That NEW Adage

A pressure-relief valve about God, and just about everything else.

…On the Other Hand…

“Sarah Palin doesn’t reflect the views of most women! She is not in favor of abortions even in the case of rape or incest!” (Most Democrats on many cable news shows)

I ask, “How is this a bad thing?” These women act as though it is traitorous to womanhood to not believe in killing a baby! Let me ax you this: “If YOU  were in the womb as a result of a rape or incestuous act, would YOU want someone to stab you in the back of your skull and suck your brains out?  Or would you want to live?” (Hospitals are so full, doctors are so rich, because people — fetuses, too — want to LIVE! That is the default position.)

Wouldn’t YOU, as the viable fetus, want the CHOICE(!) to decide for yourself?”
Pregnancy may be about the woman, but abortion is about the baby. It is about the BABY.

I know it may look as though I’m contradicting myself, but I’m not. I’m with Palin on this one. If we were picking a President based on the issue of abortion solely, I would surely side with her.

Democrats don’t endear me with this kind of argument. Neither do they when they say, as they so often do, that, “She has some awfully extreme views, like Creationism…”

Whoaaa! Hold it! It is far more plausible — and provable — that somebody created something, than to say that something created itSELF! 

They kill me acting as though their extreme, radical views on life and God are shared by everyone — at least everyone rational.

Once again, if we were choosing Presidents based on how the world was made, I would be a Republican. But to choose that party would be like trying to eat ice cream after it had been dropped in a sandbox!

September 11, 2008 - Posted by | Abortion, Christianity, Conservatives, Creationism, Democrats, evolution, God, Liberals, Politicians, Politics, Pro-Choice, Pro-Life, Religion, Religious Right, Republicans, Sarah Palin


  1. Derrick,

    You said:

    Whoaaa! Hold it! It is far more plausible — and provable — that somebody created something, than to say that something created itSELF!

    The insanity behind the idea that the world came into existence by itself is so… absurd, that I wonder if those behind the idea really think.

    I may be a fool believing a supreme God created the universe, but the greater fool is the one who supposes that somehow, all these things orchestrated themselves into existence – from nothing and by nothing.

    AMEN to that!

    Comment by Yomi | September 11, 2008 | Reply

  2. There are a lot of issues on which I could be persuaded to either see a different view or agree to disagree but abortion is not one of those issues. Murdering innocent babies is non-negotiable. So yes, I am a one issue voter until someone gets this right. If there were two candidates who were truly pro-life in both their private and political lives, I’d be willing to listen to ideas on other issues. As it is we don’t even have ONE completely pro-life candidate.

    About the incest/rape argument: why should an innocent child be punished for the sins of his father? The percentage of abortions that occur for reasons of this kind is extremely low and yet it its trotted out as a major pro-abortion argument every time. I don’t get it. If you are pro-life because the pre-born are living persons, do they become less so if their fathers are bad people?

    Hey, Sara.
    I agree wholeheartedly. I hope you understand that this post is done sarcastically. I am PRO life!

    Comment by sara | September 11, 2008 | Reply

  3. Said with love and respect toward you Derrick – just expressing the correct opinion. (joke! sort of)

    I’m still trying to work all this out. I wish that the people who say they care about what God thinks cared about His creation. And I wish that those who say they care about those with no voice cared about the weakest of us all!

    It’s cool that we can disagree and still be cool. I actually find myself thinking, “What will Sara think about this? I hope she is not offended.” You are like the many conservatives I call ‘friend.’ Actually able to see an issue from more than just one facet. Thanks, as always!

    Comment by sara | September 11, 2008 | Reply

  4. Actually if you check you’ll see that Roe v. Wade is consistently supported nearly 2:1 by American people, down the decades.

    Moreover Sarah Palin opposes abortion in cases of rape and incest. Polls tend to return about 10% of Americans who agree with her.

    She’s way out on the edge.

    Asking what opinion a fetus would have is missing the point. At the time of termination (<13 weeks for over 90% of all American abortions) there is no central nervous system present. The fetus cannot have an opinion because it lacks the equipment.

    Just because more people agree with a thing doesn’t make that thing right. Ask a slave in 1790! I wouldn’t want my daughter raped. But I would not painfully kill my grandchild if this horror happened.
    Jesus was out on the edge, too.

    Comment by Tony Sidaway | September 11, 2008 | Reply

  5. Tony, yep systematic legislated murder and cruelty doesn’t happen in a democratic society without the consent of a majority of the voting public. It is true that people’s hearts and minds need to change as well as the laws. Palin is one example of pro-life lived.

    As to your statement about the central nervous system: I’m not a doctor but I believe your contention is disputed. The neural tube is one of the first things to develop. It is why folic acid is so important- because it aids in development of the central nervous system before the mother usually even knows she is pregnant.

    So often when pro-aborts are confronted with the gruesome facts of abortion they dismiss it as hyperbole or “scare tactics.” They go in with pre-conceived ideas and then interpret medical facts in light of those ideas.

    I have an ultrasound photo of my first child at ten weeks gestation (which is approximately eight weeks after conception). At that time I saw that his heart was beating and he was moving his arms around.

    With better and better technology, it seems that we find developments happening earlier and earlier. Through scientific and medical information, I believe that life begins earlier than we can absolutely say. By the the word of God, I believe that life starts at conception.

    And infanticide is not far behind if we continue on this road. In some second and third trimester abortions, the baby is accidentally born alive. Guess what usually happens. Guess what Obama thinks should happen.

    Comment by sara | September 11, 2008 | Reply

  6. Yes, Derrick. I know you are pro-life! 😀

    Comment by sara | September 11, 2008 | Reply

  7. If you go back to the posting at the top, that’s what I was commenting on.

    That posting stated incorrectly that Palin’s views are not extreme. With the example of abortion I demonstrated that they were. She is in the most extreme 10 per cent of women.

    On evolution, well if she think the earth is young I agree with whoever it was who said she should not have access to the nuclear codes. Children should not be permitted to play with grownup stuff.

    Comment by Tony Sidaway | September 11, 2008 | Reply

  8. Ahhh. I see, Tony. Thank you for clarifying your meaning.

    Nice ad hominem on Palin, btw. I believe THAT is the point that Derrick was making. I’m sure he will correct me if I’m wrong. Our deeply held convictions are not signs of inferior intellect, as some (you) have said both explicitly and implicitly.

    Comment by sara | September 11, 2008 | Reply

  9. Slaughtering a baby is extreme, I don’t care HOW many people accept it.

    Comment by maxdaddy | September 11, 2008 | Reply

  10. “The fetus cannot have an opinion because it lacks the equipment.”

    This statement assumes the fetus has no spirit either. That may not be scientific enough to quantify. Try this, if instincts bypass cognition and reason wouldn’t an organism (fetus) have the basic instinct of self-preservation? It seems to me the fetus can’t help but choose life.

    Self Preservation: a natural or instinctive tendency to act so as to preserve one’s own existence.

    Self Preservation is part of an animal’s instinct that demands that the organism survives.

    I’d much rather let the birth take its course and manage the consequences than destroy a fetus on a convenient hunch that, perhaps, it may not, technically, be a “life”…just yet…maybe.

