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REPLY #29d TO
"EVOLUTION VS. CREATIONISM"



Boldfaced statements are parts of the original essay (or a subsequent reply) to which the respondent has directed his comments.

Italicized/emphasized comments
prefaced by (R) are those of the respondent and are presented unedited.

My replies appear under the respondent's comments in blue text and are prefaced by my initials (MB).
This is the fourth of a five-part reply. Select the "Go to next reply" link at the end of each part to read the next part of the reply.

(R) Just as recent as the early 1800s, the scientific paradigm was Creation.
(MB) True. And, when additional evidence was gathered, that paradigm was shown to be incorrect. Therefore, it had to be replaced. That is the nature of the scientific method. Ideas are continually tested and retested against the latest evidence. If they hold up, they get stronger. If they fail the test, they must be discarded. No ideas or theories are exempt from this.

(R) Great scientists like Newton and Pasteur were theists who were operating under a Creation scientific paradigm. So in that regard, I do not define "Science" by the attributes of the current paradigm it just happens to be in.
(MB) Just because you don't agree with its conclusions, you can't just off-handedly throw away the entirety of science. To do so just indicates that you only care about what you want to believe and really could care less about whether or not any of those beliefs have anything to back them up. What do you think that Newton and Pasteur would believe if they had access to today's totality of scientific knowledge?

ANSWER(S) REMAINING UNQUESTIONED
  • "The hoax of Piltdown Man survived only until additional evidence was uncovered in the same area that brought the original into question. Sure, scientists *wanted* to believe that Piltdown Man was genuine. But, no theory is safe from scrutiny and none is so cherished that it couldn't fall victim to disproof at any time. Certainly, Creationists don't apply the same standards to their own notions."
Why are you so afraid of it? Even though you believe in it, why do you not want to discuss or support it in the context of this debate?
(R) I am not afraid of it at all. My main interest is in discussing the "factuality" of evolution. I don't see religion as a necessary attribute to that goal.
(MB) Religion is not necessary at all -- much less to discuss the factuality of evolution. However, absolutely nobody questions evolution in its entirety, denigrates the discipline of science and its methods, and blusters about the evils of materialism and naturalism without wishing to promote a religious alternative to it all. Certainly, you consider that alternative to be somehow "better", don't you? Why, then, are you reluctant to discuss or defend it?

QUESTION(S) REMAINING UNANSWERED
  • "Isn't it a sin not to believe in God? The Bible also contains many verses which denigrate any attitude other than pure faith."
  • "For example, how long did Christians continue to believe that the Earth was flat after the ancient Greeks had proven otherwise? How about the creation tales and Flood story of Genesis? Perhaps you'd like to join my Religion debate and get more into detail on these and other related matters."
  • "On the other hand, you see no problem with them [school children] being taught supernatural garbage like Creationism and being indoctrinated with Christian dogma?"
As should we all. However, that "say" should be informed and intelligent rather than emotional and dogmatic
(R) That comment is presupposing that my "say" *isn't* informed or intelligent.
(MB) No, it's just a general comment about which arguments are the more worthy of consideration. Would you disagree that informed and intelligent arguments are better than emotional and dogmatic ones? As to the qualities of what you are saying, I can only pass judgments based upon how you present your arguments and whether or not any of them are sound. So far, they haven't fared too well.

(R) What you are basically saying is that if my "say" isn't the same as yours, then it is unintelligent and uninformed. This is an arrogance that ruptures the bounds of credulity.
(MB) I'm not saying anything about whether or not anybody agrees with me. However, when someone present objections to evolution that have been conclusively debunked for decades, can't (or won't) answer the majority of questions put to him, refuses to defend his own beliefs, and can't even demonstrate a basic understanding of the terms and concepts he is disputing, that speaks volumes about how "informed" those objections are.

Ah, yes, the famous "equal time" whine. Since Creationism is clearly not science (as determined by the Supreme Court), why should it get equal time (or *any* time) in a science classroom?
(R) The Supreme court has been, is, and can be wrong.
(MB) Of course that can happen. Unfortunately for your argument, they were not wrong in this particular case. If you dispute this, you will need to analyze the Court's decision and point out their errors in detail.

(R) Thats why Supreme Court rulings are overturned almost every year.
(MB) The Supreme Court overturns the rulings of lower courts every year -- not its own rulings.

(R) Also, Evolutionists and naturalists do not "own" science. People who adhere to the Creation Model have every bit of a claim to science as any evolutionists does. Science belongs to everyone.
(MB) Exactly. Also, the methods of science apply equally to all proposals. This is where Creationism fails so miserably and where Creationist argument is at its absolute worst. How can Creationism hope to be taken seriously when its advocates refuse to subject it to the same standards of evidence and investigation that science demands of its own theories?

Should we also introduce every other piece of pseudoscientific or paranormal nonsense that opposes science? Finally, do you believe in "equal time" to the point where you would willingly invite scientists, atheists, and the clergy of other religions into your church to get equal time with the clergy in the interest of letting the congregation hear all sides in order to make up their own minds?
(R) Already stated that you do not own science, nor its definition.
(MB) And, I've shown that your argument is inadequate.

