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Faith V Law (formerly Christianity is not the be all and end all)

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  • Chris Doyle
    CD Again, see Matthew 5:18 versus Galatians 3:24-25. Only one can be true ... Steve said: Both are true and there is no contradiction: Mat. 5:18 I tell you
    Message 1 of 3 , Jul 19, 2005
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      CD>Again, see Matthew 5:18 versus Galatians 3:24-25. Only one can be true
      >without creating a contradiction.

      Steve said: "Both are true and there is no contradiction:

      Mat. 5:18 "I tell you the truth, until heaven and earth disappear, not
      the smallest letter, not the least stroke of a pen, will by any means
      disappear from the Law until everything is accomplished."

      Gal. 3:24-25 "So the law was put in charge to lead us to Christ that
      we might be justified by faith. Now that faith has come, we are no
      longer under the supervision of the law."

      The "everything is accomplished" was when Jesus had finished his
      atoning work
      on the Cross:"


      But it doesn't say nothing will disappear from the Law "until Jesus
      dies on the cross", it says nothing will disappear from the Law "until
      everything is accomplished". Furthermore, it says "until heaven and
      earth disappear" nothing will disappear from the Law. Last time I
      looked, heaven and earth were still here.

      If you wanted to recycle a pagan myth into the story of Jesus, you
      might make a major distortion of a phrase like "until everything is
      accomplished" to mean "until Jesus dies on the cross". But if you read
      it objectively, it describes a time when everything is accomplished or
      the end of the world. Last time I looked, there are still things to be
      accomplished and the world has not ended.

      Nice try, but the contradiction is not resolved.
    • Stephen E. Jones
      Group ... CD But it doesn t say nothing will disappear from the Law until Jesus ... That s right. Everything was accomplished with respect to the OT law and
      Message 2 of 3 , Jul 19, 2005
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        Group

        On Tue, 19 Jul 2005 15:51:18 -0000, Chris Doyle wrote:

        >>CD>Again, see Matthew 5:18 versus Galatians 3:24-25. Only one can be true
        >>without creating a contradiction.

        >SJ>Both are true and there is no contradiction:
        >>
        >>Mat. 5:18 "I tell you the truth, until heaven and earth disappear, not
        >>the smallest letter, not the least stroke of a pen, will by any means
        >>disappear from the Law until everything is accomplished."
        >>
        >>Gal. 3:24-25 "So the law was put in charge to lead us to Christ that
        >>we might be justified by faith. Now that faith has come, we are no
        >>longer under the supervision of the law."
        >>
        >>The "everything is accomplished" was when Jesus had finished his
        >>atoning work on the Cross:"

        CD>But it doesn't say nothing will disappear from the Law "until Jesus
        >dies on the cross", it says nothing will disappear from the Law "until
        >everything is accomplished".

        That's right. Everything was accomplished with respect to the OT
        law and sacrificial system (Old Covenant) in Jesus' atoning death.

        CD>Furthermore, it says "until heaven and
        >earth disappear" nothing will disappear from the Law. Last time I
        >looked, heaven and earth were still here.

        May I suggest a course in remedial reading for Chris? See above.

        Chris has renamed this thread no doubt expecting a debate on
        "Faith V Law" with me.

        I am sorry but I must disappoint him: 1) I don't have the time; 2) I have
        refuted Chris' contradiction claim (whether he admits it or not); 3) I don't
        accept Chris' false alternatives ("Faith V Law"-there *was* no Law after
        Jesus atoning death-He gave the Law and He rescinded it) and 4) I
        doubt that anything I say in defence of Christianity would make any
        difference to Chris (apart from the fact that the deeper things of
        Christianity can only be understood by Christians: 1 Cor. 2:14).

        Steve

        PS: Here are some more quotes from my unposted quotes backlog.

        --------------------------------------------------------------------------
        "If we return to the more plausible view that life arose on the earth itself,
        we may distinguish three main views: (i) that life arose as a supernatural
        event, which is therefore outside the scope of scientific discussion; (2) that
        life originated from common chemical reactions by a slow and inevitable
        evolutionary process; and (3) that life originated as a very improbable
        event, but one which would occur naturally whenever suitable conditions
        were present for long enough." (Sneath P.H.A., "Planets and Life," The
        World of Science Library, Thames & Hudson: London, 1970, p.75)

