I think athism gets agrued like every other religion, but atheist seem to be more realistic in their ideas about life. Anyways, when it comes to God and spiritual interventions and stuff, it's only true to the eyes of the one who encounters them.
I saw a naked man once standing in front of his door as if nothing else existed. that was a vision, not one I like to believe though. lol.
Well, I guess all of us are agnostic. I mean, I BELIEVE God doesn't exist, but if she turned up on a burning chariot to disprove that, I would sign up quicker than Moses is supposed to have done
I like agnotisism, from the way I read about it, it is scientific, realistic, left completely up to your own interpretaion, it doesn't damb anyone nore force you to chose anything that isnt fitting to yourself. It talkes about knowing yourself, how to save yourself, its like spiritual philosphy, it suggest something after death... When you eat a lion what does it become? ( my answer is energy for the living) it's like stuff you can see in everyday life if paid enough attention, like the circle of life type of thing.
But that get's argued to by hard core religous fanatics who want to suggest that you can't believe what you want to for whatever reasons make sense, because it doesn't make sense to someone else.
I think agnotisism has more truth than believing in nothing at all because, you can see with you own eyes everyday the something happens after death. Like nebulas or dead stars or quazars, or dead leave, or burning wood for fires, or water into gas or valcanos made islands etc. etc. etc.
I don't remember the formal logic course, but I have a gut feeling at the far corner of my mind that it is theoretically impossible to prove that something does not exist...
That's what I said - you can't prove the non existence of something - nor do you have to It just is.
edit - or rather isn't
Misha, you are probably right - but on the other hand I don't think anyone anywhere should be required to prove the existence of something the existence of which cannot be demonstrated in the first place.
Unless she turns up in a burning chariot?
Damned agnostics - can't make their mind up.
I will keep an fire extinguisher near just in case .
It wasn´t my intention to offend believers or even atheists .
As to hydrogen I believe it will be viable when they achieve cheaper production and I hope it will be soon.
Funride: Just teasing also. Yours was a great joke. I really laughed. Thought also, it might be a little bit rough. Was also wondering how much fun you are. Also was partly referring to the Auto post poopooing hydrogen.
I seriously cannot leave you guys alone for just a few short hours without you guys going completely mad.
Well, I missed a lot of it too.
fire extinguishers indeed
And atheists are extremely difficult to offend - we don't believe in anything
Jenny - what did you do to the formatting? Divine intervention?
Damn it, those were PREVIEWS!!
I often mess up the quote things first time around, LOL.
Must be a bug in the site, publishing the previews.
And now you have commented, so I can't even go and delete them!
(update) I deleted all but the first one, LOL.
I am actually reasonably familiar with the concept - did you hear about the Times crossword experiment?
And the 100th monkey on the Japanese islands.
These sorts of studies would have been unTHINKable 50 years ago. But the phenomena have been observed for centuries.
Science is slowly maturing from "I can't measure, define and explain it, therefore it doesn't exist" to "hmmmm, isn't that interesting ... how could we possibly detect and measure THAT ..?"
No, I hadn't heard of those. The one that attracted my attention some time ago (can't find a reference to it now,) was the learning Morse-type codes.
Although, if you have ever watched a large flock of birds in flight, or seen a field of flowers all flower at the same time, or been in a large group of women camping and noticed every one has their period at the same time in cycle with the moon's waxing and waning, it's fairly obvious.
We are obviously connected in ways we are unable to measure, not just to other humans, but to the planet as a whole - but I am not going to call it spirituality, or jump to the conclusion that there is an all-powerful being directing this.
And as we seem pre-disposed to actively ignore these connections and find more and more ways of breaking them, my conclusion is that this is part of our evolutionary process that will lead us to fail as a species. In which case, my money is on the cockroaches. They seem most likely to survive and thrive post-human era.
I think I remember a post from topstuff, he said, Oh people of the book stop making excusses for your religion.
I am pretty fond of that, cause what I took from that was, there is no excuss to kill people or triffle over religious differences if you believe what you choose.
I could be wrong.
I agree with Dilent Assassin, people are ultimatly the ones who pull the trigger, not to say nature or accidents don't do a bit of it as well, but I wouldn't walk down an alley afraid of the a weather.
Plus I am more afraid of extremely religous people because I really do think, that they fancy themselves as having devine authority from God, to kill people that rub them the wrong way, or talk blaspemy againts their gods or beliefs.
Plus I am more afraid of extremely religous people because I really do think, that they fancy themselves as having devine authority from God, to kill people that rub them the wrong way, or talk blaspemy againts their gods or beliefs.
Assassin, thanks for the reply but it looks like the discussion has moved w-a-a-a-y past that!
