Reckless and incompetent expounders

After I wrote the ‘paradise‘ post, I had a look at what other posts were marked with the “atheism” tag in WordPress and I came across a post, “A Brief Creation Apologetics Survey” which has a link to a 90 minute MP3 of a lecture by a Daniel Slavin containing “juicy nuggets about flaws in evolution theory”.  Actually just a denial of evolution parroting Hovind.

Slavin claims that if your children go to secular colleges, there’s a high probability they will lose their faith.  But after listening to this recording I can tell you exactly why: he’s spouting anti-science BS as ‘proof’ that his religion is right.  Anyone who has taken university-level (or half-decent high-school level) science courses should pick up on a lot of the errors he made and realize that if his faith requires denial of good science, maybe his faith isn’t right either.  And don’t think that its going to convince anyone who isn’t a Christian, e.g. me ;)  To quote Augustine from over a millennium and a half ago:


Usually, even a non-Christian knows something about the earth, the heavens, and the other elements of this world, about the motion and orbit of the stars and even their size and relative positions, about the predictable eclipses of the sun and moon, the cycles of the years and the seasons, about the kinds of animals, shrubs, stones, and so forth, and this knowledge he hold to as being certain from reason and experience. Now, it is a disgraceful and dangerous thing for an infidel to hear a Christian, presumably giving the meaning of Holy Scripture, talking nonsense on these topics; and we should take all means to prevent such an embarrassing situation, in which people show up vast ignorance in a Christian and laugh it to scorn. The shame is not so much that an ignorant individual is derided, but that people outside the household of faith think our sacred writers held such opinions, and, to the great loss of those for whose salvation we toil, the writers of our Scripture are criticized and rejected as unlearned men. If they find a Christian mistaken in a field which they themselves know well and hear him maintaining his foolish opinions about our books, how are they going to believe those books in matters concerning the resurrection of the dead, the hope of eternal life, and the kingdom of heaven, when they think their pages are full of falsehoods and on facts which they themselves have learnt from experience and the light of reason? Reckless and incompetent expounders of Holy Scripture bring untold trouble and sorrow on their wiser brethren when they are caught in one of their mischievous false opinions and are taken to task by those who are not bound by the authority of our sacred books. For then, to defend their utterly foolish and obviously untrue statements, they will try to call upon Holy Scripture for proof and even recite from memory many passages which they think support their position, although they understand neither what they say nor the things about which they make assertion.

For Slavin, a visit to talkorigins.org is highly recommended as remedial science.

My notes below the fold…

really fastly spoken prayer “against this lie of evolution” with lots of “God Lord”Reminds me of Wells
http://www.tparents.org/Library/Unification/Talks/Wells/DARWIN.htm
“Father’s words, my studies, and my prayers convinced me that I should devote my life to destroying Darwinism”

Bible true first (scientists wrong)

via http://www.talkorigins.org/indexcc/CA/CA230_1.html

http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=hebrews%2011:1;&version=31;
“faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see.”

days…

YEC (6K years ala Usher)

“Satan destroys someone’s faith”

statistics “70% christians […] who go to a secular college and are taught evolution will lose faith within first year”
REF??? contrast claim on http://christianresearchnetwork.com/?p=4307
“statistics which said that seventy per cent of young people claiming to be evangelical lose their faith by the time they finish college.”

Is their theology so inherently weak that it cannot stand up to basic scrutiny?

“The funny thing is that evolution… that doesn’t stand on anything.”

“species, you know, develop into other species, you know”
[descent with modification]

origin of life: “something had to start from nothing”

big bang: “nothing exploded into everything”

“not just one theory of evolution” [but 6]
only one in bio; don’t confuse the issue

defines:
-cosmic (BB)
-stellar
-elemental
-origins (life)
-macroevolution
-microevolution “the only one that’s true” or “scientifically provable” (e.g. a ‘tan in the summer’, “simple adaptation”)

history of evolution

“no science here whatsoever” (from seances + occult?!?)

