Creationists Admit "Difficulties" Regarding Having to Explain the Evidence for An Old Earth/Cosmos

"Now - let me add this. We're not going to have all the answers. There will be some things like the issue of light from the farthest star in a young universe... we don't have all the answers."
--Ken Ham, Answers in Genesis iTunes Podcast "Sermon: Six Days & The Eisegesis Problem", time into program: 1:09:12

"Ken Ham's answer is consistent with his response on this question from his 'Answers' book. The last question is this and he attempts to offer an explanation for it by saying that some YECs support an 'Appearance of Age' hypothesis but Ham agrees that hypothesis is unsatisfactory since that makes God looks deceptive. Ham concludes in his book with very similar language as his iPod broadcast that we really just don't know, and have to trust. This really was unconvincing to me as this was the first book I read when I was searching out this issue and this lack of response on this issue was instrumental in leading me away from YEC to the RTB position."
--John Walley [a Christian] on the ASA listserv

CREATIONISTS ADMIT THE EVIDENCE FOR STELLAR EVOLUTION POSES PROBLEMS

"Perhaps the most important remaining question [in astronomy] for [young- universe] creationists is the origin of the turnoff points in the H-R diagrams of different clusters. The stars are real physical objects and presumably follow physical laws; we would rather not take the easy way out by saying simply that `God made them that way.' But if creationists take the position of rejecting stellar evolution, they should provide a feasible alternative."
--PAUL STEIDL [young-universe creationist], The Earth, the Stars, and the Bible (Grand Rapids: Baker, 1979), p. 153 -- as quoted by Howard J. Van Till in The Fourth Day: What the Bible and the Heavens Are Telling Us about the Creation (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1986), p. 239


"...the theory of stellar structure appears to be founded on a good physical basis and...stellar evolution is intimately related to stellar structure...

"If creationists wish to scrap stellar evolution completely, then it is incumbent on us to rework stellar structure and/or physics in a convincing fashion...

"The standard observational tool used in studying stellar structure and evolution is the Hertzsprung-Russell (H-R) diagram... It consists of a plot of stellar luminosity increasing upward and temperature increasing to the left...Most stars are found on a roughly diagonal band called the main sequence (MS)...

"This agreement is quite impressive and the physical assumptions that go into it are so well founded it is doubtful that many creationists would have much to argue with in main sequence (MS) stellar structure. However, what is generally called post MS evolution is not far removed from the brief outline of stellar structure given above.

"The most massive stars may pass through successive steps of fusing helium nuclei with increasingly more massive nuclei up to iron...Note that these transitions have not actually been observed. However, they are based on physics principles and will naturally occur...

"The upshot is that the most massive stars have MS lifetimes of only a few hundred thousand years (of course, still much longer than young-age creationists would allow), while the lowest mass stars have MS lifetimes approaching 100 billion years...

"And evolutionary assumption concludes that the stars in a star cluster should form from a single cloud so that the members represent...a homogenous group. Different clusters should have different ages, and though they technically have different compositions, even large differences in composition do not seriously affect the overall appearance of an H-R diagram...

"The agreement of the theory [of stellar evolution] is quite impressive...

"[The expected evolutionary] trend between globular and open clusters is observed...

"Evidence [exists] that the formation of planetary nebulae and the evolution of white dwarfs are related...These two ages have a very good correlation...

"A similar relationship holds for neutron stars and supernova remnants. As with planetary nebulae, the expansion velocity and observed size of the remnant can be used to estimate the time since the explosion...Where a pulsar can be identified in a supernova remnant, the ages of the remnant and the pulsar are well correlated.

"Very brief discussions of stellar structure and evolution have been presented. Though it would seem that creationists would not have much with which to quarrel in the former, most would largely dismiss the latter. However, the two are intimately related, and one cannot be rejected without seriously calling into question the other. We are appealing to readers to give much attention to the study of stellar evolution..."
--DANNY R. FAULKNER and DON B. DE YOUNG [young-universe creationists], "Toward a Creationist Astronomy," Creation Research Society Quarterly, Vol. 28, Dec. 1991, pp. 87-91

ADMISSIONS BY CREATIONISTS REGARDING THE EVIDENCE FOR AN OLD EARTH

Young-earther creation-evangelist Duane T. Gish has refused to debate the age of the earth and has even admitted (much to his fellow creationists' chagrin) that the evidence for fossil succession is a challenge that his fellow young-earthers at ICR have not adequately met:

