Freethought Fools

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I’m starting to think that atheists like P.Z. Myers and Aron Ra call themselves “freethinkers” because they want to be free to think irrationally. Aristotle taught us how to use syllogisms to think deductively. Deductive reasoning is actually the same thing as presuppositional thinking, where you start with a major premise and build from there. Click here to watch a video I made on understanding syllogisms. Scripture predating Aristotle also directs us to reason together (Isaiah 1:18).

Presuppositional thinking is also the foundation of Euclid’s famous mathematical work, The Elements. Starting with 5 axioms and 5 postulates, Euclid built over 400 propositions! In fact, all mathematics is presuppositional, where you start with certain premises, and apply those in new situations to discover new truths. Isaac Newton, author of the most famous science book in the history of everything, The Principia, began his work in the same deductive manner as Euclid.

Of course, presuppositional thinking has flaws, especially when we start with faulty assumptions.

Everybody uses presuppositional thinking, but irrational atheists like PZ and Aron dislike it. Now, an atheist named Ed has also chimed in, discussing how he really, really hates presuppositionalism.

What these wizards don’t realize is that they are presupposing that we shouldn’t use presuppositionalism! The freethinkers are saying we shouldn’t be free to think deductively. But that’s impossible, unless these gents gave some sort if anti-reason magic hat I wasn’t aware of.

Just to perform the act of typing this blog, I have to presuppose the symbols of the English alphabet. Nobody has to prove to me that “a” means “a” or “b” means “b”, etc. I assume those things are true without proof, which is the heart of presuppositional thinking.

These so-called “freethoughts” folks are actually freethoughts fools. They are anti-God, so from that it follows they are anti-reason, and from that it follows they are anti-math, and from that it follows they are anti-science. They cannot discern the difference between natural history research and scientific research. You simply can’t be “against” presuppositionalism, and “for” advancing math and science in the 21st Century. Their agenda dominates public education in America, so if you want to know why public schooling is getting more anti-intellectual, well, it’s not because creationists are in charge!

Pray that God would reveal to them the true Source of reason and reality.

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28 Comments on “Freethought Fools”

  1. Dave Says:

    How can somebody who doesn’t believe in God be Anti-God. It’s like accusing somebody of being anti-Martian.

    • gensci Says:

      The real question is, why do people who claim to be atheists spend so much time talking about God? Are they really just rebelling against God?

  2. Dave Says:

    If you didn’t go on about it, neither would we. But as usual, you failed to answer my question. I know this is a direct question, but why can’t guys like you answer direct questions?

    • gensci Says:

      Because I’m not God and I don’t claim to have all the answers. I’ve found that is a difficult concept for atheists, because they have make themselves god and judge, so they think they have to have answers for everything. It’s okay to say “I don’t know.” And speaking of unanswered questions, you still haven’t answered my question that, if it’s evolution, not God, that’s responsible for life, then is evolution so incompetent? You would think after billions of years, evolution would have fixed something as simple as the common cold. Why do people still get colds, then pneumonia, then die, all for no purpose? And it’s okay to answer “I don’t know”

      • Dave Says:

        Evolution, as I understand it, happens, it is not made to happen. From the perspective of the common cold, evolution seems to be very effective.

        This is the second time I’ve replied to this question.

      • gensci Says:

        Patience Dave, God has given me an abundant life, which means I have more to do than respond to blog comments, ha ha! Not trying to respond to every single one of them either, as some are just incoherent babble, but you are actually asking some decent questions. Your understanding of evolution sounds like what Jerry Coyne also says in Why Evolution is True, when he says that Darwinism can’t predict how things will change in the future (p. 17). But that’s like the weatherman saying “I can’t predict how the weather will change tomorrow. I can only predict that it will change. Weather just happens.”

        If you can’t predict the future, then you can’t predict the past either. You’re example is actually right in line with creationist thinking about the scientifically testable fact that life adapts. Creationists use this fact to interpret history from a perspective of uncommon descent, with created kinds being designed to defend themselves from a large variety of environmental perturbations.

        Stephen Hawking, one of the smartest men alive, described a good scientific theory as one that accurately describes a large class of observations, and makes definite predictions about future observations. But Darwinism makes no definite predictions about future observations, so it’s not a scientific theory. It’s just speculation about origins.

  3. NothingIsAbsolute Says:

    First to the two commentators above, I’d love to spend as much time arguing about god and creationism as I do about the existence of bigfoot, none. Then again, no one is advocating teaching about how bigfoot is real in schools. That’s why we care because we do not want creationism, a religious viewpoint, being taught in schools and passed of as science.