        "The many marvelous adaptations of plants and animals to their particular
        ways of life were, before Darwin, explained as instances of `the greatness
        and goodness of God.' Then Darwin put forward an alternative explanation
        that did not require faith in unseen beings: adaptation through differential
        reproduction among varied types. `Natural selection,' he called it. It turned
        out that it was comparatively easy to convert the old explanation to the
        new one. `God' in all the old explanatory sentences merely had to be
        replaced by `natural selection.'" (Hardin G., "Living Within Limits:
        Ecology, Economics, and Population Taboos," Oxford University Press:
        New York NY, 1993, p.238)

        "In these days of genomics, phylogenetic trees based on biochemical data
        abound in specialists' journals in molecular evolution and molecular
        systematics. They are also found in the journals representing widely diverse
        fields, from developmental biology to physiology and morphology.
        Although trees and "tree-thinking" are now all around us, many published
        phylogenies based on molecular data, especially those in the non-specialist
        literature, are quite possibly wrong. Errors commonly arise because one
        cannot simply assume that a gene is a gene is a gene, and the default
        settings of computer programs often do not do justice to the intricacies of
        molecular evolution. The pitfalls of tree construction are manifold: the
        complexity of tree-building methods can bewilder even experts and the
        choice among alternative analyses is often confusing." (Meyer A.,
        "Growing Trees from Molecular Data." Review of "Phylogenetic Trees
        Made Easy A How-To Manual for Molecular Biologists," by Barry G.
        Hall, Sinauer Associates, Sunderland, MA, 2001. Science, Vol. 294, 14
        December 2001, pp.2297-2298)

        "It seems certain that no spores could survive the journey from another solar
        system to the earth. It is easy to calculate the amount of radiation that a
        spore would receive during the journey, and this is many orders of
        magnitude greater than that needed to kill a terrestrial spore. More
        significantly, the amount of radiation received would seriously disrupt any
        organized material made up of carbon, hydrogen, nitrogen, and oxygen.
        Thus, the theory of Panspermia in its strictest form cannot be correct."
        (Orgel L.E., "The Origins of Life: Molecules and Natural Selection,"
        Chapman & Hall: London, 1973, p.95)

        "In the world of ideas dogma focuses thinking. In a given domain it acts to
        eliminate or suppress alternative habits of thought. Successful scientific
        ideas often begin life as playful and potentially fruitful possibilities
        (circumventing the received teachings) because they appear to solve a
        pressing problem; they mature into acceptance and then freeze over, if you
        like, into dogma. Really useful dogmas allow us to economise our: time
        and effort in not constantly reinventing the wheel. Scientific dogmas' can be
        very useful and are only given up after vigorous and often sustained
        resistance. They are strongly defended-often literally to the death of the
        main intellectual players-precisely because they have allowed the fruitful
        development of a successful school of thought and have usually been of
        practical significance to mankind." (Steele E.J., Lindley R.A. & Blanden
        R.V., "Lamarck's Signature: How Retrogenes are Changing Darwin's
        Natural Selection Paradigm," Allen & Unwin: St Leonards NSW,
        Australia, 1998, pp.xviii-xix)

        "The word "competition," used in discussion here and previously, may also
        carry anthropomorphic undertones and then be subject to some of these
        same objections. It may, however, and in this connection it must, be
        understood without necessary implication of active competitive behavior.
        Competition in evolution often or usually is entirely passive; It could
        conceivably occur without the competing forms ever coming into sight or
        contact." (Simpson G.G., "The Meaning of Evolution: A Study of the
        History of Life and of its Significance for Man," [1949], Yale University
        Press: New Haven CT, 1960, reprint, p.222)

        "It is difficult for a nonscientist to appreciate the overriding importance
        to the researcher of priority of discovery. Credit in science goes only
        for originality, for being the first to discover something. With rare
        exceptions, there are no rewards for being second. Discovery without
        priority is a bitter fruit. In the clash of rival claims and competing
        theories, a scientist often takes active measures to ensure that his ideas
        are noticed, and that it is under his name that a new finding is
        recognized. The desire to win credit, to gain the respect of one's peers,
        is a powerful motive for almost all scientists. From the earliest days of
        science, the thirst for recognition has brought with it the temptation to
        `improve' a little on the truth, or even to invent data out of whole cloth,
        in order to make a theory prevail." (Broad W. & Wade N., "Betrayers
        of the Truth: Fraud and Deceit in the Halls of Science," Simon and
        Schuster: New York NY, 1982, p.24)

        "Information is information, not matter or energy. No materialism
        which does not admit this can survive at the present day." (Wiener N.,
        "Cybernetics," The MIT Press: Cambridge MA, Second Edition,
        1961), p132).

