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Round Two: God vs. Darwin


Fishteacher73
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I saw a Biblical scholar proclaim all alcohol is evil, and, using historical context, "prove" that Jesus turned water into non-alcoholic wine.

 

How could God consider alcohol evil? He condoned its use for two daughters to rape their father multiple times.

 

God saved Lot and his two daughters from Sodom and Gommorha (after a human convinced God to spare some people ... seems both humans and Satan can make God do what they want with a little nudging ... just as Job). Just a few verses after the Lot family is saved, the daughters plot to liquor up old Lot - their father - and have sex with him to get pregnant. The first daughter gets him hammered and then she gets nailed :-) Then the next night, they decide to get their old poppa sh*tfaced again and the other daughter rapes him. Both daughters end up pregnant from their father.

 

Now God is all-knowing and knew this was going to happen, yet he saved the daughters. So apparently God doesn't disapprove of alcohol ... or incest ... or rape.

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God sent angels to save Lot and his daughters, specifically, from God's coming destruction of Sodom and Gamorrah. God destroyed the cities in Genesis 19:23. Just a few verses later, in Genesis 19:31, we see Lot's daughters plotting to get their father so drunk that they can have sex with him and get pregnant.

 

God can see the future, so He must have known that the daughters were just going to turn around, after being saved, and drug and rape their father. It is rape when you get someone too drunk to know what’s happening in order to have sex with them.

 

And the Biblical soap opera is quite, well, soap-opera-ish. They don’t plot and carry out their incestuous rape once, but twice. Here are the verses.

 

NIV Bible:

One day the older daughter said to the younger,

 

“Our father is old, and there is no man around here to lie with us, as is the custom all over the earth. Let’s get our father to drink wine and then lie with him and preserve our family line through our father”.

 

That night, they got their father to drink wine, and the older daughter went in and lay with him. He was not aware of it when she lay down or when she got up. The next day the older daughter said to the younger,

 

“Last night I lay with my father. Let’s get him to drink wine again tonight, and you go in and lie with him so we can preserve our family line through our father.”

 

So they got their father to drink wine that night also, and the younger daughter went and lay with him. Again he was not aware of it when she lay down or when she got up. So both of Lot’s daughters became pregnant by their father.

 

Surely we all remember this, right? After all, weren't we all taught as children in Sunday school about the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah, and Lot, and how his wife turned into a pillar of salt because she looked back? Oh yeah, that's right. For some odd reason Sunday schools always stop at around verse 26, where Lot's wife gets turned into a pillar of salt. They don't bother to finish the story of Lot and his daughters that were saved by God, even though it's only a few more versus. I wonder why? Could it be because of the back-to-back rapes? Could it be because of the two instances of incest? Could it be because two daughters get pregnant from their father?

 

The Bible, what a wonderful book!

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Hmmm. And you see evidence here that God condoned this? Creative.

 

Read it again. It's simple logic. God knew the girls would drug and rape their father if he saved them. He already had the daughters scheduled to be wiped out, and if He let that happen, the incest, and drugging, and rape wouldn't have occurred. But he chose to save them, knowing that they were going to turn right around and booze up their father and rape him. Yep, God condoned it alright. It was God's own action that made it possible!

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Of course there’s always the beautiful story of Job! You all remember that one, right? It’s where Satan talks God into (hey, wait a minute!) letting him kill Job’s servants and family, as well as flocks of animals. Why? To see if Job will still love God. Man, what an ego God has. Pretty easy to manipulate too.

 

Then the Lord said to Satan,

 

“Have you considered my servant Job? There is no one on earth like him; he is blameless and upright, a man who fears God and shuns evil.”

 

“Does Job fear God for nothing?”, Satan replied. “Have you not put a hedge around him and his household and everything he has? You have blessed the work of his hands, so that his flocks and herds are spread throughout the land. But stretch out your hand and strike everything he has, and he will surely curse you to your face.”

 

The Lord said to Satan, “Very well, then, everything he has is in your hands, but on the man himself do not lay a finger.”

