25 Examples of Ignorance

Posted: February 5, 2009 in Atheism, Evolution, Religion, Reviews
Tags: , , , ,

1187991808186I have, on occasion, noted how Atheists, Scientists and affiliated people can get fustrated with people who try to convince others of empirical findings/truth/whatever when it is clear that they have not done so much as the slightest independent research.  They attempt to argue from ignorance; thankfully only the already ignorant tend to believe it but it just goes to make an even bigger mess of ignorance which someone needs to clean up sooner or later.  To try to assist in this, I have often pointed out examples of ignorance and even created a page on this blog where common arguments based on ignorance are refuted.   Sadly the march of ignorance continues as can be found on the ‘Forever Christian‘ blog, most notably on it’s ‘25 Reasons to believe in god‘ page.

So here are those 25 reasons and why they don’t stand up to even casual scrutiny or even common sense.

A couple reasons to believe that God DOES exist.

You’ll actually find most of the 25 listed reasons don’t mention any sort of deity at all but instead make ignorant claims about science. You can not make a positive case just by (badly) trying to find wholes in another theory.

1. Explosions make messes.

Generally speaking, yes.  I can only assume that the author is trying to make some sort of reference to the Big Bang though he is assuming that said cosmic event was an explosion like you might see on some bad Hollywood action movie.  Of course, it was nothing of the sort and no scientist has ever said it was.

2. You are too complex to happen by chance.

Argument from incredulity to begin with but let us let that one go for now.  No one has ever claimed that a biological entity as complex as a human being suddenly came about through chance.  The Theory of Evolution in fact states what could be called the complete opposite; that we’re the result of millions of years of extremely slow and gradual change directed by environmental factors and certainly not by chance.

3. Spontaneous generation was disproved years ago.

Spontaneous generation of complex organisms was disproved years ago (the so called ‘Law of Biogenesis’).  Simple organisms, not so much.  Indeed, scientists have observed molecules spontaneously appearing and disappearing when you get down to the smaller levels of reality as we know it so we do know that it can happen (and probably had a role to play in the creation of the Universe).

4. Evolution is only a THEORY.

This one is so old and tired that I’m just going to copy and paste from my own blog’s argument responses page:

The Theory of Evolution is a scientific theory, which is somewhat different to how the term ‘theory’ is often used in wider society. In science, the term refers to ”a coherent group of general propositions used as principles of explanation for a class of phenomena” to put it rather simply. Scientific theories need to meet certain criteria to be considered as such; being observable, testable and so on. Scientific theories must undergo rigorous testing and verification which is what the Theory of Evolution has passed time and again. There is no ‘heirachy of truth’, a scientific theory is not worth less than a ‘law’.

5. Science can only test things limited to the 5 senses.

Actually, no.  It can (and has) tested things that human being are completely unable to perceive.  Different areas of the electro magnetic spectrum immediately spring to mind here – we can not perceive infra-red light, for example, but science has certainly done so and now it is often a common part of modern technology.  Then there is things like radiation, DNA, Atoms and so on … all which we can’t see, hear, touch, smell or taste but we know they exist, how they work (usually) and how to manipulate them for our own uses (usually).

6. The Law of Biogenesis. We didn’t come from a “pre-biotic soup”.

The so called ‘Law of Biogenesis’ only deals with complex life forms such as flies and maggots.  It certainly does not apply to simple life.

7. If you believe in ghosts and paranormal things. You can believe in God.

There is no independent evidence for those things either.

8. The natural order of things brings CHAOS. We need a superior being to stay stable.

Who says?  Is this some weird way of appealing to the 2nd Law of Thermodynamics?  If so, well … once again I’ll just copy and paste from my own blog to save time.

These laws apply to what is known as closed systems, which organic life certainly is not. A person can refute this argument simply by looking in a mirror; you were once a much simpler form of life and have since changed into a much more complex one. If this argument were true, you would never have become more than a small puddle of liquid and maybe not even that. To state it another way, overall entropy can increase in a closed system (and undoubtedly will) yet there is nothing stopping localised pockets (such as planets, galaxies and so on) becoming more ordered.

For a more detailed explanation see Pharyngula entry titled ‘Entropy and Evolution’.

9. Morals mean nothing if God does not exist.

Who says?  Maybe if you believe in some sort of objective morality that never, ever changes but there is no evidence for such a system.  Indeed, you can see by examining human history how as a species we’ve (generally, been a few steps backwards here and there) been able to gauge and modify our own ethics and morality to make the planet a better place to live in.

But if you need the threat of a wrath throwing sky figure who will punish you if you are bad, then you need to re-examine the source of your own morality since it seems dubious at best.

10. Life has no real meaning if God does not exist.

Again, who says?  I have no god figure in my life and my life has huge amounts of meaning.  After all, with only one shot at life I have to try to make the most of it I can.  Similar to the last point, if you need the existence of some sort of sky deity to give you meaning … you need to have another look at your motivations and perspective since it could very well make you a very shallow person.

11. You are just a mistake in time and space if God does not exist.

I have absolutely no idea where the author found this particular conclusion or how he got to it.  I have no choice but to assume it’s related to #10 but if so, it is just as meaningless and false.

12. The “Missing Link” is still missing.

‘Missing link’ to what?  If the author is referring to transitional fossils then there have been numerous examples found, analysed and verified.  You just have to see my own last blog entry for another new example and there are dozens of previous ones, including those relating directly to human ancestory.

13. The Bible is geographically accurate.

Depends what you mean by ‘geographically’ and what you’re specifically referencing.  And also what definition of ‘accurate’ you’re using.  It also proves nothing, even if we assume the point is correct, since many ancient mythological texts are (more or less) geographically accurate – but they certainly do not go to prove the existence of the greek gods.

14. There are many archaeological discoveries that support the Bible.

Such as? On the other hand there are plenty which go directly against stories in the judeo-christian bible such as the history of Jericho, the complete non-existence of evidence relating to the exodus from egypt, same goes for the tower of babel and so on.

15. No Bible prophecy has been proven false.

I don’t know … 2000 years and christians are still waiting for Jesus to make a return trip when he claimed he’d be back in the lifetime of his apostles (just as one very quick example).  Religious prophecies, regardless of the religion, also tend to be very self fulfilling; especially by those seeking to pass themselves off as some messiah, prophet, god made flesh or whatever.

