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Ruth





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PostPosted: Fri Sep 14, 2007 1:57 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

gc wrote:
If you can tell us why you don't believe in Santa Claus, you will understand why many people don't believe in God.

That's a pretty bad comparison.
Santa Claus
1. Is based on Saint Nicholas, or Sinter Klaas if you are Dutch, the patron saint of sailors. True, there are some myths surrounding him, such as his little helper Piets, but he is actually based on a real individual who is now dead.
2. Santa Claus is not omnipotent, omniscient or any of the other omni's we ascribe to God. He is also not believed to be the creator of the universe.
3. He does not have a religion based on himself, neither does he demand worship.

Quote:
You appear to be very well educated and intelligent. But you are also wilfully ignorant when it comes to evolution because it conflicts with your religious beliefs (your faith).

Willful? Sure.
Ignorant? You only wish. It would make this argument so much easier for you.
Besides, I prefer the term "stubbornly closed-minded."

Quote:
All I am saying is that there is no evidence God exists, so what is the point of considering the existence of anything that has no evidence associated with it?

Again, we return to the definition of evidence. As I have stated already, most people who believe in God would say that there is evidence pointing to His existence. The problem is that atheists generally do not accept it to be evidence.
Quote:
If you make a claim that there is a God, it is up to the person making such a claim to provide evidence. My claim is that there is no evidence for a God or Gods or supernatural beings. That claim is falsifiable and requires no back up.

Why?
Why do I have to back up my claim but you don't?
gc





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PostPosted: Fri Sep 14, 2007 2:09 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Ruth wrote:
1. Is based on Saint Nicholas, or Sinter Klaas if you are Dutch, the patron saint of sailors. True, there are some myths surrounding him, such as his little helper Piets, but he is actually based on a real individual who is now dead.


When I refer to "Santa Claus", I am of course referring to the man who lives at the north pole and dresses up each year in a red suit and flies around the world delivering toys to all the children. It doesn't matter whether it is based on a real person or not. I believe that Jesus was a real person, but that doesn't mean that I believe he is divine, or that the stories about him in the bible are true.

Quote:
2. Santa Claus is not omnipotent, omniscient or any of the other omni's we ascribe to God. He is also not believed to be the creator of the universe.
3. He does not have a religion based on himself, neither does he demand worship.


All of this is irrelevant to the question of whether or not he exists.
theatheistjew





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PostPosted: Fri Sep 14, 2007 2:18 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
You appear to be very well educated and intelligent. But you are also wilfully ignorant when it comes to evolution because it conflicts with your religious beliefs (your faith).

Willful? Sure.
Ignorant? You only wish. It would make this argument so much easier for you.
Besides, I prefer the term "stubbornly closed-minded."
********************
Hey, I'm admittedly wilfully ignorant of bible scripture. And I don't take it as being a bad thing.

Quote:
All I am saying is that there is no evidence God exists, so what is the point of considering the existence of anything that has no evidence associated with it?

Again, we return to the definition of evidence. As I have stated already, most people who believe in God would say that there is evidence pointing to His existence. The problem is that atheists generally do not accept it to be evidence.
Quote:
If you make a claim that there is a God, it is up to the person making such a claim to provide evidence. My claim is that there is no evidence for a God or Gods or supernatural beings. That claim is falsifiable and requires no back up.

Why?
Why do I have to back up my claim but you don't?[/quote]
*****************************
You can't back your claim up, and that is why I'm an atheist. No one who believes in God can. Just like anyone who believes in leprechauns.
Do you believe in leprechauns? Why not? I'm satisfied if you told me you don't believe in them because there is no evidence they exist. Am I to demand that you back up your claim beyond that? I think that would be silly.
Ruth





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PostPosted: Fri Sep 14, 2007 2:22 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

gc wrote:
All of this is irrelevant to the question of whether or not he exists.

Then be more careful in your wording, or I will not take you seriously.
You said
Quote:
tell us why you don't believe in Santa Claus

You did not say
Quote:
tell us why you don't believe Santa Claus is presently living at the North Pole

In any case, it's not irrelevant. Fictional characters are not Divine, ie: they are not God. When one questions the existence of God, one questions the existence of both the Divine and the supernatural.
So, you had better find a better comparison than Santa Claus. What you intended turned out to be a totally inadequate comparison. You should have picked Zeus, Odin or Gaia.