(R) Therefore, your qualifications of what does and does not oppose "science" are merely your personal opinion and not fact.
(MB) Nope. If one understands what science is, then those things that oppose it are readily apparent. This determination does not require my say-so. Creationism would be just as foolish whether or not I say anything about it.

(R) I would absolutely love for atheists, scientists, etc., to come and speak at our churchs. In fact, there are many churchs around the country who's ministries are focused on reaching skeptics. These churchs have live debates between atheists and theists, creationists and evolutionists every month with coffee room discussions afterwards.
(MB) You just made my point. Those ministries "are focused on reaching skeptics". In other words, they are trying to convert them into believers. Most certainly, they have no interest in allowing skeptics to try to deprogram current believers. Perhaps, you could provide me a few examples of these ministries of which you speak?

(R) There is nothing to be afraid. The fact that these types of churchs exist flies in the face of your ignorant stereotyping of Christians/religious people.
(MB) So far, you have said nothing that flies in the face of anything other than reality. Since you haven't (and, perhaps, can't) provide specific examples of "these types of churches", how can I judge whether or not they actually exist and whether or not they actually do what you claim for them?

A religion is a system of belief in a divine or supernatural entity. Religion normally includes rituals, but it is much more.
(R) The root word meaning for religion is "ritual." That is not wrong.
(MB) Please tell me what dictionary backs up your claim. None that I've consulted so far say anything of the sort.

Just what did you research and study to answer all of your doubts?
(R) Many different books. Everything from Micheal Martin's "The Case Against Christianity" to books by C.S Lewis, Josh MacDowell, R.C. Sproul. I also spent a lot of time studying the Bible in its original languages using my Interlinear Hebrew/Greek Bible, my Strong's Exhaustive Concordance, Nave's Topical Analysis of the Bible, and Harbinger's guide to resolving Biblical difficulties. Want pictures?
(MB) If necessary, but I'd prefer hard facts. If you have actually done all of this research, why do you find it so difficult to provide specific examples when asked for them? Everything you listed is apologetics material with the exception of Martin's work -- which, I assume, you do not agree with. Do you have any specific objections to his arguments?

What extra-Biblical historical reference is there that provides evidence for the existence of God? For that matter, what in the Bible provides evidence for it? What about the history of the Egyptians, Indians, and Chinese (among many others) that include references to many different gods -- none of which are the one that you worship? Finally, are you claiming Yahweh for the Christians and discarding the claims of the Jews and Muslims?
(R) 1) The existence of God is not determined by any book.
(MB) Correct. This includes the Bible, right? Then, how *is* the existence of God determined?

(R) 2)Just like their can be real money and conterfeit money, their can be a real God, and a false god.
(MB) Correct again. However, this doesn't answer my questions. If we make the assumption that God exists in some form, how do we differentiate a "real" God from a "false" one?

(R) 3) I'm not claiming anything. *Yahweh* claimed the Christians and diregards the others.
(MB) This just restates your original claim and does not answer my questions. On what evidential basis should one accept your claim as being true? You are also going to have an extremely difficult time justifying your statement that Yahweh claimed the Christians and discards all others -- to include Jews and Muslims. After all, Jews and Muslims worship the very same Yahweh that Christians do.

QUESTION(S) REMAINING UNANSWERED
  • RE: God is the biggest hoax of all time.
    What else would you consider a story that has been repeated in numerous incompatible versions and which has hoodwinked billions of people for thousands of years?"
  • "I'll provide the evidence you want [God was not creating the universe 10 billion years ago] if you can first provide empirical evidence that no other entity was responsible for the creation of the universe."
OK, as soon as you can demonstrate how the Big Bang is a part of the theory of evolution and how you computed those ridiculous odds.
(R) The Big Bang was not brought up in regards to evolution. It was brought up in regards to theism/atheism.
(MB) Uh-huh. That's why you wanted me to prove how the Big Bang could have produced a universe which contains life, right?

(R) The odds that the Big Bang would produce life-permitting intial conditions is 1 to 10 billion^124. I did not come up with these odds. Cosomologist Donald Page did.
(MB) OK, then, how did Page compute those ridiculous odds and why do you believe it?

They *do* exist. After all, we live in a reality with four macroscopic dimensions (length, width, depth, time), don't we?
(R) I wasn't referring to those four.
(MB) Does that make any difference? Why should the macroscopic dimensions be excluded from consideration?

(R) For example, some astrophysicists postulate that there may be as many as 11 different dimensions existing in our universe. God could easily exist in one of these, or in a state where all 11 intertwine.
(MB) Actually, it's 10 dimensions according to superstring theory, but why quibble? Your last statement is impossible if God exists outside of his creation (as you have previously stated). Furthermore, since he would have created those dimensions under your model, they couldn't have existed prior to creating them. Yet, if that's where he exists, we have a paradox, since you are saying he exists in a place that didn't exist prior to his creating it. Where did God exist prior to creating the place where he exists?

