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An artist's depiction of the early primates, which are believed to travel overseas to Africa from Asia, 39 million years ago.  (Source: National News and Pictures)

Teeth were the only fossilized remains of the primitive primates that survived in the strata.  (Source: Nature)

The recent fossil finds came from the bottom strata.  (Source: Nature)
Researchers believe that the primates evolved in Asia and only later journey to Africa, where they further evolved

As evolution is observed in the lab for the first time, there's an equal wealth of exciting discoveries in the field.  Recent primate and hominid fossil finds have filled in many missing pieces along the evolutionary path that led to man and other modern primates.

A diverse team of researchers from multiple universities and museums has published a new study on the discovery of four species of anthropoid primate discovered in the Sahara desert.  And the researchers have some very interesting ideas, based on their results.

The fossil find, which dates back to 39 million years ago, is very significant as the species are quite different from any others found in the region during the era, or during previous fossil records from the era.  The researchers believe these early primates represent the members of a primate migration from Asia.  This would account for the lack of prior fossils in the region.

These primates faced fortunate circumstances, with few creatures able to match their increased intelligence and adaptability.  As Africa was an island continent at this time, geographic isolation helped safeguard the new residents from potential competitors, according to the researchers.  As a result they thrived and conquered their new environment.

Dr Christopher Beard, of Carnegie Museum of Natural History and author of the new paper states in the UK's Daily Mail, "If our ideas are correct, this early colonization of Africa by anthropoids was a truly pivotal event—one of the key points in our evolutionary history.  It led to a period of flourishing evolutionary divergence amongst anthropoids, and one of those lineages resulted in humans. If our early anthropoid ancestors had not succeeded in migrating from Asia to Africa, we simply wouldn’t exist."

The researchers only found a few teeth, but by compare those to past discoveries and living primates, they have a good idea of the size and shape of the ancient critters.  They likely resembled small monkeys or lemurs and weighed between four and sixteen ounces -- between the weight of half a can and two cans of soda.

The fossils came from the Dur At-Talah escarpment.  The escarpment is a sharp cliff face in a rarely visited remote part of the Sahara, located in Central Libya.

The three clades that the primates belonged to have not been found in early deposits in the region, despite over 100 years of dedicated fossil collection in Africa.  Thus the team feels the evidence clearly points to the recent discoveries being recent arrivals, overseas travelers from Asia.

Dr. Bear reports, "This extraordinary new fossil site in Libya shows us that 39 million years ago there was a surprising diversity of anthropoids living in Africa, whereas few if any anthropoids are known from Africa before this time. This sudden appearance of such diversity suggests that these anthropoids probably colonized Africa from somewhere else. Without earlier fossil evidence in Africa, we’re currently looking to Asia as the place where these animals first evolved."

Even after the spread out and conquered their new environment, it took these early primates around 36 million years to evolve into hominids which bore some resemblance to man.  These early hominids appeared 2 to 3 million years ago in Africa.  The first Homo sapiens popped up 400,000 years ago, and the first modern humans -- a H. sapiens subspecies -- appeared 100,000 years ago.  These humans spread out from Africa between 50,000 and 5,000 years ago and the rest, as they say -- is history.

These migrants were not the first hominids to leave Africa.  Neanderthals reportedly similarly spread out.  When the exiting humans traveled into Europe and Asia they encountered these more primitive hominids.  While these earlier migrants would eventually go extinct, sequencing of the Neanderthal genome has revealed that humans interbred with them, allowing their genetic legacy to live on to this day.

The new study is published in Nature.


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Wait for it....
By Marduke on 10/27/2010 5:22:10 PM , Rating: 1
Enter stage right, our resident creationtard Quadrillity in 3... 2... 1...




RE: Wait for it....
By Quadrillity on 10/27/10, Rating: 0
RE: Wait for it....
By Calindar on 10/27/2010 7:19:59 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
I guess it takes a real quality individual to call someone retarded for sticking up for what they believe in.

One does not get called retarded for simply sticking up for what they believe in... One gets called retarded for continually believing something when all evidence completely contradicts that belief.


RE: Wait for it....
By S3anister on 10/27/10, Rating: -1
RE: Wait for it....
By sprockkets on 10/27/2010 10:39:12 PM , Rating: 2
Like what?

No, that's not an attack. I'm curious.


RE: Wait for it....
By adhan24 on 10/27/2010 11:51:28 PM , Rating: 2
These aren't lies necessarily but they aren't noble truths either.

Exodus 21:20-21 (New International Version)

"If a man beats his male or female slave with a rod and the slave dies as a direct result, he must be punished, but he is not to be punished if the slave gets up after a day or two, since the slave is his property."

1 Peter 2:18

"Slaves, be subject to your masters with all reverence, not only to those who are good and equitable but also to those who are perverse."

Exodus 32:27-29 (NRSV)

"Thus says the Lord, the God of Israel, '…each of you kill your brother, your friend, and your neighbor.'"

"The sons of Levi did as Moses commanded, and about three thousand of the people fell on that day. Moses said, 'Today you have ordained yourselves for the service of the Lord, each one at the cost of a son or a brother, and so have brought a blessing on yourselves this day.'"


RE: Wait for it....
By sprockkets on 10/28/2010 12:23:47 AM , Rating: 2
It's a big misconception that slaves of those times = slaves of the 1800s here in America. Slaves mentioned in the bible can be either owned by others or not, and more fit the description of servant or attendant. They as Jewish scholar Moses Mielziner stated that a “slave could never cease to be a man, he was looked upon as a person possessing certain natural human rights, with which the master even could not with impunity interfere.”

Your quote about Peter is also balanced in the fact that Paul said that masters should treat their "slaves" respectfully too at Ephesians 6:9. Funny how the word "perverse" is there, as the literal greek word used is "crooked".

Exodus 32:27-29: I hope you read the account context, because that was the time the Israelites sinned against God by making a golden cow, and that was his order to kill those who committed idolatry, not just kill others for the fun of it. And if those chose to run to Moses their lives would have been saved, as Aaron himself who made the idol did not die.


RE: Wait for it....
By Calindar on 10/28/2010 1:02:06 AM , Rating: 3
quote:
I hope you read the account context, because that was the time the Israelites sinned against God by making a golden cow, and that was his order to kill those who committed idolatry, not just kill others for the fun of it.

What a compassionate, loving god. "Though shalt not kill... unless I tell you to kill".

The entire creation account in genesis is wrong, and the story of Noah's Ark is logistically impossible.

The god described in the Bible is logically impossible and self contradicting. Many issues arise with an omniscient, omnipotent, being that is all loving. If god is omniscient, then everything is a sham. Free will and god's judgment mean nothing since god already knows everything. Being omniscient means god knew satan was going to turn against him, he knew that the humans would eat the apple, he knew that the world would "fall", and he just let it happen anyway.

There is also the problem of evil. If an all knowing, all powerful, all loving god exists like that in the bible, then evil should not exist. As Epicurus said,
1. if God is unable to prevent evil, he is not omnipotent
2. if God is not willing to prevent evil, he is not good
3. if God is willing and able to prevent evil, then why is there evil?

Then there is prayer. Prayer makes absolutely no sense. It is statistically ineffective. The excuse for unanswered prayer is often "god has a plan"... Well if god has a plan, why are you asking him to change it in the first place, if he's just going to do what he wants anyway?

Few things in the bible really make sense these days. The moral code it outlines is outdated and primitive. It's explanations for the way the world was formed, exists, and works are completely wrong. It had it's place in ancient times, but that time has passed.


RE: Wait for it....
By Zingam on 10/28/10, Rating: 0
RE: Wait for it....
By mmcdonalataocdotgov on 10/28/2010 7:25:59 AM , Rating: 1
Agreed. If you ask the people who OWN the old testament - Jews (my mishpucha), they will tell you that Genesis was NOT meant to be a history or science lesson, just a general assertion that God created the universe (whether you believe it is 4000 years old or not).

Interesting problem with creationism, or what the reactionary tards call "intelligent design." If it is true, it also means not only that the science of biological evolution is wrong, but that geology, chemistry, physics, astronomy, history and pretty much every other science is wrong. Why does no one ever push the tards to their logical conclusions and ask them to address those issues? A more salient (=)) question is, if the flood is true, where was all the water kept? It would require 10X the current volume of water on the planet to flood it to the highest mountain top. And then where did it go?

Also, on the thou shalt not kill issue, I have always had a problem with the command to commit genocide several times in the old testament. What is the deal with that?

P.S., tards: the old testament creation story is lifted nearly word for word from the Babylonian water cosmogony that pre-dates it by a few hundred years or so.


