Intelligent design: Pigs still don’t fly


Encore Post

On the road for a day and a half. Here is an encore post from last October, an issue that remains salient, sadly, as creationists have stepped up their presence in Texas before the next round of biology textbook approvals before the Texas State Board of Education. I discuss why intelligent design should not be in science books.

Picture from Flying Pig Brewery, Seattle, Washington Image: Flying Pig Brewing Co., Everett, Washington

[From October 2006]: We’re talking past each other now over at Right Reason, on a thread that started out lamenting Baylor’s initial decision to deny Dr. Francis Beckwith tenure last year, but quickly changed once news got out that Beckwith’s appeal of the decision was successful.

I noted that Beckwith’s getting tenure denies ID advocates of an argument that Beckwith is being persecuted for his ID views (wholly apart from the fact that there is zero indication his views on this issue had anything to do with his tenure discussions). Of course, I was wrong there — ID advocates have since continued to claim persecution where none exists. Never let the facts get in the way of a creationism rant, is the first rule of creationism.

Discussion has since turned to the legality of teaching intelligent design in a public school science class. This is well settled law — it’s not legal, not so long as there remains no undisproven science to back ID or any other form of creationism.

Background: The Supreme Court affirmed the law in a 1987 case from Louisiana, Edwards v. Aguillard (482 U.S. 578), affirming a district court’s grant of summary judgment against a state law requiring schools to teach creationism whenever evolution was covered in the curriculum. Summary judgment was issued by the district court because the issues were not materially different from those in an earlier case in Arkansas, McLean vs. Arkansas (529 F. Supp. 1255, 1266 (ED Ark. 1982)). There the court held, after trial, that there is no science in creationism that would allow it to be discussed as science in a classroom, and further that creationism is based in scripture and the advocates of creationism have religious reasons only to make such laws. (During depositions, each creationism advocate was asked, under oath, whether they knew of research that supports creationism; each answered “no.” Then they were asked where creationism comes from, and each answered that it comes from scripture. It is often noted how the testimony changes from creationists, when under oath.)

Especially after the Arkansas trial, it was clear that in order to get creationism into the textbooks, creationists would have to hit the laboratories and the field to do some science to back their claims. Oddly, they have staunchly avoided doing any such work, instead claiming victimhood, usually on religious grounds. To the extent ID differs from all other forms of creationism, the applicability of the law to ID was affirmed late last year in the Pennsylvania case, Kitzmiller v. Dover.

Against this legal background, Dr. Francis Beckwith has been arguing that school boards may legally inject creationism into their curricula. His analysis is long and off the point; among other things he thinks that, philosophically, courts should not inquire into the religious motives of school boards and other legislative bodies when they pass such silly laws. In this argument, Beckwith appears to miss the essential elements upon which the courts rule: That there is no demonstration of science in the various flavors of creationism, and consequently no valid, secular reason to put it into school curricula.

In my days in intercollegiate debate, we called such cases “squirrels.” They depend on one’s roping-in the opponent to an off-topic discussion on some point where you actually have a case, in order to avoid arguing on all the issues where you are weak. In the case of creationism, the ID advocates wish to avoid arguing on the issues of whether they’ve done any significant or substantial lab work since 1981, because they haven’t. Having not paid the dues to be called science, having not purchased the research ticket to respectability the courts require, they need to argue something else to stay in the game.

The bottom line is this: Dr. Beckwith claims that it would or should be legal to teach intelligent design (ID) in public school science classes, as science. These claims are predicated on an assumption that science is behind the ideas of intelligent design — and that assumption is completely unwarranted. There is not enough science in ID to get a nomination for the IgNobel Prizes, let alone to warrant teaching it as science to innocent children.

Beckwith doesn’t see it that way, of course. He’s got a book out, Law, Darwinism, and Public Education, in which he argues that ID should be treated like just an alternative proposal, and in which he concludes that if a school district were to make the ruling just right, ID would be found to be good science to be taught to kids. I bought the book a couple of years ago — at a church conference featuring the Discovery Institute’s best videos and books, a science conference being something too scary for intelligent design, it appears — and I have intended at various times to make a good fisking of it. But there are problems: First and foremost, the book is so rife with error that I can’t get more than a couple of pages at a time without throwing it down in disgust at its lack of editing. Nor is there any financial incentive — one more analysis that shows ID is still outdated and bad science, and that the law has not changed since 1788, is not much in demand. Perhaps someday, when I get some real library time, I might fisk it anyway.

In other places I have likened Beckwith’s claim to a claim that, philosophically, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) should regulate pig farms in air traffic lanes near major airports, since, if pigs could fly, they might pose a hazard to commercial and general aviation. Such a claim is nearly indistinguishable from Beckwith’s claims in the soundness of their reasoning and arguments, and in the utter failure of the argument due to the error in a major premise. ID isn’t science, and pigs don’t fly.

Pig flight is a good analogy to Beckwith’s claims, I think. Logically, one can make the case that the FAA would have jurisdiction over farms with flying pigs. One can make that case under current law, which charges the FAA with worrying over hazards to aviation, and which in practice requires FAA and airports and airlines to seriously consider risks from birds around airports, as well as things like deer on the runways (hello O’Hare?). So, logically, philosophically, the case makes sense. It is a perfect squirrel case, except for this issue: Pigs don’t fly.

At Panda’s Thumb, earlier, I put it this way:

You have assumed that ID is science. It’s not. You’ve assumed that the science can be well demonstrated in a courtroom. No one has tried. It is unjustified, therefore, to make the leap to the position that teaching ID in a government-sponsored science class could be constitutional. I think the repeating of this canard is part of what makes non-legal scholars, like Tom DeLay, angry when the judges merely apply the law that exists, instead of the law that non-party partisans have told DeLay and others could exist.

One could, philosophically, argue that the Federal Aviation Administration should regulate effluents from pigs, if it can be shown that pigs do fly. The effluents could, arguably, pose a hazard to commercial and recreational aviation, and they could have effects on the ground around pig airports. If the pigs fly in FAA-regulated areas, then the law is pretty clear that they fall into the purview of the FAA.

But if the FAA shows up at an Arkansas pig farm to inspect the pigs, the farmer would be well within his rights to throw them off the farm. Pigs don’t fly, no matter the philosophical validity of the FAA’s having jurisdiction, if they did.

ID is not science. That pig hasn’t even sprouted wings yet.

Dr. Beckwith, later in that thread, came as close as he ever has to dealing with the issue:

Ed. I don’t recognize my arguments in your comments. As you know, if you have read my book, I am not offering legal advice to teachers. I am assessing a debate over Constitutional Law. To employ an illustration, prior to our current First Amendment regime, lawyers argued in law reviews that hard core pornography is protected by the Constitution, even though those lawyers would not advise their individual clients to start purchasing pornography. So, there is a difference between the sort of advice one may give a client, and the more scholarly debate about the nature of our legal regime and what sorts of actions are permissible under it.

The difference between pornography and intelligent design being only that pornography really does exist, and can be found easily, and in some cases may be argued to have socially redeeming value (see, c.f., the Sistine Chapel).

In any case, I think we can conclude that Beckwith and I agree on this: Teachers, administrators, don’t try ID in the classroom. That pig won’t fly.

Update, December 2012:  You probably ought to read subsequent pieces, by scholars with much more stature than I have.

That pig still ain’t flyin’!

Also, even more:

(Why are we still discussing this stuff, 9 years after ID got skunked in Texas before the education authorities, 7 years after the Dover, Pennsylvania decision, in which ID got skunked in federal court and declared “not science” before God and the whole world, and 87 years after the Scopes trial?)

57 Responses to Intelligent design: Pigs still don’t fly

  1. Haley says:

    http://timpanogos.wordpress.com/intelligent-design-a-pig-that-does-not-fly/

    Read this discussion up until Tyler leaves bc I just found out that I completely agree with everything (except the whole Visa thing, that was a lil weird) that he says. And like, Tyler I see that this conversation is fruitless. I will not post again so say whatever you want. Like I mentioned earlier, this discussion has definitely made me want to study ID more. My faith in it is by no means shaken, but I’d like to know the science behind what I believe.

    Nick, I’m sorry if I spoke in a way that wasn’t kind, I got caught up and said some things that may or may not be true and I regret several of them. This really taught me discretion in what I say. I hope never to repeat some of the mistakes that I have made during our discussion.

    Ed, I fundamentally disagree with almost everything you have said, but I really appreciate that you know what your talking about and share it in an unoffensive way. Thanks for the venue for the discussion.

