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PostPosted: Wed Feb 04, 2004 1:14 am 
Flood myths most likely derive from stories of localized floods. Similar flood myths can usually be traced back to a common source: e.g. the Ancient Greek flood story, which has several parallels with the story of Noah, was probably borrowed from the Hittites, who got it from nearby Semitic peoples. You'll note that most other Indo-European mythologies besides the Greeks don't have flood myths.


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PostPosted: Wed Feb 04, 2004 1:20 am 
htg wrote:
b) Discarding untenable theories is done all the time, by scientists everywhere.


Yes, and special creation was discarded long ago because there are much better explanations. It's the Creationists who keep trying to bring back a dead & debunked theory.

Quote:
Evolution, as originally put forward by Darwin proposed very slow, very gradual change. That has now been superceded by 'punctuated equilibrium'.


Punctuated equillibrium did not "supercede" evolution. It's a competing theory with gradualism. Both are evolutionary theories--they disagree in the rate & frequency of change, but not in the manner or the means.


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PostPosted: Wed Feb 04, 2004 1:28 am 
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DarthBaboon wrote:
kreely wrote:
Soooo, if the existence of the christian God is proven, does this mean that they'll have to accept the fact that it appears that even their Diety acknowledges the fact that there are other Dieties out there?


What are you talking about? That passage is refering to false gods, idols and the like. It doesn't say that there are other gods, it is refering to false gods.

And at least I don't see that as saying that anyone who worships in a diferent religion is dommed to hell (nor do I think athiests are either) but my reasoning is very complicated, so I won't go into it now. I see it to mean that you won't let other things be placed higher than God in your life (ie. TV, your job, grades, posting on web forums :wink: ). There is still the literal meaning of not worshiping other gods if you worship Him, but the metaphoric meaning is more useful in everyday life. It is a good reminder to take things in moderation.


King James Version - Exodus 20:3.

"Thou shalt have no other gods before me."

Exodus 20:4
"Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image, or any likeness of any thing that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth:"

20:5
"Thou shalt not bow down thyself to them, nor serve them: for I the LORD thy God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the third and forth generation of them that hate me;"


Okay - "Thou shalt have no other gods before me".

This is "There are no other gods but me", or even "Thou shalt worship only me", or perhaps even "I am the only god, thy LORD". It states 'before me'.

next comes the part about "graven images". Note that by this definition, anyone that utilizes a cross, an icon of Christ, or a painting or other image of a saint in any mode resembling prayer is practicing idolatry, which is a violation of the commandment. It also says nothing about making graven images of false gods. It simply says that you shouldn't make a graven image of ANYTHING - assuming that it's intended for worship. Either that, or God hates artists.

That goes to the "bow down to them" part.

I don't have the New World Translation handy, so I can't use that. I had to stick to the KJV, the delight of religious rewriters everywhere.

I'd also like to point out that the "don't worship before me" probably stems from the jealousy part. "Mine, mine, all mine, nobody else can have them.". Okay, it sounds silly - but so does imagining the emotion of jealousy in the guise of an omnipotent, omniscient deity. Surely a being THAT powerful has no inherent need or desire for jealousy, worship, or anything else.

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PostPosted: Wed Feb 04, 2004 1:32 am 
First of all, nice job putting the quote at the end of the post. :roll:

But more seriously, you have to realize that the Bible, especially the Old Testament, is a literary piece. It is intended to entertain as well as teach. This is why Jesus spoke in parables; they are easier to remember and more fun to here than lectures. And the Old Testament started as oral history, meaning that along the way tails grew (ie. Moses’ age). A lot of numbers are rounded to make the easier to remember, and the standard number 40 appears a lot.

My point is, the Old Testament should always be taken with a grain of salt.

EDIT: appantly my computer was on the fritz, or the post was changed.

EDIT Again: Jelousy is a human emotion. God may not be able to feel jealousy in the sense that you are thinking, but there is another usage of jealous:

Jealous (adj)-4. Vigilant in guarding something or 5. Intolerant of disloyalty or infidelity; autocratic

either would work, and bothe make more sense in context. The other meaning is much more modern.


Last edited by DarthBaboon on Wed Feb 04, 2004 1:39 am, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Wed Feb 04, 2004 1:36 am 
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DarthBaboon wrote:
First of all, nice job putting the quote at the end of the post. :roll:

But more seriously, you have to realize that the Bible, especially the Old Testament, is a literary piece. It is intended to entertain as well as teach. This is why Jesus spoke in parables; they are easier to remember and more fun to here than lectures. And the Old Testament started as oral history, meaning that along the way tails grew (ie. Moses’ age). A lot of numbers are rounded to make the easier to remember, and the standard number 40 appears a lot.

