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Re: who says religious truths have to do with the empircal?

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  • Brian van der Spuy
    [[[From: Stephen E. Jones Subject: Re: who says religious truths have to do with the empircal? (was Gould and God ...) In the case of
    Message 1 of 21 , May 1, 2003
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      [[[From: "Stephen E. Jones" <sejones@...>
      Subject: Re: who says religious truths have to do with the empircal? (was Gould and God ...)
      In the case of Christianity, unlike most (if not all) other religions, "it" very much does "have a thing to do with the empirical", in that Christianity claims, e.g.:
      1) God created and sustains the real, "empirical" world;
      2) God supernaturally inserted information about Himself, His purposes and His commands how humans are to live, into the real, "empirical" world, which information has taken on "empirical" form in the Bible;
      3) God Himself entered this real, "empirical" world in the Person of Jesus; and
      4) God will again enter this real, "empirical" world in the Person of Jesus at His second coming.
      It is very this "empirical" content that generates the conflict between Christianity and science, which also makes "empirical" claims about the real world. ]]]

      ---As I see it, conflict is still not inevitable, because while the above claims are empirical ones, they are not necessarily scientific. Let me illustrate what I mean by an analogy:

      Suppose I claim that there are intelligent ghosts haunting my house, and that they make such a noise at night that I cannot sleep. Suppose that I further claim that it is pointless for scientists to come investigate the issue, because these ghosts are intelligent, and choose never to show themselves when there are scientific observers around.

      The above claim is empirical, in the sense that it makes a statement about the physical, empirically observable world. But it is still not scientific, because it expressly makes it clear that the issue cannot be investigated scientifically, and that the claim is not based on *objectively* verifiable evidence.

      Now, a claim such as "Jesus was the Son of God" seems to me to fall into this category of empirical, but non-scientific, claims. It does not need to conflict with science, unless it forwards objectively verifiable evidence. And when it does that, it has entered the arena of science: it cannot really conflict with science, in the sense that a statement does not have to be true to be scientific. E.g. the statement 'wood burns because it contains phlogiston' is not true, but it is a scientific statement in the sense that it can be tested by experiment/observation.

      As I see it, it is a mistake for religions to make scientific statements, because such statements can be tested and found to be incorrect. This is problematic in two ways:
      1. If such statements are found to be incorrect, it damages the reputation of the faith, and
      2. it seems to me inherently blasphemous, because it presumes that we can experiment with God.

      I therefore prefer to let religious belief depend on faith alone. Those whose faith is strong enough do not require evidence, and those who require evidence have no real faith and as such have no business being religious in the first place.



      [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
    • pk4_paul
      ... empircal? (was Gould and God ...) ... religions, it very much does have a thing to do with the ... purposes and His commands how humans are to live,
      Message 2 of 21 , May 1, 2003
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        --- In CreationEvolutionDesign@yahoogroups.com, "Brian van der Spuy"
        <brianvds@w...> wrote:
        > [[[From: "Stephen E. Jones" <sejones@i...>
        > Subject: Re: who says religious truths have to do with the
        empircal? (was Gould and God ...)
        > In the case of Christianity, unlike most (if not all) other
        religions, "it" very much does "have a thing to do with the
        empirical", in that Christianity claims, e.g.:
        > 1) God created and sustains the real, "empirical" world;
        > 2) God supernaturally inserted information about Himself, His
        purposes and His commands how humans are to live, into the
        real, "empirical" world, which information has taken on "empirical"
        form in the Bible;
        > 3) God Himself entered this real, "empirical" world in the Person
        of Jesus; and
        > 4) God will again enter this real, "empirical" world in the Person
        of Jesus at His second coming.
        > It is very this "empirical" content that generates the conflict
        between Christianity and science, which also makes "empirical" claims
        about the real world. ]]]
        >
        I would agree that Biblical accounts about people and events are
        intrinsically empirical but this does not pose a conflict with
        science. To believe this is to assert that any historical account is
        also in conflict with science. In assessing the accuracy of the
        Bible one ought to hold it to the same standards used to evaluate
        Homer's Illiad, Caesar's Gaellic Wars and any other writings valued
        as historic records. When applied to the Bible the standards
        (historians have methodologies for these purposes) should be not
        greater or less than the working norm.
        Paul

        > ---As I see it, conflict is still not inevitable, because while the
        above claims are empirical ones, they are not necessarily scientific.
        Let me illustrate what I mean by an analogy:
        >
        > Suppose I claim that there are intelligent ghosts haunting my
        house, and that they make such a noise at night that I cannot sleep.
        Suppose that I further claim that it is pointless for scientists to
        come investigate the issue, because these ghosts are intelligent, and
        choose never to show themselves when there are scientific observers
        around.
        >
        > The above claim is empirical, in the sense that it makes a
        statement about the physical, empirically observable world. But it is
        still not scientific, because it expressly makes it clear that the
        issue cannot be investigated scientifically, and that the claim is
        not based on *objectively* verifiable evidence.

        > Now, a claim such as "Jesus was the Son of God" seems to me to fall
        into this category of empirical, but non-scientific, claims. It does
        not need to conflict with science, unless it forwards objectively
        verifiable evidence. And when it does that, it has entered the arena
        of science: it cannot really conflict with science, in the sense that
        a statement does not have to be true to be scientific. E.g. the
        statement 'wood burns because it contains phlogiston' is not true,
        but it is a scientific statement in the sense that it can be tested
        by experiment/observation.

        The claim that Jesus was the Son of God is indeed made in the New
        Testament but this statement was never intended to be evaluated in
        isolation. Jesus and his followers knew that it was unreasonable to
        expect others to blindly accept that claim without proof. How could
        God demonstrate his divinity? By doing things that are completely
        contrary to scientific laws such as walking on water, turning water
        into wine, healing the sick, enabling the blind to see and rising
        from the dead. Jesus understood that if he did not perform miracles
        there would be no reason to believe he was anything but an ordinary
        man and yet if he did people would discount miracles as "impossible"
        and choose not to believe. I only ask that the Bible be subjected to
        the same empirical yardsticks as other works of antiquity.
        Paul

        > As I see it, it is a mistake for religions to make scientific
        statements, because such statements can be tested and found to be
        incorrect. This is problematic in two ways:
        > 1. If such statements are found to be incorrect, it damages the
        reputation of the faith, and
        > 2. it seems to me inherently blasphemous, because it presumes that
        we can experiment with God.
        >
        Biblical accounts are historic records. I believe they are accurate
        and better accord with standards of evidence than any other records
        of antiquity. I'll gladly document this claim upon request.
        Paul

        > I therefore prefer to let religious belief depend on faith alone.
        Those whose faith is strong enough do not require evidence, and those
        who require evidence have no real faith and as such have no business
        being religious in the first place.
        >
        > Faith is the evidence of what is unseen. This does not mean is
        must be blind. Throughout the Bible God expects a faith that is
        based on man's knowledge of him. This knowledge is gained through
        recorded events. In addition, the Bible reveals the fingerprints of
        God in the form of prophecies about the future. There are hundreds
        and many have been fulfilled. Only God could know the future. A
        precise account of events written before they occur is as good a form
        of empirical proof as a non-eyewitness will ever get.
        Paul
        >
        > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
      • Brian van der Spuy
        [[[From: pk4_paul Subject: Re: who says religious truths have to do with the empircal? I would agree that Biblical accounts about people
        Message 3 of 21 , May 2, 2003
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          [[[From: "pk4_paul" <pk4_paul@...>
          Subject: Re: who says religious truths have to do with the empircal?
          I would agree that Biblical accounts about people and events are intrinsically empirical but this does not pose a conflict with science. To believe this is to assert that any historical account is also in conflict with science. In assessing the accuracy of the Bible one ought to hold it to the same standards used to evaluate Homer's Illiad, Caesar's Gaellic Wars and any other writings valued as historic records. When applied to the Bible the standards (historians have methodologies for these purposes) should be not greater or less than the working norm.]]]

          ---I would agree with this.

          [[[The claim that Jesus was the Son of God is indeed made in the New Testament but this statement was never intended to be evaluated in isolation. Jesus and his followers knew that it was unreasonable to expect others to blindly accept that claim without proof.]]]

