Creating a Learning Network for Kingdom Builders!
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Hey Wow! That's some interesting reading! Go for it! It's great to see real issues being brought out for thought. What a fun way to show both sides.
First things first. Let's stop accusing one another of being without morals. I know, I know there are things that show a lack of morality... However, lets keep this to the sharing of information, knowledge and resources.
Luminary, I love the angels you bring to a discussion. Christians believe evolution...not accepted. Of course not! They would get mowed down by other Christians so seldom speak up. I think because evolution requires that many things come from one original kind it cannot be. Genesis appears to show that many types were created simutaneously. There is some good reading on the topic. Don't remember titles and authors so need to do some digging. Yes sometimes we do argue for the sake of arguing over stuff that may not matter.
Jim, even you accept mutation from type to type only on a bacterial level? Could there be a hole in your argument?
What if the lightening that allowed those RNA and DNA building blocks to form sparked when God spoke the earth into existence? Could parts of both views be right? Could we, as Luminay believes, be splitting hairs over foolish things? Are we pulling hair out over the How and missing the WHY? Science is not designed to answer the How. Could both our views of the How be too narrow?
Umm...the pattern used for taxonomy and nomenclature is high school biology. Saw it presented long ago even in the out dated texts found in the rural High School I attended. Frankly think it is mans tempt to organize something complex into a neat package for easy understanding. If Genetics backs it up. then the orignal workers did a good job.
Cell complex? You betcha. Completely fascinating too. It was a professor's comment regarding the complexity of a cell that got me back to pondering my then unused faith. Somewhere in my posts I have already given the quote. Going to make you hunt to find it....feel free to comment on anything you find intersting while you're at it just stay on topic.
"That one species evolved into another (the real challenge of evolution for many Christians) also appears to be gathering some evidence as to its viability by way of new archaeological digs and via DNA and epigenomic findings. Time will tell, however, as there is still debate around some findings."
I agree with the general theme of your reply here, luminary2009—but I would just add that we have been WAY beyond gathering "some evidence" for several decades now. There is, in fact, an abundance of mutually corroborative, independently acquired data from every field of scientific study you have listed here and my more besides.
I think the real challenge we face in explaining this to people who are being actively deceived into believing that intellectual honesty and religious faith are non-overlapping magisteria; forced to adopt the many mistruths which are propagated about evolution—isn't made any easier by the very fact there is so much data on the side of natural selection, in comparison to the complete lack of data on the creationist side of things, that this almost makes it appear as if science is deliberately ignoring the claims of those who hold religious views; or that science is somehow holding back information which might corroborate the truth-claims of creationism's most well known supporters, like Michael Behe and The Discovery Institute, for example.
Raising awareness of the fact that any such attempt to bury genuinely new data is not only made impossible by the self-same system of peer review which creationists refuse to understand—and the additional spur from intellectual competition both in academia and private industry—we still nevertheless find ourselves dealing with the anti-science movement's insistence upon being shown evidence which, in reality, they have been shown thousands of times before—which they simply refuse to acknowledge.
Having this explained time and time again must get tiring for certain armchair apologists. ZDenny's reply above, for example, is a virtual carbon copy of something she posted to my blog 6 months ago, which I then spent weeks and weeks attempting to explain to her, only to then find that on her own site she was posting non-linked (ping back disabled) articles which were entirely contradictory of everything I had taken the time to clearly and calmly explain to her. She even included some of the same phrases and British English spellings I had used in my original correspondence, as if she had simply cut and paste whole sections of text—altering the general gist of what was said to suite her pre-existing opinion rather than acknowledge the facts I had taken the time to present.
This constant up-hill slog for people like myself, who simply want to explain what a wonderful world of discovery and awe people are missing out on, by settling themselves with half-baked ideas that have literally been debunked hundreds and hundreds of times before, doesn't get any easier—but I'll never stop trying.
By way of an example of the kind of thing we're up against, here is an excerpt from the closing statements in the Kitzmiller v. Dover Area School District case, presided over by Bush appointed ultra conservative Judge John Edward Jones III, who said:
“Those who disagree with our holding will likely mark it as the product of an activist judge. If so, they will have erred as this is manifestly not an activist Court. Rather, this case came to us as the result of the activism of an ill-informed faction on a school board, aided by a national public interest law firm eager to find a constitutional test case on ID, who in combination drove the Board to adopt an imprudent and ultimately unconstitutional policy. The breathtaking inanity of the Board's decision is evident when considered against the factual backdrop which has now been fully revealed through this trial. The students, parents, and teachers of the Dover Area School District deserved better than to be dragged into this legal maelstrom, with its resulting utter waste of monetary and personal resources.”
