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Why can’t Creationists teach an alternative? Are the ‘free thinkers’ - atheists scared of som

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posted on Aug, 23 2009 @ 09:04 PM
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reply to post by Jezus
 


Somehow I think you failed physics.

Electricity is the flow of electrons around a circuit. When there is no circuit, there is no flow, there is no electricity.

There is a charge, which is the 'potential difference over two points' that I mentioned but the electricity ceases.

You're an idiot; putting my finger in the socket would complete the circuit, thereby allowing a flow of electrons - that doesn't mean that without the bulb, electricity is still there.

Try getting some education before you shoot your mouth off.




posted on Aug, 23 2009 @ 09:25 PM
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reply to post by Jezus
 

I respect your right to your own views on this, Jezus. However, you've been stating them as if they were facts and, furthermore, as though they were obvious.

They are not facts, they are conjectures, and they are not so obvious as they seem.

Your central point - that your personal experience and mine (and everybody else's) practically screams our autonomy and separatedness from the physical world around us - may seem self-evident at first. On closer inspection, though, it vanishes. We discover, for example, that consciousness and the mind are impossible to define and that their relationship with the body is highly problematic and in fact, cannot be shown in any empirical sense at all. At this point we begin to glimpse the difficulties. Look closer still and they multiply explosively. We discover that long before we are aware of consciously initiating any action, even one as simple as moving a finger, portions of the brain we have no consciousness of or control over have already initiated the physiological processes required to move that finger. Worse, we find that even the mental process that results in quite complex thoughts - even, I understand, original ideas - commences before we are conscious of having these thoughts; in some cases, the process can begin as much as half an hour before we conceive the thought itself! These assertions are based on a body of solid, peer-reviewed experimental work going back more than twenty years.

So much for science; but speaking for myself, I can go even further than this. I am a middle-aged man, and have lived long enough to descry certain patterns in my own behaviour. I have observed, more times than I care to remember, how, long before I have taken a life decision (or even done something on impulse which I came later to regret), I began unconsciously to initiate new patterns of behaviour or changes of circumstances that pointed towards that decision. The process can commence months before the culminating action or decision. This I cannot prove scientifically, but it has happened often enough for me to believe the effect is real, and I have seen it at work in other people's lives, too. A moment's reflection will probably furnish you with several such examples from your own life and those of your friends and family.

Finally (or rather, initially) we have Nietzsche's clincher, quoted above: we do not control our thoughts, even the ones that initiate our actions; they control us.

Where then is mind? Whence the sovereignty of consciousness? Yes, our day-to-day experience seems to argue for them, just as the daily experience of a little child argues for the infallibility of its parents. But that infallibility is just an illusion, which has evolved in humans because it has survival value. So with mind and consciousness; they seem to be by-products (evolutionarily useful by-products, no doubt) of the operations of the brain. To accept them at face value is somewhat naïve.



posted on Aug, 24 2009 @ 04:37 AM
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reply to post by Solomons
 


Hmm...i disagree with your opinion, im all for free thinking. and i think everyone should be able to belive what they want to without being sterio-typed as mindless sheep. I chose my beliefs, not out of fear or ignorance, i chose them because i already agreed with chirstianitys teachings. i am also open to hear anyone elses opinon on where they feel they come from.

ANYWAY, that was waayyy off topic, this is my first post.

consider this, if you will,

Design requires a designer, you cant expect some sort of mechanial creature to emerge from a random pile of assorted parts, or materials, no matter what the odds are.
In my humble opinon, that applies to all concepts of any living thing. The odds of creating something out of an "explosion" or whatever you might call it, with a consciousness, and a sense of reailty and to be able to think and FEEL....well..in my mind...is impossibal.

Thanks for hearing me out.



posted on Aug, 24 2009 @ 05:03 AM
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reply to post by Kashish777
 


In my humble opinon, that applies to all concepts of any living thing. The odds of creating something out of an "explosion" or whatever you might call it, with a consciousness, and a sense of reailty and to be able to think and FEEL....well..in my mind...is impossibal.


