I’m so glad that I follow the blogs of Atheists and Humanists… and those of different religions to be honest. It’s really interesting to know the misconceptions of Christianity that these sort of people harbor. I have
to say that a lot of the time, it’s Christians who create these misconceptions and barriers.
Friendly Atheist, a blog which I read nearly every day has come up with an interesting post on Sin. Within the post is the idea that we should all sin, because otherwise it would make Jesus’ sacrifice worthless. Here’s a video that was linked on the post:
Of course, this sort of thinking throws up a few problems.
There’s no such thing as cheap grace…
1 Therefore let us move beyond the elementary teachings about Christ and be taken forward to maturity, not laying again the foundation of repentance from acts that lead to death, and of faith in God, 2 instruction about cleansing rites, the laying on of hands, the resurrection of the dead, and eternal judgment. 3 And God permitting, we will do so.
4 It is impossible for those who have once been enlightened, who have tasted the heavenly gift, who have shared in the Holy Spirit, 5 who have tasted the goodness of the word of God and the powers of the coming age 6 and who have fallen[c] away, to be brought back to repentance. To their loss they are crucifying the Son of God all over again and subjecting him to public disgrace. – Hebrews 6
1 Therefore let us move beyond the elementary teachings about Christ and be taken forward to maturity, not laying again the foundation of repentance from acts that lead to death, and of faith in God, 2 instruction about cleansing rites, the laying on of hands, the resurrection of the dead, and eternal judgment. 3 And God permitting, we will do so.
4 It is impossible for those who have once been enlightened, who have tasted the heavenly gift, who have shared in the Holy Spirit, 5 who have tasted the goodness of the word of God and the powers of the coming age 6 and who have fallen[c] away, to be brought back to repentance. To their loss they are crucifying the Son of God all over again and subjecting him to public disgrace. – Hebrews 6
Dean is a Minister in the Anglican Church. Currently he is Curate in the parishes of Bedwas, Machen, Michaelston-y-Fedw and Rudry in South Wales. He was born and bred in Wales, is married to Megan, and has two dogs called Taliesin and Melyn, and two cats named Sinsir and Hâf. He graduated from Cardiff University with a BA Hons. in Theology & Religious Studies, and has studied for an MA in Theology, Ministry & Mission at Trinity College Bristol. He also holds a Cert.RSCM from the Royal School of Church Music. He loves playing music, walking, reading, blogging and horse riding as well as going to the cinema and theatre.
Read More @ http://deanroberts.net/about
I had to stop watching that video before it wasted any more of my time, it is mad what some people believe the Bible to be saying, if only he had spent as much time reading the bible as he did making that video. Why are people so quick to condemn the Bible/God/Jesus
@AJ Edward Current is a parody, watch his other vids, hilarious 🙂
Interesting post Dean 🙂
I’ve found it useful to also understand sin as something which has both a physical or concrete and spiritual or abstract(?) dimension to it. When we understand sin simply as bad actions then we lose something of its meaning.
Sin is about a spiritual separation from God – caused either through action or attitude. It’s that separation which is the real reason sin is so destructive because being separated from God also means being separated from the very source of live and love. And (IMO) this is a separation which isn’t caused by God – it is a ‘turning away’ from God on our parts. It’s that posture of turning from God which causes separation.
On the other hand, repentance in NT Greek (the word ‘metanoia’) is literally about ‘turning around’ – it is about a change of posture to once again turn towards God. It is God who then pursues us and closes the separation caused by sin – through pursuing humanity (incarnation), taking on our separation (crucifixion) and overcoming it (resurrection).
I may have wittered on too much – but I guess I’m trying to suggest that it’s really useful to understand sin and repentance as more than just physical action and response, but as ‘turning away’ and ‘turning towards’ in our spiritual posture towards God. This enables us to understand life and faith as something holistic which is emotional, social, spiritual and so many other things as well as just physical.
Having said that – I tend to stay away from using the word ‘sin’. It’s a word which carried way too much unhelpful cultural baggage for our culture (although I’m sure there are plenty of great arguments against that position ;-).
James, thanks for this – very deep and insightful. And I totally agree with what you’re saying. There is definitely a spiritual side to sin. A spiritual separation.
Thanks for reading and giving your time to commenting!
I have to say, one thing I notice when an athiest points out something ‘bad’ in the bible, Christians turn around and say oh no it’s a misconception. How many more misconceptions are going to pop up everytime mans morals appear to be better than Gods. Since last speaking to you I decided to research the bible, start reading it, look at different points of views and nothing has made me believe stronger in being an athiest. I think if more people read the bible, as I know a lot of christians don’t, we’d probably have more athiests. I’ve been watching things and seen so many Christians say things like “If I found out God wasn’t real tomorrow, I’d likely go around killing and raping, because what does it matter” or things like “Yes, if God commanded me to kill my children I would” when asked why they reply “Because it’s God”. Not a good enough answer. It’s quite terrifying to be honest. I really hope the whole of religion is non existent in the future, and the Gods people believe in today fade away like previous Gods have done in the past.
Well I’d like to know who exactly you’ve been researching and talking to Amy. And where you’re getting your understanding of the Bible from… because it seems a very narrow stream of theology that you’re looking at.
The sad reality is that the things atheists point out are often misconceptions, as I’ve demonstrated in the post.
I’m not sticking to one source about the bible if that’s what you’re thinking and I’m also reading it myself rather than assuming what I research is all true and not mistaken and I haven’t really given you enough information for you to assume what I have been doing is a ‘narrow stream of theology’. Unfortunately I’m working most of the time at the moment but when I get the time I do plan to kinda of make my own athiests blog, not to get people to turn to athiesm but rather to question their religious belies etc, and when I do I welcome you to come and comment and debate on what I say as you have allowed others on here.
One thing I can say from what I have researched so far, is there has not been any proof to support religious claims of there being a God, which honestly I found suprising. I guess that’ is why they call it blind faith the problem I have with it, is it can be unhealthy and dangerous. I don’t want to turn everyone into athiests, I just want people to open their eyes, if they change, fair enough, if they stay religious or become even more so, again fair enough. Anyway gottah head off to work soon. I’ll let you know when I’ve got things moving.
Hi Amy Rathbone, just thought I’d reply as I found one of your lines particularly interesting..
‘there has not been any proof to support religious claims of there being a God, which honestly I found suprising.’
I’m not too sure where the logic behind this statement comes from, if we take a look into trying to prove or disprove God scientifically we’ll find quite the contrary, what can an atheist bring to the table as evidence to disprove God? There isn’t anything an atheist can say, scientically, to disprove a God, atheism is based purely and soley on the desire to not believe in a God based only on own prejudices against certain religions or peoples or their idea of who God is/could be, or as I believe in most cases, a lack of understanding, not to cause offence.
Now if you take a theist, they could bring endless amounts of evidence to suggest the existance of a God, everything that exists is proof of a creator.
Scientifically, researchers have recreated the conditions of what the earth would have been like before life existed on it, no life has ever been shown to come from that. They could leave for all of time and life will never be created, it’s impossible, this is proof of a creator. You could also take the proof which some mathematicians use, the golden ratio derived from the fibonacci sequence, the sequence of life, this is more proof of a creator.
I must stress, the Bible wasn’t written as a science text book, it tells us about our God, written with beautiful poetry and parables. If you’re reading it for evidence of God then you’re missing the point, if you seek evidence you only need look in the mirror…
Athiests do not need to disprove their is a God, the burden of proof is up to the person making the claim.
I could say to you I have a human sized invisible fairy standing next to me right now? Can you disprove it? No, but it would also be up to me to prove it is there because I am the one saying it is, you are simply saying you don’t believe that there is one. There are athiests with more understanding of the bible and God and religion than me and you have.
If there is endless amount of evidence, howcome we don’t all believe? Everything that exists is not proof of a creator, there is no evidence of an intelligent mind behind the design of things. The creationalist idea has been disproved many times. None of what you have said has proved a creator to me. I understand what the bible is meant to be, you chose which bits to take literally and which bits not too to suit you. I get that. And I wasn’t reading it for evidence, only to understand the religion I was once part of and to see just watch the bible teachers. For evidence, I have looked at anything, scientific evidence, personal experience, the creationalist ideas. I’m open to any proof. if it is proof.
When I look in the mirror, I see me. I see I am a human being, I recognize I came from my mum, not a God.
Sorry for my typos their instead of there etc, not long had woken up for work and I’m a clumsy speller as it is (amazingly I study English though lol). I’d also like to point out, that I’m not against the idea of a God or I wouldn’t have believed for however many years I did. I’d love to believe we’re watched over, go to a better place etc, who wouldn’t? But until there is evidence that we all recongize as evidence then I will not just accept blind faith. I will not waste my life believing in something that there is no evidence for. Instead I will believe there is a good chance that this is the only life I have, and I will make the most of it, and do my best to make other peoples lives good too. And if God did turn out to be real and as the bible tells him to be, and I stand before him and he sends me to hell for not believing then I will gladly walk away from him because that is not a God I would worship.
Atheism is hardly based on prejudices or misunderstanding; it is based on the notion that ‘God’ is no longer required to explain the origins of the universe and/or life. It is based on hundreds of years of Empirical proof, unlike religion which is based on a series of texts, all of which contain errors of varying magnitiude.
