Wednesday, May 02, 2007

Kingdom ACTION!

I usually don't do posts like this, but, on the spur of the moment, I thought I ought to tell you about this:

READ AND ACT:

The Thought-Police: What the Hate Crimes Bill Would Do
By: Chuck Colson

New bill would gives special preference to homosexuals [Employment Non-Discrimination Act]


CONTACT YOUR REPRESENTATIVES, AND THE PRESIDENT, TODAY! (YOU CAN E-MAIL PRESIDENT BUSH FROM THE SECOND LINK.)

~Kingdom Advancer

37 comments:

SolaMeanie said...

I think Bush is threatening a veto of this, and I hope he does. However, I am not optimistic after the next election.

Kingdom Advancer said...

Hopefully, after the next election, we will have neither a President that will sign this type of thing nor a Congress that can override a veto. Hopefully...

Austin said...

I've heard of such bills being passed in Australia and knew it was only a matter of time before they appeared on the scene here, but I didn't know when. I'm glad you brought this to my attention. Such bills will even prevent pastors from saying, "Homosexuality is wrong." A homosexual can just say, "That's hate speech!" and the bill would allow the pastor to be prosecuted and prevented from saying those things from the pulpit. So much for free speech. What a joke!

I don't demand that there be laws against homosexual behavior, because Christians are called to spread morality person-to-person, not by means of the government. It's a character revolution. Besides, history has shown that people eventually get their way in government. Legislating against homosexuality would be useless in the long run if people still wanted it. We must change the people, and the government will inevitably follow. I know that no one here proposed laws against homosexuality, but I thought that the above was worth pointing out.

I got your email too.

Josiah said...

Advancer, I am putting this in response to your remarks on Marks blog, because he has a tendency to block mine, despite the fact that I'm logical and polite.

Please explain how the law of thermodynamics deals with any of this, advancer?

And genetic mutations are quite common if you realize you have millions of years to allow them to develop. Systems can also change their uses over these years. And there are plenty of examples of "useless" systems. Everyone still has an appendix, even though it's totally useless.

Even one celled-organisms have reproductive systems. Heck even viruses do, and they aren't even organisms to begin with. The replication of dna is easier then you'd think.

And giraffes have inherited stretched necks. It's in their genetic code. It's part of what makes them giraffes. You might as well claim that it's not hereditary for humans to have eyes.

Order and chaos, Advancer, are abstract principles that have nothing to do with science.

Oh, and Austin....The crime would only consider it hate speech if the preacher publicly advocated violence, since it only comes into effect on violent crimes.

Kingdom Advancer said...

"And genetic mutations are quite common if you realize you have millions of years to allow them to develop. Systems can also change their uses over these years. And there are plenty of examples of "useless" systems. Everyone still has an appendix, even though it's totally useless."

First off, if I throw a coin up in the air once every million years, it still doesn't make it "very common" even if I've been doing it for a billion years. The quantity may seem a lot, but quantity is not as essential, when speaking of Evolution, as rate.

Besides, mutations are not beneficial--at least when you look at the big picture (the net effect)--the vast majority--if not all--of the time.

One textbook says this:

"Most evolutionists agree that the vast majority of mutations are harmful but hold to the belief that some mutations, although an extremely small proportion, are beneficial and that an accumulation of a succession of these mutations results in evolution. Supposedly, one animal form, or kind, will change into another animal form, or kind, over long periods of time.
"The problem of justifying by such a process seems insurmountable. It may be compared to a climber on the side of an icy hill who in attempting to climb upward actually slips downward 999 times to just 1 movement upward. His net progress is downward, not upward. Similarly, changes produced by mutations are in the wrong direction to support evolution; but there may be only one beneficial mutation in a thousand esamples. Furthermore, gene mutations do not result in the appearance of new traits but only degenerative or modified variational characteristics of already existing traits...
Even supposition of the minute chance that one organism might "evolve" by this improbable process is not sufficient. The dependency of organisms on a balance in nature must be considered. If great emergent changes in living organisms did occur, it would involve the whole biosphere. The living world with its decomposers, producers, herbivores, and carnivores is very complex and interrelated...Mutations in all these organisms filling the various niches would have to be timed so that the entire ecosystem would evolve as a unit. This suggestion goes beyond all reason..."

In other words, mutations aren't usually beneficial, and even when they are, the "benefited" creature's characteristics wouldn't survive, for one reason or another.

"And giraffes have inherited stretched necks. It's in their genetic code. It's part of what makes them giraffes."

I know that giraffes have inherited long necks, because God created them that way--or, in the least, with the genetic potential to have long necks.
I was speaking of Jean-Baptiste de Monet de Lamarck's theory. From the same textbook:

"He believed that as the giraffe fed among the leaves of the tree it stretched its neck a little to reach the highest leaves. Then the slightly elongated neck was inherited by its offspring, who in turn stretched its neck a little longer. This "evolution" continued supposedly up to the long-necked giraffes of today. Larmarck believed that any change taking place in an organism could be passed on to its offspring. This idea of "inheritance of acquired characteristics" (or "use inheritance") is rejected by biologists today..."

Another thing that comes into play is: if giraffes need their long necks to survive and thrive, how did they before they developed them?

Kingdom Advancer said...

"And there are plenty of examples of "useless" systems. Everyone still has an appendix, even though it's totally useless."

Presumably, you are speaking of vestigial organs. Same textbook:

"Vestigial organs are structures for which no use has been found. A list of close to one hundred such organs could be found in textbooks when the idea was first proposed. Now, very few organs are called vestigial organs. This is because man has discovered the functions for many of these structures. Possibly, the term "vestigial" is really a word biologists use in place of admitting their ignorance of the function of some organ."

Therefore, as advanced as our science is now, we need not use vestigial organs to prove one point of view or the other. As for the appendix, "There is evidence now that man's appendix serves as an aid in the body's defense against disease..."
Even if it does not, the law of entropy--the fallen state of this world--would allow for organs to become useless without proving Evolution.

Kingdom Advancer said...