    Comment by ricktrotter | September 12, 2008 | Reply

  11. If you’ve got a “deeply held conviction” that the earth is only a few thousand years old, then you’re spouting nonsense. Three possibilities on that: incorrigible stupidity, lack of the most basic education, or intellectual dishonesty.

    Comment by Tony Sidaway | September 12, 2008 | Reply

  12. Who said anything about the age of the earth here?

    And who are you to limit the possibilities to only three obnoxious choices?

    Comment by maxdaddy | September 12, 2008 | Reply

  13. Tony, your criticism of creationism is not a valid argument against Palin’s competence to “have access to the nuclear codes.” She might or might not be qualified but your argument lacks substance and tries to direct attention away from the meat of the argument onto something irrelevant.

    I thought I’d add that conservative Christians are not the only ones who are pro-life AND not all “pro-choice” people believe that a human fetus is not a life. You can google atheists for life for examples of non Christian pro-lifers and Camille Paglia for a disturbingly honest pro-choice opinion.

    Paglia recently wrote a piece for that, while smacking stongly of eugenics, is at least honest.

    Comment by sara | September 12, 2008 | Reply

  14. Y’know, I find it so strange that anyone would make the assumption that an opinion, ANY opinion is held out of “stupidity, lack of the most basic education, or intellectual dishonesty.” What a strange argument! If you truly believe that Tony, then conversation, intelligent debate is completely futile. Why bother?

    I haven’t passed judgement on you because of your beliefs: I don’t believe that you are stupid or unworthy of my respect and compassion. On the contrary, I believe you are worth talking to and understanding and, mock me if you like, you are not beyond the reach of the God who loves you.

    Comment by sara | September 12, 2008 | Reply

  15. and not all Creationists believe in a young earth, though I do.

    I was gonna say that.

    Comment by sara | September 12, 2008 | Reply

  16. Wow. You said it waaay smoother than I could have.

    Comment by maxdaddy | September 12, 2008 | Reply

  17. Thanks, Derrick. I don’t want to disengage now, but I’ve got to tend to my little ones for the rest of the day, so I’m taking my ball and going home. 😉 See ya’ll soon.

    Comment by sara | September 12, 2008 | Reply

  18. I guess we’ll have to agree to differ on the question of whether someone so ignorant as Sarah Palin should be trusted with the power to launch nuclear weapons.

    Religious believers sometimes make the mistake of thinking that science is just another belief system. Not at all. Your belief system must fit the evidence of science, or else they will be correctly described as ignorance derived from old books written by people who knew nothing of geology.

    Yes, you’re perfectly correct to say that not only religious extremists oppose abortion. However American people do not in general oppose abortion, and Roe v. Wade continues to have nearly 2:1 support. McCain was booed recently by a mainly female talk show audience when he described Roe v. Wade as “a bad decision.”

    Comment by Tony Sidaway | September 13, 2008 | Reply

  19. Tony,

    I question your motives in being here. I don’t believe you want to exchange ideas, to teach or to learn.

    Continuing to pursue this conversation with people who are, in your opinion, lacking in intelligence, lacking in education or are willfully ignorant is illogical on your part. If your line of reasoning holds water, which I don’t think it does, then what you’re saying will never be understood by me, or Derrick, or a large portion of his readers. Those who, by your logic, would understand you, probably already agree with you.

    Also based on your continued use of inflammatory rhetoric and insults causes me to believe that you may be more interested in riling the Christians than in honest discussion. I’m not here to fight, I’m here to discuss.

    I DO understand what you are saying; I just don’t agree with you. It’s snotty to say that anyone who disagrees with you must be stupid.

    Those who make science their god sometimes make the mistake of thinking that knowledge is wisdom, or else they will be correctly described as ignorant for not seeing the forest for the trees. Do you know what the beginning of wisdom is?

    As to the word “extreme,” I believe it has been used with different definitions in this post and these comments. Derrick originally used it to describe an action, which he (and I) believe to be extreme. You, intentionally or not, misunderstood and used the word in a different context: you used it in reference to a point on a spectrum, in this case, right of center.

    Anyway, if I am dumb, I’m glad to be in a lot of good, if extreme, company.

    Comment by sara | September 13, 2008 | Reply

  20. I apologize, Tony. I just reread the original post and it does seem as if Derrick is referring to a point of view when he uses the word extreme, so if you define extreme as anything something that differs from the majority, you might have a point.

    What do you say, Derrick?

    Comment by sara | September 13, 2008 | Reply

  21. sorry for the typos – it’s what I get for trying to think and type while the kids are climbing on me.

    Comment by sara | September 13, 2008 | Reply

  22. Yeah, Sara, when I used that word, I was referring to the actions of killing a baby just because it is not perfect or convenient, but also to the idea that (though I don’t have the numbers to prove it) most people in the world believe in SOME kind of creator.

    I think one has to go to EXTREMES to prove the non-existence of God in view of logic. I mean, even babies ask “Who made that?”

    Tony, yeah, the Bible was written centuries ago, but as I’ve stated in the past, there were a WHOLE lot of Christian scientists who discovered and invented a lot of the stuff we have now

    Just because something is old doesn’t mean it is unintelligent. We stand on the shoulders of people who are much greater than we.

    And even Darwin didn’t have access to what we have now (dna, powerful microscopes…) and I have heard it said that were he alive today, he would have to re-formulate a lot of his theories.

    There are NONE of the transitional forms he was SURE there would be now.

    Comment by maxdaddy | September 13, 2008 | Reply

  23. It won’t do to cite the religious adherence of scientists and hope thereby to argue that Christian faith has achieved scientific discoveries. Scientists as a matter of course avoid appealing to the supernatural no matter if they’re Jews, Hindus, Muslims or Zoroastrians–because there’s no evidence for it.

    The bible, or at least the literal interpretation popular in the USA, conflicts with what we know from other sources. It’s not wise or great, it’s a book written by people at a time when human knowledge of the world was much, much smaller. And I’d argue, it was written with a clear allegorical intent, not as a literal history, but that’s another matter entirely.

    I accept that, even if someone has an extreme view (both Vice President candidates believe human life begins at conception, for instance) it may nevertheless be justifiable. However I think it would be extremely difficult to justify the notion that a blastocyst, some 70-100 cells formed soon after conception, prior to implantation, has human rights. No that’s obviously just politician-talk, an attempt to do an end-run around Roe v. Wade by way of the Fourteenth Amendment. It won’t wash.

    On the existence of God, I’d say it’s up to those who believe in his existence to prove it. But religionists have it even harder than that: they have not only to prove that the universe was created by an all-powerful entity, but also that the same entity answers prayers, raises the dead, and all the other things in the bible, the Koran, or whatever holy book they adhere to. These assertions do not come with proof, only statements representing them as fact in old books. Prayer experiments fail (I know, it says in the bible that testing God isn’t allowed, how convenient).

    On Darwin, yes it’s correct that science has moved on a lot. His basic idea of natural selection, or descent with modification, is remarkably robust. We have a far more complete fossil record now, including some wonderfully complete sets of transitions for horses, whales, and a large scale (macroevolutionary) transition from therapod reptile to mammal. Moreover the mapping of genetic material has corroborated the work of the taxonomists and proven common descent beyond all question. All living things, including Homo sapiens, are related by common descent.

