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Round Two: God vs. Darwin


Fishteacher73
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Gut stands for Grand Unfied Field Theory or as its sometimes called, the Theory of Everything.

 

Actually, if the first book of the Bible is correct as they assume then according to it since Man was made in his image by artest terms that in itself would be a signature from God. I think the question should be not so much did God sign things in some way as more is there a signature there. Another one that ties in to this out of the NT would be Hebrews 1:3, Christ is the expressed image of God's person... With Him being the Word and the expressed image of God's person then his mark on creation should be there if the account is true. The only passage I've seen out of the scripture that rather hints at something known via science today is the passage that speaks in John about the world formed out of things unseen. Atoms are unseen. If modern String theory is correct then there are some dimensions to spacetime unseen.

 

Also, and I've found few Bible scholars willing to consider this one, run a creative order on the first two chapters of the book of Genesis. The two accounts of creation do not have the same order on things at all. Yet, most Christians tend to assume and proclaim they are the same account. One example is Man in the first comes last as a hint. When you get done answer the question if they are seperate accounts which earth are we on? Its important because the historical record in the earth would be different in both cases. Also standard BB modeling has the Universe basically forming from a near nothing which is akin to Genesis' account of unformed and unfilled(emptyness) being the original condition. Also might add the first creative act of Genesis is making light and the BB makes one huge amount of light.

 

What makes the two(Genesis 1 and Evolutionary theory) seem so different is not only the lanuage used, its the dogmatic acceptance by the religious that Day has to denote a 24 hour period. That's what makes scientific theory on this seem so alien to them. Yet, the Hebrew word for day, "Yom" actually in itself simply is translated as an expanse of time. There is nothing on how long that expanse was prior to at least the Genesis account of the creation of the Sun. The problem begins as far as accounts go after the creation of the Sun and Moon. From then on out its hard to try and fill in, so to speak, since even here Science would have a lot of data on that subject.

 

One thing of an historic perspective here is if Moses was the author of Genesis, as most Bible Scholars tend to say, then where did Moses get his early on teaching at? The answer to that question provides a multitude of information on the style used and his narriation. The answer is he was raised in Egypt. Given his acceptance into the family he was considered part of he would have been trained in their best knowledge. Go back to the roots of Egyptian myths on creation for a start. Let's assume an admixture of Jewish background into this. Abraham, by the Bible account came out of Ur. The central religion of UR is interesting in itself. One of their local God's was female, by the name of Innana, as its pronounced in english. She was the goddess who died on a tree, decended into the Babylonian equal to the underworld, a place where souls were held captive, and then rose after three days in the ground taking the captives there with her. Sound like a familuar tale recounted a few thousand years later by his decendants? So what were the influences present historically that lead to the account given in Genesis?

 

Call that a bit of anchient religion and theology 101. If people are going to read the Bible they have got to do more than just assume everything is as they think it is. One needs to understand both the language as originally used and the historical context. I see few Bible scholars willing to get beyond the language and willing to study things based upon historical influences and such. Its all because their faith gets in the way and blinds them to a certain perspective. To seek the historical background seems to run counter to the idea that scripture is inspired of God. What the historical exposes is that these verses in the Bible where written by men influenced by not only the times, but their own education and religious teaching. That implies that not everything there is the gospel truth to begin with.

 

Interesting enough, going back to the NT, Christ was asked by the Jewish leaders about something from the OT law out of Genesis. His responce was that such was not written because God said so, but because of the hardness of man's heart. Clearly not everything in the Bible is God's words to begin with. That being the case then there is no way to apply scientific methods to the creation story making at least Creationism not really scientfic at all. ID on the other hand might could be studied from a scientific perspective if someone in their camp would take the time to do it right. When they do then a real discussion could be had between the two camps.

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Quite the instructive tome, paultrr. Let me offer a few responses:

...if the first book of the Bible is correct as they assume then according to it since Man was made in his image by artest terms that in itself would be a signature from God.

I suspect this is true, but the signature is not necessarily verifiable by the scientific method

The only passage I've seen out of the scripture that rather hints at something known via science today is the passage that speaks in John about the world formed out of things unseen. Atoms are unseen. If modern String theory is correct then there are some dimensions to spacetime unseen.