Lyell: earth 70K yrs old
video of Kent Hovind; age of universe just keeps on getting older (‘4M yrs/yr’)
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kent_Hovind (he’s in jail BTW)

“Darwin … stole the ideas from Wallace” “isn’t this wild?” (NO, NOT TRUE!)
[Update April 3: see http://www.plantsystematics.org/reveal/pbio/darwin/darwin01.html%5D

Pasteur disproved abiogenesis?  No, Pasteur disproved spontaneous generation; http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Louis_Pasteur

“favored races”… “His book was all about racism”
WTF?!?!?

CD said ‘nat sel not a very good idea’?!? (Lyell inherited char…  Darwin left door open for this, but sci since has shut it)

Oxford debate
scopes trial (“don’t trust the movie” Movie is more about 50’s McCarthyism actually)

“no good mutations” (whence variation then, hmm?)
Hopeful monsters: “this is what they believe” (NO! Oi. sigh. its small variations; small changes over time)

“Most scientists don’t believe in evolution” Fact check THIS :)
“in fact the evolutionists don’t believe in evolution” Wow, news to me! :)

‘scientists @ conferences never solved all the problems in evolution’ um… science is open-ended… and NO they DON’T buy into “hopeful monster” (frog -> mouse sort of jumps; “rapid mutations every 50,000 years”)

WTF?  Unnamed “scientists” claims Aliens brought animals to earth?!? -> basis for Scientology!?!

“That’s what Tom Cruise believes; don’t believe that” (tee hee)

Summary: ‘Evolution from occult and very bad scientific research’ ‘no sci support’

ORLY? http://talkorigins.org/

Big Bang: “nothing exploded into everything”
inflation, not explosion
(sum of matter/energy less gravitation = 0? http://www.astrosociety.org/pubs/mercury/31_02/nothing.html)

Good time to raise http://www.pibburns.com/augustin.htm
“Saint Augustine (A.D. 354-430) in his work The Literal Meaning of Genesis (De Genesi ad litteram libri duodecim)  provided excellent advice for all Christians who are faced with the task of interpreting Scripture in the light of scientific knowledge. This translation is by J. H. Taylor in Ancient Christian Writers, Newman Press, 1982, volume 41.”

Usually, even a non-Christian knows something about the earth, the heavens, and the other elements of this world, about the motion and orbit of the stars and even their size and relative positions, about the predictable eclipses of the sun and moon, the cycles of the years and the seasons, about the kinds of animals, shrubs, stones, and so forth, and this knowledge he hold to as being certain from reason and experience. Now, it is a disgraceful and dangerous thing for an infidel to hear a Christian, presumably giving the meaning of Holy Scripture, talking nonsense on these topics; and we should take all means to prevent such an embarrassing situation, in which people show up vast ignorance in a Christian and laugh it to scorn. The shame is not so much that an ignorant individual is derided, but that people outside the household of faith think our sacred writers held such opinions, and, to the great loss of those for whose salvation we toil, the writers of our Scripture are criticized and rejected as unlearned men. If they find a Christian mistaken in a field which they themselves know well and hear him maintaining his foolish opinions about our books, how are they going to believe those books in matters concerning the resurrection of the dead, the hope of eternal life, and the kingdom of heaven, when they think their pages are full of falsehoods and on facts which they themselves have learnt from experience and the light of reason? Reckless and incompetent expounders of Holy Scripture bring untold trouble and sorrow on their wiser brethren when they are caught in one of their mischievous false opinions and are taken to task by those who are not bound by the authority of our sacred books. For then, to defend their utterly foolish and obviously untrue statements, they will try to call upon Holy Scripture for proof and even recite from memory many passages which they think support their position, although they understand neither what they say nor the things about which they make assertion.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Timeline_of_the_Big_Bang
note that there’s a good idea of what’s going on starting at 10^-36 seconds after the Big Bang to now!  The bulk of the uncertainty is litterally far less than a second in the age of the universe.

