History is Not Boring discussion

The beginnings of man

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message 1: by Shirley (new)

Shirley (discipleshirley) | 113 comments What do you think? We are told we come from ape like creatures but they keep finding older and more different and diverse skeletons, I bet those early"men" were 'beings' that were here the same time as Adam and Eve. I truly believe that eventually they will find this to be true, we allready know that different pre men co habitated at the same time.

Tim (Mole) The Gunslinger (Mole) | 30 comments So what time in history do you think Adam & Eve were around like same time as Neandrathal or further back? And also your mixing Theology and Anthropology seems a odd mix to me not that I dont believe in God but I dont really buy into the Bible as true history Although it is a great story but there are so many similarities between it and other Pagan and mythological stories IMO! But Im not trying to critcize or offend Im just stating my opinion

message 3: by Manuel (last edited Aug 30, 2008 03:41PM) (new)

Manuel | 1439 comments Im not sure if this is the best forum to discus these issues.
It seems to me like combination of
They dont always go together.

I consider myself a Christian, but I also have no problem accepting evolution. I think the bible is a great source of inspiration and comfort, but I dont believe its meant to be 100 percent literal.

I think some creationist feel that when you believe in evolution....its like saying one day an ape had a human baby.
They dont seem to realize that the process took place over billions of years. This process not only affected humans but ALSO almost every other form of animal and plant life on our planet.

As for history, well perhaps other civilizations existed before the Egyptians and Summerians, but its all speculation.

When the Romans took over Egypt, they accidentally burned down the great library of Alexandria. Supposedly among all the great books burned, there were several volumns telling the history of the world all the way from 10,000BC

message 4: by James (new)

James The overwhelming mass of evidence supports the view that we did evolve from a hominid ancestor we have in common with the chimpanzee - humans and chimps still share 98% of the same DNA. We ARE ape-like creatures; we are apes, actually, just a different species of ape.

The dating of fossils has been cross-checked by multiple methods - carbon-dating has been improved and refined to the point that it is very reliable, and it is combined with dating via checking the age of the layers of soil or stone in which remains are found, by checking the ages of co-located organic remains (food items, etc.) against the chemical record (levels of different chemicals in the atmosphere at different times as shown by sampling air bubbles in ice cores from the Greenland ice cap and other places), measuring the magnetic orientation of iron atoms in the surrounding soil/stone against the geological record of the Earth's magnetic field at different times, and other means.

It's true that several kinds of pre-human or protohuman hominids were around before us, some of them at the same times as each other and some of them, such as the Neadertals, overlapping with early homo sapiens. But as we find out more, it doesn't contradict earlier evidence so much as fill in more of the picture.

As for Adam and Eve, there is no evidence that such a couple actually existed, and the basic story has been found with variations in the creation legends of a lot of cultures. The Bible has been translated and retranslated and transcribed so many times that no responsible scholar is willing to sign off on any conclusive idea of what the origninal books said.

message 5: by Shirley (new)

Shirley (discipleshirley) | 113 comments But thats the interesting part, we didn't know about the hominoids until we discovered them....could we not know about Adam and Eve yet?? Food for thought if we get in a mind set bam we have to rearrange our thoughts!

message 6: by James (new)

James We've known about the various hominid lines for generations now. We've also traced human ancestry back to our prehuman roots in what is now eastern Africa, showing a step-by-step process of change - brains getting bigger, teeth changing, skeletal structure getting better adapted to walking and running upright, increasing sophistication in use of tools, and so on.

You are correct that we've had to rearrange our thoughts before, and we will again, but that happens in areas where we lack information and have tried to fill in the blanks with educated guesses and assumptions, not where we've had the physical evidence sitting in front of us. It's not as if some new evidence could come along and suddenly make all that information already accumulated disappear. Sort of like detectives trying to solve a mystery - they may have suspicions when they don't have enough evidence to know, but once they find fingerprint or DNA evidence, that evidence doesn't go away, and they can't un-know what they now know.

Being able to trace humanity back to a stretch of time of a few hundred thousand years and to part of a continent in terms of place - there is now DNA analysis showing that prehumans split off from our common ancestor with the chimps about 4 million years ago, plus or minus under half a million years, and that it happened in what is now eastern Africa - is a lot different from being able to identify two individuals and say they were the ancestors of humanity.

