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  1.    #1  
    It was Robert's 75th birthday. Today, was the day he would finally make "the chair." Robert had waited 70 years for this day.

    70 years ago to the day, Robert was in the yard with his grandfather and they planted an oak tree. Robert, having just turned 5, was told by his grandfather that the sapling they planted would one day be a strong oak tree. His grandfather, who happened to be a carpenter, told Robert that that the strong oak could be used to make strong, lasting furniture. His grandfather told Robert that when the time was right, he could chop down the tree to build a chair (and of course he would have to plant another one for future generations).

    Not surprisingly, Robert went on to become a carpenter. In fact, he was one of the greatest ouf our time.

    Well, the day had finally come. Robert had decided that he would make his chair. The pleasure was doubled due to the fact that Robert's own grandson was there to assist him.

    Robert and his grandson cut down the tree and cut the wood to manageable parts. However, before heading to his shop, Robert and his grandson planted another oak tree sapling.

    In the shop, the effort began. Robert used is extraordinary skill to treat the wood, and to shape the parts he needed to make "the chair." In the process of time, Robert completed his masterpiece and he and his grandson sat down.

    As they took their repose, Robert exclaimed, "At last, my work is complete." Robert went on to tell the story of the chair to his grandson (ensuring another generation of carpenter would emerge).

    In total amazement about the chair, the grandson then asked a most innocent question: "Granddad, how old is this chair?" Robert looked at his pocket watch and declared, "the chair is approximately 2 hours old"

    Robert's grandson had a puzzled look on his face. After a long silence, he asked, "if the tree is 75 years old, how come the chair is only 2 hours old?"

    Robert, surprised at the thoughtfulness of his grandson, drew him into a bear hug and said, "Perhaps you're right, the chair is 75 years and 2 hours old."
  2. #2  
    This sounds like you're stirring the "When does life begin?" pot.

    I fear for how this will turn out.....
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  3. #3  
    All the atoms that make up the chair are between 11.2 billion and 20 billion years old ( http://www.space.com/scienceastronom...se_030103.html ).

    How can the chair be 75 years and 2 hours old?
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  4. #4  
    And how many generations old is the "process" of the chair . . . . . .

    Hmmm, carpenter . . . . . . . Let's say 2,000 years divided by 20 years per generation, equals:

    100 generations. . . . . .

    (Unless, of course, you want to take this back to Adam & Eve)
    Last edited by gtwo; 10/10/2005 at 09:44 AM.
  5.    #5  
    Just checked my math. I suppose the tree is "70" years old and the chair "70 years and 2 hours)

    And, of course, in keeping with my tradition of letting the pot simmer before I bring to full boil, stay tuned.....
  6. #6  
    Shop... this could be interesting. While the chair is 2 hours old, before that it wasn't a chair, but a 75 year old tree. However, the "idea" of the chair is older than the tree, if (the original) grandfather planted the original tree with the future chair in his mind.

    On a related note... Trees in the Garden of Eden would have the appearance of age, since if you cut them they would in all likelyhood have "rings" showing their age... even if they were just hours old. Adam and Eve themselves were not infants, but had the appearance of some age old enough to obey (or not) the commands given them.

    But I shouldn't get away from the original story. How old is the chair?
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  7. #7  
    Seems to me that the chair is a combination of 70 year old wood and glue, screws and or nails of undetermined age.

    Since the chair is the sum of these parts and unique from the parts in composition, shape and main function I believe that it is 2 hours old.
  8. #8  
    Quote Originally Posted by DHAnderson
    Seems to me that the chair is a combination of 70 year old wood and glue, screws and or nails of undetermined age.

    Since the chair is the sum of these parts and unique from the parts in composition, shape and main function I believe that it is 2 hours old.
    I tend to agree with you on that one..
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  9. #9  
    If you go back in time 3 hours before the tree was cut down...the chair did not exist. You could not say the chair is 70 years old, because it isn't there...therefore, using this method, the chair would be 2 hours old.
  10.    #10  
    Due in large parts to discussions on this forum, i have been spending some spare thinking cycles looking at what would be required to reconcile the two primary theories of origin of the species (Evolution and Genesis' Creation Narrative). I know that technically evolution does not deal with orginin of life. However, the theory is relies on some assumptions about origin of life.

