Escape from Elba
Exiles of the New York Times
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Author Topic: Science and Religion  (Read 4205 times)
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« on: August 20, 2007, 03:23:35 PM »

Americans are flocking to a hi-tech Creation Museum where man and dinosaurs frolick happily together
http://news.independent.co.uk/world/americas/article2872252.ece
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obertray
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« Reply #1 on: August 20, 2007, 04:50:34 PM »

It's a very comforting feeling to be here," admits Nancy Spivey, 65, who has driven all the way from North Carolina ' to visit the museum with her husband, Al, 65, a retired insurance executive. The couple consider themselves creationists and are thrilled to find such a "quality" place supporting their views. "A lot of so-called intelligent people think that if you believe in creationism you are not very bright, but you get away from that here," Nancy adds. "Everywhere else, we feel bullied and pushed around," says Al, noting that the evolutionary thesis of Darwin is the accepted wisdom in every other natural history museum in America, not to mention in its public schools and universities. For them, this is a sanctuary.

For me this is the crux of the issue. These people (starting off with a generalization)  want so badly to feel like martyrs that they have created their own "victim class' of the oppressed. Instead of recognizing that the facts, they concoct in their individual ans collective minds that the museum community is allied against them personally and institutionally.

My sense here however is that there is a homogeneity amongst the posters here that would preclude a rousing spirited, spirit spitballer of a spat. As opposed to the NYT where the forum was a great meeting ground for combatants of the status quo and staunch change backarians against those against the status quo who were change forwarriords. here there is a sense of membership privilege where the community is more important than individual ideological fortresses, slinging arrows and mal mots at each other. Ahh how I loved those olden days....

I wish that I were able to maintain a level of theistic and atheistic, scientific v. scientismic, mythological and supernatural discourse. Alas, I fall far short. I find that even my most perplexing plastic trial balloon was punctured by PS Rain back in those later early days when he described time as being stochastic and therefore there is natural cause to such issues as precognition. Ever since then I've had a different view of time, a third option, as it were (I liked PSRain, I know there are some here to whom the very mention of the name causes BVDs to bunch up. But I liked him. He was one of the few that I met that could take a punch, give a punch and then give you a hand up so that the fun could be had again. Oh he was filthy alright, there was not dirt road he wouldn't travel down if he needed to, or if he just wanted to , or it might be that you met him along the road, maybe he was coming back from the place you were not even really planning to go.)

When discussions get to the point of how many evolutionary leaps it might take to make an eye... well, that's when I go scientismist, I fall back on a faith rooted in the idea the the eyeball is here and it works fairly well, (and what i think is pretty cool about the eye is that it evolved differently in lots of different critters. Some see black and white some see thousands of images and compress them into one, scallops have eyes (That strikes me as cool). Some use sound instead of light. But the math involved in the eyeball debate is beyond what I know, it'd take years to teach me (assuming I were a willing student) what I don't know just to tell me what I don't know that I don't know.

Some of my fondest memories of the NYT forums were the countless hours spent arguing on the Science and Religion board, with WRCooper? and Showalter? and some westcoast/Hawaii time guy who.... AlexanderK something IIRsemiC...  who only came out late at night so you knew if you were talking to him that it was time to start getting ready for work!

Here's hoping for a lively debate, where everyone keeps in mind (tucked away deep so that it doesn't get in the way) that nobody hates the other person for thinking differently; just for saying it out loud!
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« Reply #2 on: August 21, 2007, 02:52:43 AM »

" . . . just for saying it out loud."  LOL, Obertray.  Good line.
« Last Edit: August 21, 2007, 02:55:26 AM by Donotremove » Logged
Thinking Plague
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« Reply #3 on: August 24, 2007, 08:33:25 PM »

"We are told how the world is no more than 6,000 years old and Noah's Flood created all the world's fossils as well as its topography as we know it (including the Grand Canyon, gouged by its ebbing waters)."

It is for these reasons that I could not be more opposed to the teaching of creation in our public schools.

