Saturday, June 27, 2009

Lisburn, Creation, Environment Minister (elect) Edwin Poots and dinosaurs

Local councillor, MLA and Minster of the Environment Edwin Poots stops at the Creation Roadshow in Lisburn's Bow Street

Lisburn is famous for a number of things: flax, linen ... and its council.

Over the years the council have hit the headlines, usually for fractious reasons. There seems to be a lack of practical cooperation, trust and humanity in some reports.

And while the proportion of people in Northern Ireland who believe in a literal seven day creation is actually greater than any other part of the UK, Lisburn Council - and in particular its unionist politicians - seem to be a particularly dense statistical anomaly that bucks the trend.

So it was no surprise to see a trailer parked up in Bow Street advertising the Creation Weekend being organised by the Lisburn and Hillsborough Free Presbyterian Churches in September in conjunction with Answer in Genesis (who for me leave more questions than answers).

Lisburn Creation Weekend roadshow - Answers in Genesis

Having picked up one of their leaflets (click on the images below to see larger versions) which explains the Giant's Causeway is "Evidence for Noah's Flood", I noticed Lisburn Councillor, MLA, and member of the NI Executive (formerly as Minster for Culture, Arts and Leisure and most recently as Minister (elect) of the Environment) wandering down the street. His theological views and their overlap with his ministerial role have been noted in the media. And he took the time this afternoon to have a good chat with the team manning the roadshow.

Answers in Genesis - Giants Causeway leafletAnswers in Genesis - Giants Causeway leaflet

Update - 6 July - Post title and content amended with word "(elect)" for clarification.

Update - 6 July at 6pm - I got an email this morning from the Department of the Environment Information Officer requesting that the “photo of the Minister with his daughter” be taken down”. It went on to state that “On no occasion was permission requested for this photo to be taken, let alone published on this site. It is well known that photos of children should not be taken and published without full parental consent.”

Note:

1. Edwin Poots was Minister (elect) of the Environment when this photograph was taken, so it is difficult to understand why the department’s press office have intervened. When asked - on the phone- the press officer suggested that since it was “a live site” and “had now been brought to their attention” and felt it was within their remit. I’m not aware that retrospective editing of a new minister’s history is the remit of a department press office?

2. The girl in the photograph - identified by the DOE press office as his daughter - was blurred out when the post first went up,: her hair, face and clothing pattern. Still looked like a child, but not a sharp image. But since she wasn’t the subject of the photo - but the photo looks bad cropped above her head - I obscured her identity (without being asked).

3. If you’re in a public place you can take a photograph without permission. There’s no law to stop you. If you’re in a school or a sports club or some other private area, the organisation may have restrictions. But on the street, anyone can take your photo. Pretty obvious that the photograph wasn’t in anyway pornographic so child protection concerns don’t really come into it.

4. After a long conversation, the press officer did eventually say that the photo was causing distress to the minister. Up until that point the discussion all centred around the press officer, what he was doing, what he would feel as a parent, and not directly mentioning the minister.

If Edwin Poots had fired up Outlook and sent an email saying he was distressed and normally kept his family out of the press, I’d have been very sympathetic. Much less sympathetic to the intervention of his department’s press office.

Since I’m off on holiday, I don’t need the hassle of defending a perfectly reasonable photograph, or waiting for Edwin Poots to get in touch directly with what seems to be a personal request. And since the press office eventually verbally state - though not in their original email - that the photo was causing distress to the minister, I’ve crudely cut the girl out of the picture, re-uploaded it, and will now go back to the beach.

In the meantime, I wonder if the DOE Press Office will think again about how they might be perceived to be bullying people to take action on historic online publications that pre-date their minister coming to office, and whether they are representing his departmental responsibilities or his personal wishes.

And I do hope that no distress was caused to Edwin Poots' family. Certainly none was intended.

78 comments:

Andrew Gribben said...

I've found AiG's presentations very cohesive and firmly founded in science, but as they say "interpreted through the bible." The only problem I've had is some literature can be very "american" if you know what I mean.

David said...

Interesting if disturbing post.

Leaving aside the bizarre need to proove that the flood happened (why?). How do bible literalists explain how all species of animals were carried on one boat and how they (and humans). Then got to the current population spread of the earth in less than 5000 years?

At that point do they abandon science and go back to magic?

Just wondering.

Stage 1 Diciplinary said...

Full on crazy as a bag of badgers

Andrew Gribben said...

I'm not going to answer the questions, instead there are plenty of qualified professional scientists that believe in a young earth and global flood.

I'd suggest you have a look at some of their literature, check out who the authors are and what sources they use, track down the original sources, usually online to ensure nothing was taken out of context, and then make opinions. It's only by looking at both sides of an argument that you can begin to understand things fully.

Andrew Gribben said...

This is just going to turn into an argument, the majority with their school and university anti-God science knowledge and the "nut job" Christians.

Remember "Millions of years" and "evolution" are theories. I doesn't matter how many people believe it, they are still theories, which continually are updated and contradicted by themselves, even without throwing creation into the mix.

Most people believe those things because schools, university and the media tell us the world is millions of years old, that humans evolved from apes, but unless you do your own research, and can present evidence, it is nothing more than a belief system, in the way that Christianity is seen to you.

Blind faith in science, is not science.

David said...

I completely agree that blind faith in science is not science but thats a lazy dismissal of the scientific method and of a huge body of knowledge, experience, evidence and understanding.

Evolution is a theory but its a theory that has stood up to a huge amount of corroborative testing and has evidence that backs it up.

Apart from anything else we can observe actual evolution by natural selection happening in species over reasonably short periods of time.

Im sorry but I dont just believe things because I was told them at school or becaus they are believed by lots of other people. I believe things that logic and evidence suggest are right.

David said...

Im going to share an analogy Ive used before because I enjoy repeating it and I think its useful. Humor me.

There is a cardboard box in front of us - its about 12 inches on each side and it is closed. Neither you or I know what is in the box and neither of us is allowed to look.

I say that I think there is a cake in the box.

You say that you think there is a magical tap dancing rabbit in the box.

They are both theories and we have no way to know which one is right ... but I still think mine is somehow more right than yours.

Andrew Gribben said...

The scientific method has been applied to creation and there is also a large body of evidence and understanding to support it.

I mean I believe in natural selection and evolution, but seeing something evolving locally over time within a species is a different thing to jumping the species gap. Any self respecting scientist will say they are two separate things, but their assumption and theory connects the two without proof. Interestingly enough it's actually natural selection and evolution that explain how so many animal could fit on the arc, as back then there weren't as many animals.

Personally I'd say there was cake too, I like cake. However if the cake had magically pulled it's self together over millions of years from individual ingredients without any outside influence, I'd say the dancing bunny is more likely :)

David said...

Youve just said that natural selection doesnt explain the jump between species but that it is the explanation of how there are more species now than at the time of the flood.

