Who's Ignorant?

Inevitably we here at DC run up against a wall with some Christians and it is frustrating to us, and to them. It's hard to even know where to begin sometimes. I've written on this topic so many times before but here I am again with a different angle.

The charge made back and forth is that the other side is ignorant. Let me cut through this deep water.

To answer the accusation from my side, I admit I'm ignorant. That's right. I am ignorant. What am I ignorant about? Most things! Again, let me state this loudly and clearly. I am ignorant about most things. In comparison to that which I do know, I am ignorant about almost everything. I only claim to know a small sliver of things in the totality of that which can be known. I'm not joking when I say this, either. I really am. Okay so far?

But I don’t believe in the Bible. I don’t believe in God. I don’t believe in the church.

How dare I say that when I’ve just admitted I don’t know most things? Easy. Based on what I know I don’t believe. Can I do any differently? No! I can only believe that which I can believe. Have I studied these things out enough to have an informed opinion on the matter? I think so, but what difference does it make to me personally if I have never studied these things out at all and I still don’t believe? Most people who don't believe in the Christian faith have not studied the issues out in any depth at all, just like most Christians who believe. The bottom line is that I don’t believe.

Let me use a couple of examples to make a point. If you tell someone he should believe in Leprechauns, a totally ignorant person can simply say “I don’t believe you.” It doesn’t take any amount of knowledge at all to reject a strange and outlandish claim like this. The believer making the claim can say the nonbelieving guy is ignorant all he wants to, but ignorance isn’t his problem. His problem is that the claim is too strange to believe. Strange claims must have some solid evidence for them. If as a believer you do not produce the needed evidence for such a strange claim, then it will do your case no good to call the nonbeliever ignorant. That’s the bastion of last resort when all else has failed.

Just think for the moment if a scientist is trying to convince other scientists of a new theory, and he’s having no luck. They don’t accept it. What good does it do for him to call the others ignorant? The problem is his. He has not established his case.

So, when a believer calls me ignorant because he or she has not provided me what I need to believe, then the ignorance is not mine. It's an ignorance that fails to take seriously his or her role in providing the needed evidence to believe. Such a believer is ignorant for thinking that this is my problem. Even though I am ignorant about so many things, this particular problem is not mine at all.

I have repeatedly said agnosticism ("I don't know") is the default position. That best describes me. I just don't think Christians understand how far removed it is to affirm a full blown Christianity when moving off the default position and how small of a step it is to move in the direction of atheism. Even if atheism is not the case, I would first and foremost be an agnostic. But to affirm the Bible as the inerrant word of God, as one extreme, is so far removed from a reasonable faith that it just seems incredible for me that any thinking person can believe it. I know something about that claim, and I do deny it vehemently. Such a claim is ignorant on the par of the Holocaust deniers. But why do so many people believe? The very short answer is that they were taught to believe and that they are afraid to question their beliefs.

60 comments:

Evan said...

John I agree and the developmental approach makes sense here. A child is born with only a template in their mind with which to make sense of the world and the child will construct the world according to the sociocultural/ethical/economic/ecological environment they grow up in. The default position of all children when told a remarkable story is to believe it if it comes from an authority and to doubt it if it comes from another child.

Adults thus have nearly complete sway in causing the beliefs of their children, but other children have the burden of proof to convince a child of a remarkable claim.

Those children grow up to be adults and some of them begin to doubt claims they were taught as a child/youth, and they no longer find appeals to authority to be dispositive. Other adults find authority convincing.

This seems to be the crux (pun intended) of the issue.

goprairie said...

"The default position of all children when told a remarkable story is to believe it if it comes from an authority and to doubt it if it comes from another child."
I would have to disagree with that assessment. If another child tells a child something and it is reasonable, like 'we got a 45" tv' the will beleive. they will go hame and tell their parents as if it were for certain true. if it is not beleiveable, like 'we got a horse and it is going to live in the back yard and eat the lawn grass' they will not. if they go home and ask their mom about the new TV, the mom will say, well, they might have but if they ask about the horse, the mom will say well you can't have horses in the suburbs. if the mom says oh, sure and they got goats and cows too, the kid will know she is joking, telling more story, and know it can't be true. if an adult tells them a story and it seems like a story, they will not beleive it is true. kids can tell the three bears from a biography of lincoln. in the way it is told and in the way that the teller handles questions. they are natural skeptics in the first telling but easy to convince once they ask.

the trouble is when the story is told to them as truth. when they are told the adam and eve story and the jesus's birth story and the loaves and fishes story and the cross story, they do not know. they probably suspect it is all story the first time they hear it. i did. but they are told it often enough and told it IS true, they will try to make a way to beleive it. if they are additionally told directly or indirectly that it is evil and bad to question this particular story and that the people that beleive get to live forever and the people that don't beleive get to suffer forever, well, that tends to squelch their natural and normal questioning.
i (and I am sorry) taught 3 year olds in catholic sunday school. we had finger puppets that we used to act out the christmas story. they thought of it as a story. the reason we have christmas. like jack o' lanterns and candy have to do with halloween. the jack o' lantern being a living thing even tho it has a face is pretend to them. the candy is real to them. so the christmas story is first a pretend one to them because people do not ride donkeys around and there are not really kings like that. so each kid picked a character to act out and after we were done, they traded roles and did it again. and then they wanted to do it again but have the inkeeper let them have a room this time. because it was still a story and you can have different endings in stories. you can pretend that goldilocks didn;t get scared off but stayed and played with the baby bear or helped glue the chair if you want. but i had to tell them, not it really happened this way and the inkeeper really would only let them use a thing that was like a barn and they got the idea that it was more like history, actually true, and not just a story. and if they went home and asked their parents, their parents told them it was true. and that it was naughty to not believe it and naughty to question it.

Tyro said...

I've been told that I'm ignorant during some debates or discussions, and that's a continual refrain by Christians when discussing the "philosophical depth" of the so-called "New Atheists". It may be that we know more than they think, but it's also likely that they're right and we are ignorant. It's certain that we're ignorant about many things.

Okay, fine.

What I want to hear is how new information could change anything, and what this new information is. Give me some reason to think that, if I was less ignorant, then my views might change. If you can't or won't do that, then it's just a way to weasel out of a discussion without thinking seriously about the issues. Your opponent is ignorant, therefore you don't need to listen to anything he says, case (and mind) firmly closed.


But I don’t believe in the Bible.

Just a conspiracy of theologians, you mean?

(Tom Stoppard fans, anyone?)

Mary said...

Questioning things is just great, but when you're using the same mindset to understand the Bible that you did when you were a "fundy" then nothing has really changed.

JUSTIN CUNNINGHAM said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
JUSTIN said...

I find it interesting how ignorance and faith are said to be somewhat the same... i.e. blind faith. Then a person of "faith" calls anyone who doesn't share his/her views as ignorant.

Seems there's plenty of ignorance to go around.

That said, I think I AM ignorant about God, even though I believe. That seems to drive some skeptics nuts, but so be it. I've given up on the lie of certainty, simply because I'm not, and never have been, even when I thought I was.

I read someone somewhere else say certainty is a sign of arrogance or overinflated ego. I don't know about that, but I can see where certainty will quash the willingness of someone to keep examining views. Which all here will agree is a problem in fundamentalist religion[s].

I would like to ask, if we are not supposed to religiously indocrinate our children, what then are we supposed to do to fill in the gap? And, there IS a gap. Is there nothing a child can and must be told to take only on authority that is true, with no evidence, at least at the time? I think I know Stan's ideas, but what does the skeptic "teach" his children?

And teaching them "nothing" is not an option, because that is impossible.

Lee Randolph said...

Hi all,
I'll plead "The Socratic"
but the fact that an omni-everything god uses scripture instead of just putting it all in our minds screams to me that its man-made.

And please don't strawman me with the 'robot' argument, having the content of the bible built into our memories is not the same as forcing a viewpoint.

Stan, the Half-Truth Teller said...

I hear John's point, and agree in principle, but from my perspective the "ignorant" label gets bandied about by all parties, and there are certainly times when it applies legitimately.

When a Christian denies the geological age of the earth, or the facts of cosmology with regard to the age of our solar system, our galaxy, and the universe itself, well, then yes, they are ignorant, and I am rude enough to tell them as much.

When a Christian maintains that undeniably immoral acts which are biblically sanctioned are therefore not immoral acts, then again, that Christian is ignorant, and I am rude enough to tell them as much.

When a Christian uses a biblical reference to make a case, and I use a different biblical reference to counter, and they tell me I am ignorant as to the true meaning, or correct interpretation of the scriptures in question, then we each tend to tell one another that we are ignorant.

Call me an asshole, but I quit being so willfully ignorant when I quit believing the first boat was capable of hauling thousands of species, their food, and their ~20 human caretakers for a year and a half.

I quit being so willfully ignorant when I realized that no ANE man would maintain a relationship with a woman who 'became pregnant despite being a virgin'.

Of course, I could go on for days, but the fact of the matter is that once I recognized that Christianity was no more likely than the hundreds of other mutually exclusive organized religions, I started being more open to other cultures, to other ways of thinking and/or living, and I therefore quit being willfully ignorant in a great many things.

Ignorant about most things, we all are. Ignorant about this small subset, only Christians and similar religionists.

--
Stan

Shygetz said...

And teaching them "nothing" is not an option, because that is impossible.

That word; I do not think it means what you think it means.

There is nothing "impossible" about not indoctrinating children regarding the existence of a higher being. I am currently active in not indoctrinating my children regarding the existence of god.

I would like to ask, if we are not supposed to religiously indocrinate our children, what then are we supposed to do to fill in the gap? And, there IS a gap.

