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#31 2008-11-13 21:45:27

Re: Creation - the untold story

I'm sorry, does it say Philosophy Society on the door, i don't think so.

Creationism does not offer an argument, it does not offer alternatives, infact if you knew even the most basic methods of scientific argument it would be plain to you that creationism is not scientific in the slightest, it offers no arguments that can ever be proven or disproven, it predicts no facts that can be checked, it just simply is not scientific.  If its not scientific then it is philosophy.

however evolution IS a proven scientific theory, there are thousands upon thousands of piece of evidence that prove that evolution happens and is correct, which no other competing hypothesis does.

what you creationist delusionists often confuse yourself with is that evolution includes abiogenesis, or how that process started, which it doesn't, that is a separate argument, and one that lacks evidence to back up any one hypothesis (it was a very VERY long time ago so hard to find evidence)

but then, lack of proof is not proof of lacking, which you would know if you paid even vague attention in your discrete mathematics and logic courses.

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#32 2008-11-14 09:17:43

saya
From: Swansea

Re: Creation - the untold story

arthur wrote:

I'm sorry, does it say Philosophy Society on the door, i don't think so.

No, it says "General Chat" and "Less serious stuff belongs here" wink

EDIT: lol, apologies, I just got what you meant *d'oh* T_T


On the whole evolution thing, if the C of E can apologise to Darwin for being nobs about his theory, why can't anyone else see they've got the wrong end of the stick?

Last edited by saya (2008-11-14 09:20:31)

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#33 2008-11-14 09:39:09

Re: Creation - the untold story

shepherdnick wrote:

cmckenna wrote:

Again, please cite your sources for this. Wikipedia cites the oldest living tree at over 9000 years old.

LMAO, how old?

This Old

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#34 2008-11-14 10:28:32

foshjedi2004
From: High Wycombe

Re: Creation - the untold story

hehehe..  I've not seen that in a while big_smile


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#35 2008-11-19 13:19:53

cmckenna
From: Essex/London border
Website

Re: Creation - the untold story

Uber - it's been almost a week since your last missive, and still no sources. If things are as you believe them to be, surely it will be easy to come up with supporting evidence for your claims?


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#36 2008-11-19 21:26:16

pwb
From: Sketty
Website

Re: Creation - the untold story

arthur wrote:

however evolution IS a proven scientific theory, there are thousands upon thousands of piece of evidence that prove that evolution happens and is correct, which no other competing hypothesis does.

You don't "prove" a scientific theory. No amount of evidence can do that; but a single piece of evidence can in principle disprove a theory. It is scientific if it
1) fits the facts, and
2) makes predictions which are
3) falsifiable in principle, meaning that it is at least conceivable that new evidence might come to light which shows that the theory is wrong.

Evolution by natural selection easily passes (1). It doesn't say anything about how life came about in the first place (abiogenesis) so we needn't worry about that in this context. You can believe that God created the first organism and that's consistent with evolution by natural selection. The big bang similarly passes (1) since it explains expansion of the universe observed through the red shift of distant galaxies. It doesn't say anything about what came before the big bang (though as Stephen Hawking said, asking what came before the big bang is like asking what's north of the north pole). A literal reading of Genesis fits (1) because of the whole "fossils and the expansion of the universe are tests of faith" schtick.

I think the predictions made by creationism are of the form "whenever a new species appears, it's because God created it anew". I don't think predictions of this form count as predictions because what we mean by a prediction is that we can give it some parameters and ask what happens next, whereas this is instead an assertion about the nature of something that has already happened. So it fails (2). As for (3), even if such predictions are admissible, they are not falsifiable because we can neither observe God in the process of creating things, nor observe him in the process of not creating things (which is not the same as failing to observe him creating things). So creationism is not a scientific theory.

Evolution by natural selection predicts that, faced with adverse circumstances for which some individuals are better adapted than others, the latter will be more likely to survive to reproduce and in time the species as a whole will evolve to have this adaptation, eventually leading to a new species. So it passes (2). As far as I can see, it fails (3) because, while we fail to directly observe speciation by natural selection (i.e. we're not finding any examples), this isn't the same as directly observing speciation not happening, which is impossible because we can't directly observe anything not happening (i.e. it's actually inconceivable that we might find a counterexample). So evolution by natural selection is not scientific as a theory either.

