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  1.    #1  
    I have begun reading this fascinating book (at the recommendation of clulup). This thread can be the home of our various discussions on the Theory of Evolution, Natural Selection, Darwin(ism), Creationism, Quantum Phsyics......
  2. #2  
    Blind Watchmaker is one of my favorite books of all time. All Dawkins' books are good. He can get a bit tiresome (think "Climbing Mount Improbable") but on the whole he's amazing. Let me know if you want any additional recommendations in this vein.
  3. #3  
    Quote Originally Posted by shopharim
    I have begun reading this fascinating book (at the recommendation of clulup). This thread can be the home of our various discussions on the Theory of Evolution, Natural Selection, Darwin(ism), Creationism, Quantum Phsyics......
    Glad you like the book. Who knows, maybe one day you will become a true believer in the theory of evolution!

    (You can then still believe in god etc., it is not mutally exclusive)
    “Reality is that which, when you stop believing in it, doesn't go away.” (Philip K. ****)
  4.    #4  
    is this evolution evangelism?
    Last edited by shopharim; 01/31/2005 at 08:10 AM.
  5. #5  
    An excellent starter on Creation Science is the aptly named "What Is Creation Science?" by Henry M. Morris and Gary E. Parker.

    Morris has a Ph.D. (major in hydraulics and hydrology, minors in geology and mathematics) and Parker has a Ed.D. in biology and they explain creationism from a scientific viewpoint.

    It has a very interesting foreword by Dean H. Kenyon, Ph.D., who is Professor of Biology and Coordinator of the General Biology Program at San Francisco State University (also co-author of "Biochemical Predestination").

    Not as flashy as Blind Watchmaker. but more science.
    "I am a debtor both to Greeks and to Barbarians, both to the wise and to the foolish."
  6.    #6  
    1. Unfortunately for me, Dawkins is not addressing origin but operates on the presumption of origin
    2. His basic premise is "design" is not of necessity premeditated but rather is discovered quite after the fact.
    3. Complexity can result from simplicity without predetermined direction. It will be interesting to see if he argues complexity and not merely intricacy [deleted due to reading the next couple of pages ]
    Last edited by shopharim; 02/01/2005 at 08:54 AM.
  7.    #7  
    It should come as no surprise that I began reading "The Blind Watchmaker" as a skeptic. My views have not been hidden from this forum. I was eager to read because the book was recommended as a source to answer my questions about evolution.

    I'm still reading (a slow pace I know, but I mostly read on the train on the way to work in the morning, and I have a few other books in rotation as well....but I digress). However, I'm ready to begin discussion.

    But, before I proceed, allow me to ask a loaded question: Is this book (still) considered definitive of the theory of evolution? If not, what other book(s) should I read?
  8. #8  
    What a question...how does God exist alongside evolution?
  9. #9  
    Quote Originally Posted by shopharim
    But, before I proceed, allow me to ask a loaded question: Is this book (still) considered definitive of the theory of evolution? If not, what other book(s) should I read?
    I'd say the book is definitive of natural selection, not of evolution.
  10. #10  
    Quote Originally Posted by Advance The Man
    What a question...how does God exist alongside evolution?
    For a Catholic, this isn't a hard question at all....The Church (i.e. Catholic Church) does not say how the body got here...(i.e. through evolution or creationism) and really doesn't care....All they say is that the SOUL of a person has not evolved. And that is what the bible means when it says that we were made in God's image (our soul was made in God's image).
  11. #11  
    Very nice explanation, thank you.