Is there? Are you sure? My children have not yet complained of any gap.

Is there nothing a child can and must be told to take only on authority that is true, with no evidence, at least at the time?

Not really; children learn by evidence which authorities are trustworthy and which are not. Once they learn who to trust, they then will take the authority's word for it when their experiences don't directly contradict. When their experiences (or even their desires) do contradict, the children will disbelieve the authority until evidence of some sort convinces them otherwise.

So, parents can and do indoctrinate their children with things that are undemonstrable, but ONLY after proving themselves trustworthy sources of information.

tigg13 said...

Justine-

It is quite easy to teach children things like honor, responcibility, respect, love, loyalty, integrity, etc., etc., without ever mentioning the bible.

The only thing the bible (as well as other religious/spiritual resources) can help with are questions like "Why are we here?", and "Is this all that there is?".
Questions that no one really KNOWS the answers to. (Heck, I think maybe the children could teach us a few things about these topics.)

Now I have a couple of questions for you.

Most christians insist that the reason their god doesn't reveal himself plainly and obviously to everybody is that it is very important that we all have the freedom to choose whether or not to believe in him. How can your children truly be free to make that choice after they have been "indoctrinated"?

Do you explain to them that christianity if just a belief that some people have?

Do you tell them that there are people in the world who have other beliefs?

Do you tesch them that these people deserve to have their beliefs respected just as christians like to be respected?

Have you ever encouraged them to seek out these other beliefs to learn about them so that they can make an informed choice?

Have you told them that you are ignorant about god?

goprairie said...

"but what does the skeptic "teach" his children?"
the skeptic teaches her children true things. like science. without the idea being planted in their heads, kids do not even ASK about such things. the answers to how things got here is time, lots of time, and little bits of change over time. you can be out in nature and show how some flowers are the same and some a little different and how that generally means some are related a little more closely than others. you can teach all the concepts of evolution without once uttering the word. why are we here? to love each other and tke care of each other. there is a better more useful answer to any why question you can come up with that will satify a child. or an adult for that matter. every why or how you answer with a religious answer leads to a more difficult how or why question, proving it leads you away from answers, but every science answer leads you to more how or why questions that can be observed or studied, leading you to more answers and more questions that have answers.
There are a hundred systems for reviewing ethics and morals, like the 12 things of the Boy Scout law that are more useful than the ten commandments. Really. Take a look at the Boy Scouts for more complete ethical 'system' than Christianity. How sick is that? (Well, you have to ignore the one about beleiving in god, but the ones that address actual behavior are a pretty good pretty comeplete list.) Why are there bad thing? Because some people have illness in their brains or thnk different things are more important than the things we think are important. Go ahead, tell me a question a kid might ask that you might answer with a religious answer and I will tell you how to answer it. If they come home and ask about god, it is not that they feel he/she/it exists, it is that some kid mentioned it. you can just say it is something people beleive and that there are lots of different gods that different people beleive in and you do not at that point have to damage the kid by telling them that stuff is true. you can teach them to be reasonably respectful of it, yes, just as we are respectful of people's house style or car color or clothing style or hair color and don't make fun of them if we don't like it or agree with it.
Some people choose to tell their kids about the tooth fairy and go thru all those motions and some don't bother with it. God is the same thing. THere is nothing to explain or dive answers to that does not have better more real answers somewhere else. Science covers the how and why and because we are here to take care of each other covers the ethics.

JUSTIN said...

Shygetz, tigg13, and goprarie:

So then, it's not an issue of indoctrination, per se, but what "subject" the children are being indoctrinated.

Seems disingenuous either way, to me. As soon as skeptics and atheists provide an unbiased education about religion and christianity to their children, I'll teach mine about skepticism and atheism.

tigg13, to answer your questions:

Most christians insist...

I would say you are mistaken. Most christians will likely state that God has revealed himself quite plainly; and that people don't believe simply because they do not want to be under any authority outside themselves. I.e. they made the choice already to not believe.

How can your children truly be free to make that choice after they have been "indoctrinated"?

The same way many on this blog have "de-converted" after their own indoctrination. Free thought seems to emanate from a willingness to do so, not a lack of upbringing.

Do you explain to them that christianity if just a belief that some people have?

I explain not all believe it.

Do you tell them that there are people in the world who have other beliefs?

Yup.

Do you tesch them that these people deserve to have their beliefs respected just as christians like to be respected?

Yup.

Have you ever encouraged them to seek out these other beliefs to learn about them so that they can make an informed choice?

Not done indoctrinating them, yet. Does letting them watch NatGeo count?

Have you told them that you are ignorant about god?

Yes, but that's obvious to any casual observer.

goprairie said...

"So then, it's not an issue of indoctrination, per se, but what "subject" the children are being indoctrinated.
Seems disingenuous either way, to me."
Sorry, teaching kids factual information about SCIENCE is not indoctrination. YOu can try to equate biology and chemistry and physics with religion all you want but it is a false analogy. If you look deep enough and in enough detail science has all the answers you need and some that religion cannot provide. Religion is the lazy person's way to answer questions with myth and pretend story that deep study of science can answer with true facts.
You needn't be so insulting in your religious zeal by equating reality with something people made up before they knew better and cling to out of tradition and who knows what other reasons.
you labels and false comparisons do not relieve you of the fact that you are teaching your children a pack of lies.

JUSTIN said...

goprairie said...
Sorry, teaching kids factual information about SCIENCE is not indoctrination.

You say "po-tay-to", I say "po-tah-to"... "I know you are but what am I?" C'mon, just because you say it doesn't make it true. I can say the same thing; "sorry, teaching kids about God from the bible is not indoctrination." There... where does that get us? Nowhere.

You can try to equate biology and chemistry and physics with religion all you want but it is a false analogy.

That's right, it IS a false analogy, and a favorite strawman of the atheist. I teach my children biology, chemistry, metallurgy, astronomy, and physics using scientific textbooks, and actual laboratory experience, NOT the bible.

If you look deep enough and in enough detail science has all the answers you need and some that religion cannot provide.

See, this is the b.s. I'm talking about... how is this NOT an indoctrinating statement? Do we have to go over and over all the questions science does not or cannot answer to any certainty? That is no different than the fundy telling kids in Sunday school, "Don't go to college, don't read any books other than the bible, don't listen to or read from scientists... all you really need to know about everything is in the bible and why your pastor tells you." That's b.s., too.

Religion is the lazy person's way to answer questions with myth and pretend story that deep study of science can answer with true facts.

And it isn't lazy to fight a strawman?

Your labels and false comparisons do not relieve you of the fact that you are teaching your children a pack of lies.

What's really insulting here is the acute double-standard regarding indoctrination. You say I lie to my kids about God. I say you lie to yours in telling them science can answer all their questions.

Apparently, with some folk, strawmen, lies, and indoctrination are just fine if it is in support of your cause. I declare "b.s.", again.

Mary, in her comment, said it very eloquently.

goprairie said...

"Do we have to go over and over all the questions science does not or cannot answer to any certainty? "
Nope, that was not my point. We do not know everything about everything yet and may not ever be able to.
Just go over the questions that relgion answers that science does not.
Or that religion answers better.
There are none.
Then we can list the questions that science answers that religion cannot, or that science answers better. There are millions.
I do not beleive I said science has ALL the answers. That was not my point and you probably know it. Just all the answers you 'need', meaning a better and more rational answer than religion can provide.
The science answers are based on tangible facts and observable physical things. The Bible is a made up story about a made up phenomenon. Sorry if that bothers you, but that is the 'truth'. When I teach my kid that a flower evolved, I can go to museums and show them fossils and I can show them the similarities and differences that show the flower families. We can talk about how plants have been shaped by selection by people in this lifetime and hwo that is a speeded-up version of how nature did it over all the years and that makes sense in a logical way. You can can tell them God made it and designed it and that is a story with no factual tangible basis.

Mary said...

Level 60 Senator LFG.
OK MR. Halftruthteller:
>When a Christian denies the geological age of the earth, or the facts of cosmology with regard to the age of our solar system, our galaxy, and the universe itself, well, then yes, they are ignorant, and I am rude enough to tell them as much.

People MAY disbelieve the "age of the earth" as insisted by those in the field and be ignorant of exactly HOW things work, but let me tell you something buddy--YOU'RE ignorant if you think there is NO scientific means to determine that the age of the earth is NOT billions of years old. You are also ignorant if you think that the assumptions involved in radiometric dating for instance aren't in some cases fundamentally flawed.

>When a Christian maintains that undeniably immoral acts which are biblically sanctioned are therefore not immoral acts, then again, that Christian is ignorant, and I am rude enough to tell them as much.

This is a matter of opinion, not fact. It is YOUR OPINION that the acts in question--which ones, plz? are "undeniably immoral." Where do YOU get YOUR "REVELATION FROM ON HIGH" that these acts are "immoral"? How can you even objectively determine what morality is? Is it determined by how it makes YOU feel? I'd also like to know how you think you can determine the morality of an act when you were not there and do not know all the facts.

>When a Christian uses a biblical reference to make a case, and I use a different biblical reference to counter, and they tell me I am ignorant as to the true meaning, or correct interpretation of the scriptures in question, then we each tend to tell one another that we are ignorant.

Well, if the person in question knows a little something about Ancient Hebrew and Ancient Greek and you do not, you're the only ignorant one if you insist on arguing the meanings in English.

>Call me an asshole, but I quit being so willfully ignorant when I quit believing the first boat was capable of hauling thousands of species, their food, and their ~20 human caretakers for a year and a half.