(About science vs philosophy, I find this blog post enlightening. It puts mathematics, science, and the humanities and philosophy in one nice epistemology.)

saya wrote:

On the whole evolution thing, if the C of E can apologise to Darwin for being nobs about his theory, why can't anyone else see they've got the wrong end of the stick?

Well the C of E happens to be pretty theologically liberal. The only common point is the Nicene Creed which doesn't say a great deal, and certainly no specifics about the creation of the universe except "God made it". It's consistent with scientific theory to believe that God sparked off the Big Bang and allowed life in all its variety to evolve by the mechanism of natural selection.

Note that only the intentionally obtuse and, frankly, stupid reject all forms of evolution, as it has been observed, e.g. the evolution of the various dog breeds from wolves, which is evolution by artificial selection. Even natural selection of subspecies has been observed, such as strains of viruses and bacteria. The only controversial part is the origin of separate species by natural selection, for which there is so far no direct evidence (which would have to come in the form of either direct observation of speciation in the wild within a few hundred years of recorded history, which is very unlikely because natural selection is slow to act by human scales, or a series of fossils showing a smooth transition from one species to another, which hasn't been found so far, probably because it's actually rare for something to leave a fossil).

Edit: punbb doesn't have list markup? bah!

Last edited by pwb (2008-11-19 21:36:10)


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#37 2008-11-20 10:34:38

firefury
From: Swansea
Website

Re: Creation - the untold story

pwb wrote:

as Stephen Hawking said, asking what came before the big bang is like asking what's north of the north pole

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/sci/tech/7440217.stm

A literal reading of Genesis fits (1) because of the whole "fossils and the expansion of the universe are tests of faith" schtick.

Does it actually say anywhere in the bible that the apparent history of the universe was falsified by God to test faith?  I know that creationists frequently claimed it to be the case, but I was unaware that it actually said that in the bible.  (The moral implications of a God that intentionally misleads people are quite stunning, but I suppose no more so than a God that condemns people to hell for the audacity of not worshipping her).

-Evolution by natural selection-

it fails (3) because, while we fail to directly observe speciation by natural selection (i.e. we're not finding any examples), this isn't the same as directly observing speciation not happening, which is impossible because we can't directly observe anything not happening (i.e. it's actually inconceivable that we might find a counterexample). So evolution by natural selection is not scientific as a theory either.

Whilst we can't observe evolution over a long time scale, it is observed in the lab over short time scales when dealing with bacteria.  Clearly this doesn't *prove* that speciation was caused by natural selection (as you already pointed out, you can't *prove* a scientific theory), but it does add quite a lot of weight.

Also, the genetic make up of different species can be examined and to some extent their ancestral tree can be extrapolated.

Note that only the intentionally obtuse and, frankly, stupid reject all forms of evolution, as it has been observed, e.g. the evolution of the various dog breeds from wolves, which is evolution by artificial selection.

Most farmed livestock are also bred through artificial selection (often at the detriment of their genetic line - inbreeding is a common practice and whilst it results in certain desirable results for the "product" it also reduces genetic diversity, which in the long term is a Bad Thing).  In fact, artificial selection is pretty common when breeding pretty much any domesticated animal (pets, work animals, competition animals, etc)


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#38 2008-11-24 00:45:11

Re: Creation - the untold story

Just couldn't help but thinking of this clip: http://uk.youtube.com/watch?v=Ir1-A209boQ

Another thing about this series is how the race of cat people evolved believing in a religion centred around Listers laundry list (i think, its been a long time since I watched that episode) it just shows that religion can be based on pure nonsense and still be widely believed.

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#39 2008-11-24 11:28:39

Re: Creation - the untold story

Just came accross this Comic tehehe

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#40 2008-12-04 15:16:06

pwb
From: Sketty
Website

Re: Creation - the untold story

firefury wrote:

pwb wrote:

as Stephen Hawking said, asking what came before the big bang is like asking what's north of the north pole

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/sci/tech/7440217.stm

Interesting, I hadn't come across that before.

firefury wrote:

Does it actually say anywhere in the bible that the apparent history of the universe was falsified by God to test faith?  I know that creationists frequently claimed it to be the case, but I was unaware that it actually said that in the bible.

Bear in mind that the entire Bible was written long before it was possible to date fossils to before 5500 BC (approximately the oldest possible date that the Bible can be interpreted as suggesting as the date of the creation of the universe). The idea that apparently old fossils are a test of faith is just an interpretation by young-Earth creationists who can't deal with hard facts contradicting the literal word of their scripture and haven't adopted Occam's Razor as a fundamental meta-philosophical principle (in this case Occam's Razor favours a non-literal interpretation of Genesis over a deceitful God, IMO).