Continuing with that last point, that's what I was trying to say about the Second Law of Thermodynamics, the idea that things are progressing downwards--slightly--the fact that when mutations occur, the most common (if not the only) result is information to be lost, not gained.

Kingdom Advancer said...

"Order and chaos, Advancer, are abstract principles that have nothing to do with science."

I would have to disagree, since order and chaos can be observed and repeated. And, order does not come from chaos.

"Even one celled-organisms have reproductive systems. Heck even viruses do, and they aren't even organisms to begin with. The replication of dna is easier then you'd think."

But there are reproductive systems more complex than others--or if one-celled organisms have really complex reproductive systems, you'd have to explain how theirs evolved.

Sorry for stretching this out into so many comments. I just didn't want any of my typing to be discarded if my computer decided to do something cruel. :)

Josiah said...

For one, you should realize that quite a few genetic mutations have, well, helped. Adaptation has helped in that case. Which Darwin's theory spoke a lot about too, in fact. Trees evolved slowly to have their leaves grow taller to escape the giraffes, and the giraffe's neck slowly evolved to keep up. Realize we still don't know everything about how DNA exactly works, and how it connects to adaptation, but the two are definately interconnected.

Also realize that the bad traits would be killed off by natural selection. The ones with positive traits survive, the many who don't, well, don't. Realize, however, that it could take hundreds to thousands of years for the population change to be drastic.

If chaos can come from order, the opposite can surely happen. Chaos has a tendency to wreck up enough things for order to fuel off of and create. And it's not like there's quantities of order and chaos either. They can both spring out of nowhere. Even if it can't, it doesn't mean a god exists, at most it means some universal order or meaning exists.

Systems that are complex don't grow overnight, that is for sure, but most systems have plenty more than one use. Digestive systems also aid with the cleansing of the system, the blood's fueling system also helps defend from disease.

Also, appendices are still removed everyday with no ill effect. And few people could dispute the fact that wisdom teeth have no use.

Also, the idea of degeneration is a hard-pressed one. The appendix is probably still used, but the body has slowly improved itself in such a way, perhaps with a better immune system, that would eliminate the need of the appendix.

The law of entropy deals with physics, advancer, in the dealing of raw energy. However, it has nothing to do with biology. Organisms keep themselves fueled from external sources, be it the sun or other organisms. The only thing entropy would prove is that one day this source will run out, meaning, of course, that all organic life will die.

I must say, advancer, that I enjoy our debate more than with most other conservatives. At least you realize you must have at least some form of facts to back the statements up, something many seem to believe, in the conservative blogs i respond to, to be unneeded because of their faith in the idea of intelligent design

Kingdom Advancer said...

"Adaptation has helped in that case." ~J

I have no problem with adaptation and micro-evolution. Those are misused as proofs and examples of Macro-Evolution.

"Trees evolved slowly to have their leaves grow taller to escape the giraffes, and the giraffe's neck slowly evolved to keep up." ~J

This causes a couple of problems. First of all, we have the problem of the whole ecosystem having to evolve at the same time, as I noted before:

"...The dependency of organisms on a balance in nature must be considered. If great emergent changes in living organisms did occur, it would involve the whole biosphere. The living world with its decomposers, producers, herbivores, and carnivores is very complex and interrelated...Mutations in all these organisms filling the various niches would have to be timed so that the entire ecosystem would evolve as a unit. This suggestion goes beyond all reason..."

Secondly, we have the issue of survival: how did the giraffes survive if they were behind?

Thirdly, we have the problem of a chance system. A tree can't decide to grow taller slowly, any more than you can decide to grow wings...slowly. I'm not saying trees can't grow taller--if it is in their genetic potential. I'm saying that a tree--or natural selection, or evolution, or whatever--cannot make the intelligent decision to grow taller. If a taller giraffe survives, then obviously it can produce taller giraffes; but why would it grow taller in the first place? Why would it not try growing shorter first, then it would die?

This is what the textbook I've been referencing says about giraffes:

"As for giraffes, the slight differences in animals' necks is now known to be caused by differences in food, or by possession of a different number of the dominant genes that control the neck length. Mutations for a greater neck length have never been observed. There is a definite limit to the neck lengths..."

This is what it says about Darwin:

"Darwin would have explained the giraffe's long neck as follows: In each generation of giraffes the lengths of the necks would vary slightly. Those with longer necks would be able to reach higher for leaves. In the struggle for existence, the giraffes with the shorter necks would be less vigorous and thus produce fewer offspring because they could not get as much food as the animals with longer necks. The animals with longer necks would pass their traits on to their offspring, which would have longer necks than the previous generation. Long necks would have been such an advantage that the short-necked giraffes would eventually be eliminated. Natural selection would eventually result in greatly increased neck lengths.
Late in his career, Darwin became convinced that natural selection alone could not be the mechanism of evolution, and he reverted to Lamarckism [disproven in a previous comment] by postulating that the body cells formed particles he called 'gemmules' that reflected the influence of the environment. These, he thought, accumulated in the reproductive organs by means of the blood and determined the characteristics of the next generation. In this way, genes would change slightly each time a new animals was born. These changes could be in every possible direction [i.e., not intelligently directed].
...Gregor Johann Mendel...stated genetic laws that he discovered in doing breeding experiments...showing that the progeny (offspring of animals or plants) appeared in definite numbers per phenotype, which in turn were reducible to simple ratios of whole numbers. Mendel's laws altered the whole concept of inheritance; they exposed the fallacy of Lamarckian inheritance theory.
Thus, Darwin did not succeed in accounting for the origin of new characteristics, which he believed provided the substance of evolution. Hugo de Vries proposed that mutations provided the variations on which selective pressure could act to produce new species. Darwin was ignorant of any genetics, but de Vries worked when genetics was becoming established as a science. It is now known that genes do not change except by mutation, which rarely occurs. ...it is seen that this mechanism, like natural selection and 'gemmules,' is inadequate to cause major changes that can be inherited and cause an evolution to a more complex and desirable condition."

