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  1. #101  
    From that article that Hobbes posted, I'm having difficulty making sense of this:

    Creationists who publish scientific research in mainstream journals have found that they can publish articles with data having creationist implications, but will not get articles with openly creationist conclusions published.
    "Creationist implications"? One paper cited, that of Siegfried Scherer, is said to be a critique of evolutionary proceses, but in reality (read the paper if you have access to it, I skimmed over it briefly) it is more of an acceptance that we don't really have enough knowledge to give a rational explanation based on evolution. From the abstract:

    "Based on our present knowledge of molecular biology and biochemistry it is concluded that the evolution of light-driven cyclic electron transport remains an unsolved problem in theoretical biology. In order to clarify the situation, further experimental work in molecular evolution urgently is needed."

    Link is here

    Sounds more like an admission of lack of data rather than evidence to the contrary.

    Nonetheless, from what I'm getting out of this discussion, I believe Clulup was saying that no articles supporting creationism were being published in a peer-reviewed scientific journal. The answersingenesis.com article discusses a broader issue of creationist scientists publishing scientific research that may (doubtful from what I've seen so far) support a creationist point of view.


    Here's something else regarding the notion of the origin of life, but please bear with me for a bit. Take as an example the way a human uses the eye to see. Light comes into the eye, hits the retina, induces an electrochemical response in the various cells there, produces an action potential which travels down the optic nerve to the occipital lobe and eventually this information is processed in the visual cortex of the brain. Our way of "seeing" is purely chemical at the very basic level...neurotransmitters and neurons interact in such a way soas to produce the sense of vision. The very same principle is thought to be the case with memory; fundamental chemical changes occur at the junction of where neurons meet (synapses) which make the synapse stronger and thus builds a type of association with the neurons (the Hebb rule). Hell, there are even neurons in your brain, so-called "place cells", which activate/fire when you are in a certain orientation in a room (in other words, they can create a map of the immediate environment you're in, more here).
    The point is, all of these processes which allow us to interact with our environment (and I'll even go as far as to say which also allow us to think and for cognition) are fundamentally based in physics and chemistry. It seems entirely possible and logical to be able to break down complex functions into a vast and complicated map of chemical interactions which function based on the principles of physics (quantum mechanics). There doesn't need to be a higher power which has created us for such a complicated machine to exist if one considers all the individual parts which comprise this machine.


    Ahhh crap, I really need to jet and I haven't finished. Sorry guys, this wasn't much of a coherent response.
  2. #102  
    Quote Originally Posted by heberman
    It seems clear that there has never been a more intelligent species on earth, ever. That alone is pretty strong evidence that humans are "fundamentally different."
    It's true that humans are the most intelligent, but there is only a gradual difference and not a fundamental one. Chimpanzees have self-consciousness, too, and their brain is extremely similar to ours.
    My ever evolving belief is that God created the conditions necessary for the Big Bang and the creation of the Universe. This belief is scientifically unprovable either way, since laws of general relativity and quantum physics break down the closer you go back to the moment of the Big Bang. So it becomes a matter of faith.
    True. What happened before the Big Bang is presently largely unaccessible to scientific investigation.
    At the same time, I also believe that God made Adam fundamentally different by giving him a "spirit", "soul", or whatever you want to call it. That made Adam and Eve forever different from all other forms of life, and makes their origin unique.
    There is no indication for the existence of a soul, but also no proof for it's absence. It is possible that god gave Homo Sapiens a soul. But the world did not develop as described in Genesis 1 and 2. That's a fact, a fact based on countless experimental results and scientific evidence.
    Why would that be a "great step" if most Christians believed the way you do?
    Because it would mean that they stop fighting windmills. There is so much evidence in favour of evolution that fighting it is close to claiming that the sun evolves around earth. It is very strange to me that so many American Christians oppose evolution so much. Most Christian congragations in the world have stopped that quite a while ago, e.g. the Roman Catholic church, representing the majority of Christians.
    You seek the truth, so do they, and so do I. My beliefs have slowely changed the older and more experienced I become. I assume they will further change in the years to come. Are you so entrenched in your belief that you don't even consider alternate viewpoints or theories? If you are, wouldn't that make you at least as closed-minded than the Creationists you describe?
    Evolution is not about beliefs, evolution is about scientific facts. In case new, well-documented results show that some (or all) parts of evolution are wrong, I will gladly accept that. But for decades, or, more correctly centuries, new results have continuously confirmed the priciples of evolution. For instance, the new methods of genetics have fully confirmed the results obtained with older methods.
    “Reality is that which, when you stop believing in it, doesn't go away.” (Philip K. ****)
  3. #103  
    Quote Originally Posted by clulup
    But the world did not develop as described in Genesis 1 and 2. That's a fact, a fact based on countless experimental results and scientific evidence.
    I guess I am missing the boat here, then. I just looked at Genesis 1 and 2 again. I don't see huge conflicts with that scripture and current scientific thinking. Take for example, if you were Moses, with Moses' experience and frame of reference (I doubt he thought much about celestial mechanics or string-theory). Then assume that you had a vision from God about the creation of the earth and everything in it, and you were directed to write down what you saw. Your rendition of the creation would probably be very close to that found in Genesis. I think Moses did a great, and accurate, job in writing Genesis.
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  4. #104  
    Quote Originally Posted by clulup
    Evolution is not about beliefs, evolution is about scientific facts. In case new, well-documented results show that some (or all) parts of evolution are wrong, I will gladly accept that. But for decades, or, more correctly centuries, new results have continuously confirmed the priciples of evolution.
    This seems a difference in semantics only. "Facts" are only something believed to be true. Neutonian theory was believed to be a "fact", until Einstein came along. Then it was a "fact" no longer. Parts of evolution are believed to be true, until they are modified by later evidence. For example, the age of the universe was believed to be 12 billion years. That was a "fact", until certain stars were found which were believed to be 14 billion years old. (another "fact") The facts were modified to fit later evidence.