As for abiogenesis, there have been experiments, e.g Miller-Urey , which have demonstrated that amino acids could have indeed arisen from Early Earth atmospheric conditions. Conversely,discoveries such as Hubble’s law, and the mass of evidence supporting evolution, utterly refute Biblical creationist claims. Your arguments are based on the fallacious ‘God in the gaps’ premise. Furthermore, neither the fibonnaci sequence or the golden ratio ‘prove’ the existence of a creator in any way whatsoever; this has been dealt with by numerous authors.
I’m glad someone else has posted from an athiest point of view (assuming you are athiest Daniel). It seems christians believe that if you don’t believe in their God then it’s due to misunderstandings. Which is basically like saying they are the only ones who do understand it, and all athiests just don’t, can’t or won’t understand the bible. Sometimes I find it a bit insulting, do you think I’m incapable of understanding it? When I did not understand religion and rather just accepted what I was told, I was religious. When I turned to trying to understand religion more, without cherry picking, I became an athiest. Did you know that’s how quite a lot of people became athiests who were once religious? There is actually a quote saying that the quickest way to atheism is to read the bible. Fact of the matter is, if there was real proof we would all believe in God because it is hard to deny God. What is happening though is more people are waking up and thinking for themselves and similar to what Daniel said is atheism, are realising they no longer need God to fill in the gaps of misunderstanding.
Some people believe in God through personal experience, like witnessing a mircale. However there has been no true miracle ever recorded and proved to be a miracle. People pray and someone gets better, whats to say they wouldn’t have gotten better had they not prayed. And if prayer does help heal, howcome it’s never in the whole of history made an amputee grow back a limb? Something that couldn’t have just happened on it’s own. Some people believe because of the bible, the bible however is not proof of the existence of Christ. And personally people who do believe in the Bible, specially the old testament in my opinion can’t be very moral. I wouldn’t condemn a good person to eternal torture because they didn’t believe in me (If I was a god) and let rapists into heaven because they did believe in me and ‘repented’. Others believe because they say the world around them is proof, this to me is a lack of understanding of the sciences behind how we got here, on saying that I don’t believe in any particular theory as they all have holes to still fill, but they all dismiss God. Some people believe to be on the safe side, just incase there is a God and they don’t want to end up in hell. If true indisputable evidence came up for the proof of the existence of God, I would say, I was wrong. If proof came up for the non existance of God, would you say you were wrong Dean?
Oops mean’t to say it’s hard to deny fact not God. I need to stop writing on here when I’ve woken up 🙂
Thanks Amy,nice to meet a fellow freethinker, and yes I am an atheist:) Yes I do find it insulting; I have actually read the Bible and think it’s probably the best way to fortify atheist beliefs, the nonsense in there is incredible. I also find it amusing that people accuse atheists such as Dawkins to be arrogant, yes even he readily admits that science doesn’t yet have all the answers. I totally agree with your comments about prayer, studies have actually shown that prayer works no better than placebo. (there’s a good series of essays on the skeptic’s dictionary website, take a look if you haven’t read them, they’re quite interesting:))What you say about God is quite important; In my opinion, if God does exist, then he’s not someone I’d like to worship. Condemning a being to suffer an eternity of torture for simply not believing in you is patently not the action of a benevolent being. I think it’s quite telling that 98% of the members of the national academy of sciences are atheists:) These are people who base their belief on hard evidence, not redundant texts or cherry-picking (speaking of which, read Dean’s post on ‘new found relic confirms biblical accuracy’, it’s an eye-opener on how Christians defend their belief systems). Same here, if any quality evidence whatsoever came up, I’d probably switch my belief system; trouble is, there isn’t:)
You know I’ve actually started reading Dawkins The God Delusion, there was a reply to that book which I’ve read was actually quite good (religious reply) which I’m interested to read once I’m done. You know it was actually one of Dean’s articles on gays and being sinners that got me doing my research on everything because it made me realise there was a lot of damage being caused by religious beliefs. And yes I did read the other article, it meant nothing to me to be honest. The Bibles accuracy… that’s a laugh, does it explain how Noah got all those animals on that boat by himself yet? Ohhh wait, lemme guess, we’re not suppose to read that one literally right? Dear oh dear….
At first I didn’t care who believed what, however I do care when people become judgemental, or start looking down on people without decent reason. If God is real he is very immoral, so I don’t understand why they’d want to follow him anyway. I think if religious people (I say religious because it’s not fair to pin point anything to one relgion) are allowed to preach about their religion, then we should be allowed to openly speak our minds on these subjects too, without being treated like we’re stupid and don’t know what we’re talking about… I mean afterall, we’re not the ones believing in a big guy sitting in the sky. 🙂
Thanks for commenting – sorry I haven’t been able to reply until now. I’m glad you’re doing research, but it seems to me that you make a very sweeping and generalising statements about Christianity, which proves your limited knowledge of theology and Christian faith.
Unfortunately, your responses only highlight to me misconceptions and ill informed opinions which you have made either yourself, or due to certain Christians behaving and acting in ways which don’t reflect the faith we believe in. Of course, all Christians do this at times.
My main concern with your ‘research’ however is that its seems as though you will spend considerable time researching atheism, like Dawkins books etc, and not really look into the Christian side of it all. I’m guessing that you’d quite happily fall back on this notion that you read the Bible and that’s enough.
Theology is very complex, and so are Christian responses to atheist objections. It’s great that you’ve looked at a book in response to Dawkins, but there are so many books that you should read to get a more balanced view between Christianity and Atheism.
However, what surprises me more is your attitude at the end of this last comment. I don’t think you’re as open as you claim to be. It seems as if you’ve already decided there is no God and you have condemned Christianity as invalid. Therefore, all this ‘research’ you will do will only be to try and validate your conclusions; it isn’t a genuine seeking for the truth. If that were the case, then you’d be an agnostic at least. So I don’t think you could define yourself as a freethinker either…
I’ve already done my research, without making decisions before I’d started that task, and found Christianity to be true, worthwhile, life giving and liberating. I’ve found that Jesus is all he claims to be. Not because of blind faith and experience, but because I’ve searched with an open mind. I wasn’t born a Christian, and I wasn’t raised as a Christian either. Nonetheless, I was truly open to there being a God, and, naturally, I found him.
It will be much more difficult for you to find God when you’ve already decided for yourself that he isn’t there…
I’m not trying to generalise christanity, you can’t really, because so many different people have so many different thoughts on it, some believe some things but not others, some believe it all. Hence why I’ve been trying to find all different views and yes view similarities as they are them as well as differences between christians etc. I have chosen not just to look at athiests points, but christian points, other religious points and even the athiests I look at have not always been athiests, some were part of the church, looking to be priests etc. I have a broad view in my research and try to even out everything out, good and bad to both sides. Unfortunately I work three jobs, I don’t have a lot of time at the moment to sit down and read all these books and do the research. I’m fitting in what I can, and to be honest Dean, most people wouldn’t even bother doing that, they’d just say, meh he’s not real, end of. At least I’m looking into things. In fact the majority of the stuff I have looked into is from the christian side, because I understand the atheism side of things so there’s not much to research in that as there are not set beliefs, it’s not a religion. And yes I have made the decision that I BELIEVE he is not real, hence being an athiest and not saying agnostic HOWEVER I’m aware that everyone is capable of being wrong. I was baptised a catholic, raised a christian, not strict though of course, I spent about 19 years believing in God and Jesus. I learnt basics in RE in school, I attended Mass, hell I even stood on the streets talking to preachers trying to get people to join their church about things when I was believer. I’m not trying to find God Dean, because I don’t believe in him and when I did all those years, believed without a doubt, I never did find him then either but that of course isn’t why I stopped believing. I was never open to there being a God and just accepted that there was. My research isn’t more about whether he is real or not, I already have my beliefs there and I never defined myself as a free thinker by the way, that was only how I was referred to by Daniel, but yes I would say I was, because I go by my own morals and I think for myself. My research is more to do with the history of religion, good and bad from it, why people believe, why people don’t. Can religion explains things science can’t, can science cancel out God. However I do look into a lot of things where people explain why they believe or know God exists however I’ve not found one that hasn’t been debunked yet. I don’t know God does not exist, I just believe he doesn’t just as you don’t know he does exist, you just believe he does. Thing is from not believing now after so many years, I wanna know for sure if it is a lie and if so why? How did that happen, why do some people believe and others don’t. It’s all very complicated but I’m trying.
Religion is empty until you discover the spiritual side of it. There are two sides, a dark side and a light side. Many people discover the dark side, few discover the light. There is alot more in this world than we realise. There are powers that we cant see that affect us every day. if you want to believe that you can go by yourself, fine, have fun. Just remember though, morals without a reason for the morals are completely useless. Why not murder? Who says I shouldn’t murder? Some idiot! This viewpoint changes when we recognise that there is a God who has set guidlines and if we break them, we will face judgement when we die. The only way out is Jesus Christ: John 14:6 and 8:32
Saying that atheists don’t have morals because they don’t believe in God borders on discrimination, and demonstrates a huge misunderstanding on your part. Not believing in God does not make atheists bad people, and it certainly does not mean they have no morals. There are exceptions to every rule, of course. Atheists have committed murder in the past, but so have Christians.
But to actually pose the question as to why atheists don’t commit murder genuinely blows my mind. Atheists believe we have this one life, nothing after, and to make the most of it, to make the most of our one shot, why would we wish to take the life of another fellow human being?
