π = 3: A discussion of Biblical literalism


In the comments — continued from a thread at Gospel of Reason, a blog no longer growing.

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121 Responses to π = 3: A discussion of Biblical literalism

  1. lowerleavell says:

    Hey Ed,

    I just wanted to wish you a Merry Christmas and say I hope all is well with you and yours.

    Joe

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  2. lowerleavell says:

    Sorry, my post got on there twice. I’m not sure what happened but it wouldn’t let me post it at first.

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  3. lowerleavell says:

    I was curious to read what you thought of those two sources, and now I know. No, I hadn’t checked up on their sources but I did read the articles (time is an issue for me in this discussion). Since I am not a geneticist I was kind of hoping you would give your thoughts on them. You did, and now I know a few more things about it than before. Thank you.

    My question is this; about the point that DNA either does or does not break down in water. How long could DNA in a cell last in water? From what I read, even good DNA within a cell, in almost perfect conditions, doesn’t last more than 50,000 years or so. Is that true?

    Regards to the Big Horn basin thing, he does mention the Jurassic Morrison Formation which is a tad bit bigger than just the Big Horn basin. He says the fossils found in that whole area are millions upon millions. It seems a little weird for you to give credit for those fossils just being collected at the bend in an ancient river. I don’t think anyone is saying that 100% of the fossils in that area were the result of the flood (“Sarah” probably would be a good example of one that probably was not) but it is the ones where the bones are all mixed together and deposited and such. The type of bones where it is obvious that the animal did not die from natural causes but from catastrophe. And from I’ve seen of fossils, catastrophe in death resulting in a fossil is the norm not the exception.

    What were your thoughts on the Coelacanths? I think it’s kind of ironic that a species that was supposed to be extinct for millions of years just pops out as still being alive. You would say it doesn’t disprove evolution, but to me it just makes it humorous. It really shows that these people who stand up there and say things conclusively and dogmatically really don’t have everything figured out after all and that perhaps we should take what they say with some reservation. I find it ironic that even if it is 50 mil plus years old, it sure hasn’t evolved very much. What does that say about the process of evolution?

    I was also wondering your thoughts on the possibility that the sand deposits at the Grand Canyon being formed under water, as well as your thoughts on the stacked forests at Yellow Stone etc. I don’t think you really gave a reply to these. If you did, I apologize but I’ve forgotten.

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  4. lowerleavell says:

    Ok, I’ll try this is pieces.

    No, you’re mistaken, AIG does not deny the evolution of corn. It’s no secret how it happened. From what I understand, you can get red corn from yellow corn in just two or three generations. Corn is very easy to manipulate genetically. AIG’s response was included in a whole article on mutations. Basically, their answer is mutations, yes, evolutionary advancement, no. Here’s the article if you want to check it out.

    http://www.answersingenesis.org/home/area/cfol/ch2-mutations.asp

    Corn, they say, is basically a product of benefit, to humans. In nature, on its own, it wouldn’t last, the same as a hairless dog, etc. These are man-made, domesticated products which are the result of intelligence, not natural selection. Also, there is no new information. There is a combination of information which produces something new, like combining yellow and blue. No one I know of would debate that genetic changes happen with the crossing of DNA, but that indicates that there was already rich, diverse DNA at the beginning and that all life does not have a common ancestor. Such vast changes without a combination of DNA to my knowledge have not been demonstrated. BTW, I did a Google search on beneficial mutations, and I could only come up with a couple disputed examples, like yeast and bacteria. Pretty much all sites that I looked at (not just creation sites) all agreed that it was virtually mathematically impossible to produce the genetic mutations necessary to get to life as we know it. Some almost had a system of belief on the subject (basically, if it is this way, it had to have happened, so that math doesn’t matter). I know you’re trying to demonstrate evolution with the corn, but I don’t think we disagree that corn has evolved. What I would disagree with is that corn and I have a common ancestor.

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  5. lowerleavell says:

    Ok, let’s give this antoher try. No, you’re mistaken, AIG does not deny the evolution of corn. It’s no secret how it happened. From what I understand, you can get red corn from yellow corn in just two or three generations. Corn is very easy to manipulate genetically. AIG’s response was included in a whole article on mutations. Basically, their answer is mutations, yes, evolutionary advancement, no. Here’s the article if you want to check it out.

    http://www.answersingenesis.org/home/area/cfol/ch2-mutations.asp

    Corn, they say, is basically a product of benefit, to humans. In nature, on its own, it wouldn’t last, the same as a hairless dog, etc. These are man-made, domesticated products which are the result of intelligence, not natural selection. Also, there is no new information. There is a combination of information which produces something new, like combining yellow and blue. No one I know of would debate that genetic changes happen with the crossing of DNA, but that indicates that there was already rich, diverse DNA at the beginning and that all life does not have a common ancestor. Such vast changes without a combination of DNA to my knowledge have not been demonstrated. BTW, I did a Google search on beneficial mutations, and I could only come up with a couple disputed examples, like yeast and bacteria. Pretty much all sites that I looked at (not just creation sites) all agreed that it was virtually mathematically impossible to produce the genetic mutations necessary to get to life as we know it. Some almost had a system of belief on the subject (basically, if it is this way, it had to have happened, so that math doesn’t matter). I know you’re trying to demonstrate evolution with the corn, but I don’t think we disagree that corn has evolved. What I would disagree with is that corn and I have a common ancestor.