    Comment by Tony Sidaway | September 14, 2008 | Reply

  24. Hey Derrick, since I’ve involved myself already, I hope you don’t mind if I continue to throw in my 2 cents every now and then.

    Tony, Wow, there’s a lot here. There are a lot of skilled Christian apologists available for debate if that’s what you’re into, but I guess you’ve settled on this place and these people for a reason. You haven’t addressed my question of why you are bothering to argue with people who cannot understand you. Can we start there? I like to know that my limited online time is not fruitless. So, do you have a good reason? Also, would you please take a look here and see if you can possibly agree to abide by these rules? Thanks!

    Comment by sara | September 14, 2008 | Reply

  25. oh forget it, I’m tired of being baited.

    You think there is no God? You give ME a positive argument for His non-existence. And don’t hand me that cop out about how the burden of proof is on me. YOU have asserted that God does not exist. I don’t believe you.

    You think there is no evidence for His existence? The heavens declare His handiwork.

    YOU explain to ME how something can come from nothing. You explain an infinite regress. Common descent? Even if I could buy that, where did that common ancestor come from? You can answer that? Good. Where did the ancestor’s ancestor come from? Keep going back. I won’t be satisfied until you get to something that had no beginning.

    Comment by sara | September 14, 2008 | Reply

  26. I do hereby testify and aver the existence of a teapot orbiting the Sun between the orbits of Earth and Mars. Unfortunately being a teapot it is too small to see with our most powerful telescopes.

    If you think the teapot doesn’t exist, give me proof that it doesn’t exist. It must be true because I read it in an old book somewhere.

    Moreover the heavens proclaim the handywork of the teamaker, who placed the teapot there and will return in all his glory when the tea is brewed.

    As for your infinite regress, two can play at that game. I can ask you who created God. You will answer that he always existed and doesn’t need to be created.

    If you can have a God from nothing, I can have a universe from nothing. God vanishes in a poof of smoke, but the universe is still with us.

    And remember, even if you think you can prove that the universe was created by an all-powerful entity, you must still prove that the same entity answers prayers, raises the dead, and all the other things in the bible, the Koran, or whatever holy book you adhere to. These assertions do not come with proof, only statements representing them as fact in old books.

    On common descent, the evidence is overwhelming. There certainly is a common ancestor, but it may take a long, long time to work out how it all started. It is conceivable that we may never find out exactly how it happened in the case of life on earth, although there are several promising hypotheses.

    Comment by Tony Sidaway | September 14, 2008 | Reply

  27. Sara, thanks! You said it, once again, more succinctly than I could have! By all means, comment as often as you like.Tony, what did the teapot do? Or CLAIM to do? That is funny, though. Funnier now than it will be, I suspect, when the whole tale is told.

    Man! You are SMART! As I’ve said before, you’ve GOTTA be smart to be your own God.

    Your summary dismissal of the evidence, (The Bible, miracles, supernatural possibility, etc.) is kind of like the guy who robbed the gas station, got caught on camera, and yet pled NOT guilty!

    What you wave off can be proven. The Bible does not contradict itself. At the LEAST, no more than your drawn pictures of horses’ feet and pictures of reptile jaws and whale bones evidence transitional forms.

    Where I present the evidence of Divine authorship of “that old book” (internal consistency over centuries, etc.) you dismiss outright. Where I present the LIFE of Jesus, and His resurrection assertion of Godhood, you blow off. So what is the point?

    Christians say that the God who stepped into a body and did all the things predicted from the dawn of humanity, created stars, sky, water, and air because He said so. In other words, He showed His credibility by doing what He said He would do.

    You imply that the wonders done in the Bible (I don’t give the koran Divine weight) were just “statements” given as fact, what is the use of dealing with this with you since your selfish standard of “proof” is having been there? Two thousand years from now, smarter people than YOU will be likewise blowing off everything you are saying now. You won’t even have existed, by your standard.

    I would suggest, however fruitlessly, that you look OBJECTIVELY, as I did, at the evidence FOR Jesus’ existence and validity. That is where I would tell anyone to start. I’ll pray that you do, because I can’t debate you into believing anything.

    Oh, yeah, and doesn’t Science say that the universe is expanding away from itself? Doesn’t that mean that if you go back far enough, it will have had a beginning? I thought I heard a Scientist say that that was what the Big Bang was…

    You cleverly shifted what Sara said — “YOU explain to ME how something can come from nothing.” — and said, “If you can have a God from nothing, I can have a universe from nothing.”

    You left out the word, “come.” The universe COMES into existence. Don’t Scientists say something like, “anything that comes into existence has to have a cause?” That’s where God is different. He is the uncaused first cause. You are right, though. The universe is the same thing to you that God is to us! But, once again, you make your own rules and rule out the possibility of anything supernatural.

    You guys rig the jury. I wouldn’t want to play chess with an atheist! You all would outlaw the knight’s ability to jump, and would make the queen only able to move three squares!

    You are like track athletes who keep moving the finish line until they can win.

    Comment by maxdaddy | September 15, 2008 | Reply

  28. Let’s see.

    You seriously think the bible contains no internal contradictions, that there is proof of God’s existence, that Jesus was God made flesh, that the bible (but not the Koran) is certainly divinely inspired, and that yes, the universe needs a cause but for some reason God does not.

    No, you don’t get out of it by claiming that God always existed. I can simply say that the conditions before the big bang had always existed. If you can move back before the Big Bang, so can I.

    No, scientists do not say “anything that comes into existence must have a cause.” Causality seems to exist within the universe (most of the time) but may not be an absolute.

    You’re correct that atheists don’t play according to your rules. I don’t accept tall stories as proof. I’m certainly not stupid enough to believe that the bible (on which I was raised) contains no internal contradictions.

    Comment by Tony Sidaway | September 15, 2008 | Reply

  29. I’ll just say this and let you do what you want with it; You really MUST think Christians are stupid if you think that we still grow as a body, and fervently worship and sacrifice ourselves for a God who cannot author a book and keep it internally consistent! You know, I’m sure, that down through the centuries, we have answered the same old dry accusations.

    I tell you honestly, there is no way in the world I would place my trust in something so great and so perilous as Christianity without thoroughly investigating its validity!

    There is no way I would have denied myself so many of the (temporally) fun things in life had I not satisfied myself that it is better to do it the way a God I have never seen tells me to.

    I would never work so hard to monitor the way I talk, the way I think, and the way I act, if there was the slightest chance in my mind that all this difficult stuff were untrue.

    I know myself. And without the companionship — and counsel — of God, I would be a fearful individual with no filter and no conscience! I would think nothing of the feelings of those around me.

    I don’t think I’m as smart as you, but I have read books on both sides of this issue as objectively as I could, and I came to the conclusion that my Faith is not the Faith of fools and ignoramuses, but of those who are willing to admit that they are NOT the center of the universe. It is of people who were willing, to the point of being burned and eaten by animals, to believe in that which they KNEW to be true.

    For what that is worth…

    If you REALLY want the answers, there are any number of books on Bible answers.

    If you DON’T want them, you are little more than a person who knows the truth and opts not to live by it.

    There is, too, evidence for the existence, death, and subsequent sighting of Christ.

    You know where the answers are, I’m sure. You’re very smart. Either you know and refuse to accept them, or you don’t want to really know.