I don't really care. You're ignorant if you can't figure out how the boat (nothing to indicate it was the FIRST boat ever built, man), and you're also ignorant if you assume it's "thousands of species" when the truth is, Noah only needed certain "root" species--look at dogs for instance. Noah would NOT have needed to take two poodles, two pomeranians, two jack russel terriers, etc on top of two wolves. He would only needed to have taken at the very least two representatives of the "dog kind" (maybe a couple more to make up for foxes) to result in all the varieties of canids we see today, for example.

>I quit being so willfully ignorant when I realized that no ANE man would maintain a relationship with a woman who 'became pregnant despite being a virgin'.

That's also a problem of YOUR OPINION. You cannot objectively determine how another person will react. You can only go by how YOU feel, and you are not everybody else. Just because YOU wouldn't do blahblahblah, doesn't mean someone else won't--especially if an Angel appears to them and tells them it's all good.

Yeah we're all ignorant, just about different things. You on the other hand are ignorant about some very important things. This is not intended as an insult, but a wake-up call to go fix that...

Mary said...

Hey goprairie:

When you teach your kid that a flower "evolved", do you bother to explain how it was even LIKELY that the Yucca and the Yucca Moth evolved at PRECISELY THE EXACT SAME TIME, otherwise neither would have survived? Or is your kid just too trusting that they auto-accept anything that you tell them without questioning bothersome little details like that?

JUSTIN said...

goprairie said...
We do not know everything about everything yet and may not ever be able to.

Why, then, is someone's mental "leap of faith" such a big deal to you? I mean, I understand that you don't believe due to lack of evidence... fine, I can accept that and I would expect you to teach your children in a way that is consistent with your skepticism. Why won't you, then, accept that I believe, subsequently teach my children so, and leave it at that? Why must you "debunk" me? Is it simply a game of tit for tat, because "the Church" has attempted to debunk you? (I'm using "you" and "me" in general terms, not personally or specifically.)

Just go over the questions that relgion answers that science does not. Or that religion answers better. There are none. [snip] Just all the answers you 'need', meaning a better and more rational answer than religion can provide.

What I "need" is none of your concern, and is yet another example of atheistic indoctrination; "Don't worry, I will tell you what you need to know." Sounds like a preacher I know...

Science cannot answer as to the purpose or reasons why humanity exisits. Stating that there is no purpose and that it is simple evolutionary chance is a non-answer. Frankly, that is the only question(s) I give a rip about. Cosmology, geology, paleontology, biology, anthropology, and the like are fine diversions and worthy pursuits, but don't answer my question.

The science answers are based on tangible facts and observable physical things.

Indeed, which is why it can never answer humanity's existential questions.

The Bible is a made up story about a made up phenomenon.

Another unproveable statement; more indoctrination.

Sorry if that bothers you, but that is the 'truth'.

Does not bother me in the least. Why does it bother you that I believe?

You can can tell them God made it and designed it and that is a story with no factual tangible basis.

The flower exists, so it had to come from something or somewhere. Besides, you seem to assume I end the education there. Why even make that assumption?

Don said...

Great topic! I only have $.02 to contribute.

To goprarie: "A scout is trustworthy, loyal, helpful, friendly, courteous, kind, obedient, cheerful, thifty, brave, clean and reverent". Yes, I think that is a much better moral code than the 10 commandments. And "reverent" certainly doesn't imply "God".

To Mary: Of course Noah didn't have to take a bunch of different dog breeds on the ark, because almost all of the AKC breeds didn't exist until breeders "created" them over the last few centuries.

I think it's ironic that your argument about a single breed of dog on the ark implies "descent with modification", one of the basic tenets of evolution. If you don't believe in evolution, please explain to us how you reconcile these two conflicting ideas.

goprairie said...

"do you bother to explain how it was even LIKELY that the Yucca and the Yucca Moth evolved at PRECISELY THE EXACT SAME TIME, otherwise neither would have survived? Or is your kid just too trusting that they auto-accept anything that you tell them without questioning bothersome little details like that?"
Obviously you are ignorant of the time frame and mechanics of evolution or you would know how all things evolve slowly and simultaneously within an ecosystem, adjusting slightly to each other in an alternating sort of manner so that over time, they become separate from other similar species that they evolved from. They did not spring up randomly in full form but in increments, yes, at the same time, where time was a LONG time. You are using simplistic arguments against a system that you do not understand because you have failed to study it in enough detail or to be open minded enough to learn it. And yes, my kids do often have questions, as learning about one thing leads to asking questions about one thing and we spend huge amounts of time in museums and arboretums and reading books and current magazines about such topics. fyi, it is pretty easy to take all of the alegedly irreducible things like eyes and explain them with science. they are all reducible if you are willing to look them up online and learn about them instead of accepting your pat answers and remaining ingnorant of the science you argue against. normally, i would be to nice a person to call anyone ignorant, but that IS the topic of this thread.

goprairie said...

okay, what is the religious answer to our reason for existing?

goprairie said...

"reverent"
unfortunately this is an issue with the Boy Scouts of America. they do regard reverant to mean beleiving in some sort of higher power. they currently define it in a open enough way that if you as an atheist can claim to be reverent, you will be accepted. but in some councils, if you openly declare yourself as atheist, you can be kicked out of scouting as a member and you can be kicked out as a leader. so it is up to the atheist scout or the atheist leader to 'fudge' the word and say they are reverent as the BSA still techinically takes it to mean religious in some fashion. this has been an ongoing issue, as has their stance against gay scouts and gay leaders. neither ever came up in my sons' troop fortunately, so it is all about how the local troop interprets the 'word'.

Mary said...

goprairie:
>Obviously you are ignorant of the time frame and mechanics of evolution or you would know how all things evolve slowly and simultaneously within an ecosystem, adjusting slightly to each other in an alternating sort of manner so that over time, they become separate from other similar species that they evolved from.

Dude. I KNOW how evolution is SUPPOSED to work. Don't tell me I haven't studied it, I went in for Biology for crying out loud. Did YOU study Biology?

>They did not spring up randomly in full form but in increments, yes, at the same time, where time was a LONG time.

That depends on which "expert" on evolution you talk to. Are you aware of Stephen J. Gould's theory of "Punctuated Equilibrium" which is a fancy way of recycling the "hopeful monster" theory? As for the "same long time" dude there's a pretty SMALL window of opportunity here. Statistically speaking, what are the CHANCES (no 'just-so stories' plz) that a type of moth and a yucca managed to not only appear at the same time, but KNOW that they were destined to co-exist? How would the moths even FIGURE THAT OUT? "OH I'm supposed to go find a yucca plant and lay my eggs in the flowers...NOTHING ELSE WILL DO". Come on now. You're stuck in a "it HAD to have happened that way, therefore it happened that way." Frankly, you're not in a much better position than those creationists/ID'ers you deride.

>You are using simplistic arguments against a system that you do not understand because you have failed to study it in enough detail or to be open minded enough to learn it.

Ummm, NO. I have studied it EXTENSIVELY. I know there are holes in Darwinian theory that you could drive a Mack truck through and I'm open-minded enough to see unworkable nonsense when I see it.

Pray tell what is YOUR expertise?

>And yes, my kids do often have questions, as learning about one thing leads to asking questions about one thing and we spend huge amounts of time in museums and arboretums and reading books and current magazines about such topics. fyi, it is pretty easy to take all of the alegedly irreducible things like eyes and explain them with science. they are all reducible if you are willing to look them up online and learn about them instead of accepting your pat answers and remaining ingnorant of the science you argue against.

Apparently you don't understand where I'm coming from or what I'm actually arguing. What "pat answers" are you talking about? You seem to have developed a Straw Man in your mind and are flailing against it. You can explain how an eye works with science. You cannot explain ORIGINS of that eye with science. Origins has NOTHING to do with science--it is by necessity metaphysical. And if you were as well-versed in science as you claim, you would be aware of how impossible the spontaneous origin of life (not strictly a part of evolutionary theory, but it's the horse before that cart) actually is, chemically speaking.

>normally, i would be to nice a person to call anyone ignorant, but that IS the topic of this thread.

Go ahead and call me ignorant if you like. I don't care. But you are ignorant as well--not only as to the specifics of what I'm arguing, but you're burning strawmen while you're at it.

Don said...

Mary said: "He would only needed to have taken at the very least two representatives of the "dog kind" (maybe a couple more to make up for foxes) to result in all the varieties of canids we see today, for example."

What you describe here is "descent with modification", one of the foundations of Darwin's theories.

Are you suggesting that evolution is what caused the diversity of breeds we see in today's canines?

godsfavoritecolor said...

I share your opinion about our ignorance. You didn't mention that our
ignorance is growing every day.

As for Christian beliefs, they are contrary to actual experience.
Prayers are not answered. Miracles do not happen. All "evidence" for
them is simple self-serving, subjective manipulation of the facts.

goprairie said...

Mary, you are clearly out on a limb here. What's with calling me 'dude' repeatedly? What is the purpose of that? It makes you read as a little hysterical and out of control. Darwin began a sort of theory that has advanced far beyond what he was able to know about at the time and no serious scientist takes all he said literally, so if you think you found holes in strict Darwinism, you are a few dozen years behind the times. No news there. Study some current evolution science. And I really do not care what you 'went out for' or studied 'extensively'. You clearly do not understand the mechanics and timing involved in evolution. That much is obvious. There are explanations for the yucca moth in scientific terms on the internet and in text books. There was no predestiny involved. Just co-evolution of a gradual nature. I am not going to re-explain it in detail. You can look it up. And there are many many many ideas out there of where and how the first life could have evolved, from thermal vents in the ocean to between moist layers of limestone. Most current theories involve some sort of mineral framework on which chemicals attached until they reached a point of self-replication. Plenty of plausible possibilities for the origin of life that only involve chemistry and physics. No God needed. But I guess if you don't want to understand the basic premises of these sciences and only want to argue against them, you will not be able to understand evolution that is an even more complicated but possible and logical process.