My point is, the Old Testament should always be taken with a grain of salt.


Ye canna have it both ways, m'lad.

Either it's literary, or it's literal. If it's literary, then you can't quote from it to say that it means one thing or t'other. If it's literal, you can't argue "That's not what it says!" when that's exactly what's written.

By extension, that also states that Genesis is literary, which means that it's a fable. Y'know, like the Fox and the Grapes? Of course, we've all seen talking foxes that like to eat grapes. Oh.. You havent?

"And the moral of our story is, don't irritate the pedant."

BW

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PostPosted: Wed Feb 04, 2004 1:39 am 
Bookworm wrote:
"And the moral of our story is, don't irritate the pedant."

BW

Unless you like irritated pedants. :twisted:

/me pokes book.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Feb 04, 2004 1:48 am 
Bookworm wrote:
DarthBaboon wrote:
First of all, nice job putting the quote at the end of the post. :roll:

But more seriously, you have to realize that the Bible, especially the Old Testament, is a literary piece. It is intended to entertain as well as teach. This is why Jesus spoke in parables; they are easier to remember and more fun to here than lectures. And the Old Testament started as oral history, meaning that along the way tails grew (ie. Moses’ age). A lot of numbers are rounded to make the easier to remember, and the standard number 40 appears a lot.

My point is, the Old Testament should always be taken with a grain of salt.


Ye canna have it both ways, m'lad.

Either it's literary, or it's literal. If it's literary, then you can't quote from it to say that it means one thing or t'other. If it's literal, you can't argue "That's not what it says!" when that's exactly what's written.

By extension, that also states that Genesis is literary, which means that it's a fable. Y'know, like the Fox and the Grapes? Of course, we've all seen talking foxes that like to eat grapes. Oh.. You havent?

"And the moral of our story is, don't irritate the pedant."

BW


And congratulations, you just proved my point. :D

I am not a creationist. I always take the Old Testament much more liberally than the New, basically because it was an oral history for so long. The New Testament is a lot more credible, as it was written not to long after the events transcribed in it happened, and most of it is actual letters written by Paul to just instruct on how to live in the Faith.

And to make a distinction: just because something is literary doesn't mean it is a fable. Most good text books are literary. If a work makes an attempt to engage the reader and not just state information, it is a literary piece. Most non fiction is literary. I do agree with a metaphoric interpretation of the creation story (see my previous responses in this thread) but the rest of Genesis isn't probably that far off, just exaggerated some in the retelling.


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PostPosted: Wed Feb 04, 2004 10:22 am 
gwalla wrote:
Flood myths most likely derive from stories of localized floods. Similar flood myths can usually be traced back to a common source: e.g. the Ancient Greek flood story, which has several parallels with the story of Noah, was probably borrowed from the Hittites, who got it from nearby Semitic peoples. You'll note that most other Indo-European mythologies besides the Greeks don't have flood myths.


It's logical enough; primitive societies tended to live along waterways. Waterways - especially pre-technological, uncontrolled waterways - tend to flood. Having lived through a thousand-year flood, I can tell you that they're pretty damned impressive - and that was on a little trout stream. Imagine the Euphrates in a thousand year flood, with no dikes, levies or dams to attenuate it.


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PostPosted: Wed Feb 04, 2004 11:54 am 
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DarthBaboon wrote:
Bookworm wrote:
DarthBaboon wrote:
First of all, nice job putting the quote at the end of the post. :roll:

But more seriously, you have to realize that the Bible, especially the Old Testament, is a literary piece. It is intended to entertain as well as teach. This is why Jesus spoke in parables; they are easier to remember and more fun to here than lectures. And the Old Testament started as oral history, meaning that along the way tails grew (ie. Moses’ age). A lot of numbers are rounded to make the easier to remember, and the standard number 40 appears a lot.

My point is, the Old Testament should always be taken with a grain of salt.


Ye canna have it both ways, m'lad.

Either it's literary, or it's literal. If it's literary, then you can't quote from it to say that it means one thing or t'other. If it's literal, you can't argue "That's not what it says!" when that's exactly what's written.

By extension, that also states that Genesis is literary, which means that it's a fable. Y'know, like the Fox and the Grapes? Of course, we've all seen talking foxes that like to eat grapes. Oh.. You havent?

"And the moral of our story is, don't irritate the pedant."

