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Best Single Fact To Refute Creationism


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Richard Dawkins describes the one fact or observation that completely refutes creationism. And then goes on to explain why creationism still exists.

 

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A creationist will still say that it is God demonstrating how we are all interrelated; "It all points to Him!!11!"

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A creationist will still say that it is God demonstrating how we are all interrelated; "It all points to Him!!11!"

Dawkins is actually correct in his argument that showing we are all related and interconnected blows a gaping hole into the Creationist view that humans are the result of "special creation" as the extreme Creationists call it. What people most commonly mean when they refer to Creationists, are those who try to take the Biblical account in Genesis and square it with scientific research - or actually the other way around mostly because they seem stuck on a hermeneutic that assumes a literal reading of Genesis as a scientific/historic account to be called for. This leads to the rejection of things like Evolution, the billions of years old ages of the earth and cosmos, geological formations, and the like.

 

What Dawkins shows here, is that if you start with the premise that each species is a special creation from scratch, as the most ardent of Creationists would argue, the fact our DNA (amongst a great many other evidences) shows we are all related in the tree, that theory is contradicted plainly by the evidence. There are of course other types of creationists who see that evolution is not incompatible with their understanding of God in the Bible or the Genesis account. His argument to them would not in itself present a challenge. They simply see God using evolution to create.

 

The problem seems to usually boils down to calling a wide variety of views by one name and using the most extreme and obvious cases such as the YEC folks as defining the whole term. That's one of my issues I have with Dawkins as a participant in the greater debate. However, I appreciate his love and enthusiasm for evolution and his ability to communicate that.

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The problem seems to usually boils down to calling a wide variety of views by one name and using the most extreme and obvious cases such as the YEC folks as defining the whole term. That's one of my issues I have with Dawkins as a participant in the greater debate. However, I appreciate his love and enthusiasm for evolution and his ability to communicate that.

 

It should be noted that when scientists refer to creationists they almost always are refering to the special interiest groups who are trying to sneak creationism into science classrooms. A.K.A. the discovery institute ect... A person who believes in god but has no problem with the theory of evolution is not a "creationist" in that sense of the word.

 

That may be part of the problem, you see a believer in theistic evolution as a creationist, I very much doubt that Dawkins would describe him as such.

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Dawkins' term now is "history deniers" or "40 per-centers." And he's basically only referring to those who deny that evolution took place.

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Dawkins' term now is "history deniers" or "40 per-centers." And he's basically only referring to those who deny that evolution took place.

I've seen and used the term Evolution Deniers, comparing them to the Holocaust Deniers, who irrationally ignore mountains of evidence in favor of some pet belief that they are unwilling to consider any other information about. History deniers seems like a spin-off of that. I'm not sure what he means by "40 percenters"?

 

But again to my point about using general terms such as Creationist, people in fact do run with what they hear Dawkins saying when he uses it and apply to it anyone who believe a God was involved in any way shape or form in the natural universe. For instance in how OG in this discussion stated, "A creationist will still say that it is God demonstrating how we are all interrelated; 'It all points to Him!!11!'" If they say that, then they are not the sort of "Creationist" Dawkins was talking about, yet that's what people hear and run with. This is why I say Dawkins fails to speak to the larger discussion because of these sorts of impressions, which become reduced to more of a sort of political rhetoric than a useful language for discussion.

 

Here's a good summary of the different types of Creationism there are in an article on the About Atheism site: http://atheism.about.com/od/creationismcreationists/tp/CreationismTypes.htm

 

Again, Dawkins argument is valid, when applied to say definition numbers 1, 3, and perhaps 6.

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I've seen and used the term Evolution Deniers, comparing them to the Holocaust Deniers, who irrationally ignore mountains of evidence in favor of some pet belief that they are unwilling to consider any other information about. History deniers seems like a spin-off of that. I'm not sure what he means by "40 percenters"?

It's from the study that showed that 40% of Americans believe that evolution is false.

 

But again to my point about using general terms such as Creationist, people in fact do run with what they hear Dawkins saying when he uses it and apply to it anyone who believe a God was involved in any way shape or form in the natural universe. For instance in how OG in this discussion stated, "A creationist will still say that it is God demonstrating how we are all interrelated; 'It all points to Him!!11!'" If they say that, then they are not the sort of "Creationist" Dawkins was talking about, yet that's what people hear and run with. This is why I say Dawkins fails to speak to the larger discussion because of these sorts of impressions, which become reduced to more of a sort of political rhetoric than a useful language for discussion.