Evan said...

Mary I have to say you are one of the prouder type of fundamentalists I have seen.

Please remember what goeth before a fall.

Now on to your claim that Darwinism is riddle with holes and that you "studied" biology. Creationism is so riddle with holes I can punch it apart without breathing. To wit:

Question 1:

How many beetles did Noah have on his ark? You can answer within an order of magnitude.

Question 2:

How many species of mites were on the ark? You can answer within an order of magnitude.

Question 3:

How much evolution has there been in the 4000 years since the Noachian flood -- did coyotes, dogs, wolves, dingoes, and hyenas all evolve since then?

Question 4:

What is the biological definition of a baramin? If you can answer that, how does it exclude humans and chimpanzees from being in the same baramin?

Thanks for answering my easy questions in advance.

goprairie said...

"You cannot explain ORIGINS of that eye with science."
And that is another of your myths. There are plenty of examples of light sensing organs in plants and animals that have nothing to do with sight. There are many reasons for an organism to sense light from orienting itself to the surface of water to finding ones way out from under things like fallen leaves. There are many known precursers for eyes. And other senses such as bat's sonar are processed in the same way as light to form images within the brain. No Magical Ready Formed Eyes but gradual eyes that function on their own at each step of the way.
I am not sure you really understand what a 'strawman' is either exactly.

JUSTIN said...

goprairie said...
okay, what is the religious answer to our reason for existing?

Remember now your Creator in the days of your youth, Before the difficult days come, And the years draw near when you say, “I have no pleasure in them”: While the sun and the light, The moon and the stars, Are not darkened, And the clouds do not return after the rain; In the day when the keepers of the house tremble, And the strong men bow down; When the grinders cease because they are few, And those that look through the windows grow dim; When the doors are shut in the streets, And the sound of grinding is low; When one rises up at the sound of a bird, And all the daughters of music are brought low.
Also they are afraid of height, And of terrors in the way; When the almond tree blossoms, The grasshopper is a burden, And desire fails.
For man goes to his eternal home, And the mourners go about the streets.
Remember your Creator before the silver cord is loosed, Or the golden bowl is broken, Or the pitcher shattered at the fountain, Or the wheel broken at the well.
Then the dust will return to the earth as it was, And the spirit will return to God who gave it.
“Vanity of vanities,” says the Preacher, “All is vanity.”

Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: Fear God and keep His commandments, For this is man’s all.

He has shown you, O man, what is good; And what does the LORD require of you But to do justly, To love mercy, And to walk humbly with your God?


I don't prentend to think these will necessarily answer your questions. I only state they answer mine.

goprairie said...

OK, Jason, you know I am to ignorant to know what all that wildass quoting of the Bible is supposed to mean. So summarize, paraphrase, use your own words. What is the reason for out existance again? try some brevity and clarity this time.

akakiwibear said...

Lee, it seems your "Socratic" (?) question has been ignored.

you said "the fact that an omni-everything god uses scripture instead of just putting it all in our minds screams to me that its man-made"
from which I can only conclude that you hold the process of learning in contempt.

What knowledge would you consider inappropriate to have been "put in"? What would you leave out of our instinct pool?

Yes a lot of knowledge has been "put in" as instincts, but a lot has been left out - would you have that none was left out? ... or perhaps all?

Perhaps there is a tendency to omniscience peeping through, that you would be the arbitrator on what is appropriately "put in" and what is not?

Sala kahle - peace

godsfavoritecolor said...

Justin said: “Science cannot answer as to the purpose or reasons why humanity exisits. Stating that there is no purpose and that it is simple evolutionary chance is a non-answer.”

Not so. Stating that there is no purpose and that it is simple evolutionary chance is an answer. Purpose, like god, is a human invention. Evolution is highly complex and not simple as you portray it. Need I point out, although it is over-used in this thread, “straw man?”

Mary, enlighten us! What is your degree in biology? I am amazed at all of the self-appointed experts on Evolution. Are you also expert in the Theory of Relativity, Quantum Mechanics, Brain Surgery?

While many of us on this thread admit our ignorance about the vast amount of knowledge in this world, you, Justin and Mary, go beyond normal ignorance. You are deliberately ignorant. You are nothing more than shills for the deliberate ignorance of ID.

JUSTIN said...

OK, J[usti]n, you know I am too ignorant to know what all that wildass quoting of the Bible is supposed to mean.

And that's my problem how?

So summarize, paraphrase, use your own words. What is the reason for out existence again? try some brevity and clarity this time.

Sorry, friend. I'm not going to do your free-thinking for you.

Mary said...

Wow so much to reply to here.
don:
>What you describe here is "descent with modification", one of the foundations of Darwin's theories.

Are you suggesting that evolution is what caused the diversity of breeds we see in today's canines?

I think you're confusing "evolution" with the way sexual reproduction (and the rearrangement of DNA) works to encourage variation. Changes occur because of how genes are expressed. However, you'll also notice that dogs are still dogs, regardless of all the modifications that have occurred--especially the domestic ones. This sort of variation can make new "dogs" among dogs, for instance, but I don't believe this sort of process can change an amoeba into an arachnid, for instance. Variation occurrs but within boundaries.

godsfavoritecolor:
>Prayers are not answered. Miracles do not happen. All "evidence" for
them is simple self-serving, subjective manipulation of the facts.

I would disagree with you that prayers are not answered, as this statement goes contrary to my own experiences. Sorry.

goprairie:
>Mary, you are clearly out on a limb here. What's with calling me 'dude' repeatedly? What is the purpose of that?

I feel like doing it.

>It makes you read as a little hysterical and out of control.

Please to be not assuming what someone's behavior is over typed words when you can't see the person. The only "hysterical" actions of me are LMAO.

>Darwin began a sort of theory that has advanced far beyond what he was able to know about at the time and no serious scientist takes all he said literally, so if you think you found holes in strict Darwinism, you are a few dozen years behind the times. No news there. Study some current evolution science. And I really do not care what you 'went out for' or studied 'extensively'. You clearly do not understand the mechanics and timing involved in evolution. That much is obvious. There are explanations for the yucca moth in scientific terms on the internet and in text books. There was no predestiny involved. Just co-evolution of a gradual nature. I am not going to re-explain it in detail. You can look it up.

I have already looked it up. These "explanations" you speak of are not scientific as they were not observed but only assumed. I am not arguing that any "predestiny" was involved in Evolution, you are attacking a strawman here. You keep insisting that I don't understand how evolution works. WRONG. I understand too well how it works. And I'd have to say it was pretty current, as if I am to guess I've been in school later than you.

This is one of the most laughable "just-so story" I have ever heard:

The ancestors of the yucca moth almost certainly began as harmful feeders on yucca tissues but converted to feeding on seeds and eventually took over the pollination duties.
Took over from what? How do they KNOW? Come on. There is NO scientific proof for this guessing. You call THIS "science"? Please. Scientists cannot observe the past, so they make up stories instead that more often than not cannot POSSIBLY be proved. That is not science.

>And there are many many many ideas out there of where and how the first life could have evolved, from thermal vents in the ocean to between moist layers of limestone. Most current theories involve some sort of mineral framework on which chemicals attached until they reached a point of self-replication. Plenty of plausible possibilities for the origin of life that only involve chemistry and physics.

And they all don't work. And no, they are NOT plausible, if you actually knew anything about the chemistry involved. Read up on Cytosine.
http://www.trueorigin.org/hydrothermal.asp

>No God needed. But I guess if you don't want to understand the basic premises of these sciences and only want to argue against them, you will not be able to understand evolution that is an even more complicated but possible and logical process.

Sounds like you're the one that doesn't understand.

evan:
>Mary I have to say you are one of the prouder type of fundamentalists I have seen.

Dude I am not a fundamentalist. Kthx. Nor am I "proud"--I just like to argue.

>Please remember what goeth before a fall.

Whatever man

>Now on to your claim that Darwinism is riddle with holes and that you "studied" biology. Creationism is so riddle with holes I can punch it apart without breathing.

I suppose anybody can pull apart a straw man pretty easily...

>To wit:

Question 1:

How many beetles did Noah have on his ark? You can answer within an order of magnitude.

He probably didn't need to have any. Beetles could quite possibly survived in floating logs. Beetles are small and he wouldn't have needed very many if they did get on the Ark--maybe no more than 5 or 6 pairs at the most. Many beetle species are quite similar.

>Question 2:

How many species of mites were on the ark? You can answer within an order of magnitude.

Mites are even smaller than beetles, and most of these are parasites of some kind. They would not have needed to have been specially provided for, since they'd be carried on their hosts. As to the number...well, as many as fleas on your dog.

>Question 3:

How much evolution has there been in the 4000 years since the Noachian flood -- did coyotes, dogs, wolves, dingoes, and hyenas all evolve since then?

It is an automatic function of sexual reproduction that things "change"--to a certain degree. It is also not necessarily taking as long as evolutionists assume it does. For instance, scientists have discovered that "Darwin's Finches" (on the Galapagos) were exhibiting RAPID changes in beak size--and we're talking on the order of only hundreds of years to go from one beak type to another.

>Question 4:

What is the biological definition of a baramin? If you can answer that, how does it exclude humans and chimpanzees from being in the same baramin?

A baramin is a grouping that envelops more than merely "species". As you know, some types of animals readily hybridize. Those that can do so successfully can be considered to be in the same "baramin" (kind).

