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AnswersinGenesis.org

Discussion in 'Evolution Vs. Creationism' started by Ceridwen018, Aug 23, 2005.

  1. Ceridwen018

    Ceridwen018 Well-Known Member

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    Many of you are familiar with the creationist website, answersingenesis.org. You've either refuted a claim by it, or used it as evidence to support something you've said. I would fit most accurately into the category of the former, and have come to dread being fed this site from every creationist I come into contact with. Not because I am intimidated by it, oh no, but because I am frustrated that it keeps being used.

    Anyhow, I have decided to take it upon myself to move though this site article by article, exposing the lies and the mistruths. I will periodically post an article from the site, followed by my own comments. Fellow evolutionists are welcome to add to my limited knowledge, and creationists are permitted to defend the articles in question. I would like to keep this debate as straightforward as possible, and would appreciate it if people would stick to discussing the articles. Anything not involving the articles will be considered off-topic. Let's begin!

    *edit*

    I just had another thought. To keep this thread from becoming too chaotic, we will discuss one article at a time. I would ask that people cease talking about previous articles once a new article has been posted. If people want to continue discussions on a previous article, they can create a new thread, or I could even do it for them. Its very easy to drag on about these things for pages and pages, and I would like to cover a great deal of material in this thread. Thanks!
     
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  2. Ceridwen018

    Ceridwen018 Well-Known Member

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    http://www.answersingenesis.org/creation/v22/i1/creation.asp
     
  3. Ceridwen018

    Ceridwen018 Well-Known Member

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  4. Ceridwen018

    Ceridwen018 Well-Known Member

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    I thought that this would be an excellent article to start out with. I really think it covers a lot of basic issues.

    The Bible can be interpreted, but facts cannot. Facts are black and white. If I drop my pencil, given our present knowledge, it is a fact that it will fall to the ground due to gravity. I am assuming that no one would dispute this. There is no other way to "interpret" the action of my pencil when I drop it--it is really quite simple. Such is the same with other accepted scientific facts. With our given knowledge, it is a fact that the sun will rise tomorrow morning, after it sets tonight and the Earth completes its rotation on its axis, which brings up more scientific facts.

    There are things about science which are not accepted as scientific facts, such as abiogenesis, the Big Bang, info on the daily life of a giant squid, etc. The theories that deal with these areas are not accepted as facts because enough evidence is not currently known about them to make definate decisions and conclusions. The evidence concerning these theories is not always completely understood, and is sometimes interpreted in a small way based on scientific facts which we know to be true.

    This first section of this article, however, tries to state that all science, facts and theories alike, are up for interpretation, and that anyone's interpretation is game. This goes against the very nature of science which is supposed to be completely objective. That is why scientific facts--and theories too--are constantly under strenuous review from the different experiments of scientists all over the world. Very few hypotheses actually make it to gain the title of "theory", let alone "fact".

    The last part of this section says that all interpretations are made upon "presuppostitions", aka, that we are all biased by certain things, and that we all make conclusions on things based on these "presuppositions" which are supposedly things which are assumed to be true, but cannot be proven. To tell you the truth, I don't feel that the author made much of an effort to explain what he meant by "presuppostions"...It seems awkward that an analogy was not offered. However, I feel I was able to get the gist of the idea.

    "Presuppositions" could possibly be a highly detrimental factor in science, which is why the scientific community employs a strict process of peer-review. Hypotheses which have reached the level of being called theories are tested and re-tested for many years by scientists all over the world. This makes sure that no theory is built on faulty science or personal bias. Any theory we have that is still incomplete, such as the three I listed earlier, are incomplete due to lack of scientific knowledge, not to faulty science.

    In this lovely section, the author first makes a small inference claiming that we cannot know what happened in the past, because no one was there to observe it. Luckily for scientists, however, the natural laws of the Earth and the universe are unchanging. Therefore, we can conclude such things as, "If sandstone, however soft, cannot erode in 40 days in modern times, chances are it was not able to erode into the grand canyon during the 40 day flood of the Bible, and therefore such a mythological event can be accurately labelled as scientifically impossible."

    Not only can we make accurate comments about events which were supposed to have happened according to the Bible, we can also draw conclusions about animals and environments from the past by looking at fossils. Anyone who wants to know more about how fossils work can look here: http://www.google.com/custom?q=fossils&sa=Search&sitesearch=www.talkorigins.org

    Next, the author says that the reason why Christians and non-Christians are in such disagreement over this issue is because Christians base their beliefs on the presupposition that God exists, and non-Christians on their belief that such a thing does not. This is a clever sidestep, however it doesn't change the fact that evolution has evidence and creationism does not. I suppose in this case, our many "presuppositions" separate us on our definitions of "evidence". I think that something can only be called evidence if it has been obtained using the scientific method, and can only be called credible if it is peer-reviewed, and creationists think that evidence consists of...well, pretty much anything they decide on a whim!

    There are two ways to interpret facts. There's a right way, and there's a wrong way.

    Really, all of this talk of "presuppositions" is just to level the playing field. Creationists are the only ones with presuppositions in this argument, and they begin and end with the statement, "The Bible is the indisputable Word of God". The only way for creationists to understand the evidence is for them to drop their bias of "It can't be true if its not in the Bible", and observe the world reasonably and logically.

    This section is concluded with the idea that the only reason why this guy's students had trouble believing in his creationist nonsense was because their science teachers were "interpreting the facts differently." This is nothing but meaningless rhetoric. Facts cannot be interpreted. It goes against the very definition of the word, "scientific fact"!
     
