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Evolution - how do you deal with it?     Reply to topic
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What is your take on evolution?
I'm 6-day creation scientist all the way!!
80%
 80%  [ 33 ]
I'm an old-earth creationist.
4%
 4%  [ 2 ]
I take a little from both sides.
2%
 2%  [ 1 ]
I'm a theistic evolutionist.
2%
 2%  [ 1 ]
I'm an atheistic evolutionist.
4%
 4%  [ 2 ]
I haven't decided yet.
0%
 0%  [ 0 ]
I believe in an eternal universe and reincarnation.
0%
 0%  [ 0 ]
Do I care?
4%
 4%  [ 2 ]
Other (Please post!)
0%
 0%  [ 0 ]
Voted : 25

Jennifer
35, 39?, -105?

Posts: 1885
PostPosted: Fri Dec 02, 05 7:30 pm Reply with quote Report this to the Response Team

OK - we're the scientists group, and I'm assuming that most people on this site are Christian. Therefore, this must be an issue...



Last edited by on Mon Jan 09, 06 1:21 pm; edited 3 times in total
Jennifer
35, 39?, -105?

Posts: 1885
PostPosted: Thu Dec 15, 05 8:09 pm Reply with quote Report this to the Response Team

cool article:

http://www.physorg.com/news9114.html

Victoria CalLady QED
32, California

Posts: 687
PostPosted: Wed Dec 28, 05 3:23 pm Reply with quote Report this to the Response Team

Maece, the poll isn't fair. If I check of "6 day" than people will think I mean 24-hr solar days. I'm an old-earth creationist.

I completely and totally believe that God formed and filled the earth in six days. I'm inclined to think that the creation of the heavens and the earth (Gen. 1:1) was before the first day. Then again, that wouldn't matter much if the first day is of an unknown length. Anyway, "day" in both Hebrew and English does indicate time (which didn't exist until God created the universe), but doesn't always indicate a 24-hr (or 23hr+whatever) solar/calender day.

That's my take.

~CalLady <><

Gwenhwyfar Bychan
36, Tustin, CA

Posts: 855
PostPosted: Wed Dec 28, 05 11:03 pm Reply with quote Report this to the Response Team

Maece- I agree with "CalLady." There are a number of views that Bible-believing Christians hold that cannot in any way be classified as "6-day" or "theistic evolution." Besides who on this forum would admit to believing in "atheistic evolution" or "reincarnation"? You should've put up a poll about the common views that Christians take so we could actually have a discussion about them. -GB

Gwenhwyfar Bychan
36, Tustin, CA

Posts: 855
PostPosted: Wed Dec 28, 05 11:54 pm Reply with quote Report this to the Response Team

Maece wrote:
cool article:

http://www.physorg.com/news9114.html


What I don't get is how a slogan like "a theory, not a fact" could necessarily have any religious significance at all. There are plenty of atheists who denounce evolution for even stranger things. –GB

Jennifer
35, 39?, -105?

Posts: 1885
PostPosted: Mon Jan 09, 06 12:13 pm Reply with quote Report this to the Response Team

OK - I added another option to the poll, let me know if this is not sufficient.

Gwenhwyfar Bychan wrote:
...who on this forum would admit to believing in "atheistic evolution" or "reincarnation"? You should've put up a poll about the common views that Christians take so we could actually have a discussion about them. -GB


Believe it or not, there are some non-Christians on homeschoolalumni, I don't think any have applied to this group yet, and they are in the minority, but they do exist Wink

I agree at least with the old earth view that "a day" isn't necessarily a 24-hr period. My main reasoning behind this come from Genesis:
Quote:

14 And God said, "Let there be lights in the expanse of the sky to separate the day from the night, and let them serve as signs to mark seasons and days and years, 15 and let them be lights in the expanse of the sky to give light on the earth." And it was so. 16 God made two great lights—the greater light to govern the day and the lesser light to govern the night. He also made the stars. 17 God set them in the expanse of the sky to give light on the earth, 18 to govern the day and the night, and to separate light from darkness. And God saw that it was good. 19 And there was evening, and there was morning—the fourth day. (Emphasis mine)


So here we have God creating the sun, moon, and stars, obviously telling us that they are there to mark time - with multiple specific references to the time period day - and yet this is the fourth day. How could the other three days be days in the same way without a sun to govern them or mark their length???

