Scientific Method vs. Creationist Method

June 22, 2008 at 11:31 pm 88 comments

Scientific Method / Creationist Method
by John Trever, Albuquerque Journal, 1998.

Entry filed under: ~Other. Tags: , , , , , , .

Why I Support Intelligent Design A treatise on re-conversion

88 Comments Add your own

  • 1. TheNerd  |  June 23, 2008 at 12:20 am

    I am finding this comic EVERYWHERE on teh internetz lately! In fact, I just posted it on my own blog 2 days ago. Coincidence? *Twilight Zone-style music plays*

    More likely, it’s just that people are starting to get sick of the lack of respect for science in our culture. I for one think that Creationists are on their last legs, and I couldn’t be happier.

  • 2. strawdog  |  June 23, 2008 at 5:24 am

    So true!

  • 3. HeIsSailing  |  June 23, 2008 at 6:39 am

    This comic may be everywhere lately, but this is the *only* one I have seen where the bottom is not cropped off – so John Trever can finally get the credit he deserves!!

    Thanks to whoever went through the effort to find this ‘official’ edition.

  • 4. Blog Jumper  |  June 23, 2008 at 9:10 am

    Also applies to man-made Global Warming, second-hand smoke, and a host of other things we are told to be afraid of.

  • 5. Frederick Polgardy  |  June 23, 2008 at 9:10 am

    The creationists on their last legs? Don’t bet on it! There’s lots of gas left in that engine. With all the hubbub over “militant atheism,” fundamentalists are finding all the more reason to take action and band together. Nothing unites like a common enemy.

    It’s a funny comic, but let’s be fair – scientists are plenty good at finding facts to support their own conclusions as well – and ignoring and hacking around ones that don’t. And a little of that pig-headedness is a good thing – so that scientific theories will stick around long enough to really have their implications worked out.

    But really, why should perfectly rational people who live by the scientific method need to have an almost religious commitment to theories like Darwinism or the Big Bang? Sure, at the moment they seem to be the best explanation available for the facts. But will they still in 100 years? 200? 1,000? Are we worried that keeping our options open will send a message to the fundamentalists that we’re just not sure, and give them more ammunition against us? Please. They enjoy the fight as much as we do.

    I’m concerned, obviously, for the sake of knowledge and science and humanity, when creationists can use “constitutional” rights to allow religion to pose as science in the classroom. But let’s win on the laurels of the scientific method itself – not on this or that theory, which might be debunked tomorrow if real evidence should present itself. All that will come of such a debunking is an even better rational view of the universe, which is a Good Thing for everyone.

    Peace,
    -Fred

  • 6. Frederick Polgardy  |  June 23, 2008 at 9:14 am

    P.S. I do realize that what I’m saying is exactly the attitude exemplified by the comic. I’m just referring to the atheists and d-C’s who have picked up current scientific theories as a replacement belief system. If this isn’t you, don’t take my comment as criticism, just as a spur for all of us to keep our standards higher. :-)

  • 7. jakecollier  |  June 23, 2008 at 9:28 am

    I, as a creationist, am sad to say that this comic does typify and has typified a vast majority of creationists in the world today and in years previous. It is really sad when creationists fail to be objective in matters of science, and believe only based on what they’ve been told.

    I am simply a creationist – a christian, to be more specific – because the evidences (whether empirical or not) I’ve seen in science have never once become too big for me to conclude I must push out the “I.D. Theory”, which I’ve always found to be the most intellectually satisfying, least superfluous “Theory of Everything” available.

    Others will disagree, and they always will… but we all are entitled to our beliefs and opinions. Mine simply points to morality – whether you believe it’s objective or subjective – as having a deeper purpose than preservation of a species. I believe there is a deeper reason to be alive than to merely survive. I believe something besides pure survival is governing “natural selection”.

    Just because I believe it doesn’t make it right. I just thought I’d share.

  • 8. jakecollier  |  June 23, 2008 at 9:31 am

    btw, your comment was incredible, Fred. very fair. loved it. anyone with an even keel makes me happier to be part of the human race. kudos.

  • 9. vitaminbook  |  June 23, 2008 at 9:32 am

    Wait, Creationists have a ‘method’? This changes everything!

  • 10. Cthulhu  |  June 23, 2008 at 9:39 am

    Fred,

    I do not think many atheists have picked up theories as a belief system – as you state obliquely – science is a verb, not a noun. I put my trust in the scientific method as the best way to understand the universe and our place in it , however, I do like to keep abreast of the current theories in the areas of science I am most interested in, i.e. cosmology and theoretical physics :-)

    jakecollier

    I am simply a creationist – a christian, to be more specific – because the evidences (whether empirical or not) I’ve seen in science have never once become too big for me to conclude I must push out the “I.D. Theory”, which I’ve always found to be the most intellectually satisfying, least superfluous “Theory of Everything” available.

    I have no problem with you believing whatever you want – just don’t try and pass off ID as science – it is not even close to being science. In real science, all hypotheses MUST be falsifiable, no exception. As soon as you appeal to the supernatural, it is no longer science. And don’t try and teach my kids that garbage in the science classroom – I would prefer that they learn how to think critically and rationally.

  • 11. Frederick Polgardy  |  June 23, 2008 at 9:45 am

    I put my trust in the scientific method as the best way to understand the universe and our place in it, however, I do like to keep abreast of the current theories in the areas of science I am most interested in, i.e. cosmology and theoretical physics :-)

    Of course! (I’m partial to cognitive neuroscience, myself, though I’m more a philosopher than a scientist.)

  • 12. Cthulhu  |  June 23, 2008 at 9:49 am

    Fred,

    You need to help out Sam Harris then – he is setting up a new fMRI study and has a series of 4 surveys on his web site. If you can find time – take the surveys and help him out!

    http://www.samharris.org

  • 13. jakecollier  |  June 23, 2008 at 10:24 am

    Cthulhu-

    Whoa, whoa. Easy, fella. I’ve passed I.D. off as a possibilty, not as “science”. Indeed, a belief in God does completely defy any relationship to science, so I completely agree with you. But I will say, my belief in God is only strengthened by anthropic principle. Are you familiar?