Fair' date=' but I still don't think the Biblical authors were trying to articulate items that would be demonstrable by the scientific method. One could also argue that the reference to creation is Col 1:16-17 which includes "in Him all things hold together" suggesets that He is directly involved in maintenance of forces that (at least at present) appear uncaused (gravity, intramolecular forces, etc)

What makes the two(Genesis 1 and Evolutionary theory) seem so different is not only the lanuage used' date=' its the dogmatic acceptance by the religious that Day has to denote a 24 hour period.[/quote']

Hmmm. I know a lot of pretty conservative folks, and I don't think I know any that think the days in Genesis 1 have to be 24 hours. Certainly before the Sun is referenced in the account, a "day" per se is undefined.

 

Even conservative Biblical scholars readily offer that belief in inspiration of scripture does not preclude normal litererary usage (e.g., hyperbole, phenomenal language, metaphor, poetry, idiom, local vernacular, etc). The first 12 chapters of Genesis (in particular) are rife with these elements, and it makes it very difficult to have a discussion unless one is focused on a very specific point. Even then, thoughtful scholars reasonably and regularly disagree on thoughtful usage. I am sure we could find a Hebrew scholar that disagrees with your interpretation of "yom", although I happen to agree with you.

I see few Bible scholars willing to get beyond the language and willing to study things based upon historical influences and such. Its all because their faith gets in the way and blinds them to a certain perspective.... ....To seek the historical background seems to run counter to the idea that scripture is inspired of God.

Odd. In my limited experience' date=' essentially [i']all[/i] of the folks that I would describe as Biblical scholars (i.e., folks that have a degree from a Bible-oriented institution of higher learning) spend inordinate amounts of time on the impact historical influences. I can probably think of about a dozen folks in this category. It is undeniably true that their thought framework colors their perspective. In many cases, it is not ther "faith" per se, but their predisposition for interpretation. The same would be said of most folks that interpret results in the scientific method. Folks that believe strongly in any overriding theory (e.g., gradualism, BB, etc) will fill in holes in the fact base with unsubstantiated claims until the holes are filled in (if they ever are.) Ergo, if you believe in gradualism, you see gradualism. If you believe in puncuated equilibrium, you see punctuated equilibrium. If you believe Moses wrote the first 5 books, you see the evidence. If you don't, you see the complications. For example, I am pretty confident that the conservative Biblical scholars I know would interpret the source information for the religious practices of Ur differently that you did. Same fact base, different view. That part of Biblical analysis is like the scientific method.

(in)... the NT' date=' Christ was asked by the Jewish leaders about something from the OT law out of Genesis. His responce was that such was not written because God said so, but because of the hardness of man's heart. Clearly not everything in the Bible is God's words to begin with. [/quote']

I assume you are talking about the discussion as represented in Matt 19:3-9, although that was not a reference to Genesis, but Deuteronomy. I am not sure exactly what you mean, but certainly many words in the Bible were not uttered by God. The currently popular phrase "God's word" does not mean he spoke them. He actually spoke very few of them. Conservatives believe he inspired them.

...there is no way to apply scientific methods to the creation story making at least Creationism not really scientfic at all. ID on the other hand might could be studied from a scientific perspective if someone in their camp would take the time to do it right. When they do then a real discussion could be had between the two camps.

 

I generally concur.

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Good post- I also agree.

 

Most Biblical scholars do spend a lot of time considering historical influences, that's what distinguishes them as scholars, and not just readers. Your point about different conclusions from the same writings is well said- I saw a Biblical scholar proclaim all alcohol is evil, and, using historical context, "prove" that Jesus turned water into non-alcoholic wine.

 

I certainly think he's wrong about that, in my interpritation. But again, it's an interpritation. The general move in post-modern theology is getting away from an absolute interpritation of the Bible, since how can we, as people, understand absolutes?

 

Which brings everything back to Genisis and the days. I'm not sure many people think it's days anymore- just the vocal minority. Most people have a problem reconciling "God's image" and the popular misconception that we came from apes. I think a lot of folks get to that one point, after accepting the old earth, BB, etc., and then hit a wall. After which they throw the whole thing out, part and parcel, because of that final leap.