RE: Wait for it....
By TheDoc9 on 10/28/2010 5:17:01 PM , Rating: 2
It's possible that the water is still here in what are the oceans of today. One theory states that the Earth was mostly land in that time, with the water coming from both underground and the sky. With the amount of water in the flood, it would've taken days maybe months for the water to recede off of today's dry land into the lower parts of the planet - creating today's oceans.

Also, most sciences are wrong and are in a constant state of change. During these changes a new idea or 'theory' is suggested as truth and fact - so much so that the common belief for these ideas becomes the truth in most people's minds. It's also important to note that these theory's will always be changing as per their nature. It's a certainty that the inhabitants of the distant future will look back on this time and smile at how little we understood in comparison to them. As will their descendants in a continuing cycle for all time.


RE: Wait for it....
By sprockkets on 10/28/2010 5:33:40 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Agreed. If you ask the people who OWN the old testament - Jews (my mishpucha), they will tell you that Genesis was NOT meant to be a history or science lesson, just a general assertion that God created the universe (whether you believe it is 4000 years old or not).


Pretty much true.

quote:
Interesting problem with creationism, or what the reactionary tards call "intelligent design." If it is true, it also means not only that the science of biological evolution is wrong, but that geology, chemistry, physics, astronomy, history and pretty much every other science is wrong.


Not at all. Evolution based on empirical evidence is obviously true and isn't disputed. What is disputed is perhaps how life got started to begin with.

quote:
Why does no one ever push the tards to their logical conclusions and ask them to address those issues? A more salient (=)) question is, if the flood is true, where was all the water kept? It would require 10X the current volume of water on the planet to flood it to the highest mountain top. And then where did it go?


You have to keep in mind, that the earth and mountains we see today is not necessarily how it was pre-flood. The location of the garden of eden is no longer known since after the flood the land masses shifted and perhaps created the mountains we have today.

quote:
Also, on the thou shalt not kill issue, I have always had a problem with the command to commit genocide several times in the old testament. What is the deal with that?


As I've mentioned, these were people who had sex as a religion, sacrificed their children into the fire, and had "sacred poles" or "pillars" which were phallic symbols of human genitalia. Even by our standards we would have wiped them out.

They were not completely wiped out though. The Baal religion survived, causing the Israelites themselves to adopt it, and that was the reason for their complete destruction.

quote:
P.S., tards: the old testament creation story is lifted nearly word for word from the Babylonian water cosmogony that pre-dates it by a few hundred years or so.


This is false and has been for over 60 years. The Babylonian account is all mythological and polytheistic, describing a struggle between their chief god Marduk and others, and then says one of them made the earth. It has nothing as to the order of creation like Genesis does.


RE: Wait for it....
By sprockkets on 10/28/2010 7:42:18 AM , Rating: 2
You brought up good points, but when I'm off work today, I'll address each and every one of them.

Have a nice day :)


RE: Wait for it....
By retrospooty on 10/28/10, Rating: -1
RE: Wait for it....
By wgbutler on 10/28/10, Rating: 0
RE: Wait for it....
By smackababy on 10/28/2010 11:55:18 AM , Rating: 1
But if God was all knowing, he would already know the answer to this "test" you speak of. The fact that God would perform such a test is a contradiction of him being all knowing and having a plan for everyone.


RE: Wait for it....
By geddarkstorm on 10/28/2010 1:14:52 PM , Rating: 2
That's a logical fallacy. Just because you know what the outcome of something will be, doesn't mean you don't have to do it and allow it to actually occur like you knew it would. Also, along that line of reasoning, we have to experience the 'test' ourselves, otherwise it'd just be an accademic thought experiment by God, right?

This happens a lot in science, little experiments we do that we know the outcome of before we even do them, but we have to do them to say we did, and preserve the chain of evidence. Without them, our research is meaningless and useless; but they can get tedious because their conclusion is forgone.


RE: Wait for it....
By eskimospy on 10/28/2010 2:07:45 PM , Rating: 2
I think you missed the point. God in this case was the single source of omnipotent and omniscient origin for everything in this test case. It cannot be different than he expects it to be by definition.

In science we do tests we know the results of to establish a chain of evidence precisely because we DO have uncertainty (however slight) as to how things will turn out. It's tedious, but a necessary procedural step that we have inserted to guard against our imperfect knowledge. Our tests and whatever tests god might feel like he wants to do are nothing alike.

The situation of an omnipotent and omniscient god leads one to the necessary conclusion that things are exactly as he wants them and that he is perfectly willing to condemn at least around 60% of his creations to an eternity of torture. That's not just standard evil, that's evil on a cartoon supervillain level. It either cannot be true, or a lot of people are worshiping a monstrous entity.


RE: Wait for it....
By morphologia on 10/28/2010 2:27:07 PM , Rating: 3
We perform experiments because we are neither omnipotent nor omniscient. For a being who knows everything that is going to happen before it does, a being powerful enough that nothing will happen unless he lets it happen, experimentation is either pointlessly tedious or grossly sadistic.

So, God is either a drab, pedantic being who insists on the unnecessary as a matter of course, or a perverted sicko who puts us in horrible situations (like, for example, choosing a select few to rescue from a disaster) for sheer jollies?


RE: Wait for it....
By 0ldman on 10/29/2010 8:46:31 AM , Rating: 3
This did bother me for a while.

The point of it is that God has given us free will. We have the choice to fail and are allowed to do so. Not for Him, but for our understanding.

If this worked the way you wanted, no one would have the chance to fail and the argument would be that we weren't allowed to try.

Follow the thought through to conclusion. Don't stop half way.


RE: Wait for it....
By eggman on 10/28/2010 3:15:09 PM , Rating: 2
I don't think God is going to present a paper.


RE: Wait for it....
By ThePooBurner on 10/28/2010 2:49:30 PM , Rating: 2
You misunderstand the term "all knowing". It's not a blanket statement. It has more to do with his ability to see all predictable branches of a decision and based on how well He knows us make a very accurate prediction of how things will turn out. However, because we have agency we can always decide to go against our better judgment and do something totally unpredictable. Hence the need for a test.


RE: Wait for it....
By eskimospy on 10/28/2010 3:38:19 PM , Rating: 2
So you're claiming that god is not omniscient. While I agree that it would relieve him (and therefore us) of this problem, I am not aware of any mainstream Christian theology that makes such a claim. Can you provide a source?


RE: Wait for it....
By wgbutler on 10/28/10, Rating: 0
RE: Wait for it....
By wgbutler on 10/28/2010 10:37:29 AM , Rating: 2
quote:

Few things in the bible really make sense these days. The moral code it outlines is outdated and primitive. It's explanations for the way the world was formed, exists, and works are completely wrong. It had it's place in ancient times, but that time has passed.


That's really bizarre. I find the moral code to be extremely relevant for today and it invariably leads to positive results for the person practicing them. An uncountable number of sociological studies back this up as well.

I'm really curious, which part of the moral code do you find obsolete?


RE: Wait for it....
By morphologia on 10/28/2010 2:35:03 PM , Rating: 1
Let's see...there's the proper, ceremonious manner in which to kill an animal for religious purposes, the elaborate pageantry involved in "purifying" yourself after touching something "unclean," and also the very definition of "unclean" as dictated by the Bible. There's also the aforementioned rules regarding slavery, in which it is unambiguously stated that enslaving people for debts and beating them is OK. And of course the underlying theme that it is OK to injure, kill, or deprive of basic rights any person who does not adhere to the religion in the generally accepted manner.


RE: Wait for it....
By sprockkets on 10/28/2010 2:51:06 PM , Rating: 2
If it makes you feel any better, those weird rules you mention are no longer enforced and never will be. They served their intended purpose long, long time ago.

Btw, not sure why you think touching dead people, or touching people with leprosy, or going through a menstrual cycle would not be considered "unclean" but whatever.

quote:
And of course the underlying theme that it is OK to injure, kill, or deprive of basic rights any person who does not adhere to the religion in the generally accepted manner.


Yes, killing people who sacrificed their children by putting them into an idol on fire that resembles a cow, or participated in orgies and whose main idol's were the male penis and female vagina, yeah, those we shouldn't kill off.


RE: Wait for it....
By wgbutler on 10/28/2010 3:25:43 PM , Rating: 2
quote:

Let's see...there's the proper, ceremonious manner in which to kill an animal for religious purposes, the elaborate pageantry involved in "purifying" yourself after touching something "unclean," and also the very definition of "unclean" as dictated by the Bible. There's also the aforementioned rules regarding slavery, in which it is unambiguously stated that enslaving people for debts and beating them is OK


This is pretty weak sauce, dude. Every single thing you mentioned was some ceremonial law in the Torah. No Christian that I know practices any of these things.

The New Testament is quite clear that observing these ceremonial laws are not required for Christians today. The vast majority of Christian churches do not follow these laws. Even many Jews do not follow them (or at least some of them).

