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PostPosted: Thu Dec 09, 2004 6:03 pm 
Atheist->Deism

Amusing, no?

Of course, it makes sense that he'd choose a Deism style inventor god.


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PostPosted: Fri Dec 10, 2004 10:27 pm 
Interesting. A few of my professors are like this guy. I'm not really sure I agree with them myself, even though I'm neither an Athiest nor an Agnostic.

Seems to me that natural selection should be able to act on complex chemical compounds in a similar fashion to what it does for living things... given a few billion years of "cooking" and there should be very interesting and stable organic molecules floating around in the oceans. One of them being able to self replicate wouldn't be that much of a shock.


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PostPosted: Fri Dec 10, 2004 10:40 pm 
The guy's whole DNA argument is just an argument from incredulity. "I can't see how DNA could have evolved, so a magickal sky pixie must have done it."


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PostPosted: Sat Dec 11, 2004 1:14 am 
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Taken down by the IDiots. Ouch, man, very ouch.

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Später dann graben es andere aus, und nennen dein Haus das Knochenhaus.
Scharr, scharr, verscharr das Gebein, leg auch ihre weißen Schädel hinein.
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Hier tobte sich der Teufel aus, unten im Keller im Knochenhaus.


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PostPosted: Sat Dec 11, 2004 5:39 am 
I think he must've gone senile at his age
and well sky pixies make much more sense when you're not all there yourself


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PostPosted: Sat Dec 11, 2004 3:00 pm 
"He now believes in God more or less based on scientific evidence"

Yeah, that sums it up. More or less. :roll:


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PostPosted: Sat Dec 11, 2004 4:21 pm 
Kerlyssa wrote:
"He now believes in God more or less based on scientific evidence"

Yeah, that sums it up. More or less. :roll:


More less than more.


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PostPosted: Sat Dec 11, 2004 5:18 pm 
Well, if you want to get technical, his belief is based on scientific evidence. Just because he used it in ways it was never meant to be doesn't make the evidence any less scientific, or his belief any less based on it.


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PostPosted: Mon Dec 20, 2004 2:56 pm 
Yeah just like using scientific evidence of periodic (and regular) radio signals from certain star systems PROVES that there are aliens there trying to make contact with us.


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PostPosted: Wed Dec 29, 2004 3:15 pm 
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I find it extremely funny to see all you fundamentalist Darwinists dismissing out of hand any possible evidence that might contradict your position. Seriously, this is no better than what certain parties *coughcreationistscough* do with evidence that counters their (our) beliefs.

Ahn Minh: How is Flew using science in ways that it was not meant to be used? Does science necessarily presume the non-existence of the supernatural? If, after examining all the evidence (and given his history, it's safe to assume he has access to a whole lot more of that than any of you have) he concludes that life simply could not have arisen without the active intervention of an intelligent entity, how is that conclusion invalid?

htg

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PostPosted: Wed Dec 29, 2004 3:51 pm 
"There is something funny and mysterious about it" is scientific. Or at least, it can be the start of scientific inquiry.

"Goddidit" isn't.

And yes, science presume that the supernatural doesn't exist - or at least doesn't intervene. If giant magical pixies can be studied scientifically, they aren't supernatural.


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PostPosted: Wed Dec 29, 2004 6:12 pm 
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htg wrote:
I find it extremely funny to see all you fundamentalist Darwinists dismissing out of hand any possible evidence that might contradict your position.


"Fundamentalist Darwinists"?

And we don't reject it out of hand. We reject it after scrutinizing it, comparing it to the evidence, and coming to the conclusion that Intelligent Design is flawed, useless, and wrong. If there were, in fact, good evidence that went against the very core of evolutionary theory, it would be accepted by the scientific community. That's how science works. It's a self-correcting field. There would be much skepticism at first, but if the evidence withstood the skeptics and the scrutiny and the analysis, it would eventually be accepted and current theories would have to change. However, despite the clamorings of IDiots and other creationists, there is no such evidence, and it's becoming increasingly more doubtful that anyone will find any. Like it or not, there is absolutely no evidence that intelligence was necessary to create life on Earth.

