Sorry, but why should my belief have something to offer? Atheism isn't some sort of wholesale club or grocery store, It doesn't need to offer anything. It is all about what I believe. I do not believe there is somebody who made everything, nor do i believe that he is the perfect image under which i should model myself. Anyone who "subscribes" to a religion for "benefits" is simply pathetic in my personal opinion. If you like Catholicism because the Pope and Jesus Christ reflect your views, fair play. If you like the religion because you just want to get into heaven and you think Catholics make it easier, you have no right to pretend you are one of the people who devote their lives to the religion. Atheism is, again in my opinion, thinking as opposed to believing. Atheism leaves the creation of the world, the coming of humans, and the development of every single one of us something that we can imagine and prove, not something that a man wrote down in a book and told us we had to believe or we'd burn in a fiery pit.
Hmmm. No disrespect intended, but it certainly sounds to me like you think your belief has something to offer. Especially since you so condescendingly presented it as superior to faith in Christ, the Catholic religion and the Word of God and purport it to be a "thinking" man's conclusion to life's great questions. If you will allow me, however, I believe it is just the opposite. It is an "ostrich head in the sand" position by those who are not willing to take the time to consider the extensive evidence that God has given to man in the revelation of himself in both his creation around us and in history.
Thanks for keeping polite :), but, how exactly is religion not telling people to keep their head in the sand? If we have proven creatures have evolved, estimated the Earth is well over 6,000 years old, so on and so forth. It seems to me like religion has become a way of saying "I don't know why I'm here, I don't know what I'm supposed to do, but God made me for a reason." It feels like humans think they are something special. In my opinion, a human is just another mammal, they have no ultimate divine purpose, no destiny to go to heaven, but to grow, live, reproduce, and become fertilizer. Religion is just one man's answer to the great question of how we came to be, and i interpret history and science as reason we were not created by a god.
I generally agree with you, but for a few niggles.
1. No ultimate *divine* purpose, does not mean no ultimate purpose (even if we must decide upon it ourselves).
2. I believe humans are special. Unlike any other species (that we know of) we have a capacity for introspection, abstraction, and synthesis that allows us a level of self direction, invention, society, and morality unlike any other on this planet. That makes us special, and puts a unique burden on us.
Proven? Hundreds if not thousands of scientific minds would certainly disagree with those presuppositions and assumptions. Here is a list of just a few of them: http://www.biblebookofgenesis.com/AppendixB.htmEvolution is the most unproven theory ever spun by man. As for religion, I tend to agree with you. However, there is a vast difference between religion and the one true and living God who has revealed himself in his creation and, more importantly, in history beginning with the first man and woman and culminating with the incarnation of himself in the person of the Lord Jesus Christ. Religion is man's efforts to reach up to God and Satan's killing fields to keep men from the truth about Jesus Christ. True Christianity is the record of God reaching down to man and sending him a Savior. For a look at that, I would recommend a careful reading of at least one eyewitness account of the works and words of Christ as recorded in the gospel of John in the New Testament. Another great extra-biblical source to consider is: Evidence That Demands A Verdict by Josh McDowell. Best, Herb
Proven? Hundreds if not thousands of scientific minds would certainly disagree with those presuppositions and assumptions. Here is a list of just a few of them: http://www.biblebookofgenesis.com/AppendixB.htmEvolution is the most unproven theory ever spun by man.
Which still makes them less than 1% of scientists (as a for instance, the International Federation of Biologists lists over 3 million Biologists in the world, never mind the rest of the sciences) ... and your appeal to them as an authority (especially as many of them are NOT scientists - Stephen Boyd for instance, from the link you shared) is a weak argument.
Evaluate evolution based on the evidence, genetic, archeological, theoretical and experimental - not on who, or how many people, do or do not believe it.
Based on those criteria, Evolution is a fact, there is no evidence to suggest otherwise. But there are still many unknowns regarding abiogenesis, and the origins of the universe - things evolution never claims to answer anyway.
...Evolution is a fact, there is no evidence to suggest otherwise.