 

Perhaps God's image just means life, or something with free will, or intellegence? Again- open to interpritation.

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God's image being life in general I would not disagree with. But as to the vocal minority, in general its the Christian right that has tended to argue the strongest on the Creation issue. Their main vocal "Scientific" establishment would be Creation Science Research. Yes, they modified somewhat over the years the Young earth position they started with and used to support. But in general if you ever manage to hear any lectures they give, read any books or read any private thoughts they still think this planet is far younger than the general scientific community does.

 

General, the vocal minority is termed Fundamentalism. It has such adherents as Hal Lindsey(who's book Evidence that demands a Virdict was interesting in its perspective), Billy Graham well known, Jerry Falwell whome most people have heard of and many more. Most of the American Bible Church movement was founded upon those principles. Other groups like the Assemblies of God, the Southern Baptists Church, the Presbeterian Church of America, etc all endorse the general principle of a devine creation and still teach in their seminaries a literal seven days creation position. I think outside of Pentecostalism that the Southern Baptists at present constitute one of the biggest organizations as far as the organized Church in America goes outside of the Catholic Church. Most of the members of the Creation Science Rsearch group come from Fundamentalists organizations and churches themselves.

 

You might be wondering how I know this. My early on training after HS in college was in one of their Seminaries. However, even then I had strong questions about the validity of their position even though I used to debate with some of the Catholics who supported evolution. I've had the chance over the years to keep up on their position. Even if I no longer see things the way they do I do tend to know what they teach.

 

Now a question could be asked how many of those who attend these groups really believe that way? Its also why I tend to know the Bible and a bit about the original languages. They tend to stress such a lot in study there.

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While I don't pretend to know what goes on in seminary (I assume it's good and bad), I do attend a pres. church, and there is no Young Earth talk there. It (obviously) varies quite a bit from church to church.

 

As for the Fundamental wing, I think you're right on target. I've heard a lot about it- my extended family falls into that camp a lot of the time. Generally, they only wish the best, but have a misunderstanding towards what science is. I think they deserve loving education, rather then derision, as we are often apt to do (myself included)- im' sure you'd agree.

 

Billy Grahm claimed to be a democrat, though... B)

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I have a number of comments here. I feel like I should apologize in advance for my compulsiveness, but when we stray into discussion of religion, I think it is pretty important to get the descriptive language correct to refine the terms of the debate.

God's image being life in general I would not disagree with. But as to the vocal minority, in general its the Christian right that has tended to argue the strongest on the Creation issue.
"Christian right" is usually a political designation that relates to a voting pattern. This is in contrast with "conservative" Christians (as described by a theologian) who tend to believe in the authority of scripture. There are many conservative Christians who are Democrats, and hence would not be associated with the "Christian right." Many political commentators will characterize conservative Christians in a group with "traditional values" voters, which, of course, also includes lots of non-Christians. Traditional values voters are split between the parties, with only a slight edge toward the Republicans
Their main vocal "Scientific" establishment would be Creation Science Research.
I don't know anyone who thinks this group is scientific. This is an advocacy group with an opinion.
(in) General, the vocal minority is termed Fundamentalism. It has such adherents as Hal Lindsey(who's book Evidence that demands a Virdict was interesting in its perspective), Billy Graham well known, Jerry Falwell whome most people have heard of and many more. Most of the American Bible Church movement was founded upon those principles.
I think it is reasonably important to separate Fundamentalists from Evangelicals. Evangelicals are "conservative Christians." That is, they believe the Bible is God inspired. Again, it does not mean they take the Bible as literal in its entirety. Evangelical scholars allow for normal language usage (e.g., hyperbole, phenomenal language, metaphor, allegory, idiom, etc). Evangelicals are components of almost all Christian denominations, even Catholics and Episcopalians.

 

Fundamentalists, in contrast, are a set of folks that are best known for proscribing a set of behaviors. These would be folks who preclude smoking, drinking, dancing, etc because they think it is wrong. Lots of folks don't do these things, but Fundamentalists believe they are wrong. Relatively few denominations have a significant component of Fundamentalism. Southern Baptists come to mind as a rich source, but lots of SBs are not Fundamentalists. I don't think any of the folks you mentioned are Fundamentalists, although Falwell might be. Billy Graham is certainly not. A lot of Evangelicals would be a little bit insulted to be characterized as Fundamentalists.