Considering science's discoveries in such area's, I'd say it's more than plausible.

Also. the human "design" has many flaws and shortcomings, mostly in vestigial features. It's the work of a blind designer.



posted on Aug, 24 2009 @ 09:42 AM
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reply to post by Welfhard
 


Completely agree with you on the imperfectness of the human body Welfhard
Like our vestigial appendix and tail bone, our backwards knees, our blind spot and the reason for our epiglottis

And KASHISH, I'm glad you chose your religion as opposed to being indoctrinated into it like I was, and that you're open to othes. I like your attitude.
I'm actually looking forward to see if OT can 'stomp' everyone factually as he seems to think he can



posted on Aug, 24 2009 @ 10:40 AM
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Again, your hostilities reveal that you think I'm trying to prove you wrong...

I'm not asking you to forgot about basic physics, I'm trying to get you to widen your comprehension of this issue.


Originally posted by Welfhard
reply to post by Jezus
 

Electricity is the flow of electrons around a circuit. When there is no circuit, there is no flow, there is no electricity.

----

You're an idiot; putting my finger in the socket would complete the circuit, thereby allowing a flow of electrons - that doesn't mean that without the bulb, electricity is still there.


I'm not an idiot, but the rest of your point here is in the right direction.

With the circuit broken, electricity leaves the structure.

But as soon as you but your finger in the socket, you complete the circuit and the electricity is still there. Just because the light is broken doesn't mean electricity stopped coming from the electrical company.

Just as if you receive enough brain damage your mind will no longer be able to use the brain. If you have ever studied brain damage patients you would know that the mind tries desperately to use a damaged brain, even trying to make other parts of the brain compensate for the damage. If a child damages the left hemisphere young enough in life the mind will actually try to use the right hemisphere for speech.

However, once the circuit is broken (the light fixture is completely broken) we know longer have ANY evidence of electricity within the structure. You would not know if the socket (where you plug the light into the hall) is on or off.

But why would you assume the socket no longer works?

Further more, why would you assume electricity is no longer coming from the source just because the light fixture is broken?



posted on Aug, 24 2009 @ 11:16 AM
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Originally posted by Astyanax
We discover, for example, that consciousness and the mind are impossible to define and that their relationship with the body is highly problematic...We discover that long before we are aware of consciously initiating any action, even one as simple as moving a finger, portions of the brain we have no consciousness of or control over have already initiated the physiological processes required to move that finger.

Finally (or rather, initially) we have Nietzsche's clincher, quoted above: we do not control our thoughts, even the ones that initiate our actions; they control us.

Where then is mind? Whence the sovereignty of consciousness?


YES! This is a really important part of this issue.

Your saying that since parts of the brain light up before (we think) we make a decision it must mean that the brain is operating and our consciousness is responding to it.

This issue here is that you are only looking at the brain. The observer/soul or whatever can not be analyzed. So your really only seeing have the equation.

The observer is something we can't fully comprehend, we don't know if it is a blank slate or has characteristics but what your discussing is the fact that even within our own private consciousness are mind is manipulated by the brain structure. I completely agree. This is a scientific fact. Issue like split brain or AHS reveal this.

But what you have to understand is that when I say observer or consciousness I don't necessarily mean the simply voice inside your head. In fact, since that voice often speaks in the language the the brain has been structured it is a an extremely brain dependent glimpse of the observer. It is simply the rawest example we know of besides pure emotion.

The part you are tripping over is the idea that I mean the mind is the "leader" or the "pilot" probably partly my fault for the driver analogy.

The key here is the word observer (feeler).

I know I keep repeating this but I really think if you thought deeply about some of these issues...

the consciousness of plants and insects
the physical and mental response of extreme emotions
the structure of memories and dreams

...you will start to understand.


Originally posted by Astyanax
I began unconsciously to initiate new patterns of behaviour or changes of circumstances that pointed towards that decision. The process can commence months before the culminating action or decision.


This quote really shows you are at the edge of comprehending this issue.

