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Authentic Christian Believer
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About TheDude

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    Primitive Christianity, Scriptural Textual Criticism, Investing, Community Service
  • More About Me
    Most Christians say I'm in a cult and that I am going to Hell, though I disagree. I don't know what else to say here, but I'm not a bot, though...

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  • Still have any Gods? If so, who or what?
    The Creator of the Universe

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  1. That's actually fair point. I'll concede that. I wouldn't know how to calculate the odds of life existing on another planet, much less that it's sufficiently advanced to create life from non-life.
  2. I disagree. I thought I already addressed the vagueness in the wording "In the beginning", but when I went back to quote it, I see that I must not have included it in the post. I might be remembering my grammatical terms incorrectly, so bear with me. To problem with the phrase "In the beginning", is that it modifies the independent clause "God created the Heavens and the Earth", but it does not have an dependent clause to clarify "of what". Therefore, it's so vague it is subject to the interpretation of the reader. To that end, "the beginning" could refer to the beginning of what Moses could see in his vision. Let's think for a moment, though. If Moses is seeing a daylong vision over the oceans, he clearly would not have seen land animals. What he would have seen would have been sea life and birds. Also, think about how commonly people incorrectly refer to pandas and koalas as "bears", and yet they are not. If someone without scientific understanding is seeing a view from above the ocean in which there are sea creatures and above which there are birds flying, and this vision immediate follows a lifeless earth, it seems likely they would conclude that fish and birds came before land creatures. Let's also keep in mind that ancient languages were often not as precise as the English language, so it's probable that the ancient Israelites would not have had a proper word to generically describe marine life, including non-vertebrates. Correct. It's also common in academia to postulate that the author of Genesis 1 is not the same as the author of the majority of Genesis 2. If you have the time, I'd like to know what some of those myriad reasons are. Correct, but you're assuming that all of the creation events had to have been known to the author of Genesis 1 (which I will continue to refer to as "Moses") for it to be a valid account. But if someone is viewing a daylong vision where they're seeing a specific point in time where the Earth is covered in water and they didn't see anything before that, it would be understandable for that person to conclude that it was the Earth was created in that state. That's certainly a possibility. Genesis 1 could have been written with the intent of being solely a polemic against other Middle Eastern religions rather than with any intent whatsoever of explaining with accurate detail the creation of the Earth and the arrival of life on its surface. I don't believe I brought up the Genesis creation story as the alternative to anything. I brought it up simply because you asked me to do so indicating that this would be an appropriate thread in which to discuss it.
  3. Agreed. But we still haven't found a viable theory for how life on this world came from non-life, unless some intelligent life of some kind created it.
  4. Believe it or not, these are things that I think about myself and your line of supposition here is something that continues to fascinate me. But I'd like to respond to a few points you've made based upon how I've already reasoned through it, and also identifying any potential issues with your statements that I see. My understanding is that Latter-day Saints believe that "existence itself [is] eternal [and] an immanent and transcendent energy consciousness", as you put it: If the creator being has evolved to the point where he passes into eternity and has the power to create his own universe from another, and all of the universe itself is subject to being acted upon by that being, then he is something that exists above it. There were civilizations that existed long before the Sumerians, like Gobekli Tepe, so the Sumerian deities, at least in name and in folklore, were not likely the first for humankind to believe in. Now, just as could be true with El of the Canaanites, Brahma of the Hindi, and Shangdi of the Chinese, etc., Enlil of the Sumerians could be a memory that through diffusion survived about the chief creator deity. I'd like to point out that I don't believe Yahweh to be that deity. This is what I stated in the Hell thread I believe that God (El/Elyon) is the most high God. The father of all of us. I believe that Jesus is Yahweh/Jehovah. He seems to have made that claim himself in the exchange in John 8:48-59, and he is referred to as "Son of the Most High God" a few times in the Gospels (Luke 1:32, Mark 5:7). If a species advances to the point that we are no longer subject to death, have the ability to organize a universe out of matter from another, and to create life from nonliving matter, would that not then make the difference between that species and gods imperceptible?
  5. Um, hello? We can test probabilities. And I'd like to remind you that I agreed to "going into an in depth explanation using science about why I believe there is some kind of higher power (or powers)". Also, you seem to be engaging in contentious sophistry, attempting to make a straw man argument wherein every comment that I make in this thread is intended as an argument specifically to you and has been done so as a response to present testable, measurable, and observable scientific evidence. For now, because I don't see our conversation as particularly useful to either of us, I am going to focus on responses from other individuals.
  6. You asked me if I had any evidence "that specifically identifies only the LDS god and no other?" I'm clarifying that I reject the premise that it's necessary to prove that only the God that Latter-day Saints believe in is different than El, Allah, or Brahma.
  7. If the creator deity in most religions is the same God, e.g., El from the religion of the Ancient Israelites, "The Father" from Christianity, Allah from Islam, Brahma from Hinduism, etc., and those concepts exist in their religions because of diffusion, there is no need to demonstrate that all the others are wrong.
