Debunking creationist claims of human and dinosaur footprints together . . .


. . . from 1983!

Steve Schafersman, now president of Texas Citizens for Science, played the yeoman then:

Description of the program:

Did humans coexist with dinosaurs? The tracks tell the tale. Dr. John R. Cole, Dr. Steven Schafersman, Dr. Laurie Godfrey, Dr. Ronnie Hastings, Lee Mansfield, and other scientists examine the claims and the evidence. Air date: 1983.

Tip of the old scrub brush to the National Center for Science Education.

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99 Responses to Debunking creationist claims of human and dinosaur footprints together . . .

  1. Ediacaran says:

    I recently returned from Japan, where I was fortunate enough to see some of the artifacts of the Jomon Culture. Seems they missed altogether this alleged global flood the Young-Earth Creationists claim to have occurred. Odd, too, since the Jomon were around before the Earth IF one buys that the Earth is as young as most YECers claim in contradiction to all valid evidence. Maybe these YECers posting on MFB will explain away dendrochronology, distant supernovae, and the Oklo Natural Reactors -and the ramifications – to parade creationist “logic” for us while professing themselves to be wise.

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  2. Many books are considered Apocrypha or Deuterocanonical. Here’s a link that discusses it in detail. http://www.earth-history.com/Apochrypha/index.htm Before some of my learned colleagues start attacking, I make no representations as to the authenticity of everything on this website, nor do I propose it as the panacea for all our problems.

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  3. Ed Darrell says:

    Which ones does your version add, and why?

    As I understand the history, none were added since Nicea at least. Sometime during the reformation, Protestant sects dropped them generally.

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  4. Mr. Hanley,

    I did a perfunctory look at the website you mentioned. I am not familiar with it. Seems like a good concept, but I am of the mindset that applied study of the Bible we have is of more benefit than an endless stream of new translations. If,however, one does not recognize the Bible as the Word of God, study of it is of little use unless it leads to salvation. Many skeptics have come to Christ from a study of the Bible with the intent of disproving it.

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  5. James Hanley says:

    Mr. Barton,

    Are you familiar with the conservative Bible project at conservapedia (which is what I think Nick is referring to)? I’d be curious as to your response, not to be snarky, but out of curiousity at whether a conservative biblical literalist shares my view of it.

    It’s wholly unfair to try to make you the representative of conservative biblical literalists of course, so if the question strikes you as offensive, my apologies and feel free to ignore it. I just haven’t talked to any conservative Christians about the conservative Bible project, and I’m curious about whether people are actually familiar with it and how they’re responding.

    I promises not to argues with you!

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  6. Nick K says:

    QUite a few of your fellow right wing Protestants, Lower, love to claim that I and my fellow Catholics worship statues. That we’re committing idolatry.

    Of course these are the same people who blithely ignore that they’re elevating a book to the status of godhood.

    As I said before, I really don’t care if you and Barton believe in that nonsense Creationism. Just quit pretending that Creation and Creationism are the same thing. Quit pretending that Creationism is an alternative to the theory of evolution. Quit pretending that Creationism should be taught in schools or science classes. And quit pretending that you two are in a position to speak about science.

    You want to learn Creationism? That’s what your church is for.

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  7. Nick K says:

    Well lets see. When the Bible was first created, the Christians rearranged the Hebrew BIble from 24 books to 39 books.

    The Protestant canon has the Bible at 66 books. While the Eastern Orthodox canon has the Bible at 81 books. Then of course there’s the additions that the Mormons added.

    Meanwhile, the Catholic church and the Eastern Orthodox church consider the deuterocannoical books to be canon while the Protestant churches don’t.

    Then of course there is the Ten Commandments. Judaism holds there are 600+ commandments.

    Meanwhile Christianity says there are ten..but they differ on what the ten are.

    To my Catholic church as well as the Lutherans the commandments are this:

    1: I am the Lord your God, you shall have no other gods before me.
    2: You shall not take the name of the Lord your God in vain.
    3: Remember to keep the Sabbath. (Again Judaism and Christianity disagree on which day is the Sabbath.)
    4: Honor your father and your mother.
    5: You shall not commit murder
    6: You shall not commit adultery.
    7: You shall not steal.
    8: You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor.
    9: You shall not covet your neighbor’s wife.
    10: You shall not covet your neighbor’s goods.

    The Orthodox church version of the Ten Commandments reads:
    1: I am the Lord your God, you shall have no other gods before me.
    2: You shall not commit idolatry.
    3: Do not take the name of the Lord in vain.
    4: Remember to keep the Sabbath
    5: Honor your mother and father.
    6: You shall not commit murder
    7: You shall not commit adultery
    8: You shall not steal
    9: You shall not bear false witness against your neighbors.
    10: You shall not covet your neighbors wife nor your neighbor’s property.

    The Anglican, Reformed and other Christian denominations have this version of the ten commandments:
    Preface: I am the Lord your God
    1: You shall have no other gods before me.
    2: You shall not commit idolatry
    3: Do not take the name of the Lord in vain
    4: Remember the Sabbath and keep it holy.
    5: Honor your mother and father
    6: You shall not commit murder
    7: You shall not commit adultery
    8: You shall not steal
    9: You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor
    10: You shall not covet your neighbors wife nor his property.

    The Jewish ten commandments are largely the same as the Orthodox version except the Jews split “I am the Lord your God” from “You shall have no other gods before me and shall not commit idolatry.”

    So tell me, Lower…if the Bible is direct from God and is inerrant…exactly how do you explain the differences?

    Then of course there is the movement among right wing Christians to remove any mention of social justice from the Bible. Because its so much easier to be “I’m out for only me” while claiming to be Christian if one isn’t reminded by the Messiah they claim to worship that they’re supposed to take care of their fellow humans.

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  8. Which ones does your version add, and why?

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  9. Ed Darrell says:

    The Canon of Scripture has been established. It is 66 books.

    I have a copy of an American Standard Version Bible with 73 books in it. Which seven books does your version censor, and why?

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  10. Jim Stanley says:

    Good afternoon, Lowell!

    Permit me to interact a bit with your statement (and agree with your assessment of Dan Brown!) about the Biblical canon…>>>”Regarding the Council of Nicea, Biblical Canon, etc: Ed’s right that there isn’t any record of the Canon being discussed but the 27 books in the NT were pretty close to universally accepted over 150 years before. Someone needs to tell Dan Brown, LOL. :-) That being said, “the Church” took no official position for years until the Council of Carthage of 397, so to say it wasn’t until the 1700s is also incorrect.<<<"

    I'm sorry I wasn't more clear about the 1700's. I didn't mean to imply there wasn't general agreement by then. It's just that Calvinists were in disagreement about the canon until the late 1600's.

    The Third Synod of Carthage and the somewhat later Synod of Hippo produced/affirmed a canon that was endorsed by St. Augustine of Hippo…but included books that are deemed non-canonical by Protestants and non-authoritative in matters of doctrine according to the Anglican Communion.

    To suggest that there has been universal agreement on the canon since Carthage is simply untrue. One can argue unanimity in the western Roman Catholic church regarding the canon of the New Testament from about that time. But not the Old Testament. And once the fires of Reformation started to burn, all bets were again off and almost half of Christendom rejected portions of the "canon". Luther, Calvin, Zwingli and I believe Cranmer all had reservations about the canonicity of different books.

    It's amusing, really. When I attended Bible College…my professors were adamant about how the canon was divinely ordained and protected…and about how divinely inspired the Church Fathers, like Augustine, were in choosing the canon.

    And then these same professors said the Church fathers had it all wrong where books like Edras, Tobit, Maccabbees and Judith were concerned. Guess they weren't divinely inspired on the day they deemed those books as acceptible.

    The same professors also concerned most of the church fathers to be damned…for believing in things like the veneration of and intercession of the saints, purgatory, the authority of the pope and the priestly absolution of sins.

    So…I guess they weren't too divinely inspired after all. Or they were.

    Or it doesn't really matter, because the Bible is not supposed to be the object of worship. The sooner Evangelical-Fundamentalists learn that, the sooner they can get on with worshiping the Word of God made flesh.

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  11. lowerleavell says:

    Regarding the Council of Nicea, Biblical Canon, etc: Ed’s right that there isn’t any record of the Canon being discussed but the 27 books in the NT were pretty close to universally accepted over 150 years before. Someone needs to tell Dan Brown, LOL. :-) That being said, “the Church” took no official position for years until the Council of Carthage of 397, so to say it wasn’t until the 1700s is also incorrect.

    Regarding the Apocrapha – not even Catholics believe those books are a part of the official Canon. They are included by Catholics in Scripture as historical records not to be taken on the same level as Scripture. So, the argument that Christians can’t even agree on which books should be in the Bible isn’t accurate – even Catholics and Protestants agree on the Canon – Protestants just believe that the Apocrypha shouldn’t be in the Bible to avoid confusing them with the Canonical books…like you guys are doing.

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  12. James Hanley says:

    Jim Stanley.

    Thank you. Although I am no longer a believer myself, I was well into my adult life (including four years at a Free Methodist college–hardly a liberal or unorthodox place). While recognizing that I don’t exactly share the same world view anymore, when discussing matters of faith I make a sincere effort to work from a sympathetic perspective, trying to tap into the Christian view in which I grew up. That is, I’m sure to Mr. Barton it sounds like I’m attacking Christianity, but I’m not really–I’m defending one approach within Christianity against another approach within Christianity.

    I even take my kids to church still (United Methodist now, my wife’s church, instead of Free Methodist–gosh they’re liberal by comparison!), but not having much use for Sunday school or sermons (although I’ve had great conversations with our pastor) I usually spend my time browsing in the church library, picking up bits and pieces of ideas here and there. It’s not a rigorous or very thorough way to study Christianity or theology, but I do think it all keeps me from becoming the type of ex-Christian who is simply anti-Christian.

    Still, on a forum like this, it’s nice to have someone who still identifies as a Christian confirm that I’m not just attacking from the outside. I hope I can avoid ever doing that.

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  13. Okay folks, this is going nowhere. You guys start splitting hairs and quoting dates and people who do not believe in God at all. At least Hawkin and Nick K have enough integrity to admit that the theories you hold so dear do not need God at all. The Canon of Scripture has been established. It is 66 books. The date and what council it occurred at is incidental at this point. Let me tell you what you are doing while you blast me for dispute what a scientist somewhere deduced from something he or she dug up. I do not dispute that they found whatever it is they found, only the conclusion reached from those findings. First of all to all you “christians” out there who are disputing Adam and Eve and the biblical account of creation, you are eliminating the fall of man and original sin. No fall, no sin, no Savior. You have eliminated the need for Christ. I have a real problem with that. Secondly, we have disputed the worldwide flood. My main problem with eliminating the flood is that you eliminate the ark, which is a type of Christ. Again, this is the whole reason for evolution. Mr. Darrell informed that part of the earth would still flooded. The awesome God that I serve created the earth, flooded it, and dried it out. You must have a different god Ed? Mr. Higgebotham hit it earlier. I have a Biblical world view. When my Holy Scriptures, my God, and particularly my Christ are attacked, I speak out. LL if you are still out there, you said it would come to this and I knew it would. One more thing.

    John 5:38 And ye have not his word abiding in you: for whom he hath sent, him ye believe not.
    John 5:39 Search the Scriptures; for in them ye think ye have eternal life: and they are they which testify of me.