It scares me slightly in fact that you have this opinion, as it alludes slightly to the idea that the only thing preventing you from committing murder is because you believe in God? And in my humble opinion, that would surely mean that atheists have better morals as they do not need the assertion of eternal life after this one to prevent them taking another’s.
Daniel, quite a lot to get through here but I’ll have a go
Quote “amino acids could have indeed arisen from Early Earth atmospheric conditions.”
-This statement is the equivilent to me saying Amy’s invisible moster could have indeed been on her shoulder, no evidence whatsoever. I quite enjoyed this article here from Jeremy Bergman who is more educated on the matter than myself.
Quote “Atheism is hardly based on prejudices or misunderstanding”
…… “In my opinion, if God does exist, then he’s not someone I’d like to worship. Condemning a being to suffer an eternity of torture for simply not believing in you is patently not the action of a benevolent being.”
-Prejudice.. and misunderstanding.
Quote “Hubble’s law, and the mass of evidence supporting evolution, utterly refute Biblical creationist claims.”
-Not true daniel, I think it’d be fair to say that everyonee would look at the world through their own goggles, an atheist through their atheist goggles and a Christian through their creationist goggles.
Here’s an interpretation of Hubble’s law by Dr. Don B. DeYoung, a creationist.
Quote “the mass of evidence supporting evolution”
-Hmm, I still haven’t seen any evidence to make me believe that evolution could ever be possible, believe me I have spent much time researching this but I’d be welcome to anything you can offer. I have met many Christians who believe in evolution as they believe it doesn’t contradict the Bible and is quite plausable but I personally can’t believe it, there’s too much evidence to support a young Earth and immediate creation.
As for quality evidence from a creationist perspective I’d study geology and look at the appearence of fossils, how there aren’t millions and millions of links between animals, in fact, are there any?
I appreciate Darwin has his birds which look similar but cannot breed so are classified as a difference species, seems to suggest they were once one species but there isn’t evidence of this, plus it depends on how you define evolution, that’s an interesting one. Ofcourse I believe in certain forms of evolution but one species becoming another species I can’t see ever happening, this whole issue of ‘new’ info being added to the genome is too much of a large factor to ignore.
Would appreciate your thoughts on this.
Sorry about the delay, I haven’t been online in a while. Thanks for replying though.
First thing’s first. You’re making an awfully false analogy with your first comment, it isn’t a case of ‘no evidence whatsoever’, it’s a thoroughly researched topic. The miller-urey experiments demonstrated that amino acids do form under early earth atmospheric conditions. Oddly enough, the results were flawed in that early earth atmospheric conditions were not completely duplicated; further research, however, has simulated conditions of early earth atmosphere and found that they were indeed conducive to the formation of amino acids (the building blocks of life, if you didn’t know. If you did, then sorry I’m merely trying to get a point across).http://www.newscientist.com/channel/life/mg19025545.200-righthanded-amino-acids-were-left-behind.html.
That’s one link I could find in a rush, sorry about that but I’m in a hurry
With your ‘prejudice- and misunderstanding’ comment I do agree ith you somewhat. Obviously I haven’t read ALL essays/books pertaining to theodicy. Fundamentally, however, I’m correct. God’s actions in the Bible, in particular the old testament, are monstrous and loathsome. I’m sorry but that’s simply irrefutable, Could you send me some book recommendations, or some essays that pertain to the matter. Believe me, I’d love to be corrected on the subject.
I’m sorry, but answers in genesis is an absolute joke. It”s nothing but pseudoscientific nonsese.http://www.noanswersingenesis.org.au/
Sorry about replying to a link with another link, but I believe it’s the best way rather than extracting evidence that supports our opinions, that process can go on ad infinitum
What problems do you have with evolutuion? No offence, but your comments show a complete misunderstanding of the theory. I believe that you have researched the subject, but have ou read primary sources? Or have you just studies the matter from an atheist vs christianity point of view. The best way is to read the evidence as it stands, rather than allow it to be oriented through a priori beliefs.
As for your comment about young earth, I’m sorry but that is simply incorrect. There is such a preponderance of evidence supporting the current scientific paradigm that it is simply staggering. For one thing, YEC doesn’t account for the development of the fossil record. Here’s a succint refutation of YEC arguments
Species don’t just immdeiately ‘become’ a completely different species. That’s a comment that shows a misunderstanding of both taxonomy and evolution itself. Animals don’t simply ‘change’, traits are passed on, discarded, o developed. If evolution isn’t crrect, how do you account for the fact that humans are basically genetically identical to other hominidae, such as gorillas or chimps?
To answer your question on the ‘links between animals’. Well, yes, actually. In fact, coherent study of the fossil record is fully compatible with modern evolutionary synthesis. In fact, even modern humans are evolving, e.g people being born with no canine teeth, or over-representation of the gene G127V.
Apologies for all the typos/misspellings in that reply. Was in a real hurry when posting
I guess it would determine how you class evidence, there are a lot of biologists out there who would say that there still isn’t solid evidence to support abiogenesis, even biologists who believe in evolution, one of them is a good friend of mine.
I still haven’t read through all of your links.. or all of mine but getting round to it but here’s another, again from Dr Jerry Bergman, pretty interesting stuff on the miller-urey research.
I fully appreciate how you think God’s actions look monstrous in the Bible, I would agree with Dawkins and say more so in the New Testament when he killed his own son? But this was before I understood what the Bible was all about, it is easy to take a first glance and not know much, you could do the same about a lot of things but I’d recommend reading some good commntaries on the Bible, Dean would be better to ask which ones would be more suitable hopefully he’s reading this?
Problems with evolution lol.. where do I begin. I expect if you’ve ever studied biology at uni you’ve done the experiments with bacteria in petri dish and inject a drug to show how mutations exist etc. Mutations occur to genes which are already there to mutate and mutations are mostly always a loss of information within its genetic code such as, I’m assuming, this evolution you talk of where people are being born without molars, would you agree?
I’m still yet to see evidence of a beneficial mutation where it’s been proven that this information has been added to the genome which wasn’t there before hand, do you have any? I’ve only seen mutations to existing DNA structures which are usually detrimental, but when beneficial are pretty much always due to a loss of information. No yeah I’ve done a lot of my own research through creationist articles you’re right but then it’s thrown at me all the time from an atheists perspective at uni all the time. We were doing foetuses at the start of my second year and my lecturer was talking about how human foetuses look like different animals through its development and how it shows evolution.. I don’t know what you think of this but it’s absolutely absurd and it just makes me think that even my lecturers don’t have a clue about some things…
No sorry I understand what you’re saying about ‘immediately becoming new species’ I was referring to the fact that fossils appear fully formed and don’t appear to have evoloved. I remember going back a little while now asking one of my lecturers why this was, surely this would support creation, being an agnostic at the time… and he replied.. well they evoloved somewhere else, I guess that’s a huge issue I have, how would you answer that?
Thanks for your links I will read them all thoroughly but we’re just using Doctors to argue with other Doctors who have done a little more research, I think it would be fair to say that we’re both looking at the same evidence but choosing to interpret it differently. You’re absolutely right about not interpreting it due to prio beliefs but yet I always find myself agreeing with the creationists. Haldane’s continuing dilemma is quite interesting to look at if you get the chance, I’ve read the responses to that though so don’t worry replying to it but it’s just a thought.
No worries with the typos. My grammar goes out the window when typing quickly but so long as we communicate our thoughts effectively it’s fine with me!
‘I’ve only seen mutations to existing DNA structures which are usually detrimental, but when beneficial are pretty much always due to a loss of information.’
I could give you examples here, but instead I’m going to explain why this statement is completely illogical.
Mutations can be reversed. Supposing that a guanine base was mutated to a cytosine base, then back to guanine again (reversion mutation such as this is common). For a mutation that results in a loss of information, the reverse must result in a gain of information, which is basic logic. Therefore your claim that mutation only destroys information but cannot create it does not just defy the evidence, it defies logic.
I disagree with your comment about chimps/gorrilas being nearly genetically identical. Say they are 98% the same, I’m sure you’d appreciate how much of a difference that 2% is, it’s masses and masses of difference in code.
What that says to me is that it shows a single creator, such as how if you’re educated in art you could recognise who created what painting, because of their style etc
Hello, thanks for the reply.
I do agree with you on abiogenesis to a degree. The scientific community, as you said, is pretty divided on the issue.I’m aware of the flaws in the miller-urey experiments as well, but further research on the subject seems to have produced pretty good results. Still, as you said, it’s pretty much a matter of opinion. Even if you disagree on whether it’s been proven or not, though, it doesn’t mean that a supernatural intervention is required. I personally believe that it has been sufficiently demonstrated, but it is a matter of interpretation
Actually, I’m not much of a Dawkins fan. The ‘you’re just as well off worshipping Thor or Odin’ comment particularly irks me. I think he’s particularly guilty of the strawman fallacy.
