Quote of the day

posted at 11:15 pm on October 13, 2007 by Allahpundit

“When believers pick up Richard Dawkins or Christopher Hitchens, we may feel as we turn the pages: ‘This is not it. Whatever the religion being attacked here, it’s not actually what I believe in’.”


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I would like for an atheist to explain to me scientifically, how you can get something out of nothing, thus creating our universe. You cannot not, from a scientific standpoint, get something out of total nothingness. No matter how far back you go, you will always have to have an energy or outside influence to put things in motion. Eventually, scientifically speaking, you have to come to a being of some sort who was messing with things or knew what he/she was doing. So, then again, where hid he/she come from? Does God have a mother and father, or another God?

El Guapo on October 13, 2007 at 11:22 PM

I’d like to see the good Professor say that to an Islamic fundamentalist. They are all so brave when it comes to bashing Christians and Jews, aren’t they?

bloggless on October 13, 2007 at 11:23 PM

Boy that quote hits the nail on the head. I have to say though, I really enjoy listening to Hitch (no on AA thanks but no thanks) and people he debates alway let him box them in the same rhetorical corner. I don’t know why they do, but I enjoy it all the same.

Spirit of 1776 on October 13, 2007 at 11:24 PM

bloggless

That is because christians and jews “outgrew” (evolved as I put it) cutting off peoples heads and burning them alive centuries ago!

El Guapo on October 13, 2007 at 11:29 PM

O/T: Killgore I went and read some LGF threads to see if you were right about a different AC reaction over there. CJ came down exactly where one would expect.

Spirit of 1776 on October 13, 2007 at 11:37 PM

Killgore Trout I think that is their excuse for not having an answer and evading the “is there a God or some kind of being more powerful than us” debate/answer

El Guapo on October 13, 2007 at 11:40 PM

What a pity Williams is such a heretic; his criticism is dead-on.

Damian G. on October 13, 2007 at 11:41 PM

It’s true what Paul said, that the carnal mind can’t comprehend Spiritual things. So, yeah, when Hitch or other non-believers try to tell explain Christianity, they don’t quite get it because they can’t. I couldn’t until I accepted Christ. Even now I continue to “grow in Him.” (believers even have a different language. We are aliens and a peculiar people… some more than others :-)

I still love science and the scientific method. Many great scientists have started (rightly so) with the knowledge of a creator. By starting with the truth they were able to make awesome discoveries. I’m thinking mainly of Newton here, although I believe Einstein qualifies. Want to find out the truth? Start by knowing the creator of the Universe! It’s amazing how much “stuff” starts to make sense!

Ordinary1 on October 13, 2007 at 11:46 PM

Ordinary1
I found the higher being before I accepted or acknowledged the existence of Christ. Only because my freedoms allowed me to think for myself (and write a college paper on it without retribution) and realize that there has to be something out there becuase the “big bang” and other theories cannot happen without influence from something else. Every scientific mind agrees on the “cause and effect” notion, so why cant they open their minds beyond our planet and universe and wonder who or what else is out there?

El Guapo on October 13, 2007 at 11:52 PM

The militant atheists denounce superstition but often sound like they’re battling imagined enemies.

frankj on October 13, 2007 at 11:53 PM

Killgore Trout on October 13, 2007 at 11:43 PM
Maybe I read the wrong thread then but I didn’t get that for it, seemed about the same with different names. Saw you defending your position over there too. I was surprised to see that “quote” of yours re: National Review. Disappointing to say the least. If that is what makes HA commenters different, I’ll take it. And least I veer the thread into the ditch, I end with that.

Spirit of 1776 on October 13, 2007 at 11:56 PM

The militant atheists denounce superstition but often sound like they’re battling imagined enemies.

frankj on October 13, 2007 at 11:53 PM

I’m stealing that.

flipflop on October 13, 2007 at 11:56 PM

Killgore Trout I read something referncing and citing that. But again i go back to the “cause and effect” theory. You cannot get anything, not even antimatter, out of total nothingness.

El Guapo on October 13, 2007 at 11:58 PM

And i believe those black holes go somewhere. Nothing ever goes nowhere. If it does go to actual nowhere, then that alone would be devine or devine influence to me.

El Guapo on October 13, 2007 at 11:59 PM

Try reading A Brief History Of Time, it’s short, obtainable, and explains the situation far better than I could.

Hawking is great, but both you can tell which side of the field he works on: theoretical vs. experimental. I had always heard they was a bit of distain between the two sides and that comes through! In the last chapter of his book, maybe even the last page he says – we have no more need for philosophers. That’s deep thinking! No philosophers=no theories. No theories=no experiments. No experiments=no progress.

