Creationism

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Postby fjafjan » Sun Jul 01, 2007 11:00 pm UTC

arcticfox.sq wrote:Just out of curiosity, are there any other major /scientific/ (meaning nothing to do with God) theories out there other than evolution, that explains how we came to be?


I have never heard of any, and considering the number of people who hate evolution people would most likely be bringing up this "alternate version" as an argument of "look, they aren't even sure it's evolution!".

There is probably different views on more specific things in evolution though.

(I mean the concept of evolution is (from a scientific point of view) not in the least controversial.
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Postby aldimond » Sun Jul 01, 2007 11:54 pm UTC

arcticfox.sq wrote:Just out of curiosity, are there any other major /scientific/ (meaning nothing to do with God) theories out there other than evolution, that explains how we came to be?


"How we came to be" can mean a whole lot of different things (even more things than "evolution", a badly overloaded term itself when left unspecified). As far as the origin of species goes, people in the mainstream tend to call anything roughly descended from Darwin's ideas "evolution". There have been and are many different models for how exactly various species have become differentiated historically, and for how they tend to do so in general. That's as deep as my knowledge goes on the subject. As far as abiogenisis goes, again, it's not one model, it's a label for models of how life began.

In either case, they're both classes of "theories" about history. It's hard to test them; usually gathering evidence is all we can do, and we don't have much control over the evidence that we gather. So any model for the big-picture process of evolution has to match both the found evidence and our knowledge about the mechanisms of reproduction and how evolution happens when observed today (this is what a lot of Internet folk and probably some real scientists too like to call the "fact of evolution", to differentiate it from the historical models that are so often debated).

And, just to be nitty, "scientific" doesn't usually mean "nothing to do with God". My best attempt at a quick definition of science would be "processes of gleaning meaningful knowledge from observations and experimentation". My favorite part of programming is debugging: it's basically doing science on your (or someone else's) code; then you get to fix the code. Science science is doing science on everything; everything can't always be so easily fixed!
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Postby arcticfox.sq » Mon Jul 02, 2007 1:44 am UTC

Er.. I couldn't really think of another word for evolution what evolution explains, other than evolution...

So, does that mean that before Darwin, everyone believed creationism or had no other theories at all of erm.. whatever you call it :? ?
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Postby zenten » Mon Jul 02, 2007 4:29 am UTC

So, does that mean that before Darwin, everyone believed creationism or had no other theories at all of erm.. whatever you call it


Pretty much. A number of people had the concept of inherited traits (like, anyone who breeds animals), but to my knowledge no one thought to tie it into the creation of new species.

However, there were atheists before Darwin. I wonder if any of them talked about how people came to be. Did Plato ever talk about it?

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Postby 3.14159265... » Mon Jul 02, 2007 5:20 am UTC

There were alot of proponents of "evolution" before Darwin, his grand father included.

There was no good theory of how evolution would work.

Lamarck had one theory but it wasn't a good one.

Darwin is awsome, because he gave a very sound and easily understandable answer to the how.
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Postby iammercy » Mon Jul 02, 2007 3:35 pm UTC

Bondolon wrote:I disagree. However, I disagree not on the contention that none of those are fact, because they are definitely not fact. However, ID and creationism aren't theories in the scientific sense of the term, they are unprovable hypotheses. Evolution was once a hypothesis which, after having been scrutinized under the lens of evidence, was deemed to have been shown to be accurate. That's why the theory of Evolution is just that, a Theory (as opposed to a hypothesis... theories are tentatively true). Sure, anything is possible if you have an omnipotent god, but assuming either ID or creationism are true, you'll never be able to formulate a theory of them, unless of course God itself comes down from heaven and just hands it to you.

edit: At which point I suppose it would actually just be law.


Im not sure you actually disagreed with anything I said. Its true that Evolution has (for the most part) followed the scientific method. Its also true that ID and Creationism dont.

But that doesnt belabor the point that the argument of pitting one vs the other is based off of the earlier argument 'Does God exist'. Its almost as if those who want God to exist and those who dont use this as a basis for it to a degree.

Anyway.. yea!

