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Re: [creation_evolution_debate] Re: Fried green tomatoes

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  • Dave Oldridge
    ... You will often find in these echoes that the term creationist is used primarily to denote the latter-day young-earth heresy that I sometimes call the
    Message 1 of 78 , Oct 1, 2004
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      On 30 Sep 2004 at 8:18, Michael wrote:

      > --- In creation_evolution_debate@yahoogroups.com, "elliott"
      > <eia1957@a...> wrote:
      > > I think creationists do not question the tenets of their faith,
      > which
      > > is why it is called faith. But they are also adamant about
      > > questioning every aspect of science, of which they hold in no
      > regard
      > > and apparently fail to understand. They do not respect the work of
      > > mainstream science, consistently fail to use sound logical
      > arguments,
      > > are always highly selective of their use of legitimate science out
      > of
      > > context and willingly use obfuscation and deception to move their
      > > faith-based agenda towards the scientific disenfranchisement of all
      > > Americans.
      > You paint all Creationists with the same brush which some would say
      > is prejudice. I am educated post-high school in science so I respect
      > mainstream science. Yet, I believe in God , the Bible, and that he is
      > the Creator. How is the question.

      You will often find in these echoes that the term "creationist" is used
      primarily to denote the latter-day young-earth heresy that I sometimes call the
      Morrisite heresy, since it primarily follows the basic teachings of Henry

      It makes certain scientifically testable claims:

      1. The universe and the earth were created in 168 literal hours about 6000
      years ago.

      2. Man was created right after the earth and Adam's sin is responsible for all
      corporeal death in the world. Man and different "kinds" of animals were
      created separately by God.

      3. There was a global flood covering the entire earth 4500 years ago.

      These more or less represent the most sacred core beliefs of the Morrisites,
      though they variously add other beliefs such as vapour canopy, c-decay or
      whatever the excuse du jour is for ignoring the more salient bits of scientific
      evidence against these three.

      This is usually what people mean when they talk about "creationism" and
      "creationists," though properly it is young-earth creationism or YEC.

      Then there are various OEC beliefs that deny evolution and more or less insist
      on some version of point 2 above, but who are willing to accept a great age for
      the earth, hence they are old-earth creationists.

      Finally, there are a variety of theistic beliefs, all the way from deism to
      orthodox or catholic Christianity that can accept evolution as the way things
      happened but attribute varying degrees of sovereignty over it all to God.
      These beliefs are often lumped together by the YEC's and called theistic
      evolution. There are, however, some large differences between different
      versions' theologies, the deist version being almost purely God started the
      universe and then left it to its own devices, while the Catholic view is that
      God remains intimately involved in all of it. Methodists and Presbyterians
      have their own versions. And it is this latter fact that dusts one of the more
      prominent pieces of YEC mythology, which is that evolution is only accepted by
      atheists. They are not dogmatic on that, but they usually imply it at some
      point in their preachments.

      > > Ah, "truth", the spiritual Holy Grail.
      > > Truth in science means something completely different from that of
      > > theology. Your quest for spiritual "truth" is your personal
      > journey.
      > > In science, truth is not personal, is subject to verification and
      > is
      > > accepted by its practitioners.

      > ummmm true as in is the answer true or is it false . Take the
      > story of Noah's Ark is there evidence it may have happened?
      > Only by using science can we tell if that stuff they found in the
      > ground was an Ark and if it fit the description in the Bible.

      Or conversely, prove thit it was not an ark and doesn't fit. So far as I can
      tell, it's mostly fabricated hype.

      > Yes if the answer is yes it does then it doesn't prove the story in
      > the Bible right. It does provide one good piece oof evidence.
      > Since I missed the end of the program I need to research the current
      > state of it.
      > Michael replied...
      > > > Here we have the difference of theory, law or fact.
      > > > The important stuff of gravity is fact and not theory.
      > >
      > IEA WROTE:
      > > I'm sorry, but the "fact" is that the currently accepted
      > explanation
      > > of gravitional forces is a "theory." Always has been, always will
      > be
      > > a theory. Any addition new information doesn't change the
      > > identification of it as a "theory."
      > Maybe I have been out of the loop to long but do we still consider
      > the fact that gravity exists a theory or do little green men cause
      > the apple to fall?

      The little green man theory of gravity is in disfavour. My personal favorite
      is the invisible elf theory. In order to be scientific, a theory must be
      testable. As far as I know, there is no way to test either the little green
      man or invisible elf versions of gravity. But the general relativity version
      is perhaps THE most tested theory in all of science today. And it works every
      time we test it. Newton's theory would give us inaccurate GPS. But Einstein's
      general relativity gives us accurate positions, for example.

      > I wrote:
      > > > When you drop an apple from a tree its
      > > > going to hit the ground because of gravity ,
      > > > thats a fact and not open to judgement.

      > Your reply:
      > > More precisely, that's an observation. That observation can be
      > > interpreted in a number of different ways with differing mechanisms
      > > of explanation. To establish anything like a "fact" it must be
      > > accepted conclusively that the proposed mechanism had the observed
      > > effects so that investigation can be allowed to temporarily cease.

