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Nov 02 2012

[Thunderdome]

This is Thunderdome, the unmoderated open thread on Pharyngula. Say what you want, how you want.

Status: UNMODERATED; Previous thread

676 comments

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  1. 501
    Dhorvath, OM

    I have that effect.

  2. 502
    chigau (違う)

    I’ve had two comments disappeared this morning.
    I wonder what rules they violated?

  3. 503
    opposablethumbs

    And a very graceful, gracious and merciful coup de grâce it was too.

  4. 504
    chigau (違う)

    Where are the trolls of yesterthread?

  5. 505
    cm's changeable moniker (quaint, if not charming)

    There’s a troll on todaythread. Sadly, I’m more inlined to defend than attack it. (It does have a wisp of a point: impact studies don’t inform attribution studies. It’s obnoxious, but not entirely wrong.)

  6. 506
    cm's changeable moniker (quaint, if not charming)

    Why has my Jean de Florette DVD been snapped? It’s supposed to be an O. Now it’s a C.

    Bloody kids. *grump*

    To YouTube!

  7. 507
    Owlmirror

    Boingboing sez: Tardigrade is plump, loveable

  8. 508
    cm's changeable moniker (quaint, if not charming)

    Awww, cute. It’s like a microscopic Huggle Buddy.

    (Seriously, they should make a tardigrade one. It would be awesome, even if over-provisioned with feet.)

  9. 509
    Owlmirror

    <ha-ha class=Nelson>
    NPR’s Science Friday goes after creationist mimic
    </ha-ha>

    Is Fred Williams the same as yesyouneedmyimaginaryfriend, Enyart’s troll buddy?

    I do hope we can add “Convicted IP thief” to Enyart’s “convicted child abuser” rap sheet.

  10. 510
    theophontes (恶六六六缓步动物)

    @ Owlmirror

    plump

    It comes with the territory. Too many client lunches and the like. I have tried not eating rice at such events and cutting out beers during the week. It has worked a bit. Now I must just get around to doing some exercise for a change.

    @ cm’s

    Clicky. {Aaaaawwwwwwwwww…..}

  11. 511
    theophontes (恶六六六缓步动物)

    @ A.R

    There is some progress on TPM front: Image of teh tardigrades home. (sadly none could be found in the sample. Auditions will continue until we find a suitable candidate.)

  12. 512
    chigau (違う)

    theophontes
    google caribou moss

  13. 513
    theophontes (恶六六六缓步动物)

    @ chigau

    caribou moss

    Wow, I have a jealous.

    My moss comes from the square down near the MTR station. There was an old man slowly picking out the stuff from the cracks between the bricks – with a sharp stick. (A job that will likely be eternal.)

  14. 514
    theophontes (恶六六六缓步动物)

    @ SGBM

    It looks like tor* does not work in China. It gets stuck when looking for …. Linky.

    * Teh word above is disguised from spiders bots etc. They would have to look at it visually to pick it up.

  15. 515
    John Morales

    theophontes, what makes you imagine bots don’t exclude markup?

  16. 516
    theophontes (恶六六六缓步动物)

    @ John Morales

    You better set me right here:

    If I type the following:

    t < i > < /i > o < i > < /i >r*

    or

    Ch < b > < /b > i < b > < /b >na

    Will that not get passed the censors?

  17. 517
    theophontes (恶六六六缓步动物)

    :ᗡ

  18. 518
    John Morales

    theophontes, frankly, I don’t know.

    … frankly, I don’t know.
    … frankly, I don’t know.

    (How do you think the above will be indexed?)

  19. 519
    theophontes (恶六六六缓步动物)

    @ John Morales

    (How do you think the above will be indexed?)

    Frankly, I don’t know.

    (I always simply assume they will weigh my files from time to time and pay me a visit when the dossier clocks in at over 10 kilograms.)

  20. 520
    A. R

    [A. R begins to set up some strange equipment in the thread. A strange harmonic drone is coming from the large line-patterned metallic sphere at the top.]

    This should take care of our troll drought!

  21. 521
    theophontes (恶六六六缓步动物)

    @ A.R

    You picked up on the …er… minor setbacks on set (TPM)?

  22. 522
    No Light

    cm’s changeable moniker

    Why has my Jean de Florette DVD been snapped? It’s supposed to be an O. Now it’s a C.
    Bloody kids. *grump*
    To YouTube!

    My sympathies. They have good taste though, and were clearly fighting over who loves it most.

    When I was a little No Light, a mere flicker of darkness, my dad had a collection of singles and albums from the sixties, it was his pride and joy. It was kept in an old sideboard in my room, as it was the biggest bedroom.

    When I was five I found them, during some “sent to my room for a nap” boredom. First thought? “OMG FRISBEE!” Second thought “Get Mini Minion 3 year old brother from his room. Nap time is over!”

    Aaand we spent the next hour playing frisbee with Beatles albums and Hollies records, and all sorts of shiny round things and their sleeves.

    By the time we were apprehended the records were pieces of shellac and vinyl. Only the cardboard ones were still playable. I still feel fucking awful about it! I still remember the look on his poor face.

    DVDs are pretty strong though. If only CDs or DVDs had been around then.

  23. 523
    jonmilne

    Okay, different debate I’m having. This one is about secular morality. Basically what happened is I had this guy called Bryan email me and ask me what evidence there was that secular morality was an better than religious morality. I pointed him towards this study at http://www.pitzer.edu/academics/faculty/zuckerman/Zuckerman_on_Atheism.pdf as well as the summary here, and concluded:

    “The point here should be obvious: if the constant claim made that “religious people are intrinsically more moral than atheists” actually held any water, then we should see across the board evidence that in all aspects, religious people should score better than secular minded people. And yet we don’t. In fact, not only do we not see any actual difference between believing in a God and not believing in one, but in many actual aspects, secular atheists actually are the ones who score better. Kinda revealing, surely?”

    Bryan responded like this.

    Jon,
    Correlation does not prove causation UNLESS you find a causal mechanism. Atheism has no morals of its own at all. All it has it borrowed from other views, usually Christianity.

    The main reason why some secular nations are doing better in a number of areas is due to economics. They are following principles of economic justice outlined in the Bible long ago, while America is not.

    Korea is the most Christian nation in Asia and the #2 mission sending nation in the world at present. It’s also scored #1 in reading, science and math. It ALSO has a much more biblical concept of economics, guaranteeing public health care cheaply for all, having much more of a concern for the government meeting the basic needs of all (which greatly reduces crime, terrorism, war, societal instability, as well as abortion incidentally).

    There are many factors that influence morality. But, religion is indisputably one VERY big one.

    INCREDIBLE STORY! Former White Supremacist Skin Head neo-nazi Gives Life to Jesus
    http://www.godtube.com/watch/?v=0B1JMJNU

    God Revolutionizes lives
    http://www.youtube.com/user/truthislife7#g/c/0361CAE3DB6FE0D5

    ————-
    RESEARCH
    ————-
    Belief in God Improves Prosocial Behaviour (moral behaviour) In 186 Societies.
    Roes & Raymond (2003) found that across a sample of 186 human societies, belief in watchful, moralizing gods was positively correlated with measures of group cohesion & size. In addition, experimental research reveals that even subtle reminders of God & religion also promote prosocial behavior (e.g., Pichon, Boccato, & Saroglou, 2007; Randolph-Seng & Nielsen, 2007; Shariff & Norenzayan, 2007; see also McKay, Efferson,Whitehouse, & Fehr, 2011).

    CHRISTIANITY IMPROVES THE MORALS OF SOCIETY
    Large research studies have shown that Christianity helps improve morals in young people (and the same is true in older people).
    http://www.godandscience.org/apologetics/religion_as_child_abuse.html

    ATHEISTS AGREE CHRISTIANITY IMPROVES MORALS
    Dr. Guenter Lewy professor emeritus of the Univ. of Massachusetts was a secularist who set out to ridicule the claims of Christians that the crisis of the age is a crisis of unbelief and to prove the attack on secular modernity “to be a danger to individual liberty as well as an affront to people of goodwill who happened to be agnostics or atheists.” He intended to write a book “Why America doesn’t need Religion.” But, the research changed his mind and he wrote the book, “Why America Needs Religion.”

    “The fifth chapter, “Religiousness and Moral Conduct: Are Believing Christians Different?,” [asks] the question of whether the Christian faith transforms the lives of those who take their religion seriously. In particular, Professor Lewy examines the questions of juvenile delinquency, adult crime, prejudice and intolerance, single parenting, and divorce, and concludes that the vast majority of social science research supports the finding that the minority of Christians who take their religion seriously (as opposed to the nominal Christians of the Christmas-and-Easter variety) have significantly lower rates of moral failure and social ills than any other groups studied.
    http://www.acton.org/pub/religion-liberty/volume-7-number-5/why-america-needs-religion

    You can read much of this chapter online. Start on about page 95.
    http://books.google.com/books?id=KfxJA_7zG7MC&pg=PA89&dq=Why+America+needs+God&hl=en&ei=tD5LTp2iMo_JmAXXqo3jBw&sa=X&oi=book_result&ct=result&resnum=1&ved=0CCwQ6AEwAA#v=onepage&q&f=false

    See also:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nIn3cu5mdGY
    http://www.leaderu.com/ftissues/ft9704/reviews/budziszewski.html
    http://www.acton.org/sites/v4.acton.org/files/pdf/rl_v07n5.pdf (pg. 12 & 13)

    Some allege that Christians have killed people and committed other crimes. This has unfortunately happened in some cases. In nearly all of these cases, the Christians were disobeying the Bible. Should we get rid of science because some scientists have built bombs, chemical weapons and because some like Josef Mengele have done horrible experiments? No. That would be stupid. Should we get rid of education because some teachers have broken the rules and abused kids? No, that also would be foolish. We cannot condone the wrong behaviors of some Christians, but just like the above cases, it would be extremely foolish and harmful to reject Christianity because of some who are disobeying its principles or misunderstanding it.

    If we must look at how many people died though, the fact is that atheist states have killed ~30 times more than ALL religions in history and this includes all religions that are unbiblical (Hinduism, Islam, Voodoo, Catholicism, etc.)
    http://www.godandscience.org/apologetics/atrocities.html

    So yes, as much help as possible in tackling this stuff would be really really appreciated.

    Much thanks,

    Jon Milne

  24. 524
    keresthanatos

    (thresproing thunk)…..damned troll magnets…..somebody cut that thing off.

  25. 525
    A. R

    theophontes: Yes, I did. I would remind you that the commander of the LOLstar does not like to be disappointed…

  26. 526
    Avo, also nigelTheBold

    Hey, folks. I have lured a certain joe4060 from Greta’s blog over here, as our discussion was way off-topic. I ask that y’all treat ‘em with courtesy and allow us to hold a debate here.

    I’m pretty damned buzzed, but I’m quite sure I can hold my own.

  27. 527
    Avo, also nigelTheBold

    joe4060:
    (Continued from Greta’s blog:

    Thunderdome? Looks more like a two-man tent; but I will give it a go.

    P.S. Your admission that you don’t know the origins of information and the DNA molecule renders the claim that evolution is a proven fact, false, and therefore much of what is in Greta’s book is also false.
    Evolution has to be believed by faith, which makes it just another religion.
    Science itself has been turned into “God” or an idol of man’s own invention.

    Actually, if you’d bothered to attempt an understanding of what I wrote, I stated the origins of information. Did you not read that? Information is the set of relationships between physical things. It’s really as simple as that.

    The fact I don’t know the origins of the DNA molecule itself has no bearing on the validity of the theory of evolution through natural selection. Those two issues are orthogonal. Abiogenesis is its own field; what happened after is another. The “what happened after” we like to call, “The theory of evolution through natural selection.” Or at least, I do.

    Now, since the theory of evolution through natural selection (or just “evolution,” from here on out) made specific predictions that have all turned out true — some of them pretty astounding predictions — how is it you declare the theory of evolution not accurate?

    Evolution is not believed by faith, no more than the theory of gravity is believed by faith. It’s accepted because of its predictive powers. It predicted an information substrate, like DNA. Evolution, coupled with geology, predicted the location of tiktaalik. Evolution predicts the relative rate of mutations between generations, leading to specific predictions concerning the differences between non-coding regions of related species — predictions which turned out to be accurate.

    No. Evolution is not taken on faith. Evolution is accepted as the best descriptive model of adaptation of life through time. And it’s accepted because of its predictive power.

    Evolution has so far provided the best predictive power of all models of the adaptation of life through time. If you have a better, more accurate model, I’d be happy to entertain it.

  28. 528
    Avo, also nigelTheBold

    joe4060:

    Actually, please ignore the previous post for the moment. There’s something far more pressing to be worked out here.

    What exactly do you think science is?