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Seriously, this is no better than what certain parties *coughcreationistscough* do with evidence that counters their (our) beliefs.


The difference being that the evidence does not support the creationists' assertions. At all.
When creationists call BS on something, it's because it goes against their beliefs.
When science calls BS on something, it's because it goes against the evidence.

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If, after examining all the evidence (and given his history, it's safe to assume he has access to a whole lot more of that than any of you have)...


Actually, given the history of Intelligent Design and how it's been refuted over and over by mathematicans, biochemists, evolutionary biologists, and other branches of science, it's safe to assume that Flew hasn't looked into Intelligent Design very much at all. The entire reason for our disdain is because Flew changed his beliefs so strikingly based on a bad argument that has been refuted soundly. It would be like Michael Moore changing his stance on President Bush after being told that Bush invented the automobile and killed Hitler personally.

And why do you imply that only someone of Flew's caliber can look at the "evidence"? Intelligent Design proponents write mostly towards laymen anyway, since they know the scientific community will call "bullshit". And science is an open endeavor: anyone can pick up a science journal and look up the current state of whatever field they're interested in, provided they have enough background to understand what's going on.

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Später dann graben es andere aus, und nennen dein Haus das Knochenhaus.
Scharr, scharr, verscharr das Gebein, leg auch ihre weißen Schädel hinein.
Mit Beton gießt du es aus, das Fundament vom Knochenhaus.
Scharr, scharr, verscharr das Gebein, da ist noch Platz, da paßt noch wer rein.
Hier tobte sich der Teufel aus, unten im Keller im Knochenhaus.


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PostPosted: Wed Dec 29, 2004 10:47 pm 
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jeremiahsmith wrote:
If there were, in fact, good evidence that went against the very core of evolutionary theory, it would be accepted by the scientific community. That's how science works. It's a self-correcting field. There would be much skepticism at first, but if the evidence withstood the skeptics and the scrutiny and the analysis, it would eventually be accepted and current theories would have to change.

Science is self-correcting, yes - but only eventually. It was not all that long ago that phlogiston theory was respectable and mainstream, for instance, and for good reason. To claim something is invalid because it is not part of the current scentific dogma is meaningless.
jeremiahsmith wrote:
However, despite the clamorings of IDiots and other creationists, there is no such evidence, and it's becoming increasingly more doubtful that anyone will find any. Like it or not, there is absolutely no evidence that intelligence was necessary to create life on Earth.

I'd like to point to you a well-known and highly respected former atheist who disagrees with you *points to the article at the top of the thread*
jeremiahsmith wrote:
And why do you imply that only someone of Flew's caliber can look at the "evidence"? Intelligent Design proponents write mostly towards laymen anyway, since they know the scientific community will call "bullshit". And science is an open endeavor: anyone can pick up a science journal and look up the current state of whatever field they're interested in, provided they have enough background to understand what's going on.

Uh... You're misinterpreting me rather badly. I'm argueing against your dismissing Flew out of hand (hence my fundamentalist Darwinist comment).

htg

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PostPosted: Wed Dec 29, 2004 11:35 pm 
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htg wrote:
Science is self-correcting, yes - but only eventually. It was not all that long ago that phlogiston theory was respectable and mainstream, for instance, and for good reason.


Phlogiston was debunked in 1777 by Lavoisier. That's not "not all that long ago".

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To claim something is invalid because it is not part of the current scentific dogma is meaningless.


Your assertion completely ignores the underlying reason why ID is "not part of the current scientific dogma": because scientists have examined it and found it severely wanting. If it had any substance, there would be numerous scientists hopping on the bandwagon and making names for themselves in what would be the most important scientific discovery in decades. The reason ID isn't accepted science isn't because of some "Darwinist conspiracy", or because hardheaded scientists don't want to be wrong, it's because Intelligent Design Is Bullshit.

You sound like moon landing deniers or Holocaust deniers. You can't get past the fact that the experts have debunked your claims soundly, so to save face you claim that they're all dogmatic hardheads.

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I'd like to point to you a well-known and highly respected former atheist who disagrees with you *points to the article at the top of the thread*


Good for him. I wasn't aware that Flew was an expert evolutionary biologist, or that he had even devoted any time to studying the field. His acceptance of bad science implies as such. He may be an authority on arguments for atheism, but this in no way implies he is an authority on everything else.