    Haley

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  2. Ed Darrell says:

    It’s man’s attempt at explaining how we got here and it falls pathetically short. Maybe that’s why Darwin recanted…

    Ellie already noted that Darwin didn’t recant anything. I think the fact that story still circulates is testament to the moral depravity of creationism, inventing astonishing falsehoods as the only response to scientific data.

    But my chief concern is your misconception that Darwin was trying to make a “human explanation,” I presume you mean counter to God’s. Darwin was Christian when he sailed the world, he was Christian when he discovered the theory of evolution, and he remained Christian his entire life in practice and deed. He had no desire to pick a fight with the church. He started from the assumption that, as the Bible suggested, scientific evidence is accurate, that God’s creation does not tell falsehoods.

    That’s no attempt to oppose God, and not an attempt to invent a story counter to scripture. Nothing Darwin ever wrote is counter to Christian scripture, anywhere. Nothing in scripture says the Earth is young, nothing in scripture denies evolution.

    Those creationists who make up falsehoods about Darwin also tell big fibs about scripture. Don’t be suckered in.

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  3. Ed Darrell says:

    Haley,

    Check out this book, the view of the National Academy of Sciences on creationism; you can read it online for free:

    http://timpanogos.wordpress.com/2008/01/20/review-of-nas-evolution-book/

    You might especially want to see this, on page 11:

    Is Evolution a Theory or a Fact?

    It is both. But that answer requires looking more deeply at the meanings of the words “theory” and “fact.”

    In everyday usage, “theory” often refers to a hunch or a speculation. When people say, “I have a theory about why that happened,” they are often drawing a conclusion based on fragmentary or inconclusive evidence.

    The formal scientific definition of theory is quite different from the everyday meaning of the word. It refers to a comprehensive explanation of some aspect of nature that is supported by a vast body of evidence.

    Many scientific theories are so well established that no new evidence is likely to alter them substantially. For example, no new evidence will demonstrate that the Earth does not orbit around the Sun (heliocentric theory), or that living things are not made of cells (cell theory), that matter is not composed of atoms, or that the surface of the Earth is not divided into solid plates that have moved over geological timescales (the theory of plate tectonics). Like these other foundational scientific theories, the theory of evolution is supported by so many observations and confirming experiments that scientists are confident that the basic components of the theory will not be overturned by new evidence. However, like all scientific theories, the theory of evolution is subject to continuing refinement as new areas of science emerge or as new technologies enable observations and experiments that were not possible previously.

    One of the most useful properties of scientific theories is that they can be used to make predictions about natural events or phenomena that have not yet been observed. For example, the theory of gravitation predicted the behavior of objects on the Moon and other planets long before the activities of spacecraft and astronauts confirmed them. The evolutionary biologists who discovered Tiktaalik (see page 2) predicted that they would find fossils intermediate between fish and limbed terrestrial animals in sediments that were about 375 million years old. Their discovery confirmed the prediction made on the basis of evolutionary theory. In turn, confirmation of a prediction increases confidence in that theory.

    In science, a “fact” typically refers to an observation, measurement, or other form of evidence that can be expected to occur the same way under similar circumstances. However, scientists also use the term “fact” to refer to a scientific explanation that has been tested and confirmed so many times that there is no longer a compelling reason to keep testing it or looking for additional examples. In that respect, the past and continuing occurrence of evolution is a scientific fact. Because the evidence supporting it is so strong, scientists no longer question whether biological evolution has occurred and is continuing to occur. Instead, they investigate the mechanisms of evolution, how rapidly evolution can take place, and related questions.

    It was even more forceful, I thought, in the first edition, where it pointed out that a theory is superior to a law, incorporating laws to explain the phenomenon the theory addresses.

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  4. Haley says:

    Ellie:

    Ok good call Ellie. I looked it up and it is indeed a myth that Darwin recanted. Thanks for the correction. I learned something ;)

    Nick K:

    http://chemistry.about.com/od/chemistry101/a/lawtheory.htm

    That shows you the difference between laws and theories. That’s where I’m coming from. I think you could argue it either way. There isn’t consensus even among expert scientists about something as basic as laws and theories. Why would you want to put your entire trust in something so flimsy? Science is great but you can’t trust in it as the ultimate goal.

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  5. Nick K says:

    Here, Haley, I suggest you learn what you’re talking about at: http://www.talkorigins.org/faqs/evolution-fact.html

    But in science, “theory” means “a statement of what are held to be the general laws, principles, or causes of something known or observed.” as the Oxford English Dictionary defines it. The theory of evolution is a body of interconnected statements about natural selection and the other processes that are thought to cause evolution, just as the atomic theory of chemistry and the Newtonian theory of mechanics are bodies of statements that describe causes of chemical and physical phenomena. In contrast, the statement that organisms have descended with modifications from common ancestors–the historical reality of evolution–is not a theory. It is a fact, as fully as the fact of the earth’s revolution about the sun. Like the heliocentric solar system, evolution began as a hypothesis, and achieved “facthood” as the evidence in its favor became so strong that no knowledgeable and unbiased person could deny its reality. No biologist today would think of submitting a paper entitled “New evidence for evolution;” it simply has not been an issue for a century.

    (Oh look…it says that theories are made up of laws…. Your claiming otherwise, Haley, proves how little you know about how science defines the words “theory” and the word “laws.” Or would you care to explain why there are more then one “law” of gravity?)

    Well evolution is a theory. It is also a fact. And facts and theories are different things, not rungs in a hierarchy of increasing certainty. Facts are the world’s data. Theories are structures of ideas that explain and interpret facts. Facts don’t go away when scientists debate rival theories to explain them. Einstein’s theory of gravitation replaced Newton’s in this century, but apples didn’t suspend themselves in midair, pending the outcome. And humans evolved from ape-like ancestors whether they did so by Darwin’s proposed mechanism or by some other yet to be discovered.

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  6. Nick K says:

    Haley writes:
    Oh, and evolution isn’t proven. That’s why it’s a theory and not scientific LAW. “Your ignorance to the contrary doesn’t change that fact.”

    No, Haley, theories are the end point for science. Scientific laws aren’t above scientific theories. Gravity is a theory to science…are you going to say that it isn’t proven?

    Scientific laws make up theories Haley. You have an misinformed understanding of science. When science uses the term “theory” it means that it has been proven.

    You can pretend there and deny that all you want, Haley, but you simply and bluntly put don’t know what in the hell you’re talking about.

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  7. Ellie says:

    Haley, you should believe in Poof! Man, woman, talking snake, if that’s where you are comfortable. Furthermore, I’ve already stated that I no longer argue with creationists. They — you — should believe whatever you want and whatever makes you happy.

    However, believing that is no excuse for lying or passing along lies you have heard or read. Darwin did not recant, anywhere other than in the lies and literature of the Liars For Jesus.

    I don’t think Jesus cares if you are a scientist or a creationist. I do think he cares if you lie.

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  8. Haley says:

    Nick K:

    “So when the Bible says that you are to kill anyone who wears clothes of mixed threads you believe it? When the Bible says you are to kill anyone who plants two different crops side by side you believe it? You believe that you should be able to sell your daughter into slavery?”

    Of course not, that is part of the law. the Old Testament law. I believe that Jesus fulfilled that law when he died and we don’t have to live under the Old Testament law anymore. That isn’t to say that we shouldn’t pay attention to any of it, or that it is all null and void, but all of the laws that you mentioned don’t apply anymore. It is there so that we can see how impossible it would be to perfectly keep God’s law and to point to the need for a savior.

    In regard to the versions of the Bible, I believe that they are all the inerrant word of God, however, I do believe that some are more accurate translations, but that is a discussion for another day.

    Oh, and evolution isn’t proven. That’s why it’s a theory and not scientific LAW. “Your ignorance to the contrary doesn’t change that fact.”

    Ed D:

    “As the early 20th-century wag said, it’s not what we don’t know that gets us into trouble — it’s what we know that isn’t so. You’re 100% positive of what you don’t know. ”

    Well I can’t really argue with you because I don’t buy your arguments about how creationism isn’t true. It’s not that there AREN’T answers to all of your arguments, it’s just that me being 16 and all and never having studied any of this, I don’t KNOW the answers. This discussion definitely has made me want to find out those answers though.

    “Among other messages of Jesus, don’t blindly follow stupidities of past generations, but use your mind. The message of the cross is not “shut your mind.” Walk with God and work for justice. No part of that says “Darwin was wrong, and you’re a sinner if you don’t blindly follow the teachings of outdated science from centuries ago.”

    I completely agree with the fact that the message of the cross is not to shut your mind. You definitely should explore and learn about the earth that I believe God created. I don’t however agree that creationism is a “stupidity of past generations” and that it’s an “outdated science from centuries ago”.