  29. 529
    vaiyt

    P.S. Your admission that you don’t know the origins of information and the DNA molecule renders the claim that evolution is a proven fact, false,

    This is looking at things the wrong way.

    The Theory of Evolution is a description of things that happen, and how they happen the way they do.

    We don’t know exactly what came before DNA, big whoop. We don’t need to know where gravity came from to assess that the Theory of Gravity is accurate. We don’t need to know what came before atoms to understand how atoms work.

    The circumstances of something’s creation only matter for the why, not the how.

  30. 530
    cm's changeable moniker (quaint, if not charming)

    A. R, elsewhwere:

    “cut the mustard” (by the way, anyone have a clue as to what the etymology of that phrase is? Because I’m rather curious.)

    Brewer’s sez (in its usual frustrating style):

    Mustard [...] Cut the mustard, To. See under CUT.

    *sigh* *flip flip flip*

    Cut the mustard, To. To do something well and efficiently, especially when it is supected that one may lack the ability. The expression derives from ‘mustard’ as a slang word for a thing that is the the best, and O. Henry has a character in his Cabbages and Kings (1894) say: ‘I’m not headlined in the bills¹, but I’m the mustard in the salad just the same.’ The ‘cutting’ refers to the act of harvesting the plant, i.e., garnering the best.

    Perhaps I could get a job as a maid in somebody’s house … Idden convinced me I would never cut the mustard at this occupation.
    JESSICA MITFORD: Hons and Rebels, ch ix (1960)

    ¹ This is “bill” in the sense of “list of people performing at the music hall”.

    And now I will be up all night reading weird stuff in Brewer’s because, well, that’s what it’s for. ;-)

  31. 531
    joe4060

    nigelthebold

    Science is simply a limited tool (like philosophy, mathematics etc.) that is used as a means of discovering how things work by means of repeatable and falsifiable tests in order to predict how things in the physical world will behave.
    Its power to accuratly show what happened during one-off past events such as the origins of life fall outside of its scope and function. I.e. it cannot predict what happened in the past.

    Accurate descriptions of one-off historical events can only come from eyewitness accounts (like the Bible).
    While science has its place and can be an aid in validating bits and pieces of the historical account; used on its own it is completely inadequate; like using the wrong tool for the wrong job.

    Your origins of information relies on physical matter, whereas information is non-physical i.e. meta-physical like our thoughts.

    Because science on its own cannot test or repeat a one-off event from the past (the big bang or creation) any account of history that is patched together from it can in no way be accurate since so many different things have occured between the beginning and now (changed conditions).
    That’s why an account of history based on scientific endeavour, such as evolution, has to be taken in faith (‘accepted’ and ‘faith’ are the same thing) because there is no eyewitness account to verify exactly what really did occur; it is largely based on speculation and interpretations that fit evolutionary thinking.

    Because evolutionists put their faith in science (which is of itself lifeless), it becomes their ‘god’ or idol.

    The idolatrous, destuctive core that is found in evolution has been around for a long time and can be seen in some of its policies and agenders (universal indoctrination) and can be plainly seen manifested in todays society e.g. abortion.

    They served their idols, which became a snare to them. They even sacrificed their sons and daughters to demons, and shed innocent blood, even the blood of their sons and daughters, whom they sacrificed to the idols of Canaan. Psalm 106: 36, 37

    Abortion is nothing more than sacrificing children to the devil; the same thing for which societies in the past were destroyed by God’s wrath.

  32. 532
    John Morales

    joe4060, your erudition awes me.

    Tell me, O wise one, how many Philistine foreskins did David give to Saul, 100 or 200?

  33. 533
    joe4060

    vaiyt

    What caused the atoms, which are without intelligence, to assemble themselves into something intricate and complicated enough to contain life?

    Gravity is gravity; it is dead. Where did LIFE come from?

  34. 534
    Inaji

    Accurate descriptions of one-off historical events can only come from eyewitness accounts (like the Bible).

    The bible contains no eyewitness accounts. It’s a bad exercise in storytelling. Even if it did contain eyewitness accounts, it would be next to meaningless. Eyewitness accounts are notoriously inaccurate.

    Abortion is nothing more than sacrificing children to the devil

    You’re quite the silly idiot. A fetus is not a child and abortion has nothing at all to do with a fictional devil.

    the same thing for which societies in the past were destroyed by God’s wrath.

    Wrong again! That sadistic, sociopathic god of yours had nothing at all against slaughtering pregnant women, nor did it have any problems with infanticide or the slaughter of children in general. Did a whole lot of it.

    Happy shall he be, that taketh and dasheth thy little ones against the stones. — Psalm 137:9

    And ye shall eat the flesh of your sons, and the flesh of your daughters shall ye eat. — Leviticus 26:29

    And thou shalt eat the fruit of thine own body, the flesh of thy sons and of thy daughters. — Deuteronomy 28:53

    And I will cause them to eat the flesh of their sons and the flesh of their daughters, and they shall eat every one the flesh of his friend. — Jeremiah 19:9

    And he went up from thence unto Bethel: and as he was going up by the way, there came forth little children out of the city, and mocked him, and said unto him, Go up, thou bald head; go up, thou bald head. And he turned back, and looked on them, and cursed them in the name of the LORD. And there came forth two she bears out of the wood, and tare forty and two children of them. — 2 Kings 2:23-24

    The LORD smote all the firstborn in the land of Egypt, from the firstborn of Pharaoh that sat on his throne unto the firstborn of the captive that was in the dungeon…. And there was a great cry in Egypt; for there was not a house where there was not one dead. — Exodus 12:29-30

    And he said, Take now thy son, thine only son Isaac, whom thou lovest, and … offer him there for a burnt offering…. And Abraham stretched forth his hand, and took the knife to slay his son. — Genesis 22:2,10

    The eye that mocketh at his father, and despiseth to obey his mother, the ravens of the valley shall pick it out, and the young eagles shall eat it. — Proverbs 30:17

    If a man have a stubborn and rebellious son, which will not obey the voice of his father, or the voice of his mother, and that, when they have chastened him, will not hearken unto them: Then shall his father and his mother lay hold on him, and bring him out unto the elders of his city, and unto the gate of his place; And they shall say unto the elders of his city, This our son is stubborn and rebellious, he will not obey our voice; he is a glutton, and a drunkard. And all the men of his city shall stone him with stones, that he die: so shalt thou put evil away from among you; and all Israel shall hear, and fear. — Deuteronomy 21:18-21

    He that smiteth his father, or his mother, shall be surely put to death. — Exodus 21:15

    He that curseth his father, or his mother, shall surely be put to death. — Exodus 21:17

  35. 535
    hyrax

    Hey all. This is super off topic for anything– I see you’ve found a shiny new chew toy and the squeaker hasn’t even been broken yet! But I’m a near-total lurker and I just need to rant for a minute, and since said rant concerns a poster on another thread, I figured here was the place. Right?

    So…
    noelplum99 has been, increasingly throughout this thread, been reminding me of the guy who raped me. Said rapist was a “friend” of mine, and something about noelplum’s syntax and attitude is really wigging me out. Rapist was a “skeptic” and an “intellectual” who “respected women.” (Funny how he had a hard time respecting the word “no.”) In fact, he would go to great lengths to talk about how much he loved and respected women as equals and how progressive and liberal he was, and yet would still bring up bullshit evo-psych biological arguments about things like military service. Now, I know that noelplum isn’t the same guy– his youtube videos confirmed that for me!– and I’m certainly not accusing him of being anything other than a douche who’s in love with his own bad arguments. This is more just by way of explaining that, fuck’s sake but I so fucking sick that particular flavour of bullshit intellectual dishonesty.
    (Also, perhaps, a note that triggers can sometimes be found where you least expect them.)

    Anyway… *scans back upthread*

    Accurate descriptions of one-off historical events can only come from eyewitness accounts (like the Bible).

    Bwah ha ha ha ha ha! *wipes eyes* Oh, man, I needed that. Priceless.

  36. 536
    Inaji

    Hyrax:

    This is more just by way of explaining that, fuck’s sake but I so fucking sick that particular flavour of bullshit intellectual dishonesty.

    You, me and most everyone else here. I am so sorry you were triggered by his waterfall of shit. No one needs that and it just goes to show that such attitudes and beliefs continue to do active harm.

  37. 537
    joe4060

    John Morals

    caine, fluer du mal

    If reading the Bible upsets you then don’t read it.

    But if you change your mind and decide you want to become more knowlegeable on the subject, you could always read: IS GOD A MORAL MONSTER? Making sense of the Old Testament God, by Paul Copan.

  38. 538
    John Morales

    joe4060, no, seriously!

    Was it 100 or 200 foreskins of slain enemies that was the price for a man’s daughter?

    (What does Samuel the eyewitness say?)

  39. 539
    hyrax

    Er…

    but I am so fucking sick of that particular flavour of bullshit

    Seems I missed a few words there. Can you tell I was a tad emotional? Anyway, I don’t blame him for inadvertently triggering me, any more than I would a random man on the street with a particular haircut. But neither does it make me eager to give the time of day to anything else he might write. I’ve had enough of “No of course women should be equals, I just think they’re too important to risk in hard physical labor!” Bleh.

    I’m glad I de-lurked just in time to watch the takedown of a bible-thumper! *makes popcorn*

  40. 540
    theophontes (恶六六六缓步动物)

    @ No Light

    “OMG FRISBEE!”

    OMG, SNAP!

    My brother and I did exactly the same thing. Only, we were older and (I pressume) stronger. We lived on a steep hill and frisbee’d the LP’s as far as we could, out over the valley. They travel quite ridiculous distances before going into a vertical nosedive, developing an interesting wobble and then exploding into shards on the neighbours roof. (We were dreadful children. I have been eBil for a long time.)

    @ A.R

    {theophontes reads A.R’s missive for a second time, noting element of implied subversion. Sends copy to Minitrue for further investigation of probable thoughtcrime. Leans back in leather armchair. Clicks clawtips together in deep thought:”mmmh… what the tardigrade giveth the tardigrade can taketh away…”}

  41. 541
    Avo, also nigelTheBold

    joe4060:

    Science is simply a limited tool (like philosophy, mathematics etc.) that is used as a means of discovering how things work by means of repeatable and falsifiable tests in order to predict how things in the physical world will behave.

    Okay. I’m with you so far.

    Actually, let me expand on something you’re touching on here.

    Science at its most fundamental is philosophy. Specifically, it’s one school of the philosophical branch of epistemology, or the study of how we know things. This is important to understand — how you know something is just as important as what you know. Otherwise, you can’t be sure if what you know is in any way true.

    (Or, as I like to say, “Congruent with reality.” Truth can be slippery sometimes, but congruence with reality is not.)

    Its power to accuratly show what happened during one-off past events such as the origins of life fall outside of its scope and function. I.e. it cannot predict what happened in the past.

    Well, of course not. You don’t predict what happened in the past. Prediction is a time-domain function in the positive direction. You can only predict things that haven’t yet happened. (Now, you might predict what someone is about to reveal; but you cannot predict what someone has already done.)

    What science does for things that happened in the past is reconstruction. This is no different from what a forensic investigator does at the scene of a crime. This is based on a simple concept: things that happened in the past affect the world around them. Discovering these effects allows you to reconstruct (partially or completely) the events that caused the effects in the first place.

    Accurate descriptions of one-off historical events can only come from eyewitness accounts (like the Bible).

    You have three fallacies going on here. The first is that historic events can only be reconstructed via eyewitness accounts. The second is that eyewitness accounts are accurate. The third is that the Bible is an eyewitness account.

    Let’s deconstruct these fallacies one by one.

    First, anything that happens of significance leaves a trace. When solving a mystery, these are called clues. When prosecuting a crime, they’re called evidence. When using science to untangle historic happenings, they’re called data. All of these things are the same: they are changes that occur due to specific events. A meteor impact will leave a crater. A large meteor impact will leave a thin layer of iridium scattered over the world. And so on. The important thing to realize is this: it doesn’t take an eyewitness to leave clues. Ergo, we don’t have to rely on eyewitnesses to reconstruct what happened.

    Second, eyewitnesses are historically very poor at relating actual events. From identifying the wrong person to actually relating events that couldn’t possibly have happened, eyewitnesses are notoriously bad at providing accurate information about an event. In any court of law, physical evidence (that is, things that exist only because of an event) is far better at providing a solid conviction than eyewitness accounts. That’s because physical evidence isn’t subject to the biases and poor perception and even poorer recall of humans. Physical things simply exist.

    Third, the Bible doesn’t even present itself as an eyewitness account, so it’s curious you’d present it as such. The Bible pretends to be nothing more than it is: a collection of tribal myth and oral tradition, written down many years after-the-fact. There’s no eyewitness there, and the Bible doesn’t even attempt to claim first-hand knowledge of the events it describes. Genesis doesn’t claim, “I am God, and I am writing this down as I do it.” In style and substance, it pretends to be just what it is: someone writing down an origin story after-the-fact. (Actually, two origin stories. Genesis I and Genesis II present two divergent accounts of creation.)