On the bible, though. I’ve actually never really had a problem with God sending Jesus etc, seeing as how essential that is to Christianity. My problems are more with OT God. In my opinion, incidents such as the canaanite conquest (which incidentally didn’t happen, according to archaeologists) Sodom and gomorrah, Saul’s wife etc are monstrous. I also think the whole ‘hell’ idea preety much precludes either his omnipotence or omnibenevolence.No offence by the way, I’m not attempting to offend you with saying these things about God. I apologise if I come across as rude or abrasive, it’s just a subject about which I have pretty strong opinions
I’m sorry bu I don’t studay biology at university, so no I haven’t done the experiment to which you refer. About beneficial mutations, though, to what level are you referring? Wouldn’t bacteria becoming resistant to antibiotics qualify? What about immune systems developing resistance against diseases which are prevalent locally? Or the radiation resistant fungi in chernobyl?
Are you referring to the ‘tail’ on the human foetus? I didn’t know that was being touted as evidence of evolution, though I think perhaps that it is a small piece of evidence that could support the theory
If that’s not what you mean then could you explain further because otherwise I have no idea to what you lecturer was referring?
On transitional fossils, I think they’re pretty well documented. I do understand that there is a lot to account for, but considering the rarity of fossilization and the difficulties in obtaining evidence I think there’s actually rather a lot. Ironically, I think the human fossil record is one of the better examples of transitional fossil compendiums. Out of curiosity, what do you make of remains of what evolutionists deem to be evidence of human evolution, such as as Australopithicus etc, or the Neanderthals?
I’ve read about Haldane’s dilemma, and personally I think there’s nothing to it. His ideas have been pretty thoroughly debunked, and even he admitted his calculations were incorrect
Well what I meant when referring to their similarites to humans was in relation to other species. I mean if humans are ‘special creations’ why are there such profound similarities, both biologially and behaviorally? I do appreciate, however, that they do not by any means prove evolution. There’s 4.8 X 10^7 different genes, so obviously there’s a real need to be skeptical about that lol
Your art analogy quite interests me, because a detailed history of art shows how differences arise, and how different generations react to previous etc, when reacting/adapting to different cultural or political contexts. Perhaps the metaphor would be better served in support of natural selection:P Thanks for not calling me on the typos and grammar by the way. There’s nothing more annoying than debating a grammar nazi on the internet haha
Ah ok, your thoughts on the Bible are quite interesting I’ll have a go at explaining some things, will go over the basics, not to patronise if you already know them but just to make sure everything is clear..
I’m aware that not everything in the OT is backed up by archaeology, but, needless to say, we have very good written records of what happened. There’s a very good book by a Christian, Amy Orr-Ewing titled ‘Why Trust the Bible?’ This book goes over the ancient manuscripts and tests them against other ancient manuscripts for their validity and quantity.
Although certain parts of the Bible need to be historically proven in order for the Bible to stand ground I don’t believe all parts do. The Bible is written with lots of poetry, parables and imagery etc to portray who God is and what He has done and how men have reacted. Determining what was written as factual or not in the OT can sometimes be debatable. Personally I don’t see the need to be able to historically back up every single story in the Bible with archaeology or other means as I believe that what’s important is what the writers were trying to do, to describe the attributes of God to us. The Bible wasn’t intended as a historical book but as it is more widely described within the Christian community, a love letter.
I notice that you have divided God into two different Gods, the NT God and the OT God am I right?
Upon first glance I can see how this can be done but I’ll have a go at showing you that it was always the same God.
In the OT you have have man and God in perfect relationship as it God intended, followed by the fall where man pretty much says ‘God I want to do it my way I don’t need you or your laws of how to live’. This is followed by God continually pleeding with man to come back to Him and be in relationship with Him, which is shown by all the different covenants you see where God keeps having to say this is how you should live but then man screws it up again. This continues until eventually God ends up making a covenant with his own perfect son who won’t screw it up, which ultimately meant His son having to take the punishment.
I guess you could ask.. ‘Why didn’t God just forgive us? Why all the covenants?’
Let’s assume that we both believe that the God of the Bible exists for this example.
Say someone went home and found their family completely slaughtered with the murderer still over the dead bodies, this person would go for the murderer, tie him up, call the police and then the whole legal cycle would begin. If when the murderer came before the judge and the judge just said it’s ok off ya go, that family person would be outraged and would demand judgement would he not?
It’s the same wih us and God, by knowing the attributes of God we know that by his very nature as a holy judge, he cannot allow sin. God is love therefore He hates sin and it cannot go without punishment. So ultimately God takes the punishment upon Himself for our salvation by placing the punishment on His Son once and for all who choose to accept this gift.
To show that God remains the same throughout we can see various links between the OT and NT. God uses the stories of the OT as prophecies to say to the people at the time what He is going to do. An example is when God told Abraham to go up the hill and kill his son. God provded the scapegoat. We see in the NT that Jesus, His own Son was the scapegoat. Jesus was crucified upon that same hill allegedly.
Jesus also made it very clear that He didn’t come to deny God of the OT but infact Jesus raised the bar in terms of law,
Quote: Matthew 17
“Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them. 18 For truly I tell you, until heaven and earth disappear, not the smallest letter, not the least stroke of a pen, will by any means disappear from the Law until everything is accomplished. 19 Therefore anyone who sets aside one of the least of these commands and teaches others accordingly will be called least in the kingdom of heaven, but whoever practices and teaches these commands will be called great in the kingdom of heaven. 20 For I tell you that unless your righteousness surpasses that of the Pharisees and the teachers of the law, you will certainly not enter the kingdom of heaven.
21 “You have heard that it was said to the people long ago, ‘You shall not murder,[a] and anyone who murders will be subject to judgment.’ 22 But I tell you that anyone who is angry with a brother or sister[b][c] will be subject to judgment.
27 “You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall not commit adultery.’[e] 28 But I tell you that anyone who looks at a woman lustfully has already committed adultery with her in his heart.
There are many many exampls of links between the new and old testament I’d recommend a book called ‘Storylines: Tracing the Threads of the Bible’ if you want to see more, it may be available online somewhere.
Although we see Gods grace to a degree in the OT, we mostly see a people sinning and then coming under judgement and punishment for this as they were all living under the old covenants. We’re living under the new covenant which was given to us by grace, to who should accept, nobody goes to the Father but through Jesus, the scapegoat who has now been raised up and glorified above all else.
I hope this made sense, hopefully Dean will correct me if there are any issues.
Onto the science..
No, bacteria which has ‘become’ resistant to antibiotics doesn’t qualify. The bacteria doesn’t become resistant to antibiotics by some evolutionary process. The millions of bacteria that the experiment is done with in a petri dish shows that when you inject the antibiotics into the bacteria, most of it will die but a few, which were already mutated, survived. They survived because they had mutated to lose information so they had lost an ability which meant that the drug wouldn’t work on them. They alwasy existed and as a whole have become weaker as a species which is why the whole population of bacteria didn’t change in the first place. To prove this further it has been shown that these mutated bacteria have always been around, even before we ever created the antibiotics. This is not evolution as it is merely loss of information which may have caused the drug to be ineffective but the bacteria has generally become weaker as a species. Loss of an already existant DNA structure.
I don’t agree with the immune system idea as it is the job of the immune system to target foreign bodies and become resitant to them. This resistance is not generally passed on through breeding which is why, as children we were constantly jabbed with needles at school which is why I don’t believe you can term it as evolution. This brings us back to what I said in an earlier post about how do we define the term evolution.
Neanderthals is a good one, I am skeptical about a lot of the ‘evidence’ for neanderthals. I’ve read various articles saying that these neanderthals were found in graves along with humans which suggests that they were human. Another article, from an atheist in fact who was doing a study into what men would look like if we lived a lot longer, ended up with what appears to be a neanderthal. This would support the claims by the OT about men living to crazy old ages. What do you think to that possability?
Yeah Haldanes’ dilemma does have it’s holes but I think it still carries a little worth and isn’t completely ignorable.
Finding biological and genetic similarities between everything isn’t uncommon, it brings me back to the idea of a single creator.
Don’t quote me on this but I remember hearing/reading that we need to be biologically and genetically similar to everything, plants etc otherwise when we ate them our bodies would reject them as they wouldn’t match or something. I remember thinking wow that sounds like design, when i read it, will try and find it at another time but I’m just on my way out.
Yeah thanks for your reply, it’s nice to debate with an atheist who can keep their temper! It’s a bit of a rarity unfortunately, I’m sure the same can be said for a lot of creationists haha.
Another scientific error I would like to pick up on here is where you say that ‘I don’t agree with the immune system idea as it is the job of the immune system to target foreign bodies and become resitant to them. This resistance is not generally passed on through breeding which is why, as children we were constantly jabbed with needles at school which is why I don’t believe you can term it as evolution’.
In actual fact, resistance can be passed on, and I can use myself as a source for that. My grandfather has tuberculosis, and recovered, so had built up an immunity to it. My dad then did not need the TB jab as he was already immune, and I also did not need the jab, as I was immune when tested. So this resistance has been passed on 2 generations already.
Haha no offence taken. I’m familiar with the concepts you discussed, but I do have my objections
I’m not saying the Bible is completely invalid as a historical document, but as you have admitted there are several severe errors. I don’t really think this should be a problem for Christians, unless you believe the Bible to be absolutely ineffable.
Yes you are right in that I divide the two. I find it interesting that there appears to be a complete personality change with regards to God between the two testaments. John Loftus has an interesting take on the matter. I don’t have his book with me at the moment but it’s something along the lines of early Hebrews attributed punishment to their own errors in diverging from God’s word, and therefore divine judgement, however harsh, was justified. When Jesus came along, however, his image of the divine father was incompatible with this figure, and so the serpent of genesis was reconciled with ‘Satan’, to create a supernatural source for humanity’s ills. The evidence, as I remember, is pretty convincing. A few writers have even shown that early Hebrews were monolatrous.