    Romans 3:3 For what if some did not believe? shall their unbelief make the faith of God without effect?
    Romans 3:4 God forbid: yea, let God be true, but every man a liar; as it is written, That thou mightest be justified in thy sayings, and mightest overcome when thou art judged.

    I bid you adieu.

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  14. Ellie says:

    Canon of the Christian Bible: Wikipedia has a couple of very interesting charts in their article. Of course, all Wiki info should be double-checked, but I think the charts are fairly accurate.

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

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  15. Jim Stanley says:

    Hello James!

    You said a mouthful, my friend, when you made this remark… >>>”I’ve always been astounded at the timidity of a faith that so needs the Bible to be inerrant that it will ignore all physical evidence to the contrary. It’s not good enough that the Bible is God’s message to mankind. It’s not good enough that it explains to us who we are, why we are here, what we owe to God, and why God loves us.

    No, if one tiny inerrant fact is admitted, the faith collapses.”<<<

    Trust me. I added a hearty, "Amen."

    I find a curious parallel here. Usually, the good folks whose faith is most flaccid when confronted with science or history — all the while proclaiming that they serve an "awesome God" — also tend to be the ones (not specifically pointing fingers at anyone here, but speaking generally) who say thinks like…

    "They are forcing God out of the schools"

    And…

    "God has been banished from the public square"

    Speaking as a Christian, I am perpetually baffled by the notion that God can be so easily cowed, dictated to and ordered around. I much prefer what C.S. Lewis intimated in insisting that, while God is good, God is hardly "tame".

    Perhaps the idea that God can be pushed around comes from the tragic tendency of many Evangelicals, particularly of the Pentecostal persuasion, to believe they can "name it and claim it". God becomes more of a cosmic errand boy or blessing dispenser than Holy Other. But I digress…

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  16. Jim Stanley says:

    Good evening, Robert!

    With regard to your statement, >>”The council of Nicea established the canon of scripture to be the 66 books we have now.<<"

    I'm sorry, but that's flat-out wrong. While efforts were made by Irenaeus, Origen, Athanasius and St. Augustine of Hippo all made attempts to quantify canonicity…but none of them were entirely successful. You might want to add about 1200 years to your assertion and take a look at the Council of Trent. Of course, that only works if you're Roman Catholic. If you're Anglican or Lutheran, you've a few more years to wait. It took longer still for Calvinists to decide. Our Orthodox brothers and sisters didn't settle on a canon until almost 1700.

    The Council of Nicea did outline that which qualified as our creed or, statement of faith. These would be the "essentials" on which all Christians must basically agree in order to be considered Chrisitan.

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  17. j a higginbotham says:

    As Ed points out, [from Wikipedia] “there is no record of any discussion of the Biblical Canon at the council at all. The development of the Biblical Canon took several centuries, and was nearly complete by the time the Muratorian fragment was written, over 150 years before the council. ”

    And Ed’s other questions (the main point) were completely ignored.

    A partial, incorrect response. Yuck.

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  18. Ed Darrell says:

    The council of Nicea established the canon of scripture to be the 66 books we have now.

    The Council at Nicea probably did not address the canon at all — and the canon in use afterward had 73 books in it. Protestants removed the seven missing books much later.

    See what I mean? Once a creationist starts down the road of gullibly accepting and spreading any fool thing that comes down the pike, all standards of truth go out the window of creationism, and any fool story will substitute for Gospel.

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  19. James Hanley says:

    I’ve always been astounded at the timidity of a faith that so needs the Bible to be inerrant that it will ignore all physical evidence to the contrary. It’s not good enough that the Bible is God’s message to mankind. It’s not good enough that it explains to us who we are, why we are here, what we owe to God, and why God loves us.

    No, if one tiny inerrant fact is admitted, the faith collapses. That’s why there’s a rejection of all geological and paleontological evidence. There’s a fear of approaching it honestly and considering it, because this type of faith is not strong enough to deal with such empirical realities, not strong enough to stand on faith alone.

    It’s really rather sad and depressing I’ve known a lot of such people in my time, and they invariable have more bluster about their faith than real confidence in it. It’s shaky, and that’s why they so desperately cling to something they can tell themselves is absolutely certain. On the other hand, I’ve known lots of Christians with very bold and comfortable faith, and they invariably believe deeply in the Bible, but without feeling the need to deny the reality of the world God created.

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  20. Ed Darrell says:

    Someone put forth the idea earlier that there was not worldwide flood.

    We know that from the evidence. There’s not enough water, there are too many places on Earth that weren’t flooded that would have had to have been flooded, there are no signs of a worldwide flood such as the floods that came out of Lake Missoula and scoured the Scablands of Washington state — and those signs should be worldwide had there been such a flood — etc., etc., etc.

    Biblical evidence for a lack of a flood? Hmmmm.

    Is Jericho considered “Biblical?”

    Jericho is the lowest city on Earth, about 800 feet below sea level. Had there been a flood within the last 100,000 years, it would still be flooded. That amount of water could not evaporate to the present level of the Dead Sea in a mere 20,000 years [I'm picking 20,000 without looking it up to be sure].

    Has there ever been a flood in Jericho? Archaeological digs there show that the site has been occupied continuously for the past 12,000 to 15,000 years. No flood.

    Christian archaeologists. Jewish archaeologists. You’re calling them liars?

    Or are you saying God was embarrassed by the flood, and covered it up? You’re making God out to be Richard Nixon at his worst.

    This scripture also speaks of “that by the word of God the heavens were of old”. God created the heavens and the earth.

    No one is saying God didn’t create the heavens and the Earth. You’re claiming that there was no Big Bang — we know better, we have the “echo,” we have photographs of just a couple hundred thousand years afterward.

    You’re saying God did it, but covered it up.

    You’ve been reading way, way too much Nixon.

    Big Bang happened. Or God lies about it. Which of those statements is consistent with Christian theology?

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  21. The council of Nicea established the canon of scripture to be the 66 books we have now.

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  22. j a higginbotham says:

    RB: Someone put forth the idea earlier that there was not worldwide flood.

    Science sees no evidence of a worldwide flood.
    The Bible (according to RB) says there was a worldwide flood.
    —————-
    It really comes down to (which neither RB nor ll has really acknowledged) to how you view the world.
    I claim that no amount of physical evidence will convince either of the above that there was no flood and that no amount of claims that the Bible says there was a flood will convince anyone who looks at the evidence.

    And if RB et all want to argue science, they first need to study what conventional scientists have proposed. Contrary arguments that misrepresent science (date back to two humans) etc just show that the proponents are not to be taken seriously scientifically.

    jah

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  23. Someone put forth the idea earlier that there was not worldwide flood. This scripture also speaks of “that by the word of God the heavens were of old”. God created the heavens and the earth.

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  24. Ed Darrell says:

    2Peter 3:5 For this they willingly are ignorant of, that by the word of God the heavens were of old, and the earth standing out of the water and in the water:
    2Pe 3:6 Whereby the world that then was, being overflowed with water, perished:
    2Pe 3:7 But the heavens and the earth, which are now, by the same word are kept in store, reserved unto fire against the day of judgment and perdition of ungodly men.

    Are you saying there was a great flood somewhere?

    What is it you’re trying to say with this scripture?

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  25. Ed Darrell says:

    Maybe you have come upon an explanation for our differences in Bible interpretation. My Bible has 66 books, always has, at least since 325 A.D.

    Who cut out the other seven books in A.D. 325? Who gets to vote on what is holy scripture, and what is not?

    And what does that say about the claim of inerrancy?

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  26. Okay Lower,
    I have had enough of this. I do not cede any points to my esteemed debaters, but I will not be responsible for tirades such as the one Nick just went on. Are there things in Science I don’t know or understand? Yes. Are there things concerning the Bible I don’t know or understand? Yes. But there are things I do know, and those things I am adamant about.
    2Peter 3:5 For this they willingly are ignorant of, that by the word of God the heavens were of old, and the earth standing out of the water and in the water:
    2Pe 3:6 Whereby the world that then was, being overflowed with water, perished:
    2Pe 3:7 But the heavens and the earth, which are now, by the same word are kept in store, reserved unto fire against the day of judgment and perdition of ungodly men.

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  27. Ed,

    Maybe you have come upon an explanation for our differences in Bible interpretation. My Bible has 66 books, always has, at least since 325 A.D..

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  28. Ed Darrell says:

    I am a literalist in the respect that the Bible, 39 Old Testament books and 27 New Testament books, is inspired, inerrant, infallible, and complete.

    You lost six books there, didn’t you? There used to be 73 books in the Bible for Christians.

    Should be grant credibility to someone sloppy enough to lose six books of scripture?

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  29. Ed Darrell says:

    Mr. Barton said:

    Did any of you ever hear a discussion on a mature creation to explain the 4 million year light from the star that Nick is obsessed about?

    Yes, but as a Christian, I must reject the creationist explanation. It makes God out to be a deceiver, and that is contrary to the spirit and character of the God of Abraham. Christian theology rejects that explanation.

    You’re a Christian, right, Mr. Barton? Surely you reject it, too, for the same reasons.

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  30. Ed Darrell says:

    I have heard the mutation theory several times.

    I’ve studied mutations, but I don’t think I’ve ever heard of mutation theory. What is that?

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  31. j a higginbotham says:

    Bryan: “Apparently use their Bible as the ultimate authority…”? Isn’t it obvious?

    But they seem incapable of understanding that other people can decide issues based on evidence rather than revelation. [They haven't the foggiest idea of how science works.]

    Bryan: As for Mr. Higginbotham bringing up Thomas Aquinas, I don’t see how the writings of a Catholic saint are going to sway a clearly Protestant opponent.

    What is the Protestant position on 33 AD to ~1500? There were no real Christians until Protestantism?

    jah

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  32. j a higginbotham says:

    ll: That’s all the time I’ve got. Will try to write more later…maybe.

    Why waste your time? You are merely repeating old arguments with no real evidence. There is no legitimate scientific argument.

    How about answering these?

    1) Can you imagine any evidence which would convince you of evolution, lack of Flood, etc? Or do you already know with absolute certainty what is true?

    2) Do you believe that most scientists base their opinions on data and are willing to change their minds if new information paints a different picture? [Science does not deal in absolute truth as religion does. ]

    jah

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  33. j a higginbotham says:

    JH: What is a more appropriate term for someone who doesn’t study a field, then stubbornly stands by claims that are refuted by those who do study the field, than ignorant?

    Ignorance is lack of knowledge. It can usually be cured by study. What you’re describing is more of a woeful arrogance.

    jah

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  34. James Hanley says:

    Where are the “mising links”?

    Ah, page 2 of the Official Creationist Pack O’ Lies Handbook.

    But before I answer, notice what Mr. Barton has done. I rebutted his first challenge, so he has quickly run away from it and said, “but what about this?!” No matter how many of these false issues one rebuts, the loyal creationist runs to another, as though this time, surely this time, I’ll stump that mean ol’ evolutionist. This practice of quickly changing topics instead of dealing with the rebuttal has been dubbed the “Gish Gallop,” after creationist and professional liar Duane Gish. But what Mr. Barton either doesn’t know or pretends not to know (again, either ignorance or dishonesty) is that all of these little challenges have been repeatedly refuted. I mean repeatedly. He throws them out there as though perhaps he’ll stump me this time with something I can’t answer, but anyone who’s spent any time with this issue has already heard every one of these feeble challenges time and time again. There’s nothing new here. It’s not even a challenge, because it’s been asked and answered so many times before.