          ---I would think that this would depend on the person in question. For instance, I cannot provide one single shred of objectively verifiable evidence for my religious beliefs. I accept them all on faith alone. Perhaps I am unusual in this respect.

          [[[How could God demonstrate his divinity? By doing things that are completely contrary to scientific laws such as walking on water, turning water into wine, healing the sick, enabling the blind to see and rising from the dead. ]]]

          ---As I see it, this would not work, because there is no way to distinguish a supernatural event from a natural one. How can we tell that something is a miracle, as opposed to something natural that we simply do not yet understand? I cannot think of any way in which we can do that. We have to accept the reality of miracles on faith, and faith alone.

          [[[ Jesus understood that if he did not perform miracles there would be no reason to believe he was anything but an ordinary man and yet if he did people would discount miracles as impossible" and choose not to believe.]]]

          ---An interesting Catch-22. Which is why I am not particularly interested in miracles. I am not even sure what is meant by the word 'miracle,' except 'something absolutely awe-inspiring.' And by that definition, I experience the entire universe as a miracle. If Jesus was an 'ordinary' man, I see no reason why that should lessen my respect for him, or for any other person. To me, the ordinary is already quite awesome enough, and I do not need to see water turn into wine in order to have religious or spiritual experiences.

          [[[ I only ask that the Bible be subjected to the same empirical yardsticks as other works of antiquity.]]]

          ---As far as it is a historical document, I would agree. As for its spiritual content, I see no reason to subject it to any kind of empirical tests.

          [[[Biblical accounts are historic records. I believe they are accurate and better accord with standards of evidence than any other records of antiquity. I'll gladly document this claim upon request.]]]

          ---No need to. I respect your beliefs, and you do not need to feel any obligation to prove them to me. My opinions really do not count for all that much: if you have faith, then nothing I can say will make any difference to that anyway. And if you do not have faith, then convincing *me* is perhaps not what you should worry about. ;-)

          [[[Faith is the evidence of what is unseen. This does not mean is must be blind. Throughout the Bible God expects a faith that is based on man's knowledge of him. This knowledge is gained through recorded events.]]]

          ---Personally, I will freely admit that I have no knowledge whatever of the divine. My religious beliefs are based on experience rather than knowledge.

          Thanks for sharing your views. Let me hasten to add that while I disagree from you on some points, I do not mean the above message to be the beginning of a long and possibly acrimonious debate. I do not consider religious debates to be very productive, because it is very rare indeed for any of the participants to convince or be convinced. When it comes to religion, I follow the 'to each his own' philosophy. But I still enjoy hearing about other people's beliefs, in the same way that I enjoy hearing about their tastes in, say, art, even though I do not necessarily share those tastes.

          I have one question: as far as I can work out, you believe that there is plenty of empirical evidence for the reality of your religious views. Now suppose for a moment that in future, new scientific evidence indicates that all that evidence is actually bogus. Do you think that would have an influence on your religious views, i.e. would you abandon your views if it should turn out that there actually isn't any scientific evidence for them, or do you think your religious views will survive any empirical onslaught? (And let me hasten to assure you that I have no desire to make such an onslaught; I am just curious about your views in this regard.)



          [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
        • pk4_paul
          ... intrinsically empirical but this does not pose a conflict with science. To believe this is to assert that any historical account is also in conflict with
          Message 4 of 21 , May 2, 2003
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            --- In CreationEvolutionDesign@yahoogroups.com, "Brian van der Spuy"
            <brianvds@w...> wrote:
            > [[[From: "pk4_paul" <pk4_paul@y...>
            > Subject: Re: who says religious truths have to do with the empircal?
            > I would agree that Biblical accounts about people and events are
            intrinsically empirical but this does not pose a conflict with
            science. To believe this is to assert that any historical account is
            also in conflict with science. In assessing the accuracy of the
            Bible one ought to hold it to the same standards used to evaluate
            Homer's Illiad, Caesar's Gaellic Wars and any other writings valued
            as historic records. When applied to the Bible the standards
            (historians have methodologies for these purposes) should be not
            greater or less than the working norm.]]]
            >
            > ---I would agree with this.
            >
            > [[[The claim that Jesus was the Son of God is indeed made in the
            New Testament but this statement was never intended to be evaluated
            in isolation. Jesus and his followers knew that it was unreasonable
            to expect others to blindly accept that claim without proof.]]]
            >
            > ---I would think that this would depend on the person in question.
            For instance, I cannot provide one single shred of objectively
            verifiable evidence for my religious beliefs. I accept them all on
            faith alone. Perhaps I am unusual in this respect.
            >
            > [[[How could God demonstrate his divinity? By doing things that
            are completely contrary to scientific laws such as walking on water,
            turning water into wine, healing the sick, enabling the blind to see
            and rising from the dead. ]]]
            >
            > ---As I see it, this would not work, because there is no way to
            distinguish a supernatural event from a natural one. How can we tell
            that something is a miracle, as opposed to something natural that we
            simply do not yet understand? I cannot think of any way in which we
            can do that. We have to accept the reality of miracles on faith, and
            faith alone.
            >
            > [[[ Jesus understood that if he did not perform miracles there
            would be no reason to believe he was anything but an ordinary man and
            yet if he did people would discount miracles as impossible" and
            choose not to believe.]]]
            >
            > ---An interesting Catch-22. Which is why I am not particularly
            interested in miracles. I am not even sure what is meant by the
            word 'miracle,' except 'something absolutely awe-inspiring.' And by
            that definition, I experience the entire universe as a miracle. If
            Jesus was an 'ordinary' man, I see no reason why that should lessen
            my respect for him, or for any other person. To me, the ordinary is
            already quite awesome enough, and I do not need to see water turn
            into wine in order to have religious or spiritual experiences.
            >
            > [[[ I only ask that the Bible be subjected to the same empirical
            yardsticks as other works of antiquity.]]]
            >
            > ---As far as it is a historical document, I would agree. As for its
            spiritual content, I see no reason to subject it to any kind of
            empirical tests.
            >
            > [[[Biblical accounts are historic records. I believe they are
            accurate and better accord with standards of evidence than any other
            records of antiquity. I'll gladly document this claim upon
            request.]]]
            >
            > ---No need to. I respect your beliefs, and you do not need to feel
            any obligation to prove them to me. My opinions really do not count
            for all that much: if you have faith, then nothing I can say will
            make any difference to that anyway. And if you do not have faith,
            then convincing *me* is perhaps not what you should worry about. ;-)
            >
            > [[[Faith is the evidence of what is unseen. This does not mean is
            must be blind. Throughout the Bible God expects a faith that is
            based on man's knowledge of him. This knowledge is gained through
            recorded events.]]]
            >
            > ---Personally, I will freely admit that I have no knowledge
            whatever of the divine. My religious beliefs are based on experience
            rather than knowledge.
            >
            > Thanks for sharing your views. Let me hasten to add that while I
            disagree from you on some points, I do not mean the above message to
            be the beginning of a long and possibly acrimonious debate. I do not
            consider religious debates to be very productive, because it is very
            rare indeed for any of the participants to convince or be convinced.
            When it comes to religion, I follow the 'to each his own' philosophy.
            But I still enjoy hearing about other people's beliefs, in the same
            way that I enjoy hearing about their tastes in, say, art, even though
            I do not necessarily share those tastes.
            >
            > I have one question: as far as I can work out, you believe that
            there is plenty of empirical evidence for the reality of your
            religious views. Now suppose for a moment that in future, new
            scientific evidence indicates that all that evidence is actually
            bogus. Do you think that would have an influence on your religious
            views, i.e. would you abandon your views if it should turn out that
            there actually isn't any scientific evidence for them, or do you
            think your religious views will survive any empirical onslaught? (And
            let me hasten to assure you that I have no desire to make such an
            onslaught; I am just curious about your views in this regard.)
            >
            > Pk4 replies:
            If there were evidence that the facts upon which my faith is based
            were bogus then my faith would be in vain and consequently
            abandoned. This view is not unique. The first century apostle Paul,
            who was probably as responsible as anyone for the rapid spread of
            Christianity, made a similar point in his first letter to the
            Corinthians. In chapter 15 verses 14-17 he wrote: "And if Christ has
            not been raised , our preaching is useless and so is your faith.
            More than that, we are then found to be false witnesses about God,
            for we have testified about God that he raised Christ from the dead.
            But he did not raise him if in fact the dead are not raised. For if
            the dead are not raised, then Christ has not been raised either. And
            if Christ has not been raised, your faith is futile; you are still in
            your sins." (NIV version)

