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  1.    #1  
    2 views:
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    Fresh Air from WHYY, March 28, 2007 In his most recent book, British scientist Richard Dawkins writes about the irrationality of a belief in God, examines God in all his forms and sets down his arguments for atheism. The book is The God Delusion.

    Dawkins is a professor of "the public understanding of science" at Oxford University.

    The New York Times Book Review has hailed him as a writer who "understands the issues so clearly that he forces his reader to understand them too."

    http://www.npr.org/templates/story/s...toryId=9180871
    Podcast at http://podcastdownload.npr.org/anon....pr_9195593.mp3

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    Fresh Air from WHYY, March 29, 2007 Geneticist Francis Collins is director of the National Human Genome Research Project. He is also an evangelical Christian, and author of the book The Language of God: A Scientist Presents Evidence for Belief.

    http://www.npr.org/templates/story/s...toryId=9207913
    Podcast at http://podcastdownload.npr.org/anon....pr_9232846.mp3
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    Aloke
    Cingular GSM
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  2. #2  
    And why not present the other side? There is definitely another side. For me, atheism is totally irrational. Ben
  3. #3  
    Ben,

    You are a trip. I could not get the Collins podcast going, but I assume that his book "The Language of God: A Scientist Presents Evidence for Belief" does present an opposing view to Atheism.

    Refusing to blindly believe in an invisible omnipotent being is completely irrational? That is an interesting point of view to say the least.
    Visor-->Visor Phone-->Treo 180-->Treo 270-->Treo 600-->Treo 650-->Treo 700P-->Treo 755P-->Centro-->Pre+-->Pre 2
  4. #4  
    I apologize - did not read it closely. However, I am listening to it now. He does state he cannot discount the existence of God, but he places it very low. One thing he says is that teachers are meeting resistance in teaching evolution from the religious sector. Wrong, the religious faction does not have a problem with teaching evolution - we have a problem with not teaching the other side. To punish students for speaking of God in the classroom and other actions is wrong. We do not punish the other side for saying no God, so why punish those that believe?

    He further insists that life began 4 million years ago from a common ancestor, chemically speaking. This guy really does not represent himself well.

    He speaks of removing differences in definition, but only his definitions are correct. Again, we have a problem here.

    Frankly he is politely degrading those who do not agree with him.

    Ben
  5. #5  
    Further in to the podcast another scientist is brought up with an opposing view. This "scientist" is just amazing. His way and no other.

    Ben
  6. #6  
    "I contend that we are both atheists. I just believe in one fewer god than you do. When you understand why you dismiss all the other possible gods, you will understand why I dismiss yours."

    -Stephen Roberts
  7. #7  
    How many other possible apposing views of creation to you want to teach? We have one hypothesis, abiogenesis, with at least some evidence of what happened after the event, if not the event itself. Then we have the Semetic view of God flying over the water and creating the heavens and Earth, and creating man from clay, the (older) Egyptian creation myth that we are created from Ra's tears, the Norse creation myth were people were created from logs by Odin, Vili, and Ve, the Hindu creation myth that we are created from thought etc etc etc.

    What makes the Christian myth more credible that all the hundred's of others, that it should be taught as an apposing view/ alternate hypothesis in a science class? In the same class their may be Hindu's or Navajo students. Teaching creation myths in literature class would seem to be the most appropriate location.

    Surur
    Last edited by surur; 03/30/2007 at 03:23 AM.
  8. #8  
    In this debate, I had a biology teacher in college say something pretty interesting. He had a strong faith in God and in creation, and a very strong and solid grounding in science. He once said something like this:

    "By law I have to teach the theories of Darwin. By faith I believe without a doubt there was a creation by God. I have no doubt that aspects of Darwins theory are true, i.e. adapting to one's environment for survival. But there are several huge wholes in the theory and many still unanswered questions with it. All I can say is that when I die I cannot wait to see how it all fits together!"