        "A science of population genetics is possible because the laws of
        transmission- Mendel's laws-are known. Dennett would agree that no
        comparable science of memetics is as yet possible. His point is a
        philosophical rather than a scientific one. We see humans as the joint
        products of their genes and their memes-indeed, what else could they
        possibly be?-even if we have no predictive science of meme change."
        (Maynard Smith J., "Genes, Memes, & Minds." Review of Darwin's
        Dangerous Idea: Evolution and the Meanings of Life by Daniel C. Dennett.
        Simon and Schuster. The New York Review of Books, Vol. XLII, No. 19,
        November 30, 1995, pp.46-48, p.47. http://www.nybooks.com/articles/1703)

        "I therefore find Chomsky's views on evolution completely baffling. If the
        ability to learn a language is innate, it is genetically programmed, and must
        have evolved. But Chomsky refuses to think about how this might have
        happened. For example, in 1988 he wrote, "In the case of such systems as
        language or wings, it is not easy even to imagine a course of selection that
        might have given rise to them." This is typical of his remarks on evolution.
        There is, in fact, no difficulty in imagining how wings might have evolved.
        Language is difficult because it leaves no fossils; it has evolved just once
        (unlike wings, which have evolved at least four times); and there is an
        enormous gap between the best that apes, whales, or parrots can do and
        what almost all humans can do." (Maynard Smith J., "Genes, Memes, &
        Minds." Review of Darwin's Dangerous Idea: Evolution and the Meanings
        of Life by Daniel C. Dennett. Simon and Schuster. The New York Review
        of Books, Vol. XLII, No. 19, November 30, 1995, pp.46-48, p.48.
        http://www.nybooks.com/articles/1703)

        "It is not hard to think of functional intermediates between ape language
        and human language, but it is hard to decide what were the actual
        intermediates. Perhaps more interestingly, new kinds of organs-and the
        language organ is certainly new-do not usually arise from nothing, but as
        modifications of preexisting organs with different functions. Teeth are
        modified scales, legs are modified fins, and, after complex transformations,
        ears are modified parts of the lateral line organs of fish. What was the
        language organ doing before it acquired its present function?" (Maynard
        Smith J., "Genes, Memes, & Minds." Review of Darwin's Dangerous Idea:
        Evolution and the Meanings of Life by Daniel C. Dennett. Simon and
        Schuster. The New York Review of Books, Vol. XLII, No. 19, November
        30, 1995, pp.46-48, p.48. http://www.nybooks.com/articles/1703)

        "Dennett's argument on this point should be read with care. I am not sure I
        have understood it correctly, but I like it, partly because I cannot see what
        else human intelligence could be, other than algorithmic, and partly,
        perhaps, because while I am rather good at having mathematical intuitions,
        I have learned that they are sometimes wrong." (Maynard Smith J., "Genes,
        Memes, & Minds." Review of Darwin's Dangerous Idea: Evolution and the
        Meanings of Life by Daniel C. Dennett. Simon and Schuster. The New
        York Review of Books, Vol. XLII, No. 19, November 30, 1995, pp.46-48,
        p.48. http://www.nybooks.com/articles/1703)

        "Dennett's last topic is the evolution of morality. Here it is important to
        distinguish two questions: "How could humans come to have a sense of
        right and wrong?" and "What is right and what is wrong?" I do not think
        the first question is all that difficult. I would expect any intelligent organism
        that lives in groups to evolve an ability to hold beliefs about right behavior,
        and to be influenced in those beliefs by myth and ritual. We do not only
        have beliefs: we make contracts. It is worth asking what cognitive
        equipment is needed to make a contract. At the very least, it requires
        language and a "theory of mind": that is, we must be able to perceive other
        people as beings like ourselves, with minds like ours. Both these qualities
        are probably unique to humans. But is there any way in which we can
        decide, with certainty, which actions are right? Dennett's view, which I
        share, is that there is not, unless you hold that some book, for example the
        Bible, is the word of God, and that human beings are here to do God's
        bidding. If a person is simply the product of his or her genetic makeup and
        environmental history, including all the ideas that he or she has assimilated,
        there is simply no source whence absolute morality could come. Of course,
        this does not exempt us from making moral judgments: it only means that
        we cannot be sure that we are right." (Maynard Smith J., "Genes, Memes,
        & Minds." Review of Darwin's Dangerous Idea: Evolution and the
        Meanings of Life by Daniel C. Dennett. Simon and Schuster. The New
        York Review of Books, Vol. XLII, No. 19, November 30, 1995, pp.46-48,
        p.48. http://www.nybooks.com/articles/1703)

