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Russell



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Joined: April 2005

(Permalink) Posted: Jan. 04 2006,06:03   

Carol Clouser and David Heddle often interject this notion into comment threads on Panda's Thumb. I find it a real head scratcher, but then I suppose any religious jew/christian/muslim would have to find scripture and science consistent in some way. So the question is: in what way.

For starters, I wonder if there's some internet archive of responses to all the commonly raised biblical, ahem, improbabilities: e.g. Noachian global submersion, the sun holding still (the earth's suspending rotation?) for Joshua, Methuselah living well into his 10th century...

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Sheikh Mahandi



Posts: 47
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(Permalink) Posted: Jan. 04 2006,06:17   

You could try this - The sceptics annotated bible
This includes Old Testament which should deal with many Judaic apologists also. An additional resource is www.infidels.org which has similar discourses on Islam and the Book of Mormon.

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"Love is in the air, everywhere I look around,.....Love is in the air, every sight and every sound,......"

  
Russell



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(Permalink) Posted: Jan. 04 2006,07:05   

Thanks.
I see the "Skeptics" site you linked has a specific page:
science and history devoted to these things. But is there a site somewhere where the Clousers and Heddles of this world respond to these?

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Sheikh Mahandi



Posts: 47
Joined: May 2005

(Permalink) Posted: Jan. 04 2006,09:06   

Skeptics/Sceptics - Whoops Britishness showing.... :D

As for possible sites where Carol / David may be drawing "inspiration" - Kent Hovind ("Dr" Dino) contains all the usual, dinosaurs wandered round with Adam/Eve, Cain/Abel, etc...up until Noah.

Personally I waiting for one of them to declare that the movie 1,000,000 years B.C starring Raquel Welch was divinely inspired amd historically accurate.    :D

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"Love is in the air, everywhere I look around,.....Love is in the air, every sight and every sound,......"

  
The Ghost of Paley



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(Permalink) Posted: Jan. 04 2006,10:02   

Russell said:
Quote
But is there a site somewhere where the Clousers and Heddles of this world respond to these?

Try here.

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Dey can't 'andle my riddim.

  
Russell



Posts: 1082
Joined: April 2005

(Permalink) Posted: Jan. 04 2006,11:17   

And thank you, Mr. Ghost. But I can't believe that educated sorts such as Clouser and Heddle would buy the kinds of unsophisticated attempts at explanations that your source makes. (I certainly don't.)

A lot of the "skeptics annotated bible" examples I find uninteresting, because it's so easy to invent a sense in which the verse might be construed as compatible with modern science - even though that usually looks like a stretch.  However, the whole exercise is pointless if, as your source (or rather your source's source) says in an attempt to explain the Joshua sun incident, that it's impossible to disentangle poetic from concrete language.

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Flint



Posts: 478
Joined: Jan. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Jan. 04 2006,14:39   

I can see, at least a little bit, how it might be necessary for people raised into biblical belief and who later get deep enough into what science is and how it works, to feel the need to accept both at once. The former must be true because it being false is unthinkable, the latter must be true because it being false is irrational. Yet by any remotely plausible interpretation, they can't both be right.

Fortunately for such people, they ARE people of faith. And this means the two don't conflict because they have faith that they don't conflict. They SAY it's true, and that makes it true. So really, the hard part is already taken care of; all that's left is the details. And of course, any details can be reconciled using this same technique. A little creative interpretation of scripture, science, or both, and POOF we have coherence.

  
Russell



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Joined: April 2005

(Permalink) Posted: Jan. 11 2006,06:29   

Over at Panda's Thumb, David Heddle offers the following:

Quote
Oh, in addition to PTers caring (a great deal) about claims that the bible is consistent with science, many will not be happy that you (and I) disagree with Ken Ham. They prefer to paint with a very broad “creationist/fundamentalist” brush.


First of all, I note that you paint with a very broad brush when you presume, from the comments of a few, what "PTers" in general care a great deal about. That being said, I admit to some curiosity on the subject. (Heck, I started this thread in the thus-far-vain hope of engaging you on it!;)).

My interest in the subject is partly that what strikes me as an irrational stance has such a hold on so many of my fellow citizens; partly - as I've said before - I believe this sort of fundamentalism (sensu lato, of course) is indeed fundamental to movements like Al Qaeda. I'm not trying to be inflammatory with that - just stating a fact.

What do you infer from what you perceive as PTers' interest in the topic?

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Stephen Elliott



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Joined: Oct. 2005

(Permalink) Posted: Jan. 11 2006,07:28   

Over on PT I have seen David Heddle called a fundie. Something that I consider to be untrue.

Carol Clouser though is an entirely different kettle of fish. She seems to imply that we are all headed for ####, unless we buy a book written by on of her (presumably)  friends. That is pretty weird.

  
GCT



Posts: 1001
Joined: Aug. 2005

(Permalink) Posted: Jan. 11 2006,09:29   

:03-->
Quote (Russell @ Jan. 04 2006,12:03)
Carol Clouser and David Heddle often interject this notion into comment threads on Panda's Thumb. I find it a real head scratcher, but then I suppose any religious jew/christian/muslim would have to find scripture and science consistent in some way. So the question is: in what way.

For starters, I wonder if there's some internet archive of responses to all the commonly raised biblical, ahem, improbabilities: e.g. Noachian global submersion, the sun holding still (the earth's suspending rotation?) for Joshua, Methuselah living well into his 10th century...

I often wonder this myself.  Over on Heddle's blog (I travel there often for amusement and to argue, which affords me even more amusement) when this subject comes up, he generally dismisses it with something like this, "Oh, like that argument has never come up.  It's been refuted so many times that I don't feel like going into it again."  (Note: this is not a direct quote).

To his credit, he is running a series of posts that supposedly deals with squaring away inaccuracies between the Bible and science.  The first two have dealt with bats not being birds and the value of pi.

  
sir_toejam



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Joined: April 2005

(Permalink) Posted: Jan. 11 2006,09:35   

ask him when he will get around to addressing the age of several old testament protagonists.

even when Carol blathers about how there is NO conflict between the "true" and "correct" judaistic interpretation of genesis and science, she contradicts herself immediately when presented with this issue.

know any 900 or 600 year old folks?  I sure don't.

even Carol admits this must be a miracle.

except in her mind, miracles are part of science.

ask heddle if miracles are part of his definition of science as well.

Also, someone made a plausible case that Carol is the "Carol" that Landa dedicates his book to, which would make Carol his wife.

  
GCT



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Joined: Aug. 2005

(Permalink) Posted: Jan. 11 2006,09:42   

Sir TJ,
I don't know him, I just read and laugh.  I can update this thread when he adds a new entry so that whoever is interested can surf over there and check it out if you guys want.

  
Russell



Posts: 1082
Joined: April 2005

(Permalink) Posted: Jan. 11 2006,11:32   

Quote
[ Over on PT I have seen David Heddle called a fundie. Something that I consider to be untrue.

You have a point. With so many definitions of "fundamentalism" floating around, I find it not a whole lot more useful than "Christian". Originally I think it was used to describe a very conservative, biblical literalist version of Christianity embraced by folks that subscribed to a book written around a hundred years ago, called "The Fundamentals of Truth" - or something like that. But obviously these days when we speak of "fundamentalist muslims" the word has taken on a broader meaning. In my mind, the broader definition of the word would include biblical literalists, and I'm not  quite clear on how David's and Carol's "biblical inerrancy" differs from "biblical literalism". So, for the meantime, unless and until they care to enlighten us, I'm not particularly indignant if people describe them as "fundamentalist".

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Flint



Posts: 478
Joined: Jan. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Jan. 11 2006,11:51   

Russell:

I agree the term is pretty hazy. Perhaps we need to start a Jeff Foxworthy-type contest: You might be a fundamentalist if:

-You think your faith should be preached in public school

-You don't trust anyone who hasn't been 'born again'

-You approach all problems by asking 'What would Jesus do?'

-You find dubya a little bit too liberal where it counts

-You're sure there's no interpretation involved in your reading of scripture

-You believe any statement supporting God can't be wrong

Fell free to keep suggesting stuff...

  
Stephen Elliott



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Joined: Oct. 2005

(Permalink) Posted: Jan. 11 2006,12:09   

On definition of a fundie.

I supose that I interpret as someone who believes the Bible (any other Holy book) is literal. Would refute any argument from reason or science with comments such as "the Bible says different, so you are wrong". Absolutely refuse to consider that they might be wrong.



Logic such as this could only be from a fundie:

1 God created the entire universe and everything in it.
2 There is only one true way to God (mine).
3 Anyone who dissagrees with me deserves to die and God wants me to kill them.
4 Anything I do in the name of God is Holy.

Defies belief that someone could believe in God, but He messed up his creation so badly that He needs people to kill in His name people He created. Yet, God is perfect.

Quite frightening really.

  
sir_toejam



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Joined: April 2005

(Permalink) Posted: Jan. 11 2006,12:17   

Quote
-You find dubya a little bit too liberal where it counts


oh man, if you want to see that in spades, check out the discussion forum over on christianexodus.net sometime.

I think they want to see 'ol W get recalled at this point, especially after the harriet Miers fiasco.

It gets pretty funny, especially when you see them squirm while trying to deal with the conflicts presented by their anti-uber-government stance, rabid anti-terrorist stance, and GW's private spying attempts.

GW presents a real world case of a love-hate relationship for them.

It's like watching a schizophrenic having a conversation with himself.

  
gregonomic



Posts: 44
Joined: Dec. 2005

(Permalink) Posted: Jan. 11 2006,12:29   

I think we've got a pretty good idea where Heddle lies on the fundie scale.

He has admitted that he thinks the Bible was divinely inspired and is factually inerrant, so we can take that to mean that he accepts the miracles contained therein. Anyone who accepts miracles for an explanation of anything is pretty high on the fundie scale, IMO.

He strikes me as someone who is very fundie deep down, but who doesn't want to make it obvious because he knows it's not cool, and how damaging it would be to all of his arguments. He's obviously doing a good job of keeping a few people guessing.

In summary: he's not Carol-Clouser-fundie, but he's in that same ball park. I give him 8 burning bushes out of a possible 10.

  
sir_toejam



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(Permalink) Posted: Jan. 11 2006,13:01   

Quote
He has admitted that he thinks the Bible was divinely inspired and is factually inerrant, so we can take that to mean that he accepts the miracles contained therein


accepted.  However, that does not answer the question of whether he accepts miracles to be within the purview of science itself, as Carol genuinely appears to.

i like your "burning bushes" scale, btw.  I can even picture the little burning-bush icons that would make up the counts.

  
gregonomic



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(Permalink) Posted: Jan. 11 2006,14:56   

Quote
However, that does not answer the question of whether he accepts miracles to be within the purview of science itself, as Carol genuinely appears to.


Oh, I don't think either of them actually believe that. Carol has admitted that she believes the miracles in the Bible actually occurred, but she firmly stated that they couldn't be refuted using science (see here).

Heddle always ignores questions about miracles, which, again, I take as an admission that he believes them (but doesn't want us to know he believes them, because of how foolish it will make him look). But I don't think even he would try to argue that miracles are scientifically testable, so I'm guessing he's in the same boat as Carol.

Aureola Nominee nailed them on that one though - he/she basically forced them to admit that they can't maintain their claim that "the Bible is perfectly compatible with science" without fencing off significantly large portions of the Bible as science no-go zones.

  
sir_toejam



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(Permalink) Posted: Jan. 11 2006,15:45   

I don't think your classification of Carol is necessarily accurate.

I have seen her many time argue that the purview of science is too narrow, and should include philosophical discussions as well. Have you ever checked out her posts about support for teaching ID in science class, or discussions about the time she spent as a "science advisor" to a school district?  look for phrases like "elephant in the room" to locate these; i forget which threads they originally appeared in, but it was within the last month.

I could not find in the thread you linked to, her specific addressal of AC's critique of her logic about labeling moses' age a miracle.  perhaps you could name the specific numbered post?  What i saw was her statement of transcription of years to be essentially that of standard years, and then when called on the fact that this would of course mean that many protagonists were hundreds of years old, claim that this is a miracle, and we should uh, just "move on".  I never saw her ever deal directly with the conflict in logic this causes her original overarching statement of the compatability of science and the OT.

Assuming she did and i missed it: Regardless of her latest backpeddaling, how would you resolve the inherent conflict in her logic when she states things like:

"there is no conflict between science and the OT"

with the idea that there are miracles needed to explain a lot of it, but that these are not within the purview of science to explain.

which part do you think she will have to cave on then?

I find the idea that she accepts miracles to be within the purview of science to be totally consistent with much of her earlier writings on PT.

If there was more recent backpeddaling it's most likely simply because of the immediate and very clear inconsistency this position raises with her overarching and oft stated belief that if we just translated the OT like landa does, we would see no conflicts with science.

so, I'm gonna go on record as disagreeing with ya there.

...and the question is still wide open wrt Heddle.


why am i making a big deal out of this?

because just like IDer's, folks like Carol MUST essentially redefine either the definition or purview of science in order to accomodate their belief systems.

that makes them just as much enemies to the success of science as any IDiot, in my book.

It's all about projection, clear and plain, and both of them suffer from it (and denial) in spades.

edit:

in further parsing your link i see you were referring to the post where Carol says:

Quote
There is no way around the Hebrew word SHANA meaning year. The longevities of Noah and others throughout Genesis can only be miraculous. But again that is not contradicted by science. You either accept it or you do not. But you cannot use science as a basis for rejection.


but this is the exact quote that started the whole debate about "miracles" that she commented on later in the thread.

It did not clarify her position, but rather was the nucleus for the rest of the whole debate to begin with!

look again at the last line there:

Quote
You either accept it or you do not. But you cannot use science as a basis for rejection


yikes, now that's serious denial.

it essentially amounts to saying:

everything in here is consistent with science, except the bits that aren't, like miracles and whatnot.  

It's an entirely untennable position, starting from the position of inclusiveness Carol began with.

which i think Arden made quite clear in his followup post.

  
Flint



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Joined: Jan. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Jan. 11 2006,15:56   

I agree with ST about Carol - her approach seems to be "The Bible says this happened. Therefore it did. Therefore it was a real, genuine, natural phenomenon. Therefore, it could be investigated by science. Therefore there's no conflict!"

But this argument crops up in creationist writing pretty steadily. When it comes to evidence, surely the Bible (being the Word of God) is *at least* as reliable as any number of independent observations by mere mortal scientists. So OK, we have evidence. So it's science.

  
gregonomic



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(Permalink) Posted: Jan. 11 2006,17:56   

sir_toejam,

Yeah, I'm relatively new around here, but I did see Carol's "elephant in the room" posts. Clearly, in the light of her most recent posts, those earlier posts were disingenuous (to say the least) - her real motives are well and truly on the table now.

The point I was getting at in the link (to comment #69893) in my last message is encompassed by these sentences:

Quote
There is no denying that miracles are part of the Bible. And I don’t think that is in conflict with science. It is outside the domain of science, but not contradicted by it.


I agree with you 100% that this statement is completely untenable, and incongruous with her other claims that the Bible is totally compatible with science. Carol and Heddle seem to be the only ones who don't see the logical impasse. But what's new?

As for Heddle, from what I've seen, he evades any and all tricky questions, so it's difficult to discern his actual position. When anyone is being that sneaky, though, I tend to assume the worst.

  
sir_toejam



Posts: 846
Joined: April 2005

(Permalink) Posted: Jan. 11 2006,18:42   

Quote
There is no denying that miracles are part of the Bible. And I don’t think that is in conflict with science. It is outside the domain of science, but not contradicted by it.


in saying this, Carol is essentially saying that if one defines any part of the bible as "miraculous" it is outside of the domain of science...

uh, hmm.  isn't that exactly where we started the whole thread?

the ability to subjectively decide that something is a "miracle" basically puts the entire bible out of the domain of science, period.

so, back where we started then. and as i suspected, everything both Carol and Heddley posted was a complete waste of time.

not the first time i have said this.  

I'm sure it won't be the last.

I'm sure we will have to remind Carol of this exact quote over and over again, while she calls all of us "close minded".

*sigh*

the futility is ovewhelming.

  
Russell



Posts: 1082
Joined: April 2005

(Permalink) Posted: Jan. 12 2006,01:05   

Gregonomic and Sir TJ: I tend to agree.

But why are CC and DH so willing to jump into any PT comment thread - where their unusual (at least among scientists of my acquaintance) assertions are inevitably tangential and difficult to follow up without colluding in thread hijack - and so UNwilling to come over here, where I have repeatedly invited them to expatiate?

Should I take this personally?

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Must... not... scratch... mosquito bite.

  
gregonomic



Posts: 44
Joined: Dec. 2005

(Permalink) Posted: Jan. 12 2006,02:40   

Carole (on PT comment #70408) wrote:

Quote
Despite some defects in chartacter and short temperedness displayed here, I still think, as I always did, that scientists are the greatest people around. That some of them have a mental block in certain areas is worthy of my efforts.