    So here goes.

    First, the idea of a “missing link” is a misnomer. Biologists talk about “transitional forms” or “transitional fossils.” Zillions have been discovered, for a variety of different species. This is remarkable considering how rare it is for a fossil to be created. The vast majority of organisms that die simply decompose and leave no fossil. There are undoubtedly countless species that once existed that we’ll never know about because none of their members left any fossils.

    But we do find some fossils, and we regularly find transitional forms, or so-called “missing links.” And we find those in just the order we would expect to find them–the ones with the less fully developed forms, less like modern animals, in the lower layers, and those with more fully developed forms, more like modern animals, in the upper layers.

    One of the most famous of these is Tiktaalik, a fish with fingers and a wrist. That is, Tiktaalik is a fish, but the earliest known fossil that has the structures that form the basic pattern common to all four-legged animals.

    Paleontologists studying cetaceans have found a whole series of transitional forms, from primitive proto-whales (not great terminology on my part, but I hope any paleontologists stopping by will forgive me) through a whole series of changing forms until we get to modern whales. See here for more.

    There are also numerous transitional forms in the ancestral lineage of humans. We have transitional fossils that predate humanity itself–beginning with ape-like creatures (ahem, we did not evolve from monkeys–they are not ape-like, and we humans are), through early hominids, to early humans. Click here to see the transitional fossils, or “missing links” we have found for the human ancestry. And remember that new ones get discovered every few years or so.

    So there are in fact plenty of so-called “missing links.” Contra the naive view of many (not necessarily creationists, just those who haven’t chosen to spend their time studying evolution) there is not some single missing link separating us from the apes. We and the apes both evolved from a common “ape-like” ancestor, and we have numerous transitional fossils along those lineages.

    The question is, will Barton actually deal with the rebuttal, or will he turn to page 4 of the Creationist Handbook?

    Oh, and Mr. Barton, as someone who grew up in a conservative protestant home (Free Methodist Church) and was briefly a religion major at my church’s affiliated school (Greenville College, Greenville, IL), and didn’t really drift away from the church until my mid-thirties, I have little doubt that I have considerably more extensive knowledge of the Bible than you have of science. I won’t claim my knowledge of the Bible is superior to yours, because it probably isn’t. But that whole “multiple creation stories” business? Yes there are interpretations that explain away those differences, and I’m aware of them. But I’m also aware that those are just some among the possible ways of interpreting it–there is nothing in the Bible that logically requires such an interpretation of them (nor that logically prohibits such an interpretation). And you know who first brought those potentially conflicting elements to my attention? My religion prof, a devout man, in my Bible and Culture course at Greenville College. So, nice try, but no cigar. There are indeed things of which I am wholly ignorant (physics, chemistry, Hinduism, Habermas, etc.): I don’t talk about those things.

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  35. Jim Stanley says:

    Hi there Robert!

    Thanks for a thoughtful answer. That’s how I was trained, myself.

    We do, of course, run into some problems beyond the obvious allegorical ones (like the gate, the vine, the door and so on…which you astutely alluded to).

    For example, should women keep silent in church? Are we who trust in Jesus and are filled with the Spirit able to drink deadly poison and handle deadly snakes without being harmed? Do bread and wine (or grape juice) become literal flesh and blood…do they simply contain the presence of Christ…or are they symbols…should any divorcee who remarries be treated as an adulterer? Should we sell all we own and give it to the poor? And this, of course is just from the New Testament. We can also talk about shellfish and putting witches to death if you want.

    The problem with saying the Bible is inerrant is that most passages can be reasonably, rationally interpreted in different ways. Most of my Baptist and Presbyterian brothers and sisters insist that speaking on tongues was something that only happened during the Early Church and cannot happen today. My brothers and sisters in the Pentecostal, Charismatic, Holiness and even some Roman Catholic traditions would argue otherwise. Who’s right? Want a dizzying array of multiple interpretations? Talk to people about the second coming of Christ or other eschatalogical matters. Gives me a headache!

    Another example: you can say that the Bible clearly condemns homosexual behavior. There’s Scripture that seems to support that. I can say the Bible actually condemns gang rape and abandoning one’s natural sexual inclinations…whatever those inclinations may be. I can support that with some of the same Scripture. My conservative brothers would say I am treating the Bible like a smorgasboard, picking and choosing what I like and ditching what I don’t like, for reasons of political correctness or tolerance. Maybe so.

    The Bible as a smorgasboard is a wonderful argument to make…except it’s true for both sides. Maybe it’s my conservative brother’s bigotry that prompts him to choose his anti-gay interpretation. We Christians do seem to love to hate or at least disapprove of those who sin differently that we do!

    He can also say the Bible preaches against abortion, cherry picking verses about David and Jeremiah whom God knew in-utero. Yet he ignores the Mosaic teaching that a fetus has less value than a born human being. Or that the Hebrew word for “life” is interchangeable grammatically with the Hebrew word for “breath”.

    I’m not claiming I’m right and you’re wrong on any particular issue. I’m suggesting that when one says the Bible itself is inerrant…what they really mean is not that at all. What they mean is that THEIR INTERPRETATION of any given passage is inerrant.

    As to literalism, I fight this battle on both ends. I have some brothers and sisters who reject almost anything of a miraculous nature in the Bible because “it’s not scientifically possible”. That annoys me, not because I hate science, but because it robs a particular passage or story of its power and its meaning. At the same time, my conservative Christian friends do the same. They are so committed to the necessity of taking a story or a passage with slavish literalism, that they, too, miss the power and meaning.

    We all view the Scriptures through one pair of glasses or another. I view them through the Christ event. Others view them through a Dispensationalist lens…others through an apocalyptic lens…still others through a dominionist lens.

    What I’m not sure about is why, for the purposes of this discussion, the possibility that the Father of Jesus used evolution to create all that is…is such a threat? I’m not saying, mind you, that anyone should agree with me. I just wonder why it matters, ultimately. If evolution IS true…it doesn’t at all mean that Jesus isn’t who He claimed to be.

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  36. James Hanley says:

    lowerleavell,

    Actually, I don’t believe in theistic evolution myself. I just don’t think that evolution and God are mutually contradictory in any way. Hawking is right that the big bang doesn’t “require” God. But it also doesn’t exclude the possibility of God. If Hawking says the latter, then put me on the record as disagreeing with him. Since that claim would not actually be about physics, I would have no qualms disagreeing with him.

    James, I do not in the slightest have a better grasp on geology etc. then geologists, etc.

    Then you should stop claiming that your understanding of geology is accurate and theirs inaccurate. It’s really that simple.

    As to the “name calling,” you claim I use it as a knock-down blow and think people should agree with me because of the label I pin on you. That’s not at all true. I use the label because you earn it. What is a more appropriate term for someone who doesn’t study a field, then stubbornly stands by claims that are refuted by those who do study the field, than ignorant? What better term for someone who imposes special constraints on only one group, and that because of their religion or ethnicity, than bigot? You keep asking me to not call a spade a spade, but I simply won’t play your game and pretend what’s there isn’t there. For pete’s sake, you’re parading your lack of knowledge about geology around, but you don’t want to accept the title of ignorant. The real world just doesn’t work like that. I have an aunt who uses the N-word all the time, but insists she’s not a bigot. Guess what–she’s a flat-out bigot, and while it may upset her to have people say that, it doesn’t stop it from being true.

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  37. Well said Lower Level!

    Like

  38. Mr Hanley,

    I have heard the mutation theory several times. Brings me back to one of the original questions I have. Where are the “mising links”? I suppose that the problem here is that my ignorance of science is on par with your ignorance of the Bible.

    Like

  39. lowerleavell says:

    I don’t have an overabundance of time to post today – either here or the mosque thread (will try to reply there soon), but I find it interesting that no one took up my question about Hawking. You know Jim, Ed, and Nic, that he claims your position of theistic evolution is false, right? No God is needed for the Big Bang, isn’t that his latest position? So, when was he right? Before, when he believed that God could have started the Big Bang, or now that he believes that God is not necessary. If you are accepting of these experts who are much smarter then you, then unfortunately, you would go with Hawking. If not, then you are already one step towards my side of denying what one “brilliant” scientist is espousing.

    Going back to Ed’s employment of “professing themselves to be wise, they became fools”, I’d like to add one more quote, “The fool has said in his heart, ‘There is no God.'” (Psalm 53:1) So…the irony here, we have God doing His own fair bit of “name calling” of a guy like Hawking. :-)

    Along those lines…James, Nic, it’s not the name calling that I object to – it’s that you use it as your ‘left hook’ in the argument to make your emphatic point. Like it’s the creme de la creme for believing your position because I’m a “bigot” or “ignorant” or what have you. Any one of these titles may or may not be true, but do nothing to demonstrate whether or not I’m right or wrong in my position. You dismiss a position based no these conclusions and think everyone should agree with you because of the label. Even a stopped watch is right twice a day – calling it “broken” doesn’t change that.

    James, I do not in the slightest have a better grasp on geology etc. then geologists, etc. I’m not claiming that at all, nor am I saying you should accept my word on it. I’m giving my positions – nothing more – I’m not an authority, but I believe the Bible is. What I’m saying is that I start with a different presupposition. You guys are correct that I do set up the Bible as my authority as God’s word. For me, if the Bible were not true, agnosticism would be the consistent position to take.

    I don’t understand how anyone could call themself a Christian and not believe the Bible is true. Seriously, if it is simply a collection of stories by men, then why on earth would you stake your eternity on Jesus – who we learn about where? The Bible! If it gets it wrong in Genesis, how do you know that Jesus really rose from the dead or not? How do you know that He actually is the way to heaven and not just a good moral teacher? How would He even BE a moral teacher when he mentions God being the creator, and even talks about Noah. He references Genesis multiple times as legit, not allegory. So, no I don’t know more geology than geologists, but I’m banking on the fact that Jesus does and that He got it right.

    To answer a few of your questions about what a flood can do, look at this news article:

    msnbc.msn.com/id/34353071/

    Evolutionists make the mistake that creationists believe that everything that formed happened DURING the flood. That’s not true. The flood would have left the planet a wasteland that would have taken a few thousand years to repair itself. It would have taken a long time to form the Mediteranean Sea after the flood – as indicated by my posted article. The flood is the perfect explanation for the ice age. What is ice made of again? Where did all that water for the ice age come from? The ice age would also have left the continental shelves exposed making it easy for animals and people to cross to various locations. There are a LOT of things that would have been caused or indirectly been caused by the flood.

    Nic, to answer your few questions, A flood can leave water behind in lakes and pools, yes, though many of those probably resulted long after the flood.

    Nic said, “Well then if there was a world wide flood at any point then every single culture of humans that existed at that time all would have died at that same time. And oops..that doesn’t happen.”

    You’ve never heard of “prehistoric”, Nic? Could it be that we have no record of any civilizations before Sumerians, etc. because any civilization before hand was wiped out? Could it be that prehistoric-pre-flood civilizations were agrarian societies with little carbon footprints for us to find?