    I was curious to read what you thought of those two sources, and now I know. No, I hadn’t checked up on their sources but I did read the articles (time is an issue for me in this discussion). Since I am not a geneticist I was kind of hoping you would give your thoughts on them. You did, and now I know a few more things about it than before. Thank you.

    My question is this; about the point that DNA either does or does not break down in water. How long could DNA in a cell last in water? From what I read, even good DNA within a cell, in almost perfect conditions, doesn’t last more than 50,000 years or so. Is that true?

    Regards to the Big Horn basin thing, he does mention the Jurassic Morrison Formation which is a tad bit bigger than just the Big Horn basin. He says the fossils found in that whole area are millions upon millions. It seems a little weird for you to give credit for those fossils just being collected at the bend in an ancient river. I don’t think anyone is saying that 100% of the fossils in that area were the result of the flood (“Sarah” probably would be a good example of one that probably was not) but it is the ones where the bones are all mixed together and deposited and such. The type of bones where it is obvious that the animal did not die from natural causes but from catastrophe. And from I’ve seen of fossils, catastrophe in death resulting in a fossil is the norm not the exception.

    What were your thoughts on the Coelacanths? I think it’s kind of ironic that a species that was supposed to be extinct for millions of years just pops out as still being alive. You would say it doesn’t disprove evolution, but to me it just makes it humorous. It really shows that these people who stand up there and say things conclusively and dogmatically really don’t have everything figured out after all and that perhaps we should take what they say with some reservation. I find it ironic that even if it is 50 mil plus years old, it sure hasn’t evolved very much. What does that say about the process of evolution?

    I was also wondering your thoughts on the possibility that the sand deposits at the Grand Canyon being formed under water, as well as your thoughts on the stacked forests at Yellow Stone etc. I don’t think you really gave a reply to these. If you did, I apologize but I’ve forgotten.

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  6. lowerleavell says:

    for some reason, there’s something wrong with my post and it won’t let me post it. I’ll try again later.

    Like

  7. lowerleavell says:

    No, AIG does not deny the evolution of corn. It’s no secret how it happened. From what I understand, you can get red corn from yellow corn in just two or three generations. Corn is very easy to manipulate genetically. AIG’s response was included in a whole article on mutations. Basically, their answer is mutations, yes, evolutionary advancement, no. Here’s the article if you want to check it out.

    http://www.answersingenesis.org/home/area/cfol/ch2-mutations.asp

    Corn, they say, is basically a product of benefit, to humans. In nature, on its own, it wouldn’t last, the same as a hairless dog, etc. These are man-made, domesticated products which are the result of intelligence, not natural selection. Also, there is no new information. There is a combination of information which produces something new, like combining yellow and blue. No one I know of would debate that genetic changes happen with the crossing of DNA, but that indicates that there was already rich, diverse DNA at the beginning and that all life does not have a common ancestor. Such vast changes without a combination of DNA to my knowledge have not been demonstrated. BTW, I did a Google search on beneficial mutations, and I could only come up with a couple disputed examples, like yeast and bacteria. Pretty much all sites that I looked at (not just creation sites) all agreed that it was virtually mathematically impossible to produce the genetic mutations necessary to get to life as we know it. Some almost had a system of belief on the subject (basically, if it is this way, it had to have happened, so that math doesn’t matter). I know you’re trying to demonstrate evolution with the corn, but I don’t think we disagree that corn has evolved. What I would disagree with is that corn and I have a common ancestor.

    I was curious to read what you thought of those two sources, and now I know. No, I hadn’t checked up on their sources but I did read the articles (time is an issue for me in this discussion). Since I am not a geneticist I was kind of hoping you would give your thoughts on them. You did, and now I know a few more things about it than before. Thank you.

    My question is this; about the point that DNA either does or does not break down in water. How long could DNA in a cell last in water? From what I read, even good DNA within a cell, in almost perfect conditions, doesn’t last more than 50,000 years or so. Is that true?

    Regards to the Big Horn basin thing, he does mention the Jurassic Morrison Formation which is a tad bit bigger than just the Big Horn basin. He says the fossils found in that whole area are millions upon millions. It seems a little weird for you to give credit for those fossils just being collected at the bend in an ancient river. I don’t think anyone is saying that 100% of the fossils in that area were the result of the flood (“Sarah” probably would be a good example of one that probably was not) but it is the ones where the bones are all mixed together and deposited and such. The type of bones where it is obvious that the animal did not die from natural causes but from catastrophe. And from I’ve seen of fossils, catastrophe in death resulting in a fossil is the norm not the exception.

    What were your thoughts on the Coelacanths? I think it’s kind of ironic that a species that was supposed to be extinct for millions of years just pops out as still being alive. You would say it doesn’t disprove evolution, but to me it just makes it humorous. It really shows that these people who stand up there and say things conclusively and dogmatically really don’t have everything figured out after all and that perhaps we should take what they say with some reservation. I find it ironic that even if it is 50 mil plus years old, it sure hasn’t evolved very much. What does that say about the process of evolution?

