Mere Christianity Mere Christianity discussion


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message 1: by [deleted user] (new)

Many people in their reviews of this text extol its logic. Can someone please present me with some of its logic to strengthen a belief in a Creator-God and Jesus Christ in particular?

message 2: by [deleted user] (new)

I don't know how the universe came to be. Do you? If so, prove it.

Miracles can never be recorded or duplicated. Isn't that strange?

Dolphins being "smart" has nothing to do with their biological and evolutionary relationship to other animals. Many different animals are smart, but less evolutionarily related to us than others.

message 3: by Melissa (last edited Aug 25, 2016 11:30AM) (new) - rated it 3 stars

Melissa Have you read this book? I searched your book list but it did not turn up. C.S. Lewis does attempt to answer your question above through his book. The book itself is his personal reasoning that lead him from atheism to Christianity. After you answer my question, I'll write more.


message 4: by [deleted user] (last edited Jul 07, 2007 06:06AM) (new)

I didn't finish reading it. In fact, I didn't get past the first 20 pages or so. His opening argument is that because I can "feel" things as morally right or wrong, that must mean God put that in me.

I think there's a good chance it might have been Mom, Dad, friends, implicit and explicit education from society and teachers, etc.

message 5: by Melissa (last edited Aug 25, 2016 11:31AM) (new) - rated it 3 stars

Melissa Of course right or wrong are disseminated through those sources (parents, society, etc), but I think Lewis explores the thought of where did they get the message of right or wrong further in the first few chapters. His logic is if I "feel" things are morally right or wrong, and my parents "feel" things are morally right or wrong, and their parents "feel" things are morally right or wrong (and so on), then there must be a source determining what is morally right or wrong. His question being, "who determines right and wrong?" What our parents/society teach us is that of "cultural rights or wrongs." Lewis explores the concept of "objective moral values" (such as murder) and its existance.

However, if I do not "feel" a sense of objective moral right or wrong, then why is it wrong to murder? Because society says so? Well who are they? What right does anyone have to tell me murder is wrong? Consider San Fransisco (or any other city really). It has a severe homelessness with chemical dependence issue. These people don't contribute to society. Most of them made the choice to use a substance rather than seek help from the ample services available to them. Many of them will beg or steal to get their substance of choice. What's wrong with killing them so that the rest of us who do what society tells us don't have to put up with the crime and insult they bring? What "feels" wrong about murdering the excess of society? Animals do it, don't they? If there is not enough room in a caged area, hamsters will chew off the heads of their newly born young. So the concept of killing your own for survival is not new or offensive in the "natural" world. Why is it offensive in society? Because my mom taught me not to do it?

Well, I'm an adult now. Am I still obligated to her idea of right or wrong? If San Fransisco can't solve their homelessness issue, perhaps societies idea about murder is wrong. What if the death penalty was in effect for all offensive crimes? Now, it's not murder but a social issuance of penalty by death. Wouldn't we have less issues with drugs, gangs, thefts, rapes, abductions, murder, etc. if we just applied penalty by death? Wouldn't society be just a little better because "those" people who offend are not interfering with those of us who do what society tells us? Sure we might get the wrong person from time to time, but not all the time and if we can accept that it is not murder but penalty by death for the greater good of society then it's not wrong. I don't know, but something just "feels" really wrong about that idea and it's not because my mom taught me so.

Now this response only addresses your most recent post (not getting to your original question "Can someone please present me with some of its logic to strengthen a belief in a Creator-God and Jesus Christ in particular?"), but due to the length of this reply, I want to wait for your response to this before moving into further discussion.

message 6: by [deleted user] (last edited Jul 10, 2007 12:43PM) (new)

You're arguing that it's hard to make decisions in this world, not that God implanted morality in us. By your nuanced look at complicated social issues, you're proving to me that we could talk about this ALL DAY and never need to involve a supernatural being. You could believe that a divine creator prods your conscience into action, and I could believe that as a thinking, feeling human being who was raised with kind people I seek even BETTER action and speech than my parents, whose ideas may be outdated or flawed.

The problem with a god who implanted morality IN us or shared moral ideas in the past with us is, it's so very FLAWED. If there's a little lighthouse in our soul, why didn't God just make it bigger so we can shine the little light of ours unto the world? Why was slavery OK for God-believing Christians for so long? Why didn't God come down--BAM--and tell us, like the 10 Commandments, "Hey, guys, by the way--knock this crap off." WE stopped slavery. WE decided to stop enslaving people. Society said it was OK, but over time thinking, feeling human beings decided it was a bad economic move or it was cruel or they were tired of seeing people in chains. And over time most countries banned it. That's individuals and society changing morality over time.

