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June 26, 2009

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Good thing christianity embraces reason.
BTW, theres virgin births still happening today. Walk into an ivf clinic and im sure youl run into some one.

There is at least one reputable scientist who demonstrates, from analysis of the bloodstains on both the Turin Shroud and the Sudarium of Oviedo (which match!), that Jesus was an extremely rare type XX-male, i.e., one born of a virgin. Miracles turn out not to be necessary in this instance --- except the miracle of the evidence having been preserved all these centuries until we could develop the ability to test it.

Have you all not heard that all religions (and religious dogmas) are essentially the same? They only differ in their (inconsequential) views of God, man, sin, salvation, heaven, hell, origin, meaning, morality and destiny.

"So while scientific rationality does not require atheism, it is by no means irrational to use it as the basis for arguing against the existence of God ... miracles .. are incompatible with our scientific understanding of nature."

If scientific rationality does not require atheism, then why won't you conclude that an event that is not compatible with scientific understanding of nature be possibly divinely ordained? Prof. Krauss, your lack of analytic skill is patently obvious in your statement above.

lol! interesting obesrvaton kpolo!

I would like to see Lawrence Krauss prove scientifically that he loves his wife.

Scientific rationality does not require us to believe he does not love his wife, but it is by no means irrational to use it as a the basis for arguing against the idea that he does love his wife.

These atheists seem to have a basic lack of understanding of the word Miracle.

If there was a simple scientific explanation for it, it wouldn't be very miraculous, now would it?

It's a miracle that miracles are not happening all the time.

Scientific rationality does require something as a basis for reason, and the predictability and understandability of nature. Atheism taken to it's logical conclusion destroys rationality and any chance at scientific inquiry.

It's a good think that many of the Atheistic scientists can compartmentalize their lives in such a way so that they can still do accurate science.

J.B.S. Haldane:
" My practice as a scientist is atheistic. That is to say, when I set up an experiment I assume that no god, angel or devil is going to interfere with its course; and this assumption has been justified by such success as I have achieved in my professional career. I should therefore be intellectually dishonest if I were not also atheistic in the affairs of the world."

If you practice was atheistic, you couldn't assume that there would be no interference. What is the basis for the stability of results that you expect? The Atheist has to say a least one thing (universe or multiverse) came from nothing, what reason is there that during an experiment random things won't come into existence?

anair, I see it somewhat differently. While the assumption that the universe is predictable and understandable has certainly inspired much scientific investigation, I don't think it's really necessary for it. Quantum mechanics, for example, does not assume definite predictability or understandability. Even if the scientists cannot make definite predictions they can still make probabilistic ones.


We don't know what the ulimate laws of the universe are; all we have to work with is the universe itself. So in a manner of speaking, the laws physics (as we know them) describe what the universe does, not the other way around.

As far as miracles are concerned, I don't think it's of much consequence that miracles are "logically possible". Phenomena that are described as miracles are more likely to be a hoax or a natural phenomenon than to be an actual miracle.

This kind of thing is getting ridiculous. Lets apply the logic that religion leads to violence to science. Lets see... science invented the atomic bomb therefore science leads to the use of atomic bombs. Science developed VX nerve gas therefore scientists are rabid nerve gas users and proponents and potentially dangerous. We need to ban science and declare anyone teaching their children science is akin to child abuse. See how dangerous science is? Is that insane enough for you?

I got a question for fellow apologists. In this new article...http://news.yahoo.com/s/livescience/firstimageofamemorybeingmade
It claims that scientists can now watch human memories being made via lab work. If verified, would this greatly impact the Christain/theistic worldview especially when dealing with the conept of the soul? Would something like this finally demonstrate that we are only our brains nothing more nothing less? I'm looking foward to hearing what you all think. Thank you all for your time.

Here is something I have not seen talked about very much...the different forms testability takes in different sciences. Warning: this post is mostly thinking out loud. It is very unrefined.

    The argument as I see it
.

The problem with miracles is that they are deemed untestable. Science cannot make sure that they occurred, so it is best to just assume they did not occur. After all, the principle of uniformity says that the laws of physics we observe today have been in operation since the beginning.