    I was also wondering your thoughts on the possibility that the sand deposits at the Grand Canyon being formed under water, as well as your thoughts on the stacked forests at Yellow Stone etc. I don’t think you really gave a reply to these. If you did, I apologize but I’ve forgotten.
    .

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  8. lowerleavell says:

    No, you’re mistaken, AIG does not deny the evolution of corn. It’s no secret how it happened. From what I understand, you can get red corn from yellow corn in just two or three generations. Corn is very easy to manipulate genetically. AIG’s response was included in a whole article on mutations. Basically, their answer is mutations, yes, evolutionary advancement, no. Here’s the article if you want to check it out.

    http://www.answersingenesis.org/home/area/cfol/ch2-mutations.asp

    Corn, they say, is basically a product of benefit, to humans. In nature, on its own, it wouldn’t last, the same as a hairless dog, etc. These are man-made, domesticated products which are the result of intelligence, not natural selection. Also, there is no new information. There is a combination of information which produces something new, like combining yellow and blue. No one I know of would debate that genetic changes happen with the crossing of DNA, but that indicates that there was already rich, diverse DNA at the beginning and that all life does not have a common ancestor. Such vast changes without a combination of DNA to my knowledge have not been demonstrated. BTW, I did a Google search on beneficial mutations, and I could only come up with a couple disputed examples, like yeast and bacteria. Pretty much all sites that I looked at (not just creation sites) all agreed that it was virtually mathematically impossible to produce the genetic mutations necessary to get to life as we know it. Some almost had a system of belief on the subject (basically, if it is this way, it had to have happened, so that math doesn’t matter). I know you’re trying to demonstrate evolution with the corn, but I don’t think we disagree that corn has evolved. What I would disagree with is that corn and I have a common ancestor.

    I was curious to read what you thought of those two sources, and now I know. No, I hadn’t checked up on their sources but I did read the articles (time is an issue for me in this discussion). Since I am not a geneticist I was kind of hoping you would give your thoughts on them. You did, and now I know a few more things about it than before. Thank you.

    My question is this; about the point that DNA either does or does not break down in water. How long could DNA in a cell last in water? From what I read, even good DNA within a cell, in almost perfect conditions, doesn’t last more than 50,000 years or so. Is that true?

    Regards to the Big Horn basin thing, he does mention the Jurassic Morrison Formation which is a tad bit bigger than just the Big Horn basin. He says the fossils found in that whole area are millions upon millions. It seems a little weird for you to give credit for those fossils just being collected at the bend in an ancient river. I don’t think anyone is saying that 100% of the fossils in that area were the result of the flood (“Sarah” probably would be a good example of one that probably was not) but it is the ones where the bones are all mixed together and deposited and such. The type of bones where it is obvious that the animal did not die from natural causes but from catastrophe. And from I’ve seen of fossils, catastrophe in death resulting in a fossil is the norm not the exception.

    What were your thoughts on the Coelacanths? I think it’s kind of ironic that a species that was supposed to be extinct for millions of years just pops out as still being alive. You would say it doesn’t disprove evolution, but to me it just makes it humorous. It really shows that these people who stand up there and say things conclusively and dogmatically really don’t have everything figured out after all and that perhaps we should take what they say with some reservation. I find it ironic that even if it is 50 mil plus years old, it sure hasn’t evolved very much. What does that say about the process of evolution?

    I was also wondering your thoughts on the possibility that the sand deposits at the Grand Canyon being formed under water, as well as your thoughts on the stacked forests at Yellow Stone etc. I don’t think you really gave a reply to these. If you did, I apologize but I’ve forgotten.
    .

    Like

  9. lowerleavell says:

    No, AIG does not deny the evolution of corn. It’s no secret how it happened. From what I understand, you can get red corn from yellow corn in just two or three generations. Corn is very easy to manipulate genetically. AIG’s response was included in a whole article on mutations. Basically, their answer is mutations, yes, evolutionary advancement, no. Here’s the article if you want to check it out.

    http://www.answersingenesis.org/home/area/cfol/ch2-mutations.asp

    Corn, they say, is basically a product of benefit, to humans. In nature, on its own, it wouldn’t last, the same as a hairless dog, etc. These are man-made, domesticated products which are the result of intelligence, not natural selection. Also, there is no new information. There is a combination of information which produces something new, like combining yellow and blue. No one I know of would debate that genetic changes happen with the crossing of DNA, but that indicates that there was already rich, diverse DNA at the beginning and that all life does not have a common ancestor. Such vast changes without a combination of DNA to my knowledge have not been demonstrated. BTW, I did a Google search on beneficial mutations, and I could only come up with a couple disputed examples, like yeast and bacteria. Pretty much all sites that I looked at (not just creation sites) all agreed that it was virtually mathematically impossible to produce the genetic mutations necessary to get to life as we know it. Some almost had a system of belief on the subject (basically, if it is this way, it had to have happened, so that math doesn’t matter). I know you’re trying to demonstrate evolution with the corn, but I don’t think we disagree that corn has evolved. What I would disagree with is that corn and I have a common ancestor.