Spirit of 1776 on October 13, 2007 at 11:59 PM

That’s deep thinking! No philosophers=no theories. No theories=no experiments. No experiments=no progress.

Spirit of 1776

Great point! Why doesnt Islam see it like that? Instead everything is Allah’s will.

El Guapo on October 14, 2007 at 12:03 AM

El Guapo, There’s a scientific reason why science can’t see beyond the event horizon.

His point is that they are actually dodging the “God question” by invoking that obvious scientific point.

In terms of science, yeah, it’s pointless to ask what happened before the big bang, because according to the laws of physics it doesn’t matter.

It isn’t pointless, though, to ask about the origins of the laws of physics–”who” made the rules?–by which a big bang operated.

DaveS on October 14, 2007 at 12:05 AM

El Guapo on October 14, 2007 at 12:03 AM

I have no idea. I mean aside from the blind faith line. I don’t know what drives that mindset. You’d think in the climate of the Middle East they would be the ones driving technology, not nec. on particle theory, but climate modification and water treatment, etc.

Did you ever see the Memri clip where a Muslim was explaining that the Western mind can hold a thought for 13 secs and the Muslim mind 7? (I think it was 13 and 7 – could be off there, but it was a large dispartity). I don’t think that reflects poor intellect necessarily as much as less disciplined mind. Which is strange to me because seems without any doubt or alternative theories in education I would expect more discipline. Go figure.

Spirit of 1776 on October 14, 2007 at 12:09 AM

csdeven in 3, 2, 1…

Oops. Wrong thread.

Maybe.

wccawa on October 14, 2007 at 12:12 AM

I was rather proud of that one.

Thanks for clarifying. I’ll remember to verify then in the future.

Spirit of 1776 on October 14, 2007 at 12:12 AM

Does God have a mother and father, or another God? El Guapo on October 13, 2007 at 11:22 PM

Great question. At some point we must all come to grips with our own existence and thus the question of where did it all come from.

As a Christian I know that it is simply God’s nature to have existed before his creation. That’s the very thing that makes him God. Having said that, no one can know anything at all about the pre-creation universe because we haven’t been told anything about it except for two things. The triune God shared love and communication within himself. And, the second person of the trinity, Christ, was the creative entity who made the entire universe.

To believe that human beings sprang forth from rocks and that the rocks sprang forth from nothing is foolishness.

Mojave Mark on October 14, 2007 at 12:14 AM

If time has no ending or beginning, what was there before nothingness?

Speakup on October 14, 2007 at 12:22 AM

Always check the links. Very important lesson.

Killgore Trout on October 14, 2007 at 12:20 AM

Apparently; some here though I trust sight unseen. Amerpundit for example.

Spirit of 1776 on October 14, 2007 at 12:24 AM

Mojave Mark Excellent remarks! @#% I wish y’all live closer so we could debate this over beers and pick up chicks afterwards!

The only priest or pastor I have ever trusted are the ones who admit science fact, and relate that to the bible: The big bang or whatever caused it could not have happend without devine or outside influence, and tat outside influece must come from somethign or someone else……

and he was a declared non-denominational. In short, those who cannot theorize beyond current science are similar to the ones who originally thought the world was flat nad hte sun and planets orbited the earth. eventually, science (thought and phylosophy with experiments) and time will reveal the facts.

El Guapo on October 14, 2007 at 12:26 AM

Apparently; some here though I trust sight unseen

In a way, anyone religious (except for Islamic extremists and a few (VERY FEW) christian based extremists) now-a-days does not trust anything dogmatic. We all learn about science in school. But science can only prove so much. From there phylosophy (and now archeological evidence) kicks in. Religious or not, science will eventually come to that “outside force” that caused everything, and when it does they will quickly ask “what caused that outside force”.

El Guapo on October 14, 2007 at 12:43 AM

Whatever happened before the big bang is untraceable in scientific terms.

Killgore Trout on October 13, 2007 at 11:34 PM

Convenient.

Connie on October 14, 2007 at 12:59 AM

You cannot not, from a scientific standpoint, get something out of total nothingness.

There is zero point energy, but there is no explanation for where the laws of physics come from or what maintains them.
So the problem is not where does stuff come from, but why is there stuff?

Does God have a mother and father, or another God?

Time doesn’t exist outside the universe, and God is outside the universe. Without time, there is no before, so we can’t even imagine what the origin of God is.

pedestrian on October 14, 2007 at 1:02 AM

But science can only prove so much.