I suppose that even without the sun a 24-hr period could be referred to as "a day," and young earth creationists argue that this is what the Hebrew word always seems to refer to in future contexts. However, I have to voice a reminder that in future contexts there is a sun.So, I really don't know what to think. I'm not sure I'm really an old-earth creationist, but I can't say that I see a rock-solid basis for literal 6-day creationism. *shrug*

Another thing that is weird about time is relativity, when you travel at the speed of light, weird things happen to time lengths. I've never really tried to mathematically work any of this out, but I think that at the beginning of the universe, time might've been a bit messed up - at least a modern time period wouldn't have much meaning. If the big bang is true, or anything similar to it where something is being suddenly created from nothing, I think you'll have a situation like this.

Another thing about time is the way that things are proved. You can prove general rules, and you can prove things in the present, but can you really prove things in the past? Especially in the very distant past? The steps of the scientific method are observation, hypothesis, and testing. First of all, you cannot observe the past, only the remains of it. Second, you cannot test the past (physics pretty much forbids backwards time-travel, with only a few irrelevant exceptions). so the only thing that is left is hypothesis - this by itself is not science. For this reason, I hold that "theories of origin" are NEVER scientific, whether Biblical or evolutionary.

That being said, I have seen some things FOR evolution that seem fairly convinving.

My main anti-evolution stance is against biological macro-evolution. There are probably multiple "scientific" arguments against it, I know there are many for it. However, my main objection is more logical than scientific. See what I have written on Pascal's Wager, and take creationism to be a part of "belief in God."

On a somewhat more emotional level, I simply find that Darwinism has revolting moral conclusions. Scientists, particularly secular scientists, are very fond of saying "Science has nothing to say about the meaning of life, morality, etc." - it's a politically correct statement that is very popular right now. However, I don't know that I've ever met a scientists who truly believes this. All scientists seem to have some view of the meaning of life, and at some level they feel that their own science supports this view. Darwinism has a particularly ugly history of the sort of views it has been used to support, and that is the main reason why I reject it. I think that even if it were scientifically "proved" I would still reject it for these reasons. But as I stated above, I don't think it can be proved, because it is not a scientific hypothesis.

Perhaps that means that I am willing to go insane - because I would reject "truth" and replace it with what pleases me. But, as I suggested in the Pascal's Wager discussion, if "truth" is that nothing is absolute, everything is relative, everything changes, everything is random, nothing lasts - what value is that kind of truth? Why not just cling to the random belief that happens to please me? Kind of like Puddleglum:

Quote:
"What is a lion?" asked the Witch.
"Oh, hang it all!" said Scrubb. "Don't you know? how can we describe it to her? Have you ever seen a cat?"
"Surely," said the Queen [Witch]. "I love cats."
"Well, a lion is a little bit--only a little bit, mind you--like a huge cat--with a mane. At least, it's not like a horse's mane, you know, it's more like a judge's wig. And it's yellow. And terrifically strong."
The Witch shook her head. "I see," she said, "that we should do no better with your lion, as you call it, than we did with your sun. Well, 'tis a pretty make-believe, though, to say truth, it would suit you all better if you were younger. And look how you can put nothing into your make-believe world without copying it from the real world, this world of mine, which is the only world. But even you children are too old for such play. As for you, my lord Prince, that art a man full grown, fie upon you! Are you not ashamed of such toys? Come, all of you. Put away these childish tricks. I have work for you all in the real world. There is no Narnia, no Overworld, no sky, no sun, no Aslan. And now, to bed all. And let us begin a wiser life tomorrow. But, first, to bed; to sleep; deep sleep, soft pillows, sleep without foolish dreams."