16. The universe is balanced well enough to sustain life.

Various problems with this one.  It assumes life could not exist if conditions were different and it ignores the fact that there is (so far) only one place in the incomprehensably huge universe that has life.  It would be life walking into a massive dead desert, finding a single blade of a tiny weed sticking out of the sand and proclaiming that the desert is designed for an abundance of life (it’s a rough analogy since deserts often contain hidden life but I think you get the point).

17. Stephen Hawkins [sic] has admitted; “Science may solve the problem of how the universe began, but it cannot answer the question: why does the universe bother to exist?”

I do not see this as any reason to believe in any sort of deity.  Sometimes things just do happen (such as the afore mentioned spontaneous molecule appearance and disappearance).  Does science have all the answers currently? No, it certainly does not.  But it does have a far, far better track record than any other system humans have ever used or come up with.  And it is still getting better all the time.

18. There is really no proof God doesn’t exist.

There is also no evidence against the existence of unicorns, leprechauns, the flying spaghetti monster, Zeus, Wotan, Thor, the Celestial Teapot or Optimus Prime.  Still not a reason to believe in any of them existing.

19. It’s not like you have anything to lose.

Awkward appeal to ‘Pascals Wager’ so here’s another time saving copy/paste job:

This argument is known as Pascal’s Wager and might be an argument of minor worth if there were not hundreds of different religions and thousands of deities throughout human history. For this argument to even approach validity, you would have to be sure that you have selected the right deity; since if you do not choose the right deity (if one even existed at all) out of the various thousands, the result you hope for won’t be happening. After all, for example, there is no more evidence or proof for the Christian god than there is for Zeus, Wotan, Mithras, Xenu or even the fabled Flying Spaghetti Monster.

20. God brings legitimate joy.

Actually, the release of a cocktail of select chemicals in your brain brings you joy/happiness/pleasure.  God, apparently, has nothing to do with it.  Different things also bring different people joy; stabbing people repeatedly bring some people utter ecstacy but I do not see anyone trying to claim that is somehow divinely inspired/related.

21. God brings peace of mind.

Lots of things bring peace of mind, some real and some false.  Dementia patients are often full of peace of mind all while unable to remember their own name and filling their adult diapers because they can not control their own bladder.  Drugs can certainly bring peace of mind as can plain old insanity.  None of which have anything to do with any sort of deity figure.

22. Who said large masses would pull things closer? Gravity. Why?

Who said anyone had to say it.  Things have mass and thus tend to attract other things towards them.  This is just an argument from ignorance and does nothing but say a lot about the author of the list.

23. Your soul depends on it.

Assumes souls exist in the first place, when there is no evidence of such.

24. Miracles DO happen.

No sort of divine miracle has ever been independently verified.

25. God LOVES you.

Presumes the existence of god and thus goes straight into circular logic territory.

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Comments
  1. Garrett Oden says:

    Well I thank you very much for arguing against me!
    Seriously, that’s really whated I want with this. You did a good job too!

    But first off, I have always been taught the Big Bang was a massive explosion!

    What is the cause for spontaneous generation? I thought everything had to have a cause… I guess not.

    And yes, we have short people, tall people, and monkeys, but that doesn’t mean we all came from single celled organisms. You can’t put differnt people in a line according to hight and say you know where we came from.

    By geographically, I meant it has great directions for all the mountains and cities and rivers.

    Even though Jesus has not returned yet, doesn’t mean that the prophecy is not to be true. There is no prophecy in the Bible that has been proven inaccurate.

    Well if you are an atheist, what do you have to lose by searching for God? Here’s how it goes:
    Christian:
    Believe in God: Your good
    Not believe: Your screwed
    Atheist:
    Believe: Your screwed
    Not believe: Your screwed

    What damage does it do to search for God?

    Now WHY do large masses pull things together. Doesn’t that just seem kinda random to you? Do laws evolve?

    Your soul is something not testable by science. But science can’t prove everything in the first place.

    Miracles are beyond science. That’s why they are miracles. You can’t say no miracles have been scientificaly proven. It’s like an oxymoron.

    And lastly, God DOES love you. Whether you wanna accept it or not, there is a God that only wants happiness and joy for you.

  2. shiv says:

    Hey Matt,

    Say your site….its awesome, am Shiv from India a new born to the world of blogging…..

    I too believe in the same thoughts as you, keep up the great work.

    regards
    shiv

  3. Matt says:

    But first off, I have always been taught the Big Bang was a massive explosion!

    Then you need to find your teachers and slap them across the back of the head, which will hopefully knock some common sense into them. The Big Bang was a massive expansion from a singularity, certainly not a hollywood style explosion.

    What is the cause for spontaneous generation? I thought everything had to have a cause… I guess not.

    Things get really weird when you get into things like quantum mechanics. Sometimes things do just spontaneously appear on minute levels. Why? That’s still being looked into.

    And yes, we have short people, tall people, and monkeys, but that doesn’t mean we all came from single celled organisms.

    By itself? No. But when you look at the DNA analysis, distribution of species, the fossil record (which is actually reasonably complete when you look at the big picture) … then yeah, that’s when you get the extremely strong indication/evidence that we all came from a common ancestor.

    You can’t put differnt people in a line according to hight and say you know where we came from.

    I should hope not as that would not tell you anything scientific at all, except possibly in light of the improving nutrition standards that humans have enjoyed over the centuries.

    By geographically, I meant it has great directions for all the mountains and cities and rivers

    And so do lots of other religious texts ranging from the ancient greeks, romans, egyptians and norse peoples. So as far as proof goes for the existence of your chosen deity … it’s really pretty worthless.

    Even though Jesus has not returned yet, doesn’t mean that the prophecy is not to be true. There is no prophecy in the Bible that has been proven inaccurate.

    Um, I just gave you one. Jesus specifically and clearly said that he’d return within the lifetime of his disciples. After a few decades they died and no jesus had made a come back tour … so you can call that prophecy unfulfilled certainly.

    And again, fulfilled prophecies are common right throughout many different religions. Why? Because religious prophecies are almost always self fulfilling. It is certainly not evidence.

    Well if you are an atheist, what do you have to lose by searching for God?

    What do christians have to lose by searching for unicorns, loch ness monster, smurfs, leprechauns, zeus, odin, xenu or any other mythological figure?
    I hope you can see where your argument falls down at this point.

