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Op Ed

Ars Technica - When religion and games intersect-and how it often goes badly.
In fact, religion seems to be such a taboo subject to include in video games that the only type of faith that really appears in titles here in the US is Christianity. Even then, the subject is often poorly addressed in games that are themselves poorly made. But why is it that religious content is so sparse in the realm of video games? The reasons are largely based on contention between religious and industry leaders, as well as the fact that you'll rarely find a topic as personal as faith.

Gamasutra - The Evolution Of The Class System In Games. Thanks Joker961.
This concept of min/maxing was something that grew out of the character design method of D&D. Depending on the character a player wanted, they could throw all of their weakness onto an irrelevant stat and turn themselves into a monster. TF2 characters are premade with this design in mind, so there’s less room for play customization, but less worry about game balance.

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335 Replies. 17 pages. Viewing page 11.
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135. Re: Op Ed Jan 18, 2010, 20:19 Amillennialist
 
Wowbagger_TIP wrote on Jan 18, 2010, 19:54:
So, you gonna define those terms or are we done here?

Perhaps you missed my post three hours before your last.
 
"The Christian religion, when ... brought to the original purity and simplicity of it's benevolent institutor, is a religion of all others most friendly to liberty, science, and the freest expansion of the human mind."

Thomas Jefferson, 1801
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134. Re: Op Ed Jan 18, 2010, 19:54 Wowbagger_TIP
 
So, you gonna define those terms or are we done here?  
Avatar 9540
 
"The whole problem with the world is that fools and fanatics are always so certain of themselves, but wiser people so full of doubts." -- Bertrand Russell (I think...)
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133. Re: Op Ed Jan 18, 2010, 16:56 Amillennialist
 
Wowbagger_TIP wrote on Jan 17, 2010, 22:16:
Ok, I think we need to establish that we're even talking about the same things here

[. . .]

Listen to some of the claims made by Kirk Cameron. It's bewildering.

Straw man, ad hominem arguments because I am not talking about what Kirk Cameron thinks or what "creationists" (mis)understand, I'm talking about what we do (and do not) observe.

No one's observed Life arise from non-life or newer, more complex genetic program, structure, or function arise by only random, natural processes (which you admit). We observe Life arise only from Life and Life's programs.

Darwin's Creation Myth says that the first (miraculous) living cell(s) evolved over time into forms possessing newer, more complex genetic program, structure, and function. (Wouldn't you agree that a human being is significantly more complex -- in every way -- than a bacterium?)

The gradual (punctuated? You guys keep changing your stories) progression from the first living cell(s) through all (alleged) intermediate species to Man would be vertical speciation (I've seen the term "macroevolution" used also). You've got to get from the first (accidental, miraculous) cell(s) with which whatever genetic program it (magically) arose to newer, more complex organisms. No one's ever observed that, which you admit.

We have observed random genetic mutations result in sickness, death, and . . . lateral speciation, the emergence of newer "species" of organisms no longer able to reproduce with the original line or possessing the ability to digest substances the original strain cannot, for example, but which are the same kind of animal.

Even Lenski's E. Coli, after tens of thousands of generations evolved into . . . E. Coli (with a taste for citrate).

This comment was edited on Jan 18, 2010, 17:13.
 
"The Christian religion, when ... brought to the original purity and simplicity of it's benevolent institutor, is a religion of all others most friendly to liberty, science, and the freest expansion of the human mind."

Thomas Jefferson, 1801
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132. Re: Op Ed Jan 17, 2010, 22:16 Wowbagger_TIP
 
Ok, I think we need to establish that we're even talking about the same things here. I need you to define a few of the terms you're using so that I know what the heck you're even talking about. You keep responding with things that seem to be referring to something completely different than what I'm talking about.

Please define these terms that you've used:

1. vertical speciation

2. lateral speciation

3. "newer, more complex genetic program, structure, and function"

I watched enough of your first link to see that in less than four minutes, your dispassionate, clear-minded, fact-based "expert" engaged in ad hominem and straw man arguments but never offered the one thing that would SHOW that abiogenesis/vertical speciation by only random, natural processes occurs: Actual observation of either.
No kidding? Really? You watch 4/10ths of the video and don't get the point? Why does that not surprise me? Btw, those were not straw man arguments, those were actual arguments made by creationists, which he has shown in other videos.

That's one of the problems. Even different creationists don't agree on a lot of this stuff. You show them a transitional species and one will say it's 100% one thing and another will say it's 100% something else. In reality it's somewhere in between, but they'll never admit that. They make all kinds of different arguments, so there's a lot of things that need rebuttals. So not everything he's saying is a rebuttal to your arguments, but to some other creationists' arguments, which are probably quite different than yours.

A shameless straw man and ad hominem.
Not at all. Watch the other videos and he actually has video evidence of creationists making claims just like that. Listen to some of the claims made by Kirk Cameron. It's bewildering.

I really can't address anything else in your post until you define those terms so that I know what exactly you're talking about.

This comment was edited on Jan 17, 2010, 22:21.
 
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"The whole problem with the world is that fools and fanatics are always so certain of themselves, but wiser people so full of doubts." -- Bertrand Russell (I think...)
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131. Re: Op Ed Jan 16, 2010, 14:45 Amillennialist
 
Wowbagger_TIP wrote on Jan 16, 2010, 02:47:
Are you talking about abiogenesis here again? I've already explained that and the video explains it even better, with pictures and such (primarily the second half of the video). There's no real consensus on which hypothesis for how life began is correct, or if we'll have to come up with a new one.

Indulging in a bit of revisionism now.

You didn't "explain" anything about abiogenesis, but you did admit that no one's witnessed it. That's why Darwinists have run from abiogenesis (I admit that I was a bit surprised that you were unaware that your coreligionists had fled that sinking ship. The "random" argument below is offered often with it. Lenski's E. Coli and common insertion points are usually brought in as finishing moves. Are those next?).

An absence of observable fact should result in coming up continually with "new hypotheses."

And once again, I must explain basic science to you. Even if every hypothesis or theory is proven wrong, magic is no substitute because it is untestable, explains nothing and is therefore NOT SCIENCE.

Can't help but lie?

I've never "substituted magic for science." I have pointed out that -- as you've admitted -- no one has ever observed Life arise from non-life by only random, natural processes. No one has ever observed random mutations result in newer, more complex genetic program, structure, and function.