    I was also at a lecture on a totally different topic than creation or evolution, but the speaker went on a short tangent that always stuck with me. He said that he had the privilege to see Albert Einstein give a lecture, I believe at a University, shortly before he passed away. He said that Einstein said (and since I don't have the speech right in front of me, this is not verbatim...but very close):

    "I didn't always feel this way, but the more I studied the mysteries of the universe the more I have come to suspect the hand of some supreme being. Given the chances of life forming by accident as purposed by evolutionary theory, I would have far better odds for me to take a plastic model plane, break off the pieces, but them back in the box, shake it up, then throw them all in the air and have all the pieces land on the ground as a perfect model of the plane, in spite of all the pieces being there for that to happen."
    Just some points to ponder....
  9. #9  
    I wrote a post a couple years ago here in an evolution thread (and linked to it in the other thread) but I think it covers my point of view about Science and God pretty good........

    I wanted to post my view (and I know this will be long so please feel free to skip it if it does not interest you). I am a Christian (and not a Catholic). I do believe in science. I am not one to push my views on someone else to accept. I have several friends and close co-workers who are either atheists, who are from different faiths (from other Christian sects to Muslims) and/or have jobs that are driven deep within science, i.e. biology professor, medical research, etc... We have had many discussions on various science & religion topics and often times how the two meet and co-exist.

    I do not pretend that my views represent anyone else in the Christian community and have no intention of persuading anyone to my way of thinking. I am simply sharing my point of view from a single person. If nothing else, it might prove useful for those who do not believe a divine creator to get a glimpse of my mind that does believe in Him AND in the world of science. I have not problem if you don’t agree, but maybe it might help you to be able to relate why I believe the way I do.......again even if you don’t agree with it. Truthfully I am not likely to be drug into a long debate about every detail. This is simply my opinion, my personal point of view, a single frame of reference on a complex topic with volumes written and published on all sides. Take it or leave it for what it is worth.

    I started writing my point of view when I remembered a box I had in college it has a lot of references from text books, published works, magazine articles, etc....a lot them are photo copied without references but explained how I think better that I was able to explain it. So below, I will reference when possible. It will be a mix of a lot of my own personal words and those of others mixed in.

    First of all I believe that Science and religion can and do co-exist. Discrepancies are not to demean one or the other, but can actually give us guidance in new ways to look and discover the truth of the reality. There are several examples of highly acclaimed scientists that have both a firm Christian belief that works and fits in well with their successful careers, whether they are chemist, biologists, geologists, etc.....

    Conceptions of scientific knowledge have changed many times since Greek antiquity. For example, modern understanding of the nature of the cosmos has changed radically from Aristotle in early Greece; to Galileo, Descartes, and Newton in the seventeenth century; to Lyell and Darwin in the nineteenth century; and in the twentieth century to Einstein, Hubble, and Hawking. Science itself continues in a state of constant flux, so that the total collection of scientific ideas at any point in time could never be considered final truth. Consequently, scientific theories are forever tentative and are not likely to be fully compatible with revealed religion at any particular time.

    The scientific spirit is a spirit of inquiry, a spirit of teaching out for truth. In the final analysis, this spirit is the essence of religion. The Savior said, “Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you.” (Matthew 7:7.) The scientist has, in effect, reaffirmed this great fundamental laid down by the Master, and in doing so has given a new impetus to religion.

    I also believe that so many questions simply have not been answered by God. I believe he has told us many truths in a way that could be related to the understanding of the man or people the knowledge was originally intended for, but often times without the details of those truths (i.e. that he created the world, but did not tell us how, by what means, minacious or methods of nature). There was a time when many people thought that the pure understanding of the scriptures required the acceptance of a flat earth. The Bible speaks of the four corners of the earth and of the stars in the firmament, conjuring up the image of lights on the inside of a giant dome covering the earth. In the time of Columbus, many people thought a flat earth was a religious necessity. When it turned out to be round, Christ’s teachings were found to be just as consistent with the new view as with the old.