"When I visited the Institute for Creation Research towards the end of 1978... The associate director is Duane T. Gish, who has a PhD in biochemistry from Berkeley. ... Considering that I believe living things have a common origin and have evolved over a long period of time, and Duane Gish doesn't, there turned out to be a surprising amount of shared ground between us. ... Duane Gish and others of his standing are well aware of this problem [for their young-earth views, i.e., the problem of the age of the earth], but in the end they let their faith over-ride it. When I asked him what were the biggest difficulties for creationist science the points in a debate which he felt least comfortable in answering - he answered after a moment's thought that it was the apparently great age of Earth as shown by the fairly recent advances in radiometric dating; and that the the fossil record could be interpreted as showing ecologically complete ages - the age of invertebrates, the age of fishes, the age of reptiles, and so on up to the present." [from Hitching F., The Neck of the Giraffe: Or Where Darwin Went Wrong, Pan: London, 1982, pp.115-121]

In 1938 Harold Clark (a disciple of the Flood geologist, George Macready Price, whose work also inspired Henry Morris for hypothesis "flood geology" as an explanation for the geological record) was invited by a student to visit the oil fields of Oklahoma and northern Texas, where Mr. Clark saw with his own eyes why geologists believed as they did. Observations of deep drilling and conversations with practical geologists gave Clark a real shock that permanently erased any confidence he had left in Price's vision of a topsy-turvy fossil record. Clark wrote to Price:

"The rocks do lie in a much more definite sequence than we have ever allowed. The statements made in your book, The New Geology, do not harmonize with the conditions in the field. All over the Midwest the rocks lie in great sheets extending over hundreds of miles, in regular order. Thousands of well cores prove this. In East Texas alone are 25,000 deep wells. Probably well over 100,000 wells in the Midwest give data that has been studied and correlated. The science has become a very exact one. Millions of dollars are spent in drilling, with the paleontological findings of the company geologists taken as the basis for the work. The sequence of the microscopic fossils in the strata is remarkably uniform. The same sequence is found in America, Europe, and anywhere that detailed studies have been made. This oil geology has opened up the depths of the earth in a way that we never dreamed of twenty years ago." [Cited by Donald R. Prothero, A Review Essay of The Creationists by Ronald L. Numbers]

ANOTHER CHALLENGE FOR YOUNG-EARTH CREATIONISM

When dealing with stellar matters it's not simply a question of "apparent age," it's also a question of "apparent HISTORY IN THE MAKING." We see galaxies turning that never really turned, pulsars pulsing that never really pulsed, rings of matter expanding that never really exploded in the first place, stars changing in brightness and frequency but such events are not really taking place, they never took place, not ever. Stars exploding, but no such explosions ever took place. Our galaxy (one of over 50 billion such galaxies) contains about a hundred billion stars and is about 100,000 light-years in width. If you are a young-earth creationist that means all the light beyond 6,000 light years distance is "created light," which means that most of the light from stars in our galaxy is telling us about the changing histories of stars and other matter that is completely fabricated history, such history never took place, but we SEE IT TAKING PLACE as if it had. And that's just for our galaxy, beyond our galaxy lay over 50 billion more galaxies, all far far beyond 6,000 light years away. And all that we see is fabricated history taking place before our eyes.

So why even create the rest of the cosmos, maybe nothing really exists beyond 6,000 light years around the earth but a projection screen and God is showing a movie of things that don't exist and never really happened, but we just see it happening.

Think about it, the young-earth cosmos only presents us with true history from 6,000 light years away, and even THAT history, at the outskirts of 6,000 light years away, only just NOW kicked in. But the cosmos is BILLIONS OF LIGHT YEARS ACROSS, that's a heck of a lot of false history unfolding before our eyes of things that never ever happened, but we SEE IT HAPPENING, UNFOLDING, BECOMING, PASSING THOUGH STAGES, NONE OF WHICH EVER REALLY HAPPENED?