You're the one offering as "Science" an explanation of Origins not only devoid of direct, observable fact, but inconsistent with what we do observe (Life arising from only Life and Life's programs and lateral speciation only). You're misrepresenting similarities in program, structure, and function as evidence of descent and calling that "Science."

That's sloppy reasoning.

evolution . . . has a ridiculous amount of evidence to back it up. Are you still disputing that too?

Is that an intentional or accidental moving of the goalposts?

We were talking about vertical speciation, which you admit no one's witnessed occur by only random, natural processes. Of lateral speciation by random, natural processes, we have much observable evidence, though. No one should dispute that.

Correlation does not equal causation. You and your coreligionists are ASSUMING that similarities in program, structure, and function are evidences of descent. You're CONFUSING evidence of lateral speciation for evidence of vertical speciation.

Again, you are misstating my arguments.

So, you're NOT claiming that abiogenesis and vertical speciation occur by only random, natural processes? You're claiming that some sort of Intellect directed those processes?

Or are you claiming that we CAN see abiogenesis and vertical speciation occur by only random, natural processes today? (If so, you've got a Nobel in your future!)

Of course, you're claiming neither, so no, I've not misstated your position.

I already said that EVOLUTION IS NOT RANDOM.

(Only after brushing up on the latest in Darwinist doctrine as found in your videos, apparently).

Are you claiming that the processes that bring about Life from non-life are intentional/directed/purposeful?

Are you claiming that the mutations which your coreligionists allege result in newer, more complex genetic program, structure, and function are intentional/directed/purposeful?

You're CONFUSING the patterns/similarities/analogs visible among various organisms for evidences of descent.

Additionally, I'm not claiming that a single mutation will result in a "newer, more complex genetic program, structure, and function", whatever that means. You are completely misunderstanding evolution

How dishonest of you. Where did I say that "a single mutation" will result in vertical speciation?

hich is why I directed you to those videos that explain it so well and which you can't be bothered to spend a little time watching.

I watched enough of your first link to see that in less than four minutes, your dispassionate, clear-minded, fact-based "expert" engaged in ad hominem and straw man arguments but never offered the one thing that would SHOW that abiogenesis/vertical speciation by only random, natural processes occurs: Actual observation of either.

I know the "explanations." None of them are direct observations of events that should be occurring all the time around us. Observable lateral speciation is not vertical speciation. Correlation is not causation. Similarity in program, structure, and function is not necessarily evidence of inheritance of those traits. Observing Life arise only from Life and Life's programs is not observing Life arise APART from non-life by only random, natural processes.

It doesn't mean that a new species just gets born from an existing species one day. That's not how it works, although it's a very common claim to hear from creationists.

A shameless straw man and ad hominem.

Worse than that, it's an admission that you have no direct observation of vertical speciation occurring by only random, natural processes. It'd be more honest to admit that you're advocating as "Science" something no one's ever witnessed.

So, do any of your videos present actual, empirical, peer-reviewed evidence of direct observation of either abiogenesis or vertical speciation? No?

Well, just because no one has ever seen what should be occurring around us all the time doesn't mean that it isn't happening, right?
 
"The Christian religion, when ... brought to the original purity and simplicity of it's benevolent institutor, is a religion of all others most friendly to liberty, science, and the freest expansion of the human mind."

Thomas Jefferson, 1801
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130. Re: Op Ed Jan 16, 2010, 02:47 Wowbagger_TIP
 
It is you who persists in that which you admit no one's ever seen, but I'm the one who doesn't "truly understand . . . the fundamentals of science"!
Are you talking about abiogenesis here again? I've already explained that and the video explains it even better, with pictures and such (primarily the second half of the video). There's no real consensus on which hypothesis for how life began is correct, or if we'll have to come up with a new one. They're still being tested and it's going to take some time. And once again, I must explain basic science to you. Even if every hypothesis or theory is proven wrong, magic is no substitute because it is untestable, explains nothing and is therefore NOT SCIENCE.

None of that has anything to do with evolution anyway, as it is a different theory for a different process that has a ridiculous amount of evidence to back it up. Are you still disputing that too?

Your position is not only that Life arises apart from Life and its programs by only random, natural processes (we just can't see it, even though it should be occurring around us all the time) but that random mutations in an organism result in newer, more complex genetic program, structure, and function, both of which you admit no one's ever observed.
Again, you are misstating my arguments. I already said that EVOLUTION IS NOT RANDOM. Additionally, I'm not claiming that a single mutation will result in a "newer, more complex genetic program, structure, and function", whatever that means. You are completely misunderstanding evolution, which is why I directed you to those videos that explain it so well and which you can't be bothered to spend a little time watching. It doesn't mean that a new species just gets born from an existing species one day. That's not how it works, although it's a very common claim to hear from creationists.
 
Avatar 9540
 
"The whole problem with the world is that fools and fanatics are always so certain of themselves, but wiser people so full of doubts." -- Bertrand Russell (I think...)
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129. Re: Op Ed Jan 16, 2010, 01:58 Amillennialist
 
Wowbagger_TIP wrote on Jan 15, 2010, 20:53:
Nobody's going to be able to explain how all this works to you if you aren't willing to invest some time in it.

Clearly, I am completely unfamiliar with Darwinism.

People go to school and study for years to really understand all the facts and methods behind this stuff.

Something which you admit no one has ever observed "people study for years to really understand."

That makes sense; it must take real dedication to subvert one's reason so thoroughly.

If you want to truly understand, you're going to have to do a lot more reading, beginning with the fundamentals of science.

That indicates strongly a severe disregard for what I've actually written. What in my writings shows I don't understand Science?

It is you who persists in that which you admit no one's ever seen, but I'm the one who doesn't "truly understand . . . the fundamentals of science"!

Because of the utter lack of actual, empirical evidence for it, I refuse to swallow whole the Darwinist Creation Myth. Rather than deal with that, it's a whole lot easier to ridicule and demean, isn't it?

Science is hard and it has to meet some pretty high bars to be accepted. This is why science is done the way it is.

Condescending.

It's why science works and why we've seen such explosions in our knowledge and capabilities just in the last few hundred years. Feel free to dispute anything you like, but you'd better come prepared to play by the rules of science.

You don't.

I've never argued against the Scientific Method; I've argued for your coreligionists to stick to the facts. I've not misunderstood the "fundamentals of science;" I've argued for honoring the essence of Science (and all knowledge) by dealing with observable facts.

