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  1. #1
    ODN's Crotchety Old Man

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    Choose Your Belief

    To the moderators of this site:

    Thanks for making it so easy to join and participate in this well designed site. I appreciate the opportunity to share and learn here.

    __________________________________________________ ______________
    Now to my topic:

    I've been reading quite a bit of discussion revolving around the endless arguments for and against evolution. The most curious thing about these debates is that Evolution never even became an issue until it became a religious issue, specifically a Christian/Atheist issue. This, I believe comes from the most basic misconceptions of the theory of evolution.

    Christians tend to believe that evolution is there to try and disprove the existence of God. Also, atheists assert that evolution does disprove the existence of God. Both of these assumptions/assertions are quite untrue. Does the theory of evolution contradict a literal translation of the creation story in Genesis? Yes, but not because it was designed for that purpose. It is simply a theory based on fossil evidence that suggests genetic changes over time. The theory of evolution is a scientific principle just like electricity, and as such, does not factor in any conflicts with any given dogma.

    Science is our system of advancing knowledge by formulating a question, collecting data about it through observation and experiment, and testing a hypothetical answer that yields predictable results. Religion is based on faith and filling in the gaps of things we don’t understand with theological explanations which cannot be tested scientifically. One has nothing to do with the other.

    In reality there is no good reason to believe that “God” could or could not have created the world is six days. There’s also no reason not to believe that a divine being “got the ball rolling” and evolution is simply his/her/its mechanism of developing life. But since science does not have the luxury of blind faith, it must go with the best observable data, and all evidence suggests that evolution is in fact the way things happened.

    The encouraging thing for believers is that when science discovers some new, better information, it will discard the bad information and adapt to the new findings. So assuming that the faithful are correct in their beliefs, science will inevitably point to a divine creator if it is in fact the inevitable truth. However, the same hope can be given equally to atheism for converse reasons.


    ~Godless


    Comments?
    Last edited by Dionysus; March 29th, 2004 at 08:12 AM.

  2. #2
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    Thanks for making it so easy to join and participate in this well designed site. I appreciate the opportunity to share and learn here.
    Thank you, we appreciate the feedback. We are still in our infant stages however, and hope to bring many changes that the community will find useful and fun.

    As far as your topic...unfortunately, I will have to allow another theist to address it. I can tell yer gonna be another tough nut to crack around here.

    1 point however...it's important to understand (and you touched upon it briefly), that not all theists believe in a young earth, nor do they believe in a literal 6 day creation. There are a variety of beliefs on this issue by theists. Some are evolutionary theists, some literal creationists of course. My point is...I think it may be rather beneficial (and efficient) to speak to the specific group (literal creationists) rather than the broader: theists. We don't all believe the same thing.
    -=]Apokalupsis[=-
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    I never considered a difference of opinion in politics, in religion, in philosophy, as cause for withdrawing from a friend. - Thomas Jefferson




  3. #3
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    The first question that sidetracks this inquiry is "WHICH" creation story?

    All primitive societies have a creation account, and, of course, not all of them can be right as they contradict each other.

    I would propose that the myth which best holds up to scientific inquiry should be brought to the head of the class rather the one told by the defender's family and culture. Perhaps we might even find science and theology in philosophical agreement here and there......
    To begin to think is to begin to be undermined.
    Albert Camus, An Absurd Reasoning

    Who knows most, doubts most.
    Robert Browning

  4. #4
    ODN's Crotchety Old Man

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    Agreed. It is very important to recognize that not all theists are YECs (Young Earth Creationists). It was not my intention to put a blanket assumption on either the creationist group or the atheistic group. I was speaking generally without regard to subtle but distinct differences. But if any young earth creationists wish to debate, I welcome the opportunity.

    ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    As a side note, it was 3rdPersonPlural that recommended this excellent site to me. I made a mistake during my registration in submitting who referred me. I thought you should know.

  5. #5
    ODN's Crotchety Old Man

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    Post #4 was for Apok.

  6. #6
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    I would have debated the affirmitive a couple years ago...but Booger presented some pretty good arguments against YEC on our old site...I lean more towards an older earth...but I've learned through a couple years of CvE debating...that I don't have the patience for this topic at length. And my faith is not dependent upon how old the ground that I walk on, is.
    Last edited by Apokalupsis; March 29th, 2004 at 10:57 AM.
    -=]Apokalupsis[=-
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    I never considered a difference of opinion in politics, in religion, in philosophy, as cause for withdrawing from a friend. - Thomas Jefferson




  7. #7
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    Christians tend to believe that evolution is there to try and disprove the existence of God. Also, atheists assert that evolution does disprove the existence of God
    These statements are too broad. I know of no atheists that try and use evolution to disprove God's existence. There may be some, I'm not sure.