Supernova 1987A and a 6000 Year Old Universe

Numerous articles on a classic piece of astronomical observation that poses multiple insoluble problems for young-earth astronomy: SUPERNOVA 1987http://www.evolutionpages.com/SN1987a.htm
http://www.geocities.com/Athens/Thebes/7755/ancientproof/SN1987A.html
http://www.talkorigins.org/faqs/hovind/howgood-add.html
Scroll down the above web page for info on SN 1987A )http://home.entouch.net/dmd/age.htm( Scroll down the above web page for infor on SN 1987A )

--------

YEC's admitting that SN 1987A poses a problem

http://www.asa3.org/archive/ASA/200101/0168.html
( The above webpage consists of an email thread from a discussion group at the American Scientific Affiliation website, a major national organization consisting of Christian men and women who are professional scientists, most of whom are old-earth creationists and theistic evolutionists, with some young-earthers. It is older than Henry Morris' ICR and Morris actually quit the ASA to form the ICR after having some of his pet young-earth hypotheses questioned by scientists who were ASA members. )

See also this discussion of SN 1987a
http://www.geocities.com/Athens/Thebes/7755/marslist12.html

Ed (Edward T. Babinski, editor of Leaving the Fold: Testimonies of Former Fundamentalists)

43 comments:

ismellarat said...

Instead of the universe having been created with the appearance of age, maybe Genesis was created with the appearance of describing a young earth.

You sinners have no imagination.

Stargazer said...

Thanks for this excellent collection of links and sources. I always appreciate your posts.

Evan said...

Outstanding set of posts showing the deep fissures in the YEC position. Thanks, Ed.

Kevin H said...

Young Earth Creationism will be a non-issue and obscure in less than twenty years.

One can hold to an Old Universe without compromising the integrity or infallibility of the Scriptures.

Quite easily I might add.

Kevin H

Evan said...

Kevin, exactly how is it that one can hold to infallible scripture when the key character that explains all of Christian soteriology, Adam, never existed?

Anthony said...

Kevin wrote,

Young Earth Creationism will be a non-issue and obscure in less than twenty years.

That sounds optimistic but doubtful due to most of professing evangelical Christiandom's sheer ignorance of science. Old earth creationism isn't any better (I was one for a very short period of time). While ignorance continues so will people defending YEC.

I would challenge you as an evangelical to read Inspiration and Incarnation: Evangelicals and the Problem of the Old Testament by Peter Enns and God's Word in Human Words: An Evangelical Appropriation of Critical Biblical Scholarship by Kenton Sparks. I doubt that any real view of inerrancy or infallibility will remain after reading these two. I would also recommend Coming to Peace with Science: Bridging the Worlds Between Faith and Biology by Darrel Falk for the evidence of biological evolution. All three are evangelicals trying to be honest with the evidence.

BahramtheRed said...

The default answer for any chrisitan who beleives in YEC is "God made it that way."

Or my personel fav "Satan made it that way to test your faifth".

Jason Long said...

They "don't have all the answers" yet they are 100% sure that they are right. Could this sound any more like indoctrination?

Rachel said...

They "don't have all the answers" yet they are 100% sure that they are right. Could this sound any more like indoctrination?

Exactly! Evolutionists can be 100% sure that they are right since they actually DO have "all the answers".

Anthony said...

Rachel, I may be completely misunderstanding you, but unlike YEC and even OEC, evolutionists do not, nor have they ever claimed to have all of the answers. Science is the search for answers and evolution is the result of that search.

Lee Randolph said...

disregarding the sciences, equivocation, redefining and special pleading are what christians do best.

here are some other sciences which contain sound principles that YECers disregard to sustain their beliefs.
- anthropology
- paleontology
- biology, microbiology and by association chemistry
- neuroscience
- psychology, and social psychology
- maybe physics

any I've missed?

If you are new to the blog, John used to say that christians can only "punt to mystery" when backed into the corner by evidence, inferences to the best explanation, and sound principles.

Huddle up!
Ready!
Break!
Punt!

Jason Long said...

Exactly! Evolutionists can be 100% sure that they are right since they actually DO have "all the answers".

The 99% of scientists who accept evolution base the likelihood of their beliefs being correct on the weight of the evidence. Conclusions before premises.

Evan said...

Lee, you forgot geology.

BahramtheRed said...

Evolutionist don't have all the facts, and they openly admit they have many mysteries and questions still left to be solved.

But at least they have facts, evidence, and proff insteasd of a single old book full of impossiblities, contradictions, and out right stupidity.

Rachel said...

Jason, Anthony, Bahram,

Jason had implied that creationists were bad for admitting to not having all the answers yet still being convinced of their position. He claimed that this was evidence of indoctrination. My point is simply that one does not need "all the answers" to be convinced of a position, as is evidenced by the fact that evolutionists likewise are convinced of their view, yet they also admit to not having "all the answers".

