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The Passion Play

Discussion in 'The OT' started by Chris Blount, Apr 10, 2004.

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  1. Ray_Clum

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    We better close this thread to members only. There might be a guard at Abu Grahib prison that reads this and gets ideas...










    A JOKE... A REALLY BAD ONE, BUT A JOKE NONE THE LESS...
     
  2. RJS1111111

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    I've given the NICL site a quick look, and found the quoted assertion easily enough under http://nicl.usgs.gov/why.htm . So far, though, I've found no evidence posted to back up the assertion on that particular site.

    Of course, all of the people working with the ice cores are presumably sincere, degreed, credentialled, etc., and fully convinced the assertion is true. Can that many scientists and researchers be that wrong? It really depends on how much the conclusion is based on assumptions, and how much it is based on a skeptical inspection and interpretation of the evidence.

    I will check out the "Some publications..." site for any evidence that might be offered there.

    Also on your advice, I will work my way through the "Talk Origins" site, as time allows. Hopefully, I will *not* be disappointed to find that footnotes citing references in obscure journals are the only "evidence" presented.

    Bear in mind, though, that I'm not prepared to take anyone's word, however reputable, for anything I don't already reasonably know as fact. For every conclusion or assertion, I need to see the raw, unembellished data/images that are purported to serve as the basis, then have the process of making sense of them painstakingly explained to my satisfaction.

    And, yes, there is no telling how long this will take. It could easily end up lasting the rest of my lifetime, but I am assured by many people that it will be a worthwhile pursuit.

    As I understand science so far, experimentally repeatable results are considered the only reliable means of testing any theory. So, any conclusion that is not experimentally repeatable is definitely at or beyond the fringe (limitations) of scientific investigation.

    This, in my view, ideally should be the approach of every scientist in every field of study. Otherwise, many of their conclusions are likely to be faulty, and to be allowed to stand uncorrected for a very long time.
     
  3. RJS1111111

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    I will read the abstracts, to see whether the articles might be of sufficient interest to go find them. Really, though, in the interest of furthering knowledge, every scientific publication worthy of consideration should be posted royalty-free on the web. That would be a good investment for the NSF to make with our tax dollars, for example.

    Yes, provided that I ever manage to find the time; perhaps when I've retired someday.

    So the same standard also applies to the teaching of spontaneous generation and common ancestry (commonly referenced together as evolution) in the public schools as science.

    Some evidence (much stronger than mere artistic paintings and assertions) is required. It's funny, though; such evidence is regularly and conspicuously missing from the textbooks and curricula.

    This of course assumes that statements like "Most scientists have concluded that life on earth evolved over many millions of years." and "This fossil is dated at approximately 350 million years old, based on reliable techniques." are assertions, not evidence.

    In fact, some assertions (particularly those about prehuman fossils and other purported missing-link discoveries), even though discarded by the scientific community as incorrect, continue to be published in the textbooks for years afterward.

    And, FWIW, so far I personally have not even attempted to teach *anything* in public schools, much less creation or religion. My wife has a current credential, volunteers in my son's charter school kindergarten class, and may accept substitute teaching assignments in the future. Like other teachers who are Christians, she has no intention of indoctrinating her students in any faith, or even of volunteering any such information, in violation of either school policy or the "separation of church and state" doctrine that is selectively imposed by the courts. I expect that she will give fair treatment to any discussion of origins as well.
     
  4. Bogy

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    Have you noticed that many of the footnotes in Creationist works are the "circular" type? A cites B who cites C who cites A who cites C who cites B who cites A who cites B...on and on and on.
     
  5. RichW

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    "As I understand science so far, experimentally repeatable results are considered the only reliable means of testing any theory. So, any conclusion that is not experimentally repeatable is definitely at or beyond the fringe (limitations) of scientific investigation."

    That is not quite true. There is both "inductive" reasoning and "deductive" reasoning in science. The inductive is the experimental part, the deductive is the formulation of theories, hypotheses, and laws (Oh My!) from those experiments.

    To give a trivially simple example we take you back to England in the late 17th century let say you drop a 10 lb bowling ball from a second story window and measure the time it takes to hit the ground. You do this several times and see consistent results. From this data you "deduce" the the value of a gravitational acceleration constant (32 feet/second/second) is applicable to this bowling ball. Now you take a golf ball and repeat the experiment. Your intuitional bias may tell you that, the golf ball, being far lighter, will take longer to hit the ground. But low and behold it takes the very same time. Thus the gravitational acceleration constant for the golf ball is found to be the same 32 feet/sec/sec. You then deduce a general law of gravitational acceleration that says it is independent of the weight or size of an object.