Mercy

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Postby jwwells » Tue Jul 03, 2007 5:41 am UTC

The thing is, the evidence for common descent was so strong (based on taxonomy) that people kept trying to come up with theories even when no mechanism was proposed. Wikipedia gives this quote from Erasmus Darwin:

Would it be too bold to imagine that, in the great length of time since the earth began to exist, perhaps millions of ages before the commencement of the history of mankind would it be too bold to imagine that all warm-blooded animals have arisen from one living filament, which the great First Cause endued with animality, with the power of acquiring new parts, attended with new propensities, directed by irritations, sensations, volitions and associations, and thus possessing the faculty of continuing to improve by its own inherent activity, and of delivering down these improvements by generation to its posterity, world without end?

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Postby Bondolon » Tue Jul 03, 2007 6:03 am UTC

iammercy wrote:
Bondolon wrote:I disagree. However, I disagree not on the contention that none of those are fact, because they are definitely not fact. However, ID and creationism aren't theories in the scientific sense of the term, they are unprovable hypotheses. Evolution was once a hypothesis which, after having been scrutinized under the lens of evidence, was deemed to have been shown to be accurate. That's why the theory of Evolution is just that, a Theory (as opposed to a hypothesis... theories are tentatively true). Sure, anything is possible if you have an omnipotent god, but assuming either ID or creationism are true, you'll never be able to formulate a theory of them, unless of course God itself comes down from heaven and just hands it to you.

edit: At which point I suppose it would actually just be law.


Im not sure you actually disagreed with anything I said. Its true that Evolution has (for the most part) followed the scientific method. Its also true that ID and Creationism dont.

But that doesnt belabor the point that the argument of pitting one vs the other is based off of the earlier argument 'Does God exist'. Its almost as if those who want God to exist and those who dont use this as a basis for it to a degree.

Anyway.. yea!

Mercy


If God "exists" (whatever that would mean), any of the three are possible. If God doesn't, then only one is possible as-is. As evolution or "something else" (as you put it) would be possible regardless of the existence of God, it's pretty clear that God's influence is -whatever- God's influence is, to the extent that God's "existence" has basically no inherent bearing on which of those is true in a positive sense, but only what is impossible in a negative sense. Therefore, a discovery of the existence of God (again, something that I thing would be literally impossible to answer) would only prove that two out of a multitude of answers are impossible. Therefore, the heart of the issue is not whether or not God exists, but the existence of God would be an important, undiscoverable factor in the disproof (again, not proof) of the truth value of two of the possibilities.

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Postby Belial » Tue Jul 03, 2007 4:25 pm UTC

::deletes a post::

Remember folks, this is Serious Business. Try to take it seriously.
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Postby iammercy » Tue Jul 03, 2007 4:57 pm UTC

Belial wrote:::deletes a post::

Remember folks, this is Serious Business. Try to take it seriously.


Oh.. gosh.. sorry.

Here..

If God "exists" (whatever that would mean), any of the three are possible. If God doesn't, then only one is possible as-is. As evolution or "something else" (as you put it) would be possible regardless of the existence of God, it's pretty clear that God's influence is -whatever- God's influence is, to the extent that God's "existence" has basically no inherent bearing on which of those is true in a positive sense, but only what is impossible in a negative sense. Therefore, a discovery of the existence of God (again, something that I thing would be literally impossible to answer) would only prove that two out of a multitude of answers are impossible. Therefore, the heart of the issue is not whether or not God exists, but the existence of God would be an important, undiscoverable factor in the disproof (again, not proof) of the truth value of two of the possibilities.


Um.. this is so full of holes its almost 'holy'.. get it? :)

We all know its essentually impossible to prove that God exists. If he does.. and chooses to show himself.. thats hardly you proving it.

However.. a discovery of the existence of God would prove NOTHING. Every single possibility for the existence of all could be valid WITH God as the beginning.

I guess I thought that was obvious..

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Postby Belial » Tue Jul 03, 2007 5:17 pm UTC

However.. a discovery of the existence of God would prove NOTHING. Every single possibility for the existence of all could be valid WITH God as the beginning.


However, since there's no reason to believe that God *does* exist, the theory which does not necessitate his existence is the stronger one.
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Postby the Cow » Tue Jul 03, 2007 5:56 pm UTC

Belial wrote:
However.. a discovery of the existence of God would prove NOTHING. Every single possibility for the existence of all could be valid WITH God as the beginning.