    I’m not saying anthropic principle should convince YOU to believe in God, but it does leave a lot more room for believing such a doctrine is at least reasonable.

    And for the record, I don’t think it would be fair for a teacher to stuff creationism down your kids’ throats, either… just as it wouldn’t be fair for a science teacher to tell the entire room, “there is no God.” Everyone deserves a chance to make a decision on their own, reviewing the data and making a choice with an untainted perspective.

    If I may take the liberty to say this (forgive me if I’m overstepping a boundary) – at least a belief in God puts an end to the rabbit hole. I have no fear of science. It can go as deep as it wants, and I’ll wait with zealous anticipation for every new finding. This rabbit hole is deep, indeed. I just believe God will be sitting on His throne at the end of it. Again, this doesn’t mean it’s right – the fact that I believe it. It’s just my perspective.

    Take Care! Thanks for your interest! These conversations are always exciting.

    Grace and Peace. -jake

  • 14. jakecollier  |  June 23, 2008 at 10:27 am

    To be fair, I put “I.D. Theory” in quotes like that because I realize it can’t be called a theory, but I can see how you would think I was trying to call it “scientific.”

    No blood, no foul, right?

  • 15. Cthulhu  |  June 23, 2008 at 10:46 am

    Jakecollier,

    Heh – Guess I have to let ya’ slide on that one ;-)

  • 16. Cthulhu  |  June 23, 2008 at 10:48 am

    jakecollier,

    As far as the ‘rabbit hole’ – if God is the creator of everything, what created God? This idea leads to what is called an infinite regress.

    Cheers…

  • 17. jakecollier  |  June 23, 2008 at 11:12 am

    This is where the debate always ends up, and God begins to defy “the law of noncontradiction” as defined by human science/logic. By His own words in the scriptures, He has no beginning and no end. He says of himself, “I am”, meaning he is ever present, existing outside the concept of time… entirely beyond it, yet capable of and glad to work within it.

    Many would say that if God is not logical, He is not possible. But I would argue that is God is real, He MUST NOT BE LOGICAL, at least on any other terms than His own. I can not understand God any more than the pancake I made for breakfast this morning understands me… :)

    But again, these are all conclusions drawn from a belief for which I can’t give you empirical proof. There’s an entire line of historical forefathers who pointed their fingers to this God, claiming He interacted with them. I claim He has interacted with me, but I can’t give you the data to prove it. These fathers wrote down “truths” about God that I’ve found to be intense and profound, and their history extends backward to just as early as science (in terms of the human pursuit of knowledge). I believe the two – science and religion – are hopelessly bound to skip off hand in hand into the sunset. God has been at work in both, and both have had their flaws.

    In Flatland, what I call “God” appears as events that can be defined by human logic. When the “3 dimensional enters the 2 dimensional”, He looks like lines and dots… but I believe in reality, He transcends our dimensions, existing outside… yet wonderfully involved inside as He so pleases.

    Again, nothing more than beliefs. I see how this belief extends beyond anything we’ll ever find in science, and this is what makes it appeal to me so.

    Here’s a fun question: people are always asking, “and where did that come from?” So let me add one to the mix…

    Where did subatomic particles come from? Light and energy? Well, where did they come from?

  • 18. orDover  |  June 23, 2008 at 11:20 am

    I’m annoyed when people say that atheists/scientists believe in concepts like the Big Bang and Evolution dogmatically. I am someone who would defend those concepts with my last dying breath, but that is because all current evidence weighs heavily in their favor. Evidence of the Big Bang is seen in cosmic microwave background radiation, to red shift, to the fact that the universe is expanding. There isn’t the same kind of compelling evidence for other cosmological theories (i.e. steady state). So I’m putting all of my chips on the Big Bang. But you know what, if new extremely compelling evidence comes out in support of another theory, I would give that theory consideration. And if more and more evidence mounted in favor of that other theory, I would switch my bet. The same goes for Evolution. There is so much evidence for it that it is well worth vehemently defending, but that doesn’t mean I wouldn’t change my mind in the face of overwhelming evidence.

    I’m sure the “militant Atheists” like Richard Dawkins would say the same exact thing.

  • 19. Cthulhu  |  June 23, 2008 at 11:24 am

    jakecollier,

    I believe the two – science and religion – are hopelessly bound to skip off hand in hand into the sunset. God has been at work in both, and both have had their flaws.

    I must disagree with you here. Faith requires one to accept certain things without empirical evidence – an impossible position in science. Science and religion are diametrically opposed – and can never reconcile in my opinion. I will also ask this of you…

    Science has proven religion incorrect…but religion has never dis-proven science.

    Do you know of an example where faith or religion has proven science wrong?

    Where did subatomic particles come from? Light and energy? Well, where did they come from?

    The law of conservation of mass and energy state the mass/energy can neither be created or destroyed. All the matter/energy we see in the universe came from the energy of the Big Bang. As to what caused the BB or created the initial singularity (or Planck sized nugget), that is unknown by science at this time and MAY be beyond it’s scope.

  • 20. Cthulhu  |  June 23, 2008 at 11:27 am

    orDover,

    I agree with you completely…and here is a humorous way to look at science that explains a lot.

    If you don’t make mistakes, you are doing it wrong.

    If you don’t correct those mistakes, you a REALLY doing it wrong

    If you can’t accept that you are mistaken, you are not doing it at all.
    :-)

  • 21. The de-Convert  |  June 23, 2008 at 11:44 am

    ….that is unknown by science at this time and MAY be beyond it’s scope.

    … and does not mean that we should try to fill the unknowns with religion or “god.” The New Testament portrayed mental illness as demonic possession because they lacked understanding at the time. Now there are very few people who would view an epileptic seizer as the “work of demons.” Religion provides temporary explanations for the unknown but as knowledge increases, this gap will decrease.

  • 22. Cthulhu  |  June 23, 2008 at 11:48 am

    The de-Convert,

    I agree – no ‘God of the Gaps’ for me either. And it doesn’t mean we shouldn’t try to learn – the unknown is the greatest driver of scientific progress.