I have no problem accepting a theory that at some point large parts of the earth were under a great flood. But it wasn't 4500 years ago and one family and a boat didnt save all the animals and repopulate the earth in 4500 years. I'm sorry but that just doesn't make sense.

Creationist arguments always, always feel forced. They always have huge gaps and have odd bits and pieces patched into them to make them work.

And sometimes scientific theories feel like that too - and then I question them and refuse to accept them.

We are never going to agree clearly and Alan probably doesnt want his comments full of this. Take the last word if you would like it.

Alan in Belfast said...

Silly me. Forgot that if I posted something that mentioned creation, and walked away from my computer for ten minutes, a ton of comments would arrive!

So just before walking away again to make supper and leaving you to talk amongst yourselves, I'd like to point out that while I'm extremely happy with how evolution can tie in with Genesis, I've no inclination to mock anyone who holds an alternative belief.

Hopefully, the comment war that may ensue below will be similarly tolerant of different views - even if folk find it hard to understand why others (need to) hold different views to themselves!

John Self said...

"It's only by looking at both sides of an argument that you can begin to understand things fully."

Ho boy - the old 'teach the controversy' gambit. I like this take on that.

David said...

Alan, I certainly dont wish to mock. Im a 'live and let live', 'may not agree with you but defend your right to express your opinion' sort of wooly liberal.

BUT (oh you knew there was a but coming) If I thought my kid's science teacher was a creationist or held a strong view on the literal truth of the bible then I would be very concerned.

Concerned in the same way that I expect most christians would feel if an atheist (say me) was teaching their kids sunday school or a fat unhealthy person (again me) was teaching their kids PE.

Alan in Belfast said...

You pair know each other well enough to banter and debate! Maybe I could sell tickets :)

My comment was aimed at whoever joins the thread in a week's time and keeps it going.

(And if I'm honest, I was slightly mocking Edwin Poots between the lines but just not saying that I found it strange that we'd jumped from one easily stereotyped environment minister to another. Wish I'd stopped to ask him about it. Because it shouldn't affect his decision making on environmental stuff. It's not like he's education minister!)

Andrew Gribben said...

Just want to clear up my last point then I'm done Alan.

David, I meant natural selection within a species. It doesn't make new species, just variations within it. Cats are still cats, dogs, are still dogs, but now we have lots of different types.

Also the date range is more like 6000 - 7000 years ago for the flood.

Hopefully it's not your kids I'll be teaching science to i September, but if results are anything to go by their previous christian teacher didn't do any damage to their grades.

Anonymous said...

Young Earth Creationism is scientifically bankrupt. Don't be sucked in by all the leaflets, books and websites. They don't prove anything other than somebody wrote them. If you relief on websites and books to prove anything then alien abduction would be a reality and Elvis would still be alive. For Science the true test is via peer reviewed papers - that's how science is accepted. Despite what some might say, no peer reviewed papers for 6 day creation have been presented. No papers equals no science.

Goblin said...

I love their "proof" that potassium-argon dating is inaccurate relies on looking at the values given by eruptions that occurred within the last couple of hundred years, handily ignoring the fact the long half-life of 40 potassium of over 1200 million years means that it is pretty much useless until you get to periods of time that are over 100000 years.

It's a little like claiming that, based on observing a helium balloon for five minutes is evidence to suggest it will remain inflated for all time.

Anonymous said...

"Remember "Millions of years" and "evolution" are theories. I doesn't matter how many people believe it, they are still theories"

There is a great difference between the common understanding of theory (as opinion or guesswork) and its Scientific understanding (an overarching framework that describes a vast number of facts from various disciplines). Evolution is a Theory in the Scientific sense. To question it because "it is only a theory" would leave someone open to questioning Germ Theory, Atomic Theory and the Theory of Gravity, as "only theories". Show me someone who doubts Gravity because "its only a theory" and I'll give you a bun.

"The scientific method has been applied to creation and there is also a large body of evidence and understanding to support it."

I don't think there has. As stated before there aren't any original peer-reviewed papers proving Creationism (and sniping at other people's work doesn't count. Trying to find fault in Evolution doesn't automatically prove Creationism - it's a false dichotomy)

"I mean I believe in natural selection and evolution, but seeing something evolving locally over time within a species is a different thing to jumping the species gap"
"Interestingly enough it's actually natural selection and evolution that explain how so many animal could fit on the arc, as back then there weren't as many animals."

First you say that Natural Selection (which you accept) but not one that creates new species, and then, in the same paragraph, you say that NS gives credence to the Ark??!?

If there were fewer animals "back then" (I'm not sure where you get that 'fact' from) then the 5+ million species came from where? You can't say NS only works within a species, and then use the same NS to explain how a handful of animals became the 5+ million species we have today (and 5+m is a VERY conservative estimate).

"I meant natural selection within a species. It doesn't make new species, just variations within it. Cats are still cats, dogs, are still dogs, but now we have lots of different types."

I'm confused by this. Variations being what exactly? Size? Hairiness? What do you mean?

There are 350 different species of dog, ranging from the Chihahua to the Great Dane; from Pugs to Collies etc. You're saying, if I've picked it up correctly, that Natural Selection ONLY provides variations within Great Danes?! It doesn't provide the vehicle to allow for new species?!

So Noah brought all 350 species of dog onto the Ark, because NS couldn't create any new species from the 'kind' dog. Therefore Noag brought EVERY SINGLE species onto the Ark. But you said there were fewer animals back then. There can't have been! There must have been AT LEAST the same number as exist today (in fact, there must have been more as so many, dinosaurs for example, are no longer living).

If there is evidence for Creationism then it should be published in the appropriate Scientific Journal. Truth is truth. If it is Scientifically provable, as stated by some, then the evidence will be there for all to see. If nothing is published, wouldn't that indicate a complete lack of evidence?!

It's not about disproving, or proving God. It's about the truth. And the evidence points to what is true. The evidence points to Evolution.

Andrew Gribben said...

Nope you picked it up wrong or else I didn't explain it completely, natural selections accounts for variations within a species ie dog, great dane is not a species, but a variation of dog, that's what I'm meaning. I don't know how many variations of dogs there were back then, but it would be less than now and that goes for other animals too.

My point at the beginning was that you go out and have a look at some of the actual scientific creation literature, instead of listening to some guy commenting on a blog that isn't an authority.

I've done this before, I leave a comma or word out and everyone jumps on it "ha ha, the creationist made a mistake, how can you be right about anything else?" You want facts, spend some time on answersingenesis.org ask them your questions. I started out believing everything I was taught in school, but it's through my own research, not church teaching, that I believe what I do.

Goblin said...

Andrew, we have currently identified one and a quarter million species of animal (if you include all the various insects and other invertebrates.

Even if you *only* want to include mammals there are five and half thousand species. That is, groups of organisms incapable of interbreeding.