I think you have your answer right there, Russell. She's on a mission from God. And there are simply more potential converts over there. Of course, given that she's basically told us we're all going to ####, I don't think she's going to win too many people over.

  
sir_toejam



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Joined: April 2005

(Permalink) Posted: Jan. 12 2006,16:33   

her last post in that thread today, completely ignored addressing the entire critique directed to her earlier statements, and as an excuse, claimed she doesn't post in threads where there are "confederate revisionists".

uh, right.  so in spouting BS about why she isn't responding to criticism, she posts in direct contradiction to what she uses as an excuse, for uh, not posting...

my head is spinning.

oh, and she has now shortened her spiel to the bible not being in conflict with evolutionary theory, as opposed to science in general.

I tried to get her to come back and explain the change in her position, but to no avail.

so, any time Carol pops into a thread, we can remind her of her performance in that thread and basically label her as what she essentially is, no more than a troll, just like heddle.

  
Paul Flocken



Posts: 290
Joined: Dec. 2005

(Permalink) Posted: Jan. 19 2006,02:34   

Hey all,
I think I can get Carol to show up on this thread.  Let's see how successful I am.
Paul

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"The great enemy of the truth is very often not the lie--deliberate, contrived, and dishonest, but the myth, persistent, persuasive, and unrealistic.  Belief in myths allows the comfort of opinion without the discomfort of thought."-John F. Kennedy

  
Chris Hyland



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Joined: Jan. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Jan. 19 2006,05:07   

Here's a conversation I've had too many times:

Religious Person: Why don't you follow the bible?

Me: Because its self contradictory and innacurate, the creation and noahs flood are not only scientifically innacurate, but are just rip-offs of older stories. Plus theres a lot of weird stuff in there about how you shouldnt eat shellfish and how you can sell your daughter into slavery.

Religious Person: Yes but all thats in the old testament you dont have to follow that literally.

Me: Thats good then, because the ten commandments are in the old testament and i rather fancied going on a killing spree this afternoon, followed by a spot of coveting this evening.

RP: Well, obviously you have to follow those but you need to study the bible and undertsand which bits are literally true and which arent.

Me: Fair enough, please may I borrow your copy of the official church guide to which bits of the bible are true and which arent.

RP: There isnt one.

Me: Well if all morality comes from the bible, and you have to decide yourself which bits are true and which bits arent, how come there arent still people selling their daughters into slavery and stoning each other to death. Is it in fact because morality is based mainly on human history and experience.

RP: I guess so.

And the moral of this story is: The bible is completely consistent with science if you ignore the bits which didn't happen.

  
Stephen Elliott



Posts: 1754
Joined: Oct. 2005

(Permalink) Posted: Jan. 19 2006,05:24   

Quote (Chris Hyland @ Jan. 19 2006,11:0)
Here's a conversation I've had too many times:
...
Me: Well if all morality comes from the bible, and you have to decide yourself which bits are true and which bits arent, how come there arent still people selling their daughters into slavery and stoning each other to death. Is it in fact because morality is based mainly on human history and experience.
...

In 2002 I was working for the UN in Afghanistan. A case in North Pakistan became a bit notorious:

A male was tried by a tribal council for rape. He was found guilty. His punishment:
Village elders selected a few males and told them to rape the rapists sister.

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/south_asia/4361289.stm

Yeh, real justice. I don't think. <!--emo&:angry:

  
Chris Hyland



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(Permalink) Posted: Jan. 19 2006,06:23   

Thats terrible, makes me glad I live in the heathen moral-free secular West.

  
Stephen Elliott



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Joined: Oct. 2005

(Permalink) Posted: Jan. 19 2006,06:48   

Quote (Chris Hyland @ Jan. 19 2006,12:23)
Thats terrible, makes me glad I live in the heathen moral-free secular West.

It sure is terrible.

I actually believe in God. Examples such as this explain why I dislike organised religion.

Giving away your mind (to some idiotic preacher) is a bad thing.

Is that lunatic preacher in the USA "Pat Robertson?" (not sure on name). Could you imagine living in a country where he had absolute power?

*shudder*

  
Chris Hyland



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(Permalink) Posted: Jan. 19 2006,07:04   

Quote
Is that lunatic preacher in the USA "Pat Robertson?"

I live in England, and until he was on the news for his remarks over Katrina, most people i told about Roberston thought i was making him up. In a country run by him i would have been burned for heresy years ago.

  
GCT



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Joined: Aug. 2005

(Permalink) Posted: Jan. 19 2006,07:48   

Quote (Chris Hyland @ Jan. 19 2006,13:04)
Quote
Is that lunatic preacher in the USA "Pat Robertson?"

I live in England, and until he was on the news for his remarks over Katrina, most people i told about Roberston thought i was making him up. In a country run by him i would have been burned for heresy years ago.

In a country run by Pat Robertson, only people who bowed down and kissed his feet (and paid him LOTS of money) would be spared from being burned as a heretic.

  
Craig



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(Permalink) Posted: Jan. 20 2006,08:58   

Happily, Robertson will never be in a position of power in this country. In fact, he's become an embarrassment to people of his own stripe, and that takes some doing. A recent issue of "World" magazine--a periodical of a very conservative/evangelical stripe, derided him  rather seriously. He's supposed to speak at some conference soon, and organizers have talked seriouously about "disinviting" him.

I hope they do. I wouldn't expect him to learn from it, however.

About the original topic:

May I make a suggestion?

I'm not sure that the problem with "the Bible and science" is a problem with the Bible and science. I think the problem is with a certain interpretation of the Bible and scientism. One of the wonders of science is that, done right, it is very humble, willing to change to fit new knowledge, new discoveries. It says "not yet" a lot. Scientists do not always do that. You have heard of the story of the scientist, teh engineer, and the philosopher walking up a hillside in Scotland and coming upon a black sheep? "Good heavens!" exclaims the scientist. "The sheep in Scotland are black!" "Interesting," says the engineer. "Some of the sheep in Scotland are black." "Um," replies the philosopher, "One of the sheep in Sctoalnd is black. On one side, anyway."

Science's job is to jump to conclusions. Now, wonder of wonders, it does not trust those conclusions and proceeds to test them, and it chagnes them when necessary, but scientists can depart from science and engage in scientism by forgetting that A. falling in love with your first conclusion is fatal to science, and B. science cannot do or know everything. There is a science to art, but art is not science,a nd science does not always understand art. What did the winner of an IgNobel prize a few years ago say in her "24/7" presentation? "The mind still does not understand itself"? A certain amount of humility is crucial to good science, just as it is in good theology.

Those who say that the Bible is infallible or inerrant usually mean by that that their version of the Bible is inerrant. That's an unfortunate lack of humility. There are plenty (many?) of us evangelicals who believe the Bible but see no conflict between Bible and science, not because science always agrees with my ideas of what the Bible says, but because we understand that the Bible has in it different kinds of literature for different purposes and thus says different things for very good reason. We do this in everyday speech: which is it, "Look before you leap," or "He who hesitates is lost"?

Take the story of Adam and Eve, or the ages of the patriarchs. Are these supposed to be literal retellings of actual occurances, or are they allegories, discussing not age, but innocence, not trees and fruit but the misuse of knowledge? Is Adam and Eve a story of the perils of self-knowledge, of wanting more than we can handle? Is it thus a story of pride, rather like Mary Shelly's "Frankenstein, or the Modern Prometheus"?

I think the problem with many fundamentalists is that they lack humility--a problem not unique to or original with them. One of the last couple of chapters of "The Seven Daughters of Eve" tells of a science conference in which the evidence of early research into mitochondrial DNA was going to be announced. The introducer disagreed with the whole concept, and ended his introduction of the speaker with, "I don't believe in mitochondria." Scientists discounting science? Fundies aren't alone, then?

The problem is not with the Bible. The Bible is not a science text. It describes moral and spiritual causes and consequences, not scientific ones. That's why ID fails as a science--because it is not science. Science is a process. ID is a reason. The two disagree because they set out to answer different questions. ID and antievolutionists just are not paying attention to this. Unfortunately, I think a lot of scientifically-minded people are doing the same thing from the other side. I'm not sure that the correct answer for us--including those of us who are evangelical Christians but who still acknowledge the validity and truth of scientific progress and discovery--is to attack the symptoms of the debate instead of the causes.

It's too easy for Christians to blame scientists' disagreement on their lack of knowledge or unspiritual condition. It's too easy for scientists to blame the fundies' disagreement on their being the great unwashed, led willy-nilly by bullies like Pat Robertson.

Should a bit more respect come from both sides? And if one side is not up to that, shouldn't the other side still be respectful while firmly disagreeing?

I have had discussions with friends who open to Genesis and proclaim that it means that "a dog will never have a cat." I, too, have wanted to bury my face in my hands at that point, but it would do no good. If I declared them stupid they would stop listening. One has to shepherd such patiently, explaining (again) the way evolution works.

It may be that your type--those of you who are not Christians--would be the wrong ones to shepherd such people. It could be that the right ones to do this would be my type, who believe much as they do, but who see that God has the ability to do things that surprise us, like evolution.

Which means that your job might not be to blast every propounder of religion-as-science, but rather it could be to find those who are willing to listen and to educate them. We need your type because you know the science, and if you are willing to teach us without seeming to contradict the Bible (you don't, but be sensitive to this "third rail" of fundamentalist belief), I think you would get a better hearing from many who have never heard "this stuff" before, but have to.

It would require a different approach and a different presentation, but I'd bet that it would be worth it.

  
sir_toejam



Posts: 846
Joined: April 2005

(Permalink) Posted: Jan. 20 2006,09:16   

Quote
Is that lunatic preacher in the USA "Pat Robertson?" (not sure on name). Could you imagine living in a country where he had absolute power?


Quote
Happily, Robertson will never be in a position of power in this country.


two things:

1.  Robertson ran for President not that long ago (late 80's, IIRC), and received quite a few votes.  enough to be taken as a serious contender for the republican nomination, at least early in the running.

2.  What makes you think Roberston is NOT in a position of power in this country?  Just because he is not an officially elected representative, doesn't mean he has no power.  don't kid yourself.

  
Flint



Posts: 478
Joined: Jan. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Jan. 20 2006,09:39   

Robertson himself is 75 years old, and his euphemizing circuitry seems to be degrading. As a result, he says what his followers agree with too directly, making everyone uncomfortable. More politically-aware folks who agree with him, still have the sense to phrase their bigotries and lunacies in the form of nominally inoffensive generalities containing the embedded keywords associated with, well, with what Robertson is saying today.

I would say this lack of filtration is costing Roberton power, but I would NOT say that those for whom he speaks are therefore less powerful; it's just time for them to adopt a new spokesman, hip to the latest platitudes about "critical thinking" as performed by "a growing number of scientists."

  
Russell



Posts: 1082
Joined: April 2005

(Permalink) Posted: Jan. 20 2006,10:29   

Quote
Should a bit more respect come from both sides? And if one side is not up to that, shouldn't the other side still be respectful while firmly disagreeing?
Though, of course, we wouldn't want to generalize about both "sides". (I like to think at least this nonchristian scientist is respectful, at least on one side ;) )

I suspect that there will continue to be a spectrum of "respect" from participants in this apparently never-ending discussion.

In starting this discussion, it certainly was not my intention to "blast every propounder of religion-as-science". I am genuinely curious to understand at what level of concreteness our bible-friendly scientist friends understand this concept of "biblical inerrancy".

I believe, for instance, that David Heddle (PhD physicist) has said that he believes Methuselah literally lived for 969 years. I find that... remarkable.

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Must... not... scratch... mosquito bite.

  
Henry J



Posts: 4565
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(Permalink) Posted: Jan. 20 2006,11:43   

Re "he believes Methuselah literally lived for 969 years."
Well, he certainly didn't reach 970, cause if he didn't drown he didn't miss it by much. (Well, for those who believe the relevant reports.  ;) )

Henry

  
Mr_Christopher



Posts: 1238
Joined: Jan. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Jan. 20 2006,12:17   

Probably 99% of Pat Robertson's followers are the type of people who blindly embrace intelligent design and could care less about things like "verifiable" "testable" "scientific" etc.  In fact the less science talk the better as far as they are concerned.  They simply see stooges with PhDs like Dembski putting Darwin's head in a vise and get all excited.  Pat has publicly embraced IDC on several instances.

CBN (Pat's broadcasting company) claims a viewership of 1 million people a day.  

Pat won't be president anytime soon but in spite of his nutty public proclaimations, he has influence in this country.  He influences some of the least educated and most poorly informed folks, the type of individuals the Discovery Institute appeals to the most.

Besides, he's fun to watch.  I was watching the 700 Club the other night and Pat told us that evolution is a religion.  He said no one was around 15 billion year ago to witness fish walking out of the ocean so believing in evolution requires faith.  That faith proves evolution is a religion according to Pat.  He wonders why the Supreme Court allows a religion like evolution to be taught in public schools.  

The 700 Club is not as good as PTL but it has some entertainment value.

Pat is a nut case to be sure but don't underestimate him or hsi influence.

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Uncommon Descent is a moral cesspool, a festering intellectual ghetto that intoxicates and degrades its inhabitants - Stephen Matheson

  
Paul Flocken



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(Permalink) Posted: Jan. 22 2006,02:48   

Ok, fellow Carol trollers, I have Carol's, I mean, Landa's book.  Let's see how much mischief we do to her, I mean, his thesis?  Any questions?
Now please remember I can't keep my eyes glued to my monitor 24/7, so I can't reply quickly.
Paul

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"The great enemy of the truth is very often not the lie--deliberate, contrived, and dishonest, but the myth, persistent, persuasive, and unrealistic.  Belief in myths allows the comfort of opinion without the discomfort of thought."-John F. Kennedy

  
Paul Flocken



Posts: 290
Joined: Dec. 2005

(Permalink) Posted: Jan. 22 2006,03:11   

The Ages of the Patriarchs :0
Since this seems to be popular.  On page 123 Landa, I mean, Carol writes:
Quote
So we arrive at the conclusion that the individuals from Adam to Noah who lived such extraordinarily long life spans, did so miraculously.

THAT'S IT MEN!  There's no inconsistency with science HERE.
Does Carol, I mean, Landa not understand assuming the consequent?

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"The great enemy of the truth is very often not the lie--deliberate, contrived, and dishonest, but the myth, persistent, persuasive, and unrealistic.  Belief in myths allows the comfort of opinion without the discomfort of thought."-John F. Kennedy

  
Savagemutt



Posts: 18
Joined: Nov. 2005

(Permalink) Posted: Jan. 22 2006,03:19   

:01-->
Quote (sir_toejam @ Jan. 11 2006,19:01)
Quote
accepted.  However, that does not answer the question of whether he accepts miracles to be within the purview of science itself, as Carol genuinely appears to.

I think the answer to that would be "no". He says that miracles are just that - miracles, and thus are outside the realm of scientific understanding.

But how you separate what is and isn't a miracle is left unanswered.

  
Russell



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(Permalink) Posted: Jan. 22 2006,04:02   

That's it? The bible is totally, absolutely consistent with science - except when it isn't, and then it's a "miracle"? That's a bit disappointing, isn't it?

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Must... not... scratch... mosquito bite.

  
Savagemutt



Posts: 18
Joined: Nov. 2005

(Permalink) Posted: Jan. 22 2006,04:54   

In the "Clergy Project Nearing Goal of 10,000 Signatures" thread on PT, Heddle sez:

Quote
Miracles (there are about ~100 of them in the bible) are by definition excluded. If miracles could be explained by science, they wouldn’t be miracles. That is why even Renier, above, did not bring up Jesus walking on water or feeding the 5000. Most people understand that, even if they don’t believe the miracles, they have to be exempt from this argument. If you take out the miracles—it would be maybe 15 or so pages in the typical bible, there is still plenty of text left to hunt for scientific error. (Oh, and when it talks about the sun rising and setting, that doesn’t mean it is claiming the sun rotates around the earth.)

  
sir_toejam



Posts: 846
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(Permalink) Posted: Jan. 22 2006,09:18   

Quote
That's it? The bible is totally, absolutely consistent with science - except when it isn't, and then it's a "miracle"? That's a bit disappointing, isn't it?


yup, that was the same conclusion i came to when Heddle first started posting his interpretations of the bible as science eons ago, and Carol simply clarified it.

How is this perspective any different than a god of the gaps argument?

"god exists in the things we can't explain with science (we call 'em "miracles")."

what defines a "miracle" seems to be a pretty subjective thing to me, but then I've never seen one myself.  

Anybody else seen one?

Bueller?  Bueller?

Paul:

let us know what you think of landa's book; post any pithy quotes you find.

cheers

  
Arden Chatfield



Posts: 6657
Joined: Jan. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Jan. 22 2006,09:41   

Quote (Paul Flocken @ Jan. 22 2006,08:48)
Ok, fellow Carol trollers, I have Carol's, I mean, Landa's book.  Let's see how much mischief we do to her, I mean, his thesis?  Any questions?
Now please remember I can't keep my eyes glued to my monitor 24/7, so I can't reply quickly.
Paul

Wow, you actually bought Landa/Clouser's book? I hope you found a used copy of it, I'd hesitate to give them royalties...