Testability means different things in different sciences. Chemistry & Physics require a mechanism, best if mathematically described, for how one particle/force interacts with another. But historical sciences like archaeology and forensics require an adductive model that can involve agent causation and intention.

Miracles would fall into the historic science realm.

But each type of testability has the same ultimate limit. If you follow the causation back far enough you bump into an untestable wall. In Physics, every particle interaction ultimately regresses to the formation of the universe. In Archaeology, one ultimately ends up trying to make sense of a person's intention or decision. In either case, what a scientist metaphysically believes about the formation of the universe or human intention will effect their hypothesis.

So this article is not about science vs. religion. It is about the metaphysical beliefs different people hold and how that plays out in testability.

Chris L,
"Quantum mechanics, for example, does not assume definite predictability or understandability. Even if the scientists cannot make definite predictions they can still make probabilistic ones."

Even if the results are a probability, they still need a basis for why we would expect that probability or why it would remain consistent. We don't see wild fluctuations in the electrons all the time with macro level implications.

But bringing up quantum mechanics has interesting implications for the possibility of miracles. They are unexpected, but within the logical bounds of nature.

"We don't know what the ulimate laws of the universe are; all we have to work with is the universe itself. So in a manner of speaking, the laws physics (as we know them) describe what the universe does, not the other way around."

What about logic? Is logic just a way to describe what the universe does or is it a priori? If there was no universe would A still = A?
What about human understanding? Why should we trust it? Just because it is part of the universe?

Also the more physical laws we learn the more symmetry we see. This would not be expected under the Atheistic worldview.

JohnD, I don't see any problem for the Christian worldview with seeing how the cellular biology works when memories are made. The mind and body are connected. I can use my mind to make my body move. When external information is then transferred into my mind, I would expect to be able to see some cellular activity. It is fascinating stuff.

One thing to keep in mind is that there are different kinds of miracles: Transcendent, Transformational, and Sustaining.

Science must maintain at least one transcendent miracle in the origin of the universe (or multiverse).

And a sustaining miracle in the principle of uniformity.

And transformational miracles are possible through quantum mechanics.

JohnD,

I read that article.

One could write their experiment off by claiming that it proves itself wrong, in that, if there is no agency involved in the formation of memories, then it calls their own methods and conclusions into questions, since the memories on which they are based would be equally deterministic -- that is to say, right or wrong, their methods and conclusions could not, even in theory, be otherwise.

But my question to the scientists would be how they know they are watching actual memories form, rather than, say, the biochemistry resulting *from* the physical stimuli we use (or create) to aid us in memory retention?

For example, I repeat something in order to commit it to memory; But the audio isn't the memory -- I use the audio to associate a particular order of sounds with an idea, which is metaphysical in nature, beyond the scope of Science.

I have to move my mouth in order to create the audio, and my soul controls my brain which, in turn, controls my body -- so there's going to be *some* activity in the brain because my mouth is moving.

How do they know they're not just observing the effects of my soul on my brain?

Isn't it odd how this question never gets put on the table?

Melinda thanks for highlighting the intellectual laziness of comparing all "religious dogma" as if they all result in 9/11 type events.

Another area where this has become common is linking Christianity and Islam as virtually equal in effects by drawing on The Crusades. Never mind that this was a pre-modern world and took place over 700 years ago in a different context and Islamic terrorism is born of current teaching of its faith.

It is sad that such laziness is allowed to pass for "reasoned" discourse in a time and culture in which we have greater access to information then ever before.

"...Darwinism is embraced despite the lack of evidence."

What does this mean? Is there no evidence that, for example, humans share a common ancestor with chimps?

RonH

>> What does this mean? Is there no evidence that, for example, humans share a common ancestor with chimps?

There is evidence that is generally consistent with common ancestry, but this is not enough.

A blue plate and a blue cup *may* have come from the same factory, but *that* they are both blue doesn't prove that they did.

What is needed from the Evolutionists is documentation of each biological change from one "species" to another ("Species" is in quotes because Evolution actually precludes the existence of species proper).

I'm wondering why Evolutionists need to look for similar biological features at all, since their worldview seems to stand on nothing more than a belief that change over time equals big changes, such that all that would need to be produced as evidence is any two organisms with any number of differences.