    I was curious to read what you thought of those two sources, and now I know. No, I hadn’t checked up on their sources but I did read the articles (time is an issue for me in this discussion). Since I am not a geneticist I was kind of hoping you would give your thoughts on them. You did, and now I know a few more things about it than before. Thank you.

    My question is this; about the point that DNA either does or does not break down in water. How long could DNA in a cell last in water? From what I read, even good DNA within a cell, in almost perfect conditions, doesn’t last more than 50,000 years or so. Is that true?

    Regards to the Big Horn basin thing, he does mention the Jurassic Morrison Formation which is a tad bit bigger than just the Big Horn basin. He says the fossils found in that whole area are millions upon millions. It seems a little weird for you to give credit for those fossils just being collected at the bend in an ancient river. I don’t think anyone is saying that 100% of the fossils in that area were the result of the flood (“Sarah” probably would be a good example of one that probably was not) but it is the ones where the bones are all mixed together and deposited and such. The type of bones where it is obvious that the animal did not die from natural causes but from catastrophe. And from I’ve seen of fossils, catastrophe in death resulting in a fossil is the norm not the exception.

    What were your thoughts on the Coelacanths? I think it’s kind of ironic that a species that was supposed to be extinct for millions of years just pops out as still being alive. You would say it doesn’t disprove evolution, but to me it just makes it humorous. It really shows that these people who stand up there and say things conclusively and dogmatically really don’t have everything figured out after all and that perhaps we should take what they say with some reservation. I find it ironic that even if it is 50 mil plus years old, it sure hasn’t evolved very much. What does that say about the process of evolution?

    I was also wondering your thoughts on the possibility that the sand deposits at the Grand Canyon being formed under water, as well as your thoughts on the stacked forests at Yellow Stone etc. I don’t think you really gave a reply to these. If you did, I apologize but I’ve forgotten.

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  10. Ed Darrell says:

    From a while ago:

    One other thing that I did do was research how DNA works and how they can know stuff from ancient DNA and here’s a link I thought was very beneficial:

    http://www.detectingdesign.com/fossilizeddna.html

    http://www.detectingdesign.com/fossilrecord.html

    Joe, this is what I mean when I talk about deceptions from creationists.

    DNA breaks down in water? That’s rather silly. DNA is contained with water constantly in humans. If you take a DNA strand OUT OF A CELL, and put it in water, some of the protein bonds start to break down.

    When the first page you cite claims DNA breaks down in water, it’s obviously referring to DNA outside of a cell. (Did you check the references? With creationist source, one must do that; about 80% of the time I find the sources cited say something quite different from what the author claims. Most creationists seem genetically unable to cite sources correctly.)

    From that claim of DNA outside a cell, the author takes off on a bizarre tangent, noting cases where DNA is left intact in a cell that itself is quite viable as a defense against outside-the-cell things that would damage DNA. After a couple of paragraphs, I wondered if the author himself had lost track of what his claim was.

    The second page suggests nothing more than the author — who is an MD untrained in most of biology, so far as I can tell, and untrained in fossils at all — is simply unfamiliar with fossils, how fossils are deposited, and how creatures die in the wild. He makes rather grand extrapolations on the basis of one photo he claims to have come from Wyoming’s Big Horn Basin — at least, I think that’s where he says it comes from. He talks as if there is one small site in a place called Big Horn. I’m not sure he realizes the size of the basin, the size of the county, or the number of different fossil-rich sites in the area. He talks as if he doesn’t know about ancient riverbeds that have been mapped at many sites — Big Horn Basin, Dinosaur Valley, Texas, Dinosaur National Monument, Niger (where Paul Serrano has done a lot of work), etc. (Fossils out of the Big Horn basin just keep coming — here’s a story from this summer of a spectacular find, another in a long and continuing string of spectacular finds:

    http://www.casperstartribune.net/articles/2007/07/16/news/wyoming/9522a83b848659ac872573190020f7fc.txt)

    In short, it’s largely argument from ignorance. If someone finds a bed of fossils that were obviously collected at a bend in an ancient river, this guy claims Noah’s flood. If someone finds a fossil obviously laid down in an ancient, shallow ocean with little disturbance from tide or freshwater, he claims science can’t explain it (though he oddly never cites that sort of claim). If he mentions a fossil put down in an ancient desert, untouched by water, he fails to mention it.

    This site you point to has several of the hallmarks of creationist fog sites: First, it’s written by a guy defending his faith in creationism (this guy happens to be a Loma Linda grad); it’s written by someone with no discernible expertise in the areas he covers, in this case any part of paleontology and molecular biology; the fellow makes amazing leaps from small bits of evidence; he distorts findings to point to fantastic claims, such as his claim that DNA can’t survive around water, failing to note that “in water” is DNA’s natural state, or explaining that cells furiously keep repairing DNA while a cell is alive (which is an inaccurate description of what happens, really). Fourth, he fails to acknowledge what the experts in the areas say. Fifth, he cites old and disproven sources, ignoring better sources in almost all cases (this is a form of academic fraud, but it’s a high art in creationism — see Dembski, Behe and especially Wells). And there are a host of other issues that would take a few days to explain. (Zeno takes after another famous creationist and problems with creationist research, here:

    http://zenoferox.blogspot.com/2007/10/second-rate-science.html)

    In short, I find the sites unpersuasive at best, and dead wrong in many things. We’ve already discussed that you were off on a wild goose chase talking about fossil DNA, since I was discussing DNA from living creatures, which corroborate fossil finds but are not extracted from fossils.