Humans and chimpanzees (and I'll have to say, I can't beleive that NOBODY has tried this) CANNOT successfully hybridize. If this was done it would be all over the news.

>Thanks for answering my easy questions in advance.

Yes they were easy, since you seem to love knocking down straw men.

Goprairie Round 2 FIGHT!
>"You cannot explain ORIGINS of that eye with science."
And that is another of your myths. There are plenty of examples of light sensing organs in plants and animals that have nothing to do with sight.

But can you explain the following:

-How did the light sensing organs come to be?

-how can you objectively, scientifically PROVE that those structures changed into eyes over time?

Read up on Trilobite eyes and how complex they are, and you'll see why I'm skeptical of claims about eyes evolving.

>There are many reasons for an organism to sense light from orienting itself to the surface of water to finding ones way out from under things like fallen leaves. There are many known precursers for eyes. And other senses such as bat's sonar are processed in the same way as light to form images within the brain. No Magical Ready Formed Eyes but gradual eyes that function on their own at each step of the way.
I am not sure you really understand what a 'strawman' is either exactly.

Instead of "magic ready formed eyes" you are postulating magic gradually-developing eyes. And the problem is, even the "simplest" of eyes are anything but simple.

Even if a beneficial mutation survives, for it to become fixed in a population, the organisms not carrying it must be eliminated. This is the cost of substitution. This limits the amount of substitution which can occur in a given time. This is known as Haldane’s Dilemma,32 after J.B.S. Haldane, one of the world’s leading evolutionists (and a Stalin-supporting communist for a while). He wanted evolution to work, but couldn’t get around his dilemma.

Take a population of 100,000. If only a male and female pair have the new trait, natural selection must eliminate the other 99,998 and all their heirs. If there is perfect selection (s = 1), this can happen in one generation. But this means that for every new trait, 49,999 individuals must be eliminated without offspring (This should be a warning to theistic evolutionists: death is called ‘the last enemy’ (1 Cor. 15:26), so how could God use all these deaths as a means to achieve a ‘very good’ creation (Gen. 1:31)?). Then the population must be regenerated with these survivors.

Anyway, even if evolution happened at the maximum speed for 10 million years, how many traits could be substituted in a creature with human-like generation times of say 20 years? Only 500,000. This small number of nucleotides is only a small fraction of the forty 500-page books worth of information (120 million base pairs) which are needed to transform an ape into a man. And in real life, selection is far less intense, meaning that only about 1700 substitutions could occur.


I know exactly what a strawman is. It's the misrepresentation of another person's position in order to try to win the argument. And you're doing it bigtime here.

Bat sonar is as good a case for creationism as I've ever seen, btw.

godsfavoritecolorx2:
>Mary, enlighten us! What is your degree in biology? I am amazed at all of the self-appointed experts on Evolution. Are you also expert in the Theory of Relativity, Quantum Mechanics, Brain Surgery?

Bachelors in Biology. I would have gone for more but I got sick (fibromyalgia). I always got A's and B's in Biology.

I don't have to be an expert in relativity, Quantum Mechanics, or Brain surgery--and I am certain that you are not an expert in any of those things either.

>While many of us on this thread admit our ignorance about the vast amount of knowledge in this world, you, Justin and Mary, go beyond normal ignorance. You are deliberately ignorant. You are nothing more than shills for the deliberate ignorance of ID.

Oh no, you're the ignorant one. You're imagining straw men of what ID actually entails.

To me nothing is more deliberately ignorant than deliberately drawing a picture of what ID is, and misrepresenting the hell out of it.

Evan said...

Mary -- if you believe Noah had an ark, you are a fundamentalist. Sorry to break it to you.

Second, you failed to answer 2 of my questions at all and your answers to the other 2 are woefully wrong.

First you say:

He probably didn't need to have any. Beetles could quite possibly survived in floating logs. Beetles are small and he wouldn't have needed very many if they did get on the Ark--maybe no more than 5 or 6 pairs at the most. Many beetle species are quite similar.

Excuse me. I'm too busy laughing to type.

...

OK, now I'm better.

5 or 6 pairs. That's rich. There are 5-8 million species of beetle. There are more types of beetles in one family than there are mammals and birds combined.

You are the most aggressive evolutionist I've ever heard of if you think that in 4000 years 12 beetles could evolve into 5-8 milliion species.

Secondly how do you imagine that beetles could complete their life cycle after living 40 days on a log in the sea since there are NO marine insects. You claim you have "studied" biology. I doubt that claim, but if it's true, you wasted your time. Read up a bit on Beetles before you embarrass yourself any more.

Next you say:

Mites are even smaller than beetles, and most of these are parasites of some kind. They would not have needed to have been specially provided for, since they'd be carried on their hosts. As to the number...well, as many as fleas on your dog.

Excuse me while I clean the milk from my nose and the front of my shirt.

...

OK that's better. Thanks.

You do understand that you are saying that Noah and his family then carried all species of human mite? Did they also have all human species of louse? How about skin fungus and scabies? Poor Noah, he must have been itchy on that ark. But it really gets worse. See, there are about 900,000 species of mite, conservatively. That would either mean a heck of a lot of evolution in 4000 years or a whole lot of mites on the ark. With all those mites, how could the creatures survive the 40 days and nights having their blood and body fluids sucked up?

I haven't even mentioned ticks or parasitic worm species unique to humans.

On to number 3:


It is an automatic function of sexual reproduction that things "change"--to a certain degree. It is also not necessarily taking as long as evolutionists assume it does. For instance, scientists have discovered that "Darwin's Finches" (on the Galapagos) were exhibiting RAPID changes in beak size--and we're talking on the order of only hundreds of years to go from one beak type to another.


So I'm glad to see you believe in evolution. I just don't see how you can worry about it not happening if you think it happens so rapidly. You are a bizarre type of person. Rapid evolution within baramin, but none from one baramin to the next. Since you've studied biology -- what mechanisms prevent one baramin from rapidly evolving to another one?

Finally:

A baramin is a grouping that envelops more than merely "species". As you know, some types of animals readily hybridize. Those that can do so successfully can be considered to be in the same "baramin" (kind).

Humans and chimpanzees (and I'll have to say, I can't beleive that NOBODY has tried this) CANNOT successfully hybridize. If this was done it would be all over the news.


So Zebras and horses are not in the same baramin. So Amazon parrots and African grey parrots are not in the same baramin. Oh ... but it gets better. You see, those 5-8 million species of beetle? They are almost all in different baramins. Your logic eats itself.

Whatever institution taught you biology (and I suspect it was not a very reputable one), your current understanding of it is really laughable. You should be embarrassed.

JUSTIN said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
JUSTIN said...

godsfavoritecolor said...
[non-answer] Not so. Stating that there is no purpose and that it is simple evolutionary chance is an answer. Purpose, like god, is a human invention.

So you say. That answers nothing, existentially.

Evolution is highly complex and not simple as you portray it. [snip] You are deliberately ignorant. You are nothing more than shills for the deliberate ignorance of ID.

I have not once on this blog argued for or against anything in the evolution/ID debate; I have no dog in the fight. Why not address the actual content of my conversation with goprairie... can you answer the existential questions of humanity?

So far, you say no...

goprairie said...

mary
the mockery and rudeness you exhibit and your mischaracterization of what science is and isn't make any attempt at further discussion with you pointless. you ARE a fundamentalist if you beleive the things you are spouting here. i, too, refuse to waste any more time on you.
i hope your faith serves you somehow because it is not serving you in understanding how the world works.

goprairie said...

Justin: "Sorry, friend. I'm not going to do your free-thinking for you."
Oh, come on, what a silly answer. I said science has more answers and answers based on observable and logical fact than religion and asked what religion answers that science doesn't.
You said religion answers why we are here.
I said what is religion's answer to that.
You quoted some long vague obtuse Bible passage.
I asked what it means.
You refuse to answer.
YOU are the one claiming the Bible has an answer to the question of why we are here. I claim it does not. So it is up to YOU to support you claim. Not up to me to try decode your answer.
Not up to giving a real honest breif in-your-own words answer to what you think the Bible's answer to why we are here is?
Okay. Fine. But don;t make claims you are not willing to back up and don't insult me when I ask for clarification.
John, do you have enough data from the answers so far to make a call on the original question of "Who's Ignorant?"

godsfavoritecolor said...

A BS in Biology does not make you an expert in Evolutionary Science.
What University?
Let me guess. Bob Jones?

Stan, the Half-Truth Teller said...

HA!

I laughed when I read Evan's tease:

You can answer within an order of magnitude

(I'm laughing as I type it)

I laughed even more at Mary's BS B.S. answer:

no more than 5 or 6 pairs at the most

(I'm again laughing as I type it)

And then her whopper:

they'd be carried on their hosts

(Hang on a second)

(Okay, I'm better)

To answer Evan's question about the source of Mary's degree, I'd say it's most likely Junior High, or possibly High School at some backwater Christian school, although I suppose a case could be made for Oral Roberts University...

Holy shit that was a pretty good laugh. Michael Moore should interview her some time. Pure comedy, that one.

--
Stan

JUSTIN said...

goprairie said...
You said religion answers why we are here.

I said religion gives an answer where science cannot. Then, I gave my answer from the text, on the condition that it probably wasn't an answer to your question.

You quoted some long vague obtuse Bible passage. I asked what it means. You refuse to answer.

That passage was significantly shorter than most posts on DC. No, I refuse to interpret the bible for you.

YOU are the one claiming the Bible has an answer to the question of why we are here. I claim it does not.

And I answered my claim, with a clear, textual answer.

Not up to me to try decode your answer.