And, of course, there's that big glaring violation of causal law called free-will to consider.

Agilius,

True. That the plate and cup are both blue is not enough. But for the common ancestry of chimps and humans there is much more than this kind of superficial similarity. A few examples:

Endogenous retroviruses
The human chromosome #2
The broken vitamin C genes
Occasional tails on humans
The cytochrome C genes
...

Google them up. Study them. Design simply can't explain any of these. They are accidents of history.

RonH

Agilius,

"... Evolution actually precludes the existence of species proper"

Huh?

Ron

Agilius,

"What is needed from the Evolutionists is documentation of each biological change from one "species" to another "

Why is that?

Ron

I had the opportunity to informally debate Lawrence Krausse about evolution vs ID last year when he came to my college. I had a backpack full of sources and problems with evolution. As I threw one issue after another at him, he would reply each time basically saying, "You're wrong. Evolution does work." Without providing any real explanation or source. And because of who he was, all the other science majors blindly believed him and accused me of attacking Lawrence and being blind to the facts. It hurts me to think about the lies they believe.

Cornelius,
So you gave the creationist explanations for...

Endogenous retroviruses
The human chromosome #2
The broken vitamin C genes
Occasional tails on humans
and
The cytochrome C genes

Right?

What are they?

Ron

Endogenous retroviruses (ERVs)

ToNy brought this up before. He cited: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=De-OkzTUDVA

Here are a couple possibilities to consider, which science will never be able to prove, either way.

1. The virus began in humans, and were passed on to chimps, et al.

2. The virus began in chimps, et al, were passed to humans, and each successive generation "bore the mark".

3. The virus passed in either direction, and certain chromosomes are similar enough that the virus affects 7 of 50 mil integration sites the same way.

4. Only 7 of 50 mil integration sites are similar enough to be affected in the same way.

These are layman observations, I realize; Perhaps, if you still find fault, you could explain certain aspects of biology that I seem to be misunderstanding.

>> "... Evolution actually precludes the existence of species proper"
>>
>> Huh?

In Evolution, that biological difference from an organism's parents which marks a new species is tiny -- just one tiny change among the many that came before.

I mean, there wouldn't even be morphological differences.

From this we can conclude that the designation "species" is quite arbitrary, in the Evolutionist's worldview.

I will speak to the broken genes issue.

The term "broken" gene comes from a time when geneticists thought genomes contained vast amounts of non-coding, non-functional DNA called Junk DNA.

Vit-C is an example of this. Most mammals have a gene that produces the enzyme L-gulono-gamma-lactone oxidase simply called GLO for short. This enzyme functions in the synthesis of ascorbic acid (vit-C). It was found that primates have a gene that is almost identical to GLO, but exists in a region that was considered non-coding at the time. Since Primates do not have the ability to synthesize Vit-C, one can see how all of these facts would logically lead to the inference that the primates received a broken GLO form their common ancestor.

Premise: GLO exists in most mammals.

Premise: Primates have a gene nearly identical to GLO, but does not code for GLO enzyme.

Premise: Non-coding DNA was once functional until changed by random biochemical events.

Conclusion: Given the properties of DNA, Primates are ancestors of mammals with functional GLO.


Now, the idea of junk DNA has gone to the wayside as biochemists have discovered that most non-coding, non-functional DNA is functional. This DNA controlled gene expression and offers protection from viral infection. The term "broken" gene is now called "pseudogene", because it is an assumption to connect premise 1 and 2 as the same gene.

There are at least two choices:

1. The GLO gene really did code for the GLO enzyme, mutated by a random biochemical event, and eventually found new function as a gene regulator.

2. The gene in primates is highly similar, but has always functioned in primates as a gene regulator. It was not passed down.

Option 1 assumes an mammalian-ancestral linkage, and a random non-purposeful biochemical event.

Option 2, does not. It does not make a claim either way and leaves open the other possibilities for gene formation.

By picking option 1, a person must have, intentionally or not, presupposed the necessity of mammalian-ancestral linkage and random biochemical changes.

This presupposition leads us back to one's metaphysics. Why should I presuppose these things?

>> "What is needed from the Evolutionists is documentation of each biological change from one "species" to another "
>>
>> Why is that?