YOU the deep observing entity may be involved in consciousness that the physical John Smith (or Astyanax) doesn't think or know about.

No matter how many manipulative perceptive aspects you attach to the brain it doesn't change the fact that something has to be feeling.

Again, I can't help but laugh because I can't really prove YOU feel. I assume you do.



posted on Aug, 24 2009 @ 11:19 AM
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Originally posted by Kashish777
Design requires a designer


Did you design your personality?

As you got older did you plan everyday how you would feel and think and learn?

It just happened.

I'm not saying it is random, I'm saying it has and always will be constantly moving in that direction.

It was not a coincidence but a inevitable result of the Universe.

Is the Universe the designer? Does it have to be sentient?



posted on Aug, 24 2009 @ 01:09 PM
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reply to post by Jezus
 

So mind is not represented by consciousness, but is some entity that is unknown even to itself? What then is mind?



posted on Aug, 24 2009 @ 02:57 PM
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Personally, I believe all theories should be taught until one is proven without a shadow of a doubt. I don't think that it will be proven anytime soon. All theories have merit and I don't believe any one theory is entirely correct.

My own belief is life is far more than what any of us could imagine. I believe the universe holds more secrets and mysteries than will ever be solved. I believe earth is a school and it's supposed to hard and confusing. I believe we have to be responsible for our own decisions. We also need to look out for each other yet not interfere with another if help is unwanted. I could go on but that's the jist of it



posted on Aug, 24 2009 @ 03:04 PM
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reply to post by grs9769
 




Personally, I believe all theories should be taught until one is proven without a shadow of a doubt. I don't think that it will be proven anytime soon. All theories have merit and I don't believe any one theory is entirely correct.


Most, if not all, have been taught in public schools. Most hypotheses have been put forth and found wanting. If the parents want their children taught "alternative theories," then they should teach them themselves or children be taught in religion, philosophy, or church classes and be allowed to question them.



My own belief is life is far more than what any of us could imagine. I believe the universe holds more secrets and mysteries than will ever be solved.


I am with you and I am sure most skeptics here are with you on this.



I believe earth is a school and it's supposed to hard and confusing. I believe we have to be responsible for our own decisions.


Yes, I believe that also. The Earth is a school for all of us to learn and grow.

I am with you as far as ID is concerned. But we can not dismiss the evolution theory.



posted on Aug, 24 2009 @ 07:50 PM
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I have read 15 pages of posts... and I have grown tired of reading. In response to the OP and various other items that I have noticed....


A scientist is any person that engages in a systematic activity to acquire knowledge or an individual that engages in such practices and traditions that are linked to schools of thought. In a more restricted sense, scientist refers to individuals who use the scientific method. The person may be an expert in one or more areas of science.

The Scientific method refers to bodies of techniques for investigating phenomena, acquiring new knowledge, or correcting and integrating previous knowledge. To be termed scientific, a method of inquiry must be based on gathering observable, empirical and measurable evidence subject to specific principles of reasoning. A scientific method consists of the collection of data through observation and experimentation, and the formulation and testing of hypotheses.

Among other facets shared by the various fields of inquiry is the conviction that the process be objective to reduce a biased interpretation of the results. Another basic expectation is to document, archive and share all data and methodology so they are available for careful scrutiny by other scientists, thereby allowing other researchers the opportunity to verify results by attempting to reproduce them. This practice, called full disclosure, also allows statistical measures of the reliability of these data to be established.

The theory of evolution is not only unscientific, it is impossible.
Consider this…
Evolution is a Fact and a Theory
by Laurence Moran
Copyright © 1993-2002
((www.talkorigins.org...))
Then consider this….
Many people learned in elementary school that a theory falls in the middle of a hierarchy of certainty--above a mere hypothesis but below a law. Scientists do not use the terms that way, however. According to the National Academy of Sciences (NAS), a scientific theory is "a well-substantiated explanation of some aspect of the natural world that can incorporate facts, laws, inferences, and tested hypotheses." No amount of validation changes a theory into a law, which is a descriptive generalization about nature. So when scientists talk about the theory of evolution--or the atomic theory or the theory of relativity, for that matter--they are not expressing reservations about its truth.