There is not only no evidence of two modern humans suddenly popping up and becoming the ancestors of the human race, it's hard to imagine what evidence for that idea there could be, and there's a mountain of evidence against it. If people are going to base their thinking on reason, we have to look at where the most evidence points as the likeliest direction to find what's real, and if the evidence is beyond reasonable doubt - i.e., disbelieving it requires ignoring the majority of the physical evidence on the table in front of us - then that disbelief is not reasonable doubt, it's something beyond reason and not based on evidence.

message 7: by Jim (new)

Jim I'm starting a new book called PREHISTORY ; THE MAKING OF THE HUMAN MIND

any 1 read it -if so what did You think?

message 8: by Shirley (new)

Shirley (discipleshirley) | 113 comments Ok I see I have to get my ducks in order...lol this is another topic faith vs reason and that is a dangerous topic unless we can all act like grown ups!

Boreal Elizabeth | 145 comments genesis as scientific fact?
the big bang and creation the same?

god's hand revealed in the telescope lens?
god's hand revealed by the fossil record?

seems possible to me-

i don't see a big problem with evolution as i know some fundamentalist Christians do

i don't know if the push to teach creationism is just a push to put god back in the schools

to spread the good word altho the argument i've heard made is to present a balanced picture

i don't think creationism or religion belong in public school

message 10: by Manuel (new)

Manuel | 1439 comments I agree completely with Autumnal Elizabeth.
Im perplexed why creationism is still mentioned as a "viable science". This is the only country on the planet where this still happens.

I dont see why you can't be a good Christian and still awknowlege evolution.

My problem with creationism is that; its like the tail wagging the dog. You are trying to use science to fit dogma.

The bible says God created man in his own image. Does that mean he couldnt have done it without using evolution? or the Big Bang?

message 11: by Shirley (new)

Shirley (discipleshirley) | 113 comments If you want to use the term Big Bang I guess when he said Let there be light it was a big bang! I quess I was wondering if we weren't going to be pleasantly surprised in the historical world. I for one am keeping an open mind..........................

message 12: by Shirley (new)

Shirley (discipleshirley) | 113 comments Another thought; even if you consider it an ancient fable are Adam and Eve History?

message 13: by James (new)

James The Genesis account of creation has God creating land and water first, then light. That is totally impossible - stars form before their planets coalesce. The people who wrote that had no way of understanding what stars and planets are or how they come into being.

And as for Adam and Eve being history - no. To be called history, something has to based on some kind of evidence beyond "because we say so." If there is no evidence, it's a legend, not history.

There are Native American cultures whose religions say that the world is balanced on the shell of a giant turtle... which sits on top of another turtle... on top of another turtle... and so on. The biblical creation story makes exactly as much sense as that one.

There is no way to reconcile trying to take the bible as literal truth with the physical reality of this universe. There are some parts of it that can be thought-provoking or inspiring taken as allegory or parable. But as literal truth (even if you could retrieve the original texts, which no one has ever found?) Just doesn't work.

It isn't open-minded to refuse to acknowledge overwhelming evidence, it's closed-minded. It's saying "I'll stay open to ideas that I like but I won't ever treat a question as answered unless it's the answer I prefer." If something walks like a duck, and quacks like a duck, and lays duck eggs, and has duck DNA, it's not being open-minded to insist, "But it MIGHT not be a duck, it might be a Belgian waffle! I'm going to keep an open mind."

message 14: by Shirley (new)

Shirley (discipleshirley) | 113 comments aah yes..........check out ooparts and Forbidden Archeology on the web.....I am not trying to change anyone's mind or convert or what ever I am just saying if we don't keep an open mind to everything how can we prove anything?

message 15: by James (new)

James The title is misleading - instead of Forbidden Archeology, it would be more accurate to title it Debunked Pseudoarcheology. The work of the Hindu fundamentalist who wrote it, Michael Cremo, has been thoroughly checked out by a lot of expert archeologists, and it has so many holes in it, it should have been printed on cheesecloth. He cites discredited theories and finds and he ignores confirmed information when it doesn't fit his perspective. It's an exercise in twisting science to fit an agenda.

The ooparts thing is similar. So far no one has come up with a validated find of an 'oopart' that cannot be explained within the bounds of accepted archeology. For example, the 'Coso artifact' in California that was described as a mysterious electric or electronic device found in fossilized rock turned out to be an old Champion spark plug encased in hardened clay.

There are some genuine scientific mysteries around, for which no one has yet provided a solid explanation, but not in this field.