I’m aware that God is perfect, and so even committing a sin as innocuous as stealing a glass of milk would be deemed inconceivable by him. If this is true, though, why does Satan appear in heaven after tempting Adam and Eve? Even if you say that God has to allow free will, I find it difficult to imagine how God allows a supernatural power to influence human actions, as that is clearly negating ‘free will’ somewhat. Also, doesn’t an eternity of suffering and horror (if you believe in hell) seem a tad incommesurate? What about people that die never hearing of Jesus, or newborns, or people with multiple personality disorder? I am aware that this is a complicated subject, and that there are hundreds of different opinions and interpretations, so don’t worry about answering all the objections.
Thanks for the book recommendations, I’ll head to the local library tomorrow and see if I can get them ordered.
Right, onto the genome matter. I did some more research around the subject. I don’t want to inundate the post with links, so I’ll just send one, which I thought was rather interesting:
Scroll down to reported instances of speciation, and there’s an instance where a unicellar organism evolved into a multicellar one. Surely that comes under ‘beneficial information being added’. If not, then can you refine what you mean so I don’t keep on posting the wrong kind of evidence?
Boraas (1983) reported the induction of multicellularity in a strain of Chlorella pyrenoidosa (since reclassified as C. vulgaris) by predation. He was growing the unicellular green alga in the first stage of a two stage continuous culture system as for food for a flagellate predator, Ochromonas sp., that was growing in the second stage. Due to the failure of a pump, flagellates washed back into the first stage. Within five days a colonial form of the Chlorella appeared. It rapidly came to dominate the culture. The colony size ranged from 4 cells to 32 cells. Eventually it stabilized at 8 cells. This colonial form has persisted in culture for about a decade. The new form has been keyed out using a number of algal taxonomic keys. They key out now as being in the genus Coelosphaerium, which is in a different family from Chlorella. ”
Ah right, interesting take on Neanderthals. Neanderthals were a subspecies of human, but were forced to extinction by Homo Sapiens due to their inferior brainpower. I don’t find it too unlikely that there would be graves alongside homo sapiens, as there were probably plenty of instances of fights, and even attempted cohabitation. I’m afraid I’m not familiar with the postulation you described. I think it’s pretty inconsistent, though, considering they appear earlier than modern humans, and there’s a lot of evidence they were far more primitive.I suppose from a Christian point of view they could be Nephilim or whatever, but obviously you’d need evidence to support that.
Well evolution does depend on a common ancestor. I think, though, that whether this indicates pre-emptive design or not does come down to interpretation. In my opinion, though, the hypothesis that it was God is simply unnecessary.
Haha I know. The amount of potentially constructive debates that are ruined because someone gets arrogant about their belief system is incredible. I find nothin more annoying than the flying spaghetti monster ‘joke’.
Just thought I’d say, Ive found the Neanderthal hypothesis to which you referred. The creationist scientist is called Jack Cuozzo, and debates between him and other scientists can be found online
Lol easy, I wouldn’t go as far as saying I would admit there are severe errors in the Bible, I believe everything the Bible says about God, I don’t know if everything was written as a historical account of what happened though or perhaps some cases just stories to depict God. The important thing to me is that God is shown through the stories, wether the writer was trying to write a historical account or not in some of the OT stories is not what the Bible is about. Although some things obviously had to happen such as the resurrection of Christ, and Jesus has to be who He says He is. As a Christian I guess I would say that’s the most important question you’ll have to deal with in life, is Christ who he says he is and did he rise from the dead?
Cheers Daniel, that link really intrigued me, finally some evidence of evolution perhaps but I did do some reading around and the research isn’t very well attested.
I’ve found a few responses to the chlorella evolution you spoke of, written in my own words…
-The forming colonies wasn’t evolution because the ability was already there within the Chlorella. It was only expressing it’s ability to do so when it was under those conditions.
If this had happened when the Chlorella had no preprogrammed response to the conditions then I would classify that as evolution but not this.
– It was merely contamination as opposed to evolution
I’m not sure what I make of this yet but I’m not sure I would class it as evolution but as speciation which is necessary in order to believe the Bible.. I find thi article sums it up completely in terms of what would be necessary for me to accept the idea of evolution.
Thanks for the neanderthal info I’ll take a read
Satan appearing in heaven is an interesting one. I did the book of Job recently, it is pretty tough.. That is a very good theological question for an atheist to ask I must say..
The idea of Satan appearing in heaven and Satan tempting Adam and Eve tells us that God allowed Satan to try to deceive them.
Quote “Even if you say that God has to allow free will, I find it difficult to imagine how God allows a supernatural power to influence human actions”
If God didn’t allow Satan to tempt/accuse/deceive there would be no choice hence no free will as God is a supernatural power himself as well as Satan. I believe you need to be presented with two options in order to have free will. Would you agree?
I’m not entirely sure about people who’ve died not hearing the gospel, babies is particularly a very difficult subject as everyone loves babies, the honest answer for this is I don’t know, I found this discussion to try and shed light on the matter… but I’m sure you could find hundreds of opinions as you said.
I’ve heard a few explanations about why do we spend an eternity in hell for our sin should we not choose God.
We need to remember that God is eternally the loving God of the Bible so when we sin we’re sinning against an eternally holy judge so it’s not the same concept as we have with our legal systems although we try to draw parallels but we shouldn’t because if God is holy then by definition He is not on our level and therefore cannot be compared..appologies if that sounds like a copout.
An interesting quote I heard once, can’t remember who said it… hell is locked from the inside.
The idea being that people hate God and will hate him even more when he puts them in hell. I think it comes back to pride ‘the original sin’. I can personally testify to this, I spent the first 20 years of my life acting like a bit of a muppet, rejecting God because ultimately I thought I didn’t want a Lord, I am my own God etc.
In our culture we are definitely brought up in this consumerism societ to constantly please ourselves, at the loss of others, dog eat dog, always needing the latest things and more things for happiness.
The Bible teaches us that it’s God that we need which will always create a bit of tension with an unbeliever as it’s completely contradictory to their way of life..
“What is more, I consider everything a loss compared to the surpassing greatness of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whose sake I have lost all things. I consider them rubbish, that I may gain Christ”
Hi, interesting debate here. I just wanted to call you up on your science facts, AJ, as being a medical genetecist some of what you say sounds to me like you’ve either found it on google or made it up and worded it in such a way that it appears you know what you’re talking about? Basically its not all fact and some of it doesn’t make sense.
Changes in an organisms genotype and hence phenotype are certainly not mostly caused by a loss of genetic information, I’m not entirely sure where you got this idea but you seem to be a little misinformed. Usually, a change in an organisms phenotype is a result of a genetic mutation, which may be a deletion of a base pair in the gene, but could also be a substitution of base pairs, insertion of base pairs, duplication of a portion of the gene, amongst many other possibilities which do not involve elimination of any part of the gene.
And if you agree, (and as an intelligent man I’m sure you do), that this occurs, then this should be firm evidence of evolution. The reason being that if this mutated gene confers a beneficial advantage to the organism in which it occurs, and that gene is then passed on to that organisms offspring, if the organisms with the mutated gene have a genetic advantage over other species then they will out compete them, and eventually, over a long period of time, the population will mostly contain the mutated gene. Hence, there will have been a change in the gene pool of that species – evolution.
This is not the only way in which evolution could work, but one of many.
And I also think you need to ask yourself the question of whether the theory of religion and the theory of evolution are incompatible? I think if you looked into it and truly understood some of the underlying concepts you would come to realise the answer is no. There are plenty of Christian scientists who believe in both God and evolution.
By the way, please don’t take offence that I refer to religion as a theory because I refer to evolution as a theory also. On the same basis evolution can be called a theory, so can religion. I do this out of respect for my scientific beliefs. Thanks for taking the time to read this 🙂
Lol i thought this topic had died.. anyway yeah cheers for pointing out my errors, my lasts posts admittedly were written quite carelessly and quickly as I was losing interest as it takes quite a long time to write these posts and I haven’t had much time recently..
I appreciate it might not all be fact, much like a lot of the proof for evolution that has been presented on this page. I have admitted that I am using the work of other scientists to from various sites to back up my own ideas which is where the convo became a bit stale because we were just regurjetating other scientists works, which no I don’t have a full understanding of but attempting to weigh up each side of the argument as new info crops up.
I have asked myself the question about wevolution being compatable with christianity and I’m sure it might be as I also know christians who see no issue with what scripture says and what evolution claims. Generally I am being swayed to believe in a young earth but I’m a bit of a pendulum when it comes to this topic. Looking at Genesis we see that
20And God said, Let the waters bring forth abundantly the moving creature that hath life, and fowl that may fly above the earth in the open firmament of heaven.
21And God created great whales, and every living creature that moveth, which the waters brought forth abundantly, after their kind, and every winged fowl after his kind.
24And God said, Let the earth bring forth the living creature after his kind, cattle, and creeping thing, and beast of the earth after his kind: and it was so.
To me it looks open to believe in evolution or not, either way I’m sure you’d agree, the important message which the write is trying to convey is where it says God created.
Yeh thanks for taking the time to talk to me I’d be interested to know you views on God etc and it”s a privilidge to be talking to a medical geneticist. Can I ask what your role is within your workplace?