--for the sake of brevity I am skipping a few passages, so go read the book (it's good!)--

"One word, Ma'am," [Puddleglum] said, coming back from the fire; limping, because of the pain. "One word. All you've been saying is quite right, I shouldn't wonder. I'm a chap who always liked to know the worst and then put the best face I can on it. So I won't deny any of what you've said. But there's one more thing to be said, even so. Suppose we have only dreamed, or made up, all those things--trees and grass and sun and moon and stars and Aslan himself. Suppose we have. Then all I can say is that, in that case, the made-up things seem a good deal more important than the real ones. Suppose this black pit of a kingdom of yours is the only world. Well, it strikes me as a pretty poor one. And that's a funny thing, when you come to think of it. We're just babies making up a game, if you're right. But four babies playing a game can make a play-world which licks your real world hollow. That's why I'm on Aslan's side even if there isn't any Aslan to lead it. I'm going to live as like a Narnian as I can even if there isn't any Narnia. So, thanking you kindly for our supper, if these two gentlemen and the young lady are ready, we're leaving your court at once and setting out in the dark to spend our lives looking for Overland. Not that our lives will be very long, I should think; but that's a small loss if the world's as dull a place as you say."
- The Silver Chair by C.S. Lewis


Gwenhwyfar Bychan
36, Tustin, CA

Posts: 855
PostPosted: Wed Jan 11, 06 3:18 pm Reply with quote Report this to the Response Team

Maece wrote:
OK - I added another option to the poll, let me know if this is not sufficient...


Hmm...Since those of us who've voted already can't change, I'm not sure if that is nec better, but okay.

My Post

[quote=”Maece”]Believe it or not, there are some non-Christians on
homeschoolalumni, I don't think any have applied to this group yet, and they are in the minority, but they do exist…[/quote]

Yeah, I know...now! Embarassed -GB

Gwenhwyfar Bychan
36, Tustin, CA

Posts: 855
PostPosted: Wed Jan 11, 06 3:25 pm Reply with quote Report this to the Response Team

Maece wrote:
...Another thing that is weird about time is relativity, when you travel at the speed of light, weird things happen to time lengths. I've never really tried to mathematically work any of this out, but I think that at the beginning of the universe, time might've been a bit messed up - at least a modern time period wouldn't have much meaning...


Actually, I don't know much about it either. But I do know that time, along with every other dimension in our universe, came into existence at the point of creation, or better known as the "Big Bang." This was time as we know it, not a different kind of "time."

Maece wrote:
...You can prove general rules, and you can prove things in the present, but can you really prove things in the past? Especially in the very distant past?...you cannot observe the past, only the remains of it. Second, you cannot test the past (physics pretty much forbids backwards time-travel, with only a few irrelevant exceptions). so the only thing that is left is hypothesis...


I disagree. We know that God's laws are perfect. We can learn these laws in nature by using physics and math. We know that light travels at a certain rate. When we see a light turn on, such as a flashlight, we know that we don't see the light immediately. We can measure the speed of light by measuring how fast the light travels the distance from the flashlight to us a few feet away. We know that we see the light after it was produced, because it didn't reach us immediately. We're, in a sense, looking into the past.

This is also extended to the flash of light from one of those signals they put on hilltops for airplanes. We measure how fast the light travels from the hilltop to us a few miles away. Again, we know that we see old light. We're looking into the past.

We then do the same for the lights on airplanes and satellites we see moving up in the atmosphere. We do the same for the moon, the sun, and each of the planets. We do the same for distant stars, comets, etc.

Now we know that God's laws are perfect, and we know that we can rely on them in our everyday life. For example, if the speed of light wasn't constant, we couldn't judge distances of moving cars on the freeway at night. We'd crash into people!

We apply this to the most distant parts of the universe. We do the same mathematical calculations used in the flashlight example, more or less. We get the answer that the furthest points in the universe that we can see are about 13 billion light-years away. Therefore, for those most distant parts of the universe that we can see, the light must have been traveling for about 13 billion years. We actually are actually looking into the past. We are looking at old light.

As for what's beyond, the light hasn't reached us yet. That's why we can conclude that 13 billion years is a good estimate for the age of the universe. The maximum I've always heard was about 15 billion years. That's far cry from the trillions of years that evolutionists need just for one for their mathematically improbably predictions to pan out!

Now how can we say that the universe is not the age that God's laws tell us? To do so, we'd have to conclude that either God is playing a trick on us, or God's laws are not perfect and we cannot rely on them (or God). Which is it? -GB

Victoria CalLady QED
32, California

Posts: 687
PostPosted: Wed Jan 11, 06 7:58 pm Reply with quote Report this to the Response Team

Gwenhwyfar Bychan wrote:
I disagree. We know that God's laws are perfect. We can learn these laws in nature by using physics and math.
[...]
Now how can we say that the universe is not the age that God's laws tell us? To do so, we'd have to conclude that either God is playing a trick on us, or God's laws are not perfect and we cannot rely on them (or God). Which is it? -GB


Are physics and math really God's laws, not man's? They are man's conclusions as to what God's laws are basd on the workings of His universe. God is perfect, but science isn't.