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Uh... You're misinterpreting me rather badly. I'm argueing against your dismissing Flew out of hand (hence my fundamentalist Darwinist comment).


So, in other words:
1) Flew changed his long-standing beliefs because of obscenely bad science.
2) We're not supposed to comment on this.

And you said "dismissing out of hand any possible evidence that might contradict your position", not anything about Flew.

_________________
Scharr, scharr, verscharr das Gebein, grab es tief unten im Keller ein.
Später dann graben es andere aus, und nennen dein Haus das Knochenhaus.
Scharr, scharr, verscharr das Gebein, leg auch ihre weißen Schädel hinein.
Mit Beton gießt du es aus, das Fundament vom Knochenhaus.
Scharr, scharr, verscharr das Gebein, da ist noch Platz, da paßt noch wer rein.
Hier tobte sich der Teufel aus, unten im Keller im Knochenhaus.


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PostPosted: Thu Dec 30, 2004 12:48 pm 
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You're still taking my arguments far beyond what I'm intending to argue.
jeremiahsmith wrote:
htg wrote:
Science is self-correcting, yes - but only eventually. It was not all that long ago that phlogiston theory was respectable and mainstream, for instance, and for good reason.


Phlogiston was debunked in 1777 by Lavoisier. That's not "not all that long ago".

Nitpick: disproven, not debunked. The latter word implies junk science, which phlogiston theory was not. For other more recent disproven theories, refer to the aether theory, or that electron have regular orbits, and a little more thought will yield any number of other discarded theories.

Regardless, my point was that you appealed to authority, ignoring the fact that your authority is constantly in flux, and does not even necessarily agree with itself - especially as there are secular scientists who do support ID. I'll try to find some for you later, if you want. It's like how some people talk about "The Government" as if it's some kind of monolithic thing, instead of a vast collections of very disparate entities, ranging from the president, to the houses of government to the judicial system, to numerous agencies (IRS, CIA, FDA, etc), using US gov as example.
jeremiahsmith wrote:
Quote:
To claim something is invalid because it is not part of the current scentific dogma is meaningless.


Your assertion completely ignores the underlying reason why ID is "not part of the current scientific dogma": because scientists have examined it and found it severely wanting. If it had any substance, there would be numerous scientists hopping on the bandwagon and making names for themselves in what would be the most important scientific discovery in decades. The reason ID isn't accepted science isn't because of some "Darwinist conspiracy", or because hardheaded scientists don't want to be wrong, it's because Intelligent Design Is Bullshit.

Intelligent Design is not 'wanting' as such, you know ;) . It explains the origin of life perfectly well. It's just that many scientists think it's a copout (which it is), and they think they can explain life on this planet without needing to resort to the supernatural. To really disprove ID, you must absolutely disprove the existence of the supernatural, or prove beyond doubt that natural processes can give rise life - and good luck doing either of that. ;)
jeremiahsmith wrote:
You sound like moon landing deniers or Holocaust deniers. You can't get past the fact that the experts have debunked your claims soundly, so to save face you claim that they're all dogmatic hardheads.

You do recall from previous debates that I'm YEC, not ID, right? I'm way further out than Flew. ;) I'm not argueing for 'my' philosophy here. I've also gotten over the fact that most experts have debunked my claims, thanks, and I don't need to save face, either, certainly not by slandering scientists. I probably should have looked harder for a better phrase than 'scientific dogma', though, but it was the best to come to mind at the time.
jeremiahsmith wrote:
Good for him. I wasn't aware that Flew was an expert evolutionary biologist, or that he had even devoted any time to studying the field. His acceptance of bad science implies as such. He may be an authority on arguments for atheism, but this in no way implies he is an authority on everything else.

I'm actually betting you didn't know who Flew was, before you read the article. Am I right?
jeremiahsmith wrote:
Quote:
Uh... You're misinterpreting me rather badly. I'm argueing against your dismissing Flew out of hand (hence my fundamentalist Darwinist comment).