    To the blog post, you clearly do not understand presuppositional argumentation. When I presuppose something for the purpose of an argument, I have already proven that thing to be true, either in a previous argument, or by default of both arguers agreeing the presupposition is true. Euclid’s postulates were things that had proven to be true and thus could be taken for granted. In addition, Euclid was not presupposing these postulates in order to prove the postulates correct. The same can be said for god, whose existence has not been proven and you cannot presuppose this existence to prove this existence, this is a clear logical fallacy.

    • gensci Says:

      Wrong, Euclid’s postulates were actually disproven. They don’t all work on a spherical surface. They are assumed to be true without proof for planar surfaces. Postulate 1 says 2 points define a line. This is assumed as true. Nobody has ever proven it is true.

      You used as your name “nothing is absolute.” Are you absolutely sure about that?

  4. logicologist Says:

    gensci most atheists spend time at home with their wife and kids just like yourself, I presuppose, and NOT talking about god. I’m not sure you know how many atheists there are? But also realize that atheist’s concerns about education (science, history, etc.) is not talking about god. How do you personally rebel against Zeus or Thor? Silly question right? You can’t rebell against something that you don’t believe exists.

    • gensci Says:

      Hi logicologist,
      I’m glad I finally heard from an atheist who presupposes! Just because you don’t believe in God doesn’t make Him any less real. The Greeks didn’t believe in irrational numbers, and their foolishness stifled mathematics progress for almost 2000 years until Christians took over.

      • Spector567 Says:

        and you don’t believe the earth could be more than 6,000 years old and that any science that disagrees with your literal interpretation is not true.

        Your viewpoint lead to the stifling of progress for over 2000 years in all categories of science and medicine. It was known as the dark ages.

      • gensci Says:

        Spector, I’m sorry you’re so confused about science and history. Actually, it was the Greeks and their inability to grapple with infinity (they believed in a cyclical view of time) and irrational numbers (like square root of 2) that stifled the progress of math and science for over 2,000 years. The so-called dark ages were actually less than 1,000 years ago, and were not so “dark”, as Christians were founding hospitals and centers of learning. It was Christians, who had no problem with the concept of infinity (God is eternal), that brought us modern science, and it’s language, mathematics. Daniel prophesied that in the future, people would be traveling, and knowledge would increase (Daniel 12:4). This is exactly what we see happening today. Francis Bacon, founder of the modern scientific method, used that verse as a catalyst to write about how we should go about advancing learning.

      • Spector567 Says:

        With Respect Gensci…. some Christians were founding hospitals…. Others were burning people for being heretics for suggesting anything that wasn’t already in the bible. Those are the Christians I comment not anyone else. They burned and threaten people for centuries. Most others were just living there lives.

        You seem to think I’m attacking Christians. I’m not. I’m commenting on how your view and presupposition of biblical literalism has done and continues to damage to our collective knowledge.

        You can claim all you want that the greeks made an error but you can’t claim that your ideology is innocent.

        You are not proposing a new idea…… That is being kept down….. You are proposing a very very old and long discredited on that has had it’s chance.

      • gensci Says:

        Howdy Spector,
        Christians sin, just like everybody else. I mean, look at King David, who Jesus Christ descended from. He slept with another man’s wife, and then had the man killed in battle to hide his own sin. Yet he repented and God forgave him. We understand that everybody sins. However, if you want to talk about Christians vs. atheists, on an annual basis, the historical record of collective atheism is 182,716 times worse than Christianity’s worst and most famous misdeed, the Spanish Inquisition (The Irrational Atheist by Vox Day, p. 240).

        And no, I’m am not proposing anything. Jesus Christ is. He’s putting this situation in front of you, orchestrating every bit of it.

      • Spector567 Says:

        Gensci. I don’t think you are understanding me. I was NEVER talking about Christians vs. Atheists. I’m talking about fundamentalists and biblical literalists who are against EVERYONE else including their fellow Christians. I was fairly clear on that.

        The Majority of people who support evolutionary theory and the current age of the earth are Christian. Atheists make a small minority of those people.

        And Jesus Christ is not saying that you have to say the earth is 6,000 years old. I’m pretty damn sure he never said anything along those lines and at best you can find him quoting the old testament to respond to other questions. (something that is not surprising, considering the times.)

        So the real question is. Are you going to follow Jesus example in life. Or are you going to pick and choose when you apply the literal bible and when you are not while ignoring Jesus message.

        No matter how you look at it. You have to make far too many twists, turns, quote mines and outlandish accusations to maintain your view point. Something I’m sure Jesus would never support.

      • gensci Says:

        Howdy Spector,
        I’m praying that God will open your eyes to your confusion. You’re thinking is so unscientific! Listen to what you’re saying, you’re using an argument from authority (“The Majority of people….”), which is a logical fallacy!