Perhaps he just need to learn to modulate his language better. We can only hope that he does.

 

Here's a good summary of the different types of Creationism their are in an article on the About Atheism site: http://atheism.about.com/od/creationismcreationists/tp/CreationismTypes.htm

 

Again, Dawkins argument is valid, when applied to say definition numbers 1, 3, and perhaps 6.

I think one of the reasons to a lot of these problems is that it would take an awful long time to constantly qualify and stipulate each and every argument. Imagine if you had to start each little argument with something like "Hereby I only mean that category 1 and 4 of the previously stated definition of Creationists, ..." and then the next paragraph starts with "But for the rest of this paragraph I am only concerned with the category 2, 4, and 9 of the definition of Creationist belief." And so on. We tend to be very sloppy in language. I do it too. I say "atheist" when I might really mostly talk about "weak atheist." Or I would use the term "Christian" and include Roman Catholics as well, even though many of them consider "Christian" to be evangelical and protestants. Stipulations take a lot of time, and Dawkins play a bit fast in this regard. He probably would have a larger audience if he spent more time to be exact. I think he tried to do this in his last book by explaining what he meant with "history deniers" and "40 per-centers."

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There are of course other types of creationists who see that evolution is not incompatible with their understanding of God in the Bible or the Genesis account. His argument to them would not in itself present a challenge. They simply see God using evolution to create.

 

It's still problematic for anyone who thinks past kindergarten level. If you extrapolate, or rather follow the trail back taking into account the massive amount of time that has passed and how relatively insignificant life was for the bulk of life's existence on this planet, that creating god becomes smaller and smaller and less and less intimately involved until at some point he becomes completely unnecessary.

 

At best you end up with a god who merely planted a seed and then left and literally billions of years went by where life that he came and died for was merely single cell organisms. There is no room for biblegod here; not for a reasonable person.

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Not to derail, and from ignorance......but wouldn't we expect to see abiogenesis today, or at some point witnessing such, if it is a natural process?

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I think one of the reasons to a lot of these problems is that it would take an awful long time to constantly qualify and stipulate each and every argument.

I know. I've thought of that. I think we do tend to in our culture in general make some distinctions between extremes through the use of terms like radical conservative, conservative, moderate, liberal, and radical liberal. Such as radical environmentalist, does not mean any and all who embrace environmental concerns. I would hardly consider someone who promotes recycling and responsible behaviors to be the same as a tree-spiker. So to say radical creationist could be a term to speak of those such as the Answers in Genesis crowd. I think a short distinction can be better than no distinction whatsoever.

 

 

I think he tried to do this in his last book by explaining what he meant with "history deniers" and "40 per-centers."

I think he must have received a lot of flack, and likely his publisher is pushing him to not alienate others who might otherwise be sympathetic to his irritations with the radicals. Self-checking, is possible, but usually for someone on a book-selling circuit there are other factors that press that as well. That said however, it is nice to hear some improvements. :) (Now if only Sam Harris' publishers think it's worth him doing that too! :HaHa: )

 

 

There are of course other types of creationists who see that evolution is not incompatible with their understanding of God in the Bible or the Genesis account. His argument to them would not in itself present a challenge. They simply see God using evolution to create.

 

It's still problematic for anyone who thinks past kindergarten level.

:HaHa: That's funny. Yes, the concept alone, with or without religion involved, is a bit challenging to what appears "obvious" to the way humans look at the world and process things. It's not something that leaps out as "obvious" without some degree of deeper-level questioning. In light of that, I wonder really how much that 40% statistic Hans mentioned has to do with just plain general ignorance on the subject and its counter-intuitive conclusions, or that 40% is driven by religion outright against it, in otherwords they have a full understanding of evolution and join hands in with the Deniers? Personally, my gut is if they agree with the religionists, it's only because it "sounds right to them" as opposed to the science of it, and it is not driven by religious biases and a Holocaust Denier mentality like the AiG crowd. I'd pretty much bet money solidly on that.