It's ironic. I ask for facts, but you offer ad hominems. I point out that we observe Life arise only from Life and Life's programs, but you mock me for being unscientific. I point out that no one's ever observed random, minor genetic mutations result in newer, more complex genetic program, structure, and function -- which you admit -- but you accuse me of denying the Scientific Method.

You are guilty of that of which you accuse "creationists": Believing zealously in a fiction not only without actual, observable evidence of it occurring, but even in the face of contradictory data.

Instead of linking to videos and entire websites populated with straw men, red herrings, bad logic, and bald-faced lies (thinking of your Bible "expert" there), how about producing one documented, repeatable, peer-reviewed case of Life arising apart from Life or its programs by only random, natural processes? One case of only random mutations resulting in an organism's gaining newer, more complex genetic program, structure, and function?

My position is that Life arises from only Life and its programs, which we observe. Your position is not only that Life arises apart from Life and its programs by only random, natural processes (we just can't see it, even though it should be occurring around us all the time) but that random mutations in an organism result in newer, more complex genetic program, structure, and function, both of which you admit no one's ever observed.

You have to impugn my intellectual integrity. You have to employ ad hominems and straw men. You can't deal with the basic questions of fact.

This comment was edited on Jan 16, 2010, 02:24.
 
"The Christian religion, when ... brought to the original purity and simplicity of it's benevolent institutor, is a religion of all others most friendly to liberty, science, and the freest expansion of the human mind."

Thomas Jefferson, 1801
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128. Re: Op Ed Jan 16, 2010, 01:18 Amillennialist
 
I'd describe it more as a fact vs. fiction thread.

I'm asking for facts, and instead receiving a whole lot of fiction.
 
"The Christian religion, when ... brought to the original purity and simplicity of it's benevolent institutor, is a religion of all others most friendly to liberty, science, and the freest expansion of the human mind."

Thomas Jefferson, 1801
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127. Re: Op Ed Jan 16, 2010, 00:18 Wowbagger_TIP
 
Whoa I didn't know Blue's had a secret simmering "creationist vs intelligent design" thread goin on!

It'll keep you on the edge of your seat, scrolling through page after page all night...
 
Avatar 9540
 
"The whole problem with the world is that fools and fanatics are always so certain of themselves, but wiser people so full of doubts." -- Bertrand Russell (I think...)
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126. Re: Op Ed Jan 15, 2010, 22:54 Sepharo
 
Whoa I didn't know Blue's had a secret simmering "creationist vs intelligent design" thread goin on!


I could read this for all eternity.
 
Avatar 17249
 
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125. Re: Op Ed Jan 15, 2010, 20:53 Wowbagger_TIP
 
Why can't you address my (alleged) "misconceptions"? Can you even state them? You don't mind throwing entire websites in "rebuttal" to what someone else is alleged to misunderstand, but you don't address what I've actually written.
Because it would take a lot more typing than I have time for here and it would be simply restating what's already there in a few 10 minute videos that do it much more thoroughly and with pictures! Nobody's going to be able to explain how all this works to you if you aren't willing to invest some time in it. People go to school and study for years to really understand all the facts and methods behind this stuff. These videos and the summaries at sites like talkorigins give you the basic cliff's notes version.

If you want to truly understand, you're going to have to do a lot more reading, beginning with the fundamentals of science. Sorry if that doesn't sit well with you. Then you can begin reading the journals that publish the peer-reviewed science to see how exactly they're studying these things and the types of experiments they do. Science is hard and it has to meet some pretty high bars to be accepted. This is why science is done the way it is. It's why we have the peer review process where others in your field get to pick apart your work to try to prove that you screwed up. It's why science works and why we've seen such explosions in our knowledge and capabilities just in the last few hundred years. Feel free to dispute anything you like, but you'd better come prepared to play by the rules of science. We know these rules work, we see the results all around us.
 
Avatar 9540
 
"The whole problem with the world is that fools and fanatics are always so certain of themselves, but wiser people so full of doubts." -- Bertrand Russell (I think...)
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124. Re: Op Ed Jan 15, 2010, 20:29 Amillennialist
 
The misconception that evolution is random is addressed here . . .

The 9th and 11th videos address your misconceptions about micro/macro evolution and the addition of new "information".

Why can't you address my (alleged) "misconceptions"? Can you even state them? You don't mind throwing entire websites in "rebuttal" to what someone else is alleged to misunderstand, but you don't address what I've actually written.

Has anyone yet observed Life arise apart from non-life by only random, natural processes? Newer, more complex genetic program, structure, or function?

(And the whole "evolution isn't random" line is nonsensical, since natural selection cannot occur without pre-existing genetic program on which to operate. Neither has anyone observed random mutations result in newer, more complex genetic program, structure, or function.)
 
"The Christian religion, when ... brought to the original purity and simplicity of it's benevolent institutor, is a religion of all others most friendly to liberty, science, and the freest expansion of the human mind."

Thomas Jefferson, 1801
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123. Re: Op Ed Jan 15, 2010, 16:03 Wowbagger_TIP
 
The first video in your link begins, "Creationists often complain . . . ."

Even if that criticism is true, all it proves is that some Creationists aren't keeping up with Darwinists' ever-evolving stories (pun intended) on Origins. It does not show that Life actually arises apart from Life and Life's programs by only random, natural processes.
That's how science works though. They don't pretend to have all the answers from the start. We're always learning more, and revising or replacing the theories as they get disproven. I can understand if people don't want to keep up with it. That still doesn't justify making claims that are just wrong, and certainly doesn't justify lobbying to have those claims taught in the classroom.

So, while they don't have all the answers, the have very strong theories in these areas that may require minor adjustments or additions over time. The important point is that there is no evidence currently that contradicts the theory of evolution.

You may want to watch the other videos, as they address what you're talking about.

It's like noticing similarity in purpose between DOS 6.6 and Windows 7 and declaring that 7 evolved from 6 by only random, natural processes.
What evolution and abiogenesis actually mean to scientists is explained here:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t3k0dDFxkhM&feature=related
The misconception that evolution is random is addressed here:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g8Q2Db17v5U&feature=related

So, rather than demonstrate that Life arises apart from Life and Life's programs by only random, natural processes acting on the raw materials of which Life is composed -- or that random, natural processes actually result in newer, more complex genetic program, structure, and function
The 9th and 11th videos address your misconceptions about micro/macro evolution and the addition of new "information".

your video attacks (some) Creationists' (alleged) misunderstandings of Darwinism.