    I do believe Darwin was wrong because the whole theory of evolution is completely against creationism. It’s man’s attempt at explaining how we got here and it falls pathetically short. Maybe that’s why Darwin recanted…

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  9. Ed Darrell says:

    don’t have time to look it all up, but I am 100% positive because of what you would call my blind “faith” that there are explanations to all of your arguments.

    As the early 20th-century wag said, it’s not what we don’t know that gets us into trouble — it’s what we know that isn’t so. You’re 100% positive of what you don’t know. That’s not the kind of faith Christians strive for, generally. I’m not sure why you’d think that a badge of honor.

    In that vast well of ignorance you have faith in, Semmelweis was told to stop his hand-scrubbing experiments to reduce infections in the maternity ward. Galileo was told to stop talking about the Earth’s orbit about the Sun. The New York Times editorialized against the exploration of space, noting that in space, there’s nothing for a rocket’s motor “to push against,” and so we would always be doomed to live within the Earth’s atmosphere. Washington’s doctors decided to bleed him more, to let out the evil spirits, instead of doing the tracheotomy that could have saved his life.

    Haley, weren’t you bound for a study of biology at one time? A study of science is the finding of things we don’t know, and curing the ignorance. I don’t think you’ve caught that spirit yet.

    “For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God.”

    1 Corinthians 1:18

    Among other messages of Jesus, don’t blindly follow stupidities of past generations, but use your mind. The message of the cross is not “shut your mind.” Walk with God and work for justice. No part of that says “Darwin was wrong, and you’re a sinner if you don’t blindly follow the teachings of outdated science from centuries ago.”

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  10. Nick K says:

    So when the Bible says that you are to kill anyone who wears clothes of mixed threads you believe it? When the Bible says you are to kill anyone who plants two different crops side by side you believe it? You believe that you should be able to sell your daughter into slavery? Would you like me to go on or do you get the point?

    The Bible may have been inspired by God but that doesn’t mean it was written by God nor does it mean it is inerrant and infallible. It was written by humans and contains errors at times. If it was so inerrant, Haley, there would be exactly one version of the Bible. Or did you not know there was multiple versions of the Bible and they all differ from each other in ways?

    You can say you don’t appreciate the personal attack and thats fine..but I didn’t appreciate your stupid assumption that I’m not Christian and that I need to “get right with God” or however you phrased it. You seem to be suffering from the belief that all Christians think like you. Sorry, no. You’re in the minority. So next time better watch your tongue and maybe I won’t find it necessary to return a personal swipe for a personal swipe. Oh and again you pull a personal attack with “only God can show you the truth.” Well fine..only God can show you the truth. Because you’re living a pack of lies so far. Sorry, you want to pull that arrogant stupid prosetylizing with me you’re not going to get a very polite response back. I’m Christian, Haley, whether you believe it or not. So take your stupidly arrogant “Only God can show you the truth” as if you have a personal phone connection with God and shove it in the garbage. Your arrogance when it comes to being a Christian, Haley, proves how much a fake you are.

    ANd yes, evolution has been proven. That’s why it’s a theory and not an hypothesis. Your ignorance to the contrary doesn’t change that fact.

    If you believe God can do anything then what exactly is your problem in believing that God created the earth, all life, and the universe according to what science says? Meaning according to what reality says.

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  11. Haley says:

    Nick,

    I definitely don’t appreciate the personal attack. I believe that every last word in the Bible while written by fallibe human beings is inspired by God and is 100% true. God made the earth however he said he made it. He’s God. He created science. He can do whatever he wants, and he certainly doesn’t have to answer to you or me. I’m no scientist so I quite frankly don’t know the answers to your questions, but attacking me personally isn’t going to convince me or anyone else holding my view that reads this, into believing your position. Your antagonistic tone sure isn’t fruit of your faith Nick. I appreciate the polite and sensible responses of Mr. Darrell.

    Nick K says: The Bible says why and who, Haley. It doesn’t even attempt to explain how or when.

    I believe if it was that important, it would be in there. I’m pretty sure I’ll find out in heaven. I’m tired of arguing with you because you make blanket statements, such as “evolution is proven beyond a shadow of a doubt” (I literally laughed when I read that!!) and that answersingenesis.org is a pack of lies, and you have tried to discredit most of my arguments by basically saying “nu uh”!! Like I said earlier, I know I’m not going to convince you, so I’ve quit trying. Only God can show you the truth. I think you should stop trying to explain everything scientifically in your own power, and just pray and ask God (since you are christian) about it. Only he can show you the truth.

    Haley

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  12. Ellie says:

    Nic, you can’t win this. There is no “there” there. It isn’t a matter of a debate or a discussion, because the other side has closed the door on reason (a gift from God which they choose to reject). You will only become frustrated and sad. It is an exercise in futility.

    Personally, I no longer do it….at least not for free. If a creationist wants to argue with me, s/he will have to pay me — in advance. $100 a minute has not drawn any takers as yet.

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  13. Nick K says:

    I’m Catholic, Haley. Meaning I’m Christian. But here’s the difference between me and you. You buy into misinterpreted and bastard form of Creation, I don’t. I believe in Creation…I believe that God created the world…but I believe that God did so how the world indicates…not how a misinterpretation of a human written book spouted by “Christians” who are so weak of faith that they can say they believe that God created the world..but that He lied about how he did it. The Bible says why and who, Haley. It doesn’t even attempt to explain how or when.

    So you can believe in your precious Creationism all you want, Haley, but you are a heretic and a false Christian for doing so. You are calling God a liar. And AnswersinGenesis.com is nothing but a bunch of lies. Deny the world to protect your so called faith, Haley, but by doing so you are denying God.

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  14. Haley says:

    Wow I would love to know the responses to all of your points. I don’t have time to look it all up, but I am 100% positive because of what you would call my blind “faith” that there are explanations to all of your arguments. You might already know about it, but look up all of your points/arguments on answersingenesis.org. I realize that since I fundamentally disagree with you that nothing I say will convince you. So you can call it proselytizing or whatever you want, but the only way you are going to see is if God opens your eyes. If he doesn’t, then nothing I say will convince you.

    “For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God.”

    1 Corinthians 1:18

    God Bless,
    Haley

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  15. Nick K says:

    Trueinspired writes:
    you must be joking right. next time do some studying
    don’t post something in ignorance it would make u look dumb

    Funny..that’s exactly what I was just going to say to you. You must be joking right? Next time do some studying so you don’t post something in ignorance, it just makes you look stupid.

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  16. Nick K says:

    Trueinspired: for GOD so loved the world that he gave his only begotten son that who should ever believe in him should not Parrish but have everlasting life

    You know..if you’re going to prosetylize and pretend to speak for God it would be a good idea if you didn’t come across as an ignorant rube.

    The sentence is “for God so loved the world that He gave HIs only begotten son that who should ever believe in Him should not PERISH but have everlasting life.”

    I don’t know what you were taught but here in the intelligent world the words parrish and perish don’t mean the same thing.

    Secondly…what in blue blazes does what you say have anything to do with the topic? Or were you just brainlessly prosetylizing to?

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  17. Ed Darrell says:

    Inspiration from 1611 doesn’t weather well, especially when confronted with science — or as it was known in 1611, the “facts of God’s creation.”

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  18. trueinspired1611 says:

    but king joram was returned to be healed in Jezreel of the wounds which the Syrians had given him when he fought with hazael king of Syria

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  19. trueinspired1611 says:

    “But lets examine the Bible for a second. It says that God created life on this planet before He created the sun.

    Do you know what would have happened if that had been the case? All life on the planet would have immediately froze to death.”

    you must be joking right. next time do some studying
    don’t post something in ignorance it would make u look dumb

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  20. trueinspired1611 says:

    for GOD so loved the world that he gave his only begotten son that who should ever believe in him should not Parrish but have everlasting life

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  21. Nick Kelsier says:

    Matthew 13:35 does not prove your precious Creationism.

    Nor does Matthew 25:34, Mark 10:6, or John 17:24.

    Nor do they prove a world wide flood.

    So what exactly is your point in bringing them up?

    You might want to get off this apparent notion of yours that Ed and I don’t know the Bible and don’t understand it.

    Nothing you’ve said is evidence of your claims, nothing you’ve said is proof of your claims. Nothing you’ve said is even close to being of science. The earth is billions of years old, the Universe is even older. Life on this planet has existed a lot longer then your precious 10,000 years. Humans have existed a lot longer then your precious 10,000 years. And there is absolutely no evidence for a world wide flood. And evolution has been proven beyond a shadow of a doubt.