 

Now with that said, then again Dawkins casting that 40% into the same camps of Deniers as the AiG group, again, alienation of individuals who otherwise are just ignorant. But, being caustic sells? You see my point here? I think knowledge and respect goes a hell of a lot further to persuade than vinegar. But vinegar creates controversy and controversy is a proven seller. I'm really not being cynical in my saying this.

 

 

If you extrapolate, or rather follow the trail back taking into account the massive amount of time that has passed and how relatively insignificant life was for the bulk of life's existence on this planet, that creating god becomes smaller and smaller and less and less intimately involved until at some point he becomes completely unnecessary.

 

At best you end up with a god who merely planted a seed and then left and literally billions of years went by where life that he came and died for was merely single cell organisms. There is no room for biblegod here; not for a reasonable person.

If someone were to start with the notion that history is all one big road in a master plan that has human beings as its center piece, culminating in an act of redemption by God in order for us to live eternally without facing death on streets of gold in a paradise free from suffering, then yes this data does tend to toss some problematic little wrenches into that notion. Methinks they should rethink those notions. :)

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Not to derail, and from ignorance......but wouldn't we expect to see abiogenesis today, or at some point witnessing such, if it is a natural process?

Perhaps yes. All we need to do is roll back Earth to a few billion years ago and watch. Of course we wouldn't survive that environment.

 

So End, if we find life on other planets/moons elsewhere outside Earth, how would you process that with your beliefs?

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being caustic sells? You see my point here?

 

Oh certainly. The new atheists can be an interesting teaching source for many, but they aren't going to win many converts. TBH, I have only a passing interest in any of them. I've never read any of their books for instance and have only been exposed to a clip or two here or there that gets posted here.

 

In fact, I thought about sharing this clip with a good buddy of mine who insists on bringing up the evolution question now and then. But I doubt I will just due to the fact that Dawkins has a reputation of being off-putting and presenting his video would just cause my buddies mind to close before he loads it.

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Several of the background objects (stands?) appear to be crosses so god wins and that blasphemous evolution is proven wrong again.woohoo.gif

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Not to derail, and from ignorance......but wouldn't we expect to see abiogenesis today, or at some point witnessing such, if it is a natural process?

Perhaps yes. All we need to do is roll back Earth to a few billion years ago and watch. Of course we wouldn't survive that environment.

 

So End, if we find life on other planets/moons elsewhere outside Earth, how would you process that with your beliefs?

 

Truthfully, I would probably bias the finding in light of my experience and beliefs. In other words, I would most likely rationalize creation being a function by God, where ever it exists....evidenced by the bible story of course, having not shot at a cherob or seraph whilst hunting on earth.

 

Edit: but I am still confused.....why would we not see something come to life NOW through natural processes? Why don't we see the evolution of cells from the next door neighbors pond?

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Not to derail, and from ignorance......but wouldn't we expect to see abiogenesis today, or at some point witnessing such, if it is a natural process?

No. We wouldn't. Because the form of organisms and life forms we have won out, and if there were any form of new form of ribosomes coming about, they would be immediately destroyed by the existing organisms (or absorbed). And how would it be possible to find and identify one single microscopic event on this planet? We don't have that kind of technology to scan and record every single chemical reaction all over the planet every pico second. It's asking for the impossible.

 

Besides, it's very likely that the abiogenesis only can happen in very particular situations. Those conditions does not exist on our planet today. Just look at how hot and wild the environment was during the haldean period. We know that time existed, but we do not expect to see thousands of volcanoes active today only to know it was true back then.

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Not to derail, and from ignorance......but wouldn't we expect to see abiogenesis today, or at some point witnessing such, if it is a natural process?

No. We wouldn't. Because the form of organisms and life forms we have won out, and if there were any form of new form of ribosomes coming about, they would be immediately destroyed by the existing organisms (or absorbed). And how would it be possible to find and identify one single microscopic event on this planet? We don't have that kind of technology to scan and record every single chemical reaction all over the planet every pico second. It's asking for the impossible.

 

Besides, it's very likely that the abiogenesis only can happen in very particular situations. Those conditions does not exist on our planet today. Just look at how hot and wild the environment was during the haldean period. We know that time existed, but we do not expect to see thousands of volcanoes active today only to know it was true back then.