    Scientific fact is all about belief based upon study and observations. So is religion.
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  5. #105  
    Quote Originally Posted by HobbesIsReal
    This lists several....though I have not read a single one of....this is just in answer to your question if any have been published:

    Do Creationists Publish in Notable Refereed Journals?
    http://www.answersingenesis.org/docs/538.asp
    My question was
    Originally Posted by clulup
    Can you show me a single publication of evidence for creationism which was published in a scientific, peer-reviewed journal, and not in creationist publications or in news-papers or creationist books?
    The page you quote is about "Do Creationists Publish in Notable Refereed Journals?"

    That is not the same at all... of course it is possible that people with creationist beliefs publish in peer-reviewed journals, but they did NOT publish evidence for creationism in those cases. Just one example, a "paper on developmental anomalies in fruit flies ('Developmental genetics of homoeosis')". I don't know how interesting that paper is, but neither does it disprove evolution, nor does it offer evidence for creationism.
    “Reality is that which, when you stop believing in it, doesn't go away.” (Philip K. ****)
  6. #106  
    Quote Originally Posted by heberman
    I guess I am missing the boat here, then. I just looked at Genesis 1 and 2 again. I don't see huge conflicts with that scripture and current scientific thinking. Take for example, if you were Moses, with Moses' experience and frame of reference (I doubt he thought much about celestial mechanics or string-theory). Then assume that you had a vision from God about the creation of the earth and everything in it, and you were directed to write down what you saw. Your rendition of the creation would probably be very close to that found in Genesis. I think Moses did a great, and accurate, job in writing Genesis.
    If I understand correctly, what you are saying is that god told Moses how things really happened, and Moses, lacking prior knowledge of such things got totally confused and messed up the account?

    In that case, I have to say Moses messed it up major, because (just one example), in his version the sun and the moon (and even stars) appear after plants. That's strange to me, because plants use the light of the sun as their source of energy... Do YOU believe that there were plants before the sun came into existence?

    However that may be, I note that you do not claim that the bible is literally true, because if Moses got it wrong, it is not really literally true, is it?