        No, Jesus never gave an age for the Earth, but He did believe in a worldwide Flood. So did Peter. So did Moses, and Noah, and the author of Hebrews, which was probably Paul. Actually, Jesus did say we shouldn’t worry about times and dates, so maybe you should stop worrying so much about the unverifiable past. I’m sorry, but I don’t feel a need to “believe” your unscientific “majority rules”, “go with the flow” nonsense. Only dead fish go with the flow.

        Scientific progress doesn’t advance by “consensus”, it advances by new discoveries. Your consensus garbage will definitely stifle scientific progress, as it creates a sea of fools too scared to take risks (and too quick to make unnecessary laws to prevent “consensus” from changing). Please change your thinking and be more open-minded. Take some advice from Dr. Martin Hovland, one of the world’s best petroleum geologists. At the top of his website he says “Go for the anomaly-that’s where discoveries are made.” http://martinhovland.weebly.com/

        That’s scientific thinking in a nutshell, and that’s how I encourage my students to think. I encourage you to think that way too.

      • Spector567 Says:

        Gensci. You are again attempting to reword my argument. I hope you are not doing this on purpose. Because that would be dishonest. I have no clue how you got on to this tract.

        You previously tried to frame this as a of Christian vs. Athiests argument. I merely pointed out that in reality you are arguing with far more Christians than atheists. So in short there is nothing unscientific about what I said. There was no fallacy. My meaning was perfectly clear. I have no clue how you could have been confused.

        Your arguments and disagreements are with other CHRISTIANS.

        and you are right Science does not progress by consensus. It progresses by creating new ideas, testing and retesting them in light of ALL the evidence.

        Science does not progress by ignoring evidence, playing word games on what history is, or through moral and religious threats.

        Because from what I’ve seen that is how you encourage your students to think. Afterall to disagree with you is to disagree with Jesus in your mind.

        Also have you considered your own words?

        Jesus said you shouldn’t be concerned with the times and dates.

        So why are YOU so concerned about the times and dates?

        When it comes to the bible I don’t care about the times and dates. I care about Jesus message. His actions and his example.

        Why do you feel that the times and dates are so important? does the lords message change if the earth is several million years old? Do the lessons change?

        Have you ever considered that those who wrote the bible were not concerned with times and dates either? Or that god/Jesus wasn’t concerned?

  5. grathuln Says:

    Dr Shormann it is disconcerting to see someone who promotes maths and science demonstrate a poor grasp of the English language.

    As you point out the definition of presupposition is:

    “Noun A thing tacitly assumed beforehand at the beginning of a line of argument or course of action.”

    By your understanding it is a presupposition to not believe in god when reviewing the evidence with respect to evolutionary theory. This is not the case because not believing in god has no bearing on how one interprets the evidence to determine if it supports evolutionary theory or not any more than not believing in fairies or the Flying Spaghetti Monster. Actually belief in fairies or the FSM would not be presuppositions either because such beliefs do not dictate how one should interpret the data.

    A true presupposition is believing that the Bible contains a literally true account of creation when reviewing evidence with respect to evolutionary theory. It is a presupposition because to believe this forces one to dogmatically interpret the data to fit the presupposition that the account of creation is true even when the evidence contradicts it.

    It is quite disturbing the kinds of arguments used to shoehorn the data into the creationist presupposition, they include: dismissal by virtue of the “you weren’t there” (20 million years ago), “the devil planted the evidence to confuse you” or “radiometric dating has been shown to be inaccurate in certain cases therefore it is completely inaccurate” arguments + others equally inventive and frankly rubbish. There is the “all life appeared at once” (during the Cambrian explosion) argument – actually “all life” would be a sudden(ish) diversification in aquatic life over 20 or so million years. There is also “the Grand Canyon was formed from the Noah flood water run off” argument, so wrong in so many ways. And the list of weaseling and wriggling arguments squirms on.

    You may argue that people are presupposing that “evolution is true” but in science this is not the case. Evolution is after all “only a theory” and as such data may either support it or disprove it; the very scientific definition of a theory demands that it can be disproved. That the theory of evolution has withstood considerable testing with all the data fitting it and being explained by it so far is testament to it being a very good theory. In science disproving a theory is second only to coming up with a better theory in terms of the accolades one can expect.

    As someone who supports the promotion of science and math you are surely aware of many scientific theories that have been discarded because the data contradicted them or was better explained using a different (better) theory. I am also sure you understand this is also how science works to constantly improve itself. In science you have to be prepared to be proven wrong, just as Stephen Hawkins was once, which cost him a years subscription to Penthouse magazine.

    Intelligent Design, aka creationism, is at best a hypothesis and one that has been repeatedly debunked by hard evidence during peer reviews. This has resulted in weaseling arguments and demands that rather than having peers review it children should do the job in schools from the creationist camp.