Not that these laws were bad. They served a purpose for a primitive culture thousands of years ago. They were also highly symbolic and prophetic. For example, the slaying of the Passover lamb pointed to the future crucifixion of Christ and His atonement for us. Essentially, the entire Old Testament is one gigantic prophecy of what God is getting ready do through Christ.

It's also interesting that we are now discovering hidden benefits to these laws. For example, medical science has discovered many positive health benefits for babies who are circumcised. Even the law commanding parents to wait until the 8th day to circumcise has been discovered to be medically beneficial, as a newborn infant has a double dose of vitamin K in his system on the 8th day after birth. It's really kind of strange to think that an ancient desert tribe could have gotten this exactly right without any divine guidance.

What you didn't say speaks volumes. You never mentioned a single moral teaching of the New Testament in your list. Nothing about sexual promiscuity, drug use, lying, or divorce being essentially good things for people.


RE: Wait for it....
By xkrakenx on 10/28/2010 3:05:14 PM , Rating: 2
actually theres nothing in the bible relating to social construct that isnt common sense. We are social animals, and therefore 'understand' that killing each other and whatnot is disruptive to a healthy society.

its not so much right vs. wrong, thats a slippery slope if you approach it objectively. Its what is good or bad for a society and we define right and wrong in that context.

thing is, you dont need a religious text to know what is good or bad for a society. Its obvious by trial and error, by learning from mistakes and enforcing rules yourselves. the authority and even existence of a god is unnecessary. In the absence of god, men figure out what needs to be done. They can blame what they cannot control on god or the devil; assign strange phenomena to supernatural influence - but it doesnt mean that god really exists.


RE: Wait for it....
By wgbutler on 10/28/10, Rating: 0
RE: Wait for it....
By kerpwnt on 10/28/2010 4:41:50 PM , Rating: 2
Divorce has been so proven to cause problems that one might even say it is now common sense. Trial and error worked thousands of years ago and it still works today!


RE: Wait for it....
By sprockkets on 10/28/2010 2:10:04 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
What a compassionate, loving god. "Though shalt not kill... unless I tell you to kill".


Unless you chose to ignore the fact that salvation was a matter of running to Moses, sure.

quote:
The entire creation account in genesis is wrong, and the story of Noah's Ark is logistically impossible.


Actually, it isn't. Science agrees with the Genesis account of creation, in that the steps laid out:

(1) a beginning; (2) a primitive earth in darkness and enshrouded in heavy gases and water; (3) light; (4) an expanse or atmosphere; (5) large areas of dry land; (6) land plants; (7) sun, moon and stars discernible in the expanse, and seasons beginning; (8) sea monsters and flying creatures; (9) wild and tame beasts, mammals; (10) man

The probability that Moses, the writer of Genesis got the order right on the first try when no such knowledge existed is 1 in 3,628,900.

Logistically speaking, all Noah had to bring into the ark is what the bible calls "kinds", or what we today might classify as an order. He didn't have to bring in every single species to sustain all life we see today. Evolution is capable of doing some stuff.

quote:
The god described in the Bible is logically impossible and self contradicting. Many issues arise with an omniscient, omnipotent, being that is all loving. If god is omniscient, then everything is a sham. Free will and god's judgment mean nothing since god already knows everything. Being omniscient means god knew satan was going to turn against him, he knew that the humans would eat the apple, he knew that the world would "fall", and he just let it happen anyway.


This is based on the incorrect assumption that just because God can see the future, means he always does. Just because he can foretell the future doesn't mean he does, anymore than a strong person has to lift up heavy objects all the time just because he can.

When Cain was hot with anger against his brother, God told him to turn around and live, because if he didn't, he would give into hate and murder. He didn't say, "If you turn around from your anger, you will do well. But, why bother? I already know you are going to kill your brother, so you might as well get it over with."

He gave Cain a choice. He was warned of the consequences. He chose to kill Abel anyhow.

quote:
There is also the problem of evil. If an all knowing, all powerful, all loving god exists like that in the bible, then evil should not exist. As Epicurus said, 1. if God is unable to prevent evil, he is not omnipotent 2. if God is not willing to prevent evil, he is not good 3. if God is willing and able to prevent evil, then why is there evil?


The problem with human philosopher's is that they are very, very limited in what they think they know.

1. The first human pair was given a choice. Obey one simple rule: Show respect by not eating of the tree of Knowledge of good and bad. You didn't eat from it, you lived forever. You eat from it, you will die.

Dying is evil. But to say God couldn't prevent it is quite ridiculous. Humans chose to rebel. They knew what death meant because the animals around them didn't live forever.

Forcing humans to always pick the right choice is just as empty as a parent forcing their child to love them. Parents want love and respect out of free will, not by force.

2 and 3. By the account in Genesis chapter 3, Satan himself challenged that God is a liar, he withholds good from his creation, and would be better off independent of God's rule. In the book of Job, he also said that all humans, if tested, would rather serve themselves than God when the going got tough.

God could have just started over and killed Satan, but that would have not answered the challenge. So in his wisdom, he allowed humans to rule themselves. And with the past 6000+ years of actual empirical evidence, rule by man is a complete and utter failure, and will never, ever work.

And he is willing to rid the earth of evil. Daniel 2:44,45 says so, while simultaneously that same chapter foretold the rise of the current world powers.

quote:
Then there is prayer. Prayer makes absolutely no sense. It is statistically ineffective. The excuse for unanswered prayer is often "god has a plan"... Well if god has a plan, why are you asking him to change it in the first place, if he's just going to do what he wants anyway?


Perhaps 2 Cor 12:7-10 will answer that for you. People also wishing for millions of dollars, to win a basketball or football game, or win a war, are going to find that those are things he doesn't answer, ever.

quote:
Few things in the bible really make sense these days. The moral code it outlines is outdated and primitive. It's explanations for the way the world was formed, exists, and works are completely wrong. It had it's place in ancient times, but that time has passed.


You probably think that way because stupid creationists interpret the Genesis account literally.

As to outdated morals, well, if you stick around long enough, probably bestiality will be accepted soon in this country and abroad. If this is what you mean by "progress", count me out.

Furthermore, the morals that you probably think are from the bible are actually not. Birth control, celibate priests, Onan and masturbation, are all lies.

But no one suffers by following the morals in the bible.


RE: Wait for it....
By Calindar on 10/29/2010 12:09:23 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
Unless you chose to ignore the fact that salvation was a matter of running to Moses, sure.

So, you are condoning killing someone for not believing the same thing as you? Because that is essentially what happened. Moses asserted that anyone who came to him, and believed what he did, lived, and everyone else died.

quote:
The probability that Moses, the writer of Genesis got the order right on the first try when no such knowledge existed is 1 in 3,628,900.

But he didn't get the order right...

quote:
Logistically speaking, all Noah had to bring into the ark is what the bible calls "kinds", or what we today might classify as an order. He didn't have to bring in every single species to sustain all life we see today. Evolution is capable of doing some stuff.

No. The notion of "kind" is just a semantic cop out. If every species population was limited to two members, they would all be so genetically bankrupt that the chance of successful survival would be slim. The Cheetah had a drastic population reduction about 10,000 years ago, and even now, their genetic diversity is so low that any Cheetah can get a skin graph from any other Cheetah without rejection.

Then you have to explain why certain animals, like the Kangaroo, only exist in certain areas of the world, and only have ever existed in those areas. Why would a kangaroo hop half way around the world, and swim an ocean, to make it to a boat so that it would survive a flood?

Then you have to explain how Noah fed all of these different animals, some of which have extremely specialized diets, and many of which exclusively eat meat. The story, taken literally as a global flood, is completely ridiculous. The more likely scenario is there was a local flood that someone saved a few animals in, and the story became a tall tale/legend over years of re-telling.

quote:
This is based on the incorrect assumption that just because God can see the future, means he always does.

This is just a rationalization by you to try to account for this discrepancy. Omniscient mean omniscient. He either knows everything or he doesn't. The god that is described in the bible cannot exist.

quote:
Perhaps 2 Cor 12:7-10 will answer that for you. People also wishing for millions of dollars, to win a basketball or football game, or win a war, are going to find that those are things he doesn't answer, ever.
Prayer is completely ineffective. God never answers those prayers because no prayers are ever answered. Prayer only "works" in situations with an uncertain outcome because random chance says the prayer could be answered. If the random chance happens to fall in line with the prayer, the prayer "worked". If it doesn't, god's "plan" is different. Anything with a relatively certain outcome will never change it's outcome because someone prayed it would.

Go ahead, pray as hard as you can that a can of Coke turns into Sprite, or pray that the can of Coke simply falls over. It never will because the outcome is certain.

quote:
But no one suffers by following the morals in the bible.