How big was this boat and how much time did the one family have to gather them together?

David said...

Andrew I want to make a oupe of clarifications.

Firstly I clearly have no problem with Christians teaching my children, please dont equate christianity with creationism / bible literalism.

When I say Im concerned it isnt about their grades. Again I could easily teach an RE class and get them top grades and I would assume that school curriculums are so controlled that wouldnt be a problem.

Also Im not taking about getting up a mob with pitchforks to drive the teacher out of the school.

I wouldnt want that teacher to be passing on their religious beliefs as part of their science lesson though and Im concerned that in that context they would find it hard not to. Again just as I might find it hard not to throw in the odd raised eyebrow or flip remark while teaching RE.

AM said...

Prefer the Flying Spaghetti Monster theory of creation myself

Stephen Strawbridge said...

Andrew, your last paragraph has left me speechless.....

And I quote, "You want facts, spend some time on answersingenesis.org".

Really? Do you honestly believe that Ken Ham's website is the best site to get facts?

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ken_Ham

The weight of evidence that the age of the earth is much much greater than 6000 years old is tremendous. No serious scientist alive today believes otherwise.

I am very concerned that our Environment Minister does not believe this evidence. What is the hope of him believing the evidence for other matters such as global warming?

Anonymous said...

Personally I can see why there is a debate here; firstly about belief, how can I expect someone to comprehend the work of God when no person on the world could ever fully comprehend the power and workings of God. For instance if u believed in God then u would except that it would b possible for anything to happen, even put all species on a boat. Even a true believer cud never comprehend how, it all comes back to belief.

Secondly it's about choice, some people will chose to ignore reason, ie, u may not believe in creation, the same way I don't believe the big bang, the big bang leaves to much to chance and could haves and question. But it's ur choice to believe that a mysterious gas cloud created u after it somehow appeared and somehow blew up if that is the argument for evolution.

I believe in creation, but u know the problem is not about creation it's about a belief in god and if you don't have it then u can't comprehend it. Would b a mistake to deny there is a God, even a scientist, fairly well known by the name of Albert Einstein cudnt deny that. Not sure of the exact quote but I'm sure I cud fond it if need be.

AM said...

Einstein did not believe in a personal interventionist god. He used the term god to describe the universe and its sheer vastness.

Anonymous said...

But there isn't actual scientific creation literature. There are websites and pamphlets, but no peer-reviewed papers - the ones real scientists publish.

I have a friend who has access to all the biological papers published in America (or possibly wider). He cannot find anything on Creationism, that is, there doesn't seem to be anything being put forward as Science. Websites don't count. Book for the public don't count. Creation weekends don't count. Proper published Science does.

If you had a friend who was accused of something and you claimed to have evidence that if presented would exonerate him, but didn't bring that evidence forward, but instead continued to insist that you had plenty of evidence, what would people think? Anything can claim anything to be true, but it's what you bring to the table that counts. Creationists have brought nothing, and instead spend their time trying to pick holes in other people's work. How lazy and unethical is that!

(I'm not the previous Anon, BTW)

Alan in Belfast said...

AM - There's a wicked part of me that hopes you'll expand on the Flying Spaghetti Monster theory at some point - just to add another dimension to the conversation!

Goblin said...

Alan, Wikipedia has a good overview of Pastafarianism and The Flying Spaghetti Monster: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Flying_Spaghetti_Monster

Alan in Belfast said...

Thanks Goblin. I like the way that the Pastafarians "reject dogma and formalism"!

Stuart Gibson said...

It's also important to note how the decline of pirates over the last several hundred years shows clear correlation with the increase in global warming.

Also, hopefully Google will manage to display my name properly now :)

Kyle Graham said...

David: “How do bible literalists explain how all species of animals were carried on one boat and how they (and humans). Then got to the current population spread of the earth in less than 5000 years?”

Ok you can look at this article which I’ll admit doesn’t go into all the technical details itself but it gives the conclusion reached and its sources at least (Although I’ll understand if you choose not to buy the book that is referenced, therefore you will probably find this link redundant)

http://www.answersingenesis.org/articles/nab/really-a-flood-and-ark

David: “Apart from anything else we can observe actual evolution by natural selection happening in species over reasonably short periods of time.”

Scientists clearly define between natural selection and Darwin evolution. Natural selection basically is based on survival of the fittest where the best characteristics for their environment survive whilst the less capable animals die off. E.g. the giraffes with the longest necks survive because they can reach the food which is higher and so they survive and go on to breed giraffes with longer necks. (Yes, I know it is a basic example). This in no way shows Darwin evolution, which requires for mass mutations where cells can develop DNA which contains totally new and original information. E.g. sea creatures suddenly mutating to possess the DNA to grow leg structures, lungs, etc. I readily admit that my examples may not be perfect but there is certainly a clear difference between natural selection and Darwin evolution which is recognised even by secular evolutionary scientists.

David: “If I thought my kid's science teacher was a creationist or held a strong view on the literal truth of the bible then I would be very concerned.”

Ok, I totally understand where you are coming from, but surely you can see the other side of the coin. I as a believer in a young earth and seven day creation believe it to be a scientific basis for the origin of our universe and therefore am concerned at the prospect of a believer in evolution teaching children the theory of evolution as fact. I’m not saying that it shouldn’t be taught, but it should be taught for what it is, which is a theory.

Anon: “For Science the true test is via peer reviewed papers - that's how science is accepted. Despite what some might say, no peer reviewed papers for 6 day creation have been presented. No papers equals no science.”

Ok, maybe this doesn’t fit what you are looking for, and I’m not even sure of the content, but I spent about 5 minutes online and found this site:

http://www.answersingenesis.org/arj/about

It seems to be a collection of peer-assessed papers which deal with creationism.

Stephen Strawbridge: “The weight of evidence that the age of the earth is much much greater than 6000 years old is tremendous. No serious scientist alive today believes otherwise.”

The evidence is not overwhelming on its own, only when coupled with many, many assumptions. Creationist scientists use the same evidence, interpret the evidence differently based on the bible and also come up with a viable scientific solution. These people dedicate their lives to science. They are certainly serious.

Finally, there seems to be some confusion over the use of the term “species”. I think when Andrew used the term “species”; he is talking of animal families and not of “species” as the term is used in science generally. (Feel free to correct me Andrew) If I am right, then reread his arguments which make total sense. So for example Noah may have only required one set of dogs, which after the flood, through natural selection, have diversified into the many dog species that we see today. Similarly, there may have only been one or two sets of animals for the cat family which have diversified over time into lions, tigers, the many breeds of domestic cats, etc.

Genesis 1: "In the beginning God..."

Noah Sarc said...

I have never had any problem in believing in a creator God, whilst at the same time accepting all scientific explanations of evolution. If you believe in God, surely you must believe that He also created Scientists? Even though admittedly, some of them do their best to prove otherwise.