That's an ad hominem attack.
It attacks some creationists' actual misunderstandings of evolution, as exhibited by their statements regarding it. Can't say that all creationists' have these same misunderstandings, but if they are claiming that there's evidence that disproves evolution, then they're either keeping it to themselves, or they have some misunderstanding of evolution. It's not an ad-hominem, and you really do misuse that term quite a bit. It's attacking their misguided arguments, although he does attack some people who are quite obviously just lying (as exhibited by their own contradictory statements and/or willful ignorance of the facts) from time to time too.

This comment was edited on Jan 15, 2010, 16:04.
 
Avatar 9540
 
"The whole problem with the world is that fools and fanatics are always so certain of themselves, but wiser people so full of doubts." -- Bertrand Russell (I think...)
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122. Re: Op Ed Jan 15, 2010, 07:48 Amillennialist
 
Do your videos demonstrate any more intellectual honesty than your Biblical "expert"?

After a quick peek, it appears not.

The first video in your link begins, "Creationists often complain . . . ."

Even if that criticism is true, all it proves is that some Creationists aren't keeping up with Darwinists' ever-evolving stories (pun intended) on Origins. It does not show that Life actually arises apart from Life and Life's programs by only random, natural processes.

At almost four minutes into your video, you'll notice that it mistakes common design for common ancestry.

The fundamental logical error is this: Since a similarity in basic design exists, one organism must have descended from another (or a common ancestor).

The fact is, similarity in design is proof of only . . . similarity in design.

In effect, your video "expert" is leaping wildly from basic similarities between a calculator and a PC to common ancestry for both machines. Just because both crunch numbers doesn't mean that the computer evolved from the calculator or a common ancestor (the abacus?) by only random, natural processes.

It's like noticing common literary techniques/grammar/plot elements in Shakespeare's plays and concluding that Macbeth must have evolved from Hamlet by only random, natural processes.

It's like noticing similarity in purpose between DOS 6.6 and Windows 7 and declaring that 7 evolved from 6 by only random, natural processes.

Correlation does not equal causation. Design does imply a Designer, however.

So, rather than demonstrate that Life arises apart from Life and Life's programs by only random, natural processes acting on the raw materials of which Life is composed -- or that random, natural processes actually result in newer, more complex genetic program, structure, and function -- your video attacks (some) Creationists' (alleged) misunderstandings of Darwinism.

That's an ad hominem attack.
 
"The Christian religion, when ... brought to the original purity and simplicity of it's benevolent institutor, is a religion of all others most friendly to liberty, science, and the freest expansion of the human mind."

Thomas Jefferson, 1801
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121. Re: Op Ed Jan 14, 2010, 19:24 Wowbagger_TIP
 
I'm pretty sure nobody's reading this thread anymore, but I just had to post this link since I ran across these videos. This is one that is illustrative of the group, but they're all pretty good. I think there are 15 total right now.

The 10th Foundational Falsehood of Creationism
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5MXTBGcyNuc&feature=related
 
Avatar 9540
 
"The whole problem with the world is that fools and fanatics are always so certain of themselves, but wiser people so full of doubts." -- Bertrand Russell (I think...)
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120. Re: Op Ed Jan 11, 2010, 04:03 Amillennialist
 
Wowbagger,

I appreciate your cordiality and dedication. It's been good talking to you.

I've got a few thoughts to share . . .

Wowbagger_TIP wrote on Jan 10, 2010, 16:30:
After reading the tortured, convoluted claims made by some of those apologists you referenced

This statement is indicative of much of our discussion.

I did not "reference apologists" (in other words, I did not offer to you "tortured, convoluted claims").

You asked for some archaeological evidence supporting the veracity of the Biblical texts. I gave some. Then you chided me for not providing sources, so I provided a few names. You offered a link in "rebuttal," the content of which I read through far enough to see its reticence to dealing with actual facts.

Specifically, rather than demonstrate, for example, that "plutarch" was never used when Luke claimed or that Lysanias was never tetrarch of Abilene, your "expert" mocks his readers for erring (allegedly) regarding when a certain author wrote a book.

In other words, rather than show that the archaeological evidence offered in support of the Biblical texts is false, your source attacks his readers (and you know what that's called).

Your "expert" also errs grossly with the following:

Blomberg's claim that Matthew, Mark and Luke, all apostles of Jesus, were the authors of the gospels attributed to them is entirely unsupported

That's entirely nonsense for two reasons: First, we know who wrote the Gospels (discussed earlier with Jason); Second, neither Mark nor Luke were Apostles. If your "expert" can't get that major detail right, how can you expect anyone to believe that he knows anything at all about the Biblical texts?

His assertion is contraindicated by many other scholars, both apologetic and secular.

The Church Fathers testified to -- and the early Church maintained -- the traditional attributions of authorship for the Gospels (also discussed earlier).

The claim that "Papias, writing in 125 AD" verifies the authorship of Mark, and that Mark recorded events accurately, is fundamentally without merit. It's as meaningful and as useful as my personally telling you, more than a century after . . . Papias is as distant from the events he's verifying as . . . why should we believe him?

That's a load of error.

First, Papias declared that Mark recorded Peter's teachings in the Gospel bearing his name. Who knows better what Mark did, a student of the Apostles from the first century, or an unscrupulous liar from the twenty-first?

Second, Papias was not "more than a century after" the time of Christ. The Resurrection occurred around 33 AD; Papias was born before 70 AD. Last time I checked, thirty-seven (or less) is not more than one hundred.

Third, the Apostles Matthias and Philip were martyred c. 80 AD, the Apostle Simon the Zealot c. 107 (according to one source); the Apostle John died c. 100 AD. That makes a ten-plus-year-old Papias contemporaneous with four of the Apostles.

Fourth, Papias was a disciple of the Apostle John.

Here's the man in his own words:

I will not hesitate to add also for you to my interpretations what I formerly learned with care from the Presbyters and have carefully stored in memory, giving assurance of its truth. For I did not take pleasure as the many do in those who speak much, but in those who teach what is true, nor in those who relate foreign precepts, but in those who relate the precepts which were given by the Lord to the faith and came down from the Truth itself. And also if any follower of the Presbyters happened to come, I would inquire for the sayings of the Presbyters, what Andrew said, or what Peter said, or what Philip or what Thomas or James or what John or Matthew or any other of the Lord's disciples, and for the things which other of the Lord's disciples, and for the things which Aristion and the Presbyter John, the disciples of the Lord, were saying. For I considered that I should not get so much advantage from matter in books as from the voice which yet lives and remains.