In addition to the theory of evolution, meaning the idea of descent with modification, one may also speak of the fact of evolution. The NAS defines a fact as "an observation that has been repeatedly confirmed and for all practical purposes is accepted as 'true.'" The fossil record and abundant other evidence testify that organisms have evolved through time. Although no one observed those transformations, the indirect evidence is clear, unambiguous and compelling.
All sciences frequently rely on indirect evidence. Physicists cannot see subatomic particles directly, for instance, so they verify their existence by watching for telltale tracks that the particles leave in cloud chambers. The absence of direct observation does not make physicists' conclusions less certain.

This blanket dismissal of evolution ignores important distinctions that divide the field into at least two broad areas: microevolution and macroevolution. Microevolution looks at changes within species over time--changes that may be preludes to speciation, the origin of new species. Macroevolution studies how taxonomic groups above the level of species change. Its evidence draws frequently from the fossil record and DNA comparisons to reconstruct how various organisms may be related.
These days even most creationists acknowledge that microevolution has been upheld by tests in the laboratory (as in studies of cells, plants and fruit flies) and in the field (as in Grant's studies of evolving beak shapes among Gal�pagos finches). Natural selection and other...



posted on Aug, 24 2009 @ 07:51 PM
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(continued)

mechanisms--such as chromosomal changes, symbiosis and hybridization--can drive profound changes in populations over time.
The historical nature of macroevolutionary study involves inference from fossils and DNA rather than direct observation. Yet in the historical sciences (which include astronomy, geology and archaeology, as well as evolutionary biology), hypotheses can still be tested by checking whether they accord with physical evidence and whether they lead to verifiable predictions about future discoveries. For instance, evolution implies that between the earliest-known ancestors of humans (roughly five million years old) and the appearance of anatomically modern humans (about 100,000 years ago), one should find a succession of hominid creatures with features progressively less apelike and more modern, which is indeed what the fossil record shows. But one should not--and does not--find modern human fossils embedded in strata from the Jurassic period (144 million years ago). Evolutionary biology routinely makes predictions far more refined and precise than this, and researchers test them constantly.

Evolution could be disproved in other ways, too. If we could document the spontaneous generation of just one complex life-form from inanimate matter, then at least a few creatures seen in the fossil record might have originated this way. If superintelligent aliens appeared and claimed credit for creating life on earth (or even particular species), the purely evolutionary explanation would be cast in doubt. But no one has yet produced such evidence.
It should be noted that the idea of falsifiability as the defining characteristic of science originated with philosopher Karl Popper in the 1930s. More recent elaborations on his thinking have expanded the narrowest interpretation of his principle precisely because it would eliminate too many branches of clearly scientific endeavor.



posted on Aug, 24 2009 @ 07:55 PM
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Coin tossing for beginners and macromolecular assembly

(cont… from www.talkorigins.org...)

So let's play the creationist game and look at forming a peptide by random addition of amino acids. This certainly is not the way peptides formed on the early Earth, but it will be instructive.

I will use as an example the "self-replicating" peptide from the Ghadiri group mentioned above [7]. I could use other examples, such as the hexanucleotide self-replicator [10], the SunY self-replicator [24] or the RNA polymerase described by the Eckland group [12], but for historical continuity with creationist claims a small peptide is ideal. This peptide is 32 amino acids long with a sequence of RMKQLEEKVYELLSKVACLEYEVARLKKVGE and is an enzyme, a peptide ligase that makes a copy of itself from two 16 amino acid long subunits. It is also of a size and composition that is ideally suited to be formed by abiotic peptide synthesis. The fact that it is a self replicator is an added irony.