If I remember my scientific method, science doesn’t prove anything! There are only hypothesis and theories. Things can only be disproved, not proved. That’s why it’s important to either start with the truth of a creator so as to ultimately end up with better theories, or, like you said, realize from the facts that there is a creator and adjust accordingly.

For example, if we all evolved from primates (from goo to the zoo to you) then how come everyone in here is way smarter than they need to be to gather food and find shelter. God says we are created in His image. David says to God in Psalm 8, “What is man that you take thought of him, And the son of man that you care for him? Yet you made him a little lower than God and You crown him with glory and majesty! You make him to rule over the works of your hands; You have put all things under his feet.” And he gave us the brains and desire to discover the wonders of the works of His hands!

Ordinary1 on October 14, 2007 at 1:09 AM

pedestrian

This is true. But being a believer in God, and a scientific mind always seeking more knowledge, one can speculate (phylosophy and reasoning) )what is out there beyond the big bang and black holes. So how do we know 100% for sure that our universe isn’t a part of something else?

I am sure God will not be offended and will understand if or/and when i go before him on my judgement day and ask him instead of the meaning of life, “where did you come from?”

El Guapo on October 14, 2007 at 1:09 AM

Oh Lord, thank you for your servant the Archbishop of Canterbury, who apparently isn’t entirely useless.

see-dubya on October 14, 2007 at 1:15 AM

I am sure God will not be offended and will understand if or/and when i go before him on my judgment day and ask him instead of the meaning of life, “where did you come from?”

El Guapo on October 14, 2007 at 1:09 AM

He’s already answered that question.

Jesus said to them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, before Abraham was born, I am.”

“I am” as in always “am”. There is no “where did you come from”! He IS.

Ordinary1 on October 14, 2007 at 1:20 AM

Ordinary1 But from a science standpoint, everything comes from something else. I really hope this doesnot turn out to be like the episode of Futurama where Bender accidentally finds God, who speaks in binary.

Only God knows, so we can debate this all century and get nowhere. But only thru discusion and reason (science and phylospphy) can we obtain at least some of the answers ourselves. Which God did create man in his own image. Which is why i believe we have the ability to think and reason the way we do. Only time and experience improves our logic.

El Guapo on October 14, 2007 at 1:28 AM

Only God knows, so we can debate this all century and get nowhere. But only thru discusion and reason (science and phylospphy) can we obtain at least some of the answers ourselves.

I’m all for discussion and science and even philosophy. I’m just sayin’ if you are looking for answers, He’s answered more than a lot of questions already in His Word! It’s not only through discussion and reason. I would say the most important part is knowing what God has to say and taking Him at His Word!!!

Ordinary1 on October 14, 2007 at 1:40 AM

He rejected Prof Dawkins’s theory which assumes culture is transmitted in a similar way to biology, through “memes” as opposed to genes, and added: “I find this philosophically crass and undeveloped at best, simply contradictory and empty at worst.”

Dr Williams added that to see religion as a survival strategy was to misunderstand it.

Reject away, but I’ve seen no actual argument other than refutation on principle – ad hominem.

Prof Dawkins has been scathing in his assessment of Christian theology, which he has described as vacuous. In a Channel 4 programme, The Enemies of Reason, in August he said: “There are two ways of looking at the world — through faith and superstition, or through the rigours of logic, observation and evidence, through reason.

Also weak – Dawkins belittles the real power of religion. He is smart, but blind to the richness of the religious experience and the mystery of faith, the yearning of the human soul for “meaning”.

As an athiest, I agree with Dawkins that religious argument is weak and itellectually desperate. As a human I find Dawkins’ view of the one demenional and psychologically desperate.

peski on October 14, 2007 at 1:47 AM

peski on October 14, 2007 at 1:47 AM

I truly, truly hate the concept of “memes”. I’m pretty sure you’re wrong in saying that a refutation based on principle is the same thing as an ad hominem argument. I find the concept of “memes” to have a somewhat worthless explanatory value, but not so because it came from Richard Dawkins. The theologian David Bentley Hart has a very good piece on Daniel Dennett’s book, which raises precisely the same objection to the “New Atheists” Rowan Williams does. It’s worth the read if you have the time. You can find it here: http://www.firstthings.com/article.php3?id_article=5394
Hart is brilliant, but he is usually quite supercilious to his opponent’s views, which bothers some people (although it doesn’t bother me, considering Hitchens, et al’s constant disdain for religion). A passage from Hart’s piece regarding memes:

Of course, human beings most definitely are shaped to some degree by received ideas and habits, and copy patterns of behavior, craft, and thought from one another, and alter and refine these patterns in so doing. But, since human beings are also possessed of reflective consciousness and deliberative will, memory and intention, curiosity and desire, talk of memes is an empty mystification, and the word’s phonetic resemblance to genes is not quite enough to render it respectable. The idea of memes might provide Dennett a convenient excuse for not addressing the actual content of religious beliefs and for concentrating his attention instead on the phenomenon of religion as a cultural and linguistic type, but any ostensible science basing itself on memetic theory is a science based on a metaphor-or, really, on an assonance. Dennett, though, is as indefatigable as the Bellman in his pursuit of that ghostly echo. He is desperate to confine his thinking to a strictly Darwinian model of human behavior but just as desperate to portray religion as a kind of “cultural symbiont” that is more destructive than beneficial to the poor unsuspecting organisms it has colonized.

WillBarrett on October 14, 2007 at 2:24 AM

wccawa on October 14, 2007 at 12:12 AM

Hmmmm. Are you challenging doriangrey as my main dancing 8itch?

csdeven on October 14, 2007 at 2:42 AM

Rowan Williams won’t know what Christianity is until the day of judgment.

PRCalDude on October 14, 2007 at 2:57 AM

Our answer to the Great Question is the only logical one. Our Science is great. Let us not forget the great Richard Dawkins who finally freed the world of religion long ago. Dawkins knew that logic and reason were the way of the future. But it wasn’t until he met his beautiful wife that he learned using logic and reason isn’t enough. You have to be a dick to everyone who doesn’t think like you. Prepare all the troops! We will level the United Atheist Alliance to the ground!

VinceP1974 on October 14, 2007 at 3:07 AM

I honestly believe that extremists like Dawkins and Harris and Hitchens are a Godsend (excuse the pun) for Christianity in terms of bringing more people into Christ’s Kingdom!!

Simply put…if this is the best the Secular side has, then they are kaput!!

Thank goodness many secularists are center right and decent people that understand the positive role of our Judeo/Christian/Greco heritage and how we need a strong Church to combat Islam!!

Albertanator on October 14, 2007 at 3:10 AM

When dealing with matters of fact–what is or is not the case in the material world, rather than, say, what is true or false by definition or by logical form (a priori claims)–nothing is 100% certain. That’s how we get the claims like “science can’t prove anything”. IIRC, the usual way of introducing the scientific method is to start with an overview of inductive vs. deductive reasoning. Maybe teachers are dropping the ball here, I don’t know.

In a nutshell, deductive reasoning goes from the general to the specific, while inductive goes from the specific to the general. Or put another way, a deductive argument can be valid or invalid (and sound or unsound). It’s valid iff (if and only if), when all the premises are true, the conclusion must also be true. Syllogisms are an example of deductive logic; take this classic syllogism for example:

All men are mortal.
Socrates was a man.
Therefore, Socrates was mortal.

Inductive arguments, though–or I should say, arguments interpreted inductively–are neither valid nor invalid, but are considered “strong” or “weak”. A strong argument is one which, iff the premises are true, there is a strong likelihood that the conclusion is also true, but there is still a “logical” possibility, no matter how remote, that it could be wrong.

Anyway, this is where the scientific method comes in. Scientists can’t just propose general truths and then deduce (‘prove’) everything from that. (That’s for philosophers and theologians.) They can’t observe generalities, they can only observe specific instances and, from that, propose the general rules that these specifics follow, *then* test to see if the general rule holds up. Thus, form a hypothesis, make a prediction, test the prediction. If it fails, start over; if it holds, repeat it, make new predictions and predict those, etc.

With strong enough observational evidence it becomes a theory. But even if it holds so surely that no one has ever observed anything different and it becomes accepted as “law”, it still isn’t 100% certain. The reason for that is “logical possibility”; that is, it wouldn’t be a contradiction to say that something else could eventually be the case, even though it’s extremely improbable and/or has never been observed. Trees talking, for instance, is highly improbable but, technically, not logically impossible. Is anyone going to challenge me on the statement that “trees don’t talk”? It’s not 100% certain, but it’s certain enough.

Sorry, I tried to shorten that. I really did try.

VerbumSap on October 14, 2007 at 3:22 AM

PRCalDude on October 14,

2007 at 2:57 AM

Ah, PRCalDude, the bigoted anti-Catholic Calvinist. Still insulting everyone who doesn’t believe exactly as you do, I see.

WillBarrett on October 14, 2007 at 3:24 AM

I’d like to see the good Professor say that to an Islamic fundamentalist. They are all so brave when it comes to bashing Christians and Jews, aren’t they?

bloggless on October 13, 2007 at 11:23 PM

The professor swings his hips and flaps his wings and is just a big sissy boy.