    In examining the two theories, it occurs to me that the biggest area of divergence is simply time. Evolution relies on -illions of years to take place. Genesis reports a 6 day process. Evolution is backed by reams of data, including proven dating techniques. So how do you reconcile the notion of 6 days of creation with evidence of extensive dating?

    Pondering this is when I thought of the chair. As the most recent posts indicate, the chair as an entity did not exist until Robert completed his work. So in truth "the chair" is at best 2 hours old. We could take the philosophical angle and agree that the chair as a concept begin with Robert's grandfather a couple generations back. But in a practical sense the chair did not become a reality until "2 hours ago."

    But, now consider that an archaeologist finds Robert's chair many years later. Unless Robert left a report of his procedure, the only evidence the researchers would have for when the chair was manufactured is efforts at dating the chair. To do that, they could evaluate the style of the chair to see in what historical era such styling was prevalent. But, the only reliable testing would include dating the components of the chair -- wood, nails, glue, etc.

    This would likely get them within 20 years (assuming they knew how old an oak tree would have to be before its timber could be used).

    Well as Duanedude1 pointed out, the creation narrative presents a scenario of the universe being generated at a state of maturity. The humans were "aged." The animals were "aged." The plant life was "aged." The sun, moon, and stars got that start in an "in process" state. The geological strata were created in a point of "in process."

    Couldn't this account for the apparent contradiction in "age of fossils"?

    I'm not offering this as "proof" of anything. Just providing some fodder for the philosophical notion of a creator. Because IF there was and is a Creator capable of creating the universe, certainly that Creator would be able to "age" his or her creation in any way s/he deemed appropriate. Certainly, that Creator would be able to kick-start the laws of physics; again, IF there was a Creator.
  11. #11  
    Quote Originally Posted by shopharim
    So how do you reconcile the notion of 6 days of creation with evidence of extensive dating?
    I personally feel no pressure, urgency, or need to reconcile these two.

    After you are done reconciling science and Bible's Genesis, could you use your spare thought cycles to reconciling Science with Hindu (and then Chinese and then ..) concepts of creation?
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  12. #12  
    shopharim, I like your line of thought, however there is a flaw in it..

    Carbondating is unfortunetely pretty coarse.. i.e. it is in centuries not in decades (if even that)
    So in case of the chair both would be clasified 21st century...
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  13. #13  
    Interesting idea shoparim, interesting.

    I for one have always wondered why there has to be a choice between creation and evolution. Why is it so hard to accept both?

    Why not entertain the idea that God created the universe etc (maybe he caused the Big Bang) and then sat back to watch his creation in action. Or maybe he didnt sit back but focused his attention on other projects elsewhere in the universe. Checking back every so often to see what 'progress' had been made.

    Bear with me for a sec. Lets say he checks back 65 million yrs ago and find the dinosaurs. Thinking that he wanted something a little more advanced or even just different he introduces mammals and tosses a big rock at the earth just to stir things up. Dinos gone mammals begin to get better. God stops back from time to time to help things along and stop things that are not working (the dodo?)

    I could go on but my cereal is getting soggy. I just wonder though why it has to be one or the other. The evidence certainly suggests both.
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  14. #14  
    Quote Originally Posted by Woof
    Interesting idea shoparim, interesting.

    I for one have always wondered why there has to be a choice between creation and evolution. Why is it so hard to accept both?

    Why not entertain the idea that God created the universe etc (maybe he caused the Big Bang) and then sat back to watch his creation in action. Or maybe he didnt sit back but focused his attention on other projects elsewhere in the universe. Checking back every so often to see what 'progress' had been made.