    If you think me stupid because I took the time to study this matter and came to believe it, I can live with that. It is a lot less painful than having a lion chew on my thigh while I watch!

    Comment by maxdaddy | September 15, 2008 | Reply

  30. Let’s see. Christians growing as a body in the US? 1990 88.4%, 2001 81.1% (ARIS). No.

    The UK perhaps? British Social Attitudes Surveys have shown the proportion of those in Great Britain who consider they “belong to” Christianity to have fallen from 66% in 1983 to 48% in 2006. No. Maybe somewhere else in the world. Never mind.

    Consistency? Two orders of creation in Genesis 1 and 2.

    Without the bible you’d think nothing of the feelings of the people around you? I don’t think that’s true at all. There are people who have never heard the bible, don’t even know what a book is, who are perfectly capable in that respect. There are billions of non-Christians who are as good as you, without a book to tell them what to do.

    You say that the bible has taught you to admit that you are not the center of the universe? Can you begin to understand what that means?

    Planet Earth is a single planet orbiting a single star in a galaxy of 200-400 billion stars, one of 35 galaxies in the local group, which in turn is one of about 100 groups or clusters of galaxies, a structure so large that it would take a beam of light some 200 million years to cross it. These structures originated around 10 billion years ago and will be around for billions of years after Homo sapiens becomes extinct, billions of years after our Sun comes to the end of its natural life.

    Those facts are verifiable. Telescopes tell a consistent story.

    The people who wrote the bible didn’t even get close to that.

    There is just one piece of credible evidence for Jesus’ entire existence independent of the bible: a brief word or two in Tacitus describing Nero’s scapegoating of a religious cult whose founder, Christus, had been executed in Judea under the rule of Pontius Pilate.

    Comment by Tony Sidaway | September 16, 2008 | Reply

  31. First, what I was talking about was the fact that Christianity has spread from TWELVE guys two thousand years ago to billions over the years to today. Not just America and England, thank you.

    Second, I’m glad you picked the EASIEST Bible difficulty to note here. Simply put, one account is the overview, the second is the detail with the emphasis on the creation of man. You really MUST think we are stupid to revere a book that can’t even get it right in the FIRST CHAPTER!
    The Bible uses literary tools — metaphor, prose, poetry, symbolism, etc. — just like any other work of words.

    Funny how people will give Quentin Tarantino more leeway (Look at how “Pulp Fiction” jumps all around) than the Bible. The Bible is to be read and interpreted using the same methods as any other literary work.

    I did NOT say what you say I said:
    “Without the bible you’d think nothing of the feelings of the people around you? I don’t think that’s true at all. There are people who have never heard the bible, don’t even know what a book is, who are perfectly capable in that respect. There are billions of non-Christians who are as good as you, without a book to tell them what to do.

    You say that the bible has taught you to admit that you are not the center of the universe? Can you begin to understand what that means?”

    I said that without GOD, I’d be and do all the stuff I said. And I was talking about ME. So understand me if I don’t allow you to tell me what I would do or be. I was being personal. I know myself. I know how I am governed.

    And, unlike what you threw at me, I am NOT saying how good I am. Just the opposite.

    In fact, that is my point. Atheists look to themselves as the reason for their goodness (Hence “the center of the universe,” not a bunch of stuff about telescopes, and light years), Christians have submitted themselves enough to give GOD the credit for whatever good things are done.

    I said GOD did all these things, not the Bible. You can’t erect a false argument and then proceed to try to tear it down.

    And you might want to look at how the Earth is finely tuned for life… Oh, but I’m sure you have. Never mind.

    While you allow for only one piece of “credible evidence,” (thank you for deigning to do that little thing) I submit that there are more. And if you put them all together (Extra-biblical, non-Christian testimony) you will find that Jesus lived, was killed, and was seen eating and fellowshipping, etc.

    But as you have dismissed all that, I’m sure, anyone else reading this and wondering may look into it.

    Why are you doing this? Is it some kind of school assignment or initiation ritual? “Harrass a Christian…” Do you really want to find something out, or are you just toying with us religious folk in order to say away from YouTube? What is your point?

    Comment by maxdaddy | September 16, 2008 | Reply

  32. You do know Pulp Fiction is a work of fiction, don’t you?

    As far as I’m aware, there is no other credible extra-biblical evidence that Jesus ever existed.

    I’m not making comments on your blog with an intent to harass. Please accept my apologies if it seemed that way. I just like to debate interesting subjects.

    I’ll leave you in peace.

    Comment by Tony Sidaway | September 16, 2008 | Reply

  33. You don’t have to leave. As long as we’re getting somewhere. I was trying to lighten the tone. It was funny when I heard it in my head.

    The point is not whether or not Pulp Fiction is real (although I get two points for making you infer that the Bible is NOT fiction!), but that people are more willing to try to understand and interpret movies and the like in the spirit in which they were written.

    The Bible is special, but not in the sense that you use different methods to interpret it.

    As far as evidence for Christ, “The Case for Christ” for starters is a good place to locate some other sources.

    It just depends on you being really willing to be objective. The author, Lee Strobel, was an atheist and a lawyer and a journalist — skeptical by occupation. Hardly someone to be fooled or swayed by fishy information.

    Comment by maxdaddy | September 16, 2008 | Reply

  34. wow. this is certainly a long discussion on things that are already proven.

    I’m going to add my two Catolic cents and then be quiet becuase, well this is fun to watch.

    Tony – I don’t know you but from reading your comments I can say that I believe you are searching for any arguement you can find to support “your” conclusions. There is non-Biblical evidence that Christ existed. The early Church Fathers wrote of His live, we have non-canon accounts of His life. There are writings of those who lived in Herod’s kingdom of Jesus coming. There are Roman historical evidence of Pilot and of a theif called Barabas released.

    Derrick and Sara – good job presenting the Christian approach.

    Bottom line – Sarah Palin is more qualified than any of the other three to discuss Pro-Life issues. The Pro-Death side will continue to call innocent babies “unplanned” or other words that hide the crime form their souls. Murder is Murder is Murder. The only difference is man made law punishes one kind of murder and rewards another. Jane Roe herself is one of the largest advocates of the pro-life movement and never had an abortion.

    Second bottom line – Tony, the best part for all of us is that despire our stupidity (yours, sara’s, derricks, mine, and the rest of humanity) God loves us and will care for us. Consider this. Why, if for no other reason, are we here? What does Tony have to do with the world and the big bang? The scientific answer is nothing. So that makes you just as unimportant as us. If you can deal with that then great. Me, I’d rather matter to someone.

    There are more documents and historical evidence to support the existence of Christ, than to support the big bang “theory”. It is a theory, nothing more. Why? Becuase it can’t be proven. You as a scientist should know that.

    Comment by bob | September 18, 2008 | Reply

  35. Thanks,Bob!

    Comment by maxdaddy | September 18, 2008 | Reply

  36. The smell of extremist language coming from this page is rich and strong. I don’t think anti-abortion extremists realize how much harm they do to their own cause by the inappropriate use of such rhetoric on an issue that will affect so many people. One in three American women will have an abortion during their lifetime. 80% of them, when asked, report a religious affiliation–the highest proportion being Catholics. They do not like to be called murderers.