Your arguments for mass murder of the homeless--which I can tell you don't espouse, but are using as an extreme example--are precisely the arguments of Christians, Muslims, etc., through the centuries. "We need to get to Heaven. There we'll be happy. If we let you nonbelievers live, you'll be an example to others to stray from our holy path. Thus, we must convert you to our way of thinking or kill you."

We don't kill the homeless because poverty is not a capital crime. In the United States, we don't even have debtors' prisons for those who go bankrupt.

Many of us have moral values that differ from people hundreds of years ago or those in different countries. In many countries, the poor really ARE killed or starved to death or allowed to die in illness. No emergency rooms, no Social Security, no shelters. We care a little more, we have a little more affluence, whatever.

message 7: by Seyana (last edited Aug 25, 2016 11:33AM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

Seyana Why in the world does everything have to be so cut and dry? The book was about what he as a Christian beleived. He stated many times that he didn't expect anyone to believe what he said. He was merely offereing his beleif of what Christianity was to him. And it is different to each person. If you want to disbelieve something, you will always find a way to do so. You first post tells me that you just wanted to start an argument with someone about how you think christianity is rediculous. I loved this book. And I don't even beleive in god. If you don't think beyond the limits of your own beliefs how will you ever learn anything?

message 8: by [deleted user] (last edited Jul 14, 2007 11:04AM) (new)

I am open to changing my beliefs all the time. For instance, I might think it's bad to eat chocolate. Then a scientific study comes out that says it's good to a eat a little chocolate sometimes. If I looked at the study or listened to the study's authors and their arguments made sense, I wouldn't think it's bad to eat chocolate anymore.

A far more important belief for its potential impact on my life and others' is the belief that Jesus Christ came to earth as part of a godhead and mortal to cleanse sins I was born with but can't do anything about and prevent me from burning in eternal hellfire. So if there are logical reasons for believing that, I'd want to know. It'd be important for my life and how I conduct it.

If this is a book about C.S. Lewis' belief in something that he can't fully explain or justify and that he doesn't expect to change anyone's beliefs or opinions, that'd be something good for me to know. Then I'd know there's no reason to read this book to seek to change my own beliefs.

message 9: by Melissa (last edited Aug 25, 2016 11:34AM) (new) - rated it 3 stars

Melissa I had written a response to your message (#8). Did you receive it or did it not post?

message 10: by [deleted user] (new)

As you can see, I think somehow it danced off into the ether. I think you posted it, it never showed up, and then it disappeared.

message 11: by Melissa (last edited Aug 25, 2016 11:35AM) (new) - rated it 3 stars

Melissa kooky. Well it was quite long I will have to think and get back to it later this week. In brief, however, I purposely did not address God in the earlier post because I was discussing a sense of objective morality (which happens to be universal) not expressing "it is hard to make a decision." Everyone senses murder is wrong whether they commit it or witness it. Even Hitler hid what he did because he knew it was wrong. He just had an agenda as most murderers do. Regardless of the reason, circumstance, survival, or agenda everyone senses murder is wrong. I will add more later. Don't feel obligated to reply until I finish.

message 12: by [deleted user] (last edited Jul 17, 2007 07:15AM) (new)

Hitler didn't hide it because he knew it was wrong. Hitler hid it because other people might think it went too far even though he knew it was the right thing to do. Not that _I_ think it was the right thing to do, but he thought he was doing right by his Aryan German brothers and sisters.

message 13: by [deleted user] (new)

The savagery of the Nazis in a supposedly "civilized" country is always being brought up, I'm afraid. It's a perennial!

message 14: by Robbie (last edited Aug 25, 2016 01:15PM) (new) - rated it 3 stars

Robbie Bashore Two shortish points:

1. I don't think the existence of God can be proved right or wrong. That's why a big component of religion is faith. Is that convenient? Sure. It is also humble. There are plenty of things in life we may never understand or be able to explain.

2. Those who are involved in science and the scientific method often forget that, with the best of scientific evidence, one starts with a "given"--something that is accepted by convention, or faith, if you will. Just think back to high school chemistry, where we would spend a chapter learning a theory and doing calculations based on that theory, only to spend the next chapter learning why that theory was shown to be wrong, then the following chapter to learn another theory...and so on. As somebody who uses science and relies on evidence-based practices on a daily basis, I think it's important to recognize that we accept many things on faith, and that today's "givens" are subject to change.

message 15: by Jamie (last edited Aug 25, 2016 01:33PM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Jamie I think one thing that might help you understand Lewis' view a little better would be his book "Miracles".

"Mere Christianity" is an overview of Christian beliefs. It is not expected to be the summation of all Christian belief (if you want that, read "Summa Theologica" by Thomas Aquinas). I think there is even a section of "Mere Christianity" in which Lewis says that he has no answer for people who expect a simple explanation from Christianity, because (like real life) Christianity is not simple. Any attempt to simplify necessarily leaves something out, which is usually exploited as a weakness of Christianity (and not a weakness in the explanation or summary of Christianity).