I read Peter's explanation of his conversion and while I absolutely respect his genuine belief and his right to it, I have to make one observation.
Every time I watch a program or read a story about someone who has "found God", it's always following some traumatic event or some series of misfortunes. Believers might explain that by saying that made them "open to God", or that the event was the trigger God needed to take action.
But there is a much more logical explanation. When something awful happens, we look for help. If we don't find that help amongst our family and friends, and we're not strong enough to handle it alone, then we have a very strong need to believe there's another option. Those of us who've been brought up in Christianity, even though we question it as adults, have all that salvation stuff in the back of our minds. So in desperation, that's what we turn to.
It's not coincidence, IMO, that religious belief has always been strongest amonst the most downtrodden. They HAVE to believe there's something better awaiting them, or they wouldn't be able to survive the hard life they live. Someone once said that if God didn't exist, we'd have to invent him.
I had a spiritual event, what's really messed up is that I got the "vision" after realizing that the Bible was a crock. Seriously, I suddenly realized that Jesus isn't God, but the master deciever. It messed me up. So it was my pretty awful event, but I wasn't looking for anything and I wasn't desperate for anything, just overwhelmed by the lies.
I'm with you - it's a tough one
Yeah I've been away for a couple of days! hey your answer is intelligent and I can see where you are coming from. I am a believer that you need to be strong enough to stand on your own 2 feet without divine intervention, I see people who are right into some twisted version of what I feel is true and I have a hard time agreeing with what they are into.
Some people are desperate and I think that however they go about getting over whatever they need to is irrelevant, if the end result works for them.
This is a valid criticism, and one which faithful people need to be able to answer because it causes so much trouble (offense, anger, fighting, etc.) unnecessarily. I agree that almost any "supernatural" event will have a scientific explanation. I do not, believe, however that this in anyway implicates God.
I am a physics buff, I don't get all the mathematical stuff, but I love the theoretical quantum physics. I know that if I attempt to walk through a wall repeatedly, eventually all of my subatomic particles and the wall's subatomic particles will line up in such a way that I will actually walk through the wall. It may take a million years and a trillion tries, but if I were to walk through the wall, it could easily be explained scientifically, although this would appear to be something altogether supernatural.
I am of the humble opinion that God is the creator of science as well, and I have never once found God to violate any of His laws, spiritual, scientific or otherwise, it would create chaos. So, yes, many things that appear supernatural can be explained in scientific terms, but to conclude, therefore, that God is/was/can't be involved because something has a scientific explanation is illogical.
I'll give just one example, one of my best friends in the world (the other attorney in my office, actually) is an atheist and we have these discussions quite frequently. He is of the opinion that me and a few of my crazy spiritual friends are psychic, and that some day science will explain how brain waves are transmitted from person to person thus explaining what we label (using the Biblical spiritual gifts language) prophecy, words of knowledge and words of wisdom. He has moved beyond denying their possibility because I have given him too many examples to question whether they happen, he now only questions how they happen. I have no reason to doubt that there is a scientific explanation, and I would love to understand the physics of how it works, but I fail to see how such an explanation would implicate God.
There are scientific explanations for limbs regrowing (a tibia and fibula extending simultaneously and the regeneration of ligaments, connective, dermal and subdermal tissues, etc.), but that would fail to explain how the hell a leg would start growing in the first place. I'm less concerned with the labels ("supernatural" or "scientific"), I'm just glad I'm a part of it.
This is right on Peter,
But I would add, because it has been my experience, that there is a difference between being psychic and being an example of the spiritual gifts of, I will qualify, Biblical Holy Spirit.
In this life I have had to deal with this realm and make big changes/decisions. My big trauma event that got me started on a conscious spiritual path was since childhood having the "gifts' and not knowing or understanding what they were. Nobody talked about them, my church experiences never got that in depth. So it was like they faded from existence as a part of my life.
Then later in life after I had gotten really lost in the world; physical and sexual abuses, drugs, etc... I finally met a decent man and was happy...then he died a sudden death. and I totally gave up on life and everything. Then my lover appeared to me within the first week after his death, and he stayed until I felt he was ok, and I was going to be ok with the separation. Shortly after, I started seeking spiritual understanding.
To make a long story short, I got involved in New Age and experienced listening to channels/psychics and all that stuff...and then "God's helpers" really started helping me get past those psychic things because it was really getting weird. My mind was so open to that realm of spirituality I needed to get out of it and learn some boundaries. Anyway, there are higher realms to aspire too, and we are not to get stuck in the lower astral realms of human desire and human ego either within ourself in a physical body or with souls that are not in a physical body, but we are only to seek the highest realms.
So that is my path, to learn to do as Jesus did, pray for those souls (that have died) that are stuck there and to help in what ever way possible those souls that are still in a physical body..i.e. be a friend, etc...