    Bear with me for a sec. Lets say he checks back 65 million yrs ago and find the dinosaurs. Thinking that he wanted something a little more advanced or even just different he introduces mammals and tosses a big rock at the earth just to stir things up. Dinos gone mammals begin to get better. God stops back from time to time to help things along and stop things that are not working (the dodo?)

    I could go on but my cereal is getting soggy. I just wonder though why it has to be one or the other. The evidence certainly suggests both.
    Funny that is one of my theories too, however I still find the 'God is a product of human imagination and search to explain the unexplanable' theory to be most logical..
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  15. #15  
    Quote Originally Posted by Woof
    The evidence certainly suggests both.
    Evidence indicating presence of God ...?

    That is fodder for a whole different (never-ending) thread.
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  16.    #16  
    Quote Originally Posted by aprasad
    I personally feel no pressure, urgency, or need to reconcile these two.

    After you are done reconciling science and Bible's Genesis, could you use your spare thought cycles to reconciling Science with Hindu (and then Chinese and then ..) concepts of creation?
    I don't feel such urgency either. These are just things I think about.

    Haven't spent any time examining Hindu or Chinese thoughts on creation. Had either of those proposed a better solution for my sin, I would be on board.
  17.    #17  
    Quote Originally Posted by ToolkiT
    shopharim, I like your line of thought, however there is a flaw in it..

    Carbondating is unfortunetely pretty coarse.. i.e. it is in centuries not in decades (if even that)
    So in case of the chair both would be clasified 21st century...
    Indeed. The parable is not exact. It only addresses the principle -- in this case being: examination of components does not necessarily reveal the history of the whole.
  18.    #18  
    Quote Originally Posted by Woof
    Interesting idea shoparim, interesting.

    I for one have always wondered why there has to be a choice between creation and evolution. Why is it so hard to accept both?
    Depending on your frame of reference, they are not necessarily compatible. In a literal sense, Evolution asserts an earth age of -illions of years while the Bible places the age of the earth at <7000 years (unless you count the theological view that there is an unspecified amount of time in which life existed between Genesis 1:1 and Genesis 1:2)
  19. #19  
    Quote Originally Posted by ToolkiT
    Funny that is one of my theories too, however I still find the 'God is a product of human imagination and search to explain the unexplanable' theory to be most logical..
    I used to feel that way too, but I recently realized that God is not about logic. God is about faith and faith regularly defies logic. Logic is a construct of man used to help give order to things he cannot explain or rationalize. As is clearly evident with our small children, we do much better when we have a strict set of boundaries in which to operate. We feel safer if we know where the boundaries are. Logic is a boundary. Without it we feel like chaos is pending and we dont like it.

    Just look at how we must explain everythign that happens. No matter what there has to be someone or something to blame. Very logical that there is fault and blame to assign, but does it always make sense? If we beat at it long enough sure, but why. Like the old Bud commercials, why ask why? Because we feel inferior if we canat explain something down to the last little detail in terms we can touch and see.

    You have to let go of the logic to see and understand God. Think of Obi-wan instructing Luke the first time with the training ball and his lightsaber. "let go" he said and Luke argued he couldnt see with the blast shield down. Not logical but once he did let go of the logic he was able to "see" without it.

    Any of that makes sense?
    “There are four boxes to be used in defense of liberty: soap, ballot, jury, and ammo. Please use in that order.”
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  20. #20  
    Quote Originally Posted by shopharim
    Depending on your frame of reference, they are not necessarily compatible. In a literal sense, Evolution asserts an earth age of -illions of years while the Bible places the age of the earth at <7000 years (unless you count the theological view that there is an unspecified amount of time in which life existed between Genesis 1:1 and Genesis 1:2)
    I realize that, but the Bible isnt a perfect record by anyone's account so there could be errors. With modern dating techniques we hae proven the dates to be innacurate. Doesnt mean the intent is wrong though.
    “There are four boxes to be used in defense of liberty: soap, ballot, jury, and ammo. Please use in that order.”
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    "A government big enough to give you everything you want, is big enough to take away everything you have."- Thomas Jefferson
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