Except for those that don't believe in the same god of course. Oh, and sorcerers.


RE: Wait for it....
By Quadrillity on 10/30/2010 12:39:48 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
They knew what death meant because the animals around them didn't live forever.

Hold on just a minute here... Please point out where it says that anything died before the sin of man. The Bible very clearly says that the sin of man brought death to ALL living things. Nothing died before sin...


RE: Wait for it....
By smilingcrow on 10/28/2010 4:26:01 PM , Rating: 2
1. Even if there is an omnipotent God it doesn’t mean that there is an imperative for God to intervene.
2. Maybe God doesn’t even see what humans call evil as being a problem. So for God there is no judgment, there is no good or bad, there is just pure being. Evil is purely a human perception.
3. Because evil is okay, it’s allowed, it’s really a non issue for God. Maybe we are here to learn to see life in the same way.

Yes AMD fan boys, Intel isn't really evil that's just your judgmental mind jerking you around. ;)


RE: Wait for it....
By kerpwnt on 10/28/2010 4:53:10 PM , Rating: 2
I totally see where you're coming from with the perception of morality. However, holy texts speak of good and evil far too frequently to dismiss it in such a modernist way.


RE: Wait for it....
By smilingcrow on 10/28/2010 8:26:58 PM , Rating: 2
Who decides what is a holy text and what isn’t?
And who decides how to interpret those texts?
They are often just other ways of keeping people stuck in their heads trying to understand something that the mind will never fully grasp.
Why not try looking into your heart instead and directly feel your connection with God!
No need for priests or gurus or holy texts, just a direct experience of what is.


RE: Wait for it....
By Majes on 10/29/2010 11:00:17 AM , Rating: 2
This really is a good post...
I was stuck on a lot of these things growing up... God and religion just do not make a whole lot of sense to someone living in this world...

The only problem you are currently having is that you are applying a human reality to God...
You are applying rules from your reality to a God who you claim must have enough power to create that reality and can exist both outside and inside of that reality.
I believe where you and I failed with these questions and contradictions was the fact that we underestimate how powerful being omnipotent truly is...

I'm going to try to address your examples because they are excellent but what I really want you to do is go back to your original thoughts on how much power an omnipotent being wields and revise your assumptions.

"Thou shalt not kill...": This can be explained through an analysis of the different Hebrew forms of "to kill"... In most cases it is translated as "to murder" which causes most to differentiate it from some forms of killing... It is still rather convoluted and difficult to understand what the commandment meant... This is why I believe we still have many different judicial systems in the world!

Noah's Ark: This was my first truly difficult challenge to my faith... I was taught as a young child to take everything the Bible said as completely literal. However, when I took religion classes in college I was told that the creation story and many parts of the Bible were not meant to be taken literally... I was terribly confused by this contradiction. Frankly, I reconciled this conflict simply be thinking of the context in which the Bible was written. It was an extremely small world back then, and most cultures have tales of large floods. For Noah and his family it would not be too much of a stretch to assume that their world really did flood. As for the animals they brought with them, perhaps they really did bring all of the animals from their world. After all, their existence was not a global one at the time...

Evil: The problem you are having with evil is the same problem you have with free will... How can humanity have free will if God is omniscient? Before I try to answer, let me first ask you this... Do you know know EVERYTHING about ANYTHING in this world? Even yourself? I do not... I like to think I know everything about Warcraft Three, or Starcraft 2, or NFL football. But I do not... I have no perspective on what it is like to be omniscient. Since we are assuming that God is also omnipotent, and I am fairly sure that neither you nor I are that either, is it really impossible that God would set up a system where he chooses not to control every aspect? He gets to choose the rules that our existence follows and the Bible explains pretty well how things are set up. We may never know the why, unless we get a chance to ask God. But let me ask you... Would you know what good was without evil? Would you know happiness without sadness? What would existence be like with no evil, no sadness, no pain? I've often tried to fathom that...

The only issue that you brought up that I do not respect as a genuine concern for a person who is trying to choose what to believe or trust in is prayer... Prayer is not Santa Claus... It is supposed to be a tool in which you communicate with God. As a Christian you are supposed to cultivate a relationship with God. You are not supposed to just ask for stuff.

The moral code of the Bible is what much of the laws and rules of modern society are based off of... You can personally consider parts of the Bible to be outdated and useless to you. There are parts that I do not read very often. They don't seem to have any influence on my life. But to take the whole of the Bible and dismiss it I believe would be a terrible mistake...

I'm sorry for the long post... I tried to split it up as best as I could. Also keep in mind that my understanding is still evolving... I'm fairly young still and your knowledge on these subjects and the time you have spent considering them may be far beyond mine. I urge those of you who are asking these questions to go back and reconsider one thing though... Just how powerful would an all-powerful being be?


RE: Wait for it....
By clovell on 10/29/2010 1:18:53 PM , Rating: 2
Original Hebrew is "Thou shalt not Murder."

Big difference, though I don't know and don't care how it affects your argument.

Call me a fact-nazi.


RE: Wait for it....
By Hyperion1400 on 10/28/2010 4:39:01 AM , Rating: 3
quote:
It's a big misconception that slaves of those times = slaves of the 1800s here in America. Slaves mentioned in the bible can be either owned by others or not, and more fit the description of servant or attendant. They as Jewish scholar Moses Mielziner stated that a “slave could never cease to be a man, he was looked upon as a person possessing certain natural human rights, with which the master even could not with impunity interfere.


Ehem? *Cough* \/\/\/

quote:
Exodus 21:20-21 (New International Version) "If a man beats his male or female slave with a rod and the slave dies as a direct result, he must be punished, but he is not to be punished if the slave gets up after a day or two, since the slave is his property."


RE: Wait for it....
By wgbutler on 10/28/2010 10:15:05 AM , Rating: 1
quote:

These aren't lies necessarily but they aren't noble truths either....


Atheists often try to portray Christianity as somehow "pro-slavery", completely ignoring the fact that Christians were the main part of the abolitionist movement in Great Britain and the United States, and the New Testament takes an extremely negative view of slavery:

I Timothy 1
[8] But we know that the law is good, if a man uses it lawfully, [9] as knowing this, that law is not made for a righteous man, but for the lawless and insubordinate, for the ungodly and sinners, for the unholy and profane, for murderers of fathers and murderers of mothers, for manslayers, [10] for the sexually immoral, for homosexuals, for slave-traders, for liars, for perjurers, and for any other thing contrary to the sound doctrine;

I Corinthians 7

[21] Were you a slave* when called? Do not be concerned about it. But if you can gain your freedom, avail yourself of the opportunity. [22] For he who was called in the Lord as a slave is *a freedman of the Lord. Likewise he who was free when called is *a slave of Christ. [23] *You were bought with a price; *do not become slaves of men.

So there you have it. The New Testament is pretty harsh concerning the topic of slavery.

It is true that Peter instructed slaves to be subject to their masters if attaining freedom wasn’t possible. But he did this to protect the lives of the Christian slaves as revolting or trying to escape would lead to certain death, and not in any way to condone the practice of slavery, which Paul equated with lying, matricide, patricide, and homosexuality in his list in I Timothy.


RE: Wait for it....
By adhan24 on 10/28/2010 12:51:05 PM , Rating: 2
First off, I am not an atheist as you indirectly infer... I am an agnostic. As someone else stated in this forum, it is hard to flatly reject the notion that something bigger than us is at play in the universe. The study of cosmology was given as an example that might lead to this line of reasoning. Whatever you want to call it - god, the universe, the flying spaghetti monster, etc. - there is this common notion of some bigger, older, or greater truth that holds the key to explaining our existence.

Scientists at Harvard, Pennsylvania and Johns Hopkins have done studies on why this search for a "higher power" occurs. They have found that the human brain is wired in such a way as to encourage the self-questioning of our existence. They have also found that during "religious experiences" certain parts of the temporal lobe in the human brain become activated. These parts of the temporal lobe may also become activated during epileptic seizures. This might explain why people with epilepsy often say that hear the voices of angles or speak to god when having an episode. Additionally, it might explain why across history we observe an abundant number of examples "god-like"/"goddess-like" figures and of "creation myths." "God" literally is inside each of us... or at least in our minds.

I don't believe that all Christians are bad or wrong or deluded. I do believe that a strict interpretation of the Bible can be counter-productive though. Even those who are self-proclaimed fundamentalists seem to skip over the parts of the teachings of Jesus in which an ascetic style of is revered as the most noble path.

The contradictions within the Bible are numerous. So-called "fundamentalists" cherry-pick with the best of them.


RE: Wait for it....
By adhan24 on 10/28/2010 12:54:16 PM , Rating: 2
Darn typos...