            Although the concept of faith is primarily thought of in connection
            with religious beliefs it can be and is exercised in other areas of
            life. The focus of our faith centers around the core assumptions we
            hold about things that most concern us. The precepts upon which we
            base our behavoir and the values that determine how we relate to our
            families and the world reflect our innermost thoughts and beliefs.
            Mine differ from yours and, to varying degrees, from every other
            person on the planet. I cannot scientifically prove that my
            political philosophy or my ideas about raising children are superior
            even if I am able to cite empirical evidence to support my opinions.
            Ultimately, if I am honest, I'll admit that if you trace the line of
            logic far enough you'll encounter an assumption I hold to be self-
            evident and which is held by faith. I'm emphasizing the point
            because most evolutionists believe that science has proven evolution
            in the same way it has Newton's laws of motion. I disagree. There
            is ample faith on both sides of the evolution/creation debate.
            Paul
            >
            > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
          • Jon Saboe
            Commenting on the following statement: [[[How could God demonstrate his divinity? By doing things that are completely contrary to scientific laws such as
            Message 5 of 21 , May 2, 2003
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              Commenting on the following statement:

              [[[How could God demonstrate his divinity? By doing things that are completely contrary to scientific laws such as walking on water, turning water into wine, healing the sick, enabling the blind to see and rising from the dead. ]]]


              The number one way in which the Bible (and God) demonstrate the divinity of Jesus is in all of the explicitly detailed prophesies concerning his life; written by a variety of authors in at least 3 languages covering a time-span of over 4000 years, yet demonstating complete agreement and harmony.

              Try getting an anthology of contemporary Doctors to agree.

              If you were to find a book written 200 years ago that described your birthplace, birth-year, family lineage, incidents in your life, and descriptions of your life's work, I think you would be impressed.
              If this book continued to describe the reasons, circumstances, and method of your death, you might be a little concerned.

              If this book claimed you were the Messiah, (God with us, annointed one) and after you died, you had fullfilled every detail, I would be willing to entrust my eternal security to you.

              Our job as empiricists is to see which person in history fulfilled each of the messianic prophecies. If someone fullfilled all but one, that would disqulify him from the claim of divinity. For example, if Jesus' legs had been broken, if he had not been betrayed for 30 pieces of silver, if the soldiers had not gambled for his clothes, we would have to look for someone else.

              There is a checklist of over 3000 items that Jesus (or anyone claiming 'Messiahship' ) must meet; and He did. (Not to mention the graphic, detailed description of execution by Roman Crucifixtion in Psalm 22 almost 800 years before the method was invented.)

              Healing the sick, rising the dead, don't prove much empirically, since we have all heard amazing stories of the 'Believe it or not' varity, and distinquishing between natural and supernatural in indeed subjective.

              Off topic? I don't think so, because empirical study of the claims of someone who said. "Before Abraham was, I am." and who promised to rise from the dead prior to doing so falls into the category of investigating someone who claims to be the Creator.

              Creation vs Evolution? If we have empirical Evidence that the man who claimed to be Creator, God, and Redeemer was telling the truth by fufilling prophecies (many of which he had no control over) -- including rising from the dead, then evolutionism is useless and dead and desperately trying to find an alternate Origen of Life would be wasteful and arrogant.

              Jon



              [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
            • cameron
              ... On the other hand, such prophecies could have provided a convinient recipe for myth-making. In and of themselves I don t think they really prove
              Message 6 of 21 , May 2, 2003
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                On Fri, May 02, 2003 at 11:11:57PM -0400, Jon Saboe wrote:
                > Commenting on the following statement:
                >
                > [[[How could God demonstrate his divinity? By doing things that are
                > completely contrary to scientific laws such as walking on water, turning
                > water into wine, healing the sick, enabling the blind to see and rising
                > from the dead. ]]]
                >
                > The number one way in which the Bible (and God) demonstrate the divinity
                > of Jesus is in all of the explicitly detailed prophesies concerning his
                > life; written by a variety of authors in at least 3 languages covering a
                > time-span of over 4000 years, yet demonstating complete agreement and
                > harmony.

                On the other hand, such prophecies could have provided a convinient recipe
                for myth-making. In and of themselves I don't think they really "prove"
                anything. In fact, doesn't Isaih say the Messiah will be ugly?

                Also, where do you get "4,000 years"? As far as I understand, modern
                scholarship places the writing of the Torah between 400 and 700 BCE. I
                suspect the prophets came later, or knew the oral teaching.

                --
                Cameron
              • pk4_paul
                ... are ... turning ... rising ... divinity ... concerning his ... covering a ... and ... recipe ... really prove ... Genuine prophecy dispels mythology.
                Message 7 of 21 , May 3, 2003
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                  --- In CreationEvolutionDesign@yahoogroups.com, cameron
                  <cbailes@s...> wrote:
                  > On Fri, May 02, 2003 at 11:11:57PM -0400, Jon Saboe wrote:
                  > > Commenting on the following statement:
                  > >
                  > > [[[How could God demonstrate his divinity? By doing things that
                  are
                  > > completely contrary to scientific laws such as walking on water,
                  turning
                  > > water into wine, healing the sick, enabling the blind to see and
                  rising
                  > > from the dead. ]]]
                  > >
                  > > The number one way in which the Bible (and God) demonstrate the
                  divinity
                  > > of Jesus is in all of the explicitly detailed prophesies
                  concerning his
                  > > life; written by a variety of authors in at least 3 languages
                  covering a
                  > > time-span of over 4000 years, yet demonstating complete agreement
                  and
                  > > harmony.
                  >
                  > On the other hand, such prophecies could have provided a convinient
                  recipe
                  > for myth-making. In and of themselves I don't think they
                  really "prove"
                  > anything. In fact, doesn't Isaih say the Messiah will be ugly?

                  > pk4 replies:
                  Genuine prophecy dispels mythology. Biblical prophecy is specific in
                  reference and detailed enough to leave no doubt as to its divine
                  origin. Daniel's prophecy about the Persian empire, the conquests of
                  Alexander the Great and subsequent division of that empire while
                  Daniel lived in Babylonia is an example. So too are the prophecies
                  about the ancient city of Tyre. Creators of mythology make up their
                  stories after the events not before.
                  Paul

                  > Also, where do you get "4,000 years"? As far as I understand,
                  modern
                  > scholarship places the writing of the Torah between 400 and 700
                  BCE. I
                  > suspect the prophets came later, or knew the oral teaching.
                  >
                  pk4 replies:
                  The last book of what Christians refer to as the Old Testament was
                  written around 400 BC. The Torah was written well before 700 BC.
                  David and Solomon lived prior to 700 BC and the Torah was already
                  written before that era.
                  Paul
                  > --
                  > Cameron
                • bill wald
                  ... divinity ... his ... a ... One proper use of statistical analysis (instead of aribtrarially assigning goofy probabilities to prophecies) would be to
                  Message 8 of 21 , May 3, 2003
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                    > The number one way in which the Bible (and God) demonstrate the
                    divinity
                    > of Jesus is in all of the explicitly detailed prophesies concerning
                    his
                    > life; written by a variety of authors in at least 3 languages covering
                    a
                    > time-span of over 4000 years, yet demonstating complete agreement and
                    > harmony.

                    One proper use of statistical analysis (instead of aribtrarially
                    assigning goofy "probabilities" to prophecies) would be to list these
                    prophecies and calculate the percentage that Jesus had fulfilled.
                    According to the Law of Moses, prophets are graded pass/fail. Anything
                    less than 100% success is failure. The problem is that Christians admit
                    that several of them have not come to pass and will come to pass at the
                    "Second Comming."
                    In other words, Jesus fails the "Biblical" test concerning the Messiah.

                    Or if you wish to restrict the test to prophesies made by Jesus instead
                    of OT Prophesies, then we still have the problem of the second comming,
                    particularly regarding "Revelation."

                    As Moses (God) taught, "Miracles don't count," crazybill paraphrase.