    It disturbs me that you fail to properly appreciate the meaning of the word presupposition as well as your subsequent inability to appreciate your own presupposition and how it hampers your ability to appreciate that which you promote, Science and math.

    • gensci Says:

      Hi Grathuln,
      Cool profile pic of the fox! Did you take that photo? Regarding my grasp of the English language, it’s just fine, so let’s not nitpick too much, okay? You are right, presupposing whether or not God exists does not force one to conclude evolutionism, as both theists and atheists believe in it. The main thing to understand here is that in order to reason, we all make some presuppositions. For example, by presupposing evolution, many said that most of our DNA was “junk”, just evolutionary leftovers. Those who had a different presupposition predicted that most DNA would have a purpose. And what is the conclusion from the ENCODE project? Well, most DNA is has a useful purpose, which is not what many of those who presuppose evolutionism predicted.

  6. grathuln Says:

    I have to disagree that reason necessitates presuppositions but this again goes to the understanding of what a presupposition really is.

    First though the “junk DNA” issue was a case of assumption rather than presupposition.

    The prediction based on evolutionary theory was that DNA would contain traces of DNA from the ancestors’ from which the donor evolved. It further predicted that all life would have DNA in common. The assumption was that ancestral DNA would no longer be useful so it would be junk, this it was discovered isn’t always the case. Humans do however have a lot of DNA in common with other species; all animals have around 80% of their DNA in common with plants.

    We do see much in our DNA that speaks of our ancestors just as evolutionary theory predicts, some of which is “junk”. We have for instance the same DNA coding that forms primate tails as primates with tails do however it is disabled in our DNA. That DNA has no use and to all intents and purposes is “junk”. If we were to be unethical we could enable this DNA to produce a child with a fully formed primate tail; this occasionally happens naturally in humans and these tails are usually surgically removed. We have enabled the DNA in chickens for forming teeth, a trait from their “dinosaur” evolutionary past, and the chickens formed teeth (not so rare after all).

    So now to clarify what a presupposition is.

    Presupposition:

    “A thing tacitly assumed beforehand at the beginning of a line of argument or course of action.”

    In the context of science a presupposition would be a belief that forces data to be interpreted to fit the belief.

    In science a theory makes predictions that can be tested, by virtue a theory can be falsified if its predictions fail the tests. This is the basis for science and scientific methodology.

    It follows then that a scientific theory cannot be a presupposition because if a theory predicts something and the data does not back up the prediction the theory is wrong not the data.

    By contrast the belief that Genesis in the bible is a literal historical account is a presupposition. Take the following quote from the AnswersInGenesis.org statement of faith.

    “By definition, no apparent, perceived or claimed evidence in any field, including history and chronology, can be valid if it contradicts the scriptural record. Of primary importance is the fact that evidence is always subject to interpretation by fallible people who do not possess all information.”

    In essence if the data (evidence) doesn’t fit the belief the data is wrong or the interpretation is wrong while the belief (Genesis and the bible) is always correct. This is the essence of a presupposition, a belief that shapes how one views, interprets or even dismisses data.

    As an otherwise intelligent person I hope you now fully appreciate what a presupposition is and why scientific theories, including evolutionary theory, cannot be presuppositions.

    When the likes of Aronra say they have no presuppositions when it comes to interpreting scientific data they’re correct; they may believe evolutionary theory is correct but when they do an experiment evolutionary theory predicts the results it does not determine how the actual results will turn out and a good scientist would not try to shoehorn the data if for no other reason than other scientists will call them out on it.

    That the data thus far fits the predictions of evolutionary theory is testament to the strength of theory. It could however be falsified by any data that goes against the theory.

    • gensci Says:

      I’m sorry you are disagreeing with me about something as self evident as the fact that reason necessitates presuppositions. Presuppositions are at the heart of deductive reasoning. In a syllogism, the major premise IS a presupposition! In Euclid’s Elements, the 10 axioms and postulates ARE presuppositions. Deductive reasoning is presuppositional. Mathematics, the language of science, is presuppositional.

      Natural history research is about interpretation. It differs from scientific research, which is about verification. Because neither the creationist or evolutionist can scientifically verify their claims about origins, both must rely on formal (deductive) arguments to direct their research.

      The “junk DNA” issue most certainly was a case of presupposing evolutionism. If the issue really was about a scientific “evolution theory”, then based on what you said, the theory should be rejected because it predicted DNA was “mostly junk”, and the ENCODE project totally falsified that prediction.