    Those are all scientific facts, those are all truth. And nothing you say, Haley, changes that.

    Now if you say you beleive in God and that He created everything then why do you have such trouble giving credit to God for how He did it? Why do you insist that God did it in the manner your interpretation of a human written book like God is some marionette dancing at the end of strings controlled by you? Why do you have such trouble recognizing what God did how He did it?

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  22. Nick Kelsier says:

    But lets examine the Bible for a second. It says that God created life on this planet before He created the sun.

    Do you know what would have happened if that had been the case? All life on the planet would have immediately froze to death.

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  23. Nick Kelsier says:

    Haley writes:
    I’m not going to claim to know exactly how God created the world, but I think that God created the stars and made the light already as soon as he made the earth.

    Then you are claiming that God is a sociopathic liar. And you call yourself a Christian?

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  24. Nick Kelsier says:

    Haley writes:

    He wasn’t trying to prove the Bible, he was trying to disprove it. Of course he concluded there wasn’t a flood! Pretty convenient for him don’t you think?

    Oh you mean like how you’re trying to prove the Bible. Of course you concluded there was a flood. Pretty convenient for you, don’t you think?

    Science doesn’t deal with “assumptions.” Either you prove what you claim happened actually happened or you drop your claim.

    Haley writes:
    Nick: In response to your first point about light years…first of all,I’m not gonna go into details (you can look it up on your own) but the big bang theory actually has the same problem.

    Hello non sequitor. In other words you can’t show me how I was wrong so you’re going to cook up a sideshow to distract me.

    Haley writes:
    About the whole “allegory” thing, if you don’t believe the Bible on creation, then you don’t believe any of it because in John 1:1-3 it says that The Word (Jesus)was there when the world was MADE.

    And that proves you right how? I believe that God created the world and the universe, Haley, I just don’t believe in your interpretation of it. Creationism is an heretical nonsense argument in which the entire basis of the argument is that God is a sociopathic liar. The Bible says that God created the world, all life on it, and the universe. It doesn’t say how He did so no matter how much you want to pretend otherwise.

    See, I as a Christian worship God. You, as a someone who is claiming to be Christian, worship the Bible. To me, you’re committing idolatry. You’re giving a physical object the powers of God. The Bible is a tool for Christians to learn, it is not meant to be taken literally and it is not meant to be taken innerantly. Or more specifically..not everything in the Bible is meant to be taken literally or inerrant. Or did you somehow manage to miss that one of Jesus’ favorite ways to teach was through the use of parables? And parables are just a form of allegory.

    If God created this world and all life on it then God did so in the manner in which this world and all life on it indicate…and that isn’t through Creationism.

    And what is your evidence that Mount Everest wasn’t there at the time of your supposed flood? And what is your evidence that it was created by said flood?

    Haley writes:
    “And the lakes in my state were not caused a flood. Nor was the Grand Canyon caused by a flood.”
    And you know that HOW?

    Because floods don’t cause that type of change in the landscape. Rivers do. A flood, meaning a massive layer of water, doesn’t dig trenches. The lakes in my state weren’t caused by a flood either..they were caused by glaciers. You only get that type of erosion through rivers digging and eroding the soil like that. You can have a flood sit there for a million years and it wouldn’t do that. If a flood had sat there it would have created a very large bowl. Its the same reason you can’t claim that a flood created Mount Everest. It’s beyond the abilities of any flood. And as I said before, water doesn’t *poof* appear and *poof* disappear.

    And you can’t claim that light from millions of lightyears away got here in less then 6,000 years because that’s making light travel faster then lightspeed. That article you cited is bunk.

    Noah’s flood is a “world” flood because that’s what the people who wrote that part of the Bible thought it was. That it was a flood that threatened their world. But their world was a small piece of the actual planet earth.

    And you still don’t get this…most fresh water creatures can’t live in salt water. And most salt water creatures can’t live in fresh water. And two of every creature isn’t enough of a genetic base to create entire species. There is a reason why inbreeding is a social taboo. In fact the Bible contradicts itself on how many creatures were on the Ark. And even if it was just two of every creature there simply wouldn’t have been enough space. You can’t build a wooden boat big enough to fit two of every species on the planet. Not even our nuclear powered aircraft carriers are that big. And if you accept what you call “microevolution” then you have to accept “macroevolution” because to be honest..there is no “microevolution” and “macroevolution” there is just evolution. At some point all those “microevolution” changes you accept would mean that it was a new species.

    Sorry, you don’t get to get away with assumptions and “what ifs” because that’s not science.

    Like

  25. Ed Darrell says:

    Haley,

    Information on carbon dating, from the National Science Foundation, here:

    http://www.ndt-ed.org/EducationResources/CommunityCollege/Radiography/Physics/carbondating.htm

    Like

  26. Ed Darrell says:

    Oh, good grief. It’s like no one ever paid attention on the old AOL boards, nor bothers to read anything since.

    Haley said:

    How about the fossilized trackways in the Coconino Sandstone such as the Hermit Trail in the Grand Canyon? A lot of research has been done on those and scientists who studied it have concluded that the only way to create footprints at those specific angles, would be if they were underwater.

    But not under a flood. Not in rapidly flowing water from the impossible deluge a Noachic flood would require. Footprints in a shallow ocean or lake, which was subsequently dried out (not possible in a flood), and then covered over again with other dry debris, and then fossilized. These are a few of the footprints fossilized there, but not all. Most of the footprints fossilized had to have been made above water, including the tracks of spiders, centipedes, millipedes and scorpions (which could not sink). You forgot to mention the two or three levels of fossilized sandunes found in the Grand Canyon, and you forgot to mention the fossilized raindrops found in some of those fossilized deserts. You failed to account for the volcanic material. And you assume that everything underwater must be a flood, failing to account for several coverings by oceans, or lakes, or the rivers that once flowed there.

    You do a gross injustice to the majesty of the forces which created Grand Canyon. A view of the layers of rock in the Grand Canyon and the Colorado Plateau reveal a combination that could not be achieved by flood.
    Layers of rock in the Grand Canyon and Colorado Plateau
    (Caption for this image from USGS: “A cross-section of a region of the Grand Canyon. Note the relatively horizontal strata overlaying the extremely eroded and tilted older strata. The Open File Report may be downloaded in various formats from this site: Grand Canyon Geologic Map – Web Open File Report I-2688.“)

    See this article from the Journal of Paleontology (Brand); and this paper by Brand in Geology.

    Notice no paper suggests a Noachic flood, and no paper questions the age of the Coconino Sandstone, generally placed at 260 million years ago. And while Brand is a Seventh Day Adventist and creationist himself, his findings do not suggest a Noachic flood. He has no way to contest the age of the Coconino stone at 260 million years, nor does he in any of his papers.

    You should do some study of the Coconino. It consists almost entirely of wind-deposited sand. It is, literally, desert upon desert of wind-blown sand, fossilized. No evidence of a great flood in its creation.

    Or how about polystrate fossils? They’re fossilized trees that are found all over the world that are usually upright and don’t have any roots attached to them and they are often found individually suggesting that they were uprooted and re-deposited there.

    Roots generally rot out anyway.

    Consider the “polystrate” fossil forests of Yellowstone. The trees were killed by a volcanic ashfall, not a flood. The trees, buried, had their wood substrates replaced by stone — fossilization. After the trees were fossilized, something eroded the ash away (wind? water?). Then the stone forest was reburied by sediments. This process in some cases took millions of years. No flood evidence exists.

    In at least one case in Yellowstone, there is one petrified forest of polystrate trees, on top of another forest of petrified, polystrate trees. Again, there is no evidence of a flood.

    Why are you citing only from creationist sites? Have you ever studied geology generally, or any of these areas in particular?

    If you still don’t think there’s any geological evidence for a worldwide flood I can bring up more.

    There is no evidence for a worldwide flood that stands up to scrutiny. You’ve offered some old creationist canards that research shows not to be accurate. I’ve seen most of those, I think, and frankly, I don’t care to see any more. You need to research why geologists don’t find those arguments persuasive, and do it yourself.

    There is no case to be made for a worldwide flood on the basis of evidence the Earth offers. Those claims of floods don’t offer a scale broad enough for a worldwide flood, nor do most of them stand up to scrutiny.

    In response to your point about Jericho, there’s actually a lot of archaeological evidence that the Bible is right about the walls of Jericho, but I’ll just respond to your observations.

    No dig on the walls of Jericho has ever found a flood. Jericho is dry today, impossible had it been flooded in the past 40,000 years or so. The walls of Jericho are simply irrelevant to this point, nor does scripture claim the walls relevant.