I definitely agree with an earlier comment, Carol is really nothing more or less than a missionary. She has a different shtick from most missionaries, with this whole "everything in the OT is literally true, as long as you translate the Hebrew words a certain way", but she's just here to make converts. But I supposed the same is true of all the other IDC trolls that frequent PT.

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"Rich is just mad because he thought all titties had fur on them until last week when a shorn transvestite ruined his childhood dreams by jumping out of a spider man cake and man boobing him in the face lips." - Erasmus

  
heddle



Posts: 124
Joined: Nov. 2005

(Permalink) Posted: Jan. 22 2006,10:57   

Well this is all so interesting!

Let me address a whole bunch of comments:

Sheikh Mahandi:
Quote
As for possible sites where Carol / David may be drawing "inspiration" - Kent Hovind ("Dr" Dino) contains all the usual, dinosaurs wandered round with Adam/Eve, Cain/Abel, etc...up until Noah.

Sorry Sheikh, I and (I am 99%  sure) Carol are old-earth types. My particular brand of OEC has been dubbed heresy by Dr. Hovind. I have to argue with Hovind types as much as I do with PT types—so I sort of put Hovind on your team, Sheikh.

Sir_toejam,
Quote
 ask him when he will get around to addressing the age of several old testament protagonists.

You’ve asked me this, and I told you I do believe in the long ages are scientific, not miraculous. There is a post brewing about this, in the series GCT mentioned (in the comment above, where he says he comes to my blog for amusement.) It will go something like this: modern science is gaining an appreciation for the genetic causes of aging, and some foresee greatly extended lifespans. If so, then longer lifespans in principle are not unscientific. (This would mean that God intervened to alter our genes to reduce lifespans) But I need to do some homework on this topic.

GCT
Quote
 I don't know him, I just read and laugh.

I didn’t know you asked me questions on my blog just for chuckles. You are still welcome, but I am suddenly much more reluctant to engage you in the comments.

Gregonomic,
Quote
 He has admitted that he thinks the Bible was divinely inspired and is factually inerrant, so we can take that to mean that he accepts the miracles contained therein. Anyone who accepts miracles for an explanation of anything is pretty high on the fundie scale, IMO.

Well at least this is a definition, that's progress. (Now if someone would carfe to define "creationist"?) If accepting inspiration an inerrancy and miracles makes one a fundie, then I’m a fundie. Your poster child for rational Christianity, Ken Miller, if he is the good Catholic everyone claims, would then also be a fundie—because the Catholic Church (references to official documents upon request) affirms inspiration and inerrancy (without demanding literality) of scripture and affirms miracles as well.

Russell,
Quote
 and I'm not  quite clear on how David's and Carol's "biblical inerrancy" differs from "biblical literalism".

Biblical inerrancy means that you accept that the writers were inspired to write, and so they wrote without error. You allow, however, that translation errors have occurred, and hyperbole, metaphors, and other figures of speech were used. You also recognize that the writers of that era wrote differently than today—that quotes, for example, were meant to accurately reflect the content but not necessary the exact words. (Biblical Greek, for example, didn’t even have quotation marks.) Now when the facts are brought up, those who want to demonstrate biblical error cry “foul.” Tough beans. We are not going to handcuff ourselves just so you can win a debate. You are free to hold us accountable: these things must be used in a scholarly manner. But they are legitimate parts of the equation.

Literalism is a hermeneutic that minimizes interpretations based on symbolism and metaphors. It is a form of inerrancy, but not the only form. Of course, when people want to argue that the bible is full of errors they demand that you take any questionable passage literally.

STJ,
Quote
However, that does not answer the question of whether he accepts miracles to be within the purview of science itself, as Carol genuinely appears to.

On the contrary, I’ve stated my position clearly on a number of occasions: miracles are by definition outside the purview of science, that’s why they are miracles instead of parlor tricks. Science can never, for example, explain the resurrection.

Gregonomic
Quote
 Heddle always ignores questions about miracles, which, again, I take as an admission that he believes them (but doesn't want us to know he believes them, because of how foolish it will make him look).

Wrong, I have never ignored questions about miracles nor shied away from admitting I believe in them.

Gregonomic,
Quote
I agree with you 100% that this statement (There is no denying that miracles are part of the Bible. And I don’t think that is in conflict with science. It is outside the domain of science, but not contradicted by it.) is completely untenable, and incongruous with her other claims that the Bible is totally compatible with science.

I know you are referring to Carol, this applies to me as well. Do you understand that part of debating is recognizing the other person’s perspective? Here it is in a nutshell, speaking for myself: (1) I believe in miracles and (2) miracles by definition cannot be explained by science and (3) the overwhelming bulk of scripture does not discuss miracles (4) anything stated in the non-miraculous accounts is subject to scientific scrutiny.

So, I believe the Red Sea was parted, but I don’t agree that it violates science because it was clearly a miracle, and expressed as a miracle.

However, when the bible says that our universe has a finite lifetime, that is not describing a miracle and is subject to scientific testing, which of course it passed with flying colors. If the bible said the earth was the center of the cosmos, that would be a scientific error that couldn’t be written off as a miracle.

Gregonomic,
Quote
Aureola Nominee nailed them on that one though - he/she basically forced them to admit that they can't maintain their claim that "the Bible is perfectly compatible with science" without fencing off significantly large portions of the Bible as science no-go zones.

Never happened. I would never have to be "forced" to admit that miracles are exempt from the discussion. I have stated it virtually (if not actually) every time the question of the scientific accuracy of the bible arose.

Gee, I thought you guys didn't care about whether or not the bible was consistent with science.

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Mysticism is a rational enterprise. Religion is not. The mystic has recognized something about the nature of consciousness prior to thought, and this recognition is susceptible to rational discussion. The mystic has reason for what he believes, and these reasons are empirical. --Sam Harris

  
sir_toejam



Posts: 846
Joined: April 2005

(Permalink) Posted: Jan. 22 2006,11:10   

Quote
You’ve asked me this, and I told you I do believe in the long ages are scientific, not miraculous. There is a post brewing about this, in the series GCT mentioned (in the comment above, where he says he comes to my blog for amusement.) It will go something like this: modern science is gaining an appreciation for the genetic causes of aging, and some foresee greatly extended lifespans. If so, then longer lifespans in principle are not unscientific. (This would mean that God intervened to alter our genes to reduce lifespans) But I need to do some homework on this topic.


actually, i don't recall ever asking you this directly, or much of anything else for that matter. but it doesn't matter.

However, your statement here supports my contention quite clearly.

god is no longer in this particular gap in your mind.

Carol still defines the age of these biblical OT protagonists as "miraculous" :

Quote
On page 123 Landa, I mean, Carol writes:

Quote  
So we arrive at the conclusion that the individuals from Adam to Noah who lived such extraordinarily long life spans, did so miraculously.



so here we clearly see that miracles are indeed subjective by definition, and are therefore just gaps one can stick god into.

why would you presume, by your own logic then, that any of the other things in the bible you currently think of as "miracles" would not also be considered in a similar fashion?

I suppose, if you reject all "miracles" as simply gaps in our current scientific knowledge, and transliterate it "correctly", then yeah, the bible is completey compatible with science.  I could say the same thing about Dianetics.

I think at heart, both you and Carol realize this.

Quote
Science can never, for example, explain the resurrection.


never say never...

  
Russell



Posts: 1082
Joined: April 2005

(Permalink) Posted: Jan. 22 2006,11:31   

Quote
Gee, I thought you guys didn't care about whether or not the bible was consistent with science.  
You were right. At least in my case. Whether the bible is consistent with science interests me about as much as whether the Iliad and the Odyssey are consistent with science. And if there were otherwise sensible seeming people that insisted that the I&O are consistent with science, I would find that intriguing.

And if they comprised a large chunk of the dominant political party, I would feel duty-bound to try to understand a little bit about what they think.

Your comment I quoted suggests you think there's a different reason for the interest. Care to share that with us?

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Must... not... scratch... mosquito bite.

  
stevestory



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(Permalink) Posted: Jan. 22 2006,11:40   

The I&O are completely consistent with science. The parts which don't seem to be are all miracles, so they don't count.

   
Arden Chatfield



Posts: 6657
Joined: Jan. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Jan. 22 2006,11:48   

Quote (stevestory @ Jan. 22 2006,17:40)
The I&O are completely consistent with science. The parts which don't seem to be are all miracles, so they don't count.

If it's fair game in proving the 'scientific accuracy' of the Bible to say that everything that is objectively impossible is a 'miracle' (basically walling off everything difficult), then why even be a Christian apologist at all? That precise line of argumentation would serve you just as well in proving the 'scientific accuracy' of the Koran, the Vedas, Dianetics, or the Navajo creation legend.

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"Rich is just mad because he thought all titties had fur on them until last week when a shorn transvestite ruined his childhood dreams by jumping out of a spider man cake and man boobing him in the face lips." - Erasmus

  
Russell



Posts: 1082
Joined: April 2005

(Permalink) Posted: Jan. 22 2006,12:57   

Heddle wrote
Quote
[on patriarchal longevity] I told you I do believe in the long ages are scientific, not miraculous.
Let's imagine, for the sake of argument, that some high-tech archeologist managed to locate and identify the remains of Methuselah, and proved somehow that the old guy had in fact lived to the impressive - for those days, I imagine - old age of 63. Would you (a) assume that the archeologist had to be mistaken, or (b) decide that the 900+ year age was not meant literally?

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Must... not... scratch... mosquito bite.

  
Arden Chatfield



Posts: 6657
Joined: Jan. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Jan. 22 2006,13:40   

Quote (Russell @ Jan. 22 2006,18:57)
Heddle wrote
Quote
[on patriarchal longevity] I told you I do believe in the long ages are scientific, not miraculous.

Since you're now 'accepting science', can you you tell us why people now live as tenth as long as they did back then? Why does this not qualify as yet another one of your miracles?

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"Rich is just mad because he thought all titties had fur on them until last week when a shorn transvestite ruined his childhood dreams by jumping out of a spider man cake and man boobing him in the face lips." - Erasmus

  
Chris Hyland



Posts: 705
Joined: Jan. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Jan. 22 2006,13:41   

Quote
You allow, however, that translation errors have occurred, and hyperbole, metaphors, and other figures of speech were used.

I agree its not fair to try and interpret the entire bible literally, but why then should we not just take the resurrection etc as metaphor.

Quote
can you you tell us why people now live as tenth as long as they did back then?

An interesting question for further creationist research. Presumably either God altered their genes to extend their lifespan, or altered ours to shorten it.

  
Flint



Posts: 478
Joined: Jan. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Jan. 22 2006,13:52   

Quote
Presumably either God altered their genes to extend their lifespan, or altered ours to shorten it.

Other possibilities suggest themselves.

  
Stephen Elliott



Posts: 1754
Joined: Oct. 2005

(Permalink) Posted: Jan. 22 2006,13:58   

Quote (Arden Chatfield @ Jan. 22 2006,19:40)
can you you tell us why people now live as tenth as long as they did back then? Why does this not qualify as yet another one of your miracles?

What do you mean by this?
Are you aware that in Northern Europe during the ice age the life expectancy of an adult was the same as now?

Life expectancy there dropped drastically once civilisation started.

BTW. I am only talking adults here. Child mortality was higher. But if someone made it to adulthood they could expect a long life.

  
Arden Chatfield



Posts: 6657
Joined: Jan. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Jan. 22 2006,14:05   

Quote (Stephen Elliott @ Jan. 22 2006,19:58)
[quote=Arden Chatfield,Jan. 22 2006,19:40]can you you tell us why people now live as tenth as long as they did back then? Why does this not qualify as yet another one of your miracles?

What do you mean by this?
Are you aware that in Northern Europe during the ice age the life expectancy of an adult was the same as now?

Life expectancy there dropped drastically once civilisation started.

BTW. I am only talking adults here. Child mortality was higher. But if someone made it to adulthood they could expect a long life.[/quote]
Um, maybe I wasn't clear.

Heddle is now claiming that Methuselah having made it to 900-whatever years old is 'scientific', not a miracle.

So he now seems to think There's A Perfectly Good Explanation for all them ancient Hebrews making it into the high three digits.

Since he's now removed this from the realm of Magic, it can now be discussed scientifically. And I'm just dying to hear from Heddle how folks back in OT times made it to such ages while no one lives anywhere NEAR that old now, or, for that matter, during all of recorded archaeological history. That is, why people now live to be a tiny fraction of the age that they did in Noah's or Methuselah's time.

Did they have less stressful lives? Did they eat more fiber? More hummus? Nice healthy, dry, desert air?

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"Rich is just mad because he thought all titties had fur on them until last week when a shorn transvestite ruined his childhood dreams by jumping out of a spider man cake and man boobing him in the face lips." - Erasmus

  
gregonomic



Posts: 44
Joined: Dec. 2005

(Permalink) Posted: Jan. 22 2006,14:20   

Thanks David, for clarifying your position. I've only been following Panda's Thumb for ~6 months, and even then not religiously (pun sort-of intended), so if you had stated your position earlier than that, or on a thread I didn't read, I didn't see it.

But I think it was clear by the other posts here that there were a few regulars who weren't clear on where you stood.

Quote
Do you understand that part of debating is recognizing the other person’s perspective?


We're not having a debate, are we? I was just trying to figure out what you and Carol are on about. Now I know, and it's still a completely untenable position. But that's just my HO.

  
Russell



Posts: 1082
Joined: April 2005

(Permalink) Posted: Jan. 22 2006,14:26   

Quote
Are you aware that in Northern Europe during the ice age the life expectancy of an adult was the same as now?
That's interesting. Not that I find it so very unlikely. I wouldn't have thought there were enough data to be very confident of it. What's your source?

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Must... not... scratch... mosquito bite.

  
Arden Chatfield



Posts: 6657
Joined: Jan. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Jan. 22 2006,14:29   

Quote (gregonomic @ Jan. 22 2006,20:20)
Thanks David, for clarifying your position. I've only been following Panda's Thumb for ~6 months, and even then not religiously (pun sort-of intended), so if you had stated your position earlier than that, or on a thread I didn't read, I didn't see it.

But I think it was clear by the other posts here that there were a few regulars who weren't clear on where you stood.


I've been harassing Heddle at PT on this particular issue for a month or two. The pattern is pretty consistent. About now we can maybe expect one or two more peevish emails from him where he snarls something about our attitude and how we're misquoting him or whatever, but without actually answering the question. We will then continue to press him, pointing out that he still hasn't answered the question. At that point he will drop out of the discussion and reappear some unrelated place 2-3 days later.

It can't be easy living with all the cognitive dissonance that must be inside Heddle's head.

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"Rich is just mad because he thought all titties had fur on them until last week when a shorn transvestite ruined his childhood dreams by jumping out of a spider man cake and man boobing him in the face lips." - Erasmus

  
Stephen Elliott



Posts: 1754
Joined: Oct. 2005

(Permalink) Posted: Jan. 22 2006,14:50   

Quote (Russell @ Jan. 22 2006,20:26)
Quote
Are you aware that in Northern Europe during the ice age the life expectancy of an adult was the same as now?
That's interesting. Not that I find it so very unlikely. I wouldn't have thought there were enough data to be very confident of it. What's your source?

A few fairly recent BBC documentaries of bodies found.

Do not forget that during the Ice age Northern Europeans lived in very small groups. Had rigorous exersice and a healthy diet. It was also a hostile environment for germs/virus.

So it does make sense.

Infant mortality was high though.

Compare that to early civilisation. Lots of people permanently settled in a place without drainage. Imagine living in a pile of human waste.

  
heddle



Posts: 124
Joined: Nov. 2005

(Permalink) Posted: Jan. 23 2006,01:42   

STJ,

Quote
so here we clearly see that miracles are indeed subjective by definition.

why would you presume, by your own logic then, that any of the other things in the bible you currently think of as "miracles" would not also be considered in a similar fashion?
This would appear as one example of this claim. However, the whole complaint is a red herring. When the bible talks about cosmology, or in other instances of potential scientific errors—rabbits chewing cud, Noahic flood, etc,  there is no “miracle escape clause.” Miracles have a certain flavor about them i.e.,—short duration, clearly written as miracles and most importantly recognized as miracles by the witnesses.

You guys want this too-simplistic criticism—that anything that is shown to be unscientific can simply be declared a miracle—but that is unthinking.

Russell,
Quote
Your comment I quoted suggests you think there's a different reason for the interest.
Yes, a belief in biblical error reinforces your notion that the opposition is a bunch of mouth-breathing morons, and that their position would be dismissed by anyone who has married outside their own family. That’s why you want biblical inerrancy, especially scientific consistency, to be easily refutable.


Steve S,
Quote
The I&O are completely consistent with science. The parts which don't seem to be are all miracles, so they don't count.
Wrong. Argument by trivialization.



Arden,
Quote
If it's fair game in proving the 'scientific accuracy' of the Bible to say that everything that is objectively impossible is a 'miracle' (basically walling off everything difficult), then why even be a Christian apologist at all? That precise line of argumentation would serve you just as well in proving the 'scientific accuracy' of the Koran, the Vedas, Dianetics, or the Navajo creation legend.
Wrong. Another argument by trivialization. The short-term aspects of miracles means they leave little or no signature other than witnesses. Creation, however, leaves definite signatures. Any religion’s creation account must be consistent with science.