The Biblical creation story is just that, a story told in simpler times to explain what could not be understood. I am certain that a flood of biblical proportions happened at some time in history, but one boat saved all the worlds species? Come on children, time to grow up. Time to put away childish things......

Andrew Gribben said...

I don't think belief in creation is childish, but essential to the Christian faith and the foundation on which it is built, if you can't accept it then it's extremely hard to accept the rest of the Bible.

Possibly that's the problem, with so many nominal Christians not really caring about creation, believing what they are taught i school must be right, or worse listening to ill-informed clergy talking on creation. Nearly every Christian you speak to will have a different view, because of lack of proper teaching, in and out of the church. Too many of us, and I'll hold my hand up here, rush into heated argument without proper preparation, because unlike 14+ years of secular education, for the most part we all have a lack of knowledge on creation issues, so it's important to research and find out why we believe what we do.

Kyle has taken time to pull up some links, regardless of how you feel about Answers in Genesis, or Ken Ham himself (I know they are far from perfect) unless you actually follow the links, read the articles, check the references, you put in some actual scientific investigation into the proofs they provide, then you are no better than us and are acting purely on belief.

Mark said...

"If you believe in God, surely you must believe that He also created Scientists? Even though admittedly, some of them do their best to prove otherwise."

Seems to me to be a very weak point to make, correct me if I'm wrong but are you implying that if there is a God then why would he create scientists, especially if some of them try to disprove him.
It's because although God is the creator etc...there is a thing called free will, hence the reason why the world we live in today is so corrupt. Mankind has the freedom of choice.
Granted I'm sure it would b a lot easier for many Christians to teach about God and the work of Christ on the cross if scientists that didn't believe didn't exist, but that is not the nature or way God has intended.
The story may b simple, the plan of God is quite simple, the bible may b complex but the message is clear, we know of what has happened in the past, the free offer of salvation through Christ, and what is yet to come if you check revelation.
So it needs to b simple, but your eyes r closed, do you know that every time you deny God u have missed a chance to get rite with him, and God does not forget, neither will he accept excuses, when your time comes and judgment is at hand God will show you all the times you have denied him. There will b no second chance, it's as simple as you have either put your faith in Christs work on the cross or you didn't, and if you have then an enternity of happyness awaits but if you havnt, well it's not gonna b pleasant or enjoyable where your going.

Worst still, could you imagine denying God till the day you die and then finding out that God exists, finding out all you had once denied to b simple childish things were actually there to save you but you cudnt see it and now you are gonna suffer for it knowing that you had heard the truth in your life but could not accept and denied God.

I really hope for all those who have written here against Gods teachings do see what we r trying to say, cos you know we don't hate scientists or all those who don't believe, we are just wanting to share the truth that r eyes have been opened to so that you can see it aswell. God is a great God, he has a plan for eveyone but it's your decision if you want to chose Gods plan. I hope you make the rite decision.
I'm sure many of you will have a point to raise about what I have said, but do me one favor, do not immediatly respond in hate or anger, but take time to calculate what I have said, try and realise that I am trying to help, I have no hidden agenda or hate in what I have said, I simply want to clarify my point I do not wish to argue. Christians do not see non Christians as the enemy, or else we would keep what we know to ourselves and not share it, it is my hope that you will discover God for yourself. Romans 3 verse 23 and John 3 verse 16 and Romans 6 verse 23. Check them out, think about them and make your decision. Even if you have read them before try reading them again in that order and think about what they r saying and what you have to lose or gain.

Kyle Graham said...

Noah Sarc: “I have never had any problem in believing in a creator God, whilst at the same time accepting all scientific explanations of evolution.”

Ok, allow me to present you with a few problems.

1. If evolution is true, where did sin com from originally?
2. If evolution is true, why was there so much death in animals before humans even existed to sin and cause corruption in the world?
3. If evolution is true, then at which point does the Bible start to be truth and not fairy tale?
4. If evolution is true, at which point in the evolutionary line did an animal suddenly become the image of God (i.e.man)?
5. If evolution is true, the following passages are lies, because they give literal genealogies tracing back to Adam, Chronicles 1, Luke 3,
6. If evolution is true, then Deuteronomy 32:8, Job 31:33, Romans 5:14, 1 Corinthians 15:22, 1 Corinthians 15:45, 1 Timothy 2:13-15, and Jude 1:14 are not the word of God because they all give mention to a literal Adam often using the fact of the literal Adams life and actions as the foundation to theology that Christianity clings to today .

Noah Sarc: “The Biblical creation story is just that, a story told in simpler times to explain what could not be understood.” ... “Come on children, time to grow up. Time to put away childish things......”

If you believe this, then you are saying that Jesus, the all powerful, all knowing, Son of God, by whom all things were made (John 1:1-3), clung to childish things and rejected the truth. Many of Jesus teachings were grounded in a literal Genesis. For example, Mark 10:6 where Jesus teaching on marriage is based on the creation “in the beginning” when mankind was made male and female. He says “in the beginning”, not “in the beginning of mankind” but “in the beginning of Creation”. Therefore he believed that mankind was made male and female at the beginning of creation, not 6 billion years later.

I can give a ten references for Noah outside of Genesis as well if you want them, including 3 New Testament ones.

Stuart Gibson said...

Presumably then, the story of Adam and Eve is, in your opinion, literally true.

God told them not to eat of the forbidden fruit, they did so anyway, suddenly knew good and evil and were cast out of Eden for not doing what they were told?

What sort of all loving creator punishes his creation for doing something wrong without giving them the ability to understand right and wrong before they do it? It's the metaphorical equivalent of leaving a concrete filled football in a park and laughing when someone tries to kick it.

Stuart Gibson said...

Actually, while we're being Bible literalists here, I suggest you stop following god.

Presumably, you will now be putting me to death, as commanded?

Anonymous said...

I think you should study the Bible if you want to actually use it against someone, otherwise you look like a fool.

Ask any Hebrew scholar or Jew and they will tell you the law is split into the civil and ceremonial, some laws apply to the nation of Israel and others to the Gentiles. Misquoted and out-of-context verses crop up so much on the internet in arguments it's really quite tiresome. You've about as much right and credibility to reference the Bible as you give us regarding science.

Anonymous said...

Oh and while we are on it, the fruit in the garden of eden wasn't the problem, it was the wilful act of disobeying God and the result being the guilt caused by sin.

God could have said to do or don't do something else, if they have disobeyed that it would have had the same affect. The story of the first sin has been so romanticised and clouded it barely resembles what is in the Bible

Stuart Gibson said...

