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Brumak

Creationism/Intelligent Design

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Brumak

Since I am wholly fascinated by science, and was raised in a theological environment, I have always been curious as to why the two cannot be joined at the hip, complementing each other and working towards the same goal. I was recently given a book from my parents titled The Case for a Creator, by Lee Strobel, in which he investigates multiple angles of science pointing towards the conclusion of intelligent design. From cosmology to biology he delves into the inner most regions of scientific studies and interviews top scientists in those fields, many of who are Christian, in the hope of finding answers. While the evidence does indeed seem to point toward our existence being created merely than happening by chance, are there any thoughts or arguments anyone would wish to propose?

This is a field I would love to pursue as a life's ambition, so why not get it started on a basic level? I'd love to hear theories or fact, I am open to both.

Edited by Brumak

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Chickenman

I've never seen science and religion as being conflicting. In fact many of the famous Renaisance scientists were funded or supported by the Catholic Church. Some of them. That Galileo guy is an exception, because let's just face it, he was crazy. :roll::p

The only time I see a conflict is when someone believes the Bible (or Torah or Koran and probably others that aren't descended from Judaism) literally, because in that case, science does indeed prove some elements of the stories wrong. When I was devout, I was still pretty liberal with it. Jesus spoke in parables, why couldn't the Bible, you know? Now I just kind of see that Genesis is really reminiscent of a hundred mythologies before it. God created the Earth in seven days, or the Earth had sex with the Sky, whatever. I also don't suggest taking the Bible literally because it's been translated and retranslated, passages contradict each other, books have been added and taken out and the like, over thousands of years.

The part of the conflict that makes my blood boil is that in the grand scheme of things, Intelligent Design is a sham argument used to shoehorn the teaching of religion into public school. It's creationism in sheep's clothing, and the ridiculous notion of "Big Science" trying to keep out other viewpoints is just outright lying. By its nature, the Scientific Method encourages us to challenge preexisting notions, so that we can adapt our understanding of the universe as new data is acquired. Albert Einstein, science's mascot, has had some of his theories overturned and reworked. Clearly the efforts of "Big Science" there. For the Creationists to be calling Scientists dogmatic is to have the pot calling the kettle black, when the kettle is in fact white, and the pot is a liar with a hidden agenda. :p

It's also ludicrous to say that the classes don't allow for the teaching of alternate theories. You see, personally I believe that the Earth was created when Kirby, the loveable Nintendo character, belched really loudly, scaring a nearby giraffe and causing him to poop out the solar system (not including Pluto). I know it's not evolution, but it's an alternate theory. This perfectly logical explanation to our beginning isn't taught in the local high school, because there's not enough evidence to support it. Science classes, for some odd reason, teach the belief that is commonly held by the scientific community.

As I said earlier, I.D.(I.O.T.? :p) is more than anything an attempt to force religion into the public school system. And I really do find that evil and sneaky and despicable. I have nothing against religion in and of itself. It is an important and fruitful part of many peoples' lives, and I honor and respect that. But when one religion holds sway of a government, things get crazy. Look at Iran, Saudi Arabia, Afghanistan under the Taliban. Look at Spain during the Inquisition, or Puritan Massachusetts, look at the Crusades. That's why Freedom of Religion is so important. Rather than getting tortured to death in this country for having opposing views, you can believe in Shinto all you want. Like it or not, America is not a Christian nation. You can even say it as much as you want, it still isn't true. America is an amazing melting pot of cultures, creeds and ideas. For the government to formally acknowledge any religion over another is another unfair sleight, and I'll even use that slippery slope argument that some Christians love so much. That's why you don't put the Ten Commandments in a courtroom lobby, and that's why you don't teach the Book of Genesis in School.

Edited by Chickenman
Some typos

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Brumak

Let me pick apart that comment bit by bit and get back to you, lol...it's early and I think I'm still asleep :p

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Chickenman

Who are you and what did you do with Chickenman?

Hmm?

Let me pick apart that comment bit by bit and get back to you, lol...it's early and I think I'm still asleep :p

I look forward to it. :p

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Brumak

...Intelligent Design is a sham argument used to shoehorn the teaching of religion into public school. It's creationism in sheep's clothing...

I'd have to disagree right there, I don't see how it's a sham argument or creationism in sheep's clothing; but merely creationism embraced in a cloak of scientifically founded evidence and, of course, theory. Sure, mixing the two into public schools creates an uproar on both sides of the argument, but that's only because many people are afraid to step outside of their comfort zones and explore something that might mean what they had originally believed or thought is false in some way shape or form. But who says we have to teach religion in school? Religion is just the system to which those beliefs are laid into, but without the confines of the holy teachings of whatever religious group one pertains to, the idea of intelligent design can still be taught. The scientific evidence supporting intelligent design don't have to represent each individual religion, but instead the background information that most religions either don't have the answer to or just don't address.