  • 23. SnugglyBuffalo  |  June 23, 2008 at 11:49 am

    I find the anthropic principle to be pretty poor reasoning for much of anything. There’s a particular paraphrase of it I like: “Things are the way they are, because otherwise they’d be different.”

  • 24. jakecollier  |  June 23, 2008 at 12:00 pm

    Cthulhu-

    First of all, did you ever have a xanga account? You sound lot like a guy I used to dialogue with on xanga… his user name was guyfawkes. Is that you? Btw, I replied to your last comment on the “God Didn’t Make Matter” post.

    “I must disagree with you here. Faith requires one to accept certain things without empirical evidence – an impossible position in science. Science and religion are diametrically opposed – and can never reconcile in my opinion. I will also ask this of you…
    Science has proven religion incorrect…but religion has never dis-proven science.”

    Religion is man made. It is a set of physical rituals created to attach the material to the immaterial. And so, science will prove things “wrong” about religion. Just out of curiosity, are you saying science has proven God wrong or the people representing Him? Because I’ll tell you this – SCIENCE HAS PROVEN SCIENCE WRONG. That is the nature of it, and will continue to be.

    I believe God holds all truth together, so I don’t believe His existence would make it necessary to “prove” anything or anyone wrong. We are just discovering more truth that He has laid out from the foundations of existence. He doesn’t have to prove anything to anyone, so I don’t really need to defend him. I’m just telling you why I believe what I believe. Even you must admit that if God is real, he needs no one to stand for Him.

    “The law of conservation of mass and energy state the mass/energy can neither be created or destroyed. All the matter/energy we see in the universe came from the energy of the Big Bang. As to what caused the BB or created the initial singularity (or Planck sized nugget), that is unknown by science at this time and MAY be beyond it’s scope.”

    A wonderful point. Did you know God refers to himself as “light” in the scriptures? The apostle Paul says Jesus “is the beginning”, and then a few verses later says, “I struggle with all his ENERGY that he powerfully works within me”. Just neat little verses I’ve found to be very fascinating. The idea that “it” can be neither created or destroyed, therefore, doesn’t surprise me at all. He has no beginning and no end, and His existence implies He’ll always be beyond the scope of science.

    -j

  • 25. Cthulhu  |  June 23, 2008 at 12:35 pm

    SnugglyBuffalo,

    I find the anthropic principle to be pretty poor reasoning for much of anything. There’s a particular paraphrase of it I like: “Things are the way they are, because otherwise they’d be different.”

    Funny! But seriously, I subscibe to the ‘weak’ Anthropic Principle – and I agree that it has no explanatory power.

  • 26. Cthulhu  |  June 23, 2008 at 12:39 pm

    jakecollier,

    First of all, did you ever have a xanga account? You sound lot like a guy I used to dialogue with on xanga… his user name was guyfawkes. Is that you?

    Nope – not me ;-) I have never had a Xanga account.

    Religion is man made.

    I agree! But I take it one step further – God is man made also.

  • 27. Donny Pauling  |  June 23, 2008 at 1:16 pm

    I’m seeing a basic error being committed by many commenters here: separating God and science. The two are NOT mutually exclusive. Science is making breakthroughs in understanding HOW God created.

    Evolution or Creation? It’s not an either/or question. Look up the concept of theistic evolution. Evolution that is guided by intelligence does not even conflict the Bible’s account in Genesis 1. The original words used in that chapter for “days” actually translate to “indefinite ages of time”, which could mean billions of years.

    Genesis in basics:
    First there is a “big bang” where nothing exists and the God speaks it into existence.

    Then planets and stars are formed.

    On earth, water and land are separated.

    Lower forms of life are formed.

    More advanced life is formed.

    Plants and animals are formed.

    Man is created.

    Sounds the same as the theory of evolution to me! Instead of arguing either/or, why not come to the realization that we’re all arguing the same process, just some of us believe it was intelligently guided while others believe it happened by chance.

  • 28. TheNerd  |  June 23, 2008 at 1:25 pm

    The creationists on their last legs? Don’t bet on it! There’s lots of gas left in that engine.

    I realize my belief in future events doesn’t make it so, but a girl can dream, can’t she? :)

    And for the record, I don’t think it would be fair for a teacher to stuff creationism down your kids’ throats, either… just as it wouldn’t be fair for a science teacher to tell the entire room, “there is no God.”

    This is why all high schools should have a mandatory philosophy course as well as mandatory science, where different world views can be presented on level ground. Maybe then philosophy wouldn’t be trying to edge its way into the science coursework.

    There is so much evidence for it that it is well worth vehemently defending, but that doesn’t mean I wouldn’t change my mind in the face of overwhelming evidence.

    This is the one thing I wish all people understood about lovers of science. It’s not a religion. It may be a passion, an appreciation, a passtime, or a casual interest, but it’s not a dogma, and it has nothing to do with faith.

  • 29. jakecollier  |  June 23, 2008 at 1:52 pm

    “God is man made also.”

    Not if He’s real. ;)

  • 30. HeIsSailing  |  June 23, 2008 at 1:54 pm

    Donny Pauling says:

    The original words used in that chapter for “days” actually translate to “indefinite ages of time”, which could mean billions of years.

    Not necessarily. yom is used for day or indetreminiate periods of time. It is taken by context. I don’t think there is any way to know the context or the author’s intent here.

    Genesis in basics:…

    Donny Pauling, you left out a few key steps. Get your order right.

    1) Heaven and Earth created. This may or may not be ex nihilo. (v1)

    2) Light created. (v3)

    3) An expanse is made to seperate the water from water. This expanse is called Heaven or The Sky (v6)

    4) The water under The Sky is gathered to one place so that dry lands appear. Nothing is mentioned about the water above The Sky. (v9,10)

    5) Vegetation (v11)

    6) Sun, moon, stars (v14-18)

    7) Swimming/water creatures. Flying creatures. (v20-22)

    8) Livestock and other land creatures (v24-25)

    9) Mankind created (v26,27)

    I cannot reconcile this order with any freshman astronomy, geology other relevant textbook. Sorry.