    Again, you seem to be appealing (badly) to Pascal’s Wager which I have already dealt with.

    Now WHY do large masses pull things together. Doesn’t that just seem kinda random to you? Do laws evolve?

    Why is the wrong question and one science does not necessarily care about. HOW is the really juicy stuff. Asking why of inanimate forces/objects is assigning characteristics to them which they simply do not have – they do not have motivations are goals of any sort.
    Of course, without mass (and gravity) the universe (as we know it, a completely different type of universe could possibly have still come about) would never have formed and we certainly would not be here.
    So no, the existence of mass does not seem random at all and is certainly no evidence for the existence of any sort of deity.

    Your soul is something not testable by science. But science can’t prove everything in the first place.

    Simply put, if there is no evidence for the existence of something then the only rational and logical thing to do is to assume that it does not. Otherwise you’re forced to accept the existence of every single mythological entity throughout human existence which is absurd.

    And there is no evidence at all for the existence of souls.

    Miracles are beyond science. That’s why they are miracles.

    Let’s turn that around to see how logically absurd that statement is;
    “Celestial teapots are beyond science. That’s why they are celestial teapots”
    “The norse gods are beyond science. That’s why they’re norse gods.”

    I hope you’re starting to see where your reasoning completely and utterly fails.

    You can’t say no miracles have been scientificaly proven. It’s like an oxymoron.

    ‘creation science’ and ‘military intelligence’ are oxymoron’s.

    Unless something can be independently verified then claims that it happened are worthless; otherwise you have to accept every single claim someone makes regardless of the absurdness of it and what religion it may come from.

    And lastly, God DOES love you. Whether you wanna accept it or not, there is a God that only wants happiness and joy for you.

    “And lastly, Wotan DOES love you. Whether you wanna accept it or not, there is Wotan that only wants happiness and joy for you.”

    Starting to see, once again, how your reasoning completely fails and falls down?

    You’re presupposing the existence of your chosen deity figure and trying to use that as evidence for that deities existence. Classic circular logic and thus worthless.

  4. Garrett Oden says:

    By searching for unicorns, I love valuable time telling other people about God. What do you have to lose?

    The existance of mass is not what was random. Gravity is random. So did laws randomly generate in the Big Bang as well?

    And it’s not a miracle if it can be explained by science. If you could explain coming back to life scientifically (which you can’t), then it wouldn’t be a miracle.

    The last part isn’t as much evidence as it is just a statement.

    Lastly, I like how you can put my text in those nice quote boxes! Is this a feature that only comes with your theme? Cuz I sure like it!

  5. Matt says:

    By searching for unicorns, I love valuable time telling other people about God. What do you have to lose?

    Time. Time to actually enjoy life and make the most of it, while actually doing something productive and worthwhile – as opposed to trying to justify a primitive belief in irrelevant mythology.

    The existance of mass is not what was random. Gravity is random. So did laws randomly generate in the Big Bang as well?

    Gravity is not random as it is intrinsically tied to mass. You may find it random but physicists and the like certainly do not. Therefore your statement is one based in incredulity and therefore not really worth anything.

    And it’s not a miracle if it can be explained by science.

    Again, no ‘miracles’ have ever been verified and have relied on statements from people who held extreme bias’. No actual divine based miracles have ever been documented by an independent party.

    If you could explain coming back to life scientifically (which you can’t), then it wouldn’t be a miracle.

    Depends on the given value of ‘coming back to life’. People have been clinically dead for some time and been successfully revived through common and understood biological/medicinal processes. Certain animals have been frozen until their biological functions have ceased, then thawed out and they were good to go once more.
    If you’re referring to Jesus supposedly raising the dead or coming back to life himself; there are no independent accounts of this ever happening.

    The last part isn’t as much evidence as it is just a statement.

    When you make a statement you should try to back it up with evidence, lest you look a tad foolish. Statements without evidence are worthless when it comes to trying to get people to see your point of view.

    Lastly, I like how you can put my text in those nice quote boxes! Is this a feature that only comes with your theme? Cuz I sure like it!

    The blockquote tag, you just use it like a HTML tag.

  6. Garrett Oden says:

    I would think coming back to life from the dead is pretty much like a miracle.

    There are accounts of people today that have been raised from the dead:

    http://today.msnbc.msn.com/id/28871606/

    And gravity. But why do big planets and such attract other things? I mean it just doesn’t make sense to say,”They just do!”

  7. Matt says:

    I would think coming back to life from the dead is pretty much like a miracle.

    Yet every independently verified case of such, science has been able to work out exactly how it happened and why. Usually hard work by hospital professions played a key part. Now earlier you said that if science understood something, then it couldn’t be a miracle by definition.
    Make up your mind.

    And gravity. But why do big planets and such attract other things? I mean it just doesn’t make sense to say,”They just do!”

    It’s one of the fundamental forces of reality as we know it. It’s like asking “why is water wet?” or “why is lots of light bright?”

    In a lot of ways what you’re arguing is what is known as an argument from incredulity and is therefore really rather worthless, certainly not any reason to believe in any sort of deity figure.

  8. Garrett Oden says:

    Science has NOT been able to identify the source of the life after the person has been dead in those articles I sent you. Read.

    Who made the fundimental forces of reality?

  9. Matt says:

    And there’s evidence of direct divine intervention … where?

    Did science actually hold trials and studies into those specific cases? Nope.

    Strange things happen in medicine all the time, which isn’t all that strange when you consider ever single human body is different but I digress, but no one with any sense puts them down as ‘miracles’.

    Cancers go into remission on an irregular basis, as one example, even when treatment has been stopped. Hearts stop and restart. Immune systems crash and restart. Why? Because as badly ‘designed’ as the human body is, it is still remarkably resilient with the self preservation instinct being insanely strong in most cases.

    The cases in the second story are not remarkable in the least, certainly nowhere near ‘miracle’ level and like ones have been recorded throughout modern history.

    As for your last question; who said anyone had to have made them? There is no evidence for such a thing at all.

  10. Garrett Oden says:

    Well badly designed? That’s rediculous!

    The body is soooo complex! It’s extremely surprising that you believe we came from chance and see how great the human body is!

    So I guess laws evolved from nothing like everything else?

  11. Matt says:

    Well badly designed? That’s rediculous!?