        "For the biologist, the living begins only with what was able to constitute a
        genetic programme. For him, an object deserves the name of organism only
        when it offers a foothold for natural selection. He sees the mark of the
        living in the ability to reproduce, even if a primitive organism may have
        required several years to form its like. For the chemist, in contrast, it is
        somewhat arbitrary to make a demarcation where there can only be
        continuity. Every organism contains a panoply of structures, functions,
        enzymes, membranes, metabolic cycles, energy-rich compounds and so on.
        Whatever the beginning assigned to what is called a living system, it is
        possible to envisage its organization only in an environment already
        prepared well in advance." (Jacob F., The Logic of Life: A History of
        Heredity," [1970], Trans. Spillmann B.E., Pantheon: New York NY, 1982,
        reprint, p.304)

        "Biological evolution is necessarily the unbroken continuation of a long
        process of chemical evolution. It is possible to try to reconstitute in the
        laboratory the conditions that apparently prevailed on earth before the
        appearance of living organisms. Whole series of organic compounds are
        then seen to form spontaneously. Even polymers can arise by chance
        associations between the subunits. Although inefficient, the reactions
        required for producing the macromolecules characteristic of living
        organisms really seem to occur without biological catalysts. Yet it is
        difficult to imagine the appearance of an integrated system, however
        primitive; the origin of an organization able to reproduce even badly, even
        slowly. For the humblest organism, the simplest bacterium, is already a
        coalition of enormous numbers of molecules. It is out of the question for all
        the pieces to have been formed independently in the primeval ocean, to
        meet by chance one fine day, and suddenly arrange themselves in such a
        complex system." (Jacob F., The Logic of Life: A History of Heredity,"
        [1970], Trans. Spillmann B.E., Pantheon: New York NY, 1982, reprint,
        pp.304-305)

        "And where can traces be found of this precursor, or of some precursor of
        the precursor? In some still unexplored corner of the globe? On a
        meteorite? on another planet of the solar system? Without any doubt, the
        discovery somewhere or other, if not of a new form of life, at least of
        somewhat complex organic vestiges, would be priceless. It would
        transform our -way of envisaging the origin of genetic programmes. But as
        time passes, the hope of this diminishes." (Jacob F., The Logic of Life: A
        History of Heredity," [1970], Trans. Spillmann B.E., Pantheon: New York
        NY, 1982, reprint, p.305)

        "For want of vestiges to examine, biology is reduced to making
        conjectures. It tries to arrange the problems in series, to individualize the
        objects and formulate questions that can be answered by experiments.
        Which of the polymers, nucleic acid or protein, came first? What is the
        origin of the genetic code? The first question leads one to speculate
        whether anything vaguely like a living organism would be conceivable
        without both types of polymer." (Jacob F., The Logic of Life: A History of
        Heredity," [1970], Trans. Spillmann B.E., Pantheon: New York NY, 1982,
        reprint, p.305)

        "The second raises problems both of evolution and of logic. Of evolution,
        because univocal correspondence between each group of three nucleic-acid
        sub units and each protein sub-unit cannot have arisen at a single stroke. Of
        logic, because it is difficult to perceive why this particular correspondence
        was adopted rather than another; why one nucleic-acid triplet 'means' a
        certain protein sub-unit and not another. Perhaps primitive organizations
        had some constraints of structure we know nothing about: it would then be
        the adjustment of molecular conformations that would have imposed, if not
        the whole system at least some of its equivalences. But again perhaps there
        was no constraint at all: then it would have been purely by chance that the
        equivalences were produced and persisted afterwards." (Jacob F., The
        Logic of Life: A History of Heredity," [1970], Trans. Spillmann B.E.,
        Pantheon: New York NY, 1982, reprint, pp.305-306)

        "For once a system of relations has been established, the relations cannot
        be changed without the risk of the whole meaning of the system being lost
        and all its value as a message destroyed. A genetic code is like a language:
        even if they are only due to chance, once the relations between ' sign' and '
        meaning' are established, they cannot be changed. These, then, are the
        questions molecular biology is trying to answer." (Jacob F., The Logic of
        Life: A History of Heredity," [1970], Trans. Spillmann B.E., Pantheon:
        New York NY, 1982, reprint, p.306)