    Quote Originally Posted by RicoM
    For a Catholic, this isn't a hard question at all....The Church (i.e. Catholic Church) does not say how the body got here...(i.e. through evolution or creationism) and really doesn't care....All they say is that the SOUL of a person has not evolved. And that is what the bible means when it says that we were made in God's image (our soul was made in God's image).
  12.    #12  
    Of course, the same Bible that describes Man as being created in God's image, describes a formative process by which the first Man's body came to be. While a case could be made for that being a gradual process, the description doesn't align with a series of variations occuring over eons.
  13. #13  
    Quote Originally Posted by shopharim
    Of course, the same Bible that describes Man as being created in God's image, describes a formative process by which the first Man's body came to be. While a case could be made for that being a gradual process, the description doesn't align with a series of variations occuring over eons.
    As mentioned elsewhere, the bible contradicts itself in many places. Wouldn't it be wise not to take it too literally?
    “Reality is that which, when you stop believing in it, doesn't go away.” (Philip K. ****)
  14. #14  
    Quote Originally Posted by clulup
    As mentioned elsewhere, the bible contradicts itself in many places. Wouldn't it be wise not to take it too literally?
    Not only would it be wise...it's actually recommended to not take certain parts as literal. But again....that's Catholicism. The Catholic Bible(s) has a introduction to each book which helps in understanding each book.
  15.    #15  
    Quote Originally Posted by clulup
    As mentioned elsewhere, the bible contradicts itself in many places. Wouldn't it be wise not to take it too literally?
    It would be wise to assess the content an validate it or invalidate it. The examples you provided as evidence of "contradiction" were addressed by BobbyMike.

    Further, as I've stated in other threads, I find the Bible to be comprehensive, but not exhaustive. That is to say, it does not state all that occurred, it does not express all that God is. It does hoever reveal His character and His purpose to the extent that we can seek and find.

    But, enough of that tangent, whose ready to help me assess Richard Dawkins' writings?
  16. #16  
    What do you need to assess?
  17. #17  
    Quote Originally Posted by shopharim
    It would be wise to assess the content an validate it or invalidate it. The examples you provided as evidence of "contradiction" were addressed by BobbyMike.
    I do think the text of the bible is important to this discussion. BobbyMike called the contradictions "different views of the same event", or errors in the translations. Even if it is only a mis-translation, it is still an error, so the bible is definitely not literally true. That it is only about different views of the same event is also not a good explanation for my taste, e.g. the "last words of Jesus" are completely different, and not like an error in translation or different views of the same event:

    Matt.27:46,50: "My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?"
    Luke23:46: "Father, unto thy hands I commend my spirit"
    John19:30: "It is finished"

    I mention this because for reasons I cannot understand, there are many fundamentalist Christians in the US who insist on the bible being literally true, and evolution hence being wrong and against Christianity. That the bible is literally true is impossible to uphold, in my view, given the contradictions mentioned.

    Contradictions are also present in Genesis 1 and Genesis 2, the very chapters which describe how earth and man/woman were created according to the bible (quoted from here):

    Here is the order in the first (Genesis 1), the Priestly tradition:

    Day 1: Sky, Earth, light
    Day 2: Water, both in ocean basins and above the sky(!)
    Day 3: Plants
    Day 4: Sun, Moon, stars (as calendrical and navigational aids)
    Day 5: Sea monsters (whales), fish, birds, land animals, creepy-crawlies (reptiles, insects, etc.)
    Day 6: Humans (apparently both sexes at the same time)
    Day 7: Nothing

    Note that there are "days", "evenings", and "mornings" before the Sun was created. Here, the Deity is referred to as "Elohim", which is a plural, thus the literal translation, "the Gods". In this tale, the Gods seem satisfied with what they have done, saying after each step that "it was good".

    The second one (Genesis 2), the Yahwist tradition, goes:

    Earth and heavens (misty)
    Adam, the first man (on a desolate Earth)
    Plants
    Animals
    Eve, the first woman (from Adam's rib)

    That does not sound like an event one can take literally, does it? How can Adam be once made after animals, and then again before animals? Seriously, how?

    I guess it would matter much more to think about what Jesus meant (love your enemies etc.), instead of spending that much time and energy with fighting evolution.
    “Reality is that which, when you stop believing in it, doesn't go away.” (Philip K. ****)
  18. #18  
    Just to clarify my last post a bit:

    Genesis 1, the first chapter of the bible, contains the "seven day version" of creation, in which god made animals on day 5, and then humans (male and female) on day 6.

    Then Genesis 2 states

    When the LORD God made the earth and the heavens and no shrub of the field had yet appeared on the earth and no plant of the field had yet sprung up, for the LORD God had not sent rain on the earth and there was no man to work the ground, but streams came up from the earth and watered the whole surface of the ground- the LORD God formed the man from the dust of the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and the man became a living being.