    Please note, I use the word ‘designed’ not in a purposeful sense; I certainly do not use it to mean someone designed and built us. Surely anyone with half a brain could have designed a far superior biological system.

    And yes, the human body is horribly ‘designed’, all throwbacks to our genetic past. Organs which serve little to no purpose, very limited sensory perception, lower regions of the spine being poor at handling the weight put on them (as opposed to our species past, when they would have been far better suited to walking on four extremities). Inability to produce and/or digest (depending on substance in question) certain compounds the human body needs for optimum health, poor joint design (just look at the human wrist!), woeful respiratory systems especially in regards to the sinus’ and so on.

    The body is soooo complex!

    Complex does not necessarily mean better.
    For the sake of example, compare Windows Vista to Windows 95. Vista is incredibly more complex but 95 is still a far more stable and reliable OS than Vista.

    It’s extremely surprising that you believe we came from chance and see how great the human body is!

    When did I ever say we came from chance? I certainly do not believe that, especially when put into the context of the evolutionary process.

    So I guess laws evolved from nothing like everything else?

    Laws are a way of explaining general phenomenon and change over time, being the product of men (usually scientists). I’m not quite sure what you’re referring to here.

  12. Garrett Oden says:

    There are no unusefull organs in the human body. I have heard this many times before, but just Google it… it’s a misunderstanding.

    Well if God had made us even more better, then you would still be complaining about that… we could never bee good enough with that argument.

    Complex does not mean better. True. But the body is still complex.

    Evolution or “Natural Selection” is basically chance. People just changed the name to make them look smarter.

    Well the laws of physics had to come from somewhere!

    • Minizem says:

      “Evolution or ‘Natural Selection’ is basically chance.”

      So is if you get out of bed when your alarm goes of, wether you get into a car accident, if you get a promotion, ect. In fact, everything in our universe exists due to the occurrence of countless “chances.”

  13. Matt says:

    There are no unusefull organs in the human body.

    The appendix does pretty much nothing but is explained by evolution as a now unused organ that previously assisted in the breaking down of things we no longer have as a part of our everyday diet. While it still does a little bit, such as work with the immune system, it is extremely minor at best and the human body is better off without it.

    Then, of course, there’s the design problem of wisdom teeth. Utterly useless to modern man and nothing but a pain but once again explained by the Theory of Evolution.

    Well if God had made us even more better, then you would still be complaining about that… we could never bee good enough with that argument.

    Now that’s a strawman argument and also a misunderstanding of what I stated.

    I never said that the human body was not designed well enough, I said that it was badly designed to the point of idiocy. If a university engineering student made mistakes like those found in the human body, he’d undoubtedly fail his course.

    Complex does not mean better. True. But the body is still complex.

    Yes, it is. But it’s still innately flawed (and badly so) in terms of practically and ‘design’. It’s a horrible piece of work in an engineering context.

    Evolution or “Natural Selection” is basically chance.

    If you believe that, then you don’t understand the Theory of Evolution. If anything, the Theory of Evolution is the opposite of chance.

    People just changed the name to make them look smarter.

    Now you’re just sounding paranoid.

    Well the laws of physics had to come from somewhere!

    Who says?

  14. David says:

    Just to further the discussion…

    We do have unuseful organs in the human body. The appendix for one, as Matt said (a remnant of cellulose digestion.. explained by evolution). We also have glands in our body that are far too big and produce too much hormones.

    The laws of Physics do not have to come from anywhere- that is the great non-sequitor. It doesn’t follow to postulate that there is something divine simply because you (or we) don’t understand.

    The human body only makes sense in terms of evolution. As a student-doctor and evolutionary biologist, I see them every day. There are many examples of this…. our radius and ulna, our pelvic girdles, the fact we have an appendix, our gait (walking cycle) and our neurological development and cranial morphology.

    I felt compelled to post here- as I really do not agree with the science being forwarded from the creationist perspective. I understand that Matthew is not a scientist (do correct me here) and yet, he seems to understand an awful lot more than his opposing side. I commend him for his good work and putting science and reason first.

    Kindest Regards
    David

  15. Garrett Oden says:

    The appendix can be usefull in several situations:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vermiform_appendix

    The teeth too!

    http://www.answersingenesis.org/tj/v12/i3/wisdomteeth.asp

    So the laws of physics must have come about then along with the Big Bang?

    Matt does have a large variety of facts, and that’s really cool! But your facts are based on assumptions and inferences, not science. Science is something that can be tested multiple times.

    How can physics not come from anywhere and still be here? Makes perfect sense!

  16. Matt says:

    Your first link adds nothing new and only repeats what we’ve already said; it’s a leftover from when human ancestors had a vastly different diet. The only thing it does do is an extremely minor boost to the immune system but all organs do that in one way or another. Currently it is far more bother (with it’s tendency to become infected and all that) than it is worth.

    Now if you wish to say that some creator deity purposefully placed such a useless and ultimately dangerous component into the human body, be my guest. But also be my guest to witness me pointing out such a creator must be completely incompetent for such a fundamental engineering mistake.

    As for wisdom teeth, you have numerous problems with your source. AiG has about as much scientific credibility as a really drunk guy down at the pub telling you there’s a dinosaur in the men’s room (these are the same people, after all, who still subscribe to flood geology despite being utterly unable to present any sort of model for it working in any way, shape or form). AiG’s view is certainly not supported by the scientific community.

    Then again, their actual conclusion actually goes with the theory of evolution in statements such as;
    “The most important factor is probably diet” Well, duh. That’s the whole point the Theory of Evolution makes; when an environmental factor (be it climate, habitat or DIET) then organisms will tend to adapt to those changes.

    But then they go back to idiocy by stating “The once common belief that wisdom teeth problems are related to putative evolutionary modifications has now been discredited” without actually understanding that scientific consensus for such a claim is non-existent (a quick search of independent journal databases failed to bring up any peer reviewed research which backs up the claim that wisdom teeth are not a PITA/not useless in modern times).

    You’re going to need to try a lot harder.

  17. Garrett Oden says:

    “Now if you wish to say that some creator deity purposefully placed such a useless and ultimately dangerous component into the human body, be my guest. But also be my guest to witness me pointing out such a creator must be completely incompetent for such a fundamental engineering mistake.”