That's a pretty broad brush you're painting with, Liam. Please explain to me the evolution of the eye, human, animal, insect. How did pre-eye beings make out without eyes? And, how did eyes evolve universally in pairs? How did their genetic codes just fall into place? And, what about sexual reproduction? Male and female. How did that evolve and how did the plethora of living things reproduce prior to sexual reproduction? When did all living things begin to reproduce sexually? These are just two of trillions of questions that evolution cannot answer except with inane and simplistic statements and billions of years to hide behind. As for your observation that 99% of scientists are not on the list I supplied ... first, I gave it as only a sample to let people know there is another side to Evolution. The issue is not as locked up as so many of the PC crowd of academics purport. You assume that the 99% not listed is on your side but, again, it is only another in a long line of your assumptions. In my eyes, the people on the list I provided should be on the honor role of each of their respective fields simply because they are willing to stand up, ask good questions and are not allowing themselves, like cattle, to follow on down the Evolutionist trail with the rest of the herd. I'm not saying that Creation is an easy path. There are many problems to be addressed in that framework. But to say that there is not one shred of evidence that lends itself to the Creation viewpoint and that Evolution is fact and has all the answers is nothing more than arrogance and intellectual dishonesty.
I have mostly avoided this thread, since I am not qualified to answer OP; but I'll give a few thoughts on the rabbit trail.
Evolution is a fact. It's a theory, not a fact. Like the theory of universal gravitation, and the heliocentric solar system, and my theory that the sun'll come out tomorrow, which is something you can bet your bottom dollar on. Might as well say what it is: a theory that has adapted to changes in the evidence without being invalidated. Some of those adaptations are problematic; there doesn't seem to be a mechanism for arbitrarily short periods of dramatic phenotype change.
How did pre-eye beings make out without eyes? Same as the way sponges, blind fish, nematodes, and other existing eyeless beings make out without eyes. Is this really a challenge to something?
How did eyes evolve universally in pairs? Scallops have up to 100. Starfish have 5. So they didn't. But if they had: again, is this a challenge to something? Is it more natural to be nonsymmetric than to be symmetric? Why? When a gene is damaged or changed or inherited, is there a reason to think that it would necessarily only affect one side of the body?
How did their genetic codes just fall into place? Darwinism says that genetic codes fall into place by random mutation winnowed by natural selection.
How did the plethora of living things reproduce prior to sexual reproduction? Same ways asexual beings today reproduce.
These questions were easily answered. It's hard to see them as challenges! I already asked it, but: how does the existence of eyeless beings in prehistoric times challenge a theory (any theory) about the development of eyes? We know some animals have eyes and some don't. What's the problem?
I'll stop at that; the next bit is about the percentage of scientists (paleontologists?) that are creationists, and that I do not know.
Some of those adaptations are problematic; there doesn't seem to be a mechanism for arbitrarily short periods of dramatic phenotype change.
IIRC the statistic is something like 75% of mutations are benign, 20% harmful, 5% helpful. A benign mutation which turns out to be helpful in an ecosystem change, or a helpful mutation with benefits far outweighing costs, would provide the mechanism for quick phenotype change.
There are also theories involving adaptive mutations, in which the mutation occurs due to, and in response of, the change in environment. One mechanism for adaptive mutations may be Quantum Evolution.
One of the experiments McFadden points to, regarding adaptive mutations, in his book is:
John Cairns of the Harvard School of Public Health in Boston set out to test the dogma that mutations occur at the same rate whether or not they provided an advantage, he found that things were not so simple. Cairns examined bacteria that were deficient in their ability to utilise the milk sugar lactose. When he exposed these bacteria to conditions in which lactose was the only food source, they starved. The cells did not die but instead went into a kind of suspended animation state, called dormancy. Dormancy was a well-known phenomenon so Cairns was not surprised to find that his bacteria managed to survive in this state for many weeks. What did come as a surprise was the discovery that, after a lag period of a day or two, several of his bacterial cells managed to grow and replicate. These replicating cells had acquired a mutation that allowed them to feed on the lactose. What was even more surprising was his observation that the cells only acquired these lactose-eating mutations when lactose was available.
The issue I'm talking about here is punctuated equilibrium for species change.
I'll have to look into that "quantum evolution" article.
Oh, that. Well, if global warming alarmists are correct, we may get to witness it first hand.