                    Deut 13:1-5
                    1 If there arise among you a prophet, or a dreamer of dreams, and giveth
                    thee a sign or a wonder,
                    2 And the sign or the wonder come to pass, whereof he spake unto thee,
                    saying, Let us go after other gods, which thou hast not known, and let us
                    serve them;
                    3 Thou shalt not hearken unto the words of that prophet, or that dreamer
                    of dreams: for the LORD your God proveth you, to know whether ye love the
                    LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul.
                    4 Ye shall walk after the LORD your God, and fear him, and keep his
                    commandments, and obey his voice, and ye shall serve him, and cleave unto
                    him.
                    5 And that prophet, or that dreamer of dreams, shall be put to death;
                    because he hath spoken to turn you away from the LORD your God, which
                    brought you out of the land of Egypt, and redeemed you out of the house
                    of bondage, to thrust thee out of the way which the LORD thy God
                    commanded
                    (KJV)
                    So bottom line is that we can accept Jesus as the Messiah by faith but
                    empirically the rabbis are Biblically correct in claiming that there is
                    insufficient information to identify Jesus as the messiah until he
                    returns and fulfills the rest of the prophecies concerning him and made
                    by him.
                    billwald@...
                  • pk4_paul
                    ... concerning ... covering ... and ... these ... Anything ... admit ... the ... Messiah. ... You are confusing the standard set for the prophets with the
                    Message 9 of 21 , May 3, 2003
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                      --- In CreationEvolutionDesign@yahoogroups.com, bill wald
                      <billwald@j...> wrote:
                      >
                      > > The number one way in which the Bible (and God) demonstrate the
                      > divinity
                      > > of Jesus is in all of the explicitly detailed prophesies
                      concerning
                      > his
                      > > life; written by a variety of authors in at least 3 languages
                      covering
                      > a
                      > > time-span of over 4000 years, yet demonstating complete agreement
                      and
                      > > harmony.
                      >
                      > One proper use of statistical analysis (instead of aribtrarially
                      > assigning goofy "probabilities" to prophecies) would be to list
                      these
                      > prophecies and calculate the percentage that Jesus had fulfilled.
                      > According to the Law of Moses, prophets are graded pass/fail.
                      Anything
                      > less than 100% success is failure. The problem is that Christians
                      admit
                      > that several of them have not come to pass and will come to pass at
                      the
                      > "Second Comming."
                      > In other words, Jesus fails the "Biblical" test concerning the
                      Messiah.

                      > pk4 replies:
                      You are confusing the standard set for the prophets with the
                      prophecies themselves. It is true that 100% accuracy was required of
                      a prophet. A false prophet could be determined by one false prophecy.
                      The importance of prophecy lies not just in the specific message but
                      as an indication of the power and authority of the source of prophecy-
                      God. Confirmation that an event occurred as was specified hundreds
                      of years prior to it happening gives credibility to the Bible and
                      ultimitely to the God it references. The test you refer to is not
                      constructed in accordance with Mosaic law. Your test focuses on the
                      evaluation of prophecy saying in effect that one can draw no
                      conclusions about confirmed prophecies until all prophecies have been
                      fulfiiled. That does not accord with Biblical teaching.
                      Paul

                      > Or if you wish to restrict the test to prophesies made by Jesus
                      instead
                      > of OT Prophesies, then we still have the problem of the second
                      comming,
                      > particularly regarding "Revelation."
                      >
                      > As Moses (God) taught, "Miracles don't count," crazybill
                      paraphrase.
                      >
                      pk4 replies:
                      Is this the same Moses who repeatedly went before the pharoh warning
                      of impending miraculous judgements (the plagues)? Is it the same
                      Moses who held his staff while God parted the Red Sea allowing the
                      Israelites to escape- (that counted did it not?). Is it the same
                      Moses who led the Israelites while they were fed by the miracle of
                      manna and quail? Is it the same Moses who struck a rock to produce a
                      flow of water? Is this your sense of humor and is that why you
                      stuck "crazy" in front of your name?
                      Paul

                      > Deut 13:1-5
                      > 1 If there arise among you a prophet, or a dreamer of dreams, and
                      giveth
                      > thee a sign or a wonder,
                      > 2 And the sign or the wonder come to pass, whereof he spake unto
                      thee,
                      > saying, Let us go after other gods, which thou hast not known, and
                      let us
                      > serve them;
                      > 3 Thou shalt not hearken unto the words of that prophet, or that
                      dreamer
                      > of dreams: for the LORD your God proveth you, to know whether ye
                      love the
                      > LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul.
                      > 4 Ye shall walk after the LORD your God, and fear him, and keep his
                      > commandments, and obey his voice, and ye shall serve him, and
                      cleave unto
                      > him.
                      > 5 And that prophet, or that dreamer of dreams, shall be put to
                      death;
                      > because he hath spoken to turn you away from the LORD your God,
                      which
                      > brought you out of the land of Egypt, and redeemed you out of the
                      house
                      > of bondage, to thrust thee out of the way which the LORD thy God
                      > commanded
                      > (KJV)

                      pk4 replies:
                      This passage refers to false prophets that lead people away from the
                      true God.
                      Paul

                      > So bottom line is that we can accept Jesus as the Messiah by faith
                      but
                      > empirically the rabbis are Biblically correct in claiming that
                      there is
                      > insufficient information to identify Jesus as the messiah until he
                      > returns and fulfills the rest of the prophecies concerning him and
                      made
                      > by him.

                      pk4 replies:
                      No. The bottom line is that the litmus test for Jesus's divinity
                      lies in whether he rose from the dead as prophesied. Miracles are a
                      form of divine proof which nonbelievers have always sought to debunk.
                      Paul

                      > billwald@j...
                    • Jon Saboe
                      Cameron, you are correct, the old testament narrative covers about 4000 years, but the authorship would certainly have been within 1000 years BC. The 4000
                      Message 10 of 21 , May 3, 2003
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                        Cameron, you are correct, the old testament narrative covers about 4000 years, but the authorship would certainly have been within 1000 years BC. The 4000 years refers to the harmony within the narrative.

                        Yes Isaiah does say that there will be nothing about him physically that would attract people. It would be his message and his love.

                        As far as a convenient method for myth-making, you must understand how impossible it would have been for Jesus to orchestrate all of the details needed to match up with the prophesies.

                        All that is needed to debunk the myths would be for contemporaries of Paul and other apostles to produce proof that Jesus had failed in any of these areas. The best they could do was claim he didn't rise from the dead, all they had to do was produce a body -- which never happened.

                        ----- Original Message -----
                        From: cameron
                        To: creationevolutiondesign@yahoogroups.com
                        Sent: Saturday, May 03, 2003 1:07 AM
                        Subject: Re: who says religious truths have to do with the empircal?


                        On Fri, May 02, 2003 at 11:11:57PM -0400, Jon Saboe wrote:
                        > Commenting on the following statement:
                        >
                        > [[[How could God demonstrate his divinity? By doing things that are
                        > completely contrary to scientific laws such as walking on water, turning
                        > water into wine, healing the sick, enabling the blind to see and rising
                        > from the dead. ]]]
                        >
                        > The number one way in which the Bible (and God) demonstrate the divinity
                        > of Jesus is in all of the explicitly detailed prophesies concerning his
                        > life; written by a variety of authors in at least 3 languages covering a
                        > time-span of over 4000 years, yet demonstating complete agreement and
                        > harmony.

                        On the other hand, such prophecies could have provided a convinient recipe
                        for myth-making. In and of themselves I don't think they really "prove"
                        anything. In fact, doesn't Isaih say the Messiah will be ugly?

                        Also, where do you get "4,000 years"? As far as I understand, modern
                        scholarship places the writing of the Torah between 400 and 700 BCE. I
                        suspect the prophets came later, or knew the oral teaching.

                        --
                        Cameron

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                        [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                      • Stephen E. Jones
                        Group On Sat, 3 May 2003 19:06:31 -0400, Jon Saboe wrote: [...] JS All that is needed to debunk the myths would be for contemporaries ... To me one of the best
                        Message 11 of 21 , May 3, 2003
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                          Group

                          On Sat, 3 May 2003 19:06:31 -0400, Jon Saboe wrote:

                          [...]