    Regarding the Grand Canyon, Ed and I have gone round and round about the Grand Canyon. Amazing that the rocks on top of the Canyon date as being younger than the rocks on the bottom. No small problem for evolutionists. Let’s just say that the flood model holds it’s own at the Grand Canyon as a breached dam.

    Nic said, “Thirdly, a flood would have had to top Mount Everest. You are aware how tall Mount Everest is right? That’s a whole lot of water we’re talking about. And water does not *snaps fingers* poof appear and *snaps fingers* poof disappear. There isn’t enough water on the planet, Lower, to have come up with a world wide flood.”

    Actually, it could be that Everest began forming as a result of the flood. It didn’t have to form over millions of years, but I very highly doubt it was there before the flood. I also doubt that it wasn’t there before the flood and then poof, after Noah got off the ark it was at 29k+ ft. Even creationists understand that mountains take time to form – though with an epic flood that would have disturbed the plates of the earth, it would have been much faster than evolutionists say.

    Nic, “Oh and fourthly..which is it. He took two of every creature? Or he took 2 of some and 7 of others? Because both are mentioned in the Bible.”

    Because one is the generality and one is the specific. Generally, Noah took two of each creature – specifically he took two of each, and seven of others.

    Nic said, “But at any rate..that isn’t enough genetic breadth to repopulate all the species.”

    Absolutely. Which is why I believe there is so much variety in the fossils that we don’t see today. Not every variety of species was necessary to go onto the ark – just one variety of each. Not every kind of dog – just one pair of canines. This is where creationists agree with evolutionists – I agree that all the foxes, wolves, dogs, dingos, etc. are probably from the two on the ark. Variety definitely can result as generations go by. Again, evolutionsts and creationists agree on the evidence – just disagree on the presuppositions.

    Nic said, “And exactly how were fresh water creatures surviving in salt water? And exactly how were salt water creatures surviving in fresh water?”

    A lot of them didn’t survive. A lot of aquatic animals are extinct now and left their fossils behind. That being said, there are many possibilities of how they could have survived. While no one knows the exact answer because we weren’t there to observe it, there have been several good plausible ideas put forth by creationists. There certainly are legitimate possibilities that do not hinder the flood model.

    Here’s a couple:
    answersingenesis.org/Home/Area/feedback/feedback26-feb-2001.asp

    Nic said, “…but again you’re saying that God is a liar.”

    Nothing of the kind – I’m saying that we accept the same evidence but simply have different presuppositions regarding that evidence. You are saying that it HAS to be evolution and so look through those lenses. I’m saying that if God’s word is true, it HAS to be as He said it happened. Both look at the same evidence and view it through their respective lenses. No good creationist denies scientific evidence, they simply deny your presuppositions, inferences, and leaps in logic from that evidence.

    That’s all the time I’ve got. Will try to write more later…maybe.

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  40. Nick K says:

    Oh and Lower, I direct this at you.

    You, Barton and all the rest of your fellow right wingers need to get off this culture war crap. Do you even honestly recognize how often your side of the political/religious spectrum plays the victim? Do you even realize how much your side uses dimwitted arguments to stir up division in this country?

    Your opposition to the theory of evolution is a perfect example. not only is your side worshipping utter ignorance its also deluding itself into thinking that this is some sort of “Christianity is under attack” bullshit. You’re literally trying to make the country dumber. And for what? Because your faith in God is so damn weak that you can’t stomach the thought that God used evolution? Oh please. At least stop calling yourselves Christians if your going to sit there and treat God as a puppet dancing from the mutated bastard heresay that is Creationism. God only did things how you believe? My what arrogance you’re suffering from. At least those who oppose you here give God credit for what God actually did instead of blinding ourselves to reality just because our faith is pathetically weak.

    You want to believe in Creationism go right ahead. I really don’t care. But keep your creationism where it belongs…if it belongs anywhere…and quit trying to shove it where it doesn’t belong.

    Where it belongs..and I’m being diplomatic is your church or your home.

    Where it doesn’t belong is in any science classroom in any school on the planet.

    You and Barton don’t know what the hell you’re talking about when it comes to science. You two barely know what you’re talking about when it comes to Christianity.

    The second that Barton said “its just a theory” is the second you two should have shut up. Because that proves beyond a doubt that neither one of you knows what you’re talking about.

    Barton..the second you said that nonsense line is the second you lost any credibility and the absolute second you lost the debate. Be a good Christian now and admit your error instead of continuing this folderol.

    Deny reality all you want to save your weak faith but nothing you say changes the reality of what actually happened.

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  41. Nick K says:

    Oh and Barton, if you think the Bible supports Creationism then you either need to find a new Bible or frankly…stop being a idolatrus fake.

    Thinking that Creationism is an alternative to the theory of evolution is thinking that a Ford Pinto is an alternative to the space shuttle for getting into space.

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  42. Nick K says:

    Barton writes:
    Mr. Darrell,

    We could point out hoaxes on both sides. Ever hear of the piltdown man?

    Which was a hoax perpetrated by amateurs (like yourself) on the scientific community. It was then found out to be a hoax by *gasp* actual scientists. In other words, chuckles, science did its job and was proven right.

    As for the flood..there would have to have been enough water to top Mount Everest. Which means there would have been enough water to cover the entire surface of the earth to a height of at least 30,000 feet. Now if you two want to maintain this fiction that a world flood happened then do the math on how much water that would be and then find enough water on the planet to do that.

    Because the claim that a flood would have done layers upon layers upon layers is utter drek.

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  43. James Hanley says:

    piltdown man

    More evidence that Barton is simply reciting from the Official Creationist Pack O’ Lies Handbook. Piltdown man was a hoax played on scientists, not a hoax played by scientists. Anthroplogists and paleontologists never really bought into Piltdown man because it didn’t make sense. They treated it as a puzzle until they determine it was a hoax, but the scientists themselves never portrayed it as a certain find, and the scientists were not the ones who put an orang-utan jaw on a human skull and pretended to have found it.

    But creationists keep repeating that lie no matter how many times it’s pointed out as a lie.

    So for the record, Mr. Barton has not–despite his dishonest claim–presented any evidence of a hoax by scientists. Strike one.

    To say that no animal turns into something else, denies evolution and does not support it.

    And here Mr. Barton reveals that he is completely, unequivocally, 100% ignorant about how evolution works.

    Listen, Mr. Barton, I’ve studied evolution. I know when you’re making a false claim about it. You, having never studied it beyond reading creationist pamphlets, are speaking wholly out of ignorance about it. So let me explain.

    1. Every organism is born with mutations. Many are harmful (most spontaneous abortions are caused by harmful mutations), some are neither harmful nor beneficial, and a few are beneficial in some way. A mutation that makes a fawn harder for a predator to spot, for example, is beneficial, because that fawn is more likely to survive fawn-hood so it can grow up and have its own babies. But the fawn is still a deer–it hasn’t become another animal. It has, however, become just slightly different from its parents.

    2. That mutation in our hypothetical fawn has to be passed on to its babies, or there is no evolution. If it’s babies have that mutation, they, too, will have a slightly greater chance–compared to the fawns without that mutation–to survive fawn-hood and grow up to have their own babies, and then pass that mutation on to them.

    3. No animal ever has enough difference from its parents to be a different species than the parents. But if you add up enough mutations over time, you get an animal that–through successive minute gradations–is very different from its great, great, great, great………great, great, great grandparents.

    Lots of people stumble over that part, but an analogy is easy to come by. Consider salsa. There’s very mild salsa, with almost no heat, and there’s extremely hot salsa, with such raging heat it makes your eyes water to be in the same room. They are obviously related, but they are not at all the same thing. (If you think they’re the same thing, try giving the raging hot salsa to someone who can’t eat spicy food!). Now you can line up a whole series of salsas of different heat levels. You can make the gradations so fine that you can’t tell the difference between any two salsas that are adjacent on that continuum. Those adjacent salsas are like parent-child, while the mildest salsa and the hottest salsa are like the ancient ancestor species and the now-extant species.

    See, it’s not really that hard a concept. But your statements about it are the type of thing biologists hear over and over, and that they have refuted over and over. But your side sticks to them despite the fact that they are in fact false claims about evolution.

    The Bible has something to say about bearing false witness. I don’t mean that just to be snarky. I think it’s shocking that people who consider themselves devout Christians think it’s ok to attack evolution by the use of lies. Where in the Bible does God say you should lie to defend your beliefs?

    You may try to persuade yourself that these claims are not lies, but in fact they are. They are false representations of how biologists explain the working of natural selection. In fact you’re not actually really talking about evolution itself, but a caricature that no biologist believes.

    Face it, Mr. Barton, given that you have not actually studied evolution (you’ve only studied the creationist claims, not evolutionary theory itself), you’re inevitably going to be speaking from a position of ignorance about what evolution really is.

    Are you really going to try to persuade us that ignorance of a subject is a better path to understanding it than actual knowledge of the subject is? (“Hello, Dr. Einstein? Hi, I’m a music teacher, and not a physicist like yourself, but your theory of relativity is obviously wrong.” Einstein: “Oh, it is? Well, thanks for telling me. I didn’t realize that. I’ll be sure to print a retraction right away.”)

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  44. Tadpoles always turn into frogs and not some other form, which proves my point. To say that no animal turns into something else, denies evolution and does not support it. God did not just push some magic start button and put evolution into motion. If you wish to believe that the Earth is billions of years old, and is nothing like it was originally, thats fine. But why not leave God out of it. Did any of you ever hear a discussion on a mature creation to explain the 4 million year light from the star that Nick is obsessed about? I could give you guys websites and names to look at, but it would be pointless.

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  45. Mr. Darrell,

    We could point out hoaxes on both sides. Ever hear of the piltdown man?

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  46. Nick K says:

    Someone wrote:
    Okay Lower, they have resorted to the usual name calling.

    No..name calling would be calling you two a pair of dumb *************.

    Calling you ignorant is simply stating the truth. You two are ignorant. So play the victim all you want but it only means that you’re incapable of proving that you’re not ignorant.

    You simply don’t know what you’re talking about. So why in God’s earth should we pretend you do?

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  47. Nick K says:

    Robert writes:
    The geologist are inerrant, but not God.

    God is inerrant. The Bible is not. Unless of course you’re saying that the Bible itself is God or is a god?

    You do know what idolatry is right?

    The Creation account in the Bible is allegory. It’s not meant to be taken literally. Since God created the universe and set up it so, for example, that a star 4 million light years away sends out light that takes 4 million years to get here..the only way to believe this nonsense that the earth and the universe are 6000 years old is to believe that God lied.

    Deny scientific reality all you want but you’re no closer to the truth then I am to being the King of Norway.

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  48. James Hanley says:

    Okay Lower, they have resorted to the usual name calling.

    And there’s the classic move…ignore the evidence and complain that your ignorance has been called ignorance. It’s a classic move because it’s standard for those who can’t actually marshal any evidence on their side.

    germ got in the water somehow. Then the water developed it into a tadpole and the tadpole swam too near the bank one day and got stuck in the mud and dried there. Wriggling around in the mud, he formed warts on his belly that later became legs. After he developed legs, he became a land animal and climbing through the trees on day , his foot slipped and he fell – the jar broke off his tail.

    Of course that’s a false statement about what evolutionary theory claims. Because of course no individual organism ever “evolved” into some other type of organism.