If for no other reason, because it may be the case that certain biological changes cannot happen to certain organisms.

It's something to consider, right? But this, also, is never put on the table. And you won't know if there are any restrictions to biological change until you can observe and document the changes from one species to another.

As it is, we already observe that the offspring of any given organism is extremely similar to the parents -- which suggests a restriction on the biological changes that can take place.

>> 3. The virus passed in either direction, and certain chromosomes are similar enough that the virus affects 7 of 50 mil integration sites the same way.

The point of this one was to say that it may be that humans and chimps were created such that they have certain things in common -- like two arms, and such.

Agilius,

I'll try to give a picture of ERV's. I'd say check what I say and go beyond it. It's worth the time.

A retrovirus is a special virus that gets its DNA incorporated into a chromosome.

If (and only if) that chromosome happens to be in a sperm or egg cell the virus is "endogneous" - the viral DNA is inherited by the descendants of the original infected individual.

That viral DNA is inherited not caught. At some point mutations render it inactive, but that stretch of DNA is still inherited down the line.

And, it is inherited on the same chromosome in the same place.

We have many of these viral remnants in our DNA - each the remnant of the infection some individual had in some past generation.

The other primates have them too.

The kicker is: the other primates have have these remnants of some of thest viral infections in the same locations on the same chromosomes that we do. For this reason, the idea that they were 'caught' in a contagious way is off the table. It might be caught if it is still active, but would end up on some other chromosome or at least in a different location on the same.

No, clearly what happened is this: For each ERV that we humnans have, one individual was infected (in a sperm or egg cell) and passed the DNA down to all of his/her descendants. For some ERV's this includes all humans, and all chimps, and all monkeys.

The icing on the cake is that you can look at the different mutations on a particular ERV across the different primates and draw a primate family tree. Whichever ERV you pick, you get the same family tree.

RonH

>> That viral DNA is inherited not caught.

At some point it was caught, right?

>> The kicker is: the other primates have have these remnants of some of thest viral infections in the same locations on the same chromosomes that we do.

Has it been observed that the inactive virus' DNA passed to a different place in the offspring?

If not, has it been considered that chimps, et al, may only have 7 out of 50 mil integration sites in common, as it pertains to ERVs? (Else we might expect to see ERVs in different integration sites in different sets of chimps, et al, and also in different sets of humans).

The ERV argument has merit, to be sure -- but no more so than certain morphological similarities, which a lot of species seem to have in common, in varying degrees.

Not to shorten, underscore, or ignore any honest objections the person in question (in the original post) may have, I do believe this isint an intillectual issue, rather, but an issue of misplaced worship. A breaking of the first commandment.
Of course, that observation would probably be met with sarcasm and utter dismissal. I understand.

Agilius,

>> Has it been observed that the inactive virus' DNA passed to a different place in the offspring?

well a child's resultant genome is always a bit different. So we would assume this to be the case sometimes.

>> If not, has it been considered that chimps, et al, may only have 7 out of 50 mil integration sites in common, as it pertains to ERVs?

Are you arguing that there exists an as yet undiscovered mechanism that parlays viral code into 7 particular regions of the genome in apes.

Well if such a mechanism exists, it would be your burden to reveal this mechanism.

One could, for example say that Satan was the mechanism that created the ERVs to appear in the manner that they do in order to drive us away from God.

I think if I was still a Christian, this is how I would argue. Else, I don't see a way around it.

The last 10 years have been pretty intersting for the world of evolution. Proving abiogenesis is still a ways off. But proving common ancestry is, in my opinion, pretty much a shut case.

And one need only prove common ancestry to disprove genesis in my opinion.

I'm personally shocked whever i meet an evolution-believing christian.

like this guy

http://www.evolutionandgod.com/

I think he represents the next wave of christian fundamentalism.

I guess when they read in genesis that god created man in his own image. This actaully means "god created some mold which turned into fish, then monkeys, then humans."

whatevaaaaa

>> well a child's resultant genome is always a bit different. So we would assume this to be the case sometimes.

Are you toying with me, or what?

So, when the guy in the video says that the offspring "bears the mark", he's just saying that the mark is passed to the same general area?