However, since there's no reason to believe that God *does* exist, the theory which does not necessitate his existence is the stronger one.


Even if there are many reasons to believe that God does exist (as has been argued by many prominent logicians), the theory which does not necessitate his existence is the stronger one, by virtue of not being contingent on a second and questionable proposition.
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Postby iammercy » Tue Jul 03, 2007 5:56 pm UTC

Belial wrote:
However.. a discovery of the existence of God would prove NOTHING. Every single possibility for the existence of all could be valid WITH God as the beginning.


However, since there's no reason to believe that God *does* exist, the theory which does not necessitate his existence is the stronger one.


Confusing 'No reason' with 'I believe there is no reason' can reduce the strength of ones statements.

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Postby iammercy » Tue Jul 03, 2007 5:57 pm UTC

the Cow wrote:
Belial wrote:
However.. a discovery of the existence of God would prove NOTHING. Every single possibility for the existence of all could be valid WITH God as the beginning.


However, since there's no reason to believe that God *does* exist, the theory which does not necessitate his existence is the stronger one.


Even if there are many reasons to believe that God does exist (as has been argued by many prominent logicians), the theory which does not necessitate his existence is the stronger one, by virtue of not being contingent on a second and questionable proposition.


This is absolutely true.. which is why Evolution (with or without God) is much stronger even without any science.

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Postby Belial » Tue Jul 03, 2007 6:04 pm UTC

Confusing 'No reason' with 'I believe there is no reason' can reduce the strength of ones statements.


Allow me to rephrase:

Since no credible evidence of God's existence has been advanced to the scientific community at large, the theory which does not necessitate that existence as a presupposition is stronger.

Even if there are many reasons to believe that God does exist (as has been argued by many prominent logicians),


Most of those I've ever read have been utter wankery.

Here I am especially thinking of the one where the definition of a perfect being necessitated that being's existence, or else it wouldn't be perfect (since a being with all those qualities who existed would be better than one who didn't), and therefore god existed.

Because *wow*.
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Postby iammercy » Tue Jul 03, 2007 6:19 pm UTC

Belial wrote:Most of those I've ever read have been utter wankery.

Here I am especially thinking of the one where the definition of a perfect being necessitated that being's existence, or else it wouldn't be perfect (since a being with all those qualities who existed would be better than one who didn't), and therefore god existed.

Because *wow*.


I guess the point is.. who has more hubris.

The guy who thinks his reason for God exists MUST be true?
or
The guy who thinks that in his minuscule amount of human experience he knows there are no reasons for God to exist.

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Postby Belial » Tue Jul 03, 2007 6:26 pm UTC

I guess the point is.. who has more hubris.

The guy who thinks his reason for God exists MUST be true?
or
The guy who thinks that in his minuscule amount of human experience he knows there are no reasons for God to exist.


Neither. They are making equally unproveable statements.

Luckily, neither of them are what I said.

I said there was no reason to believe god existed, not that there is no reason for him to exist. Normally, a reason to believe has to be within your experience to count as a reason to believe.

If there is evidence of god's existence, but it's carved on a pebble somewhere on Omicron Persei VIII, and no human has ever seen it, that's not a reason to believe because we don't know about it. If we don't know about it, it's not a reason for us to do anything.

Note that I didn't say there would never be a reason to believe, either. The moment we discover evidence, then there is reason to believe, when previously there was none.

I further amended to say that there was no credible evidence that had been brought to the scientific community, which is an even more defensible and obvious statement.
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Postby the Cow » Tue Jul 03, 2007 6:42 pm UTC

Belial wrote:
Even if there are many reasons to believe that God does exist (as has been argued by many prominent logicians),


Most of those I've ever read have been utter wankery.

Here I am especially thinking of the one where the definition of a perfect being necessitated that being's existence, or else it wouldn't be perfect (since a being with all those qualities who existed would be better than one who didn't), and therefore god existed.

Because *wow*.