“this is rediculous; this is really really rediculous”
no; see: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Star_formation

Thermodynamics (oh no; this is going to be painful)
1st law: “matter cannot be created or destroyed”
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thermodynamics#The_laws_of_thermodynamics
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Conservation_of_energy
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nuclear_energy
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mass-energy_equivalence (E=mc^2)

2nd law… “a huge problem for evolutionists” (if ‘everything breaks down’, how is there order formed?)
Input from ‘outside’ source, namely the sun (acorn -> oak tree)
Universe as a whole is ‘winding down’, but there are pockets of decreased entropy (the sum for the universe as a whole is the important thing)

“had to be designed”

origin of elements
beyond H, inside stars via fusion
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stellar_evolution

“Helium gap”?
same as “mass 8 gap” on http://www.pathlights.com/ce_encyclopedia/Encyclopedia/01-ma2.htm ?
I don’t think this is a real problem; nuclear physics wasn’t my major though :)  Do a google search and note things like Fig. 1 in http://ion.elte.hu/~akos/publ/prc57.pdf

Iron ‘problem’ again via http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stellar_evolution
“both supernovae and ejection of elements from red giant stars are required to explain the observed abundance of heavy elements and isotopes thereof.”
in supernova: “As some of the rebounding matter is bombarded by the neutrons, some of its nuclei capture them, creating a spectrum of heavier-than-iron material including the radioactive elements up to (and likely beyond) uranium.”

Abiogenesis
Species change denial
chance and improbability
http://www.talkorigins.org/faqs/abioprob/abioprob.html

“Evolution is not a science, evolution is a religion”

“young planet” ‘proves bible is true’

(these aren’t new arguments…)

moon dust
http://www.talkorigins.org/indexcc/CE/CE101.html

lunar recession
http://www.talkorigins.org/faqs/moonrec.html

earth’s spin
http://www.talkorigins.org/indexcc/CE/CE011.html

magnetic field decay
http://www.talkorigins.org/indexcc/CD/CD701.html

space object spin
http://www.talkorigins.org/indexcc/CE/CE260_1.html

oldest plant
http://www.talkorigins.org/indexcc/CG/CG010.html
(>11K years old)

great barrier reef
http://www.talkorigins.org/origins/feedback/dec02.html
“is quite young as far as coral reefs go. It began to form only about 18 million years ago, and much of it is less than a million years old.”  but that’s still >>4K years.
see also http://www.infidels.org/library/modern/dave_matson/young-earth/specific_arguments/coral_reef.html

erosion
http://www.talkorigins.org/indexcc/CD/CD501.html
topsoil
http://www.talkorigins.org/indexcc/CD/CD620.html

salty sea
http://www.talkorigins.org/indexcc/CD/CD221_1.html
other minerals
http://www.talkorigins.org/indexcc/CD/CD221.html
http://www.talkorigins.org/faqs/faq-age-of-earth.html#ocean

niagra falls
http://www.talkorigins.org/indexcc/CD/CD610.html

meteorite dust
http://www.talkorigins.org/faqs/moon-dust.html

oldest language
http://www.gate.net/~rwms/crebuttal1.html#oldest_language
clever: “The oldest living language gives no more of an age of the earth the the oldest living person.”

flood stories
http://www.talkorigins.org/faqs/flood-myths.html
http://www.talkorigins.org/indexcc/CG/CG201.html
“Flood myths are likely common because floods are common”
Flood Geology
http://www.talkorigins.org/faqs/faq-noahs-ark.html#georecord

“researchers should get a clue” Um… don’t you think they know about this already?

