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The Origin of Man

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But science simply assumes that there exist rational explanations for observable phenomena.


How about.uh.lets say..GRAVITY. Are emotions simply chemical reactions? Is life just a series of chemical reactions? These are observable phenomena; they just dont have any rational explanations!



On a different thought, does anyone have any idea of what all this has to do with Scouting? Have I missed something


How about the 12th point of the Scout Law? Are you going to try to take God out of that one?


3) How can you tell what to believe and what to disbelieve in the Bible? Can we believe none of it?

3. As I have contended elsewhere, a person's beliefs are theirs and deeply personal. You should look to no other person nor depend on them to form or justify your personal beliefs.

Now, talk about skirting the issue. I contend that the Bible is historically and factually correct, and NJ calls it a pre-scientific parable written by ancient man to explain creation. . You seem to agree. I know what you say, but I see what you mean. You discount the creation account (dont say you do not- you disagree on the amount of time in a day) and run from defining how you discount parts of the Bible. Yes, I want you to tell me how you can choose the parts to disagree with.


4) How is right and wrong determined?

Your answer: 4. You will get different answers from different persons and in different societies.

Is this moral relativism? Honey, I was relatively faithful to you while on that trip to Jamaica. In our troop, thats how we define Trustworthy



Have you ever seen the Arora Borealis? Do you know what it is made of? Now, think if you will, of that thing on a grander scale. And hung out in space such that a shadow is cast on a planet from it. Then, by telling it to (be careful now, you dont want to play God) to come together, make a ball out of it. Hmmm.. sounds pretty much like the sun to me ((yes, guys, I know.different elements in use here. Follow me on the principle!)) this example is consistant with the record.


It's really not consistent((the Bible is inferred here)), either with itself or with the known facts,

Where do you get this one from? Show me one and lets see if I can handle it.(you can even go into Divine Election, if you want to!)


Rooster: you are right on.


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Hey, I think I said (or meant to, anyway) that there aren't answers presently in hand to all the questions. Emotion is a good one, too. The assumption is that there 'is' (in the sense of 'within the realm of possiblity') a rational explanation, not that such explanations are in hand.


As for the Bible, I like some parts more than others. Like that? For example, I don't particularly like that part about visiting the iniquities of one generation on future generations (who otherwise may be quite innocent of those iniquities). I don't particularly like the idea of killing first born children to make some point to a ruler. Do I agree that those things happened? Probably, but I don't know for sure, I'm OK with not being absolutely certain about a lot of things.


As for factuality, I don't know enough about its derivation to pass final judgement. Except for the concept of prophesy...if it hasn't happened yet, there is no way to judge its factuality at all. If that's not good enough for you, tough luck. This is supposed to be about YOUR personal lack of understanding, remember? Who started this thread anyway?


I see the biblical creation as something unaddressable by science. If you therefore want to paint me as a non-believer that's your judgement to make. Is there anything I could do or say that could change your mind?


Do you really think everyone on earth agrees on right and wrong? They might on very simple questions but those are easy. Society in part of the world believes that FGM is right, many of the rest of the world, me included, think it is wrong. What about the really tough decisions that have lives hanging in both directions? Do you want everyone to be like you? Does anyone else in this forum want everyone to be like DeMann? Sheesh! Moral relativism is practiced by many people and societies and, for better or worse, I try to live with that fact of life.


You didn't answer my question, though, are we to eject all non-creationists? Is that your wish? It's a YES or NO question and you won't get a grade.

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Read these quotes from scientists that promote evolution and begin investigating the "evidence" for evolution on your own:


"No rational order of divine intelligence unites species. The natural ties are genealogical along contingent pathways of history."

Stephen Jay Gould


"I cannot persuade myself that a beneficent and omnipotent God would have designedly created parasitic wasps with the express intention of their feeding within the living bodies of Caterpillars." (p. 479) Charles Darwin


"I am a strong advocate for free thought on all subjects, yet it appears to me (whether rightly or wrongly) that direct arguments against christianity & theism produce hardly any effect on the public; & freedom of thought is best promoted by the gradual illumination of men's minds, which follow from the advance of science. It has, therefore, been always my object to avoid writing on religion, & I have confined myself to science. I may, however, have been unduly biassed by the pain which it would give some members of my family, if I aided in any way direct attacks on religion." (p. 645) Charles Darwin


"No one who has lived in the world as long as you & I have, can entertain the pious delusion that it is engineered upon principles of benevolence... the cosmos remains always beautiful and profoundly interesting in every corner--and if I had as many lives as a cat I would leave no corner unexplored." (p. 588)


-- Thomas H. Huxley


"We are here because one odd group of fishes had a peculiar fin anatomy that could transform into legs for terrestrial creatures; because the earth never froze entirely during an ice age; because a small and tenuous species, arising in Africa a quarter of a million years ago, has managed, so far, to survive by hook and by crook. We may yearn for a 'higher' answer---but none exists." [stephen Jay Gould, quoted in 2000 Years of Disbelief, Famous People with the Courage to Doubt, by James A. Haught, Prometheus Books, 1996]



"Biology is the study of complicated things that give the appearance of having been designed for a purpose."