    So we’re left with only two alternative explanations for why Mr. Barton would present this false statement: Either he knows it’s false, in which case he is a liar (who is lying for Jesus), or he doesn’t know it’s false, in which case he’s being willfully dumb about evolutionary theory.

    When the only possibilities are being a liar or being wilfully dumb, there’s just no way to come out looking good.

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  49. Ed Darrell says:

    Then the water developed it into a tadpole and the tadpole swam too near the bank one day and got stuck in the mud and dried there. Wriggling around in the mud, he formed warts on his belly that later became legs.

    Outright lies. A tadpole develops legs as a course of its life — this fellow would have us believe they don’t? He’s never studied tadpoles, but claims to know what they do. He’s never looked to see what God did with tadpoles, but tells us whatever it was, it was wrong.

    Pure blasphemy.

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  50. Ed Darrell says:

    The geologist are inerrant, but not God.

    You’ve got it wrong. I’m saying that God doesn’t lie. You’re saying that God leaves evidence contrary to what God did.

    No one is saying the geologists are inerrant. But neither can you offer any defense for the outright lies being told by creationists, such as the claims of human footprints in rocks laid down before humans existed.

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  51. Ed Darrell says:

    Robert,

    If creationism were the noble and godly stuff you hope it is, why is it necessary for creationists to create fantastic hoaxes, like the footprints hoax debunked in the video at the top of this thread?

    It is my experience that creationists cannot maintain a theological argument for creationism, and quickly resort to hoaxes and outright fabrications, sprinkled with unwarranted attacks on scientists and philosophers. Can we not rule out creationism as a Christian pursuit merely by the fruits of the tree?

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  52. Bryan says:

    The focus of this discussion is changing from science vs faith to theology, much more productive. I hope Mr. Barton answers Mr. Stanley’s questions and the dialogue continues.

    As for Mr. Higginbotham bringing up Thomas Aquinas, I don’t see how the writings of a Catholic saint are going to sway a clearly Protestant opponent. “Apparently use their Bible as the ultimate authority…”? Isn’t it obvious?

    But putting the Reformation aside, Thomas Aquinas made a very good case for reason (although it’s unfortunate that his writings were ignored when it came time to consider Galileo’s promotion of heliocentrism).

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  53. Jim,

    I am a literalist in the respect that the Bible, 39 Old Testament books and 27 New Testament books, is inspired, inerrant, infallible, and complete. I know the Bible contains allegories, parables, and almost every other conceivable type of literary writing. I know that when Jesus said, “I am the door”, he was not a literal component to a building. I hold that when the Bible is dissected and treated as a buffet line where we chose what we like and don’t like or agree with, it does a disservice to the Word and my God. Christ is The Word incarnate. To rail against the Bible is to rail against Him. Hope that helps clear things up a bit. Unlike some of my friends on this site, I believe the Bible has the answer to any question we ask. It won’t tell you how to tune up you car or repair your toilet or cook spaghetti, but I think you get the idea.

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  54. Jim Stanley says:

    Sometimes, with the intensity of a thread like this, it is easy for a person to miss a comment or question posed to them. So let me try this again…

    Good morning, Robert!

    May I ask how far you take this statement of yours regarding Holy Scripture? You say — >>>” I am a literalist. Enough said.”<<<

    As a believer in Jesus Christ myself, I find this intriguing. To what extent are you a literalist?

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  55. Okay Lower, they have resorted to the usual name calling. God has been “inserted” into the evolution argument because without Him, it is totally ridiculous. I’m amazed that people will believe anything except Scripture. The geologist are inerrant, but not God. Go figure! Someone alluded to the “holy men moved of God”. Study that and you will see it compares to a ship being moved by the wind. Short reply, God wrote the Bible.
    Yes Nick, I am genetically related to my ancestors, who were not apes by the way. You guys have not mentioned DNA research that ties us to two people thousands of years ago and not millions. Also, I am a Christian because I have trusted Christ as my Savior according to the Bible. I’m not sure if that is one of the parts you guys believe in or not, but I do.(Romans 10:9&10) This discussion could go on forever, but I’m afraid that is pointless. I’ll leave with a quote from Dr. B.R. Lakin.

    “She said, ‘ The theory of evolution is the only sane explanation.’

    “That’s the most insane thing I have ever heard. To be an evolutionist, all you got to do is stullify your brain and throw your reason out of gear, that’s all. Let me tell you something – if you tell me that’s a scientific evolution theory to creation, that a way back yonder somewhere, somehow, nobody knows when, how, where, or why, nothing got in nothing and something formed out of nothing. A germ got in the water somehow. Then the water developed it into a tadpole and the tadpole swam too near the bank one day and got stuck in the mud and dried there. Wriggling around in the mud, he formed warts on his belly that later became legs. After he developed legs, he became a land animal and climbing through the trees on day , his foot slipped and he fell – the jar broke off his tail. He hit the ground, walked across the street, bought himself a suit of clothes, began teaching in the university an said, ‘ Thank God, I’m a man at last!'”

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  56. James Hanley says:

    And we agree to keep our opinions that you two are wholly ignorant to ourselves.

    I don’t know if I can be a signatory to that agreement, then, Nick! *grin*

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  57. Nick K says:

    Oh the other part of the deal, Lower, is that you two quit pretending you’re in a position to talk about science when you know nothing about it.

    And we agree to keep our opinions that you two are wholly ignorant to ourselves.

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  58. Nick K says:

    Tell you what, Lower and barton, I’ll make you a deal.

    You agree to keep creationism in your church and also agree to keep the theory of evolution in science class.

    That way you get to keep what you want without screwing over anyone.

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  59. j a higginbotham says:

    lowerleavell and Robert Barton apparently use the Bible as their ultimate authority. Scientists use their observations. So how do the first two explain the different conclusions reached (e.g. age of earth/ evolution, etc)? Do they think scientists (including the Christian ones – there are several Christian organizations at my small technical school) are part of a big conspiracy against religion?

    LL:not that a good evolution vs. creation debate isn’t profitable,
    Wherein lies the profit? One side argues based on revelation; one side argues based on observation. There is no common basis for discussion.

    And lowerleavell’s recent scientific comments merely demonstrate a misunderstanding of science.

    I guess it’s time for this well-worn quote again: http://www.pibburns.com/augustin.htm

    Saint Augustine (A.D. 354-430) in his work The Literal Meaning of Genesis (De Genesi ad litteram libri duodecim) provided excellent advice for all Christians who are faced with the task of interpreting Scripture in the light of scientific knowledge. This translation is by J. H. Taylor in Ancient Christian Writers, Newman Press, 1982, volume 41.

    Usually, even a non-Christian knows something about the earth, the heavens, and the other elements of this world, about the motion and orbit of the stars and even their size and relative positions, about the predictable eclipses of the sun and moon, the cycles of the years and the seasons, about the kinds of animals, shrubs, stones, and so forth, and this knowledge he hold to as being certain from reason and experience. Now, it is a disgraceful and dangerous thing for an infidel to hear a Christian, presumably giving the meaning of Holy Scripture, talking nonsense on these topics; and we should take all means to prevent such an embarrassing situation, in which people show up vast ignorance in a Christian and laugh it to scorn. The shame is not so much that an ignorant individual is derided, but that people outside the household of faith think our sacred writers held such opinions, and, to the great loss of those for whose salvation we toil, the writers of our Scripture are criticized and rejected as unlearned men. If they find a Christian mistaken in a field which they themselves know well and hear him maintaining his foolish opinions about our books, how are they going to believe those books in matters concerning the resurrection of the dead, the hope of eternal life, and the kingdom of heaven, when they think their pages are full of falsehoods and on facts which they themselves have learnt from experience and the light of reason? Reckless and incompetent expounders of Holy Scripture bring untold trouble and sorrow on their wiser brethren when they are caught in one of their mischievous false opinions and are taken to task by those who are not bound by the authority of our sacred books. For then, to defend their utterly foolish and obviously untrue statements, they will try to call upon Holy Scripture for proof and even recite from memory many passages which they think support their position, although “they understand neither what they say nor the things about which they make assertion.” [1 Timothy 1.7]

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  60. Nick K says:

    Lower writes:
    LL:An epic flood of global proporions, especially one where a lot of the water came from underground channels) would indeed disturb (to put it mildly) the strata and would deposit them in layers, as is what you find in the geological strata.

    Find those channels and find that water. Provide evidence for that claim, Lower.

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  61. Bryan says:

    Nick K says: “And you dismiss evolution without question but accept creationism without question and without thought. Its a pity that you can’t give God credit for the world and the universe that God created. You’re so wrapped up in your precious interpretation of a human written book. Yes that’s right..I said the Bible was written by humans. It wasn’t authored by God and it isn’t inerrant….”

    I thought it was unproductive to argue with a Biblical literalist whether evolution can be teased out of Genesis. It’s completely pointless to base your argument on Biblical errancy and the absence of Godly inspiration (not to mention mean-spirited).

    I write this as an agnostic who accepts accepts the theory of evolution, the age of the Earth and the universe, etc. I do not believe in Biblical inerrancy nor do I believe that the Bible is a literal account of creation.

    But I can see that no one is going to win an argument using science, at least with Mr. Barton. One could win the argument, eventually, with someone like Mr. Lowerleavell, who is on the slippery slope to defeat because eventually he will run out of pseudo-scientific roadblocks to throw out (but it’s a very looooonnnng slippery slope). And there will be much agita along the way.

    If one wants to argue theology, be prepared. Contradictions between Genesis 1 and 2 aren’t going to do it. Trying to argue Leviticus against the New Testament is worse.

    Like

  62. James Hanley says:

    lowerleavell,

    So you really believe that your wholly armchair understanding of geology is superior to the understanding of those who actually put real effort–a lifetime–into studying it?

    Until now I thought you were a reasonably reasonable fellow. But how could anyone possibly respect someone who makes a claim that those who never study something have a better understanding than those who do study it? Ignorance is ok; we’re all ignorant about some things. But this is purposeful stupidity. Fortunately for you, willful stupidity, while a chronic condition, doesn’t seem to be a painful one.

    (I know, I know, now you claim victory, and say I’m out of arguments because I got mad. Another charlatan’s claim, so typical of those bereft of any real intellectual capacity.)

    Like

  63. Jim Stanley says:

    Good evening, Robert!

    May I ask how far you take this statement of yours regarding Holy Scripture? You say — >>>” I am a literalist. Enough said.”<<<

    As a believer in Jesus Christ myself, I find this intriguing. To what extent are you a literalist?

    Like

  64. j a higginbotham says:

    LL:An epic flood of global proporions, especially one where a lot of the water came from underground channels) would indeed disturb (to put it mildly) the strata and would deposit them in layers, as is what you find in the geological strata.
    ——
    Can you give me any examples of modern floods which can even begin to reproduce strata as seen? There aren’t any. If you want to believe in a recent worldwide flood because you have had a divine revelation, that’s nothing anyone can dispute. But when you make statements such as the above which are demonstrably implausible (to say the least), then you are wide open to criticism.
    A basic question is: Is there any possible geological evidence which would disprove the flood to you? I suspect the answer is no, because you already know there was a flood, so any observation must be consistent with the flood.

    jah

    Like

  65. Thank you Bryan, I am a literalist. Enough said.

    Like

  66. Nick K says:

    Lower writes:
    The Bible claims to be written down by men who were moved by the Holy Spirit (I assume you believe in the Trinity?) into what they wrote. It also claims that ALL Scripture is “God breathed” (like one musician breating into multiple instruments makes different sounds).