You think it's great when evolutionists are "honest" and admit they don't have all the answers, but when a creationist is "honest" and admits he doesn't have all the answers, you think that should cause him to renounce creation and embrace evolution.

The point is that a person on either side can rightly hold to a position even if they don't have all the answers, without being "indoctrinated".

Evan said...

Rachel it's important to realize a distinction here.

There are people who hold beliefs that are consistent with all the data we currently have available. They are not unanimous about all topics, but on the bulk of major scientific theories they agree.

Then there are people who hold beliefs that are inconsistent with all the data we currently have available. They cling to these beliefs for reasons other than what is clearly shown by multiple lines of data.

For example, imagine a philosopher who believes the universe is old and that people who believe otherwise are holding a false belief. The reason he believes this is because he believes the data we have currently falsifies the proposition that the earth is young.

Next imagine a philosopher who believes the earth simply must be young and cannot accept as valid any facts that controvert that belief.

You do see a huge difference between the two I hope.

So that is the difference between creationism and modern biology. Creationism made lots of testable predictions. The vast majority of those predictions are inconsistent with the observed data. Modern biology makes predictions as well, and the vast majority are consistent with the observed data.

If you credit the data with any validity, you must reject the ideas that don't fit it.

BahramtheRed said...

Rachel; That takes us back to my post. Creationists may admit they don't have all the answers; but then they point to their bible and say "God did it".

That is my problem with their argument.

Evolutionist admit they don't have all the answers and keep looking for the answers.

The first step to solving a problem is to admit their is one. Creationist, in my expereince, try to bury them or dodge them. Occasionally invent really bizzare quasi sceince.

Richard said...

You mean young earth creationist have difficulties? The Bible is not a science book.

oli said...

Richard said
"The Bible is not a science book."

No, it certainly isn't. But it does make claims about the world that can be scientifically tested. And these are usually wrong. It makes claims about the first humans, about the creation of the world, about the structure of the universe, about enormous floods, about the creations of animals and plants and about historical characters. The evidence contradicts the bible on all these points.

Rcahel said
"You think it's great when evolutionists are "honest" and admit they don't have all the answers, but when a creationist is "honest" and admits he doesn't have all the answers, you think that should cause him to renounce creation and embrace evolution."

You are missing the point. Evolutionists say "our theory accounts for all the evidence, but we still have so much to learn, we don't have all the answers, but the answers we do have fit the data."
YECs say "Our theory fails to account for all the evidence, but we still believe in it. We don't have all the answers, and most of those we do have don't match the data."

There is a world of difference here.
Evolutionists accept that they don't know everything and will happily alter the theory of evolution should new data turn up that disproves it. Such data has not yet appeared.
Young Earth Creationist cannot account for the evidence except with arguements they themselves admit are lame. However, they refuse to switch to theories that do account for the evidence (such as a 13 billion year old universe) solely on the basis of their faith.

It startles me that people could be so thick headed as to actually continue to believe in YEC, its about as factually based as a flat or hollow earth. Only faith could make people so dumb as to stick with a truly failed idea, long after the rest of the world has moved on.

Evan said...

Richard you say:

You mean young earth creationist have difficulties? The Bible is not a science book.

Right, and it's not a history book either. It's a myth.

Therefore, even if we look at Genesis metaphorically, it is wrong.

Mankind is not superior to the rest of life on this planet any more than giraffes are, or blue whales, or elephants, or scorpions or slime molds are. Mankind hasn't named even 1/3 of the animals even today. Women are not created from men, precisely the opposite is true. Mankind has no dominion over the earth. There is no such thing as "original sin" since there was no original man, only a group of organisms who eventually became modern humans.

So what value, exactly, is there in reading the Bible? At least ... besides the obvious one: It makes people into atheists.

Rachel said...

Oli and the others,

So the real point is that creationists are considered "indoctrinated" because they believe in spite of the (supposed) evidence against their view.

That is fine. In fact, I would agree that a person who believes in spite of the evidence could be considered indoctrinated.

But my point is that that wasn't what was said. Ham was said to be indoctrinated because he was convinced of his view despite not having all the answers. Yet, such a statement is true of evolutionists as well, therefore it is false to say that a person is "indoctrinated" merely for that reason alone. All I was saying is that Ham's acknowledgement of not having all the answers is NOT indicative of indoctrination by itself, as Jason originally tried to say.

For reference, here's Jason's original comment:

They "don't have all the answers" yet they are 100% sure that they are right. Could this sound any more like indoctrination?