Just leave out the stories of religions and what are you left with? Spirituality, which is all that is necessary to look into science and begin to unravel the theories of intelligent design (and evolution, for that matter..)

If I had more time I would dive into it more lol, but I gots stuff to do, so I shall be back with more :p

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Ender

My problem with creationism/ID comes from my enormous problem with the whole Christian ideology in general, as it originates in the Bible. The Bible, lest we forget, is riddled with racism, misogyny, homophobia, and dozens of other instances of horrific teachings. Creation, as it is postulated by the church, is completely, utterly unbelievable. The scientific evidence completely destroys any reasonable explanation for the universe being thousands of years old. Evolution as presented by Darwin and further expounded upon by scientists like Dawkins and Dennett should be considered a fact by the populace, and would be if so many people didn't take creationism to heart.

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Uncle Du

The only thing that I will weigh in on this is something that I think about when it comes to this debate: the Bible, literally translated, puts the universe at roughly a few thousand years old. Even as a Christian, I think this is ridiculous. When I think of God creating the Heavens and the Earth in 7 days, I hear a number that a simple man wrote down, because he couldn't fathom the amount of time that it ACTUALLY TOOK for God to create everything. People read in the Bible it took one week, who's to say that week wasn't millions/billions of years? We can't possibly know.

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Drake

I agree with you, Du. Just as Christ told parables to make a point, so to do I think that the week-long Creation was merely some sort of metaphor.

Another thing that I just want to say concerning what has been said. Something that a lot of people seem to mistake in the Bible is the contradictions. For example, they think that the Bible says it's okay to stone people. That was so in the Old Testament, which was more of a history for the faith. In the New Testament, Christ says that it's no longer needed. "Let he who is without sin cast the first stone." He said that to a mob that was going to stone a prostitute. Everyone left without throwing a stone because they had all sinned.

As for the claims of racism, misogyny, homophobia, etc. I'm not sure where the racism thing comes from. There were people from dozens of nationalities within Christ's group of disciples. Let's also keep in mind that racism has been and still is something that is inherently evil within most countries, many of which are not and have never been Christian. I understand that, in the past, Christian groups have used the religion to justify their actions. The state of Virginia, for example, in stating that slavery would only apply to people from countries that weren't Christian. If you believe that is how Christianity works, then you are oh so wrong. Those people were misguided and wrong. The Bible also speaks of slavery and how to treat "slaves". This is not the same as, say, slavery in the United States. It refers to compelled service, usually someone forgoing their normal rights for a time due to poverty.

Misogyny now. Again, it wasn't so long ago that the world embraced women as being inferior to a man. Many countries still do...again, most of them NOT Christian. No where in the Bible does it say that women should have no rights or that the fact that women are now seen as equals is some kind of sin. The Bible was written and set in a time where the world culture still embraced that. If the Bible were written today, the message would still be the same but this supposed misogyny would not be prevalent.

Now for the more touchy of the subjects: homophobia. This is something that is hugely debated amongst Christians. In Leviticus 8:22, it essentially says that homosexuality is detestable in the eyes of the Lord. It is in the same chapter as condemning incest. I said before that Jesus overruled some of the Old Testament teachings. Some Christians think that this law is no longer prevalent for that reason. However, Christ didn't say anything to contradict it. Personally, I agree that it is a sin. Does that mean I'm going to persecute homosexuals? No. Am I going to tell my homosexual friends that they're wrong and should stop? No. Should I? Maybe but I wont because the Bible also says to love your neighbour as yourself.

The problem is not with the Bible or the religion itself, it's with the people that populate it. Only one man was perfect. The rest of us are fallible and weak. Corruption and sin come easily and it can be seen in people of all faiths. The sad thing is that they are the ones you always hear about. The priests who molest children or the fanatical extremists that kill themselves for the cause. Those corrupted few give the rest of us a really bad name.

Anyway, that's probably totally off-topic but I really had to clear it up. I get really tired of people misconstruing arguments.

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Ender

The racism, Drake, comes from the dozen or so tribes that Moses and his followers brutally murdered as they cleared the Holy Land for the "Chosen People." Also on the subject of the Old Testament, the whole problem with Lot never really was addressed. This was, in the words of whatever scribe wrote it down, "the one godly man in all of Sodom of Gomorrah." Yet, when two angels sent by the Big Man himself come to visit, the populace decides they need to "know" these angels, aka rape them silly. How does this supposedly bright-and-shiny-of-the-soul man respond? He offers up his chaste, virgin daughters instead. Real nice guy.