    Acually, man was made perfect. But sin has corrupted the world and us. Everything perfect is destroyed with sin. That’s why there is pain and suffering, maybe this little use organ once had a powerful purpose, but it has been taken by sin.

    I believe AiG had plenty of good scientific data.

    You are going to try even harder.

    • Minizem says:

      Right. Man was made perfect. Thats why we have wars, religious riots, terrorist attacks, greed, ignorance, possible death by disease, ect. Also, if we are made perfect, how are we able to improve ourselves through learning, diet, exercise, ect.?

  18. Matt says:

    Acually, man was made perfect…

    Really? Prove it. Oh, wait. You are completely unable to since there is no evidence to support the genesis story. On the other hand, there is a great deal of evidence (such as human migration records, genetics, primitive human art, geology, etc) which says that a literal interpretation of it simply did not happen.

    I believe AiG had plenty of good scientific data.

    What you believe is irrelevant.
    These, as I stated before, are the same people who subscribe to the idea of a world wide flood but have yet been unable to produce any sort of model which stands up to even casual scrutiny (here’s a clue, no matter if the amount of water come from above or below it would not be water any more; it would be super heated steam and the entire planet would have been boiled and not even a magic boat could save you from that).

    At this point, I must note that the author of the page I linked to in the original entry has so far been unable or unwilling to mount any sort of defence of the 25 claims he has made that I have since shot down. I do find that rather interesting.

  19. David says:

    I also find it quite interesting that AiG is still a cited source of ‘knowledge’. It’s appalling. There is no credible scientific evidence on that website. Ken Ham is a total fraud in relation to science. What’s his degree in- applied science with an emphasis on environmental biology. This man knows nothing of evolution, he is a karbunkel on the face of rational thought.

    I see no repudiation of the original refutations.

  20. Garrett Oden says:

    Well to be perfectly honest, I don’t see how evolution is scientificaly proven. To me, Creation is supported my science more than Evolution.

    It takes more faith to believe in Evolution, than in God.

    If what I think is irrelevant, then yours must be too. What would make you different than me? By saying that you just tell me you don’t really WANT to hear what I am saying.

    I think your thoughts are very relevant. Why aren’t mine?

    The flood. There is no evidence for a pre-biotic soup either. Aren’t they really the same thing? So if you say that there is no evidence for the flood, it doesn’t make sense to say there is evidence for a different flood.

  21. Matt says:

    Well to be perfectly honest, I don’t see how evolution is scientificaly proven.

    Science does not, with 100% certainty, prove anything. It makes observations and constructs scientific theories about them. No more, no less.

    On the other point, it is as scientifically proven as any other scientific theory you care to name. The evidence for it is overwhelming; fossils, geology, genetic diversification, observations, predictions and so on. They all verify the Theory of Evolution.

    To me, Creation is supported my science more than Evolution. It takes more faith to believe in Evolution, than in God.

    Two statements. No evidence for them. Therefore irrelevant.

    If what I think is irrelevant, then yours must be too. What would make you different than me?

    What I think is irrelevant in the grand scheme of things. However, what has been observed, measured, analysed and found to be true is not. That is what science and scientific theories are all about – and they are certainly not irrelevant.

    However, what I am stating here (in pointing out your 25 errors) is that your 25 reasons are logically false and go completely against all available evidence.

    The flood. There is no evidence for a pre-biotic soup either.

    Actually there is, through backtracking through the growth of life on the planet we come to one and only one logical point. Extremely simple life that must have started in a certain environment (else it could not have started at all). This had to have been a ‘soup’ of amino acids and other chemicals.

    And no, they are far from the same thing as even a casual interest in science would otherwise inform you.

  22. Garrett Oden says:

    Well I think all those things (fossils, geology, and diversification) come better to explaining God. I’m dead serious.

    The way I look at the evidence, God makes more sense than soup. I strongly feel science points toward Creation, not Evolution.

    I seriously don’t think there is evidence for evolution. Therefor irrelevant.

    If the earth was filled with primordial soup, wouldn’t that be a flood? Haha. Yes.

  23. Matt says:

    The way I look at the evidence, God makes more sense than soup. I strongly feel science points toward Creation, not Evolution.

    Then you are obviously not looking at the scientific evidence. A good place to start would be here:

    http://talkorigins.org/faqs/comdesc/

    If the earth was filled with primordial soup, wouldn’t that be a flood?

    Whoever said it was filled with primordial soup? Or even covered in it? There was certainly chemical slime/soup/whatever laying about on the surface (genetic backtracking and geological work says so) but I don’t ever recall anyone saying it was like a flood of the stuff.

  24. Garrett Oden says:

    You are obviously not looking at the scientific evidenceof Creation. A good place to start would be here:

    http://75.125.60.6/~creatio1/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=5&Itemid=7

    Primordial soup… that is a basic thing in Evolution. If Earth was filled with volcanic rocks, then it magically rained for millions of years, there is gonna be a lot a liquid laying around… millions of years of raining makes lots of water!

    • Minizem says:

      First off, it did not “magically” rain. due to the cooling of the magma, huge climate changes took place, and one of the consequences of that was lots of rain. Second, you are contradicting yourself with your flood theory.

  25. Matt says:

    The link you provide starts off with the bible verse, not exactly what you would call scientific.
    And all I see on that site are the same old arguments that have long been debunked such as the (to be blunt) idiotic ‘decaying of magnetic field’ line. They even try to attack carbon dating with the same old text that he been shown to be false time and again.

    A search of the site actually reveals no arguments that the scientific community does not simply laugh at and ridicule. Or even links to independent peer reviewed research.

    In short; it is not credible in any way, shape or form. Try harder. It may even be, believe it or not, even more laughable than AiG.

    that is a basic thing in Evolution.

    Actually, no. It is actually dealt with not by the Theory of Evolution but by the Theory of Abiogenesis. That you do not know this betrays your general ignorance of science (which should already be quite apparent but it is always nice to be thorough, I suppose).

    hen it magically rained for millions of years

    Um, whoever said that happened? I can not recall any scientist of note ever saying such a thing happened.

    I suggest that, to make yourself appear less foolish, you read the following page to get the actual basics of the science behind Abiogenesis:

    http://www.talkorigins.org/faqs/abioprob/originoflife.html

    And yes, talkorigins is a scientifically credible website. It is generally highly regarded by the scientific community.