BW


And congratulations, you just proved my point. :D

I am not a creationist. I always take the Old Testament much more liberally than the New, basically because it was an oral history for so long. The New Testament is a lot more credible, as it was written not to long after the events transcribed in it happened, and most of it is actual letters written by Paul to just instruct on how to live in the Faith.

And to make a distinction: just because something is literary doesn't mean it is a fable. Most good text books are literary. If a work makes an attempt to engage the reader and not just state information, it is a literary piece. Most non fiction is literary. I do agree with a metaphoric interpretation of the creation story (see my previous responses in this thread) but the rest of Genesis isn't probably that far off, just exaggerated some in the retelling.


Um.. Your "point" was that the commandment was referring to 'false gods', which is patently false. The wording itself is structured towards 'all gods' (i.e. the other gods), and ANYTHING that could be worshipped. (again, unless he just hated artists, or maybe specifically sculptors)

Trying to yank out a singularity from a statement like "I am the LORD thy God" is rather absurd. It is specifying an individual group, not all of creation. (Note the two different words. The (singular) and thy (possessive) Remember, the Old Testament was directed towards the Jews, the 12 tribes of Israel.

My point is that that particular commandment, in all the various versions and translations that I have read, NEVER says "There are no other gods but me". Which blows your point out of the water. Literary, literal, fable, myth, or otherwise, you simply CANNOT draw that conclusion without actually _ignoring_ words in the various statements, or adding words to it that aren't there.

In short, the Israelites were told the following.

1) I am YOUR god.
2) Don't worship any gods before you worship me. (I come first)
3) Don't worship false gods.
4) Don't build images of beings in and out of heaven, and use them in any form of worship. (Note, this would apply to symbolic images, such as a cross, I'm guessing).

Note - if all other gods were false, then 2) wouldn't be worded that way, and 1) would probably be worded differently as well. 3) and 4) would likely remain the same.

Hopefully that is clear now, despite your attempt at obsfucation through "I am not a creationist."

[edit] - Thought I'd add that "soon after" for the New Testament, as I recall, was on the order of three centuries, and was only a selection of letters from the various people. Where's the Gospels according to Pilate Pontus - who was there at the time as well? Also, there is the Apocrypha, which was relatively recently discovered, and was dated to be from the same time period, and appeared to be additional letters from the same people - hotly denied by the churches at the time. I'm doing that from memory, as it's been a while. 300 years in a semi-literate (at best) society - especially one where the oral tradition has started to lose its grip - can bring a lot of distortions into anything. [/edit]


BW

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PostPosted: Wed Feb 04, 2004 12:10 pm 
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Raif wrote:
htg wrote:
Jerm, Animal & Raif: If you can find these kind of 'problems' with the Bible, what makes you think Christians can't? And have answers for them? With that in mind, have another look at Jerm's list, and see if you can't cross off a few.

I think you missed the point. How are they any less important than creationism? Why would you choose to put creationism in schools and not any of the list?

You missed my point. Are those things listed by Jerm valid? Why am I not worried by the fact that nobody seems to teach the GodsWrath theory of earthquakes? And (again) I do not support the teaching of creationism in public schools.
gwalla wrote:
Punctuated equillibrium did not "supercede" evolution. It's a competing theory with gradualism. Both are evolutionary theories--they disagree in the rate & frequency of change, but not in the manner or the means.

I know Punky-E can't supercede evolution, as it is part of 'Evolution Theory'. Thanks anyways, at least for supplying the term 'gradualism'.
Animal wrote:
That's not what whoever wrote down the old myths that became Genesis meant, and you know it.

If I'm going to be facetious, I'll make that clear in my post. What the author of Genesis meant to say was that mankind was made from the matter of the earth, which is exactly true.
Animal wrote:
Not in a peer-reviewed science journal. I bet you can't.

Define 'peer-reviewed'. A good number of creationist magazines are 'peer-reviewed', only you wouldn't accept that, would you?
Animal wrote:
No, you've been doing a lot of tapdancing.

I have not. I've been argueing about the article you posted, and not letting myself be drawn into a creationism vs evolution debate. To restate my main points:
1. The changes, as they are now, are not that major, and, even more importantly, are non-binding.
2. A creationist perspective on science is not the disaster most of you seem to imagine it it. As proof I point to the church community I belong to, with professionals in every field imaginable (yes, including biology), and virtually no unemployment.

If you want to pin me to a position, have a look at AIG; that's pretty close.