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  11. Ed Darrell says:

    Joe, go take a look at the evolution of corn.

    http://sfmatheson.blogspot.com/2007/10/they-selected-teosinteand-got-corn.html

    This is one of those evolutionary paths that is so well documented that it takes more than mere denial to avoid — creationists have to lie outright to try to deny it.

    Still, I’ll wager AiG says it ain’t so.

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  12. lowerleavell says:

    Your view of Ham’s museum is actually much more gracious than many have been toward him. As a Christian though, even if you don’t agree with Ham over how the earth was created, at least you should be happy that when people come to the museum they are given the story of Jesus and the Gospel of how to become a Christian. I would think that the enemy of your enemy (sin/unbelief) would be your friend. He still is your brother in Christ. God says in 1 John that anyone who says he loves God but does not love his brother is a liar. For that reason alone, you are compelled to be civil and gracious in your disagreements towards Ham as he and other YEC’s (myself included) are compelled to be loving and gracious to those who claim to be Christians, yet hold to evolution. On top of that, Jesus commands us to love our enemies, so it extends to the atheists and haters of God as well. Jesus loved them enough to die for them, how dare I not love them too? When supposed “Christians” don’t understand those principles and deal with their apponents with hate and venom, they do not have the love of Christ in them and are either walking in the flesh or aren’t really believers.

    If the “lies” that you are referring to with Ham are him teaching creationism and that dinosaurs and humans lived together, then he is merely teaching the Bible as it is written. Again, if he’s lying, then he’s copying and pasting his lies from the Bible. Ham goes out of his way to make sure he doesn’t get into petty arguments with people but puts the authority of the Bible as the main discussion. Again, AIG is the one organization I’ve really been impressed with in creationism for how they carefully treat their opponents and keep the discussion focused on the Bible.

    Dawkins comments really does echo the sentiments of many anti Christians today as well as communistic thought. To suggest that someone should be arrested for child abuse because they teach an alternate view of history and theology is totally against the first amendment. I very much believe though that one day Dawkins’ wish will be granted and Christians (yourself included if you confess to being one) will be so unpopular in this country that it will be a hate crime to be a Christian. I think its a long way off, but the way things are rapidly progressing, religious tolerance in this country already doesn’t extend to Evangelical Christianity.

    So, even if the meteor was made of ice it would still have that affect? Yeah, it makes sense what you said, so that wouldn’t be a good theory then.

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  13. Ed Darrell says:

    The one hypothesis he presented that I really thought was probable was that a meteor impact could have started the flood. It would have hit at one of the poles (probably the North) and that is why the mammoths froze so quickly and how an ice age resulted from the flood. I’m not saying it’s how it happened, but it at least sounded logical.

    Except that the heat from such a collision would have vaporized the creatures, not frozen them. It’s another case where what the creationists propose runs exactly opposite the laws of physics. I suppose it’s logical if one knows nothing about thermodynamics, friction, and what happens when huge things collide.

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  14. Ed Darrell says:

    I couldn’t find anything anywhere on the net saying that Ham went to prison and then it hit me, you’re confusing Ken Ham with Kent Hovind. I was like, “anti-patriotic”? He’s Australian; of course he’s not patriotic toward America! But no, you’re talking about Kent Hovind. No, I make no argument in defense of Kent Hovind. Yes, I have seen him live, but I had to go to a waaayyy right wing church in Boise ID, to do it. The church there believes you have to be saved out of the King James Bible to go to heaven. No, I am not proud of some of those on the “right.” If you think they make you upset, you have no idea how disappointing and upsetting they are to those who are lumped into the same class as them.

    You’re right. Momentary slip of the mind. I meant Hovind, I thought Hovind, you wrote Ham.

    Ham is not an idiot, just dishonest. Ham is one of those people who give some credence to Richard Dawkins’ idea that perhaps creationists should be prosecuted for child abuse. The guy lies to children with impunity, telling them fantastic and false tales. It’s a tribute to P. T. Barnum’s line about “a sucker born every minute” that Ham was able to raise $27 million for his huge diorama near Cincinnati. It might make one weep if one were to consider what that sum could have done if dedicated to Godly causes instead of fraud.

    My apologies for the slip.