So the answer is, no, that by itself doesn't sound like indoctrination at all, unless you want to say that evolutionists are also indoctrinated. Other elements must be added for the charge of indoctrination to have merit. Whether or not those elements are true is not my point. I'm simply saying that it is NOT indoctrination to be convinced of a position despite not having all the answers.

Evan,

Mankind is not superior to the rest of life on this planet any more than giraffes are, or blue whales, or elephants, or scorpions or slime molds are.

You must be defining "superior" much differently than I do. When exactly will giraffes be building a space shuttle and flying to the moon and back? Will slime molds in Australia soon be caring about the fate of slime molds in Africa? Perhaps elephants are working on DNA testing? Even evolution says that mankind is more evolved (significantly!) than the rest of life. How are you able to maintain that mankind is not superior to the rest of life on this earth?

Evan said...

Rachel,

I am able to maintain it because the facts are clear cut.

Plenty of species have existed over the billions of years that life has existed on this planet. Many can do things that are remarkable that are species-specific.

When is the next time that a human will grow to the size of a city block? Blue whales *AND* slime molds can do this. There are many things that we do not do that are remarkable yet we don't focus on those as things of value because they aren't things we can do.

Dolphins rescue people from sharks at times. Other times they attack them. People rescue dolphins at times, other times they put them in nets with tuna to drown.

The only reason to believe our species is "chosen" or "loved by God" is because we have false myths that are perpetuating this idea.

As a matter of choice we certainly value our species higher than other species but this has nothing to do with reality and no, evolution does not teach that humans are more highly evolved. All organisms are equally evolved as all have diverged from the LUCA (last unified common ancestor) for the exact same amount of time.

Birds have superior respiratory systems and they can fly. If you want a superior organism, there it is.

BahramtheRed said...

Rachel:

We arn't allowed to be sure of our postion with a mountain of evidence (palentolical, genetic, biological, ect) because we don't have all the answers? That's like saying you don't know a movie because you can't rember some background information of the characters.

We know evolution happened, every piece of evidence supports this. Are their questions left? Sure. But are they going to fundametally change the game? Unlikely.


Your next claim is kinda weird. Are you saying that because humans are the only specie to embrace technology we're the best? That your only basis? The stuff we make?

Rachel said...

Evan,

Growing to be the size of a city block versus actually building a city block seems essentially incomparable. A bird flies and breathes by instinct. It didn't think about a good method for locomotion or a great way of breathing and then build it.

So it would seem that you are in fact defining "superior" way differently than me. To say that a bird's "superior" respiratory system and instinctual ability to fly would make it an overall superior organism to humans is completely beyond any definition of "superior" I've ever seen.

You seem to be comparing the instinctual, natural abilities of humans to other species in order to come up with the "humans aren't superior" stuff. True, birds have a natural ability to fly and humans don't. But part of the superiority of humans isn't in what we can do naturally, but what we've been able to figure out how to do beyond our natural abilities. Yeah, we can't fly on our own, but we found a way to enable ourselves to fly anyway.

And I wasn't pointing out that humans merely care about their own species, but that humans even know and care about ALL of their own species throughout the entire world, and in fact care about all other species too. No African elephant even knows about Asian elephants, let alone is concerned about them and forms an organization to help save them.

The point is that while there may be various species who can do certain things better than we can in our natural ability (e.g. the amount of weight an ant can carry and how fast it can move relative to its size), we have figured out how to overcome our natural inabilities such that we aren't stymied by them anymore. Can't lift a car? Get a forklift. Can't fly? Take an airplane. Heart can't beat properly? Get a pacemaker. Can't hear well? Get a hearing aid. But a slime mold can't fly and is stuck. A bird's heart fails, and that's it. An ant can lift a lot, but once it's reached its limit, too bad. I honestly don't see how you can say that humans aren't superior to any other species and still keep a straight face.

Btw, if anyone else is reading this, I'm curious - do any other evolutionists here agree with Evan that humans are NOT superior to any other species on earth? Do you all agree that slime molds are equally as evolved as humans?

Rachel said...

Bahram,

You seem to be confused. Have you followed all the comments on this particular point?

We arn't allowed to be sure of our postion with a mountain of evidence (palentolical, genetic, biological, ect) because we don't have all the answers?

Um, no, I didn't say that. Jason Long said that (against the creationists though). Jason originally claimed that Ken Ham was indoctrinated for the simple fact that he remained convinced of his view despite not having all the answers. My point was that evolutionists are ALSO convinced of their view despite not having all the answers, therefore Ken could not be said to be "indoctrinated" based solely on this point.