                          JS>All that is needed to debunk the myths would be for contemporaries
                          >of Paul and other apostles to produce proof that Jesus had failed in any
                          >of these areas. The best they could do was claim he didn't rise from the
                          >dead, all they had to do was produce a body -- which never happened.

                          To me one of the best pieces of evidence that Christian claims about
                          Jesus were correct, is not what the 1st century Jewish historian Josephus
                          wrote about Jesus (see tagline) but what he *didn't* write, namely a
                          debunking of early Christian claims.

                          Josephus was born in Jerusalem only ~10 years after Jesus had been
                          crucified. He was a child prodigy, and so at an early age (~12), i.e.
                          only ~20 years after Jesus was crucified and Christianity was
                          growing rapidly, as a future Jewish historian, he would have been in
                          the *perfect* position to rebut the false claims of Christians about
                          Jesus, if they were in fact false.

                          But in fact Josephus did not rebut any claims of Christians, which
                          is *astonishing* if you think about it, unless there were no false
                          claims of Christians to be rebutted!

                          BTW, we are debating empirical claims about one religion, namely
                          Christianity. So at least one religion (Christianity) makes empirical
                          claims about the real world, and stands or falls on the truthfulness
                          of those empirical claims.

                          [...]

                          Steve

                          PS: I know it has been claimed that there are some later Christian
                          interpolations in this famous Testimonium Flavianum. But the evidence is
                          that they were minor (if any). And in any event it does not change my
                          point, that the *really* amazing thing is not what Josephus wrote about
                          Jesus, but what he *didn't* write about Jesus, i.e. either Jesus didn't exist,
                          and/or Christian claims were false and/or a myth (take your pick) as
                          modern sceptics (so-called) claim!

                          --------------------------------------------------------------------------
                          "Now there was about this time Jesus, a wise man, if it be lawful to call him
                          a man; for he was a doer of wonderful works, a teacher of such men as
                          receive the truth with pleasure. He drew over to him both many of the Jews
                          and many of the Gentiles. He was [the] Christ. And when Pilate, at the
                          suggestion of the principal men among us, had condemned him to the
                          cross, those that loved him at the first did not forsake him; for he appeared
                          to them alive again the third day, as the divine prophets had foretold
                          these and ten thousand other wonderful things concerning him. And the
                          tribe of Christians, so named from him, are not extinct at this day.
                          (Josephus F., "Jewish Antiquities," 18.3.3, in "The New Complete Works
                          of Josephus," Whiston W., transl., Kregel Publications: Grand Rapids MI,
                          Revised Edition, 1999, p.590. http://www.ccel.org/j/josephus/works/ant-18.htm)
                          Stephen E. Jones sejones@... or senojes@...
                          Home: http://members.iinet.net.au/~sejones
                          Group: http://groups.yahoo.com/group/CreationEvolutionDesign
                          --------------------------------------------------------------------------
                        • bill wald
                          ... claimed to be Creator, God, and Redeemer was telling the truth by fufilling prophecies (many of which he had no control over) -- including ... desperately
                          Message 12 of 21 , May 3, 2003
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                            >Creation vs Evolution? If we have empirical Evidence that the man who
                            claimed to be Creator, God, and >Redeemer was telling the truth by
                            fufilling prophecies (many of which he had no control over) -- including
                            >rising from the dead, then evolutionism is useless and dead and
                            desperately trying to find an alternate >Origen of Life would be wasteful
                            and arrogant.

                            Why confine this concept to the theory of abiogenesis? God causes the
                            rain to fall on the just and the unjust. He causes the seasons to come at
                            the proper time. He causes the seeds to grow. Why try to forcast the
                            weather and study agronomy? God forbid us to grow hybred plants or to
                            wear wool/cotton blend sox. Also prohibited is cross-breeding so mules
                            are not Kosher. Much more "Christian" to revert to low yield crops and
                            let people starve?

                            billwald@...

                            [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                          • cameron
                            ... Right, but I m not suggesting Jesus was the myth-maker. I m suggesting the authors of the Gospels *may* have been myth-makers. Its one thing to accept
                            Message 13 of 21 , May 3, 2003
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                              On May 3, 2003 06:06 pm, Jon Saboe wrote:
                              >Cameron, you are correct, the old testament narrative covers about 4000
                              > years, but the authorship would certainly have been within 1000 years BC.
                              > The 4000 years refers to the harmony within the narrative.
                              >
                              >Yes Isaiah does say that there will be nothing about him physically that
                              > would attract people. It would be his message and his love.
                              >
                              >As far as a convenient method for myth-making, you must understand how
                              > impossible it would have been for Jesus to orchestrate all of the details
                              > needed to match up with the prophesies.

                              Right, but I'm not suggesting Jesus was the myth-maker. I'm suggesting the
                              authors of the Gospels *may* have been myth-makers. Its one thing to accept
                              the existence of Jesus, its another to accept the "miracles" and the evidence
                              of prophetcy fulfilled as anything but historical/narrative interpolation.
                              The Jewish people wanted a messiah, whose to say they weren't given one in
                              retrospect?

                              --
                              Cameron
                            • Brian van der Spuy
                              [[[ From: pk4_paul Subject: Re: who says religious truths have to do with the empircal? If there were evidence that the facts upon which
                              Message 14 of 21 , May 4, 2003
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                                [[[ From: "pk4_paul" <pk4_paul@...>
                                Subject: Re: who says religious truths have to do with the empircal?
                                If there were evidence that the facts upon which my faith is based were bogus then my faith would be in vain and consequently abandoned. This view is not unique.]]]]

                                ---It is not every day that I meet a Christian without faith! ;-)

                                [[[Ultimately, if I am honest, I'll admit that if you trace the line of logic far enough you'll encounter an assumption I hold to be self-evident and which is held by faith.]]]

                                ---What assumption would that be? (Let me know if you prefer not to tell; I certainly do not wish to dig into things you might consider private. I'm just curious.)

                                [[[ I'm emphasizing the point because most evolutionists believe that science has proven evolution in the same way it has Newton's laws of motion. I disagree. There is ample faith on both sides of the evolution/creation debate.]]]

                                ---My opinion is that science has not proven anything at all, including Newton's laws. I conceive of science as endeavouring to explain and predict the phenomena of the physical universe, and to do so by the development and testing of theoretical models. And that's all: I don't think science has anything to say about ultimate truths.



                                [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                              • Stephen E. Jones
                                Group On Fri, 02 May 2003 01:07:53 -0000, pk4_paul wrote: My apologies to Paul for this delay. The problem is that it is the squeaky wheel which gets the oil
                                Message 15 of 21 , May 17, 2003
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                                  Group

                                  On Fri, 02 May 2003 01:07:53 -0000, pk4_paul wrote:

                                  My apologies to Paul for this delay. The problem is that it is the squeaky
                                  wheel which gets the oil first!

                                  Phil Skell might like to check out the first tagline quote from David Stove's
                                  book (actually a Roger Kimball's anthology of David Stove), "Against the
                                  Idol's of the Age".

                                  [...]

                                  >>>SJ>In the case of Christianity, unlike most (if not all) other religions,
                                  >>"it" very much does "have a thing to do with the empirical", in that
                                  >>Christianity claims, e.g.: 1) God created and sustains the real,
                                  >>"empirical" world; 2) God supernaturally inserted information about
                                  >>Himself, His purposes and His commands how humans are to live, into
                                  >>the real, "empirical" world, which information has taken on "empirical"
                                  >>form in the Bible; 3) God Himself entered this real, "empirical" world in
                                  >>the Person of Jesus; and 4) God will again enter this real, "empirical"
                                  >>world in the Person >of Jesus at His second coming. It is very this
                                  >>"empirical" content that generates the conflict >between Christianity
                                  >>and science, which also makes "empirical" claims >about the real
                                  >>world.

                                  PK>I would agree that Biblical accounts about people and events are
                                  >intrinsically empirical but this does not pose a conflict with
                                  >science. To believe this is to assert that any historical account is
                                  >also in conflict with science.

                                  I am not sure that I understand Paul here. Quite clearly a "historical
                                  account" *can* be "in conflict with science". For example, if the Sun,
                                  Moon and stars being made on the day 4 (Gen. 1:14-16), after the Earth on
                                  Day 1 (Gen. 1:2-1:5), and plants on Day 3 (Gen. 1:9-13) is taken to be a
                                  literal "historical account", then it is, prima facie "in conflict with science".