        "Life did not originate from the 'building blocks' by chance ... It is clear that
        the belief that a molecule of iso-1-cytochrome c or any other protein could
        appear by chance is based on faith. And so we see that even if we believe
        that the 'building blocks' are available, they do not spontaneously make
        proteins, at least not by chance. The origin of life by chance in a primeval
        soup is impossible in probability in the same way that a perpetual motion
        machine is impossible in probability. The extremely small probabilities
        calculated in this chapter are not discouraging to true believers (Hoffer,
        1951) or to people who live in a universe of infinite extension that has no
        beginning or end in time. In such a universe all things not streng verboten
        will happen. In fact we live in a small, young universe generated by an
        enormous hydrogen bomb explosion some time between 10 x 10^9 and 20
        x 10^9 years ago. A practical person must conclude that life didn't happen
        by chance (de Duve, 1991)." (Yockey H.P., "Information Theory and
        Molecular Biology," Cambridge University Press: Cambridge UK, 1992,
        p.257)

        "The rate at which genes coding for polypeptides (e.g. hemoglobin)
        undergo mutations has been measured in the laboratory to be not greater
        than 10^-5 per generation, which implies a rate for changing individual
        amino acids in the corresponding polypeptide chain of as little as 10^-7 per
        generation. If only ten amino acids of particular kinds are necessary at
        particular locations in a polypeptide chain for its proper functioning, the
        required arrangement (starting from an initially different arrangement)
        cannot be found by mutations, except as an outrageous fluke. Darwinian
        evolution is most unlikely to get even one polypeptide right, let alone the
        thousands on which living cells depend for their survival. This situation is
        well-known to geneticists and yet nobody seems prepared to blow the
        whistle decisively on the theory. If Darwinism were not considered socially
        desirable, and even essential to the peace of mind of the body politic, it
        would of course be otherwise. If our own theory contained such a howler
        many voices would be raised in chorus against it." (Hoyle F. &
        Wickramasinghe C., "Evolution from Space," [1981], Paladin: London,
        1983, reprint, p.164)

        "Science is effective, but what does it tell us about ourselves and how we
        must live? The brief answer to this is: nothing. Science has always worked
        assiduously to avoid being a religion. faith or morality. It does not tell us
        why we should do things or how we should live; it offers, instead,
        solutions. Life is a series of separate problems with separate answers. It is
        not an issue in itself so much as a container of issues." (Appleyard B.,
        "Understanding the Present: Science and the Soul of Modern Man,"
        Picador: London, 1992, p.9)

        "There are some who look on our global problems here on Earth - at our
        vast national antagonisms, our nuclear arsenals, our growing populations,
        the disparity between the poor and the affluent, shortages of food and
        resources, and our inadvertent alterations of the natural environment - and
        conclude that we live in a system that has suddenly become unstable, a
        system that is destined soon to collapse. There are others who believe that
        our problems are soluble, that humanity is still in its childhood, that one
        day soon we will grow up. The receipt of a single message from space
        would show that it is possible to live through such technological
        adolescence: the transmitting civilization, after all, has survived. Such
        knowledge, it seems to me, might be worth a great price."
        (Sagan C., "The Quest for Extraterrestrial Intelligence," in "Broca's Brain,"
        [1974], Coronet: London, 1980, reprint, p.340)

        "Secondly, natural selection can only act on the variations available, and
        these are not, as Darwin thought, in every direction. In the first place, most
        mutations lead to a loss of complexity (e.g. substitution of leaves for
        tendrils in the pea and sweet pea) or reduction in the size of some organ
        (e.g. wings in Drosophila). This is probably the reason for the at first sight
        paradoxical fact that, as we shall see later, most evolutionary change has
        been degenerative. But further, as we saw in the last chapter, mutations
        only seem to occur along certain lines, which are very similar in closely
        related species, but differ in more distant species." (Haldane J.B.S., "The
        Causes of Evolution," [1990], Princeton University Press: Princeton NJ,
        1993, Second Printing, p.75)