And anything said in routine dialog in the bible has to be scientifically consistent. That is why we, as apologists, are required to explain things like the pi=3 problem beyond saying “at that instant God miraculously changed pi to 3.”

What you guys are really saying is that there are no miracles. If there were no miracles, then it would make sense to ask “why even be a Christian apologist at all?”.

Russell,
Quote
Let's imagine, for the sake of argument, that some high-tech archeologist managed to locate and identify the remains of Methuselah, and proved somehow that the old guy had in fact lived to the impressive - for those days, I imagine - old age of 63. Would you (a) assume that the archeologist had to be mistaken, or (b) decide that the 900+ year age was not meant literally?
If the result was demonstrated beyond doubt, I’d say the bible was in error. You are essentially asking me, if the bible is shown to be in error, would it be in error?


Arden Chatfield ,
Quote
Since you're now 'accepting science', can you you tell us why people now live as tenth as long as they did back then? Why does this not qualify as yet another one of your miracles?
I thought I explained that in a previous post. I cannot give the detailed science, because it is in its infancy, but research is ongoing into genetic causes of aging, the cessation of cell reproduction, etc. It leaves the door open to the possibility that we were genetically altered for shorter lifespans.

Chris Hyland,
Quote
I agree its not fair to try and interpret the entire bible literally, but why then should we not just take the resurrection etc as metaphor.
That’s like asking, why can’t  you be a Christian without being a Christian? The essence of Christianity is not that everyone should love one another—that’s important but not the essence —the essence of Christianity is that the resurrection happened.

Chris Hyland,
Quote
An interesting question for further creationist research. Presumably either God altered their genes to extend their lifespan, or altered ours to shorten it.
The genetic causes of aging is an interesting, legitimate, and ongoing research topic for mainstream “normal” science.  

Stephen Elliott ,
Quote
BTW. I am only talking adults here. Child mortality was higher. But if someone made it to adulthood they could expect a long life.

I am glad someone pointed out the flaw in that “one-tenth” argument. Life expectancy at birth is almost irrelevant.

Arden Chatfield
Quote
About now we can maybe expect one or two more peevish emails from him where he snarls something about our attitude and how we're misquoting him or whatever, but without actually answering the question.
What question, specifically, have I not answered? Can you back up this allegation?

--------------
Mysticism is a rational enterprise. Religion is not. The mystic has recognized something about the nature of consciousness prior to thought, and this recognition is susceptible to rational discussion. The mystic has reason for what he believes, and these reasons are empirical. --Sam Harris

  
gregonomic



Posts: 44
Joined: Dec. 2005

(Permalink) Posted: Jan. 23 2006,02:10   

Heddle wrote:
Quote
What you guys are really saying is that there are no miracles. If there were no miracles, then it would make sense to ask “why even be a Christian apologist at all?”.


Yes, that's exactly what we're saying. The belief, or not, in miracles (or the possibility thereof) is a pretty big difference in opinion, wouldn't you say, David? It renders most of our discussions with you moot.

So what do you think makes some people more inclined than others to accept miracles? Were you brought up in a religious environment?

  
Lord Monar



Posts: 2
Joined: Jan. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Jan. 23 2006,03:12   

The bible is not consistent with science because the writers did not know the first thing about science.

They were telling tails and explaining as best the could before the advent of what we consider science.

Most of it is a fairy tale, about as accurate as the Roman, Greek, Norse, or (insert any ancient society) mythology.  The few parts that are historically accurate are so full of bias, and second and third level sources it cannot be take literally.

The bible was written by scientifically illiterates for the purpose of educating even more illiterate people long before any serious science began.

It only shows the Funies are scientifically illiterate because they take an obviously flawed book as the "inerrant" truth of everything!

  
heddle



Posts: 124
Joined: Nov. 2005

(Permalink) Posted: Jan. 23 2006,03:47   

Gregonomic,

If you see no difference between the positions: (1) There are no miracles, and  (2) Miracles aside, the bible is inconsistent with science, then we have nothing to talk about. I’ll only debate the second position.

Quote
So what do you think makes some people more inclined than others to accept miracles? Were you brought up in a religious environment?
I was not brought up in a religious environment. People are not “inclined” to believe the bible (which includes the miracles)—they are either given the faith (as opposed to somehow mustering the faith) or they don’t have it and can’t have it. You see, you comfort yourself that you have rationally decided against believing, but in fact that’s not the case at all—it is impossible for you to believe unless you are drawn by God.

Lord Manor,

Gee, did you think up that response all on your own! That is very impressive. You have developed a highly original, pithy comment: the bible is a fairy tale written by primitive men! I don’t imagine anyone ever considered that possibility! Kudos! You have certainly enlightened me. (btw, If you are less than 13 years old, then your argument is age appropriate, and I apologize for the sarcasm.)

--------------
Mysticism is a rational enterprise. Religion is not. The mystic has recognized something about the nature of consciousness prior to thought, and this recognition is susceptible to rational discussion. The mystic has reason for what he believes, and these reasons are empirical. --Sam Harris

  
Russell



Posts: 1082
Joined: April 2005

(Permalink) Posted: Jan. 23 2006,03:48   

Quote
... a belief in biblical error reinforces your notion that the opposition is a bunch of mouth-breathing morons, and that their position would be dismissed by anyone who has married outside their own family. That’s why you want biblical inerrancy, especially scientific consistency, to be easily refutable.
Wow.

Speaking just for myself, I weigh the available evidence and use my best judgment as to what are credible and what are far-fetched claims. What I deem likely and unlikely, really, is not all about you.

Do you think my motivations for deeming the Iliad & Odyssey more fancy than fact are different from deeming other ancient works of literature more fancy than fact? Why or why not?

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Must... not... scratch... mosquito bite.

  
Arden Chatfield



Posts: 6657
Joined: Jan. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Jan. 23 2006,03:48   

Quote (heddle @ Jan. 23 2006,07:42)
You guys want this too-simplistic criticism—that anything that is shown to be unscientific can simply be declared a miracle—but that is unthinking.

That's too bad, since, uh, that's what you DO, David...

Congratulations, you pretty much answered exactly like we predicted.

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"Rich is just mad because he thought all titties had fur on them until last week when a shorn transvestite ruined his childhood dreams by jumping out of a spider man cake and man boobing him in the face lips." - Erasmus

  
Chris Hyland



Posts: 705
Joined: Jan. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Jan. 23 2006,03:55   

Quote
You see, you comfort yourself that you have rationally decided against believing, but in fact that’s not the case at all—it is impossible for you to believe unless you are drawn by God.

Does this mean that god chooses who believes in him and who doesnt? That seems a little unfair. If people did believe but then lost their faith does this mean god abondoned them, or they didnt really believe all along?

  
Arden Chatfield



Posts: 6657
Joined: Jan. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Jan. 23 2006,03:57   

Quote (heddle @ Jan. 23 2006,07:42)
I thought I explained that in a previous post. I cannot give the detailed science, because it is in its infancy, but research is ongoing into genetic causes of aging, the cessation of cell reproduction, etc. It leaves the door open to the possibility that we were genetically altered for shorter lifespans.

Uh, extremely VAGUE there, Heddle, did you overhear someone talking about this on a bus?

1) 'we were genetically altered': by whom? why?

2) what reason is there to accept this other than that it makes it a bit easier for you to take a literalist interpretation of the Bible? Given that you can't REALLY support this at all, wouldn't it be a far far likelier explanation that it's simply a myth that those people lived to be centuries old? And more to the point, why should anyone who doesn't have a stake in the inerrancy of the bible believe this?

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"Rich is just mad because he thought all titties had fur on them until last week when a shorn transvestite ruined his childhood dreams by jumping out of a spider man cake and man boobing him in the face lips." - Erasmus

  
Arden Chatfield



Posts: 6657
Joined: Jan. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Jan. 23 2006,04:02   

Quote (Chris Hyland @ Jan. 23 2006,09:55)
You see, you comfort yourself that you have rationally decided against believing, but in fact that’s not the case at all—it is impossible for you to believe unless you are drawn by God.

Why should we consider you an expert in what goes on inside of others' heads? And why are you an expert in what god does? How are you qualified to make these statements? Seems awfully arrogant, to me...

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"Rich is just mad because he thought all titties had fur on them until last week when a shorn transvestite ruined his childhood dreams by jumping out of a spider man cake and man boobing him in the face lips." - Erasmus

  
Flint



Posts: 478
Joined: Jan. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Jan. 23 2006,04:02   

Heddle:

Quote
If you see no difference between the positions: (1) There are no miracles, and  (2) Miracles aside, the bible is inconsistent with science, then we have nothing to talk about. I’ll only debate the second position.

I'm not sure I understand this. Are you taking the position that there ARE miracles? I can certainly understand that there's no room for debate between those who believe in miracles and those who want actual evidence. Evidence is *always* the sticking point.

But maybe you're saying that what you wish to discuss is whether the bible is consistent with science except for the miracles? Seems to me this would reduce down to a rather uninteresting exercise. Take each statement from the bible. If there is scientific support, then the bible is scientific. If there is not, then it's a miracle and you don't discuss those!

I agree that one doesn't Believe on the evidence, nor is Believing a rational or conscious choice. Once evidence enters the Temple of Mental Defense, it has impressively corrosive effects.

  
Russell



Posts: 1082
Joined: April 2005

(Permalink) Posted: Jan. 23 2006,04:20   

Quote
[people] are either given the faith (as opposed to somehow mustering the faith) or they don’t have it and can’t have it. You see, you comfort yourself that you have rationally decided against believing, but in fact that’s not the case at all—it is impossible for you to believe unless you are drawn by God.
Probably this was written in haste, and otherwise would have been worded differently. When you wrote:
Quote
"in fact... it is impossible for you to believe..."
probably you meant to write  "I believe it is impossible", or something like that.

Or perhaps this points to a key difference in worldview here: I would say any statement at all about "God" has to be a belief, "faith" if you will, and not a "fact".

--------------
Must... not... scratch... mosquito bite.

  
gregonomic



Posts: 44
Joined: Dec. 2005

(Permalink) Posted: Jan. 23 2006,04:26   

Heddle wrote:
Quote
If you see no difference between the positions: (1) There are no miracles, and  (2) Miracles aside, the bible is inconsistent with science, then we have nothing to talk about.


I see the difference, David. But I agree that, given that you believe in miracles and I don't, there is nothing more to talk about.

Quote
I’ll only debate the second position.


So you keep saying. The miracles aren't up for debate. Kinda takes the fun out of it, really.

Quote
People are not “inclined” to believe the bible (which includes the miracles)—they are either given the faith (as opposed to somehow mustering the faith) or they don’t have it and can’t have it.


Are you serious? Seems a little arbitrary to me. Are you sure the time at which you were "given the faith" didn't coincide with some other milestone in your life? Maybe you met a nice girl, or someone close to you died, or you had a near-death experience, or something? Or did you just wake up one morning and say "Oh, hey God, how did you get into my bedroom?"?

Quote
You see, you comfort yourself that you have rationally decided against believing...


Yes, I do.

Quote
...but in fact that’s not the case at all—it is impossible for you to believe unless you are drawn by God.


You realise you're taking quite an extreme position here, David? It makes me wonder whether you're capable of judging what is rational and what isn't.

  
stevestory



Posts: 10127
Joined: Oct. 2005

(Permalink) Posted: Jan. 23 2006,04:27   

BTW, I have reviewed the correct translations of the Looney Tunes cartoons, and they are all entirely compatible with science. When Wiley Coyote walks off the ledge and doesn't immediately fall, that is simply a miracle. When the road runner speeds through a rock painted to look like a tunnel, that is also a miracle.

Isn't it amazing how infallible the Looney Tunes are?

   
Arden Chatfield



Posts: 6657
Joined: Jan. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Jan. 23 2006,04:34   

Quote (stevestory @ Jan. 23 2006,10:27)
When Wiley Coyote walks off the ledge and doesn't immediately fall, that is simply a miracle.

No, when Wiley Coyote runs off the cliff and doesn't fall right away, that's not a miracle, that's scientific. You see, I saw this article a while ago, and while I don't remember it real well, or can't explain it, and the science is in its infancy, it appears as tho back then, gravity was different from how it is now. There's reason to believe that gravity was less then, so people (and coyotes) didn't always fall right away.

Once again, Warner Brothers proves itself completely compatible with science. You guys sure seem to be obsessed with proving Loony Tunes wrong!

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"Rich is just mad because he thought all titties had fur on them until last week when a shorn transvestite ruined his childhood dreams by jumping out of a spider man cake and man boobing him in the face lips." - Erasmus

  
Paul Flocken



Posts: 290
Joined: Dec. 2005

(Permalink) Posted: Jan. 23 2006,04:35   

Heddle,
On your blog there are, so far, only three posts addressing the scientific innerrancy assertians.  The Third Yom, Value of Pi, and the Bats are Birds.  Are those the only ones so far?  How deep into the archives should I dig to find anymore?  
Paul

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"The great enemy of the truth is very often not the lie--deliberate, contrived, and dishonest, but the myth, persistent, persuasive, and unrealistic.  Belief in myths allows the comfort of opinion without the discomfort of thought."-John F. Kennedy

  
Arden Chatfield



Posts: 6657
Joined: Jan. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Jan. 23 2006,04:40   

However, the roadrunner running through a rock painted to look like a tunnel IS a miracle.  That one's not science.

But since it's a miracle, it still doesn't disprove Loony Tunes.

--------------
"Rich is just mad because he thought all titties had fur on them until last week when a shorn transvestite ruined his childhood dreams by jumping out of a spider man cake and man boobing him in the face lips." - Erasmus

  
stevestory



Posts: 10127
Joined: Oct. 2005

(Permalink) Posted: Jan. 23 2006,04:45   

Oh, I forgot gravity was different then.

Indeed, arden, this discussion proves how deeply we atheists need Looney Tunes to be incompatible with science. It is crucial.

   
heddle



Posts: 124
Joined: Nov. 2005

(Permalink) Posted: Jan. 23 2006,05:00   

Russell,

Quote
Do you think my motivations for deeming the Iliad & Odyssey more fancy than fact are different from deeming other ancient works of literature more fancy than fact? Why or why not?

Of course they are different—you have no fear that a large number of people who take the Iliad as inerrant will ever obtain vast political power. I would think it obvious that everyone on here views “fundamentalists” as a formidable cultural movement.

Aden,
Quote
Congratulations, you pretty much answered exactly like we predicted.


You should speak for yourself. I think some of you, Stephen Elliott comes to mind, while he disagrees with me, I think he (maybe I’m wrong) acknowledges that there is a meaningful question about the scientific accuracy of the bible, miracles aside, and that it is not a foregone conclusion that I’ll just declare a miracle whenever I’m forced into a corner.

Chris Hyland,
Quote
Does this mean that god chooses who believes in him and who doesnt? That seems a little unfair. If people did believe but then lost their faith does this mean god abondoned them, or they didnt really believe all along?
Yes—and yes it seems unfair—and yes it means that they really didn’t believe all along (or that they will return, as it were.) If you are actually interested in this theological position, I have started a series on it here

Arden,
Quote
Uh, extremely VAGUE there, Heddle, did you overhear someone talking about this on a bus?
Let me turn that around—are you admitting that you are unaware of research into the genetic causes of aging?

Quote
Why should we consider you an expert in what goes on inside of others' heads? And why are you an expert in what god does? How are you qualified to make these statements? Seems awfully arrogant, to me
Are you going to go Lenny on me? Can we not just assume that every theological point that I make is just my opinion based on my reading of the bible? It would be much easier if we just take that as a given.

Flint,
Quote
there's no room for debate between those who believe in miracles and those who want actual evidence. Evidence is *always* the sticking point.

But maybe you're saying that what you wish to discuss is whether the bible is consistent with science except for the miracles? Seems to me this would reduce down to a rather uninteresting exercise. Take each statement from the bible. If there is scientific support, then the bible is scientific. If there is not, then it's a miracle and you don't discuss those!

I agree that one doesn't Believe on the evidence, nor is Believing a rational or conscious choice. Once evidence enters the Temple of Mental Defense, it has impressively corrosive effects.


Have you read the other posts?—I have painstakingly stated that miracles happened, that by definition they are inexplicable, and they therefore are exempted from the debate You can join the herd and say: “well, then with that giant loophole what’s the point?” or you can think about it for a moment and consider that the bible makes many statements that (a) obviously were not describing the miraculous and (b) can be examined for scientific error.

I gather you guys really want the debate to go this way:

Heddle: no I don’t believe in miracles.
You: Then what about the parting of the Red Sea, explain THAT by science!


Gregonomic,
Quote
You realise you're taking quite an extreme position here, David? It makes me wonder whether you're capable of judging what is rational and what isn't.
It is not an extreme position. It is well known in orthodox Christianity, and usually goes by the name “Total Depravity” or, more commonly, "Original Sin".

Paul Flocken,

Those are the only ones so far. The next one will probably be the “rabbits chew their cud” criticism.