I did notice that I was left to assume that the same "lollipop" markers appeared in the same spot in each successive generation -- but those were not the words used.

Also, only half the infected DNA gets passed to the offspring, right? And is the infected DNA mirrored on each half of the DNA that gets passed?

>> Are you arguing that there exists an as yet undiscovered mechanism that parlays viral code into 7 particular regions of the genome in apes.
>>
>> Well if such a mechanism exists, it would be your burden to reveal this mechanism.

I would gladly grant you that it is our burden to prove such a mechanism, if you would grant me that it has yet to be taken off the table.

As it is, however, wouldn't the 7 integration sites suggest as much?

This is a bit disingenuous of me, in that I am framing the evidence such that it seems to only support my position, when it may be that the evidence is not unique to Creationism; But, in the interest of winning for losing, I will use this occasion to say that there are evidences claimed by Evolutionists which are not unique to their worldview.

The main thing I would like to convey regarding your 'mechanism' argument is that, given the highly structured nature of DNA, it is not at all reasonable to remove from the table the possibility that, of the 50 mil possible integration sites, only 7 of them are able to be affected by the inactive DNA of ERVs in the same way.

Also, I don't know that the notion of a mechanism is required for this particular issue. Both my blue plate and cup were designed, but the plate wasn't designed to fit inside the cup -- though I could probably make some of it fit.

Agilius,

>>At some point it was caught, right?

Yes. Once. After that, inherited.

>>Has it been observed that the inactive virus' DNA passed to a different place in the offspring?

Ever? Perhaps. That sounds like a translocation mutation which could happen to any piece of DNA as far as I know. http://tinyurl.com/or8eb

>>If not, has it been considered that chimps, et al, may only have 7 out of 50 mil integration sites in common, as it pertains to ERVs? (Else we might expect to see ERVs in different integration sites in different sets of chimps, et al, and also in different sets of humans).

Hmm.. I don't understand the question. Rephrase more simply?

>>The ERV argument has merit, to be sure -- but no more so than certain morphological similarities, which a lot of species seem to have in common, in varying degrees.

I find the ERV argument to be far stronger evidence for common primate descent than the morphological similarities. You can draw a primate cladogram (family tree) based on morphology. But by itself it could be explained by a common designer. ERV's provide many independent ways to draw a cladogram. You can pick a few viruses and look at which species have them in their genomes and which don't: http://tinyurl.com/8xhoj. Or, you can pick one ERV that is shared by all primates and look at which species have which mutations. Common ancestry predicts you get the same cladogram and you do.

Ron

Agilius,

>> Are you toying with me, or what? So, when the guy in the video says that the offspring "bears the mark", he's just saying that the mark is passed to the same general area?

Well your question was, “Has it been observed that the inactive virus' DNA passed to a different place in the offspring?” And given the nature of DNA replication it is a given that this sometimes happens. The question is, how much.

>> …half the infected DNA gets passed to the offspring, right? And is the infected DNA mirrored on each half of the DNA that gets passed?

All humans carry the same ERVs regardless of sex.

>> I would gladly grant you that it is our burden to prove such a mechanism, if you would grant me that it has yet to be taken off the table.

I don’t know to what extent it’s on the table since I’ve never heard anyone talk about such a mechanism. But you can’t just appeal to biology phantoms when the evidence gets scary.

>> As it is, however, wouldn't the 7 integration sites suggest as much?

Huh?

The fact that the integration sites were congruous across apes suggest common ancestry. They could suggest all the apes also carried this common “parlaying mechanism” which you speak of. Except for the fact that it doesn’t exist.

>> Also, I don't know that the notion of a mechanism is required for this particular issue.

Yeah I have no idea what it would look like. There would have to be some attraction parameter at the sites that we’re not seeing. But if it was a matter of unique coding following or preceding the receptor site, that would have been noticed by now. I guess your only shot is to hope for some kind of ribosomal anomaly. But I have trouble imagining how it would work.

So if common ancestry is proven, would you stop being a Christian?

>> Yeah I have no idea what it would look like. There would have to be some attraction parameter at the sites that we’re not seeing.

I'll get to the others, later; but I want to address this for now.