(Dawkins, Richard [Atheist, Zoologist, and Professor for the Public Understanding of Science, Oxford University], "The Blind Watchmaker," [1986], Penguin: London, 1991, reprint, p.1)



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Rooster7, I repeat, science does not address God in any way. It does not refute God or religion nor does it support God or religion


Perhaps science (as a field of study) does not seek to do eitherhowever, this does not mean that science does not support the existence of God. Science and religion are not mutually exclusive.


It is totally consumed with the rational world and has plenty of questions there without tackling those that are solely a matter of faith.


There's no rational reason to believe in God? God's existence is solely a matter of faith? Faith is a matter of obedience. It's not a blind confidence. That is to say, one demonstrates faith when he/she follows God's will. For example, when a believer makes a sacrifice for God (i.e., performs a ministry) with no worldly promise of a reward. Faith is, knowing that God will reward that obedience. Faith is, knowing that Jesus has enabled us to stand before God with confidence. Faith is NOT, "belief in a god when there are no signs of his existence". This is a non-believers definition of faith. Believers know that God is real. This is not a matter of faith, but Grace. A Grace that allows one to see God's presence is everywhere. The evidence is overwhelming. Once, we were blind, but now we can see.


If some persons who sincerely feel that science is in conflict with religion but there simply is no such conflict, only a personal perception of such.

I don't believe science is in conflict with religion. I believe that many scientists interpret the facts that conflict with the truth. Someone claimed that many Christians (and/or others of faith) refuse to accept facts when they do not conform to their religious view. I submit that many scientists refuse to recognize facts that do not conform to their worldview (as defined by previous generations of "scientists"). Am I saying all scientists are blind? No. I am saying that since the early 1900s, the scientific community has grown increasingly hostile towards religion. As a collective group, I don't trust their tainted interpretations, or even many of their so-called discoveries (i.e., bones from the "missing link" that turn out to be that of a pig, a carbon dating method which is refined as new evidence shows discrepancies, etc.).


The true believers of science (as defined by the present day community) claim that variations are a matter of refinement. They accept these inconsistencies as part of the scientific process without a doubt in their minds concerning the purity of the hearts and minds of these scientists. They don't blink an eye when the Hubble Space Telescope takes a picture and shaves four billion years off the age of the universe. The true believer trusts the scientific community because scientists only deal in "facts". It doesn't matter if the facts change from one year to the next. True believers accept the new facts as fact, because they truly have faith. So, yes, I think many folks do treat science as a religion (as a non-believer defines faith). What's the difference between their religion and mine? Mine doesn't require blind faith, only Grace.


Disclaimer: You can believe in evolution and God. I just don't think there's any reason to believe in both.(This message has been edited by Rooster7)

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Rooster7, Thank you for your heartfelt and sincere thoughts. I think we have a lot of common ground and, as you say, there are both scientists and non-scientists who hold very rigid, conflicting views. I agree that science and religion are not mutually exclusive. In my view science can be used as a way to expand our sense of wonder and awe. I get the impression that DeMann, for example, sees science as some kind of enemy and I am still trying to understand such response. All of us, I think, are looking for answers to what are often similar questions. Inevitably, we tend to answer the easy questions first, the ones remaining pose greater and greater challenges. Some will remain unassailable perhaps. I think this is true for both science and religion.


I also agree with your rationale for belief in God. (I sort of expected someone to take my comment in a meaning I did not intend.) To me, the difference between faith-based belief and scientific knowledge is the willingness to admit the possibility of being wrong. How many times have you heard a minister or anyone advocating their faith say, for example, "I could be wrong, but...." or "I think this is 'probably' how to interpret this..." Not often (actually never) in my experience. Scientists, honestly, do this often. When they don't you are correct to take them to task.


In some sense, we are all true believers in science because we all benefit from the fruits of science as well as employing the method in our day-to-day lives. One problem occurs with the concept of a 'fact'. Science and religion both have 'truth' as their goal and one of them is already in possession of it. Science is still searching. Facts, on the other hand, are not fixed, unchanging things. An old scientist I once knew claimed that, "...a fact is something that is not currently under investigation." Meaning: if we accept something as fact, such could have a short lifetime if evidence to the contrary arises. Only a few 'facts' survive for long and most of us would agree, for example, with such facts as the number of chromosomes in the human cell (discounting the examples where the number is different as in Down Syndrome) or the amount of energy produced through combustion of some fuel. We accept these because we either don't care either way or we put them to the test fairly often and they continue to seem to work.