  • 31. Ubi Dubium  |  June 23, 2008 at 1:58 pm

    jakecollier-

    Because I’ll tell you this – SCIENCE HAS PROVEN SCIENCE WRONG. That is the nature of it, and will continue to be.

    “You keep using that word. I don’t think it means what you think it means” – Inigo Montoya.

    Jake – it looks like you are using the word “science” to mean two different things here. Your first usage would seem to mean the scientific method – the process by which we figure out how things work. That is the meaning I use when I say “science”.

    Your second use of the word would seem to imply the meaning of “explanations” or “theories”. Of course science sometimes proves those wrong. That’s what it’s there for. We start out with an attempt at an explanation for something, observe and analyze, refine our explanation, observe and analyze more, refine our explanation more, make predictions based on our explanation, and test to see if they work. Sometimes, our tests show that we were way off the mark, and the whole explanation needs to be scrapped replaced by a better one. If science never did that, your doctor would still be trying to rebalance your bodily humours with purging and leeches. Once we have a set of explanations that stands up under repeated tests, we then call it a “theory”. But that does not mean we stop testing it.

    Often, though, instead of proving a theory wrong, the scientific method reveals that it is incomplete. Newton’s mathematics regarding gravity worked beautifully until we started working in the fields of extraordinarily huge masses and energies (relativity) and the extraordinarily tiny (quantum physics). We haven’t dumped Newton’s original theory, we’ve modified it.

    Darwin’s theory that evolution is caused by the forces of natural selection has also been further modified by our knowledge of DNA as the actual mechanism of inheritance, and also by the idea of “punctuated equilbrium” as an explanation of the long periods of stability we have found in the fossil record.

    So to your statement that “SCIENCE (the method) HAS PROVEN SCIENCE (some theories) WRONG” – I respectfully resond thus: Duh.

    Did you know God refers to himself as “light” in the scriptures?

    Careful, Jake. The people who wrote the bible said god said that. You are talking to a bunch of people who do not accept that god even exists, let alone accepting that god writes books. So a scriptural quote as to what god “said” won’t impress us. Use some other example. Thanks.

  • 32. Cthulhu  |  June 23, 2008 at 1:58 pm

    TheNerd,

    This is why all high schools should have a mandatory philosophy course as well as mandatory science, where different world views can be presented on level ground. Maybe then philosophy wouldn’t be trying to edge its way into the science coursework.

    That is a great idea…so much so that I despair of our public school system ever doing it ;-)

  • 33. jakecollier  |  June 23, 2008 at 2:12 pm

    Ubi Dubium-

    Point taken. Freudian slips happen all the time, am I right? Jesus said, “I do nothing of my own initiative”, going on to say he followed the initiative of the Father. I project this onto the authors of scripture, but the statement I made holds no water for an atheist. Agreed.

    To all who read: The Authors of the Bible often refer to God AS LIGHT.

    Ah, I’ve righted a potential wrong. Thank you.

    Also, “Duh!”… that’s the word that went through my head when I wrote that science has proven science wrong. I was only pointing out how irrelevant I thought the point I retorted actually was… that science had proven religion wrong. Again, Duh.

    Grace and Peace. -jake

  • 34. Frederick Polgardy  |  June 23, 2008 at 2:35 pm

    This is why all high schools should have a mandatory philosophy course as well as mandatory science, where different world views can be presented on level ground. Maybe then philosophy wouldn’t be trying to edge its way into the science coursework.

    I couldn’t agree more. I think there are important parts of the discussion that fall outside the domain of science proper, but are still worthy of rational treatment. Even Sam Harris in his conclusion to The End of Faith acknowledged that the fact of existence, and especially conscious existence, does have a certain mysterious quality to it – while being adamant that this in no way amounts to any kind of argument from design, or God of the Gaps theory.

  • 35. airtightnoodle  |  June 23, 2008 at 3:04 pm

    Cute cartoon.

  • 36. orDover  |  June 23, 2008 at 3:43 pm

    “Science is making breakthroughs in understanding HOW God created.”

    Of all of the arguments in all of the world, in all of the history of debate, this is my absolute most unfavorite.

    The statement cant only be true if you accepted based on faith or lack of information (argument from ignorance logical fallacy) that god is real FIRST (just like the cartoon illustrates). If you don’t accept that god is real, then you are making a giant assumption based on practically nothing, and that is something that the scientific process does not allow, thus the second part negates the first.

    That argument is only compelling to those who already believe in god. It isn’t going to convince anyone who is actually scientifically minded. So just…please, never say it again. For me. For my sanity.

  • 37. orDover  |  June 23, 2008 at 3:44 pm

    Typo. Cant = can. Sorry.

  • 38. Tim Weaver  |  June 23, 2008 at 3:44 pm

    A lot of people are going to feel very silly the day that science proves the creationist theory is true.

  • 39. drew3000  |  June 23, 2008 at 3:58 pm

    “It’s a funny comic, but let’s be fair – scientists are plenty good at finding facts to support their own conclusions as well…”

    When and where does this happen exactly? Instead of being “fair,” let’s just be accurate. There are not two equal opposing sides to every argument. Scientific method requires conclusions to be drawn from evidence. If people are not doing this, then they are not in fact doing science.

  • 40. Quester  |  June 23, 2008 at 4:07 pm

    The Nerd:

    This is why all high schools should have a mandatory philosophy course as well as mandatory science, where different world views can be presented on level ground.

    What I’d like to see taught in high school is a mandatory course in basic logic and statistics.

    Jake Collier:

    I’m just telling you why I believe what I believe.

    If I’ve been reading you right, why you believe what you believe is because you have experienced things you have interpreted as interactions with God, and nothing you have heard or learned about the universe and how it may work has forced you to choose between your faith and your reason. You may have had to change some of the things you believe about God in light of new knowledge, but you have not had to give up your beliefs. Is that a fair summary?

    Donny Pauling:

    Instead of arguing either/or, why not come to the realization that we’re all arguing the same process, just some of us believe it was intelligently guided while others believe it happened by chance.