 

The American Bible Church movement was, at its heart, Evangelical, not Fundamentalist. Most of the Bible churches launched during that movement were not Fundamentalist.

 

FYI, I think Josh McDowell wrote "Evidence that Demands a Verdict," not Hal Lindsay. Lindsay writes lots of eschatoloogical (end times/rapture) books. Some of it is fiction (and I mean intentionally), some is not.

Most of the members of the Creation Science Rsearch group come from Fundamentalists organizations and churches themselves.
This might be true, but I am not sure. There are relatively few true Fundamentalists but there are lots of folks that are Creationists. But the vast majority of Evangelicals are not Creationists. Evangelicals believe in a Creator, but not necessarily in all of the items associated with Creationism (e.g., young earth, 7 day creation, etc.)
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I think generally, and there are a few exceptions on this that as long as someone doesn't start out telling me I am bound for Hell because I do not see things their way or starts the conversation that all of science ideas are bogus I tend to find the subject at times interesting. Granted its rather hard to debate science against belief, at least given the differences between the two. But in general the human race has always tended to be religious and its discussion has a valid place. Its hard at times to get two Christians from a different sects to hold a cival discussion also. One of the most laughable shows I ever watched was an old talk show where they brought the Modern Witches, the Satanists, and a group of Christians together to discuss beliefs. Talk about reality TV and fighting on the air. Those three rather tend to hate each other a lot and I doub't they could agree on anything.

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I think generally, and there are a few exceptions on this that as long as someone doesn't start out telling me I am bound for Hell because I do not see things their way...
Well, you still could be going to hell (or even to Newark, which I think is similar) but it certainly won't be because you don't agree with me.

 

If agreeing with me were a requirement for eternal life, it would be pretty lonely in heaven. I am not even sure if I would make it.

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Telemad: Now you're confusing a species being bonier or more muscled its being with more fit ... as well as again the notion of species having to be in direct competition. ... Lions are bonier and more muscled than cheetah's, but both exist today at the same time in the same habitat. And it's all perfectly consistent with survival of the fittest.

 

paultrr: Not at all, in the last mentioned case we existed in the same regions in direct contact by all the evidence we have.

 

And one can go to Africa and see cheetah's and lions, and leopards too, all coexisting in the same area - even stealing food from another sometimes. By your logic, their should only be the bonier and more-muscled lions.

 

 

paultrr: The idea about a child born in space came from Biologists with NASA not me as far as origin.

 

I realize that ... I even remember seeing something about that on TV. But what you said had errors, so somewhere you changed what scientists said.

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I suspect that some folks would say the "signature" showed up and walked around Galilee a couple thousand years ago.

 

Historical evidence for His existence (and resurrection, for that matter) is pretty strong.

 

Historical evidence doesn't show that Jesus actually did arise from the dead. It's all hearsay.

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GAlso might add the first creative act of Genesis is making light and the BB makes one huge amount of light.

 

Actually, it did not. The universe was opaque when it was first 'born'. It wasn't until the period of recombination that light was free to travel unhindered.

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One could also argue that the reference to creation is Col 1:16-17 which includes "in Him all things hold together" suggesets that He is directly involved in maintenance of forces that (at least at present) appear uncaused (gravity, intramolecular forces, etc)

 

Hold on ... you claim to be a biochemist yet you think that intramolecular forces are uncaused?????? Hello????

 

Intramolecular forces are caused by simple electrostatic forces of attraction and replusion between nuclei and electrons, where the distance between the nuclei reach a point that is most stable ... where the energy of the system is at a minimum (the bottom of an energy well). They teach that kind of thing in chemistry 101 you know.

 

And gravity is the curvature of spacetime, and it is mass that curves spacetime.

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Ergo, if you believe in gradualism, you see gradualism. If you believe in puncuated equilibrium, you see punctuated equilibrium.

 

What, you don't give me any recognition for my having taught you just a couple of days ago the difference between gradualism and punctuated equilibrium?

 

I may stop teaching you science if you don't start giving credit where credit is due :-)

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