One of the most basic parts of science is that any scientific claim, to be valid, has to stand up to review and achieve a consensus among people working in the field in question. If it's in chemistry or physics, the experimental results or astronomical observations being announced have to be successfully reproduced by others.
If in the field of archeology, a claim has to pass these tests to be reasonable and plausible:
1. The field work and analysis have to be sound - i.e., the dating of the strata where things were found has to be valid and documented.
2. Other, more plausible explanations for the find or theory being put forth have to be ruled out somehow by the evidence. All explanations for something that are feasible have to be checked out. The simplest explanation that is consistent with all the data is likeliest to be right.

Keeping an open mind means being ready to change one's beliefs if presented with proof or overwhelming evidence that things aren't the way we thought they were; it doesn't mean giving up skepticism or lowering our standards. You asked how we can prove anything. The answer is, by submitting clear and convincing evidence, that can't be explained by existing understandings, to critique and review by the experts and anyone else who wants to look at it. If the idea in question is solid, their critiques, reviews, and experiments will confirm and strengthen it, as has happened with Einstein's theory of relativity over the decades.

Scientists, good ones, are always ready to have their minds changed, but only with evidence, and they probe and test and challenge their own views as strongly as they do anyone else's. Sometimes they fall short, because we're all human and scientists have egos too. But when that happens, the rest of the field will almost always pop someone's balloon in a hurry. Because scientists are so skeptical and contentious, it's hard for ideas to be accepted - that's our protection from junk ideas. The valid ideas will stand up to the pounding because their basis will be shown to be solid.

message 16: by Tim (new)

Tim (mcgyver5) | 17 comments A good way to keep an open mind is to roll up your sleeves and study how humans worked out the story of evolution and human civilization by studying clues dug out of the ground. If you want to witness miracles, look no further than the beauty of the human mind at work on these puzzles.

I get concerned for our culture when people with limited understanding of the history of this epic puzzle-solving decide that THEIR answer that came to them all at once while sitting in in the bath tub or looking at their collection of angel figurines deserves as much consideration as the answers that these "elitist scientists" give us.

message 17: by Boreal Elizabeth (new)

Boreal Elizabeth | 145 comments yep and it's equally sad that by trying to put a scientific veneer on biblical teachings
people of faith come out looking like idiots and fools

honestly, i have recently gotten quite convinced of faith being the path to salvation

however, i don't think faith in god precludes a belief in science and evolution

i haven't come across anything in the bible that tells me the theory of evolution is anti-christian-of course it's not mentioned

the closest i think the old testament comes would be in the interpretation of the old covenant laws forbade the worship of idols or other gods

somehow this has gotten interpreted to mean that if you believe in scientific discovery and explanations of natural phenomena, including the origins of mankind you are holding something other than god as preeminent

i understand that sentiment but it's too extrapolated in my opinion

also, the new testament and conversely the new covenant, eliminated and made redundant the old testament laws, the only path to god is through belief in the salvation given through the sacrifice of jesus to absolve man's sins

so the old laws of idolatry don't apply

finally, and maybe more to the point, the old testament and the new indicate that the biblical teachings are symbolic or parables

genesis is not fact, it's a symbolic representation of creation, i don't know why that symbolic representation can't be via scientific explanations

message 18: by James (new)

James Yes, the basic difference between 'creationist science' and real science is given away in the very name of it.
In real science, you start with a question, and follow the evidence to whatever answer it leads you to favor without forcing a starting agenda. Often the greatest discoveries have been total surprises and not been what their finders had theorized when they started.
In pseudoscience, you start with a question and an assumed answer, then cherry-pick the data and the analysis to fit your preplanned answer.
Religion isn't the only place it happens. Totalitarian governments generate some bizarre stuff masquerading as science, too - witness the Nazis and their 'racial science' or Stalin's USSR and their Lysenkoist approach to heredity (they insisted that acquired physical traits would become hereditary - for example, I have a bad back because I injured it several times, moving furniture, in a wreck, etc. So, according to Lysenkoist theory, any children I had after those injuries would likely be born with bad backs. Of course, my DNA has no idea my back is messed up, luckily for my descendants.)
The best protection against pseudoscience is a large number of well-informed skeptics, many ready to roll up their sleeves and start digging into it independently, as McGyver5 noted, and who test, probe, and challenge every assertion, even the ones that sound logical to them.
Once something has been checked and confirmed enough times, it becomes accepted - real scientists will remain ready to reject it after that, but only if they see very convincing evidence that it can't be true or that there is an even better answer to the question at hand.