  26. Garrett Oden says:

    But as the article continues, it becomes factual evidence. All I see in Evolution are the same old arguments that have been disproven many times before. Evolution is not plausible any way.

    Evolution and Abiogenesis, it’s all linked together.

    I’ve been told my 4 different science proffesors that it rained for millions of years, creating soup.

    I’ve been to talk origins multiple times… it’s LOADED with information. Not the correct information… but info still.

  27. Matt says:

    All I see in Evolution are the same old arguments that have been disproven many times before.

    If so:
    A) Disproved by whom and where, exactly?
    B) How was it disproved?
    C) If it has been disproved, then why does the scientific community overwhelmingly still accept it as scientifically proven?

    Evolution is not plausible any way.

    Why ever not? Evidence points directly to it. There are no known mechanisms or barriers to stop it occurring.

    Evolution and Abiogenesis, it’s all linked together.

    And your point is?

    I’ve been to talk origins multiple times… it’s LOADED with information. Not the correct information… but info still.

    Not correct information? How ever did you figure that? Innumerable peer reviewed scientific journals, research and findings.

    How can that not be ‘correct information’ when it has never been shown to be wrong, withstood the rigorous peer review process and has huge amounts of evidence to back it up?

  28. arthurvandelay says:

    Sigh. Were you born patient, Matt?

  29. Matt says:

    *shrugs* As a teacher, you tend to have a lot by nature of the profession.

  30. Garrett Oden says:

    What shall you have me disprove?

    I think evidence points directly toward God. Not evolution.

    Well you called me ignorant for saying they were the same thing, and they might as well be.

    TalkOrigins HAS been proven to be false a number of times.

    • Minizem says:

      You think the evidence points to God because you are to blinded by your faith to believe otherwise. Besides, even if ANY of these theories were proved wrong, it brings you nowhere closer to proving that God exists.

  31. AV says:

    What shall you have me disprove?

    That isn’t what Matt asked. You’re the one who made the claim that all you see in evolution “are the same old arguments that have been disproven many times before.” Matt was asking for elaboration, in the form of questions A, B and C. These are the questions Matt would like you to address.

    I think evidence points directly toward God. Not evolution

    That’s nice. We don’t see–nor have you given us reason to see–how such a conclusion is justified.

    TalkOrigins HAS been proven to be false a number of times.

    Supposing this to be the case, how does this disprove evolution, or constitute evidence for creation?

  32. Garrett Oden says:

    Matt didn’t give me anything specific to disprove, and Evolution as a whole is too big for one comment. I asked him to give me a part he wanted me to falsify.

    When I do the above, I will show you how it points toward God.

    It doesn’t prove anything, except that TalkOrigins isn’t a reliable source.

    • Minizem says:

      “Matt didn’t give me anything specific to disprove.”

      “If so:
      A) Disproved by whom and where, exactly?
      B) How was it disproved?
      C) If it has been disproved, then why does the scientific community overwhelmingly still accept it as scientifically proven?”

      That’s not specific enough for you?

  33. Matt says:

    I asked you three specific and straight forward questions. Kindly answer them.

    And why is Talkorigins.org not a reliable source, exactly? You have failed, thus far, to provide any evidence to back up this claim.

  34. Garrett Oden says:

    Oh ok I didn’t realize that was what you were talking about.

    A) Hundreds of scientists since Evolution was thought up.
    B) Through scientific research
    C) The scientific community still accepts it because they aren’t willing to say God exists.

    Here are a couple nice articles to read:

    Abiogenesis:

    http://creationwiki.org/Abiogenesis

    Spontaneous Generation (Abiogenesis)

    http://creationwiki.org/Spontaneous_generation

    A TalkOrigins reply:

    http://creationwiki.org/Evolution_is_baseless_without_a_theory_of_abiogenesis_%28Talk.Origins%29

    Transitional Fossils:

    http://creationwiki.org/Transitional_fossils

    Creation is science.
    Evolution is ignorance.

  35. Matt says:

    A) Names would be nice. Scientists who are experts in the fields related to Evolution and have verified peer reviewed research would be better. Oh, hold on. I don’t think there are actually any. Odd that.
    B) What scientific research? What peer reviewed and independently verified research?
    C) Ah, so it’s a giant conspiracy against god, then? Hundreds of thousands of scientists (at the very least) across the globe most who have never been in contact with each other are all working together against god? Hm, sounds just a tad paranoid to me and (once again) you provide zero evidence.

    The links you provide have some major problems:
    A) They usually have no references for their claims.
    B) The references they do make never use peer reviewed scientific research, instead opting for books which have long since been discredited.
    C) It is a wiki format so any one, no matter how ignorant of science, can edit and update entries.

    Now linking to wiki style sites can be useful at times, namely when trying to explain concepts on a very simple level or as the most fundamental of starting points for research. When trying to take an indepth look at concepts, they are utterly useless and creationwiki is no different.

    In fact, wiki sites set up for particular purposes (creationwiki and conservawiki spring to mind here) are actually worse than useless since they are clearly set up to present one side of a story and no more. Looking through creationwiki quickly, I see several entries where they leave out well known scientific evidence for cases. The transitional fossils page, for example, is cringe worthy in the information they have left out.

    As for your final statements, I shall offer a short retort:

    Creation is science.

    According to who? It is certainly not to the scientific community and it utterly fails to meet the criteria for the definition of the scientific method and science in general. It is untestable, unfalsifiable and makes no predictions at all.
    All these things every single scientific theory has. Creationism does not.

    Evolution is ignorance.

    Judging by your responses in these comments, the attribute of ignorance is squarely on your shoulders. Time and again you have displayed almost complete ignorance when it comes not only to the Theory of Evolution and science in general; all the while making sweeping statements while not providing any sort of credible evidence.

    On the other hand, the Theory of Evolution has been verified time and again. Every prediction made has been found to be true (fused human chromosomes for one brief example), it is the very foundation of the field of Biology and has led to huge advances in not only medicine but also fields such as robotics. The fossil record backs it up entirely as do other completely independent fields such as geology and palaeontology.

    I guess that proves you rather wrong.

  36. arthurvandelay says:

    The links you provide have some major problems:

    You’ll notice that they also have the problem of assuming that the appeal to incredulity is a logical argument, rather than a logical fallacy.