    This is really strange because in the previous chapter, god had stated

    "Let the land produce vegetation: seed-bearing plants and trees on the land that bear fruit with seed in it, according to their various kinds." And it was so. The land produced vegetation: plants bearing seed according to their kinds and trees bearing fruit with seed in it according to their kinds."

    But this was BEFORE man was created (and even before the sun and the moon were created). Also "livestock" were produced before man and woman in Genesis 1, while they were made AFTER Adam, but BEFORE Eve in Genesis 2... how can this be possible?

    The arrival of females is particularly strange. In Genesis 1, male and female are created together, after all animals, plants, etc. In Genesis 2, when "the LORD God had formed out of the ground all the beasts of the field and all the birds of the air", they discovered that "for Adam no suitable helper was found". (That does not come as a surprise, does it, given there were only Adam, animals and plants...?).

    However, in Genesis 2, Eve comes last (while Adam came first), this time made from a rib of Adam.

    Genesis 1 and Genesis 2 cannot both be true at the same time... it looks far more like two opposing traditions of how earth and life was created, presented one after the other in the same book.

    My question is still the same: given all those contradictions in Genesis (and the rest of the bible, both old and new testament), how can so many Christians in the US claim that the bible is literally true, and fiercly oppose evolution because of that?
    “Reality is that which, when you stop believing in it, doesn't go away.” (Philip K. ****)
  19. #19  
    Quote Originally Posted by clulup
    Just to clarify my last post a bit:

    Genesis 1, the first chapter of the bible, contains the "seven day version" of creation, in which god made animals on day 5, and then humans (male and female) on day 6.

    Then Genesis 2 states

    When the LORD God made the earth and the heavens and no shrub of the field had yet appeared on the earth and no plant of the field had yet sprung up, for the LORD God had not sent rain on the earth and there was no man to work the ground, but streams came up from the earth and watered the whole surface of the ground- the LORD God formed the man from the dust of the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and the man became a living being.

    This is really strange because in the previous chapter, god had stated

    "Let the land produce vegetation: seed-bearing plants and trees on the land that bear fruit with seed in it, according to their various kinds." And it was so. The land produced vegetation: plants bearing seed according to their kinds and trees bearing fruit with seed in it according to their kinds."

    But this was BEFORE man was created (and even before the sun and the moon were created). Also "livestock" were produced before man and woman in Genesis 1, while they were made AFTER Adam, but BEFORE Eve in Genesis 2... how can this be possible?

    The arrival of females is particularly strange. In Genesis 1, male and female are created together, after all animals, plants, etc. In Genesis 2, when "the LORD God had formed out of the ground all the beasts of the field and all the birds of the air", they discovered that "for Adam no suitable helper was found". (That does not come as a surprise, does it, given there were only Adam, animals and plants...?).

    However, in Genesis 2, Eve comes last (while Adam came first), this time made from a rib of Adam.

    Genesis 1 and Genesis 2 cannot both be true at the same time... it looks far more like two opposing traditions of how earth and life was created, presented one after the other in the same book.

    My question is still the same: given all those contradictions in Genesis (and the rest of the bible, both old and new testament), how can so many Christians in the US claim that the bible is literally true, and fiercly oppose evolution because of that?

    Verbatim from the New American Standard Key Word Study Bible:

    "2:4 It is well known that there are actually two accounts of creation in the first two chapters of Genesis, but this need not cause us to conclude that they are incompatible, as some have suggested. The two sections actually complement each other. 1:1-2:4a presents a wide-angle view of all seven days of creation and deals with the creation of man and woman as a single act. Then in 2:4b-24 the author zooms in on the sixth day, giving details which are not possible in an overview like chapter 1. The separate origins of man and woman are brought into sharp focus. Therefore, chapters 1 and 2 are not chronological, but 2:4b-24 presents in greater detail some of what 1:11, 12, 24-31 merely summerizes."

    If you'd like to go through all the "contradictions" I'll be willing to explain them to you. I imagine it will get tedious for you at some point.

    And as to evolution, some of us don't think it holds water because of it's scientific implausibilty. The fact that it runs counter to what the Bible says is just frosting on the cake.

    The simple fact is that some people are just not capable of philosophically believing in a "Higher Being", just as some are not capable of not believing.

    To continually run down those that believe as unthinking automons is simply insulting and intolerant, but understandable human.