The probability of generating this in successive random trials is (1/20)32 or 1 chance in 4.29 x 1040. This is much, much more probable than the 1 in 2.04 x 10390 of the standard creationist "generating carboxypeptidase by chance" scenario, but still seems absurdly low.
\However, there is another side to these probability estimates, and it hinges on the fact that most of us don't have a feeling for statistics. When someone tells us that some event has a one in a million chance of occuring, many of us expect that one million trials must be undergone before the said event turns up, but this is wrong.
Here is a experiment you can do yourself: take a coin, flip it four times, write down the results, and then do it again. How many times would you think you had to repeat this procedure (trial) before you get 4 heads in a row?
Now the probability of 4 heads in a row is is (1/2)4 or 1 chance in 16: do we have to do 16 trials to get 4 heads (HHHH)? No, in successive experiments I got 11, 10, 6, 16, 1, 5, and 3 trials before HHHH turned up. The figure 1 in 16 (or 1 in a million or 1 in 1040) gives the likelihood of an event in a given trial, but doesn't say where it will occur in a series. You can flip HHHH on your very first trial (I did). Even at 1 chance in 4.29 x 1040, a self-replicator could have turned up surprisingly early. But there is more.
1 chance in 4.29 x 1040 is still orgulously, gobsmackingly unlikely; it's hard to cope with this number. Even with the argument above (you could get it on your very first trial) most people would say "surely it would still take more time than the Earth existed to make this replicator by random methods". Not really; in the above examples we were examining sequential trials, as if there was only one protein/DNA/proto-replicator being assembled per trial. In fact there would be billions of simultaneous
trials as the billions of building block molecules interacted in the oceans, or on the thousands of kilometers of shorelines that could provide catalytic surfaces or templates [2,15].

Let's go back to our example with the coins. Say it takes a minute to toss the coins 4 times; to generate HHHH would take on average 8 minutes. Now get 16 friends, each with a coin, to all flip the coin simultaneously 4 times; the average time to generate HHHH is now 1 minute. Now try to flip 6 heads in a row; this has a probability of (1/2)6 or 1 in 64. This would take half an hour on average, but go out and recruit 64 people, and you can flip it in a minute. If you want to flip a sequence with a chance of 1 in a billion, just recruit the population of China to flip coins for you, you will have that sequence in no time flat.

So, if on our prebiotic earth we have a billion peptides growing simultaneously, that reduces the time taken to generate our replicator significantly.
Okay, you are looking at that number again, 1 chance in 4.29 x 1040, that's a big number, and although a billion starting molecules is a lot



posted on Aug, 24 2009 @ 07:56 PM
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(cont)

The synthesis of primitive self-replicators could happen relatively rapidly, even given a probability of 1 chance in 4.29 x 1040 (and remember, our replicator could be synthesized on the very first trial).
Assume that it takes a week to generate a sequence [14,16]. Then the Ghadiri ligase could be generated in one week, and any cytochrome C sequence could be generated in a bit over a million years (along with about half of all possible 101 peptide sequences, a large proportion of which will be functional proteins of some sort).
Although I have used the Ghadiri ligase as an example, as I mentioned above the same calculations can be performed for the SunY self replicator, or the Ekland RNA polymerase. I leave this as an exercise for the reader, but the general conclusion (you can make scads of the things in a short time) is the same for these oligonucleotides.

Search spaces, or how many needles in the haystack?