Problem is, Christ himself had a bit of OT about him. Like his dad, he was a bit jealous and somewhat insecure about his infallibility, wasn't he? "If a man does not abide in me, he is cast forth as a branch and withers.." and there's a bit more to that line that I don't remember. And I admit, I like a lot of Jesus' teachings. The Golden Rule really is a wonderful concept. But for someone who is deemed by a majority of the populace of the western world to be THE moral compass, the one who was perfect, it's a bit odd that he'd need to be so severe. His teachings, and even his whole life story, have almost mirror images in earlier texts, such as Zaroastrianism and Buddhism and the ancient Egyptians. Hmm.

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Drake

The Hebrews sent messengers to request passage through the land or face destruction. The kingdoms refused and therefore the Hebrews destroyed them. I don't see that as racism in any way. They didn't hate the people that fought against them.

And the only reason that Lot was spared was because Abraham asked for him to be spared.

I said that Christ was perfect but He was fallible. He wasn't immune to sin like people seem to believe. When He went into self-exile in the desert and was tempted three times by Satan, He truly WAS tempted. Satan offered Him rule over the entire world if Jesus would bow to him and call him God. Do you think that an offer like that could be ignored so easily? Jesus was just a man, like all of us. It wasn't until he stood strong and refused the devil that he was granted his miraculous power and divine wisdom.

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James the Defender

The only thing that I will weigh in on this is something that I think about when it comes to this debate: the Bible, literally translated, puts the universe at roughly a few thousand years old. Even as a Christian, I think this is ridiculous. When I think of God creating the Heavens and the Earth in 7 days, I hear a number that a simple man wrote down, because he couldn't fathom the amount of time that it ACTUALLY TOOK for God to create everything. People read in the Bible it took one week, who's to say that week wasn't millions/billions of years? We can't possibly know.

The Hebrew word rendered "day" could mean any unspecified period of time. 2nd Peter 3:8 makes this comment: "However, let this one fact not be escaping your notice, beloved ones, that one day is with Jehovah as a thousand years and a thousand years as one day."

So, perhaps, as can be a good guess, it took not seven 24 hour periods, but 7 periods--or "days"--of 1,000 years.

Many things in the Bible have to be understood 1: in context, and 2: what the original Hebrew, Aramaic, or Greek words actually convey. Sometimes even the best translations of certain words do not convey the best sense. That's why there are indexes, commentaries on the Bible, etc.

I, personally, use the New World Translation. The group of translators of that particular version took the oldest of manuscripts that could be obtained to translate. The further back one goes, the more accurate is the translation. It wasn't just a translation of the Latin Vulgate, or a modernizing of the King James Version. This was an in depth process that produced a wonderful translation (including the re-entry of the Divine Name rendered from the tetragrammaton over 7,000 times where it had been omitted) that is written in modern language and simple to understand.

Not all religion is by revelation, as argued by such clergy back in the Middle Ages as Augustine or Bernard of Clairvaux, it can be reasoned upon. The existence of God, the creation account, and many other things can be reasoned upon using the Scriptures and also using modern theories, sciences, and etc. Revelation is still an important part, but it isn't all revealed. We have thinking minds and free will for a reason, lol.

Wow, looking at all the above comments, there certainly is a lot to answer. There is a reasonable explanation for EVERYTHING. By the time I take on everything, we'll all have moved on five pages and there'll be more. I encourage everyone to talk to Jehovah's Witnesses when they come to your door, or call you on the phone. If they don't know an answer off hand, they will do research. If your inquiry is sincere, you will get an answer to your questions. Research may take a day and the return visit may be a day or two later, but the answer will be there.

Edited by James the Defender

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Uncle Du

So, my point from before being, that there is no way we can possibly determine the time line for creation from scripture alone. ;)

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Brumak

And that's one of the biggest obstacles, I think, to cross first before going to the original points of Intelligent Design: Not just the written scriptures and doctrines should be studied...but also the laws of physics that lie at the base of the existence all things share. There should be a balance between the two considering how a great deal of many religions' histories and scientific evidence seem to match, despite their collisions. If both we're held equally accountable in a pursuit for knowledge, I believe there would be greater benefit.

Edited by Brumak

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Radioactive Isotope

My $0.02 sense on the creation timeline. Genesis says in the beginning the earth is without form. I take that to mean that something is there, it's just not Earth-shaped. So who knows where that something came from or how old it is?

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Andy

Split the discussion off because I felt it deserved it's own thread. :)

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Uncle Du

And that's why you're Member No. 1. ;)

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Brumak

I suppose the main reason why I had originally posted this into the Science thread was because a lot of people have a tendency to overlook, or not bother with, the scientific evidence that ties with the major religions. Hearing different religious beliefs bicker back forth about who is wrong or right or what means what in the teachings gets tiring after a while, which is why I think we need a balance of spiritual and scientific teachings in our education and pursuit of truth.

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