 

It just seems counter intuitive to me Hans....I found this snippet:

 

A September 2008 study of zircons found that Australian Hadean rock holds minerals that point to the existence of plate tectonics as early as 4 billion years ago.[8] If this holds true, the previous beliefs about the Hadean period are far from correct. That is, rather than a hot, molten surface and atmosphere full of carbon dioxide, the Earth's surface would be very much like it is today. The action of plate tectonics traps vast amounts of carbon dioxide, thereby eliminating the greenhouse effects and leading to a much cooler surface temperature and the formation of solid rock, and possibly even life.[8]

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Truthfully, I would probably bias the finding in light of my experience and beliefs. In other words, I would most likely rationalize creation being a function by God, where ever it exists....evidenced by the bible story of course, having not shot at a cherob or seraph whilst hunting on earth.

Here's something that could prove Creationism true.

 

So far, they have found thousands of skeletons from Homo erectus, Homo habilis, Hobo sapies, ... etc. And in all cases, because there are certain things that always hold true about bones, no skeleton has been of someone who lived past 30-40 years of age. According to the Bible, hundreds of thousands of people must have lived in the early era, before the flood, who had life spans of 800 and 900 years. If archeologists could find just one skeleton of a 800 year old homonoid, we would have to reconsider Creationism. But so far, no luck.

 

On the other hand, they have found neaderthals and even extracted their DNA. And based on that they have hyoid bone and the DNA hox genes for it, they were very likely able to speak. But, unfortunately, neaderthals are only distant relatives to people in Europe and not the people in Africa. So where did these side branch of "Adam and Eve" come from? The Bible doesn't say. Are they those mystical nephilim perhaps? Does this mean that I have angel blood?

 

Edit: but I am still confused.....why would we not see something come to life NOW through natural processes? Why don't we see the evolution of cells from the next door neighbors pond?

Because one event like that would be absorbed immediately by the surrounding organisms. The competition is far too great for it to succeed.

 

It's like if you go into an busy airport with hundreds of thousands of people talking and walking around, and you flip a coin and get tails. Would the pilot in the airplane that just took of know that you did it? How would he be able to know? The distance, the massive chaos and competing events, are all preventing him from knowing the outcome of your coin flip.

 

The only way for him to know is if you had his cell phone and called him. Right? So do you believe that some microscopic chemical event in the neighbors puddle have a cellphone to call you when it happens? Put it this way, the event might be happening a million times all over the world today, but we are not able to really catch those events or record them even if they do.

 

It's not like you have a cell form in a pond, and then it evolves to a fish, then a mammal, then a primate, then a up-walking homonid, then get a bigger brain, and learn to talk, create tools, create art, build houses, and invent philosophy and calculus, and finally report back to you in just 8 hours time. It took 6.4 million years just from the first Homo to get to us today. And it took many millions of years of just one cell organisms in the ocean before any multicell organisms came about. If you have time to way some hundred million years, yeah, the pond might give you a new life form to observe.

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It just seems counter intuitive to me Hans....I found this snippet:

 

A September 2008 study of zircons found that Australian Hadean rock holds minerals that point to the existence of plate tectonics as early as 4 billion years ago.[8] If this holds true, the previous beliefs about the Hadean period are far from correct. That is, rather than a hot, molten surface and atmosphere full of carbon dioxide, the Earth's surface would be very much like it is today. The action of plate tectonics traps vast amounts of carbon dioxide, thereby eliminating the greenhouse effects and leading to a much cooler surface temperature and the formation of solid rock, and possibly even life.[8]

Where did you find it?

 

And if it's true, it only shows that life started even earlier. But the Hadean period would have to be pushed back. The definition of the "Haldean" period is that it was like "Hell" (Hades--hence its name).

 

The cool part of science is that it tends to correct itself over time. When they discover something that doesn't fit the model, they change the model and the beliefs. That's not being counter intuitive. That is honesty.

 

Besides, there are sciences that are counter intuitive. Quantum mechanics is like that. Don't expect quantum mechanics to follow what we consider common sense, because on quantum level, "common" breaks down.

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Not to derail, and from ignorance......but wouldn't we expect to see abiogenesis today, or at some point witnessing such, if it is a natural process?

End3, I think that's a very valid question. I also wonder why it appears that just one life form (the kind that evolved to use DNA) appears to have survived if multiple forms came into existence around the same time billions of years ago. Why don't we also have life forms that replicate via XNA (just to make something up)?