I doubt that many of us would willingly return to the days prior to the discovery of the cellular basis of life, or the time when chemistry employed the doctrine of 'phlogiston'. The 'facts' at those times, in many instances, are quite different from today and I, for one, am glad of it.

One reason for the misconception is that a 'fact' is often in the eye of the beholder. The irony that I have detected is that persons attempting to refute theories such as evolution are more likely to identify certain observations as 'facts' than are the scientists who made the observations. Scientists who are not careful about their reports and characterizations can get some rough treatment. Does anyone remember cold fusion (the Utah effect)? I thank my lucky stars I wasn't working in THEIR lab. There may still be some believers out there who are trying to make this work. Forgive me for doubting them, I hope they succeed. The number of perpetual motion machines seem endless and all discredited. Yet, I know that if I invoke the 2nd law of thermodynamics, it will only be in a hopelessly superficial manner (too many years since differential equations, I hated them anyway) and I know that without a strong background, ANY discussion of the 2nd law is simlarly doomed to superficiality. Non-equilibrium thermodynamics is another order of magnitude yet.


I often encounter 'facts' that people defend, sometimes violently. One man was ready to fight for his rendition of how opossums breed through the nose. Another similar encounter occurred through a fisherman's insistence that an eel is basically like a snake. One of my favorites is a 'fact' that the boy's are fond of: Daddy-longlegs are the most poisonous spiders, their fangs are just too small to inflict harm to us. (Incidentally, all of the above are false) I have identified so many decapitated harmless snakes mistaken for poisonous ones that I invented a new species, the "coppermouthedrattlemoccasin". This includes any harmless reptile hacked to smithereens by someone with a hoe. The mystery to me is why they ever bother to ask, self doubt maybe? I don't let them off easily. They are seldom contrite.


Faith obviously requires no such preparation. It is available to anyone, any time, no matter how erudite or ignorant. It merely needs to be absolute. As a developing Presbyterian I heard, "Faith can move mountains" and I admit that as an impressionable youth, I strained hard for that faith. Today, however, I recognize that my inability to move that mountain was neither a test of the concept of faith, but it also was not a test of my faith either. There simply is no test save that which you apply to yourself (again, this is just my personal view). Rooster, your faith is as constant as you make it. Science should have no bearing on it. Yet, and at the same time, the age of the universe as postulated by scientists will continue to be argued and modified long after we are gone. (But no one, not anyone, will change the value of pi)

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"Kind of curious why believers of evolution like to quote atheist web sites and atheist scientists. How about the 100 scientists who signed a document indicating the problems with theories of evolution. "


In turn, I'm curious as to why those who feel that evolution flies in the face of God ignore the writings of Teilhard de Chardin. NOT an atheist at all, and certainly a more eloquent spokeperson for the religous pro-evolutionists than many...


The following noted at: http://www.religioustolerance.org/ev_denom.htm


In 1996, Pope John Paul II spoke at the annual meeting of the Pontifical Academy of Sciences, which has been called "the Church's 'scientific senate' ". 4,7 He said, in part:


"Today, more than a half century after this ['Humani Generis'] encyclical, new knowledge leads us to recognize in the theory of evolution more than a hypothesis. ... The convergence, neither sought nor induced, of results of work done independently one from the other, constitutes in itself a significant argument in favor of

this theory [of evolution]."


Saul Korewa, a teacher at the Utah

School of Jewish Studies commented: "You would certainly find many rabbinic authorities who teach that the biblical story of creation is a blueprint for what evolution describes in that it moves from less advanced organisms. I don't think that mainstream Judaism has a big problem reconciling science and religion."



I guess all this proves is that everyone's got an opinion, and that on both sides of the argument you'll find members of 'the other' camp!


I'm sure that if someone was still exploring the issue, they could find all sorts of info on BOTH sides, much as we've shown here.


Now, I'm not aware that any of the scientists mentioned had/have ever declared that any and all of their utterances are infallible - and tho' a pro-evolution and pro-science person myself, that doesn't mean that I'm anti-God. So those quotes are just the quotes of other fallible human beings.



They are probably as meaningful - no more, no less, I'd guess - than the writings of those of the cloth whose faith has failed them, and who write against the existence of God. What does it really prove?


Well again - everyone's got an opinion!


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The 'ages' and 'aeons' to which I have reference are the 'days' in Genesis. Since you have advised others to learn Aramaic and read the original, I'm assuming you yourself have done so, and I was wondering what the original words actually were?


As far as my own definition thereof, well - I'm not sure why it's important, but ages is the time between birthdays when you're a kid :-) and aeons is a lot more than a day!


Thanks for any insights on the original translations!

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I never gave you my four answers because I wasnt sure you were addressing them to me.