--Ruth
PS: With regards to leprechauns, you probably could prove they don't exist. I'd have to think about it for a bit though. There are problems with the evidence that is supposed to support their existence. For example, leprechauns are said to guard pots of gold at the end of the rainbow. Now, we know that rainbows do not have a physical end. They are simply sunlight refracting off water droplets in the atmosphere. Since a rainbow has no end as such, there can be no pot. After all, there is nowhere for this pot to be. If there is no pot, then there is no reason for there to be a guard, and so on...
gc





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PostPosted: Fri Sep 14, 2007 3:26 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Ruth wrote:
Then be more careful in your wording, or I will not take you seriously.


I thought the distinction would have been obvious, but apparently not. Just for you I will rephrase the question: Tell us why you don't believe that there is a man who lives at the north pole and delivers presents to children all over the world (also commonly referred to as Santa Claus)?

Quote:
In any case, it's not irrelevant.


How so? Just because something is not divine does not mean it can not exist. I believe that my dog exists, but I certainly don't think it's divine.
theatheistjew





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PostPosted: Fri Sep 14, 2007 3:46 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Ruth, lets say that the rainbow is not literal, but that Leprechauns exist somewhere in the forest, or they could exist under the earth. Can you give me evidence that they don't?

Oh, I found this discussion thread that mentions Ken Miller and original sin:

http://forums.catholic.com/showthread.php?t=168653
Ruth





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PostPosted: Fri Sep 14, 2007 6:08 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hmm.
Interesting discussion. I also watched the YouTube video of Ken Miller discussing humans descending from apes.
I was intrigued by his discussion of chromosome #2. He begins the discussion by saying that he presented this "evidence" to ID advocates and they had nothing to say on the subject. I would love to know who he was debating.
1. He starts by assuming that we have a common ancestor
2. He then assumes that this common ancestor must have had 48 chromosomes. He makes this assumption clear by his wording that this is "probably true since 3 out of 4 [of the given primates] have 48 chromosomes."
3. He then assumes that in order to move from 48 chromosomes to 46, one pair must have fused.
Now, the above are all assumptions. Based on the above assumptions he then pulls a rather brilliant verbal slight of hand.
4. He states that if there is no fusion, evolution would be false. He makes this statement in order to highlight the fact that if there were evolution, there would have to be a fusion of chromosome pairs.As he says, "if we don't find it, evolution is wrong." The unspoken assumption here is that if there is a fusion, evolution must be true. I am sure this assumption is left unspoken for a very good reason. He is leading his audience. So, with our unspoken assumptions firmly in hand, he goes hunting for a fusion. Showing us an apparent fusion, he then states that since we have our fusion, evolution must be true. He even goes as far as to show that chromosome 2 is similar to chimp chromosome 13, as though this is further proof.
It's not.
We actually do have chromosome similar to other apes, and this has been shown before.
Big deal.
It still does not constitute proof of evolution.
Just because it APPEARS that this was a fusion from an ape chromosome does not mean:
1. that it actually IS a fusion (although it does seem likely) or
2. that it actually IS a product of evolution
Just because we theorize that IF evolution were to be true there should be fused chromosomes somewhere, we do not know that since we find fused chromosomes in the human genome, evolution must therefore be true.
I also feel the need to point out how he utterly abandoned the scientific method. You do not make an assumption and then go hunting for the result, stopping as soon as you think you may have found "proof" just because it agrees with you. No, a good scientist assumes they can be proven wrong and seeks to solidify their results with something more concrete.
As I said at the beginning. I would have loved to see his debate with the ID advocates. He is either lying about their response or the debate was weighted he was not up against equal minds. It is so obvious that he is leading his audience.

--Ruth
PS:
Quote:
Leprechauns exist somewhere in the forest, or they could exist under the earth.

But now we aren't talking about leprechauns. Now we are talking about brownies and gnomes. I now have to change my argument to fit our case.
Definitions do make a difference when we are arguing for the existence of God. There are a lot of differences between say Allah and God or Zeus and God.
theatheistjew





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PostPosted: Fri Sep 14, 2007 6:43 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

To me God is no different than a leprechaun. There is no evidence for either so why even consider their existence.

You should watch the longer version of the Miller video. It is 1 hour of science and 1 hour of Q and A.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JVRsWAjvQSg

Oh, and Michael Behe was the silent advocate of ID.