MB4 on October 14, 2007 at 3:34 AM

Only God knows, so we can debate this all century and get nowhere.

El Guapo on October 14, 2007 at 1:28 AM

And God is invisible and mute, so he’s not going to be of much help.

MB4 on October 14, 2007 at 3:40 AM

Dawkins belittles the real power of religion.

peski on October 14, 2007 at 1:47 AM

Give a man a fish and he will eat for a day; teach a man to fish and he will eat for a lifetime; give a man religion and he will die praying for a fish.
- Unknown

MB4 on October 14, 2007 at 3:46 AM

“God” is a lie. People just don’t want to admit the obvious.

Syndic Nuruodo on October 14, 2007 at 7:43 AM

Oh Lord, thank you for your servant the Archbishop of Canterbury, who apparently isn’t entirely useless.

see-dubya on October 14, 2007 at 1:15 AM

Yeah but he’s still facing the wrong direction. Spin him around towards Mecca. Lemme know if he’s any use with that problem.

JiangxiDad on October 14, 2007 at 7:47 AM

Chicken or Egg?

I say “steak and potatoes”

Black Adam on October 14, 2007 at 7:58 AM

“God” is a lie. People just don’t want to admit the obvious.

Syndic Nuruodo on October 14, 2007 at 7:43 AM

You sure? Go to Saudi or Pakistan and offend him. Try to see what happens before it goes black. Fool.

JiangxiDad on October 14, 2007 at 8:04 AM

Give a man a fish and he will eat for a day; teach a man to fish and he will eat for a lifetime; give a man religion and he will die praying for a fish.
- Unknown

MB4 on October 14, 2007 at 3:46 AM

How true.

I think I’ve known someone like that. He didn’t actually die, per se, but spent an entire wasted lifetime praying for help when he should’ve just helped himself. Sad.

Redhead Infidel on October 14, 2007 at 8:56 AM

Don’t do it. Always verify.
Killgore Trout on October 14, 2007 at 12:37 AM

Don’t worry. With you I will.

Spirit of 1776 on October 14, 2007 at 9:09 AM

http://www.apologeticspress.com has a lot of articles regaurding Christianity vs. science and how much of science actually runs right along with the Bible. They also do a good job of debunking some of the theories. Take a look, don’t be scared it’s really a great site.

boomer on October 14, 2007 at 10:31 AM

I forgot to mention that many of those articles are under the “Reason and Revelation” link. The writer gets very deep the even go deeply into genetics in some of the articles.

boomer on October 14, 2007 at 10:33 AM

“God” is a lie. People just don’t want to admit the obvious.

Syndic Nuruodo on October 14, 2007 at 7:43 AM

Pretty bold statement considering all of us are fallible.

eanax on October 14, 2007 at 10:38 AM

Give a man a fish and he will eat for a day; teach a man to fish and he will eat for a lifetime; give a man religion and he will die praying for a fish.
- Unknown

MB4 on October 14, 2007 at 3:46 AM

This statement goes a long way to prove the original quote. This attack is not based on reality about Christianity. One only needs to turn to the Bible to know that God’s people are to have a strong work ethic. I’ll only quote a couple.

Proverbs 13:4 The soul of the sluggard craves and gets nothing,But the soul of the diligent is made fat.

Proverbs 21:25 he desire of the sluggard puts him to death,For his hands refuse to work;

1 Thessalonians 4:11 Make it your ambition to lead a quiet life, to mind your own business and to work with your hands, just as we told you,

and on and on. We are created in God’s image. Part of His image in us is work. Pray for a big catch, but you must also fish!

Ordinary1 on October 14, 2007 at 10:52 AM

Question for the thread. I have been tossing this idea around for some years know. To me the Bible is an attempt by God to explain things to child. For instance the arc of creation in Genisis and evolution are exactly the same. From the formation of the sun to the formation of man. Both stories follow the same literal progression. Life started in the seas moved on land. The only major differences in the stories are time frames and causes. Genisis says it was God in six days and evolution says it was nature over billions of years.

So the question is this. 2,000 years ago no one know what a billion was. No one knew what Dna was, the word computer was not invented, the laws of physics were not decoded etc. So going from this line of thinking how could God explain the creation in terms that the people of that age could understand? I think He explained it as we would explain things to a 3 year old today.

For example when my son asked why the Sky was blue when he was 3 I did not sit him down and explain the refraction properties of oxogen or the chemical make up of the atmosphere, or how light traved in different wavelengths. I told him because that’s the way the light skipped of the air. Both are true but one he could understand at the time and one would be meaningless.