Your "expert" continues:

Just because he's the only author we have? That question actually undermines his validity rather than underscoring it; why weren't there other witnesses? Joseph Smith, after all, had eleven who signed affidavits.

If your source had done his homework, he'd know that Papias had the early Church itself in agreement with his claim regarding Mark (also discussed previously).

In conclusion, rather than offer or refute facts regarding the Biblical texts, you offer others' unsubstantiated assertions. Rather than address what I've written, you've responded to what you believe "Christian fundamentalists" think (or misunderstand).

You've offered entire websites devoid of empirical evidence for abiogenesis or vertical speciation having occurred (or occurring now) by only random, natural processes.

(It should be simple to test: Find some muck. Watch closely. Don't interfere. Either living cells will form by only random, natural processes acting on the raw materials of which they are composed, or they won't. If they do form, eventually those single living cells will gain -- again by only random, natural processes -- newer, more complex genetic program, structure, and function. Or they won't.)

You admit that no one's observed Life arise apart from Life or Life's programs by only random, natural processes. You admit that no one's observed vertical speciation occur by only random, natural processes. You deny historical evidence regarding Christ.

But you accuse me of blind faith.

This comment was edited on Jan 11, 2010, 04:38.
 
"The Christian religion, when ... brought to the original purity and simplicity of it's benevolent institutor, is a religion of all others most friendly to liberty, science, and the freest expansion of the human mind."

Thomas Jefferson, 1801
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119. Re: Op Ed Jan 10, 2010, 16:30 Wowbagger_TIP
 
Well, I think it's time to end this. I'll just have to accept that I've made no headway in this argument with you, and with this last post I would essentially have to write a book to explain all the problems with what you wrote.

I'm comfortable letting the record stand as it does now. If anyone is still following or comes upon it later, I think I've offered more than enough to support my views here. I guess it's true that you can't reason with faith and it's silly to try, as those you challenge with reason take it as a test of their faith and it makes them believe that much harder. After reading the tortured, convoluted claims made by some of those apologists you referenced, it really shouldn't surprise me.

It was interesting and informative for me anyway. Hopefully anyone that stumbles upon this will find it to be as well.
 
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"The whole problem with the world is that fools and fanatics are always so certain of themselves, but wiser people so full of doubts." -- Bertrand Russell (I think...)
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118. Re: Op Ed Jan 9, 2010, 18:17 Amillennialist
 
Wowbagger,

I reread your earlier comment. I see that you intended to communicate your claim that eyewitness testimony is considered unreliable by the legal, professional, and criminal investigation professions. That's not what you said.

You should have used the word "do" instead of "is." The passive "is" makes your statement a parallel application of the word "unreliable" to what follows it, rather than a parallel to the active verb "calling" used earlier, which is what you intended.

Maybe we should try Latin, instead.

As for eyewitness testimony being deemed "unreliable," that determination depends on the witness, the nature of the testimony, and the circumstances under which it is given.

Not all witnesses are unreliable. If you claim that, then you're admitting that you, too, are unreliable. And if that's the case, then why offer an opinion on anything at all?

Your claim that the various professions named regard eyewitness testimony as "unreliable" is really an oversimplification. If it were unreliable in all circumstances, no one would be convicted on the basis of eyewitness testimony, ever.

We're not talking about a Psych 101 class or an artificial lab test where subjects are presented briefly with a scene involving two or three individuals and asked to recall details of that scene.

We're talking about men (and women) who spent several years living and working with Someone Who said and did the most extraordinary things, Someone Who was executed publicly and later resurrected. And these witnesses were persecuted, beaten, and murdered because of their testimony.

You're arguing that under penalty of death, multiple eyewitnesses lied or erred regarding what Someone with Whom they lived, worked, and suffered for years said, did, and endured, including His murder and rising from the dead.

As for the rest . . .

1) The Establishment clause was for the United States Congress, not individual states. That's why it said, "Congress shall not . . . ."

You can't support a private citizen's religious liberty by suppressing it. You're willing to compromise the Free Exercise Clause to enforce your idiosyncratic definition of the Establishment Clause.

An honor student ("honor" because honor students are usually those who deliver valedictorian addresses) is not an agent of the state; in our example she's stating her opinion. Just because you don't like the content of what she might say doesn't mean that government has a right to violate her freedom of speech. Her "you should believe" is no more tyranny than another's "No blood for oil!"

As to nativities on city streets and crosses on mountains, with regard to the Aphorisms on public grounds, the Supreme Court, in its entirety, including its liberal members, sided against your application of The Clause.

And the separation of the civil from the religious comes from Christ's teachings, in which the Founders were well-versed.

2) You still misunderstand my point regarding observation: You're citing examples of actual phenomena invisible to the unaided eye. That's a world of difference from claiming something exists which, if it were actually occurring, would be visible to the naked eye.

No evolutionist, in all his desperate lab work, has ever shown that Life arises apart from Life or its programs by only random, natural processes. Someone might as well claim that all Life arose from a big pink bunny.

And in response to mocking their silly superstition, Big Pink Bunnyists could reply -- with the same moral authority you possess -- "Just because we don't yet have the tools to see it, doesn't mean it isn't true! I'm applying the Scientific Method!"

3) My criticism of Annenberg attacks their credibility by noting their exclusion of relevant, contradictory facts. So no, no ad hominem there.

4) Your criticism of my statement regarding AGW does not address my words, but the AGW-skeptic-in-your-head (the less-known and less-reviled cousin of the Christian-extremist/fascist/Creationist-in-your-head).

You shouldn't mock someone's alleged misunderstanding of AGW when he doesn't actually misunderstand it. Ironically, you are (apparently) unaware that the goalposts have been moved by AGW's own apologists: It's no longer "global warming," but "global climate change."

The fact is, the climate changes. For every Ice Age that has occurred, global warming followed.

The relevant issue is this: The claim that Man is causing the Earth to warm -- and that such warming is harmful -- is a tool used by tyrants to restrict Liberty, erode national sovereignty, and benefit financially. (For someone who's argued vigorously for freedom, you seem credulous on this point.)

Here are some of those pesky details regarding the alleged Man-Caused-Disaster Anthropogenic Global Warming (from http://icecap.us/index.php/go/new-and-cool/fact_based_climate_debate/):

-The most effective greenhouse gas is water vapor, comprising approximately 95 percent of the total greenhouse effect.

-Carbon dioxide concentration has been continually rising for nearly 100 years. It continues to rise, but carbon dioxide concentrations at present are near the lowest in geologic history.