Your next claim is kinda weird. Are you saying that because humans are the only specie to embrace technology we're the best? That your only basis? The stuff we make?

Actually it's Evan's claim that I find "weird". First, humans aren't merely "embracing" technology, we're creating it. Without humans, there is no technology. No slime molds are analyzing cell structures. No blue whales are studying rocks in the rings of Jupiter.

Second, you've oversimplified. "The stuff we make" is so far beyond anything any other species even has the potential to make. It's just not even close. Bees can make a pretty intricate honeycomb. Humans make complex computers PLUS intricate honeycombs. Even if "the stuff we make" WAS the only basis, it'd be a pretty good one.

But no, that's not the only basis, which you'll see if you read my comment again and my latest one to Evan. How many "Save the Whales" organizations have cheetahs created? How often do ants purposefully help out termites? How many tigers are trying to even save themselves from extinction, let alone worry about any other species? How many spiders have concerned themselves with saving the planet and making it better for future spider generations?

Humans are the only species who care about anything other than their own little group that they can see. Humans know and care about other humans around the world, as well as other species in the world. We're the only ones who can actually do anything about a difficult environment or a cosmic event. Humans and chimps may share a lot of DNA, but that small amount of difference apparently makes a huge difference in its manifestations.

zilch said...

Rachel- first a word of appreciation: I've been following this thread, and although I disagree with you (being an evilutionist), you are at least engaging in dialog and not just haranguing us. Unfortunately, all too many conversations between believers and atheists devolve into both sides retreating to their respective enclaves and lobbing barbs at one another. So thanks for keeping your ears open.

This disagreement about whether humans are "superior" to other animals is, it seems to me, basically a disagreement about terminology. I don't think anyone here would dispute that humans are the most advanced life form on the planet, as far as technological intelligence goes. All of your examples of human superiority in terms of our ability to shape our environment are blindingly obvious. But we must keep a couple of things in mind when we say that "humans are superior to all other animals".

Rachel, you said:

Even evolution says that mankind is more evolved (significantly!) than the rest of life.

While mankind has certainly evolved to be more intelligent, in terms of being able to manipulate abstractions and all the other things we do so well, than any other form of life on this planet, it is a mistake to say that we are "more evolved". As Evan pointed out, every living thing on the planet is equally evolved: every living thing on the planet is only here because its ancestors were well enough equipped for their particular way of life that they were able to survive and reproduce. That means that every form of life is very good at what it does- in fact, it is by definition the "superior" forms that survive. Humans are thus not "superior" in the sense of being "more evolved".

You say:

And I wasn't pointing out that humans merely care about their own species, but that humans even know and care about ALL of their own species throughout the entire world, and in fact care about all other species too. No African elephant even knows about Asian elephants, let alone is concerned about them and forms an organization to help save them.

It is only natural that we humans regard our own peculiar intelligence as a sign of our "superiority" over our animal brethren, and it is justified, as long as we keep in mind its parochial nature. An elephant, however, might reasonably regard our all-but-useless noses with scorn or pity.

More to the point: while we humans have utilized our superior intelligence to build spacecraft and cathedrals, we have also built weapons of mass destruction, and have so successfully been fertile and multiplied, and have so thoroughly rearranged the environment, that we now have a good shot at driving ourselves to extinction and taking most of the rest of life with us- although I doubt we could do away with grass, bacteria, and cockroaches. While it probably won't come to that (I hope!), we have already trashed the planet pretty thoroughly, and it will certainly get worse before it gets better. Why do you suppose the elephants (and the whales, and the chimps, etc.) need organizations to help save them? Save them from whom?

Intelligence without foresight and responsibility is a dangerous tool. So looking at the big picture, which for me includes the whole of our wonderful living planet, I wouldn't necessarily use the word "superior" unqualifiedly to describe humans.

cheers from sunny Vienna, zilch

tigg13 said...

Rachel said, "Btw, if anyone else is reading this, I'm curious - do any other evolutionists here agree with Evan that humans are NOT superior to any other species on earth? Do you all agree that slime molds are equally as evolved as humans?"

I absolutely agree with Evan and Zilch.

On a side note, I once happened upon some white racist literature that used the same argument Rachel is using to show that white people are superior to all other races.

I didn't buy it then and I ain't buyin' it now.