--------------
Mysticism is a rational enterprise. Religion is not. The mystic has recognized something about the nature of consciousness prior to thought, and this recognition is susceptible to rational discussion. The mystic has reason for what he believes, and these reasons are empirical. --Sam Harris

  
gregonomic



Posts: 44
Joined: Dec. 2005

(Permalink) Posted: Jan. 23 2006,05:27   

It is an extreme position, David. If I understand you correctly, you're saying there is no correlation between whether someone was brought up in a religious environment and whether they end up having religious tendencies. That is patently false.

  
Arden Chatfield



Posts: 6657
Joined: Jan. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Jan. 23 2006,05:34   

Quote (gregonomic @ Jan. 23 2006,11:27)
It is an extreme position, David. If I understand you correctly, you're saying there is no correlation between whether someone was brought up in a religious environment and whether they end up having religious tendencies. That is patently false.

I hope he doesn't believe that, but it is a position I've seen with a few evangelicals like Heddle before -- they say that they're Christians because of how truthful it is, or because God spoke to them, or because they CHOSE it for whatever reason. What they DON'T say is "I'm a Christian because my parents were and everyone else around me was". The fact that they were raised in and lived in a context and a society where Christianity is approved of and very strongly encouraged doesn't enter into it. It's the same thing as claiming that every Muslim in Saudi Arabia is a Muslim because they chose to be so, or because the religion makes so much sense.

--------------
"Rich is just mad because he thought all titties had fur on them until last week when a shorn transvestite ruined his childhood dreams by jumping out of a spider man cake and man boobing him in the face lips." - Erasmus

  
stevestory



Posts: 10127
Joined: Oct. 2005

(Permalink) Posted: Jan. 23 2006,05:47   

Indeed, Arden, I was sitting in Ideas Coffeehouse in Durham this very weekend and heard someone talking about that concept. He said it distinguished theologians from idiots, that when he makes that point to scholars they usually resort to some version of "well, they're all reflections of the same truth, so other religions are basically fine", but when he makes that point to uneducated people the response is more often anger and animosity.

   
gregonomic



Posts: 44
Joined: Dec. 2005

(Permalink) Posted: Jan. 23 2006,05:49   

Quote (Arden Chatfield @ Jan. 23 2006,11:34)
I hope he doesn't believe that, but it is a position I've seen with a few evangelicals like Heddle before -- they say that they're Christians because of how truthful it is, or because God spoke to them, or because they CHOSE it for whatever reason. What they DON'T say is "I'm a Christian because my parents were and everyone else around me was". The fact that they were raised in and lived in a context and a society where Christianity is approved of and very strongly encouraged doesn't enter into it.


Well, Heddle claims he wasn't raised in a religious environment, so there must be some other explanation in his case.

But surely he can't be denying that religion, for the most part, gets 'em while they're young?

I guess the other possibility he might propose is that people who are brought up in religious environments are simply more likely to be leading Godly lives, and are therefore more likely to be drawn by God. That would be a tenuous argument though.

  
Russell



Posts: 1082
Joined: April 2005

(Permalink) Posted: Jan. 23 2006,05:53   

I wrote:
Quote
Do you think my motivations for deeming the Iliad & Odyssey more fancy than fact are different from deeming other ancient works of literature more fancy than fact? Why or why not?
To which Heddle replied:
Quote
Of course they are different—you have no fear that a large number of people who take the Iliad as inerrant will ever obtain vast political power. I would think it obvious that everyone on here views “fundamentalists” as a formidable cultural movement.
I think you should question your certainty about who thinks what and why. Do you think that if some bizarre turn of events brought I&O "inerrantists" to power next week, the reasons I have today for being skeptical would cease to be? I was skeptical of the "inerrancy" of your bible back when I was incorrectly confident the religious right was too fringy ever to get their hands on the reins of the federal government. But that I feel it my patriotic duty to oppose their political agenda is due, in part, to my conclusion that bible-based reality is nonsense - not the other way around.

--------------
Must... not... scratch... mosquito bite.

  
Arden Chatfield



Posts: 6657
Joined: Jan. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Jan. 23 2006,05:54   

Quote (heddle @ Jan. 23 2006,11<!--emo&:0)
Have you read the other posts?—I have painstakingly stated that miracles happened, that by definition they are inexplicable, and they therefore are exempted from the debate You can join the herd and say: “well, then with that giant loophole what’s the point?” or you can think about it for a moment and consider that the bible makes many statements that (a) obviously were not describing the miraculous and (b) can be examined for scientific error.

It's not 'joining the herd', Heddle. Millions of Americans take YOUR position, that impossible things in the Bible really did happen because they're miracles. Yours is not an especially brave or nonconformist position.

It is in fact a very real issue, which you're doing an amazing job of ignoring.

Bottom line: WHY examine statements in the bible for factual error, if anything that is a factual error can, as a general principle, be exempted as a miracle? MANY people think this is a valid question that you haven't answered in any meaningful way.

Seriously, Heddle, this would not be a problem, except that you do go around saying that the Bible does not conflict with science. If you actually said, "there are things in the Bible that I know conflict with science but I choose to believe them anyway", then there'd be no problem. I for wouldn't bother arguing with you, since there's no way to argue with that. I wouldn't want to emulate that position but it would at least be honest. Instead, you keep coming here and to PT over and over and over and over, for who knows what reason, making the claim that the Bible and science are compatible with no problems. Repeatedly many different extremely smart people point out to you how many conflicts there are. (BECAUSE YOU BROUGHT IT UP.) And you say the same thing -- 'that's a miracle, it doesn't count. Why can't you understand this?' Given how few converts you've made to this position, why do you still bother?

--------------
"Rich is just mad because he thought all titties had fur on them until last week when a shorn transvestite ruined his childhood dreams by jumping out of a spider man cake and man boobing him in the face lips." - Erasmus

  
Flint



Posts: 478
Joined: Jan. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Jan. 23 2006,06:08   

Quote
And you say the same thing -- 'that's a miracle, it doesn't count. Why can't you understand this?'

Step 1: The bible is always inerrant.
Step 2: Where the bible is wrong, see step 1.

  
heddle



Posts: 124
Joined: Nov. 2005

(Permalink) Posted: Jan. 23 2006,06:16   

Quote
It is an extreme position, David. If I understand you correctly, you're saying there is no correlation between whether someone was brought up in a religious environment and whether they end up having religious tendencies. That is patently false.

That is not a valid conclusion from my position. For the bible, while it teaches that God chooses, does not teach that He does so randomly—and so a correlation is to be expected. This “extreme” position as you call it is Covenantal theology. Though the theology of the reformers, it is no longer the majority view among Protestants, but is still quite common (and appears to be on the rise again)—especially in certain denominations. You might also know it as “Calvinism”. Those, in Protestantism, who oppose covenantal theology include such well-known evangelists as Pat Robertson, Tim LeHaye,  and Jerry Falwell. So you are in agreement with them that this Covenantal theology stuff is loony.

Arden,
Quote

hope he doesn't believe that, but it is a position I've seen with a few evangelicals like Heddle before -- they say that they're Christians because of how truthful it is, or because God spoke to them, or because they CHOSE it for whatever reason. What they DON'T say is "I'm a Christian because my parents were and everyone else around me was". The fact that they were raised in and lived in a context and a society where Christianity is approved of and very strongly encouraged doesn't enter into it. It's the same thing as claiming that every Muslim in Saudi Arabia is a Muslim because they chose to be so, or because the religion makes so much sense.

I think I already stated that I was not raised a Christian. An God did not speak to me (audibly), but nevertheless he “drew” me, a la Jesus’ statement: No one can come to me unless the Father who sent me draws him. (John 6:44) The word translated here as “draws” appears two other times in the NT, in those places it is translated as “drags” or “compels”.  You get the picture. You don’t choose God and then are reborn, that’s backwards. You are reborn and then choose God. So if you are not reborn, it’s not that your vaunted intellect is saving you from the bad choice of Christianity—you in fact are incapable of choosing anything other than unbelief.

Gergornomic:
Quote
I guess the other possibility he might propose is that people who are brought up in religious environments are simply more likely to be leading Godly lives, and are therefore more likely to be drawn by God. That would be a tenuous argument though.


For once we agree. “Leading a Godly life” has nothing to do with it. Perhaps this passage will help explain my position—for background, if you don’t know it, Abraham’s son was Isaac— Isaac’s wife was Rebecca—she had twins, the older was Esau and the younger was Jacob. Jacob became a patriarch even though he was a rascal. Esau, though seemingly a man of some integrity, lost everything. The bible explains:

And not only so, but also when Rebecca had conceived children by one man, our forefather Isaac, though they were not yet born and had done nothing either good or bad—in order that God's purpose of election might continue, not because of works but because of his call— she was told, “The older will serve the younger.” As it is written, “Jacob I loved, but Esau I hated.” (Rom. 9:10-13)

Before they were born, and not because of Godly living, God chose (loved) Jacob and did not choose (hated) Esau. On what basis did He chose Jacob? I have no clue.

Steve S,
Quote
Indeed, Arden, I was sitting in Ideas Coffeehouse in Durham this very weekend and heard someone talking about that concept. He said it distinguished theologians from idiots

It carries a great deal of weght with me that someone in your coffee house characterizes theologians such as Augustine, Aquinas, Luther, Calvin, Spurgeon,  Jonathan Edwards, Francis Schaeffer, etc, all of whom taught that the bible teaches  predestination (which is what we are really talking about here), idiots. That really is convincing.

--------------
Mysticism is a rational enterprise. Religion is not. The mystic has recognized something about the nature of consciousness prior to thought, and this recognition is susceptible to rational discussion. The mystic has reason for what he believes, and these reasons are empirical. --Sam Harris

  
Arden Chatfield



Posts: 6657
Joined: Jan. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Jan. 23 2006,06:26   

Quote (heddle @ Jan. 23 2006,12:16)
It carries a great deal of weght with me that someone in your coffee house characterizes theologians such as Augustine, Aquinas, Luther, Calvin, Spurgeon,  Jonathan Edwards, Francis Schaeffer, etc, all of whom taught that the bible teaches  predestination (which is what we are really talking about here), idiots. That really is convincing.

Careful, you're starting to sound like Josh Bozeman. We know you're smarter than him.

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"Rich is just mad because he thought all titties had fur on them until last week when a shorn transvestite ruined his childhood dreams by jumping out of a spider man cake and man boobing him in the face lips." - Erasmus

  
Chris Hyland



Posts: 705
Joined: Jan. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Jan. 23 2006,06:29   

Quote
Does this mean that god chooses who believes in him and who doesnt? That seems a little unfair. If people did believe but then lost their faith does this mean god abondoned them, or they didnt really believe all along?

Quote
Yes—and yes it seems unfair—and yes it means that they really didn’t believe all along (or that they will return, as it were.) If you are actually interested in this theological position, I have started a series on it here


I have read your posts on predetermination, although I have been told many times that all of my actions are selfish and sinful, i have never been told that this is all preditermined and there is nothing i can do about it. Is a good act then defined as one that is done in pursuit of god, or one that is done by someone who is preditermined to follow god?

This does go some way to explain why a lot of people say you need religion to have morals, but it also widens the gap between religion and atheism if there are many people who simply cant be saved. And im sure you've heard this one before, but i take exception to being told that my good deeds are selfish and evil when someone else, (referring to the majority of religious people) whos primary motivation for good deeds is securing eternal life for themselves is not selfish.

  
stevestory



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(Permalink) Posted: Jan. 23 2006,06:31   

I don't. Does Bozeman also believe creating and refuting obvious strawmen is going to work here? If not it might be him who's smarter.

   
Arden Chatfield



Posts: 6657
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(Permalink) Posted: Jan. 23 2006,06:44   

Quote (stevestory @ Jan. 23 2006,12:31)
I don't. Does Bozeman also believe creating and refuting obvious strawmen is going to work here? If not it might be him who's smarter.

I think MOST people are smarter than Josh Bozeman, but what reminded me of JB here was the brief dip into snide, fratboy "real brilliant, guys" type sarcasm. You'll notice that JB pretty much can't argue a position for any length of time without the devastating argument of calling anyone who disagrees with him 'crazy'.  I don't think he could create and refute a strawman even if he wanted to.

Heddle at least has a basic understanding of the broad outlines of how evolution works, even if his likely purpose for hanging out here is to undermine it all and replace it with a diluted formulation of IDC. JB lacks the basic education to even do that.

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"Rich is just mad because he thought all titties had fur on them until last week when a shorn transvestite ruined his childhood dreams by jumping out of a spider man cake and man boobing him in the face lips." - Erasmus

  
stevestory



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(Permalink) Posted: Jan. 23 2006,06:52   

Yeah, what I was referring to was his obvious strawman of turning "You're an idiot if you think people should go to he11 for ignorance" into "You're an idiot if 1500 years ago that's what you believed the bible said".

   
Russell



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(Permalink) Posted: Jan. 23 2006,06:53   

As Heddle points out, this notion of "predetermination" is at odds with Pat Robertson, Jerry Falwell, etc. (another instance of a clock being right twice a day ;) ) and, well, mainstream christianity in general. A lot of the haranguing that evo-philes get from creationists (including those of the ID strain) is that "Darwinism" renders free will meaningless, and that spells the death of personal responsibility, and chaos and lawlessness necessarily follow. It seems to me that "Heddle-ism" is more antithetical to free will than "Darwinism" ever was. Those of us that drew the short straw before we were even conceived - I guess the only reason we have for not lying, cheating, stealing and going on murderous rampages is the fear of legal retribution.

IIRC, there are some fundamentalist christians whose interpretation - excuse me - objective reading of the bible puts the number of humans selected to be God's eternal companions at 144,000 (i.e. an infinitesimal fraction of humanity). If that's the case, it seems like a pretty weak buttress for ethical conduct, the whole christianity message being irrelevant to 99.9999...% of us. Does Heddle-ism similarly estimate the fraction of us destined to be God's pets?

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Must... not... scratch... mosquito bite.

  
gregonomic



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(Permalink) Posted: Jan. 23 2006,07:10   

Heddle.

I had a quick look at your blog. The predetermination stuff was a bit too Bible-centric for me, and you know how I feel about the Bible.

Well, it's not surprising how I feel about the Bible, given today's revelations - I'm clearly not a member of the target audience.

Is your book semi-autobiographical, by any chance? Anything in it that might clue us in to your "rebirth"? Leila, the undergrad beauty, maybe? You old horn dog, you!

Actually, you look kinda young in the pic on your blog. I'd picked you as being much older.

Congrats on jumping from #882,354 to #103,368 in the Amazon.com sales rank overnight, BTW.

  
Arden Chatfield



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(Permalink) Posted: Jan. 23 2006,07:14   

Quote (gregonomic @ Jan. 23 2006,13:10)
Actually, you look kinda young in the pic on your blog. I'd picked you as being much older.

I went thru the same thought process, too -- after reading several of heddle's posts to PT, I first thought he sounded like a cranky 65-year old. Then I saw the picture on his blog, and he looks like he's around 30. Not many young people write like Heddle.  (Except when he gets sarcastic. Then he sounds like his age.)

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"Rich is just mad because he thought all titties had fur on them until last week when a shorn transvestite ruined his childhood dreams by jumping out of a spider man cake and man boobing him in the face lips." - Erasmus

  
GCT



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(Permalink) Posted: Jan. 23 2006,07:17   

Quote (Chris Hyland @ Jan. 23 2006,12:29)
I have read your posts on predetermination, although I have been told many times that all of my actions are selfish and sinful, i have never been told that this is all preditermined and there is nothing i can do about it. Is a good act then defined as one that is done in pursuit of god, or one that is done by someone who is preditermined to follow god?

I asked a similar question, that if a Christian runs into a burning building to save a child, is that action seen as good or bad and whether that changes if it is a non-Christian.  The answer was that all actions are bad.  Here's the actual quote:

Quote
Given that the bible says that in our fallen state all our righteous acts are filthy rags, and that nobody can please God--I would say that even the best acts of fallen man are tainted by sin, and that makes those acts of no merit before God.

  
Arden Chatfield



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(Permalink) Posted: Jan. 23 2006,07:19   

Quote (GCT @ Jan. 23 2006,13:17)
Given that the bible says that in our fallen state all our righteous acts are filthy rags, and that nobody can please God--I would say that even the best acts of fallen man are tainted by sin, and that makes those acts of no merit before God.

And to think that Christians are always claiming that atheists 'have a dismal, bleak worldview'...

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"Rich is just mad because he thought all titties had fur on them until last week when a shorn transvestite ruined his childhood dreams by jumping out of a spider man cake and man boobing him in the face lips." - Erasmus

  
stevestory



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(Permalink) Posted: Jan. 23 2006,07:21   

Quote
all our righteous acts are filthy rags, and that nobody can please God--I would say that even the best acts of fallen man are tainted by sin, and that makes those acts of no merit before God.
I could never find life as grim and worthless as some of these religious people, that's for sure.