"Also realize that the bad traits would be killed off by natural selection. The ones with positive traits survive, the many who don't, well, don't. Realize, however, that it could take hundreds to thousands of years for the population change to be drastic." ~J

However, good traits that take multiple, several, or even thousands of generations to become complete and effective would never come to fruition, for natural selection would eliminate them, in the early stages of development, as worthless. And, again, this is the case of a thousand steps backward for every step forward does not make forward progress. Even if a giraffe, by some stroke of luck, hit the lottery and ended up with a longer neck, there's no reason to think that that trait would survive. That giraffe might not be fertile, or it might be killed before breeding, or its offspring might not inherit its characteristics, or its offspring could have another bad mutation, negating the long neck, etc. As I said before, since most mutations are not considered beneficial, the net result would not be beneficial. Massive amounts of time do not solve this problem.

"If chaos can come from order, the opposite can surely happen. " ~J

I'm not so sure about that. If you can take a Swiss watch (order) and smash it into pieces (chaos), it doesn't mean you can smash a bunch of pieces (chaos), and end up with a Swiss watch.

"Chaos has a tendency to wreck up enough things for order to fuel off of and create. And it's not like there's quantities of order and chaos either. They can both spring out of nowhere."~

I think I may know what you mean, but I'll need you to explain what you are saying a little further.

"Even if it can't, it doesn't mean a god exists, at most it means some universal order or meaning exists."~J

But one must ask oneself: where would that universal order come from?

"I must say, advancer, that I enjoy our debate more than with most other conservatives. At least you realize you must have at least some form of facts to back the statements up, something many seem to believe, in the conservative blogs i respond to, to be unneeded because of their faith in the idea of intelligent design"

Well, I appreciate your civility and lack of condescension in the debate. However, I don't know if I'll be able to keep up this debate for too long(if I want to update my blog anytime soon, at least). These things seem to get going like a freight train, and they come out of nowhere.

Josiah said...

Of course, it is incredibly complex. But creatures can evolve in more ways then one. An dyou say that you approve of micro-evolution and not macro-evolution, but you seem to fail to realize that macro-evolution is just micro-evolution over an extended period of time.

Also, you seem to think Im talking about these trees growing overnight. It's not liek a tree thinking "oh, i better grow taller." The tree's bdy sends a signal to it's cells that it's leaves are being torn away. Afte ryears of recieving these messages, the cells set up so the next ggenerations slowly grow taller. Giraffes will still have enough...behind the times....trees to live off of, but they realize food is a little more scarce. "Gee, wish i was a bit taller." Genes to the rescue. And so on....millions of years from now.w..the trees can be taller....and so will the giraffes. Or, perhaps the trees will go for other defenses. Thorns. Poison. Yet again, however, the giraffe's genes are smart enough to help it succeed in the end. Fascinating subject.

Realize that I'm nt directl quoting Darwin. I know that not all of the genetics are tested for this. However, if evolution didn't take place, well, domesticated animals wouldn't exist, for example. Many breeds would not be able to survive in the wild. Genetics still have a problem reducing it, but good traits are still brought in every now and then. It's just that jundreds, if not thousands of others don'[t mke it This is why we don't see girrafes long necks AND camoflauge.....or superspeed.......flight......underwater breathing......heat vision...:P

I see what you mean about the chaos and order not coming from each other......but here, you said order cannot came from chaos......so where did the chaos started from? It's just as likely that the order was always there, as chaos was. In the same sense, it's just as likely that our universe was always here, as the idea that a god was always here. Both are very unlikely, but one HAD to happen. In other wordsm you can't really say the creation f order goes against the nature of the universe....because, well, the cration of a god would be too,,,,,especially considering there would be no universe to create him in the same sense. He too, would actually be an order born from chaos. If nothing equas chaos, that is.

If you decide not to keep this up, well, perhaps we;ll discuss this again I enjoy it. It makes me think, and it's always nice for me to look and sharpen up my skills for a nice, civilized discussion of opposing viewpoints.

Austin said...

Kingdom Advancer,

Even if all mutations are beneficial, it still wouldn't help evolution. The question should be, can a mutation ever add genetic information? The answer is, of course, no. I thought that was worth pointing out, because it's easy to lose the "beneficial mutation" argument, until you point out that no mutation, beneficial or otherwise, can ever add genetic information. It takes away information. But sometimes, losing information can be beneficial. The point is, evolution can't take place w/o an addition of information, which cannot be done by any mutation, whether its harmful or beneficial.

Josiah,

The appendix isn't useless. Look it up.

Everyone,

If I stated anything that's already been addressed, my apologies - I couldn't read every comment.

Austin said...

"An dyou say that you approve of micro-evolution and not macro-evolution, but you seem to fail to realize that macro-evolution is just micro-evolution over an extended period of time."

I'm curious as to where you learned biology, because this is incorrect, as any biologist, evolutionist or otherwise, will tell you. Natural selection, the process by which "micro-evolution", which I prefer to call speciation, occurs, can only rearrange (reproduction) and sometimes delete (mutation) genetic information. What is called "macroevolution" requires an addition in genetic information. No addition in genetic information has ever been shown to occur. Recombination, deletion, and multiplication of info do not count, naturally.

Josiah said...

Ah, see, I only took high school biology last year. I assumed, well, macro-evolution to just be micro-evolution on a larger scale. Basic Latin class and all that >.>

Still, genetic rearrangements can still factor into macro evolution. It doesn't come out f nowhere, and something had to be gotten rid of earlier....one can't just add chromosomes willy nilly, unless you'd like your child to come out with hot pink skin and 3 elbows.

Kingdom Advancer said...

Austin,

I think both points (rate of beneficial mutations and inability to add genetic information) go together well. As a matter of fact, I believe I meant to mention your point, and never got around to it. *hat tip to Austin*

Also, thank you for your expounding upon micro and macro-evolution. I haven't been on the blog for a few days. That's why I hadn't commented again.

Kingdom Advancer said...

JOSIAH:

I'll leave the macro- and micro-evolution thing alone, since Austin pretty much covered it.