        "Darwin's case is notorious. In his autobiographical sketch, contemporary with the
        sixth edition of The Origin of Species, he said of himself that he 'worked on true
        Baconian principles, and without any theory collected facts on a wholesale scale';
        but later in the same work he said that he could not resist forming a hypothesis on
        every subject, and he gave away his true opinions (as opposed to the opinions
        which he felt became him) in letters to Henry Fawcett and H.W. Bates. ... To
        Fawcett he wrote (18 September 1861): 'About thirty years ago there was much
        talk that geologists ought only to observe and not theorise; and I well remember
        someone saying that at this rate a man might as well go into a gravel-pit and count
        the pebbles and describe the colours. How odd it is that anyone should not see that
        all observation must be for or against some view if it is to be of any service.' To
        Bates (22 November 1860): 'I have an old belief that a good observer really means
        a good theorist.'" (Medawar, Sir Peter. B. [immunologist, winner of Nobel prize
        for medicine, 1960], "Pluto's Republic: Incorporating The Art of the Soluble and
        Induction and Intuition in Scientific Thought," [1982], Oxford University Press:
        Oxford UK, 1983, reprint, p.80)

        "Although he later wrote, in a famous passage, that he 'worked on true
        Baconian principles, and without any theory collected facts on a wholesale
        scale', this does not seem quite so. He had already adopted the theory -
        then an unproved one - shared by the other evolutionists we met earlier:
        that living things were not the same now as in the past. Next he set about
        gathering evidence in favour of this." (Hitching F., "The Neck of the
        Giraffe: Or Where Darwin Went Wrong," Pan: London, 1982, p.242)

        "When Charles Darwin broke in upon the sin-soaked Victorian society of
        England with his revolutionary concept of evolution, he inadvertently
        provided for the people of that time and place a scientific sanction for two
        entirely false ideas: that the animal world is characterized by a ferocious
        struggle for existence; and that human society, because it is directly
        descended from that animal world, is characterized by struggle, hostility,
        unbridled competition, and aggressiveness." (Montagu A., "The Nature of
        Human Aggression," Oxford University Press: New York, 1976, p.40)

        "Consider just one example, supreme in its parochial importance-for I
        wouldn't be writing and you wouldn't be reading otherwise. Why did
        mammals survive, but dinosaurs die, in the great Cretaceous extinction, an
        event almost surely triggered by extraterrestrial impact? The adaptationist
        and extrapolationist model strives to render such a turnover as
        intensification of a process already underway in previous normal times-the
        growing domination of mammals as a result of their success in ordinary
        Darwinian competition against inferior dinosaurs. But such a comfortable
        argument cannot hold. Mammals emerged at about the same time as
        dinosaurs. Mammals lived for more than 100 million years in the
        interstices of a world dominated by much larger dinosaurs; they made no
        `progress' against these massive incumbents; no Mesozoic mammal was
        much larger than a rat. (By contrast, the so-called `age of mammals' since
        the death of dinosaurs has so far spanned only 65 million years.) The
        Cretaceous catastrophe removed dinosaurs, but mammals survived and
        inherited an emptied world-and they surely made the most of it. If the
        comet or asteroid had not struck, I suppose that dinosaurs would probably
        still be in command (why not; they had prevailed for far longer against
        mammals, and mammals had been making no inroads). Mammals, if they
        survived at all, would probably still be small creatures no larger than rats,
        and small size precludes self-conscious intelligence. Dinosaurs were not
        moving to ward higher cognition in our form, and probably could not do
        so. Thus you must thank the extraterrestrial impact for this copy of the
        New York Review." (Gould S.J., "The Confusion over Evolution," The
        New York Review of Books, Vol. 39, No. 19, November 19, 1992, pp.47-
        54, pp.53-54.
        http://www.stephenjaygould.org/reviews/gould_confusion.html)

        "But why did mammals prevail and dinosaurs die? Doesn't this fact point
        to some intrinsic mammalian superiority? Not necessarily. We do not
        know the answer, but here is one plausible scenario for a partial
        explanation: the rules change in mass extinction, and adaptive advantages
        of the past may become dangerous deficits. Large populations provide a
        good hedge against extinction, all other things being equal. Dinosaurs,
        with their massive bodies, must have maintained species of small
        population size. The world must contain far fewer elephants than ants, far
        fewer brontosauruses than mouse-sized mammals. So perhaps mammals
        gained a crucial edge by large populations maintained as a consequence of
        small body sizes. Now why were mammals small? Surely not because they
        knew that a comet would hit 10 million years down the road, and that large
        populations would then be useful. Presumably they were small for a
        negative reason in Darwin's immediate world of competition: because
        dinosaurs had usurped the ecological space of large terrestrial vertebrates,
        and relegated mammals to a periphery. Yet the reasons for relative failure
        in normal times may translate fortuitously to the crucial ingredient of
        success in prevailing through a mass extinction. The Darwinian struggle
        does not extrapolate to the tree of life. (Gould S.J., "The Confusion over
        Evolution," The New York Review of Books, Vol. 39, No. 19, November
        19, 1992, pp.47-54, p.53.
        http://www.stephenjaygould.org/reviews/gould_confusion.html)