(NIC Bible)

 

 

Now with God’s permission, Satan sets about killing Job’s sheep and oxen. Oh, and Satan also kills people – Job’s servants. Oh, and Satan – having obtained God’s okay – also kills Job’s children!!! What a loving God!!!

 

But it doesn’t end there.

 

 

Then the Lord said to Satan,

 

“Have you considered my servant Job? … And he still maintains his integrity, though you incited me against him to ruin him without any reason.”

 

“Skin for skin!” Satan replied. “A man will give all he has for his own life. But stretch out your hand and strike his flesh and bones, and he will surely curse you to your face.”

 

The Lord said to Satan, “Very well, then, he is in your hands; but you must spare his life.”

 

So Satan went out from the presence of the Lord and afflicted Job with painful sores from the soles of his feet to the top of his head.

(NIV Bible)

 

 

So God let Satan talk Him into allowing Satan to first kill Job’s livestock, servants, and children; and then to later talk Him into allowing Satan to put Job in a hell of a lot of physical pain. Wow, what a loving God!!!

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Read it again. It's simple logic..... It was God's own action that made it possible!
If you are going to impute that all human behaviors are condoned by God (since in your example, His omnicience confirms approval), you are missing a couple of key elements in Christian dogma.
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If you are going to impute that all human behaviors are condoned by God (since in your example, His omnicience confirms approval), you are missing a couple of key elements in Christian dogma.

 

Nope, not at all what I said or implied. Learn to read...learn to think ... learn to understand.

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But he chose to save them, knowing that they were going to turn right around and booze up their father and rape him. Yep, God condoned it alright. It was God's own action that made it possible!
I did read it. You said God condoned because He knew in advance what would happen. This was your "simple" logic. I agree the logic is simple.

 

Just not consistent.

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Biochemist: It is *generally accepted* that *most* proteins require *at least half* of their amino acid residues to be in exact sequence.

 

Or else what? Maybe they take on a new function? Such as …

 

”The antifreeze protein of Antarctic fish, made up of a simple sequence of repeating tripeptide units, has evolved from the pancreatic enzyme trypsinogen: it arose by recruitment of the 5’ and 3’ ends of an ancestral trypsinogen gene (which provided the secretory signal and the 3’ untranslated regions) and by de novo amplifications of a 9 bp Thr-Ala-Ala elements.” (Laszlo Patthy, Protein Evolution, Blackwell Science, 2000, p89)

 

Neutral mutations - which natural selection doesn't eliminate - allow a protein's sequence space to expand, causing it to approach - and in some known instances, reach - the sequence space for another function.

 

Biochemist: Putting the two above assumptions together, we would expect that the odds of random association of amino acids into a single funtional protein are (1/20) to the 100th power, or approximately 1 in 10 to the 130th power.

 

Except that your method is flawed.

 

For example, it doesn’t take exon shuffling into account. Many proteins consist of several functional domains stitched together, with one or more of those domains being shared with various proteins. A functional domain can be coded for by an exon: the part of a gene that gets expressed (the introns, or intervening sequences, get spliced out). A domain that serves a particular function is retained in the genome by natural selection, and over time, the exon that codes it can be transposed such that it comes to flank some other gene's region. If the domain turns out to be stitched into the existing protein and turns out to be useful, a protein with a modified function could be produced and retained by natural selection (in fact, it could serve both its new and old functions, if alternative splicing occurs).

 

Other things your model doesn’t take into account.

 

Behe obtains an astronomically much better probability of hitting a functional protein by chance ordering of aa's than you calculate. Behe’s figure is 10^-65. So if nothing else, you should switch from your back-of-the-envelope calculation to his.

 

But there are examples that counter Behe’s number. A novel ~100-aa protein called T-urf13 (IIRC) was produced when non-coding regions of DNA were intermingled, producing a chimera. So to say that a new protein can’t arise from scratch is wrong.