    That still doesn’t mean that it was inerrant or that God wrote it. If it was there would be exactly one version of the Bible and not 40+. Plus, you wouldn’t have to interpret it.

    But you can fun explaining why if its as you say why there are three different versions of the Ten Commandments. Oh..actually that would be 200+ for the Jews. So tell me..which version of the Commandments did God mean? The Catholic version? The Protestant version? The ones the Jews follow?

    Why there are Bibles that have some books in it..but other Bibles that don’t have some books in it. You have heard of the Apocryphal gospels right?

    You’re still stuck with the fact that you’re still reading the Bible through human interpretation. The second you add human interpretation to the BIble, Lower, is the second you toss out the claim that it is the literal and inerrant Word of God. The Bible is a tool, it is not God itself. You can worship God or you can worship the Bible. Which is it?

    But tell me, Lower, if I wrote a book and said that it is “the word of God” you’ll automatically believe it? Or would you like to think about that position you’re taking for a minute?

    Sorry, you should be aware that circular reasoning is a logical fallacy. “The Bible is inerrant Word of God.” Why is it? “Because the Bible says so.”

    So tell me, God wants you to sell your daughters into slavery as outlined in Exodus 21:7? Are people who work on the Sabbath supposed to be killed, Lower? After all that’s what it says in Exodus 35:2. Of course then we’d need to decide when exactly is the Sabbath. Jews say its on Saturday..Christians say its on Sunday. Will we have to cancel football because of Leviticus 11:7? If a farmer plants two different crops side by side does the whole town really need to get together to stone him to death? Does the husband need to die if he touches his wife’s bed while she is having her period? Do people who wear clothes of mixed threads need to be put to death? God breathed those things, Lower? That’s what God wants?

    THe point, Lower, is that “inspired by God” doesn’t mean “written by God” or “authored by God.” After all..if I am inspired by, say, my cat to paint a portrait of it…that doesn’t mean my cat was the one who painted the painting.

    Peter Jackson was inspired by “The Lord of the Rings” to create a film of it. But that doesn’t mean that Peter Jackson authored “The Lord of the Rings.” Nor does it mean that J.R.R. Tolkien was the one who created the films.

    Cling to your precious Creationism if you want…but you and Barton should be honest enough to acknowledge that when it comes to science you have no damn idea what you’re talking about.

    But then honesty has never been one of your strong suits.

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  67. Nick K says:

    Lower, the surest proof there wasn’t a world wide flood is the fact that there is no evidence that every culture on the earth did a disappearing trick at exactly the same time.

    Barton wants to maintain the earth is 6000 years old. Well then if there was a world wide flood at any point then every single culture of humans that existed at that time all would have died at that same time. And oops..that doesn’t happen.

    Secondly, a flood can’t create the lakes in my state nor does it create the Grand Canyon.

    Thirdly, a flood would have had to top Mount Everest. You are aware how tall Mount Everest is right? That’s a whole lot of water we’re talking about. And water does not *snaps fingers* poof appear and *snaps fingers* poof disappear. There isn’t enough water on the planet, Lower, to have come up with a world wide flood.

    Noah’s flood was a regional flood of that area. And because the humans at that time didn’t know how big the world was they thought it was a world flood.

    Oh and fourthly..which is it. He took two of every creature? Or he took 2 of some and 7 of others? Because both are mentioned in the Bible. But at any rate..that isn’t enough genetic breadth to repopulate all the species. You are aware of why exactly inbreeding is a bad idea as far as genetics go, right?

    And exactly how were fresh water creatures surviving in salt water? And exactly how were salt water creatures surviving in fresh water? You know what happens to a dolphin in fresh water? It sinks and then it drowns.

    You and Barton and whoever else can believe whatever stories dreamed up by people thousands of years ago who didn’t know what they’re talking about…but again you’re saying that God is a liar. The earth says that a world wide flood didn’t happen.

    You don’t understand science any better then you understand Christianity, Lower. You and Barton are fakes at both.

    Like

  68. lowerleavell says:

    James, I’ve read that article at talkorigins before as I’ve read a majority their articles already. We’ve gone round and round about the flood in debates on this site – if you want to know my position, I’m sure Ed would have those archived somewhere. An epic flood of global proporions, especially one where a lot of the water came from underground channels) would indeed disturb (to put it mildly) the strata and would deposit them in layers, as is what you find in the geological strata. It wouldn’t be always consistently the same in every part of the eart either, depending on the rock layers that are present at that location…also consistent with the data. There is a lot of evidence for the flood that we’ve gotten into in the past already.

    James, “*Although I wasn’t trying to cast doubt on the creation itself, just noting that details differ, and it takes interpretation to bring them together. The very necessity of interpretation raises the spectre of non-literalism, as it puts so much reliance on inference about what the Bible means.

    But as with anything that is written, as much as possible, it should be taken as normative. You do that with what I write and I do that with what you write – call it courtesy if you will. I try to perceive what you’re actually saying rather than give it my own interpretation. When you deposit evolution into Genesis, you’re reading your own interpretation into the text rather than drawing your interpretation from the text. There’s a big important difference. We draw our conclusions from the text, not read our conclusions into the text. It’s an important part of language to take this approach with anything we read – from Plato to blogging. It’s important with the Bible as well.

    Like

  69. lowerleavell says:

    Nic said, “Yes that’s right..I said the Bible was written by humans. It wasn’t authored by God and it isn’t inerrant.”

    The Bible claims to be written down by men who were moved by the Holy Spirit (I assume you believe in the Trinity?) into what they wrote. It also claims that ALL Scripture is “God breathed” (like one musician breating into multiple instruments makes different sounds). It’s like watching Star Wars and saying, “that was a great camera that made that movie” instead of giving credit to George Lucas. So…you’re saying that God/or men who wrote the Bible lied? If it is not true as a whole, how do you know it is true in part (i.e. as it relates to Christ, sin, heaven, etc.)? If it can’t get basic facts straight, how can it tell me the path to salvation?

    Nic said, “Most of Christianity accepts evolution, Barton.”

    And most people think the mosque should be moved…are we accepting majorities are always right now? :-)

    Like

  70. James Hanley says:

    lowerleavell,

    If you are an honest man interested in knowledge, here is a site that provides much more accurate and complete answers to your example about buried organisms than I, a non-geologist who only knows a (very little) bit from palling around with a geologist, could ever tell you. http://www.talkorigins.org/faqs/faq-noahs-ark.html#georecord.

    Interestingly–and I don’t mean this snarkily–your comment on buried organisms was exactly like my Genesis comment in that both are “naive readings.” You appropriately doubt a naive reading of the Bible,* but you readily accept a naive reading of the geological record.

    ____________________
    *Although I wasn’t trying to cast doubt on the creation itself, just noting that details differ, and it takes interpretation to bring them together. The very necessity of interpretation raises the spectre of non-literalism, as it puts so much reliance on inference about what the Bible means.

    Like

  71. James Hanley says:

    Ed states that there is no evidence for a global flood. I like how Ham puts it. If there was a flood, “We’d expect to find billions of dead things buried in rock layers laid down by water all over the earth.” Guess what we find? Anyone?

    Seriously, lowerleavell? So you not only understand evolution better than the biologists, but you understand geology better than the geologists? And you don’t even need to study those disciplines? Am I really supposed to believe you over my colleagues in biology and geology? Talk about hubris! Pride goeth before a fall, yes?

    Look at any sizable flood event, the ’93 Mississippi flood, for example, and you’ll see that a single flood does not lay down multiple layers. It would not give you fossils buried at one level, multiple layers above them, then other fossils buried at a much higher level.

    I just think it’s marvelous how you can think that you have a better grasp of geology than professional geologists, and you don’t even need to study any geology to do so, but you’re trying to rebut me on the Bible, when I’ve studied it less than you have. By your logic, my interpretation of the Bible is obviously superior to you, Mr. Elitist Expert who’s spent a lot more time studying it!
    *grin*

    And, yes, Mr. lowerleavell, if Barton persists in spouting nonsense, we will persist in pointing out that it’s nonsense. You seem to be eager to portray us as though our persistence in attacking false arguments is something to disdain. That’s quite a dodge from the real issue, which is the errors of creationists, flood geologists, and all other kinds of nonsense that co-opts the Bible for improper purposes.

    Like

  72. lowerleavell says:

    James, “In Genesis 1, plant life appears before man. But in Genesis 2, man appears before plant life.”

    Here’s a good answer to the problem you put forth:
    answersingenesis.org/articles/2010/09/03/feedback-genesis-1-and-2

    Genesis 1 says Adam and Eve were created together, but Genesis 2 says Adam was created first.

    Genesis one gives the fact that God created both male and female – Genesis two goes into the details of what that looked like. Genesis one doesn’t say that they were created together at the same time – it merely says that He created both male and female. No contradiction between the two.

    James, “The fact is that the Israelites had an oral tradition–these stories of creation date to long before they were written down.”

    Actually, evidence suggests that the Israelites wrote down their traditions as opposed to Europeans, as the Bible indicates they did. They’ve even found clay pots dating back to the 10th century BC!

    christianitytoday.com/ct/2010/januaryweb-only/13-11.0.html?start=1

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  73. lowerleavell says:

    Mr. Barton,

    I don’t know you but I can encourage you to cautiously enter into a discussion on this site about creation vs. evolution. Not that the God of the Bible doesn’t stand on His own two feet but that you will waste a LOT of time with multiple people who seem to have nothing to do with their days but to blog and therefore your time will be sucked dry trying to respond to three to four different attacks – some of whom you will have to answer over and over and over again as your arguments will barely even be read. I can imagine the lengthy responses that will be produced as a result of this one post on my part that only a full time blogger would have time to respond to.

    I have found this type of blogging quite unprofitable – not that a good evolution vs. creation debate isn’t profitable, but after over two years of discussion with Ed, Nick, etc. they still are saying the EXACT same thing even though I and others have answered in detail the exact theological arguments that have been put forward on this short thread on multiple occasions. Sometimes you find yourself defending what is true of evolutionists that you never thought would be put forward to creationists.

    Case in point, Ed quotes Romans 1:22,23 “Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools,Rom 1:25 Who changed the truth of God into a lie, and worshipped and served the creature more than the Creator, who is blessed for ever. Amen.”

    What he doesn’t see is that creationists like you and me understand that we DON’T have all the answers, and that while science is a wonderful thing and should be celebrated, it never can answer all our questions (like answering the question, “why” and “where did we come from?”). They don’t understand that we don’t deny observable scientific evidence but rather start with different presuppositions (which we all have). Their entire system of belief is based on the presupposition of those who profess to be wise. We don’t claim to know the answers because we weren’t there at the begining – and since it is not a repeatable event or testable, or falsifiable, creation can never be labled “scientific”! But we understand that God does know what happened – He was there at the beginning (unless they claim that God wasn’t there at the beginning – I can’t imagine the horrors of that position). Ed stated once that he believes that Genesis 1-11 is the result of Babylonian influence and mythology…so he doesn’t believe the thing anyway! But I believe God said what happened quite clearly in the Bible. I don’t worship the Bible – I just believe it came from a very reliable source. :-) So, we worship and trust the Creator who gave us His word on the subject, not the word of fallible men, as do evolutionists. They are the ones trusting the creation, not the Creator. They trust in natural selection – we trust in the word of the supernatural Creator. They trust in the wisdom of scientists who will never be infallible – we trust the word of the One who cannot lie.