      So, by your reasoning, evolution theory has been falsified and should be rejected. However, the fact that you keep posting comments proves that you really don’t believe evolution as a scientific, and therefore falsifiable, concept. You presuppose it as a true account of history, regardless of the evidence that goes against it. If you really believe what you are saying about evolution being a scientific theory, you will respond back and admit that evolution theory has been falsified.

      So, the difference between you and me is that I admit that natural history research is presuppositional, while you deny this obvious truth. Please reconsider.

  7. grathuln Says:

    What you call presuppositions I call assumptions. The word presupposition is a “harder” word than assumption, assumptions can be falsified where as presuppositions are dogmatically adhered to despite subsequent evidence. You understand this otherwise your argument that people who “assume” evolution is an evident fact hold it as a presupposition makes no sense. If I were to use your apparent definition of presupposition then your point that evolution is a presupposition would be moot. So maybe in this instance I should not argue semantics and just say, OK so what? As long as we agree that a presupposition is readily changed in light of evidence.

    You go on to try to say that “junk DNA” was a case of presupposing evolutionism and that it somehow falsifies evolution yet I explained that it was not a presupposition (based on the actual usage of the word rather than the now agreed usage being synonymous with assumption). Not only that I explained that junk DNA did not falsify evolutionary theory anyway. Once again:

    1. Evolutionary theory only predicts that since all life has a common ancestor then there will be remnants of ancestral DNA and a whole bunch of DNA in common across all life forms. All genomes sequenced so far demonstrate this to be true; 80% of animal DNA is in common with plants and so on.

    2. An assumption was made that the remnants of ancestral DNA would be of no use ergo junk. This is not predicted by evolutionary theory which makes no claim regarding the ancestral DNA beyond it being there, which it is. In some cases ancestral DNA is junk but it has been discovered by science that in other cases it is not. This is a scientific discovery that does not go against evolutionary theory.

    The above argument does not dogmatically adhere to evolutionary theory. To sum up the prediction of evolutionary theory was there will be ancestral DNA, which there is, the assumption was it would be “junk” which is not always the case; we now better understand the how DNA works.

    In conclusion taking your apparent use of the word presupposition being synonymous with assumption that whole accusation that science presupposes evolutionary theory to be true is meaningless. Your further argument that “junk DNA” falsifies evolutionary theory based on my usage of the word presupposition is also wrong regardless of the usage of the word presupposition.

    Creationism by contrast makes no predictions, all it says is that whatever the evidence god did it, as a result it cannot be falsified either – humans create life in a test tube, god did it first; all life having DNA in common, yep that’s what god did. This is why creationism or “intelligent design” is not a theory in the scientific sense.

    What can be falsified though are the other presuppositions tied in with “intelligent design” such as the Noah flood. Just looking at the distribution of animal species alone should be a clue that the Noah flood story did not happen; the animals clearly did not spread out from mount Ararat is the story claims. Geological rock strata does not fit with the flood presupposition either; the flood would have it all being uniform when it is not, with there being loads of evidence of many long term geological processes such as erosion and transportation, burial and compaction, deformation and metamorphism and weathering.

    All scientific evidence also points to the human species evolving into its modern form long before the 6000 years of the young Earth creationism model of Adam and Eve. This does not presuppose evolution it simply is what the data indicates; we have archeological evidence of sophisticated civilisations existing prior to 6000 years ago let alone the fossils of our ancestors.

    In conclusion “Intelligent Design” is not a theory because it does not predict nor can it be falsified and the biblical account is not backed up by the evidence no matter how much one tries to hold to the presupposition that the biblical account is factually correct historically; which is why those that do hold to the presupposition that the biblical account is factually correct have to have statements of faith (we believe it is true regardless) and a very big shoehorn which has to be applied liberally.

    • gensci Says:

      I have no idea why you think you need to explain to me the difference between a presupposition and an assumption. I don’t think they are synonymous, I’m the one who defined the difference in the first place!

      The confusion here is still that you are not discerning between a historic thing and a scientific thing. You said that “creationism…..is not a theory in the scientific sense.” I agree 100%!

      Don’t you see though, evolutionism is not scientific either, it is also an unverifiable claim about history! Without a time machine, neither you or I can verify our claims about the past. If we humans cannot verify it, that means it is also unfalsifiable. However, we can think of these things as hypotheses (educated guesses). And this is the best way to do natural history research, by having multiple working hypotheses. When we have multiple working hypotheses, we can then use reason to determine which one paints the best picture of reality.

      Think about what the creation/evolution “battle” is about. It is a battle over which unverifiable historic claim is correct. It really shouldn’t be a battle though, but a discussion.