Dating fossils, dating strata
http://www.talkorigins.org/indexcc/CC/CC310.html

“Polystrate” Fossils (Tree + Whale)
http://www.talkorigins.org/faqs/polystrate.html

Index fossils mentioned on
http://www.talkorigins.org/indexcc/CC/CC310.html
“Note that evolution has nothing to do with how the index fossils are used to date strata! Any kind of object clearly restricted to a specific point in the geologic column would do just fine. If green dice were found only in the middle Ordovician strata, they would make excellent “index fossils.” Evolution should be seen as an explanation of the faunal succession, a succession which was worked out long before evolution dominated the scene. Evolution, working in tandem with geologic ages, can explain why we have index fossils, but evolution is not needed to make the index fossils useful for dating strata.”

rapid fossilization
http://www.talkorigins.org/indexcc/CC/CC361.html
“Most fossils, by themselves, are not a problem for a young earth. The problems come from geological context”

Anything to oil
http://discovermagazine.com/2006/apr/anything-oil
“In 20 minutes, the process replicates what the deep earth does to dead plants and animals over centuries”  *Centuries*

name of book?

layers of animals
http://www.talkorigins.org/indexcc/CH/CH561_1.html

C-14
http://www.talkorigins.org/indexcc/CD/CD011.html
http://www.talkorigins.org/indexcc/CD/CD011_1.html
http://www.talkorigins.org/faqs/hovind/howgood-c14.html

‘fruits of evolution’

‘stronger races destroy weaker races’
http://www.talkorigins.org/indexcc/CA/CA005_1.html

‘destroy morality’

‘cold shudder’ ‘devoted myself to fantasy’
quote mining alert!
http://richarddawkins.net/forum/viewtopic.php?=&p=116200
“thinking of so many cases of men pursuing an illusion for years and often a cold shudder has run through me, and I have asked myself whether I may not have devoted my life to a phantasy. Now I look at it as morally impossible that investigators of truth, like you and Hooker, can be wholly wrong, and therefore I rest in peace.” CD 1859

Darwin on race and slavery
http://home.att.net/~troybritain/articles/darwin_on_race.htm

Nietsche
Marx (was Darwin a Marxist? No.)
Freud

Haeckel
http://www.talkorigins.org/indexcc/CB/CB701.html
http://www.talkorigins.org/indexcc/CB/CB701_1.html

WWI, II, Nazis
(and there was no war before Darwin, hmm?)
http://www.talkorigins.org/indexcc/CA/CA006_1.html
Don’t get me started about Hitler; hating the Jews is a Christian thing.  Wonder why the soldier’s belt buckles said “GOTT MIT UNS”? (God with us)

we were “designed and created to be free”  US constitution written BEFORE Darwin; it allowed slavery… even allowed in the Bible.  Hmm…

Columbine… this all sounds familiar:
https://limulus.wordpress.com/2006/08/28/imagine-pbs-on-crack/

evolution is “an evil religion” because its “the foundation for a lot of messed up thinking” (please don’t test your definition on Christianity… you might not like the results.)

‘psychologists don’t make you better’ (shades of Tom Cruise? ;)

Bible Prophesies
http://www.talkorigins.org/indexcc/CH/CH110.html
curious: “Some people say that to focus on proofs is to miss the whole point of faith (John 20:29).”

Q&A: “Evolution says that god does not exist”
???  No, evolution talks about specific aspects of the natural world.  It is generally incompatable with some people’s theology though (e.g. note that the Catholics seem to have integrated evolution into their worldview, considering it to be ‘how’ God created).  If you want to argue about the existence of gods, there are lot of better arguments than invoking evolution (http://whywontgodhealamputees.com/ anyone?)

“Theory of Evolution is so ingrained in our culture”
http://richarddawkins.net/article,706,Public-Acceptance-of-Evolution,Science-Magazine-Jon-D-Miller-Eugenie-C-Scott-Shinji-Okamoto
A study published in 2006: In the U.S. only 40% of people accept evolution, while 39% reject it and 21% are uncertain.  Denmark, Sweden and France are all ~80% accepting.  Of the countries studied, only Turkey accepts evolution less than the U.S. (~30%)

evolution says “sin is ok”
?!?

ironic: “people don’t want to change”

“Satan is destroying the identity of this generation” [with evolution]
Um… the concept HAS been around in popular culture for almost 150 years now.

statues do not reproduce

natural selection is not ‘by chance’; its non-random death…

“people’s crazy ideas like communism and psychology” 8-)

evo. as “their holy grail”
to quote the title of an essay by Theodosius Dobzhansky, “Nothing in Biology Makes Sense Except in the Light of Evolution”
http://people.delphiforums.com/lordorman/light.htm

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16 Responses to “Reckless and incompetent expounders”

  1. marlin Says:

    Great post. I have always said that anything that science (facts, not theory) is always backed up by scripture. The problem is that most people who look at scriptures with blinders on and customs prevailing is doomed anyway. Gods thoughts and ways are above our ways.