Finally, if you do want a creationism vs evolution debate with me, start a new thread, and I'll give it a shot - as long as I don't get overwhelmed by responses. I can't do justice to a debate if I have to respond to ten different posts each of which goes off on a different tangent.

Henk G.

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PostPosted: Wed Feb 04, 2004 12:27 pm 
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htg wrote:
If I'm going to be facetious, I'll make that clear in my post. What the author of Genesis meant to say was that mankind was made from the matter of the earth, which is exactly true.


Pardon my English, but how the fuck do you know what the author of Genesis meant? Is the author still alive? Did you time travel to see him? Do you have his first draft notes? If so, perhaps you should tell the science community, because any one of those things would be a pretty big scientific discovery. (Let's not bring up the point that textual analysis reveals that Genesis had at least two authors, by the way, based on style and word usage in various accounts.)

Equating the story in Genesis to what really happens is a stretch in any sense of the word. In Genesis, man comes directly from the dirt. In real life, some of the minerals in dirt are absorbed into plants, which are eaten by the mother and various animals which are also eaten by the mother, where the nutrients and such are used to grow offspring. Let's not forget atmospheric oxygen and oceanic water, neither of which comes from dirt.

But, hey... it's so easy to twist the words around to fit whatever we want, isn't it?

Quote:
Define 'peer-reviewed'. A good number of creationist magazines are 'peer-reviewed', only you wouldn't accept that, would you?


I did define peer-reviewed earlier. Didja see it?

It doesn't really count as a fair peer-review when the peers doing the reviews are all Creationists who are required to state that they believe in Genesis before their papers are even considered.

That's like trying someone for lynching a black man with a jury made entirely of Klan members.

Quote:
A creationist perspective on science is not the disaster most of you seem to imagine it it.


I suppose the Dark Ages weren't too bad...

Quote:
Finally, if you do want a creationism vs evolution debate with me, start a new thread, and I'll give it a shot


Why start a new thread when this one will do fine?

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PostPosted: Wed Feb 04, 2004 12:29 pm 
htg wrote:
Animal wrote:
Not in a peer-reviewed science journal. I bet you can't.

Define 'peer-reviewed'. A good number of creationist magazines are 'peer-reviewed', only you wouldn't accept that, would you?


Those aren't science journals; they're apologetics. Their idea of "peer-review" involves them slapping each other's backs.

Here's why they aren't doing science in creationist "journals." What evidence do you suppose it would take to get someone like Duane Gish to renounce his claim of a 6,000 year old Earth, a global flood, and 'kinds,' whatever the hell those are? Never mind, I'll answer: Nothing. Creationist "journals" are all aimed at reinforcing existing biases, and they'll do whatever torturous reasoning and logical back-flipping they have to do to achieve that. They don't do science.

htg wrote:
Animal wrote:
No, you've been doing a lot of tapdancing.

I have not.


Yes, you have.

htg wrote:
I've been argueing about the article you posted, and not letting myself be drawn into a creationism vs evolution debate. To restate my main points:


Which have already been addressed...

htg wrote:
1. The changes, as they are now, are not that major, and, even more importantly, are non-binding.


They're a foot in the door, and you know it. These people have as their goal the elimination of evolution as a standard in science education. You know it and I know it.

htg wrote:
2. A creationist perspective on science is not the disaster most of you seem to imagine it it.


It's not just a disaster; it's a catastrophe.

htg wrote:
As proof I point to the church community I belong to, with professionals in every field imaginable (yes, including biology), and virtually no unemployment.


So what?

htg wrote:
If you want to pin me to a position, have a look at AIG; that's pretty close.


Well, that clears things up; AIG is an intellectual train wreck.

htg wrote:
Finally, if you do want a creationism vs evolution debate with me, start a new thread, and I'll give it a shot - as long as I don't get overwhelmed by responses. I can't do justice to a debate if I have to respond to ten different posts each of which goes off on a different tangent.

Henk G.


Why not? If you can't do it here, why don't you start a new thread?


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PostPosted: Wed Feb 04, 2004 12:42 pm 
Bookworm wrote:
Also, there is the Apocrypha, which was relatively recently discovered, and was dated to be from the same time period, and appeared to be additional letters from the same people - hotly denied by the churches at the time.


Quick correction: the Apocrypha isn't "recently discovered", it's the books found in the Greek Septuagint and originally accepted as canonical by the Church that do not appear in the Hebrew canon. The Catholics and the Orthodox accept them as canonical (the technical term is "deuterocanonical", which means "later added to the canon") but Protestant sects generally don't.