Here is another 4 minute short from the same long video
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v.....mp;search=

No, science is not one big conspiracy to discredit the bible and God.
theatheistjew





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PostPosted: Fri Sep 14, 2007 6:49 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Here is a board dedicated to new evidences in evolution:
http://ravingatheists.com/foru.....hp?t=10664
theatheistjew





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PostPosted: Fri Sep 14, 2007 6:51 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Here is the Dover trial transcripts. You'll find Miller isn't lying.

http://www.aclupa.org/legal/le.....cripts.htm
Ruth





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PostPosted: Fri Sep 14, 2007 7:02 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
To me God is no different than a leprechaun. There is no evidence for either so why even consider their existence.

Again we return to your inadequate definition of evidence.

One thing I forgot to add to my post.
It's interesting that Miller chose to assume 48 chromosomes in our supposed common ancestor instead of 46 or 44 or even 42. Part of the reason for this is that you can't create new genetic information out of thin air. Chromosomes are fused to create new ones, or nothing.
So, how does he propose to explain evolution from:
bacteria which have only 1 chromosome
Fruit flies, which have 8
Dogs, which have 78
Amoebas which have over 250
Now, maybe it's me, but size and "evolvedness" seem to have nothing to do with the number of chromosome pairs an organism has.
But then, who wants actual scientific fact?

If Miller were serious, he would have started with the fused chromosome and moved backwards. He would have examined all possible reasons for chromosome fusion and then determined which was the most likely. He would have compared chromosomal fusion in humans to that of other species, ruled out any environmental factors and the like. But he, like many scientists who don't do their job properly, assumes a theory and then interprets the facts in light of his assumption. This is not the scientific method.
Craig
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PostPosted: Fri Sep 14, 2007 7:11 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

gc wrote:
Ruth wrote:
Then be more careful in your wording, or I will not take you seriously.


I thought the distinction would have been obvious, but apparently not. Just for you I will rephrase the question: Tell us why you don't believe that there is a man who lives at the north pole and delivers presents to children all over the world (also commonly referred to as Santa Claus)?


There is no explanation as to why we exist. God fills that void. Santa Claus has no void to fill. That is the difference. We can explain why children get presents on Christmas (parents give them to their children). We can't explain why the universe exists. Your analogy is invalid.
theatheistjew





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PostPosted: Fri Sep 14, 2007 7:27 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Here Ruth, is a very good explanation of how chromosome evolution works:

http://www.newton.dep.anl.gov/.....e00320.htm

What Miller was doing was showing a way to falsify a theory in evolution. There are many other ways to falsify various evolution theories, but so far nobody has been able to. It is just as hard when it comes to falsifying gravity.
If you dropped a rock in your house and it floated upwards instead, that would falsify gravity.
theatheistjew





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PostPosted: Fri Sep 14, 2007 7:30 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Craig wrote:
gc wrote:
Ruth wrote:
Then be more careful in your wording, or I will not take you seriously.


I thought the distinction would have been obvious, but apparently not. Just for you I will rephrase the question: Tell us why you don't believe that there is a man who lives at the north pole and delivers presents to children all over the world (also commonly referred to as Santa Claus)?


There is no explanation as to why we exist. God fills that void. Santa Claus has no void to fill. That is the difference. We can explain why children get presents on Christmas (parents give them to their children). We can't explain why the universe exists. Your analogy is invalid.

How does God fill the void as to why we exist? Or are you hoping that one day he will tell you. And while you are at it, ask him why a fruit fly exists.

I think gc's analogy is just fine btw. It makes sense to me.
gc





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PostPosted: Sat Sep 15, 2007 12:09 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Craig wrote:
There is no explanation as to why we exist. God fills that void. Santa Claus has no void to fill. That is the difference.


I don't see how filling a void has anything to do with whether or not something exists. My dog does not fill a void but he exists, Santa Claus does not fill a void and does not exist.

Quote:
We can explain why children get presents on Christmas (parents give them to their children). We can't explain why the universe exists.


Sure we can. We can explain why humans are here through evolution. We can explain the existence of the Universe by the big bang. There are alternate explanations, even if you don't believe in them. But just because there is no explanation, doesn't mean that we have to invoke God. I don't have an explanation for Stonehenge (or insert any unsolved mystery here), but I don't believe it was built by leprechauns. Assuming you think that stonehenge was not built by leprechauns, even though that fills a void, why don't you believe that?
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