Like my last plate and cup analogy, a mechanism, or an attraction parameter is unnecessary, in that the ERV DNA would otherwise have affected the offspring's DNA more than it has, were it not for the incidental restrictive nature of the offspring's DNA.

Part of my plate fits inside my cup. There's no mechanism or acceptance parameter involved. The cup wasn't designed as a receptacle for plates, but if you try to fit a plate inside a cup, you will find that part of it happens to fit.

The same thing may be happening with the DNA of ERVs, and is worth considering.

>> I don’t know to what extent it’s on the table since I’ve never heard anyone talk about such a mechanism. But you can’t just appeal to biology phantoms when the evidence gets scary.

Again, no mechanism or acceptance parameter required.

So scientists aren't obligated to consider all possibilities at the outset?

It doesn't ever occur to the scientists to consider that they might be trying to fit a square peg into a round hole, but only part of the peg ends up fitting (It's a "malleable-enough" peg).

>> So if common ancestry is proven, would you stop being a Christian?

Oh, absolutely.

The Bible says that from one man god created all men.

So, if common ancestry could be proven, somehow -- and not merely share some evidence in common with Christianity, such that the attempt can be made to make the evidence seem to be unique to Evolution -- that would pretty much clench it.

Common ancestry wouldn't stop me from believing in God, or Christ raising from the dead. One man could have "evolved" from sub-man and still be a man. Unique and made in God's image.

Todd

Yeah I think Todd is a good example of why the evolution debate just really doesn’t matter all that much. And why there are necessarily no errors in the bible.

The bible is just a big rorschach test. People take what they want from it.

Agilius,

I’m not really following your metaphor.

It’s more like filling a room with a million teacups and then having a chimp, a gorilla, and a human all throw a ping pong ball in. And the ball always landed on cup number 783,498. If there are other factors at play that influence the throw, like the size of the cup or the shape of the ball, then the burden is on those who would claim it’s not a fair toss.

>> So, if common ancestry could be proven… that would pretty much clench it.

Ya for me too.

I’ve been skeptical of evolution and I still don’t believe in ‘molecules-to-man’, but when I saw the erv data I was like, “well I guess that battle is over”

I mean when you read pages like Ron quoted above:

http://tinyurl.com/8xhoj

don’t you get nervous? This is the kind of stuff that would scare the crap out of me when I was still a Christian.

Historically speaking, I really don’t think the evidence for evolution has been all that great until VERY recently. It’s just not lookin to good for your side lately.

I’m not really sure how much better the evidence could get to prove common ancestry, save a video camera recording the evolution taking place.

At this point we pretty much have only two options:

Believe that common ancestry is true and we really did “come from monkeys” after all.

or

The ERV and chromosome data is flawed somehow.

But if we didn’t “come from monkeys”, God sure went to a LOT of trouble to make it look like we did.

>>But if we didn’t “come from monkeys”, God sure went to a LOT of trouble to make it look like we did.

And where does that leave Adam.
And where does that leave Jesus.

Ron

Adam would be the first human made in God's image.

Can you see how your are like God, knowing Good and Evil?

Jesus would be the Son of God who saves us from our sin.

Have you sinned? Are you innocent or guilty before a Just and Holy God?

Todd

Tony

If I was not a Christian, the evidence for God's existence and the resurrection would make me very nervous, my sin would make me more nervous, and death would scare the crap out of me.

Todd

Hi Todd,

>>Adam would be the first human made in God's image.
And Adam's daddy (who is as much like Adam as Cain or Abel) goes: So you think you're better than me huh?

>>Can you see how your are like God, knowing Good and Evil?

I see I'm a social animal more like other animals than a god. Social animals need something like morality in order to be, well, social. It has enormous benefits. I'm all in favor of it, but it's not of supernatural origin.

>>Jesus would be the Son of God who saves us from our sin.
Interesting story. Doesn't ring true, however.

>>Have you sinned?
I don't use the word.

>>Are you innocent or guilty before a Just and Holy God?
Very unlikely.


Ron

Todd,

Not answering for ToNy but...