First off, I want to say something else about the appendix. Although I certainly don't think there's sufficient proof that it is useless (in fact, there may be some evidence to the contrary) or that it can be removed with no negative effects, I think I should point out that absence of essentiality and/or the body's abilities for adaptation do not prove macro-evolution. We have to recognize both the idea of nature going "down-hill" (because of the Fall) and God giving humans the ability to adapt (in a non-macro-evolutionary way).

"Also, you seem to think Im talking about these trees growing overnight. It's not liek a tree thinking "oh, i better grow taller." The tree's bdy sends a signal to it's cells that it's leaves are being torn away. Afte ryears of recieving these messages, the cells set up so the next ggenerations slowly grow taller. Giraffes will still have enough...behind the times....trees to live off of, but they realize food is a little more scarce. "Gee, wish i was a bit taller." Genes to the rescue. And so on....millions of years from now.w..the trees can be taller....and so will the giraffes. Or, perhaps the trees will go for other defenses. Thorns. Poison. Yet again, however, the giraffe's genes are smart enough to help it succeed in the end. Fascinating subject." ~J

I know you are probably talking figuratively, but your quotes ("Gee, wish i was a bit taller") prove my point. Neither you, nor I, nor animals can "think" their next generation to be improved. If I "wish" I had wings (with gas prices, you know, it would help with survival of the fittest. :D), and so do my children, and so do my grandchildren, and so do my great-grandchildren, it does not mean my great-great-grandchildren will be born with stubs of wings. Even if I just wish myself taller, with no supplementation or any other sort of action, it doesn't mean my offspring will be taller. Within one's genetic potential, obviously, the 'better' traits will survive. But that doesn't mean the species 'desired' a trait and thereby got it. I don't think there is proof of that. (If there is, please show.)

"However, if evolution didn't take place, well, domesticated animals wouldn't exist, for example."~J

Here, though, you are back to the barebones word "evolution," which has many connotations and definitions. And that is where the deception of evolutionists comes into play. There is plenty of evidence for micro-evolution, adaptation, etc., but not for macro-evolution. However, group'em all together, and it seems like there's enough evidence for them both.

Kingdom Advancer said...

"...so where did the chaos started from?"

Chaos did come from order: that is possible. God has "subjected the creation to futility." (Romans 1)

"It's just as likely that the order was always there, as chaos was."

Order was always there, in the form of an orderly God, but I do not believe that chaos was always there.

"In the same sense, it's just as likely that our universe was always here, as the idea that a god was always here. Both are very unlikely, but one HAD to happen. In other wordsm you can't really say the creation f order goes against the nature of the universe....because, well, the cration of a god would be too,,,,,especially considering there would be no universe to create him in the same sense. He too, would actually be an order born from chaos. If nothing equas chaos, that is." ~J

First off, God was not created. He is the Alpha, the Beginning, the one and only, omnipotent, omniscient, 'First Cause' of the universe.

Secondly, I don't know how you can say both are "very unlikely" and "just as likely." Either one of them is true, or neither of them is true. The one that is true cannot be "unlikely," because it IS...simple as that. And they cannot be "just as likely," because one IS and one ISN'T.

Josiah said...

I'm saying it is extremely unlikely for ANYTHING to come out of nothing. I did, however, not call it impossible, as one of the two obviously happened. They are still just as likely, because each was as likely to happen.We're looking at things from a viewpoint of a very, very long time ago, understand. Perhaps before there was even such a thing such as time.You could call God the beginning, but then we would be compounding into purely Christian terms. And, even if He was perfect, well, it's a bit nerve wracking to think of the idea f perfection creating.....itself. I know the whole concept of it being inpossible for a "lower being" to wrap his mind around, but i'm just saying it's just, if not more believable that a flawed, if interesting, universe sprung out of pure the pure chaos that was raw existence. And where existence came from....it doesn't have to come from anywhere...if it didn't exist...well, there wouldn't even be no existence.....there would iterally be less than nothng. Existence is something that eiher is or isn't. Everything else is details.

The "think" thing was completely metaphorical, mind you. I'm speaking about bodily processes with cells functioning the information that they are unable to recieve as much nutrition as before, and the body making adjustments over generations to receive sufficient nutrition again. The giraffe's mind in itself, (and the tree's hypothetical mind) have nothing to do with it when you get to the bare bones of it.

Considering

Kingdom Advancer said...

"I'm saying it is extremely unlikely for ANYTHING to come out of nothing." ~J

But God didn't come out of nothing, because God didn't 'come out of anything.' He was not created, there was nothing before Him, and He is not contained in either space or time. However, His very existence would eliminate any necessity of believing something "came out of nothing," though atheists still have to believe that.

"They are still just as likely, because each was as likely to happen."~J

Perhaps with the evidence we've looked at so far, that would be so, but, if we investigated further, I would hope that you would not find that to be the case (PLEASE CHECK OUT, FOR STARTERS, "THE PRIVILEGED PLANET" DVD, WHICH SHOWS HOW OUR EARTH IS UNIQUELY SUITED FOR BOTH LIFE AND EXAMINING THE REST OF THE UNIVERSE. AGAIN: PLEASE! I THINK THAT YOU WILL ENJOY IT.). This, mind you, is your opinion, as most atheistic evolutionists and Christians would both likely not concede this point, no matter how wrong one side or the other is.

"Perhaps before there was even such a thing such as time.You could call God the beginning, but then we would be compounding into purely Christian terms." ~j

Yes, God created the element of time. He Himself is eternal. We do need to go into Christian terms to explain how something could be. However, how does the other side explain its thesis?

"And, even if He was perfect, well, it's a bit nerve wracking to think of the idea f perfection creating.....itself."~J

Well, God didn't create Himself. As I said in a previous comment, God is the First Cause. He is eternal, therefore there is no need for Him to be created (even by Himself), because there was nothing "before" Him--He is eternal.

"...it's just, if not more believable that a flawed, if interesting, universe sprung out of pure the pure chaos that was raw existence."