-Temperature change correlation with carbon dioxide levels is not statistically significant.

-There are no data that definitively relate carbon dioxide levels to temperature changes.

-The greenhouse effect of carbon dioxide logarithmically declines with increasing concentration. At present levels, any additional carbon dioxide can have very little effect.

-Global temperature changes naturally all of the time, in both directions and at many scales of intensity.

-The warmest year in the U.S. in the last century was 1934, not 1998. The U.S. has the best and most extensive temperature records in the world.

-Global temperature peaked in 1998 on the current 60-80 year cycle, and has been episodically declining ever since. This cooling absolutely falsifies claims that human carbon dioxide emissions are a controlling factor in Earth temperature.

-Voluminous historic records demonstrate the Medieval Climate Optimum (MCO) was real and that the "hockey stick" graphic that attempted to deny that fact was at best bad science. The MCO was considerably warmer than the end of the 20th century.

-During the last 100 years, temperature has both risen and fallen, including the present cooling. All the changes in temperature of the last 100 years are in normal historic ranges, both in absolute value and, most importantly, rate of change.

-Effects of temperature change are absolutely independent of the cause of the temperature change.

-Global hurricane, cyclonic and major storm activity is near 30-year lows. Any increase in cost of damages by storms is a product of increasing population density in vulnerable areas such as along the shores and property value inflation, not due to any increase in frequency or severity of storms.

-Polar bears have survived and thrived over periods of extreme cold and extreme warmth over hundreds of thousands of years[,] extremes far in excess of modern temperature changes.

-The 2009 minimum Arctic ice extent was significantly larger than the previous two years. The 2009 Antarctic maximum ice extent was significantly above the 30-year average. There are only 30 years of records.

-Rate and magnitude of sea level changes observed during the last 100 years are within normal historical ranges. Current sea level rise is tiny and, at most, justifies a prediction of perhaps ten centimeters rise in this century.

-The present climate debate is a classic conflict between data and computer programs. The computer programs are the source of concern over climate change and global warming, not the data. Data are measurements. Computer programs are artificial constructs.

-Public announcements use a great deal of hyperbole and inflammatory language. For instance, the word "ever" is misused by media and in public pronouncements alike. It does not mean "in the last 20 years," or "the last 70 years." "Ever" means the last 4.5 billion years.

-For example, some argue that the Arctic is melting, with the warmest-ever temperatures. One should ask, "How long is ever?" The answer is since 1979. And then ask, "Is it still warming?" The answer is unequivocally "No." Earth temperatures are cooling. Similarly, the word "unprecedented" cannot be legitimately used to describe any climate change in the last 8,000 years.

5) Your assertion that "Nobody is claiming that anything is 'true,'" is demonstrably false. Every time someone mocks someone who denies Darwin's creation myth, that's a truth claim. Every time someone says, "There is no god," that's a truth claim. Every time someone says, "Jesus didn't exist," that's a truth claim.

Facts are facts. Truth is truth. Science is useless apart from determining what is.

I understand that the Scientific Method tests hypotheses by examining actual phenomena. I know also that Science does not "prove" anything. I'm merely representing colloquially what your coreligionists actually practice.

As for "atheistic naturalism," I use the term to refer to the basic worldview that rules out the supernatural a priori, that the existence of the supernatural is impossible, or impossible for us to discern (except for every time it is).

Speculating that only random, natural processes "can" result in abiogenesis and vertical speciation is a lifetime away from (pun intended) demonstrating that it "did" occur.

(And speaking of "not understanding Science," one of the tenets of the discipline is the understanding that natural laws are consistent across time. If Life arose from non-Life by only random, natural processes in the past, then it should still today. If newer, more complex genetic program, structure, and function arose also by only random, natural processes in the past, then they should still today.

But they don't, and you cannot offer any evidence that they do actually occur.)

6) Not all religious belief is devoid of empirical support. The irreligious with a modicum of intellectual integrity, upon examining the historical evidence for Christ, can conclude of the Gospels that real people described real events occurring in actual places. Even if they want to deny the significance of the supernatural events recorded, they cannot honestly deny that multiple, credible eyewitnesses, with every reason to say otherwise -- but for the fact that they did occur -- attest to them.

7) Regarding archaeology, etc., you asked for sources, I provided names. I provided earlier a specific statement of fact by Luke corroborated by archaeology (Lysanias) and asked if you wanted more, to which you did not reply.

Here's another example of archaeology verifying the Biblical authors:

Luke refers to "politarchs" in Thessalonica and was criticized for it because the term had not shown up in known ancient documents. Then a first-century arch with an inscription using "politarchs" turned up. Since then archaeologists have discovered dozens of inscriptions mentioning "politarchs," several of them from Thessalonica and from the time period to which Luke referred.

Again, why would someone so meticulous in documenting the natural lie about what others -- including his "father" the Apostle Paul -- had observed regarding the supernatural?

8) We do know who wrote the Gospels (refer to my earlier comments on this subject to Jason), the closeness in time between Christ's life, death, and resurrection and the accounts of them is remarkable (reference Alexander the Great); each of the New Testament documents were composed by either those who witnessed everything or by those who interviewed those who did; you do not know the reason for the "difference in canon" among denominations (it's simple); the only one having trouble "identifying divinely-inspired writings" are those hampered by a inability or unwillingness to read the texts honestly; God has preserved His Word, "believing fradulent writings" is the fault of the fraud himself (or the deceived for being lazy, gullible, or perverse); and God has done all that is necessary for the salvation of all.

The responsibility for human evil belongs alone to those who practice it. That you would attempt to attribute blame for it to the One Who died for the sins of all -- including yours -- is not honest.

This comment was edited on Jan 9, 2010, 20:57.
 
"The Christian religion, when ... brought to the original purity and simplicity of it's benevolent institutor, is a religion of all others most friendly to liberty, science, and the freest expansion of the human mind."

Thomas Jefferson, 1801
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117. Re: Op Ed Jan 7, 2010, 16:11 Wowbagger_TIP
 
continued from previous post...

On to the Bible stuff...

For archaeology validating the Biblical texts, see compilations by Werner Keller, Norman Geisler, and Lee Strobel, which include, for example, the work of John McRay, PhD.
So you still aren't going to post any actual arguments or evidence? You're actually not providing anything at all except a few names and I'm supposed to guess at what your point is, I suppose, and what each of these people has to say that's relevant. Have you even read their work? Am I supposed to run right out and buy all their books to try to figure out what little bits of information you're referring to? Even though you can't be bothered to read stuff that I link to directly? Really?