    "Absurd" cries one man. "Witchcraft!" cries another. But continued verifiable repetition of the experiments by others finally give you the recognition you deserve, and even lead to a fig cookie being named after you.

    You further postulate that if you were on the moon or another planet, that the gravitational constant would not be 32 feet/sec/sec but a different value. By now most scientists agree with your conclusion because your DEDUCTIONS follow a rational pattern. But no one can ever get to the moon to verify this. Still further, you claim that the moon itself is just a big bowling ball that is falling to earth, but that the earth is simply moving out of the way as quickly as the moon is falling. As preposterous as this may sound, you show the mathematics behind this phenomena and your fellow scientists concur after careful review and understanding. They declare your mathmatical formulas as a "law" (even though they still didn't get to the moon to verify your conclusion experimentally).

    Sure, a couple of hundred years later a guy with an unkempt hair-do postulates that the Law of Gravitation is only valid when everything is in the same frame of reference velocity-wise and show his mathematics to back it up. This is even harder to prove because no one can travel at near light-speeds to verify. (but Mu-meson decay measurements later validate that math.)
     
  6. RichW

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    "Really, though, in the interest of furthering knowledge, every scientific publication worthy of consideration should be posted royalty-free on the web. That would be a good investment for the NSF to make with our tax dollars, for example."

    I think you will find that most scientists, myself included, concur, especially when the reasearch is publicly founded. Especially since scientists have to pay to get published in many journals. (Most people think the authors get paid, but it is just the opposite)
     
  7. Danny R

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    Your intuitional bias may tell you that, the golf ball, being far lighter, will take longer to hit the ground. But low and behold it takes the very same time.

    Unless of course its a Tiger Woods golf ball. ;)

    It's funny, though; such evidence is regularly and conspicuously missing from the textbooks and curricula.

    This touches on a topic that really is unrelated to evolution. Rather it deals with the quality of education in our schools as a whole. There is really no reason why our science books can't be better. But many science teachers have no actual background in science, but instead are "education" majors. They don't understand the science themselves, and are reluctant to make students learn even more than what is required on the various gateway tests. Those who have an interest in science will certainly pick up the missing pieces in college if they wish, or so the theory goes.

    Then of course there is simple politics. The people who establish the educational guidelines are elected by the public. Many of these people have no desire to teach evolution the way it should be taught, and in fact do all they can to get it removed from the schools. The opposite is true as well, with people who understand evolution and know its true wanting absolutely no equivalence to creationism taught in our public schools. The politicians, caught between two very vocal groups, usually try and take the middle ground that perhaps mentions evolution, but then says its "just a theory" or just gloss over it.

    so far I personally have not even attempted to teach *anything* in public schools, much less creation or religion

    I didn't mean you personally, but I know a number of folks who try.

    In fact, some assertions (particularly those about prehuman fossils and other purported missing-link discoveries), even though discarded by the scientific community as incorrect, continue to be published in the textbooks for years afterward.

    Nothing surprising here. It happens in every field, and the phenomenon is well known. Here is one classic example:
    Science isn't perfect by any means. Take a look at this story for some of science's flaws: TEN MYTHS OF SCIENCE: REEXAMINING WHAT WE THINK WE KNOW...

    However the advantage of science is that thus far it best describes what we see, and we can in fact correct our mistakes if better evidence presents itself.
     
  8. HappyGoLucky

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    I would have to argue that point with Gould. Since the Fox Terrier first came to the US in the mid 1800's it was one of the most popular purebred dogs for many years, and was the first breed to have its own seperate owner/breeder club registered with the AKC, back in 1885.

    Of course, since these days most students can't seem to even point out geographic areas like Europe or South America on a map, perhaps thinking they'd recognize a fox terrier is asking too much. :D
     
  9. Timco

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    You are all wrong! The earth is flat! Silly rabbits... :D
     
  10. RJS1111111

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    Your point is well taken, but so far you have only applied it to the second law of thermodynamics. For any system in which total thermal equilibrium (thermal entropy) remains unachieved, it is still possible to perform useful, purposeful, directed work, such as boiling water.

    Here is an helpful, broadened definition of "entropy":

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

    You will note that information entropy applies to the simple transmission (replication) of signals; e.g. the information encoded in the genetic material of living things.