   
The Ghost of Paley



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(Permalink) Posted: Jan. 23 2006,07:54   

Hey Mr. Chatfield, I hear that you're supposed to be some sort of language expert.  :D  Two questions:

1) Have you heard of John McWhorter, and if so, how would you rate The Power of Babble?
2) Has any modern language ever increased its number of declensions and conjugations over time? Languages always seem to trim extraneous grammar as they mix with others. I know that McWhorter uses the [pidgeon -> creole -> language] model of language evolution, but attic greek and Latin seem "too" complex (yes, the Greek city-states were often geographically separated, but I don't think this fully explains the complexity). I'm not looking for a debate - just your opinion.

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Dey can't 'andle my riddim.

  
Flint



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(Permalink) Posted: Jan. 23 2006,07:57   

stevestory:

Quote
could never find life as grim and worthless as some of these religious people, that's for sure.

If you read carefully, you'll notice that life is grim and worthless only for YOU , and only in THEIR opinion. They themselves, doing exactly the same acts but armed with "right" irrational beliefs, are uplifted instead, in their opinion.

Back to a question I asked earlier: Has anyone here every known anyone's god to answer his prayers by telling him his opinions are incorrect?

  
Flint



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(Permalink) Posted: Jan. 23 2006,08:01   

Ghost:

I can answer your question to your satisfaction: Ancient Latin and Greek are much too complex to have happened naturally. God must have bequeathed them to those who Believed, who were able to spread them because they were superior people, as are all God's chosen people.

Did I get it right?

  
stevestory



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(Permalink) Posted: Jan. 23 2006,08:14   

The 'scientists' say Greek came from ProtoIndoEuropean, but of course they're wrong, because there is no missing link language which is exactly half ProtoIndoEuropean and half Greek. Anyway, similarity doesn't imply common descent. The Intelligent Linguist could have made them similar for other reasons.

   
Arden Chatfield



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(Permalink) Posted: Jan. 23 2006,08:25   

:01-->
Quote (Flint @ Jan. 23 2006,14:01)
[quote=stevestory,Jan. 23 2006,13:21]Let me turn that around—are you admitting that you are unaware of research into the genetic causes of aging?
[/quote]
Nice try, Heddle, but let ME turn THAT around: are you faulting me for not having heard some theory (which you evidently don't understand anyway) that states that 'long ago', someone or something (ever specified?) was able to turn off the genes for aging such that people really could live to be 900 years old -- in absence of any real evidence of anyone ever living to be anywhere near that old? Is THAT what you're getting on my case for here?

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"Rich is just mad because he thought all titties had fur on them until last week when a shorn transvestite ruined his childhood dreams by jumping out of a spider man cake and man boobing him in the face lips." - Erasmus

  
heddle



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(Permalink) Posted: Jan. 23 2006,08:29   

Russell,

Quote
It seems to me that "Heddle-ism" is more antithetical to free will than "Darwinism" ever was. Those of us that drew the short straw before we were even conceived - I guess the only reason we have for not lying, cheating, stealing and going on murderous rampages is the fear of legal retribution.

It [predestination]  is not at odds with free will, although that is a reasonable and common first reaction. Not easy to explain in a few lines, I have a post coming up soon on that topic. He is the briefest sketch:

Free will is taken to be that you always choose based on your strongest inclination at the moment. You choose to pay taxes, for example, because even though you may not "really" want to, given the choose between paying taxes or going to jail, you prefer to pay taxes.

This means you are free but determined. You are not controlled by a puppet master, it is not fatalism—you can choose whatever you want. In fact, you always chose what you want. The unbeliever’s dilemma is he does not want God. The bible teaches that nobody in their natural state seeks God. Nobody.

Being reborn means that you are given, as a divine act, a desire for God. So, with your own free will, you eventually choose God.

Free will is never sacrificed.

Note: this is a thumb-nail, zeroth order sketch, but I think it gets the idea across.

BTW, you don’t know for certain that you will not be drawn by God. I was much like you, and would have thought it impossible.

Gregonomic,

Quote
clearly not a member of the target audience.

Is your book semi-autobiographical, by any chance? Anything in it that might clue us in to your "rebirth"? Leila, the undergrad beauty, maybe? You old horn dog, you!

Actually, you look kinda young in the pic on your blog. I'd picked you as being much older.

Congrats on jumping from #882,354 to #103,368 in the Amazon.com sales rank overnight, BTW.

You, just like Russell, might be. I hope so.

The book is somewhat, though not trivially, autobiographical. Leila has an important role, but she is not the source of being reborn.  The jump on Amazon means one or two people bought the book overnight. Amazon has a decay law for book rankings that is a bit depressing to behold.

Arden,
Quote
Not many young people write like Heddle.  (Except when he gets sarcastic. Then he sounds like his age.)

A fair criticism—I hate being sarcastic even as I do it.

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Mysticism is a rational enterprise. Religion is not. The mystic has recognized something about the nature of consciousness prior to thought, and this recognition is susceptible to rational discussion. The mystic has reason for what he believes, and these reasons are empirical. --Sam Harris

  
Arden Chatfield



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(Permalink) Posted: Jan. 23 2006,08:30   

Quote (stevestory @ Jan. 23 2006,14:14)
The 'scientists' say Greek came from ProtoIndoEuropean, but of course they're wrong, because there is no missing link language which is exactly half ProtoIndoEuropean and half Greek. Anyway, similarity doesn't imply common descent. The Intelligent Linguist could have made them similar for other reasons.

You're right, language change could never happen. I mean, I've never seen Spanish change into Chinese. I mean, it's just not believable.

Besides, if Italian is descended from Latin, how come we still have Latin?  :angry:

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"Rich is just mad because he thought all titties had fur on them until last week when a shorn transvestite ruined his childhood dreams by jumping out of a spider man cake and man boobing him in the face lips." - Erasmus

  
The Ghost of Paley



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(Permalink) Posted: Jan. 23 2006,08:56   

Quote
You're right, language change could never happen. I mean, I've never seen Spanish change into Chinese. I mean, it's just not believable.

Besides, if Italian is descended from Latin, how come we still have Latin?


You guys are just a' teasin me... :D

C'mon. Don't you find attic greek a little much? Was the speech a lot less complicated than the written form? Perhaps the literati contrived the complexity to separate themselves from the masses. Just looking for your opinion - and are you familiar with McWhorter's work?

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Dey can't 'andle my riddim.

  
Arden Chatfield



Posts: 6657
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(Permalink) Posted: Jan. 23 2006,08:58   

Quote (The Ghost of Paley @ Jan. 23 2006,13:54)
Hey Mr. Chatfield, I hear that you're supposed to be some sort of language expert.  :D  Two questions:

1) Have you heard of John McWhorter, and if so, how would you rate The Power of Babble?
2) Has any modern language ever increased its number of declensions and conjugations over time? Languages always seem to trim extraneous grammar as they mix with others. I know that McWhorter uses the pidgeon -> creole -> model, but attic greek and Latin seem "too" complex (yes, the Greek city-states were often geographically separated, but I don't think this fully explains the complexity). I'm not looking for a debate - just your opinion.

Ghost:

1) Yes, I've heard of John McWhorter, and in fact I know him personally.However, while I've read several of his linguistics articles, I've never read any of his popular linguistics books (such as "Power of Babel") nor any of his sociopolitical books. I don't object to them for any reason, I just haven't gotten around to reading them.

2) while it's not real common, there are known cases of languages which increased their number of declensions and conjugations over time.

In fact, McWhorter is one of the main people who is writing books about this, and he's pointed out that when a language simplifies drastically, it basically is always caused by language contact and second-language learning. This is the reason why English is so much more grammatically simple than German and Icelandic.

As far as the complexity of Latin and Greek go, many languages are just a complex as them and haven't lost any of their complexity. For example, the Slavic languages are every bit as complex as Latin and Greek and none of them have lost more than a fragment of their complexity (except Bulgarian).

And besides, as these things go, languages can get WAY more complex than Latin or Greek. Just open a grammar of, say, Finnish, Mohawk or Navajo and you'll see what I mean.

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"Rich is just mad because he thought all titties had fur on them until last week when a shorn transvestite ruined his childhood dreams by jumping out of a spider man cake and man boobing him in the face lips." - Erasmus

  
sir_toejam



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(Permalink) Posted: Jan. 23 2006,09:08   

Quote
Miracles have a certain flavor about them i.e.,—short duration, clearly written as miracles and most importantly recognized as miracles by the witnesses.


oh?  prove it.  you're just backpeddaling, there davey boy.

Why do Carol/Landa, who claim to be expert on OT transliteration, and involved in publishing on the topic, have less expertise on the subject that youself?

do you think your opinions on the subject more authoritative?

like i said... prove it.

Quote
You guys want this too-simplistic criticism—that anything that is shown to be unscientific can simply be declared a miracle—but that is unthinking.


my logic is perfectly clear.  the unthinking part is a pure projection of your own making.

  
Russell



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(Permalink) Posted: Jan. 23 2006,09:22   

Quote
BTW, you don’t know for certain that you will not be drawn by God.
If so, the Big Guy better get his invitation in the mail pretty soon. (Either that, or your bible-based researchers will have to figure out how to fix the broken Methuselah gene pretty soon.)

So, what about that 144,000 number? What do you think: high, low, about right? Related question: Can one be a christian, and not be destined for Kennel in the Sky, or is one necessarily a "false christian" if one claims to be a christian, but is actually not among the fortunate few?

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Must... not... scratch... mosquito bite.

  
Stephen Elliott



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(Permalink) Posted: Jan. 23 2006,09:46   

Quote (Russell @ Jan. 23 2006,15:22)
...So, what about that 144,000 number? What do you think: high, low, about right? ...

Where did you get the 144 000 from?

  
sir_toejam



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(Permalink) Posted: Jan. 23 2006,09:52   

isn't 144K the number of folks supposedly left after the "apocalypse"?

  
Ved



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(Permalink) Posted: Jan. 23 2006,10:29   

Quote
I am glad someone pointed out the flaw in that “one-tenth” argument. Life expectancy at birth is almost irrelevant.

True, it's irrelevant, but present-day people still only expect to live to 1/10th of 600 to 900 years. I still see a one tenth argument.

Quote
The short-term aspects of miracles means they leave little or no signature other than witnesses.

Some miracles, maybe. Here's what I'd like to know about the miraculous ages of people like Noah. I don't read the bible, and I don't plan to, so I need a little help with what may or may not be in there.

It's really easy to write down that Noah lived for 600 years, but is there any more circumstantial evidence written in his (or anyone else's) story that makes the claim more believable? In other words, if multiple people live for multiple centuries, I would expect there to some dramatic differences in the number of children they had compared to us, like, say, 10 times the number of our typical offspring. Or was infant mortality that incredibly high? Remember also, that childbirth back then was very hazardous, so I would think it would be unlikely that a woman could give birth to 50 childen to end up with 5 surviving infancy. Sorry to be arguing from incredulity, but I just don't know the answer to these questions. For me, the best explanation is that the stories are simply exaggerations.

What all of this brings to my mind is the classic lesson of any story of the genie in the lamp- that wishes granted can have profound unforseen consequences in the real world... wish for superhuman strength, and you might accidentally crush your child to death, and so on...

  
Russell



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(Permalink) Posted: Jan. 23 2006,10:38   

Re: 144,000. I think that comes from "Revelations" the last book in the New Testament. Revelations reads like a log of someone's LSD experience, so it's hard to know whether to take a given passage as literal prediction, as metaphor, or merely as "inerrant". An apocalyptic catastrophe is described, of which there are 144000 survivors. I believe that some christians have taken the catastrophe as metaphorical for the ordeal of death, and that a total of 144,000 souls would survive before God rang down the curtain and closed the show.

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Must... not... scratch... mosquito bite.

  
stevestory



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(Permalink) Posted: Jan. 23 2006,10:49   

Revelations is one of the more interesting books. Jesus goes from friendly hippy to psychotic mass murderer.

Great big revenge fantasy.

   
Stephen Elliott



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Joined: Oct. 2005

(Permalink) Posted: Jan. 23 2006,11:09   

Quote (Russell @ Jan. 23 2006,16:38)
Re: 144,000. I think that comes from "Revelations" the last book in the New Testament. Revelations reads like a log of someone's LSD experience, so it's hard to know whether to take a given passage as literal prediction, as metaphor, or merely as "inerrant". An apocalyptic catastrophe is described, of which there are 144000 survivors. I believe that some christians have taken the catastrophe as metaphorical for the ordeal of death, and that a total of 144,000 souls would survive before God rang down the curtain and closed the show.

Ugh! Revelations, too wierd to read.
But I will give it a skim.
144 000 sure is a small %

  
Arden Chatfield



Posts: 6657
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(Permalink) Posted: Jan. 23 2006,11:20   

Quote (stevestory @ Jan. 23 2006,16:49)
Revelations is one of the more interesting books. Jesus goes from friendly hippy to psychotic mass murderer.

Sort of a good cop/bad cop story... :p

Revelations is really nutty. So much so that the Catholics pretty much say of it, "Er, it's alright, you can just skip over this bit..."

Shame so many Protestants seem to think it's THE most important part of the Bible.

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"Rich is just mad because he thought all titties had fur on them until last week when a shorn transvestite ruined his childhood dreams by jumping out of a spider man cake and man boobing him in the face lips." - Erasmus

  
Stephen Elliott



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(Permalink) Posted: Jan. 23 2006,11:29   

Found the 144 000 part. Rev 7:4-8.

12 000 from each of the 12 tribes of Isreal.

  
heddle



Posts: 124
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(Permalink) Posted: Jan. 23 2006,11:33   

Guys, the book is named Revelation not Revelations.

And it is extremely difficult to understand. Many modern Christians have a "left behind" futurist view, that it refers to future events, the rapture, Battle of Armageddon, etc.  I disagree. I have a "preterist" view. I think it refers, in eastern apocalyptic manner, to the events of AD 70 when Roman Legions crushed the Jewish war of rebellion, destroyed Jerusalem, descrated and destroyed the temple ending Jewish temple worship to this day, killed a million (a huge percentage) Jews and took a couple hundred thousand into slavery.

But in truth, I find it very hard to read.

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Mysticism is a rational enterprise. Religion is not. The mystic has recognized something about the nature of consciousness prior to thought, and this recognition is susceptible to rational discussion. The mystic has reason for what he believes, and these reasons are empirical. --Sam Harris

  
Stephen Elliott



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(Permalink) Posted: Jan. 23 2006,11:43   

David,
I have heard the term "morning star" used to describe Satan (admitedly usually from Hollywood productions). Yet in Rev. Jesus claims the title.

Any insights?

  
sir_toejam



Posts: 846
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(Permalink) Posted: Jan. 23 2006,11:45   

In response to something Carol posted over at PT, instead of here, where it actually belongs:

Carol of course, and as usual, simply dismisses analysis that shows her own statements to be contradictory.

scroll back a bit Carol.... take a look at the direct quote from landa that you also posted (and made note of) about the OT protagonists' age being miraculous.

now look at Heddle's post just a few down from that.

What does he say?

now tell me who is lying and who isn't.

again, your logic fails you, as it does Heddle.

It seems quite clear from Heddle's own analysis that he considers what you would call a miracle to be just a god of the gaps argument; one that can be solved with modern science.

it's not a simplistic argument, but it is a simple one on the face of it.

you both are dealing with heavy issues of denial.

You can go ahead and try to stroke each other's fur all you want.

it's kinda funny, really.

  
Flint



Posts: 478
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(Permalink) Posted: Jan. 23 2006,12:02   

Quote
It's really easy to write down that Noah lived for 600 years, but is there any more circumstantial evidence written in his (or anyone else's) story that makes the claim more believable? In other words, if multiple people live for multiple centuries, I would expect there to some dramatic differences in the number of children they had compared to us, like, say, 10 times the number of our typical offspring.

I'm not a biblical scholar either. But if a generation was still about 20 years (and isn't the 6000-year age based on that length of generation), then Methuselah and Noah and those others who lived many centures, would have been around doing bible-worthy stuff during the lifetimes of 30-40 generations. That's a LOT of generations hanging with the same (extremely famous) old geezers. If Noah was young when Methuselah died, we're looking at one of these two characters being alive every moment from Abraham right up through Jesus. Surely they must have been playing some continuous role, worth of some mention, even offhand?

So Kind of surprising that in all the tales of Saul and David and Solomon (the late Bronze age or early Iron age?), Noah was not even referred to in any way. Do you suppose some later redactor went through and removed ALL references to ALL these long-lived characters once they'd outlived a usefulness that never lasted more than an ordinary 40-year lifetime would have required?

Also, notice that the Egyptians made regular forays through the holy lands smacking down the local yokels and confiscating whatever they might have of value. Wouldn't the Egyptions have been curious about people who were busy living an order of magnitude longer than they were? If I were pharoah, I'd sure want to know how that worked. None of them mentioned it. Stranger and stranger...

  
The Ghost of Paley



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(Permalink) Posted: Jan. 23 2006,12:07   

Arden Chatfield wrote:
Quote
1) Yes, I've heard of John McWhorter, and in fact I know him personally.

Could I get an autograph?

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Dey can't 'andle my riddim.