You're probably thinking of pieces like the Gospel of Thomas, the Gospel of Philip, the Protoevangelium of James, the Acts of Paul, etc. The Gnostic gospels and Christian pseudepigrapha. Some of these were fairly recently rediscovered (fr. ex. the Nag Hammadi corpus).


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PostPosted: Wed Feb 04, 2004 3:11 pm 
Tangential to the topic, a recent poll suggests that the English public overwhelmingly supports peer review, even though a whopping 70% don't realize that's how science is normally done.


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PostPosted: Wed Feb 04, 2004 5:35 pm 
Animal wrote:
gwalla wrote:
Flood myths most likely derive from stories of localized floods. Similar flood myths can usually be traced back to a common source: e.g. the Ancient Greek flood story, which has several parallels with the story of Noah, was probably borrowed from the Hittites, who got it from nearby Semitic peoples. You'll note that most other Indo-European mythologies besides the Greeks don't have flood myths.


It's logical enough; primitive societies tended to live along waterways. Waterways - especially pre-technological, uncontrolled waterways - tend to flood. Having lived through a thousand-year flood, I can tell you that they're pretty damned impressive - and that was on a little trout stream. Imagine the Euphrates in a thousand year flood, with no dikes, levies or dams to attenuate it.


But is it really logical for the survivors of such a flood to believe it encompassed the entire world?


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Feb 04, 2004 6:05 pm 
The General wrote:
Animal wrote:
gwalla wrote:
Flood myths most likely derive from stories of localized floods. Similar flood myths can usually be traced back to a common source: e.g. the Ancient Greek flood story, which has several parallels with the story of Noah, was probably borrowed from the Hittites, who got it from nearby Semitic peoples. You'll note that most other Indo-European mythologies besides the Greeks don't have flood myths.


It's logical enough; primitive societies tended to live along waterways. Waterways - especially pre-technological, uncontrolled waterways - tend to flood. Having lived through a thousand-year flood, I can tell you that they're pretty damned impressive - and that was on a little trout stream. Imagine the Euphrates in a thousand year flood, with no dikes, levies or dams to attenuate it.


But is it really logical for the survivors of such a flood to believe it encompassed the entire world?


By their standards? Sure. It was the whole world as far as they knew.

Bear in mind that this was a time when the average person probably never wandered more than a few miles from their birthplace.


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PostPosted: Wed Feb 04, 2004 9:39 pm 
Bookworm wrote:
Um.. Your "point" was that the commandment was referring to 'false gods', which is patently false. The wording itself is structured towards 'all gods' (i.e. the other gods), and ANYTHING that could be worshipped. (again, unless he just hated artists, or maybe specifically sculptors)

Trying to yank out a singularity from a statement like "I am the LORD thy God" is rather absurd. It is specifying an individual group, not all of creation. (Note the two different words. The (singular) and thy (possessive) Remember, the Old Testament was directed towards the Jews, the 12 tribes of Israel.

My point is that that particular commandment, in all the various versions and translations that I have read, NEVER says "There are no other gods but me". Which blows your point out of the water. Literary, literal, fable, myth, or otherwise, you simply CANNOT draw that conclusion without actually _ignoring_ words in the various statements, or adding words to it that aren't there.


No... my point was that He does not ever actually acknowledge other gods. So Christians would never have to acknowledge that God said something he didn't. Plus there is the point I was trying to make on degradation through oral history.

I personally do believe there is only one God, but my personal belief is that He manifests himself in many ways, leading to the different religions you see today. I think they are all just different ways of serving the same God and we all are headed to the same destination. I just like my interpretation the best. Definitely not Christian doctrine, but that’s what I believe.

Bookworm wrote:
In short, the Israelites were told the following.

1) I am YOUR god.
2) Don't worship any gods before you worship me. (I come first)
3) Don't worship false gods.
4) Don't build images of beings in and out of heaven, and use them in any form of worship. (Note, this would apply to symbolic images, such as a cross, I'm guessing).

Note - if all other gods were false, then 2) wouldn't be worded that way, and 1) would probably be worded differently as well. 3) and 4) would likely remain the same.


1) That is a major point at which Christianity and Judaism differ. Jews do see Him as being only their God. Christians believe the message and sacrifice of Christ was meant for all peoples, not just a blessed few. This has lead to some black eyes in the past, but on the whole it means Christians accept more people into the Faith than other religions.
2) The wording might be confusing you here, but that part of the passage refers to not worshiping other gods at all.
3) This one is in the same vein as 2. All other gods could be false or real, the point is you cant worship any of them
4) Not at all. It says not to worship graven images. To get another definition:

Graven Image (n) - a material object that is worshipped as a god

A cross is not worshiped as a god, nor is the fish or dove symbols.