(The moral implications of a God that intentionally misleads people are quite stunning, but I suppose no more so than a God that condemns people to hell for the audacity of not worshipping her).

Then again the existence of hell isn't universally accepted either. Looking at Revelation 20 it seems nonbelievers simply die permanently rather than be tormented for eternity as the traditional belief seems to have it, though it's not clear what "hell" or "Hades" refers to (other translations have "the grave"). Anyway, this is totally OT.

Whilst we can't observe evolution over a long time scale, it is observed in the lab over short time scales when dealing with bacteria.  Clearly this doesn't *prove* that speciation was caused by natural selection (as you already pointed out, you can't *prove* a scientific theory), but it does add quite a lot of weight.

True, but my point is that it can't be disproved either, and falsifiability is the hallmark of a truly scientific theory. It's unfortunate since natural selection is an eminently sensible idea, much more plausible than (say) Lamarckian evolution (the only other theory I know of that doesn't invoke the supernatural).

Also, the genetic make up of different species can be examined and to some extent their ancestral tree can be extrapolated.

Drawing up such ancestral trees presupposes that species evolved from previous species. Using that as an argument in favour of evolution is circular reasoning. (I don't think it says anything about natural selection specifically - I think it's consistent with the idea that God took each old species and manually changed it slightly to produce each new one. It only refutes (or more accurately undermines) special creation.)


Freedom is secured not by the fulfilment of one's desires, but by the removal of desire.
— Epictetus

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#41 2008-12-06 12:31:34

Re: Creation - the untold story

pwb wrote:

firefury wrote:

(The moral implications of a God that intentionally misleads people are quite stunning, but I suppose no more so than a God that condemns people to hell for the audacity of not worshipping her).

Then again the existence of hell isn't universally accepted either. Looking at Revelation 20 it seems nonbelievers simply die permanently rather than be tormented for eternity as the traditional belief seems to have it, though it's not clear what "hell" or "Hades" refers to (other translations have "the grave"). Anyway, this is totally OT.

This is something i have heard (*) that there isnt any direct reference to heaven or hell at all. it supposedly goes like this: when you die your soul goes into suspension. then when armageddon is reached all those souls will be reincarnated and everybody will be "judged" (i think basically offered to go with gods will) those that wont, then die forever. and those that do submit live on in a now "paradise" world, supposedly paradise because its all done the way god wants it to be done. some paradise, eternal slavery to someone elses whims.

i think the old heaven and hell bit was a fabrication of the church to act as a kind of carrot and stick to get people to toe the line.

* NB i have given up trying to find references for anything i hear about bible quotes, as when you find the actual text being quoted its in such vague and flowery language that it could mean just about ANYTHING. Also my read on a passage usualy gives nothing like what was claimed for it.

Last edited by arthur (2008-12-06 12:32:42)

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#42 2008-12-06 13:32:28

foshjedi2004
From: High Wycombe

Re: Creation - the untold story

As Marx said

Religion is the Opiate of the Masses

If you ever try Opiates you'll find that they make you pretty mellow and relaxed hence why they're used in Medication as Pain Relievers


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#43 2008-12-13 14:32:49

grant
From: Swansea

Re: Creation - the untold story

Jesus is coming!

Get the tissues!

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#44 2009-01-02 02:57:28

pwb
From: Sketty
Website

Re: Creation - the untold story

foshjedi2004 wrote:

If you ever try Opiates you'll find that they make you pretty mellow and relaxed hence why they're used in Medication as Pain Relievers

Think you'll find cause and effect go the other way round here wink

arthur wrote:

stuff about what happens after we die according to the Bible

Pretty much how I interpret it. Though eternal "slavery" to God's whims is not really slavery (he actually wants us to be free, because he wants us to love him and you can't force that, hence free will and the existence of evil) and would be good anyway, cos God knows what's best (by definition according to people who think the ontological argument is sound).

Funny how you can engage in interesting theological arguments without necessarily believing in what you're talking about. smile


Freedom is secured not by the fulfilment of one's desires, but by the removal of desire.
— Epictetus

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#45 2009-01-19 16:22:43

Re: Creation - the untold story

This - http://www.swansea.ac.uk/news_centre/Wh … 135,en.php might be of interest to folks...

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