    Comment by Tony Sidaway | September 19, 2008 | Reply

  37. HEY, Tony!! Glad you came back!!

    The Language smells? On the whole blog, or just this post? Wow. I hope it is like beef stew or flowers or something and not something like fetuses in jars or formaldehyde or such!

    Extremist language is not necessarily wrong. And it is a matter of perspective, too. I mean, what YOU consider extreme, “I am the Way, the Truth, and the Life. No man comes to the Father but by Me,” is to me language that saves lives.

    Cutting off a gangrenous leg could be considered extreme depending on whose leg it is, but it is often necessary. Forty-some million stopped hearts might, to some, be worthy of strong language.

    You wrote:
    “One in three American women will have an abortion during their lifetime. 80% of them, when asked, report a religious affiliation–the highest proportion being Catholics. They do not like to be called murderers.”

    So what? Who cares? A paroled felon doesn’t like to be called an “ex-con,” a crooked preacher doesn’t like to be called a “pimp.” That’s what they are.

    Did YOU care that Christians and creationists didn’t like to be called, stupid, uneducated, or intellectually dishonest when you used that language?

    If you kill your baby, you killed your baby. It is what it is! Can’t put lipstick on a… Oh, wait. I can’t say that anymore.

    One more thing: Just because one CLAIMS a religious affiliation doesn’t make it so. And God can forgive any act depending on the sincerity of the person asking. That is what is so EXTREME about Christianity!

    Comment by maxdaddy | September 19, 2008 | Reply

  38. I think it’s got to the stage where you’re just saying “I may be extreme but I’m right and anybody else who believes differently is wrong.”

    In your posting, you said: “They kill me acting as though their extreme, radical views on life and God are shared by everyone — at least everyone rational.”

    But here you are acting in exactly the same way–and, I must say, with much less appearance of rationality.

    Comment by Tony Sidaway | September 19, 2008 | Reply

  39. Yeah, you may have a point with respect to me changing the way I defined and used the word “extreme…”

    I can concede a point. I have enough confidence in my position to do so without feeling like my whole argument is invalid. I have YET to see you do so. I have made some good points, brought up some good issues, and you just gloss right over them and bring up something else.

    I countered you with some very good arguments, and I think you need to read back through what I wrote and address some of it. I can’t keep going down these different rabbit holes. It is unfruitful. But I am not suggesting you run away. Just give me the respect of at least dealing with what I presented. Or else, what’s the use?

    I think, though, that the way I mean to use the word in reference to the FAR left is valid. I think it is extreme in the negative to suggest that it is okay to let a baby born as a result of a botched abortion die on a metal counter top. I think it is extreme to murder a baby because the mother got raped. I think it is extreme to kill a baby because it is inconvenient or embarrassing (I’ve seen it WAY too many times!) to have it.

    And I think it is extreme — and irrational — to suggest that ALL this stuff just sprung into existence with no designer and no thought process. I think it is irrational to try to reach and grasp at ANY random possibility rather than an designer with a brain and a plan. And since you like numbers, I don’t know, but I’ll bet that a lot more people believe that than that “something can come from nothing!”

    I think, however, that Jesus WAS a radical. His entire approach was extreme in a positive sense. He said things that had never been heard in human history. I see a difference.

    But I disagree with you implying irrationality on my part.

    Comment by maxdaddy | September 20, 2008 | Reply

  40. maxdaddy,sorry I think I’ve contributed what I came to contribute. There are side-issues like evolution and whatnot but I’m seeing the same old nonsense like “there are no transitional forms” which is a problem you could correct by picking up any decent introduction to evolution (Steve Jones’ “Almost like a Whale” and Ernst Mayr’s “What evolution is” are my current favorites).

    I’m not interested in being converted to Christianity. I was raised as a Christian and stayed within the religion long enough to realize that it does not have any answer that I seek or that I need.

    I think I keep bumping into fundamentalist Christians a lot and they’re nearly always Americans and nearly always badly in need of a science education. That isn’t much of an ad for the religion.

    Comment by Tony Sidaway | September 20, 2008 | Reply

  41. What I think you’ve ACTUALLY contributed is further verification that many atheists are arrogant and condescending. I respect you and your intelligence. I respect your right to express a wrong point of view. 🙂 But I don’t see where you respect the fact that many Christians are well educated and extremely informed and smart.

    Just because a person has looked at the same thing you have looked at and reached a different conclusion doesn’t mean he is ANY of the pejorative labels you have used toward Christians.

    You were the one who said you like to debate, but what you ACTUALLY like to do is say what YOU want to say while ignoring what the opposition has to say.

    And while you are not interested in being converted, I am not interested in reading any more convoluted, distorted information on the teetering tower of YOUR belief system.

    Peace and Mercy.

    Comment by maxdaddy | September 21, 2008 | Reply

  42. I give glory to God for continuing to put Christians in your path, Tony. I praise Him for continuing to show mercy to you (and me, for that matter). Tony, I suspect you’ve had people praying for you a long time and now you’ve got another one. 🙂

    Comment by sara | September 27, 2008 | Reply

  43. I suspect one thing that would make baby Jesus cry would be when you fellows to lie about geology and biology. I don’t think he wants you to do that in his name.

    Comment by Tony Sidaway | September 28, 2008 | Reply

  44. We still love you, Tony. Your most recent comment is mocking and I thank you for giving me the opportunity to be persecuted for His sake.

    Comment by sara | September 28, 2008 | Reply

  45. I’m not mocking you. I’m accusing you, on unimpeachable evidence, of lying grossly about the life sciences and the earth sciences in order to uphold your religion. If any religion is worthy of its adherents, it should not require them to lie.

    Comment by Tony Sidaway | September 29, 2008 | Reply

  46. HEY, SARA! Glad to see you back!

    Tony. Come on. Who is lying? How?

    Comment by maxdaddy | September 29, 2008 | Reply

  47. maxdaddy, those who predicate their religious beliefs on the negation of the entire fields of the life sciences and the earth sciences since the days of Charles Lyell are building on sand. Their beliefs lack any foundation and they can only hold to their beliefs by claiming that everything we know about earth, life and the cosmos is false.

    This is the case with those who claim that earth was created a few thousand years ago.

    Comment by Tony Sidaway | September 29, 2008 | Reply

  48. I’ve been meaning to tell you, Tony, that you cannot use Young Earth Creationism as part of your argument against Faith. There are many orthodox Christians who believe in an old earth as well. Both views are acceptable.

    Comment by maxdaddy | September 29, 2008 | Reply

  49. Actually, Derrick, he was told back in comment # 15. That is just one example of how Tony refuses to address any specific bit of information that is directed at him. He refuses to pick a topic; refuses to answer questions; refuses talk about evidence that is presented to him. He answers everything with some form of “stupid Christians don’t know nuthin’ ’bout science.” Intellectually, this is a fruitless conversation, and I use the word “conversation” generously here.

    However, I am staying engaged as much as I can because there is a reason Tony keeps coming back. It is not because he hopes to win converts to his atheism because that would be contrary to his belief that we are too dumb to understand. (That’s another topic, he refused to answer btw: why try to convince anyone incapable of understanding? He’ll probably ignore this too, though he’ll glom onto the atheist/converts thing.) He comes back because he is drawn here. He either thinks it’s because he’s having a bit of fun or because he must do battle with the nitwits in the world, but he’s wrong about the reason he keeps coming back. He is drawn here because of the spiritual battle of which he is a part. Poor guy doesn’t even know it.