1) Who is to know for sure? We are talking about something that happened billions of years ago. The fossil record is going to be incomplete in the best of circumstances. In this case it is miraculous that we have anything. You are asking for certainty, science doesnt work that way. This is probably an intellectual puzzle that folks will always argue about.

2) I think the question is when did man become man. We are obviously remained animals. In the creation story man ate from the tree of knowledge of good and evil, lovely metaphor. Man is self-aware and self-expressive more than any other animal. This is where the poetry of the Bible and the observations of science seem very compatible.

3) Excellent question. I would not frame it that way. I indicated in earlier posts that there are some profound truths in the Genesis account. So, I dont disbelieve it. I dont think it is an accurate historical or scientific account, but I do think that the notion of man becoming aware of moral choice and being able to articulate that is something profoundly human. These are deep moral and theological truths being expressed.

4) Right and wrong are not simply a product of enforcing Biblical values. If so, why dont you stone your children when they defy you, etc. I attended a Catholic university. There every man and woman was exposed to Aristotles Nicomachean Ethics. We were taught that we could decide right and wrong on the basis of reason. Although I dont agree with everything I was taught, it did show me that there are other sources of moral authority other than the church or the Bible. Go back to the tree in the Garden of Eden. We ate of the tree and now we have the responsibility to work this out. Can the Bible help guide us? You bet. The only guide, no. We would use church history and the early fathers'writings, also.

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Genesis literalists - can you explain what your view of the origins of fossils are? why are they here, etc.?


this is a sincere request - the only things I can figure out that would go along with what I've read here on folks's positions probably just wouldn't fly with those same folks, so I'm very open to finding out what their opinions actually are.


Now, I know there's folks out there who say the fossil record is incomplete, and I'm not concerned with that - for now just with the stuff we've found to date?



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I could be wrong, but I think the answer you will receive is one of black and white. If you believe that man evolved, then you MUST believe that God did not create man. If God did not create man, then God had no need to provide salvation for a creature that evolved.


As I have stated previously, I believe that God created everything and that he created man in his own image. I do not believe that man evolved from apes no matter how much similarity there may be between us and apes and extinct species in the fossil record.


However, I can not simply ignore scientific findings concerning the POSSIBLE evolution of species over millions and billions of years or the age of the earth. I won't simply stick my head in the sand. My faith in God is strong enough to still believe he is the creator regardless of the method he used.....which is subject to interpretation. As I stated earlier, The "HOW" of creation isn't nearly as important as the "WHO" of creation. My relationship with God is vastly more important than whether the earth was created in six 24 hour days or 6 billion years. My thoughts on that subject in no way determines the sacrifice Christ made to save me from my sins.

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You didn't answer my question, though, are we to eject all non-creationists? Is that your wish? It's a YES or NO question and you won't get a grade. no, if I thought that, I would have been glad that Zorn hit the rocks. I still pray for that guy; getting rid of anyone solves little or nothing. Helping them helps oneself.


As for the Bible, I like some parts more than others.now, this is what I was looking for. You have decided for yourself what is truth and what is not. How can man decide for God what is right and wrong? Is this determined by what we like or want to hear? Why cant the Bible just be truth, and it be up to us to accept it and live by it?


I see the biblical creation as something unaddressable by science. yes, a science made up by mankind. Like the Bible states, this is a case of the pot asking the potter why he has made him as he is. It is not up to us to determine what does or does not work- God has done that. If you look to the Bible, you will see proven scientific fact long before mankind ever addressed it.


Do you really think everyone on earth agrees on right and wrong? no- and that is my point exactly- only God can determine what is right and wrong.


Do you want everyone to be like you? GOD FORBID!!! Can you imagine how terrible this place would be? No, I like the diversity that already exists here. I just wish that everyone here knew who God really is and accepted Him as just that.


I get the impression that DeMann, for example, sees science as some kind of enemy and I am still trying to understand such response. No, science is not an enemy. It is my friend. I usually use science in one form or another every day. But, to say that science is smarter than God is ludicrus. He gave us a life manual (the Bible) and it has all the information we need. For us to add to it, take away from it, or change it is for us to play God with our lives and the lives of others.


"I cannot persuade myself that a beneficent and omnipotent God would have designedly created parasitic wasps with the express intention of their feeding within the living bodies of Caterpillars." (p. 479) Charles Darwin how interesting; this man can know the mind and purpose of God, and has decided what God can, would, and could do! Darwin has now defined God with his own finite mind!



I could be wrong, but I think the answer you will receive is one of black and white. If you believe that man evolved, then you MUST believe that God did not create man. If God did not create man, then God had no need to provide salvation for a creature that evolved.

Dude! You took the words right from my mouth! I wanted to say that! But thats ok. I wasnt here to do it! Thanks!


First and Littlebillie: I will try to deal with your posts tomorrow- I must leave town on business.


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