I thought the convo going on in this article was quite ammusing, do you experience the same within your workplace?
I’d also be interested what you make of the work of all these geneticists on this page..
perhaps read a few and let me know?
Haha yes I think I was a bit late getting in on it, but thanks for replying!
I personally don’t believe in God as it is in the Bible, but don’t think it’s implausible that perhaps an intelligent being created the big bang (as the experiments with the hadron collider have shown, it is not beyond the realms of possibility that there was an intelligent mind behind the universe, as we ourselves are trying to replicate the big bang). It’s still not a belief I hold, but is a theory that can never be disproved.
When creationists say there is no evidence of evolution you may be interested to know that is actually fundamentally incorrect. There is a lot of evidence to support the theory and anyone who says otherwise either does not properly understand the theory is just repeating things they have heard other people say. People are often under the impression that there are no transitional fossils and use the claim that evolution has never been observed (natural selection is the simplest example of observed evolution). However the claim that there are no transitional fossils is untrue, people expect to hear big news of it on the news and assume that because there has never been an announcement of a ‘missing link’ (or ”not-so-missing-link” as it is) there is none. You have to know where to look :), I am a subscriber to NewScientist which I think you have to be to see the article I’m referring to here, so there isn’t a lot of point me posting the link on here (unless you are a subscriber, I don’t know haha), but there is a wealth of information regarding transitional fossils. I have lots of examples of transitional fossils if you would like to hear them? :). I also often hear that there are hardly any or very few of these transitional fossils, but given the unlikely event of a fossil forming, proportionately there are, in fact, many.
Ah I see, so you believe God created everything as it is and as we see it today? I personally don’t believe in the young Earth because of carbon dating but it’s very nice to talk to a patient creationist who respects my views and so I also respect yours implicitly.
Thank you! Of course you can, I’m currently in a job where I do lab testing for DNA mutations causing genetic disorders :).
So yeah, the first link. As a general rule no, most scientists I work with are atheists and believe in evolution rather than creation so we rarely get that sort of debate. The elephant in the room is an interesting metaphor – may have to use that one from time to time! – however I feel that the theory of evolution is not ignored and hence the elephant in the room metaphor does not fit my experience of dealing with the theory of evolution. I think the article is based mainly on the notion that there is little in the way of fossil evidence, and as I said above this is a misconception, I can provide you with plenty of examples if you would be interested to hear any :D.
The article also says that evolutionists repeat lies over and over to make people believe them, I myself am not aware of any lies told by evolutionists ahaa, are you? Most claims made by evolutionists are backed up with evidence. As far as I am concerned, the lie most often told is by creationists who say there is no evidence for evolution. That’s fine if you disagree, just my personal experience.
The second link was interesting to read. But I suppose the world is not divided into religious people and scientific people, there is a whole range in between. As I mentioned previously, I do not completely reject the idea that there was an intelligent being behind the creation of the universe (I just don’t believe the way God is in the Bible per se), but neither do I believe in it. As it cannot be disproved I could not say with any certainty whether there was an intelligent creator behind it or whether it is all down to the laws of physics. I would say however, that it is a bit of a mystery (since matter can not be created or destroyed by any science we know) how all the matter got here in the first place, and I think that Christians (and any other religious groups) would have grounds to claim that there is an intelligent creator behind the universe on this basis. As I say, it is not something I personally believe but it cannot be disregarded. The thing that confuses me most about it all is not the belief in a God (or a creator of any sort) but the rejection of certain scientific theories for which there is evidence to support on the basis that it may contrast with the belief in God. Hence it does not surprise me at all to learn that there are religious scientists reconcile their religious beliefs with the evidence of science. I know that is a bit confusing, but do you get my jist haha?
And now may I ask you a question with the greatest of respect? Given all the evidence for evolution (and it is false to say there is none), what is it that solidifies your belief in God and the teachings of the Bible, for which there is much less evidence for the existence of than evolution, and makes you dismiss the theory of evolution? I am just interested to know from your point of view :).
Thanks for taking the time to reply Lucy
Can I ask why you don’t believe in the God of the Bible, are there issues with the Bible as it is or the way it portrays God?
Yeh when I talk about there being no evidence for evolution I’m talking about there being a lack of evidence of evolving from a single cell organism into a human, generally referred to as macro evolution amongst the creationists. If you haven’t read the article on speciation, please do so, if then you have some proof of evolution further than what this article claims I’m all ears! Here’s the link again if you missed it earlier on..
Yer unfortunately evolutionists have been known to lie, probably not for the sake of winning in a debate against a creationist but most probably for the fame it will bring them. I remember reading about the guy who dated the oldest rock came out as a liar yet I think the date is still being thrown about, also some possible transitional fossils (possibly the monkey Lucy I can’t quite remember) came out as a lie of some sort..
Yeah I do believe in God being the creator, not quite as we see everything to do due to speciation etc but ultimately yeh.
I’m still unceratin about the age of the Earth, the account in Genesis certainly works both ways for young earth but also old earth so that one i’m still going on, radiocarbon dating is a good subject to sway me to old earth.
You say if it was all down to the laws of physics. I still struggle with this idea because of the whole idea of entropy. For our solar system to spin into action and generate all this energy to then form into life etc doesn’t fit with my udnerstanding of entropy, perhaps you have other ideas?
Yeh I’ve been having the discussion with my atheist friend about matter and I suggested the best argument for an atheist would have to be that it’s always been, the big bang has not been proved and the LHC doesn’t prove this nor does the appearence of the higgs should it show up. Apparently the redshift theory is being revised as well as there has been some evidence against it..
To answer your final question
I feel a little misunderstood with the question because it suggests that my belief in God is based on my disbelief in evolution. My belief in God is seperate to evolution as they’re not two contrasting things, I could wake up tomorrow believing in evolution and my ideas of God won’t be changed.. However based on what I’ve read and understood so far I can’t agree with the statement of what evolution claims. But we need to be clear on what we’re talking about when we speak of evolution but hopefully the earlier article will clear that up 🙂
I look forward to your reply, regards,
Hi again! I don’t believe in the Bible for a number of reasons, (without going into the flaws in the Bible itself here). One of the first problems would obviously have to be that is inconsistent with a lot of science and archaeology that we know to be true. For example, the great flood in Genesis 6-9 has no archaeological evidence to support its occurrence. In addition to this, even if all the polar ice caps melted, there is not enough water in all the world to cover its entire land mass.
The Bible tells us that the Earth is 6,000 years old; science tells us otherwise. The Bible also tells us that the moon emits its own light and that the earth is flat, which we know to be untrue. These are obviously just 3 examples as I don’t want to prattle on about it; I just personally feel that if the Bible cannot be trusted on these rather important facts, then I don’t see fit to trust it on anything else.
Christians also say that the Bible is to be interpreted as the reader sees fit. I find the ‘some of the Bible is meant to be literal, some of it is not meant to be literal’ notion inconsistent and therefore hugely flawed.
But to put it another way. If you can think of every God that has ever been believed in, you only believe in one, hence dismissing hundreds, even thousands of others that have ‘existed’. As far as I am concerned, I just believe in one less God than you do. I could also ask you as to why you choose to disbelieve in all these other Gods.
I think that religion was a way for earlier people, with a lesser knowledge of science, to explain the world around them, why we are here and what our purpose is. I believe it was (and is) a comforting thought for people that death was not the end, that there was something afterwards, somewhere where they would see loved ones again, so they would want to believe in religion for the assertion of eternal life after this one. I personally do not feel that I need religion to explain the world around me anymore since we have science to do that now. I feel more content with questioning everything and looking for evidence that supports what we think to be true rather than just accepting everything we know as being created by God. And though the thought of death being the end is not a comforting thought, I didn’t suffer any inconvenience from not existing before I was born.
This isn’t meant with any offence because I do genuinely respect what you believe, this is just what I believe. Besides that, I could go on and on, but neither of us will ever change our opinion on our beliefs in the Bible so it seems fairly pointless to go into the ins and outs of it, but those are just a few of my reasons anyway. I know your opinion will differ, and that’s fine because the world would be a boring place if we all had exactly the same opinions haha :), but now at least you understand why I don’t believe in God and the Bible.
If you wait for a single cell organism to evolve into a human you will be waiting a long time haha. There is no fine line between macroevolution and microevolution as creationists like to claim; to say that demonstrates a misunderstanding. Science draws no line between the two. So this is going to be a hard topic to discuss if we are using different terminology because, as I said, creationists use a different definition to the scientific one. Creationists see macroevolution as evolution which occurs above the species level; one huge mutation that creates two separate species – this is not how it works. Scientists think of macroevolution as microevolution working on a larger scale. The biological structures which separate kingdoms, phyla, classes, etc., did not appear suddenly, by what you term ‘macroevolution’. The biological structures which separate the taxonomic groups evolve through what you term ‘microevolution’; many small mutations that eventually, over time, leads to the distinction of separate species. Therefore, there are species which have common ancestry. Also, I believe the Bible refers to animals as ‘kinds’, could you just explain to me what this means? I have never been sure whether it refers to species’, genera, families..? Which seems to be a bit of a flaw in my Biblical knowledge, but it does seem to be rather vague.