    First, the scientists that dated the city of Jericho used C14 to determine the date. The problem is, carbon 14 can’t be used to date rock (I can prove this later if you want). It can only be used to date once living things. So what once-living thing did they find in Jericho that led them to the conclusion that the city was 15,000 years old?

    They weren’t dating rock. They were dating the formerly living things that ancient residents left behind. C14 is the radioisotope of choice to date any object thought to have been alive in the past 50,000 years (and some people have pushed it to 100,000 years). Jericho goes back 15,000 years, well within the range of accuracy of C14 dating.

    Archaeologists find bones from meals, and other detritus. Among the more fascinating, and smelly, investigations, they dig the garbage and waste pits of the town. Consequently, they get organic matter to date of two types, including human waste. Granaries sometimes have seeds still left in them. Leather implements can be dated. Axe handles can be dated. What else might people living in a desert oasis have that they throw away? All of that stuff can be dated.

    About your point about the lake, why would there have to be a lake? The Bible says that the water receded from the dry land, and Jericho was dry land, so couldn’t we assume the water dried up there as well?

    You’re assuming God created a special miracle to remove the evidence of the flood of Noah. Why would God be embarrassed and want to remove the evidence? The theology is bad on the invoking of special miracles.

    Apart from a special miracle, even years of drought would not have drained that basin yet. Remember, it’s below sea level, so in a world wide flood, it would be thousands of feet deep. The lake there would have had to have been at least a thousand feet deep. With no drainage to the ocean, and no massive pumps to move the water out, and no dams on the Jordan to divert the water, the lake could not evaporate in 10,000 years.

    Where could water “recede” to?

    Which is another disproof of the claims of a flood — where did all the water go? There’s not enough water on the planet to submerse all the land, and no evidence that there ever was.

    As to Charles Lyell, I’m not going to argue about whether or not he was a christian, but there were things found in his personal journals indicating that he wanted to “free science from Moses”.

    A good idea that Moses would have approved of. Christians of that era were determined not to be crazy cultists. Are you Christian? You’d do well to follow Lyell’s example.

    He wasn’t trying to prove the Bible, he was trying to disprove it. Of course he concluded there wasn’t a flood! Pretty convenient for him don’t you think?

    He wasn’t trying to disprove the Bible at all. He was trying to see which events in scripture could be verified in nature, and which could not. He was trying to figure out where to find the minerals in the Earth, and how to engineer roads. Lyell, as a devout Christian, was not at all trying to disprove scripture.

    But he held to the idea that Aquinas voiced, that when the evidence of nature contradicts a story in the Bible, Christians shouldn’t play fools and claim reality is wrong. God is the God of reality, Christians then believed, and all of nature a testament of God direct from God’s hand. To call scripture written by men “right,” instead of the work direct from the hand of God, was blasphemy to them. Who are you to claim that God was wrong? they’d ask.

    And it’s a good question: Who are you to claim the work of God is wrong?

    One of Lyell’s, and Darwin’s, mentors was the Rev. Adam Sedgwick, one of the greatest geologists of the time (and to most, for all time). Sedgwick was the guy who, as president of the geological society, delivered the speech in 1831 that put the stake in the heart of flood geology. He noted that no one had ever found any of the evidence that would have had to have existed, had such a flood occurred. And he appealed to the duty of Christians and others to stick to the facts and the truth:

    No opinion can be heretical, but that which is not true…. Conflicting falsehoods we can comprehend; but truths can never war against each other. I affirm, therefore, that we have nothing to fear from the results of our enquiries, provided they be followed in the laborious but secure road of honest induction. In this way we may rest assured that we shall never arrive at conclusions opposed to any truth, either physical or moral, from whatever source that truth may be derived.

    These men regarded truth as rather sacred, a gift from God — not something to be toyed with in order to support cultic beliefs.

    Nick: In response to your first point about light years…first of all,I’m not gonna go into details (you can look it up on your own) but the big bang theory actually has the same problem.

    The only problem Big Bang has here that might come close to relevance is that creationists are foggy on what came before it. Big Bang is as much science as the x-ray image your dentist takes. Please don’t dismiss all of reality as non-existent.

    I’m not going to claim to know exactly how God created the world, but I think that God created the stars and made the light already as soon as he made the earth. But if you want to know the scientific evidence for it then read this article http://creation.com/how-can-distant-starlight-reach-us-in-just-6000-years and it gives the response to that argument. It’s too lengthy to post here.

    It’s also quackery, crank science. Thank you for not posting it here — we try to keep this forum clean. Children use it to do homework.

    Ok well I’m “silly enough” to mention carbon dating because your assumptions on the age of the earth are partly based on that “fact” so you’d better back it up.

    Several other isotopes do well for dating rocks. Uranium dating puts the age of the oldest rocks on Earth, and the Moon and Mars, at about 4.5 billion years. There is much other evidence, too.

    About the whole “allegory” thing, if you don’t believe the Bible on creation, then you don’t believe any of it because in John 1:1-3 it says that The Word (Jesus)was there when the world was MADE.

    John doesn’t say anything about any of the eight different versions of creation told in Christian scripture as being literally accurate. John doesn’t distinguish which creation story is correct, that told in Genesis 1, or that told in Genesis 2.

    Christians start with faith in God. Idolators start with faith in the Bible. It may be a subtle difference, but an important one. I find most creationists to hold fast to their idols over God’s own testimony.

    God’s zircon crystals do not lie. We don’t know the provenance of any of the stories in the Bible so well as we know the provenance of those crystals, and the isotopes in the rock. See Luke 19.20. The stones testify. The question is whether nominal Christians will listen.

    Also Matthew 13:35, 25:34, Mark 10:6, John 17:24 and many other references all talk about the creation of the world. Most of those references are from Jesus so if you don’t believe what he says, I’d be in serious doubt that you are really a christian.

    Nowhere does Jesus deny Big Bang. Nowhere does Jesus say the Earth is very young. Nowhere does Jesus vouch for the literal veracity of the Noah story, nor does Jesus’s one reference to Noah require a worldwide flood.

    Nothing in the Bible denies geology. Have you read it?

    In response to your point about the flood covering mountains, a cataclysmic event would have created mountains and valleys. So Mount Everest wasn’t even there during the flood.

    But Everest is not a flood-deposit mountain. The thrusting up of the Himalayas has a known cause, the collision of the Indian plate with the Asian plate. Everest has been there for at least 41 million years — are you saying the flood was prior to that? Humans haven’t been here a million years yet. What species do you claim Noah was?

    Reconciling the old Babylonian flood story with geology is not a task scriptures or Christian tradition require. But reconciling the stories to discount geology, God’s own testimony, is something all Christians should avoid. Calling God a liar isn’t exactly a good foundation for faith.

    In fact it was most likely created BY the flood. You can look up the more detailed response to that if you want and I can go into more detail if you continue to drive that point. Plus about the water thing, if your a christian you believe that God is all-powerful, so why couldn’t he just “*poof*” make water appear???? He’s God.

    “And the lakes in my state were not caused a flood. Nor was the Grand Canyon caused by a flood.”
    And you know that HOW?

    Noah didn’t need to know how big the earth is. That’s completely irrelevant. He only had 2 of each kind of animal, and you’ve gotta figure there’s more specific breeds of animals now then there were thousands of years ago!!!

    Actually, Noah had 7 of each “clean” animal, and two of the others. Well, that’s according to one of the versions in the Bible. How do you determine which version of the Noah story is the “correct” one?

    Even the Bible testifies to the liklihood of the story being allegory, in having two different stories.

    As to how the fresh water animals survived, the water was probably mostly salt-water back then and sea creatures probably adapted to the different types of water they were in. This isn’t macro-evolution mind you (lol) but just micro-evolution. Creatures making small changes in order to better survive where they live. Yet again, I can expound on this point later if you continue to bring it up :)

    Tests show that the creatures don’t survive. Individuals cannot “adapt” to a 150-day flood event. You’re making stuff up to shore up a story that you prize more highly than God. Why?

    And why do it here?

    Like

  27. Haley says:

    Ed: How about the fossilized trackways in the Coconino Sandstone such as the Hermit Trail in the Grand Canyon? A lot of research has been done on those and scientists who studied it have concluded that the only way to create footprints at those specific angles, would be if they were underwater. Or how about polystrate fossils? They’re fossilized trees that are found all over the world that are usually upright and don’t have any roots attached to them and they are often found individually suggesting that they were uprooted and re-deposited there.

    If you still don’t think there’s any geological evidence for a worldwide flood I can bring up more.