I don’t even know where to begin or if I should even bother.
 
In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. - Genesis 1:1

When did this occur?  Does it say 6,000 years ago?

Not convinced?  Let’s look at the next verse.

The earth was without form, and void; and darkness was on the face of the deep.  And the Spirit of God was hovering over the face of the waters. - Genesis 1:2

How long was the earth “without form, and void” and how long did the Spirit of God “hover over the face of the waters”?

Does it say anything regarding duration of time?

Better yet, WHY was the Earth “without form, and void” and WHY did the Spirit of God “hover over the face of the waters”?  (I.E. What occurred between Genesis 1:1 and Genesis 1:2?)

[I can address these questions from Scripture in another post but I want people to focus on this 6,000 year "house of cards" timeline.]


What is the total duration of (Genesis 1:1) + (the time between Genesis 1:1 and Genesis 1:2) + (Genesis 1:2).

From the text it is unknowable.  The creation of the Earth could have occurred billions of years ago when God brought the universe into being.

However, the purpose of Scripture is not the dating of the Earth or universe.  That is better left to the realm of science.

From Genesis to Revelation only one matter is in view, the salvation of mankind.

« Last Edit: August 24, 2007, 08:36:16 PM by Thinking Plague » Logged
johnr60
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« Reply #4 on: August 24, 2007, 09:35:44 PM »

"From Genesis to Revelation only one matter is in view, the salvation of mankind."

Unfortunately if we use that line as a premise further meaningful discussion would end.  But if we were to use Genesis as one of many texts which might point to ancient beliefs regarding creation, we might find more evidence to support a pseudo creationist view that at least could do battle with the strictly scientific notion--every bit as closed as the most fundamental Christian.  In my experience it cant happen and not from one side but both. 
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« Reply #5 on: August 25, 2007, 02:17:02 AM »

kKeep talking, John.  I'm listening.
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johnr60
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« Reply #6 on: August 25, 2007, 10:41:05 AM »

This site has many broken links but what is there is worth the effort:

http://www.mythofcreation.co.uk/Arguments_explore/Arguments.htm
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barton
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« Reply #7 on: September 09, 2007, 02:06:29 PM »

Oddly enough, I've never found it to be worth the effort.  Creationism is superstitious hogwash.  My son was able to recognize its inanity at around age 9.  His mother had been taking him to church and the sunday school teacher was into the whole Creationism thing and had tried to teach him that the earth was a few millenia old, etc.  He came to me, quite confused, and asked how there could be all those fossils and such that were much older and why there would be some all-powerful Giant Elf or whatever who would go to the trouble of burying fake fossils all over the world and adjusting their isotope ratios and stratigraphic placement and such so as to fool everyone.  (OK, he didn't say "stratigraphic placement" but that was the gist of it....)  I called the idiot up and discovered, to my intense horror, that he had a degree in science and was actually teaching at some small religious college in the area.  My son was lucky, only having his natural bent towards questioning and thinking critically sharpened, but I do worry about the college kids at the school where this guy is teaching life sciences.  It's a Seventh Day Adventist college, and I fear that the science degrees they hand out are not worth the paper they're printed on.   
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"History doesn't repeat itself, but it often rhymes."
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« Reply #8 on: September 09, 2007, 02:13:31 PM »

It's a Seventh Day Adventist college, and I fear that the science degrees they hand out are not worth the paper they're printed on.   

There you go, Barton.  And, disturbingly, at more schools like that than we'd care to know about.  And then there's home schooling . . . .
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obertray
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« Reply #9 on: September 10, 2007, 03:30:46 PM »

Well I certainly agree that the Creationism routine is hogwash....

On the hand, ex out the "the world is 6,000 years old" presupposition and the "Guided evolution" theory becomes heavier in the hand (not as easy to dismiss out of hand).