So I've shown that generating a given small enzyme is not as mind-bogglingly difficult as creationists (and Fred Hoyle) suggest. Another misunderstanding is that most people feel that the number of enzymes/ribozymes, let alone the ribozymal RNA polymerases or any form of self-replicator, represent a very unlikely configuration and that the chance of a single enzyme/ribozyme forming, let alone a number of them, from random addition of amino acids/nucleotides is very small.
However, an analysis by Ekland suggests that in the sequence space of 220 nucleotide long RNA sequences, a staggering 2.5 x 10112 sequences are efficent ligases [12]. Not bad for a compound previously thought to be only structural. Going back to our primitive ocean of 1 x 1024 litres and assuming a nucleotide concentration of 1 x 10-7 M [23], then there are roughly 1 x 1049 potential nucleotide chains, so that a fair number of efficent RNA ligases (about 1 x 1034) could be produced in a year, let alone a million years. The potential number of RNA polymerases is high also; about 1 in every 1020 sequences is an RNA polymerase [12]. Similar considerations apply for ribosomal acyl transferases (about 1 in every 1015 sequences), and ribozymal nucleotide synthesis [1, 6, 13].
Similarly, of the 1 x 10130 possible 100 unit proteins, 3.8 x 1061 represent cytochrome C alone! [29] There's lots of functional enyzmes in the peptide/nucleotide search space, so it would seem likely that a functioning ensemble of enzymes could be brewed up in an early Earth's prebiotic soup.
So, even with more realistic (if somewhat mind beggaring) figures, random assemblage of amino acids into "life-supporting" systems (whether you go for protein enzyme based hypercycles [10], RNA world systems [18], or RNA ribozyme-protein enzyme coevolution [11, 25]) would seem to be entirely feasible, even with pessimistic figures for the original monomer concentrations [23] and synthesis times.
Conclusions

The very premise of creationists' probability calculations is incorrect in the first place as it aims at the wrong theory. Furthermore, this argument is often buttressed with statistical and biological fallacies.
At the moment, since we have no idea how probable life is, it's virtually impossible to assign any meaningful probabilities to any of the steps to life except the first two (monomers to polymers p=1.0, formation of catalytic polymers p=1.0). For the replicating polymers to hypercycle transition, the probability may well be 1.0 if Kauffman is right about catalytic closure and his phase transition models, but this requires real chemistry and more detailed modelling to confirm. For the hypercycle->protobiont transition, the probability here is dependent on theoretical concepts still being developed, and is unknown.
However, in the end life's feasibility depends on chemistry and biochemistry that we are still studying, not coin flipping.



posted on Aug, 24 2009 @ 07:56 PM
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References to above....

[1] Unrau PJ, and Bartel DP, RNA-catalysed nucleotide synthesis. Nature, 395: 260-3, 1998
[2] Orgel LE, Polymerization on the rocks: theoretical introduction. Orig Life Evol Biosph, 28: 227-34, 1998
[3] Otsuka J and Nozawa Y. Self-reproducing system can behave as Maxwell's demon: theoretical illustration under prebiotic conditions. J Theor Biol, 194, 205-221, 1998
[4] Woese C, The universal ancestor. Proc Natl Acad Sci USA, 95: 6854-6859.
[5] Varetto L, Studying artificial life with a molecular automaton. J Theor Biol, 193: 257-85, 1998
[6] Wiegand TW, Janssen RC, and Eaton BE, Selection of RNA amide synthases. Chem Biol, 4: 675-83, 1997
[7] Severin K, Lee DH, Kennan AJ, and Ghadiri MR, A synthetic peptide ligase. Nature, 389: 706-9, 1997
[8] Ruse M, The origin of life, philosophical perspectives. J Theor Biol, 187: 473-482, 1997
[9] Lee DH, Severin K, Yokobayashi Y, and Ghadiri MR, Emergence of symbiosis in peptide self-replication through a hypercyclic network. Nature, 390: 591-4, 1997
[10] Lee DH, Severin K, and Ghadri MR. Autocatalytic networks: the transition from molecular self-replication to molecular ecosystems. Curr Opinion Chem Biol, 1, 491-496, 1997
[11] Di Giulio M, On the RNA world: evidence in favor of an early ribonucleopeptide world. J Mol Evol, 45: 571-8, 1997
[12] Ekland EH, and Bartel DP, RNA-catalysed RNA polymerization using nucleoside triphosphates. Nature, 383: 192, 1996
[13] Lohse PA, and Szostak JW, Ribozyme-catalysed amino-acid transfer reactions. Nature, 381: 442-4, 1996
[14] Ferris JP, Hill AR Jr, Liu R, and Orgel LE, Synthesis of long prebiotic oligomers on mineral surfaces [see comments]. Nature, 381: 59-61, 1996
[15] Lazcano A, and Miller SL, The origin and early evolution of life: prebiotic chemistry, the pre- RNA world, and time. Cell, 85: 793-8, 1996
[16] Ertem G, and Ferris JP, Synthesis of RNA oligomers on heterogeneous templates. Nature, 379: 238-40, 1996
[17] Lee DH, Granja JR, Martinez JA, Severin K, and Ghadri MR, A self-replicating peptide. Nature, 382: 525-8, 1996
[18] Joyce GF, Building the RNA world. Ribozymes. Curr Biol, 6: 965-7, 1996
[19] Ishizaka M, Ohshima Y, and Tani T, Isolation of active ribozymes from an RNA pool of random sequences using an anchored substrate RNA. Biochem Biophys Res Commun, 214: 403-9, 1995
[20] Mushegian AR and Koonin, EV, A minimal gene set for cellular life derived by comparison of complete bacterial genomes. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA, 93: 10268-10273.
[21] Ekland EH, Szostak JW, and Bartel DP, Structurally complex and highly active RNA ligases derived from random RNA sequences. Science, 269: 364-70, 1995
[22] Breaker RR, and Joyce GF, Emergence of a replicating species from an in vitro RNA evolution reaction.Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A, 91: 6093-7, 1994
[23] Chyba C and Sagan C, Endogenous production, exogenous delivery and impact-shock synthesis of organic molecules: an inventory for the origins of life. Nature, 355: 125-32., 1992
[24] Doudna JA, Couture S, and Szostak JW, A multisubunit ribozyme that is a catalyst of and template for complementary strand RNA synthesis. Science, 251: 1605-8, 1991
[25] Lahav N, Prebiotic co-evolution of self-replication and translation or RNA world? J Theor Biol, 151: 531-9, 1991
[26] Stadler PF, Dynamics of autocatalytic reaction networks. IV: Inhomogeneous replicator networks. Biosystems, 26: 1-19, 1991
[27] Eigen M, Gardiner W, Schuster P, and Winkler-Oswatitsch R, The origin of genetic information. Sci Am, 244: 88-92, 96, et passim, 1981
[28] Eigen M, and Schuster P, The hypercycle. A principle of natural self-organization. Springer-Verlag, isbn 3-540-09293, 1979
[29] Yockey HP, On the information content of cytochrome c. J Theor Biol, 67: 345-76, 1977