I think the Bible does the same thing. No one 2,000 years ago would understand the concept of a billion years. But they could understand the concept of days, months, years. No one understood the concept of DNa but they could understand the concept of birth/death of renewal and of failure. No one would understand the concept of mass extiction but they could grasp the “time of the monsters”

Anyone else think this could explain the confusion between science and religion?

unseen on October 14, 2007 at 11:21 AM

No one 2,000 years ago would understand the concept of a billion years

Wrong. Many ancient civilizations had symbols for billion. Geomety, calculus et.al. were developed long before Jesus.

I really don’t understand what you mean.

JiangxiDad on October 14, 2007 at 11:40 AM

JiangxiDad on October 14, 2007 at 11:40 AM

Genesis was written before Jesus. However that changes nothing. The average person 2,000 years ago had no concept of a billion YEARS. No one could fathom something being that old. Today many people still have trouble understanding big numbers and grasping the depth of what those numbers mean. In fact the term “million” was not invented in Europe until the 13th century according to The History of Mathematics Volume II by D. E. Smith and not universally adapted by Europe until the sixteenth century.

Still the basic point of the above question is this. Human knowledge and intelligence has come a long way in the last 100 years let alone the last 2,000 years. Is it not possible that the Bible was written using different words and concepts so that the societies of that time could understand the fundamental truths? Think about it. Your class books in college are different than those from grade school , because you have grown and learned more. But the basic truths you learned in grade school (adding, subtracting etc) are still true no matter what type of calculus you are doing today.

unseen on October 14, 2007 at 12:01 PM

Is it not possible that the Bible was written using different words and concepts so that the societies of that time could understand the fundamental truths?

Still having a problem understanding your main point. What about the Indians, or Chinese, whose populations are more than half the earth. How did they get the “fundamental” truths?

JiangxiDad on October 14, 2007 at 12:29 PM

JiangxiDad on October 14, 2007 at 12:29 PM

Maybe they haven’t gotten them yet. Maybe they have been misled. Maybe they have been shown these truths and have failed to except them. Who knows. Maybe God put these truths in terms that their societies could understand at the time they were needed to understand.

As a student of geology and I person that has studied evolution it is amzaing how much evolution and Creation combine on its main points. There is no difference except the time frame and the cause. None. The sequence of events described in the Bible are the same sequence of events described in the Theory of evolution. It is more amazing that people more than 2,000 years ago with no scientific knowledge (compared with present day) were able to state this progression of events and world formation and be 100% right. It has taken scientists 2,000 years of back breaking research, testing, and millions of research papers to come to the same answer that the Jews and Christians came to more than 2,000 years ago.

unseen on October 14, 2007 at 12:49 PM

So the question is this. 2,000 years ago no one know what a billion was. No one knew what Dna was, the word computer was not invented, the laws of physics were not decoded etc. So going from this line of thinking how could God explain the creation in terms that the people of that age could understand? I think He explained it as we would explain things to a 3 year old today.

Would you say this same progression occurred during the 22 thousand years between the preceding glacial maximums?

Time doesn’t exist outside the universe, and God is outside the universe. Without time, there is no before, so we can’t even imagine what the origin of God is.

pedestrian on October 14, 2007 at 1:02 AM

Imagine if time only exists as individual perception, created from a string of events we recognize as one after another.

After we’ve shed the notion of beginning or ending, next year is just an event that hasn’t happened yet, eternity doesn’t need to be gaged and anything including God doesn’t need an explanation to exist.

Speakup on October 14, 2007 at 1:06 PM

Unseen,

I think you are on the money there. It has long seemed to me that the Genesis creation account was not intended to be taken in the scientific literal sense that we are so used to using today. That does not make it untrue at all. We are so used to thinking the way we do that we don’t realize how recently our way of thinking developed.
Also, I try to look at the question from a Theocentric view instead of the usual Anthropocentric one. If God had explained the entire Creation process to a chosen prophet in the ancient world (remember this would have included such things as Relativity, Quantum Physics, Black Holes, Supernovae, etc.), one of three things would have happened: The poor prophet would have gone stark raving mad; he would have been thought stark raving mad by his people; or his people would have used the knowledge to build themselves an antimatter reactor without (since they didn’t earn the knowledge the hard way)the necessary safety protocols and promptly blown themselves to smithereens.
I believe that the Creator intends His Creatures to study and learn about His Creation ourselves. He gave us the Bible because without it we have no more chance of understanding Him directly than an amoeba has of ever understanding us.