    So your claim that the Bible is an eyewitness account of anything is a curious thing. Biblical scholars don’t claim the Bible is an eyewitness account. The Bible itself doesn’t claim to be an eyewitness account. Who are you to claim the Bible is an eyewitness account?

    (Or I could simply ask, “Where you there when the Bible was written? No? So how do you know it’s an eyewitness account if there were no eyewitnesses to the writing? Maybe somebody just lied.”

    (But that’d just be mean.)

    Your origins of information relies on physical matter, whereas information is non-physical i.e. meta-physical like our thoughts.

    Uhm, I didn’t present the origins of information. I presented the nature of information. Information relies on the relationships between different bits of matter, yes. Why do you think your thoughts are any different? Your thoughts are reliant on your brain, and your brain is physical. The electro-chemical differentials in your brain are the relationships that define your thoughts. Why do you think your thoughts aren’t constrained by the physical?

    Because science on its own cannot test or repeat a one-off event from the past (the big bang or creation) any account of history that is patched together from it can in no way be accurate since so many different things have occured between the beginning and now (changed conditions).

    But that’s a fallacy. Science can indeed test on-off events from the past, as those events leave traces of themselves on the present. (I mean, otherwise, we wouldn’t even wonder about them, as there’d be nothing to wonder about.)

    Let’s take the Big Bang for example. The whole hypothesis of the Big Bang is constrained by many things we do know, such as the laws of gravity, general and special relativity, quantum mechanics, and so on. These pieces of knowledge, coupled with observation, are what led us to hypothesize the Big Bang in the first place. The hypothesis of the Big Bang makes certain predictions that must be true for the Big Bang to be an accurate model of the genesis of our universe. We already knew all the galaxies were moving away from us — that’s what led us to the Big Bang in the first place. But, what we didn’t know was the specific nature of the universe background radiation. For the Big Bang to be an accurate model, a certain amount of background radiation would have to exist today — because of the physical evidence left by the Big Bang.

    And when we searched for it because of that specific prediction, we found it.

    So yes. We can test our models of one-off events against what we observe today, because the very nature of those one-off events affect the reality we observe. Just as your life leaves a mark on the world, so does an almost-infinitely-greater event leave an almost-infinitely greater mark on the universe.

    That’s why an account of history based on scientific endeavour, such as evolution, has to be taken in faith (‘accepted’ and ‘faith’ are the same thing) because there is no eyewitness account to verify exactly what really did occur; it is largely based on speculation and interpretations that fit evolutionary thinking.

    “Accepted” and “faith” are not the same thing. “Faith” is the acceptance of a thing without evidence. By their very definitions they are different.

    Evolution doesn’t have to be taken on faith. As I have pointed out several times, evolution has made specific predictions, some quite astounding (the existence of DNA, for instance). Those predictions have turned out to be true. Therefore, we have evidence to support the idea that evolution is an accurate model. No faith required.

    All scientific concepts start off with speculation. That speculation must fit current data. Then, that speculation must predict something unknown, something specific. At that point, the speculation can be called an hypothesis. But until it predicts something we don’t yet know, it’s nothing but speculation.

    The theory of evolution through natural selection predicted many things. From DNA to the statistical variance of non-coding DNA between various relatives, to the specific location of tiktaalik fossils, the theory of evolution has withstood the tests we have thrown at it. Modern biology wouldn’t even make sense without it.

    Because those predictions turned out to be correct, evolution through natural selection graduated from being an hypothesis to being a theory — that is, an hypothesis that is very much supported by evidence.

    Because evolutionists put their faith in science (which is of itself lifeless), it becomes their ‘god’ or idol.

    Hogwash.

    Science (coupled with logic and mathematics) is so far the only epistemology that has allowed us to advance our knowledge. Any reliance on science (heh — I’m a poet) is necessity, not faith. Scientists might trust that science is a reliable tool, but that’s no more faith than a carpenter puts in her hammer. You attempt to bring science down to the level of religion — but that simply underscores the inferior position of religion in the realm of epistemology. You certainly have not diminished the importance of the epistemology of science, nor the tools which it spawned, the scientific method.

    I’m curious why you called out science as being “lifeless” though. That’s an odd phrase to place right there, as if the veracity or effectiveness of the scientific method were somehow contingent on it being alive.

    That’s just… odd.

    The idolatrous, destuctive core that is found in evolution has been around for a long time and can be seen in some of its policies and agenders (universal indoctrination) and can be plainly seen manifested in todays society e.g. abortion.

    That’s a complete and utter non sequitur. Abortion has nothing to do with science. You’re confusing the realm of what is (the realm of science) and the realm of what should be (the realm of ethics).

    Science is nothing more and nothing less than a tool for prising the secrets of reality. It does this by comparing what we think we know against what is. In this way, we are constantly testing our assumptions against reality.

    Religion, on the other hand, actively discourages this. You are a prime example of the way religion discourages the comparison of what you think you know to what really is. Your religious background causes you to assume the Bible is correct, and no amount of reality will change that. No matter how many times biologists demonstrate evolution in action, no matter how many times the background radiation indicates a period of initial inflation (“Big Bang,” as folks like to call it), no matter how many galaxies are inexplicably billions of light-years away (shattering any pretense of a 10,000 year old universe), you will ignore it.

    Your understanding of science is not just incomplete, it’s corrupt. You don’t understand the basic nature of science, and so you don’t understand how science works. Yet you feel competent to claim it is ineffective.

    At this point, I suspect I know more about your Bible than you do about science. That rather leaves you at a disadvantage.

    I’d like to make a suggestion: we don’t move forward until you demonstrate a competence with the epistemology and practicality of science, and I can demonstrate a working knowledge of your theology.

    Because until then, you’re not really ready to assess scientific claims at all, and I’m not likely to understand why.

  42. 542
    Owlmirror

    Accurate descriptions of one-off historical events can only come from eyewitness accounts (like the Bible).

    So… basically an “eyewitness account” is whatever you say is an eyewitness account, right?

    You’ve declared yourself to be the sole arbiter of what is and is not true?

    Why, exactly, are you arguing then? I mean, if you’re absolutely certain that you’re the sole arbiter of truth, we cannot convince you that you’re not the sole arbiter of truth, because you’re absolutely certain that you are the sole arbiter of truth.

    But you can’t convince us that you’re the sole arbiter of truth, because your say-so is worth no more than that of any other fallible human.

    So why don’t you just toddle off to church to pray?

  43. 543
    Inaji

    Nigel:

    Third, the Bible doesn’t even present itself as an eyewitness account, so it’s curious you’d present it as such.

    It isn’t at all curious if Joe follows Ken Ham’s teachings or those of someone similar in thinking. Ham is very hot on the bible being an eyewitness account.

  44. 544
    Avo, also nigelTheBold

    Caine:

    It isn’t at all curious if Joe follows Ken Ham’s teachings or those of someone similar in thinking. Ham is very hot on the bible being an eyewitness account.

    I know. I’m used to seeing idiocy like that from Ken Ham. I just wanted joe4060 to address the question directly, so we could get that out in the open and talk about it. It’s not like I can confront Ken Ham on the matter.

    Yeah. “Eyewitness account” my patriarchal privilege.

  45. 545
    Owlmirror

    If reading the Bible upsets you then don’t read it.

    If reading about abortion upsets you, then don’t read about abortion.

    Of course, your response is an odd (but typical for theists) non-sequitur. The citations from the bible were not offered because Caine found them upsetting, but because they demonstrate that your implicit claim — that God and/or the Bible don’t support killing the innocent — is false.

    God does kill the innocent, and command that the innocent be killed.

    But if you change your mind and decide you want to become more knowlegeable on the subject, you could always read: IS GOD A MORAL MONSTER? Making sense of the Old Testament God, by Paul Copan.

    It’s easy to make sense of the Old Testament God: That God’s behavioral code, as demonstrated in the Old Testament, is “might makes right”.

  46. 546
    Ing

    If reading the Bible upsets you then don’t read it.

    ME reading the bible doesn’t upset me. It’s knowing others do uncritically.

    Much like Mein Kamf

  47. 547
    Inaji

    If reading the Bible upsets you then don’t read it.

    Oh my, you’re dense. It doesn’t upset me in the least. The verses I quoted were to refute your nonsense about god loving children. That god of yours is seriously into killing kids, women and has zero problems with collateral damage, whether minor or massive.

    But if you change your mind and decide you want to become more knowlegeable on the subject, you could always read: IS GOD A MORAL MONSTER? Making sense of the Old Testament God, by Paul Copan.

    Cupcake, back in the day, I did 10 years of in-depth bible reading and study – different versions of the bible and different languages. I can state with a fair amount of confidence that I know it better than you do. I can suggest some reading for you too, assuming you have the courage to read it: Drunk With Blood, God’s killings in the Bible by Steve Wells.

  48. 548
    Inaji

    Oh and Joe, here’s a bit more of that “loving” sociopath you think so highly of:

    I will make mine arrows drunk with blood, and my sword shall devour flesh; and that with the blood of the slain and of the captives, from the beginning of revenges upon the enemy. -Deuteronomy 32:42

  49. 549
    Ing

    Or see I would just suggest “The Bible”

  50. 550
    John Morales

    Well, I know I’m cool: I like my meat well-done (and the Jawa likes its pleasing odor) and anyway, Jesus died for my sins which are perforce automatically forgiven.

    (Actually, I guess I should really go and sin some more, to make his sacrifice to himself worthwhile; wouldn’t want to waste it, would I? ;) )

  51. 551
    Ing

    @JM

    That was Rasputin’s philosophy and while I haven’t gotten to the end of that biography I’m assuming everything turned out great for him.

  52. 552
    John Morales

    I seen eyewitnesses telling about Rasputin.

  53. 553
    No Light

    @Theophontes – CDs just aren’t as satisfying to throw, are they? Too small, too light, the hole in the middle is too big.. Junk.

    Joe4060.

    Accurate descriptions of one-off historical events can only come from eyewitness accounts (like the Bible).

    Which version of the Bible provides the most accurate description, and how?

    Are any of the Old Testament Pseudepigrapha and New Testament Apocrypha essential to our understanding of events?

    Who witnessed The Fall?

    Why does Adam spend 40 days in the river Jordan?

    Is merkabah still relevant to your understanding of the bible?

    If Yahweh created Adam and Chava as the first humans, who did their sons (Abel, Cain and Seth) marry?

    Thanks in advance!

  54. 554
    Ing

    And who was Cain protected from by his mark when he was banished?

  55. 555
    Ing

    as a side note the “Mark of Cain” being a curse really really irks me (especially YOU mormons). It totally frelling isn’t, it’s a ward of protection.

  56. 556
    John Morales

    Kane’s mark is his blue eyes’ killer’s gaze.

  57. 557
    Owlmirror

    Huh.

    The cites @#33/#533 don’t even include Numbers 31.

    Verse 9: And the children of Israel took all the women of Midian captives, and their little ones, and took the spoil of all their cattle, and all their flocks, and all their goods,

    Verses 15-17: And Moses said unto them, Have ye saved all the women alive? Behold, these caused the children of Israel, through the counsel of Balaam, to commit trespass against the LORD in the matter of Peor, and there was a plague among the congregation of the LORD. Now therefore kill every male among the little ones, and kill every woman that hath known man by lying with him.

  58. 558
    Tony! The Queer Shoop

    Drat. I must have dozed off and missed the Creationist Alarm Bell. I was just about to go to bed. Think I will go pop some popcorn and watch you folks work off the stress of finally being fed.

  59. 559
    Inaji

    Owlmirror:

    The cites @#33/#533 don’t even include Numbers 31.

    There wasn’t room for them all. The OT is basically one long recitation of various killings, torture and assorted sadism.

    I left out so very much. There’s Jephthah, who murdered his daughter ’cause he promised god (Judges 11.39) and god being displeased with David murdering Uriah, so to punish him, he had David’s wives raped and decided that the child born unto David and Bathsheba had to die. Not right away, of course. God made the baby very sick for seven days. After David prayed and fasted for the baby, god went all merciful like and killed the kid. 2 Samuel 12.15-18

    Then there’s god killing the son of Jeroboam – 1 Kings 14.17 and the killing of Ahab’s sons, 70 of them – 2 Kings 10.7 and Jehoram’s sons – 2 Chronicles 22.1 and the list just goes on and on and on and on in the murder book.

  60. 560
    Tony! The Queer Shoop

    Hyrax:
    I’m so sorry NOELPLUM99 triggered you. He is such an ass.
    I offer my sympathies.