    But Christians, you know it, right? You know with whom we wrestle? Let’s encourage each other to put on the whole armor of God. And please join me in earnest prayer for Tony.

    Comment by sara | September 29, 2008 | Reply

  50. maxdaddy, that’s right, Young Earth Creationism is not the only grounds on which to reject religious faith. There are many other reasons (which can all be summarized as “absence of evidence”).

    However my comment was in response to a specific statement made by Sara about the age of the earth.

    sara, please don’t let this discussion devolve into recriminations. Address my arguments.

    Comment by Tony Sidaway | September 30, 2008 | Reply

  51. You know you are not being intellectually true to what I said.

    “Absence of evidence?” If ANYone should know about that, it is the atheist! With all the gaps you guys try to fill with guesses to support your suppositions…

    You have some hubris, though, to insist that someone address your arguments, seeing how many of them you have ignored in this whole thing.

    Comment by maxdaddy | September 30, 2008 | Reply

  52. It’s grossly incorrect to say that atheists depend on faith or attempt to fill in gaps with guesses. We are quite content to say that we don’t know. Where we differ is that we do not accept the claims of the various religions, and we tend to be persuaded by scientific evidence.

    It is for this reason that I told Sara that her denial of the scientific evidence for an ancient earth implies that she “can only hold to [her] beliefs by claiming that everything we know about earth, life and the cosmos is false.” You cannot look into the constellation of Andromeda and notice the smudge of the Andromeda galaxy, and then look down into someone’s eyes and say, honestly, that the universe is not truly ancient. No sir. That would be intellectual dishonesty, dressed up as religious faith.

    I’m unaware of any failure on my part to engage with any arguments presented to me, but I’m human and it could be that I’ve ignore those that I considered trivial and unrelated to the issue of religious extremism.

    It is, of course, not surprising to find that those professing not to find Sarah Palin’s views extreme are themselves afflicted with extreme views.

    Comment by Tony Sidaway | September 30, 2008 | Reply

  53. You wrote:
    “It’s grossly incorrect to say that atheists depend on faith or attempt to fill in gaps with guesses. We are quite content to say that we don’t know. Where we differ is that we do not accept the claims of the various religions, and we tend to be persuaded by scientific evidence.”

    NOOOO. You KNOW. Your whole premise is that you KNOW. You know the Christian position. You know ALL the potential arguments. You know that God is NOwhere in the whole universe. You know that your evolutional conclusions are correct. You know it all.

    You may not accept the claims of various religions, but you accept the claims of YOUR religion that everything can come from nothing.

    There was no scientific evidence to suggest that Java man, Nebraska man, and Piltdown man, and so many others were true evidence of human transitional forms.

    Over and over again, it seems that evolution is true to you because you WANT it to be true.

    You wrote:
    “You cannot look into the constellation of Andromeda and notice the smudge of the Andromeda galaxy, and then look down into someone’s eyes and say, honestly, that the universe is not truly ancient. No sir. That would be intellectual dishonesty”

    I submit that you cannot look into the constellation of Andromeda, or our Milky Way (wherein we are perfectly placed in order to be able to even observe the universe), and look in the mirror and say, “All that beauty and order is just chance, an accident.” (I think you meant to say “accident,” not “ancient”) That would be intellectually dishonest.
    By the way, how does chance and evolution account for introspection and such?

    You wrote:
    “I’m unaware of any failure on my part to engage with any arguments presented to me, but I’m human and it could be that I’ve ignore those that I considered trivial and unrelated to the issue of religious extremism.”
    How incredibly superior! You may actually, unbeknownst to yourself, be a type and shadow of God, proof of His existence by your attitude! YOU get to decide which arguments are substantial enough to answer or not answer — like God in the book of Job.
    If you can be so unassailable, so all-knowing, why can’t a God, right?

    I AM praying for you, Tony. And you can’t stop me. You’re smart enough to back up and look at the big picture and start from scratch. You are sharp enough to discern that still, small voice in your head.

    We are all getting older, and the truth is, there is a LOT more at stake for you than me if you are wrong. You said yourself that you are (merely) human.

    Comment by maxdaddy | September 30, 2008 | Reply

  54. huh. We must be speaking different languages.

    I tried communicating with you, Tony, in a way that even an unbeliever could understand with just a small amount of logic and open-mindedness. You’re not hearing me – so my new tactic is “not to know any thing among you, save Jesus Christ, and him crucified.”

    Now I’m talking about how the God who raises from the dead can surely create a universe in a literal six days if He chooses. He could certainly choose other ways – I don’t presume to put Him in a box or expect Him to abide by my rules. And I don’t pretend to know exactly how it was done; I wasn’t there.

    Your unregenerate mind cannot understand the things of the Spirit of God – they are foolishness to you because they are spiritually discerned, and frankly, you are spiritually dead.

    I understand that you dislike all religion but that you have a particular grudge against Christianity due, I guess, to something in your past. Also, I’ve read that there is something truly offensive about a crucified savior.

    Apparently, there is also something repugnant about His followers. I understand this on a spiritual level, but I’m not sure it can be justified in a logical, non-spiritual way. I don’t have a clear understanding of why some of the atheists I’ve met are not content to just let the masses have their opiate. They claim to be so scientific and yet they practically froth at the mouth in rage when someone believes in God. Many of the atheists I’ve met are bigger zealots than the professing Christians I know. That’s a shame to the Christians but it reveals something about the atheists as well. With such vehement reactions, is it any wonder that many people confuse scientific thought with religious thought? and if it were only reactions, that might be understandable, but very often, atheists actually seek out and try to destroy the faith of the Christians.

    OK, I’ve spoken the truth in love and I guess I’ll have to leave it to God to do the rest. It’s not my job to convict you or even to defend myself. Blessings.

    Comment by sara | September 30, 2008 | Reply

  55. Well it’s easy to win a debate when you address, not the position held by your opponent,but the position you wish he held.

    I do not know anything about any gods. Since there is no evidence for any of them, I’m content that there is no more reason to believe in them than fairies at the bottom of my (very beautiful, despite receiving little effort from me) garden.

    Evolution on the other hand is a universally accepted scientific theory. A few religious cranks attack it, but the evidence is overwhelming.

    You write: “you accept the claims of YOUR religion that everything can come from nothing.”

    Not at all. There is strong evidence to suggest that large effects can come from small fluctuations, but that is all that would be required for the Big Bang. It is not a prerequisite of the Big Bang that nothing existed at the singularity (rather the reverse).

    what came before it? I don’t know. You don’t either. Nobody knows.

    You say: “There was no scientific evidence to suggest that Java man, Nebraska man, and Piltdown man, and so many others were true evidence of human transitional forms.”

    Is that the best you can do? We’ve got excellent transitions from australopithecine onwards. And you’re also forgetting the rather lovely transitionals from reptile to mammal, from land-dwelling mammal to the whales, and a fantastically detailed transition tree for the horse.

    I would not dream of claiming that the order of the universe is due to chance. Whatever gave you that idea? What on earth do you think scientists study if not the mechanisms that give order to the universe?

    Why do those mechanisms operate? I do not know.

    You ask “how does chance and evolution account for introspection and such?”