posted on Aug, 24 2009 @ 07:58 PM
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Claim:
Archaeology supports the accuracy of the Bible. The Bible's historical account has many times been substantiated by new archaeological information.

Source:
Watchtower Bible and Tract Society. 1985. Life--How Did It Get Here?
Brooklyn, NY, pp. 207-214.

Response:
Archaeology supports at most the general background of the Bible and some relatively recent details. It does not support every biblical claim. In particular, archaeology does not support anything about creation, the Flood, or the conquest of the Holy Land.

If a few instances of historical accuracy are so significant, then an equal claim for accuracy can be made for the Iliad and Gone with the Wind.
Archaeology contradicts significant parts of the Bible:
The Bible contains anachronisms. Details attributed to one era actually apply to a much later era. For example, camels, mentioned in Genesis 24:10, were not widely used until after 1000 B.C.E. (Finkelstein and Silberman 2001).
The Exodus, which should have been a major event, does not appear in Egyptian records. There are no traces in the Sinai that one would expect from forty years of wandering of more than half a million people. And other archaeological evidence contradicts it, showing instead that the Hebrews were a native people (Finkelstein and Silberman 2001; Lazare 2002).
There is no evidence that the kingdoms of David and Solomon were nearly as powerful as the Bible indicates; they may not have existed at all (Finkelstein and Silberman 2001; Lazare 2002).
Many claims that archaeology supports the Bible, especially earlier ones, were based on the scientists trying to force the evidence to fit their own preconceptions.



posted on Aug, 24 2009 @ 07:59 PM
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Claim:

The Bible's accuracy on various scientific and historical points shows its overall accuracy.

Response:

The accuracy of the Bible is not remarkable. All of its accurate points can be explained by simple observation of nature or by selective interpretation of scriptures.