    Also, I may be late to the creationist beat down, but I did just pop some popcorn (not kidding), so you are welcome to share. The bowl is big enough. I think the denizens of the Thunderdome figured out how to transmit food and stiff drinks across the ‘net :)

  61. 561
    Goodbye Enemy Janine

    Gravity is gravity; it is dead. Where did LIFE come from?

    Does this person understand the meaning of words?

  62. 562
    joe4060

    Since a misunderstanding of God’s nature seems to be the main problem here I will explain some things.

    Why bad things happen

    The reason why bad things happen is not because God does not love us, or that he does not care, but because from Adam onwards we have largely wanted to live autonomously, without him, so he has let us experience this. But as history demonstrates, human wisdom and foresight alone are completely inadequate when dealing with life’s challenges; problems don’t get solved, they only multiply and get out of control (made aditionally worse by flow-on from negative things sown in the past).
    The fact that we can’t understand why people die in wars and plagues only demonstrates our sinful, ignorant and blind condition, and that we cannot see that God always minimizes, or only allows the lesser evil to prevail, or the world would be in a far worse state than it is.
    God has the devil on a leash, otherwise, given his nature the devil would have burnt the world down long ago.

    God will use a smaller evil to inoculate against a larger evil, a small war or diaster (that is happening or about to happen anyway) to prevent a much larger one.
    So the devil can only ever be God’s slave, and overall, evil is the servant of good; for example…

    And lest I should be exalted above measure by the abundance of the revelations, a thorn in the flesh was given to me, a messenger of satan to buffet me, lest I should be exalted above measure. 2Corinthians 12:7

    …(to protect Paul from vanity and pride). God uses the devil’s own weapons against him.

    God will always cause the optimum conditions that ensure the salvation of as many people as possible. In his eyes, our eternal salvation has far greater priority than temporary and fleeting happiness. Everything is to serve and contribute to our salvation, whether good or bad.
    He uses hardship and adversaries to get our attention and to humble our sinful, arrogant, rebellious, stuborn natures.
    But we should also be aware that much of this goes against his good, kind and loving nature and actually demonstrates the lengths he will go to rescue us from sin and eternal damnation.

    “God uses the evil angels. They, of course, desire to ruin everything; but God blocks them unless a well-earned scourging is in order. God allows pestilence, war, or some other plague to come, that we may humble ourselves before Him, fear [respect] Him, hold to Him, and call upon Him. When God has accomplished these purposes through the scourge, then the good angels come again to perform their office. They bid the devil stop the pestilence, war and famine. So the devil must serve us with the very thing with which he plans to injure us; for God is such a great master that he is even able to turn the wickedness of the devil into good.”*

    In other words, God has morally sufficient reasons for permitting evil in the world.

    God’s executioner

    “The devil is often God’s unwitting tool. God sends no sickness into the world but through the devil. All sadness and sickness are of the devil not of God. for God permits the devil to harm us because he receives little regard from us. Whatever therefore, pertains to death is the handiwork of the devil; and conversly, whatever pertains to life is the blessed work of God… The devil must be our Lord Gods’ executioner.”**

    An example of this from scripture:

    Then he said, “Therefore hear the word of the Lord: I saw the Lord sitting on his throne, and all the host of heaven standing by, on his right hand and on his left. And the Lord said, ‘Who will persuade Ahab to go up, that he may fall at Ramoth Gilead? So one spoke in this manner, and another spoke in that manner. Then a [evil] spirit came forward and stood before the Lord, and said, ‘I will persuade him.’ then the Lord said to him, ‘in what way?’ So the spirit said, ‘I will go out and be a lying spirit in the mouth of all his prophets.’ And he said, you shall persuade him, and also prevail. Go out and do so.’ “Now therefore, look! The Lord has put a lying spirit in the mouth of all these prophets of yours, and the Lord has declared disaster against you.” 1Kings 22:19-23

    Ahab the king had provoked God to anger and caused his people to sin.

    From this it can be seen that God contracts the work of punishment out to the devil, who in turn, finds and recruits willing evil men to disguise himself behind and do his bidding. There is no shortage of murderers who will compete for the honour. There are always Stalin’s, Hitlers, Mau’s and Pol Pot’s waiting in line for an opportunity.

    *, ** From: What Luther Says by Ewald M. Plass page 401

  63. 563
    joe4060

    nigelthebold

    The eyewitness is the Creator himself who was obviously a witness to his own creation, and who then related it to Moses.

    How are we going with the origin of DNA?

  64. 564
    John Morales

    joe4060, enough with the drivel — the important question is why does God have a penis?

    (This is a biologist’s blog, you know)

  65. 565
    jonmilne

    My comment at #524 still says “Awaiting moderation”. Can someone please fix this?

  66. 566
    No Light

    Oi JOE4060,

    Quit with the irrelevant Holy Babble and have the decency to answer the questions asked of you. An intelligent thinker should be easily able to do so, I mean, it’s not like you’re some muppet just parroting back what AIG or your pastor says.

    So, once more:

    Accurate descriptions of one-off historical events can only come from eyewitness accounts (like the Bible).

    Which version of the Bible provides the most accurate description, and how?

    Are any of the Old Testament Pseudepigrapha and New Testament Apocrypha essential to our understanding of events?

    Who witnessed The Fall?

    Why does Adam spend 40 days in the river Jordan?

    Is merkabah still relevant to your understanding of the bible?

    If Yahweh created Adam and Chava as the first humans, who did their sons (Abel, Cain and Seth) marry?

    Thanks in advance!

    Ing:Intellectual Terrorist “Starting Tonight, People will Whine” asked you:

    And who was Cain protected from by his mark when he was banished?

  67. 567
    John Morales

    … and why does the almighty creator of the universe have this thing about foreskins, anyway?

  68. 568
    Owlmirror

    Since a misunderstanding of God’s nature seems to be the main problem here I will explain some things.

    Because you magically know God’s nature?

    The reason why bad things happen is not because God does not love us, or that he does not care, but because from Adam onwards we have largely wanted to live autonomously, without him, so he has let us experience this.

    Sorry, wrong — assuming you think that the Bible was written by or inspired by God.

    The verses that have been cited from the Bible are the bad things that God has deliberately done himself, or commanded be done.

    The fact that we can’t understand why people die in wars and plagues only demonstrates our sinful, ignorant and blind condition, and that we cannot see that God always minimizes, or only allows the lesser evil to prevail, or the world would be in a far worse state than it is.

    In the bible, God causes or commands the greater evil.

    So the devil can only ever be God’s slave

    Which makes all evil God’s responsibility.

    God will always cause the optimum conditions that ensure the salvation of as many people as possible.

    Paul of Tarsus contradicts you in Romans 9.

    He uses hardship and adversaries to get our attention and to humble our sinful, arrogant, rebellious, stuborn natures.

    And who made man’s nature? God, according to the bible.

    But we should also be aware that much of this goes against his good, kind and loving nature

    What “good, kind and loving nature”? Why should we think that God has such a nature, when he deliberately does so much that is cruel and hateful?

    In other words, God has morally sufficient reasons for permitting evil in the world.

    Why are you making excuses for God?

    The devil is often God’s unwitting tool. God sends no sickness into the world but through the devil.

    Why should we care about what tool God uses? When the actions of an agent are judged, we don’t say that it was the fault of the tool they used; we put the responsibility on them.

    From this it can be seen that God contracts the work of punishment out to the devil, who in turn, finds and recruits willing evil men to disguise himself behind and do his bidding. There is no shortage of murderers who will compete for the honour. There are always Stalin’s, Hitlers, Mau’s and Pol Pot’s waiting in line for an opportunity.

    Or in other words, if you follow the chain of command back to its source, all evil is actually God’s fault.

    ======

    The eyewitness is the Creator himself who was obviously a witness to his own creation, and who then related it to Moses.

    And we know this because you say so, and you are the sole arbiter of what is true, right?

  69. 569
    Nick Gotts

    God allows pestilence, war, or some other plague to come, that we may humble ourselves before Him, fear [respect] Him, hold to Him, and call upon Him…

    In other words, God has morally sufficient reasons for permitting evil in the world. – joe4060

    That is truly vile: your imaginary friend, according to you, inflicts all kinds of tortures on people so they will grovel to him – and you call that “morally sufficient reasons for permitting evil”. Why do you worship a psychopathic sadist and megalomaniac, joe4060? Are you perhaps one yourself?

  70. 570
    Avo, also nigelTheBold

    joe4060:

    nigelthebold

    The eyewitness is the Creator himself who was obviously a witness to his own creation, and who then related it to Moses.

    How do you know? Were you there? Was there an eyewitness to this happening?

    It’s been historically established that Moses didn’t write any book in the Bible. He certainly didn’t write of his own death, which he would’ve had to if he were the author of the decalogue. So your story here just doesn’t hold water.

    I highly recommend the book, Jesus, Interrupted for an excellent overview of the history of the Bible, and how we know that history. It’s a well-written book by someone who studied the historical Bible, reporting on the current best understanding of the history of the Bible.

    How are we going with the origin of DNA?

    Pretty damned good, actually. How’s the explanation for the light from galaxies billions of light years away coming?

    Also, and once again, abiogenesis is distinct from evolution. You can’t disprove evolution simply by claiming we are ignorant of the details of abiogenesis. Science doesn’t work that way. And since it seems obvious you aren’t interested in science, I’m not sure why it matters to you.

  71. 571
    Avo, also nigelTheBold

    joe4060:

    There’s a problem with the whole “God was an Eyewitness and had Moses write it down” proposition. I’d like to expand on it a little bit.

    I mentioned that science, coupled with math and logic, is the only demonstrably effective epistemology. There’s a reason for that. Part of the reason is, every other epistemology has logical flaws.

    I’ve already dissected your assertion that only eyewitness accounts provide accurate information about the past. I note you didn’t try to refute my counter-argument, so I believe it still stands. I’ve also argued that eyewitness accounts aren’t reliable. And since you haven’t refuted it, that counter-argument still stands. My claim that the Bible doesn’t even claim to be an eyewitness account has not been refuted. I’ll go one further: nowhere in the Bible does it claim Moses wrote any of the Bible.

    So it isn’t the Bible that provides the basis for your claim that the Bible was written partially by Moses as narrated by God, as the Bible makes no such claim. That claim originates from people who came much later, and who were not eyewitnesses.

    And so, using your own logic you cannot accept the Bible was partially written by Moses as narrated by God. To do so, you just have to believe people who made stuff up later.

    I hinted at the epistemological problems with demanding eyewitnesses. That is, corroboration is required to have any kind of faith in the eyewitness testimony. And by faith I mean, tentative acceptance without evidence. People lie. People make mistakes. People misremember things.

    People lie.

    I’ve already asserted the Bible itself makes no claims about the authors of the Decalogue. You will find no reference about Moses writing those books. But for the sake of argument, let’s say he did.

    Did you know the Book of Mormon was written by Joseph Smith as read from sacred gold plates with the help of an angel? And there were two eyewitnesses to that event, so it’s not just Joseph Smith making the claim.

    Did you know the Qu’uran was written by Mohammed, as revealed by the angel Gabriel? True story!

    So are the Book of Mormon and the Qu’uran also true, as they claim to be the word of God?

    If not, how do you know which is the Real Word Of God? How do you know the others aren’t true?

  72. 572
    Nick Gotts

    How are we going with the origin of DNA? – joe4060

    Read chapter two of Nick Lane’s Life Ascending. We have excellent evidence that DNA was not the first carrier of genetic information; it was preceded by RNA, which may itself not have been the first. For what is known an conjectured on the origins of RNA, read chapter 1. Abiogenesis is not a solved problem, but the implication that no progress has been made is simply a creationist lie. The implication that because we don’t know how abiogenesis occurred, this casts doubt on evolution, is another creationist lie.

  73. 573
    theophontes (恶六六六缓步动物)

    @ sloppy joe4060

    How are we going with the origin of DNA?

    The science or the babble? We discussed the issue of DNA and the babble upthread. DNA is explained in detail in the (non-canonical) writings of the religiously inspired. Right there around Genesis. You see Adam|Eve (a “janus” entity) is the double helix. When they are split by GAWD ™ they seek to reunite with that other half. This seeking to reunite works on DNA,RNA, protein level. It is the very process of life: What is DNA?

    By now you have a problem. You have half of the story. You now have to find that second, missing part to have a full religious|scientific understanding. But your science, as you are so keen to publically prove, is shite. So you fail to understand what god is telling you, cause you simply don’t have the intellectual stamina to bring your half of the deal to the table. Don’t be sloppy and don’t let him down – learn science. An unhappy sky-god is not very pleasant.