        "Falsifiability is an essential requirement in any truly scientific
        theory. It is essential because, if a theory is to explain why this or
        that happens, it must at the same time and by the same token
        explain why it is this or that, and not anything else, which does in
        fact happen. The theory which
        can be reconciled with anything which might conceivably occur
        or which might conceivably have occurred, with not only what
        does or did in fact happen but also with what does not or did not
        yet conceivably might or might have, does not genuinely explain
        anything at all. It is not a possibly true or possibly false scientific
        theory. For it is not a scientific theory at all."
        (Flew A., "Darwinian Evolution," Paladin: London, 1984, pp.17-18)

        Stephen E. Jones, BSc (Biol). http://members.iinet.net.au/~sejones
        Blog: http://creationevolutiondesign.blogspot.com/ Book, "Problems of
        Evolution" http://members.iinet.net.au/~sejones/PoE/PoE00ToC.html
        --------------------------------------------------------------------------
      • Chris Doyle
        Steve and Group, ... true ... CD But it doesn t say nothing will disappear from the Law until Jesus ... Steve said: That s right. Everything was accomplished
        Message 3 of 3 , Jul 21, 2005
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          Steve and Group,

          >>CD>Again, see Matthew 5:18 versus Galatians 3:24-25. Only one can be
          true
          >>without creating a contradiction.

          >SJ>Both are true and there is no contradiction:
          >>
          >>Mat. 5:18 "I tell you the truth, until heaven and earth disappear, not
          >>the smallest letter, not the least stroke of a pen, will by any means
          >>disappear from the Law until everything is accomplished."
          >>
          >>Gal. 3:24-25 "So the law was put in charge to lead us to Christ that
          >>we might be justified by faith. Now that faith has come, we are no
          >>longer under the supervision of the law."
          >>
          >>The "everything is accomplished" was when Jesus had finished his
          >>atoning work on the Cross:"

          CD>But it doesn't say nothing will disappear from the Law "until Jesus
          >dies on the cross", it says nothing will disappear from the Law "until
          >everything is accomplished".

          Steve said: "That's right. Everything was accomplished with respect to
          the OT law and sacrificial system (Old Covenant) in Jesus' atoning death."

          No, it says "until everything is accomplished". It does not say "until
          everything is accomplished with respect to the Old Testament law and
          sacrificial system (Old Covenant) in Jesus' atoning death". There is
          no rational or empirical basis whatsoever for reading this meaning
          into "until everything is accomplished"... to say otherwise
          demonstrates a vested interest in resolving an unresolvable contradiction.

          CD>Furthermore, it says "until heaven and
          >earth disappear" nothing will disappear from the Law. Last time I
          >looked, heaven and earth were still here.


          Steve said: "May I suggest a course in remedial reading for Chris? See
          above."

          Either you mean heaven and earth *have* disappeared (which course in
          remedial reading would confirm that?) or this is just an attack on my
          person, trying to undermine my argument by suggesting that I am
          stupid. Either argument is invalid.


          Steve then said: "Chris has renamed this thread no doubt expecting a
          debate on "Faith V Law" with me."

          I renamed this thread simply because I wanted to bring to an end the
          previous thread which had gone through a long debate about
          omnipotence. I didn't expect a debate given that the group will cease
          to be active tomorrow. Faith v Law accurately sums up the
          contradiction we are discussing.


          Steve said: "I am sorry but I must disappoint him: 1) I don't have the
          time; 2) I have refuted Chris' contradiction claim (whether he admits
          it or not); 3) I don't accept Chris' false alternatives ("Faith V
          Law"-there *was* no Law after Jesus atoning death-He gave the Law and
          He rescinded it) and 4) I doubt that anything I say in defence of
          Christianity would make any difference to Chris (apart from the fact
          that the deeper things of Christianity can only be understood by
          Christians: 1 Cor. 2:14)."

          The only thing I'm disappointed by is the possible implication you
          made that I am stupid.

          1. I don't have the time either - I still work for a living.

          2. If falsely redefining meanings and wildly distorting the facts is a
          refutation then you have done that well. Strongly disagreeing for
          personal reasons however does not amount to a refutation.