I have never told anyone these things...it has been a great pain in life to have never shared my true reality with anyone, especially my family...so thank you for listening and not judging. It is a certain healing to be able to express these things directly about myself.
Bless you all.
On the other hand... You are not alone Not a big fan of burning books - bibles or otherwise. I'm sure you aren't either?
actually never thought about burning books till I read the Bible. Seriously, I am just a kid and that book scares the poop outta me, so if I did it, then at least there would be one less around to lie to people. Of course they would mass produce more, but what the hell right? I think the god of that books says that it would get burned up, I mean if it is the book of life and the word is God and all of it will get burned up. I am just helping it along.
But don't worry, I am not a piromaniac or anything like that. I am just one of those kids, who was lied to for a long time, and then one day decided to read it...I am still in the proccess of recovery. lol
LOL - once again, you are not alone. But burning the bible will not solve the problem.
Despite what I may think of the christian religion, there is a lot to be learned from the bible. Most people choose to learn the wrong things though LOL - It's a scary book, I agree.
Read this one:
And see if you still want to burn one.
And yes, Misha is right. We are shrinking.......
Assassin, clean up the quote tags in your last post, please - this causes font to shrink
Ray Bradbury is one of my favs, though I never came accross that book, or a movie about it, but something to look foward to. I have found that it's hard to get any litterature, at least in my local library by Bradbury.
Nah, it's not the quote tags, it's Divine Retribution!
LOL Yeah, we collectively should right a book about this retribution, and then Sandra will hold a ceremony of burning it
Most of them are crazy enough to believe it will stay in the air -
Yes, Good afternoon. 1 hour later than Thom's afternoon though
Is this a good discussion or what?
I suppose it's a bit less controversial than debating the existence of God.
Sorry, Mark - I now realize you were talking about this forum in general - I thought originally you meant the discussion about our respective time zones.
(What a dork!)
Yes, very interesting. But do you think it's it made any difference to anyone?
Well, for what it's worth I've been reading and 'listening' in. I've been quite impressed by the level of dialogue by both parties! I just haven't joined in the major discussion. You can thank lack of time for that!
But again, it's been a great thread on athiesm. I've been most impressed with comments made by Thom, Mark, Peter, Jewel and others!
Your comments are much appreciated. I know you are a believer yourself (because I've read what you've written elsewhere) and it's always refreshing to hear your balanced, open-minded and non-judgmental contributions.
I think most of us can learn from that.
It is quite an excellent discussion. Credit to you, Mark, for starting the thread.
I have no idea. It's certainly interesting to get people's differing views, but if you believe - you believe, and that's hard to change. Especially when your belief is based on...... well, based on what you believe I guess LOL Never quite been able to work that one out myself.
Usually when I get into a "discussion," in the real world with a true believer and they say, "Why don't you believe in God?" I can honestly answer:
"Because I have faith - that there is no God. I BELIEVE ! "
Hard for them to argue against that
I was a little hesitant to post simply because I wondered if I'd get drawn in even further! I suppose that is now inevitable.
Thom- you're right, one could call me a "believer." Much to my surprise, I have agreed with everything Peter has said. (And I don't think it's because he's a convincing lawyer!) I say it's a surprise because many (read: >99%) "christians" come onto forums and other social venues saying things that are hurtful, useless, obnoxious, insulting, and so on. I call this method, "guns blazing" as these types of people seem to come into a group with their guns on full auto.
Peter- You've been none of those! As you know (through the emails we've been shooting back and forth lately), I've admired the way you defend the faith. As you said- someone's got to do it, right?
So, Mark, with a little egging from you and others, I might just chime in here and there with some thoughts!
Jewel- great post, thank you for your openness. I can't relate with you in that I've had no deep, personal loss as you have experienced, but my heart goes out to you.
Thank you for sharing Sparkling Jewel. The spiritual realm is definitely both wonderful and dangerous, and should be entered only with extreme caution. Understand, I don't agree with the "psychic" idea, but that was an example of my friend trying to explain things in non-religious terms.
Be encouraged and continued healing to you.
Thank you for your kind responses. At the age of 49, it is a relief to have spoken, even if I am still anonymous! it is a start. I may never have to talk to my family about those things and my pains at their ignorance and rejection of me. But those may have only been my perceptions...one day it will all pan out, I am sure.
In the meantime, you all can be my friends and surrogate family And I promise I won't wallow or wail about it all...I am quite a bit beyond all that
It is wonderful to learn and heal with each other. The world has changed a lot and will continue to do so, I am happy to be able to do the same.