message 19: by Shirley (new)

Shirley (discipleshirley) | 113 comments Well,I won't give evolutionists the rasberry because not enough physcial evidence is available and the more you push the harder it is for them to think maybe they might have something. Ok so we have skulls in hand, carbon dating and other scientific evidence, all I am saying is that based on faith I am waiting for the big find. You are right about totalitarian governments....but they are led by men. Someone wrote who knows how long God's days were. Gods hand seems a lot more plausible than a big bang...thats like saying we came from spontaneous combustion like hay in the barn, but where is the hay....it has to be there first. I enjoy the enlightening conversations, we all can get along regardless of our beliefs as long as we are good humans at heart.

message 20: by Peter (new)

Peter Macinnis Fascinating, Shirley -- we can ignore the evolutionists because they don't have enough physical evidence, but listen to their opponents who have none.

Clearly you know more of the available evidence than I do, to take this courageous stand.

So from your expert position, what conclusion do your draw from the position of the foramen magnum of the Taung baby, as indicated by the endocast of its brain? Or what do you make of the gracile phalanges in Australopithecus afarensis?

message 21: by Boreal Elizabeth (last edited Sep 10, 2008 06:40PM) (new)

Boreal Elizabeth | 145 comments try not to judge all christians or believers by one christian writer with an agenda
i don't think the bible teaches us to go forth and teach by not so subtle word games
witness is supposed to be sincere and without guile in my opinion
it seems shirley has presented her topic with perhaps some real fervor but under a false idea of witness
sorry shirley, i'm with you in belief but with the heathens in clear discourse
peter makes an effective argument against your basic premise
so ultimately the christian trickery while well meaning produces the opposite result of what you would wish
does your pastor or minister tell you to be a fisher of men in this manner?
if you would like to discuss christian ideas
i'd love to have a private conversation with you and i think there are forums here about religion and or belief that you could join

i apologize-on reread it seems like i am joining in picking on you
i think you are well meaning and i think you believe what you are saying it is just frustrating because i think the real message is getting lost and i don't think this is the place to share it but feel i shouldn't pick on a sister

message 22: by Boreal Elizabeth (new)

Boreal Elizabeth | 145 comments apparently i not only killed the thread deader than a doornail
i murderd the whole history forum
never done that before

message 23: by Susanna - Censored by GoodReads, Crazy Cat Lady (new)

Susanna - Censored by GoodReads (susannag) | 1011 comments Mod

message 24: by James (new)

James Aww, I doubt that... maybe we're all just catching our breaths.

message 25: by Manuel (new)

Manuel | 1439 comments Ever since Sarah Palin was named as the possible Republican VP, her fundamentalist views have been highlighted in the media. Even SNL took a swipe at her last week when they did a skit with Palin next to Hillary Clinton.

at one point Hillary says "ask this one about the dinosaurs"

apparently the Gov of Alaska thinks "creationism" should be taught along with real science.

message 26: by Shirley (last edited Sep 17, 2008 09:11PM) (new)

Shirley (discipleshirley) | 113 comments Ok guys I am back. I already knew that one. The placement of taung child's foramen magnum suggest an upright position. I am not arguing that those with scientific minds have all this catagorized. If you look at it in a scholarly fashion yes this is viable. I have no new finds in archeology but I hope we do! I can study anthropology with great interest and keep my faith to myself, I wasn't looking for a flaming, it was I hope that someday this might come about. No I didn't take offense, sister. As a writer I always look at the what ifs...... I am old but in college and I love my archeology and anthropology classes! History channel is my fav. I am not looking to convert but to pick brains on what they think are hypothetical questions. Then I think and think on your answers. Don't you ever wish that maybe besides Lock Ness there might be a dinosaur somewhere? You guys by your answers I could come up with swell fiction characters! lol seriously....I was wishing it(Adam and Eve discovery) would happen and what your thoughts were. Reality is what you make of it...Here is a quesion to ponder What is the same but different? Oh yeah I am not ignoring the evidence just hoping for more...Do you ever wonder what your answers reveal about your self and your peers? (not being nasty...just putting character types together to once again think on)Lets shake hands and start over...We don't have scientific evidence in hand now, would you like there to be, how would it change the way we process scientific evidence, how would it change you? I guess I am asking are you brave enough to say I am not embarassed to change my way of thinking? I know it would have to be on concrete scientific proof...I am asking what of your possibilities side? I am not dumb enough at this age to argue with learned people I just like to know are we open to the what ifs.