Lancer on October 14, 2007 at 1:23 PM

Speakup,

Imagining if time is just a perception doesn’t make it so. And even if it is just a perception (which I don’t buy), I don’t see how that negates God. It almost sounds as if you’re getting rid of Time so you can drop cause-and-effect thinking and revert to “magical thinking” in order to avoid the issue.

Lancer on October 14, 2007 at 1:28 PM

Would you say this same progression occurred during the 22 thousand years between the preceding glacial maximums?

Speakup on October 14, 2007 at 1:06 PM

Could be. the glacial maximums scare the hell out of the man-made global warming theorists. Because it shows beyond a doubt that what is happening is natural and not man made. Be that as it may. Who are we to say that glaciers where not needed for us to become the humans we are today?

Side note: Have you never wondered why Human beings are the only species on Earth that can live and survive in almost any and all environments? No matter what temperture, no matter what saline content of the surrounding water, no matter what elevation,etc. No other creature can do this. Why is that? The Bible tells us why but what does science tell us on this? If we evolved like other creatures then we should be contained to a narrow climatic zone or geographic area. We are not. We are unshackled to live and thrive in any climate and any geographic area. Why is this? It defies all known rules of evolution.

unseen on October 14, 2007 at 1:58 PM

Lancer,

I just helped you find some plausibility for God and you didn’t even realize it.

If your thinking I’m reverting to magical thinking then your even further from reality.

Also I am far from trying to negate God.

Speakup on October 14, 2007 at 1:59 PM

Imagine if time only exists as individual perception, created from a string of events we recognize as one after another.

Speakup on October 14, 2007 at 1:06 PM

According to relativity, there is no universal sequence of before and after because the sequence depends on the frame of reference of the observer. For a given observer there is a before and after, but another observer could observe a different sequence for the same events if they are moving fast enough. That is not to say the differences are idiosyncratic, because they are predictable according to physical laws that have been verified to very high precision.

My opinion is that Gen 2:1 and 4 mean that the history of the world has already been completed, and the rest of the Bible is just a more detailed explanation of what happened from our point of view, and the explanation in Genesis 1 is a sequence that pertains to God. That difference is not the same as relativity, since relativity is part of our existence inside the universe, and God transcends the universe.

pedestrian on October 14, 2007 at 2:08 PM

pedestrian,

I’m sorry but your knowledge of what does or does not occur outside of our universe is rather startling, especially since we have a difficult enough time explaining the inside.

The conditions necessary for time to exist don’t necessarily include the conditions inside this universe.

If time exists at all transcendence must be relative and therefore cannot be associated with a container or an event such as a big bang or God for that matter.

In other universes (which I believe exist), how would time operate differently?

Is time a thing or a mental construct?

Speakup on October 14, 2007 at 2:34 PM

Side note: Have you never wondered why Human beings are the only species on Earth that can live and survive in almost any and all environments? No matter what temperture, no matter what saline content of the surrounding water, no matter what elevation,etc. No other creature can do this. Why is that? The Bible tells us why but what does science tell us on this? If we evolved like other creatures then we should be contained to a narrow climatic zone or geographic area. We are not. We are unshackled to live and thrive in any climate and any geographic area. Why is this? It defies all known rules of evolution

Well there are other life forms much better at surviving than us such as cockroaches and extremeophile bacteria.
However you want to square evolution with creation, that species came and went and that their forms change with time is supported with hard evidence.

the glacial maximums scare the hell out of the man-made global warming theorists.

Global warming theorists that blame humans are no different that the Spotted Owl extinction theorists…their liars.

Our environment is cyclical and another glacial maximum will eventually come and a glacial minimum has to occur somewhere in the intervening approximately twenty two thousand years (not that this is that event).
Pointing at a time period one one hundred thousandth of that interval and claiming six billion people must go back to living in mud huts is far beyond irresponsible.

Speakup on October 14, 2007 at 2:54 PM

Speakup,

Now, now, Al Gore and Friends aren’t suggesting that everyone should go back to living in mud huts….just that everyone turn our economies and personal decisions over to them “for our own good.” Isn’t watermelon environmentalism great?

As far as the time issue, if we were only going off of mundane experience and quantum physics, then I would say that it is a definite possibility. But the experiments that have confirmed Relativity’s effect on Time clearly show that it is an objective entity, however difficult it is for us to understand.

Lancer on October 14, 2007 at 3:09 PM

Well there are other life forms much better at surviving than us such as cockroaches and extremeophile bacteria.

Speakup on October 14, 2007 at 2:54 PM

Well in some environments they do but not all environments.

Pointing at a time period one one hundred thousandth of that interval and claiming six billion people must go back to living in mud huts is far beyond irresponsible.