    Again, we don’t know. “God did it” is not an answer. Suffice to say that we’re working on it. If you’re interested, Dennett’s “Consciousness Explained” and Pinker’s “How the Mind Works” are good primers on the state of the art (which has advanced a long way since Descartes!)

    In computer systems, introspection is a fairly trivial operation, but we don’t yet know how it’s achieved by the brain, which is considerably more complex and powerful and may have more sophisticated ways of achieving the same object.

    You say: “YOU get to decide which arguments are substantial enough to answer or not answer.”

    Yes, of course. How do you make your decisions? By tossing a die? Please talk sense.

    You want to pray for me? Feel free. If the best you can do in the way of logical argument is to present and defeat a straw-man of atheism and to try to destroy the entire edifice of evolution with a single blog posting, perhaps prayer is the only option open to you.

    For myself, I’ll stick with the evidence.

    Comment by Tony Sidaway | September 30, 2008 | Reply

  56. Seems strange that all the effort (lawyers & hackers) went to Wasilla (all i saw – spelled backwards). AND no effort going to investigate or follow the money trail of ACORN / Freddy Mack / Franklin Reigns.

    Anyone tired of hearing how unfit Palin is for VP, esp. when Biden says stupid things daily like like: “President Franklin Roosevelt Went On Television To Speak To The American People In 1929?” (Roosevelt wasn’t president then)
    This is a cool timeline of blunders.

    e.g. Approval Ratings:
    Governor Sarah Palin-86%
    Nancy Pelosi’s congress-9%
    Palin’s approval rating among democrats is 75% in Alaska

    Just seems like Palin is getting a raw deal and Biden is getting a pass.

    Comment by Jeff Presley | October 1, 2008 | Reply

  57. This is in reference to the evolution debate…
    Just in case anyone is actually open to learn more about ‘evidences’ for creation and hearing ‘the other side’, this podcast has some interesting ‘facts’ that are worth considering. Realizing that: “a man convinced not of his will is of the same decision still” not trying to argue, just provide some information if you’re open to hear both sides.

    Day 4:
    “If we just took one little cell and got the little coil DNA strip and stretched it out, it would be seven-feet long. It would be really thin. It would be so thin, I’m told, we couldn’t see it under an electron microscope. But if it were stretched out it would be seven-feet long. That’s in every one of your hundred trillion cells. It would be so thin that the details of it couldn’t be seen. However, listen to this, if all the DNA in your body, lets just take all of it and stretch it out and connect it together, it would stretch from here to the moon one half million times. Pretty incredible you are, huh? If all this very densely coded information were placed in typewritten form, if it was just typed out in you, just for you, it would fill the Grand Canyon 50 times. That’s how fearfully and wonderfully you are made, Psalm 139:4 says.”

    Comment by Jeff Presley | October 1, 2008 | Reply

  58. Yeah and the most amazing thing is that the genome of the marbled lungfish contains more than forty times the DNA code that the genome of a human being.

    I don’t think there are any psalms about marbled lungfish.

    Comment by Tony Sidaway | October 1, 2008 | Reply

  59. …and the tobacco plant has the same number as the Chimpanzee. 🙂

    All that code and no programmer?

    Yes, even the marbled lungfish is fearfully and wonderfully “made”, made by a common designer.

    That is all, just thought it was pretty amazing stuff. Some people get excited about this sort of thing. I have a friend that works at St. Jude doing DNA research. She is light years beyond me in comprehending any of this, i stand amazed at the complexity. (for more good stuff, check this out..)
    As far as the DNA structure, textbooks will say that DNA is evidence for evolution. They say it’s evidence from molecular biology. Textbooks say, “Darwin speculated that all forms of life are related. This speculation has been verified.”
    Now, hold on just a minute. What they’re going to say is, it’s been verified because of DNA similarities. The human chromosome is incredibly complex. The DNA, or the chromosome as it’s called, is unbelievably complex. The average person has about 50 trillion cells in their body and each of those cells, except for the gametes, contain 46 chromosomes. If you extracted all of the chromosomes out of your body, you would fit into two tablespoons. And yet if you tied them together and stretched them out, it would reach from earth to the moon and back five million times. It is incredibly complex. This DNA code is more complex than all the computer programs ever written by man combined. All contained in two tablespoons. If you typed out this incredible code, when you got done typing, you’d have enough books to fill Grand Canyon 40 times. That’s just the instructions required to make one person. Unbelievably complex. And, of course, the psalmist said, “I will praise thee for I am fearfully and wonderfully made.” And he didn’t even have a microscope. He didn’t know about DNA but he could still figure out we are incredibly well designed.

    As a baby develops inside the mother, it adds cells to its body, about 15,000 cells per minute are added for the entire nine months, each of those containing 46 of these chromosomes with unbelievably complex instructions. Each cell in the human body is more complex than the space shuttle and here the baby is building 15,000 of those every minute. It all comes from this DNA code which they didn’t know about in Darwin’s day but today the scientists are saying that this DNA is evidence that we all came from a common ancestor. Truth of the matter is, if you organize the animals based upon the number of chromosomes, you don’t get anything similar to what they say happened in evolution. The earliest life form, according to the chromosome number, would be the penicillin. They only have two chromosomes. And over billions of years the penicillin turned into a fruit fly with eight. And then the fruit fly slowly evolved, of course, and got some more chromosomes someplace and became either a tomato or a house fly. They both have twelve. If you look at the number of chromosomes, it’s silly to think there is a similarity. If chromosome number means anything, if this DNA really means something, then I would point out that the possum, the redwood tree and the kidney bean all have 22 chromosomes and therefore they are identical triplets—which of course is ridiculous. They’re not identical triplets at all.

    They say that apes and humans have similar DNA. The truth of the matter is, the chimpanzee has the same number of chromosomes as the tobacco plant. They both have more than humans have. So the similarity would break down right there. And the most complex creature in the world, of course, would be the fern. They’ve got 480 chromosomes. So this idea is ridiculous. But this textbook shows the kids a chart and says, “Boys and girls, we are similar to orangutans. We have 96% similarity. That proves a common ancestor 15 million years ago.”
    “Now, wait a minute. Similarity in chromosomes proves a common designer, not a common ancestor.” It actually doesn’t prove either one. It could be an indication of either one and the fact is, we’ve only analyzed about one percent of human DNA. Only one percent has even been studied. So if you’re pointing out a 99% similarity between chimps and humans and you’ve only studied one percent of the data, I think it’s a little premature to say that this is proof of anything. If there are similarities, I would say this is just as much argument for a common designer. But the students are never presented this. They’re only told this is evidence for evolution.

    Guess this isn’t the thread to get into this, thought it was interesting stuff

    Comment by jeff presley | October 2, 2008 | Reply

  60. Jeff, that was some great stuff! Great. Wish you could’a been there today…

    Comment by maxdaddy | October 2, 2008 | Reply

  61. The fact that the amount of code seems to bear no relation to the complexity of the organism is strong evidence for the theory that there is no programmer.

    Your conclusion is based on faulty reasoning and incomplete information. The entire genome of the chimpanzee and the human have been compared. Out of the 3 billion units of DNA, the human-chimp comparison revealed some 35 million simple changes, or mutations, in the single units of the overall sequence. They also found about 5 million additions to or subtractions from the genome involving chunks of DNA sequence.