Again, opinion enters here. Notice your inflection which biases one to agree with you: "flawed, if interesting." Is 'interesting' all you can say to describe the amazing complexity and intricacy of this universe, along with more philosophical issues, such as beauty (and the ability to appreciate it), music, love, language, etc.?


"The "think" thing was completely metaphorical, mind you. I'm speaking about bodily processes with cells functioning the information that they are unable to recieve as much nutrition as before, and the body making adjustments over generations to receive sufficient nutrition again." ~J

I thought so. But, my point was, genetic mutations are, by nature, "random." As I said, when changes do occur, the beneficial ones stick...naturally. But, if there is proof that the changes happen BECAUSE of cellular messages, please show some. (Not to mention the fact again that genetic mutations do not add information, as Austin pointed out.)

P.S. I'm going to try to write a post soon dealing both with God's eternal nature and with the universe being fallen, among other things.

Kingdom Advancer said...

Um...when speaking of "The Privileged Planet," I should've said that "I HOPE you WOULD enjoy it." I really can't say whether I think you will or not. Still, please watch it.

Jonathan M said...

Wow, this has sort of deviated from anti-hate bill hasn't it? :-) Anyway, KA, great job for covering this! I really appreciate the good work you're doing here. May God have mercy on our country.

Austin said...

I should also point out organisms cannot pass on characteristics that they obtained during their lifetime. So, for example, if a supposed ancestor of a giraffe were to stretch its neck, creating stronger muscles and giving it a slightly taller neck, this taller neck would not pass on to its offspring. Over the generations, no increase in neck size would ever occur. Darwin thought that organisms could pass on traits that they gained during their lifetimes, rather than genetically, but Gregor Mendel, the founder of genetics, proved this false.

Josiah said...

Still, the giraffe's neck could grow, through generations, in adaptation, and genetic information can find a way to fortify these changes permanently.

There isn't any proof. It's a theory. Just like it's a theory that an infinitely powerful being invented it. However, you could, in time, prove it, even if it takes hundreds of years. No human could ever provide sufficient evidence for the other one. Again, it might be a part of adaptation (not physical bodily changes brought about by more active means, such as stretching) that gives the information.

You say God didn't need to pop out of anywhere, because he is everywhere. For one, this pops into purely Christian theology, though considering you're a Christian that makes sense, as it applies most to you, but secnd, there is no reason matter couldn't always be there.

The world, in itself, did not create music, poetry, or the like. (well, in more broader sense of music, which is sound in tiem, yes....but thaty means any sound at all can be music), or even beauty. These are all metaphorical things. No one would be able to agree, for instance, what is the most beautiful thing one can find here on earth. It's not a real quantity. It's a detail that humans, or theoretically God, though up to explain what they thought looked or sounded appealing. And considering the trillions of chances each planet had to be placed just at the right place to support life, it's not too unbelievable to think of. And if it was any closer or father, well, with water and carbon, and a time which would allow genetic information to form in a raw sense, well, it wouldn't matter if it wqas blazing hot or freezing cold, life would grow already adapted to those conditions.

Keith M. said...

Hey KA and Josiah, I don't mean to be rude, but do you guys have some kind of common ground to debate on? I mean you can with science to a point but hey, even though I am on KA side, you can't PROVE creation 100% and you can't PROVE evolution 100%. No observation, no science. You believe it by faith.

Kingdom Advancer said...

Thanks, Jonathan. You can sign up to receive e-mails from the American Family Association: they provide more updates than I do.

Keith, I really don't think Josiah and I have much common ground, except that we both are able to hold a civil debate on the matter. He says on his profile that he loves (quote) "my God," but he makes no mention of Christ, Christianity, or the Bible. I believe he is a homosexual, but he doesn't have a blog of his own (that he displays on his profile, at least), so I don't really know anything else about his beliefs or lifestyle.

The debate started when he made a blanket statement on someone else's blog, and I replied with a (bit longer of a) blanket statement in contrast. He came here to continue the discussion, and a week later...here we are.

I know proof can't be made with certainty on the grounds of science, but I do think it should be pointed out that belief in Evolution requires much faith, even to the extent of believing in spite of scientific evidence.

Kingdom Advancer said...

"You say God didn't need to pop out of anywhere, because he is everywhere." ~J

Actually, I said God didn't need to pop out of anywhere, because HE ALWAYS HAS BEEN. ALWAYS. He created elements such as space and time, therefore He is not contained by them.

"For one, this pops into purely Christian theology, though considering you're a Christian that makes sense,..."

As I said, eventually you have to enter the realm of philosophy/theology/Christianity to explain how God could be--how He could be the Creator--how He doesn't need a creator to create Him.

"...there is no reason matter couldn't always be there."

But what is the explanation of matter being eternal? Realize that there is no evidence for such a state.


"It's not a real quantity."

Maybe it can not be quantified, but I do think it is a reality.

I'm not sure what you mean by "metaphorical." Perhaps you mean "metaphysical." But, where does a naturalist have room for metaphysical things?

My point was, some may try to explain every human emotion and the like as relating to sex drive, or survival, or more highly-evolved animal behavior; but when it comes to beauty, music, love, language, etc.; none of these things fit that mold.

"And considering the trillions of chances each planet had to be placed just at the right place to support life, it's not too unbelievable to think of."

Watch "The Privileged Planet," and you'll see that even the unbelievably massive number of rolls of the dice would still not overcome the terrible odds of hitting the jackpot.

"And if it was any closer or father, well, with water and carbon, and a time which would allow genetic information to form in a raw sense, well, it wouldn't matter if it wqas blazing hot or freezing cold, life would grow already adapted to those conditions. "

I think that is some pretty liberal scientific thinking. First, watch "The Privileged Planet." Second, realize that you can be talking about water being able to be only in a gas form (so hot) or solid form (so cold).

Austin said...

"Still, the giraffe's neck could grow, through generations, in adaptation, and genetic information can find a way to fortify these changes permanently.

There isn't any proof. It's a theory. Just like it's a theory that an infinitely powerful being invented it. However, you could, in time, prove it, even if it takes hundreds of years."