      > When in space the Apple floats . Why? Little green men are holding
      > up the apple? Please inform me of some valid alternatives to the
      > explanation of gravity existing.

      Nothing "floats" in space. Everything falls freely in space. If the thing
      (spacecraft) you're in is falling and you are falling with it, then you APPEAR
      to float. But I digress. How would you propose to test for little green men?
      I mean we can look at the apple and we see no little green men so right off
      they fail ONE test for them! But THAT test won't work on invisible elves!

      > > Nope, while the origin and development of life were not directly
      > > observed by any humans (it being obviously impossible to perform
      > such
      > > an observation) the evidence of the fitness of these theories

      > You just said it "Theories" and not fact or law!

      > >> No, that is a misuse of science.
      > > Science is not equipped to examine the supernatural.
      > > Science has no inherent ability to support theology of any type.

      > and yet its used all the time? Not just bible based but also
      > paranormal studies also. Okay I know its been unsucessful but its
      > been done where scientific equipment was used to try and record
      > ghosts. What biblical artifacts? Are they valid? I am not talking
      > about science proving God exists that been made impossible I believe
      > by God Himself. I talking using science to validate certain pieces of
      > evidence.

      The Church uses science all the time to test claims of the miraculous. Very,
      very often this results in the claim being rejected. But not always.

      > I wrote:
      > > > Sometimes we use basic science
      > > > principles that we have come to
      > > > think of as just common sense,
      > > > For example Gravity .
      > Your Reply:
      > > Ah, no, the theory gravity is not just common sense. It is science
      > > based on observation, test, study, verification and even crazier
      > > conjectures than I'm willing (or able) to think about (that gravity
      > > is a product of string theory for example).
      > Read what I wrote please. It how we think of it. To most of us real
      > people its just common sense that the apple falls to the ground from
      > something called gravity and not green men. What causes gravity we
      > will leave up to the "crazy ones" to debate.

      We don't actually know what causes gravity. We think that gravity is a change
      in the shape of space-time, associated with the presence of mass. In Newton's
      physics things travel in a straight line at a constant velocity unless acted on
      by a force. In general relativity, the straight line becomes a geodesic in
      space-time so that an orbiting satellite or planet is simply following the
      shortest, "straightest" path in curved, relativistic space.

      > .> > I can't do the explanation as much justice as a recent article
      > in
      > > Discover magazine. The article dissected the possible evolutionary
      > > routes of RNA, which many scientists consider to be the precursor
      > of
      > > DNA. The article speaks to abiogenesis, not evolution, but the
      > > natural mechanisms discussed are at the heart of both. The
      > reference
      > > is:
      > > "What Came Before DNA?" June, 2004, Discover Magazine.
      > >
      > Ah the so called RNA world. This theory has its share of skeptics.
      > Its certainly not a new theory. The skeptics include university
      > science professors and researchers , etc.

      Sure, there is much debate and a lot of alternate theories about the origin of
      life itself. That's because the really ancient evidence is all gone and we
      must therefore test everything ourselves.

      > > As for the role of complexity in nature, take a look at the
      > beautiful
      > > photos of Saturn's rings from the Cassini probe. They are glorious.
      > > The mechanism that produces those rings is completely natural and
      > > random and yet produces such prefect objects of complex and
      > balanced
      > > beauty.
      > The rings certainly are beautiful , but to call them complex as
      > compared to life? Compared to human life ? To the music of Mozart
      > or Bach?

      The mandelbrodt set (and similar pieces of fractal geometry) is proof that a
      simple iteration can result in LITERALLY infinite complexity. Indeed, this is
      probably better (though circumstantial) evidence for God's existence than
      anything the creationists or intelligent design advocates have touted.

      > > For a more home grown example, look at the ability of bacteria to
      > > proliferate in the wake of medical marvels of modern science. The
      > > little critters are not sentient, they have no conscious control of
      > > their own motivations but have succeeded in finding nooks and
      > > crannies for themselves that have enabled them to succeed against
      > the
      > > best that we have been able to throw at them. The natural processes
      > > of selection through time aptly explains the observed effects.

      > I know some here don't accept the terms but too bad I will use them.
      > The bacteria is cabable of micro-evolution or adaptation. Changes
      > within species is not being argued by most. It the bigger or macro-
      > evolution thats is in dispute. To jump from changes within a species
      > to the ability to form new classes ,orders, kingdoms needs more
      > support and evidence.

      My answer to those who claim that macroevolution cannot occur is to ask if they
      consider the development of humans and chimps from a common genetic ancestor to
      be macro- or micro-evolution.