Oh I wasn't supporting any particular ontological argument. I was pointing out that the creationist theory, requires that God must exist to be a reasonable argument. That weakens the argument substantially. That fact that you have to prove God first, before you talk about Adam and Eve and such like, puts the Creationists in a one hell of a bind.
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Postby iammercy » Tue Jul 03, 2007 6:53 pm UTC

the Cow wrote:Oh I wasn't supporting any particular ontological argument. I was pointing out that the creationist theory, requires that God must exist to be a reasonable argument. That weakens the argument substantially. That fact that you have to prove God first, before you talk about Adam and Eve and such like, puts the Creationists in a one hell of a bind.


Not at all...

Its a belief.. not science.

No problem at all.

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Postby Pixel » Tue Jul 03, 2007 7:49 pm UTC

iammercy wrote:Not at all...

Its a belief.. not science.

No problem at all.

Mercy


But you are putting your belief up against science to further the creationism/evolution debate.

Creationism/ID require god to exist to function.

Evolution works whether god exists or not.

So if we are talking scientific evidence, you just stated that god existing is a belief and not science. Therefore as a belief and not science, the existence of god shouldn't be involved in a scientific debate.

So if we remove god from the debate, the only theory that still works is Evolution, therefore evolution is more likely to be valid, as it doesn't hinge on something that is specifically non-scientific.

(not terribly well said, but I'm not particularly eloquent at the moment)
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Postby iammercy » Tue Jul 03, 2007 7:52 pm UTC

Pixel wrote:
iammercy wrote:Not at all...

Its a belief.. not science.

No problem at all.

Mercy


But you are putting your belief up against science to further the creationism/evolution debate.

Creationism/ID require god to exist to function.

Evolution works whether god exists or not.

So if we are talking scientific evidence, you just stated that god existing is a belief and not science. Therefore as a belief and not science, the existence of god shouldn't be involved in a scientific debate.

So if we remove god from the debate, the only theory that still works is Evolution, therefore evolution is more likely to be valid, as it doesn't hinge on something that is specifically non-scientific.

(not terribly well said, but I'm not particularly eloquent at the moment)


I agree with you.

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Postby yoshi » Wed Jul 04, 2007 7:38 pm UTC

Creationism/ID require god to exist to function.


I haven't read the entire thread so this may have already been touched on but I don't think this statement is accurate. Intelligent Design requires -something- to either design it or kick off the process. That doesn't mean that -something- is "god" but may be space aliens or a 9x4x1 black piece of rock.

However - the most vocal proponents of ID/Creationism tend to be believers in a single God tho there is a smaller less vocal group that believe space aliens did the designing.

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Postby Belial » Wed Jul 04, 2007 7:43 pm UTC

I haven't read the entire thread so this may have already been touched on but I don't think this statement is accurate. Intelligent Design requires -something- to either design it or kick off the process. That doesn't mean that -something- is "god" but may be space aliens or a 9x4x1 black piece of rock.


I don't feel that's entirely...sensible.

First off, are we talking about intelligent design of life on earth, or intelligent design of the universe at large?

If the former, wouldn't the aliens have to have been designed by someone, or else to have evolved?

In that case, you're not answering the question, you're just kicking the question back an iteration.
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Postby zenten » Wed Jul 04, 2007 8:07 pm UTC

I don't feel that's entirely...sensible.

First off, are we talking about intelligent design of life on earth, or intelligent design of the universe at large?

If the former, wouldn't the aliens have to have been designed by someone, or else to have evolved?

In that case, you're not answering the question, you're just kicking the question back an iteration.


How is that not true for the fundie IDers?

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Postby Belial » Wed Jul 04, 2007 8:09 pm UTC

Because they can at least manage some kind of weird hat trick wherein god gets to create himself or always have existed or somesuch.
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Postby zenten » Wed Jul 04, 2007 8:10 pm UTC

Because they can at least manage some kind of weird hat trick wherein god gets to create himself or always have existed or somesuch.


Why can't time travelling space aliens do it?

Heck, why can't it be people?

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Postby Belial » Wed Jul 04, 2007 8:16 pm UTC

Interesting theory. We went back in time and created ourselves?
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Postby iknoritesrsly » Wed Jul 04, 2007 8:23 pm UTC

I believe that what a lot of people have been trying to express is something akin to an appeal to Occam's razor. All things being equal, if both theories were proven to be plausible, but one relied on the existence of God and the other didn't, the one that didn't would be the more favorable theory.