Bookworm wrote:
edit] - Thought I'd add that "soon after" for the New Testament, as I recall, was on the order of three centuries, and was only a selection of letters from the various people. Where's the Gospels according to Pilate Pontus - who was there at the time as well? Also, there is the Apocrypha, which was relatively recently discovered, and was dated to be from the same time period, and appeared to be additional letters from the same people - hotly denied by the churches at the time. I'm doing that from memory, as it's been a while. 300 years in a semi-literate (at best) society - especially one where the oral tradition has started to lose its grip - can bring a lot of distortions into anything. [/edit]


New Testament oral tradition? That was my point, that the Bible in general is not a perfect book. The basic lessons are still there, but in general you cannot take everything in it verbatim, which is why fundamentalist are wrong.

But besides that you are wrong. The Gospels are named after their authors but are easily the most understandable part to have error, considering they were compiled at least 50 years after Jesus' death. That’s why there are four of them. Acts probably was partly oral tradition for a time, but the letters of Paul, which make up the majority of the New Testament, where exactly that: letters. They were never oral tradition and are easily the most accurate part of the bible.

And of course there would be no gospel according to Pontius Pilate. Are you trying to be funny? Pilate only came in at the end, and he was a roman official, not a disciple or closely connected to Jesus in any way.

By the way, who is Pilate Pontus anyway? Never heard of him. Just one example of why you should research a bit before posting.


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PostPosted: Wed Feb 04, 2004 11:46 pm 
Actually I have heard that he is mentioned in some otherwise meaningless document somewheres.... a payroll or other nomitave junk. I don't have a link for that it being a long time ago .


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PostPosted: Thu Feb 05, 2004 12:50 am 
<snippage>
[quote]
New Testament oral tradition? That was my point, that the Bible in general is not a perfect book. The basic lessons are still there, but in general you cannot take everything in it verbatim, which is why fundamentalist are wrong.
[/quote]
<snippage>

uhuh. So bits of the bible are wrong? Which bits? Citing exact passages would be nifty, as well as why they are wrong, in terms of what actually happened.

You say that there was a world wide flood, and so does the bible (one that covered the mountains). Is this correct? Is it provably correct - i.e. you have video dated from this time? (God after all is God. It would be Nothing for him to create some sort of visual wavelength recording device, send it back in time and record the flood). I'd like to know where all the different animals came from, as well - there is no way that two of every single creature known to Man fit on a boat noah built with his bare hands, and they didn't have automated robotic factories back then.

Okay, perhaps the Flood didn't happen. You're able to prove, again with video/some other method, that it *didn't* happen?

Where is the checksum for the bible that definitively states which sections are stories and which sections are facts?

The problem with picking and choosing is that there are no meta-tags in the bible to say "this is just a story" and "this is the low down on how it went down". With evolution, you can point at something and say "due to the physical evidence we have, this animal used to inhabit the cold regions, it had lots of fur. When it expanded up north into the tropics, selective breeding (i.e. those with less fur due to genetics and circumstance) became more prominent due to not dying of heatstroke while running from predators/after prey.


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PostPosted: Thu Feb 05, 2004 8:53 am 
westyx wrote:
Okay, perhaps the Flood didn't happen. You're able to prove, again with video/some other method, that it *didn't* happen?


Well, it's not logically possible to prove a negative, for one thing; for another, science doesn't 'prove' things in the manner that, say, mathematics does.

But we do know with a high degree of certainty what signs such a flood would leave behind. We do know with complete certainty that we haven't found any such signs, anywhere. So the odds of their having been such a global, mountain-covering flood - especially in early historical times - are so vanishingly small that there's no reason to take it seriously.


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PostPosted: Thu Feb 05, 2004 10:47 am 
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Energizer Bunny
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Quote:
Well, it's not logically possible to prove a negative


I wish people would stop saying this, because it's not true.

I can easily prove that I wasn't alive in 1979 - I was born in 1981.

Further, it's trivial to prove that there are no stars within 5 light minutes of Earth - after all, we'd see them, and be affected by their gravity. The sun is 8 light minutes away.


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PostPosted: Thu Feb 05, 2004 10:51 am 
Vorn the Unspeakable wrote:
Quote:
Well, it's not logically possible to prove a negative


I wish people would stop saying this, because it's not true.