    /godly

  74. 574
  75. 575
    strange gods before me ॐ

    theophontes,

    It was working the other day, wasn’t it? I’m not sure if you’re telling me “it worked, and then I traveled elsewhere, where it didn’t work”, or “it worked, and then I did nothing different, and it stopped working”.

    Anyway, try setting your clock to UTC, and make sure it’s accurate.

    If that doesn’t help, download this, request password. (Iff you know how to use GPG, tell me your public key so we can streamline this. But I won’t recommend that you learn to use GPG just for this purpose.)

  76. 576
    Tony! The Queer Shoop

    No Light:
    Joe cannot answer any of those questions. I am sure he realizes it would be pointless to try since not only does he not have a copy of the original manuscripts, he couldn’t read them since they were not in English.

  77. 577
    theophontes (恶六六六缓步动物)

    @ SGBM

    It works in Hong Kong (laptop) but not (surprise!) in China (PC).

    Before the previous motherboard went FUBAR, it worked (for youtube too). That is, the first version you sent me worked perfectly in China. This one not.

    PGP? (My question answers your question?)

    I’ll check your new linky in Shenzhen tomorrow.

  78. 578
    strange gods before me ॐ

    (for youtube too).

    It shouldn’t have. The bundle is supposed to not interact with Flash and other plugins that you already have installed in other browsers. So, unless you installed Flash into the bundle and then forgot about doing so, that was a bug.

    PGP? (My question answers your question?)

    Yes, GPG is a PGP implementation. Your not providing a public key answers my question.

  79. 579
    theophontes (恶六六六缓步动物)

    @ Tony

    Joe cannot answer any of those questions.

    To my mind, a huge failure of Xtianity is that you need do next to nothing to join. The religious wisdom of old was transfered to initiates over many years, with great efforts on their part.

    Now we can just yell:”Jeebus is LAWD ™ !” and GAWD ™ does the rest. Bible study? A glorified book-club (with only one book at that). It is little wonder his ilk are so incredibly ignorant.
    .
    .
    .

    *sigh*

    The quality of trolls is dropping precipitously.

  80. 580
    strange gods before me ॐ

    The bundle is supposed to not interact with Flash and other plugins that you already have installed in other browsers

    because Flash, etc, can be manipulated into disclosing a user’s real IP. This is presumably not a concern of yours, if you are only interested in getting out. So it should be safe enough for you to install Flash into the bundle.

  81. 581
    theophontes (恶六六六缓步动物)

    @ SGBM

    Best I fiddle a little first and get back to you. (I hear that Adobe were going to dump a lot of their support for alternative operating systems. I don’t mind dumping them in turn. I can always find a workaround … from your VLC suggestion to waiting ’til I return to cybercivilisation.)

  82. 582
    theophontes (恶六六六缓步动物)

    @ Tony

    PS: An unfortunate effect of what I noted above: Crass literalism.

    (I cannot imagine any contemporaries of the original writers being so religiously shoddy as to fall into such an obvious chthonic hole.)

  83. 583
    strange gods before me ॐ

    The religious wisdom of old was transfered to initiates over many years, with great efforts on their part.

    Uh, sometimes?

    Most ancient religions were not mystery cults, and someone who was not a member of any mystery cult nevertheless had religion.

  84. 584
    Ing

    Citation to prove I know what I’m talking about

    13 Cain said to the Lord, “My punishment is more than I can bear. 14 Today you are driving me from the land, and I will be hidden from your presence; I will be a restless wanderer on the earth, and whoever finds me will kill me.”

    15 But the Lord said to him, “Not so[e]; anyone who kills Cain will suffer vengeance seven times over.” Then the Lord put a mark on Cain so that no one who found him would kill him. 16 So Cain went out from the Lord’s presence and lived in the land of Nod,[f] east of Eden.

    17 Cain made love to his wife, and she became pregnant and gave birth to Enoch. Cain was then building a city, and he named it after his son Enoch. 18 To Enoch was born Irad, and Irad was the father of Mehujael, and Mehujael was the father of Methushael, and Methushael was the father of Lamech.

    19 Lamech married two women, one named Adah and the other Zillah. 20 Adah gave birth to Jabal; he was the father of those who live in tents and raise livestock. 21 His brother’s name was Jubal; he was the father of all who play stringed instruments and pipes. 22 Zillah also had a son, Tubal-Cain, who forged all kinds of tools out of[g] bronze and iron. Tubal-Cain’s sister was Naamah.

    23 Lamech said to his wives,

    “Adah and Zillah, listen to me;
    wives of Lamech, hear my words.
    I have killed a man for wounding me,
    a young man for injuring me.
    24 If Cain is avenged seven times,
    then Lamech seventy-seven times.”

    We see that clealry

    a) The Mark of Cain is a sigil of protection warning people that God has already punished this person and further harm to them will be greatly punished
    b) There were people outside of his family that Cain had reason to fear being killed by
    c) Cain either married his sister who was banished along with him (God is a dick) or he married someone in the land of Nod (a Noddling if you will).

    B directly shows that the story as commonly interpreted by Christians is just wrong and not the original intent. Clearly either Adam and Eve were never intended to be seen as the literal first people on earth and propagators of all mankind, but the founding figures of the culture who came up with the myth OR the story has blatant contradictions and plot holes removing the possibility of both direct witnessing and infallibility. Either way the story is wrong on a profound fundamental level.

  85. 585
    Ing

    To my mind, a huge failure of Xtianity is that you need do next to nothing to join. The religious wisdom of old was transfered to initiates over many years, with great efforts on their part.

    Yes it’s called commitment bias. It’s done by cults to trap people in there due to how much they’ve already spent for the church.

    Or are you actually arguing that Mormonism and Scientology is better and more responsible than Xtianity?

  86. 586
    Inaji

    Since a misunderstanding of God’s nature seems to be the main problem

    Oy, the density. The only one with a problem is you. There is no misunderstanding of god’s nature. Either you believe the bible is god’s word or you don’t. You claim to believe the bible is god’s word. As that is the case, stop with the tortured apologetics and face up to the word – your god is a sadistic, murdering thug and you think that’s just dandy, which makes you someone who has all the moral fiber of a wet tissue.

    Have you never pondered or asked yourself *why* there are reams of twisted, tortured apologetics for the bible and xianity all over the place? It’s because most thinking people who have actually read the bible are utterly appalled by the acts and commands of god (all the contradictions and lies don’t help either) and quickly scramble to find some way to justify all the horrifying crap.

    Don’t resort to the standard “new testament! Jesus!” crap, either. Jesus wasn’t any better and held to the thuggery of the OT.

    You don’t get things both ways, Joe, let alone every direction. You take the bible as god’s word, you take the bible literally, you believe it is full of eyewitness accounts. You don’t get to claim it’s a big misunderstanding when someone else takes the murder book at its word. If there is one thing that is crystal clear in that muddy book of murder, it’s the nature of your so-called god.

  87. 587
    A. R

    We haz a troll?

    theophontes: Chilly here today.

  88. 588
    Ing

    The religious “wisdom” of old was transfered to initiates over many years, with great efforts on their part.

    FTFY

    Just because something is difficult to do doesn’t mean it’s worth it. FWIW I find a lot of the alleged old “wisdoms” of said cults either blatantly laughably false or trite and things you could easily just explain to someone over coffee

  89. 589
    Owlmirror

    WWJD?

    (What Will Joe4060 Do?)

    - Flee

    - Moar apologetics

    - Run away

    - Settle down and discuss epistemology

    - Decide he’s had enough and refuse to return

    - Cite more bible verses

    - Give up on us as damned heathen

    - Change the subject

    - Find something else to do

    - Post more ludicrous non-sequiturs

    - Go on a long trip with no internet access

    (any redundancy in the list above is entirely deliberate)

  90. 590
    Avo, also nigelTheBold

    joe4060:

    Since a misunderstanding of God’s nature seems to be the main problem here I will explain some things.

    Well, I’d say the real problem is a misunderstanding of epistemology and science.

    I would suggest, though, that we stick to a single topic, rather than jump around from science (including the epistemology of science, the scientific method, and the knowledge we’ve gained by the application of the scientific method) to theology to history. As it is, it seems you’re all over the place, which makes for a difficult discussion.

    Since the debate started off with you declaring that evolution is wrong, and presenting a list of arguments against evolution, why don’t we stick with that? As it stands, I have answered most of your arguments against evolution. I suggest you pick one argument against evolution, and we can discuss that until we are satisfied we’ve covered it sufficiently. We can discuss epistemology and science as appropriate.

    Does that sound OK to you?

  91. 591
    joe4060

    nigelthebold

    Non of your back and forth questions mean anything until the original question gets answered.

    You cannot have evolution until there is something for evolution to work with.

    How did everything come to exist in the first place?

    There are only two options:

    It either created itself from nothing, or it was created from nothing.

    If your claim is true that it created itself from nothing then where did all the required information come from? Information is non-physical. It gets carried around in physical mediums but in itself it is non-physical.

    What caused atoms, which have no intelligence, to begin to arrange themselves into complicated forms that could hold life?
    Surely they would have required a higher intelligence to direct them. What was the source of this intelligence?

    I think it takes a lot more faith to be an athiest than it does to believe in a personal Creator.

  92. 592
    CJO

    From this it can be seen that God contracts the work of punishment out to the devil, who in turn, finds and recruits willing evil men to disguise himself behind and do his bidding.

    The problem with this is that the Bible is not a continuous, coherent witness to any particular theodicy. Exactly as we would expect if the biblical narratives originated at different times in different places and were written with divergent agendas.

    Take, for instance, the parallel narratives found in 2 Samuel 24 and 1 Chronicles 21, about David taking a census of the Israelites and God’s punishment for same.

    2 Sam 24:1 reads

    Again the anger of the LORD was kindled against Israel, and he incited David against them, saying, “Go, number Israel and Judah.”

    Odd, that. But 1 Chron 21 lets God off the hook:

    Then Satan stood against Israel and incited David to number Israel.
    (my emphasis)

    This is an entirely typical revision of the Deuteronomistic History (1 Sam through 2 Kings) by the so-called Chronicler, and it betrays clear discomfort, in a later, more enlightened age, with the notion that God himself would directly entice behavior for which he would later punish his servant, a plot device the author(s) of the Deuteronomistic History had no trouble at all with. It also shows development of the figure of satan itself, which is an impersonal adversary and servant of God in the Deuteronomistic History (ha’satan rendered as “an evil spirit” in your quotation) but treated as the proper name of an independent actor in Chronicles.

    The upshot of this is that the Bible is a reliable witness to nothing but the theological and socio-historical agendas of its many and diverse authors.

  93. 593
    Esteleth, [an error occurred while processing this directive]

    But the “something” (in this case, DNA) did not come from nothing.

    DNA, in all likelihood, is a modification of RNA. The uracil in RNA is converted to thymine by the addition of the 5-methyl, ribose is deoxygenated to form deoxyribose, and the bases pair up to made dsDNA. And RNA itself has components that all have plausible origins. It all leads back to the spewing forth of matter in the Big Bang. And pre-BB, it isn’t that there was nothing, it is that everything was incredibly densely packed.

  94. 594
    Avo, also nigelTheBold

    joe4060:

    Non of your back and forth questions mean anything until the original question gets answered.

    You cannot have evolution until there is something for evolution to work with.

    How did everything come to exist in the first place?

    You miss the point. The question about the validity of evolution is independent of the question of how life arose. All the evidence points towards evolution being a true thing. Denying that is denying reality.

    The question of abiogenesis is definitely and important question. We have ideas on how it might have occurred. We even have some decent models that demonstrate the various stages from some substrates (like clay) to minimal self-replication to RNA to DNA.

    What you are doing is insisting we know everything about everything. The great thing about science is, you can know some things without knowing others. We can know that gravity works without knowing how it is tied to quantum mechanics. We can know quantum mechanics works without knowing whether string theory is the correct interpretation of quantum mechanics. We can be ignorant of some things while knowing others.

    Now, if you want to be able to claim knowledge, you could make something up, like God kickstarted the whole process, and shepherds it along. The one thing you cannot do and remain intellectually honest is deny the evidence, and deny what the evidence leads to.

    And right now, the evidence is for a 14 billion year old universe, and life arose on Earth 3.5 billion years ago, and life has evolved since then into what we see today. That’s just where the evidence leads.

    The question of how that life started 3.5 billion years ago is up for debate. The question of the processes that have shaped life since then aren’t nearly as much up for debate. (Some details are still debated, but those are just details.)

  95. 595
    Esteleth, [an error occurred while processing this directive]

    Oh, and:

    What caused atoms, which have no intelligence, to begin to arrange themselves into complicated forms that could hold life?

    Atoms hit each other randomly. The probability of this is controlled by the density of the atoms, how much energy they have, and also factors like charge. Things that are oppositely charged will hit each other more readily. Every time to particles hit each other, some percentage of the time (mostly related to thermodynamics) they stick to ach other. These resulting clumps then go on to hit other particles, some of which stick.