However, I do not believe that this is really the strongest move for someone to make if they are arguing against creationism or ID. Why? Because the question of whether God exists or not is a philosophical one. At best, it is something that can be deduced by logic, at worst, there is no rational way to determine if God exists, and it is completely a matter of faith.

Science does not have the vocabulary to argue against creationism or ID in these terms. Therefore, a much stronger move is to argue against creationism or ID in terms of the scientific claims involved.

I don't believe that either side would agree that all things are equal between creationism / id / evolution, hence an appeal to occam's razor isn't really appropriate.

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Postby iknoritesrsly » Wed Jul 04, 2007 8:26 pm UTC

Belial wrote:Interesting theory. We went back in time and created ourselves?


http://www.salon.com/books/feature/2007 ... =whitelist

you jest, but some people have suggested theories not too far from that. :D

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Postby Pixel » Wed Jul 04, 2007 9:15 pm UTC

iknoritesrsly wrote:I believe that what a lot of people have been trying to express is something akin to an appeal to Occam's razor. All things being equal, if both theories were proven to be plausible, but one relied on the existence of God and the other didn't, the one that didn't would be the more favorable theory.


I understand what you're saying and agree with it. For me though rather than an "all things being equal" situation, it is more of a "starting from square one" situation. Creationism/ID require, before you go any further, for one to agree that God (or other omnipotent being of your choice) did all this stuff. Since the god/omnipotent being is not something that can be proved, disproved or even studied by science, Creationism/ID is inherently flawed as a scientific theory and as such shouldn't even be in a scientific debate.
All other factors of whether creationism/ID is better than evolution are irrelevant, because they are built on said flawed premise.

(I hope that was coherent, I just got up from a nap)
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Postby zenten » Wed Jul 04, 2007 9:59 pm UTC

http://www.salon.com/books/feature/2007 ... =whitelist

you jest, but some people have suggested theories not too far from that.


That's not really what he was saying. He was talking more about the many universes idea, but applied through quantum physics. It's no more time travel than the double slit experiment is time travel.

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Postby yoshi » Wed Jul 04, 2007 10:05 pm UTC

I don't feel that's entirely...sensible.


Um - ok ... so is creationism sensible? Those that push "ID" emphasis that its a scientific "theory" and state time and time again that its not religious dogma. Their rationale for this school of thought (or "getting their foot in the door" so to speak) is that the "designer" could be anything and not necessarily "God". You can argue that "Creationism" assumes a all knowing firebolt throwing God but ID is being sold to the world that this planet of ours was designed by "something" and doesn't attempt to explain the creation of the universe.

And if we are really talking about the origin of the universe versus "Evolution versus ID" then someone should rename the topic.

(for the record - i personally believe ID is just the latest attempt to shove religion down kids throats and there is no scientific basis for it)

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Postby the Cow » Wed Jul 04, 2007 10:14 pm UTC

yoshi wrote:
I don't feel that's entirely...sensible.


Um - ok ... so is creationism sensible? Those that push "ID" emphasis that its a scientific "theory" and state time and time again that its not religious dogma. Their rational for this school of thought (or "getting their foot in the door" so to speak) is that the "designer" could be anything and not necessarily "God". You can argue that "Creationism" assumes a all knowing firebolt throwing God but ID is being sold to the world that this planet of ours was designed by "something" and doesn't attempt to explain the creation of the universe.

And if we are really talking about the origin of the universe versus "Evolution versus ID" then someone should rename the topic.

(for the record - i personally believe ID is just the latest attempt to shove religion down kids throats and there is no scientific basis for it)


I still feel that that requires that you support the idea of this external intelligence before you proceed with attributing actions to it's part. Even if you don't call that intelligence God.

(For the record (and a bit off topic), on my part, whenever I hear a bible literalist thump, I feel like they are cheapening the bible and the very tenents they seek to espouse.)
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Postby iknoritesrsly » Wed Jul 04, 2007 10:21 pm UTC

zenten wrote:
http://www.salon.com/books/feature/2007 ... =whitelist

you jest, but some people have suggested theories not too far from that.


That's not really what he was saying. He was talking more about the many universes idea, but applied through quantum physics. It's no more time travel than the double slit experiment is time travel.


I realize he wasn't suggesting time travel, he says that quite explicitly. :p But again, not so far off.