    I used to argue the same thing, but evolution is a very inefficient and wasteful way of creating anything, and if an intelligent being guided creation through all those mass extinctions, that being may be intelligent, but I would strongly hesitate to use “compassionate” or “loving” to describe it.

  • 41. Donny Pauling  |  June 23, 2008 at 4:35 pm

    I’m sure you’ve heard the example of monkeys typing out works of Shakespeare if given enough time. The problem is that there would be trillions of useless pages of random gibberish produced. The random gibberish (mistakes) would infinitely outnumber the finished product.

    Without guided evolution, the same random gibberish (mistakes) would be found in the fossil record. We’re not talking extinctions of handfuls, hundreds, even thousands of species… we’re talking TRILLIONS. Where are the records of those “mistakes” ?

    Again, take a look at theistic evolution. It unites “science” and “creation”. Here’s an interesting essay on the topic:

    http://www.theistic-evolution.com/theisticevolution.html

  • 42. Joe Sperling  |  June 23, 2008 at 4:43 pm

    Drew—

    “It’s a funny comic, but let’s be fair – scientists are plenty good at finding facts to support their own conclusions as well…”

    I have to agree. A few years back some scientists began speaking about the possibility of a kind of “sponaneous evolution” which could help explain the gaps in the evolutionary chain of events, and the missing fossils which should be there if a creature truly evolved. I’m not sure if anyone still holds to that explanation, but I remember thinking “sponatneous evolution?” Why not just use the word “creation”? It would explain how things are “evolving spontaneously”—but I guess scientists would have a hard time saying anything may have “spontaneously evolved” because a Creator is the one doing it. If I am mistaken with the facts forgive me—-I remember this, an also another scientist saying that life may have come about in “clay”—and I laughed and thought of Adam and where he originated. Probably wacky examples. Scientific discoveries seem to confirm more to me the existence of a Creator (not just these wacky examples)—the discoveries of the Hubble Telescope have confirmed to me beyond a doubt that there is a God.

  • 43. Joe Sperling  |  June 23, 2008 at 4:45 pm

    Not very good at spelling “spontaneous”. :>)

  • 44. Joe Sperling  |  June 23, 2008 at 4:55 pm

    The term I am looking for may also be “Rapid Evolution”—I saw an article about lizards where they said they evolve in as little as 10 years. Google it.

  • 45. Joe Sperling  |  June 23, 2008 at 4:56 pm

    sorry about that—here it is:

    http://www.dinosauria.com/jdp/evol/lizard.html

  • 46. Joe Sperling  |  June 23, 2008 at 4:59 pm

    After I read the above article I remembered when I moved into a apartment with a fluffy couch and a stocked refrigerator. I was once thin and active, but after approximately 10 years I was fat and lazy. My body’s evolution was quick and almost painless. :>)

  • 47. andrealudwig  |  June 23, 2008 at 4:59 pm

    I am familiar with the theory of evolution. I got an A in anthropology in college. But none of that is true. Did you know that the best evidence for evolution is a pig’s tooth?

    True science and logical investigation always supports the Bible, which is infallible, undeniable, unfaltering Truth!

  • 48. Ubi Dubium  |  June 23, 2008 at 5:03 pm

    Donny-

    Without guided evolution, the same random gibberish (mistakes) would be found in the fossil record. We’re not talking extinctions of handfuls, hundreds, even thousands of species… we’re talking TRILLIONS. Where are the records of those “mistakes” ?

    The records are in the DNA. The random gibberish is there. We would not expect to see it in the fossil record. No individual creature that had “gibberish” expressed traits would be expected to leave numerous offspring, which is what would be needed for it to appear in the fossil record. Every so often we see one of those gibberish things showing up in a negative way in an individual – two faces, extra legs, etc. Those individuals don’t reproduce. Most of the gibberish is neutral – it neither hurts nor helps the individual, and is passed down through the generations. On rare occasions a bit of gibberish turns out to be positive – resistance to a new virus, perhaps. That stays, and spreads. There is gibberish DNA – but there are no “gibberish species”. Fossilization is a rare event. The odds of any particular individual becoming a fossil are incredibly small. The only species you would see in the fossil record are those that successfully survived and reproduced in larger enough numbers that a few were fossilized.

    Evolution is not random, It works on a very easy to understand principal: “Nothing succeeds like success”. This does not rule out the possiblity of a god, but neither does it require one.

  • 49. orDover  |  June 23, 2008 at 5:19 pm

    Tim Weaver wrote, “A lot of people are going to feel very silly the day that science proves the creationist theory is true.”

    No. This will never happen. Science will never be able to prove creationism. Creationism requires a supernatural being, and science will NEVER point to a supernatural anything, because supernatural is in its definition beyond the reach of science. The literal definition of supernatural is “of a manifestation or even attributed to some force beyond scientific understanding or the laws of nature.” Science can only comment on the physical, observable world. It has nothing to say of mystical men in the sky, and it never will.

  • 50. Joe Sperling  |  June 23, 2008 at 5:47 pm

    orDover—

    I have a set of Time-Life Books about the Universe. In one of the books called “Galaxies” I was surprised to no end when they stated that a large number of scientists concurred that “a huge wall of galaxies found deep in space by Hubble could not have come about by chance–it showed definite evidence of design”. I will try to find the artilce—–it came short of saying “there is a God”—but it did “point” to something other than a chance occurence.

    I think you are stretching it when you say that “science will NEVER point to a supernatural anything”—It seems obvious if all of the facts finally did lead to an undeniable “designer” of the Universe, science would have to admit that one existed—and then they would begin to find out who, what and where this “designer” was. Perhaps a Creator has placed us exactly where he has placed us in the Milky Way galaxy so we have a great view of the Universe, and will search for him—–and finally have to admit he is there. Who knows? It is wrong to put a “NEVER” on anything we do not fully understand.

  • 51. Cthulhu  |  June 23, 2008 at 5:54 pm

    andreaLudwig,

    I am familiar with the theory of evolution. I got an A in anthropology in college. But none of that is true. Did you know that the best evidence for evolution is a pig’s tooth?