      Evolutionism DOES presuppose a vast prehistory with a massive buildup of genetic mistakes. This is an unverifiable claim, and therefore it is a claim about history. It is not a scientific claim. You make it sound scientific by calling it “evolution theory”, but you are really confusing a scientific thing with an unverifiable historic thing. If you want to call it “evolution theory” and “assume” junk DNA, then the ENCODE project falsified this assumption, and therefore evolution theory is false. If you want to call it “evolutionism” and “presuppose” junk DNA, then you need to take the multiple working hypotheses approach and compare it to other “isms”. Creationism presupposes an original purpose for all DNA, but since the Fall, some of it could have lost it’s function. The ENCODE project results match up better with a biblical interpretation of history. That doesn’t “prove” creationism is true and evolutionism is false though, it just says that creationism matches reality better in this instance.

      I would love to see more evolutionists make the distinction between natural history research and scientific research. Evolutionists dominate academia and the media right now, and I honestly believe their dogmatic assertions are stifling scientific progress. Just think how far ahead we would be right now if the majority of scientists were saying “most DNA has purpose” instead of “most DNA is junk!” By dogmatically asserting “most DNA is junk” evolutionists stifled free inquiry into what DNA is doing.

      And there is so much more than just DNA to be concerned with anyways. In the 21st Century, we are in the age of biological information. We have the genome, but we now need to consider the epigenome, the proteome, and the interactome. We need to consider the fact that biological information is stored in many places besides DNA. Scientific inquiry is about discovering pattern and purpose, so to say “there is no pattern or purpose” goes against the foundation of what scientific discovery is about. Please humbly reconsider your thinking on this. And what would be really awesome is for you to repent and turn to Christ. Faith is a gift from Christ (Ephesians 2:8-9). But Christian faith is not a blind faith either, and it says as much in Hebrews 11:1-3. Praying for you!

      • grathuln Says:

        Evolutionists did not dogmatically assert most DNA is junk. There was a broadly held assumption that it was but as you say far less of it is junk than first believed; this was discovered thanks to scientific enquiry that was not stifled by the assumption much of the DNA was junk.

        The reason why the assumption that much DNA was junk didn’t stifle scientific enquiry was because even assuming much of it was junk there was still a desire to find out which bits weren’t junk because those non junk bits would be what makes us human. In the process we discovered it’s even more complex than that and research is still on going.

        We’re only as far ahead as we are now thanks to massive improvements in the processing and analysis of DNA that resulted from the desire to map the human Genome; the desire to figure out which bits weren’t junk. We’re now so good at mapping genomes we’ve mapped quite a few from different species.

        The results back up the evolutionary theory because we can now see the evolutionary family tree and the interrelationship of all life on Earth just as predicted by the theory.

        We still do not know what all the genes do but that’s what science is working on now and those results will have no bearing on the observable fact that there is a family tree structure to the DNA record that includes all life forms from basic bateria right up to humans. A family tree just as predicted by the evolutionary theory.

        Evolutionary theory is backed up by a lot of other contemporary evidence too.

        The distribution of species around the world fits evolutionary theory: there are species that exist in only one part of the world, not to mention whole families such as the Macropodidae in Australia. Species have evidently adapted to their environments. We can see migratory patterns of species too just by looking at existing species and how they interrelate.

        Bacteria mutate and adapting to take advantage of new environments, a classic contemporary case being a bacteria that evolved to specialise in eating waste from producing Nylon. Even more contemporary are bacteria that evolve novel ways of being drug resistant.

        Creationists dismiss the observable evolution by saying “oh that’s adaptation” or “micro evolution” but that is what evolution is all about. Evolutionary theory says life adapts over time due to a random process of mutation and a non-random process of natural selection.

        Natural selection occurs when a mutation causes the lifeform to die before it can reproduce or it prevents it from reproducing. This may not be death from the failure of biological processes it may be death due to poor adaptation to the environment (a hypothetical example would be a short necked giraffe being unable to reach the leaves on the trees so dying of starvation). It also occurs when lifeforms selectively breed, mates select a particular plumage pattern for instance. It also occurs artificially due to hunting by humans and imposed selective breeding by humans.

        Evolution does not predict one species giving birth to another. It predicts a gradual buildup of changes over time. The longer the time period the greater the buildup of changes.

        Ring speciation demonstrates evolution of new species. There are several observable examples of animals that have migrated around two sides of a physical barrier such a mountain range or a great lake. As the animals migrated they encountered different environments and adapted accordingly. This resulted in pockets of the same animal (a bird say) adapted to specialise within the environment it stayed in. Each “pocket” can interbreed with the adjacent pocket just as evolution suggests because they’re only slightly different. However when the two lineages of the animal meet on the other side of the natural barrier the build up of differences stopped them from breeding with each other. Speciation had occurred; the definition of speciation being: The process in which new genetically distinct species evolve usually as a result of genetic isolation from the main population. Due to Genetic Isolation, the differences in gene pools among species become so great that they cannot reproduce through interbreeding. Yes they’re the same “kind” but they are completely different species, although they can mate with the adjacent pocket on their own lineage. To get a new kind you need a much longer time frame.