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Postby Belial » Thu Jul 05, 2007 3:47 pm UTC

yoshi wrote:Um - ok ... so is creationism sensible?


Oh, hahahah, no. They just dress it up a little bit better. The "created by aliens" idea has an immediately apparent hole that you can drive a truck through, was all I was saying.

Deific creation has the same hole, it's just disguised and obscured so that you don't *necessarily* see it immediately.
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Postby McLurker » Sat Jul 07, 2007 3:36 pm UTC

Just when you thought creationism couldn't get any worse...

Creationists use failed "free energy" machine as evidence

This is perhaps the best physical evidence I have ever seen against the absurd assumptions of materialism. The materialists are utterly convinced that "free energy" is impossible, but they have totally ignored well documented evidence of miracles (e.g. walking on water, reviving the dead).
Let me explain: Such acts would have required a great deal of energy brought in from apparently nowhere. The laws of thermodynamics as Hawkings understand them say this can never happen. In hawking's world-view reviving the dead is impossible because a long-dead body contains a great deal more entropy than a healthy living body. On the other hand, well documented evidence says these miricales happened. As scientists we must follow this evidence wherever it leads.

This is a perfect example of how ultra-materialists scientists deny legitimate scientific inquiry. It's hardly surprising that the dogmatic neo-darwinist nay-sayers are often the same people who deny that Steorn's perpetual motion machine is possible WITHOUT EVEN SEEING IT!

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Hawknc
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Postby Hawknc » Sat Jul 07, 2007 3:50 pm UTC

The greatest failings of these idiots is that they think science is an absolute, when all it is, in reality, is the application of logic to observation. We observe something that doesn't fit with our current theory, we verify the legitimacy of our observations and remodel the theory if necessary. That's the beauty of science, not its weakness.

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Postby functionally_stupid » Wed Jul 18, 2007 4:28 pm UTC

In my experience, religions and/or any religious ideas are irrelevant to science. It's not necessarily that they contradict science or agree with science - either way, they have absolutely no impact on what science *is*. (Of course, if enough people feel strongly about a certain point, they can have an impact on what science *does*.)

Science is a means of examining and understanding the world. According to Karl Popper's widely-accepted definition of what separates science from non-science, for something to be "scientific", it *must* be falsifiable. Science cannot be *proved*, it can only be *not disproved*. As the available data changes, so scientific theories must change or be discarded in order to accommodate it.

If it is *impossible* to set up a *scientifically rigorous* experiment that would, from its results, point to the existence or nonexistence of God, then God has *no* place in scientific argument or thought. If this "god" cannot be quantitatively or qualitatively identified, *repeatedly*, under rigorous scientific scrutiny, then whatever "god" or "God" or even "Goddess" (or just "a creator") is has *no* place in a science classroom.

I really don't care about creationism. Just can't be bothered. They can teach it in schools, if they wish; they can even offer courses on it! But creationism *really* doesn't belong in a science course. It belongs in a religion course. Trying to assume the *guise* of science is not especially an honorable thing to do; rather, a deceitful one.

/steps off soapbox

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Postby space_raptor » Wed Jul 18, 2007 4:33 pm UTC

I live close to the Royal Tyrell Museum in Drumheller, Alberta. It has one of the largest collections of dinosaur bones and other fossils in the world. It is an awesome museum. They have this dark room where they have the tyrannosaurus skeleton, and RAPTOR bones and other vicious meat eaters. It's pretty cool.

A creationist museum recently opened up in a nearby town. I kind of want to visit. Maybe get an ironic t-shirt.
The drinking will continue until morale improves.

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Postby 22/7 » Wed Jul 18, 2007 5:07 pm UTC

Here's a question. I've seen a lot of people saying why creationism (or at least the creationism defined by literal belief of Genesis) is a flawed/wrong belief, and I don't disagree with that, but I've also seen a lot of people saying things like 'don't even get me started on ID,' etc.

So why? Explain to me why ID is impossible. I don't care about what is logically more sound, or what is more plausable. My question is simply, why is it not possible that a supreme being created all this matter, then set into action evolution, even possibly picking a few key creatures/plants/etc. to help along (allow to thrive) or be destroyed or whatever at a few key points in existence and that all that led to where we are today?
Totally not a hypothetical...

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