message 27: by Boreal Elizabeth (last edited Sep 18, 2008 08:03PM) (new)

Boreal Elizabeth | 145 comments whew glad to hear everyone was takin a breath
and shirley i appreciate your ability to not take offense

as far as your second topic i think it is easy to get stuck in core beliefs and see everything in relation to them
many people who have not read the bible claim it says all sorts of things because that is what they've been told it says
like science checking the facts helps
there are a lot of things in the bible that aren't clear
just like the fossil record
it is bits and pieces
it can add to historical understanding
but can't be taken as a comprehensive historical record
and of course it's purpose is not historical
but inspirational in the big Spirit sense

likewise, people of faith often doggedly ignore scientific evidence if it contradicts their pet belief

likewise, i tend towards impatience and as you say that tends to make me shut off discourse or "pondering"

it would be cool to find fossil records indictive of some of the precepts of faith
if only to stop the infighting

is there a specific text on creationism?
i feel it's hooey but i've never read about the concepts creationism embodies so my bias is against something i don't even know

go figure

message 28: by Peter (new)

Peter Macinnis What is the same but different? A creationist is. You explain their errors, which ought to make them different, but they keep saying the same things. That's what's the same but different.

Shirley, this forum is about history. The word stems from a Greek root that means "research", which means digging out evidence.

I tried using a question to turn this back to the evidence. You parried with a non-answer on the Taung child, but what of the gracile phalanges in A. afarensis -- or for that matter, the eruption patterns seen in a CT scan of the Taung child? What is it, an ape or a human?

I am simply trying to test whether or not you are a fit person to declare the available physical evidence to be insufficient. Since you seem to think the issue is a matter of anthropology and archaeology, I suspect that you aren't.

And for the record, most of the Loch Ness believers think Nessie is not a dinosaur but a plesiosaur.

And speaking of believers, you seem to imply that only people who share your views have faith. That is a scurrilous debating trick that has been practised since at least 1857 when Mrs Hugh Miller denounced geologists who queried the age of the Earth, labelling them "infidels".

Charles Kingsley, chaplain to Queen Victoria and Père Pierre Teilhard de Chardin are just two of the believers who would find such a narrow definition of faith puzzling.

Now could we please get back to what is historically assessable?

message 29: by Shirley (new)

Shirley (discipleshirley) | 113 comments Crusades, Salem witch trials, King Henry the VIII, seperation of church and state, The dome of the rock, exploration of the new world, the invention of the printing press, Hitler's anti semintism(spelled wrong) 9-11 and jihad, I could go on but history hinges on the minds of our ancestors that questioned views of faith. Peter,You tried real hard to ruffle my feathers. Trying to live thier faith is what led the world to what it is today. That IS historically assessable. I never once mentioned believers in my post because it brings out anger.....What if Ferdinand and Isabella said we can only let people use ships that have a historically accurate map in hand. C'mon no one is trying to convert you to anything. It is such a mental relief to think 'what if' sometimes...It isn't like I sowed the seeds of Islamic militancy. The 'what is the same but different' is a joke. I hope we can post jokes on this site. Calm down and think about it for a while. And I will give the answer, but you guys will probably figure it out. I don't see anyone else insisting we have to prove a historical point each time we post. Are we not allowed a little levity (not at each other's expense)

Manuel maybe we should back up and punt and have a class on world relegions,(that might appease all sides) I don't care if my grandchildren learn about Islam but I sure don't want anyone telling me they can learn about Islam but not that 'creationism stuff" thanks for the way you worded your post, I appreciated it. Obviously I wasn't clear enough when I was talking about not enough evidence, I was refering to evidence of Adam and Eve co habitating with the earlier forms that have been found. It kind of scares me to think we have to be declared 'fit' to have an opinion.
James made some interesing points. Jarring some memory. Mcg-5 is right study is the answer to all our troubles.
Peter, I respect your obvious knowledge, please don't under estimate me because I am a person of faith.(one kind of many). If you don't learn something every day you might as well be dead. There were some really informative and supportive (Elizabeth) posts.

message 30: by Peter (new)

Peter Macinnis Shirley, I don't ruffle feathers, I state facts, and I ask hard questions. You claim to be one of the faithful, a condition you would deny to anybody with opposing views. You ignored my questions, while claiming to be able to judge the evidence. Faith does not give you a license to ignore the evidence, nor does it qualify you to assess it.