 

I know that all living things don't have DNA (some viruses don't), so that may be evidence of additional life forms developing independently.

 

And, I know it is possible that new life forms are developing now in environments that have the right ingredients and conditions, and we're just not looking in those places - possibly because they are so inhospitable to human life such as heat vents on the ocean floor, etc. And, as Ouroboros said, new life forms might be eaten or absorbed by other forms since they are now so numerous.

 

Still, I think they are interesting questions.

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Truthfully, I would probably bias the finding in light of my experience and beliefs. In other words, I would most likely rationalize creation being a function by God, where ever it exists....evidenced by the bible story of course, having not shot at a cherob or seraph whilst hunting on earth.

Here's something that could prove Creationism true.

 

So far, they have found thousands of skeletons from Homo erectus, Homo habilis, Hobo sapies, ... etc. And in all cases, because there are certain things that always hold true about bones, no skeleton has been of someone who lived past 30-40 years of age. According to the Bible, hundreds of thousands of people must have lived in the early era, before the flood, who had life spans of 800 and 900 years. If archeologists could find just one skeleton of a 800 year old homonoid, we would have to reconsider Creationism. But so far, no luck.

 

On the other hand, they have found neaderthals and even extracted their DNA. And based on that they have hyoid bone and the DNA hox genes for it, they were very likely able to speak. But, unfortunately, neaderthals are only distant relatives to people in Europe and not the people in Africa. So where did these side branch of "Adam and Eve" come from? The Bible doesn't say. Are they those mystical nephilim perhaps? Does this mean that I have angel blood?

 

Edit: but I am still confused.....why would we not see something come to life NOW through natural processes? Why don't we see the evolution of cells from the next door neighbors pond?

Because one event like that would be absorbed immediately by the surrounding organisms. The competition is far too great for it to succeed.

 

It's like if you go into an busy airport with hundreds of thousands of people talking and walking around, and you flip a coin and get tails. Would the pilot in the airplane that just took of know that you did it? How would he be able to know? The distance, the massive chaos and competing events, are all preventing him from knowing the outcome of your coin flip.

 

The only way for him to know is if you had his cell phone and called him. Right? So do you believe that some microscopic chemical event in the neighbors puddle have a cellphone to call you when it happens? Put it this way, the event might be happening a million times all over the world today, but we are not able to really catch those events or record them even if they do.

 

It's not like you have a cell form in a pond, and then it evolves to a fish, then a mammal, then a primate, then a up-walking homonid, then get a bigger brain, and learn to talk, create tools, create art, build houses, and invent philosophy and calculus, and finally report back to you in just 8 hours time. It took 6.4 million years just from the first Homo to get to us today. And it took many millions of years of just one cell organisms in the ocean before any multicell organisms came about. If you have time to way some hundred million years, yeah, the pond might give you a new life form to observe.

 

I appreciate the effort. I tend to look at it more like the weeds in my yard....one fleck of weed seed seems to somehow find footing. :vent:

 

I will keep looking, thanks for the explanations.

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It just seems counter intuitive to me Hans....I found this snippet:

 

A September 2008 study of zircons found that Australian Hadean rock holds minerals that point to the existence of plate tectonics as early as 4 billion years ago.[8] If this holds true, the previous beliefs about the Hadean period are far from correct. That is, rather than a hot, molten surface and atmosphere full of carbon dioxide, the Earth's surface would be very much like it is today. The action of plate tectonics traps vast amounts of carbon dioxide, thereby eliminating the greenhouse effects and leading to a much cooler surface temperature and the formation of solid rock, and possibly even life.[8]

Where did you find it?

 

And if it's true, it only shows that life started even earlier. But the Hadean period would have to be pushed back. The definition of the "Haldean" period is that it was like "Hell" (Hades--hence its name).

 

The cool part of science is that it tends to correct itself over time. When they discover something that doesn't fit the model, they change the model and the beliefs. That's not being counter intuitive. That is honesty.

 

Besides, there are sciences that are counter intuitive. Quantum mechanics is like that. Don't expect quantum mechanics to follow what we consider common sense, because on quantum level, "common" breaks down.

 

Wiki...the "redneck Funk and Wagnalls"

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I appreciate the effort. I tend to look at it more like the weeds in my yard....one fleck of weed seed seems to somehow find footing. :vent:

 

I will keep looking, thanks for the explanations.