    P.S.: Is it so that Moses is believed to have written e.g. Genesis? I have never heard that before.
    “Reality is that which, when you stop believing in it, doesn't go away.” (Philip K. ****)
  7. #107  
    No, I'm not saying Moses screwed up in his account. What I am trying to say is that Moses described the creation of the universe by using words, images, and expressions used thousands of years ago and in a way which had meaning to those people. By doing so, he showed how the universe, earth, and man were made through various stages. God didn't snap his fingers and everything appeared, although by definition God is all powerful and I guess he therefore could have done so. However, he created everything in stages - one layer built upon another. The writings accurately describe this layering process. Of course, people could squabble about the order, but I don't think that wasn't the point of the writing. The point is Adam. As written, it still shows the creation as "literrally true". As to the order of light, plants, sun, etc. - I see your point but don't know the answer.

    Regarding Moses, he is generally thought of by Christians and Jews to be the author of the first several books of the Old Testament.
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  8. #108  
    Quote Originally Posted by heberman
    This seems a difference in semantics only. "Facts" are only something believed to be true. Neutonian theory was believed to be a "fact", until Einstein came along. Then it was a "fact" no longer. Parts of evolution are believed to be true, until they are modified by later evidence. For example, the age of the universe was believed to be 12 billion years. That was a "fact", until certain stars were found which were believed to be 14 billion years old. (another "fact") The facts were modified to fit later evidence.
    The "change from Newton to Einstein" illustrates well how science works: New results lead to even better explanations. Science is open to change. Newton's equations describe extremly well what happens with moving objects in the everyday world around us. Einstein's relativity did not prove him wrong, but Einstein's equation's describe reality even better, specially when speeds close to or at the speed of light are involved.

    Also the age of the universe was also not fundamentally wrong. Of course earlier estimates were less accurate than later ones based on better methods and more data. It is not such a big difference whether the universe is 12, 14 or 13.7 billion years old. What does make a difference is that it is not 8459 (or so) years old, as some "young earth" creationists claim (based on nothing but a strange interpretation of an old book).
    Scientific fact is all about belief based upon study and observations. So is religion.
    Science is based on measured, evaluated, tested and retested data. Religion is based on the belief in things written in a book, belief without evidence (aka faith). That's doesn't have to be bad per se, but it is not the same thing.
    “Reality is that which, when you stop believing in it, doesn't go away.” (Philip K. ****)
  9. #109  
    Quote Originally Posted by heberman
    Regarding Moses, he is generally thought of by Christians and Jews to be the author of the first several books of the Old Testament.
    That's an interesting point.

    "There are many portions of the Torah which seem to imply more than one author. Some examples include:

    * The creation story in Genesis first describes a somewhat 'evolutionary' process, with first the planet created, then the lower forms of life, then animals, and finally man and woman being created together. It then begins the story again, but this time man is created first, then animals to assuage man's loneliness, and when this failed, Adam's wife Eve was created.
    * The flood story in Genesis appears to claim that 2 of all kinds of animal went on the ark, but also that 7 of certain kinds went on, and that the flood lasted a year, but also lasted only 40 days.
    * Numbers 25 describes the rebellion at Peor, and refers to Moabite women; the next sentence says the women were Midianites.
    * The Ten Commandments appear in Exodus 20, but in a slightly different wording in Deuteronomy 5. A second, almost completely different set of Ten Commandments appears in Exodus 34.
    * In some locations God is friendly, and capable of errors and regret, and walks the earth talking to humans, but in others God is unmerciful and distant (although just).
    * A number of places or individuals have multiple names. For instance, the name of the mountain that Moses climbed to receive the commandments is given in some places as Horeb and in others as Sinai, Moses' father-in-law is known by at least three names in the Hebrew original (יֶתֶר, יִתְרוֹ, and רְעוּאֵל ), etc."
    (From Wikipedia)

    Also interesting concerning Genesis 1 and 2 (http://users.cyberone.com.au/myers/bible.html):
    "The two stories have two different pictures of what happened. Now, the three investigators noticed that the first version of the creation story [Genesis 1] always refers to the creator as God {Elohim} - thirty-five times. The second version [Genesis 2] always refers to him by his name, Yahweh God {Yahweh Elohim} - eleven times. The first version never calls him Yahweh; the second version never calls him God. Later comes the story of the great flood and Noah's ark, and it, too, can be separated into two complete versions that sometimes duplicate each other and sometimes contradict each other. And, again, one version always calls the deity God, and the other version always calls him Yahweh. There are two versions of the story of the convenant between the deity and Abraham. And, once again, in one the deity introduces himself as Yahweh, and in one he introduces himself as God. And so on."
    “Reality is that which, when you stop believing in it, doesn't go away.” (Philip K. ****)
  10.    #110  
    In the interest of nitpicking

    Flowers depend on light, of which the Sun is a Great source. According to Genesis 1, Light was the first thing established.
  11.    #111  
    In the same nitpicking theme...