My poinst is that it has been effectively disproven. Evolutionists have abandoned this hypothesis as false, and have moved on to various mutation hypotheses. The point is, it has been proven that a giraffe-ancestor would not be able to pass on its learned characteristics at all because its genes have no way of knowing that it stretched its neck. Thus, its descendants would never see longer necks.

The key here is your statement that "genetic information can find a way to fortify these changes permanently." This is where the problem lies - genetic information has absolutely no way of being influenced by changes made during an organism's lifetime. It would never know that a particular pre-giraffe had grown a longer neck, and thus it would never be able to fortify the information, because it's completely ignorant of the change!

Trust, even leading evolutionists no longer believe that organisms can somehow pass on changes made during their lifetime. Nowadays, the belief is that random mutations occasionally created beneficial adaptations (which are extremely rare - there are almost none), with no regard for inherited characteristics, and that these changes somehow added information (even though this is impossible and has never been observed).

Austin said...

Regarding matter always existing, this is impossible because it would imply that time stretches infinitely backwards, which would mean that what is happening now, like me typing this, could never happen because it would take eternity to reach this point.

That is, you would have to count to infinity to reach the present point. You can take the limit of something as it approaches infinity (little calculus humor, heh), but you can't count to infinity, because to finish you would have to reach a highest number, but there can be no highest number because you can always add one!

In other words, the odds of matter always having existed are the same as the odds of you ever counting to infinity, even without death getting in the way.

That's the philosophical argument, but since I would never leave you with just one argument, allow me to give you a scientific one as well. You said there was no reason that matter couldn't have always been here - well mister, I'm giving you two reasons!

In a closed system, the amount of useable energy decreases until the system has run out of useable energy(Second Law of Thermodynamics). All the energy would still be present, but it could no longer be used. If matter had existed eternally in the past, then wouldn't the available energy have been used up by now? (Add that to the fact that "now" wouldn't even exist if the past stretched back eternally, as I explained in my philosophical argument above.) All the energy would now be useless, and nothing would power our sun. Since we have a functioning sun and many functioning stars, it's safe to say that matter can't have always existed because we would "now" have a dead sun and no available energy.

Josiah said...

No, you're thinking of physical changes, not biological adaptations providing basis for evolution. That in itself isn't disproven. Domesticated dogs, if I may go back, obviously weren't ever in the wild, they wouldn't survive. And their dna, while similar to a wolf's, is different enough to be considered a different species.

Scientists, of course, have different ideas, but it's next to impossible to observe a dna change under a microscop,e because its hard to track these chromosomes and th elike down in the first place. We still have millions of uncharted genomes.

Perhaps the fourth dimension didn't always exist. Matter, of course, needs time to react in any possible way. Time obviously didn't always exist either.

The problem with God is, well, he relies on the preceding of scientific information. He's just outside of the theory to disprove him, but he relies on one to go without any basis of fact to believe in him at the same time.

Keith M. said...

Josiah, if you see a building doesn't that prove to you that there was a builder, if you see a painting doesn't that prove to you there was a painter. If man is just a mutated form of a ameoba (spelling?) how can he be so complicated by mere mutations? And why do we see monkeys, humans, but not the in-between? I don't believe anyone will ever prove creation to those whose iniquity blinds them. Only God can change one's heart to see the truth. I don't think anyone will ever cause me to believe evolution, because my faith isn't just blind faith...it's experienced faith.

Kingdom Advancer said...

"Domesticated dogs, if I may go back, obviously weren't ever in the wild, they wouldn't survive. And their dna, while similar to a wolf's, is different enough to be considered a different species."

Actually, wolves had the genetic potential to become domesticated dogs. Domesticated dogs are different by a loss of (perhaps rearranging) of genetic information, not a gain.

"The problem with God is, well, he relies on the preceding of scientific information. He's just outside of the theory to disprove him, but he relies on one to go without any basis of fact to believe in him at the same time."

Actually, God doesn't rely on any of that stuff. God's existence is not dependent upon evidence for His existence. You may say that the astuteness (by man's standards) of belief in God is reliant on one thing or another, but God Himself is not reliant. Even if every proof of God--from creation, to the Bible,--fell apart, God would still exist (just not the God of the Bible, obviously). Of course, that will never happen. But the point is: God's existence exudes evidence; evidence does not exude God's existence.

Josiah said...

Kingdom, you're saying my point. For God to exist, he has to exist outside of scientific fact. He could change that, but that's not the point. The problem with having a diety that "makes all the rules," is that it's a completely subjective idea. Any fact or opinion could be used as proof, or disproof, of him, in theory.

I also ask you why God would create a species of ape 2 percent different in dna from humans, if he didn't create them to come from the same species. Perhaps they were made in an attempt by him to josh us? :P I'm just saying that it seems odd that God would create a creature that seems to be made specifically in mind t lead us off track from the idea of creationism.

However, kingdom, evidence could DISPROVE God. Just because something is perfect, doesn't mean it exists. Why should a perfect entity exist?

Of course, who would come up with the idea of what's "perfect?" Why, God of course. The problem is, you can debate about his existence till the end of time and further, and yet you'll still not be able to go any closer to prove or disprove Him, because the idea of God centers arund him being outside of logic. Part of the logic being, of course, that perfection is impossible.

Kingdom Advancer said...

"For God to exist, he has to exist outside of scientific fact." ~J

Just for clarification: I don't mean that God exists APART FROM or IN CONTRAST to true scientific fact; what I'm saying is that God exists regardless of whatever "scientific facts" fallen man presents. I put scientific fact in quotation marks because Molecules-to-man Evolution, for example, is not a fact, as you've pointed out.

"I also ask you why God would create a species of ape 2 percent different in dna from humans, if he didn't create them to come from the same species. Perhaps they were made in an attempt by him to josh us? :P I'm just saying that it seems odd that God would create a creature that seems to be made specifically in mind t lead us off track from the idea of creationism."