  
Arden Chatfield



Posts: 6657
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(Permalink) Posted: Jan. 23 2006,13:35   

Quote (The Ghost of Paley @ Jan. 23 2006,18<!--emo&:0)
Arden Chatfield wrote:
Quote
1) Yes, I've heard of John McWhorter, and in fact I know him personally.

Could I get an autograph?

Hey, dude, John McWhorter doesn't sign autographs for just anyone...

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"Rich is just mad because he thought all titties had fur on them until last week when a shorn transvestite ruined his childhood dreams by jumping out of a spider man cake and man boobing him in the face lips." - Erasmus

  
Ved



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(Permalink) Posted: Jan. 23 2006,13:44   

But who would know if this wisp is "anyone"? And who would Mr. McWhorter make it out to??

;)

  
The Ghost of Paley



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(Permalink) Posted: Jan. 23 2006,13:49   

Quote
Hey, dude, John McWhorter doesn't sign autographs for just anyone...


B-but....I bought most of his books, and only read one in the bookstore. Also, I give him free pub on this blog, although dullards like the Yenta keep mixing him up with Derbyshire (conservative Johns being so hard to tell apart and all). Maybe he could check in with an opinion on linguistics ("Oh, those evil Towerites"). Even a "Get bent, Paley" would be great.

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Dey can't 'andle my riddim.

  
The Ghost of Paley



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(Permalink) Posted: Jan. 23 2006,13:55   

Quote
And who would Mr. McWhorter make it out to??

The Ghost of Paley. Who else???   :D

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Dey can't 'andle my riddim.

  
Arden Chatfield



Posts: 6657
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(Permalink) Posted: Jan. 23 2006,13:59   

Quote (The Ghost of Paley @ Jan. 23 2006,19:49)
Quote
Hey, dude, John McWhorter doesn't sign autographs for just anyone...


B-but....I bought most of his books, and only read one in the bookstore. Also, I give him free pub on this blog, although dullards like the Yenta keep mixing him up with Derbyshire (conservative Johns being so hard to tell apart and all). Maybe he could check in with an opinion on linguistics ("Oh, those evil Towerites"). Even a "Get bent, Paley" would be great.

Jeez, you groupies, what a pain in the ass you guys all are...

Fair's fair, 3 years ago he told a friend of mine that he still votes Democrat.

Now get back behind the rope. I don't want to tell you again.

--------------
"Rich is just mad because he thought all titties had fur on them until last week when a shorn transvestite ruined his childhood dreams by jumping out of a spider man cake and man boobing him in the face lips." - Erasmus

  
Henry J



Posts: 4565
Joined: Mar. 2005

(Permalink) Posted: Jan. 23 2006,16:45   

Flint,
Re "If Noah was young when Methuselah died,"

According to the year numbers given in the story, Methuselah died within a year of the start of the flood. It doesn't say if he drowned or died of something else shortly before he would have drowned, though.

Henry

  
Russell



Posts: 1082
Joined: April 2005

(Permalink) Posted: Jan. 24 2006,06:30   

Well, I'm glad we had this discussion. I think now we're all clear on what Heddle*  means when he contends that the bible is consistent with science, and there's no need to rehash it on every third comment thread on PT. Should it come up, please steer commenters to this discussion.

*(and, I guess, Carol Clouser, though she chose not to speak for herself here)

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Must... not... scratch... mosquito bite.

  
Paul Flocken



Posts: 290
Joined: Dec. 2005

(Permalink) Posted: Feb. 13 2006,12:01   

Just hoping Carol will show up.

--------------
"The great enemy of the truth is very often not the lie--deliberate, contrived, and dishonest, but the myth, persistent, persuasive, and unrealistic.  Belief in myths allows the comfort of opinion without the discomfort of thought."-John F. Kennedy

  
Carol Clouser



Posts: 29
Joined: Jan. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Feb. 13 2006,19:32   

Well Paul, here I am. Now what?

  
Flint



Posts: 478
Joined: Jan. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Feb. 14 2006,06:08   

Carol:

Quote
Well Paul, here I am. Now what?


Good to see you. Now that you're here, can you speculate on the matter I raised earlier, that either Methuselah or Noah was alive from Abraham right through Jesus, yet as far as either the Bible or the Egyptions were concerned, *nobody seemed to notice them* except for some passing mention. You might be even a little curious how people living 40 generations could have escaped notice so totally.  With your hotline to the *real* Bible, surely you have an answer?

  
Carol Clouser



Posts: 29
Joined: Jan. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Feb. 14 2006,18:01   

Flint,

Pray tell, what on earth are you talking about? Methusaleh through Jesus? Methusaleh was born in 3079 BCE and died in 2110 BCE. That is  more than TWO THOUSAND years before Jesus.

Noah was born in 2710 BCE and died in 1760 BCE, also almost two thousand years before Jesus.

Considering these time frames and the conditions pertaining to writing, recording and preserving records, particularly in ancient mesapotamia, perhaps it is us who failed to notice that these lifespans were noticed? Perhaps their contemporaries didn't believe these fellows who claimed such long lifespans and thought them to be insane. They certainly didn't produce any birth certificates to prove the point. There are people today who claim to be as old as 150 and nobody believes them (the Guiness book of world records, for example).

  
Renier



Posts: 276
Joined: Jan. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Feb. 15 2006,00:44   

Carol, where do you get your dates from. I could not help to notice the precise and unrounded "79" in Metuthingies birth date.

Futher, the studies suggest the JAHWE is a form of ENKI. What are your thoughts on this and why is it not possible?

  
Flint



Posts: 478
Joined: Jan. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Feb. 15 2006,02:54   

Carol,

I'd also like to know where you got such nice precise dates. Also, it appears that Methuselah lived through the flood. How? And if they got away with these enormous lifespans because "their fellows didn't believe them", clearly *someone* believed them (you do, and you weren't even around to watch). But how would one go about disguising this? By staying on the move all the time? The entire territory wasn't that large, and even if it was, and moving around DID disguise their longevity (leaving aside why they'd want to do this, or whether they were unusual, etc.) apparently they broke their vow of silence long enough to confide in a biblical author. A strange violation, I should think.

Your dates have Methuselah and Noah living concurrently for 600 years exactly. Nice number. I wonder why nobody bothered to record what they did together.

So I take it, by implication the Egyptians (who also failed to notice the flood, as I guess Methuselah did as well) weren't aware of these extremely long-lived people because they didn't just happen to talk to whoever wrote the bible, who was in on something that would have been of absolutely fabulous interest to all the local contemporaries of these folks, who were fooled by the lack of birth certificates (but the bible author was NOT fooled, interestingly enough).

Well, I guess if not noticing while living through a global flood that killed everyone doesn't bother you, not noticing neighbors who live 40 generations will escape your notice as well. Yet these same people, who raise oblivious to unimaginable peaks, somehow WERE able to notice someone who doesn't even exist.

Alternatively, we might speculate that people were no less capable of writing fiction at that time then they are today. Maybe they made errors of specious precision (as Renier points out), which would be snickered at today by any sophisticated reader. But hey, readers of that time were less sophisticated and more likely to fall for it.

  
Russell



Posts: 1082
Joined: April 2005

(Permalink) Posted: Feb. 15 2006,03:05   

Quote
But how would one go about disguising this? By staying on the move all the time?
I believe the local social news reporters regularly described him as "spry" (or whatever the authentic® Hebrew word was)

Quote
Your dates have Methuselah and Noah living concurrently for 600 years exactly. Nice number. I wonder why nobody bothered to record what they did together.
No mystery there. Ever tried to follow a blow-by-blow account of a 120-year shuffleboard marathon?

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Must... not... scratch... mosquito bite.

  
Russell



Posts: 1082
Joined: April 2005

(Permalink) Posted: Feb. 15 2006,03:10   

Sorry about that. I regret being flippant. I can only hope our resident biblical scholars have a more flexible sense of humor than the cartoon-protesters so much in the news of late.

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Must... not... scratch... mosquito bite.

  
Henry J



Posts: 4565
Joined: Mar. 2005

(Permalink) Posted: Feb. 15 2006,05:07   

Re "Also, it appears that Methuselah lived through the flood. How?"
According to the year spans in my copy of those stories, he died the same year the flood started. Though I've no clue how specific BCE dates can get attached since the later books stopped giving all those year spans between begats.

Henry

  
tacitus



Posts: 118
Joined: May 2005

(Permalink) Posted: Feb. 15 2006,05:41   

Quote (Henry J @ Feb. 15 2006,11:07)
Re "Also, it appears that Methuselah lived through the flood. How?"
According to the year spans in my copy of those stories, he died the same year the flood started. Though I've no clue how specific BCE dates can get attached since the later books stopped giving all those year spans between begats.

Henry

Oh, it's easy. Since the Bible is always true, you pick the one non-Biblical data point which seems to fit the Bible's account (say, the archaeological estimate of when a certain king began his reign) and ignore everything else.

  
Carol Clouser



Posts: 29
Joined: Jan. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Feb. 15 2006,05:58   

Russell,

I do have a finely honed sense of humor and a pretty thick skin. The cartoons were, however, intended as serious commentary which is partly why they elicited such a strong reaction. The reaction, I think, actually substantiates the message conveyed by the cartoons. What a shame. It gives serious religious conviction a bad name.


Flint and Renier,

The OT contains a web of times, names and places that can and has been used to form a tight and consistent chronology of events going from Adam to the first exile. The Hebrew calendar, currently in year 5766, is based on this chronolgy. I know this chronolgy to some extent and merely converted into BCE years.

I have no reason to assume that Methusaleh survived or did not survive the local flood described in Genesis. Its a close call, since partial years are sometimed rounded upward and sometimes downward, for various reasons, in the Bible. And the duration of the flood was about a year.

My understanding is that Adam, who is not claimed to be the first human in the OT, and his descendents, some of whom are described there, constitute the nucleus of a small family and it is events associated with this family that the OT describes in some detail. The OT was however written much later, so it was not by divulging forbidden secrets that the information was obtained but either by family tradition or divine inspirtation.

  
BWE



Posts: 1898
Joined: Jan. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Feb. 15 2006,06:39   

Quote
Stop and think it over
Try and put yourself in my unique position
If I get stoned and sing all night long
It's a family tradition!


Maybe that's a poor translation of old hebrew?
Can you hear the Kareoke machine warming up?

--------------
Who said that ev'ry wish would be heard and answered
When wished on the morning star
Somebody thought of that, and someone believed it
Look what it's done so far

The Daily Wingnut

   
Rilke's Granddaughter



Posts: 311
Joined: Jan. 2005

(Permalink) Posted: Feb. 15 2006,06:42   

Quote
The OT contains a web of times, names and places that can and has been used to form a tight and consistent chronology of events going from Adam to the first exile.

This appears to be another example of Carol deliberately avoiding answering a question.  This does NOT explain how you can blithely assign precise dates when the actual correlation of the current calendar to the First Exile cannot be more than approximate.
Quote
And the duration of the flood was about a year.
Since the flood did not actually occur, you mean that the Tanakh states that the flood lasted about a year.  Or more.  Or less.  Consider the fact that the flood may have lasted forty days (Gen. 7:17) or 150 (Gen. 7:24)?
Quote
who is not claimed to be the first human in the OT
Oh? The Jewish Encyclopedia disagrees with you:
Quote
Man, the crown of Creation, as a pair including man and woman, has been made in God's image. God forms the first man, Adam, out of earth ("adamah"). This indicates his relation to it in a manner that is fundamental for many later laws. Man is a child of the earth, from which he has been taken, and to which he shall return. It possesses for him a certain moral grandeur: he serves it; it does not serve him. He must include God's creatures in the respect that it demands in general, by not exploiting them for his own selfish uses. Unlawful robbery of its gifts (as in paradise), murder, and unchastity anger it, paralyze its power and delight in producing, and defile it. God breathed the breath of life into the nostrils of man, whom He formed out of earth. Therefore that part of him that is contrasted with his corporeal nature or supplements it—his life, soul, spirit, and reason—is not, as with the animals, of earthly origin, existing in consequence of the body, but is of divine, heavenly origin. Man is "toledot" (ii. 4) of heaven and earth.
from Jewish Encyclopedia

  
BWE



Posts: 1898
Joined: Jan. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Feb. 15 2006,07:00   

Ok, ok ok ok ok ok. This has become strange. Just throwing my 2 shillings worth here but, does anybody care whether the hebrew creation myth is coincidentally, semi in agreement with our new understanding of the world garnered through observation and evidence? Religion has been shattered and the pieces are laying around writing about how they are still relevant as shattered pieces. I mean, I consider it an act of pity to allow people who desperately cling to the ideas of zeus, horus, jesus, yaweh, mohammed, krsna, tlketklotl, and the like to speak their minds about these utterly and totally defunct political/creation myths. Someday, I plan to put a Caananite bone up on my mantle as a religious relic. As soon as someone finds one.

Mind you I am not knocking religion here, it's just that well, you know, I am more interested in what Carol does with her new improved and ever so much more accurate translation of her historical artifact and curiosity.

Do you believe in the god of your particular regional deity?

--------------
Who said that ev'ry wish would be heard and answered
When wished on the morning star
Somebody thought of that, and someone believed it
Look what it's done so far

The Daily Wingnut

   
Rilke's Granddaughter



Posts: 311
Joined: Jan. 2005

(Permalink) Posted: Feb. 15 2006,07:16   

Quote (BWE @ Feb. 15 2006,13:00)
Ok, ok ok ok ok ok. This has become strange. Just throwing my 2 shillings worth here but, does anybody care whether the hebrew creation myth is coincidentally, semi in agreement with our new understanding of the world garnered through observation and evidence? Religion has been shattered and the pieces are laying around writing about how they are still relevant as shattered pieces. I mean, I consider it an act of pity to allow people who desperately cling to the ideas of zeus, horus, jesus, yaweh, mohammed, krsna, tlketklotl, and the like to speak their minds about these utterly and totally defunct political/creation myths. Someday, I plan to put a Caananite bone up on my mantle as a religious relic. As soon as someone finds one.

Mind you I am not knocking religion here, it's just that well, you know, I am more interested in what Carol does with her new improved and ever so much more accurate translation of her historical artifact and curiosity.

Do you believe in the god of your particular regional deity?

She doesn't actually seem to be interested in doing anything with it.  Except sell Landa's book, of course.

  
Carol Clouser



Posts: 29
Joined: Jan. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Feb. 15 2006,07:42   

Why is it that since I just recently showed up here ten other characters deigned to make a sudden appearance?


Rilke,

Dummy - your ignorance is actually beginning to astound me. Either get an education first, then come here an argue, or shut up and you just might learn something.

  
tacitus



Posts: 118
Joined: May 2005

(Permalink) Posted: Feb. 15 2006,07:42   

You have a point, BWE. It's kind of like two little girls trying to work out whose invisible unicorn is a brighter shade of pink.

If ever there is a way to confirm, once and for all, the veracity of the Genesis account (you know, a time machine, or secret alien recordings, etc.) I would be willing to bet every last cent of my meagre fortune that Adam, Eve, Noah, and Methusaleh (and most if not all the rest) are complete and utter inventions. Local flood, global flood, it doesn't matter. While it is possible that certain events described in Genesis (post Noah) may have some basis in fact (many myths do) it's inconceivable that the individual characters I listed above ever existed, let alone lived hundreds of years.

By the way, Carol, the reason no one believes the people who claim to have lived 150 years is simply because it is not biologically possible. Even given perfect health the human body simply wears out. 120 years is just about the limit, with only a tiny number eking out a few more months.

We may be able to defeat that limit in the near future through medical research, but in the meantime the oldest people in the world remain between 110-120.

  
BWE



Posts: 1898
Joined: Jan. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Feb. 15 2006,07:56   

Is it a problem that Carol is trying to sell her book? I would like to see people read my blog after I publish here but I still try to say something relevant because I am also interested in what goes on with the particular issue of religious types trying to get their religions into public schools.

If Carol offers something to the debate like "Even though the Bible doesn't seem to make explicit statements regarding a young earth etc. it still shouldn't be taught in public schools as anything other than a regional oral history of a tribe of wandering people." or something like that on one side, or maybe "We should teach genesis with my translation because it accurately represents the state of the world as we now know it to be." on the other, then she too would be contributing. I think arguing over her translation is sort of secondary.

Maybe I'll make a post at my blog:
http://brainwashedgod.blogspot.com
what do you think?

--------------
Who said that ev'ry wish would be heard and answered
When wished on the morning star
Somebody thought of that, and someone believed it
Look what it's done so far

The Daily Wingnut

   
Arden Chatfield



Posts: 6657
Joined: Jan. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Feb. 15 2006,08:12   

Quote (tacitus @ Feb. 15 2006,13:42)
By the way, Carol, the reason no one believes the people who claim to have lived 150 years is simply because it is not biologically possible. Even given perfect health the human body simply wears out. 120 years is just about the limit, with only a tiny number eking out a few more months.

We may be able to defeat that limit in the near future through medical research, but in the meantime the oldest people in the world remain between 110-120.