        OK so now to the “history”. Evolution predicts (as all good theories do) a gradual buildup of changes over time. It follows then that diverse and complex life can only arise over a significant period of time. With this in mind it can be predicted that the older the geological strata the less complex and less diverse the evident life forms will be in the fossil record. That’s what we see, the older the fossils the less complex and diverse the evident life forms are; we do see some mass extinction events during which life was more or less “reset” but the pattern is always the same from that point on, less complex and diverse to more complex and diverse. This is consistent around the world.

        Evolutionary theory is used to track down those elusive missing links. Take a fossil x million years old and a younger fossil y million years old. Look in a strata younger than x and older than y and that’s were the “missing link” will be; this technique has consistently yielded the expected result, fossils showing transitions between x and y. Pretty impressive since very few animals get fossilised.

        “No pattern or purpose” I don’t recall saying that or implying it, if I did I apologise for misleading you regarding my argument. Evolutionary theory predicts patterns which have been observed. DNA has a purpose which science is working on. As to a grand purpose that goes to the realm of philosophy rather than science.

        I’m a bit concerned by Ephesians 2:8-9 it seems to be suggesting it doesn’t matter what you do (good or bad) you’re saved because god gave you faith and that alone is the reason you’re saved. In other words belief in god is all that matters so have at it in life knowing that thanks to your faith you are saved. Reminds me of the classic chick tract called the Sheriff and the Gunman (iirc). The otherwise good and charitable sheriff ends up in hell due to his disbelief in god. The murderous gunman ends up in heaven due to a last minute (gallows) conversion and acceptance of Jesus.

        I was a little nonplussed by Hebrews 11:1-3 as it is seems to be just a statement of faith.

        1 Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see. 2 This is what the ancients were commended for.

        (ok, makes sense faith is being confident in something without any evidence of it so it follows that “faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see”) I don’t see it and have no evidence of it but I know it’s true because I have faith…. Sounds like typical blind faith.

        3 By faith we understand that the universe was formed at God’s command, so that what is seen was not made out of what was visible.

        Right so given the definition in 1 what this says is although we have no evidence of it and cannot see it we believe the universe was formed at god’s command. This also sounds like blind faith to me.

        I thought I’d better check for context so I read Hebrews 10 through and realised how Hebrews 11 1-3 nicely dovetails with Ephesians 2:8-9.

        Reading Hebrews 10:36-39 it’s clear one must have faith in order to be saved and Hebrews 11 basically tells you what you must have faith in.

        36 You need to persevere so that when you have done the will of God, you will receive what he has promised. 37 For,

        “In just a little while,
        he who is coming will come
        and will not delay.”

        38 And,

        “But my righteous[g] one will live by faith.
        And I take no pleasure
        in the one who shrinks back.”

        39 But we do not belong to those who shrink back and are destroyed, but to those who have faith and are saved.

        In other words no faith that god created the universe means assured destruction (pit of hell or whatever). I can understand why those creationist pages have statements of faith on them.

        Evolutionary theory, as you know, says nothing about how the Universe was created or by whom or what.

      • gensci Says:

        Wow, that post was wayyyyy too long. Let me help summarize things. The idea of creationism predicted the findings of the ENCODE project better than the idea of evolutionism did. It doesn’t “prove” creationism over evolutionism, because these are unverifiable claims about history. And you gave me a perfect example regarding “kinds”, or “baramins.” Creationists have the historical document of Scripture to support our belief that God created different kinds. Evolutionists don’t have any historical documents, just unverified assertions that “to get a new kind you need a much longer time frame.” Neither creationists or evolutionists can very their claims about kinds, but creationists do have testimony to how kinds came about.

        Science is conclusive that artificial and natural selection can both produce some variety. The only real difference between you and me then is that I think there are more limitations on how much variety can occur. 21st Century science also shows that there are DNA repair mechanisms that help to limit genetic change. Failure of these mechanisms has yet to produce a new “kind”, but it most certainly has caused cancer.

        So, if you want to believe that “To get a new kind you need a much longer time frame.”, go ahead. Just don’t be intolerant of me if I don’t believe this presupposition. Let me be skeptical of your claim, and you may be skeptical of my claim that God, not long time frames, is the cause for different kinds.