What this does also allow for is the idea that we are not the end product of Evolution and that we are but a bend in the road (perhaps the symbol should not be a tree but a roadmap, which, since there was no other critter developing one of sufficient complexity, the guide had to take evolution down our sidestreet so that we could invent it, then the next iteration of evolution will intrinsically grasp the concept. Perhaps we are not the object of evolution at all, but rather the concepts are what keep evolving and the animals are simply the vessles of that evolution.

Perhaps we are nothing but a thought process...

That'd be ironic!
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« Reply #10 on: September 10, 2007, 04:07:57 PM »

Ober, down that road lies fibrilation of the brain, but as an idea . . . interesting to mull over.  And very ironic.
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obertray
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« Reply #11 on: September 11, 2007, 11:08:13 AM »

Yes, the idea that thought is the driver of evolution may indeed lead to cranial explosion a'la Mars Attacks.

But it does make more sense than I'm entitled to make of it. "I think therefore I am" We think, therefore we are. How many billions of years of collected wisdom do we take for granted? We call it instinct. At a baser level we don't even call it because we can't conceptualize its not being there. Like sight, even the blind aren't without the concept of sight. For the Lord said "Let there be light" what is light but sight? The very secondest life forms were those who had the advantage of light detection over those who became their food (or who starved due to the lack of food left over after the sighted ones et all.

How much longer before we discovered community? Not very in that we became multicelled organisms and then raced along a path of greater and greater complexity and individuaization of communal tasks (I wonder if Dinosaurs had white blood cells and if not then was it the introduction of the concept of white blood cells that is at the basis for pinkblood survival (gotta hop, the silicon life form is intruding o
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« Reply #12 on: September 11, 2007, 04:53:15 PM »

Perhaps the dinosaurs' greatest contribution to the concept continuum was "Controlled Growth"

It always struck me as odd that the dinosaurs grew to such immense size and then, since then only a few whales match them. Why was this?

I always liked the asteroid theory, not the one that killed off the dinosaurs with a "Nuclear winter" like climate change. Not that there wasn't the asteroid or the nuclear winter that coincided with the end of the big ones. The problem I have with the winter issue is the idea that the asteroid was the only nuclear winter they experienced. They say that if Yellowstone pops, then we're in for a nuclear winter. I can't imagine that over the millions of years that the last period of the bigosaurs trod the earth, that there was never a time that there weren't eruptions of the Yellowstone, Krakatau, Pinatubo and Mt St Helens all at the same time casting a darkness from which the dinos emerged.

So I have liked to think that there is the "force" that is the driver of life and it's evolution that has no regard for its direction, just so long as it has a place to go. I like to think that this energy is attracted to carbon, and that any planet with sufficient carbon deposit will eventually attract this energy. Before the asteroid, the energy was superabundant on Earth and as a result, life forms grew to spectacular size.  When the asteroid slammed into planet this one the resultant shock shook off a large amount of that life energy and as a result, nothing grew to the size that everything used to be (we ignore the whale because, well, it doesn't exactly fit into the equation).

On the other hand, however, if the earlier iterations had the same condition that Andre the Giant had (he hadn't the concept of "Stop Growing!") then the reason that they stopped making them like they used to (Dinosized) was that the last dinosaurs had developed this concept and assigned the job to the end of the dna strand.

Wondering now where the synthesis of this notion has come from.... I imagine that part of it comes from the guy who thinks we're a gigantic computer simulation. Part comes from (was it) Aldus Huxley's acid trip wherefrom he wrote that we were probably just yeast spores in a bottle of champagne (or they were like us). Part might come from Hitchhikers Guide To The Galaxy, in which case, since I'm still here, the answer is apparently NOT 42. And part of it is just me, having the good time that DNR said I would on the way towards the Randle Patrick McMurphy treatment!
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« Reply #13 on: September 11, 2007, 05:43:38 PM »

Ober, on the computer thread, perhaps the great instigator fools with the DNA composistion as does the programmer--initiating, then finding and removing bugs.  Anyhoo, nice musings. Thanks.
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« Reply #14 on: September 12, 2007, 10:56:25 AM »

science and religion= water and oil
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in vino veritas
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