    The assertion under discussion is that a tremendous increase in complexity (information) has in fact occurred naturally (and not "artificially" in terms of any interference from any external intelligence), through the fortuitous combination of the following ingredients:

    First, there is the biosphere, which supposedly began with spontaneous generation of life from non-life. This in itself is very difficult to reasonably explain. RichW has made some attempts to cover the salient principles of evolutionary microbiology (for laypersons such as myself), which he claims to utilize every day in the laboratory. :confused:

    How could something as complex as the "simplest" cell manage to assemble all of its intricate and necessary machinery at the same moment to become a living organism? I'm still mystified by this.

    Then, add earth conditions reasonably favorable to sustaining life, over a very long period of time.

    Then, add random (or at least "chaotic") mutations.

    Then, add natural selection (propagation of survivors).

    Then, add billions of years (as if that were long enough).

    The principle of information entropy would suggest that the introduction of "noise" (mutations) into the "signal" (genetic code) causes degradation of the signal (loss of information in the genetic code), and that this degradation would inevitably trend more severe over time.

    Ordinarily, this would be expected to eventually cause so much loss of information that each life form would fail to reproduce itself. Our everyday experience confirms this expected result; many kinds of life are going extinct, but no demonstrably new kinds arise. Occasionally we still stumble upon a previously undiscovered kind of life.

    The assertion that we are fielding at the moment is that natural selection can and has (at least in the past) worked inexorably and (almost?) inexplicably to overcome information entropy; somehow generating new information as needed to keep at least some of the supposed branches of common ancestry from dying out.

    It is truly as though a very large number of chimpanzees, typing randomly at a very large number of computers, over a very long period of time, have managed to produce the complete works of Shakespeare, the Encyclopaedia Brittanica, the Bhagavad Gita, the Bible, and the entire Library of Congress; yet, somehow carefully preserving all of these works.

    The spontaneous assembly of a single serviceable Boeing 777 aircraft from junkyard parts in a very long-lasting whirlwind would appear more likely; at least if statistical probabilities were the only forces at work.

    So, we have two highly-regarded principles of modern science that are seemingly at odds with each other; information entropy vs. natural selection.
     
  11. jonstad

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    And you are not the only one mystified. The spontaneous generation of the first "life" is a much harder nut to crack then the evolution Darwin tackled. But we ARE much closer to understanding what could have caused this generation then 10, 20 or 50 years ago. And 200 years ago people were "mystified" how all forms of life could have evolved from that first spark, if they even contemplated it at all. Today, we understand to a very high degree how and even why it could happen and Darwinian evolution is no longer a question for most biologists, it's a forgone conclusion. Perhaps 200 years from now we WILL understand how that first spark ignited and possibily even be able to replicate it in the laborotory.

    In the UFO thread, I've stated I don't necessarily believe life is a common occurance, even non-"intelligent" life. It's essentially a crap shoot dependent on almost infinate variables. However if it did happen, even if it only happened once, we necessarily would inhabit a place where it did. And again, out of the trillions of stars and planets in the Universe, it only had to happen ONCE!
     
  12. RichW

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    "The principle of information entropy would suggest that the introduction of "noise" (mutations) into the "signal" (genetic code) causes degradation of the signal (loss of information in the genetic code), and that this degradation would inevitably trend more severe over time."

    Ahh! But that is the "beauty" of genes, Very few of the base pairs that make up an organism's DNA have any function. You need a better understanding of both entropy and information theory as it relates to evolution. That anti-evolution gobbledy-gook about entropy was disproved even before the creationists though of it.

    I can give you several highly-technical references with the complex mathematical proofs if you are REALLY interested. You might start with "An Application to Information Theory to Genetic Mutation" (1973) Reichert, et al.
     
  13. Danny R

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    How could something as complex as the "simplest" cell manage to assemble all of its intricate and necessary machinery at the same moment to become a living organism? I'm still mystified by this.

    "at the same moment" is why you are mystified, because it didn't happen spontaneously at all. Yes, I'd be mystified too if it happened that way.

    Likewise all the machinery isn't "necessary" either, except in so much as it defines an organism today. The organisms today have evolved to depend on the various parts found in it currently. However simpler structures can exist without them. Take for instance a virus. Its not considered "alive" by many definitions, lacks almost all structures found in other cells, but certainly has the ability to replicate when introduced into the proper environment. The same might be said for early pre-life.