We are no better nor worse than any other creature. (We just have gaudier toys.)

Evan said...

Rachel, from the point of view of a termite we are a weak species. We have social strife, we don't all work together for the good of the hive and we have very poor agricultural techniques that are quite dependent on factors beyond our control. We are much less numerous than they are and they can easily destroy a large percentage of our structures.

The idea that we are "inherently" better than other organisms is of a piece with the same arguments made above about racism.

But you seem to focus so much on technology and things humans can do for other animals. Let's just agree that with hydrogen bombs and global warming, our species has failed to show any great superiority to lemmings.

BahramtheRed said...

Rachel; I delberatly over simplified to make a clear cut point. I do not beleive technology, use creation, or desire for is a sign of being more evolved. Our use of it would argue the opposite.

Do not take this as some sort of repudiation of these things. I just consider it like, well to keep it simple; like comparing apples and oranges.

I'm with Ziltch, evan, and the others.

Daniel said...

Athiests have the problem of thinking that all of use religous folk believe in every little tiny thing in the bible. The fact is that many stories in the old testament could be false, due to mistranslations, purposeful changes (due to corruption), and the biggest one, misrecording and possible even early civilizations misinterperating the world around them. You, who tell us to grow up, should grow up yourselves; One does not need faith in scripture to have faith in God. The theologists whom are trying to come up with a reason for this are all simply trying to keep the rest of the world in faith, and I respect them in that. I for one, do not see athiests as sinners, but as folks who put all faith in science, and simply do not believe in a higher power. There is nothing wrong with this, but I believe that no matter what, those with faith, any faith, not just christianity will die happier, because even if there is no heaven, or anything after death, we will die expecting it, and thinking happy thoughts (although I suppose some people are able to accept death).

Cherio, hope this makes you stop your bashing, and just accept that some people don't believe the same thing as you. That is the true Kingdom of God, and anybody can do this without religon.

Daniel said...

Sorry if I made a broad statement about athiests, I meant people whom are trying to destroy christianity.

Philip said...

Daniel,

Why do you want us to stop? If you're right a out there being a god, why do you care what we do? Many Christians come to these blogs and say things like "If you're atheists then nothing matters, so why debunk theism or Christianity?" or "Why can't you just accept that some people believe in a God?" like you just did.

The thing is, you came here of your own volition, knowing that this blog was called Debunking Christianity. No one forced you to cone here. So where do you get off acting as if you're being forced into a corner with us shoving anti-apologetics down your throat? If you're threatened, don't come here. Leave, if you want.

Are you perhaps uncomfortable with some of the points we bring up?

Daniel said...

How I got here aside (I actually do have a reasonable exuse), I'm simply telling you that there is no point to what you're doing...At all. And you didn't answer the VERY important question "Why can't you just accept that some people believe in a God?" No matter how many people ask it, it remains just as important. As a christian, I feel a duty to protect my faith. It's the same thing as saying "Okay, so we WERE defaming you at this convention, but you really have no reason to tell us to stop." Ignore that last part, I really don't give a crap as to any defense to that statement. I want to get down to the core of what you're saying, what reason you have to be this way, why you feel it is important for you to bash christianity, why do you insist on being right? Tell me this, honestly, in a way that I can relate to as a human being, and I will leave, I promise you, but any other roundabout, peice of crap explanation, with no actual constuctive content what together, such as philip's comment, and I will also leave, but with the impression that you are all a bunch of dildo-brains. I want a solid reason that has nothing to do with corruption in the church, inconsistancies in the bible, or even lack of faith among the christian community, no shit like that. I reiterate, I want a pure, honest responce as to why you try so hard to destroy something which gives people hope.

Evan said...

Daniel you have a lot of nerve.

Our blog discusses the facts as we see them.

Here is one: 40% of Americans believe the earth is less than 10,000 years old. This post is trying to get people to understand how wrong that idea is.

People are in no way forced to believe what we, or anyone else says (the majority of my own family are YEC's). Yet for you to act like a majority of American Christians is somehow a tiny stupid sect that nobody pays attention to is to be more elitist than any atheist I've ever met.

There's no point in debunking some mystical spiritualism that posits no veridical statements (MMM, I'm talking to you there). There's nothing there to debunk. Oddly, a majority of American Christians also don't look for such a faith. So on this blog, rather than arguing with the mush spiritualism that liberal Christians put forward, we try to point out that what a majority of Americans actually believe is wrong.