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  15. lowerleavell says:

    “You’re right, more than 75% of issues are unanswered. I offer a dozen examples, you say you read AiG’s website — not dealing with any of the examples. I note Gosse’s book and the Christian response after you invoke Gosse’s hypothesis, and then you dismiss all the contrary criticism from scientists AND theologians.”
    I’m not 100% sure what your point is here, but as far as I can tell, you’re turning this back on me. I told you the only place I could find the Omphalos thing was by you. I’ve done a little bit more searching and found it on Wikipedia. The theory that Gosse laid down is said to be unsatisfactory to both sides of the debate. From what I gather, it seems that Gosse believed that the fossils and the geologic column were pre-time creations of the world. You think I hold to that? Not at all! But there is a point that God must have created a functioning world, otherwise it wouldn’t function, obviously. Evolution has still to show how the function began, like life coming from non-life, or effect without a cause. Anything you don’t understand in those early points, you’ve attributed to God, but you are an anomaly among your peers in that regard. They seek to take God 100% out of the equation, which is impossible. So, God must have done something! I simply believe that He did what He said He did. If there’s something that I haven’t covered, I will be glad to discuss it with you. I apologize if you think I’ve brushed off your arguments.
    As far as the discussions that I’ve presented that haven’t been answered, mostly what I’m interested in is what Jesus, Paul, and Peter, etc. taught about creation and the flood. You want to say that their mentioning them doesn’t matter, but I think their mentioning them is absolutely critical. If the creation account was denounced by Jesus, you and I would have no problem agreeing on it. Yet it wasn’t just left alone, it was re-enforced with Jesus’ words. Even if we didn’t have Genesis at all, the witness of the New Testament makes it clear that God the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit were all involved in the creation of the world. You wouldn’t even need Genesis to show that from the Bible.

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  16. lowerleavell says:

    “What I object to is that the defense of one silly or stupid position then requires an increasingly petty God to be increasingly dabbling in minor miracles, an increasing number of minor miracles, to make the “literalness” of the Bible work. God shouldn’t be the God of petty magic.”
    Again, neither of us was there so we don’t know what happened. It is near impossible to postulate what a pre-fall world would have looked like. The Bible just doesn’t give us the details. I think it would be a safe guess to say that where the Bible talks about the millennial reign of Christ that it would be close to what “Paradise” would have been like. For instance, Isaiah tells us that the lion will lay down with the lamb. The Bible also says in Revelation 21:4, “And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away.” So, is that merely no more spiritual death and spiritual pain, or is that a literal death, sorrow, and crying? Or do you believe of anything of an afterlife at all?

    I don’t think it’s correct to call a pre-fall world “petty magic” on God’s part. Jesus said that “with God all things are possible.” Do you believe the words of Jesus or not? How big is your God, and why does He have to fit into your box? Anything that is done that accomplishes His purpose cannot be seen as “petty magic.” If so, what do you call the countless miracles of Christ while He was on the earth? Why would He calm the Sea of Galilee, etc? Are those just “cheap tricks?”
    “A “pre-fall Earth?” If there was such a thing, why can’t you tell us how to differentiate it — in sediments, in fossils, in something? The very fact that you claim it can’t be revealed should be a clue to you that it doesn’t exist. God isn’t ashamed of creation, God doesn’t hide His work.”
    Well, whether or not the fall meant spiritual or physical or both, I thought we both agreed that Adam did fall. Even purely a spiritual fall would have affected the world, as man would no longer have been perfect but would have had sin in their hearts. You don’t think sin has affected or shaped our world? I think WWI and II showed us that it does. Anyway, how would you suggest on finding a pre-fall world in the sediments, in the fossils, or in anything? The only thing I would say you could hypothesis as being “pre-fall” would be the layers of sentiment, sorry, sediment (stupid joke) below the fossils. Is it any accident that there are layers below the fossils without anything, no life at all? Would that be an indication? I’m not sure exactly what you are looking for.
    “Are plant cells different from animal cells? Pray tell, how? How would that make their life different enough to merit a different status from animals?”
    I don’t think they are different; they just have a different function. Again, same Designer, different building. The main difference it seems is that before the fall, man and animals were permitted to only eat fruit and vegetation, and then it wasn’t until after the flood in Genesis 9 that God said they could eat meat and that animals would be afraid of people. Most creationists believe this is the point where animals started eating other animals.
    So, how did it all work? I have no clue. Again, how could we know? Do I want to know? Yes, I have an analytical mind and love to know how everything works. But asking what a pre-fall earth would have been like is like asking what heaven will be like. We’ve never been there and it is not observable. The Bible says that there will be a great feast in heaven (marriage supper of the Lamb). So, the Bible says there’s food in heaven. What does that mean, and how does it all work? I have no clue. How can I know? I’ll wait until I get there and then I’ll know. Talking about a pre-fall earth really isn’t scientific. I know that’s anathema with some people (probably you), but it’s not falsifiable, and it isn’t observable or testable. Neither is God creating the heavens and the earth (or it raining on rocks for millions of years for that matter). But just because something doesn’t fit the classification as “scientific” doesn’t mean it didn’t happen.
    God said in Deut. 29:29, “”The secret things belong to the LORD our God, but those things which are revealed belong to us and to our children forever, that we may do all the words of this law.” Why must you insist to understand all things before you accept the Bible and Genesis as truth? God never promised to make it so we would understand everything or know how everything worked. He asks simply for our trust in Him and His character. I accept the things that I do understand to be of God, and the things I don’t understand I strive to, but if mankind can’t figure it out, I don’t worry about it, I still trust God. A Christian’s responsibility is to take God at His word, and go from there, not doubt everything God says and wait until everything makes sense and then once it does decide whether to accept God’s word or not. How is that faith and trust?
    “The very fact that you claim it can’t be revealed should be a clue to you that it doesn’t exist. God isn’t ashamed of creation, God doesn’t hide His work.”
    Is that why God put an angel with a flaming sword in front of the Garden of Eden so no one could get back in? Because He doesn’t hide His work? Is that why we can’t see heaven and don’t know where it is? Is that why Jesus repeatedly told people He healed not to proclaim it to others? God definitely hides His work when those who would behold it have no right or belief to see it for what it is. And then there is the point that whatever life was like before the flood would have been completely destroyed. The Bible says that people were living 900 plus years. How did that happen? I have no clue, but it leads me to believe that life on earth was vastly different than it is now. You seem to be looking for universal constants in a pre-fall earth which would be impossible to produce. So you say since it can’t be produced then Genesis is a myth. I don’t get why a lack of empirical evidence that no one could produce one way or the other means it is false. It just means it takes faith in the same God who says He saved your soul. Why would you trust Him with Christ and not with that? It’s the same God. He doesn’t change.