    Even James says it is necessary to be well educated in order to understand these things. We can’t understand that creation is baloney because we lack the scientific training. So, who is professing wisdom? And who then, when confronted with the integrity of Almighty God is the fool? The one who says “I don’t know all the answers but the Almighty does” or the one who says, “I know better than what the Almighty has said in His word”? It’s certainly not me who you will answer that question to.

    Saying that the creation account is compatable with evolution is false. Every time a timeline of creation is given, it is said to have been six days (Genesis 1; Exodus 20:11; Exodus 31:17). These days are normative – otherwise the Israelites would have had to work six thousand years and then rest one thousand years to follow God’s pattern – or working for billions and resting for one billion. :-) Even with the day as a thousand years, etc. I still don’t get how you get 13.5 billion yearsish. It’s sloppy theology at best! By God stating that Adam and Eve were created only two days after the sun, moon, and stars, you pretty much have creation being incompatible with evolution. You also have God creating vegetation one day before the sun – an impossibility in evolution if the timeline is millions/billions of years. It only makes sense if 1) it is allegorical – which who knows what the allegory would be and it messed up since the sun should have been before vegetation in that scenario 2) it is completely mythological, or 3) it is literal.

    By definition, creation is a supernatural event, which would include the employment of “miracles.” ANYTHING God does is a miracle, by definition. This needed miracle is demonstrated in the law of “cause and effect” as we have gone round and round about. Therefore, if creation is completely the result of natural processes, God had no hand in it. Steven Hawking gets it – remember, the guy who professes himself to be wise? He is the apex of scientific wisdom and now he says that it is not necessary to invoke God as the cause behind the Big Bang. Sorry guys – the ones in which you trust (i.e. the scientific community) have just told you you’re wrong. Who are you going with? God or Hawking? Why or why not?

    The Bible does not explain DNA because it is not intended to be an exhaustive scientific textbook. It is meant to be accurate in the matters of science in which it speaks, but does not cover every aspect of science. Can you imagine the volumes if God Himself gave us ALL the information He has on the subject of science???! Dude, that would be awesome! As far as germs go, participating in sin can result in obtaining germs, no? Anyone heard of STDs? Could it be that the Bible gives sin as one of many causes of sickness because there are some things that God laid down as sin for us because He knew what was good for us and what was bad for us – almost like He designed our bodies or something. Also, the Bible does not claim that all sickness is the result of sin, though ultimately, it all began with Adam and Eve’s rebellion, and God’s cursing of the planet as a result. People don’t get bipolar because of their sin – cancer isn’t the result of sin, etc. But let’s say you have a heart attack as a result of not healthy your entire life? That is a result of sin then because God says that gluttony is wrong and that we are supposed to be good stewards of the body He gave us. See what I mean? Not all sickness is because of sin – but some sin results in sickness.

    Ed states that there is no evidence for a global flood. I like how Ham puts it. If there was a flood, “We’d expect to find billions of dead things buried in rock layers laid down by water all over the earth.” Guess what we find? Anyone?

    Like

  74. Nick K says:

    So, Barton, you think you’re not genetically related to your cousins and ancestors?

    So you think that God was lying when He created a universe in which it takes light from a star that is 4 million light years away 4 million years to get here?

    Barton says:
    If the Bible you read supports evolution, then you need to read it again or get a different Bible. You will take the “scientific proof” of evolution without question, but “interpret” the Bible as needed to fit the evolutionary theory. Yes I said theory.

    Most of Christianity accepts evolution, Barton. They just believe that it is a tool that God used. Three Popes have said as much. And yes..evolution is a theory. So is gravity, Barton, do you want to say that gravity isn’t real? Apparently you don’t know enough about science to know how science defines the word “theory.” It isn’t the laymans definition. When science attaches the word “theory” to something it means that it’s been scientifically proven.

    And you dismiss evolution without question but accept creationism without question and without thought. Its a pity that you can’t give God credit for the world and the universe that God created. You’re so wrapped up in your precious interpretation of a human written book. Yes that’s right..I said the Bible was written by humans. It wasn’t authored by God and it isn’t inerrant. Or you’re going to have a fun time explaining why God condones slavery, for one.

    You say you’re a Christian? Sorry you’re not if you can’t give God credit for what He did. You’re not a real Christian if you think God had to do it in the way your interpretation says like a puppet dancing from strings attached to your fingers.

    As for the Bible..as I said it only explains why and who. If you think the Bible says how and when you’re reading things into the Bible that simply aren’t there.

    And you can quote the Bible all you want but that only proves you’re incapable of thinking for yourself. NOthing in the Bible supports Creationism despite your delusion to the contrary.

    Like

  75. James Hanley says:

    And it’s impossible to literally hold to a literal interpretation of the Bible’s description of creation, because it provides descriptions that differ. The differences are small, to be sure, but they are enough to make a literal interpretation impossible.

    In Genesis 1, plant life appears before man. But in Genesis 2, man appears before plant life.

    Genesis 1 says Adam and Eve were created together, but Genesis 2 says Adam was created first.

    I don’t say that to cast doubt upon the Bible. The fact is that the Israelites had an oral tradition–these stories of creation date to long before they were written down. Details change slightly depending on who’s telling the story, without altering the fundamental meaning of the story. Yet they are literally different, so they cannot both be literally correct.

    The error is in insisting that what is an ancient culture’s attempt to understand their place in the world and the meaning of everything was meant to be a detailed explanation of the exact mechanisms God employed in creating the world.

    So even my argument is not a science vs. faith argument. It’s really about two things: the proper way to read the Bible on the one side, and the proper way to understand scientific evidence on the other.

    Those who simply reject the scientific evidence for creation and insist upon an impossible literal interpretation of the Bible, are doing both of those things wrong, which is rather more sad than offensive.

    Like

  76. Ed Darrell says:

    You’re right that a science vs. religion argument is generally not productive. But:

    Not only does the Bible not make an argument for evolution, it’s plain that a literal interpretation (the only one that matters to Mr. Barton, I believe) argues strongly against evolution. To a literalist, of course the Bible describes how the world was created.

    No literal interpretation of the Bible really supports creationism, either. The Bible is wholly silent on fossils, on DNA (as Mr. Hanley noted), on erosion, and on the age of the Earth.

    Scientists work by hypothesis and disproof. For about a century or two, flood geology held sway among scientists, as they searched the Earth for evidence of what happened and when. By 1831, however, as Lyell wrote in his three volume set on the Earth’s geology, the evidence was in that there was no world-wide flood as the story of Noah could be read to claim.

    Lyell was an ordained minister, as were most of the great geologists of that era — natural science being a good avocation for a minister who preaches on Sunday and had time other days to study God’s creation. The disproofs of a literal interpretation were all done by Christians, not out of animus to Christianity, but in study aimed to get closer to God.

    Creationism relies heavily on denying the work of these good Christians, for no good reason I can figure. Creationism relies on disparaging the creation that produces the evidence these men observed, and wrote about.

    In those two actions, creationism steps away from Christianity. Ultimately, Mr. Barton, creationists deny every aspect of God’s creation, claiming it to be false and corrupt.

    Why bother with such ideas that are obviously contrary to the faith?

    We are even warned against creationism and creationists in scripture:

    Rom 1:22 Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools,
    Rom 1:25 Who changed the truth of God into a lie, and worshipped and served the creature more than the Creator, who is blessed for ever. Amen.

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  77. Ed Darrell says:

    The Bible provides a stronger argument against the germ theory of disease than it does against evolution, as it emphasizes sin and demonic possession as the cause of illness, but few Christians reject the germ theory of disease (there are some, of course, but it’s definitely not mainstream). The Bible says nothing about DNA, yet we can be sure it is part of God’s plan of creation, since DNA actually does exist. In the same way, evolution occurs. We have observed it, both in the laboratory and in the wild. We have overwhelming paleontological evidence and overwhelming genetic evidence for it. To deny all that is to say that either scientists are more ignorant about what they’re studying than you are–which is astonishing hubris–or that God put false evidence in the world–which is blasphemous.

    Nice concise summary, Mr. Hanley!

    Like

  78. Bryan says:

    I don’t think = I think

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  79. Bryan says:

    I’m reading a lot of effort to convince Mr. Barton that that Bible provides some room for evolution. I don’t think those arguments rely on some very sketchy interpretations and certainly won’t convince an adherent of sola scriptura. Not only does the Bible not make an argument for evolution, it’s plain that a literal interpretation (the only one that matters to Mr. Barton, I believe) argues strongly against evolution. To a literalist, of course the Bible describes how the world was created.

    To argue science vs religion in this context doesn’t serve much of a purpose.

    Like

  80. James Hanley says:

    I also don’t need a great deal of “scientific training” to recognize a load of bologna when I see it either.

    Actually, you do. You’re not recognizing that creationism is baloney, because you lack the scientific training.

    There’s a reason why scientific training is rigorous–because the subjects are difficult. So to say, “I don’t need any special training to understand this difficult thing well enough” is to engage in mere wishful thinking.

    As to your “lie for Jesus,” the claim that there is no real evidence for evolution is a falsehood, a lie. You’re doing it in the service of religion, so that makes it a lie for Jesus. No matter how desperately you want to believe there’s no evidence for evolution, you can only sustain that belief by purposefully refusing to consider the evidence. Had you real strength in your convictions, you wouldn’t fear learning the evidence. If you learned the evidence, you would then know how solid it is, and if lying is anathema to you, then you would stop claiming there was no evidence.

    But you could still believe in God, because evolution does not contradict faith in God. (I have several friends who are both devout Christians and biologists who understand evolution.)

    I will agree with you to a certain extent–the Bible does not provide any arguments for evolution. I think Mr. Darrell has overstated that case a bit. But the Bible also does not provide any arguments against evolution, unless one thinks the essence of faith is not belief in Christ but belief in a literal interpretation of the first chapter of Genesis. But Genesis just tells us who created the world and why, not how. It is about meaning, not about process, and process is unimportant to that meaning.

    The Bible provides a stronger argument against the germ theory of disease than it does against evolution, as it emphasizes sin and demonic possession as the cause of illness, but few Christians reject the germ theory of disease (there are some, of course, but it’s definitely not mainstream). The Bible says nothing about DNA, yet we can be sure it is part of God’s plan of creation, since DNA actually does exist. In the same way, evolution occurs. We have observed it, both in the laboratory and in the wild. We have overwhelming paleontological evidence and overwhelming genetic evidence for it. To deny all that is to say that either scientists are more ignorant about what they’re studying than you are–which is astonishing hubris–or that God put false evidence in the world–which is blasphemous.

    I don’t personally believe in God anymore, but I do know–and I don’t think any Christian disagrees–that if God is real and created the world, then whatever exists in the world must be of God. Since evolution undeniably exists, it must be of God, too. (And, as a non-Christian, let me emphasize that I don’t for a moment think the evidence for evolution is evidence against God.)