Yes, I know the cheap ploy of claiming you were just having a joke when you have no answers. I used to know a chicken farmer that tried that one, about once a week. It doesn't wash, Shirley.

Please answer my questions NOW, without taking a week off to ask somebody else for help -- I want proof that you are as qualified to weigh up the evidence as you implied in message 20.

message 31: by Alan (new)

Alan (alanst) I am an atheist and in terms of the topic at hand, solidly side with Peter. I think it impossible to reconcile a literal belief in the bible with the scientific method. However, I am finding Peter's posts overly hostile. Regardless of our viewpoints, this is not a debating society, it is a discussion forum for people who love books, and in this case, books on history. We do not require posters to share the same views of anything, let alone what should constitute history. I do not agree with much of what Shirley ascribes to, but to paraphrase an historic quote, I would defend with my life her right to state it. This is not the place to demand that someone provide irrefutable evidence for their stance. Autumnal Elizabeth, your posts are right on the money.

message 32: by Shirley (last edited Sep 18, 2008 07:12AM) (new)

Shirley (discipleshirley) | 113 comments Thank you Alan that is what is all about tolerance of each others views. I am awake now, australopithecus afarensis...I think that was Lucy and she had smaller hands with a more apposable thumb, there were robust australopithecus and they had a sagitteal crest with bigger jaw muscles for grinding, that is the time era where several hominoids co habitated. I don't know what Peter is asking for in tooth eruption except that the teeth were farther back and the face didn't jut out quite as much. I researched it a long time ago because my husband has what looks like a saggiteal crest and found out modern humans of some nationalites have that when they have large jawbones. Peter I thought you were going to nab me on the Islamic vs creationism since Muslim beliefs are part of the three religions that believe in the creationist story, I meant to put Hindu...once I was in bed I wasn't about to get back up, I own up to that one. I think I made a naive mistake in thinking that everyone is curious about the other side of the coin.

Has anyone figured out what is the same but different???

How have I denied my faith to people with opposing views?? I have consistantly written that I HOPED we could find evidence of Adam and Eve......it doesn't mean I can't discuss evolution with you.

Now how are we to discuss history without the influence of different faiths?

Has anyone read Ghost Wars by Steve Coll? That is next in line for me to read. It is an historical narrative of the origins of al Qaeda.

I hope we are all 'fit' to read and discuss it. It will take me a while, reading is a pleasure I have to carve time out for, hence me posting on this site all hours of the nite when I can't sleep...lol

message 33: by Shirley (new)

Shirley (discipleshirley) | 113 comments Peter maybe you were referring to me using the term Creationist when I say I am a person of faith..my church's terms would only cause more confusion and the word creationist is more universal. Would I let you chew me up and spit me out if I didn't believe in my values? I may not agree with Alan but I would not call him "unfit" to have an opinion! And he has already stated he doesn't agree with me, I'm not going to made a voodoo doll of him.....lol

message 34: by Old-Barbarossa (new)

Old-Barbarossa They found Adam, Eve, Cain, Able, Seth and all the rest. They're now boxed and in a crate down in Sub-Level 23 of Area 51. They were discovered in Key West. This was hushed up by the Illuminati in the US Congress as the discovery would cause problems with the Constitutional division of Church and State. And the Earth is flat...just look outside...And we share a whole bunch of DNA with bananas as well as apes.

Seriously folks, I grew up in the West of Scotland and the brutality of street crime was backed up a lot of the time by religious excuses that went back to the Reformation or the Plantation of Ulster, both of which were poorly understood by those that justified their actions thus. Therefore my opinion is that Hx viewed through a prism of religious faith is potentially dangerously imbalanced and I think we should avoid it as tempers will obviously start to flare.
But arguing over hominid bones and whether they could be from a character from a Middle Eastern folk tale (in my view, but unchallangable word of a god in others')...well, it's all fairly amusing to me.

message 35: by Tim (new)