    I posted this earlier, but still think it is a perfect example of how I believe as well. I had a biology teacher in college say something pretty interesting. He had a strong faith in God and in creation, and a very strong and solid grounding in science. He once said something like this:

    "By law I have to teach the theories of Darwin. By faith I believe without a doubt there was a creation by God. I have no doubt that aspects of Darwins theory are true, i.e. adapting to one's environment for survival. But there are several huge wholes in the theory and many still unanswered questions with it. All I can say is that when I die I cannot wait to see how it all fits together!"

    Can the evolution of species (or their apparent gradual development over millions of years) jive with the existence of a supreme Creator?

    Obviously I do believe that the there is a Divine guidance in the development of our world. I also believe that God does often use the laws of nature to achieve his goals. So, yes I believe that God created the earth, and I also believe that it is virtually undeniable that many principles of evolution and natural selection played an important role in that creation, though I may disagree on some small and vital points of the theory. Just how much is truth and how much is still developing scientific knowledge is just as an important of a question in my answer.

    The cumulative thickness of rocks laid down as sediment is about four hundred fifty thousand feet [128 000 m] or about 80 miles [130 km]. The rate of deposition varies enormously with the time and the place, but a not unreasonable average rate is one foot [30 cm] every 250 years. This leads to a very rough estimate of 112 million years for the time required to deposit all the known sediments.

    The scriptures record God's dealing with his children back to a "beginning" some six thousand years ago, but dismiss the long prologue in a few short paragraphs. The scriptures tell us of six creative periods followed by a period of rest. During these periods the earth was organized and took essentially its present form. In the King James Version of the Bible, the phrase "creative periods" is rendered as "days." The use of this term has led to at least three interpretations. In the first, the "days" are construed to mean the usual day of twenty-four hours. In the second, the days of creation are interpreted as thousand-year periods following such statements as occur in 2 Peter 3:8: "One day is with the Lord as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day." The third interpretation accepts "creative periods" as times of unspecified length and looks to a study of the earth itself to give added meaning to the exceedingly brief scriptural accounts.

    In earlier times some variation of the first two interpretations was all but universally held by the Christian world. I personally hold the third view. Meaning, there distinct periods of the earths development without a specified period of time for each time frame of development.

    The sequence in the occurrence of fossils repeats itself in sedimentary rocks throughout the world. Whether, they were in Australia, Africa, the Americas, or elsewhere, the various forms of life on earth appeared and disappeared at the same time. To the faithful student of the scriptures, this precision reflects the ordered processes of God, the divine Creator. The sequence of the creation of life on earth as recorded in Genesis--first plants (Gen. 1:11-12), then animals (Gen. 1:20-23)--is duplicated in the fossil record: plant fossils precede the appearance of animal fossils.

    This agreement shouldn't be surprising because the God who created this earth is the same God who inspired the prophets. A conflict arises only when we assume that God has revealed all he did do or knew on the subject or forget that scientific theories change as new discoveries are made. We also need to remember both the purposes for which the scriptures were given and the objectives of the scientific method.

    Also remember, the scriptures testify of Jesus Christ and how we may receive the blessings of salvation and exaltation through his atonement. They reveal why (not necessarily how) the earth was created, and what laws and principles a person must follow to obtain eternal life. The goal of science, on the other hand, is to learn how (not why) the world was made and to understand the laws and principles governing the physical world. . . .

    The relationship between scripture and what is currently understood in science is ever changing. Science continually learns more about the history of life on earth, and we have every reason to believe that much more will be learned as research continues.

    The struggle to correlate a passage in scripture with a specific portion of scientific research has been a challenge for centuries. But experience has shown that what a person understands today will be modified by tomorrow's discoveries. Patience and humility on all sides may eventually resolve a lot of these questions.

    The Lord made the world in some wonderful way that I can at best only dimly comprehend. It seems to me sacrilegious to presume that I can really understand him and know just how he did it. He can only tell me in figurative speech that I dimly understand, but that I expect to more completely comprehend in the eternities to come. He created the world, and my faith does not hinge on the detailed procedures he used.