                                  Note that I am not saying that Gen. 1 *is* "in conflict with science", only
                                  that it is *prima facie* (i.e. at first appearance) "in conflict with science". It is
                                  possible to interpret Gen. 1:14-16 as saying that the Sun, moon and stars
                                  were actually created as the "light" in Gen. 1:3 and only assumed their role
                                  "to give light on the earth" (Gen. 1:15) on day 4 after the creation of plants
                                  on day 3.

                                  PK>In assessing the accuracy of the
                                  >Bible one ought to hold it to the same standards used to evaluate
                                  >Homer's Illiad, Caesar's Gaellic Wars and any other writings valued
                                  >as historic records. When applied to the Bible the standards
                                  >(historians have methodologies for these purposes) should be not
                                  >greater or less than the working norm.

                                  Agreed in general.

                                  *** Moderator: Although I here comment on Brian's part of this post, I
                                  remind him that he must *first* respond to my Moderator's request:
                                  http://groups.yahoo.com/group/CreationEvolutionDesign/message/5112
                                  ***
                                  When I started this post, I did not realise it contained part of Brian's
                                  post.

                                  >BS>As I see it, conflict is still not inevitable, because while the
                                  >above claims are empirical ones, they are not necessarily scientific.
                                  >Let me illustrate what I mean by an analogy:
                                  >>
                                  >>Suppose I claim that there are intelligent ghosts haunting my
                                  >house, and that they make such a noise at night that I cannot sleep.
                                  >Suppose that I further claim that it is pointless for scientists to
                                  >come investigate the issue, because these ghosts are intelligent, and
                                  >choose never to show themselves when there are scientific observers
                                  >around.
                                  >>
                                  >>The above claim is empirical, in the sense that it makes a
                                  >statement about the physical, empirically observable world. But it is
                                  >still not scientific, because it expressly makes it clear that the
                                  >issue cannot be investigated scientifically, and that the claim is
                                  >not based on *objectively* verifiable evidence.

                                  Agreed with this, but ID does not "claim that it is pointless for scientists to
                                  come investigate the issue", but in fact the opposite. ID claimis that there
                                  is evidence for design in nature that is empirically detectable, and hence
                                  "scientific".

                                  >BS>Now, a claim such as "Jesus was the Son of God" seems to me to fall
                                  >into this category of empirical, but non-scientific, claims. It does
                                  >not need to conflict with science, unless it forwards objectively
                                  >verifiable evidence. And when it does that, it has entered the arena
                                  >of science: it cannot really conflict with science, in the sense that
                                  >a statement does not have to be true to be scientific. E.g. the
                                  >statement 'wood burns because it contains phlogiston' is not true,
                                  >but it is a scientific statement in the sense that it can be tested
                                  >by experiment/observation.

                                  Quite clearly "a claim such as `Jesus was the Son of God'" is not even
                                  *intended* to be "scientific", even though it is intended that it is *true*.

                                  PK>The claim that Jesus was the Son of God is indeed made in the New
                                  >Testament but this statement was never intended to be evaluated in
                                  >isolation. Jesus and his followers knew that it was unreasonable to
                                  >expect others to blindly accept that claim without proof. How could
                                  >God demonstrate his divinity? By doing things that are completely
                                  >contrary to scientific laws such as walking on water, turning water
                                  >into wine, healing the sick, enabling the blind to see and rising
                                  >from the dead. Jesus understood that if he did not perform miracles
                                  >there would be no reason to believe he was anything but an ordinary
                                  >man and yet if he did people would discount miracles as "impossible"
                                  >and choose not to believe. I only ask that the Bible be subjected to
                                  >the same empirical yardsticks as other works of antiquity.

                                  Agreed.

                                  [...]

                                  >BS>As I see it, it is a mistake for religions to make scientific
                                  >>statements, because such statements can be tested and found to be
                                  >>incorrect.

                                  That's *good*. If they are "incorrect", then they *deserve* to be
                                  "tested and found to be incorrect"!

                                  But if they are not "incorrect" then "can be tested and" won't be "found
                                  to be incorrect".

                                  BS>This is problematic in two ways:
                                  >>1. If such statements are found to be incorrect, it damages the
                                  >reputation of the faith, and

                                  *Great*! A "faith" that makes "statements [that] are found to be incorrect",
                                  *deserves* to have "damages [to] the reputation of the faith".

                                  >BS>2. it seems to me inherently blasphemous, because it presumes that
                                  >we can experiment with God.

                                  Here IMHO Brian shows that he is in fact (perhaps unwittingly) just
                                  another Neo-Gnostic. To a Gnostic, it is repugnant that God should
                                  ever directly interact with the world.

                                  It is not "experiment[ing] with God" to "make scientific statements"
                                  about what God has done, e.g. "God created ..."

                                  PK>Biblical accounts are historic records. I believe they are accurate
                                  >and better accord with standards of evidence than any other records
                                  >of antiquity. I'll gladly document this claim upon request.

                                  Agreed.

                                  >BS>I therefore prefer to let religious belief depend on faith alone.
                                  >Those whose faith is strong enough do not require evidence, and those
                                  >who require evidence have no real faith and as such have no business
                                  >being religious in the first place.

                                  This emphasis on "faith", not based on "evidence" is itself more evidence
                                  that Brian is a Gnostic.

                                  Also, it is the complete reverse. "Those whose faith is strong", are not
                                  afraid of "evidence" by which it "can be tested and found to be incorrect."

                                  OTOH it is those whose "faith" is weak who are afraid "to make scientific
                                  statements" which "can be tested and found to be incorrect."

                                  To say that Hudson Taylor had a weak faith, because he went out on a limb
                                  and expected God to answer his prayers, while someone like Brian, who is
                                  "a minister of the ULC", a religion that has "No Requirements Or
                                  Commitments EVER!:

                                  --------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                  On Thu, 15 May 2003 09:21:45 +0800, Stephen E. Jones wrote:

                                  >BS>I am a minister of the ULC.
                                  >
                                  >I take it this is "The Universal Life Church", which has only existed "Since
                                  >1959", yet "Has More Than 20 Million Ordained Ministers World-Wide" (because
                                  >one can "Become An Ordained Minister in just 3 minutes"), and has "No
                                  >Requirements Or Commitments EVER!":

                                  >http://www.ulc.org/ ... Universal Life Church ...
                                  >Become An ORDAINED MINISTER.
                                  >100% Legal & FREE For Life. [click here]
                                  >
                                  >We accept Everyone From ALL Faiths, Beliefs & Religions.
                                  >No Requirements Or Commitments EVER!
                                  >
                                  >Become an ordained minister in less than 3 minutes and start
                                  >your own ministry or church of any faith or religion, TODAY.
                                  >After your instant ordination, proceed to print your instant full color
                                  >ordination credential with your name and ordination date,
                                  >all within 3 minutes and absolutely 100% legal.
                                  >
                                  >The Universal Life Church Has More Than 20 Million
                                  >Ordained Ministers World-Wide Since 1959.
                                  >
                                  >Become An Ordained Minister in just 3 minutes [...]
                                  >--------------------------------------------------------------------------

                                  is obviously a completely ridiculous inversion of reality!

                                  PK>Faith is the evidence of what is unseen. This does not mean is
                                  >must be blind. Throughout the Bible God expects a faith that is
                                  >based on man's knowledge of him. This knowledge is gained through
                                  >recorded events. In addition, the Bible reveals the fingerprints of
                                  >God in the form of prophecies about the future. There are hundreds
                                  >and many have been fulfilled. Only God could know the future. A
                                  >precise account of events written before they occur is as good a form
                                  >of empirical proof as a non-eyewitness will ever get.

                                  Agreed again. It is *great* to see a Christian on CED, prepared to
                                  stick up for what he believes in.

                                  How about it all you God's `frozen' people, lurking Christians on CED?

                                  [...]