    Believing in God (and creation as stated in the Bible) takes a leap of faith that He is what He says He is, and He did what it says He did.

    Believing in evolution takes another leap of faith, that practically anything is possible given enough time.

    Regardless of how they look, neither belief can be "logically" explained. Both have enough "grey areas" that someone can take exception to them if they choose to (Clulup's "contradictions" on one side and the fact that no-one has ever actually observed anything evolving on the other). Some people give credence to the Bible (or the Torah, Koran) as the source of "Truth" , while others look to science for that wellspring, but I think most go to the source already believing in what they seek.

    Just as I believe that many Christians would find they're dearly held beliefs shaken if they actually studied their Bibles ( you know, Gays should die, etc.), I also belive that many believers of the Theory of Evolution would be shaken if they actually studied what Evolution purports to be.

    Someone actually made the distinction to me in this way.

    If you believe in God and the Bible then you must also believe that you were created by Him for a special purpose, that you have incalcuable worth. So go find your purpose and fufill it. Make history.
    If you believe in the Theory of Evolution, then you're an accident, a random convergence of genes and dna and you have no purpose whatsoever, so do whatever you want because it won't matter once you're gone anyway because of the Law of Averages.

    Either way, Have a nice day!
    "I am a debtor both to Greeks and to Barbarians, both to the wise and to the foolish."
  20. #20  
    Quote Originally Posted by BobbyMike
    Verbatim from the New American Standard Key Word Study Bible:

    "2:4Therefore, chapters 1 and 2 are not chronological, but 2:4b-24 presents in greater detail some of what 1:11, 12, 24-31 merely summerizes."
    I do not find this explanation convincing at all. If you look at what is actually written in Genesis 2, I guess there is no way around seeing at least SOME contradictions. Clearly, Genesis 2 mentions a succession of events. For instance, it says: "The LORD God said, "It is not good for the man to be alone. I will make a helper suitable for him." Now the LORD God had formed out of the ground all the beasts of the field and all the birds of the air." From this text, it seems obvious to me that god made Adam first and "all the birds of the air" later, no? In addition, Genesis 2 does not "zoom in on day six" as your source says, because birds were made on day five according to Genesis 1.

    I guess you will deny this, but in my view, your rejections is mosty triggered by the belief that it HAS to be true word by word, not by what is actually stated. I am not saying all the bible must be nonsense because some parts don't fit to the others, but in my view, there are clear contradictions, so a literal, word by word understanding is not possible. Just as the Catholic church, I also don't see any advantage in a word by word understanding.
    If you'd like to go through all the "contradictions" I'll be willing to explain them to you. I imagine it will get tedious for you at some point.
    Ok, I will gladly take your offer (same source as before):

    According to the bible, the last words of Jesus (what he said just before he "yielded/gave up his ghost") are:
    Matt.27:46,50: "My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?"
    Luke23:46: "Father, unto thy hands I commend my spirit"
    John19:30: "It is finished"
    Why are they so different?

    In two places in the New Testament the genealogy of Jesus son of Mary is mentioned. Matthew 1:6-16 and Luke 3:23-31. Each gives the ancestors of Joseph the claimed husband of Mary and Step father of Jesus. The first one starts from Abraham (verse 2) all the way down to Jesus. The second one from Jesus all the way back to Adam. The only common name to these two lists between David and Jesus is JOSEPH. How can both versions be true simultaneously?

    LEV 11:" 'All flying insects that walk on all fours are to be detestable to you. There are, however, some winged creatures that walk on all fours that you may eat: those that have jointed legs for hopping on the ground. Of these you may eat any kind of locust, katydid, cricket or grasshopper. But all other winged creatures that have four legs you are to detest."

    ... Insects with four feet? I can easily understand that a priest who writes down rules about eating animals gets the number of feet insects like crickets or grasshoppers have wrong. But surely god would know crickets and grasshoppers have six feet?
    Quote Originally Posted by BobbyMike
    And as to evolution, some of us don't think it holds water because of it's scientific implausibilty.
    So far I have failed to see scientific implausibility in evolution. Can you show me some concrete examples?
    Last edited by clulup; 02/28/2005 at 09:25 AM.
    “Reality is that which, when you stop believing in it, doesn't go away.” (Philip K. ****)
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