You simply don't want to read and interpret it at face value. Not my problem.

Not up to giving a real honest brief in-your-own words answer to what you think the Bible's answer to why we are here is?

It was honest, and brief (~100 words). I'm not up to trying to hit a constantly moving target.

But don't make claims you are not willing to back up...

I have backed up my claim, you just don't like my answer. Again, not my problem.

I'm beginning to thing the problem of "ignorance" is not about what we do not know, but about what we wish to ignore.

Don said...

Mary said: "Changes occur because of how genes are expressed. However, you'll also notice that dogs are still dogs, regardless of all the modifications that have occurred--especially the domestic ones."

Can I take this as evidence that you believe that offspring have different traits than their parents?

goprairie said...

"No, I refuse to interpret the bible for you."
Perhaps you don't think your interpretation is valid or prehaps you don't think it can stand up to the debate here?
If you are unwilling to tell me what the simple reason to why we are here is that you claim is expressed in that passage that is not written on commonly used English language, then I can only assume you no longer to continue to hold any discussion. If I were to attempt to interpret what you mean by that passage, you would accuse me of putting words in your mouth or mis-interpreting. No, the burden is for YOU to explain what you mean by the passage and by your refusal, you withdraw from the discussion, and I beleive that give me the win.

godsfavoritecolor said...

goprairie,
Since Justin is too much of a smartass to answer your question about the interpretation of his Bible quote, I can at least give the references. Most of the first paragraphs are from Ecclesiastes chapter 12, and the last paragraph is from Micah 6:8 in the Old Testament.

It is all a bunch of esoteric, superstitious bs.

JUSTIN said...

goprairie said...
Perhaps you don't think your interpretation is valid...

If I thought it was invalid, I wouldn't hold to it.

...or prehaps you don't think it can stand up to the debate here?

My interpretation has been debated since I arrived, so no, again.

...passage that is not written on commonly used English language...

This is a new one. The NKJV is not common English?

If you are unwilling to tell me what the simple reason to why we are here is that you claim is expressed in that passage...

Fine... let me paraphrase:

"Fear God and keep his commandments, for this this the whole duty of man." Ecc. 12:13

and

"And what does the LORD require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God." Micah 6:8

both from the NIV. I can't make it any more plain. In my humblest opinion, that's our purpose and reason to be here, to live with God. As opposed to being, cosmically speaking, alone.

If I were to attempt to interpret what you mean by that passage, you would accuse me of putting words in your mouth or mis-interpreting.

That's YOUR paranoia... no, actually I wanted to know what YOU thought of the passage. I guess I'll still go wanting...

...and I believe that gives me the win.

So that's all this is about, you proving (to yourself, I assume) you're right?

So much for open-minded inquiry.

Stan, the Half-Truth Teller said...

Oh, come on, Justin -- was that so hard? If you had meant to be at all clear in your biblical rendering of the answer to the question, "Why are we here?", you would have used a modern English version. No, the NKJV is not modern English. It is modernized, but still the clunky OE style. You'd also have provided the references directly, instead of enticing us to find them.

Anyway, you did hit the nail on the head when you recognized that "the problem of 'ignorance' is not about what we do not know, but about what we wish to ignore."

The claim of atheists, agnostics, and free-thinkers in general is that we do not know the correct answer, but we recognize our ignorance. The theists, on the other hand, ignore the fact that there are things they do not know, and claim to know things about which they are ignorant.

You will undoubtedly disagree with this, but do you deny that theists deny the evidence of science whenever it suits them? This is ignorance of things they do not know. Do theists not also claim direct knowledge of the divine? This is claimed knowledge of things about which they are ignorant.

Q.E.D.M.F.

--
Stan

goprairie said...

Justin - Thanks for finally coming clean with an answer. I do appreciate your candor finally, and so I almost lack the will to poke at it. Makes the term 'fish in a barrel' come to mind, tho those guys on TV did debunk that shooting fish in a barrel was all that easy. Still, cliches die hard. Like religion.
So, you say: For US to live with GOD? So we were made as friends, companions, to God? How many does he NEED? Why wouldn't he make a perfect few, say enough for a whole table of poker, say, or a 4some in golf, or enough to act out Hamlet and some appreciate audience? Why would we need to exponentially reproduce until we are filliing the earth too full for it to support us? That makes no sense. The perfect God would design a better system for getting enough playmates, were there actually such a needy entity.
Now, if life started as a chance event of chemical self-replication and that self-relication occasionally was imperfect such as to intoduce variations and the variations that fit well into an unoccupied niche then successfully replicated, there would eventually be many many different forms that fill every niche of the earth in sort of a runaway self-replication process that once started, is only regulated by limits of resources. Kinda like we have. That makes sense. More sense than a God making companions for himself.
Now, in the self-replicating entities scenario, some of those ended up with these quirky multi-parted brains that processed things at different speeds and sometimes parts of those brains got overloaded with inputs or got into states where the communication among them was out of sync, so one part of the multi-part brain experienced things before other parts and so the other parts seemed to feel like separate presenses or entities and so they made up this thing called a spirit to explain that since they didn't know about the multi-parted brain and delays in synapses and such and some of those mulit-parted brain life forms decided there was probably one big spirit over all the little spirits and some of them decided there was only the one big spirit and others decided there was a three parted one big spirit, kinda like their 3, well, 4 parted brain and then some of them finally figured out there were probably no spirits and that it could all be explained with brain chemistry and the timing delays in the experiences to different parts of the brain but by then so many people believed in various versions of the spirit entity explanation and they were all so busy fighting about whose spirit entity version was righter that they would not listen to what had been discovered to be the real explanation. so here we are.

Shygetz said...

evan, you're going to drive me out of business here. Excellent reply.

Mary, I want to know what university you received your B.S. in biology from, so I can make certain to never accept any graduate students from there.

justin said: I have not once on this blog argued for or against anything in the evolution/ID debate; I have no dog in the fight.

Yes you do. It's sad that you don't realize it. Your medicine, vaccinations, epidemiology, advances in manufacturing for many nutritional products, ecology, etc., etc. all depend on the understandings allowed by evolutionary theory. Next time you take an antibiotic or get your flu vaccine, remember to silently thank evolutionary biologists and keep in mind that you DO have a dog in this fight, whether you realize it or not.

justin, asking what the purpose is behind man's existence is begging the question that there IS a reason, which assumes an intentional actor. You must establish a foundation for your question--you must demonstrate that a purpose exists before asking what the purpose is. I may as well demand that you explain the purpose behind the sky being blue, or the sun being yellow--without establishing that such a reason exists, it is a meaningless question. I can understand that you WANT existence to have a purpose beyond yourself, but wanting it doesn't make it so.

larryniven said...

It's this sort of question that makes me think you don't want to believe in evolution no matter what, Mary:

"how can you objectively, scientifically PROVE that those structures changed into eyes over time?"

What kind of proof would you like? What we have now (so far as I understand it) is a theory of how it might have happened together with evidence that shows similar changes in the past and also a pretty strong record of similar changes taking place now. What else, other than a time machine, would you like?

goprairie said...

Question to all: Mary seems to have this idea that real science is directly observable and if it is not, then it is not real science. Yet my understanding is that if it PREDICTS things, it need not be directly observable. For example, the fossils are in layers showing evolution with 'gaps' because the conditions were not continuously favorable for fossilization. Kind of like only taking notes of a house being built every so often. But you can predict what happened in the gaps and find places where the conditions were right for fossilization at that time, and predict the that 'gaps' will be found there. And paleantologists DO this and have been successful. So the science, tho not directly obserbvable, is considered to be a mture theory because it can be used to predict finding things. What conditions must there be for non-observable theories to be accepted? And is this a common claim by fundamentalists that if you can't directly observe it, it isn't science? Is that how they dismiss science they don't like? Or is Mary an exception in her use of this?

Evan said...

I think you give her too much credit. There's no overarching theory to Paleyist Creation/Floodism. There's a fixed, false belief. Whatever props up the fixed, false belief will be obsessively focused on. Whatever does not will be ignored.

Tyro said...

What conditions must there be for non-observable theories to be accepted? And is this a common claim by fundamentalists that if you can't directly observe it, it isn't science? Is that how they dismiss science they don't like? Or is Mary an exception in her use of this?

Many sciences are forensic in some respects and fundies of all stripes will accept them, it's just an instance of special pleading. They don't like this science, so they ask what makes it different from other, less unpleasant, sciences and then they harp on that. This is the same special pleading they use to explain why Christianity is real and other religions are not - find the differences, draw a target around them, and say that these are what are important!

Pardon the language, but this says it best:
http://saintgasoline.com/2007/12/01/refuting-creationists-with-only-a-bucket-of-feces/


Evolution does make predictions. It predicts precise ontological, biochemical, paleontological, geological and geographical relationships. It predicts what forms and functions are possible and under what circumstances.


Mary isn't an exception, and I've no doubt that she is just parroting the fallacious arguments that others have sold her. When individuals don't understand something, they generally understand that they are ignorant and react with the appropriate humility, saying they don't know or that there is some gap in their understanding. Look at reactions to quantum mechanics or nanotechnology, some genuinely hard to comprehend subjects. There are some people that reject these sciences but they seem to be really fringe kooks. Evolution isn't a simple subject but it's approachable by those willing to put in the time. The reason we see these nonsensical arguments against it isn't because it's bad science, it isn't because it's too hard to understand, it's because it conflicts with religion and so it provokes the same reactions when other aspects of reality conflict with religion.

Shygetz said...

Question to all: Mary seems to have this idea that real science is directly observable and if it is not, then it is not real science. Yet my understanding is that if it PREDICTS things, it need not be directly observable.