Accuracy on individual points does not indicate overall accuracy. Just about every thesis that is wrong overall still has some accurate points in it.

Claims about accuracy assume that the purpose of the Bible is to document scientific data. There is not the slightest indication that the Bible was ever intended as a scientific textbook. It is intended to teach people about God; even those who claim scientific accuracy for it use it with that intent. For at least some of the Bible's teachings, scientific accuracy is unnecessary and perhaps even counterproductive.

The Bible is not entirely accurate. If its value is made to depend on scientific accuracy, it becomes valueless when people find errors in it, as some people invariably will.

If occasional scientific accuracy shows overall accuracy of the Bible, then the same conclusion must be granted to the Qur'an, Zend Avesta, and several other works from other religions, all of which can make the same claims to scientific accuracy.



posted on Aug, 24 2009 @ 08:05 PM
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Claim:

The Bible says the earth is round, showing that its authors were inspired to understand science beyond their time.

Source:

Morris, Henry M., 1986. Science and the Bible. Chicago: Moody Press, pp. 13-14.
Jeffrey, Grant R., 1996. The Signature of God. Toronto: Frontier Research Publications, p. 114.

Response:

1. The passage saying the earth is round is Isaiah 40:22:

He sits enthroned above the circle of the earth, and its people are like grasshoppers. He stretches out the heavens like a canopy, and spreads them out like a tent to live in.

This passage may reasonably be interpreted as referring to a flat circular earth with the heavens forming a dome above it. Such an interpretation is consistent with other passages of the Bible which refer to a solid firmament (Gen. 1:6-20, 7:11; Ezekiel 1:22-26; Job 9:8, 22:14, etc.). It is also consistent with the cosmology common in neighboring cultures.

Isaiah 11:12 refers to the "four quarters of the earth", but we do not take that as indicative of the earth's shape.

2. The shape of the earth may already have been known in Isaiah's time. Ancient astronomers could determine that the earth was round by observing its circular shadow move across the moon during lunar eclipses. There is some suggestion that the Egyptians knew of the earth's spherical size and shape around 2550 B.C.E. (more than a thousand years before Moses). The Greek philosopher Pythagoras, who was born in 532 B.C.E., defended the spherical theory on the basis of observations he had made of the shape of the sun and moon (Uotila 1984). If this information was known by educated Greeks and Egyptians during biblical times, its use by Isaiah is nothing special.

Links:
Harwood, William, 2000. The inconsistency of round-earth religionists. www.infidels.org...
References:

1. Uotila, Urho A., 1984. Earth, figure of. Encyclopaedia Britannica vol. 6, 1-8.



posted on Aug, 24 2009 @ 08:08 PM
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Claim:

Ancient people thought that the water from rivers flowing into oceans spilled over the ends of the earth. On the other hand, Ecclesiastes 1:7 says, "All streams flow into the sea, yet the sea is never full. To the place the streams come from, there they return again." This shows the Bible's unexpected accuracy.

Source:
Watchtower Bible and Tract Society, 1985. Life--How Did It Get Here? Brooklyn, NY, p. 201-202.

Response:

1. Accuracy on one point does not show overall accuracy. Job 38:22, for example, says that snow and hail are kept in storehouses. Genesis 2:5-6 contradicts the water cycle.

2. Ecclesiastes 1:7 does not describe the water cycle. It merely says that water returns to the source of streams; it does not say how. It was once believed that the water returned underground.

3. Interpreting that passage literally completely rejects its context. The chapter says, briefly, that "there is nothing new under the sun," and gives several examples. If, in fact, knowledge of the water cycle were interpreted as a new bit of knowledge, it would contradict the chapter as a whole.

4. Attributing a requirement of some special knowledge to account for this verse assumes the ancient Hebrews were idiots. Knowledge of a spherical earth is ancient, and with it no edge for water to spill over. It is theologically reasonable to assume that God is not constantly creating new water (Gen. 2:3). It is easy to see mists rising from waters and rain coming from clouds. A water cycle would be difficult not to deduce.



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