Off to work I go, have a good day
All religions have one thing in common – a conviction that some/all aspects of the universe are caused and/or directed by non-natural phenomena. We do not know if this is true or not but to claim it true is without foundation. Without any precedent for non-natural phenomena and without any factual basis religious assertions are nothing but pure fantasy.
The problem then becomes one of using logical, reasoned arguments to impede arguments that don’t follow those rules. Those arguing for religion don’t even begin from a logical position; so how do you use a logical argument, when it doesn’t appeal to them?
Rationalization and the use of logical sounding arguments then come into play. Rationalization is the action of making something irrational appear rational, but note that the underlying assertion remains irrational. These arguments can be tortuous and on the surface quite convincing to the naive and the credulous.
So Religionists prove your assertions by sound methods that are attainable now – i.e. the scientific method. But wait, the Religionists will just argue against science. I think I would rather begin from nothing and work my way up, then base my beliefs on a fantasy. So in my opinion there is no logical way to discuss this issue. Therefore, it holds that discussions on this subject are just good entertainment and nothing more, but then Mark knows this already.
I disagree with the assertion that all religions presume the direction of a non-natural phenomena. I will suggest that the concept of anything "natural" is very limited and limiting, but my understanding of God is quite naturalistic. As far as precedent for non-natural phenomena, I understand where you are coming from, I would apply my response to Marissa here again to avoid going into all of that again.
Regarding the claiming of something as true, I tend to agree with you, but the flip is also true. In fact, there is no way for anyone to prove one way or the other to someone else's satisfaction who is predisposed. What one person finds persuasive, another does not, and vice versa. There is ultimately no logical conclusion to reach.
I strongly suspect that in a discussion such as this, there is no logical position from which to begin, so I will concede this point. However, I make no such claim, and I have repeatedly (read or ask anyone around) maintained that faith is not based on logic. I would suggest that if a belief in God cannot be deduced logically (which I grant), neither can a disbelief.
I do object to the generalized use of the term "religionists" as I frequently advocate against religion, but I will assume this was meant inadvertently and respond nonetheless, I have asserted nothing which requires proof in my estimation. I have responded to questions and given plenty of opinion, but I have never suggested that anyone should be argued into "religion". The point of doing so would be counterproductive with results much like the Inquisition, Crusades, Holocaust, etc.
Nor have I ever argued against science (please reread the thread). I love science. I embrace science. I do agree that many "religionists" do so, but none on this thread that I am aware of. It's an easy broad brush to paint with, but it doesn't apply in this conversation. When it does, I will gladly pick up my brush and paint with you.
Your right, the term Religionist was broad in nature and not meant to be directed at any individual on this thread. I know and respect your position, and find it refreshing.
Peter M. Lopez
I would suggest that if a belief in God cannot be deduced logically (which I grant), neither can a disbelief.
I think we need to stop using the word belief in relation to religion, and start using the word faith.
According to the dictionary, belief is:
"conviction of the truth of some statement or the reality of some being or phenomenon especially when based on examination of evidence"
"almost always implies certitude even where there is no evidence or proof."
I have a lot of beliefs, which I've come to from observing life and listening to others, and drawing what seem like reasonable conclusions. But I don't have faith in anything, if faith means I have to take something on trust without any solid evidence whatsoever.
That doesn't mean I completely reject things that other people have faith in, just that "I'll believe it when I see it". Most atheists take the same view - they don't have faith, but they are very logical people and would certainly change their view and believe, IF presented with evidence.
Um, er, how much do you know about Buddhism, ZEV?
the way I give thanks to My God (not yours obviously) is seeing everything for what it is, then I think, why and wow and holy toledo and try to take care of it, use it, replace it, love it, acknoledge it, understand it, give it, take it and set my thoughts way out there to something that I can never define except to say God, which is what I honestly thought people were talking about for the longest time, but apperantly I was way off.
I think religious people gang up on other people and bully them into believing something that just isn't true. It's like they go around saying believe or die!
I think that is duality!
Sparkling Jewel - you are more than welcome and certainly among friends (although, even after all this time I find it hard to accept that I can be friends with people I have never met,LOL)
ZEV - it is good entertainment, but the only way any of us learn is by either experiencing something, or listening to others' opinions, and despite the fact that many religious people will not bow to logical arguments, I am happy to spread the seeds I might even learn something Peter for instance is making a good rational argument for why he believes in something for no rational reason.
sandra - yes, I think there has been much misconception and disinformation spread by a lot of "Christians." Fortunately, you are finding your own path and using terms that you understand. Unfortunately, when you use the word "God," many already have their own interpretation of the word and will assume you agree with them. LOL
Peter - I have to disagree with these -
"There is ultimately no logical conclusion to reach."
There is a logical conclusion to reach. In the absence of any proof to the contrary, it is logical to conclude that there is no God.