    Finally, perhaps a believer never does more disservice to religion than to support the truth with bad arguments, as obviously hopefully I have not done today. The listener spots the obvious errors, becomes impatient, often "throws out the baby with the bath," and turns away, even from true religion. I do not pretend to have the answer to all the questions. If I take everything I know from the scriptures and my religion, and everything I know from science, and reconcile them, I still have as many unanswered questions as I have ones with answers. No intellectual approach nails down everything. In this life, there will always be unanswered questions. In fact, often times in religion, each answer seems to raise more questions. That's the way it is in science, too, and I don't apostatize from science for that reason either. Actually, that's what makes science, and religion, fun. Faith is feeling good about myself, feeling good about God, and muddling along after truth as best I can.
  10. #10  
    Quote Originally Posted by surur View Post
    How many other possible apposing views of creation to you want to teach? We have one hypothesis, abiogenesis, with at least some evidence of what happened after the event, if not the event itself. Then we have the Semetic view of God flying over the water and creating the heavens and Earth, and creating man from clay, the (older) Egyptian creation myth that we are created from Ra's tears, the Norse creation myth were people were created from logs by Odin, Vili, and Ve, the Hindu creation myth that we are created from thought etc etc etc.

    What makes the Christian myth more credible that all the hundred's of others, that it should be taught as an apposing view/ alternate hypothesis in a science class? In the same class their may be Hindu's or Navajo students. Teaching creation myths in literature class would seem to be the most appropriate location.

    Surur
    This is why I consider myself an Agnostic. Or, in the words of Stephen Colbert or someone that appeared on his show, "An Atheist without balls".

    I was raised a strict Catholic, and the more I learned about evolutiion and the practices and beliefs of other religions, the more implausible it seemed that there was only one possible answer to Creation.

    Can so many people be wrong believing in what they believe? If you're not a Christian and you don't accept Christianity you're going to Hell. I find it hard to believe the Muslims, Jews, Buddhists and millions of other people that don't believe in Christianity are all eternally damned because they believe in a different God than another group.
  11. #11  
    Quote Originally Posted by Christinac130 View Post
    I find it hard to believe ...
    As a Christian I hear this from people all the time and it is always followed by something different. The next statment is almost always the same. "I BELIEVE" that if there is a heaven, you only have to be a good person to get there.

    If you want to go to your own heaven, then believe whatever you want to believe to get to that heaven. I personally believe in the heaven of the Bible and the ONLY way to get to that heaven is through Jesus Christ. (I didn't make the rules by the way)

    I personally think it takes much more faith to make up your own heaven and then make up you own rules to get into that heaven (not to mention live your entire life based on those made up rules), then it takes to believe in the Bible. At least there is some evidence for the validity of the Bible.
    Last edited by aairman23; 03/30/2007 at 10:14 AM. Reason: spelling
  12. #12  
    What if you believe in repeated re-incarnation and then dissolution. Will this also come true for good believers?

    Surur
  13. #13  
    We are all free to put our faith in anything; you can even place your faith in nothing (agnostics/atheists). What I don't understand is why certain people on this board seem to make it there life mission to discredit religion and faith. While I support their right to start posts like this…...they end-up looking just as pathetic and annoying as the religious fanatics going door to door or holding signs out on the streets of NYC. APRASAD!!! We get it; you think faith is useless blah blah blah (Bob Lablaw). You are far out-numbered get over it! Stop shoving your anti-faith down our throats.
  14. #14  
    Quote Originally Posted by surur View Post
    What if you believe in repeated re-incarnation and then dissolution. Will this also come true for good believers?

    Surur
    One of our fellow posters reminds us, "Reality is that which, when you stop believing in it, doesn't go away. (Philip K. ****)

    So, it matters not what we believe. That which is true will come to pass.

    If the concept known as re-incarnation is an accurate description of how human existence propogates, no amount of believing otherwise will stop that cycle.

    If Jesus is the way, the truth and the life, no amount of believing otherwise will result in an alternative path to the Father.

    If religion is a bunch of bunk, no amount of believing otherwise will establish a heaven, hell, nirvana, paradise, god-likeness or any other similar desired destiny.

