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  • Our picks

    • Here's an interesting episode that breaks down popular fallacies that many theists who are knowledgeable about the arguments prefer to steer clear of: 
      • 3 replies
    • Fundamentalist Christians tend to say either you are a Christian or you are not a Christian.  That may be true for the irrational tribal identity of their churches, but it does not make sense in terms of philosophy and theology. If you read the Bible as deliberate metaphor, as symbolic allegory, not as literal history, then it is possible to retain the ethical value of the texts while accepting none of the surface claims.  The value of the Bible is enhanced by assuming the original authors did not intend that any of their supernatural poetry should be read as literal fact.
        • Like
      • 39 replies
    • One of the benefits of logic is the ability to test whether a particular proposition is true or not.  It often follows the progession: A=B, B=C, C does not equal D; therefore, the proposition that A=D is not likely to be true.  With this in mind, let's look at a particular proposition and follow the progression to its logical conclusion.  
      If logic is the absolute standard for reasoning , then everyone should either agree with the conclusion, or, if disagreeing, be able to point out a flaw in the logic.  Let's begin:
      PROPOSITION: god is both all-loving and all-powerful. 
      OBSERVATION: Evil exists
      A. If god is both able and willing to prevent evil, then evil would not exist.
      B. If god is neither able nor willing to prevent evil, then god is neither all-loving nor all-powerful. 
      1. If god is able to prevent evil, but not willing to, then god is not all-loving. 
      2. If god is willing to prevent evil, but not able to, then god is not all-powerful.
      CONCLUSION: The proposition that god is both all-loving and all-powerful is not true.
      DISCUSSION: It is possible that god is all-loving but not all-powerful.  It is possible that god is all-powerful but not all-loving.  It is possible that god is neither all-loving nor all-powerful, which raises the question: why worship god?
      But it is not possible for god to be both all-loving and all-powerful. 
        • Thanks
        • Like
      • 85 replies
    • My ex christian beliefs are as follows in 10 simple points, each of which has been the focus of one debate / discussion or another around here: 
      1 ) I believe that all religions are man made social constructs geared towards politicizing ancient mythology and folklore. 
      2 ) I believe that no one really knows with certainty the answer to the question of origins or destination. 
      3 ) I believe that the bible is demonstrably false from the outset as a guide to the truth of the universe or the human condition. 
      4 ) I believe that anything basing itself on the assumption that the bible is true is automatically false, as the bible is demonstrably false. 
      5 ) I believe that morality is an evolved concept which continues to evolve and has never been static or handed down from on high. 
      6 ) I believe that the morality of the biblical writings is long since outdated and mostly irrelevant to modern society. 
      7 ) I believe that modern scholarship has revealed the truth about the biblical writings and the evolving theistic concepts contained therein. 
      8 ) I believe that it's both intellectually honest and well intended to expose what truths can be demonstrated about the bible and christianity, through counter apologetics. 
      9 ) I believe that as painful as it may be at times, it's ultimately for the greater good that christianity and similar religions are losing membership and declining into the future under the weight of their own growing lack of relevance. 
      10 ) I believe that humanity doesn't need the fluff and circus show of religion in order for people to do what's right, be decent, and get along. 
      What do you believe???? 
        • Thanks
        • Like
      • 71 replies
    • Is there sufficient evidence to believe complex life could have evolved on its own from non-life without some intelligent creative force?  Is it at all plausible that some intelligent being, perhaps from another universe, could have been the creator of the complex life on our planet (and any other planet in this universe that may have complex life) using evolution as a tool? 
      • 67 replies
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  • Recent Posts

    • pantheory
      Yeah, something like that, but I think God won the Constellation Prize for his creation of the beaver from thin air, and I think Evolution won the Grand Prize for the creation of mankind from stardust.
    • walterpthefirst
      Aggh!   😧   I hope not, Prof!  🤢     https://www.imdb.com/list/ls086288574/     😉
    • TheRedneckProfessor
      Hey Walt, if we are made from the dust of dead stars, does that make us a constellation prize?
    • pantheory
    • walterpthefirst
      Yes, the jury's still out and further observations and data are needed.   A point of order though, Pantheory.   Your link to quantamagazine.org isn't another claim.   It's the original claim in the popular press, the one I first cited in the opening message of this thread.   Within this popular press article is a link to the original science paper (Wang et al) from the arxiv pre-print server.   Which I also cited in my opening message.     Thank you,   Walter.    