Oh good god, PLEASE don't open this can of worms with Carol! We've been thru exactly this argument with her & Heddle several times, and I can tell you with great confidence what her position is. She'll no doubt word it in a more flowery or pretentious way than this, but essentially, their position is that Methuselah did indeed make it to 900-whatever years of age, and that there's nothing unscientific about him being that old, because it was a miracle. And the fact it was a miracle makes it possible. By some, uh, miracle, Biblical miracles are outside the realm of science, and yet they also don't contradict science either, because they're miracles. So the total scientific accuracy of the Old Testament is untouched. Got it?

If you press her hard enough, she'll probably come up with some kind of angry response about how people could have just lived longer lives back then, and that it's up to us to prove they didn't. So there.

Believe me, this has been tried before and it is a total waste of time. Carol has a completely self-contained cosmology into which no contradictory information can enter.

Heddle does the exact same thing, except with more of a pseudo-scientific spin, and without the 'you-just-aren't-translating-the-Hebrew-right' shtick.

--------------
"Rich is just mad because he thought all titties had fur on them until last week when a shorn transvestite ruined his childhood dreams by jumping out of a spider man cake and man boobing him in the face lips." - Erasmus

  
sir_toejam



Posts: 846
Joined: April 2005

(Permalink) Posted: Feb. 15 2006,08:45   

AC did a nice summarization.

arguments with Carol remind me of the old arguments with JAD, it didn't matter how many holes you poked in his arguments, he just kept repeating them over and over, ad infinitum.

and he still does.  His only champion appears to be someone just as looney as JAD, Dave Scott.

I think Carol should write up a complete paper on her OT thoughts, and submit it to crank.net to see how it fares.

JAD won the title "crankiest" in the evolution section.

I wonder how Carol would do?

  
tacitus



Posts: 118
Joined: May 2005

(Permalink) Posted: Feb. 15 2006,08:54   

Warnings noted :)

  
avocationist



Posts: 173
Joined: Feb. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Feb. 15 2006,09:06   

I've only just read the last two pages of this thread, but if you go through Genesis you will see that most of the pre-flood patriarchs lived in the 900-year range, and that the life span began a steady generational decline after it. Noah's immediate descendents lived 4-600 years, then dropped to 200+. Abraham lived something like 140, his father lived about 160, and his grandfather lived about 200. It would appear that there was a great change in conditions due to the flood.  The atmosphere, the weather, maybe radiation...

Quote
Futher, the studies suggest the JAHWE is a form of ENKI.
 Wouldn't surprise me in the least. Both were misanthropists.

  
Rilke's Granddaughter



Posts: 311
Joined: Jan. 2005

(Permalink) Posted: Feb. 15 2006,09:32   

Quote
Rilke,

Dummy - your ignorance is actually beginning to astound me. Either get an education first, then come here an argue, or shut up and you just might learn something.
Classic response from someone who is 'thick-skinned'.

Do you actually have an response to my points?  How can I 'learn' anything unless you 'say' something?

  
Stephen Elliott



Posts: 1754
Joined: Oct. 2005

(Permalink) Posted: Feb. 15 2006,09:44   

Carol,

If the Biblical flood was only a local event; Why did Noah need an Arc? Could he not have just moved? Would not the animals have re-populated the area after the waters receded?

  
Arden Chatfield



Posts: 6657
Joined: Jan. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Feb. 15 2006,09:46   

Quote (Stephen Elliott @ Feb. 15 2006,15:44)
Carol,

If the Biblical flood was only a local event; Why did Noah need an Arc? Could he not have just moved? Would not the animals have re-populated the area after the waters receded?

Moreover, if it was just a local event, why should we care whether it happened at all?

--------------
"Rich is just mad because he thought all titties had fur on them until last week when a shorn transvestite ruined his childhood dreams by jumping out of a spider man cake and man boobing him in the face lips." - Erasmus

  
Carol Clouser



Posts: 29
Joined: Jan. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Feb. 15 2006,12:55   

Stephen,

Great question. The short answer is that God told him to.
The long answer is related to the lessons to be derived from the entire event, its causes and aftermath.

Just to tickle your imagination, for starters: A disaster is about to strike a particular area of some significant size, and you propose that the humans flee for their lives and leave the animals to their fate. God says, "no! You need to make every effort to save ALL the animals and creatures in the area to be stricken. They cannot be abandoned to their fate. I have given you dominion over the animals and with dominion comes responsibility."

Consruction of the ark provided Noah with 120 years of discussion time with his evil doing contemporaries, to get them to mend their ways. They would ask him what he was doing building an ark, and one thing led to another. Do you discern any lessons in that?

The Bible is referred to as "torah" in Hebrew. That word means "teaching". It is all there to teach us, if only we would harken.

  
C.J.O'Brien



Posts: 395
Joined: Aug. 2005

(Permalink) Posted: Feb. 15 2006,13:03   

Sure, but does it teach us better if it actually happened?

Myths are myths.

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The is the beauty of being me- anything that any man does I can understand.
--Joe G

  
Arden Chatfield



Posts: 6657
Joined: Jan. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Feb. 15 2006,13:36   

Quote (C.J.O'Brien @ Feb. 15 2006,19<!--emo&:0)
Sure, but does it teach us better if it actually happened?

Myths are myths.

Indeed: if it didn't happen and I'm not Jewish, why should I 'harken'?

I have a whole volume of Native American creation legends in translation on my bookshelf; why are they any less worthy of 'harkening'? They're certainly far more interesting, if it comes to that...

--------------
"Rich is just mad because he thought all titties had fur on them until last week when a shorn transvestite ruined his childhood dreams by jumping out of a spider man cake and man boobing him in the face lips." - Erasmus

  
Rilke's Granddaughter



Posts: 311
Joined: Jan. 2005

(Permalink) Posted: Feb. 15 2006,17:06   

Quote
The Bible is referred to as "torah" in Hebrew. That word means "teaching". It is all there to teach us, if only we would harken.
Crikey.  Carol, while you throw around accusations of 'dumb' etc. with great abandon, I recommend to you the Biblical tale of the Mote and the Beam.

The Bible is NOT referred to as "torah" in Hebrew.  Perhaps you'd like a little lesson in terminology?  I thought you would.  
Quote
Torah (úÌåÉøÈä) is a Hebrew word meaning "teaching," "instruction," or "law." It is the central and most important document of Judaism revered by Jews through the ages. It is also called the Law of Moses (Torat Moshe úÌåÉøÇúÎîÉùÑÆä) . Torah primarily refers to the first section of the Tanakh–the first five books of the Hebrew Bible, but the term is sometimes also used in the general sense to also include both of Judaism's written law and oral law, encompassing the entire spectrum of authoritative Jewish religious teachings throughout history, including the Mishnah, the Talmud, the midrash, and more. (emphasis added)
from wikipedia (I thought I'd best use a source you can actually find.)

Or if you'd like a less neutral source, let's try the Jewish Encyclopedia:
Quote
Name applied to the five books of Moses, Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, and Deuteronomy.


The tanakh is the Hebrew Bible; and the Christian Bible (which you might, in your tremendous ignorance of things Hebrew have been referring to) has no name, since the Jews don't accept the "New Testament."

From someone who claims to know about this, this is a shockingly ignorant error.  It appears that Mr. Emba is right: this isn't your field.

And are you seriously advancing the argument that God slaughtered the entire population of the world so that Noah could tell them how evil they were being?  Folks who were going to die in any event?

Tell me, do you actually have a coherent argument?

  
sir_toejam



Posts: 846
Joined: April 2005

(Permalink) Posted: Feb. 15 2006,17:36   

like i said, coherence has never been Carol's strong suit.

she claims to have been a science advisor at one time, but her glaring misconstruals of scientific method have convinced me that can't be her strong suit either.

hmm.  now that i think about it, i have yet to see exactly what Carol's strong suit is.

maybe her strong suit is argument for the sake of hearing herself speak?

If she would only come off as a little less of an authority figure than she does, she might actually be able to generate legitimate conversation.

Somehow, she thinks because she spends time with Landa, that makes her an authority.  

Can't figure out why that is, really.

  
Renier



Posts: 276
Joined: Jan. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Feb. 16 2006,02:39   

I would just like to point out that the Sumerians had a Flood story/myth. These people predated good 'ol Abram by many moons. Now, Carol, is it possible that Abraham might have been influenced bu this much older religion, and therefore based the new religion that he started on the old Sumarian religion. This would explain the flood myth.
Quote
Pinches on Ea possibly being a prototype of the Hebrew God  Yah (note: Pir-napishtim is now rendered Utnapishtim, he is the "Mesopotamian Noah"), and that the Flood was a flooding Euphrates river (Note :Microscopic inspection of the flood sediments at Shuruppak where the Flood-Hero lived at the time he was warned of the pending flood, revealed freshwater laid silts and clays, suggesting a river flood)


Quote
"The reason of the coming of the Flood seems to have been seems to have been regarded by the Babylonians as two-fold. In the first place, as Pir-napishtim is made to say "Always the river rises and brings a flood" -in other words it was a natural phenomenon. But in the course of the narrative which he relates to Gilgamesh, the true reason is implied, though it does not seem to be stated in words. And this reason is the same as that of the Old Testament, namely, the wickedness of the world...Pir-napishtim was himself a worshipper of Ae, and on account of that circumstance, he is represented in the story as being under the special protection of that god...It has been more than once suggested, and Professor Hommel has stated the matter as his opinion, that the name of the god Ae or Ea, another possible reading of which is Aa, may be in some way connected with, and perhaps originated the Assyro-Babylonian divine name Ya'u "god," which is cognate with the Hebrew Yah or, as it is generally written, Jah...There is one thing that is certain, and that is, that the Chaldean Noah, Pir-napishtim, was faithful in the worship of the older god, who therefore warned him, saving his life." (pp.112-114. "The Flood." Theophilus G. Pinches. The Old Testament in the Light of the Historical Records and Legends of Assyria and Babylonia. London.1908)


and from Abram to Moses


Quote
Abraham according to the biblical chronology compiled by some scholars was born circa 2100 BCE and lived at Ur of the Chaldees (modern Tell al Muqayyar in Sumer according to some). If Kramer is correct in identifying certain motifs associated with Enki as later ascribed to the Hebrew God Yahweh-Elohim, it is possible that Abraham would have known Enki as Ea, as this name change occured approximately some 400 years before his birth. Did the Aramaic "ear" at Haran where Terah and Abraham later settled, via "assonance" transform Ea (pronounced Ay-a according to Leick) into Ehyeh who allegedly spoke to Moses at the burning bush (Ex 3:14)


Though I do not take the above as evidence (just as I do not take Carol's word as evidence), it does seem to be more plausable and simple than the Jewish version of what happened.

Quote
In Sumerian myths En-ki is associated with warning the Babylonian Noah, called variously Ziusudra, Atrahasis or Utnapishtim of an impending Flood which will destroy the world and all mankind, telling him to save himself and animals by building a boat. In the Hebrew re-working En-ki becomes Yahweh-Elohim and Utnapishtim becomes Noah.


Sounds plausable? It sure does to me. It seems like the Isrealites, decendents of Abraham got their Mythology from the older civilisation.

Quote
One tends to forget that Yahweh's FIRST appearance to Abraham was NOT in the Sinai, but at the city called Ur of the Chaldees in Lower Mesopotamia.


So why then, do we HAVE to believe that Carol's version of the flood is the correct one? Is there ANY power of persuation in her arguments? If not, then let's repect Carol opinion and request she keeps it to herself, since it has no weight.

One more thing:
Quote
Scholars have identified some of the motifs and concepts found in Genesis as existing in Sumerian works of the 3rd millennium BCE (but said motifs and concepts perhaps being of the 4th millennium).  Genesis explains how man in the form of Adam, came to lose out on a chance to obtain immortality. His God denies him access to the Tree of Life, whose fruit, if consumed, confers   immortality. This is apparently a later Hebrew reworking of the "Adapa and the South Wind myth." Adapa, symbolizing man, has an opportunity to obtain immortality. All he has to do is eat and drink the food of the gods offered him by Tammuz and Nin-gish-zida on behalf of Anu. Adapa refuses both on the prior advice of his god En-ki (en meaning "lord" and ki meaning "earth"), who forewarned him he would surely die if he consumed anything. So, Mankind lost out on obtaining immortality because HE OBEYED HIS GOD. En-ki did not want "his servant" Adapa to possess immortality, he was willing though to give great "wisdom or knowledge" to Adapa


Anyone see the garden of Eden story in the above quote, based on a much older pagan source? Abraham would have known these myths, so why then is his retold version claimed to be the "origional"?

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"The literature created by the Sumerians left its deep impress on the Hebrews, and one of the thrilling aspects of reconstructing and translating Sumerian belles-lettres consists in tracing resemblances and parallels between Sumerian and Biblical literary motifs. To be sure, the Sumerians could not have influenced the Hebrews directly, for they ceased to exist long before the Hebrew people came into existence. But there is little doubt that the Sumerians had deeply influenced the Canaanites, who preceeded the Hebrews in the land that later came to be known as Palestine, and their neighbors, such as the Assyrians, Babylonians, Hittites, Hurrians, and Arameans." (pp.143-144. "The First Biblical Parallels." Samuel Noah Kramer. History Begins at Sumer, Twenty-seven 'Firsts' in Man's Recorded History. Garden City, New York. Doubleday Anchor Books. [1956] 1959)


and, wrapping up with the parallels between the ancient sumerian myth and the hebrew :

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"Sumerian literature contained a number of literary forms and themes found much later in the Bible...Some of the more conspicuous themes involve creation of the universe, creation of humankind, techniques of creation (in two ways, by word and by 'making' or 'fashioning';), paradise, the 'Cain-abel' motif, the 'Tower of Babel' motif, the earth and its organization, a personal god, divine retribution and natural catastrophe, the plague, the 'Job' motif, death and the nether world, and concerns with law, ethics and morality. The most conspicuous of all, the story that has the closest connection with biblical literature, is the story of the flood. There are a few twists to the flood story that will be taken up later." (pp.154-155. "Traces of the Fugitive God." Samuel Noah Kramer and John Maier. Myths of Enki, the Crafty God. New York and Oxford. Oxford University Press. 1989)


Any argument that the other "tribes" got the comparitive Mythology from the Hebrews and not the other way around would of course be... dishonest, since the Sumarian civilisation no longer existed when Abraham started his own religion. That settles it for me.

  
Arden Chatfield



Posts: 6657
Joined: Jan. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Feb. 16 2006,04:37   

Quote (Renier @ Feb. 16 2006,08:39)
I would just like to point out that the Sumerians had a Flood story/myth. These people predated good 'ol Abram by many moons. Now, Carol, is it possible that Abraham might have been influenced bu this much older religion, and therefore based the new religion that he started on the old Sumarian religion. This would explain the flood myth.

I've also heard there's good reason to believe that the Abrahamic religions originally got the whole concepts of monotheism and satan from Zoroastrianism.

A lot of naive theologians work off the assumption that Judaism was somehow the 'first religion', or at least that it owed nothing to other religions that came before it. That ain't the way these things happen....

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"Rich is just mad because he thought all titties had fur on them until last week when a shorn transvestite ruined his childhood dreams by jumping out of a spider man cake and man boobing him in the face lips." - Erasmus

  
Rilke's Granddaughter



Posts: 311
Joined: Jan. 2005

(Permalink) Posted: Feb. 16 2006,04:46   

Quote
A lot off naive theologians work off the assumption that Judaism was somehow the 'first religion', or at least that it owed nothing to other religions that came before it. That ain't the way these things happen....


It's also intriguing that the Ten Commandments include "thou shalt have no other Gods before me".  That almost looks like an acknowledgement that they accepted that other Gods existed... they were just being very exclusive about it.

  
avocationist



Posts: 173
Joined: Feb. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Feb. 16 2006,08:33   

The ancient Hewbrews were Henotheists.

Lots of Egyptian influence.

Abraham was from the area close to the Sumerian civilization. His mythology was probably from them. His father was a priest.

  
Russell



Posts: 1082
Joined: April 2005

(Permalink) Posted: Feb. 16 2006,08:37   

,quote]The ancient Hewbrews were Henotheists.[/quote]Hewknew?

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Must... not... scratch... mosquito bite.

  
Russell



Posts: 1082
Joined: April 2005

(Permalink) Posted: April 10 2006,04:25   

Over at PT, Inoculated Mind wrote:
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There are some folks running around claiming that genetics support the ark myth, notably Reasons to Believe, but they never pony up the data, while there’s tons of stuff that gives evidence to the contrary.
It never occurred to me that the Heddles and Clousers of the world might actually think the entire human gene pool is derived from the 10 haploid human genomes supposed to have been aboard that boat. I don't want to derail another thread over there, so I thought I'd revive this one. I know Heddle is a  Reasons to Believe believer. If you're reading this, David or Carol, I'm curious. Is this one of those situations where the bible is "inerrant" but but not "literal"?

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Must... not... scratch... mosquito bite.

  
sir_toejam



Posts: 846
Joined: April 2005

(Permalink) Posted: April 10 2006,08:33   

Quote
I don't want to derail another thread over there, so I thought I'd revive this one


well, it IS almost Easter.

  
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