"I would suggest that if a belief in God cannot be deduced logically (which I grant), neither can a disbelief."
A disbelief does not need to be proven. I do not believe I own a Ferrari. I look out of the window every morning in the hope that there is one there on the drive way. Every morning the same result - no Ferrari. But proving I don't own one if you choose to believe I do? Hard, if not impossible. The only possible need to prove the non existence of something , is if some one else asserts that it is there. And no matter how hard I try to prove that Ferrari does not exist, if you choose to continue to believe it does, how can I possibly persuade you?
What proof would you accept, that God does not exist?
I know what proof I would accept the she does.
I was just thinking the same thing, how can we be sure you really exist!?
BTW, some years ago I start visiting a Portuguese bicycle forum and before I met anyone I already had made friends there. Some of them are now great friends of mine.
I really hope to be able to met all of you someday my friends.
*singing* I´m a believer...
I suppose where we differ in on the whole "proof to the contrary" thing. But, I understand what you are saying, and to the extent you or anyone lacks proof, please conclude as you like.
I'm not sure how to answer your question, really. Are you trying to prove something to me? I'm not trying to prove anything to you or anyone else for that matter. It is a burden of proof beyond my capability. I have merely expressed how I came to my conclusions, and then responded to the responses to those responses(???). If I left the impression I was attempting to prove anything, I openly retract such an impression. As far as what would change my mind: nothing. Whatever artificial burden of proof I imposed on God was satisfied, all I've done is explain what that was for me. I was quite careful to explain that it would not apply to anyone else.
As far as belief/disbelief, perhaps it's just semantics. Agnostics seem to have the most logical position, in my humble estimation. It is the believers (one way or the other) who conclude illogical conclusions.
So, what proof would you accept?
I beg to differ, Mark.
Having to choose between two starting positions:
a) there exists an infinitely large and yet expanding material universe which at its smallest observable level disappears into an array of probability fields when you are NOT looking but jumps back into firm, solid, reality as soon as you ARE looking;
b) there is no material reality, and our apparent individual points of view, bodies, etc are an illusion, there is in fact only a universal energy field, and when we become momentarily aware of this reality during our illusory "life", we refer to the energy field as "God", "Brahma", etc;
Occam's Razor would suggest that the latter is more likely.
Well, I beg to differ right back, but I agree with your conclusion.
God does not exist other than as a figment of your imagination, and is the name many people choose to use to describe something that does not exist.
Having said that, the current discussion seems to be centered around the Christian idea of God, which necessarily comes from a different starting point than either a) or b). If we accept either of those as a starting point, the question of the existence of God or not becomes completely moot.
Perhaps the better way of bringing quantum theory into the discussion would be to ascertain whether :
a) there exists an infinitely large and yet expanding material universe, or
b) there is no material reality
Once we have decided which of these is true, then we can discuss the possibility of the existence of an all-powerful being controlling events
From a purely logical perspective, I have to side w/Jenny on this one.
The problem w/ascertaining your a) and b), Mark is that, depending on how you are attempting to ascertain that, from a quantum theoretical perspective, you might get both answers, and be right both times.
At the end of the day isn't the strongest possible evidence (not proof, just strong evidence) that something doesn't exist, the total failure to find any evidence that it does?
I think evidence is heavily dependant on your views. If you don't look for evidence you wont find evidence.
If you feel there is no evidence to be found, then you found what you were looking for in the first place, in which case you win both ways!
Perhaps I should have been a little more specific. When I talk about evidence I don't include anecdote and hearsay: I am talking about something that can be examined, tested, verified and (preferably) demonstrated and replicated.
That would normally be enough to exclude all of the "personal experience" type of evidence that most religious believers resort to and depend on.
Peter - pretty much any proof would work for me. Burning bushes, voices from the heavens, floods and a warning with a pair of every animal waiting for me to build an Ark, visiting angels, bad people turned to a pillar of salt - anything tangible really. I like the burning chariot best I think. So if you could arrange that.......
And no, I am not trying to prove anything to you (see my last post) I cannot prove to you that God does not exist, and I don;t need to (see my last post) That's why I asked what proof you would accept
I don't see how we can disagree on "proof to the contrary," - you have said yourself that your faith does not rely on proof or logic of any kind. So you freely admit that you have no proof to offer. If you did, we would not be having this same conversation
Thom - of course I agree.
sandra - evidence is evidence. And I don't mean "well, I see that flower's existence as evidence of a higher power, therefore there is a higher power."
I have to chime in here to the Atheists - Great discussion by the way.
Did you create yourself? Have you ever created anything?