No problem.

 

You know, one of the strongest evidences for evolution is the genetic markers in our DNA. There are something called microsatelite markers and synonymous point mutations. The chances of the exact same happening at the same spot in the DNA in two different individuals or species is so incredible impossible that the only explanations for sharing these markers is 1) God made it that way on purpose, or 2) we share heritage.

 

Now, the question you have to ask yourself is why we share more of these genetic markers in non-coding DNA with chimps than we share with animals that are farther away in our family tree. The markers follow exactly what we should expect if evolution is true. We can follow the markers to establish relationship between human beings because it works the same way. And pay especially attention to that most of these markers are in the non-coding DNA, i.e. the part of the DNA that is mostly not used. Non-coding DNA only serves to keep the structure of the chromosome intact, but it's not used to produce any proteins. So all mutations there are useless, pointless, and without any effect. (Unless a restructuring would happen.) It's like having a book of lineage and heritage recorded. So if God did this on purpose, it tells us that God wanted us to believe that we are related to the apes. Therefore, I think it's much more likely that evolution is true, completely, instead of believing in a deceptive God.

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So End, if we find life on other planets/moons elsewhere outside Earth, how would you process that with your beliefs?

 

Truthfully, I would probably bias the finding in light of my experience and beliefs. In other words, I would most likely rationalize creation being a function by God, where ever it exists....evidenced by the bible story of course, having not shot at a cherob or seraph whilst hunting on earth.

Fair enough. Personally I would be stunned and amazed if life were not prolifically strewn throughout the universe. I would not be one bit surprised to hear news of such a discovery. My response would be, "That's really fantastic! Not unexpected at all." It would make me feel even more connected with the Universe, and it with me.

 

I mean, even viewed in a theistic light, why would the creation of life be limited to you and your little home in the Milky Way, all alone in the billions and billions of galaxies, and trillions and trillions and trillions of stars and planets? Seriously, doesn't it seem almost a little silly to imagine that it's all about a few humans on earth who lived within the past 10,000 years, as opposed to the 14.5 billion years of this Universe and the trillions upon trillions upon trillions of emerged forms of matter and biology that are likely everywhere in the Universe; not just in space but in time? To me, being a shining diamond amongst the trillions that exist, makes our significance all the much more glorious. The universe if full of beauty and we are that beauty in ourselves! Now that, to me is incredibly religious!

 

How much more glorious is that, to be part of that, than that it's all about you and getting your sin problems addressed satisfactorily so that you personally can live forever after you die? You see? Eyes opened to the glory that is; that is us.

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I appreciate the effort. I tend to look at it more like the weeds in my yard....one fleck of weed seed seems to somehow find footing. :vent:

 

I will keep looking, thanks for the explanations.

No problem.

 

You know, one of the strongest evidences for evolution is the genetic markers in our DNA. There are something called microsatelite markers and synonymous point mutations. The chances of the exact same happening at the same spot in the DNA in two different individuals or species is so incredible impossible that the only explanations for sharing these markers is 1) God made it that way on purpose, or 2) we share heritage.

 

Now, the question you have to ask yourself is why we share more of these genetic markers in non-coding DNA with chimps than we share with animals that are farther away in our family tree. The markers follow exactly what we should expect if evolution is true. We can follow the markers to establish relationship between human beings because it works the same way. And pay especially attention to that most of these markers are in the non-coding DNA, i.e. the part of the DNA that is mostly not used. Non-coding DNA only serves to keep the structure of the chromosome intact, but it's not used to produce any proteins. So all mutations there are useless, pointless, and without any effect. (Unless a restructuring would happen.) It's like having a book of lineage and heritage recorded. So if God did this on purpose, it tells us that God wanted us to believe that we are related to the apes. Therefore, I think it's much more likely that evolution is true, completely, instead of believing in a deceptive God.

 

I don't know that I have an issue with evolution...nor has it caused be angst for some reason. I tend to view the creation stories as more representations of what happened. I realize Christians aren't consistent in this regard, it just is. (I'm holding out that the two explanations to merge someday).

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Wiki...the "redneck Funk and Wagnalls"

Ok. I can accept that. But like I said, even so, there were a time when Earth was a boiling lava ball. These findings would only push the end of the real Hell-time earlier than previously thought.

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