                                  Steve


                                  --------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                  "At the same time, Stove maintains that `Darwinism says many things,
                                  especially about our species, which are too obviously false to be believed
                                  by any educated person; or at least by an educated person who retains any
                                  capacity at all for critical thought.' Some examples: that `every single
                                  organic being around us may he said to be striving to the utmost to
                                  increase its numbers'; that `of the many individuals, of any species which
                                  are born, but a small number can survive'; that it is to a mother's
                                  `advantage' that her child should be adopted by another woman; that `no
                                  one is prepared to sacrifice his life for any single person, but...everyone will
                                  sacrifice it for more than two brothers, or four half-brothers, or eight first
                                  cousins'; that `any variation in the least degree injurious [to a species]
                                  would be rigidly destroyed.' All of these quotations are from Darwin or his
                                  orthodox disciples. A moment's reflection shows that none is even remotely
                                  true, at least of human beings. Take the last named: that any thing in the
                                  least injurious to a species would be `rigidly destroyed' by natural selection.
                                  What about abortion, adoption, fondness for alcohol, or anal-intercourse,
                                  just to start with the `A's? As Stove notes, `each of these characteristics
                                  [tends] to shorten our lives, or to lessen the number of children we have, or
                                  both.' Are any on the way to being rigidly destroyed." (Stove D.C. in
                                  Kimball R.. ed., "Against the Idols of the Age," [1999], Transaction
                                  Publishers: New Brunswick NJ, Second printing, 2000, p.xxviii-xxix)
                                  Stephen E. Jones sejones@... or senojes@...
                                  Home: http://members.iinet.net.au/~sejones
                                  Group: http://groups.yahoo.com/group/CreationEvolutionDesign
                                  --------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                • bill wald
                                  See below. Note that this word can mean both controlled experiments and personal experience, maybe even tradition or folk law, The village carpenter . . .
                                  Message 16 of 21 , May 17, 2003
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                                    See below. Note that this word can mean both controlled experiments and
                                    personal experience, maybe even tradition or folk law, "The village
                                    carpenter . . . lays out his work by empirical rules learnt in his
                                    apprenticeship. --H. Spencer." Thus the word is useless in this
                                    discussion.


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                                    Get the Top 10 Most Popular Sites for "empirical"

                                    5 entries found for empirical.
                                    em·pir·i·cal ( P ) Pronunciation Key (m-pîr-kl)
                                    adj.

                                    Relying on or derived from observation or experiment: empirical results
                                    that supported the hypothesis.
                                    Verifiable or provable by means of observation or experiment: empirical
                                    laws.
                                    Guided by practical experience and not theory, especially in medicine.


                                    em·piri·cal·ly adv.

                                    Source: The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth
                                    Edition
                                    Copyright © 2000 by Houghton Mifflin Company.
                                    Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.
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                                    empirical
                                    P empirical: log in for this definition of empirical and other entries
                                    in Merriam-Webster Medical Dictionary, available only to Dictionary.com
                                    Premium members.

                                    Source: Merriam-Webster Medical Dictionary, © 2002 Merriam-Webster, Inc.


                                    empirical
                                    Empiric \Em*pir"ic\, Empirical \Em*pir"ic*al\, a. 1. Pertaining to, or
                                    founded upon, experiment or experience; depending upon the observation of
                                    phenomena; versed in experiments.

                                    In philosophical language, the term empirical means simply what belongs
                                    to or is the product of experience or observation. --Sir W. Hamilton.

                                    The village carpenter . . . lays out his work by empirical rules learnt
                                    in his apprenticeship. --H. Spencer.

                                    2. Depending upon experience or observation alone, without due regard to
                                    science and theory; -- said especially of medical practice, remedies,
                                    etc.; wanting in science and deep insight; as, empiric skill, remedies.

                                    Empirical formula. (Chem.) See under Formula.

                                    Syn: See Transcendental.

                                    Source: Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary, © 1996, 1998 MICRA, Inc.


                                    empirical
                                    adj : derived from experiment and observation rather than theory; "an
                                    empirical basis for an ethical theory"; "empirical laws"; "empirical
                                    data"; "an empirical treatment of a disease about which little is known"
                                    [ant: theoretical]

                                    Source: WordNet ® 1.6, © 1997 Princeton University


                                    empirical
                                    empirical: in CancerWEB's On-line Medical Dictionary

                                    Source: On-line Medical Dictionary, © 1997-98 Academic Medical Publishing
                                    & CancerWEB

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                                    billwald@...

                                    [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                                  • bill wald
                                    PK Faith is the evidence of what is unseen. This does not mean is ... Such as the geographical record? (A large stone tablet? ) Astronomical events? DNA
                                    Message 17 of 21 , May 17, 2003
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                                      PK>Faith is the evidence of what is unseen. This does not mean is
                                      >must be blind. Throughout the Bible God expects a faith that is
                                      >based on man's knowledge of him. This knowledge is gained through
                                      >recorded events.

                                      Such as the geographical record? (A large stone tablet? <G>) Astronomical
                                      events? DNA experiments?

                                      > In addition, the Bible reveals the fingerprints of
                                      >God in the form of prophecies about the future. There are hundreds
                                      >and many have been fulfilled. Only God could know the future. A
                                      >precise account of events written before they occur is as good a form
                                      >of empirical proof as a non-eyewitness will ever get.

                                      Say 10,000 years from now a bound copy of the "Foundation" series is
                                      found. The future generation could probably compare it with selected
                                      events in their past history and conclude that Harry Seldon was a prophet
                                      - as the followers of Nostradamus have done.

                                      Prophecies are more believable when they are made and fulfilled in one
                                      generation.

                                      billwald@...

                                      pre·cise ( P ) Pronunciation Key (pr-ss)
                                      adj.
                                      Clearly expressed or delineated; definite: The victim gave a precise
                                      description of the suspect.
                                      Exact, as in performance, execution, or amount; accurate or correct: a
                                      precise measurement; a precise instrument.
                                      Strictly distinguished from others; very: at that precise moment.
                                      Distinct and correct in sound or meaning: precise pronunciation; precise
                                      prose.
                                      Conforming strictly to rule or proper form: “The setting up of this
                                      Maypole was a lamentable spectacle to the precise separatists that lived
                                      at New Plymouth” (Thomas Morton).



                                      [Middle English, exact, from Old French precis, condensed, precisely
                                      fixed, from Latin praecsus, past participle of praecdere, to shorten :
                                      prae-, pre- + caedere, to cut; see ka-id- in Indo-European Roots.]

                                      pre·ciseness n.

                                      Source: The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth
                                      Edition
                                      Copyright © 2000 by Houghton Mifflin Company.
                                      Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.
                                      [Buy it]


                                      precise
                                      \Pre*cise"\, a. [L. praecisus cut off, brief, concise, p. p. of
                                      praecidere to cut off in front, to cut off; prae before + caedere to cut:
                                      cf. F. pr['e]cis. Cf. Concise.] 1. Having determinate limitations;
                                      exactly or sharply defined or stated; definite; exact; nice; not vague or
                                      equivocal; as, precise rules of morality.

                                      The law in this point is not precise. --Bacon.

                                      For the hour precise Exacts our parting hence. --Milton.

                                      2. Strictly adhering or conforming to rule; very nice or exact;
                                      punctilious in conduct or ceremony; formal; ceremonious. --Addison.

                                      He was ever precise in promise-keeping. --Shak.

                                      Syn: Accurate; exact; definite; correct; scrupulous; punctilious;
                                      particular; nice; formal. See Accurate. -- Pre*cise\"ly, adv. --
                                      Pre*cise\"ness, n.

                                      Source: Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary, © 1996, 1998 MICRA, Inc.


                                      precise
                                      adj 1: sharply exact or accurate or delimited; "a precise mind";
                                      "specified a precise amount"; "arrived at the precise moment" [ant:
                                      imprecise] 2: exact in performance or amount; strictly correct; "a
                                      precise instrument"; "a precise measurement" [syn: accurate, exact]

                                      Source: WordNet ® 1.6, © 1997 Princeton University


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                                      [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                                    • bill wald
                                      ... Makes as much sense as saying that the history of OREO Cookies is in conflict with science. This is confusing science with the history of science. For
                                      Message 18 of 21 , May 18, 2003
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                                        >Quite clearly a "historical
                                        >account" *can* be "in conflict with science". For example, if the Sun,
                                        >Moon and stars being made on the day 4 (Gen. 1:14-16), . . .