~Victoria

Gwenhwyfar Bychan
36, Tustin, CA

Posts: 855
PostPosted: Wed Jan 11, 06 8:50 pm Reply with quote Report this to the Response Team

CalLady wrote:
Are physics and math really God's laws, not man's? They are man's conclusions as to what God's laws are basd on the workings of His universe. God is perfect, but science isn't...


Okay, I disagree, but I'll have to think about that. But I will say again that our tools verify what we already know to be true, so why can't we use them to estimate other things?

Because geometry worked on paper and for small-scale empirical problems, the Greek philosopher Eratosthenes could measure the circumference of the earth. We get a different measurement now, not because his geometry was faulty, but because his measurements of distances and degrees were primitive. We need to perfect our measurements since we are imperfect.

So how about this instead: Since God's laws (whatever they are) are perfect, and we know our tools for measuring them are reliable, there is no reason why we should reject the results. If you believe that something hasn't been done correctly, I guess you'll have to pursue pure math. -GB

Jennifer
35, 39?, -105?

Posts: 1885
PostPosted: Wed Jan 18, 06 11:00 am Reply with quote Report this to the Response Team

OK - God's laws are perfect.

What does perfect mean? Unchanging? Because if you believe that, you shouldn't eat pork or wear clothes made from two kinds of cloth (personally, I think it's a good idea to follow Torah, though I don't think it will save you anymore than it could back then). What else might perfect mean? Does the Bible say that God's laws are "perfect?" Where? In all translations? What else does it say that they are? Is the Bible talking about natural law when it says this?

How can you tell if something is unchanging? You can read old books to see what people observed in the past - do you believe them? Always? What if you go so far back that there are no books?

As to the speed of light being "constant," there are cases when it's not. For instance, the speed of light in a vacuum, as far as we can tell, is constant. But, if you pass light through any other medium, the speed does change based on the refraction index of that medium. This is one of the first laws of optics, and without it lots of modern technology wouldn't work. Much work in modern physics has focused on "Bose-Einstein condensates," and what happens when you pass light through them - light can be slowed down quite a bit in those cases.

Also, although I have not looked into this much, I once read an article in a science magazine that proposed the idea that the speed of light is slowing down - based on historical measurements. This was not an academic journal, and pop magazines were often ridiculed by my physics profs, but it's a possibility, nevertheless.

Also, as to calculating how far light has travelled to measure the life of the universe - what if there were stars that died long before the creation of the earth? We wouldn't necessarily see their light. Or, what if God created everything exactly as it is, for instance what if he created the earth already connected by light to distant stars? Some people believe this - part of the rationale is that the Bible says nothing about Adam and Eve being children. If they were created in full maturity, why not the rest of the universe?

Also, when light travels, there are various effects that get in the way, such as the Doppler effect, and gravitational lensing. Were these taken into account when calculating how far light has travelled to us? What if there are other effects that we have not discovered yet that should be taken into account? The two effects I mentioned were only discovered in the last century. How do we know if these effects were doing the same thing a million years ago? How do we know what medium light was passing through in the past? How can we know if a measurement into the past is correct?

We can make a measurement, and assume that everything in the past behaved as we think it behaved (which for the most part means assuming it behaves like it does now - ie, that laws are unchanging), and in that sense we can "look into the past," but you must realize that there are assumptions involved.

Also, if you don't want to be accused of circular reasoning, you must be very careful that your conclusions don't contain your assumptions. For instance, I suppose it's ok to make the assumption that things in the past behaved pretty much as they do now (as long as you're very upfront about it). But, for example, don't assume that light has always behaved the way it does now, and then use this to prove that laws in the past behaved as they do now.