Deuteronomy:

13:4 Ye shall walk after the LORD your God, and fear him, and keep his commandments, and obey his voice, and ye shall serve him, and cleave unto him.
13:5 And that prophet, or that dreamer of dreams, shall be put to death; because he hath spoken to turn you away from the LORD your God

Please explain to those of us without such innate knowledge how 13:4 applies to everyone but 13:5 doesn't. I'm obviously missing the subtlety that distinguishes these two verses.

As for the forbidden fruit, the exact point I was making was that they were punished for disobeying god WITHOUT knowing that it was right or wrong. All knowing god punished them for doing something they had no way of knowing not to do.

Anonymous said...

They did know, God told them not to, it's that simple.

I'm not a scholar, and apologise as I realise I've come across as arrogant. But just at a (very quick) quick glance going as far back as chapter 10 and to at least chapter 17, it is all part of the instuctions to the nation of Israel and includes laws for Levities and unclean food. Chapters are not present in the original text and therefore not completely (if at all) reliable to use to divide the narrative.

Stuart Gibson said...

God told them not to, but didn't equip them with the knowledge to know that doing or not doing what god told them was right or wrong.

Let's try and get back on topic.

Dinosaurs. What is the explanation for those and why would something so, err, obvious, not be mentioned anywhere in the Bible. I'm pretty sure someone may have mentioned them.

How would Noah manage to go and round up animals that are peculiar to specific parts of the earth? Did he pop over to Australia to save the koalas and kangaroos, before nipping to the arctic circle for the polar bears and then swing back through the antarctic circle for the penguins? Unless you're claiming that, after the flood, the kangaroos got board of living in the middle east and all went for a swim? Or are you going to claim that around the time of the flood was also the time of Pangea and the plate tectonics all happened in a few hundred years and separated all the continents at a rate of several dozen miles per year?

Andrew Gribben said...

I said I was done, but since I get an email for each comment I really can't help getting stuck back in, sorry Alan, I know I said I wouldn't.

Stuart, there are dinosaurs described in a few places in the Bible twice in Job(41 or 42 I think), although that word isn't used as it's quite a modern word, but you'll find Behemoth and Leviathan in there, which are not and elephant and crocodile as critics say, just look a that description, tail like a cedar tree, eats grass like an ox, for me it brings to mind the brachiosaurs from Jurassic Park.

As for the arc it says God brought the animals to Noah to board the arc, afterwards, personally I don't know I haven't looked into that, someone else might have an answer, but I do seem to remember a secular theory about ice cover during the ice age (which christians believe happened after the flood) connecting continents, so that could be one way?

I know nothing about plate tectonics :)

Alan in Belfast said...

> Dinosaurs. What is the explanation for those and why would something so, err, obvious, not be mentioned anywhere in the Bible. I'm pretty sure someone may have mentioned them.

[troll alert] Giraffe's aren't mentioned either. And they're way silly looking. [\troll alert]

Andrew Gribben said...

I believe you're allowed to troll when it's your blog :) How are the stats looking today?

Alan in Belfast said...

Direct page views up about a third on average - four out of the last five posts still getting hits ... but a good oneliner on twitter tempts people to look!

But then you should never check your stats!

Stuart - On a serious note, I hope no one believes that because something's not mentioned in the Bible means that it doesn't exist?

Stuart Gibson said...

The brachiosaur weighed between 20 and 90 tons and wasn't, by a long shot, the largest of the sauropods, yet Job 40 says they lie in the reeds and are concealed by the lotus trees and poplars.

These creatures were up to 200' long, surely that would have been worthy more than a passing mention?

As for the ice age *after* the flood? You're seriously claiming not only did the last glacial period provide potential transport across the whole planet (it didn't), but that no-one in the bible thought to mention just how cold it had suddenly got and how the sandals really weren't working out these days?

Alternatively, since god brought the animals to Noah, a mystical hand *literally* reached down from the sky and deposited penguins in the middle east who, presumably, wandered back home afterwards?

Andrew Gribben said...

15 ¶Behold now behemoth, which I made with thee; he eateth grass as an ox.
16 Lo now, his strength is in his loins, and his force is in the navel of his belly.
17 He moveth his tail like a cedar: the sinews of his stones are wrapped together.
18 His bones are as strong pieces of brass; his bones are like bars of iron.
19 He is the chief of the ways of God: he that made him can make his sword to approach unto him.
20 Surely the mountains bring him forth food, where all the beasts of the field play.
21 He lieth under the shady trees, in the covert of the reed, and fens.
22 The shady trees cover him with their shadow; the willows of the brook compass him about.
23 Behold, he drinketh up a river, and hasteth not: he trusteth that he can draw up Jordan into his mouth.
24 He taketh it with his eyes: his nose pierceth through snares.

I dunno still sounds big to be.

After the flood, and ice age, I don't know, guess I'm gonna have to take the advice above and do some research, I'll get back to you :)

Stuart Gibson said...

Strange, taken completely out of context it sounds a lot more like hippos to me, especially the bit about lying around in the reeds thing and the drinking up the Jordan (ever seen a hippo yawn?)

Would be pretty much the right geographical area too.

Andrew Gribben said...

Tail's a bit too small on a hippo foe that description tho.

Stuart Gibson said...

You could argue that, by tail, there was a general mistake with the penis, given that a hippo penis is about four feet long (NSFW Picture: http://www.break.com/pictures/hippo-penis420336.html), especially as it is mentioned in the same sentence as its stones where they are referenced as being wrapped together (a hippo pretty much keeps its testicles internally).

Did anyone get back to me on the "fitting the animals in the ark" thing?

We are given pretty precise measurements - 450' long, 75' wide and 45' high. Assuming no internal construction at all, that gives us 1518750 cubic feet of space. Now, we need to take two of all the unclean animals, of which we are give the names of 34, so that's 68 unclean animals, and we also need to take 7 of the clean animals.

Let's keep it simple and take the 5400 mammalian species we have identified and, since they are specifically mentioned, the 9900 odd species of birds.

So, we're taking 37800 mammals (give or take) and 69300 birds. I'll round it all down by several thousand and we'll take a rough 100000 animals on the ark. That's, roughly, 15 cubic feet per animal, or a space roughly 2.5*2.5*2.5 feet per animal (assuming you can stack them and don't need any food or inconvenient things like that.

Of course, birds aren't going to need that whole space, we could probably battery farm those, but you're going to need an awful lot of space for one of the Brachiosaurs (sorry, Bohemoths) we're going to need.

Sure is going to be a snug fit.

Andrew Gribben said...

We're not going to agree on the Behemoth but we can both see were each other are coming from, so lets move on to the ark.

You've got the same measurements as me (you certainly know your stuff Stuart) but according to J. Woodmorappe, Noah's ark: a feasibility study, 2003 suggests that at most "16000 animals were all that were needed to preserve the created biological families". It also makes sense that he t
would have taken the baby behemoths cos they are far more compact.