    In response to your point about Jericho, there’s actually a lot of archaeological evidence that the Bible is right about the walls of Jericho, but I’ll just respond to your observations. First, the scientists that dated the city of Jericho used C14 to determine the date. The problem is, carbon 14 can’t be used to date rock (I can prove this later if you want). It can only be used to date once living things. So what once-living thing did they find in Jericho that led them to the conclusion that the city was 15,000 years old? About your point about the lake, why would there have to be a lake? The Bible says that the water receded from the dry land, and Jericho was dry land, so couldn’t we assume the water dried up there as well?

    As to Charles Lyell, I’m not going to argue about whether or not he was a christian, but there were things found in his personal journals indicating that he wanted to “free science from Moses”. He wasn’t trying to prove the Bible, he was trying to disprove it. Of course he concluded there wasn’t a flood! Pretty convenient for him don’t you think?

    Nick: In response to your first point about light years…first of all,I’m not gonna go into details (you can look it up on your own) but the big bang theory actually has the same problem. I’m not going to claim to know exactly how God created the world, but I think that God created the stars and made the light already as soon as he made the earth. But if you want to know the scientific evidence for it then read this article http://creation.com/how-can-distant-starlight-reach-us-in-just-6000-years and it gives the response to that argument. It’s too lengthy to post here.

    Ok well I’m “silly enough” to mention carbon dating because your assumptions on the age of the earth are partly based on that “fact” so you’d better back it up.

    About the whole “allegory” thing, if you don’t believe the Bible on creation, then you don’t believe any of it because in John 1:1-3 it says that The Word (Jesus)was there when the world was MADE. Also Matthew 13:35, 25:34, Mark 10:6, John 17:24 and many other references all talk about the creation of the world. Most of those references are from Jesus so if you don’t believe what he says, I’d be in serious doubt that you are really a christian.

    In response to your point about the flood covering mountains, a cataclysmic event would have created mountains and valleys. So Mount Everest wasn’t even there during the flood. In fact it was most likely created BY the flood. You can look up the more detailed response to that if you want and I can go into more detail if you continue to drive that point. Plus about the water thing, if your a christian you believe that God is all-powerful, so why couldn’t he just “*poof*” make water appear???? He’s God.

    “And the lakes in my state were not caused a flood. Nor was the Grand Canyon caused by a flood.”
    And you know that HOW?

    Noah didn’t need to know how big the earth is. That’s completely irrelevant. He only had 2 of each kind of animal, and you’ve gotta figure there’s more specific breeds of animals now then there were thousands of years ago!!!

    As to how the fresh water animals survived, the water was probably mostly salt-water back then and sea creatures probably adapted to the different types of water they were in. This isn’t macro-evolution mind you (lol) but just micro-evolution. Creatures making small changes in order to better survive where they live. Yet again, I can expound on this point later if you continue to bring it up :)

    Like

  28. Nick Kelsier says:

    Nick: You can’t just say the Bible’s wrong, you’ve gotta back it up. What’s your standard? Carbon dating?

    With regards to the age of the universe? Creationists say the Universe is at most 10,000 years old. And yet we have stars that are hundreds of millions of lightyears away.

    You do realize that a “lightyear” is a measurement of distance…and time right? meaning, the light you’ll see tonight that is from a star that is, say, 1 million lightyears away left that star 1 million years ago. Kind of puts a cramp on the claim that the Universe is 10,000 years old. Unless you’re willing to say that God is a liar?

    As for the age of human life on earth, that’s easy. All the evidence that says that human life on this planet has existed for a couple hundred thousand years.

    You may want to realize, little one, that there is more methods of dating the age of something then just carbon dating. Oh and don’t be silly enough to use that trap again. I’m not a scientist and yet I knew where you were going by specifically mentioning “carbon dating.”

    The Bible if taken literally on the creation of the world/life/universe is a tool for fools. The Creation story isn’t meant to be taken literally, it’s allegory. It’s an attempt by the people of that day and age to explain how the world came to be..how they came to be. It says who and why. It at no time attempts to answer when or how. And I say that as a lifelong Christian.

    As for Noah’s flood the problem with that is simple. Water doesn’t disappear. Water has three phases, solid, liquid and gas. And considering to have a world wide flood you’d need enough water to cover Mount Everest which is 30,000 feet above sea level that’s a lot of water you’re talking about. And yet there isn’t enough water on the planet in any of it’s three forms to do that. Like I said, water doesn’t *poof* appear and *poof* disappear. Unless you’re saying God lies?

    And the lakes in my state were not caused a flood. Nor was the Grand Canyon caused by a flood.

    Besides..exactly how do you figure that Noah knew how big the world was? And exactly how do you get all the world’s species of animal into a boat that was much smaller then the average nuclear powered aircraft carrier? There is an upper limit to the size of boats that can be built out of wood you know. And what happened to all the fresh water creatures during the flood? Because most of them can’t survive in salt water. Nor can most salt water creatures survive in fresh water. You know what happens to a, for example, a dolphin when it meets fresh water? It drowns. Why? Because it sinks.

    Like

  29. Ed Darrell says:

    From what I’ve seen, there’s a lot more things that could be explained by a worldwide flood than just some farms under the Black Sea.

    From what geologists saw in the early 19th century, there’s no evidence of a worldwide flood. None.

    For example, such a catastrophic event would leave a sediment layer across the entire planet. Smaller geologic events have left exactly such records, like the Chicxulub meteoroid. Across the entire planet, at a certain level, we find the dust of that collision with the tell-tale concentrations of iridium that tell us it was a bolide strike, and that particular bolide. There is nowhere we can look that the evidence doesn’t exist for that one incident.

    So, where is there a sediment layer for a worldwide flood? Nowhere.

    That’s a disproof, and it’s pretty solid.

    Or consider this: The Dead Seas is the lowest spot on Earth. The shore of the water is nearly 1,400 feet below sea level. If you’re a student of the Bible you know that Jericho is on a path to the Dead Sea.

    Jericho may be the most dug over places on Earth, dug over by archaeologists. Tell Jericho has been continuously inhabited by humans, without break, for at least 15,000 years. Young Earth creationists may be put off by that figure, because it’s more than twice as long as they say the Earth has existed.

    Biblical archaeologists have led diggings in Jericho for the past 60 years. One thing no one has ever found there is any evidence of any flood of any significance. Had there been a worldwide flood, certainly the lowest place on Earth would have been flooded — and yet, there is not an iota of evidence of that flood at that place.

    Moreover, because of the depth of the lake that would have been created, had it been flooded, had there been no water feeding it for the past 10,000 years, it would still exist today, much larger than the Dead Sea.

    Where is that lake?

    Charles Lyell spent much of his career trying to find the evidence for the Great Flood, to verify Noachic stories and flood geology. When he assembled all the evidence from all corners of the globe, he sadly concluded that, not only was there no evidence of a global flood, but all the evidence pointed to the lack of such a flood in human history, or at any other time.

    Lyell was a devout Christian, by the way, as were most of the geologists of the 19th century who disproved the hypothesis of a worldwide flood.

    What have you seen that could be explained by a worldwide flood? I can’t think of anything.

    Like

  30. Haley says:

    Nick: You can’t just say the Bible’s wrong, you’ve gotta back it up. What’s your standard? Carbon dating?

    Ed: No I’m not your niece :) I certainly agree that creationists are fallable human beings and sometimes they jump to conlcusions. Those kind of mistakes are made by both evolutionists and creationsists. The point is not whether creationists are always right, but whether the Bible is always right. From what I’ve seen, there’s a lot more things that could be explained by a worldwide flood than just some farms under the Black Sea.

    Like

  31. Ed Darrell says:

    Haley (my niece Haley?) wrote:

    So it would make sense for a creationist to read what their standard says, and then predict where things (like cities) will be based on the facts. If they are wrong even once, then you can discredit everything they believe. but I’ve never seen anything in their standard (the Bible) be wrong.

    Ultimately, that’s what persuaded Darwin that the Bible was not trustworthy in archaeology and paleontology. The big issue then was flood geology. Piles of gravel left around northern Europe were thought by Bible scholars to be traces of gravel dropped by rushing waters during the flood of Noah. Careful analysis, by good Christians, revealed them to be glacial moraines, instead. This was rather the last straw. That left no physical evidence of a flood just a few thousand years ago. The cities which should have been flooded, simply could not be found. The piles of human bones deposited in gravel from the flood couldn’t be found. All the formerly supposed signs from the flood in geology were better explained by other, natural processes.