                                        Makes as much sense as saying that the history of OREO Cookies is in
                                        conflict with science. This is confusing "science" with "the history of
                                        science." For example, alchemy could be said to be in conflict with
                                        chemistry but both belong in the history of science. So does the Genesis
                                        account.

                                        (Almost transmitted, "You are confusing." This would have been taken as a
                                        personal attach similar to "But those who, like Bill, take on God, are
                                        either *infinitely* brave, or
                                        *infinitely* foolish!")


                                        billwald@...

                                        [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                                      • Stephen E. Jones
                                        Group On Sun, 18 May 2003 09:55:26 -0700, bill wald wrote: [...] BW This would have been taken as a ... That highlights the problem. How can I warn those who,
                                        Message 19 of 21 , May 19, 2003
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                                          Group

                                          On Sun, 18 May 2003 09:55:26 -0700, bill wald wrote:

                                          [...]

                                          BW>This would have been taken as a
                                          >personal attach similar to "But those who, like Bill, take on God, are
                                          >either *infinitely* brave, or *infinitely* foolish!")

                                          That highlights the problem. How can I warn those who, like Bill, attack
                                          God, of the *infinitely* foolish thing that I think they are doing, without
                                          them thinking that I am attacking them?

                                          But if Bill thinks about it, if I wanted to personally attack him, I wouldn't
                                          have done it in such a deliberately convoluted and restrained way.

                                          It seems to me that if Christianity is true, then those who have made it
                                          their mission in life to attack God, will be punished among the *most*
                                          severely. Especially those who are lapsed `Christians', because they
                                          cannot even plead ignorance.

                                          My conscience is now clear as far as Bill is concerned. The ball is in
                                          his court. At least he cannot say he didn't know.

                                          [...]

                                          Steve

                                          PS: To change the subject, here is another *great* David Stove quote.

                                          --------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                          "Stove is also very good at exposing the mind-boggling claims of
                                          sociobiology, a school of neo-Darwinism whose fundamental tenet is that
                                          an organism is epiphenomenal to its genes: that a human being, for
                                          example, is nothing more than a puppet manipulated by his genetic
                                          makeup. If this seems like an exaggeration, consider the statement by the
                                          eminent sociobiologist E.O. Wilson that `an organism is only DNA'S way
                                          of making more DNA.' It is worth pausing to ponder the implications of
                                          that `only.' Or consider Richard Dawkins, another eminent sociobiologist
                                          and author of The Selfish Gene, a hugely popular book whose basic
                                          message is that `we are ... robot-vehicles blindly programmed to preserve
                                          the selfish molecules known as genes.' Of course, as Stove points out,
                                          `genes can no more be selfish than they can be (say) supercilious, or
                                          stupid.' The popularity of Dawkins's book lies in the powerful appeal that
                                          puppet-theories of human behavior always exercise on those who combine
                                          cynicism with credulousness; but genetic puppet theories are no more
                                          convincing than those propounded by Freudians, Marxists, or astrologers."
                                          (Stove D.C., in Kimball R., ed., "Against the Idols of the Age," [1999],
                                          Transaction Publishers: New Brunswick NJ, Second printing, 2000, p.xxx-
                                          xxxi. Ellipses in original)
                                          Stephen E. Jones sejones@... or senojes@...
                                          Home: http://members.iinet.net.au/~sejones
                                          Group: http://groups.yahoo.com/group/CreationEvolutionDesign
                                          --------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                        • bill wald
                                          ... wouldn t ... If you didn t want to attack me personally you could have evangelized me off list. billwald@juno.com Most every religion teaches that God
                                          Message 20 of 21 , May 19, 2003
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                                            >But if Bill thinks about it, if I wanted to personally attack him, I
                                            wouldn't
                                            >have done it in such a deliberately convoluted and restrained way.

                                            If you didn't want to attack me personally you could have "evangelized"
                                            me off list.

                                            billwald@...
                                            Most every religion teaches that God will give a passing grade to anyone
                                            who tries to be a good neighbor and repents of screw-ups. In most
                                            variations of Christianity, the good neighboring and repenting doesn't
                                            count unless accompanied by proper thinking (called "believing in" or
                                            "having faith). The problem is that there is no definitive list of the
                                            thoughts must be thunk in order to be saved. For example, it is agreed
                                            that one must believe that Jesus is God but there is no consensus that
                                            women should wear head coverings in church or at least while praying in
                                            church. The Jews only count 613 positive and negative statements in Torah
                                            Law but there are possibly more than 613 Christian denominations and
                                            there is probably at least one unique "think/not think" for every
                                            denomination.
                                            Rabbinical Judaism has a concept of "putting a hedge around the Law." For
                                            example, the Law says that when administering corporal punishment, the
                                            maximum permissable punishment is (I think - without looking it up) 40
                                            lashes. So the first hedge is 39 lashes. If we make 39 the limit, then we
                                            don't have to worry about exceeding 40. But after a few hundred years, 49
                                            lashes becomes, by tradition, part of the Law, so to be on the safe side,
                                            the new hedge is 48 lashes. A judge will sentence a prisioner to 38
                                            lashes. After a few hundred years . . . .
                                            Christianity calls this process, "legalism." Christians are "saved by
                                            grace through faith, it is not of works . . . ." Putting a hedge around
                                            the Law is called a "work." BAD! We revert to to 40 lash law and if we
                                            screw up and administer 41, well, we repent and God forgives us. If the
                                            guy kicks the bucket on the 41st lash, well, it was predestined. God
                                            knows his own. (This concept was made famous during the Reformation
                                            period by a Catholic bishop instructing his troops to burn an Anabaptist
                                            village. During the VietNam War it became "kill them all and let God sort
                                            them out.")
                                            God will forgive the 51st lash but he won't forgive an omission of proper
                                            thought, a mis-interpretation of the Bible, incorrect belief. A
                                            mis-interpretation is not "believing" God, and unbelievers go to Hell. It
                                            isn't enough to believe that Jesus died for our sins and God raised him
                                            from the dead as proof. The entire Bible is God's Word, and we must
                                            believe it, even if we don't understand it.
                                            If we don't understand it, then how do we sort fact from parable from
                                            allegory? The safest approach it to regard every statement as fact. This
                                            won't save us from ignorance and embarrisment but it will save us from
                                            Hell. This is the "Christian" hedge, Christian "Works righteousness."
                                            Thus one major difference between Judaism and Christianity is that the
                                            Jews put a hedge around that which they understand while many Christians
                                            put a hedge around that which they don't understand - mostly everything.
                                          • Stephen E. Jones
                                            Group ... BW If you didn t want to attack me personally you could have ... [...] If Bill attacks God on list, then I will respond on list. Steve ... In the
                                            Message 21 of 21 , May 19, 2003
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                                              Group

                                              On Mon, 19 May 2003 09:28:52 -0700, bill wald wrote:

                                              >SJ>But if Bill thinks about it, if I wanted to personally attack him, I
                                              >>wouldn't have done it in such a deliberately convoluted and
                                              >>restrained way.

                                              BW>If you didn't want to attack me personally you could have
                                              >evangelized" me off list.

                                              [...]

                                              If Bill attacks God on list, then I will respond on list.

                                              Steve

                                              --------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                              "In the end, Stove's discussion of Darwinian theory shows that, when it
                                              comes to the species H. sapiens, Darwinism "is a mere festering mass of
                                              errors." It can tell you "lots of truths about plants, flies, fish, etc., and
                                              interesting truths, too.... [But] if it is human life that you would most like
                                              to know about and to understand, then a good library can be begun by
                                              leaving out Darwinism, from 1859 [when On the Origin of Species was
                                              published] to the present hour." It is not a pretty picture that Stove paints;
                                              but then the exhibition of gross error widely accepted is never a comely
                                              sight." (Stove D.C., in Kimball R., ed., "Against the Idols of the Age,"
                                              [1999], Transaction Publishers: New Brunswick NJ, Second printing,
                                              2000, p.xxxi. Emphasis in original)
                                              Stephen E. Jones sejones@... or senojes@...
                                              Home: http://members.iinet.net.au/~sejones
                                              Group: http://groups.yahoo.com/group/CreationEvolutionDesign
                                              --------------------------------------------------------------------------
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