    Most scientist and christians use the great flood as an example by saying it is not possible for 40 days and nights of rain to flood the entire earth, but closer inspection of the flood story account for this. It says “and the deep was broken up” in other words, springs from below were broken and aided in flooding. This could have happened when a metor hit the earth. This would also cause the rain for a long period.

    People are just so shallow to look at the brilliance of God. And the faults of “Science” and some of it’s wil theories.

    Another fact. There is only one geographical location on earth where there are no fossils of dino’s. The middle east.

    Just more food for thought.

  2. Limulus Says:

    marlin: dino fossils have been found in the middle east; a Google search found me this page: http://www.sgs.org.sa/index.cfm?id=276&sec=1&sub=2&page=news_full.cfm Map showing location of Duba here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Image:Duba%2C_Saudi_Arabia_locator_map.png

  3. Sirius Says:

    I wonder if we shouldn’t judge the conclusions of men by the inspired Word of God rather than the other way ’round.

    If the Genesis account is merely allegorical, then our need for salavation is purely allegorical, for it is found in the self-same account.

    Evolution is a cycle of death and natural selection which leads to the development of homo sapiens. Creation posits the reverse: that man was uniquely created and then by sin, death entered the world.

    Christ Jesus validated the genesis account, saying, In the beginning He made them male and female, and again, noting that God created the world in six days.

    My objections to evolution, you see, are based on the facts that [1] the Bible is God’s infallible Word, [2] that man has repeatedly and vainly tried to debunk it, [3] that I can trust it for my salvation and therefore everything else it reveals.

    I should like to hear your thoughts.

    Sirius Knott

  4. sauer kraut Says:

    All that work to show us what we already know: fundies of any stripe are idiots who cannot see beyond their own noses.

    good post.

  5. Limulus Says:

    Sirius wrote: “My objections to evolution, you see, are based on the facts that the Bible is God’s infallible Word,”

    Yet written down by men? Ask the Mormons about the Book of Mormon or the Muslims about the Koran; they will probably tell you the same thing. And yet the three aren’t exactly the same story ;)

    People used to (say circa 1800) argue that the Bible was ‘God’s words’ and nature was ‘God’s works’ and that you could start with either and end up at the same conclusions. And yet science, which studies nature, has come to a different one than people who claim the Bible is to be taken 100% literally.

    If you want to read the ‘book of nature’, go count tree rings, or read about it in scientific journals, e.g.:

    http://www.nature.com/nature/journal/v312/n5990/abs/312150a0.html

    “Long tree-ring chronologies provide a unique calendrical record that is of value for archaeological dating, climatic and post-glacial studies. They also form a standard for the calibration of the radiocarbon time scale. The world’s longest continuous tree-ring chronology is based on the bristlecone pine (Pinus aristata and Pinus longaeva) growing in the White Mountains of California. The great age of living and sub-fossil trees of this species enabled a continuous tree-ring sequence of 8,681 years to be established, providing absolutely dated wood samples for the first radiocarbon calibration. We have now established an unbroken west European tree-ring sequence spanning the past 7,272 years.”

    I will suggest also that pine trees can’t live fully submerged in water, so not only does that imply that there was no *global* flood, but that there is a *continuous* record of tree growth for some 2.5K years prior to when the earth was supposedly created (according to Ussher-type chronology; http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ussher_chronology)

    Antarctic ice cores have a *continuous* record going back 750K years:
    http://www.newscientist.com/article/dn4121-oldest-ever-ice-core-promises-climate-revelations.html

    If you start with “the Bible is God’s infallible Word” and attempt to fit everything to that, then yes, you are going to have problems with evolution.