  8. Statistical probabilities/improbabilities are evidence, which is why DNA testing is allowed in a court of law, despite the extremely improbable possibility that an unrelated person could share the same DNA as the accused. You and others here seem to have rejected the premise that I've made based upon statistical probabilities, and therefore have shifted the onus to explain what alternative theory exists for the rise of life from non-life other than random chance. Beyond that, the title of the thread includes "Is there sufficient evidence to conclude that complex life evolved on its own?", therefore, this thread is intended to be a dialog where the participants provide alternative proposals and make arguments to support their own position and identify weaknesses in the positions of others (and in their own, when the see them). If you're not interested in that, I don't see any reason to continue a dialog with you specifically.
  9. I'm not the only who thought his way of making the point was humorous: Hence my first line of argumentation is to assume there is a higher power of some kind, and then attempt to identify that higher power as I haven't yet had the opportunity to get to in much detail. For all I know, there is some real life form out there on which belief in Ganesha is based. We know that the Greek Zeus (archaic form: Deus), the Roman Jupiter (archaic form: Deus Pater), and the Hindi Dyaus Pita are all based upon belief in the same Indo-European deity which may or may not have been some kind of advanced life form that came to this planet and interacted with people thousands of years ago. Obviously, that's untestable speculation, but my point is, I don't automatically discard all of the religious conclusions that people come to simply because they are members of another religious belief system.
  10. I acknowledge that it's possible I have made errors in my calculation, but I have not made an unfalsifiable claim to state that for a protein composed of 496 different amino acids to be correctly assembled by random chance, the likelihood would be 1 in 20^496. To be unwilling to test that information because you don't believe I have sufficient credentials seems to be a fallacy that's the reverse of an appeal to authority. Now, if it's possible for natural selection to be responsible for the assembly of hundreds of different nucleic acids that then assemble 20 amino acids into hundreds of different proteins, and that somehow these building blocks could assemble themselves into a very basic life form, I'd like to see the evidence for it.
  11. Now let's start an analysis of Genesis (or rather, game of speculation) since I know you want to go there. In the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, we believe that through the Spirit of God, Moses had a vision where he saw the life of the Earth from its early stages. It seems to me that if he were given a daylong vision of the primordial Earth before the planet Theia collided with it, he would probably see: A "formless" Earth without major landmasses covered in a largely molten surface, including water. A thick atmosphere caused by volcanic outgassing and thick water vapor due to hotter conditions. This, coupled with the Sun's substantially lower intensity could have limited its visibility while some level of light from it was making it through the atmosphere, allowing day and night cycles to be perceivable. No moon because it wasn't yet formed by the collision of Theia. The word "raqia", translated "expanse" in the ESV, may have meant something like "solid canopy", but we don't know that. Continuing with the theory that Moses is seeing a vision, and this time skipped forward into another daylong period, it may be describing the formation of atmosphere thin enough that stars now could have been visible, though Moses would not have understood the physics of what he was seeing. If Moses were indeed using the word "raqia" to mean "solid canopy", I think this can be forgiven due to his lack of scientific understanding. Well-educated people refer to "sunrise" and "sunset" despite the fact that the Sun doesn't in fact rise or set in the sky, but rather, it appears to do so from our vantage point due to the Earth's rotation around it. I don't think these verses require much commentary. If Moses' vision were moved forward in time for another daylong period, he may have observed land masses on the surface of the planet and along with plants. It seems to me that verses 14-19 must be out of the natural sequence of what Moses may have been viewing, because it is not logical that plant life could have arisen on the surface of the Earth before the appearance of the Sun and Moon. Perhaps Moses didn't remember the sequence correctly? Perhaps God showed it to him out of sequence because Moses asked a question about when plants came into being? When children watch movies, sometimes they don't watch them in linear order. I am going to stop my speculative game for now because it's getting very late.
  12. I'd say it would be an endless cycle of universe creation after a child grows to be like his father and becomes the creator of his own distinct universe after billions of years. Yes. If many scientists believe that the universe expands forever and has no spatial beginning or end, how it it unreasonable to think that the creation of universes has no temporal beginning or end? Regardless of whether you accept scripture as having any authority whatsoever, I believe my explanation of the universe's formation by an intelligent creator of sufficient scientific, technological, and moral advancement answers questions that atheism does not. My first point of business is trying to identify whether or not the existence of a being sufficiently advanced to be considered a god exists. Beyond the near certainty I have that life (let alone complex life) could not arise from nonlife because of biological improbabilities, I think there are astrophysical reasons as well. At some point, I'd like to get into those, but until the biological improbabilities are addressed, I think I will focus on trying to determine the identity of who this intelligent creator is.
  13. You're asking me to take a position that I don't agree with. While I do believe that much of Genesis is a historical record, I also recognize that it's filled with allegory and unscientific descriptions. If you want to create another thread for a discussion about Genesis (because it's very off topic), I am happy to contribute. However, because I am not a 7-day creationist, it would not be appropriate for me to pick up where someone else left off. Now, how the heck do you embed a thread like you've done in the image below?
  14. Can you explain how it's inaccurate? The subjects that are related to each other. For life to evolve from basic to complex life, first it has to arise. If you believe that life came from non-life without the intervention of a life form, if not random chance, to what do you attribute it?
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