On the ice age stuff P. Savolaintean et al, proceedings of the national sciences of the USA 101:12387-12390 talks of the migration of what has become the Australian dingo from a genetic ancestor in South east Asia. Also the concept of land bridges which I'm told I was taught in school also help explain animal and human migration. The exisitng land bridge in Russia connects the major continents and allows for migratory paths as shown here.
http://files.posterous.com/andrewgribben/FN4zNzMCMrGmupvaiX7LzqBGqpbSgJdo3zk0X783CEZ0oWKb43NIkuAAO8zF/photo.jpg?AWSAccessKeyId=1C9REJR1EMRZ83Q7QRG2&Expires=1246317012&Signature=R6Fl%2B1b6%2FzQBzAb2FeM2H4jSH58%3D


The encyclopedia britannica talks of how after the ice age not all species could take hold in their new
environments, an arguement Christians also use to explain the uniqueness of animals in some areas
of the world. (the Dodo is a good example in recent (ish) times. stupid bird, survived until we arrived and introduced rats.)

Btw that info on land bridges and recolonisation is taken from a Edexel biology text book.

David said...

Do you know what? I dont think anyone here is going to suddenly go : "Hey, you are right, Ive been a fool all this time it all seems so clear to me now".

I wish that the creationists here could see how tortured and convoluted their justifications are compared to the elegance and simplicity of the evolutionary principle. I think I would actually be happier if you just said : "Look its supernatural OK, we believe in a god who can do anything he likes so the science really is irrelevant'.

I will continue to read the creationists explanations but none so far has come close to being convincing to me.

I ask all the creationists here to do me a favour. Go and read about the beliefs and explanations of the Church of Scientology or the Unification Church (Moonies) Bahá'í
or any one of a dozen or more widely practiced, more accepted religions (including the massive ones like Hinduism, Islam, Budhism etc.)

If nothing else then I hope that as you read those texts you will experience exactly the same feelings of scepticism and rational rejection that I feel when I read yours.

I wish I could remember exactly how it was put but I once heard someone say that as an Atheist I have a huge amount in common with a fundamentalist christian. We could talk all day about why we couldnt possibly believe in any of the other religions in the world. The only difference is that I apply the same rules to yours.

Stuart Gibson said...

But 16000 animals at seven apiece is just over 2000 species. We have identified over 5000 mammals alone (that is, species that cannot interbreed) so the only possible explanation would be evolution of different species which you've already denied (though are happy to accept in species evolution, even though the two things are identical), in an incredibly short timescale.

I don't know enough about historical geography to make a convincing case right now, but my understanding about the last glacial maximum (which receded 20000 years ago, we're still technically in an ice age) didn't reach much further south than northern europe and certainly didn't connect Australia to anywhere near Turkey. Previous ice ages did cover a lot more land in glacial ice, but were 2.5-3.5 million years ago when the continents were all joined as the land mass Pangea.

David said...

Oh and one final, final point:

I want a baby Behemoth. They sound cute.

Stuart Gibson said...

“I contend that we are both atheists. I just believe in one fewer god than you do. When you understand why you dismiss all the other possible gods, you will understand why I dismiss yours.” - Stephen Roberts

Was that it, David?

The way I see it, science looks at the evidence and draws conclusions, religion draws conclusions and looks for evidence.

Anonymous said...

I'm no expert but is there a possibility that maybe the animals were young, ie, not fully grown, dosnt matter anyways, cos altho Noah built the ark, it was God who controlled what animals came and I'm sure with all the power he has readily available he was able to sort out how they all fitted.

Stuart Gibson said...

So why did he bother with Noah?

Anonymous said...

"there is certainly a clear difference between natural selection and Darwin evolution which is recognised even by secular evolutionary scientists."

Title of Darwin's 1859 book:
'On the Orign of Species By Means of Natural Selection'

"I as a believer in a young earth and seven day creation believe it to be a scientific basis for the origin of our universe"

That'll be a six day creation - God rested on the seventh day

"I’m not saying that it shouldn’t be taught, but it should be taught for what it is, which is a theory."

Just like Germ Theory, Atomic Theory, and the Theory of Gravity are only theories.

I think you misunderstand the difference between the common understanding of theory (ie "I have a theory as to how Michael Jackson really died") which is speculation, and Theory in the Scientific sense which is an umbrella for a collection of facts form a variety of sources.

"http://www.answersingenesis.org/arj/about"

The Answers In Genesis 'peer-reviewed' journal is very much an in-house publication -you need to be a Creationist to contribute to it. Why not look at http://rationalwiki.com/wiki/Answers_Research_Journal for an assessment of the value of this "Journal"

"The evidence is not overwhelming on its own, only when coupled with many, many assumptions. Creationist scientists use the same evidence, interpret the evidence differently based on the bible and also come up with a viable scientific solution"

No, they really don't. They ignore any evidence that doesn't match their presuppositions. That's not Science.

Take the statement on AiGs website:
"By definition, no apparent, perceived, or claimed evidence in any field, including history and chronology, can be valid if it contradicts the Scriptural record."

That's not Science. That says, 'we are starting with a conclusion, and no amount of factual evidence will ever change that conclusion'.

Anonymous said...

Oh yes, Mr Darwin who's qualification was...Theology, not Biology and even secular science has moved on since then. Your "science" starts with the conclusion that there is no God, the earth formed over billions of years etc, that's no different from us having a starting point. I also don't get why you think evolution within a family group is the same as one family group becoming another, one has been proven and actually explains the animals on Noah's ark, the other is an unproven theory. Perhaps if the world was billions of years old, dinosaurs could turn into birds, biology certainly allows for it, but I don't accept the, convoluted and unclear teaching of billions of years. It's full of holes and requires so many assumption and leaps of faith, the only reason anyone could believe it is so they can justify their sinful God-denying nature,to them if that's true then there "must be no God" and that's really the issue here. The Bible's explanation is simple, scientific and consistent and as time goes on as we learn more about life and the universe, then we see more secular evidence pointing to the work of a creator God and an accurate historical Bible


"That'll be a six day creation - God rested on the seventh day"
I think you're just being pedantic here, don't think you're so smart pointing out a christians mistake in their wording, it's a common figure of speech. God might not have done anything on day 7 but it is still counted as a day of creation and serves as an example to us to take a day of rest in our working week.

In the end if you don't believe in God, you're not going to believe any of this, you're full of your anti-God propaganda and pre-conceived beliefs, that it's only God himself that could change your mind, if he gives you that mercy. You'll not convince any of us either until you can find a clear solid piece of evidence that the Bible and Science can't explain. I don't accept other Christians who explain away things they don't understand as a miracle or magic; God put the universe into order and things, for the most part, work within those constraints. God is the greatest scientist of all, if you can't see the wonder of creation all around right down to the subatomic and taking in all the universe, it wasn't the work of chance, it was guided. We may be allowed to shape our own destiny and because of sin bad things happen, but it's God universe, someday you'll see that. And if not, then sure we'll all just cease to exist, so you'll not even be able to say "told you so" to us.