Real evidence is the kind if thing you can walk around in. Or maybe kick the tires. The 'evidence' for God and resurrection is all talk. Honed for 2000 years yes, but not like real evidence. That's what I think. Hoping to hear from ToNy.
Ron

RonH, I could grant that the evidence for Evolution from a godless perspective is pretty good, at the same time, there is a very good argument that fits into a christian framework, which does not include ape to man commonality. Heres the thing, though. When you step back from the corridors of evolution and examine the girth of reality, an evolutionistic worldview simply does not fit with the way the world actually works. Which in light of that statement, might cause one to reconsider the evidence, and ponder, 'is it possible that I failing to consider something?'?

Strange as I feel saying this, Todd has a good point.
If I werent a Christian, the evidence for the resurrection would freak the crap out of me.

Ive heard good arguments from athiests, as well as christians regarding the subject of evolution. Ide say its the best argument athiests have. And I do think its a good one (STRICTLY speaking to evolution).

Total Depravity,

The evidence for the common descent of apes and us is like the evidence for relativity, germ theory, or quantum mechanics. It's like the evidence we expect in court. It's like the evidence we base our daily commute on. Godlessness just doesn't come into it.

As far as the evidence for the resurrection goes. TD, I know evidence, I work work with evidence, and TD the evidence for the resurrection isn't evidence at all. It's rhetoric, ruse, and repetition. It shouldn't scare anybody. If it does, that's a shame. A real sham.

Ron

>> I’m not really following your metaphor.

At what point during my metaphor do you begin to not understand it, and why?

>> It’s more like filling a room with a million teacups and then having a chimp, a gorilla, and a human all throw a ping pong ball in. And the ball always landed on cup number 783,498.

That is certainly one explanation to consider.

Another consideration, which has yet to be taken off the table, is that the chimp, gorilla, and human, each have 50 mil teacups, only 7 of them are common among the three, and quite a large number of balls are thrown into the teacups.

In either scenario, you end up with the same result. So, so far, this is not enough information to come to a conclusion either way.

Further, remember that we're not the one's claiming that biology disproves Naturalism; At best -- even in theory -- we can only claim, as I often have (in one form or another), that biology, per se, doesn't rule out the Christian worldview.

Therefore the burden of proof is on the Evolutionist to prove otherwise, if that is his claim.

>> If there are other factors at play that influence the throw, like the size of the cup or the shape of the ball, then the burden is on those who would claim it’s not a fair toss.

No one is claiming that there are other factors, per se (at least not yet), that influence the throw, or such;

What I take issue with is that you claim that the Evolutionist is able to claim ERV DNA could *only* have passed to the offspring in the way they propose.

So, when I offer a plausible alternative, I expect Evolutionists to either explain why my alternative is not plausible, or to consider it an option until discovered otherwise.

As it is, all the ERV argument proves, at best, so far, is that there are 7 out of 50 mil integration sites in common among chimps, et al, and humans.

>> I mean when you read pages like Ron quoted above:

Provide me a direct link, please?

>> Hmm.. I don't understand the question. Rephrase more simply?

For RonH, see above for the clarification. Hope that helps.

>>What I take issue with is that you claim that the Evolutionist is able to claim ERV DNA could *only* have passed to the offspring in the way they propose.

This is what really bothers me. All evidence is interpreted in light of the given evolutionary framework, no other framework is considered. Then, when a scientist considers a different interpretation of the same data, they are called anti-science and there job is threatened. Looks like the game is rigged.

Todd

Agilius,

>> “each have 50 mil teacups, only 7 of them are common among the three, and quite a large number of balls are thrown into the teacups”

Problem is there are millions of common cups, not 7.

Well bonobobill’s metaphor with the dictionary is better still (time 2:30)

youtube.com/watch?v=De-OkzTUDVA

>> biology, per se, doesn't rule out the Christian worldview

Of course not. As I said, a theologically legitimate stance to take is to say that satan planted the erv’s there to fool you. I don’t know why Christians shy away from this position. Truly, if I was Satan and I wanted to cast doubt, I can’t think of a better way than with ERVs.

>> “As it is, all the ERV argument proves, at best, so far, is that there are 7 out of 50 mil integration sites in common among chimps, et al, and humans.”

We have millions of integration sites in common. That’s what all the fuss is about.

Otherwise it wouldn’t even be an interesting question.

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