So, in other words:
1) Flew changed his long-standing beliefs because of obscenely bad science.
2) We're not supposed to comment on this.

And you said "dismissing out of hand any possible evidence that might contradict your position", not anything about Flew.

Sorry, I was unclear. The comment was intended in connection with Flew having enough evidence for him to change his mind - and your dismissing him immediately on the basis of him doing that.

I know you are not going to change your mind (note I never brought arguments for ID), but I found the sight of you people doing exactly what the stereotypical 'fundy' supposedly does when presented with a conflicting viewpoint too funny not to comment on.

htg

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PostPosted: Thu Dec 30, 2004 8:31 pm 
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htg wrote:
Nitpick: disproven, not debunked. The latter word implies junk science, which phlogiston theory was not. For other more recent disproven theories, refer to the aether theory, or that electron have regular orbits, and a little more thought will yield any number of other discarded theories.


So I was looking at past science through modern eyes. It happens. It's a minor point anyway.

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Regardless, my point was that you appealed to authority, ignoring the fact that your authority is constantly in flux...


How is it in flux? The theory of evolution has been around for over a century and it keeps getting stronger. It's not going anywhere.

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and does not even necessarily agree with itself


Yes, there are debates over details of evolution. For instance, how big a part natural selection plays in speciation, or which modern species a certain fossil is ancestral to. But there is no disagreement over the main facts: that all life shares a common ancestor, that natural selection plays a part in speciation, that life on Earth is billions of years old, that life has changed over time, that changes can be inherited, that humans are related to chimpanzees, and so on. And as scientists find new evidence, the debates are resolved. Creationists will look at these debates and immediately conclude that all of evolution is crumbling to the ground. It's like if someone called in to NPR's Car Talk with a automotive problem, one of the hosts said it might be the spark plugs, the other says it might be a fan belt, and you suddenly concluding that since the hosts disagree, they know absolutely nothing about auto mechanics, that auto mechanics is a fraudulent field, and that the car was actually possessed by a demon.

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...especially as there are secular scientists who do support ID.


There are secular scientists who think the world is flat, too. How many of these ID scientists actually work in a field related to evolution?

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Intelligent Design is not 'wanting' as such, you know ;) . It explains the origin of life perfectly well.


"Uh, God did it. But we're not going to say how, or why, or when. We've got no explanation why modern life looks the way it does. We have no explanation for why life falls into a tree like hierarchy. We have no explanation for the fossil record. We have no idea why God gave everyone potential time bombs of disease, attached them to our large intestines, and made them look exactly as if they had descended from digestive organs no longer used." Yeah, real useful. It's like saying "It's magic!" It answers nothing and just makes more questions.

Accommodation is very different from explanation. An explanation tells why something is one way and not another. A theory which accommodates anything explains nothing, because it doesn't rule out any possibilities. Accommodating all possibilities also makes a theory exactly useless. Since creationism accommodates all possibilities, it is not explanatory.


When theories get overturned, such as, say, Newtonian physics, they get overturned by theories that not only explain all the data, they also explain why the old theory worked for so long. Why did the Intelligent Designer decide to make life look evolved? Do you have an answer? If ID really is the right answer, why does life show all the signs of common descent?

What predictions does ID make? Evolution predicted many observations which later turned out to be true. This is usually a hallmark of a firm scientific theory. What does ID predict? To even make headway on the question, we'd have to know how and why the designer designed -- in essence, ask who the designer is -- and most ID proponents will dodge the question and say "ID's not that kind of theory!" They don't want to admit that they have God in mind.

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It's just that many scientists think it's a copout (which it is), and they think they can explain life on this planet without needing to resort to the supernatural.


Science hasn't had any problems so far in using methodological naturalism.

Are you at all familiar with the God of the Gaps?

"We need the supernatural to explain weather/disease/planetary motion/the origin of Earth! Science will never learn these things!"
"Uh, actually, we just found out a natural explanation for that..."
"...oh."

If science keeps coming up for natural explanations of phenomena, what does that say about the role of the supernatural?