Science must make accurate predictions at a rate substantially higher than chance. In order to do this, science must utilize evidence to generate mechanistic models that explain the observed evidence AND makes testable predictions. So, science DOES have to be observable in part, but it does NOT mean that we must observe all cases everywhere. If we never saw evolution in action, we could not come up with the evolution hypothesis to test. However, once we have substantially validated the model over and over (and over, and over, and over, etc.), we can make testable predictions with great accuracy, and easily test those predictions against new data. Just like we have no data as to exactly when and how this PARTICULAR radioactive atom will decay, we can apply the predictive model from other observations to make predictions, and easily test these predictions. So why don't the evolution denialists bitch about quantum mechanics? Because the Hebrews didn't know about radioactivity. If they had, we'd be hearing about how the whim of the radiation angles is what dictates radioactive decay, not quantum mechanics.

akakiwibear said...

shygetz "Science must make accurate predictions at a rate substantially higher than chance." perhaps you are right and that Mary's point is that science is not the right tool, it is after all not the universal panacea.

I would welcome your examples of where else in the study of philosophy science experiment is applied with good effect to validate thinking - you spoke of "prediction".
So why in religion?

Hamba kahle - peace

goprairie said...

well, you are right. science can predict nothing in religion because science is seeking the truth about real things and religion is believing in made-up things.
so of course science can predict nothing within religion.
any more than science can predict the species of animal fur on Santa's red clothing.
but science can predict that the myths in religion are not true. just as it can predict that santa is not true because reindeer cannot fly and a person could not visit the home of every child on earth in one night. and yet . . . if you have faith, if you BELEIVE, you do get toys from Santa . . . in spite of science . . . so maybe it really really IS true . . . or maybe it is a made up game that peeople play in enough to convince some of them it is true. i was reading just today about a pre-jesus goddess inanna who was killed and resurrected after 3 days and nourished by the water of life and the food of life and it wounded oddly similar to the jesus story and the last supper . . . i wonder why that is? maybe because the whole jesus thing was made up out of bits and peices of pervious myths? ah, but millions and millions of people believe the jesus thing. ah, but millions and millions of others beleive the Allah thing. which millions and millions are wrong? yep, the only thing that science can predict about religion is that ALL OF IT IS FAKE. sorry if that messes up your head. once you let go of the fake stuff, it stops hurting after a very short while and feels . . . good.

Mary said...

Mary -- if you believe Noah had an ark, you are a fundamentalist. Sorry to break it to you.
Sorry to break this to you, but you're going by an incorrect definition of "fundamentalist." That's NOT what a fundamentalist is, mkay? Fundamentalists are a specific subset, with specific doctrines that are not taught by my church, nor do I adhere to them. "Fundamentalists" are to be found among such as Baptists, etc. Such doctrines as they have are not found among Lutherans.

Second, you failed to answer 2 of my questions at all and your answers to the other 2 are woefully wrong.
What did I fail to answer?

First you say:

He probably didn't need to have any. Beetles could quite possibly survived in floating logs. Beetles are small and he wouldn't have needed very many if they did get on the Ark--maybe no more than 5 or 6 pairs at the most. Many beetle species are quite similar.

Excuse me. I'm too busy laughing to type.

...

OK, now I'm better.

5 or 6 pairs. That's rich. There are 5-8 million species of beetle. There are more types of beetles in one family than there are mammals and birds combined.

And the problem is what exactly? Dude, bugs reproduce quickly. They have BAZILLIONS of offspring just in the space of a year nowadays. And our understanding of the term "species" may be a bit too broad; as there are clearly different "species" that can get together and make offspring. It is not unthinkable for a few pairs of bugs (which don't take up much room anyway LOL) to expand out into a million different species, just beetles alone at that. And you're the one demonstrating astonishingly huge ignorance in the field of biology.

You are the most aggressive evolutionist I've ever heard of if you think that in 4000 years 12 beetles could evolve into 5-8 milliion species.
But they're all still beetles; they are not for example turning into arachnids. You can call it "evolution", sure, but that depends on your definition of the word. I just love it when people bait and switch with that term...

Secondly how do you imagine that beetles could complete their life cycle after living 40 days on a log in the sea since there are NO marine insects. You claim you have "studied" biology. I doubt that claim, but if it's true, you wasted your time. Read up a bit on Beetles before you embarrass yourself any more.
So there's no marine insects? So what? Why would you expect there to be? These bugs aren't living IN water when hiding out on the vegetation, they're in shelter. And if you think a bug won't hide anywhere it can if there's water rising, you really don't know much now do you?

Next you say:

Mites are even smaller than beetles, and most of these are parasites of some kind. They would not have needed to have been specially provided for, since they'd be carried on their hosts. As to the number...well, as many as fleas on your dog.

Excuse me while I clean the milk from my nose and the front of my shirt.

...

OK that's better. Thanks.

You do understand that you are saying that Noah and his family then carried all species of human mite? Did they also have all human species of louse? How about skin fungus and scabies? Poor Noah, he must have been itchy on that ark. But it really gets worse. See, there are about 900,000 species of mite, conservatively. That would either mean a heck of a lot of evolution in 4000 years or a whole lot of mites on the ark. With all those mites, how could the creatures survive the 40 days and nights having their blood and body fluids sucked up?

I haven't even mentioned ticks or parasitic worm species unique to humans.


Same issue with the mites as the beetles, eh, in your mind? Just because there's 900,000 "species" today doesn't mean there were 900,000 back then. Nor would he have needed to take so many (either passively or actively) to make everybody itch like nuts. Again, rate of insect reproduction is key here. Many parasites spend at least part of their life cycles in FISH and other aquatic organisms (such as snails), so your argument isn't as good as you think it is, especially concerning the worms...(and I KNOW about all the worms, many of them are aquatic. Ever hear of the Guinea or "Fire" Worm?)

Ticks are quite common on animals, and your objection is duly noted...but equally misinformed.

On to number 3:

It is an automatic function of sexual reproduction that things "change"--to a certain degree. It is also not necessarily taking as long as evolutionists assume it does. For instance, scientists have discovered that "Darwin's Finches" (on the Galapagos) were exhibiting RAPID changes in beak size--and we're talking on the order of only hundreds of years to go from one beak type to another.

So I'm glad to see you believe in evolution. I just don't see how you can worry about it not happening if you think it happens so rapidly. You are a bizarre type of person. Rapid evolution within baramin, but none from one baramin to the next. Since you've studied biology -- what mechanisms prevent one baramin from rapidly evolving to another one?


"Evolution" is a funny term. It is used by people to describe two different things, thus evoking a "bait and switch" approach when used vs. creationists. Did you know that Natural Selection was actually coined by a CREATIONIST, Edward Blythe by name, before Darwin came along?

The thing about "evolution" in the sense of one "kind" or baramin "evolving" into another is the difficulties in the mechanism of new data arriving into the system and in what amounts. "Natural Selection" can only weed out traits, not create them. This is why evolutionists cling to mutation. But even that doesn't seem to be enough. This all boils down to what SORT of change we're talking about here. Reshuffling of existing genes can cause change but it does NOT create new genes. It only distributes information that is already there.

So Zebras and horses are not in the same baramin. So Amazon parrots and African grey parrots are not in the same baramin. Oh ... but it gets better. You see, those 5-8 million species of beetle? They are almost all in different baramins. Your logic eats itself.
Umm, yes they are in the same baramin. They can actually PRODUCE OFFSPRING, whereas humans and chimps cannot. Successful hybridization means just that, and it also means you don't know what I'm talking about. Zebra + horse makes a foal. While the differences in chromosome numbers makes the males sterile, the females can often mate with a normal zebra and get zebras, or normal donkeys and get donkeys. You cannot do this with people and chimps. You can't even get a viable embryo for crying out loud, from human x chimp.

Whatever institution taught you biology (and I suspect it was not a very reputable one), your current understanding of it is really laughable. You should be embarrassed.
I'm sure that my heavily-evolution-centered professor from Malaspina Univerity-College would be thrilled to hear that, not to mention the heavily-evolution-pushing Biology teachers at my high school. ;) And as we all know, Canadian Education > American, so I KNOW you got a less-than adequate education to mine for sure. :P

You're the one that doesn't understand. Seriously.

Mary said...

Question to all: Mary seems to have this idea that real science is directly observable and if it is not, then it is not real science. Yet my understanding is that if it PREDICTS things, it need not be directly observable. For example, the fossils are in layers showing evolution with 'gaps' because the conditions were not continuously favorable for fossilization. Kind of like only taking notes of a house being built every so often. But you can predict what happened in the gaps and find places where the conditions were right for fossilization at that time, and predict the that 'gaps' will be found there. And paleantologists DO this and have been successful. So the science, tho not directly obserbvable, is considered to be a mture theory because it can be used to predict finding things. What conditions must there be for non-observable theories to be accepted? And is this a common claim by fundamentalists that if you can't directly observe it, it isn't science? Is that how they dismiss science they don't like? Or is Mary an exception in her use of this?

OK, so lemme get this straight--you're asserting that Paleontologists are making predictions that there are gaps, because there are gaps? Well duh. That's sort of a no brainer there.

Yes of course there are going to be conditions unsuitable for fossilization. The question is, are the observations really what you think they are? And no, I'm not talking specifically about the "gaps"--I'm talking about the whole geologic column. How do you know that they were laid down in successive layers, rather than a primary event (with natural additions later by regularly observed processes)? What would the evidence be for such, as opposed to the current Uniformitarian assumptions?