RE: Wait for it....
By seraphim1982 on 10/28/2010 10:28:59 AM , Rating: 1
God is all knowing...
*cough* bullshit
I do/think what I wanna do and God can't do anything about it.

Thanks for trying God.


RE: Wait for it....
By wgbutler on 10/28/2010 10:34:24 AM , Rating: 1
quote:

God is all knowing...
*cough* bullshit
I do/think what I wanna do and God can't do anything about it.

Thanks for trying God.


This post beautifully illustrates the heart of the atheist. It's not about science or knowledge or anything else, its about "doing what I wanna do" and essentially being your own god.

The problem with this line of reasoning (for the person) is that actively rebelling against God inevitably leads to misery and death. But hey, more power to them, as we can always use another example of stupid reasoning.

One way or another, we all serve God's purpose.


RE: Wait for it....
By gamerk2 on 10/28/2010 12:10:37 PM , Rating: 2
Funny, subjectivly, I find that more Christians are miserable then any other group I know.

Of course, you make the (baseless) assumption that the 5 Billion or so people who aren't Christians are living in a state of misery. :D

Also, should he exist, god is CLEARLY not omnicient. Book of Job is a VERY good example of this. [IE: Why bother to even test Job if he already knew the outcome. Therefore, god is either not Omnicient, or he's a total Jackass, your choice].


RE: Wait for it....
By geddarkstorm on 10/28/2010 1:20:48 PM , Rating: 2
Again with the test logical fallacies. Think of it this way, do not your experiences, good and bad, define who you are? If all you had were good experiences in life, you wouldn't be you at all; in fact, you'd probably not be a very good or interesting person in the least.

As much as it sucks, even "bad" things have their place and purpose. And if you are following that line of reasoning others have posited about this life being a 'test' phase or something like that, then what happens here would be relevant to another stage beyond our frame of reference to understand. So even things that don't make sense here, would in light of that, one could argue. It's all very interesting philosophy.

But in either case, God can be omniscient and still have everything that happens that you say is contrary to that; because we, and our experiences and development of who we are through them, are part of the equation.


RE: Wait for it....
By clovell on 10/29/2010 1:23:27 PM , Rating: 2
How does free will contradict the existence of an omnipotent being?


RE: Wait for it....
RE: Wait for it....
By wgbutler on 10/28/2010 10:03:50 AM , Rating: 2
quote:

No kidding, I used to believe in God... until I went through high school and everything I learned refuted a great deal of claims in the Bible.


How strange. I used to be an atheist until I started doing scientific research into physics and cosmology, at which point I came to the conclusion that there absolutely has to be a God.


RE: Wait for it....
By eskimospy on 10/28/2010 2:11:47 PM , Rating: 2
It's very interesting that you came to the exact opposite conclusion of most people who study physics and cosmology. High levels of education, particularly in the hard sciences such as physics are strongly correlated with atheism.


RE: Wait for it....
By sprockkets on 10/28/2010 3:21:07 PM , Rating: 2
Those same people you refer to belive what they believe based on materialism, not on the actual scientific experiments they conduct. Even Darwin thought bacteria were simple globs that could easily evolve.

However, science has enlightened us and shows us how complex DNA is, bacteria is, and other aspects of life. Instead of letting the actual evidence point to the correct conclusion, most just say "Sorry it still just happened."

The book Rare Earth goes into great detail as to why life can exist on this earth, but then still draws the same illogical conclusion based on probability.

Want to hear something incredibly stupid? Those same "scientists" believe that the first amino acids came together in the right fashion because of sunlight. That's right, the same light that causes you to have skin cancer due to UV rays damaging your DNA, or heat exhaustion due to infrared rays, somehow got things to just climb up the ladder in complexity.

That, is BS.


RE: Wait for it....
By eskimospy on 10/28/2010 3:44:33 PM , Rating: 2
On what possible basis are you saying that as the correlation between education and atheism is coming from materialism as opposed to... the education? What is your causal mechanism and where is the research that supports this? Are Ph.D's more materialistic than non-Ph.D's? By what metric?

As best as I can tell your explanation for what the 'people I refer to' is simply your own opinion stated as fact without evidence.

The rest of your post is riddled with logical fallacies. Just because something is complex does not mean that it was designed, that is a non sequitur, and therefore illogical.

I'm not sure what to say about your paragraph on sunlight other than that I hope you are joking.


RE: Wait for it....
By sprockkets on 10/28/2010 4:42:15 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
On what possible basis are you saying that as the correlation between education and atheism is coming from materialism as opposed to... the education? What is your causal mechanism and where is the research that supports this? Are Ph.D's more materialistic than non-Ph.D's? By what metric?

As best as I can tell your explanation for what the 'people I refer to' is simply your own opinion stated as fact without evidence.


On the simple basis on what those same scientists admit. They as they put it, cannot allow a foot into the door, because that causes religion to enter the picture, something they do not want to discuss, and rightfully so.

quote:
The rest of your post is riddled with logical fallacies. Just because something is complex does not mean that it was designed, that is a non sequitur, and therefore illogical.


If that is the case, then why do evolutionary theories try to explain how things evolved in small steps?

Your welcome to give real life examples of things getting complex all by themselves without any intelligent intervention to the complexity of life. Saying life as we know it is proof is in itself, a non-sequitur based on a assumption, not scientific evidence.

Otherwise, denying such complexity exists is just willful ignorance and denial.

quote:
I'm not sure what to say about your paragraph on sunlight other than that I hope you are joking.


Not my words. Look at the last article posted here on the whole explanation of how RNA evolved. People on arstechnica also use that as an explanation as to why the entropy of RNA decreased.

If you are thinking what I'm thinking and rightfully say that's BS, then you are right.


RE: Wait for it....
By eskimospy on 10/28/2010 4:58:41 PM , Rating: 2
I'm sorry, but your post was nonsensical. I'm genuinely trying to understand what your argument is, but I feel like I'm failing.

What does what you are writing have to do with the correlation between education and atheism? Are you saying that education causes an increase in materialism? If so, what is your evidence for this? Anecdotal evidence is simply unacceptable, because you can have an anecdote for anything.

So I will ask again, by what metric are you determining that Ph.D's are more materialistic than non-Ph.D's? What is the causal mechanism for this increase, and how have you (or someone else) measured it? How does this correlate with increases in atheism?

Scientists say that evolution takes place in small steps because that's what the observable evidence says. After this you appear to be arguing that because design ---> complexity that complexity ----> design. Again, it's hard to parse what you're writing, but that's my best guess. It is an obvious logical fallacy, called affirming the consequent. Ie: it is not a rational and logical argument.

And no, for your last paragraph I did not think the premise was BS. I was hoping that you were joking because the connections you were trying to draw between the energy provided by sunlight, mutations, etc, etc was so far removed from reality that I couldn't even figure out how to address it. It's like you were arguing from the moon.


RE: Wait for it....
By sprockkets on 10/28/2010 5:21:05 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
So I will ask again, by what metric are you determining that Ph.D's are more materialistic than non-Ph.D's? What is the causal mechanism for this increase, and how have you (or someone else) measured it? How does this correlate with increases in atheism?


Example: Where Michael Behe works, Lehigh University, has gone on record, saying that his views do not reflect the views of the university at where he works nor the scientific community as a whole.

Perfectly fine. He's the only one of a few who believe in so called ID.

ID, is not considered scientific, because it infers religion and that infers God. Since humans have no direct physical evidence that God exists, they do not believe in him. That's materialism.Of course, it doesn't stop those same people from believing in things that they themselves has dis-proven time and time again.

By that same line of reasoning, higher critics aka those same people you mention also dismiss the prophecies of the bible on the premise that humans cannot foretell the future, so neither can the bible. Therefore, those Ph D people are always trying to bring the bible to their level, and try to explain the miracles in physical terms.

It isn't anecdotal by any means. Critics have been attacking the bible for many, many centuries. Richard Dawkins, a staunch evolutionist dedicated an entire book to it. Watch the history channel; there are many programs on there that try, in such pitiful fashion to explain the books of Daniel and Revelation.

quote:
And no, for your last paragraph I did not think the premise was BS. I was hoping that you were joking because the connections you were trying to draw between the energy provided by sunlight, mutations, etc, etc was so far removed from reality that I couldn't even figure out how to address it. It's like you were arguing from the moon.


You got the point. This is what so called "scientists" would rather us believe than accept the simple, logical conclusion. I've discussed this with several evolutionists and when it comes to the most fundamental level, this is how they explain abiogenesis happened.


RE: Wait for it....
By eskimospy on 10/28/2010 6:09:49 PM , Rating: 2
You just tried to prove how your evidence wasn't anecdotal by supplying a bunch of anecdotes. I don't know how to reply to that. All I can assume is that since I've asked you twice for any real evidence to back up your claim that education wasn't the driving force behind increasing atheism, and you can't provide any.