    Scientific method is not purely research driven. That is to say scientists are not randomly conducting experiments and drawing conclusions. Rather, hypotheses are formed and experiments are performed to validate or repudiate.
  12. #112  
    Quote Originally Posted by shopharim
    In the interest of nitpicking

    Flowers depend on light, of which the Sun is a Great source. According to Genesis 1, Light was the first thing established.
    I sort of like the idea of god trying to tell Moses how earth was created, and Moses starting to get confused:
    "Moses, I know you have spent quite a while on the top of this montain now, and that it has been long since you have last seen wife and kids, but will you PLEASE FOCUS now? FIRST the sun, other stars and earth, THEN plants! Goodness gracious, it's not that complicated is it?"



    (I can delete this if anybody feels offended, let me know )
    “Reality is that which, when you stop believing in it, doesn't go away.” (Philip K. ****)
  13. #113  
    Quote Originally Posted by shopharim
    In the same nitpicking theme...

    Scientific method is not purely research driven. That is to say scientists are not randomly conducting experiments and drawing conclusions. Rather, hypotheses are formed and experiments are performed to validate or repudiate.
    That is what is called research...
    “Reality is that which, when you stop believing in it, doesn't go away.” (Philip K. ****)
  14.    #114  
    No offense on the first comment.

    Totally agree on the second. But, it appears the author of the article deriding creationists doesn't. O therwise he would realize that creationists are evolutionists best friends. For either they will find some of the missing data and further validate evolution by closing existing gaps, or they will find data that topples evolution, and brings a more complete theory to light. Either way is a bonus plus for science.

    The only downside to creationist thinking is the hindrance of wide-spread popular acceptance. But popular acceptance is a concern of "religion", not "science." When the scientist becomes more concerned with popular acceptance than research, it sets up the false dichotomy some aledge between science and religion.
  15. #115  
    Quote Originally Posted by shopharim
    Totally agree on the second. But, it appears the author of the article deriding creationists doesn't. O therwise he would realize that creationists are evolutionists best friends. For either they will find some of the missing data and further validate evolution by closing existing gaps, or they will find data that topples evolution, and brings a more complete theory to light. Either way is a bonus plus for science.
    Creationists mostly know little or nothing about real scientific issues, and scientists certainly don't need anybody else to find out gaps and missing explanations in order to find out more about how evolution works. Scientists make a living out of finding and investigating such gaps. Finding them AND filling them is what they work for, and what they are paid for.

    Creationists work towards banning evolution from school, or at least placing creationism on the same level as evolution (a bit like pretending Santa Clause from the North Pole and the Pope in Rome are basically on the same level regarding factual content). But hey, what do I care if that gives a medieval or fundamentalist impression of the US, it doesn't happen here or in any other country I know of, luckily.
    “Reality is that which, when you stop believing in it, doesn't go away.” (Philip K. ****)
  16. #116  
    Quote Originally Posted by clulup
    The "change from Newton to Einstein" illustrates well how science works: New results lead to even better explanations. Science is open to change
    In theory this is true, and eventually that does happen.....but more often than not significant changes don’t happen easily. But in reality, it sometimes changes only after a lot of kicking and screaming, prejudice discrimination, and ignoring of facts that contradict their own for personal gain or glory. One of the most obvious historical examples I think would be Galileo, when he was persecuted and placed under house arrest for proposing that the earth revolved around the Sun instead of the Earth being the center of the solar system.