 

Also, Sidney Fox produced proteinoids and proteinoid microspheres in relation to OOL research and his random sequences of amino acids had weak catalytic function.

 

In addition, scientists found that a large percentage (don’t remember how large) of random binary amino acid sequences (sequences that alternated between hydrophilic and hydrophobic segments) folder up into stable formations.

 

Now take those last two together. A large percentage of randomly generated binary amino acid sequences would fold up into stable conformations, and, considering Fox’s experiment, some/many of them would have some type of catalytic activity.

 

Finally, even you end up with a probability smaller than 10^-150 (and you shouldn't, considering the above), you still can't use Dembski's law of small probability to argue design because you haven't established an independent pattern that the protein sequence matches ... you don't have a specification, but a fabrication.

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So to say that a new protein can’t arise from scratch is wrong.
This critique misses the fundamental point. The issues is not that a simple life entity can't make a new protein. Of course they can.

 

The sample question was whether it is reasonable that 3.5 billion years ago a prokaryote could produce a specific enzyme sequence, not any protein. Even to suggest that Behe's "more likely" scenario (of 1 in 10^65 likelihood) somehow denigrates the argument is amusing. If we had to produce even a trillion proteins (i.e., 1 specific enzyme in 10^10 proteins) to get a specific functional enzyme, we would have to presume an extremely sophisticated scavenger system in the early prokaryote that would remove the vast majority of the non-functional proteins to allow a set of 5 or six to find each other in an enzyme sequence.

 

The point here is NOT that this is a proof case. The point is that investigation of this line of analysis is not "laughable" as some have suggested.

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TeleMad: So to say that a new protein can’t arise from scratch is wrong.

 

This critique misses the fundamental point. The issues is not that a simple life entity can't make a new protein. Of course they can.

 

This critique misses the fundamental point I was making. The issue I addressed with that comment was showing that Behe's 10^-65 probability - which is one hundred billion trillion trillion trillion trillion trillion times more likely than yours - probably is far too small also. We have several examples of new proteins arising de novo. If the probability were actually 10^-65 for hitting a new functional protein, we'd not have these multiple examples.

 

Biochemist: The sample question was whether it is reasonable that 3.5 billion years ago a prokaryote could produce a specific enzyme sequence, not any protein.

 

Then why can't you show us where you listed any SPECIFIC enzymes or SPECIFIC enzyme sequences.

 

Biochemist: Even to suggest that Behe's "more likely" scenario (of 1 in 10^65 likelihood) somehow denigrates the argument is amusing.

 

Uhm, care to address what I actually said?

 

Biochemist: If we had to produce even a trillion proteins (i.e., 1 specific enzyme in 10^10 proteins) to get a specific functional enzyme, we would have to presume an extremely sophisticated scavenger system in the early prokaryote that would remove the vast majority of the non-functional proteins to allow a set of 5 or six to find each other in an enzyme sequence.

 

If ... some mysterious enzymes....

 

Great argument. Care to actually give some details?

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I did read it.

 

Okay, so then you must be admitting that you are too stupid to understand it?!?!

 

Biochemist: You said God condoned because He knew in advance what would happen.

 

Nope. I said more than that. How dishonest of you to selectively leave out material. Just like a Creationist.

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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.

 

Face, it if you boil down the reason you are saved its because of you're faith, at least that is one thing few Christians of any branch tend to argue over. Faith is not something that is based upon a set of logical conclusions. It tends to trancend logic. Thomas is a decent example of someone who wanted proof, logical proof he could not argue against. Not that Christ did not supply such for Thomas. But in general faith is based upon things unseen. One either believes or one does not. Faith is taken as its own proof generally. Even though many of the faith have raised issues in support of such before. As such, you simply believe the way you do while the majority of us here think its basically illogical. No one goes to hell even by the Bible because they do not agree with some other person. That in itself is rather illogical. But according to the Gospel if you do not believe in God's son you are going to hell due to two opposite things: You're choice not to believe and the fact that you are not part of the elect of God. Its not works, its not agreeing with someone else. It all boils down to weither or not you believe? At least that supposed to be the Evangelical position on this.