You are either trolling me or you're having some severe comprehension problems. I found your analysis of what other people thought to be from the moon, not what they thought.

Serious suggestion: read up on this stuff before posting about it. It doesn't mean that you have to agree with it and suddenly accept evolution, but you don't seem to understand the terms of debate. It's not possible to discuss it this way.


RE: Wait for it....
By sprockkets on 10/28/2010 6:18:32 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
You just tried to prove how your evidence wasn't anecdotal by supplying a bunch of anecdotes. I don't know how to reply to that. All I can assume is that since I've asked you twice for any real evidence to back up your claim that education wasn't the driving force behind increasing atheism, and you can't provide any.


Anecdotal evidence is personal experience. The stuff I've posted can be independently verified by doing research. Not expending any effort to look for yourself is just lazy.

quote:
You are either trolling me or you're having some severe comprehension problems. I found your analysis of what other people thought to be from the moon, not what they thought.


Perhaps you can read up on Climbing Mount Improbable then. Or watch Modern Marvel's episode about water and see how a scientist claims the unique polarity properties of water enabled abiogenesis to happen.

quote:
Serious suggestion: read up on this stuff before posting about it. It doesn't mean that you have to agree with it and suddenly accept evolution, but you don't seem to understand the terms of debate. It's not possible to discuss it this way.


I've done perhaps 20x more than anyone on this site. It's a topic I've followed for over 20 years.

You?


RE: Wait for it....
By eskimospy on 10/28/2010 8:50:22 PM , Rating: 2
There is no way you can be this ignorant if you've done 20 times the research of other people on this site. You don't even know the terms under discussion, and you think relating personal experiences counts as evidence. I'm still waiting on actual support for your opinion.

Not only that, but you seem to be requesting that I do research to prove YOUR points. That's not how the real world works.

So, please back up your claims and learn what you're talking about before you post. Those are both very simple and very reasonable requests.


RE: Wait for it....
By sprockkets on 10/28/2010 9:48:23 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
You don't even know the terms under discussion, and you think relating personal experiences counts as evidence.


Why would what I posted be personal experience if you can independently verify what I said? There is so much overwhelming evidence on TV, the internet, the old talk.origins website, postings on the nylon bacteria, that show what higher education teaches.

Don't like Dawkins? Try Ken Miller, or James Shapiro, Russell Doolittle. They post stuff all the time to read about their views on evolution.

quote:
Not only that, but you seem to be requesting that I do research to prove YOUR points. That's not how the real world works.


I asked you to verify my claims, which you can based on the information provided. I've already told you to read up on what Richard Dawkins has published.

And btw, what is with you bringing up the moon earlier?


RE: Wait for it....
By eskimospy on 10/29/2010 1:02:58 AM , Rating: 2
Let me explain to you the point of anecdotal evidence. There are hundreds of thousands of Ph.D's out there. Pointing me to a book Richard Dawkins writes tells me what Richard Dawkins thinks, not what the other few hundred thousand Ph.D's think. Similarly, looking at individuals speaking on the internet tells me what they think, not what the population at large thinks. This is statistics 101. You made a claim about a population, now back it up with real evidence or admit you can't.

Bringing up the moon was me implying that your attempts at argument defy rational human thought from planet Earth.


RE: Wait for it....
By kerpwnt on 10/28/2010 5:45:30 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Your welcome to give real life examples of things getting complex all by themselves without any intelligent intervention to the complexity of life.

Simple -> complex happens all the time. Atoms that organize to molecules are an example off the top of my head. Maybe even something like salt crystallization? Obviously we haven't been able to witness it on such a scale as inanimate stuff -> life. But there are lots of people looking for a secret recipe. A recipe that could reveal something about our origin or maybe help us find another planet that might harbor life.

As to the sunlight thing. I'm not sure what point that was trying to make, but I'll fire from the hip with this: Things that are harmful to an entire system aren't necessarily harmful to each of its parts.


RE: Wait for it....
By sprockkets on 10/28/2010 6:27:01 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Obviously we haven't been able to witness it on such a scale as inanimate stuff -> life.


Yes, that's the point. Salt forming is just two different elements combining. Diamonds is a highly organized form of carbon due to time, extreme heat and pressure.

The 6 different elements forming the right amino acids, forming RNA to self-duplicating themselves to forming to proteins, is quite another.

quote:
But there are lots of people looking for a secret recipe. A recipe that could reveal something about our origin or maybe help us find another planet that might harbor life.


That's fine, because science has so far proven how hard life coming about is.

quote:
As to the sunlight thing. I'm not sure what point that was trying to make, but I'll fire from the hip with this: Things that are harmful to an entire system aren't necessarily harmful to each of its parts.


True, but even if damage does not occur, why would sunlight cause anything to spontaneously self-construct itself?


RE: Wait for it....
By wgbutler on 10/29/2010 11:12:00 AM , Rating: 2
quote:

It's very interesting that you came to the exact opposite conclusion of most people who study physics and cosmology. High levels of education, particularly in the hard sciences such as physics are strongly correlated with atheism.


Not at all. I am one of the rare few people who exist who is willing to change their worldview, apparently.

Typically, once a worldview has set in, no amount of evidence, however strong it may be, will change that worldview. Indeed, a person whose worldview is challenged by strong evidence to the contrary typically reacts in an emotional way, by lashing out and insulting the messenger.

The reason why high levels of education are associated with atheism is because our secondary education system is populated mostly by atheistic professors, and of course they are going to impart their worldviews on to their students. Professors who stray away from the orthodox of materialism are quickly outed and viciously attacked. It's a system designed to perpetuate itself and destroy any opposition.

But I am not alone in seeing the evidence for design in the foundations of the Universe. For example, John Polkinghorne was a professor of mathematical physics at Cambridge University who resigned his chair to become a priest! Richard Smalley was the Gene and Norman Hackerman Professor of Chemistry and a Professor of Physics and Astronomy at Rice University who won the Nobel prize in chemistry in 1996 for a new form of carbon, who converted to Christianity late in his life after studying the scientific evidence for design in life and the Universe.

The problem with talking to atheists is that they never give satisfactory answers to the questions I ask them, yet they lambast me for not believing in their position. For example, I will ask

1) WHY is there something rather than nothing?

2) WHY is the Universe so precisely calibrated to allow life to exist?

3) HOW did the first life form out of non-living organic chemistry?

I have never received one single satisfactory answer. Just a bunch of hand waving and personal attacks directed at me. But I find it very entertaining and so I engage in these types of opportunities whenever possible.


RE: Wait for it....
By eskimospy on 10/30/2010 8:49:08 PM , Rating: 2
You don't have an answer with any evidence behind it for a single one of the questions you asked either. No one knows for sure, but at least atheists have the guts to admit they don't know.

Your post does show why this might be so troublesome for you though, you're approaching it in a way that doesn't make sense. There are two types of atheism:

Positive atheism is "I KNOW god does not exist". This sort of statement requires proof, and in order to be taken seriously should be able to address the three questions you asked. Almost no one is a positive atheist however. (in fact, I have never met one)

The 2nd type is negative atheism. This is "I see no reason/evidence to believe that god exists". This type of atheism is actually a reaction to the complete failure of christians or other theists to show any evidence to back up their view of the world. In this version of atheism there is zero requirement to have the answers to your three questions, as 'I don't know' is a perfectly valid answer. Negative atheists don't need to know how the universe came to be as their stance is only that your explanation of it isn't based on anything credible. Every atheist I have ever met is a negative atheist.

It's not about coming around to believe an atheist's explanations, it's about coming to admit the fact that your explanations don't make sense.


RE: Wait for it....
By Skywalker123 on 10/28/2010 2:14:11 PM , Rating: 2
Its not strange, just stupid


RE: Wait for it....
By drycrust3 on 10/28/2010 4:09:47 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
One gets called retarded for continually believing something when all evidence completely contradicts that belief.

You forget that if Evolution is a scientific theory or, as you suggest, a scientifically proven fact, then why don't scientists critique these claims? Does Evolution have a "get out of being critiqued" card? No, it should be critiqued the same as any other field of science.
For example, we aren't told with absolute certainty that these "few teeth" are definitely from just one individual animal (e.g. they could have been found together in a fragment of jaw), so they could just as easily be from several animals. Why didn't the scientists specifically say the teeth are definitely all from the same animal? One easy conclusion is that the teeth were actually found scattered over a wide area so it is highly likely they are from different animals. If such a scenario is correct, and there isn't anything in what I've read to say it isn't, then the writers of the article have written it in such a way as to hint that the teeth are from the same animal even though they know such a claim is unfounded. This is called deception and is generally frowned upon in science. Note the "generally" bit? Evolution gets away with stuff that wouldn't be acceptable in any other field of science (this article is a good example). Would Evolutionists accept such antics from Creationists? No! So why should science as a whole accept such nonsense from Evolutionists? Maybe I'm one of the retarded people, but I'd rather be retarded and see the truth than be a highly intelligent person that is blind.