    Some people had problems with a spherical earth:
    http://www.lhup.edu/~dsimanek/fe-scidi.htm

    But a more well-known example is those who had problems with heliocentrism:


    But to want to affirm that the sun really is fixed in the center of the heavens and only revolves around itself (i. e., turns upon its axis ) without traveling from east to west, and that the earth is situated in the third sphere and revolves with great speed around the sun, is a very dangerous thing, not only by irritating all the philosophers and scholastic theologians, but also by injuring our holy faith and rendering the Holy Scriptures false.

    […]

    if Your Reverence would read not only the Fathers but also the commentaries of modern writers on Genesis, Psalms, Ecclesiastes and Josue, you would find that all agree in explaining literally (ad litteram) that the sun is in the heavens and moves swiftly around the earth, and that the earth is far from the heavens and stands immobile in the center of the universe. Now consider whether in all prudence the Church could encourage giving to Scripture a sense contrary to the holy Fathers and all the Latin and Greek commentators. Nor may it be answered that this is not a matter of faith, for if it is not a matter of faith from the point of view of the subject matter, it is on the part of the ones who have spoken. It would be just as heretical to deny that Abraham had two sons and Jacob twelve, as it would be to deny the virgin birth of Christ, for both are declared by the Holy Ghost through the mouths of the prophets and apostles.

    From http://academic.brooklyn.cuny.edu/history/virtual/reading/core4-04r03.htm “When a year later the Carmelite provincial Paolo Foscarini supported Galileo publicly by attempting to prove that the new theory was not opposed to Scripture, Cardinal Robert Bellarmine, as “Master of Controversial Questions,” responded.” [in 1615]

    Note that “On 31 October 1992, Pope John Paul II expressed regret for how the Galileo affair was handled, and officially conceded that the Earth was not stationary, as the result of a study conducted by the Pontifical Council for Culture.” http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Galileo_Galilei#Church_controversy

    So only ~400 years later -_-;;;

    Darwin only published ‘On the Origin of Species’ in 1859; I look forward to most religions accepting evolution circa 2300 ^_-

  6. breadandsham Says:

    Limulus.

    I’m impressed with your post, research, and amount of free time. Rather than discuss science (such as a body that turns on its axis is not revolving around itself–it is rotating. Secondly, the sun, nor any heavenly body is stationary, but all are in motion). . .

    Rather than discuss a confused mixture of faith and science, such as the original post or your comments on the authority of Scripture, its authors, or it’s commentary. . .

    I would just like to point out that neither your post nor that of Sirius, (nor even my own) will turn one’s heart from atheism to theism or visa versa.

    What Christianity teaches is purely spiritual in origin, interpretation, and reception by individuals (I Cor. 2). It doesn’t ever become dependent upon persons, or popularity. If one’s posture is to bow before the human being as authoritative, he/she will not recognize the face of God if were right in front of him/her. Neither will he/she be able to reach up and grasp it. Until one recognizes one’s need for a Savior, that Savior is invisible, inaudible, unrecognizable, and unable to be reached, seen, heard, felt, and understood.

    Likewise, all of your efforts are in vain, because there is no amount of research, interpretation, misinterpretation, commentary, prejudice, presupposition, persuasion, or convincing argument that can intercept something Spiritually independent from such matters which is being revealed perfectly and effectively to the individual who doesn’t bow to the power of self, but rather, bends the knee of human weakness and limits to the source and fount of all power which lies above and beyond anything corruptible by man–it lies outside of cognition.

  7. Limulus Says:

    breadandsham: So… do you advocate fideism?
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fideism

  8. Athists Need a Hug « Bread and Sham Says:

    […] · Limulus Says: April 2, 2008 at 12:34 pm […]

  9. breadandsham Says:

    Slightly, I’m sorry to allow Alvin Plantinga to give his answer to your question in place of my own words first. However, I mentioned him in my last response. I do have a reaction of my own which I will post post-Plantinga. This, therefore, will be a rather long response.