    No intelligence required. Just physics.

  96. 596
    Esteleth, [an error occurred while processing this directive]

    Joe, what you’re forgetting – or ignoring – is that most atheists were at one time believers. And many atheists say that one of the last straws for them WRT religion was studying religion intensely.

  97. 597
    strange gods before me ॐ

    joe,

    Here’s a thing you might find interesting, if you want to try it: ask yourself and us why do we not consider “information is non-physical” to be an argument suggestive of a deity’s existence?

    Perhaps not to your taste. I just figured it might be stimulating.

  98. 598
    Avo, also nigelTheBold

    joe4060:

    I think it takes a lot more faith to be an athiest than it does to believe in a personal Creator.

    Hold on now, joe4060 (may I refer to you as Joe?). You’re conflating atheism and science here. You can follow science where it leads, and still believe in a Creator. Kenneth Miller is an excellent example of someone who both accepts where the science leads, and firmly believes in the Christian creator.

    Be careful not to confuse science (including the results of science, like the theory of evolution) with atheism.

    You don’t have to choose between your God and the results of science.

  99. 599
    Nick Gotts

    joe4060,

    Non of your back and forth questions mean anything until the original question gets answered.

    If none of the back and forth questions mean anything, why do you argue about them? Why, on Greta Christina’s thread, where you rudely hijacked a thread, did you cut and paste a range of spurious-to-stupid “arguments” about the fossil record, Y-chromosomes etc., from the shameless liars at creation.com? The fact is, of course, that you have no answer to nigelTheBold’s evisceration of your claims, because you are profoundly ignorant: all you are capable of is copying and pasting, then changing the subject when you find you’re dealing with someone who knows what they are talking about.

    You cannot have evolution until there is something for evolution to work with.

    How did everything come to exist in the first place?

    So now you’ve switched from evolution, not to abiogenesis, but to cosmogenesis. Changing the subject again.

    There are only two options:

    It either created itself from nothing, or it was created from nothing.

    No, in fact neither of these is possible. For something to be “created”, or to “create itself”, there must have been a time when it did not exist: so to talk of everything being created, or creating itself, is self-contradictory. There may have been an “earliest time”, but if so, something already existed at that time.

    If your claim is true that it created itself from nothing then where did all the required information come from? Information is non-physical. It gets carried around in physical mediums but in itself it is non-physical.

    You’ve no idea what you’re talking about at all, have you? Wherever there is any sort of physical existence, there is information; you don’t have to add it.

    What caused atoms, which have no intelligence, to begin to arrange themselves into complicated forms that could hold life?

    A long series of physical processes, many but not all of which are now understood.

    Surely they would have required a higher intelligence to direct them.

    Why? We can observe the emergence of order in many natural processes that do not involve life or intelligence, and that we can observe happening: the action of the tides can, in places such as Chesil Beach, sorts stones according to size. Gravity works in similar ways to gather asteroids in particular orbits, and remove them from others, or to produce the complexities of the rings of Saturn. Flows of liquid methane on titan produce patterns of twisting, joining, branching channels startlingly like those of rivers of water on earth – because the processes concerned are similar. On the seabed, flows of hot, mineral-rich water from below the surface produce weird rococo structures, including the alkaline hydrothermal vents which you can read about in the linked paper (but I bet you won’t), and which may well have been the kind of environment in which life emerged. These vents form honeycombs of compartments lined with catalytic minerals, through which mixtures of reactive chemicals flow, under the complex interacting influences of hydrological, chemical and thermal gradients. Kind of like a giant chemical laboratory in which an endless parade of experiments takes place without any need for a chemist.

    What was the source of this intelligence?

    You have given no reason to suppose one was needed. But if one was, then in order to have explained anything at all we would have to know how this “personal creator” comes to exist, and how it is able to create everything else.

    I think it takes a lot more faith to be an athiest than it does to believe in a personal Creator.

    No, you don’t: that’s just what you’ve been told to say. You haven’t come out with a single thought that is your own. Why not try thinking for yourself one day? You might enjoy it.

  100. 600
    Avo, also nigelTheBold

    Joe:

    What’s the source of God’s intelligence?

    I’m just curious. Drunk, and curious.

  101. 601
    John Morales

    nigelTheBold, duh.

    It either created itself from nothing, or it was created from nothing.

  102. 602
    Tony! The Queer Shoop

    Nigel:
    You’re drunk battling a creationist?
    Damn, you are good.

  103. 603
    Tony! The Queer Shoop

    Hold on…”misunderstanding of gods nature”? I thought we lowly humans could never understand god because he is infinite and perfect. When did he stop being inscrutable?

  104. 604
    joe4060

    nigelthebold

    Let me put it another way.

    Is the information that is required to build a house, in the bricks of the house, or is it in the mind of the builder?

    For every house is built by someone, but he who builds all things is God. Hebrews 3:4

    Does the clay make itself into a pot?

    Do the letters and punctuation write themselves into a book?

  105. 605
    Tony! The Queer Shoop

    Whats the deal with the raging hardon for the source of information? Howzabout I DONT FUCKING KNOW? The arrogance displayed by believers is astounding. They strawman atheists by saying ‘you reject god, therefore you think the universe was formed by X’. That is simply not true for all atheists. Some do. Some don’t. Myself, I don’t know how everything came to be and I don’t really mind not knowing.
    Believers, OTOH, think they *absolutely*, beyond a shadow of a doubt, know that god did it. Without a shred of evidence, and with the universe providing no proof of their god of evil, Yahweh, they have the answers. Yet somehow atheists are arrogant when we say I DO NOT BELIEVE YOUR GOD CLAIMS OR ANYONE ELSE’s. Just like we do not believe the claims of Mormons, Scientologists, or the ancient Greeks.

  106. 606
    strange gods before me ॐ

    I suppose this is going to be a repeat of the no contest thread.

    joe4060, if I may make my suggestion again: it might be more interesting, for both us and you, if you’d ask yourself and us why do we not consider “is the information that is required to build a house in the bricks of the house, or is it in the mind of the builder” to be an argument suggestive of a deity’s existence.

    What I mean is, it might be worthwhile for you to brainstorm about the following — if you’re going to make argument X, consider that we’ve probably heard X before and for some reason it wasn’t persuasive, so, imagine first what ideas a person might already have which could make argument X unpersuasive. And/or just ask us why we aren’t persuaded.

    Surely you’ve debated previously with people who accept the fact of evolution. Perhaps, if you did not find such debates very fruitful, my suggestion might lead to more intriguing outcomes?

  107. 607
    John Morales

    joe4060:

    For every house is built by someone, but he who builds all things is God.

    This is both nonsensical and self-refuting on multiple levels, since it (1) claims God is not a member of all things (implying God does not exist) and (2) further compares everything to a dwelling (a clear category error) and (3) it claims God built itself (but until God existed God could not build anything).

    Also, I see you are strenuously avoiding the issue of God’s penis — inquiring minds want to know whether it is circumcised.

  108. 608
    John Morales

    joe4060:

    Do the letters and punctuation write themselves into a book?

    O ye of little faith: is it not written that
    In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God?

  109. 609
    Esteleth, [an error occurred while processing this directive]

    Ah, but John, that is metaphor.

    Because the Bible is literal, except when it is clearly metaphor.

  110. 610
    Tony! The Queer Shoop

    Esteleth:
    Was the Flood literally God going full on genocidal baby killer or was it a metaphor? And where, oh where, is a pastor to tell me how I should interpret a flood that killed a lot of precious fetuses?

  111. 611
    Esteleth, [an error occurred while processing this directive]

    Remember about generational sin, Tony. Those fetuses parents were bad people, so they were going to be bad people themselves.

  112. 612
    theophontes (恶六六六缓步动物)

    @ SGBM

    Uh, sometimes?

    Oh, the liabilities of shooting from the hip!

    As I understand it, there was less crass literalism than one would find in today’s goddists (particularly those of joe’s stripe). Not everyone, of course would or could become initiated into the mysteries. As much as there might have been attempts to imbue gods with an appropriate awe, they often carried across as little more than characters in a soap opera. As for the initiates, the meanings could be peeled back gradually to reveal different layers of meaning.

    As to the real “wisdom” of these, Ing notes:

    either blatantly laughably false or trite and things you could easily just explain to someone over coffee

    The highest level that I could envisage (I am no initiate) is that the ultimate meaning of (for example) the corn or year gods, is nothing more than underscoring the cycle of planting and harvesting. ‘Why all the religious rigmarole?‘, one asks. Perhaps this: the whole agricultural process is both exceptionally dull and exceptionally important. One may embroider on it, seek deeper meanings even, but it all comes back – in the end – to planting and harvesting.

    @ Ing

    In terms of rapid expansion, the huge advantage of xtianity over, say, Greek Paganism, was the relatively low entrance cost. One did not need all the trappings (“the church is not a building”), from temples to hecatombs. It was a religion suited to the poor, rather than a wealthy elite. Later the xtian church itself (as institution) went for quantity rather than quality.

    eg:In Byzantine times it was a scramble into the lands of the Rus to claim as many souls as possible (Cyrillic was invented specifically to give them a written language with which to mass produce priests). The consequence was that the new “converts” came along riddled with their own folk superstitions and traditions.

    Or are you actually arguing that Mormonism and Scientology is better and more responsible than Xtianity?

    I had not specifically considered this. What I want to address is the declining quality of godbot. In the examples you give, I would think that – by investing so much energy in actually trying to understand their own tenets – a mormon or scientologist might well make a better and more responsible consequential godbot.

  113. 613
    Ing

    For Fuck sake you unoriginal, dishonest conflating nitwit

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

    As an influence which leads to a transformation

    Information is any type of pattern that influences the formation or transformation of other patterns. In this sense, there is no need for a conscious mind to perceive, much less appreciate, the pattern. Consider, for example, DNA. The sequence of nucleotides is a pattern that influences the formation and development of an organism without any need for a conscious mind.

    Systems theory at times seems to refer to information in this sense, assuming information does not necessarily involve any conscious mind, and patterns circulating (due to feedback) in the system can be called information. In other words, it can be said that information in this sense is something potentially perceived as representation, though not created or presented for that purpose. For example, Gregory Bateson defines “information” as a “difference that makes a difference”.

    If, however, the premise of “influence” implies that information has been perceived by a conscious mind and also interpreted by it, the specific context associated with this interpretation may cause the transformation of the information into knowledge. Complex definitions of both “information” and “knowledge” make such semantic and logical analysis difficult, but the condition of “transformation” is an important point in the study of information as it relates to knowledge, especially in the business discipline of knowledge management. In this practice, tools and processes are used to assist a knowledge worker in performing research and making decisions, including steps such as:

    reviewing information in order to effectively derive value and meaning
    referencing metadata if any is available
    establishing a relevant context, often selecting from many possible contexts
    deriving new knowledge from the information
    making decisions or recommendations from the resulting knowledge.

    Stewart (2001) argues that the transformation of information into knowledge is a critical one, lying at the core of value creation and competitive advantage for the modern enterprise.

    The Danish Dictionary of Information Terms[4] argues that information only provides an answer to a posed question. Whether the answer provides knowledge depends on the informed person. So a generalized definition of the concept should be: “Information” = An answer to a specific question”.

    When Marshall McLuhan speaks of media and their effects on human cultures, he refers to the structure of artifacts that in turn shape our behaviors and mindsets. Also, pheromones are often said to be “information” in this sense.

    In physics, physical information refers generally to the information that is contained in a physical system. Its usage in quantum mechanics (i.e. quantum information) is important, for example in the concept of quantum entanglement to describe effectively direct or causal relationships between apparently distinct or spatially separated particles.

    Information itself may be loosely defined as “that which can distinguish one thing from another”

    Now shuddup

  114. 614
    Tony! The Queer Shoop

    Esteleth:
    Ooooooh. Ok.
    So then there is nothing wrong with abortion, right?

  115. 615
    Ing

    Perhaps this: the whole agricultural process is both exceptionally dull and exceptionally important.

    My family comes from a long line of agrarians. The jokes I made about humorous hay seed grandfather aphorisms were entirely factual. I have literally sat through three hour intense discussions on corn qualities. I assure you that it is not dull to people who are of passionate on the subject. You are projecting a value that is not shared.

    And of more importance the crop cycle can be just as easily understood and grasped without a secret handshake

    In terms of rapid expansion, the huge advantage of xtianity over, say, Greek Paganism, was the relatively low entrance cost. One did not need all the trappings (“the church is not a building”), from temples to hecatombs. It was a religion suited to the poor, rather than a wealthy elite. Later the xtian church itself (as institution) went for quantity rather than quality.

    eg:In Byzantine times it was a scramble into the lands of the Rus to claim as many souls as possible (Cyrillic was invented specifically to give them a written language with which to mass produce priests). The consequence was that the new “converts” came along riddled with their own folk superstitions and traditions.