You need evidence of a creator? Look around you. Take a look at the moon for example. Do you suppose it just happens to be there? It doesn't just orbit the earth in a simple path, it has its own path, this is how we have and measure our calendar.
Did all of your vital organs just happen to fall into place? Remove one of them and see what happens. Take away one of your senses and you would be praying to your creator to get it back. Once you got it back, you would have a different view on how everything works in unison.
Birds fly south in August, Why? Its not cold yet here in the states, why would they leave when the weather is great and there is plenty of food. They were designed that way!!!
No, I didn't create myself, but I have made modifications along the way. Yes, but nothing as clever as me.
Yes. That's not evidence of a creator. Yes, the moon just happens to be there.
No, my vital organs developed along with the rest of my species' vital organs by a process of trial and error called "evolution." I am fortunate enough not to have had one of my senses taken away, but know enough to know that the others would compensate. If I lost my eyes for instance and a God came along and put them back, I would be happy to change my tune.
Birds fly south in August because they have developed this way and their instincts tell them that it will get cold soon. Not design. The ones who learned this were more successful than the ones who didn't learn and died.
Yes, it's a good discussion
sandra - what did you mean then?
Instincts? I was hoping you would bring this up. Do you know what instincts are? How could something evolve from and develop an instinct? This would mean that they would develop into something more advanced than they already are. If this is the case, why can't we fly or hold a conversation with a bird? Why don't we all have gills? the earth is 75% water.....
Wow, this is great!!!
LOL Glad you are enjoying Me too.
Instincts - Yes, I know what instincts are. Instincts are the things we (or any any other animal) are born knowing what to do. A human baby knows, for instance, that it needs to feed from it's mothers breast. Instinct. As opposed to learned behavior.
And yes, things develop and become a more advanced version of what they are. The failures do not breed and the successes pass on their successful traits, thus evolving and advancing the species.
We can't fly for purely physical constraints. We would need a huge wingspan and massive chest to be able to fly. We don't need to. If it ever became necessary for us to fly to survive as a species, we would either develop the ability and change accordingly - or die out. Evolution in action.
Same with the gills. The earth is 25% land
So if evolution is what you believe and we evolved from something, what did we evolve from? If it was an apelike creature, why do we still have apes? If we came out of the water, why are there still fish, why haven't they evolved into something?
Did our brains not work or function like they do today? Wouldn't there be some record of or during this evolution? fossils? writings? markings somewhere? We have found dinosaur bones from millions of years ago.
How long would it take for us to evolve into what we are today?
There is no in between, we do not see something partially evolving around us. There is no half man, half ape - well there is this one person I know.
Cro-Magnon Man was wiped out with the dinosaurs. Why don't we still have dinosaurs then? They would have outlasted any type of early human.
There is nothing evolving around us - everything is exactly like its supposed to be - We had to be created and put on this planet along with everything else that is here.
Not sure why you would be discussing quantum theory - if you want to get to the molecular level - explain DNA - it is not found in any shape or form outside of our bodies but evolutionist believe we were conjured up or evolved from water and other elements bumping into one another.
After you get a handle on that - please explain reproduction - or inception, when or how did that evolve? Plants and animals just happen to evolve to be able to reproduce. That really doesn't make sense to me.
I think there was some pre-planning in the creation of all things of this world. If not, we would see things evolving and changing around us.
But no one believes that men descended from modern apes - simply that men and apes shared a common ancestor.
There are many examples of evolution happenning today. Inevitably, these are on a microbiological level. The HIV/AIDS virus continues to evolve in direct response to the drugs being used to combat it. The same results have occured with the E.coli bacterium. On a higher level - insects, birds, reptiles. mammals - the process is far too slow to be "observed".
People (ie Creationists) claim that a science which cannot be directly observed is not a genuine science. Well, it's a fair point. But such an approach would reject not only evolutionary biology but all the other historical sciences such as geology, palaeontology, archaeology, anthropology, cosmology, etc.
I don't think many reasonable people would want to go quite that far.
Sprinkler Man, I'm with you on a lot of things, but as to this point I think it comes from a misunderstanding about how the evolutionary process works. The theory of evolution doesn't claim that all of one species will evolve into another species. For example, the same species if spread out on different islands will all evolve differently. So, no, not all apes would evolve into the same next species. The same is true of all species, so fish that are well-adapted to their environment might evolve more slowly than a fish species that needs to evolve more rapidly. So, one species might evolve into 2, 5, or 10 species and the original species might still remain somewhere.
This is a valid question. There does appear to be a very rapid development of our species as we know it today.
The fact that things are evolving all the time should not in anyway should implicate faith in God, as the creator, He would have created the mechanisms for change, etc.