~~The alleged 98% similarity of human and chimp DNA...is often touted as proof the evolutionary closeness of the two. The 2% difference actually translates into ABOUT 60 MILLION BASE PAIR DIFFERENCES. The small differences in the genes are actually turned into a LARGE difference in the proteins produced.~~ "Evolution Exposed" Pgs. 69-70

The homology argument fails:

~~When structures that appear to be similar to one another develop under the control of genes that are not related, the common ancestor idea fails. Evolution would predict that the structures would be formed from a derived gene that has undergone modification through mutation and natural selection. Frogs and humans supposedly share a common ancestor that would account for the similarity of the limb structures. The problem is that when a frog's digits develop, they grow out from buds in the embryonic hand. In humans, the digits begin as a solid plate and then tissue is removed to form the digits. These entirely different mechanisms produce the same result, but they are not the result of the same genes.
Another challenge to evolutionary explanations is when two structures appear to be homologous but evolutionists know they don't share a common ancestor. Such cases are called "convergent evolution." The eyes of squids and vertebrates are an example where the eyes would be called homologous, but there is no common ancestor to account for the similarities.~~ "Evolution Exposed" Pgs. 68-69

~~The real question is: "Does the similarity prove that one structure evolved into another?" Since the requirements are similar for living things, homologous structures would be predicted based on a common designer--structures appear similar because they were designed to accomplish the same task. Tires on bicycles look like tires on motorcycles, with design modifications. Kidneys in a skunk look similar to kidneys in a human because they perform the same task and were designed by a common Designer. Evolutionists tend to accept homologies that fit within the evolutionary framework and set aside those that do not support their predictions; supporting structures are called "homologous," while those that don't fit the theory are called "analogous." The existence of similar body plans in organisms that are not considered to be closely related in evolutionary terms is said to demonstrate convergent evolution. The body plan works, so it evolved independently in the two organisms. There are also many exceptions and there is no way to trace many components back to their alleged ancestors due to the incomplete nature of the fossil evidence. Homologous structures cannot exclude the idea of design.
...Convergent evolution is used as a way to explain away homologies that appear in organisms that aren't supposed to be closely related.
Evolutionists use embryological development, the presence of vestigial organs, and biochemical and genetic homologies to argue for descent from a common ancestor. Yet the patterns expected from the Darwinian model of evolution are not seen in most instances. On the other hand, HOMOLOGIES CONFIRM THE CREATIONIST MODEL OF A COMMON DESIGNER, THE CREATOR GOD OF THE BIBLE." ~~"Evolution Exposed" Pgs. 70-72

And, though you jest, I would not be surprised if God, in His justice, created such a world so that those who desire the LACK of His existence can find seemingly logical explanations for what they want to believe. (If you can even call Molecules-to-man Evolution logical....not by my standards.)

"However, kingdom, evidence could DISPROVE God." ~J

No, God cannot be disproven. Allow me to explain:

To prove the statement: "There is no gold in China," or to DISprove the statement, "There IS gold in China," one would have to do the following:

Search under every rock, examine every person's teeth, dig up every mine, examine every woman's left-ring finger, etc.,etc. It would be virtually impossible to say definitively "There is no gold in China."

However, to prove the statement "There IS gold in China," all one has to do is point it out.

In this way, God cannot be disproven, because for Him to be disproven, one would have to examine every inch of the universe, and then moreso, for God created the universe itself. One could not merely look at the physical, for "God is Spirit." And, though God is omnipresent, one would have to account for the fact that He could avoid being discovered if He wanted to.

On the other hand, evidence for God is clearly seen in nature. Although you may not agree that this is evidence, evidence is in the eye of the beholder, so nothing I can say can really prove that to you. Perhaps Romans 1:20?

Yes, to believe in God one must have a certain level of faith. But this admission comes with a contingency: it wrongfully suggests that believing there is no God DOESN'T take faith. In fact, it takes a lot. And, the closer you examine it, to believe in Molecules-to-man Evolution takes a wild leap of faith.


I'm not sure where you're going with the perfection argument, because I don't think I used God's perfection as a proof of His existence (if I did, it was in an extremely indirect way). But to say that God is outside of logic is to imply that God is illogical, when God Himself created the rules of logic (though they are fallen now). The existence of God is indeed logical: that's (at least partly) why such a majority throughout all of time has believed in His existence, even if in a corrupted form. Only a select few (growing more and more common today), too "rational" for their own good, have denied His existence, or at least the CHANCE of His existence.

It would be better stated that the attributes of God (i.e., omnipresence, omnipotence, omniscience, outside of time and space, Spirit, the doctrine of the Trinity, etc.) are incomprehensible TO our finite logic.

Josiah said...

Kingdom, you seriously believe God would give us evidence to suggest that he didn't use creationism? Wouldn't that be a little malicious on his part, since he's supposed to literally be the Truth?

Even with the vast amount of dna pairing differences between humans and apes, we still both use simple tools, live in small groups of mates and direct relatives, communicate using not only sound, but facial expression, have the "curiosity drive" are able to plan and think abstractly, and have infants that both rely on gentle physical contact for psychological reinforcement. You can say there are vast differences, but there are even more ways we are the same. If God did not create us through evolution from the same organism, well, he has an odd way of making a parody of His own image, don't you think?

Atheism is illogical, as is theism. Agnosticism is truthfully the nly logical belief. But this is a matter of faith, and I think this one area has sort of gotten us nowhere, because we're debating using the exact same points.

The fact is, evolution is probably never going to be proven, and creationism has no chance at all of being proven. I believe God created the world, I believe he planned it's growth. We both agree on this point. I believe he did it over thousands of years, using the development of steadily mre complex creatures. You think he popped them all into the garden and let them run wild.

Creationism isn't...purely illogical, er se. It's just not very scientific. You go nowhere quickly pursuing that course, and evidence, if there is any at all, is so scarce its statistically impossible to go anywhere with it. Which is why, well, why respected, does not need to be seen as a serious scientific argument, aand instead as a religious one. Also, do you believe that whole "the Earth is nly 15 thousand years old" thing? Because I CAN disprove that if you'd like.