Anonymous said...

Where are you Alan? These people are all mad!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Anonymous said...

And when science fails you, insults are always available...

Alan in Belfast said...

Anonymous - I'm here listening - though it's getting confusing with all the multiple "anonymous" contributors!

I'll close the comments on this one in a couple of days - not to stiffle your discussion - just to stiffle it opening up again in two weeks time with another bunch of people.

SimonH said...

http://www.answersincreation.org/

They are Christians who reject Young Earth Creationism as unscientific. It is not simply a question of Evolution=no God.

Francis Collins, Head of the Human Genome Project, is an Evangelical Christian who rejects YEC and ID in favout of Natural Selection.

Ken Miller is an orthodox Christian who is also an orthodox Darwinian.

Collins and Miller do not begin with an assumption that there is no God. Rather the opposite, except that they are guided by where the evidence takes them

Anonymous said...

The following is according to the Bible, and directed purely at those christians that deny a young earth.
Death entered the world through sin, that is a foundation of the gospel that cannot be denied. If that is the case then when animals were created before man, then they could not have died as Adam and Eve had not yet sinned.

By denying the first sin you undermine the whole Bible and open it up to attacks from atheists who just poke holes in your arguments. You might want to believe otherwise, they can't be credible, especially to atheists, by denying a young earth their whole faith system is contrived, instead of coherent.

SimonH said...

Calvin and Luther weren't Christians then?!?

Anonymous said...

I never said anyone wasn't a Christian and I couldn't tell you what Calvin or Luthor believed on creation if you want to share it, feel free. Back then the world was on the tyranny from the teachings of corrupt church and there was very little science on creation unlike now. They too could have been suffering from miseducation and illinformed church teaching. I mean that still happens today, so it's not a stretch to say it did then too.

David said...

Anonymous it did sound a lot like you said "if you don't believe what I believe you are not a christian" to me.

Fundamental Christians often seem to forget the "do not pass judgement on other people" bit of the bible.

I still cannot understand how you can take evolution by natural selection to be true and necessary to your explanation but then arbitrarily say that it stops at the species boundary


PS my opposable thumb is really sore from scrolling through all the comments on my iPhone. I hope we evolve a special appendage just for that soon.

SimonH said...

“Now it is a disgrace and a dangerous thing for any infidel to hear a Christian, presumably giving his meaning of Holy Scripture, talking nonsense on these topics [Augustine was referring to natural sciences, although the word 'science' didn't exist until the 18th Century]; and we should take all means to prevent such an embarrassing situation...the shame is not so much that an ignorant individual is derided, but that people outside the household of faith think our sacred writers held such opinions, and to the great loss of those for whose salvation we toil, the writers of our Scriptures are criticised and rejected as unlearned men”

Augustine, On the Literal Meaning of Genesis

Or for a more modern approach

“I do not think that there is any general statement in the Bible or any part of the account of creation, either as given in Genesis 1 and 2 or elsewhere alluded to, that need be opposed to evolution.”

B. B. Warfield

Stuart Gibson said...

"Your "science" starts with the conclusion that there is no God, the earth formed over billions of years etc, that's no different from us having a starting point."

Science starts with no conclusions. Science looks at the evidence before it and draws conclusions based on the facts.

Absolute *zero* proof exists that god doesn't exist and no-one has claimed to prove he doesn't, but only in the same way as we have *zero* proof that Bertrand Russell's teapot is merrily making it's way around the cosmos or that an invisible pink unicorn farted out the universe. However, since we have exactly as much evidence for those as we do for god, it doesn't even enter the equation. Science is a pursuit of that which is true, based on available evidence which can demonstrably support the facts. Religion is based on no evidence, indeed it rejects any and all evidence that is contrary to its belief system, regardless of how persuasive and overwhelming that evidence is.

Stuart Gibson said...

Addendum:

Not a single scientist, if faced with irrefutable proof of god's existence, would do anything other than rejoice at discovering something so absolutely fundamental about the universe. They would happily and joyfully repeal any theories that were no longer consistent with the new reality and would not claim that the evidence "doesn't count".

Scientific method has no agenda, other than to seek the truth.

Kyle Graham said...

Stuart Gibson: “What sort of all loving creator punishes his creation for doing something wrong without giving them the ability to understand right and wrong before they do it? It's the metaphorical equivalent of leaving a concrete filled football in a park and laughing when someone tries to kick it.”

If you read Genesis 2:16-17 “And the LORD God commanded the man, saying, Of every tree of the garden thou mayest freely eat: But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die.”

God clearly warns them of the consequences so it is more like leaving the concrete football beside a huge sign which says, “WARNING, THIS IS A CONCRETE FOOTBALL, DON’T KICK IT. YOU WILL GET HURT!”

Stuart Gibson: “God told them not to, but didn't equip them with the knowledge to know that doing or not doing what god told them was right or wrong.”

He equipped them with the knowledge that they would die if they ate it.

Stuart Gibson: “Actually, while we're being Bible literalists here, I suggest you stop following god. Presumably, you will now be putting me to death, as commanded?”

If we both lived in Israel pre-Christ, then I would have to put you to death according to God’s will... but we don’t. If you search online you can probably find a detailed explanation if you are interested, but not all of the punishments of the Mosaic Law apply today, Post-Christ.

Stuart Gibson: “How would Noah manage to go and round up animals that are peculiar to specific parts of the earth?”

I’m not saying that this is definitely right but simply a possibility. It is quite possible that the continents were all initially one, even some secular scientists believe that at one time all the continents were one (Admitedly, they are probably thinking of this time as millions of years ago). Whilst I know very little of plate tectonics, there is evidence in the movement of the plates that at least suggests that the continents were all one at some point.

Noah’s flood was not simply a big rain storm. The bible says “In the six hundredth year of Noah's life, in the second month, the seventeenth day of the month, the same day were all the fountains of the great deep broken up, and the windows of heaven were opened.” (Genesis 7:11). Therefore we are talking of the fountains of the deep opening also. This implies volcano eruptions, tsunamis, earthquakes, etc. The face of the earth would have been very different following the flood.

Kyle Graham said...

Stuart Gibson: "Science starts with no conclusions. Science looks at the evidence before it and draws conclusions based on the facts."

If your science starts with no conclusions, why have you not looked at the earth and considered the possibility that God made it?

For example, If you look at a rock which is dated by yourself as 6 billion years old, you can in theory conclude a few things.
1. The rock is 6 billion years old
2. An all powerful God created that rock 10 minutes ago exactly as it is now
3. The assumptions used in the dating method were not defined properly and so the result is not accurate

Its just a basic, and admittedly poor, example, but its interesting that your science would never even give option 2 a thought.

David said...