    Alvin Plantinga defines “fideism” as “the exclusive or basic reliance upon faith alone, accompanied by a consequent disparagement of reason and utilized especially in the pursuit of philosophical or religious truth.” The fideist therefore “urges reliance on faith rather than reason, in matters philosophical and religious,” and therefore may go on to disparage the claims of reason.[3] The fideist seeks truth, above all: and affirms that reason cannot achieve certain kinds of truth, which must instead be accepted only by faith.[4] Plantinga’s definition might be revised to say that what the fideist objects to is not so much “reason” per se — it seems excessive to call Blaise Pascal anti-rational — but evidentialism: the notion that no belief should be held unless it is supported by evidence.

    *Now, my response*
    First, for the non-theist, whoever and of whatever faith that person is, I am aware that theism appears non-rational. (not irrational; not void of reason). For some quick critics, they flat out believe all religion to be void of reason. They have to answer for their own faith first, and then to the 4/5ths of the population they’ve too quickly dismissed.

    Secondly, so how is theism non-rational? For one to place trust in that which is above reason.

    Thirdly, how is theism rational? Theism begins with the weakness of man–this would include all mental faculties. We do have reason, we use reason, we even use reason to know ourselves and our Maker. We simply believe that man’s reason is broken or limited.

    Thus, to an atheist, I would say that they are exercising a God-like attribute, given to man, to reason that He doesn’t exist. (It’s a contradiction to call something free if it costs you money.) (It’s a contradiction to believe one’s self to be morally free, for to believe in morality is not to be free from it) (It’s a contradiction to say that there is no such thing as God unless one has infinite knowledge) It’s part of being mortal or finite to employ reason wrongly. The rationality here is that our faith lies with the infinite one, the Immortal, the Only Wise God our Savior. In this light, all other systems of thought are truly viewed as the one guilty of irrationality.

    Thanks for indulging me. I’ve possibly worn out the microphone.

  10. Limulus Says:

    “It’s a contradiction to say that there is no such thing as God unless one has infinite knowledge”

    Replace “God” in the above sentence with “leprechauns”, “unicorns”, “dragons”, etc. and you might see the problem I have with that.

    Consider Russell’s teapot:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Russell%27s_teapot

  11. Sirius Says:

    By invoking Russell’s Teapot, you concede the pointg that the existence of God is neither provable nor disprovable. What you have not addressed is whether belief in either God or atheism is more reasonable, based on the available evidence.

    I’ve commented more fully on such objections here:

    http://siriusknotts.wordpress.com/2008/04/14/russells-invisible-flying-pink-spaghetti-unicorn-monster-teapot/

    –Sirius Knott

  12. Limulus Says:

    “By invoking Russell’s Teapot, you concede the pointg that the existence of God is neither provable nor disprovable.”

    ???

    By invoking Russell’s Teapot I am pointing out that, in the absence of “infinite knowledge”, just because our limited knowledge doesn’t absolutely rule something out, doesn’t at the same time mean that it is likely.

    If you want to argue “available evidence”, ‘a universe without god(s)’ is clearly the “more reasonable”. If you start with “God is real” and then attempt to fit facts to that, you will probably end up with a more-or-less complete mosaic around that and a little garbage pile of pieces that you just couldn’t arrange and so must discard (e.g. Heliocentrism in 1615; see above). However, if you start with the facts and are willing to follow them wherever they may lead, regardless of the degree of their pleasantness or conformity to your pre-held notions, you might end up with some interesting conclusions; atheist thought has been around for at least 2500 years http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_atheism and will continue to exist as long as people are free to think.

  13. Limulus Says:

    My replies to http://siriusknotts.wordpress.com/2008/04/14/russells-invisible-flying-pink-spaghetti-unicorn-monster-teapot/


    Limulus // April 14, 2008 at 12:54 pm

    “Atheists! Listen up! You guys are and always have been in the minority. It has ever been the responsibility of the minority position to have to make its case for validity.”