QUESTION(S) REMAINING UNANSWERED
  • "Since everything in the universe is made of the same component elements and since Man contains nothing other than those elements, why couldn't the universe produce Man?"
Exactly. It also exists independently of *your* interpretation of it. The key here is that it *exists*. Because it exists, it constitutes evidence.
(R) But what the evidence constitutes is what is in question. Your interpretation says it constitutes evolution, while others say it constitutes Creation.
(MB) Exactly. Unfortunately, for your argument, only those who say it constitutes evolution can support those claims coherently.

The current point is whether or not we have anything from the past that can be tested. You suggested that we do not. I'm proving otherwise
(R) I wasn't talking about substances or physical properties, but events.
(MB) Don't events have effects upon the physical properties of substances which follow consistent rules and which can be tested?

(R) We don't have past *events* to test.
(MB) Including special creation, correct? Once again, it is demonstrated that you don't subject your own ideas to the same standards you demand of science.

QUESTION(S) REMAINING UNANSWERED
  • "Is there some problem with using bacteria for testing purposes?"
I see you don't know what an organic compound is, either. Simply stated, an organic compound is a carbon compound.
(R) Are you about to tell me that proteins and amino acids are not organic compounds?
(MB) Nope. But, you said that organic compounds can't be created by natural processes without realizing that the chemistry involved is not restricted to those things which produce the building blocks of life. You may wish to amend this claim to narrow the field a bit.

ANSWER(S) REMAINING UNQUESTIONED
  • "They [organic compounds] are self-assembling because of the unique associative properties of the carbon atom. Basic chemistry shows how this works."
  • "A "prebiotic evolutionist" would be somebody who studies developments prior to the appearance and evolution of life. Hence, the name. It should be obvious that there could be no evolution in the Darwinian sense before life first appeared."
Perhaps you would care to use the link below to read a paper which should clear up your misconceptions. [link deleted]
(R) Perhaps you would answer my question yourself instead of sending me to your website bible.
(MB) Is there something wrong with presenting you with links to first-hand evidence and scholarly papers that provide the answers to your questions? But, I'm a reasonable sort of guy. Why don't you explain the difficulties you have with Acyl transferase and Ribozyme-Nucleotide reactions (if you even know what they are) and why you think they can't work. Then, I'll have something specific that I can address rather than just another blanket denial.

(R) Obviously, you are basing much of your belief-system upon the information that is presented at these sites.
(MB) No, not any more than I base the belief that 2+2=4 based upon what is published on a basic math site. Since I have a limited amount of space for my web site, it is more efficient to link you to relevant documents than to reprint their contents here. Either way, the information will be presented to you (and will, presumably, be brushed off), so that can't be the real problem.

(R) By the way, I read through a good part of it, and nowhere did I see my contention answered, or rebutted.
(MB) Gee, another blanket denial without so much as one specific objection. What a surprise...

QUESTION(S) REMAINING UNANSWERED
  • "At this point, we have another deliberate excision of the bulk of a response in order to make a weak attack on a single sentence. The entire paragraph in question was:
        This is nothing but desperate and incoherent rambling. I would agree that the existence of God is antithetical to naturalism, but how would the Big Bang qualify? Isn't that theorized to be a purely natural process? Also, you'll have to say which "creation of the universe" theory you are referring to. Finally, whatever the "philosophy of evolution" might be, it makes no difference as concerns whether or not the mechanics of evolution theory are right or wrong.
        As to your "indirect" relationships, they are exclusively one-way. The Big Bang, for example, leads to evolution and not the other way around. Therefore, it is not logical to demand that evolution explain the Big Bang."
This is nothing but desperate and incoherent rambling.
(R) Translation: "Since I don't seem to know much about the relationship of Big Bang initial conditions and the probability of evolution, I'll just make a derogatory blanket statement."
(MB) Since you just quoted one short sentence out of context from the much larger response I initially posted (as shown above), your attempt to attack that sentence is dishonest in addition to being pathetically incorrect. Explain to me exactly what is the relationship of Big Bang initial conditions to the probability of evolution. That should be good for a few chuckles. Then, you might get around to addressing what you blew off the first time.

No, I expect that you will actually start to deliver up some of this so-called "evidence of the creation model". In an earlier comment, you said that you didn't own any Creationist books. Now, you say you have a whole library of them. Which is the true story?
(R) I said I have a whole library of Books that "support" the Creation model. Not the "Creationist" model.
(MB) What's the difference? If you believe in Creation, aren't you a Creationist? No matter how either of us wishes to label those books, if you really have them, why can't you present any of the supporting evidence for Creation that you say is contained within them? Until that happens, not only is the existence of any such evidence in doubt, but so is the claimed state of your library.

(R) After reading books like "Scientists Confront Creationism," my understanding of Creation is all the more stronger.
(MB) How? That book has not one single word in it that can be shown to be support for Creationism. How, then, can it possibly strengthen your faith? Please provide details.

(R) I use books that try to disprove Creation as my source of factual support for it. I use their deviations as springboards for Creation.
(MB) Again, how is this possible? This is akin to using James Randi's refutations of Uri Geller's "powers" as "evidence" that Geller actually has those powers. Clearly, that is a futile and illogical effort.


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