    I am not talking about creationism vs evolution specifically, but stereotyping the scientific community. In modern times, science is often driven by grants from special interest groups, educational institutions with their thoughts of how things should be, and corporations who want to find a specific result that they can benefit from their investment in the research. It is undeniable that when a scientist is conducting research and is grant dependent, he has to think about the future funding of his grant or he loses his job. If other findings totally contradict his theories and disprove his findings, then he is out of a job. In cases like this is common to attack opposing finds, even if he knows they are valid, just for a selfish reasons of trying to keep his grant. There is not much doubt the scientific community is often times governed by political forces, which does have a great deal to say about ideas that are brought forward (or not) and, sad to say, expecting to prove a certain idea (which can lead to misleading or experiments set up with prejudice) even before they start.

    Please note that I normal guy who really like science and reads more science related articles, docs, and documentaries than the average person. But this is a general statement that does challenge the scientific community today that does have influence on the scientific process today in varying levels at times...and in a greater degree concerning some topics more than others. And I am sure that for every example that can given supporting this stereotypical statement, there is another example of person who bucks the trend and plays to his own tune and embraces the true nature of the scientific process with expectations uninfluenced by outside money or personal glory.
    Last edited by HobbesIsReal; 06/23/2005 at 09:48 AM.
  17. #117  
    Quote Originally Posted by HobbesIsReal
    In theory this is true, and eventually that does happen.....but more often than not significant changes don’t happen easily. But in reality, it sometimes changes only after a lot of kicking and screaming, prejudice discrimination, and ignoring of facts that contradict their own for personal gain or glory. One of the most obvious historical examples I think would be Galileo, when he was persecuted and placed under house arrest for proposing that the earth revolved around the Sun instead of the Earth being the center of the solar system.
    Galileo Galilei was not oppressed by other (mainstream) scientists, but by religious leaders - back in the bad old days, when religion ruled. In fact, Galilei may be considered one of the first modern scientists:
    "Pure logical thinking cannot yield us any knowledge of the empirical world; all knowledge of reality starts form experience and ends in it. Propositions arrived at by purely logical means are completely empty as regards reality. Because Galileo saw this, and particularly because he drummed it into the scientific world, he is the father of modern physics -- indeed, of modern science altogether." (Albert Einstein, Ideas and Opinions).
    I am not talking about creationism vs evolution specifically, but stereotyping the scientific community. In modern times, science is often driven by grants from special interest groups, educational institutions with their thoughts of how things should be, and corporations who want to find a specific result that they can benefit from their investment in the research.
    That is true for applied research to a large extent, but not so much for basic research such as research in the field of evolution.
    There is not much doubt the scientific community is often times governed by political forces, which does have a great deal to say about ideas that are brought forward (or not) and, sad to say, expecting to prove a certain idea (which can lead to misleading or experiments set up with prejudice) even before they start.
    Of course scientists are influenced by grants and therefore politics, but on the other hand, many scientists are also independent and rebellious thinkers by nature.
    And I am sure that for every example that can given supporting this stereotypical statement, there is another example of person who bucks the trend and plays to his own tune and embraces the true nature of the scientific process with expectations uninfluenced by outside money or personal glory.
    Exactly!
    “Reality is that which, when you stop believing in it, doesn't go away.” (Philip K. ****)
  18. #118  
    The most startling thing about these poll numbers is not that so many Americans reject evolution, but that the statistical breakdown hasn't changed much in two decades. Gallup interviewers posed exactly the same choices in 1982, 1993, 1997, and 1999. The creationist conviction—that God alone, and not evolution, produced humans—has never drawn less than 44 percent. In other words, nearly half the American populace prefers to believe that Charles Darwin was wrong where it mattered most.
    Let's see - it took the Catholic Church only 500 years to finally fess up that they were wrong about Galileo (who said that the Earth moves around the sun). So perhaps if we waited another 400 years, the debate about evolution will finally be settled!

    In fact, even today, an average person cannot conclusively prove that Galileo was right without scientific training and instrumentation. But many of these same folks have no problem "proving" that Darwin must be wrong!

    Most folks cannot even distinguish between the speculation about the "origin of life" and the scientific theory of evolution. Both these very different issues get mixed up in the evolution vs. creationism debate.