Quote:
To really disprove ID, you must absolutely disprove the existence of the supernatural, or prove beyond doubt that natural processes can give rise life - and good luck doing either of that. ;)


You may be familiar with the maxim "the burden of proof lies on he who alleges". Actually, probably not, but I can dream. If you want to claim that the origins of life necessitated intelligence, then do it. Prove it. Don't just go "Ha! You can't disprove me for sure! I'm right!" It's not our job to disprove your claims. It's your job to back them up. ID can't be absolutely disproven because its proponents keep making up excuses every time the evidence doesn't go their way: "The designer can work however he wants!" This means it's about the same level as "magic fairies make the lights in my house turn on" and "the world was created three hours ago and we were all created with fake memories". When scientists discuss evolution -- or any other scientific field -- they support their claims by providing the evidence and the logical arguments and inferences. Others then evaluate the claims and the evidence, until a consensus is reached that the claim has been demonstrated to a reasonable degree.

Are you at all familiar with the concept of falsifiability? If there is no possible evidence that would go against a hypothesis, then the hypothesis is probably BS and is useless for science. There are many ways evolution would be disproved. How does ID stack up in that regard? If the designer can make life any way he wants, how could you find evidence that would say he didn't make life?

And, as I mentioned repeatedly in the recent Faith vs. Reason thread, it is impossible to prove anything 100% in the real world. All we can do is attain as much certainty as possible. You're probably pretty certain your computer exists, or that Africa exists, but could you prove it 100%? Could you prove they're not hallucinations? Science, or any systematic study of the world, works by finding as much certainty as possible. It is, of course, possible that life was created 6000 years ago by a bloodthirsty Bronze Age deity. It is also possible that aliens invaded 80 years ago and completely removed any trace of the invasion. It is also possible that I am God and I will condemn all non-atheists to an eternity of explaining why they're not supposed to believe in me (with visual aids and fire). It is also possible that the World Trade Centers are still standing but the government is using holograms and space-time distortions to hide them. It is also possible that President Bush is a robot puppet built by dinosaurs who live at the North Pole. It is also possible that this whole world is really a virtual reality simulation and I'm busy being a battery for pissed-off machines. The reason no one believes these claims is because there's absolutely no evidence to support them, and usually very good evidence against. In other words, there is a high degree of certainty that these claims are bunk. There's no evidence of Intelligent Design, and most of the slipshod, jerry-rigged, hack-job, suboptimal mechanisms of living things tend to point away from an Intelligent Designer. And when the Intelligent Designer is supposed to be a god of love, one has to wonder why so many of his designs are designed to kill, maim, poison, infect, wound, and eat each other.

Quote:
I've also gotten over the fact that most experts have debunked my claims, thanks, and I don't need to save face, either, certainly not by slandering scientists.


So you follow YEC even though you know most of its claims are BS...? Wow. You must have a really high opinion of the scientific capabilities of sheep herders who lived two-and-a-half millennia ago and thought the world was flat.

I also have to wonder why you worship a God who made the universe 6000 years ago, flooded the world, and then changed everything around so it all looked like the universe had started 13-some-odd billion years ago, the world had started 4.5 billion years, and all life had evolved from simple beginnings with no floods to speak of. Why? Why would God deceive all the people who devoted themselves to a rational, systematic study of his creation? I believe Galileo Galilei once said "I do not feel obliged to believe that the same God who has endowed us with sense, reason, and intellect has intended us to forgo their use."* Creationists go "Oh, we're supposed to believe God", but God created the universe**! The universe should be as much a part of God's testimony as the written stuff. It's the Really Old Testament! Why would he make his creation and his word contradict each other? Why do you worship a deceitful God?

And it's not slander if it's true, by the way. Creationism is bad science, bad logic, and bad theology.

* Except he didn't say it in English.

** Well, they think so, anyway.


Quote:
I'm actually betting you didn't know who Flew was, before you read the article. Am I right?


Never heard of him. So much for being well-known and respected. I can get a good idea of how well he's researched the issue, just as I could tell that someone who claims the world is flat probably doesn't know much about geography.

And I just checked up on the fellow. There's no indication he has a biology, biochemistry, or any sort of scientific background.

Quote:
I know you are not going to change your mind (note I never brought arguments for ID)


I've heard them already, thanks anyway.