"Miracles" goes much more in depth - I think you'll like that better. Just be sure to actually read the whole thing, not just the first 20 pages. Just as you shouldn't judge a book by its cover, you (usually) can't distill a full understanding of a book by the first 20 pages.

message 16: by [deleted user] (new)

I put it on my list and I'll explore it soon! Thanks for the recommendation!

message 17: by Unanimo (last edited Aug 25, 2016 02:00PM) (new)

Unanimo I was once a Christian and enjoyed this book at the time.

Exposure to philosophy destroyed what was left of my belief in "God".

"God" is a word. If "he" is more than that, then he can stop by my place anytime and set me straight.

Christianity was institutionalized by the Emperor Constantine.

Socrates was dead and buried before Christ was born, if Christ ever existed.

Deism is perhaps defensible. Christianity is absurd. Read history if you care about sounding rational.

message 18: by Jamie (last edited Aug 25, 2016 02:01PM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Jamie Since you'd already read this book (which is, admittedly, a primer on the Christian philosophy), maybe it's time that you take your love of philosophy to the next level. Allow me to explain.

I'm not sure what Socrates being dead before Jesus was born has to do with anything, but there was a progression of philosophy after Socrates. Aristotle explained metaphysics in a much more complete way than Socrates (he had the benefit of learning from and building upon the Socratic method).

Fast forward a few thousand years.

Albert the Great had a gifted student named Thomas Aquinas, who was once regarded by his classmates as "the Dumb Ox". This was not because he was stupid - it was because he was quiet. Albert defended his student, who would then go on to explain the lost philosophy of Aristotle to the Christian world. (The dominant form of philosophy in Christendom to that time had been an Augustinian form of Socrates. Aristotle had been "kept" by the Muslims until the Crusades.)

If you truly understand philosophy, then I would suggest the following books to you:
- "The Dumb Ox" by G. K. Chesterton (an excellent introduction to Aquinas)
- "A Summa of the Summa" by Peter Kreeft (a bit more in-depth than Chesterton - can be used as a "Cliff's Notes" of the next book)
- "Summa Theologica" by Thomas Aquinas (his masterpiece)

I know that you will likely not want to "waste your time" reading these, but I posted these suggestions anyway, just in case you truly have an open mind and want to read the history of Christian philosophy. Even if it doesn't convince you of a personal God that gets involved in our lives, it will at least give you better arguments against Christianity than "it was institutionalized by the Emperor Constantine".

Darknightdestiny A few things:

Lewis wasn't just expressing what Christianity meant to him—he was building a case for what Christianity is at its very core to all believers. What he meant by "Mere Christianity" was the things that we all accept as a fundamental basis for our faith, underneath all of the denominational differences and our varied illustrations and practices. He was actually very clear about "mere" Christianity not being able to be compromised or tailored to fit an individual's private motivations while remaining Christianity. However, he also warned us not to mistake his illustrations for the real thing, but to use them if they brought a better understanding. It's important here, to be able to distinguish between a basic principle of a faith and a picture of how that principle might be carried out. He always marked it clearly when he was using an illustration, and when he was making sure no one had a watered-down idea of the main point.

Lewis did also cover the differences between societal differences and what makes an issue a moral dilemma or simply a case of bad manners when the setting changes. He also covered the difference between basic instinct and prompting by something else God put into us, and he also made a case for the part of us which distinguishes between our primal wants and the thing we think we should do to be at peace with our conscience, and explains that the thing choosing for us cannot itself be either of the choices, but a third thing which is the standard by which we choose.

Lastly, and this is just a personal note, many people in the scientific community, including notable Nobel Prize-winning physicists, no longer accept evolution as valid. In fact, it looks highly improbable even to those who have been studying it for their entire careers. Rather than change the textbooks, they're still basing new theories on evolution in hopes that these new theories will prove evolution for them. It hasn't yet happened, and I wouldn't hold my breath. They're looking for an answer that can let them rest easy, and they're not willing to accept a Power higher than human science. As a result, teachers and laymen are running around saying evolution is fact and proven, and much more nonsense, when in actuality most of the scientific minds who work in the labs and perform the experiments, and who've proposed these ideas no longer believe them. They're just not willing to come out and say that they've misled the public for all these years, and that much of the science that is based on it is now outdated. It's like when the church in Italy persecuted Galileo. Never knew it could work both ways, huh? Yes, I do study this subject and make it a point to educate myself in the defense of Creationism.

