falsifiable

How many of these criteria does creationism meet?

1) The basis of methodological naturalism (MN hereafter) is the universal application of natural law. The only ‘belief’ that need be accepted to engage in scientific inquiry is that cause and effect are consistent. If natural law cannot be universally applied, then we would expect scientific endeavor to be impractical at best, impossible at worst. The creationists want it both ways. Their methodology can propose miraculous intervention and the occasional nullification of natural law, but their theory is supposed to be accepted on scientific grounds. Creationism does not meet this criterion, since it ‘explains’ natural phenomena solely through the mechanism of miraculous intervention.

2) The mechanisms of evolution (DNA recombination and natural selection, principally) are testable, verifiable phenomena. Their existence does not depend on Darwin’s theory, so they can be used to support the theory of evolution by natural selection. Unfortunately for creationism, there is no way to test for the intervention or guidance of a purposeful creator. Consider this: the creation ex nihilo of organisms in a lab environment would only change our concept of heredity, but would give us no reason to assume that this phenomenon is the result of purposeful activity by a creator. The only support for any teleological ‘explanation’ is that certain phenomena are ‘too unlikely’ to have occurred without purpose or intent, and such assertions are of no use to scientific endeavor.

3) Evolution by Darwinian means is a perfect metaphor for responsible scientific procedure: the theory is subjected to round after round of empirical testing, and becomes stronger as a result. When new conditions prevail (due to new scientific discoveries or technology), the theory must meet these conditions or die. At no time do we assume that the theory can be exempted from further testing: every new discovery must either support the theory, or the theory must adapt to accommodate it. Since creationism has no consistent timelines and ‘explains’ all empirical data with the same skyward glance, new evidence would not have any effect on the theory. Creationism fails on this criterion as well, because it does not gain value through advances in other areas of scientific knowledge.

4) If evidence came to light that differential reproductive success had no effect on the frequency of alleles in a population, or that traits were not heritable, the theory of evolution would be falsified. If human fossils were found in all geological strata, the concept of common ancestry would be indefensible. Creationism, on the other hand, fails the final criterion: it makes no testable predictions, and therefore no conceivable empirical evidence can falsify it. Since the whims of a creator can’t be predicted, any data can support the argument that everything exists according to the creator’s intent. This is of no use to scientific endeavor, because there’s no way to distinguish between random phenomena and ones that the creator intended to appear random.

Beliefs about our purpose on Earth, or our destiny after we die, have to be held on faith. Scientific theories have to be grounded in empirical evidence. There are persuasive scientific reasons to accept the theory of evolution by natural selection. None of these reasons are applicable to creationism.

regards,
Esteban "Doubting" Hambre


This message is a reply to:
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NosyNed
Member
Posts: 8838
From: Canada
Joined: 04-04-2003


Message 13 of 51 (95930)
03-30-2004 10:35 AM
Reply to: Message 10 by mike the wiz
03-30-2004 10:02 AM


Apparently, I think abiogenesis used to be a part of the Theory but is no longer, I can't be sure but I think that is what happened.

Since Darwin, explicitly left it out of the Origin of Species it would have to have been added later. I'm not aware of that happening at any time.

The way they are connected is that all the sciences have some contact and little bits of overlap. For example, chemistry and physics. Some more "affinity" than others. Clearly a biologist would be interested in both how life evolves and how it started. However, this would only be at a general level. The specialists working in one area or another would almost certainly be focussed on one or the other.

Evolutionary theory concerns changes in the geneomes of populations of organizations. Since these populations are already living things there is no way that abiogenesis is an issue.

However, evolutionary theory might be of interest to those studying the origin of life. "Pre-biotic evolution" is one approach used to think about how life may have arisen. That is why the interest in self-replicating but not 'alive' molecules.

This is a somewhat closer connection than using genetic algorithms to design things. We don't think that aircraft engineering is part of the ToE though do we? (or do we? )


This message is a reply to:
 Message 10 by mike the wiz, posted 03-30-2004 10:02 AM mike the wiz has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 15 by mike the wiz, posted 03-30-2004 11:19 AM NosyNed has responded

  
NosyNed
Member
Posts: 8838
From: Canada
Joined: 04-04-2003


Message 14 of 51 (95931)
03-30-2004 10:41 AM
Reply to: Message 9 by secondlaw
03-30-2004 9:55 AM


Re: I am sure
Well you might note that some YEC organization suggest that the 2nd law argument is not a valid one to use.

http://www.answersingenesis.org/home/area/magazines/docs/v24n2_moving_forward.asp

There are some topics on it on EvCforum. There are also real physicists here to discuss it with. That argument is wrong.

If you want to move on beyond it you can get into information theory arguments if you want. You will find them, on occasion, a bit of heavy going.


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mike the wiz
Member
Posts: 4637
From: u.k
Joined: 05-24-2003


Message 15 of 51 (95941)
03-30-2004 11:19 AM
Reply to: Message 13 by NosyNed
03-30-2004 10:35 AM


Fair enough Ned, it was a bit of mis-information I digested in the past. I thought it used to be a part of the Theory but if I'm wrong I'm wrong. I guess I was right about the confusion of abiogenesis and evolution. I will admitt that when learning what I have learned about evolution (not much) that nobody mentioned abiogenesis as a part of the Theory, consider me refuted, I knew I could have been wrong about this so I was cautious with my words.
This message is a reply to:
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