    Before cell evolution there was chemical evolution. Cells are made of chemicals and complex molecules. These molecules can exist without the cell structures they make up. Various organic molecules that we wouldn't consider as being alive react with each other. The success of these chemical reactions increased dramatically when protected from outside elements via a shell of some sort, ergo the earliest forms of the cell wall.

    The most prominent theory of how cells evolved involves the following steps:
    (1) A primordial soup of simple organic compounds. This seems to be almost inevitable.
    (2) Nucleo-proteins, somewhat like modern tRNA [de Duve 1995b] or PNA [Nelson et al. 2000], and semi-catalytic.
    (3) Hypercycles, or pockets of primitive biochemical pathways which include some approximate self-replication.
    (4) Cellular hypercycles, in which more complex hypercycles are enclosed in a primitive membrane.
    (5) First simple cell. Complexity theory suggests that the self-organization is not improbable.

    The steps above were in this Talk Origins page about the topic: Creationist's claim CB010.2: The most primitive cells are too complex to have come together by chance
     
  14. Redster

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    Also dont forget the ET factor/theory. The planet was seeded, thats why they keep coming back to check on their experiment. Hey,, I know its a long shot,, but its been about a week since I posted so I had to throw something out there.
     
  15. Danny R

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    Also dont forget the ET factor/theory.

    Even if the planet was seeded, the original life it came from had to evolve somewhere. It doesn't throw out evolution.
     
  16. RJS1111111

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    Better yet, why not just boil this highly-technical article down to its essentials for the rest of us. This shouldn't be very difficult for you, since you understand the topic so well.

    What you really mean is that the presence, length, and encoding of very few DNA base pair sequences currently have any *known* function. Now that some variant texts of full sequences are known, you microbiologists need to buckle down and really learn the languages of these codes! This requires protein-folding computer simulations, etc. I'd suggest that you don't want to make too many assumptions about the supposed uselessness of most genes; especially this early in the game.

    To which disproven anti-evolution gobbledy-gook, specifically, are you referring? The literary chimpanzees and the junkyard jet? Can you refer me to their specific, concise falsifications, posted on the web? Or are you just postulating again that enough time and space exist to make virtually *anything* occur at least once; even the absurdly improbable? From what I can remember about it, that just is not so. Some things are so improbable that they just won't get around to occurring, even in billions of years in billions of galaxies.

    I'm still trying to find time to search out the kernels of evidence that are said to be found among all of the assertions made in the references cited earlier, which ostensibly clearly show that the age of the earth, and of life on earth, are much greater than 10K years. I guess that I must just lack the faith that I would need to just take someone's word for all of this.
     
  17. Danny R

    Danny R Goblin the Pug DBSTalk Gold Club

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    I guess that I must just lack the faith that I would need to just take someone's word for all of this.

    Thats pretty funny. The only reason to believe the earth is younger than 10K years is because at some point you obviously did take someone's word for it. And the interesting thing is that this person's word was backed up by just one document, whereas most of the proof of an older earth is spread out widely and arrived at using numerous unrelated tests.
     
  18. RichW

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    "To which disproven anti-evolution gobbledy-gook, specifically, are you referring? "

    The claim that evolution violates the principle of entropy.

    "Now that some variant texts of full sequences are known, you microbiologists need to buckle down and really learn the languages of these codes! This requires protein-folding computer simulations, etc. I'd suggest that you don't want to make too many assumptions about the supposed uselessness of most genes; especially this early in the game."

    On that we agree. In fact, most of the work in this area is focused on what parts of the genome are relevant and what parts contain no information.
     
  19. jonstad

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    Make up your mind. A few pages back you were insisting on full, detailed, specific references, that YOU would check out and interpret for yourself.

    Of course we can argue that it only had to happen once. And you will consider that a weak argument because of what you consider the odds(which we disagree with). However, this logically becomes a problem for you because then your argument must be that GOD only had to happen once!

    So what it boils down to is what one feels more likely, that the Universe "happened" or that God "happened". All we're saying is there is more tangible proof for the former then the latter.
     
  20. RJS1111111

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    All I have said so far about this is that the Bible, taken at face value, would seem to infer that the age of the earth is about 6-10K years. I am open to examining any evidence that would suggest that the earth, and the life on it, is older. In fact, at your suggestion, and at the sites you've suggested, I've begun searching for any such evidence that might be hidden among all of the assertions.

    I've already openly admitted my bias and assumptions; something you apparently think of as showing weakness in a debate.

    It does take much more faith, in my view, to believe what you believe, based on the assertions of scientists (however sincere), that to believe what I believe, based on what I believe to be the word of God.
     
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