‘I’m talking about there being a lack of evidence of evolving from a single cell organism into a human’ – evolution does not work in this way. Many people who perhaps misunderstand the theory are under the false impression that life progresses in a hierarchical manner from lower organisms to higher organisms, which is untrue. Evolution is a branched system, where a species can split into two separate species’, which may coexist not only with each other, but also with the common ancestor they share. For example, apes and humans split from a common ancestor 7 million years ago and both lineages are still around. And therefore the concept of a ‘missing link’ is misleading. Therefore what the transitional fossil needs to show is not a direct halfway cross between two species’ we see around today, but rather show aspects of evolutionary change that records aspects of one lineage splitting to another. Below I have given an example of a transitional fossil lineage I have only given one because otherwise this post will go on forever, but I can give many, many more if you want to hear them :).
1. So a good place to start is probably the emergence of vertebrates. Evidence from the anatomy and embryology has shown that the Chordata phylum (this includes vertebrates) evolved from the echinoderms (sea urchins and starfish, etc.). The phylum Hemichordata (still living today) includes acorn worms and pterobranchs. They are neither echinoderms nor chordates but share features of both. So then we move onto the tunicates (sea squirts). Adult sea squirts are similar to pterobranchs, but the larvae look similar to primitive fish; their muscular tail is supported by a backbone of cartilage, the notochord – the notochord is the defining feature of the chordates. The transitional sequence continues with a group of invertebrates called the lancelets. Lancelets resemble tunicate larvae, and therefore most likely evolved from a tunicate-like creature through neoteny. Lancelets are possibly the most fish-like invertebrate known; they have gill slits, a notochord, muscular tail, a digestive tract along the belly to name some of their Chordate characteristics. And (before you ask hahaa) there are lancelet fossils, Pikaia is an example.
Fossils of the earliest-known vertebrates have been found in China, for example the soft-bodied jawless fish Haikouella, Myllokunmingia, and Haikouichthys. They did not have a bony skeleton at this point, but have every other feature of jawless fish which are supported by a skeleton of cartilage. So in order, the acorn worms, tunicates, lancelets and soft-bodied jawless fish show the path taken from the evolution from an invertebrate to a vertebrate.
As to the article you posted, doesn’t this sort of contradict with creation? It seems to be arguing that evolution is happening, but is happening so quickly that it is plausible the Earth is only 6,000 years old and that perhaps the species’ we see today have evolved from the ‘kinds’ of creatures God created, rather than the evolutionary common ancestry? If this is the case, it seems that creationists are changing their story a little to fit in with the theory of evolution; having gone from ‘there is no evolution’, to ‘there is evolution but it happens quickly so it fits in with the Bible anyway’. I would also say that radiocarbon dating shows the age of many fossils to be older than 6,000 years old.
I wouldn’t say evolutionists have been known to lie – evolutionists come up with theories and back it up with evidence, if the evidence is not there then they admit the theory was wrong and then try to find a new explanation using the evidence there is. There is a difference between a misunderstanding or a mistake and an outright lie. There is a wealth of evidence to support the theory. They do a lot of research and so, yes, undoubtedly, like any other human being in the world, they are sometimes wrong. I think we can allow them to make mistakes without penalising them; this certainly doesn’t make them liars.
Aside from that, I don’t think creationists are completely innocent themselves when they say ‘evolutionists are liars’. Microevolution and macroevolution is defined differently to how science defines it, and then is used as an argument against the theory of evolution, even though the terms are manipulated in favour of the argument creationists’ support. Under the definition creationists use of macroevolution, they also like to say it has never been observed. Macroevolution as we know it takes far longer than for one human being to completely observe it in their lifetime, so this is a ludicrous argument. I have also heard an innumerable amount of creationists’ say that there are no transitional fossils, again, this really is a lie and has been repeated so many times that many creationists’ have come to believe it.
Ah I see, so is it simply the word of the Bible that confirms for you that the earth is no older than 6,000 years old then?
As for entropy, yes, I can understand why you would say that. I would suggest you read this link:
I’m sorry it’s an atheist site, that wasn’t an intentional bias so just try and read it looking at the science rather than the belief of the author; it’s just that it was the best website I could find that explains entropy in terms of the big bang. I also sort of feel that I would go on and on talking about it to try and explain it because it’s such an in depth topic, which would probably just bore you haha, so if you just have a read of that, it does explain it fairly well.
Yes sorry, my question wasn’t supposed to be an either or question. It was more supposed to be, why it is that you believe in God, for which there is little evidence, but do not believe in evolution for which there is a lot of evidence for, as two separates. As in, there is more evidence for evolution than God, but of the two you choose to believe in God. I was just curious as to why it is? Thanks for reading :).
Best wishes, Lucy.
Sorry Lucy I tried to make it clear I understand about macroevolution when I stated “generally referred to as macro evolution amongst the creationists” in my previous comment.
The article I showed you in no way doesn’t fit with the account of the Bible. Genesis says that God created the animals in their kind and then said be fuitful and multiply. Please reread the article to see that it is saying that speciation is just stating that variety happens within kind, evolution is not taking place.
The Bible isn’t something which a Christian should say it’s all open to how the reader wants to interperate it. It’s a book with words in our language which has been designed to give information which can only be read one way. Yes however there are certain parts of the bible which are written in poetry and parable but it’s fairly obvious.
The problems you state with the Bible don’t hold any truth, the Bible says that the moon will stop giving light but we read just before that it’s because the “sun shall be darkened”. The Earth being flat is also a poor example, it is described as a circle, the translated hebrew word also could be used for sphere. Science is up for interpretation with the age of the Earth, the scientific community is divided over this one as there are so many flaws with dating techniques.
Thanks for all the info you gave me about the supposed evidence of evolution but have a read of these two articles to bring the subject into the light. One from a creationist point of view and the other an atheist point of view
lol I’m not convinced by that atheists blog referring to entropy. It just provides some very basic maths to try and suggest it has an answer to this incerdibly complex big bang theory. I’ve been studying thermodynamics for three years now and can’t say that anything I’ve ever done has ever been so basic as what he suggests. His maths is only supported or even possible upon dramatic assumptions and more imaginery circumstances by drawing extremely vague and unrealistic parallels.
As to why I believe in God, well I can only say it comes down to personal experience, faith and years of ‘connecting the dots’. I don’t know if you’ve heard the ‘kiss’ explination before? I could describe to you scientifically how a kiss takes palce, the joining of lips, exchange of saliva… But you’d never know what it truely is until you experience it for yourself. I recommend attempting to experience God it’s not something you’ll regret, unlike a lot of peoples first kiss lol..
As for the age of the Earth I’m still learning to be able to give a decent argument, there is plenty out there for good reading though on books written by scientists showing the earth to be a young earth.
Here’s an overview of a book I hope to start reading if you were interested
Cheers again, I’ll get preparing for your next reply lol..
Yes, I understand that, but I also made the point clear that creationists definition of macroevolution isn’t correct in a scientific sense, and explained how, as you would describe it, macroevolution can and does occur – via microevolution.
In that case, the article is going back to this creationist idea of macro and microevolution. As I said, microevolution as you describe it does lead to differences in an species’ gene pool over time, but eventually will lead to what you term macroevolution. The small changes that ‘microevolution’ brings about, eventually leads to a species diverging into another. It is not one sudden mutation that changes one species directly into another.
Yes, but the problem is, Christians do say that it is open for the reader to interpret. For example, saying that ‘this part is literal, but this part is not’, is allowing the reader to interpret what they want. And as it happens, I think the reasons I gave do hold true. I didn’t really want to get into this though, you asked me why I didn’t believe in the Bible, I gave you my reasons to answer your question but really started this conversation to discuss evolution. I know you will disagree with my thoughts on the Bible because it is your belief, what I am trying to show you is that evolution is real, I’m not trying to say that the Bible is false, it is just my personal opinion not to believe in the Bible.
Time and time again creationists are shown the evidence but don’t accept it, as you have above with my example of the emergence of vertebrates. There is a staggering amount of evidence for the theory, you just need to see it. It’s fascinating and so interesting when you understand it, you seem to be very intelligent and I think you would easily see the beauty in evolution. Because to deny it is almost like saying you don’t believe in gravity, but rather, believe we are all actually magnets, and so is the Earth.
As to the articles, the first one, of course you will come across articles like that if you look for them. Creationists don’t want to believe in evolution and so you could show them a fossil of a half chimpanzee half human and they still would come up with reasons why it is not true. The point is, if you don’t want to believe in something, then you never will, your mind is closed to the idea. In addition to this, the examples given are not exactly the same pathway of evolution in the example I gave anyway, so I don’t think they count as evidence against the example I have given. I know they include Haikouella and Myllokunmingia but the pathway in my example differs.
I would like to give you another example of evolution –
4. So this is an example of a transitional sequence again, showing the evolution of mammals from synapsids. (Synapsids evolved in parallel with reptiles from a common ancestor).
I believe the fossils I have used as an example here show the transition over 100million years from the late Carboniferous to the early Jurassic period.
The earliest synapsids would have looked extremely similar to lizards, but they had a lower temporal opening on the back part of the skull (the characteristic feature of synapsids), which allowed for larger and more complex jaw muscles. By the early Permian period, we find more mammal-like synapsids, such as the finback Dimetrodon (this is not a dinosaur by the way). Although it was fairly primitive in many ways, it had several advanced mammalian features, such as specialised canine teeth.