I completely agree with the first of these 2 sentences. It does not follow, though, that pre-planning would exclude the possibility of things changing over the course of time. Mankind is an excellent example. The Bible is account of the process of the restoration of mankind. Religious language precludes our thinking of this as evolution, but it is evolution, in a manner of speaking.
I wrote a little something about this here:
http://beautyofthebible.blogspot.com/20 … erent.html
I would like to hear your perspective.
Earlier several of you encouraged me to chip in, so here are my two cents:
I think many Christians take an issue with admitting evolution exists today.
It sounds like Peter might have been touching on this a little, or maybe not. But I thought I'd mention that different Christians, for different reasons, don't want to 'admit' that evolution occurs around us today. Here are some reasons why they might not want to admit that:
1. It's a slippery slope and it might lead to an eventual admittance of evolution being the cause for the world as we know it today.
2. It's not Biblical
3. Conceding one point might be equated with conceding defeat.
And so on...
Although I understand these reasons, I think to not admit evolution occurs today would be foolish. I realize that might raise eyebrows when I say that, but I think that's not because what I'm saying is false- it's because the way in which most Christians interpret the word "evolution" might be misleading.
Thom- I think it was you who brought up the E.coli bacterium point. I agree that bacteria has evolved and adapted due to different reasons. Similarly, strands of different viruses are changing constantly (or evolving, if you will) and becoming antibiotic-resistant.
How about humans? We are evolving constantly today. We're learning new things; the neurons in our brains are creating new pathways in our heads; we are adapting to our surroundings.
Here's the kicker: I think these evolutions are happening on small scales and have not occurred on larger scales. This, friends, is where I differ in opinion. I always thought of the chances of evolution happening in the universe as the same chances that a shredded phone book were tossed in the air and landed perfectly back into place. Possible? Why don't you try!
- evidence is evidence. And I don't mean "well, I see that flower's existence as evidence of a higher power, therefore there is a higher power." --Mark Knowles--
It's not what I meant either.
by the way Mark, I did check out that book Ferinhiet 451. I couldn't help but laugh when the librarian said, are you gonna read a book on censorship to your kid?
I'm not entirely certain I can agree with the premise underlying your request, but I will gladly use the term "faith" rather than belief when I am addressing you, Marisa.
Have I offended you in some way? I never meant to, and if I have, I apologize. I would prefer to know what it is I am apologizing for, though.
I just reread my post again and am not sure why you'd think I was upset about anything. Sorry if I gave you that impression!
When I started replying to your post, I began by questioning the meaning of "disbelief". IMO there's a difference between disbelief - "I see the evidence but I refuse to believe in it" - and absence of belief - I see no evidence so why would I believe in it?
But the more I looked back on the thread, the more I realised that we trip over ourselves because "believe" has so many shades of meaning. The religious tend to use it to mean "I can't prove it but I trust it exists". The atheists and sceptics can criticise the use of the word in that sense, but then they also use "believe" meaning, "I have weighed the evidence and I logically conclude this is true". That's where the waters start to get muddy!
So I 'm suggesting it would be easier to follow the discussion if we made a distinction between faith and belief, that's all.
My bad, Marissa. I must have just misread or misinterpreted. I agree that language does get used carelessly, especially where issues of faith/belief are concerned. I am as guilty of it as anyone. I appreciate your thoughtful responses.
Surely one of the main problems with this sort of discussion is not only that there are different shades of meaning to the word "belief", as Marissa has pointed out, but also that there is no agreed, universal understanding of what is meant by the word "God".
If you got 50 (or 100) people together, all of whom professed a belief in God, and asked them to explain what they meant by the term, you would most likely get 50 (or 100) different answers.
These would probably range from the traditional image of an old man in a white beard sitting on a cloud somewhere (with or without a pile of thunderbolts at his feet) to a refined, rarified concept of some sort of "cosmic intelligence" pervading the universe - plus all the variations in between.
This makes meaningful discussion a bit difficult. Jenny's notion of God as a universal energy field, for example, might make sense from a philosophical point of view - but is not a lot of use when it comes to answering prayers or performing miracles or being born of a virgin ...
LOL - Well, it would take me several books to answer all those questions, and I don't have time at the moment LOL
Maybe Jenny would like to have some input on this one
For now, I will say - check these links out:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Neandertal … ro-Magnons
I will even add a link to this site:
Which I think is one of the worst cases of deliberately misleading of people I have ever seen, but you might find it interesting/validating.
Suffice to say there was a substantial time gap between dinosaurs and cro-magnon "man" - several million years. Despite what the CRI might say.
And ask you a question back:
What makes you think all these things we see have finished evolving? Just take a look at some old photographs taken of people as little as a hundred years ago. See the difference to people you see around you now. Are we not taller? Have our faces not changed? Sure, you still see people that look like the ones in the photos, but generally as a species, we are looking different - evolving as we speak.