    They also have the problem of not even engaging with Talk Origins’ arguments, as evinced on the Transitional Fossils link above which repeats the claim that if “microevolution” is true, there should be transitional fossils that show all the intermediate life forms. The Talk Origins ICC explains why this is wrong. They make the concomitant misleading claim that if young earth creationism is true, there should be a dearth of such fossils. Wrong again: as the Talk Origins ICC page on the topic points out, there are many factors which prevent fossilization, not to speak of the fact that fossil discoveries are rare events in themselves. They also quote-mine from scientific papers 30 years out of date, and cite approvingly Michael Denton, who wrote an anti-evolution book in the mid 80s but has since disavowed creationism and accepted evolution. Stephen Jay Gould gets the quote-mine treatment too.

    I also find this statement to be emblematic of why creationism (in any guise, be it YEC, OEC or ID) is a scientific and intellectual dead-end:

    The complexity of life seems to point to intelligent design from the start. So it could be that some unknown deity/supernatural force (although that is not allowed in naturalistic thinking) could have started life, imposed some intelligence on the material world to form a simple form, and then left it to develop.

    Emphasis added.

    Hmm. The Sun seems to revolve around the Earth, so I guess it really does!

    Hmm. Our 11-year-old daughter can’t speak, eat, drink, walk or breathe properly. She seems to be under some kind of spiritual attack. It could be that an unknown supernatural force (although that is not allowed in naturalistic thinking) is making her sick. What she needs is prayer!

  37. Garrett Oden says:

    Dr. William Arion, Biochemistry, Chemistry
    Dr. Paul Ackerman, Psychologist
    Dr. E. Theo Agard, Medical Physics
    Dr. Steve Austin, Geologist
    Dr. S.E. Aw, Biochemist
    Dr. Thomas Barnes, Physicist
    Dr. Geoff Barnard, Immunologist
    Dr. John Baumgardner, Electrical Engineering, Space Physicist, Geophysicist, expert in supercomputer modeling of plate tectonics
    Dr. Jerry Bergman, Psychologist
    Dr. Kimberly Berrine, Microbiology & Immunology
    Prof. Vladimir Betina, Microbiology, Biochemistry & Biology
    Dr. Andrew Bosanquet, Biology, Microbiology
    Edward A. Boudreaux, Theoretical Chemistry
    Dr. David R. Boylan, Chemical Engineer
    Prof. Linn E. Carothers, Associate Professor of Statistics
    Prof. Sung-Do Cha, Physics
    Dr. Eugene F. Chaffin, Professor of Physics
    Dr. Choong-Kuk Chang, Genetic Engineering
    Prof. Jeun-Sik Chang, Aeronautical Engineering
    Dr. Donald Chittick, Physical Chemist
    Prof. Chung-Il Cho, Biology Education

    The list goes much longer, but those are some Creation Scientists like you asked for.

    All those links (with the exeption of the one that goes to a page with 10 words on it) have credible references. Don’t understand why you say they don’t. And only a small portion of those resources are books.

    The fossil record has PLENTY of problems with it! It’s not a credible source of information like Evolution uses it.

    http://www.answersingenesis.org/media/video/ondemand/fossil-record/fossil-record

    That claim on CreationWiki does not exist. You must have made it up. I did a search for many of the key words used in the paragraph and it could not find any. Don’t bash quotes that don’t exist.

  38. arthurvandelay says:

    The list goes much longer, but those are some Creation Scientists like you asked for.

    Oh yeah? I bet it isn’t as long as this list, Junior!

    Most of the individuals on your list, if they indeed are real people, are or were working in fields unrelated to biological evolution. I think it’s telling, too, that the list doesn’t indicate which educational institutions these individuals do or did teach at. Nor does it shed much light on the nature of their research, if any, nor what they have published in peer reviewed science journals in the way of evidence for YEC, if anything.

    The evidence is, after all, the important thing. Otherwise you’re just appealing to authority.

    BTW, I Googled the “microbiologist” Kimberly Berrine. The only traces I could find of her were on copies of the same list you copied-and-pasted. If Berrine is an academic, it should be pretty easy to find him/her, at least on a university faculty staff listing.

    All those links (with the exeption of the one that goes to a page with 10 words on it) have credible references.

    Credible to whom?

    That claim on CreationWiki does not exist. You must have made it up.

    Nope. It’s right there if you care to look, in the first paragraph after the first Talk Origins quote. Toward the end of line 3. Of course, it’s a wiki, so you can edit it out and then come back here and accuse me of making it up. Fortunately, if you do decide to disappear it down the memory hole, I did a screen capture.

  39. arthurvandelay says:

    The fossil record has PLENTY of problems with it! It’s not a credible source of information like Evolution uses it.

    http://www.answersingenesis.org/media/video/ondemand/fossil-record/fossil-record

    You keep citing AIG as if you believe we deem it authoritative. Why? And while you’re hand-waving about the fossil record, you’re forgetting about the other lines of evidence for evolution, including molecular evidence.

  40. Matt says:

    Arthurvandelay has done my job for me, pretty much. However I would like to point one thing out. I said:

    Scientists who are experts in the fields related to Evolution and have verified peer reviewed research would be better. Oh, hold on. I don’t think there are actually any. Odd that.

    Guess I was right judging by the list Garret copy/pasted.

  41. Garrett Oden says:

    Well first, it is predicted in the Bible that most people will be against us, and that’s just fine.

    That is a lot of Steves! But my list is supposed to be shorter than yours.

    Cridible. I came to realize that word doesn’t help in any argument that we may have. We can each say our references are ‘credible’, but I guess it depends on weather we are willing to say we were wrong about the whole thing. Not sure about you, but I not there yet!

    Forgive me, I searched those words on the page, but I was unable to find them. My bad. Nice screen capture.

    Answers in Genesis is not AiG.

    http://www.aboundingjoy.com/molecular-fs.html

    Problems with Molecular biology.

    Thanks Matt.

  42. [...] Oden’s Burgess Shale of ignorance 18 02 2009 Lately I’ve been weighing in to a debate on Matt’s Notepad between the eponymous Matt and one Garret Oden, regarding the latter’s “A couple [...]

  43. AV says:

    Well first, it is predicted in the Bible that most people will be against us, and that’s just fine.

    Which proves nothing, other than the fact that your religion suffers from a persecution complex.

    Problems with Molecular biology.