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  81. I may not be a “scientist” like the rest of you, but I am a student of The Bible. If the Bible you read supports evolution, then you need to read it again or get a different Bible. You will take the “scientific proof” of evolution without question, but “interpret” the Bible as needed to fit the evolutionary theory. Yes I said theory. One more scripture reference and I am done. Romans 1:16 For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek.
    Rom 1:20 For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse:
    Rom 1:21 Because that, when they knew God, they glorified him not as God, neither were thankful; but became vain in their imaginations, and their foolish heart was darkened.
    Rom 1:22 Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools,
    Rom 1:25 Who changed the truth of God into a lie, and worshipped and served the creature more than the Creator, who is blessed for ever. Amen.

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  82. j a higginbotham says:

    RB:I really don’t see how anyone can believe in God, and not believe in the Biblical account of creation.
    ————
    Personal incredulity isn’t much of an argument. I don’t understand how planes stay aloft, but I don’t deny that they do. Plenty of people who call themselves Christians have no trouble accepting evolution. In your opinion, are they frauds? Are they deluded (then why not show them the error of their ways?)?

    RB: The whole purpose of evolution is to …

    And how do you know this? It isn’t in the Bible, I am sure.

    RB: Even Darwin knew …
    If you want to believe the Bible denies evolution, that is one thing.
    But please, please don’t try to make scientific arguments about subjects you admittedly [cf "load of bologna"] know little about. That just makes you sound foolish and leads others to place little credence in anything you write.

    jah

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  83. I have not told lies for Jesus, and do not need to do so. I also don’t need a great deal of “scientific training” to recognize a load of bologna when I see it either.

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  84. Jim Stanley says:

    I believe God — Jesus Christ, specifically — is so mighty and so perfect, that He could have created the universe and everything in it by simply speaking a word in six nanoseconds…to say nothing of six, 24 hour days.

    But I am persuaded by the overwhelming scientific evidence that He chose to take His time…over millions and perhaps billions of years. Because “a day is as a thousand years” with the Lord.

    I am at a loss for words to understand why so many of my brothers and sisters feel their faith is a house of cards that might collapse if things did not go precisely as the “Institute for Creation Research” claims. Science faculty at most Christian univerisities (aside from Bob Jones and some of the uber-fundamentalist, cultish schools) readily embrace evolution as the most likely model. Many of these are even solidly Evangelical schools like Taylor University, Wheaton College, Messiah College and so forth. Our Eastern Orthodox, Roman Catholic and Anglican brothers and sisters long ago made their peace with science. Now, a number of Evangelicals are doing likewise.

    It’s time to start practicing a faith that isn’t fearful or frightened. May I recommend an outstanding book, by an Evangelical author, to the group? (I know some of you have read it, already.) It’s called “The Scandal of the Evangelical Mind” by Dr. Noll, erst of Wheaton College and now teaching at the University of Notre Dame. Simply outstanding. Of course, the book covers more than science.

    The good news is, since Noll’s groundbreaking book, some Evangelicals have embraced the life of the mind and rejected the anti-science, anti-intellectualism of their predecessors and of the fundamentalist fringe. It’s well worth your time.

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  85. James Hanley says:

    Robert Barton writes,

    the flimsy and sometimes manufactured evidence of evolution

    Oh, oh, I know this game! This is the one where somebody with no scientific training claims a better understanding of the scientific evidence than the scientists have!

    Mr. Barton might as well wear a big sandwich board sign saying, “Will lie for Jesus.” This type of false claim is almost inevitably associated with someone who cannot be persuaded to engage the evidence for evolution honestly.

    Like

  86. James Hanley says:

    Mr. Barton,

    I no longer consider myself a Christian, but I grew up in a conservative Christian church and family, and considered myself a Christian for the first 30+ years of my life.

    And what I learned growing up was “he who believes in me will never die.” So it seems that belief in Jesus is what matters for Christianity, not how one interprets the creation stories (the Bible actually has several, not quite perfectly compatible, ones) in the Bible. God being omnipotent, there’s no reason he couldn’t use evolution as his method of creation. There’s nothing in the Bible that he says either did or did not, and there’s lots of evidence in the world that He did create that suggests evolution was his method.

    In fact I like to point out that because mutations inevitably happen (every organism is born with some), the only way evolution could not happen would be for God to step in and regularly stop it from happening.

    It’s a strange point for a Christian to hang so much on, because it really has no relation to the fundamentals, elements, purpose, or meaning of Christianity.

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  87. I beg to differ Mr. Darrell “belief” in the flimsy and sometimes manufactured evidence of evolution requires an enormous amount of faith. Scripture is definitely contrary to evolution. The verse you quoted earlier speaks of nature reproducing after it’s kind (species) as God made them. Genesis 1:25 And God made the beast of the earth after his kind, and cattle after their kind, and every thing that creepeth upon the earth after his kind: and God saw that it was good. Even Darwin knew we should be tripping over missing links instead endlessly searching for them or trying to manufacture or extrapulate them from one bone found somewhere. The whole purpose of evolution is to eliminate the need for a God that man is accountable to. Separating God from the Holy Scripture and trying to attach Him to evolution is absurd at best.

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  88. Nick K says:

    Barton writes:
    No contest there. I’ll go with the Bible. I really don’t see how anyone can believe in God, and not believe in the Biblical account of creation.

    I accept evolution for what it is. A tool that God used. And I believe in the Biblical account of creation.

    But the Creation account in the Bible is not Creationism. Creationism is an erronous interpretation of the Creation account. Creationism says at its base that God lied.

    So tell me…how can you believe in the Creation account in the Bible but believe in an interpretation of it that says that God lied?

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  89. Nick K says:

    Barton writes:
    So, Nick, now we get down to brass tacks. I can believe Darwin and other ridiculous proposals, or The Bible.

    No, thats not what I said. You believe an interpretation of the Bible. The Bible in actuality says nothing against evolution. nor does anything in the theory of evolution contradict anything the Bible says. The Bible says who and why. It doesn’t say how God did what He did despite your illusion to the contrary.

    Like I said…you belive in an interpretation of the Bible..and an erronous one at that. Your interpretation says that you believe that God created the world…but you deny the evidence of the world. In short you deny God in so doing. The Bible wasn’t written by God, it was written by humans. it isn’t literal and inerrant, that would be elevating the Bible to the position of being a god itself.

    God did not lie about how He created life on this planet…but your precious Creationism says that God lied. The world is older then you believe..the universe is older then you believe. Life is older then you believe. Evolution is merely one of the tools that God used.

    So as I said…you can believe in Creationism..or you can believe in God. But the former contradicts the latter by calling God a liar.

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  90. Ed Darrell says:

    So, Nick, now we get down to brass tacks. I can believe Darwin and other ridiculous proposals, or The Bible.

    Science is not religion. No one “believes in” evolution. Evolution is established by a long chain of evidence. Faith is not required, nor is it useful, in the study of evolution. Creation provides evidence of evolution, there are thousands of corroborating threads of evidence.

    You may “believe in” the Bible. It’s a book of scripture. One should be aware, however, that for Christians, it is belief in God with Jesus as savior that distinguishes the faith. The Bible is not an idol to believe in.

    Consequently, belief in the Bible as an entity tends toward idolatry, and shouldn’t be confused with Christianity.

    In either case, whether one chooses to be Christian or Biblist, there is no support for creationism in the Bible.

    No contest there. I’ll go with the Bible. I really don’t see how anyone can believe in God, and not believe in the Biblical account of creation.

    In Christianity, there is no purpose to “belief in” any account of creation, including any of those found in Christian scripture. Such a belief is not a test of Christianity, and may in fact lead one away from the faith.

    So, why would anyone choose to “believe in” any particular account of creation in the Bible?

    More to the point, since God’s creation is a direct testament from God to Christians, and since God’s creation offers evidence of evolution, why would one choose to believe in something that ultimately says God provides a false account of creation? Christians generally take it on faith that God is the motivating force behind the universe, but the ultimate claim of creationism that God hides methods and evidence of creation, and in fact that God has provided a false trail of evidence, runs contrary to the nature of God as Christians believe.

    Is it your claim that Christian scripture is contrary to evolution? What leads you to that conclusion? And how would you reconcile creationism’s false trail of evidence with the Christian notions of God?

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  91. So, Nick, now we get down to brass tacks. I can believe Darwin and other ridiculous proposals, or The Bible. No contest there. I’ll go with the Bible. I really don’t see how anyone can believe in God, and not believe in the Biblical account of creation.

    2Peter 3:5 For this they willingly are ignorant of, that by the word of God the heavens were of old, and the earth standing out of the water and in the water:
    2Pe 3:6 Whereby the world that then was, being overflowed with water, perished:
    2Pe 3:7 But the heavens and the earth, which are now, by the same word are kept in store, reserved unto fire against the day of judgment and perdition of ungodly men.

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  92. Nick K says:

    Mr. Barton, a creationist is someone who says they believe that God created the world and all life in it…but then deny the evidence of how God did it in favor of some misinterpretation of the human written Bible.

    In other words, as far as Christianity goes..to be a creationist is to be an heretic. Someone who says they believe that God did something…but that God lied about it.

    So you can believe in God…or you can believe in Creationism. But you don’t get to believe in both because faith in the latter contradicts faith in the former.

    Like

  93. Ed Darrell says:

    Jeremiah 27:5 I have made the earth, the man and the beast that [are] upon the ground, by my great power and by my outstretched arm, and have given it unto whom it seemed meet unto me.

    That’s not denying Darwin — supports Darwin’s views, in fact — nor does it support creationism. There’s no statement against science, no statement that God hid the methods of creation, no statement against natural selection, no statement against evolution, nothing to support a young Earth, young universe, nor anything about the hundreds of silly miracles required to make creationism work.

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  94. I suppose we are in the “name game” again. I have read a little, very little, about the creationism label. If by that you mean one who believes in a literal seven day creation of all life and matter as we know it, count me in. If you mean someone who does not believe Darwinian evolution, count me in.
    Jeremiah 27:5 I have made the earth, the man and the beast that [are] upon the ground, by my great power and by my outstretched arm, and have given it unto whom it seemed meet unto me.

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  95. Ed Darrell says:

    I goofed, Joe — it should have been “I regard creationism as blasphemy.”

    Creationism is not reflected in the Bible in any way.

    Darwin, on the other hand, is reflected in Genesis, when the author notes that creatures reproduce “after” their own kind. In Hebrew it’s a bit stronger, but that’s the source of variation that creates evolutionary change.

    In each of the six or eight different and often competing creation stories in Jewish and Christian scripture, God is invoked as the ultimate motivating force. In none of those stories is creationism called for, suggested overtly, nor endorsed. Creationism is a completely man-made doctrine, created mostly after 1835 in reaction to advances in science, and not based on scripture, revelation, nor much on religious tradition.

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  96. lowerleavell says:

    What creation demonstrates is reflected in Psalm 19:1 says, “The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of his hands.”

    Theologically speaking, how is creation “blasphemy” when that is the only position reflected in the Bible? You’ll not find theistic evolution or Darwinian evolution spelled out in there.

    Like

  97. Ed Darrell says:

    That’s why I regard creation as blasphemy, Robert. To make a mockery of what creation demonstrates, as creationism does, is unholy, and mocking God.

    Like

  98. Just some thoughts on creation,

    Colossians 1:14 In whom we have redemption through his blood, even the forgiveness of sins:
    Col 1:15 Who is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of every creature:
    Col 1:16 For by him were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers: all things were created by him, and for him:
    Col 1:17 And he is before all things, and by him all things consist.

    Like

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