    This topic is all over the threads now, mostly because of a particular Creationist who many find amusing. So don't be surprised if members are a little sick of thinking about the topic.

  8. #8
    ODN's Crotchety Old Man

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    That's why I wrote post #4.....

  9. #9
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    These statements are too broad. I know of no atheists that try and use evolution to disprove God's existence. There may be some, I'm not sure.
    Actually, Booger (who claims to be agnostic, but argues atheistic) does this.
    -=]Apokalupsis[=-
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    I never considered a difference of opinion in politics, in religion, in philosophy, as cause for withdrawing from a friend. - Thomas Jefferson




  10. #10
    Need to validate email

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    As an atheist, I freely admit that when it comes to whether we evolved or were created I am going to say I believe we evolved, however, I'll be the first to say that that is only my belief and that I could just as well be wrong about it.

    In any case, in no way can I give a factual basis for either argument to support either side's views on such.....:O)

  11. #11
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    May I heartily endorse and second Godlesspagan's comments, feelings and opinions on The Site and those who oversee it?

    I hope we are all here to 'listen', think and learn, as well as to give 'honest' opinions and also to act as the 'Devil's Advocate'.

  12. #12
    ODN's Crotchety Old Man

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    FruitandNut,

    Why, thank you my good fellow!

  13. #13
    ODN's Crotchety Old Man

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    Any takers on this old thread?

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by Godlesspagan
    There?s also no reason not to believe that a divine being ?got the ball rolling? and evolution is simply his/her/its mechanism of developing life.
    I agree with an earlier post that atheists don't, in general, use evolution to 'prove' the non-existence of god, but rather that the concept of a life-creator god does not fit with the evidence.

    Along those same lines, I cannot agree with your statement, Godlesspagan. IF you assume that this god creator is an intelligent being (indeed supposedly the most intelligent being in the universe), then 'getting the ball rolling' with evolution is not very consistent.

    Evolution is not in any way efficient. It is slow, prone to error (indeed, it is 99% error, 1% success), and all in all a horrible method of engineering.

    Many people point to evolution as evidence that some creator god exists because of the 'perfection' of creatures and plants. This is stretching the meaning of perfection to its very limit, if not breaking it.

    Evolution does not strive for perfection, it strives for 'just good enough'. Evolution is extremely lazy. Why do men have nipples? Because it doesn't make sense for evolution to work extra hard to remove them. They are defaulted to male bodies, not for any design purpose, but because evolution is lazy. It is the path of LEAST resistance.

    Consider many creatures whose stomachs were once its lungs, were once its eyeballs. Consider the appendix, for example. There are countless items to show that evolution is not a perfect system. In fact, its the farthest thing from it.

    As an engineer I can tell you there are much better ways of building something. Especially if you are a supernatural being that controls every aspect of reality in all its forms.

    So in closing, evolution explains life without requiring the existence of a god. Saying it's possible for god to have 'gotten the ball rolling' is also a poor accommodation for a god.

  15. #15
    ODN's Crotchety Old Man

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    Quote Originally Posted by omaysis
    I agree with an earlier post that atheists don't, in general, use evolution to 'prove' the non-existence of god, but rather that the concept of a life-creator god does not fit with the evidence.

    .......
    So in closing, evolution explains life without requiring the existence of a god. Saying it's possible for god to have 'gotten the ball rolling' is also a poor accommodation for a god.
    For the record Omaysis, I absolutely agree with you. I don't believe that some "divine" creator got the ball rolling. I also believe that the idea of an intelligent designer is hugely flawed as your general example pointed out. I merely offered that as a possible consideration for those who feel the need to attribute the monumental amount of evidence supportive of evolution to a "watchmaker".

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by Godlesspagan
    For the record Omaysis, I absolutely agree with you. I don't believe that some "divine" creator got the ball rolling. I also believe that the idea of an intelligent designer is hugely flawed as your general example pointed out. I merely offered that as a possible consideration for those who feel the need to attribute the monumental amount of evidence supportive of evolution to a "watchmaker".
    Ah I see. So I completely wasted my breath then, eh? Thanks a lot! :p

  17. #17
    ODN's Crotchety Old Man

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    Well, it was a fine breath!

  18. #18
    ODN's Crotchety Old Man

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    Bumped this up for mustang5, if he wishes to continue the discussion that of off-topic on another thread..

  19. #19
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    Welcome to the thread Mustang5. I will start with my preeminent position that evil-ution is indeed a scientific fact.
    But if you do not find an intelligent companion, a wise and well-behaved person going the same way as yourself, then go on your way alone, like a king abandoning a conquered kingdom, or like a great elephant in the deep forest. - Buddha

  20. #20
    ODN's Crotchety Old Man

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    Thanks for jumping in, Slip. I hope to see mustang5 join in tonight.

 

 
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