    You’ve basically just described the difference between r/K selection strategies, another deep wisdom from religion?

  116. 616
    Ing

    Is the information that is required to build a house, in the bricks of the house, or is it in the mind of the builder?

    For every house is built by someone, but he who builds all things is God. Hebrews 3:4

    Does the clay make itself into a pot?

    Do the letters and punctuation write themselves into a book?

    Ignoring your appeal to authority, you are begging the question. I’ll return it back to you. DOES everything need a builder? I can see houses being built and thus from inference know they are constructed things. I can learn via pattern recognition the hall marks of human design and craft enough to note when a mark on a rock looks to be done by flint tool rather than natural erosion. I do not see anyone at any point of time making a tree or boulder or dirt.

  117. 617
    John Morales

    theophontes, not only have the Jews been at this bizzo longer than the Christians, but they are more interesting.

    (Pardes clarifies the categorical distinctions between the exoteric and the esoteric, the which is nearly as far beyond clueless godbots (such as joe4060) as it is amoebae)

  118. 618
    Rev. BigDumbChimp

    The watchmaker argument really really gets boring the 700th time you’ve had it thrown at you.

    Fuck Paley.

  119. 619
    Ing

    @Rev

    and really do we need anything but the stock response of “how can you tell what’s a watch in a world made of clockwork?”

  120. 620
    theophontes (恶六六六缓步动物)

    I failed to mention the aspirational quality of the Pagan myths. Obviously these where of great consequence in helping along the whole drive to excellence that we spoke of several iterations of thread ago. We also noted however that these were not to be taken literally, pace Julian. We noted also the role of myth even in modern times. The whole point is that in none of these are the myths taken as literal truths. Unlike goddist myths, they do not rely on lying to be efficacious.

    .

    mini-rant ™

    OK, I’m actually more than a little pissed off at the quality of godbots (PZ, how are we supposed to sharpen our teeth on these?). What happened to the old fashioned type? Where are the William James’s of this world? Is xtianity failing to produce any intelligent arguments anymore? The rot has been setting in for a while now. Of all the things that religion poisons, what grates me the most right now is that it poisons ideas and debate.

    I read recently an (old) article by W.R. Inge about the influence of Greek thought on the xtian worldview (particularly Plato). He makes his arguments well enough. All a good basis for further discussion, until this:

    The choice before us is between a ‘post-rational’ traditionalism, fundamentally sceptical, pragmatistic, and intellectually dishonest, and a trust in reason which rests really on faith in the divine Logos, the self-revealing soul of the universe. It is the belief of the present writer that the unflinching eye and the open mind will bring us again to the feet of Christ, to whom Greece, with her long tradition of free and fearless inquiry, became a speedy and willing captive, bringing her manifold treasures to Him, in the well-grounded confidence that He was not come to destroy but to fulfil.

    /rant

  121. 621
    John Morales

    The coming of the Lord is in every true Christian’s mouth.

    <piety>

  122. 622
    Tony! The Queer Shoop

    Joe:
    An early holidays present– http://www.stonemakerargument.com/1.html

  123. 623
    Tony! The Queer Shoop

    Oh I just went in the gutter with your comment JOHN. I feel dirty. Heh. Heh.

  124. 624
    Tony! The Queer Shoop

    theophontes:
    Have you folks primarily dealt with xtian apologetics here (@ Pharyngula)? Or have there been any other religious apologists for you all to battle against? A Scientologist sounds like a fun believer to debate.

  125. 625
    theophontes (恶六六六缓步动物)

    @ joe4060 vs SGBM

    “information is non-physical”

    Shall I kick off with a suggestion that we first examine the difference between Noise and Information.

    Quick example: A person on the bus calls a friend to say that they will meet up at 7pm. To me this is noise. theaphontes calls to say I can collect the washing from the laundrette. This is information. (Immediately we are dragged into a subjective view of information.)

    Joe, is the particular layering of the clays mentioned by nigelTheBold information or noise? Where does YHWH come into this?

    Does the clay make itself into a pot?

    No, but clay (it appears) has the potential to create the component strands of RNA. Over time we have DNA and over more time a potter to make a clay pot. The clay did it!!!

    (re: the house… concrete or clay bricks?)

    @ Ing

    You are projecting a value that is not shared.

    A lot of what would make it exciting for early agrarians was the delightful mysteries, the pageantry, traditions and the like. I do not think we are really at odds here. (I happily confess to being a city person though. Likely I would be bored by (to me superficial) corn qualities. But certainly not by corn myths.)

    And of more importance the crop cycle can be just as easily understood and grasped without a secret handshake

    Ing, you are such a party pooper! (What really gives religion a zing is when blood gets shed. This is not lost on contemporary goddists either.)

    another deep wisdom from religion?

    Memetic ecology rather. (The xtian approach seems to have worked in the numbers game.)

    @ John Morales

    Pardes

    Your intentions were good John. But now I feel even worse. (Where, in Awlmarty Jeebus’s name, are we gonna find one of those?)

  126. 626
    Ing

    Memetic ecology rather. (The xtian approach seems to have worked in the numbers game.)

    Which ironically means they’re prone to greater mutation rate due to shorter generation time :-p

  127. 627
    theophontes (恶六六六缓步动物)

    @ Tony

    I feel dirty.

    Its the clay.

    There is a beautiful story that Lilith was made of slime and dregs (as opposed to Adam’s clay). She insisted that they try different sex positions, rather than Adam always on top, because the stuff she was made of was equivalent to the stuff Adam was made of. (GAWD’s solution: Eve)

    @ Tony

    xtian apologetics

    Sadly most godbots coming here are of that ilk. We get an occasional islamic bot (eg: Hamza Tzortzis), but most of the food is Ham, Ham and more Ham. (Even the islamic arguments taste more and more of Ham. The only advantage of Hamza, is that he has nice tone.)

  128. 628
    Tony! The Queer Shoop

    Beep
    Beep
    Beep
    Horde alert!
    If anyone wants *another* chewtoy, look no further than the Christianity is not a religion thread. It goes by _devotions_.

  129. 629
    John Morales

    Actually, I kinda hope a Scientologist apologist comes here — I have spent countless hours* disputing with a decades-long committed Scientologist and have had occasion to peruse their tech manuals (and I don’t mean in the internet, I mean actual physical source material).

    (I wonder how their moon-base is going? ;) )

    * In person, including all-nighters.

    (To hir credit, neither of us got worn down by that marathon)

  130. 630
    Tony! The Queer Shoop

    John:
    Moon base?
    Egads!

  131. 631
    John Morales

    Tony, you have to understand that Clears are free of all human weakness (including self-imposed physical and intellectual limitations) and OTs (Operating Thetans) are effectively superhuman — even now LRH is exploring reality, knowing his legacy is secure.

    (The MEST (Matter Energy Space Time) continuum is their plaything, though reality is the consensus of us unconscious Thetans)

  132. 632
    theophontes (恶六六六缓步动物)

    @ Ing

    Which ironically means they’re prone to greater mutation rate due to shorter generation time.

    Heh. Consider also that the new beliefs are a chimera, composed of whatever woo was doing the rounds at the time grafted onto a jerry-rigged xtian stock. The mutations got amplified.

    I wonder if Joe4060 has any real grasp of where the modern mutations of his religion come from.

    @ John Morales

    MEST

    Dutch for pig/cow pooh.

  133. 633
    theophontes (恶六六六缓步动物)

    {theophontes walks nonchalantly across the stage, mumbles to no-one in particular}

    Would our eBil oBerlawd ™ consider allowing guest godbot/trolls onto Thunderdome thread? John M’s bud, me’be?

    {exeunt}

  134. 634
    theophontes (恶六六六缓步动物)

    [Levels of meaning]

    Rick Warren appeared on CNN recently. Apparently his book “Teh Porpoise Drivel Laugh” is 10 years old. Callooh Callay, let us declare a national holiday.

    Rick (I must needs paraphrase):

    There are 3 types of laws in the babble:
    1. Civil. To which xtians are not bound. One is not obliged to kill one’s teenager for backchat.
    2. Ceremonial. To which xtians are not bound. One does not have to slaughter unblemished goats.
    3. Moral. To which xtians are bound. It is important for xtians to hate teh gayz. God is an insufferable bigot and we (at least males) are made in His image. Therefore.

    Actions are sins. (fapping about your neighbour’s wife is fine, as long as it doesn’t come out of your head.) (not what jeebus said, but WTF, we’re selling books aren’t we?)

    Tone trolling: Be NICE to eBeryone’s positions. Especially bigots.

    One example is good to extrapolate to an entire society.

    I just had to get that out there, to spread his religiously inspired wisdom.

  135. 635
    Tony! The Queer Shoop

    Thanks to you spreading wisdom, I will be counting Jesus Christ’s instead of sheep to fall asleep…

  136. 636
    Esteleth, [an error occurred while processing this directive]

    Tony:

    >Ooooooh. Ok.
    So then there is nothing wrong with abortion, right?

    If a man chooses it, yes.

    See, the absolute right to a woman’s output lies with the man who owns her.

    If some uppity girl tries to take control, then she’s unnatural. But if some manly d00d doesn’t want her to have a baby, well then that’s his prerogative.

  137. 637
    vaiyt

    Gravity is gravity; it is dead.

    Typical religiot, introducing an argument just to dismiss it when it gets turned against them. If you think gravity is dead, go throw yourself off a building.

    Gravity and evolution both explains things that are. Matter attracts matter, that’s a fact. Life changes over time and passes traits to its descendancy, that’s a fact. Just like it’s not necessary to know where gravity come from for the Theory of Gravity to work, we don’t need to know where life came from for the ToE to work.

    Where did LIFE come from?

    We’re still trying to find out. Unlike religiots, people who actually want to learn about reality aren’t afraid of what they don’t know. 100 years ago we didn’t know how atoms worked, and now we can split them for energy.

    Life exists. The Theory of Evolution explains how life works, and does its job with accuracy. On the other hand, we never found out anything new about life by reading sacred texts.

  138. 638
    Avo, also nigelTheBold

    joe4060:

    Let me put it another way.

    Is the information that is required to build a house, in the bricks of the house, or is it in the mind of the builder?

    The mind of the builder is physical. The neurons and their dendrites are physical. The information is in the specific patterns of electrochemical potentials arrayed through the brain.

    No matter which way you put it, information is ultimately relationships between physical things. Even in the abstraction in the builder’s head, the abstraction represents the bricks and mortar and the way to fit them all together to build a house rather than a pile of rubble. Without the physical bricks and mortar, there would be no plan. In fact, a plan would be impossible.

    Abstractions such as logic are about physical things (and the processes, properties, and relationships of physical things). The axiom of identity, the most fundamental of all logical axioms, is based on the physical properties of the universe. If we lived in a universe in which one thing transmuted into another (or multiple others), and two objects could occupy the same space, and so on, there would be no axiom of identity. Even our most fundamental abstract concepts are built on the relationships between physical things. (Mathematics and logic are basically information about information. That’s kinda cool.)

    Just as the builder’s plan was about relationships between physical things, even fantasy requires relationships between physical things — imaginary physical things, certainly. But the fact these physical things don’t actually exist doesn’t change the fact that all fiction describes relationships between physical things. Otherwise, it wouldn’t make sense, and wouldn’t be information.

    And you’re dodging the points raised against you. You still treat DNA as if it were a written language, an abstract communication medium. Did you read the essay I linked for you? The one that stated exactly what I stated over at Greta’s? The one that stated that DNA is not a code? (At least, not a code like written language is a code.)

    If you continue to misattribute properties to DNA that it simply doesn’t have, you will be confused. You will misunderstand life, its origins, and the processes by which life changes to better suit its environment.

    If you think your car runs not off gasoline, but that a gremlin powers it in a little squirrel cage, and that rumbling sound you get when you start your car is the gremlin hard at work — if you think all that, you will eventually run out of gas. And when the tow-truck comes and you explain to the mechanic that your gremlin broke or is on strike, she’s probably gonna look at you like you have two heads, and back away slowly. She might put 5 gallons in your tank and explain that the gremlin needs to eat so you have to keep it in food, and that it really only likes gasoline. After that, you’ll fill your tank when the food-o-meter is close to ‘E’ (which stands for “Especially unhappy gremlin”) and keep it close to ‘F’ (which stands for “Food for gremlin”), and you’ll be on your merry way, operating your vehicle just like everyone else.

    But your model of what’s going on is wrong. You might do the right things to keep your gremlin happy, but eventually your complete misunderstanding of what’s going on will fail you. You will be forever unable to repair the engine yourself.