    I am glad you mad a good grade in anthropology – but that is hardly qualification to comment on evolution, as anthropology is a social science. And just why do you think that evolution’s only proof is a pig’s tooth? There is evidence from biology, genetics, paleontology, embryology and many other scientific disciplines. Your comment is a non-sequiter.

    Joe Sperling – good to see you again ;-)

    I think you are describing ‘punctuated equilibrium’ – the theory of rapid evolution put forth by the late Stephen Jay Gould. A small current example of this can be found in the work of evolutionary biologist Richard Lenski of Michigan State University. I won’t go into detail, but a nice summary of his experiment is here…

    http://www.newscientist.com/channel/life/dn14094-bacteria-make-major-evolutionary-shift-in-the-lab.html

  • 52. Cthulhu  |  June 23, 2008 at 5:57 pm

    Joe,

    I think you are stretching it when you say that “science will NEVER point to a supernatural anything”—It seems obvious if all of the facts finally did lead to an undeniable “designer” of the Universe, science would have to admit that one existed—and then they would begin to find out who, what and where this “designer” was.

    You mis-understand the nature of science and what orDover is saying here – science by it’s very nature cannot prove anything that is not testable. Are you saying that God is testable by empirical means?

  • 53. Joe Sperling  |  June 23, 2008 at 6:05 pm

    Cthulhu–

    In a sense I am. Scientists and astronomers use science to calculate that a planet MUST exist in a solar system due to gravitational pull, etc.—though they haven’t SEEN it, they come to the conclusion it MUST be there. Scientists knew black holes existed before any actual physical evidence “proved” it. The same has happened with atomics also—-scientists KNEW an electron MUST exist, way before they actually saw any proof of it.

    The same could happen with a Creator. With more and more “evidence” accumulating, the scientists may be forced to admit there is something THERE, though they are unsure of what it is—-a designer of some sort. Once they admit that designer is there, then they would begin to work towards finding out exactly what it, he, them, etc. are. To me that would make sense—-unless one is so sure there is no God, that they would not allow for it by any means.

  • 54. Hunter  |  June 23, 2008 at 8:45 pm

    “Everything is theory.”
    Science is deaf to the voice of knowledge.
    Religion is blind what it wants to be blind to.

    In other words – science is too materialistic.
    And religion doesn’t always agree with logic.

    Ken Wilber’s “4 quadrant” method is all inclusive, it seems.
    I support his paradigms of this reality in it’s totality.

  • 55. Blog Jumper  |  June 23, 2008 at 8:50 pm

    Joe, I might be mistaken, but I remember reading about a certain view held by some communities in the Christian and Jewish faiths concerning our ability to ever “prove” the existence of God. Put simply, humans have “free will”. Humanity is not spiritually forced to believe in anything. It is that way by design, and it must be up to the individual to ultimately decide on their own what they choose to believe in.
    This is different from “signs”, “prophecies”, “miracles”, and other supernatural occurrences because with these things, doubt still exists. If God were able to be “proven”, with absolutely no chance for doubt, it would eliminate the need for faith and it would remove “free will” over what we choose believe in. For that reason, it is said that God will never allow life in the physical universe the ability to discover something that proves beyond all doubt that he exists.

  • 56. TheNerd  |  June 23, 2008 at 8:50 pm

    I am familiar with the theory of evolution. I got an A in anthropology in college. But none of that is true.

    The same is true for my husband, but he doesn’t think evolution isn’t true. In fact, he questions the caliber of your education.

    I suggest you take a biology class, and then we’ll welcome the conversation.

  • 57. Hunter  |  June 23, 2008 at 8:58 pm

    Cthulhu;

    It is common among Theists to believe that “God is not
    bound by space-time. He/she/it is not just within the universe.
    ‘God’ is infinite, and our universe is finite. God always was,
    and always will be.” Thus, it would be hard for a finite brain to comprehend infinity. Although, there is a symbol for it in calculus.

  • 58. Hunter  |  June 23, 2008 at 9:01 pm

    God CAN NOT be disproved 100%.
    NOR CAN he be proved 100%.

    VERY intriguing…

  • 59. justmean  |  June 23, 2008 at 9:52 pm

    I think God is just a creation of the beliefs of humankind, but i also think he is real. What makes God real is the belief in him; without believers, God would seize to exist. This concept that believing makes it real can also apply to such created idols as Santa Claus. Many children believe in his existence, and this belief makes him real to them.

    Now do not kill me for comparing God to Santa Claus.

  • 60. Ubi Dubium  |  June 23, 2008 at 10:26 pm

    justmean -

    Now do not kill me for comparing God to Santa Claus.

    Oh – that’s a comparison I use all the time. I used to believe in both; I outgrew one, and then the other.

  • 61. Cthulhu  |  June 23, 2008 at 11:15 pm

    Hunter,

    “Everything is theory.”

    Like gravity – do you believe in that? I am not trying to be funny – but it gets old hearing the ‘it’s just a theory ‘ thing over and over again. They still call it the ‘Germ Theory of Disease’, but I would wager that you take antibiotics when you get a bacterial infection (apologies if you are a Christian Scientist – then you probably would not).

    It is common among Theists to believe that “God is not
    bound by space-time. He/she/it is not just within the universe.
    ‘God’ is infinite, and our universe is finite. God always was,
    and always will be.” Thus, it would be hard for a finite brain to comprehend infinity. Although, there is a symbol for it in calculus.

    Just a thought here – in theoretical physics equations that result in infinity as a solution are a good indicator that the theory is not quite right. One of the classic problems in physics is that general relativity and quantum mechanics are imcompatible – with all attempts to merge them in the standard model resulting in infinities (string and M theory avoid this and may be the TOE). As for God being the uncaused First Cause (ye old ex nihilo, nihil fit argument) – that explains nothing. Special pleading ( a type of logical fallacy) has no power to explain anything. And if God is the architect of life on Earth, he sure made the universe a hostile place for us to live in – and he is a pretty sorry designer(I fail to see why an intelligent designer would give a whale vestigal legs).

  • 62. Cthulhu  |  June 23, 2008 at 11:18 pm

    Hinter,

    God CAN NOT be disproved 100%.
    NOR CAN he be proved 100%.

