- Dear Nathan:
You and I are very close on our definitions of faith.
I reject the premise postulated by the great late 20th
century philosopher Archie Bunker who said faith is
believing something that no one in his right mind
would believe. (This is belief just cuz)
Hypothetical example: I have a 1991 Caddilac Seville
in my yard.
I can believe that a team of engineers worldwide
designed the components of the car and formed them in
a factory in Detroit. I base my belief on the
evidence of intelligent design I see in the car.
I reject the idea that there is any intelligent life
in Detroit. I believe that the car came into
existence by a set of natural mechanistic processes.
I postulate that the bulk of the car is iron so my
yard was a prehistoric iron deposit. I conclude that
the surrounding dirt must have eroded away over
millions of years, and left a deposit in the exact
shape of the steel shell and frame of the car. The car
must have also been in an oil pocket to produce the
tires plastic and engine oil. Washing sands of the
sea made the silica deposits which eventually became
the computer module. Precise prehistoric flashes of
lightning programmed the E PROM in the module. This
process must have taken billions of years because of
all of the details of creating the wiring harness by
alternating copper deposits, and drying hydrocarbons
to shield the wires. The whole earth must have only
gone though its phase of oxidizing and entropy in
recent history because even though car was formed over
billions of years it only shows about 12 years of
rust. I don't see various other cars in earlier
phases of evolution in my neighborhood. Like just the
shell eroding out of the iron deposit but I know they
must exist. I think how great it is that this
mechanistic process could vulcanize the rubber in the
tires but not char the paint on the rims. How did the
process keep from getting paint on the tires. I look
at every complex device in my life and assume that
some natural process developed it.
Who has faith that is "belief just cuz". You guys
must think that every one who plays the lottery wins
every time. How can you observe life in all its
complexity, and not see intelligent design in the
I make no apologies for accepting creation by faith.
I realize that no debate will produce faith in someone
else. But which belief system requires more faith?
P.S. You can explode null space in a lab. The recipe
is found in the anarchist cookbook. Bored high school
video gamers do it as alternative to black powder pipe
bombs. Just kidding :)
The problem here (aside from the obviously facetious
aside from the problems inherent in figuring out how
to exploding a
null-space in the labratory, who would be around to
results?) is that you're confusing "faith" as the word
is normally used
("belief just cuz") with "reasonable assumption" to
fill in gaps in a
data set. I don't know where Christopher Columbus was
was thirteen; but I don't think that instance of
ignorance justifies me
in calling into question his existence in the
On 10 Aug 2002 at 5:52, Sidney Hagen wrote:
> Dear Nathan:
> You have some valid points worth considering.
> My point on testifiable, and falsifiable.
> Reproduce macroevolution in a laboratory, under the
> observation of a scientist. Create life from an
> inanimate object with a camera on your test tube on
> national TV.
> Almost every major point of evolution takes a major
> leap of faith on the part of the scientist.
> 1. All matter came from an explosion of nothing X
> billion years ago.
> Explode nothing and produce matter in a lab. No one
> observes this, mainstream science believes this
> without seeing it.
> 2. One of the balls of matter cooled and just
> happened to get exactly all of the right combination
> of elements to produce life. A few flashes of
> lightning and you have life.
> We have years of research on what conditions are
> favorable to produce life. We have can chemically
> synthesisize the primordial sea. We can produce the
> lightning bolts. Creating life ought to be a common
> Chemistry 101 lab experiment.
> 3. The amino acids in the primordial sea become
> with DNA patterns that replicate themselves.
> Show me someone's lab notes that demonstrates the
> from a brew of organic chemicals to a one celled
> 4. One celled life evolves into more complex life.
> If this is the basis for life we should see millions
> of organisms in transition from one celled to more
> complex life.
> At every stage of development of evolution the
> scientist has to conjecture a hypothetical situation
> which could have produced the next stage of
> development in the process. Most of these
> hypothetical situations are outside of his realm of
> his experience, observation, and reproducibility.
> Every gap in the process that logic wont bridge his
> faith will.
> Take care
> Sid Hagen
> --- Nathan Shumate <nathanshumate@...>
> > On 8 Aug 2002 at 16:38, Sidney Hagen wrote:
> > > All scientists start with a frame of reference
> > based
> > > in their personal faith. If you start with the
> > faith
> > > based assumption that the supernatural doesn't
> > exist.
> > > Then any theory on origins which references the
> > > supernatural is discounted as religious
> > superstition
> > > because it disagrees with your faith based
> > assumption
> > > that their is no supernatural.
> > Incorrect. The problem with most supernatural
> > explanations is that
> > they are either non-evidentiary (like how most
> > miracle-workers can't
> > perform under controlled conditions) or they
> > pre-suppose a
> > suspension of natural laws, which is kind of hard
> > demonstrate
> > logically.
> > > "Cremo & Thompson's work incorporates the
> > > > supernatural realm. The
> > > > supernatural is a matter of belief and cannot
> > > > proven correct or
> > > > otherwise."
> > >
> > > Neither creationism or mainstream
> > paleoanthropology
> > > are testifiable and falsifiable. Both start
> > > faith based assumptions and see science filtered
> > > through their frame of references.