Tim (mcgyver5) | 17 comments I think, Shirley, the reason, you are getting this reaction is that people perceive, rightly, that you are using this forum as a platform to push your beliefs using transparent tactics along the lines of, "since this is an open minded forum, lets please consider my belief in a bronze-age mountain deity I like to call 'GOD' because my faith makes me do this repeatedly everywhere I go". I think people are bitter because we are seeing a narrowing of public discourse. The loudest and most convinced turn every conversation into
"What kind of ice cream do you like?" "Jesus flavor!"
What should be done about Palestine? "Hmmm, how about Jesus?"
"Isn't it interesting that we can trace human evolution through mitochondria?" "Not as interesting as Jesus!"

frankly, I am sick of it.

message 36: by Manuel (new)

Manuel | 1439 comments Coincidentaly,
My favorite class in high school was World Religions, where we did learn about Islam and we did speak about "Creationism Stuff", we also spoke about the New and Old testaments, not to mention the other great religions.

However it was done in the context of Religion; not History or Science.

And yes there is still room for "What if scenarios"; and the existance of Adam and Eve; I remember doing that in Philosophy 101

message 37: by Shirley (new)

Shirley (discipleshirley) | 113 comments Well I have to apologize if that is the way everyone feels. No It started out as research on how people felt about religion and history being interconnected but whew I was too naive to see the rancor coming....My friends and I can discuss things like this and shrug it off, I am new to posting and social networking so this a social shock to my system. I think I just talked about creation and Adam and Eve and didn't push any other faith based ideas.

The answer to what is the same but different isn't a world changing issue....the answer is "your reflection."

message 38: by Old-Barbarossa (new)

Old-Barbarossa Shirley, I think the very mention of Adam and Eve in the context you gave conjours up all sorts of creationist ideas, so even if you didn't start out with that intention it became the main thrust of the thread.
As to the issue of faith, I think that even when the topic under discussion is actually faith based then there is rarely room for any alternate view...it's like arguing about art with a physicist, the referance points are too different for any discussion to be productive. Therefore when the issue isn't strictly faith based, well...
Also, you say the thread "started out as research on how people felt about religion and history being interconnected". A lot of it is, OK maybe belief rather than religion. Look at the Crusades, Reformation, Pilgrim Fathers...and pretty much everything else to a greater or lesser degree. All documented by more than one source though. I may as well ask, with no evidence to back things up, wouldn't it be neat if we were all descended from faeries...we could prove it if we found a crock of gold...you see, Hx is about the interpretation of evidence. There is no evidence for faeries actually being real other than as debased versions of local deities or spirits (which were real to those that believed in them). Legends, folk tales, maybe with a cernal of truth, but it is this truth we should be looking at not the "but it might be true". Give us the evidence.
You start with Adam and Eve, a creation myth (or in some peoples belief systems a truth). Where's the evidence they were real? What's the evidence? How trustworthy is the evidence? Is it backed up by other sources?

message 39: by Shirley (last edited Sep 18, 2008 12:21PM) (new)

Shirley (discipleshirley) | 113 comments I know, I guess I sound redundant...I hope some evidence comes up! That doesn't mean I discredit what has been proven so far. Thank you for your advice I really wasn't prepared for the response I got. You know for a fantasy writer your idea about being descended from faeries is a good start to a story....I think it has been broached many times before, though. Rats I was gonna share the profit with you. Is the pot of gold in reality a good life???? hmmmm

message 40: by Shirley (new)

Shirley (discipleshirley) | 113 comments Oh I have to apologize to my husband too, whenever I talk about the saggiteal crest he thinks I am calling him a missing link! I think the geico commercials with the cave man are too funny. Ok enough with levity, I think alot of you want the hard study stuff.

message 41: by Peter (new)

Peter Macinnis Oh Alan, how could you call me hostile? Unlike you, I am a Christian. I just sought to give the sister a chance to strut her stuff, and show us that she is indeed qualified to declare the evidence inadequate. After all, she took a firm position, and I thought that meant she truly was an expert.

I stayed with the facts, but regrettably, facts have a tricky way of being hostile to those who bend them. Not my fault, not my hostility there.