    • pantheory
      Yeah, I think the decisive wordings here are: "The currently favored explanation for the lack of observed Pop III stars, is that the Pop III generation of stars were all high mass stars, with masses ranging from 60 to 300 times that of the Sun."   Yes, now that you mention it, I  heard that explanation before. So if they found a bunch of such stars in the most distant universe then it would be perceived as good evidence for the BB model -- since such a pristine grouping has never been found anywhere else.   Here's another claim of discovery. Let's see if such claims hold up in time, or if other explanations prevails.   https://www.quantamagazine.org/astronomers-say-they-have-spotted-the-universes-first-stars-20230130/
    • walterpthefirst
      Yes, it does indeed seem as if we are talking about two different things, Pantheory.     True Population III stars, as defined here...    https://astronomy.swin.edu.au/cosmos/P/Population+III#:~:text=Population III (Pop III) stars are composed entirely,pristine material left over from the Big Bang.   The currently favoured explanation for the lack of observed Pop III stars, is that the Pop III generation of stars were all high mass stars, with masses ranging from 60 to 300 times that of the Sun. In other words, no low mass Pop III stars were ever formed. This is supported by recent theoretical models which show that primordial stars possessed much higher masses than the stars we see in the Universe today. If this bias in the mass distribution of primordial stars is the case, then all Pop III stars would have exhausted their fuel supplies long ago and would now be present only as remnants.   ...are not Pop III-like stars with low metallicity and small masses, that are found in the local universe.   Two different things.     The paper I originally cited made it clear that they were only discussing massive True Pop III stars (as per the Swinburne description) in the galaxy RXJ2129-z8HeII.  That's because Wang et al make their comments in the context of reionization, a process that does not occur in the local universe.   Cosmic hydrogen reionization and cosmic production of first metals are major phase transitions of the Universe occurring during the first billion years after the Big Bang, but still poorly explored observationally.     So, I thank you for your input, but we are definitely talking about two different things here.  Both your comments and your citations are not relevant to the topic of this thread, which is the star type mentioned in both the quantamagazine article and the arxiv pre-print paper.  Specifically, True Pop III stars and not Pop III-like stars.   Thank you,   Walter.      
    • pantheory
      Yes, IMO there is no such thing as population III stars formed from primordial gas in the observable universe . I should have said "population III-like" stars.   Cosmologists define population III stars as those made up of primordial gas. Many or most astronomers think of population III stars as being made up of hydrogen. and helium, with little else being detectable. In astronomy, stellar metals are defined as all elements heavier than helium – since both hydrogen and some helium are primordial gases according to mainstream theory. Individual stars in, and close to the Milky Way, can be tested via their absorption lines as to their metal content. In galaxies further out, astronomers look to galactic clouds to test for metallicity when individual stars can’t be observed.   Although theorists and astronomers believe population III stars can be observed by the James Webb, I believe it will not be possible at those great distances to see individual stars, even though such claims might be made. Instead they will look at what appear to be very large galaxies to see if their light has the absorption profile lines of metals within them. Here are a few links to very distant galaxies that have metals within them, thought to be anomalies.  But this too will be very difficult if the Hubble distance formula is wrong. I believe claims of metal poor galaxies (population III stars) at the greatest distances will be made, but in time others will make claims of metallicity at the greatest distances IMO.   There also are a great many links to metal poor stars in clusters near us, some believed to be formed almost entirely of hydrogen gas. The Big Bang model proposes that some extra-galactic brown dwarf stars could essentially be made up of population III-like stars.   https://iopscience.iop.org/article/10.3847/0004-637X/820/1/59   https://aasnova.org/2021/10/15/have-we-stumbled-upon-the-hiding-place-of-the-earliest-stars-in-the-universe/   https://academic.oup.com/mnras/article/453/3/2771/175099   https://www.aanda.org/articles/aa/full_html/2009/05/aa11415-08/aa11415-08.html   http://www.aijcrnet.com/journals/Vol_4_No_9_September_2014/2.pdf     https://www.researchgate.net/publication/363649063_The_Surprising_and_unexpected_discoveries_the_James_Webb_Space_Telescope_will_likely_make_based_upon_our_research  
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