    VERY intriguing…

    Nor can I prove or disprove that a tennis ball is in orbit around Neptune – but it is highly improbable :-)

  • 63. Cthulhu  |  June 23, 2008 at 11:25 pm

    Joe,

    In a sense I am. Scientists and astronomers use science to calculate that a planet MUST exist in a solar system due to gravitational pull, etc.—though they haven’t SEEN it, they come to the conclusion it MUST be there. Scientists knew black holes existed before any actual physical evidence “proved” it. The same has happened with atomics also—-scientists KNEW an electron MUST exist, way before they actually saw any proof of it.

    Everything you mention here is the result of hypotheses made to account for observable phenomenon. We can observe the gravitational wobble (or spectra change) in a star with orbiting planets – and calculate the need for an electron to explain atomic structure from properties of electro-magnetic phenomenon. God gives no such opportunities to observe his effect on our universe.

  • 64. orDover  |  June 24, 2008 at 12:25 am

    I just came back to say pretty much exactly what Cthulhu has said above in response. :p

    I’ll second everything Cthulhu said and a few comments of my own.

    Joe Sperling wrote:
    I have a set of Time-Life Books about the Universe. In one of the books called “Galaxies” I was surprised to no end when they stated that a large number of scientists concurred that “a huge wall of galaxies found deep in space by Hubble could not have come about by chance–it showed definite evidence of design”. I will try to find the artilce—–it came short of saying “there is a God”—but it did “point” to something other than a chance occurence.

    Just because something looks designed does not mean that it is. If science accepted that the appearance of design meant there was a god, than biology would have come to screeching halt back in the 18th century with the Watchmaker Argument. Before and after Darwin it was heavily used. If naturalists of the time would have just accepted that life was designed because life looks designed, then we wouldn’t have found out the actual truth. They wouldn’t have gone in search of answers in the soil, they wouldn’t have explored the fields of paleontology and geology. As an aside, Richard Dawkins begins his book The Blind Watchmaker by asserting that nature has the appearance of design because it is designed, but designed by the laws of natural selection (i.e. traits are selected for based on outside influences), not by a creator-god.

    I think you are stretching it when you say that “science will NEVER point to a supernatural anything”—It seems obvious if all of the facts finally did lead to an undeniable “designer” of the Universe, science would have to admit that one existed—and then they would begin to find out who, what and where this “designer” was. Perhaps a Creator has placed us exactly where he has placed us in the Milky Way galaxy so we have a great view of the Universe, and will search for him—–and finally have to admit he is there. Who knows? It is wrong to put a “NEVER” on anything we do not fully understand.

    How can science discover something that is un-scientific, that is outside of its scope? It can’t. It just doesn’t work that way. I don’t think that anything short of a big trademark stamp on Venus that says “MADE BY GOD” would constitute compelling empirical evidence. All there is to point to a creator at this point is lack of evidence, but lack of evidence isn’t evidence FOR something. You’re basically making a glorified god of the gaps argument. Scientists can look at something and say, “Wow, that really looks designed,” but that observation will never (yeah, I said NEVER) be enough for science to say it has proven there is a god. Even if you find an watch in a field, that isn’t proof of a watchmaker. It’s just proof of a watch.

  • 65. Long Do  |  June 24, 2008 at 2:17 am

    I am a Christian and I just get caught up to this tract. To be honest, this tract is totally misleading.
    First of all, in the evolutionist side, there is a false claim : “Here are the facts”. Well, can you be more specifically about those “facts”? In reality, those so called “facts” are nothing but human observations which lead to mere hypothesis. There is a great distance between observations and scientific facts. For example: I can look at a dog and a bear then claim that the dog evolve from the bear (or vice versa) but that does not make my claim a “fact”. Likewise, the whole idea of the evolution theory is based upon unproven observations about similarities in body structures of humans and apes. Even honest evolutionists claim that there is still a “missing link” between human beings and apes. I confidently believe that such “missing link” will never be founded because you cannot find something that does not exist at all. Humans have not only bodies but also souls and spirits.
    Secondly, in the creationist side, there is a question: “What facts we can find to support it?” well, I don’t know much about other creationist, but I believe in the creation of God and the clearest fact that I can use to support creationism is the superiority of human beings over all kinds of animals including apes in this universe. There is always a remarkable difference between humans and animals and that difference is the way we govern our lives. Unlike animals, humans don’t live by instincts but by desires and logic. For example, a man tries to work hard so that he can earn 10$/hour but when he gets there, he won’t stop but work harder to reach 15$/hour. In sharp contrast, a cougar needs (supposedly) 5 Kg of meat/day and as long as it has that amount of meat for a day, it won’t care about anything else (i.e. how to protect the sources of meat, how to increase the amount of meat….).
    Finally, the evolution theory is a mere hypothesis and cannot be used to explain the origin of human race at all. Evolutionists claim that the origin of life existed in this universe billions of years ago and that mankind was completely evolved hundreds of thousands of years ago. Well, what about the written history of human beings? The earliest written historical records of human beings go as far as six thousands years ago. Guess what, we need only six thousands years to move from writing on stones to building cars, making computers, Hi-def TV, video game consoles, nuclear bombs, airplanes, micro-chips…etc but we need hundreds of thousands of years to move from writing nothing to writing some things on stones????? The evolution theory is outrightly illogical. Also, what about the current existence of many kinds apes nowadays? Yes, they survive and still exist but they do not evolve into different kinds of animals.

  • 66. HeIsSailing  |  June 24, 2008 at 6:48 am

    Long Do, I would love to interact with each point that you made, but in all honesty, you have absolutely no idea what you are talking about. I don’t mean that as an ad hominem attack – I mean that with sincerity. You need to educate yourself.

    Can you tell me where you got this rationale from? Did you read this out of a book? Hear it from the pulpit?

  • 67. jakecollier  |  June 24, 2008 at 9:09 am

    Quester-

    “You may have had to change some of the things you believe about God in light of new knowledge, but you have not had to give up your beliefs. Is that a fair summary?”