Gwenhwyfar Bychan
36, Tustin, CA

Posts: 855
PostPosted: Fri Jan 20, 06 8:11 pm Reply with quote Report this to the Response Team

Maece BSSR - pi wrote:
...I once read an article in a science magazine that proposed the idea that the speed of light is slowing down - based on historical measurements. This was not an academic journal, and pop magazines were often ridiculed by my physics profs, but it's a possibility, nevertheless...


I'd be really cautious about a pop magazine's claim. Why do you think the author is credible?

We know that the measurements throughout history are not as accurate, that's why we see this "trend." If you lined up the estimates for anything else - the earth's circumference, the length of a day, etc. - you'd see similar variations. Our techniques for measuring things have improved. -GB

Victoria CalLady QED
32, California

Posts: 687
PostPosted: Sun Jan 22, 06 9:14 pm Reply with quote Report this to the Response Team

Quote:
Genesis 2:5-6 ESV When no bush of the field was yet in the land and no small plant of the field had yet sprung up--for the LORD God had not caused it to rain on the land, and there was no man to work the ground, 6and a mist was going up from the land and was watering the whole face of the ground...

Idea Just a thought: If God didn't create fullgrown plants, but rather made seeds that had to be watered in order to grow, where is the validity in the a common argument that God created the universe with the appearance of age? Is this consistent?

Jennifer
35, 39?, -105?

Posts: 1885
PostPosted: Mon Jan 23, 06 3:31 pm Reply with quote Report this to the Response Team

Gwenhwyfar Bychan wrote:
Maece BSSR - pi wrote:
...I once read an article in a science magazine that proposed the idea that the speed of light is slowing down - based on historical measurements. This was not an academic journal, and pop magazines were often ridiculed by my physics profs, but it's a possibility, nevertheless...


I'd be really cautious about a pop magazine's claim. Why do you think the author is credible?


...I thought I was being cautious. All I sadi was that it was a possibility. I do remember that the guy espousing the theory either had a Phd, or this was his dissertation, and I think he was at some well-known university like Cambridge or CalTech or something like that... being cautious isn't necessarily the same thing as being silent Wink

Anyway, I tracked down a link for that theory. I also think it's interesting if you scroll down to the Possibility of variations in c section (also on the article linked at the top to "speed of light"), you read that c is constant by definition.

CalLady wrote:
Quote:
Genesis 2:5-6 ESV When no bush of the field was yet in the land and no small plant of the field had yet sprung up--for the LORD God had not caused it to rain on the land, and there was no man to work the ground, 6and a mist was going up from the land and was watering the whole face of the ground...

Idea Just a thought: If God didn't create fullgrown plants, but rather made seeds that had to be watered in order to grow, where is the validity in the a common argument that God created the universe with the appearance of age? Is this consistent?


I'm not sure exactly what to think of that theory, but if Adam and Eve were created in full maturity, providing counter-examples of other objects does not negate the possibility of some things (ie light from distant stars) being created in full maturity.

Also, whoever said that all aspects of creation have to be consistent? (see my discussion of perfection above - when I say consistent I am referring to the idea that either everything was created with the appearance of age or everything developed over time)

Gwenhwyfar Bychan wrote:
Maece wrote:
OK - I added another option to the poll, let me know if this is not sufficient...


Hmm...Since those of us who've voted already can't change, I'm not sure if that is nec better, but okay.


Yeah, I know that's kind of a drawback (maybe I'll go post about it in the suggestions forum). However, for future reference, be advised that it's better not to vote until you see an option you really agree with.

Jennifer
35, 39?, -105?

Posts: 1885
PostPosted: Thu Jan 26, 06 10:45 pm Reply with quote Report this to the Response Team

Maece BSSR-pi wrote:
Also, when light travels, there are various effects that get in the way, such as the Doppler effect, and gravitational lensing. Were these taken into account when calculating how far light has travelled to us?


It has been brought to my attention that this was a rather stupid question (basically the Doppler effect and the Big Bang and thus the current estimates for the age of the universe are all so interlinked that you cannot really ask the question). I do not quite subscribe to the theory that there is no such thing as a stupid question (sometimes you really should know better than to ask - and in this case if I had thought about it a bit longer I might have realized the folly of my ways... *sigh*), nevertheless, I would rather ask and learn than say nothing and remain stupid. Revealed stupidity can be erradiated, hidden stupidity often grows.

I hope everybody else on here feels as free to ask questions as I do.

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