    But I think what Nick is pointing to is the creationist habit of citing a piece of evidence that sort of supports their point, and then ignoring all the related evidence that denies their point. For example, Robert Ballards discovery of farms on the floor of the Black Sea, flooded out about 5,000 years ago, got creationists extremely excited. They didn’t want to talk about what the geologists said, however: The flooding of the Black Sea resulted when an ice and rock dam at the Bosporus, burst, and rising Mediterranean waters flooded the place. No Noachic flood.

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  32. Nick Kelsier says:

    Haley writes:
    but I’ve never seen anything in their standard (the Bible) be wrong.

    really? Tell me…how old is the universe?

    Because creationism is flat wrong on the age of the universe, the age of the earth, and the age of life on this planet.

    Like

  33. Haley says:

    I see that Josh stopped answering and I’m probably not as smart as any of you, but I just wanted to comment on 1 thing that was mentioned. Mr Kelsier said: “You guys cherrypick evidence to fit your already preconceived notion. That isn’t science.”

    Now creationists believe that that the Bible is the standard for their beliefs right? They get the idea of creation from it and they claim it was inspired by God who they believe created or “designed” the world. So if they believe they already have a standard of truth then it would make sense for them to look in the book, and predict things based on their standard of truth. Let’s take archeology as an example since it was mentioned, if the standard for their belief that the earth was “designed” is in the Bible then the whole Bible better be true or the whole thing falls apart. So it would make sense for a creationist to read what their standard says, and then predict where things (like cities) will be based on the facts. If they are wrong even once, then you can discredit everything they believe. but I’ve never seen anything in their standard (the Bible) be wrong.

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  34. Nick Kelsier says:

    Phil, where is that apology you owe me?

    What? You think I’m going to forget what you said? Sorry, I have a longer memory then that. And as Ed can attest if you think I’ve been sharp tongued before you haven’t seen me at my worst. So if I were you I’d be a man and apologize for your idiotic slander against me. Admit you made a mistake, that’s all you have to do.

    Like

  35. Nick Kelsier says:

    Josh writes:
    Hence, your questions are totally irrelevant. ID is not concerned with the nature of the designer but in making distinctions between things which have arisen by means of undirected natural processes and things which have arisen by means of intelligent causation.

    However, Josh, they are entirely relevent. Because the proponents of Intelligent Design just happen to be the proponents of creationism. They conjured up ID to get creationism in the back door because they could no longer get it in the front door. Or did it somehow escape your notice that the major supporters of ID just happen to be archconservative evangelical Christians? Know of any atheist groups that support ID? If you want to claim there is a designer, josh, then at some point you need to say who that designer is. Else really…you are being way too general for science.

    And until you can prove that designer actually exists…the rest of your claims are nonsense. You’re merely pointing out a window at a tree and saying “it’s too complex for it to be anything but designed.” and that is not science. That is faith.

    If there is a designer, Josh, then that designer used evolution as a means to an end. The evidence for evolution is simply overwhelming…it’s as simple as your genes.

    But leave the question of a “designer” to where it belongs…to articles of faith.

    Like

  36. Nick Kelsier says:

    To quote:
    Intelligent Design is the study of patterns in nature which appear to be designed; it maintains that certain features of the universe and of living things are best explained by an intelligent cause, not an undirected process such as natural selection. ID theorists use methods of design detection already employed by a number of scientific disciplines—archeology, forensic science, cryptology, and S.E.T.I. to name a few—to infer that certain features of the universe and of biological systems are the product of design.

    With one key difference. Those fields don’t posit a designer and then go find evidence of it. They find evidence first. You guys do it in reverse. You guys cherrypick evidence to fit your already preconceived notion. That isn’t science. To use archaeology as an example, it’s as if you guys are pointing at a hill and saying “there’s a buried city under there.” instead of what archaeology does which is examine the hill and if there is evidence there was a city there then they’ll say there was. As I said before…you can’t scientifically prove that this “designer” exists. All your claims still come down to faith.

    And as I also mentioned, your claims open up a very big can of worms when it comes, as it applies to the schools in this country, the separation of church and state.

    Like

  37. Ed Darrell says:

    My question is: what is unscientific about employing these scientific methods of design detection when analyzing biological systems?

    Nothing. What becomes unscientific is the unscientific application, followed by claims that obviously natural processes were instead directed by an intelligence.

    In science, one doesn’t start out with the conclusion of what one will see when one observes nature. One observes first.

    Intelligent Design is the study of patterns in nature which appear to be designed; it maintains that certain features of the universe and of living things are best explained by an intelligent cause, not an undirected process such as natural selection. ID theorists use methods of design detection already employed by a number of scientific disciplines—archeology, forensic science, cryptology, and S.E.T.I. to name a few—to infer that certain features of the universe and of biological systems are the product of design.

    Alas, none of the methods of determining intelligent design work when applied to those things in nature which IDists then claim are designed, without evidence even of their flawed methodologies.

    I find it interesting that you claim to reject the tenets of intelligent design theorists, but then you claim to use them, and you claim scientific backing when you know no one has ever successfully used any of the proposed tools to determine design.

    Besides, your first assertion states that, “generally, the intelligently designed thing lacks the complexity of the haphazard.” I take this to mean that designed things exhibit organization and purpose as opposed to being “haphazard” or chaotic or unorganized. So, it is not clear to me that ID takes the “opposite tack” on your first assertion.

    You get to your argument by imputing a meaning that I did not give (or I would have said so). Dembski argues that complexity should be an indicator of design. It’s not. Simplicity should be an indicator of design. Dembski has never experimentally nor observationally justified his preference for complexity over simplicity, so the very root of ID is wild guess rather than science. The guess is wild enough so that when I am clear that complexity suggests no design, you can weasel it around so that you are satisfied I said something else, and the evidence contrary to ID is really, in some odd way, evidence of ID.

    “Specified Complexity” is a hallmark of jerry-rigging, done out of necessity and inability to design. ID rests on a foundation that complex things are designed. That’s not true in architecture or engineering. Complex things in nature tend not to be designed; complex things made by humans suffer from poor design.

    So, if you’re trying to make a case that a bumbling force designs living things, you might be on to something.

    But Darwin already figured that out. Why not give credit where credit is due?

    Like

  38. jmatthanbrown says:

    Mr. Kelsier,

    Intelligent Design is the study of patterns in nature which appear to be designed; it maintains that certain features of the universe and of living things are best explained by an intelligent cause, not an undirected process such as natural selection. ID theorists use methods of design detection already employed by a number of scientific disciplines—archeology, forensic science, cryptology, and S.E.T.I. to name a few—to infer that certain features of the universe and of biological systems are the product of design.

    Hence, your questions are totally irrelevant. ID is not concerned with the nature of the designer but in making distinctions between things which have arisen by means of undirected natural processes and things which have arisen by means of intelligent causation.

    – Josh

    Like

  39. jmatthanbrown says:

    Mr. Darrell,

    I would argue that ID does not take the “opposite tack” on your criteria for design. Contrary to what is often espoused, ID theorists do not take complexity to be the only demarcation for design. A random pile of rocks is very complex; conversely, a pile of rocks which have been arranged in the shape of letters which spell out the name Ed Darrell is also complex. The reason we infer that the pile of rocks which spell your name is the product of intelligence is not because it is complex; it is because it matches a specified pattern.

    Besides, your first assertion states that, “generally, the intelligently designed thing lacks the complexity of the haphazard.” I take this to mean that designed things exhibit organization and purpose as opposed to being “haphazard” or chaotic or unorganized. So, it is not clear to me that ID takes the “opposite tack” on your first assertion.

    As to your second point, you state that, “design frequently distinguishes itself by being out of place.” Another way of saying this is that something that is designed is highly improbable. You give an example of finding a chipped rock tethered to a stick on a grassy plain—this arrangement is highly improbable. However, a high level of improbability, while being a necessary condition, is not sufficient for inferring design. We infer that the chipped rock tethered to a stick is designed because it is highly improbable and because it corresponds to a specified pattern. In any event, it is entirely unclear to me that ID theorists take the “opposite tack” on our second assertion.

    Regarding your third assertion, ID theorists argue that approaching biological systems from a design perspective allows us to employ reverse-engineering to understand how biological systems are constructed and further explain their function and importance. So, I’m not sure how ID theorists are taking the “opposite tack” on this point either.

    Once again, we seem to agree that design detection is a well established aspect of science employed by scientists in multiple fields. My question is: what is unscientific about employing these scientific methods of design detection when analyzing biological systems?

    Like

  40. Nick Kelsier says:

    JMA, let me ask you this fundamental question. Actually it’s several questions.

    Can you scientifically prove that this “designer” exists? Can you scientificially test this designer? Can you put this “designer” up for peer review?