I can easily prove that I wasn't alive in 1979 - I was born in 1981.

Further, it's trivial to prove that there are no stars within 5 light minutes of Earth - after all, we'd see them, and be affected by their gravity. The sun is 8 light minutes away.


In this context, it's accurate. You can't prove that God didn't destroy the earth and then conceal all the evidence. That's the hurdle you'd have to clear to dissuade the CreSci types.

For that matter, you can't prove that the Earth, all of us, all our memories, all the fossils in the ground, etc. etc. were not created five minutes ago.


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PostPosted: Thu Feb 05, 2004 11:21 am 
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Energizer Bunny
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That's a different problem entirely, being non-reproducibility: simply put, any idiot can perform a carefully described experiment and reach the same conclusion that the original experimenters reached, even if the results of the original experimenters aren't described. But there's no way in hell that somebody can come to the same conclusion as one of these people without reading the results. If the world was created 5 minutes ago, complete with everything associated, down to the quantum level, there is no reproducible experiment that could possibly exist that would tell us that it did happen, let alone that it didn't.

"Can't prove a negative" is what you get when you want something to have happened, but the evidence is strongly against it unless you assume something non-reproducible happened.

Vorn


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PostPosted: Thu Feb 05, 2004 11:53 am 
Vorn the Unspeakable wrote:
That's a different problem entirely, being non-reproducibility: simply put, any idiot can perform a carefully described experiment and reach the same conclusion that the original experimenters reached, even if the results of the original experimenters aren't described. But there's no way in hell that somebody can come to the same conclusion as one of these people without reading the results. If the world was created 5 minutes ago, complete with everything associated, down to the quantum level, there is no reproducible experiment that could possibly exist that would tell us that it did happen, let alone that it didn't.

"Can't prove a negative" is what you get when you want something to have happened, but the evidence is strongly against it unless you assume something non-reproducible happened.

Vorn


That's a pretty good explanation of why "creationism" isn't, and can't be, science.

htg, are you getting this? :D


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PostPosted: Thu Feb 05, 2004 1:10 pm 
No one cares what I think, but I'm saying anyway, because free speech is Good.

"The Dark Ages" were not actually anywhere near as "dark" and unsophisticated as most people think. Science and art and literature and culture were actually alive and well in Europe - possibly not on the same level of advancement and "sophistication" as they were in the Middle East or China, but they were there. People often cite the more stylised, two-dimensional forms in Medieval art as a step backwards away from the realism of Classical art, which was "rediscovered" by the glorious Renaissance. As it happens, that stylisation and two-dimensionality was not a result of a lack of talent or skill or training on the part of Medieval artists - it was done on purpose, to look more iconic. There's no question that ancient Egyptians had master artists, and yet Egyptian figures are well-known for being static and highly stylised, with each section of the body portrayed in its most instantly recognisable position. Again, this was not done because Egyptians couldn't see or draw properly, it was a conscious attempt to portray a continuity of figural design.

I don't claim to know diddly squat about biology, but I think it's important to remember that evolution is only a theory (albeit the best one we have so far), and that evolution and science do not rule out the possibility of the existence of God or any supreme being. The feeling I'm getting from reading this thread is that some of the opposition to and support of creationism is stemming from an inherent fear of faith, or lack of it. Please note I am NOT attacking anyone - it's just an observation. I am an evolutionist, and, though raised Catholic, I'm not even sure if I believe in God anymore. But that said, would it actually be so horribly bad if there were a God who created us, if it actually were true? (Aside from me and a lot of other people going to hell ;) )

At the end of the day, we don't have to hate or despise each other just because of what we believe. I believe in evolution. My husband, I have discovered, is a creationist. He has an IQ over 150, he got an A in A-level physics, he's a successful solicitor, his grasp of history and world politics boggles my mind, and he is possibly the smartest person I have ever met (and I went to a geek school.) And I love him. I don't claim to know or understand why he doesn't believe in dinosaurs, but I respect his right to believe it. He doesn't force it on anyone. He's not even much of a practicing Christian. And honestly, part of me really admires and envies the strength of his faith.