    Outside the scientific community, it is often assumed that the laws of nature have been proved beyond a doubt, in the same manner that mathematical theorem can be proven. However, this is not so. It is just that no instances have ever been seen where they are repeatably violated. It is always possible for them to be invalidated by repeatable, contradictory experimental evidence, should any be seen.
    ....
    A well-known example is that of Newton's law of gravity: while it describes the world accurately for most pertinent observations, such as of the movements of astronomical objects in the solar system, it was found to be inaccurate when applied to extremely large masses or velocities. Einstein's theory of general relativity, however, accurately handles gravitational interactions at those extreme conditions, in addition to the range covered by Newton's law. Newton's formula for gravity is still used in most circumstances, as an easier-to-calculate approximation of gravitational law.
    Of course, the other problem is the common confusion between the terms "theory" and "law" in science. It is always amusing when I hear the phrase "evolution is just a theory". Yeah right! These very same folk have no problem trusting their lives to the theories of fluid mechanics (keeps those jet engines running among other things), or to theories of nuclear physics (used in everything from irradiating your food to medicine to nuclear reactors), or to climate theories (that help you prepare for that Noreaster) or to the germ theory (your antibiotics).

    And of course the argument that evolution cannot be "proved experimentally" is also nonsense: scientists are able to experimentally replicate natural selection mechanisms and demonstrate evolution of micro-organisms and even complex mammalian cells in the laboratory. And the work done by Rosemary and Peter Grant on Darwin's finches shows that evolution can observed in our lifetime (of course the creationists cleverly point out that this is only microevolution, not the macroevolution that needs the scientists to be around for hundreds of thousands of years).

    What is truly frustrating is that christianity (which by the way is the faith of only 30% of the world population) continually battles science (going back to Galileo and beyond) instead of focusing on its true purpose - to provide a moral compass in a complex world. Science never has and never will purport to subsitute for moral behaviour - it will just provide the facts and knowledge that are needed to make the moral judgements.
    The bible provides us the moral guidance and spiritual truths (at least to those who believe in it), but it is not meant to be a set of statutes or a collection of absolute facts.
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  19. #119  
    There is not much doubt the scientific community is often times governed by political forces, which does have a great deal to say about ideas that are brought forward (or not) and, sad to say, expecting to prove a certain idea (which can lead to misleading or experiments set up with prejudice) even before they start.
    Ahh - the conspiracy theory! Thousands of scientists of every race, nationality and religion, across the globe must be colluding together in perfect unison to hide the truth about evolution.

    In modern times, science is often driven by grants from special interest groups, educational institutions with their thoughts of how things should be, and corporations who want to find a specific result that they can benefit from their investment in the research. It is undeniable that when a scientist is conducting research and is grant dependent, he has to think about the future funding of his grant or he loses his job. If other findings totally contradict his theories and disprove his findings, then he is out of a job. In cases like this is common to attack opposing finds, even if he knows they are valid, just for a selfish reasons of trying to keep his grant.
    Of course everyone knows that there is far more money (grants or otherwise) to be made in defending evolution than pursuing more mundane areas such as drug development, computers and communications. That is why evolutionary science is driven by special interest groups, whereas all others are driven only by their quest for knowledge.

    Let's see: The total US spending on evolution research (funded within NSF) was about 0.001% of the total science, health & engineering budget (does not even include defense research or education) for 2004.

    Ok - maybe I'm dripping with sarcasm a bit here
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  20. #120  
    Wouldn't it be funny if the Bible were literally true with no contradictions?

    I'm a thinking, scientifically-minded, well-educated man who hold the KJV Bible to be the literal, true word of God. I didn't always think that but, after close study, I found it to be true.

    Would you call a math book that showed 2 + x = 6 (x=4) and 9 - x = 2 (x=7) to be contradictory? (or maybe just different lessons for different situations?) The Bible is a living, flexible document used to instruct believers. If you don't believe it, it will all appear to be nonsense.

    I'm certainly not trying to be confrontational, but I just wanted to give a viewpoint that you can believe the Bible to be the literal, non-contradictory truth without having to push your views on anyone else. You don't have to agree with me and I'm not demanding it. You can believe anything you want but even those of us with a functioning, free-thinking brain can accept truth for what it is.

    No, Gen 1 & 2 are not contradictory.
    Recognizing that I volunteered...
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