 

But its the same God behind it all, the same source and originator both fundamentalism, evangelicalism, dispensationalism, Pentecostalism, Baptists, Methodists, etc all hold to in common. Its that God I not only do not believe in and personally see no evidence out of nature or anything else for the existance of. I do not accept that the Bible is the God given inspired word of God anymore than any other religious book ever done down through history. As such, if one throws out that bath water and decided to keep the idea of a personal creator what or who would one be talking about? Its Intelligent Creation by the act of some Creator that the ID camp holds to.

 

What or who do they propose was the Creator? Forget for a moment the rest of the arguments about biology and such. Cut to the chase.

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But in general faith is based upon things unseen. One either believes or one does not....As such, you simply believe the way you do while the majority of us here think its basically illogical......Its not works, its not agreeing with someone else. It all boils down to weither or not you believe? At least that supposed to be the Evangelical position on this.... Its that God I not only do not believe in and personally see no evidence out of nature or anything else for the existance of.

 

I do not accept that the Bible is the God given inspired word of God anymore than any other religious book ever done down through history. As such, if one throws out that bath water and decided to keep the idea of a personal creator what or who would one be talking about?

First of all, Paultrr, I feel like I should apologize (yet again) for being a little facetious above. You are offering some thoughtful comments, and I was making light of the weight of your proposition(s).

 

1) I do think that the only reference text for a personal creator is the Bible. There are a lot of other religions, and to my knowledge, none but the God of the Bible reflects a personal relationship with God. I do understand your discomfort with some of the incongruities in the Bible. I agree it is a complicated book. I, however, do not think it is reasonable for a Creator to be simple, or even explicable. I don't think it is reasonable for the Creator to be less complex than the creation. This is not to say that we should use an expectation of inexplicability as a excuse to avoid learning (via the scientific method or otherwise). I just think it is logically inconsistent to believe in a Creator and expect Him to be explicable. Some parts of the Creator will be understandable and some will not (just like His creation). I do think the existence of evil is one of those very complicated components.

 

2) I don't think that the arguments for ID require a personal God, just a designer. My earlier point was only that the preliminary statistics in support of ID seem plausible, and that it should not be dismissed out of hand. To my understanding, a personal Creator is not a mandatory part of the ID discussion. But it certainly is part of Christian dogma.

 

3) My experience among my several Christian friends is that some of them take the wrong set of items by faith. For example, the Biblical text does not presume that you take Christ's death and resurrection by faith. The apostle Paul took that as a fact (per 1 Cor 15). That is, he "accepted" it in the same sense that Freethinker has defined it in one of these threads (I forgot whitch one). No faith required. The faith issue relates to whether one elects to believe that Christ's death did something. In this case, the "something" was the atonement that you described quite elegantly earlier. Christ's resurrection scared people. That certainly was not a faith experience. It was being slapped in the face with what the contemporaries of the event regarded as a dramatic fact.

 

4) I appreciate your depth of knowledge in church history, and particularly Calvinism. I admit that I have never met any true 5 point (that is TULIP) Calvinists. I suspect part of the issue is that us homo sapiens live in a real world, and we tend to make assessments of reality based on that experience. Most folks believe that they make actual decisions based on free will because it really seems like we are doing it. That is, the predestination thesis offered by Calvin just des not seem to square with most folks experiential reality. Oddly, you could make an identical argument against naturalism. Specifically, if one were to believe (as some Darwininians do) that we are all the result of random interaction of particles, that means that we are not really making any decisions ourselves. Every feeling we feel, thought we think, and relationship we develop is driven by the inexhorable march of cause-and-effect. Morality would be meaningless, since we are just reacting to chance events. Most folks really don't feel like this is true. I think it is pretty difficult to base your thinking on a consistent view of naturalism. It sure doesn't give you much motivation to give your kids a hug when they go to sleep at night.

 

Thanks for the thoughtful comments.

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