        And speakng of kinds, watch Evolution Vs. God: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U0u3-2CGOMQ

      • gensci Says:

        Hi Grathuln,
        Thank you for the videos. Here’s my YouTube video on transitional fossils (3.5 minutes): http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-Htheuxtv9o

        I am not posting any more of your comments, because they are all based on confusion between a scientific thing and a historic thing. Ken Miller says “look how the chromosomes are similar” and interprets that as evidence of common ancestry. Creationists say “look how the chromosomes are similar” and interpret it as evidence of common design. That’s not going to change, so let’s focus on something else.

        There are things your side and my side can both do to defuse the battle somewhat and get both sides focusing more on advancing science. If you want to discuss how we could do that, then let’s keep communicating. You seem to have a more open mind than some evolutionists. I think it would be awesome if a creationist and an evolutionist could work together to advance 21st Century Science!

      • grathuln Says:

        Hi again gensci, by publishing my comments you have shown more willingness to have an open unedited debate than some and that is to your credit.

        I watched the video you suggested and was impressed by the young man’s experiment and thinking though it was flawed, at least he was thinking and experimenting and from the comments referencing other material too (yay); it was also pleasing to see he allowed comments so his video could be peer reviewed, it appears it was expertly peer reviewed and the flaws highlighted.

        To improve the teaching of science in US schools it would be a good start to teach the scientific process: teach children how to recognise data; how to analyse data; how to postulate theories; how to test them through experimentation and how to withstand the sticks and stones of peer review and how to think critically, to formulate good questions about a theory and question the data. This needs to be established early, built up through the early school years and reinforced throughout their educational career.

        Children at the moment are being taught what to think and while this is important it is over emphasised. It pushes a rote learning process, absorb what you are told and regurgitate it at testing time; this is the wrong approach for science and perhaps a couple of other disciplines too.

        For science the child’s natural curiosity about the world around it needs to be cultured and channeled properly very early, starting around 5 or 6, probably earlier.

        Children start asking “why” between the ages of 2 – 5 and while answers should be given more effort should be put in to reasoning with them as they progress, leading them to the answer through stimulating their own processes of inquiry and thought. They should also be encouraged to question and answer and where possible devise experiments to demonstrate (or disprove) the given answer; this encourages them to think about what can be predicted based on the theory; this will need to be done on a case by case basis of course as not all children develop in the same way.

        The process of getting students to question and work to an answer which can then be used to predict how an experiment should go should form the framework of scientific education from the earliest science classes right through to degree and masters level where it should be innate by then.

        The critical thinking skills this will nurture will be useful in other fields of study too as I’m sure you will appreciate.

        Children should be taught to question established theories but never given questions to ask. It disappoints me to see creationists telling children what questions they should ask in science classes when the subject of evolution comes up, and oddly only that subject. This is not teaching children how to think it’s feeding them questions. Children should be able to formulate their own questions unprompted that way they will have used their own reasoning skills and will be having those challenged so improving them.

        Science and history dovetail quite nicely as you probably know, there is lot of science relating to history such as archeology, paleontology, geology and so on all of which use the scientific process. I realise this is separate to recorded history, such as it is, where science only serves to validate the age / authenticity of the records but sheds no light on the validity of what was written. Written history being the eyewitness accounts of history and as every scientist knows eyewitnesses accounts are the least reliable evidence of anything, despite what lawyers may say. This is not confusing to me.

      • gensci Says:

        Hi grathuln,
        The “young man” in the Crushing Tiktaalik video is me. Not exactly a “young man” anymore though! Of course, I would disagree that the video has been expertly peer reviewed via YouTube comments! I’m still waiting for someone to 1) replicate my experiment and 2) uncover a laterally compressed Tik.

        Also, I don’t know if you are aware, but I own a math and science educational software company, http://diveintomath.com/, and our standards for high school math and science are higher than any state standards in the USA. My biology curriculum has more 21st century science in it than any current government school textbook, and I think the reason for that is because some evolutionists want to suppress the new science. For example, look at this article on epigenetics that came out this week in Science: http://www.sciencemag.org/content/341/6150/1055.short . Look at the first sentence: “For some evolutionary biologists, just hearing the term epigenetics raises hackles.

        I am looking for evolutionists whose hackles are NOT raised by terms like epigenetics. Or, if their hackles are raised, they have the courage to forge ahead anyways. Are you one of those?

        Also, I can’t speak for all creationists, but this one is 100% in favor of developing critical thinking skills. When it comes to studying the unobserved past, multiple working hypotheses is the best approach for allowing a student to determine for themselves which hypothesis is correct. This is how I teach biology. I give students the tools to explore both common and uncommon descent, and then let them decide. I let them know my opinion, but I let them freely choose their own. With this approach, students not only go on to receive college credit for their high school work via CLEP and AP Biology exams, they learn more 21st century science than what is on these exams due to the suppression by evolutionists with “raised hackles”.


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