Quote:
...but I found the sight of you people doing exactly what the stereotypical 'fundy' supposedly does when presented with a conflicting viewpoint too funny not to comment on.


I'm not surprised you can't tell the difference. For starters, we weren't presented with a "conflicting viewpoint"; no one denied that Flew turned to deism, nor was anyone compelling us to follow his example. We pointed out that the reasons for his change of heart were brought on by bad science, even though he should have known better, and expressed dismay at this. I've made this point repeatedly.


"It is useless to try to explain science to someone who isn't interested in what the facts have to say. And it's useless to try to learn anything from such people. If they are clever, as [ID proponent Philip] Johnson is, they can find a way to claim that almost any fact supports their position. If evolutionists agree on something, it's a dogmatic orthodoxy; if they disagree, they're squabbling about every detail of evolutionary theory." - Brian Spitzer

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Scharr, scharr, verscharr das Gebein, grab es tief unten im Keller ein.
Später dann graben es andere aus, und nennen dein Haus das Knochenhaus.
Scharr, scharr, verscharr das Gebein, leg auch ihre weißen Schädel hinein.
Mit Beton gießt du es aus, das Fundament vom Knochenhaus.
Scharr, scharr, verscharr das Gebein, da ist noch Platz, da paßt noch wer rein.
Hier tobte sich der Teufel aus, unten im Keller im Knochenhaus.


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PostPosted: Thu Dec 30, 2004 8:51 pm 
jeremiahsmith wrote:
"Uh, God did it. But we're not going to say how, or why, or when. We've got no explanation why modern life looks the way it does. We have no explanation for why life falls into a tree like hierarchy. We have no explanation for the fossil record. We have no idea why God gave everyone potential time bombs of disease, attached them to our large intestines, and made them look exactly as if they had descended from digestive organs no longer used." Yeah, real useful. It's like saying "It's magic!" It answers nothing and just makes more questions.


Worse, it says "God did it and he isn't about to tell us about it. IOW, when you say "God did it" you're saying that you're an idiot, you know nothing and you like it that way.
So go ahead and claim god as supreme power. We know what you are actually saying. Moron.
I had a bad day. I'm happy to share.


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PostPosted: Thu Dec 30, 2004 8:59 pm 
jeremiahsmith wrote:
It is also possible that President Bush is a robot puppet built by dinosaurs who live at the North Pole.

Nice line, Jerm. :) That made my day better. Thanks.

For the record, bud, I read every line of these pearls, agree heartily and enjoy your attempts to educate the unwashed. You say what I would if I was smart enough. Good work and keep it up.


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PostPosted: Mon Jan 03, 2005 3:02 am 
Sorry, Jerm, I think I broke it.


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PostPosted: Mon Jan 10, 2005 8:10 pm 
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jeremiahsmith wrote:
I also have to wonder why you worship a God who made the universe 6000 years ago, flooded the world, and then changed everything around so it all looked like the universe had started 13-some-odd billion years ago, the world had started 4.5 billion years, and all life had evolved from simple beginnings with no floods to speak of. Why? Why would God deceive all the people who devoted themselves to a rational, systematic study of his creation? I believe Galileo Galilei once said "I do not feel obliged to believe that the same God who has endowed us with sense, reason, and intellect has intended us to forgo their use." Creationists go "Oh, we're supposed to believe God", but God created the universe! The universe should be as much a part of God's testimony as the written stuff. It's the Really Old Testament! Why would he make his creation and his word contradict each other? Why do you worship a deceitful God?


It's been a week and a half since I asked this, with no response. I can only assume htg doesn't mind that his concept of God is a liar.

_________________
Scharr, scharr, verscharr das Gebein, grab es tief unten im Keller ein.
Später dann graben es andere aus, und nennen dein Haus das Knochenhaus.
Scharr, scharr, verscharr das Gebein, leg auch ihre weißen Schädel hinein.
Mit Beton gießt du es aus, das Fundament vom Knochenhaus.
Scharr, scharr, verscharr das Gebein, da ist noch Platz, da paßt noch wer rein.
Hier tobte sich der Teufel aus, unten im Keller im Knochenhaus.


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