      Dave Oldridge
      ICQ 1800667
    • Leon Albert, Prof. of Anthropology, ret.
      ... From: Dave Oldridge To: creation_evolution_debate@yahoogroups.com Sent: Tuesday, October 19, 2004 1:14 PM Subject: Re: [creation_evolution_debate] Re:
      Message 78 of 78 , Oct 24, 2004
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        ----- Original Message -----
        Sent: Tuesday, October 19, 2004 1:14 PM
        Subject: Re: [creation_evolution_debate] Re: Fried green tomatoes

        On 18 Oct 2004 at 20:06, Leon Albert, Prof. of Anthrop wrote:

        >   ----- Original Message -----
        >   From: Dave Oldridge
        >   To: creation_evolution_debate@yahoogroups.com
        >   Sent: Friday, October 15, 2004 4:25 PM
        >   Subject: Re: [creation_evolution_debate] Re: Fried green tomatoes
        >   On 14 Oct 2004 at 14:52, Leon Albert, Prof. of Anthrop wrote:
        >   >
        >   >   ----- Original Message -----
        >   >   From: Dave Oldridge
        >   >   To: creation_evolution_debate@yahoogroups.com
        >   >   Sent: Saturday, October 09, 2004 11:01 AM
        >   >   Subject: Re: [creation_evolution_debate] Re: Fried green tomatoes
        >   >
        >   >
        >   >   On 9 Oct 2004 at 8:26, Leon Albert, Prof. of Anthrop wrote:
        >   >
        >   >   >
        >   >   >   ----- Original Message -----
        >   >   >   From: Dave Oldridge
        >   >   >   To: creation_evolution_debate@yahoogroups.com
        >   >   >   Sent: Saturday, October 02, 2004 5:19 AM
        >   >   >   Subject: Re: [creation_evolution_debate] Re: Fried green tomatoes >

        >   > >   > >   >   On 1 Oct 2004 at 5:29, Michael wrote: >   > >   >   > ---
        >   creation_evolution_debate@yahoogroups.com, "Leon Albert, Prof. > >    > of
        >   Anthropology, ret." <lalbert001@c...> wrote: >   > > >   > >   Leon: >  
        >   is no "Hebrew" version of the NT, Mike. The long >   > lost "original" >  
        >   no doubt in Greek, and there were no doubt many >   > REVERSIONS of that > 

        >   before it even reached our oldest extant version. >   > And, EVERY "new" > 

        >   version is inevitably influenced by the varying >   > current "theologies"
        >   >   those who produce them. The same holds for > >   There is no real
        >   for >   this latter claim.  I think the WRITERS were >   certainly
        >   by their >   ambient theologies, but I think the scribes >   tried, and
        >   basically succeeded >   in making pretty good copies.  And that is >  
        >   out by the agreement >   between copies that we have, even when they are > 

        >   from periods as far apart >   as 400 years. > >   >  Leon: Dave is
        >   mere "copying" >   >   with coming up with "new TRANSLATED versions." > > 
        >   Nope.  Translations inevitably involve interpretations and thus differ > 
        >   according to the traditions of the interpreters.
        >   >   Leon: That valid point does not negate your confusion of the two
        >   processes.
        >   I don't have any confusion about the two processes.  You are confused about
        >   what I'm saying. Leon: Then we agree that mere copying is dramatically
        >   different from translating.

        Indeed it is.  Which is why I refer to original language COPIES (none of those
        are perfect either, but they MOSTLY agree) instead of letting a translation
        guide all my thinking.  And, to supplement my own translation, I consult
        others, such as Jerom's Vulgate, the Peshitta, the KJV, and so forth.  I do not
        rely much on the NIV, I've caught it in some stupid and egregious errors.

        >   >   >   > the readers/interpretors of the various versions. They invariably

        >    >   > get "OUT" of their readings almost precisely what they put "IN" to >

        >   >   them, their own learned religious preconceptions. BTW, the writings >  
        >   >   ATTRIBUTED falsely to a "Luke" regarding Paul's thinking and >   >
        >   activites >   are dramatically contrary to Paul's own alleged writings. > >

        >   >   Attributions in any ancient literature are problematic, to say the
        >   >   >   since it was common to attribute things to famous people.  Nobody
        >   thought >   it >   wrong. > >  
        >   >Leon: Values change. Modern historical scholarship
        >   >   considers such false >   attributions to be grossly wrong!
        >   >   Of course, but there is no point in attributing evil ethics to ancient
        >   writers who were innocently doing what was the custom of the time.
        >   >   Leon: Who said anything about "evil ethics?" The fact remains, it was >
        >   grossly wrong.

        No, it was just different.  Sheesh, talk about chewing on the forbidden fruit!

        >   No, the fact remains that we should not place too much importance on such
        >   attributions.  There was nothing wrong with it as long as everyone
        >   the rules.  Where the wrongness enters is when someone tries to interpret
        >   material using a different set of rules that the writers did not adhere to.

        >   Leon: Flat-out forgery in the form of falsely claiming that a work is the
        > work of a famous other person has always been against the rules.

        Not really....it was considered "honoring" the person to attribute writings to
        them in some cultures.
        I think that you are confusing the ancient practice in Greco-Roman education of learning to write IN THE STYLE OF various famous personages. At any rate, the Catholic Church'es infamous false attributions of the originally anonymous Gospels was certainly motivated by the AGENDA of giving them a fallacious "historical authority" that they didn't originally have as ANONYMOUS productions. Then there's the additional layer of unintended irony in the fact that the falsely alleged "authors" THEMSELVES are even very likely fictional!   
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