    And as you showed in your earlier posting, that is a vast amount of code.

    This strongly supports common descent.

    Comment by Tony Sidaway | October 2, 2008 | Reply

  62. Well, I’ll be a monkey’s uncle… (or descendant)

    Although we’ve been told for a long time that we share 98.5 per cent of our genetic material with our closest so called relatives. That now appears to be wrong. New research is showing that we share less than 95 per cent of our genetic material, which is a three-fold increase in the variation between us and chimps.

    The chimp genome “led to literally too many questions, there were 35 million differences between us and chimpanzees — that’s too much to figure out,” Jonathan Rothberg, 454’s chairman, said in a telephone interview.

    Chromosomes reveal “surprise” human/chimp differences

    Chimp, human DNA comparison finds vast similarities, key differences. The scientists did find differences. Out of the 3 billion units of DNA, the human-chimp comparison revealed some 35 million simple changes, or mutations, in the single units of the overall sequence. They also found about 5 million additions to or subtractions from the genome involving chunks of DNA sequence.

    I’m seeing the new data as showing that you’re not as close to a monkey as you thought!

    Comment by jeff presley | October 2, 2008 | Reply

  63. Jeff, you may not be eroding a stone, but you are providing a lot of good information.
    If a computer contained all the code of a strand of DNA or as much information as a chromosome, only a fool would say that it all happened by chance!
    If we have had billions of years, why hasn’t something so mundane as an ipod wished itself into existence?

    Not to be cavalier about it, Tony, but as stiff-necked as you have proven yourself to be, you’d better live forever!
    Maybe you can do it, since in your view things go from simplicity to increasing complexity. You can, by the force of your will and of necessity think your way to immortality.

    Comment by maxdaddy | October 3, 2008 | Reply

  64. Jeff is correct to say that actual comparison of DNA has led to a revision in the downwards direction.

    However I note that he cites exactly the same article on exactly the same study I did, which in a complete comparison showed that the overwhelming majority of all chimpanzee and human DNA is identical. Even if we didn’t know from phenotypic homologies that chimpanzees and humans had a common ancestor, this alone would clinch it.

    The sheer quantity of DNA works in favor of the evolution argument there. A designer would have a completely free hand in designing each organism from the ground up. There would be no need to use so much duplication in the DNA. This duplication is easily explained by common descent, however.

    maxdaddy, you’re absolutely right to say that only a fool would claim that evolution was a matter of chance. It is not.

    It is a selective process. The DNA in every living thing on earth has been selected by billions of different incidents that determined which limited number of all those in any generation of creatures was able to reproduce successfully.

    Only creationists claim that evolution is a random process. This reveals only that they do not understand evolution.

    I may not be able to convince the most determined creationist; really that’s not my aim. That the science of evolution has illuminated our view of life on this planet, and perhaps will illuminate life on other planets in due course if we find it, is enough. It will continue to do so and (as a Brit) I’m not particularly concerned if many American people remain backward in their scientific education. America more than compensates by turning out outstanding scientists who do understand evolution.

    Comment by Tony Sidaway | October 3, 2008 | Reply

  65. RE: “providing good information”
    A couple of good movies to checkout are:
    The privileged planet & Case for a Creator
    Lots of interesting stuff that shows that the world around us really is complex yet special.

    RE: “Stiff necked” is how i used to be described as being. (B.C. days) I guess we all are, just in different ways.

    I like Tony!
    He keeps us on our toes and challenges our assumptions.
    I’m sure he is way smarter than me.

    I won’t keep going back and forth on this subject. I’ll get out now, could spend a lot of time going back and forth…

    This reminded something neat to bring up here for what it’s worth… What we ‘believe’ is not to be taken for granted or expected that others should just wake up and see it our way. in 1 Corinthians, Paul (who didn’t wake up until he had a personal confrontation with the rising Christ) says that God’s wisdom is foolishness to people who haven’t received His spirit (which teaches and discerns). He says we can’t just ‘get it’ through the natural sensed – eye, ear, mind. That is to say we can’t just see, hear, discern these things. They require divine revelation which requires God’s spirit. The requirement for that is to approach Him on His terms and admit we need Him. To learn one has to admit ignorance or that they don’t know. Speaking for myself, typically my pride is what keeps me from learning.
    When my mom when to the ‘holy land’ she brought me back a mosaic of the apostle Paul, it reminded her of how Christ radically changed me.

    verses 10-14 remind me that without the Spirit (the teacher) I wouldn’t have understand anything. Keeps me thankful, we have a lot to be thankful for – ever our desire to go to work and to excel is a gift from God.

    Paul’s Reliance upon the Spirit

    1 And when I came to you, brethren, I did not come with superiority of speech or of wisdom, proclaiming to you the testimony of God. 2 For I determined to know nothing among you except Jesus Christ, and Him crucified. 3 I was with you in weakness and in fear and in much trembling, 4 and my message and my preaching were not in persuasive words of wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power, 5 so that your faith would not rest on the wisdom of men, but on the power of God.
    6 Yet we do speak wisdom among those who are mature; a wisdom, however, not of this age nor of the rulers of this age, who are passing away; 7 but we speak God’s wisdom in a mystery, the hidden wisdom which God predestined before the ages to our glory; 8 the wisdom which none of the rulers of this age has understood; for if they had understood it they would not have crucified the Lord of glory; 9 but just as it is written, “THINGS WHICH EYE HAS NOT SEEN AND EAR HAS NOT HEARD, AND which HAVE NOT ENTERED THE HEART OF MAN, ALL THAT GOD HAS PREPARED FOR THOSE WHO LOVE HIM.”
    10 For to us God revealed them through the Spirit; for the Spirit searches all things, even the depths of God. 11 For who among men knows the thoughts of a man except the spirit of the man which is in him? Even so the thoughts of God no one knows except the Spirit of God. 12 Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit who is from God, so that we may know the things freely given to us by God, 13 which things we also speak, not in words taught by human wisdom, but in those taught by the Spirit, combining spiritual thoughts with spiritual words.
    14 But a natural man does not accept the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him; and he cannot understand them, because they are spiritually appraised. 15 But he who is spiritual appraises all things, yet he himself is appraised by no one. 16 For WHO HAS KNOWN THE MIND OF THE LORD, THAT HE WILL INSTRUCT HIM? But we have the mind of Christ.

    Comment by jeff presley | October 3, 2008 | Reply

  66. If there are unseen matters that would be invisible to those who don’t make the leap of faith, that’s not a concern for science.

    The strong evidence for common descent and for natural selection–which is for instance the mechanism that causes bacteria to develop resistance to antibiotics–is in the realm of the visible and the undeniable (well you can deny it and a lot of believers do, but that doesn’t make it go away).

    Another problem for many believers is the age of the universe, particularly the earth. As I said earlier we’ve got the constellation of Andromeda in plain view on a moonless night sending light that started its journey hundreds of millions of years ago. I can go down to a Dorset beach, just a few hours journey from my home in London, and dig out the fossils of creatures, now extinct, that lived at about the time the light set out from that neighboring galaxy.

    Those facts won’t go away. Those who promote scripture must learn to co-exist in the same world in which those facts have been common knowledge for decades.

    Comment by Tony Sidaway | October 3, 2008 | Reply

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