RE: Wait for it....
By mooty on 10/28/2010 8:01:41 AM , Rating: 2
I advise you to read the original Nature article. It contains much more detailed explanation of the facts, specimens, methods, etc.


RE: Wait for it....
By eskimospy on 10/27/2010 7:33:32 PM , Rating: 4
Sticking up for what you believe in is not in and of itself meritorious. (Fred Phelps should not be commended for 'sticking up for what he believes', because what he believes is horrible.)

Sticking up for belief systems founded upon ignorance and the willful denial of reality in the service of religious fanaticism is something deserving of ridicule.

Hopefully this sheds some light as to why you are the target of harsh and enduring mockery.


RE: Wait for it....
By retrospooty on 10/27/2010 7:56:48 PM , Rating: 1
"Sticking up for belief systems founded upon ignorance and the willful denial of reality in the service of religious fanaticism is something deserving of ridicule."

True! +1


RE: Wait for it....
By wgbutler on 10/28/2010 10:22:44 AM , Rating: 2
Christians are the one group of people that it is socially acceptable to mock and ridicule, and secularists really cannot help themselves from doing this.

Rather than be upset by this, the Christian should take great comfort as this behavior has been consistent throughout the ages, from the very beginning. For one example of this, read the writings of the Roman general Tacitus:

quote:

Consequently, to get rid of the report, Nero fastened the guilt and inflicted the most exquisite punishments on a class hated for their disgraceful acts, called Chrestians by the populace. Christ, from whom the name had its origin, suffered the extreme penalty during the reign of Tiberius at the hands of one of our procurators, Pontius Pilatus, and a most mischievous superstition, thus checked for the moment, again broke out not only in Judaea, the first source of the evil, but even in Rome, where all things hideous and shameful from every part of the world find their centre and become popular. Accordingly, an arrest was first made of all who pleaded guilty; then, upon their information, an immense multitude was convicted, not so much of the crime of firing the city, as of hatred against mankind. Mockery of every sort was added to their deaths. Covered with the skins of beasts, they were torn by dogs and perished, or were nailed to crosses, or were doomed to the flames and burnt, to serve as a nightly illumination, when daylight had expired


Jesus predicted that the world would hate His followers, as the human heart is wretchedly wicked and despises God. He also promised great blessings to those who were insulted or mocked for His sake.

Matthew 5:11-12
quote:

Blessed are you when others revile you and persecute you and utter all kinds of evil against you falsely on my account. Rejoice and be glad, for your reward is great in Heaven, for so they persecuted the prophets who were before you.


RE: Wait for it....
By eskimospy on 10/28/2010 3:48:59 PM , Rating: 1
You can't honestly believe that Christians are reviled and persecuted. Christians comprise the vast majority of Americans, they control every branch of government, if you count catholics and protestants together Christianity is not only the largest religion in America by a country mile, but the largest religion on planet Earth.

But hey, sometimes people make fun of Christians... just like the person on top gets fun poked at them in every single other aspect of life.

I fervently wish for the day that I could be so persecuted.


RE: Wait for it....
By clovell on 10/29/2010 1:26:07 PM , Rating: 2
Completely wrong. Sticking up for what you believe in is a basic survival mechanism and is commendable in all instances but for when it imposes on other people.

That is the fabric that underpins modern Western Society and the principles of John Locke upon which it rests.

Nice try at generalising, though.


RE: Wait for it....
By blueaurora on 10/27/10, Rating: -1
RE: Wait for it....
By Calindar on 10/27/2010 9:46:57 PM , Rating: 5
quote:
First primates were in Africa now from Asia.... Reality changes based off of what we find... So the scientists fantasism over what they think they have proved most recently and those who support it are equally as obtuse.

You make mention of this as if it is a bad thing... This is what makes science so successful. The scientific theories change, and are fine tuned as more evidence is discovered, while religion maintains the same position, even after piles of evidence completely discredit's their ideas.

Also, you are nitpicking over small details. The overall mechanisms of evolutionary theory are unaffected by the small details of how those mechanisms have played out.


RE: Wait for it....
By MozeeToby on 10/28/2010 3:59:53 PM , Rating: 2
So let me get this straight, this is how you evaluate these statements:

The world is flat - Wrong
The world is a sphere, 4,000 km in radius - Wrong
The world is a sphere, 6,300 km in radius - Wrong
The world is an oblate spheroid, on average 6,371.0 km in radius - Wrong
The world is an oblate spheroid, on average 6,371.0 km in radius, with a periodic distortion caused by the gravity of the moon - Wrong

In reality, I suspect, I hope you think more like this:

The world is flat - Wrong, but actually very close to right; the Earth curves just 0.000126 units downward for each unit you move forward. That's plenty good enough for day to day activities and local travel.
The world is a sphere, 4,000 km in radius - Wrong, but oh so close. Good enough for regional navigation though.
The world is a sphere, 6,371.0 km in radius - Still wrong, technically, but so close as to make no difference. You can navigate around the globe with this model and arrive within a few hundred feet of your front door at the end of the trip.
The world is an oblate spheroid, on average 6,371.0 km in radius - Yep, this still isn't precisely the shape of the Earth, and yet it is what is used for everything but the most precise of scientific measurements.
The world is an oblate spheroid, on average 6,371.0 km in radius, with a periodic distortion caused by the gravity of the moon - Still technically wrong, since the earth is distorted by the gravity of the sun and even the gas giants to some extent, but this is accurate enough for basically every single human endeavor ever attempted, there is, at this point, literally no reason to be less wrong than this.

Some people have a tendency to think of right and wrong as absolutes; you're either right or you're wrong. Reality isn't so simple and neat. In this instance, the old knowledge was "humans and other primates evolved on Africa" and now the knowledge is "simple primates evolved in Asia, migrated to Africa where they evolved into humans and other modern primates". The new knowledge is an addition to the old, it doesn't mean that the old knowledge was wrong in an absolute sense, it's just that the new knowledge is more right than the old was.


RE: Wait for it....
By RugMuch on 10/28/2010 10:47:40 AM , Rating: 2
I'm starting to wonder if Quadrillity is Christine O'Donnell. I mean that would explain the total bubbly sped fed retarded answers we usually get from Quadrillity's postings.


Assuming ...
By drycrust3 on 10/27/2010 6:02:22 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
The researchers only found a few teeth

I guess someone is going to tell us the teeth were found together and not hundreds of metres apart.




RE: Assuming ...
By SoCalBoomer on 10/27/2010 7:20:21 PM , Rating: 2
I still wonder about building an entire animal based on teeth. . .


RE: Assuming ...
By drycrust3 on 10/27/2010 9:31:40 PM , Rating: 2
I think a huge amount of license would be required even if the teeth were found in a context that is meaningful (e.g. in a bit of jaw), which is why I asked if they were found together.
My guess is that they were not actually found in a context that they can be considered to be from the same animal, and that they are most probably from different animals.


RE: Assuming ...
By mooty on 10/28/2010 8:06:02 AM , Rating: 2
Read the original Nature article. The teeth in the picture are from several specimens/species.


This just proves that I am in the wrong field
By sapiens74 on 10/27/10, Rating: 0
By butch on 10/27/2010 11:44:29 PM , Rating: 2
I assume you included most of the clergy in "this", along with what passes as science nowadays and of course the government.


By Zingam on 10/28/2010 2:19:03 AM , Rating: 4
You want to be a financial analyst then?

All such positions are well paid and difficult to get. :D Good luck getting one.


By kattanna on 10/28/2010 5:04:24 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
I want the job that I can make creative guesses which there is no way to disprove, provide no real results, and tell everyone who disagrees they are nutcases


you left out "climate researcher"

also they started it off by saying this:

quote:
If our ideas are correct


which is something i would love more climate researchers to keep in mind.


...
By Quadrillity on 10/29/2010 10:43:04 AM , Rating: 2
http://www.drdino.com/seminar-part-1-the-age-of-th...

For anyone who wants to view some material contrasting to evolution.