The late Permian was dominated by a many dog and bear sized synapsids. Some of these were very mammal-like, with highly specialised teeth and a larger temporal opening to accommodate larger jaw muscles, and eventually muscles that would have given them the ability to chew. They also had the beginnings of a “secondary palate”, which separates the mouth from the nasal passages and allows simultaneous eating and breathing. The late Permian synapsids had a more upright, mammal-like posture than the Dimetrodon.
Among the striking evolutionary changes occurring in the synapsids was in their lower jaws. Most reptiles have several bones in the lower jaw, and Dimetrodon shares this characteristic. But mammals have only a single lower jawbone, the dentary. Throughout synapsid evolution, we see the gradual reduction of the non-dentary elements of the jaw as they are crowded towards the back and eventually lost. The dentary bone, in contrast, gets larger and takes over the entire jaw. In the final stage of evolution, the dentary bone expands until it makes direct contact with the skull and develops a new articulation with it. The old reptilian jaw articulation is lost, but there is one amazing transition fossil, Diarthrognathus from the early Jurassic of South Africa, that has both jaw articulations in operation simultaneously.
In the Triassic and early Jurassic, the protomammal story culminated in the most advanced of all the synapsids, the cynodonts. They had a mammal-like posture, a fully developed secondary palate, a large temporal opening for multiple sets of jaw muscles allowing complex chewing movements, and highly specialised molars and premolars for grinding and chewing. Some of them probably had hair. Many of the later species of cynodonts are so mammal-like that it is quite controversial as to where to draw the line between mammals and the rest of the synapsids.
The oldest fossils that palaeontologists now agree are mammals come from the late Triassic period. They were ‘shrew-sized’, with a fully developed joint between the dentary bone and the skull, and three middle-ear bones. Thanks to the fossil record,there is a full picture of how they evolved from synapsids.
As for the rest of the non-dentary bones, Most were lost, but the articular bone and the corresponding quadrate bone of the skull are now the malleus and incus bones in your middle ear. This sounds strange, but note that most reptiles hear with their lower jaws, transmitting sound from this to the middle ear through the jaw articulation. In addition, during embryonic development, the middle ear bones start in the lower jaw, and then eventually migrate to the ear.
– I would just like to reference newscientist.com for the information I used here to give this example, as I didn’t know the transition off by heart haha, I’m not that sad.
I perhaps shouldn’t have given a strong atheist website as an example, pretty obvious you weren’t going to be in favour of that lol!
Try this one 🙂
I’m afraid I cannot experience God because I do not think he is there. As far as I am concerned, it is far too much of a coincidence that humans, the only species known to have imagination, is the only species to have religion.
Okay :), I shall have a read of the last link now and let you know in my next post – unfortunately, posting examples of evolution makes my posts rather long and I don’t want to bore you! Although I must say that many many different methods of radioactive dating have all estimated that dinosaur fossils are a similar age, I think around the 65 million years old mark.
Thanks for reading 😀
What I don’t understand about Creationism (by this I mean the theory that evolution is wrong not the belief in a Creator, the latter of which I as a Christian obviously believe) – though this could be due to the fact I don’t have a problem with the theory of evolution – is why there is such an emphasis placed on the things that evolution as we understand it can’t explain as though that proves Creationism.
I don’t study biology, I study physics, but the process of creating new theories remains the same: to be brief and basic it isn’t enough to say that someone’s theory has holes in it – that’s understandable as it is based on the known data at hand. You must be able to explain how your theory explains the phenomenon better. I have heard nothing (but again, this is probably because I am entirely ignorant, so please forgive me!) from Creationists about data they have acquired that would support their theory (whatever that may be as there are many different types of Creationism). Unlike in the case of evolution where we have a combination of suggestions from theoretical biologists/chemists/physicists and experimentalists, there are no proposed mechanisms or matrices coming from Creationists for how life came to be, no explanation for the varying density gradient of fossils. It’s very bizarre.
If we are meant to accept Creationism as a viable alternative scientific theory, much more work has to be done showing why Creationism is true rather than why Evolution isn’t. After all, scientists do the latter just fine every day and as a result our understanding of evolution has changed a great deal from when Darwin first published ‘The Origin of Species’.
Oh dear – just realised my error. By Creationism, I mean that life came about on earth via a Genesis-like event rather than evolution.
Also, AJ, I would argue that it obviously isn’t clear when the Bible is using parable or not otherwise we probably wouldn’t be having this discussion! For one thing, being in translation can render parables and turns of phrase unnoticed to non-native readers (the religious urban myth that ‘the eye of the needle’ was a gate is a good example). In the case of Genesis, the fact that in the original Hebrew, Genesis chapter 1is ‘clearly’ a poetic sonnet, with each verse having a multiple of 7 words, 7 being the number of days being mentioned and also a number of spiritual significance for the ancient Hebrews etc etc… whereas Genesis chapters 2&3 take off from a different albeit never quite clarified starting point would imply it’s innate unsuitability to be used as the foundation for a ‘scientific’ theory of origins (even the Church Fathers in the 2nd and 3rd centuries could see that). However, that is just me and my traditional interpretation. Obviously if that were all there was to it, Creationism probably would never have been an option!
I guess if we’re going to go traditional then we should look at what the Bible says and see that Genesis isn’t the only place in the Bible which says God created the Heavens and the Earth in a literal 6 days, the church fathers of the second and third centuries undoubtely knew that too..
Evidence for this creation to name a few..
(copied from creation.com i’ll post a link below)
the historical records, the population growth, the helium content in this world, the missing neutrinos from the sun, the oscillation period of the sun, the decline of the earth’s magnetic field, the limited number of supernovas, radioactive halos, the mitochondrial DNA pointing to one mother, and the increase in genetic diseases
Just have a read selecting the scientists on the left whoever’s name might takes your fancy.
Thanks again, with regards to radioactive dating it has become quite evident reading around that it has it’s issues and there are alternative methods at looking at the same data depending on your beliefs/motives.
These creationist doctors/scientists etc have provided the argument against what they call so called evidence. We could be here forever bouncing these arguments back and forth but hopefully you’ve seen some staggering evidence for creation which might make you less inclined to disbelieve creation. As you said if you look and search around you could find anything (my previous defense against your evolutionary claim) so really we’re not getting anywhere lol but thanks for the debate it’s made me learn a lot more and has affirmed my belief in creation. My laptop won’t load that space.com web address but i’m sure the counter arguments are just as valid you could find on the net.
There is plenty of literature supporting what i said here are a few books https://store.creation.com/uk/index.php?cPath=21_27&osCsid=8275951ad3c827245fbdc7712e319f75
Appologies Lucy for the lack of quotes etc, I recently got engaged and am working a 6 day week so struggling to find the time to do a lot of research at the moment but you’ve given me a lot to chew over which i appreciate
But again, this is an example of young Earth Creationists in denial of the evidence. It is similar with evolution, presented with the examples again and again and again, creationists refuse to see it, or come up with pseudoscientific reasons why it is incorrect.
In fact, there are many methods of radioactive dating which all show very similar results, leading scientists to settle on the figure of the Earths age as roughly 4.6 billion. In order for creationists to have any grounds to dispute this, they really need to show evidence, not just try and pick out false holes in the scientific method. They need to show evidence of many different radioactive dating techniques that all indicate the age of the Earth to be 6000 years, and then there will be grounds for a dispute. Until then, there is no basis to dispute the age of the Earth, other than a 2000 year old scripture.
And of course if you go online and deliberately look for examples that dispute this you will find them, because there are obviously people who, like you, do not wish to believe this as they believe the Bible to be inerrant. So yes, there will always be those that come up with reasons why scientific claims are wrong and if you look for them you will find them. However, when looking at the cold hard facts, without contamination from non-believers, you will see that the evidence clearly points towards an old earth.
I’m sorry, ‘hopefully you’ve seen some staggering evidence for creation‘, – I have seen literally no evidence for creation, let alone staggering amounts. I have given you two very good examples of evolution, which you have dismissed for reasons you didn’t really explain properly. You simply refute it by calling it ‘so-called evidence’, yet you have not given me any scientific evidence of creation. I believe I could give you so many more examples, yet there doesn’t seem to be much point as you either refuse to understand them or can’t understand them because you say they are not evidence when they blatantly are. It’s like the whole radioactive dating thing all over again lol, where you can be shown the evidence but refuse to see it.
And I think it’s wrong to assume that you could find a counter argument to mine without even reading what my argument was. In fact, it solidifies what I was trying to say above; creationists do not feel they need to even understand the evolutionary or old earth point concepts before coming to their own conclusion anyway; you proved that by saying ‘but i’m sure the counter arguments are just as valid‘ without even seeing what I had to say, a debate seems almost pointless :s.
Hahaa, poor you, a 6 day week seems fairly hard going, I’m not envious at all!
Thanks Lucy, yes you’re right a debate is pointless, like you said, I could keep searching and finding the counter arguments for you and we could keep going round in circles. You are right that there are people who share the creationist opinion, quite a few but still substantially outweighed by the non-creationist viewpoint. But then again, that last statement is also Biblical.. “there are few who find it”.
It’s not that we’re choosing to ignore the cold hard facts but rather view them differently to how an atheist would view them.
It’s been a pleasure debating with you, I will get back to creation and a young earth evidence searching and learning experience when I have the time..
Maybe we’ll debate again one day!
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