I think the number of dodged and evaded questions speaks for itself. To those who know their stuff, the (misspelt) reference to sagittal crests speaks volumes, but I have said enough. Over and out.

message 42: by Boreal Elizabeth (new)

Boreal Elizabeth | 145 comments well shoot
the bible has a lot more credence than fairy stories
jesus did exist
even if it's just a very good inspirational book
it's the most influential book in history
maybe there is something worthwhile there

i know my bias kept me from reading it for most of my life
and now i find myself trying to live it's precepts
the greatest of these is love and the biggest sin is to hate my brother

that's more important for me to believe in today than that there are magical creatures that will sprinkle me with pixie dust

and shirley struck me as playing the missionary game at first but then she put her hand out to me and kept talking without rancor
i think she may be more open minded than we are
thank god i didn't have to prove my creds cause i don't have any

message 43: by Shirley (last edited Sep 18, 2008 09:26PM) (new)

Shirley (discipleshirley) | 113 comments Cheeze, I am going to have to make sure I use spell check in any other posts...White Flag taken Peter. Thanks Elizabeth.

message 44: by Old-Barbarossa (new)

Old-Barbarossa AE: Why does the bible have more credence than fairy stories?
Now, as a basis for faith I think the bible is as valid as any other holy text, it is indeed a very influential book, but as Hx evidence I think it has to be seriously questioned.
Fair enough the new testament has some cross over points with other Hx (Josephus etc).
But lets remember that the Council Of Nicea (325ce/ad I think) decided (amongst other things) what texts were to be included in the bible, or indeed excluded from it...so at this point men decided what was politically best to be considered "the word of god".
As to the old testament, rewrites based on an oral tradition using a script with no vowels. I think there's room for error there.

message 45: by Alan (new)

Alan (alanst) My apologies, Peter, if I were too harsh in my assessment of your posts. I've no problem with challenging each other. I support what you are trying to do, it just seemed that your challenges were getting to be quite demanding, full of sarcasm and vitriol. Perhaps I was mis-reading lines such as "Please answer my questions NOW". It is a common problem with forums like this that tone can be mis-interpreted.

message 46: by James (new)

James Personally, I like the Flying Spaghetti Monster religion better. It has precisely the same amount of supporting evidence, and it's more imaginative and more fun.

All of us have beliefs that don't have enough evidence to make them more than opinion. The key is to acknowledge that border between unsupported opinion - as in "my baby is the world's best looking, because that's what my heart tells me" and evidence-based fact, as in "Professor Plum did it in the billiard room with the knife, because here's the victim's DNA on the blade and on Professor Plum's sleeve and Professor Plum's DNA on the knife and the pool table where we found the victim."

If I want someone else to accept a belief of mine, I should offer evidence strong enough to make other beliefs improbable and/or a sound chain of logic starting with mutually accepted assumptions. Otherwise I'm just wasting time and oxygen.

I see logic and the scientific method as the things that have made the sharing and accumulation of information, and civilization as we know it, possible. They are what moved humanity beyond just making up stories that seemed plausible and then treating them as fact. And that is what literalist religion is, no more or less.

Tim (Mole) The Gunslinger (Mole) | 30 comments I say to all of this arguing about history and religion is pointless! Everyone has there own views!

The german word for history if you translate is fairytales! History is wonderful but depending on your views and where you come from everyones history is so loaded with there own ethnocentrism! That of course no one will agree facts are facts but your take on them is the big thing!

message 48: by Shirley (new)

Shirley (discipleshirley) | 113 comments I guess thats the way I took it too Alan, I was gone for while because Ike made it all they way here to ky. I guess Peter thought I was researching. What he asked I learned from class, I am honest enought to say it was fall semester 2005. I learned from this that our responses hinge on our takes which if we use a lot of body launguage while talking a lot of communication is lost. I use a lot of hand, facial and body gestures.

message 49: by Boreal Elizabeth (new)

Boreal Elizabeth | 145 comments to answer barbar-why i think bible has more creedence

bible historical figures
fairy tale no historical figures (altho that's not always the case either)
but i support the first thought with the great book thought

although it can be argued and is endlessly

and on rereading i see that my post was unclear

i don't necessarily believe that genesis is literal truth
as a matter of fact i believe it's allegorical and adam and eve symbolic or archetypeal not literal
but...the archtype could have been based on actual people-the first man and first woman
but i don't think god created eve from adam's rib
i'd translate it more poetically as man is not complete without woman (and vice versa) so both were created side by side
otherwise no next generation-no human race
it's an origins story

and the historical record indicates meospotamia as the most logical "cradle of man" and it's "garden of eden" nature at the beginning of time

message 50: by Shirley (new)

Shirley (discipleshirley) | 113 comments Elizabeth, I wish I had your ability to put your thoughts on this subject into words.

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