Nonetheless, I've searched online and found some of the arguments from these folks, but little regarding archeology except some of McRay's claims.

Strobel and Geisler's arguments are nonsensical at best, easily rebutted and fraught with contradictions. Werner's book has errors that make him seem either ignorant or dishonest when examined by someone well-versed in the Bible and other religious and historical texts.

I haven't been able to find much of anything about McRay online, but I'd love to see what evidence he provides. Scott Bidstrup does point out a lot of problems with McRay's claims from Strobel's book. Got any other evidence from him? Maybe a reference to whatever evidence you're referring to? McRay seems to be bad about properly citing evidence in his own work, such as the Roman coin he refers to but neglects to provide a catalog ID for.

Bottom line is that extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence. You're not providing anything to back up the extraordinary claims, let alone the level of evidence required.

It's funny. You describe "the entire legal profession" as "unreliable," and as proof you offer a Google search, just as you offered Talk Origins as a rebuttal to my (unstated) Creationist arguments.
I said that the entire legal profession is calling eyewitness testimony unreliable. You might want to read that part again. Then you might want to read some of papers from the Google Scholar search. I've read several papers on the subject in the past when researching some legal issues. There are a LOT of problems with eyewitness testimony, which is why we've seen so many exonerations via DNA evidence of people who were convicted on eyewitness testimony, not to mention all the eyewitness testimony that gets debunked in the courtroom. It's just not anywhere near as reliable as it was once thought to be.

To say that "You can't use scripture as evidence of the veracity of scripture . . . That's circular and defies logic," is to misunderstand what "Scripture" is. You're arguing essentially that "you can't use Thomas Jefferson as evidence of the veracity of George Washington."
In the absence of corroborating evidence, no. Especially if you were trying to prove that George Washington was a wizard and could shoot lightning from his fingers and could conjure demons to do his bidding.

There's no evidence to corroborate the supernatural events of the bible. Nobody is really trying to dispute the mundane events.

It is only rational to consider the testimony of multiple eyewitnesses as evidence of the trustworthiness of any particular eyewitness.
It's not rational to accept only eyewitness testimony for supernatural events. If we did that we'd have "evidence" of the existence of Bigfoot, a hundred varieties of aliens and their UFOs, witches, wizards, fairies, various sea monsters, werewolves, etc.

Last time people took eyewitness testimony as evidence of the supernatural, a bunch of Christians were burning people at the stake for being witches. Good argument.

You're willing to believe that Man arose from mud by accident, which no one has ever witnessed, but you reject out-of-hand one Man's rising from the grave, despite multiple eyewitness accounts.
I'm willing to believe that there may be a natural explanation for it, and I'm simply waiting for science to figure it out, knowing also that in the process of doing so they will likely learn many other useful things, as that is how it has worked throughout history.

If those who recorded Christ's words and deeds are found trustworthy in matters regarding the natural, is it rational to reject a priori their testimony regarding Christ's resurrection?
Yes, it is. Just because they get the mundane details correct doesn't mean that their accounts of the supernatural are correct. Accepting eyewitness accounts as proof is just crazy, just as it was in Salem.

That people die for what they believe is true.
They may well have believed it. But that they believed it doesn't make it true. People believe lots of things that aren't true. People die for their religions all the time, but that doesn't make all of them true (or any of them for that matter). Without corroborating evidence, it can't be accepted as true.

As to your questioning my ability and/or willingness to support my points, I have offered evidence supporting "the veracity of the supernatural claims made in scripture," the corroborating testimony of multiple eyewitnesses.
I've explained why eyewitness testimony is unreliable and offered plenty of evidence that you refuse to do more than glance at. I can't make you see the evidence.

And I've provided better than "links" to entire sites offering no supporting empirical evidence of your position (since no one's witnessed it), I've provided the actual testimony itself.
With no corroborating evidence, your testimonies are insufficient for proving the supernatural. We don't even know for sure who actually wrote the gospels decades after the purported events, for instance, and there's little rhyme or reason to the differences in canon between Christian sects. You'd think that divinely-inspired writings would be identified a little more readily. You'd kinda think that God would want to make it a bit more obvious so that we aren't lead into believing fraudulent writings just because we're born where one church dominates rather than another. Then there's those poor poor North Koreans who only get to worship their insane leader from within the alternate universe he has trapped them in. God's doing a bang-up job of giving everyone the opportunity to be saved, huh?

This comment was edited on Jan 8, 2010, 11:21.
 
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"The whole problem with the world is that fools and fanatics are always so certain of themselves, but wiser people so full of doubts." -- Bertrand Russell (I think...)
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116. Re: Op Ed Jan 7, 2010, 16:11 Wowbagger_TIP
 
Can you cite anything I've attributed to you that you have not articulated (apart from the clearly unintentional misunderstanding of misspelled shorthand)?
I've noted several in my posts already, did you forget about those? In this post of yours you obviously misunderstood and misstated what I said about the legal profession, saying, "You describe 'the entire legal profession' as 'unreliable,'" when that's clearly not what I said. I'll get to that later.

I noted the existence of state churches well into the early decades of our nation as evidence of the fact that the Establishment and Free Exercise Clauses did not "divorce all religious expression and artifacts from public life . . . ."
I'm not sure what you mean by "public life". My claim is that those clauses do not permit the government to support, endorse or promote any specific religion or set of religions over any others. So it's equal access or no access when it comes to the public space. Either your point was that the state churches didn't violate the intent of those clauses, or your point was that the clauses did not have the effect of causing the churches to be abolished overnight.

If it was the former, then you're claiming they were not unconstitutional, which is plainly false as they were all but gone by the time of the revolution since many states already had some form of the establishment clause in their state constitutions, and the last couple holdouts were gone by the mid-1800s. These were about as contradictory to the Establishment clause as it's possible to get. Signing the Constitution doesn't magically change the country overnight you know. If it was the latter, then the existence of the churches does nothing to support any argument you've made. If there's some other possible way to construe your statement, then please explain it.

As for Mr. Jefferson, why do you reference his refusal to issue proclamations of thanksgiving and fasting, as did Presidents Washington and Adams?
My point is that such proclamations were controversial and unconstitutional in the way they were presented. That's often the case even with recent proclamations. Some could pass Constitutional muster but most wouldn't. They aren't challenged on these grounds because those who would oppose them prefer to pick their battles and Christians tend to be intolerant of anyone attempting to prevent the government from supporting their religion, especially when it comes to the holidays. Better to save your energy for those battles the make the most difference.