IMO, evolution should be at least mentioned in schools as a theory, a possibility. But people who believe otherwise should not be dismissed automatically, or have their beliefs disrespected. The Bible can be a story and contain truths at the same time. How big (and round, for that matter) did people think the world was at the time of Noah's flood? What about the scientists who have found evidence of things like King David and a supernova which would correspond to the Nativity Star, people who aren't believers and find some facts to suggest these possibilities nonetheless? Plus, who knows if our versions are translated right? All in all, there's still a hell of a lot we don't know about the world and the universe and history and how it all works, so I don't like to rule anything out just yet. :)


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PostPosted: Thu Feb 05, 2004 1:25 pm 
U2QueenBee wrote:
IMO, evolution should be at least mentioned in schools as a theory, a possibility.


You should know that the word "theory" as used in science has quite a different meaning that when it's used in general conversation. A scientific theory is a structure of ideas that explains and interprets facts.

Biological evolution is simply this: It is the change in allele frequencies, in a population, over time. Evolution is a fact. We know it happens. We've seen it happen. We're still seeing it happen. We know it happens. It's as firmly established as the fact of gravity.

Evolution is also a theory - a scientific theory, generally known as neo-Darwinism. It's as well-supported as any theory in science - there are mountains and mountains of evidence in support of the modern neo-Darwinian theory, and almost none that contradicts it.

U2QueenBee wrote:
But people who believe otherwise should not be dismissed automatically, or have their beliefs disrespected.


But those beleifs have no place - none - in a science class. That's where we run into problems.

U2QueenBee wrote:
The Bible can be a story and contain truths at the same time. How big (and round, for that matter) did people think the world was at the time of Noah's flood? What about the scientists who have found evidence of things like King David and a supernova which would correspond to the Nativity Star, people who aren't believers and find some facts to suggest these possibilities nonetheless? Plus, who knows if our versions are translated right? All in all, there's still a hell of a lot we don't know about the world and the universe and history and how it all works, so I don't like to rule anything out just yet. :)


Yes, but again, none of those have any place in a science class. Science doesn't concern itself with mythology, and science neither requires nor contradicts any god or gods. (or goddesses, if you prefer.)

This whole thread began because a few people in Georgia are trying a camels-nose-under-the-tent strategy to chisel away at the teaching of evolutionary biology in science classes. Now I hear today that they've suddenly backpedaled, probably after realizing that people across the country are laughing at them.


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PostPosted: Thu Feb 05, 2004 2:03 pm 
Animal wrote:
U2QueenBee wrote:
IMO, evolution should be at least mentioned in schools as a theory, a possibility.


You should know that the word "theory" as used in science has quite a different meaning that when it's used in general conversation. A scientific theory is a structure of ideas that explains and interprets facts.

Biological evolution is simply this: It is the change in allele frequencies, in a population, over time. Evolution is a fact. We know it happens. We've seen it happen. We're still seeing it happen. We know it happens. It's as firmly established as the fact of gravity.

Evolution is also a theory - a scientific theory, generally known as neo-Darwinism. It's as well-supported as any theory in science - there are mountains and mountains of evidence in support of the modern neo-Darwinian theory, and almost none that contradicts it.


Oooo-k I'm a little afraid of directly taking on a forum Juggernaut like Animal, but here goes...

You're preaching to the choir (ironically :D) about evolution. I most certainly do believe it. It seems really obvious to me that a lot of animals, including humans, have a common ancestor, because our internal systems are so similar. I also do know about "scientific theory" vs. ordinary "theory." I just don't explain myself that well, a lot.

Animal wrote:
U2QueenBee wrote:
But people who believe otherwise should not be dismissed automatically, or have their beliefs disrespected.


But those beleifs have no place - none - in a science class. That's where we run into problems.


And I would agree with that. My comment was referring to forums and life in general; I probably should have specified that.

Anyway hubby wants the puter so I have to go! Take care all, and try not to let all the myriad stupid people in the world wind ya up to much!


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PostPosted: Thu Feb 05, 2004 2:27 pm 
Quote:
try not to let all the myriad stupid people in the world wind ya up to much!

A valuable advice if I've ever heard one.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Feb 05, 2004 2:40 pm 
sun tzu wrote:
Quote:
try not to let all the myriad stupid people in the world wind ya up to much!

A valuable advice if I've ever heard one.


Agreed, and one I do try to live by - I do, I really really do.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Feb 05, 2004 7:27 pm 
Animal wrote:
sun tzu wrote:
Quote:
try not to let all the myriad stupid people in the world wind ya up to much!

A valuable advice if I've ever heard one.


Agreed, and one I do try to live by - I do, I really really do.


Sometimes it just gets hard. I worked as a telemarketer for a few months (not something I am that proud of) and I can tell you from experience, the populous is a bunch of retards.

We need to develop a mantra to sooth us in times of stupidity.


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