> > Incorrect. Mainstream paleoanthropology is indeed
> > testifiable and
> > falsifiable. Check your older textbooks and see
> > conclusions
> > which have since been thrown out or revised
> > further
> > evidence became available -- a direct application
> > the scientific
> > method. "Scientific creationism," on the other
> > hand, assumes a
> > divine cause which is by definition not subject to
> > research; if one
> > chooses, one can presuppose that God built the
> > yesterday
> > with all of the overlapping impact craters intact,
> > and implanted the
> > memory of its existence into the collective memory
> > of humankind for
> > His own mysterious purposes. Now THAT's not
> > falsifiable.
> > > "Copernicus does not participate in any
> > > > science research, nor
> > > > do they produce a comparable amount of results
> > > > published in peer-
> > > > reviewed journals. In other words, they do not
> > > > operate within any
> > > > recognized scientific parameters."
> > That's a wholly other issue, stemming from the
> > that there WAS
> > no "mainstream science research."
> > > Was his theory incorrect because it was out of
> > > mainstream of his day. (Don't beat me up because
> > the
> > > Church opposed Copernicus)
> > >
> > > It is an ad Homenium fallacy to say theory is
> > outside
> > > the mainstream and therefore incorrect.
> > True, but that's an argument so simplified it
> > little relation to
> > reality. Copernicus' hypothesis was perfectly
> > scientific because it fit
> > the known set of data better than the standing
> > geocentric hypothesis.
> > Now that we DO have a scientific research
> > with peer-
> > reviewed research dating back a couple of
> > there's plenty
> > of data to support the most basic scientific
> > and fairly rigorous
> > scrutiny and debate of lesser matters. If I
> > to propose
> > something completely other than the current solar
> > system model
> > (that the Earth is dumbell-shaped and orbits a
> > ham sandwich,
> > say), I'd have to be able to show how my construct
> > better explains a
> > massive amount of data better than the generally
> > accepted theory.
> > (If I were a Creationist, of course, I could just
> > say, "God wants it to
> > appear as if we're on a sphere, orbiting another
> > sphere, for His own
> > mysterious reasons. But trust me, it's a dumbell
> > going around a
> > sandwich. Says so right here in my holy writ
> > I accept as
> > undebatable axiomatic Truth.")
> > Nathan
> > Nathan
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- Dagnabbit, I did it again!
Here's the response I sent Sid:
On 11 Aug 2002 at 5:01, Sidney Hagen wrote:
> Dear Nathan:
> You and I are very close on our definitions of faith.
> I reject the premise postulated by the great late 20th
> century philosopher Archie Bunker who said faith is
> believing something that no one in his right mind
> would believe. (This is belief just cuz)
> Hypothetical example: I have a 1991 Caddilac Seville
> in my yard.
> Hypothesis 1:
> I can believe that a team of engineers worldwide
> designed the components of the car and formed them in
> a factory in Detroit. I base my belief on the
> evidence of intelligent design I see in the car.
Now, you just KNOW I'm not going to argue a slanted analogy with
you, right? :-) (You base your belief on having seen other cars,
having seen cars put together and taken apart, having read first-
person accounts of Henry Ford's life, having seen footage of the
interior of automobile categories, etc.)
> I make no apologies for accepting creation by faith.
> I realize that no debate will produce faith in someone
> else. But which belief system requires more faith?
The problem with the assumption of intelligent design is that it also
wants an "out" for any time that the design seems illogical. If the
intelligence of the designer is the evidence for special creation, then
why did He/She/It/Them design the human back so poorly for
bipedalism, or give humans an eye almost identical to, but containing
more optic flaws than, that of the octopus, or give rabbits such an
inefficient digestive tract that they have to re-chew their own feces to
get the nutrition out of their diet? The special creationist must
answer, "Shucks, that must be just how God wanted it." But if the
creation is supposed to prove the creator, then why must we invoke
the creator to explain the created?
And just to let you know where I'm coming from, I'm a very devoted
Christian. I believe absolutely in the existence of a personal God.
However, I've also given myself permission to believe that baggage-
free -- i.e., I don't presuppose that I have to accept the Genesis
account as literal, or that the earth is flat, or that Negroes are meant
to be slaves, or that I have to vote Republican, or any of the other
propositions that have at times been defined as "necessary" if one is
going to believe in God "right." The evidence I see supports the idea
of gradual descent with modification by natural selection; I thus find
myself believing in a God who has worked through the ever-so-
subtle manipulation of natural processes.
"Faith" is an interesting subject, because I've never believed the real
thing to be an irrational belief. As Paul says, it's the "evidence of
things not seen" -- proof and knowledge inputed directly, without the
mediation of the senses. It's evidence, but because it comes directly
from above to the mind and soul, it's not quantifiable, and thus it
can't be relayed to another person. So I always find attempts to
prove a faith-based proposition by quantifiably-factual means (the
entire "creation science" movement) as inherently suspect.
The Cold Fusion Media Empire
"Where a calculator on the ENIAC is
equipped with 19,999 vaccuum tubes and
weighs 30 tons, computers in the future
may have only 1,000 vaccuum tubes and
perhaps only weigh 1.5 tons."
- Popular Machanics, 1949