As I've stated several times, my noting various examples of the Founding Fathers' toleration or facilitation of religious expression in the public square is not to agitate for governmental support of religion, but to demonstrate that when the Founders forbade Congress from interfering with religion in the Bill of Rights, they did not mean that religious expression in the public square was anathema.
You can express your religious views in the public square all you want. I'm not disputing that. I'm saying that you can't do so on behalf of the government, nor can any government agent do so on behalf of the government.

And again, in citing a few phrases from the Declaration, I'm not confusing government's role with private belief as you claim. I'm merely pointing out that the Founders did not despise all interaction between church and state.
Given the fact that the "interactions" you're referring to would have violated the sensibilities of nobody, they were likely considered harmless. Offering non-denominational Christian services when practically everyone in Congress adhered to some form of Christianity could be considered equal access, so I don't know that that would be a violation. Just like I wouldn't consider it a violation today if government facilities were used for services, as long as they didn't discriminate.

By the beginning of 1802, though Jefferson believed (as do I) that government had no business officially establishing one religion as a national church or supporting it financially or martially, it could give "friendly aids" to churches (using public property for services, for example).
And I'm fine with that, provided the aids are non-discriminatory. If it's not provided equally to all religions, then it shouldn't be provided at all.

As I've noted several times, I agree that government should not interfere with religious liberty. The point of contention here is that you equate an honor student's expressing a deeply-held conviction during a graduation address with "government interference." Using that rationale you would silence her, violating her freedoms of speech and religion.

That's tyranny.
The fact that she's an honor student is irrelevant, so I don't know why you keep inserting that. My point is that it's a violation of the other students' rights to force them to sit through someone's proselytizing just so they can receive their diplomas. I don't care what she believes, and neither does the government. She can go around and tell everyone about it, but she doesn't have the right to preach to students during a government-sponsored event. I don't even care if she wants to say that her faith in God helped her achieve her goals or whatever, but when she crosses into telling the other students that they should go learn more about Jesus and her religion, that's proselytizing and the other students shouldn't have to be subjected to it as part of their education in a government-run school. That's tyranny.

(And Dan Barker clearly doesn't understand Biblical concepts of government, much of which I've articulated in this thread.)
He understands that Biblical concepts were deliberately not included in the foundation of our law, which is my point.

Now to science...

You reiterate your misunderstanding of science in the first few paragraphs here. Many things had NEVER EVER IN THE HISTORY OF MAN been observed... until we observed them. Bacteria, cells, atoms, more biological and chemical processes than I can count, the list goes on a long long way. Until we figure out the mechanisms behind such a process, we won't be able to observe it. So they take it a step at a time, making little discoveries along the way, just like science has always done.

As for Annenberg, their defense of AGW is enough to doubt their credibility. Do they mention the discarded data? The manipulation of raw data? The utter absence of empirical evidence for AGW?
What do we call attacking the source rather than their arguments again? Either rebut the points made in the article or concede that you can't.

Record cold currently?
And in one fell swoop you confirm that you have no idea what the global warming issue is even about. It would be hilarious how many times I hear people say something like "Global warming? But there's blizzards here!", at least if it weren't so sad. If someone can't be bothered to even understand what the scientists are actually claiming rather than some straw-man argument made up by those with a financial stake in the issue, then I wish they'd just stay out of the discussion, because their ignorance is just causing confusion.

I am not "arguing that because we haven't yet figured it out that it should be abandoned." I'm pointing out that you can't "figure out" what has never, ever, under any circumstances, been observed.
Of course you can. That's a ridiculous statement that betrays your lack of understanding of what science does and how it works. They're trying to find the most plausible natural explanation for the origin of life. They aren't trying to prove that which is impossible to prove. They don't care about that because it's not useful. I suspect they'll eventually be able to lay out, in excruciating detail, exactly how life can arise from non-life, or possibly more than one way. This won't prove that that's how it originally happened, because you can't prove something like that, and as I said, science isn't concerned with proving things, only in gathering evidence and constantly revising and adding to our knowledge of how the universe works.

You write that "Science doesn't care about absolute proof. It cares about evidence in support of theories," but Science's only usefulness is in its absolute and exclusive reliance on observable fact.
This is true, and that's why they're working on experiments to get them closer and closer to being able to figure out the kind of scenario that could bring about life, at which time they'll be able to observe it. We'll never be able to observe the original origin of life, but we will be able to observe at least one way in which it can occur. That's all science is concerned with.

So, like I said, once you can form a theory and provide testable hypotheses for it, then you're engaging in science. Otherwise you're not and science isn't concerned with what you believe.

On the other hand, I demand empirical evidence of abiogenesis/vertical speciation by only random, natural processes. For that, you claim that I reject the Scientific Method!
Demand all you like. You don't even bother to read or address any of the information I provide, so I see no reason to provide further information.

I also don't understand why you demand empirical evidence of this when you don't demand it for supernatural events. That seems very odd to me.

Being skeptical of them in light of those missing "mundane" details is not "an implied ad-hominem attack," it's just common sense.
Sorry, but when you don't even read the article, you have no grounds for criticizing it. What are your sources for accurate information on this subject?

If a person can claim anything as true and then apply the Scientific Method to studying it to see how it's possible, and that's enough for you to call it "scientific," then how can you criticize anyone as credulous?
Nobody is claiming that anything is "true". They've formed a theory about it and are seeking evidence by performing experiments and observing the results. If you had the first clue about how science works you'd understand that. Science DOES NOT work like religion.

And no, I don't call the Scientific Method "atheistic naturalism" (another example of not representing my words accurately).
I don't see what else you could be referring to then. What does the term refer to? How do you define "atheistic naturalism"?

I ask for empirical evidence of Man arising from muck by accident -- which you defend as "scientific" -- and you accuse me of falling back on "magic" as an explanation. You claim that asserting as true processes which have never, ever, under any circumstances been observed is "how science works."
Again, nobody is asserting anything as "true", and specifically science is not addressing the origin of man, just a possible way for life to arise from non-life. This would support a theory of how life may have arisen on earth. It doesn't prove that it actually happened that way.


to be continued...

This comment was edited on Jan 8, 2010, 10:54.
 
Avatar 9540
 
"The whole problem with the world is that fools and fanatics are always so certain of themselves, but wiser people so full of doubts." -- Bertrand Russell (I think...)
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