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  5. Ceridwen018

    Ceridwen018 Well-Known Member

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    This section begins with more senseless dribble. Again, facts cannot be interpreted. The nature of "fact" deems that it be made without biases and "presuppositions". The author fails to efficiently explain why we cannot do away with our presuppositions, and how the issue of God vs. no God is relevent to science in any way.

    In all actuality, the argument of "presuppositions" actually does harm to the intellectual reputation of creationism. Apparently, if one has the presupposition that god exists, they are forced to reject reality in favor of mythology. On the other hand, if one has the presupposition that God does not exist, only then can they see the world with clear eyes and make logical conclusions.

    Next, the author actually does attempt to further explain his idea of presuppositions...using the Bible. Oh boy. Not only can the Bible be proven as a credible source for anything, but this is circular argumentation at its finest. "We should base allof our reasoning capabilities on the Bible, because the Bible says that we should base all of our reasoning capabilities on it. Likewise, the opposition is wrong because the Bible says it is wrong." I don't think I need to say any more about that.

    The Bible is a lovely spiritual tool, but it is severly lacking as a science book. I do not claim to be an expert on the Bible, and if I had questions about it I would readily take them to a Christian theologian. Likewise, questions about science should be taken to a scientist. The verses quoted in this section are severely out of context. One says that Christians must correct error whenever they encounter it. Obviously they're talking about scientific truths here...or maybe they mean spiritual ones?

    The only way anything in this section makes any sense is if the person reading it believes that the Bible and its author, (God), is without error. Consequently, this section makes no sense to me, and its author's feable explanation as to how this makes me inferior is lost.
    Again, we must deal with presuppositions. I would like to add another thought to this ludicrous idea: science deals with objective observation which is made without any assumptions as to the outcome. "God exists" as well as "God does not exist" are completely irrelevent statements. Like I said before, the total idea of presuppositions is nothing but meaningless rhetoric that is based on flawed logic.

    Alright, well there's my two cents!
     
  6. Ceridwen018

    Ceridwen018 Well-Known Member

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    I have one last point to make. With articles like this, it is obvious that AnswersinGenesis is trying to train all of its readers how to debate creationism. They do this by filling their minds with propaganda, such as all of this, and they spin the arguments of evolution often to look ridiculous. For many people who read this site, this is their first real experience with the theory of evolution, and AnswersinGenesis doesn't help it to make a very good impression.

    In my opinion, facts should speak for themselves. It is quite telling to me that AnswersinGenesis should expend so much effort to condition their readers to specific opinions and thought processes, not to mention the automated responses that they barely understand. It is brainwashing at its finest, and to an extent I feel that these "Evangelical scientists" are merely using the simple Christian population as pawns which can be easily bought for their own agendas.

    The purpose of this post was also to bump up the thread. If no one has any further comments on this first article or any of my opinions regarding it, I will post a new article as soon as I have time, hopefully this evening. :)
     
  7. Fade

    Fade The Great Master Bates

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    Excellent work Ceridwen. Frubals on you!!
     
  8. Fade

    Fade The Great Master Bates

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    Here is a classic example of how to say a lot while saying absolutely nothing at all. I think he is trying to make a point but I'm completely at a loss as to what it actually is. It appears that he doesn't even accept the possibility that he could be wrong and for that reason alone he should not be engaging other people in debate.
     
  9. Ceridwen018

    Ceridwen018 Well-Known Member

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    Yes, I agree Fade. Those two last "examples" are quite ludicrous. He is basically saying, "Look! I converted two die-hard atheists in a mere paragraph of dialogue each! That means that I am incredibly wise, and you should believe what I say!"

    Assuming that these two encounters actually happened, he's obviously using these poor people's ignorance against them. Personally, if I am ever truely confused about something, I tend to blame the person I'm talking to, not my own ignorance....unless we're talking about math. I'm not very good at math. Seriously though, these people could have reacted in one of two ways:

    1. "Wow--he totally took what I said and turned it around! I'm not sure how he is right or how I am wrong...heck, I'm not even sure I understand what he said, but he sounds really deep, and I darned if i can think of a good rebuttel!"

    2. "Um...that doesn't make any sense."
     
  10. Ceridwen018

    Ceridwen018 Well-Known Member

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    Okey dokey then--lets move on to article #2! It can be found here:

    http://www.answersingenesis.org/home/area/faq/dont_use.asp


     
  11. Ceridwen018

    Ceridwen018 Well-Known Member

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  12. Ceridwen018

    Ceridwen018 Well-Known Member

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  13. Ceridwen018

    Ceridwen018 Well-Known Member

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  14. Ceridwen018

    Ceridwen018 Well-Known Member

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  15. Ceridwen018

    Ceridwen018 Well-Known Member

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    Phew! This was a long one! I really don't have much to say about this article--its mostly for your reading pleasure. I was interested to see that many of the arguments used by creationists on these forums do appear on this "do not use" list, though.

    Every now and then, this article does mention the Bible in such circumstances as, "Our main credible source is the Bible," or "evolution is anti-knowledge because it doesn't teach the Bible", etc. The Bible is NOT scientific in any way, and therefore by saying things like this AnswersinGenesis is basically shooting itself in the foot. It would be like Einstein saying, "I have develped a theory that I would like to call the 'Theory of Serendipity', and my main credible source was a group of leprechauns whom I passed while strolling on a rainbow on my way to Oz.
     
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