    Can you identify this “designer”? Can you say who or what it is? Because simply pointing out a window at a tree and saying “that’s too complex for it not to have been designed” is not proof.

    Oh and I’ll point out one thing. The theory of evolution doesn’t rule out God. It simply doesn’t mention Him. And one of the reasons for that, besides the fact that science can’t prove or disprove the existance of God, is this: Science can not and should not take sides in what is a religious debate.

    Like I said before, ID is creationism by another name. It’s a religious belief and therefor it doesn’t belong in any science classroom on the planet. Science deals with facts, science deals with what can be observed, tested and proven.

    God can not be observed, tested or proven. To believe in God or not is an article of faith. You can no more prove God exists then anyone could prove that God doesn’t exist.

    And that is the question that will come up if ID is brought into the schools. “Who is this designer?” “Is it God? Is it some other deity? Is it not a deity at all?” And then oops….you’re blowing a 20 foot hole in the separation of church and state.

    To quote the 1890 Wisconsin Supreme Court: “There is no such source and cause of strife, quarrel, fights, malignant opposition, persecution, and war, and all evil in the state, as religion. Let it once enter our civil affairs, our government would soon be destroyed. Let it once enter our common schools, they would be destroyed.”

    Like

  41. Ed Darrell says:

    Look at the criteria I listed. ID takes the opposite tack on all three of them. ID claims complexity hints at design, not simplicity. ID claims design is indistinguishable from the locale where some intelligently designed feature is found, not out of place at all. And you misunderstand the third point, or ID’s take on it: I’m saying design can be duplicated, reverse engineered. ID advocates point at things that have not been duplicated to claim design is beyond understanding.

    If you agree with me, and you reject the tenets of intelligent design espoused by its advocates, how can you be an advocate of ID?

    Like

  42. jmatthanbrown says:

    Mr. Darrell,

    It appears we both agree that there are well defined methods scientists have developed to detect design. As you point out, archaeologists and anthropologists regularly use such methods, and I would suggest that forensic scientists, and the researchers at S.E.T.I. do as well. You’ve even identified a way in which one could justify making a design inference by outlining three fundamental marks of design:

    (1) You point out that, “intelligently designed thing[s] lack the complexity of the haphazard.” In other words, they are well organized and exhibit teleology or purpose.

    (2) You point out that, “design frequently distinguishes itself by being out of place.” Another way one might put this is that something which is the product of intelligent design is highly improbable.

    (3) You say that, “design tends to be the sort of stuff that can be duplicated by an outside agency from reverse-engineered, external blueprints.” Perhaps a more precise way to put this is that things which are designed correspond to a specified pattern which can be identified and understood.

    It seems to me that scientists use these markers as a sort of ‘explanatory filter’ enabling them to distinguish between things which are the result of undirected natural processes and things which are the product of intelligent design.

    Since we both agree that design detection is a well established scientific endeavor I am a bit puzzled as to why you claim ID is not science. More pointedly, why is it “unscientific” to apply these methods of design detection to biological systems?

    – Josh

    Like

  43. Ed Darrell says:

    s it possible to distinguish between something that has arisen by means of undirected natural causes (e.g. a driftwood wall) versus something that is the product of intelligence (e.g. a brick wall)?

    Sometimes, but not always. Generally the intelligently designed thing lacks the complexity of the haphazard. Simplicity in design is one of the hallmarks of intelligent involvement.

    Second, design frequently distinguishes itself by being out of place. A chipped rock in a bed of similar rock doesn’t stand out nearly as much as the same rock tethered to a stick found on a grassy plain a few miles uphill from the quarry.

    Third, design tends to be the sort of stuff that can be duplicated by an outside agency from reverse-engineered, external blueprints.

    All of those apply to a brick wall, which is less complex than a pile of driftwood, made from clay fired in a process we can repeat, from clay found in a separate location, and held together by masonry composed of a non-naturally-occurring substance — or a naturally-occurring substance assembled in a fashion easy to duplicate in a non-natural way (we can often distinguish adobe construction from the ground, even after years of weathering).

    Archaeologists and anthropologists regularly face this question. Have you looked at their methods for making the distinctions?

    Like

  44. jmatthanbrown says:

    Gentlemen,

    Let us begin with the fundamental question: is it possible to distinguish between something that has arisen by means of undirected natural causes (e.g. a driftwood wall) versus something that is the product of intelligence (e.g. a brick wall)?

    – Josh

    Like

  45. Nick Kelsier says:

    Since I have yet to see any ID’er offer a rational discussion much less offer actual peer reviewed science, go right ahead and try.

    But in the end ID is still an attempt to interject religion into the public schools. And sorry…no.

    If your side had actual science JMA, your side would have that science out there shown in peer reviewed scientific journals. And yet…your side doesn’t. And it isn’t because of some conspiracy against you…it’s because your side has no actual science. ID is creationism by another name.

    Like

  46. Ed Darrell says:

    Why don’t you begin by catalogueing all the ID papers published in science journals, tell us who are the chief theorists in ID, and describe what ID theory says, and how it’s been tested and found correct.

    I’d love to see a photograph of an ID lab, too. Got one?

    Heck, if you want a rational discussion, I’ll open a thread just for that. You don’t want my predictions about the thread, though.

    Like

  47. jmatthanbrown says:

    Mr. Kelsier,

    I would love to discuss the science behind ID with you if you’d like; are you willing to engage in a rational discussion?

    – Josh

    Like

  48. Nick Kelsier says:

    JM, if you could develop arguments in favor of ID that contain actual science and actual logic…..

    Oh wait…there is no science and no logic to ID so I guess you’re screwed.

    Like

  49. jmatthanbrown says:

    Mr. Darrell,

    If you could develop logically sound arguments to back up the pithy remarks you make on your blog your arguments would be more convincing.

    – Josh

    Like

  50. […] timpanogos.wordpress.com/2007/10/01/intelligent-design-pigs-st… […]

    Like

  51. Ray says:

    Did you know that Teddy Roosevelt came from the planet Zebulon in the galaxy of Andromeda?

    Personally, I wasn’t surprized at all when I heard that.

    Like

  52. Ed Darrell says:

    A student told one of our teachers last week that she was certain that the first president of the U.S. had really been an African American. It certainly makes an interesting story, maybe more interesting than the real stuff.

    Under the Florida bill, can I teach that if I believe it?

    Lesson planning suddenly gets a whole lot easier!

    Like

  53. Ray says:

    “If a teacher determines that certain information is sufficiently “scientific” and “relevant,” the teacher has a “right” to teach that material irrespective of whether such information is contrary to the curriculum adopted by the State Board of Education through the SSS or by the school district through its instructional materials.”

    What a bad joke on he students of Florida! The teacher gets to act independently of the scientific community and with no oversight by anyone?

    What if the teacher believes there’s scientific evidence for a flat Earth or for geocentrism? Such a bill leaves students vulnerable to any pet ideas that a teacher may have, no matter how outrageous or stupid – and in the name of “teacher’s rights”?

    The bill is short-sighted to say the least. But that’s typical of creationist thinking. In order to get their own ideas into the public school classroom they’ll allow the whole system to self-destruct. It matters not to them. Heck, a lot of them would be very happy to see public schools fail in the firt place.

    Like

  54. Tony Whitson says:

    Have you considered the teachers’ rights?

    Here’s how the Florida House staff analysts summarize the effects of the proposed legislation there (the pdf linked from
    http://curricublog.org/2008/04/13/florida-house-bills/ ):

    Effect of Proposed Changes:

    Teacher’s Rights and Prescribed Curriculum:

    The bill provides that every public school teacher in grades K through 12 has the “affirmative right and freedom” to “objectively present scientific information relevant to the full range of views regarding biological and chemical evolution in connection with teaching any prescribed curriculum regarding chemical or biological origins.” If a teacher determines that certain information is sufficiently “scientific” and “relevant,” the teacher has a “right” to teach that material irrespective of whether such information is contrary to the curriculum adopted by the State Board of Education through the SSS or by the school district through its instructional materials. The principal, the district school superintendent, the district school board, or the State Board of Education may disagree that the information is “scientific,” “relevant,” or “objectively present[ed];” however, that fact does not affect that teacher’s “right” to present the material. If the principal or other school district staff attempts to restrict a teacher’s ability to teach such information, or govern the manner of presentation, it appears the bill grants the teacher a cause of action to enforce the “right” granted in the bill.11

    The bill, in effect, with regard only to biological or chemical evolution restricts the ability of the State Board of Education or the district school board to define and regulate curriculum content.

    Like

  55. tonya says:

    you’re dumb and stupid.

    Like

  56. mek1980 says:

    Bravo! Excellent post.

    Like

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