    More or less, yes. I feel i must point out, however, that if I’m right about God being real, then I’ll constantly be needing to change my beliefs about Him. I’ll never know – while my body breathes – all there is to know about Him, so the learning will continue.

    Again, this is just what I believe. Thanks for listening.

    -j

  • 68. Frederick Polgardy  |  June 24, 2008 at 11:01 am

    For example, a man tries to work hard so that he can earn 10$/hour but when he gets there, he won’t stop but work harder to reach 15$/hour. In sharp contrast, a cougar needs (supposedly) 5 Kg of meat/day and as long as it has that amount of meat for a day, it won’t care about anything else (i.e. how to protect the sources of meat, how to increase the amount of meat….).

    So because human beings won’t stop with a sufficient amount of food or wealth, but will keep acquiring more and more until we destroy everything around us, that’s proof of our spiritual superiority? Cool!

  • 69. Joe Sperling  |  June 24, 2008 at 11:56 am

    BlogJumper—-

    I believe you are correct actually. As others have stated a “natural method” used to prove the “supernatural” is just not valid. And God himself has deemed faith as the only means to comprehend Him, not through science.

    “And we speak about them not with words taught by human wisdom, but with words taught by the Spirit, describing spiritual realities in spiritual terms.
    Now the natural person does not accept what pertains to the Spirit of God, for to him it is foolishness, and he cannot understand it, because it is judged spiritually”. (1 Cor. 2)

    Corinthians goes on to say that God has chosen the weak and foolish things of the world to confound the wise. He says “the preaching of the cross is to them who are perishing foolishness, but to us it is salvation”.

    But I kind of feel that at the very end of things, right before Christ returns, that science may be rocked to it’s very foundations by some discovery that makes absolutely no scientific sense, and yet it is reality. I read a book a long time ago called “God and the astronomers” by Robert Jastrow, a physicist (I don’t believe he was a christian, but rather an agnostic–not sure)—but he postulated that science after this long climb up a mountain face, would finally reach the summit, and climb up onto it, only to see some “foolish” dude with a Bible who says “glad you could make it”.

  • 70. TheNerd  |  June 24, 2008 at 12:43 pm

    Long Do, I would love to interact with each point that you made, but in all honesty, you have absolutely no idea what you are talking about. I don’t mean that as an ad hominem attack – I mean that with sincerity. You need to educate yourself.

    Ditto. Your heart is in the right place, but your brain isn’t.

  • 71. Anonymous  |  June 24, 2008 at 6:07 pm

    As we were discussing, one cannot use science to prove the supernatural. However, one also does not use science very often to prove something doesn’t exist either. Imagine if the Mars mission people said “We are sending the probe to Mars to garner more information to prove life on other planets doesn’t exist”.

    The probe may prove life never existed on Mars, but the probe was not sent to prove that—–on the contrary—scientists hope that life is found on Mars, and “hope” that life exists elsewhere in the Universe. They are unsure if it does—there are no “facts” to prove life does exist elsewhere—-but that doesn’t stop them from making attempts to “discover” that life.

    So, I must say, when I hear others trying to use science to try to “prove” there is no God, I question their scientific motives. No astronomer works from a negative perspective of trying to prove that space does not hold other life–I’m sure there are a “few” that come from that perspective, but I think the majority come from the perspective that the “odds” would seem to point to other life elsewhere—even though they cannot prove it—-but they are willing to spend millions of dollars to see if they can find it.

    In this way I believe science is being used to search for things that no one is really sure exist at all. It may not be supernatural, but other life on other planets could prove to be simply “fantasy”—I hope not—-and I don’t believe that—but if we don’t use science to explore for things that may just be fantasy, we will never know.

  • 72. Anonymous  |  June 24, 2008 at 6:13 pm

    but if we don’t use science to explore for things that may just be fantasy, we will never know.

    That is poorly worded. What I meant to say is that if scientists never use the energy to explore the Universe for life, even though they are not sure it even exists, we would never know.

    In a sense, scientists are following the cartoon up above to the right “here is the conclusion, now what facts can we find to support it?” (the creationist model) when they search Mars and other planets for life–they don’t admit that—but I believe it truly is the case or they wouldn’t spend the billions they do on probes, etc. looking for life they are not sure exists.

  • 73. Joe Sperling  |  June 24, 2008 at 6:16 pm

    Not sure why “anonymous” popped up all of a sudden. I was posting earlier as myself. Perhaps the blog was embarrassed for my statements and decided to hide me. LOL

    -Joe

  • 74. Quester  |  June 24, 2008 at 6:30 pm

    Ah, thanks for telling us this is you, Joe. I usually don’t respond to those who don’t sign in.

    Who have you run across who uses science to try to prove God doesn’t exist? It’s pretty futile as no one can prove a negative.

    As for the probes, I know what gets reported in the media tends to focus on signs of life, but is that what the probes are sent for, or simply to see what is there?

  • 75. Joe Sperling  |  June 24, 2008 at 7:18 pm

    Quester—

    Good point. No one hear is trying to use science to disprove God, but I have seen it on other boards. Though, it usually does follow a mode where someone who believes tries to prove evolution false through some “facts” concerning species, and then the atheist will come back “proving” that this proves nothing, and will end with a phrase like “why don’t you just admit there is no god you knucklehead” or something to that effect. LOL :>)

  • 76. TheNerd  |  June 25, 2008 at 10:54 am

    HAHA! “Anonymous – the blog’s way of plugging its ears and saying LA LA LA, I CAN’T HEAR YOU!”

  • 77. John T.  |  July 1, 2008 at 10:03 am

    “There was a time when religion thought it could explain all the world, then came science, they both come up short.”

  • 78. Jacob Cron  |  September 3, 2008 at 11:45 am

    This is stupid i hate science

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Attention Christian Readers

Just in case you were wondering who we are and why we de-converted.

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Whether or not you believe in God, you should live your life with love, kindness, compassion, mercy and tolerance while trying to make the world a better place. If there is no God, you have lost nothing and will have made a positive impact on those around you. If there is a benevolent God reviewing your life, you will be judged on your actions and not just on your ability to blindly believe in creeds- when there is a significant lack of evidence on how to define God or if he/she even exists.

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