You can't point out God. And, as you said, it would be difficult to disprove God, but that's prettty much a given fact. However, where we are, and let me say this ha nothing to do with my belief n the probability of the existence of God, but it's a bit like proving or disproving unicorns' existence...you could say it is easier to prove unicorns....but for that too be true, unicorns have to exist.If you don't, well, then

Technically, unicorns can be disproven as well. You just need omnipotence. Which would be the same thing one would need to disprove God, technically.

I agree with you saying one only needs to look at the world to see evidence of God's hand. I also see it as evidence, however, that God decided, instead of just throwing things onto the planet in a week, grew everything over millions of years, with careful consideration and a focused plan on what He had in mind. I'd say more, but I'd have a feeling I would go into a monologue on nature that would sound a bit too much like the nararation for "Planet Earth."

Kingdom Advancer said...

"...you seriously believe God would give us evidence to suggest that he didn't use creationism?" ~J

The similarity between the two is NOT evidence of Evolution. What I said was, "God, in His justice, created such a world so that those who desire the LACK of His existence can find seemingly logical explanations for what they want to believe. (If you can even call Molecules-to-man Evolution logical....not by my standards.)"

Stress the word "seemingly." Those who are searching for ways to remove the necessity of God--to push Him out of the picture--will find a way, to their own detriment.

"Agnosticism is truthfully the nly logical belief." ~J

Agnosticism, at its core, is generally worthless. It reminds me of what the Bible calls "lukewarm." It's fence-sitting.
On the other hand, they make the bold claim that "there can be NO PROOF of the existence of God." Do you believe that?

"The fact is, evolution is probably never going to be proven, and creationism has no chance at all of being proven."~J

I would disagree with you on this point: your implicated false dichotomy that Evolution somehow has a slightly better chance of being proven than creationism--or, I would say a Creator. Laying aside all the evidence against it anyway, the "common ancestor" origin of life that evolutionists espouse cannot be proven scientifically.

"You think he popped them all into the garden and let them run wild." ~J

I think you still probably have a misunderstanding of micro-evolution. I do not believe that there were tigers, lions, house cats, panthers, leopards, and cheetahs all in the Garden of Eden after the first week. The Bible says that God created animals "after their own kind." Therefore, logically, there could've been one type of feline, one type of canine, and one type of equine in the Garden at the beginning. These relatively "basic" creatures held the genetic potential for all the variety we see in kinds today.

"Creationism isn't...purely illogical, er se. It's just not very scientific. You go nowhere quickly pursuing that course, and evidence, if there is any at all, is so scarce its statistically impossible to go anywhere with it. Which is why, well, why respected, does not need to be seen as a serious scientific argument, aand instead as a religious one."~J

I have been thinking about writing a post about this. Here's the problem with what you are saying: you are implementing, again, a false dichotomy of "Well, creationism is a RELIGIOUS explanation, but Evolution is SCIENTIFIC." The fact is, theories of Evolution are very theoretical, hypothetical, and based upon scant evidence--in fact, in spite of evidence against it. You can even make the case that Evolution is a religious belief, since it is clinged onto as the origins explanation of atheistic belief just about everywhere.
No one can use the scientific method of repeating, observing, controlling, etc., to discover one way or the other. However, a creationist can show that the evidence SUPPORTS a creationist viewpoint.

"Also, do you believe that whole "the Earth is nly 15 thousand years old" thing? Because I CAN disprove that if you'd like." ~J

Actually, you can't. I actually believe the earth is closer to 6000 years old. If you turn to radio-isotope or carbon-15 dating to try to prove me wrong, those dating methods are unreliable. If you try to use arguments about erosion and the like, those don't work because they are based upon the belief in uniformitarianism ("the present is the key to the past"), when, in fact, natural disasters--like a Global Flood--could've done much of the job. If you try to make the argument that we wouldn't see light from the stars in just 6000 years, that argument fails because of this: did God create Adam as an embryo or a young adult? God created the world with some appearance of age.

Kingdom Advancer said...

"...but it's a bit like proving or disproving unicorns' existence...you could say it is easier to prove unicorns....but for that too be true, unicorns have to exist.If you don't, well, then
Technically, unicorns can be disproven as well. You just need omnipotence. Which would be the same thing one would need to disprove God, technically." ~J

I wasn't trying to say that the inability to disprove the existence of God actually proves Him. I was simply responding to your statement, "God can be disproven."

"you could say it is easier to prove unicorns....but for that too be true, unicorns have to exist.If you don't, well, then" ~J

Notice how the door swings both ways: "you could say it is easier to DISPROVE unicorns...but for that to be true, unicorns have to be NONEXISTENT."

Kingdom Advancer said...

"You can say there are vast differences, but there are even more ways we are the same."~J

That's an opinion if I've ever seen one.
You are implying that an ape using a stick to dig termites out of a dirt mound is essentially the same as a pilot firing a laser-guided missile from a fighter jet. You are implying that apes living in a group are essentially the same as humans having a family reunion to celebrate great-grandparents happily married for 60+ years. You are implying that grunts, squeals, groans, and "ooh-ooh-ah-ahs" are essentially the same as the dictionary of the English language, typing, writing, reading, talking, and using such things as Morse code. You are implying that a "curiosity drive" with the ability to think abstractly is essentially the same as discussing the theological merits of premillenial dispensationalism.
Perhaps you're simply that saying that, like apes use sticks, we use forks. But what is that evidence for? I'm sure you know what my answer is by now: a common DESIGNER.

"he has an odd way of making a parody of His own image, don't you think?"~J

Well, first of all, a person's spiritual and truly human attributes--moreso than the base physical characteristics--are what make up the image of God...a combination of the two.
Secondly, God compares Himself throughout the Bible to certain animals at certain times to make certain points for certain purposes. "Lion and the Lamb," "take you under my wings like a Mother Hen," etc.
Thirdly, if humans' and apes' survival depends upon somewhat (emphasize SOMEWHAT) similar tasks, we can expect that a COMMON DESIGNER would make them SOMEWHAT similar in physical characteristics.