    You won’t even know to change the oil until someone explains the gremlin likes to bathe in oil. You see the clean oil going in, and later the same oil come out dirty, and you think, “Yep, the gremlin sure likes to bathe,” and you’ll even take this as proof the engine runs on a gremlin, because who else would be taking a bath in the oil?

    And then when someone tries to explain to you how the engine really works, with aerosolized gasoline mixing with air and getting combusted at just the right time by a spark and then exploding and slamming the piston down, you’ll scoff and say, “How does the explosion not blow up the engine? How does the up-down motion of the piston turn into circular motion to make the wheels move? With all that stuff you claim to be in the engine, where’s the room for the gremlin, and who’s taking a bath in all that oil?

    That is where you are right now with DNA, and life, and evolution. You have a model in your head (a model that is ultimately patterned in the physical electrochemical potentials of the neurons and their dendrites). This model has a God driving it all directly. No other model will make sense to you until you entertain the idea that maybe, just maybe, God works in mysterious ways, even in the creation of life. Maybe God didn’t directly write the Word of Life in DNA. Maybe God wrote a life-making machine — the universe — that produces life. Maybe God even subtly guides the evolution of life.

    But the evidence that DNA has been around 3.5 billion years is pretty incontrovertible. The evidence that DNA mutates and changes between generations is also incontrovertible. The evidence that these mutations lead to beneficial changes is ironclad — we’ve observed it, seen it happen, and recorded exactly what mutations caused the beneficial changes — or, if you like, the increase in information of the DNA.

    You coming here and talking about DNA is if it were some kind of language is just like someone telling the mechanic their gremlin is broken. (This might not be so strange if they drive a Gremlin, of course.) And you seem particularly unwilling to actually engage in a discussion about the nature of DNA. Instead, you seem to want to talk about something else of which you are ignorant, perhaps even more ignorant than you are of evolution: information theory.

    Don’t get me wrong, ignorance is not a bad thing. I’ve admitted my ignorance of many things, including abiogenesis. I’m also ignorant of French poetry, organic chemistry, and also vast swathes of the field in which I majored in college: physics. Also, I’m pretty shaky on differential equations.

    I don’t try to present myself as an expert on any of these things. Hell, I don’t even pretend to be an expert in my current field of computer programming. I’m not even pretending to be an expert on biology and evolution.

    But I have enough of a grasp of these things to have a rudimentary understanding. Much of my understanding of biology and evolution came from reading my mom’s textbooks and the books she read for enjoyment. She was a bioligist, and later a high school science and math teacher. So I read a lot of very accessible books about biology and evolution, and I continued that in college.

    If I might be so bold, I recommend you do the same before attempting to debate someone, or before you cut-and-paste “gotcha” questions from the Answers In Genesis website that have been thoroughly rebutted many times in the past — sometimes decades or a century or more ago. If you’d like a good starting point, I recommend Why Evolution Is True, by Jerry Coyne. It’s an excellent starting point for someone with little or no biology education. I imagine you can even find it at your local library, so you don’t have to give money to a Godless Atheist like Coyne.

    If, however, you still want to talk about information, try this:

    Can you describe a coherent idea or concept that doesn’t include something physical? (Here, “physical” includes properties of physical things, including waves, gravity, and so on.)

  139. 639
    Avo, also nigelTheBold

    Ing, quoting the source of all wisdom:

    Information itself may be loosely defined as “that which can distinguish one thing from another”

    Wow. That is a very concise and elegant definition, though perhaps a bit slippery.

  140. 640
    Avo, also nigelTheBold

    Tony:

    Nigel:
    You’re drunk battling a creationist?

    Yeah. I’m an alcoholic. It happens a lot. Thank Gorin for spellcheckers.

    Damn, you are good.

    Thanks!

    Also too: excellent name. I am myself a Tony, IRL.

    We Tonys need to stick together. That’s why we have our own theme

  141. 641
    theophontes (恶六六六缓步动物)

    Jeeez, nobody wants to talk about “noise”.

    A question that often comes up, is as to why we do not see abiogenesis about us in this time. What is important is to realise that if, as hypothetical example, clay were to produce components of RNA, these are no longer have the potential as the building blocks of life. They are simply food. That information locked into the microstrata of clay has become irrelevant as circumstances on earth have changed.

    /pout

  142. 642
    Avo, also nigelTheBold

    theophontes:

    Jeeez, nobody wants to talk about “noise”.

    Okay, I’ll bite. Stick yer hand out.

  143. 643
    theophontes (恶六六六缓步动物)

    {holds out paw, razor sharp claws glisten in the moonlight}

    There you go…

  144. 644
    Avo, also nigelTheBold

    {nigel backs slowly away, attempting to make no noise}

  145. 645
    Ogvorbis: Still failing at being human.

    theophontes:

    Do I even want to know what that is? It looks like a penis with claws.

  146. 646
    chigau (違う)

    nigelTheBold
    That gremlin in the car thing is genius.
    Don’t be surprised if I use it in the future.

  147. 647
    Ing

    A question that often comes up, is as to why we do not see abiogenesis about us in this time.

    I had a biochem teacher who actually liked to answer that by saying we don’t have any evidence it isn’t. For example if you sealed off a peanut butter jar and waited would you get abiogenesis? His answer is, maybe, but the rate we’re talking about is so slow that it effectively isn’t happening. His point was that biochemstry is actually glacially slow without enzymes.

  148. 648
    theophontes (恶六六六缓步动物)

    @ Ogvorbis

    It looks like a penis with claws.

    You do not want to find out. Mwahahahaha

  149. 649
    Avo, also nigelTheBold

    chigau:

    That gremlin in the car thing is genius.
    Don’t be surprised if I use it in the future.

    Thanks. I’d be pleased if you did use it.

  150. 650
    Ogvorbis: Still failing at being human.

    Oh. Tardigrade. Of course.

    Why did I ask?

  151. 651
    Ogvorbis: Still failing at being human.

    That gremlin in the car thing is genius.

    Tell that to AMC.

    When I got my current car, I had a nightmare that something had gone all wahoonie shaped with the financing and I had to turn the car back in. We couldn’t get back into our old car as it was already gone so they put me into a car with plenty of room — a stretched AMC Gremlin. I woke up in a cold sweat.

    Though it was a refreshingly different nightmare.

  152. 652
    Tony! The Queer Shoop

    nigelTheBold:
    Technically, my RL name is Anthony, but I prefer Tony. It’s totes cool to have a song in our honor!

  153. 653
    Ogvorbis: Still failing at being human.

    Tony:

    But ‘Anthony works in the grocery store, saving his pennies for someday!’

  154. 654
    Tony! The Queer Shoop

    A penis with claws…shudder…
    Reminds me of the movie TEETH.

  155. 655
    Tony! The Queer Shoop

    Oggie:
    Sorry, I don’t get the reference. Kinda par for the course here, for me. I often don’t get much of the discussions here, so I lurk n learn.

  156. 656
    Ogvorbis: Still failing at being human.

    Tony:

    “Anthony’s Song” by Billy Joel. Probably before your time.

    Dman kids.

  157. 657
    Ogvorbis: Still failing at being human.

    And those damn kids can probably spell, too.

  158. 658
    theophontes (恶六六六缓步动物)

    @ Tony

    A penis with claws…shudder…

    Rapex.

  159. 659
    strange gods before me ॐ

    Maybe God didn’t directly write the Word of Life in DNA. Maybe God wrote a life-making machine — the universe — that produces life.

    joe4060, this is a good time to recommend Ken Miller’s book in addition to Coyne’s.

    (After Coyne’s? Before? I haven’t read Coyne’s. Anybody recommend an order?)

  160. 660
    strange gods before me ॐ

    Oh Nigel,

    At http://pharyngula.wikia.com/wiki/Books,_science you will find Coyne’s book conveniently linked to a library/bookseller search. In this case,

    joe4060 click here too: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Special:BookSources/0670020532

  161. 661
    Ing

    If the universe is a life making machine…

    Ok everyone remember Futurama with the Professor’s rubber nose making machine? The one that generated about ten tons of toxic waste in order to make a nose that glows in the dark? Yeah if the universe is a life making machine it makes that thing a marvel of efficiency.

  162. 662
    Inaji

    Tony:

    Reminds me of the movie TEETH.

    I wouldn’t think so, as it was the penises being bit in that movie.

  163. 663
    strange gods before me ॐ

    Efficiency! The one true god can afford to do without efficiency. Being extravagant is glorious.

  164. 664
    Inaji

    SG:

    Being extravagant is glorious.

    Does that include being extravagantly stupid and extravagantly bloodthirsty?

  165. 665
    strange gods before me ॐ

    Glory is a generally nasty thing, as far as I can tell, bound up with war and domination. So I suppose the answer is yes.

  166. 666
    Tony! The Queer Shoop

    Caine:
    Sorry. I was a bit vague.
    I should have said a penis with teeth reminds me of the movie TEETH wrt to biting genitals…I would not want to be in an intimate setting with either one.

  167. 667
    joe4060

    nigelthebold

    “Maybe God even subtly guides the evolution of life”

    So you are admitting that there is a Creator now?

    But why would he need evolution create anything?

  168. 668
    strange gods before me ॐ

    joe,

    So you are admitting that there is a Creator now?

    No. Of course Nigel is not saying that. Please try to be serious.

    Nigel is simply trying to explain to you that for you to be intellectually honest, you’ll have to acknowledge that evolution has in fact occurred. If you want to bring your deity along for the ride, Nigel’s not planning to argue with you about that at this time.

    But why would he need evolution create anything?

    That’s a question you are likely to wrestle with when you acknowledge the fact that evolution occurs. Miller’s book, as I suggested at 159, offers you one option.

    But the fact is, evolution occurred (and still occurs), so if a deity is responsible for creating us, then it did so via evolution.

  169. 669
    strange gods before me ॐ

    (Apropos of nothing.) Since we’re on page 2, I can make this google-able.

    To email strange gods before me ॐ :

    http://imageshack.us/photo/my-images/687/51015341.jpg/

    http://pharyngula.wikia.com/wiki/Special:EmailUser/Markovbaines

  170. 670
    cm's changeable moniker (quaint, if not charming)

    AMC Gremlin

    A 2-door subcompact which, in 1972, came with the option of a 5-litre V8 engine?

    WTF?!

  171. 671
    Owlmirror

    So you are admitting that there is a Creator now?

    My, but you are dim. Of course he isn’t. He was being charitable and positing the hypothetical.

    The point is, if some sort of God exists, then just as that God did not create a flat Earth, and did not create a universe with the Earth at its center, so too that God did not create a universe where life did not evolve.

    But why would he need evolution create anything?

    *eyeroll*

    Why would a hypothetical God that existed need to create an Earth that wasn’t flat, or one that wasn’t at the center of the universe?

  172. 672
    Avo, also nigelTheBold

    joe4060:

    So you are admitting that there is a Creator now?

    As sgbm and Owlmirror point out, I was simply giving you the benefit of the doubt. I wanted to underscore that you don’t have to give up your belief in God just to accept the reality of evolution and a 4.5 billion-year-old earth.

    Me, I don’t believe there’s a God. I don’t see a need for one, and I’ve never heard any reason that rang true for the existence of God.

    But why would he need evolution create anything?

    Beats me. All I know is, if there is a God, and that God created us, it did so through evolution. The evidence for evolution is overwhelming.

    I second sgbm’s suggestion you read Ken Miller’s excellent book. (I have not read it myself, but it’s now on my list, and I have heard very very good things about it.) He’s a scientist who devoutly believes in God.

    Now, are you here to discuss evolution, or are you simply going to dodge the issues? I thought you wanted to carry on a conversation about the validity of evolution. That is why you posted all that off-topic stuff over on Greta’s blog, isn’t it?

  173. 673
    cm's changeable moniker (quaint, if not charming)

    Truly, the past is a foreign country. I learned to drive in a series 2 Fiat 127, with its mighty 0.903-litre engine. ;-)

  174. 674
    ChasCPeterson

    Well, the Gremlin was just the front half of a Hornet, and that was pre-energy-crisis.

  175. 675
    cm's changeable moniker (quaint, if not charming)

    But why would he need evolution create anything?

    Why would he need plate tectonics to create mountain ranges and ocean basins? We can measure Europe and America getting further apart. We can measure Europe and Africa are getting closer together. We can measure Baja California sliding into and past northern California. We can see the subduction zones and the volcano arcs of the Pacific rim. We can see the mid-Atlantic ridge and the basaltic flows in Iceland.

    This all seems a really complicated (and costly: lives lost to earthquakes and volcanic eruptions) way of making some interesting scenery. Surely an all-loving god could have just made the earth the way he wanted it and left it alone?

  176. 676
    PZ Myers

    Arrr, NEW THREAD!

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