RE: ...
By Jyrioffinland on 10/29/2010 11:46:45 AM , Rating: 2
<sarcasm>You're SO right! This kind of 'evidence' really proves it! Now I'm a believer! I've seen the light!</sarcasm>

quote:
Since the billions of fossils that have been found are all complete forms, the obvious conclusion is: Evolution never occurred!


quote:
How do you explain the precision in the design of the elements, with increasing numbers of electrons in orbit around the nucleus?


quote:
Further evidence: The earth receives an incredible amount of energy from the sun, even though the sun is 93,000,000 miles away. Yet the earth only receives one part in two trillion of the sun’s total energy. And since the sun is only an average star among the 100 trillion billion stars in the universe, the total energy in all these stars is absolutely beyond human comprehension. (It has been written that the number of stars is greater than the number of grains of sand in every beach and desert in the world!)


RE: ...
By Quadrillity on 10/29/2010 11:51:11 AM , Rating: 2
Respect is such a fading quality in our societies these days...


RE: ...
By Jyrioffinland on 10/29/2010 4:58:34 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Respect is such a fading quality in our societies these days...


I know! Yet the sum of ignorance and respect seems to be a constant.


I love
By Homerboy on 10/27/2010 4:16:32 PM , Rating: 2
the artist's redition of early primates. I mean they seen so foreign and different from today's primates!




RE: I love
By Calindar on 10/27/2010 7:23:04 PM , Rating: 5
I know right? The one on the bottom looks like a Butterfly!


Come on...
By marsbound2024 on 10/27/10, Rating: 0
RE: Come on...
By wuZheng on 10/27/2010 4:30:11 PM , Rating: 3
HEY MAN, it was in this book I read that was written a long time ago when humans thought the Sun was magic! It has to be true!


RE: Come on...
By SoCalBoomer on 10/27/2010 7:22:41 PM , Rating: 2
really? about as ignorant a reply as I've ever seen. . .

You should look into it.

I'm not advocating for or against it - just that you use a little intelligence when discussing it. Whether you believe or not is your business, but at least consider that you look like a complete turd with that reply. . .


RE: Come on...
By geddarkstorm on 10/28/2010 1:34:26 PM , Rating: 2
Technically, abiogenesis does mean we would have evolved from dirt, quite literally. Then, we have evidence that all living humans came from one female, one maternal parental line (mitochondrial Eve), and there's also evidence there was just one male line too (there's way's to track male parentage, but it's a lot harder). So, oddly enough, your statement may be more true to reality than you think.


Has anyone ever thought...
By BaronMatrix on 10/27/10, Rating: 0
RE: Has anyone ever thought...
By axeman1957 on 10/27/2010 7:09:01 PM , Rating: 2
Many people of faith believe that a higher power is responsible for setting actions into motion that resulted in humans. Obviously there are variations, from God created the big bang to God created single celled organisms to God just strait up made humans... But no, your revelation is not a new idea


RE: Has anyone ever thought...
By xkrakenx on 10/28/2010 3:13:08 PM , Rating: 2
and many like to believe that the universe can function just fine without a fairytale pulling the strings and passing judgement.

people of faith.. LOL


Give me a break...
By jahwarrior on 10/28/2010 5:18:35 PM , Rating: 2
Give me a break….. Enough of these magical pseudo-scientific evolutionary fluff pieces already. We found a couple of teeth….and we believe it tells us that these magical lemur apes danced their way from Asia to Africa 10 bizzilion years ago…

Meanwhile back in the lab we can’t even prove how a complex single cell could have evolved from bacteria…with studies showing its not possible….along with the fact that scientist can’t prove how non organic matter can turn into organic matter…nor how cells could evolve the ability to replicate etc…etc….etc..…Evolution fails in the lab, thus the need for these fluff pieces…

http://www.icr.org/article/cell-division-defies-ev...

http://www.icr.org/article/5703/ Study Demonstrates Complex Cells Cannot Evolve from Bacteria

I found this to be particularly funny…

These primates faced fortunate circumstances, with few creatures able to match their increased intelligence and adaptability. They must have gone to Harvard…

This sudden appearance of such diversity uh-oh what does that mean

As evolution is observed in the lab for the first time, there's an equal wealth of exciting discoveries in the field. Giant unscientific Leap Recent primate and hominid fossil finds have filled in many missing pieces along the evolutionary path that led to man and other modern primates. …wow exciting artist renderings of non existent monkeys…

Sorry Jason Mick, Bacterium are not primates, so an observed change in a bacterium does not begin to get close to proving that advanced mammals evolve in the same way or that it is even possible…wait until we see a bacterium evolve into a complex cell….then you might scratch the surface but... I wouldn’t hold my breath




RE: Give me a break...
By Jyrioffinland on 11/1/2010 3:24:41 AM , Rating: 2
Evolution happens --- whether you like it or not.

quote:
Time Record Of Marine Species Formation In The Baltic Sea

ScienceDaily
(Apr. 20, 2009) — Four years ago researchers at the University of Gothenburg and Stockholm University discovered a new species of seaweed in the Baltic Sea. New studies reveal that this species may have formed only 400 years ago, making this seaweed species unique.

In 2005 researchers at the University of Gothenburg and Stockholm University discovered a new species of seaweed. The species, which was named Fucus radicans, evolved from a bladder wrack (Fucus vesiculosus) ancestor from the Baltic Sea.

Detailed studies of Fucus radicans show that, from an evolutionary perspective, it was formed extremely rapidly: the species was formed less than 2,500 years ago, and probably as recently as about 400 years ago. This discovery is one of few examples of extremely rapid species formation. The results also show that new species can also be formed in the relatively young and species-poor Baltic Sea.

“We are now working on understanding how the species was formed. Fucus radicans is very common in the Baltic’s Gulf of Bothnia, and we want to understand its significance to the ecosystem,” said Ricardo Pereyra, a researcher at the University of Gothenburg’s Department of Marine Ecology.


By wordsworm on 10/27/2010 7:40:26 PM , Rating: 1
Why such a wide margin for error? That's a really long period of time to be indecisive about.




By Marduke on 10/27/2010 7:43:20 PM , Rating: 2
Because multiple groups left throughout that time frame.


By chunkymonster on 10/29/2010 12:29:06 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
The researchers believe these early primates represent the members of a primate migration from Asia...These primates faced fortunate circumstances, with few creatures able to match their increased intelligence and adaptability.
According to the article, the sequence of events begins with 1) a primate migration from Asia to Africa.

quote:
As Africa was an island continent at this time, geographic isolation helped safeguard the new residents from potential competitors, according to the researchers.
The next in the timeline is 2) based on whatever, the researchers were able to determine that Africa was an island continent, not connected to Asia via the Arabian Peninsula as it is today.

quote:
As a result they thrived and conquered their new environment.
the next event is 3) the supposition that because Africa was an island continent these primates survived and evolved into modern man.

But then we begin to get the real story...
quote:
Dr. Bear reports, "This extraordinary new fossil site in Libya shows us that 39 million years ago there was a surprising diversity of anthropoids living in Africa, whereas few if any anthropoids are known from Africa before this time. This sudden appearance of such diversity suggests that these anthropoids probably colonized Africa from somewhere else. Without earlier fossil evidence in Africa, we’re currently looking to Asia as the place where these animals first evolved."
Bold statements are mine.

I think my favorite is the description under the artist rendering of these supposed primates
quote:
An artist's depiction of the early primates, which are believed to travel overseas to Africa from Asia, 39 million years ago.
Wait, did I read that right, these primates traveled overseas from Asia to Africa and supposedly, due to fortunate circumstances and isolation, thrived so they could evolve into modern humans. While the researchers do not blatantly make the statement, they are in fact supporting the hypothesis that these primates traveled overseas in order to migrate from Asia to Africa.

Tectonic plate mapping shows that all the continents were connected at one point or another throughout the history of the planet. The fossil records of the Rugops Primus prove that Africa and South America were once connected as part of Pangaea. So, it is not unreasonable to believe that Africa was, at one point in the earth's history, an island continent. Look at a globe, given Africa's placement in the world it stands to reason.

What does not stand to reason is how apes that originated in Asia took a sea voyage to Africa after Africa broke away from Pangaea and was an island continent. What does not stand to reason is the supposed timelines of the fossil records and the timeline of when Africa was an island continent before it joined with Asia as we know today.

Most primates do not like to swim let alone the supposition by these researchers that they built boats or took to swimming as a means of mass migration. This means that modern primates, as a matter of evolution have either 1) lost the ability to build boats, or 2) lost the ability to swim.

Oh that's right, the aquatic ape theory, right, yeah, okay, have fun with that. Or maybe after mass migrating using the breast stroke and landing on Africa, the ape leaders all agreed to never ever go swimming again for as long as their species lived.

Ok, just for kicks and giggles, let's debate Fish versus Ape evolution theories.

And the correct answer is, they have no idea why these teeth are in Africa and they need to look somewhere else for correlation. Finding these teeth is of no evolutionary significance. Any attempt to use these teeth as proof of evolution is absolute speculation. All these teeth do is put a pin in a map from millions of years ago.




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