To which the tax exempt Discovery Institute, who relies on donations from extreme rightwing militant evangelical front-groups replied:
“The Dover decision is an attempt by an activist federal judge to stop the spread of a scientific idea and even to prevent criticism of Darwinian evolution through government-imposed censorship rather than open debate, and it won't work. He has conflated Discovery Institute's position with that of the Dover school board, and he totally misrepresents intelligent design and the motivations of the scientists who research it.”
luminary2009: "I always invite people of science who may not be religious to look deeply into the world of Spirit because I believe that the mysteries of science are there too."
I couldn't agree more. But I also fervently believe and hope that it will one day be possible to elucidate fully on what we actually mean by words like 'spirituality' by the use of reasoned terms, free of nonsensical guesswork and illogical superstition. I also believe and hope that this will lead us all into a new age of humanity, where war and hatred are not only rejected out of hand but made impossible by a collective respect for and renewal of the principal of interpenetrating opposites.
I do not say and have never accepted that people who believe in a spiritual aspect are deluding themselves—although clearly many of my detractors do not always extend the same courtesy towards me, when they assume I must be emotionally wanting in some way, simply because I reject the contradiction which says that the only way to be free is to be enslaved. If I had a £1 for the amount of times I've been prayed for by people who make it clear to me that their requests for intercession are being begged of a vengeful and capricious god, I'd be a very rich man—and a very dead one at that, if there were indeed any such being actually listening to these petulant and insular demands.
Clearly there is something happening physiologically and emotionally to people who describe themselves as "a believer" which must be explained if we are to make the necessary steps forward in neurology and psychology which will, eventually we hope, unlock the secrets of the mind and benefit all of humanity—regardless of race, age, religion or otherwise. Because it is also clear that the vast majority of believers are perfectly happy individuals with a balanced and healthy outlook on life and a respect for the views of others.
It's interesting to note, however, that many of those who will describe themselves as 'spiritual', who will then act in ways which are a complete contradiction of what it means to truly accept the truth of what we already know about the human condition and how we came to be the complex animal we are, are defended and protected by other people "of faith" simply because they share a common upbringing into a particular religion or belief system arrived upon in adulthood. This is the surest sign one could wish to hope for that such people have had their ability to think clearly and for themselves on such matters as the logic of scientific discovery, have had their subjectivism hijacked by the complacency of arrogant certainties—which is a very dangerous thing for any society to accept as merely someone's religious right—when this unwieldy and easily abused freedom often informs a person's political and social actions, in ways which so often negatively impact upon the rights of other people. (Luke 6:31)
This statement, however, immediately poses a problem for those of us who argue in favour of objectivism, because the cognitive bias of choice among radicalised evangelicals is one which will show them the same arrogant certainty in others as they exhibit to everyone else, precisely because they have an emotional commitment to the same kind of bad choices as are held by those who, perhaps, worship financial materialism, far more than they worship their claimed 'spirituality'.
In behavioural science this is known as 'The Dunning–Kruger Effect'—which is a cognitive bias in which a person who is unskilled in a particular area will immediately assume that their knee-jerk instinct to reject a certain idea out of hand, is one borne of common sense or the reaction "any normal person" would exhibit towards a given proposition. This leads the person to, in fact, artificially inflate their own interpretation of something which they don't actually fully understand, whilst at the same time assume the inverse about the intellectual capacity of those who point out their mistakes.
This partly explains why, so often, the only "evidence" which is cited against, for example, evolution by natural selection from behind the veil of rightwing religious extremism, is usually always based upon negative conjecture about the motivation of "atheistic" or "secular society"—as opposed to actual evidence based upon positive research and falsifiable data. This is also why the very act of suggesting to someone that there is a far higher statistical likelihood that their beliefs are not true, than there is that their beliefs hold some basis in fact, is often met with the derisory assumption that the inverse must also be therefore true of those who support the scientific method—and that this alone demonstrates a bias towards materialism.
Indeed, in this very chat thread, I am accused of "intellectual dishonesty" in the very same paragraph of at least two logical inconsistencies—to which the commentator made proud their reference without embarrassment—as if to satirise the effect of this phenomena without intention. I think we both know to whom I refer and I think we both know why this makes so many of their posts virtually unreadable.