Couldn’t agree more on this one. We will adapt to any change in climate in the long term and possibly the short term as well. I never understood how the same people that believe in evolution as a natural event set in stone could also think they could somehow stop the process. It defies logic.

unseen on October 14, 2007 at 3:15 PM

Another thing. what is wrong with New York at 70 degrees in the Winter? Lot better than shoveling snow.

unseen on October 14, 2007 at 3:18 PM

Actually, if anything, we are short-circuiting the evolutionary process. As we adapt to different and changing climates, we do so by (more or less) intelligent actions, such as making/buying clothes, building better houses, etc.
That is how we have managed to adapt to so many different environments in the past, and how we will continue to do so in the future.
I suspect that the 22nd century will see even more direct short-circuiting through the use of genetic engineering and cybernetics.

Lancer on October 14, 2007 at 3:33 PM

Another thing. what is wrong with New York at 70 degrees in the Winter? Lot better than shoveling snow.

unseen on October 14, 2007 at 3:18 PM

Here in central Cal. the fall and beginning of winter is as exactly normal as could possibly be.

But the experiments that have confirmed Relativity’s effect on Time clearly show that it is an objective entity, however difficult it is for us to understand.

Lancer

Oh I know, after some of the blind faith comments on earlier comments in this thread I really wanted to see some critical thinking.

Perhaps if I jostle enough brains some might even begin to become annoyed at the self imposed set of blinders they much too willing accept.

In order to fully appreciate anything including religion a wide view of understanding is important.

IMHO, in order for faith in any form to be true and lasting that faith has to withstand the test of an open mind.

Speakup on October 14, 2007 at 3:33 PM

Lancer on October 14, 2007 at 3:33 PM

Yes. but is this also not evolution? Wether man-made, god inspired, or natural it is a form of evolution. This evolution has enabled man to be masters/stewards of the world in which we live. But this evolution is very quick in geologic time. A blink of the eye. This defies the evolution theory to some degree of slow change over many,many generations due to natural selection. This is evolution on steriods. What is the cause of this explosion in evolutionary ability that enables us to change other lifeforms. And if we can change otherlife forms to become something else is it really so hard some/something changed/created us to become who we are. A species able to withstand the deep sea, the highest mountain, the coldest glacier, the hottest desert, and the blackest space?

unseen on October 14, 2007 at 4:05 PM

This may sound like a cop-out, but that depends on your definition of “evolution.” The “big E” evolution, the one used by scientists and atheists, refers to developments occuring over time as a result of (seemingly) random genetic changes being selected for or against by the “survival of the fittest” principle. One could call our intelligent adaptation “evolution,” but it does not mean the same thing.
BTW, my own belief is that God did create us like it says in Genesis, and that he used Evolution to do it (hence my “seemingly”).

Lancer on October 14, 2007 at 4:25 PM

unseen on October 14, 2007 at 4:05 PM

Whats the speed limit for change?

That’s one of the things that makes nature so interesting.

Plus not everything Evolves, some do Devolve.

Speakup on October 14, 2007 at 4:31 PM

Plus not everything Evolves, some do Devolve.

Hmm….That certainly explains Rosie, Moore, and Jimmy.

Lancer on October 14, 2007 at 9:14 PM

Hmm….That certainly explains Rosie, Moore, and Jimmy.

Lancer on October 14, 2007 at 9:14 PM

Read and take notice of the writings of our founders then leaders a hundred years ago then fifty years ago and the writings of our leaders now and then tell me if we haven’t devolved.

Speakup on October 14, 2007 at 10:20 PM

Plus not everything Evolves, some do Devolve.

Speakup on October 14, 2007 at 4:31 PM

Yes, I think of the Dark ages, after the fall of Rome, as Human’s society’s devolvement. I also think of the era in the USA after FDR as our devolvement into socialism. But devolement tends to lead to extinction. So those studies while interesting tend to lead to dead ends. I also think that scientists have evolution wrong. I do not think it is slow small changes over long periods that cause massive evolution but fast massive change over short time periods that cause the majority of evolution. Like a comet impact that wipes out large amounts of lifeforms and the coresponding rise of other lifeforms to fill the gap. Is God’s hand in those? It would point to that if it is short sudden changes as opposed to long drawn out changes IMO

unseen on October 15, 2007 at 7:05 AM

MB4 on October 14, 2007 at 3:46 AM
Redhead Infidel on October 14, 2007 at 8:56 AM

Aw, come on, you guys. My ‘religion’ is not passive. It is ‘active’, even ‘proactive’. You’ve made the mistake of pouring all ‘religion’ into the same soup pot.

BNCurtis on October 15, 2007 at 10:32 AM