My point exactly. if you start from either of these the answer is the same. The question of a God is moot - and meaningless.
Although, on another note. I will say that if the "Christian" churches intend to survive, they must give up their present standpoint and adopt the one you are taking. i.e yes - evolution happened, but God did it and it is part of the grand plan - that you cannot understand and never will
Mark, were you referring to me with this comment? If so, I hope I wasn't misleading with my comments above as I had no intent to imply evolution happened (in the sense that it was the cause for this universe).
And as far as what you're suggesting- there are already Christians holding to that theory. They're called Theistic Evolutionists and they believe that God created evolution. The former president (now deceased) of my college held to this belief, much to my dismay.
mark I left you a message in the Atheist challenge forum, I posted in the wrong section.
I was actually aiming it at Peter.
But, I think that for the traditional Christian church to survive, they must and will eventually adopt this position. It's the only compromise that makes sense.
Do I take it then that you are disputing evolution?
I got it. It's confusing as Peter is also my name...
But, yes I am disputing that evolution is the cause of the universe's origin, but not disputing that things have evolved over the years. If that sounds confusing, it's because there's a misunderstanding of the word "evolution." And, in fear of repeating myself, I'd have to refer to a previous comment I wrote on this thread concerning the term "evolution."
I think you are right Mark, it is a comprimise that makes sense, but maybe there should be a better way, one that suggest if you believe in God that you shouldn't give up your belief in God, but more like, if you believe in God, be there for the survival of mankind. That was what I took most from the Bible.
Like some consider themselves as insignificant specks of dust in comparison to the Universe, where I am on the opposite side, that believes that we are the most significant speck of dust in the Universe and to survive God is to survive all mankind.
Which in my mind makes me equal to God and doing God's work which is for the survival of man because with or without God, Man needs to win and I think it is competely selfish to through away evidence of life over a dispute of the after life or if God will even come.
With that said, I think that if the end did come and there was one man left in the world, that one man earns the title of God of Man.
LOL - Well, I don't know that it makes sense other than for the church's survival. They have enough money left from older times, but their membership and income is dropping. If they wish to survive and thrive. By which I mean keep on making huge amounts of money, they will have to adopt a different standpoint. And this one is the only logical one. I see them soon saying, "well, that's what we meant when we said 6 days - 6 million years - it's a metaphor. You would never understand."
I guess I didn't understand this bit. Are we all the most significant bit of dust? In which case, what about the 100,000+ dead in Iraq? Were they all equal to God? Man needs to win what? LIke I said, not really understanding this.
Peter (wedding consultant ) LOL
Well - in that case, I will clarify what I mean by evolution. I subscribe to the Darwinian theory that humans evolved from a less developed version. i.e apes.
This is generally the meaning taken of evolution when it comes to dispute over our origins.
So, I will ask a blunt question. Do you believe the earth was created in six days a few thousand tears ago, or do you believe that humans evolved over millennia from ape-like beings? After the dinosaurs died out.
I believe the earth was created by God a few thousand years ago (I'm a "young earth creationist"). Consequently, I don't believe that humans evolved from ape-like beings. But, I see you tossed in the dinosaurs and mentioned them as being before humans, and I don't think that's how it happened, either, so you actually asked a two-fold question (A "duality" as sandra would call it)! I think the dinosaurs were around while humans were around and became extinct during the great flood of Noah (maybe that's a story most know of, but I can recap it if necessary).
It's such a huge topic up for debate, and answering such a personal question, although I'm happy to do it, is humbling!
For those of us who might not know, there are actually three, main theistic approaches to creation:
Young earth creationists believe the earth was created anywhere from 6-10,000 years ago by an Almighty God.
Old earth creationists (sometimes called gap-theorists) believe that the seven days described in Genesis are figurative and can be seen to represent 1,000 years or more. (This comes from the Bible stating that "one day is as a thousand years and a thousand years are as one day to God.")
Theistic evolutionists actually believe that God invented or created evolution, set it in place, and let it run it's course.
Now there could be more, but those are the three I'm aware of.
Now that's what I'm talking about. If the church wishes to survive, it will have to be that Noah's flood wiped out the dinosaurs, and they were not "worthy" to join the Ark. LOL
All animals 2 by 2 - except the dinosaurs. And carbon dating is the work of the devil
Guess you can't argue with an atheist or a christian. Both are set againts each other no matter which way you look at it. Lucky for me I can argue both sides. wooohooo!
haha sandra, I guess that's the safest path to take! Or it could be the most dangerous, depending on how you look at it!
Oh, you can argue with me all day long. LOL But I must admit to not understanding your previous statement.
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