          3. This is not a question of *my* false alternative. Its a question of
          what the Bible actually says. Flick back a verse to Matthew 5.17:

          "Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets: I am
          not come to destroy, but to fulfil."

          Jesus has not come to destroy the law or rescind it. He has come to
          fulfil and obey the law just like everybody else. In short, he is
          reinforcing God's command as laid down in Deuteronomy 30:11-14:

          Deu 30:1 For this commandment which I command thee this day, it [is]
          not hidden from thee, neither [is] it far off.

          Deu 30:12 It [is] not in heaven, that thou shouldest say, Who shall go
          up for us to heaven, and bring it unto us, that we may hear it, and do
          it?

          Deu 30:13 Neither [is] it beyond the sea, that thou shouldest say, Who
          shall go over the sea for us, and bring it unto us, that we may hear
          it, and do it?

          Deu 30:14 But the word [is] very nigh unto thee, in thy mouth, and in
          thy heart, that thou mayest do it.

          Now flick forward a verse to Matthew 5.19:

          "Whosoever therefore shall break one of these least commandments, and
          shall teach men so, he shall be called the least in the kingdom of
          heaven: but whosoever shall do and teach them, the same shall be
          called great in the kingdom of heaven."

          Not only is Jesus saying that he is going to follow the law but he is
          saying that anyone who teaches otherwise is in big trouble. I wouldn't
          want to be in St Paul's shoes would you?

          So, in order for Steve's refutation to be true he has to acknowledge
          the following and deal with the implications of those acknowledgements:

          A. When God says the Law is "in thy mouth, and in thy heart, that thou
          mayest do it", God got it wrong. Worse still, the Law was actually
          against man and stood opposed to man.

          B. What Jesus is actually saying is: don't think that I have come to
          destroy the law, I have come to destroy the law. Until the end of the
          universe, the law won't change, until I get nailed to the cross. If
          you break the law and teach men to break the law, you will burn in
          hell. If you fulfil the law and teach men to fulfil the law you shall
          be rewarded in heaven. He contradicts himself in the first sentence
          (why would he say he has not "come to destroy the law" if in fact he
          has come to destroy the law by "nailing it to a cross"?). He makes an
          absurd reference to the end of the universe in the second sentence
          (why didn't he just say, the law won't change until I get nailed to
          the cross if that's what he really meant?). He then warns about the
          consequences of breaking the law (and the rewards for fulfilling it)
          when he knows full well that in a couple of years, the law won't
          matter anymore (again, why bother with such a severe warning when
          99.999% of Christians can ignore it?).

          ISteve is applying double standards: one standard for his rational
          criticism of evolution and another standard for irrational faith in
          Christianity. If Richard Dawkins came out with the muddled nonsense
          that Steve would have us believe Matthew 5.17-19 is, Steve would have
          a field day ripping him to shreds.

          4. This is possibly true but then what I've said above gives me a
          rational basis for that. What's Steve's excuse? Steve suggests that
          only Christians can understand the mysteries of Christianity. That's
          like evolutionists saying only evolutionists can understand the
          mysteries of science! Oddly enough, that is the sort of nonsense that
          you find in the pre-Christian pagan myths. One of those pagan myths is
          Mithraism. Paul was born in Tarsus which happened to be a stronghold
          of Mithraism at the time. Like other followers of Mithras, he referred
          to Mithras as "the Light of the World". He believed that Mithras was a
          mediator between heaven and earth, a member of the Holy Trinity.
          Mithras was born of a virgin, the "Mother of God" and remained
          celibate his entire life. Followers of Mithras believed in heaven and
          hell. They believed that Mithras would purify them of sin and grant
          them eternal salvation would be theres in the next life. They drank
          wine ("drink, this is my blood") and ate bread ("eat, this is my
          body") as part of a eucharist ceremony. Sunday was the holy day, a day
          of bell ringing and prayer. They celebrated the birth of Mithras every
          year... on December 25th. Eggs were also very symbolic (probably not
          chocolate ones though). Before Mithras ascended to heaven to cherish
          the faithful from above, he held a Last Supper with his companions.

          I trust all this sounds very familiar, even to non-christians. Either
          Jesus was a fake and we should all be followers of Mithras (he was
          here first after all) or St Paul wasn't very original when he recycled
          Mithraism and grafted it onto Judaism. Not only that, but despite his
          best efforts he couldn't resolve the conflict of Faith v Law. Jesus
          stood for the Law and St Paul stood for Faith.

          Chris
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