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  17. lowerleavell says:

    “Ham is an idiot. He’s also an anti-patriotic crook. His jail time is well deserved in my opinion. Evading taxes on his millions of income is pure sleaze. That he thought he could get away with it is testament to his idiocy, but his other claims give a bad name even to creationists. T. Rex breathing fire by putting farts out through the nose? Really? Joe, you don’t want to defend such lunacy, or dishonesty.”
    I couldn’t find anything anywhere on the net saying that Ham went to prison and then it hit me, you’re confusing Ken Ham with Kent Hovind. I was like, “anti-patriotic”? He’s Australian; of course he’s not patriotic toward America! But no, you’re talking about Kent Hovind. No, I make no argument in defense of Kent Hovind. Yes, I have seen him live, but I had to go to a waaayyy right wing church in Boise ID, to do it. The church there believes you have to be saved out of the King James Bible to go to heaven. No, I am not proud of some of those on the “right.” If you think they make you upset, you have no idea how disappointing and upsetting they are to those who are lumped into the same class as them.

    No, you are right; Hovind was in sin by not paying his taxes. Jesus said to render unto Caesar the things that are Caesars, and Hovind thought he was on a “holy crusade” to stop the IRS. That’s not his job as a Christian. Now he’s in jail comparing himself to Paul and his affliction for the Gospel. He doesn’t have rights to that claim because Paul was not in jail for tax evasion, but just for being a Christian. No, I don’t associate with Hovind at all, and that’s sad to me because he is not stupid, just wrong.

    The one hypothesis he presented that I really thought was probable was that a meteor impact could have started the flood. It would have hit at one of the poles (probably the North) and that is why the mammoths froze so quickly and how an ice age resulted from the flood. I’m not saying it’s how it happened, but it at least sounded logical.

    I have also seen Ken Ham in person and he was much more “scientific” than Hovind. I also did a search of words on AIG and couldn’t find words like “idiot,” “crank,” “stupid” or personal insults in general. That’s one thing I’ve always been impressed with AIG is that they don’t engage in those kind of low level remarks. I think they do a better job than ICR or any ID guys out there. If a Christian can’t defend his beliefs without resorting to low brow personal insults does he really have much of a belief to defend? Isn’t that Christian undermining the very thing he holds to? For that reason, I don’t make any defense against any personal, slanderous remarks made by creationists. They’re just wrong. If I have done that to you at all, I’ve been wrong and I apologize.

    I think Jonathan Wells is in with the ID group more than creationism. I don’t know a whole lot about him other than what I read in “The Case for a Creator.”

    “Don’t lecture me about manners if you’re defending creationism. Clean up your own house first, I’ll listen. But frankly, Joe, I’m tired of people starting out telling me I’ll burn in hell if I study biology, and then going downhill from there.”

    Wow. People have told you that?! Ugh. You are correct that I am fairly new to discussion. Whoever told you that didn’t remember John 3 at all. Our condemnation is not based on our actions but rather our standing before God. Without Christ, we’re all in the same boat, so whoever told you that seems to think they know better than God how someone gets to Hell. My former boss, who was gay, told me he had a lot of Christians tell him he was going to Hell for being gay. I never told him that, ever. Why? Because being gay doesn’t send you to Hell, being separated from God, sky diving without a parachute so to speak, sends you to Hell. The Bible says Christ is the only means of salvation, not giving up being gay, or not studying biology.

    I have noticed something on many blog sites, that the people who claim to be Christians are either really annoying (I probably fit in that category), just throw “damnation and hellfire” into a discussion, or they are insulting and crude. At the start of a discussion I was on with atheists, there was one “Christian” who would copy and paste long passages of the Bible, over and over again. I’m not sure what he was thinking, but it was just bizarre. It makes it really hard for me to say I’m a Christian on a blog site. You know, if this country does go downhill, and ever disappears from off the map, I’d say it was because the Christians did not fulfill their responsibility to demonstrate God’s love to each other and to those who are lost. Anyway, for that reason, I do understand why you can’t take my complaint seriously. You are also correct that the Christians should clean up their own act before attempting to tell someone else their position is wrong.