>> "If your science starts with no conclusions, why have you not looked at the earth and considered the possibility that God made it??"

I have - Ive considered it a lot. I havent even dismissed it entirely as a possibility. Its just that as a possibility its way down on my list of likelihoods. And whatever sort of a 'god' created it I am 100% sure its not the one you believe in.

>> "For example, If you look at a rock which is dated by yourself as 6 billion years old, you can in theory conclude a few things.
1. The rock is 6 billion years old
2. An all powerful God created that rock 10 minutes ago exactly as it is now
3. The assumptions used in the dating method were not defined properly and so the result is not accurate"

Again yes - clearly. And using all rationality, looking at the way the world and what we see of the universe works Ive decided that the first option is most likely.

Option 2 is of course possible and it would be impossible to disprove. Its also the least useful hypothesis and again doesn't fit with the observable universe. Its a pointless red herring and would destroy your faith as much as mine so I presume you have also decided this one is unlikely.

Option 3 again possible. But Id have to say that the chance of hundreds of thousands of highly trained, highly intelligent scientists being so remarkably wrong about this again seems very unlikely to me. Its not just carbon dating. Dinosaurs, fossils, geology, physical geography and astronomy all suggest that the earth has been around for a huge span of time. Looking at all of that in the round I just cant bend my mind into thinking that in fact the earth popped into existence a few thousand years ago.

Geoff Macartney said...

If you're serious about wanting to check out the evidence, have a look at the link below, from the world's premier scientific journal, Nature.

To quote from their website:

"Readers will find at http://www.nature.com/evolutiongems a freely accessible resource for biologists and others who wish to explain to students, friends or loved ones just what is the evidence for evolution by natural selection. Entitled '15 evolutionary gems', the document summarizes 15 lines of evidence from papers published in Nature over the past 10 years. The evidence is drawn from the fossil record, from studies of natural and artificial habitats, and from research on molecular biological processes.

In a year in which Darwin is being celebrated amid uncertainty and hostility about his ideas among citizens, being aware of the cumulatively incontrovertible evidence for those ideas is all the more important. We trust that this document will help."

Kyle Graham said...

David: “Option 2 is of course possible and it would be impossible to disprove. Its also the least useful hypothesis and again doesn't fit with the observable universe. Its a pointless red herring and would destroy your faith as much as mine so I presume you have also decided this one is unlikely.”

Whilst I admit that yes, it would be impossible to disprove, the fact that you have labelled this option as less likely shows that you do actually have preconceived assumptions when approaching the evidence. Technically, without knowledge of the creator, option 2 is actually just as likely as option 1, yet your preconceptions have caused you to state that it is less likely. From your perspective, I understand how you find option 3 to be more unlikely than option 1.

Admittedly, if I were choosing the most likely, I would go for option 3. My preconceptions based on the Bible being the infallible Word of God allow me to rule out entirely, option 1. My knowledge (limited as it is) of the God of my Bible allows me to say that option 2 is extremely unlikely, and so I settle for option 3. (My preconceptions also rule out any other god from creating it)
We all approach the evidence with preconceptions. Yours naturally incline you away from a Creator; mine naturally incline me towards a Creator. Neither is true unbiased science.

Geoff Macartney – Thanks for the link, I’ll have a read when I get a chance, I am certain that it won’t change my opinions but I am interested in it anyway.

This may well be my last post, I’ll probably not get back online for a few days and it seems like Alan is going to close it, so if it’s my last, thanks for the debate.

Stephen Strawbridge said...

I, for one, applaud Kyle's honesty in stating that he may read something but..

"I am certain that it won’t change my opinions..."

We should cease at this point as all debate is futile. It is as if the enlightenment never happened.

"When the facts change, I change my mind. What do you do, sir?"
- Keynes

Stuart Gibson said...

"If your science starts with no conclusions, why have you not looked at the earth and considered the possibility that God made it?"

Because conclusions are drawn from evidence, not supposition. We don't concoct random ideas and test the evidence against them, we get the ideas on the basis of what evidence suggests.

I don't consider the possibility god made it for the same reason as I don't consider the possibility it was:

1) The creation of a magic pink unicorn
2) Baked in a giant celestial oven
3) Sneezed into existence by a huge alien
4) Created like a giant jigsaw puzzle by an invisible child
5) Actually a crumb from some sort of universe dwarfing cake
6) Just a computer simulation and we are running around inside it like we're trying to defeat the Master Control Program
7) AN INFINITE NUMBER OF OTHER SUPPOSITIONS THAT ARE EXPLANATIONS WITHOUT PROOF.

If you dismiss all the options I've said above then you are guilty of the same thought crime you accuse me of yet, at the same time, will understand why I reject the hypothesis of god creating the universe just as much as I do the others.

I have considered the possibility, looked at the evidence we have and note there is *zero* evidence for a divine creation, compared to the *mountains* of evidence for a purely scientific creation.

Kyle Graham said...

Stephen Strawbridge: "We should cease at this point as all debate is futile. It is as if the enlightenment never happened.

"When the facts change, I change my mind. What do you do, sir?"
- Keynes"

As expected, the article didn't change my mind. If we were dealing entirely in facts, then of course I would change my mind, however the article citing the 15 gems of evolution, in each case did not draw conclusions directly from facts. It drew conclusions from assumptions made about the facts, therefore these "gems" are not proof of anything.

Stuart Gibson: "Because conclusions are drawn from evidence, not supposition. We don't concoct random ideas and test the evidence against them, we get the ideas on the basis of what evidence suggests."

Evolutionists have often in the past, concocted ideas without proof. For example, they have previously assumed that there will be a "missing link" found to connect the evolutionary chain, without having any evidence of this, and have then gone about trying to find the evidence to match up to this. Its a basic example.

Stuart Gibson: "If you dismiss all the options I've said above then you are guilty of the same thought crime you accuse me of yet, at the same time, will understand why I reject the hypothesis of god creating the universe just as much as I do the others."

If you had read my previous post, you would see that I openly accept that I approach the evidence with presuppositions. Why rely on fallible science alone when I have the infallible Word of God.

The problem is that you are guilty of the same crime with which you accuse me, and that was the purpose of my previous post. You approach the evidence with the presupposition that there is no God.

Stuart Gibson: "I have considered the possibility, looked at the evidence we have and note there is *zero* evidence for a divine creation, compared to the *mountains* of evidence for a purely scientific creation."

Purely scientific evidence is never something that I have any problem with, purely scientific evidence does not proove any error in the Word of God. Man's assumptions concerning the evidence are the only things that contradict the Bible.

I'll give one evidence now:

There are polystrate fossils (usually trees) that cut through more than one layer of rock (even different kinds of rock supposedly deposited over thousands if not millions of years). The trees would have rotted and left no fossil evidence if the deposition rate was that slow. (taken from http://www.answersingenesis.org/home/area/feedback/2006/0303.asp")