    The only question before each of us is: How confident are you that your belief is rightly aligned with reality?
  15. #15  
    I am sure that we are forgetting that most myths have a historical basis and in many societies, there are common threads.

    Again, we like to pick and choose for our evidence...

    Ben

    Quote Originally Posted by surur View Post
    How many other possible apposing views of creation to you want to teach? We have one hypothesis, abiogenesis, with at least some evidence of what happened after the event, if not the event itself. Then we have the Semetic view of God flying over the water and creating the heavens and Earth, and creating man from clay, the (older) Egyptian creation myth that we are created from Ra's tears, the Norse creation myth were people were created from logs by Odin, Vili, and Ve, the Hindu creation myth that we are created from thought etc etc etc.

    What makes the Christian myth more credible that all the hundred's of others, that it should be taught as an apposing view/ alternate hypothesis in a science class? In the same class their may be Hindu's or Navajo students. Teaching creation myths in literature class would seem to be the most appropriate location.

    Surur
  16. #16  
    Quote Originally Posted by aairman23 View Post
    As a Christian I hear this from people all the time and it is always followed by something different. The next statment is almost always the same. "I BELIEVE" that if there is a heaven, you only have to be a good person to get there.

    If you want to go to your own heaven, then believe whatever you want to believe to get to that heaven. I personally believe in the heaven of the Bible and the ONLY way to get to that heaven is through Jesus Christ. (I didn't make the rules by the way)

    I personally think it takes much more faith to make up your own heaven and then make up you own rules to get into that heaven (not to mention live your entire life based on those made up rules), then it takes to believe in the Bible. At least there is some evidence for the validity of the Bible.
    I completely agree with your statement that people should be free to believe in what they want to believe in.

    I believe I should be a good person. Not because I hope to go to Heaven or hope to come back as a butterfly or to avoid going to Hell, but because I believe it is the right thing to do. My parents are devout Catholics, but they taught me to be kind, considerate, honest, loyal...a good person, because that's the way people should be, not because I was Catholic.
  17. #17  
    Quote Originally Posted by bclinger View Post
    I am sure that we are forgetting that most myths have a historical basis and in many societies, there are common threads.

    Again, we like to pick and choose for our evidence...

    Ben
    But they cant all be literally right. What makes one literally right, and the others derivations?

    Surur
  18. #18  
    Quote Originally Posted by shopharim View Post
    One of our fellow posters reminds us, "Reality is that which, when you stop believing in it, doesn't go away. (Philip K. ****)

    So, it matters not what we believe. That which is true will come to pass.

    If the concept known as re-incarnation is an accurate description of how human existence propogates, no amount of believing otherwise will stop that cycle.

    If Jesus is the way, the truth and the life, no amount of believing otherwise will result in an alternative path to the Father.

    If religion is a bunch of bunk, no amount of believing otherwise will establish a heaven, hell, nirvana, paradise, god-likeness or any other similar desired destiny.

    The only question before each of us is: How confident are you that your belief is rightly aligned with reality?
    Thats not what aairman23 said.

    Surur
  19. #19  
    Quote Originally Posted by Christinac130 View Post
    ...Can so many people be wrong believing in what they believe? If you're not a Christian and you don't accept Christianity you're going to Hell. I find it hard to believe the Muslims, Jews, Buddhists and millions of other people that don't believe in Christianity are all eternally damned because they believe in a different God than another group.
    The Saviour said (John 14:6), "I am the way, the truth and the life. No man cometh unto the Father but by me."

    If He is who He said He is, then all who don't come through Him will be without--be they Muslim, Jew, Buddhist... or Christian
  20. #20  
    Quote Originally Posted by Christinac130 View Post
    ...
    I believe I should be a good person. Not because I hope to go to Heaven or hope to come back as a butterfly or to avoid going to Hell, but because I believe it is the right thing to do. My parents are devout Catholics, but they taught me to be kind, considerate, honest, loyal...a good person, because that's the way people should be, not because I was Catholic.
    How amazingly clear Christina.
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