If you think that has no value, you can go read something else.

If, like I do, you think that it is a very bad thing that a huge number of our fellow North Americans are woefully illiterate about scientific facts, then join up and help us drop that number down to 1% of Americans.

When it gets there, posts like this will have much less cogency.

Philip said...

Oh no, an anonymous teenager from the internet is going to think I'm a "dildo-brain" because he didn't like the fact that I told him that he doesn't have to come to this website if he doesn't want to.

Maybe you should leave, actually. You're wasting your time here, Daniel.

openlyatheist said...

Daniel,

You ask for someone to give you a reason to leave. But it sounds like you're the exact type who needs to stick around here and learn some things. I'm sure if you're civil the mods here will not begrudge your say.

As to your question, Evan has already implied my answer: most of us atheists are fact finders. We actually care if the stories are true, or if the theology is consistent, whereas your posts clearly show you don't. We usually find the opposite is the case. But this is not bashing Christianity any more than teaching the facts of biology is "bashing" creationism.

As for "hope", in the words of the immortal George Carlin, "Fuck hope." When an author here posts a link to another story of a family who lets their child die of an easily treatable medical condition, because they "hope" God will heal him, it is clear that hope is rapidly becoming an excuse to avoid reality. I would rather have reality.

Kevin H said...

Kevin, exactly how is it that one can hold to infallible scripture when the key character that explains all of Christian soteriology, Adam, never existed?

KH> Pretty good-sized burden of proof you bear there, friend!

K

Kevin H said...

That sounds optimistic but doubtful due to most of professing evangelical Christiandom's sheer ignorance of science. Old earth creationism isn't any better (I was one for a very short period of time). While ignorance continues so will people defending YEC.

KH> YEC has waxed and waned for 2,000 years. It has never been the hands-down consensus.

I think the horrible PR alone for Hovind and Ham are enough to stir the strongest hold-outs to quit the view and start learning some science!

Thanks for the recommendations, btw.

Philip said...

Kevin,

Burden of proof's on you, buddy. Logic 101.

Kevin H said...

Kevin,

Burden of proof's on you, buddy. Logic 101.


All views make truth claims. All truth claims bear the burden of proof.

He made a truth claim about Adam. He bears the burden of proof.

K

Philip said...

It is a negative claim made in response to a positive one - he holds that there's no evidence that Adam did exist, and Christians believe that Adam did, and make positive claims as to his existance. The onus is on the one making the positive claim. His default position is "I'll not believe it until there is evidence to prove it," while Christians say "I'll believe it until it can be disproven," which since one cannot know every thing that has ever happened is a theoretical impossibility. He's not making a "truth claim," he is stating that the truth claims of Christians and Jews are not good enough, and have not yet proved Adam's existence.

But regardless, the research done into genetics invalidates the claim that one couple could have managed to be the source for all human beings. Genetic defects and sterility resulting from inbreeding would have let to Man's extinction in only a few generations. The doctrine of all Man being descended from one man doesn't jive with science, sadly.

Proof there was no Adam? Not at all. Good reason to think there was no Adam? Absolutely.

tigg13 said...

Daniel said, "I want a solid reason that has nothing to do with corruption in the church, inconsistancies in the bible, or even lack of faith among the christian community, no shit like that. I reiterate, I want a pure, honest responce as to why you try so hard to destroy something which gives people hope."

You don't consider corruption, biblical inconsistancies and problems of faith to be valid reasons for questioning christianity?

Oh wait, I get it! You're trying to get us to admit that we're all just angry with your god and we're just using this site to vent our frustration.

Tell you what Daniel, you explain why it's ok for christianity to spread lies about evolution and hatred of homosexuality, to turn a blind eye towards preists who molest children and murderers who kill abortionists and condone liars and theives who present themselves as religious leaders while they indulge themselves at the expense of others and I'll admit that I don't have any reasons to debunk your religion.

BahramtheRed said...

Philip: Your forgetting it happened twice. All humanity descending from one couple. First Adam and Eve and thing again with Moses family. Along with every other living thing.



Daniel; You want a straight simple answer for why I obejt to chrisitanity? Fine:

I reject this relgion for sheer and overwhelming stupidity in embodies. I object to endless sets of impossiblities. I object that this is somehow suppose to be the good news.

I reject since the more I learn of it the more evil it seems. I reject it because that every thing I've ever looked at says that it's claims are wrong or outright lies.

Lastly I oppose it because of the people who try to make others follow it.