    Facts are not democratic; no matter how large a majority of people vote that the earth is flat, the sun revolves around the earth, or evolution is a sham, that does not make it so.

    “Outside academia, atheism is a decided minority.”

    Your objection that its mostly as a result of “politics and peer pressure special interest groups may weild” is interesting in that it discounts the education process; that people exposed to new or different ideas might not reject them out of hand and might in fact be persuaded by them on their merits… Regarding the complaint that “Theists are even denied positions in universities for holding THE MAJORITY OPINION of the Earth, that God exists and created the world.” please see my first point above.

    “nontheistic Darwinism is being taught as truth to our children in our schools and univeristies out of textbooks referring back to the musty text called Origins. It, being a process which takes hideous amounts of time to evolve a species into another kind of creature entirely, is unprovable and undetectable. Scientists may say that this minor mutation or that adaptation is evidence of transition in action, but they are only presuming evolution to be true and presuming that these adaptations and mutations will someday far away lead to such a transition. I digress.”

    Please see http://talkorigins.org/

    “We say, “Disprove the existence of God.” […] We believe it is impossible to either prove or disprove God’s existence. […] It is however evident that God does exist. The complex, inter-related order and design of the universe, the existence of universal moral law with its inherent sense of justice and a host of other things [like personal experience, reason, philosophy, beauty and meaning] are compelling reasons to believe. The atheist can give little reason to believe that the universe accientally came to be in such a way that intelligent life searches for meaning yet reasons that neither God nor meaning exists. I digress.”

    So basically the reason for believing boils down not to a direct connection with god(s), as that would clarify things nicely and there would be no atheists then, but rather to a watchmaker argument? http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Watchmaker_analogy

    Maybe see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anthropic_principle#Criticisms
    “Fossil, genetic and other biological evidence abundantly supports the observation that life adapts to physics, not the other way around.”

    No doubt you will come up with another challenge, another rock to look under, and then another and another and because human knowledge can never actually be infinite, you can always make claims that ‘atheists can’t disprove the existence of god(s)’. But think about this; every time a claim is made for the existence of god(s) and its resolved in the negative, isn’t that just another drop in the ocean?

    So when you say “Disprove the existence of God.” I will reply with the novel answer: because atheists exist. Feel free to make up all sorts of reasons why (your particular) god wants to remain hidden; this is why people generally require positive proof for positive claims.

    Your comment is awaiting moderation.
    *

    Limulus // April 14, 2008 at 1:30 pm

    And a bonus link:

    http://www.boingboing.net/2008/04/08/ill-rep-monique-davi.html


    it’s dangerous for our children to even know that your philosophy exists!

    An excerpt from a tirade by Ill. Rep. Monique Davis (D-Chicago) denouncing an atheist “who objected to the state of Illinois giving $1 million to the Pilgrim Baptist Church”

    Your comment is awaiting moderation.

  14. Limulus Says:

    And my brief comment to http://siriusknotts.wordpress.com/2008/04/02/why-the-only-rational-atheist-is-an-oxymoron/


    Limulus // April 14, 2008 at 1:02 pm

    “If you’ve read Origins, you will note how he never proves his theory, but is careful to say that we can’t say it’s impossible, especially given our present lack of total knowledge.”

    The first edition of The Origin was published in 1859, so almost a century and a half ago. Please note that a few things have been learned since then and yet scientists have not rejected evolution.

    Your comment is awaiting moderation.

    (might as well post all this here while it awaits moderation, ne?)

  15. Limulus Says:

    Update: Dinosaur tracks have been found in Yemen:
    http://www.time.com/time/health/article/0,8599,1808550,00.html
    Full details here:
    http://www.plosone.org/article/info%3Adoi%2F10.1371%2Fjournal.pone.0002243

  16. dwade Says:

    good site, thanks for sharing everyone

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