You see, for something to be "science", you should at least be able to prove it at some point. That's what experiments are for. Hypotheses and theories exist while proof is searched for.

tyro:
Many sciences are forensic in some respects and fundies of all stripes will accept them, it's just an instance of special pleading. They don't like this science, so they ask what makes it different from other, less unpleasant, sciences and then they harp on that. This is the same special pleading they use to explain why Christianity is real and other religions are not - find the differences, draw a target around them, and say that these are what are important!

Dude, some of the "stories" (i.e. "scientific guessing") told by evolutionists are on a par with ancient myth.

Pardon the language, but this says it best:
http://saintgasoline.com/2007/12/01/refuting-creationists-with-only-a-bucket-of-feces/


Hahahahahha! Only one problem with that. What represents the "sh*t" and what represents the "Bucket of sh*t"? Because the evidence for evolution is a LOT more ambiguous than a person standing there with sh*t all over them and holding the bucket.


Evolution does make predictions. It predicts precise ontological, biochemical, paleontological, geological and geographical relationships. It predicts what forms and functions are possible and under what circumstances.

That's just great, but the predictions can also be very wrong.

Mary isn't an exception, and I've no doubt that she is just parroting the fallacious arguments that others have sold her.
How do you know they're fallacious?

When individuals don't understand something, they generally understand that they are ignorant and react with the appropriate humility, saying they don't know or that there is some gap in their understanding. Look at reactions to quantum mechanics or nanotechnology, some genuinely hard to comprehend subjects. There are some people that reject these sciences but they seem to be really fringe kooks. Evolution isn't a simple subject but it's approachable by those willing to put in the time. The reason we see these nonsensical arguments against it isn't because it's bad science, it isn't because it's too hard to understand, it's because it conflicts with religion and so it provokes the same reactions when other aspects of reality conflict with religion.
Dude, the reason I reject molecules-to-man evolution is BECAUSE I understand it. I also understand that it's easy to believe, because of the bait-and-switch definitions of evolution. Even if I wasn't religious I'd disagree with it.

Yes, evolution is quite "simple"--but it's so simple that a bunch of "just-so" stories that sound like they came out of a mythology book can pass as "science."

shygetz:

Science must make accurate predictions at a rate substantially higher than chance. In order to do this, science must utilize evidence to generate mechanistic models that explain the observed evidence AND makes testable predictions. So, science DOES have to be observable in part, but it does NOT mean that we must observe all cases everywhere. If we never saw evolution in action, we could not come up with the evolution hypothesis to test. However, once we have substantially validated the model over and over (and over, and over, and over, etc.), we can make testable predictions with great accuracy, and easily test those predictions against new data.
But this never tells us whether or not the amount of "change" that is considered "evolution" is enough to change amoebas into people.

Just like we have no data as to exactly when and how this PARTICULAR radioactive atom will decay, we can apply the predictive model from other observations to make predictions, and easily test these predictions. So why don't the evolution denialists bitch about quantum mechanics? Because the Hebrews didn't know about radioactivity. If they had, we'd be hearing about how the whim of the radiation angles is what dictates radioactive decay, not quantum mechanics.
Whatever. There's more to radioactive decay than just seeing the decay rate. The proportions of daughter elements to parent elements is considered (except in C-14, because the daughter element is N-14 and it's so common that it's useless to measure it for that purpose, therefore they assume the ratio of C12 to C14 in order to determine how long it's been decaying). If the ratio of C12 to C14 was different in the past, they'd never know it. And yet that is a CRITICAL thing to know if you're going to get an accurate C14 age, particularly on an older item. Similarly, with some rocks it is known that Argon 40 leaks (diffuses) into the rocks from below. But again, assumptions must be made. They have to "assume" how much is leakage and how much is truly the product of K decay at the time of the rock hardening (not to mention any primordial Ar 40 in the rock itself). If they assume that the rock is going to be in the range of millions of years old, they will accept the age unless it conflicts with their predetermined assumptions. Then they just toss the results out as "bad" (and it very may well be "bad"--but who's to say the others aren't also bad?)

Radioactive dating makes certain assumptions, such as the amount of parent to daughter element that existed primordially, leading to an idea of what existed when that might be totally incorrect. Can there ever have been a time with radioactive potassium when there was no radiogenic Argon-40? It's assumed as such but we'll never really know.

goprairie:

well, you are right. science can predict nothing in religion because science is seeking the truth about real things and religion is believing in made-up things.


This is a rather simplistic, not to mention juvenile, assertion.

so of course science can predict nothing within religion.
any more than science can predict the species of animal fur on Santa's red clothing.
but science can predict that the myths in religion are not true. just as it can predict that santa is not true because reindeer cannot fly and a person could not visit the home of every child on earth in one night. and yet . . . if you have faith, if you BELEIVE, you do get toys from Santa . . . in spite of science . . . so maybe it really really IS true . . . or maybe it is a made up game that peeople play in enough to convince some of them it is true.


Many atheists love to use Santa (or alternately, pink unicorns) as their cornerstone argument for why God doesn't exist. Few people claim that Santa has made a real personal difference in their lives.

i was reading just today about a pre-jesus goddess inanna who was killed and resurrected after 3 days and nourished by the water of life and the food of life and it wounded oddly similar to the jesus story and the last supper . . . i wonder why that is? maybe because the whole jesus thing was made up out of bits and peices of pervious myths?

Lemme guess, your information source is someone like Acharya S?

ah, but millions and millions of people believe the jesus thing. ah, but millions and millions of others beleive the Allah thing. which millions and millions are wrong? yep, the only thing that science can predict about religion is that ALL OF IT IS FAKE. sorry if that messes up your head. once you let go of the fake stuff, it stops hurting after a very short while and feels . . . good.

Well you can't prove that religion is fake. There are things out there that fall beyond the purview of science. Saying that science can prove religion wrong is like saying you can use a thermometer to prove that the color yellow does not exist.

Many religions are "fake", in the sense that they follow gods that do not exist. You'll notice something interesting about ancient mythology--very rarely do you see the gods of one religion pwning the crap out of gods from another religion in their stories. In fact, I've only ever seen it done in the Bible (i.e. Elijah and the Prophets of Baal; the Ark of the Covenant making Dagon's statue bow down in the land of the Philistines). I wonder why that is. Could it be that there's one religion that is correct?

See, you atheists and agnostics throw the baby out with the bath water. You end up with nothing, which is illogical because the Universe can't create itself from nothing.

Tyro said...

Mary,

It is not unthinkable for a few pairs of bugs (which don't take up much room anyway LOL) to expand out into a million different species, just beetles alone at that.

Are you arguing that a single breeding pair of beetles was able to evolve fast enough to create a million different species in under 10,000 years? Have you paused to consider what implications this would have for observations of these species over the last 300 years?

It's this combination of rejecting evolution and yet subscribing to a hyper-evolution which makes the YEC position so insane. It isn't even internally consistent and, I think, is only sustainable through a deep ignorance of the subject matter. If you had any understanding of the differences between different beetle species, I doubt you could hold to this position.

But they're all still beetles; they are not for example turning into arachnids. You can call it "evolution", sure, but that depends on your definition of the word.

We're using the scientific, biological definition which says that once you are a beetle, your descendents will always be beetles. That's why all mammals give birth to other mammals, all chordates give birth to other chordates, all primates give birth to other primates. Through time, you can end up with refinements - branches on branches - but you never ever jump from one branch to another. That you should imagine that 'evolution' would ever say such a thing demonstrates, yet again, that you have no clue what evolution actually means.

Reshuffling of existing genes can cause change but it does NOT create new genes. It only distributes information that is already there.

Changes in a gene results in, wait for it, new genes!

(And don't talk about information - I can tell already you don't understand what information is.)

I'm sure that my heavily-evolution-centered professor from Malaspina Univerity-College would be thrilled to hear that, not to mention the heavily-evolution-pushing Biology teachers at my high school. ;) And as we all know, Canadian Education > American, so I KNOW you got a less-than adequate education to mine for sure. :P

I've been through the BC school system and I know just how little evolution is taught so don't try to bluff your way around.

For our US readers who associate "College" with "University", all major post-secondary academic institutions in Canada are Universities. Colleges are what we use to slowly transition small town people into the harsh reality of academia. They have community courses and a smattering of 100-level courses that can be used for University credit.

If you aren't listing a real University like UVic, UBC or even SFU, I'll give you credit for your honesty but it still confirms that you don't have any training in biology or evolution.

So please, stop trying to act like an authority. We'll deal with your arguments and since I'd be most of us already have a BSc if not a MSc or PhD, we're not going to be impressed by a couple of continuing ed courses.

How do you know that they were laid down in successive layers, rather than a primary event (with natural additions later by regularly observed processes)? What would the evidence be for such, as opposed to the current Uniformitarian assumptions?

Because the layers are not sorted by size or any other measure. Instead we see the same progression as we expect from evolution. We also see trace fossils which are absolutely impossible if there was a flood.

And again, I don't think you understand what uniformitarian means. The laws of physics haven't changed and so evolution is operating under this assumption. It's the YEC with magical rain, magically changing radiometric dates, magically accelerating and decelerating evolutionary rates that isn't uniform.

Because the evidence for evolution is a LOT more ambiguous than a person standing there with sh*t all over them and holding the bucket.

Not really, no. The point was the absurdity of you trying to claim that we need to observe something in the lab before we can draw scientific conclusions.

That's just great, but the predictions can also be very wrong.

A bold claim. Why don't you elaborate?

Don said...

Mary said: "It is not unthinkable for a few pairs of bugs (which don't take up much room anyway LOL) to expand out into a million different species".

Mary, you *do* realize that you just validated your belief that evolution is capable of creating new species?