    So we’re reduced to playing link tennis, eh? Problems with “Problems with Molecular biology”: CB015 (“Interdependent molecular functions”); CB010, CB010.1, CB010.2 (“Minimum requirements for self-reproducing cell”). On “Protein sequences” see NCSE. “The fallacy of homologous structures” is answered in part III of this review of Denton’s book.

    Cridible. I came to realize that word doesn’t help in any argument that we may have.

    Really? Then why did you use it in the first place. What purpose would using it serve, if you aren’t assuming that we share a common understanding of what “credible” means in the context of our debate?

  44. AV says:

    That is a lot of Steves! But my list is supposed to be shorter than yours.

    You miss the point of Project Steve. Its purpose is to parody creationist lists of scientists, the latter being based on the assumption that scientific issues are decided by who has the longer list of scientists (appeal to popularity fallacy).

    We can each say our references are ‘credible’, but I guess it depends on weather we are willing to say we were wrong about the whole thing. Not sure about you, but I not there yet!

    I’m willing to say I’m wrong, provided there is evidence which shows that I’m wrong.

  45. Garrett Oden says:

    There is a book you should read:
    The Case for a Creator
    By: Lee Strobel

    You’ve probably heard of it numerous times, good and bad reviews. But the only review that truely matters is your own. I think you should give it a chance.

    It has many philisophical (I know i didn’t say that right…) arguments along with real scientific evidence. It’s a great book and we can all benefit reading it in some way or another!

  46. AV says:

    But the only review that truely matters is your own.

    This is probably the most sensible thing you’ve said in the whole thread thus far!

    I have a long reading list ahead of me, so it may be a good while before i get to it. I won’t go in underprepared, however.

    May I recommend to you the following:

    Richard Dawkins: The Blind Watchmaker and The Ancestor’s Tale. (His 1991 Faraday lecture series, Growing Up in the Universe, is available for free here.)
    Carl Zimmer: Evolution: the Triumph of an Idea.
    Trudy Govier: A Practical Study of Argument.

    And any number of good websites on critical thinking would greatly improve your arguments, too.

  47. Garrett Oden says:

    I will gladly watch those videos and try to get in touch with those books, but I do admit:

    I have discovered God’s greatness, so I am going to be very bias.

    After feeling God’s love, I could never go back to being an Atheist. It just isn’t possible for me.

    • Minizem says:

      Being bias means you have no right to argue anyway

      Did God ever say that he loves you? How do you know he cares for you?

  48. AV says:

    After feeling God’s love, I could never go back to being an Atheist.

    Nobody’s asking you to.

  49. Garrett Oden says:

    True, but since I have truthfully seen love that you can’t even comprehind, no book or video can change the way I live.

    But my mission still, is to try to reveal to you the greatest feeling ever. The feeling that there is somebody that just loves you sooo much. I pray that one day you will see God’s amazing glory and spit out all your fear and problems. Give it all to Him. He will take care of it for you.

    Don’t believe me? Just try. I promise you, if you really try, you won’t be able to turn back.

  50. AV says:

    True, but since I have truthfully seen love that you can’t even comprehind, no book or video can change the way I live.

    I don’t doubt that you believe this. Many people across the different faith traditions, from Judaism to Zen Buddhism, have what they believe to be intense spiritual/religious experiences or feelings. That doesn’t prove that spiritual realms or deities actually exist. The reason for or function of such mental states and affects is the subject of ongoing scientific inquiry.

    Don’t believe me? Just try.

    It doesn’t work that way, I’m afraid. Belief is not subject to the will: either there are good reasons for believing in the existence of a deity, let alone a “loving” deity, or there aren’t. (Given the depicition of the deity you worship in the Biblical narratives, you and I must have vastly differing ideas of what “loving” means.) Your list of reasons are, I’m sorry to tell you, woefully unconvincing.

    But my mission still, is to try to reveal to you the greatest feeling ever. The feeling that there is somebody that just loves you sooo much.

    Do have a look at a good critical thinking site or resource. You just made an appeal to emotion, and it won’t wash with me.

    I pray that one day you will see God’s amazing glory and spit out all your fear and problems.

    Good luck with that. As they like to say on The Atheist Experience, you keep praying for me, and I’ll keep thinking for you.

  51. AV says:

    14. There are many archaeological discoveries that support the Bible.

    On this point.

  52. David says:

    On a light note… I went on to Answers in Genesis there… and just cringed. I just don’t find it entertaining anymore. I find it dangerous.

  53. Garrett Oden says:

    Whoa dude I forgot about this post!

    Why did you take our long discussion away?

  54. Matt says:

    I did not, look at the number of comments.
    I am not sure why they are not appearing though most likely it’s a wordpress bug.

    Once again, do not jump to assumptions.

  55. Garrett Oden says:

    Oh ok they are there now.

  56. Marko says:

    I don’t even know why people bother to explain science to creationists. It’s like reasoning with a brick wall.

    I consider it great waste of time to prove Bible is just a bunch of fiction written by early Jews. Let’s say someone found Star Trek 2000 years from now, and draw a conclusion that it was real? Should anyone who is familiar with the concept of fiction bother to explain that to a bunch of narrow minded people of the 40th century?

    This people have no idea what “myth” means. They are able to fall from tall buildings and still believe that gravity does not exist. They are able to see monkeys perform as humans and still believe we have nothing in common. Their capacity for not seeing the obvious is truly amazing, and we should maybe protect them as subspecies of humans.

    On the other hand, those of us who have capacity of reason, should use our time for bettering ourselves, and with that, society. That way everyone is happy. We live in better world, gaining as much understanding about the universe as we want, they live in complete ignorance while thinking god gave them everything, while still contributing to society with menial tasks. Perfect balance.

  57. Chiara says:

    I know that you are most likely going to make up some witty reply about me being an ignorant idiot for my next sentence, but before you think up some entertainingly humorous come back, please think about my next question.
    What if there’s more to life than what can be proved by science?

    And that question, my friend, I doubt you can answer with science.

    Ps. Please do not reply with that comment about not being able to prove the existence of unicorns, “flying spaghetti monsters”, and other mythical beasts, therefore meaning that nobody can prove the existence of a devine realm or a god/s. I’ve seen you use that argument a few times and I have to say its a little bit of a sloppy argument.

  58. Cristero says:

    A very ignorant page. Simply worthless. Like these examples at the level of elementary school.

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