    I’ve never heard creationism lumped into the same camp as communism before. I had thought that creationists were usually “right wing” conservative, Christian Coalition, religious right, type people who wouldn’t tolerate censure of thought. Someone once said that for a position to be true, it doesn’t need censure of other positions to make the position true. (Don’t remember who said it, sorry.) If something is true, it shouldn’t be worried about its opponents’ positions. At this time, it is Darwinists who are censuring the hypothesis that God created the universe. Darwinists are the ones suppressing freedom of religion and the first amendment and are currently more closely associated to communism than creationism any day. Darwinian evolution, and the origin of life as hypothesized by evolution, is not falsifiable any more than saying “In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth” and so it can’t be labeled “science.” There is no good reason why teaching the hypothesis that God is responsible for being the “first cause” is a threat to “separation of church and state” any more than teaching “raining on rocks for millions of years” is a threat. It’s not setting up a government church, it’s teaching an alternate hypothesis of history that no one knows for sure what the right answer is because we weren’t there. The only reason I can see why teaching “in the beginning God” is a threat to evolution is because it fears the truth and there are many people out there who hate God. If it wasn’t the case, it wouldn’t be such a big deal. No, I think you are majorly stretching it to say that communism and creationism are a lot alike.

    I like the usual answer that we don’t want to teach our kids false information. If that were true, why do they teach solipsism in philosophy class, along side of all the other world philosophies? Giving fatalism or existentialism equal time among philosophies doesn’t make one position better than the other. It means all are being taught and the students are free to decide which world view makes the most sense to them. Why should it be any different in history? I still can’t get over the fact that I’m having this conversation with a Christian.

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  18. Ed Darrell says:

    The Bible says that God is not a liar. Evolution says He is. As a Christian, am I going to believe God or man?

    Nothing in evolution makes such a claim. Why do you insist on making scientists out to be such bad guys? And then you have the gall to complain about a little profanity, after claiming, falsely, that science has such a lack of tact and ethics?

    You have made one of the most serious charges possible against science and scientists. And it is a false charge. You do it with the glibness of the true creationist, unconcerned with the facts.

    (Do you see the differences in perspective?)

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  19. Ed Darrell says:

    So that this post won’t get filtered, I won’t post one of the responses, but if you look at the responses, on of them has a link that is a good rebuttal of this particular article. Do you think it’s a depiction of a boar?

    Looks a lot more like a boar to me than a stegosaurus — not to mention no stegosaurus remains of any type have been discovered in that area. If the locals were to see a stegosaurus, it should be in an area where the creatures live or lived, don’t you think?

    But let’s deal with your main argument here: You’re saying that if there are any ancient-looking animals alive on Earth, then the whole of geology, all of paleontology, and nuclear physics are in error. That’s a patently flawed argument: There are lots of ancient creatures alive today. Their surviving neither testifies to a young planet, nor suggests a problem with evolution in any way.

    Turtles, the crocodilians, monitor lizards, salamanders, ginko trees, ferns, dragon flies — all of these are ancient forms. They have adaptations that have served them well enough to survive to modern times. They do not bring with them all the other creatures that did not survive. It is a foolish error of logic to make such a claim, I think you would agree.

    Is it possible that dinosaurs survived after the K-T boundary? Not only possible, but certain — we have the fossils that show it. Large numbers of them? No. Big guys like stegosaurus? No. A few guys bigger than the modern Komodo dragon? Maybe.

    Our best evidence of megafauna is found in the caves of the aboriginals who ate them. The giant ground sloth, American pachyderms (mammoths and mastodons), giant carnivorous flightless birds of South America, giant armadillo, giant cave bears, the moa of New Zealand, dodos from Mauritius, and so on, we know from the bones of butchered specimens, in a few cases better than anything found in near-fossil form. (Ice preserved mammoths and dodos being almost-exceptions.)

    What if the carving is, in fact, a stegosaurus? Then it’s oddly out of place, and a wonderful mystery. Does it testify to a young Earth? No. Does it testify to falsify evolution? In no way at all. Does it mean there may be things in the Southeastern Asian jungles we don’t know yet? That’s a certainty, especially around areas like the Cardamom Mountains. Last year saw the published descriptions of no fewer than three “new” mammals, including one of the oddest rodents you’d ever dream of, out of Southeast Asia. Species thought to be extinct, known only from bones, have been discovered, since the wars there ended.

    Know what? Those mammals all had lactating glands. They all delivered by placenta, bearing live young. Nothing about the new knowledge cast any hint of doubt on evolution at all, and everything we know about them reifies the theory.

    At what point do we get the first discovery from creationists that contradicts evolution? After 6,010 years (see my post today of Earth’s birthday), you’d think that one piece of evidence would have turned up, don’t you?

    Or, is God a deceiver?

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  20. Ed Darrell says:

    You’re right, more than 75% of issues are unanswered. I offer a dozen examples, you say you read AiG’s website — not dealing with any of the examples. I note Gosse’s book and the Christian response after you invoke Gosse’s hypothesis, and then you dismiss all the contrary criticism from scientists AND theologians.

    Was it too subtle that I didn’t mention all the threads you dropped?

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