Mere Christianity is easy to obtain and an easy read, if one's willing to be involved with it and not just skim the pages looking for things to which they can object. Most of the questions and objections in this thread were covered in the book. I highly suggest you read it. I have an extra copy I'd be willing to send out to anyone who really wants it, but be forewarned it's full of highlighter marks.

message 20: by [deleted user] (last edited Dec 19, 2007 11:44AM) (new)

Yes, Lewis did lots of things like decided arbitrarily when some internal motivation to do something moral was "good taste" or the magical hand of the Flying Spaghetti Monster, yes. That doesn't make it PROVABLE or BELIEVABLE.

In addition, I call your anti-evolution ramble poppycock and challenge you to produce reputable sources for your criticism. Your understanding of the term "theory" and scientists' understanding are very different. A "theory" is a very useful idea with which to test and examine things, but the jury's out on whether it's FACT. The inclusion of a Higher Power doesn't necessarily affect the theory of evolution. Lots of religious people think evolution would be a perfectly nifty way for God to develop living things.

If, however, certain believers think God made all the animals at once and that everything here now has always been here, well, umm, yeah. About that ...

Incidentally, I think it's wonderful that some scientists are searching for answers other than evolution for things--even trying to prove that dinosaurs and man existed together! That's what science is all about! Alternative views fighting for respectability. But not based on the Bible. And not to be taken seriously by the rest of us as evidence of anything other than people's wishful, fantastic thinking.

message 21: by Meels (new)

Meels Faith isn't about proof. You waste your time in such arguments. If there was irrefutable proof, there would be no need for faith. So, some have faith, and some prefer not to. Why can't people just respect other people's beliefs? Why do people always have to be "right" and know "everything"? Why must they always attempt to convert everyone else to be like them? Can't you just appreciate people for their differences?

And, why do science and the bible have to be mutually exclusive? For those creationists out there who rankle at the thought of "The Big Bang", who are you to say that God didn't start the universe with a bang? Science supports it, and you really have no way of knowing do you?

message 22: by [deleted user] (new)

I have faith. I just don't have faith in your gods.

message 23: by Meels (new)

Meels Do you have faith in your god(s) because you have irrefutable evidence, or because you simply believe?

That would be my point, not who's god can beat up who's! Besides, how do you know who MY "gods" are anyway? I don't recall saying. Who said I even have any? My attempt was actually leaning more toward your side of the arguement in as much as I think the "believers", as they have been named, seem to think that it is their job to school the world on the "truth" as if they really know all there is to know.

message 24: by [deleted user] (new)

My point was, we have faith in all kinds of things: humanity, the goodness of life, optimism, power corrupts, etc. We may not have absolute evidence that such is the case, but we operate our lives based on these beliefs. Faith is not a word that the religious--like me--should be allowed to selfishly appropriate.

message 25: by Charissa (last edited Dec 19, 2007 03:57PM) (new)

Charissa not everyone feels that killing is morally wrong. in fact, people throughout time have used religious faith to justify the righteousness of killing other people.

the strength of ideas such as evolution is that they are based on empirical data which can be reproduced time after time. faith is based upon feelings, or upon writing by other people in history who also felt things or who had visions. that does not make faith wrong, but it cannot be compared to scientific discovery and should not be made to do so.

one of the great things about this country is that the separation of church and state is embedded in our constitution as an inalienable right. which means that we get to have science, and other kinds of knowledge, imparted via public school, and that beliefs, such as creationism, can be left to a families' choice of religious instruction outside the federal or state jurisdiction.

saying that you don't *like* an idea which has been proven through scientific discovery is not an argument that the idea is wrong. even scientists have been annoyed by their own discoveries, however they are forced to accept them nonetheless.

what about the concept that the Bible and other religious documents are *metaphorical*, not meant to be taken *literally*? Isn't there room in the world for many interpretations of the divine nature of the universe and the wonders of physics? Why is it so threatening to the religious-minded people of the world to admit the notion that other people might be right as well?

message 26: by Meels (new)

Meels Well said Charissa!

Darknightdestiny You misunderstood to what I was referring with the "moral issue versus bad manners" comment. I was in no way implying that he meant they were the same thing, or that bad manners was evidence of a moral issue. What I was in fact saying was that he distinguished between the two and emphasized that context could affect whether or not something was a moral issue, and that if someone was out of his hometown and not aware of the customs that he was only using bad manners if he was ignorant of his actions. Conversely, if he was aware that he was offending others, then it became a moral issue. What he was trying to show is that we have an innate sense of guidance that tells us when something is a moral issue and when it is not. Like hygiene; that is not a moral issue. Blowing morning breath repeatedly on your brother or sister for the express purpose of annoying and irritating them is in fact unkind, and purposely, and is thus a moral issue. The purpose and intention makes it so. Clothing is a manner of taste, and some people have modest taste while others have racy tastes. The issue becomes moral when we are putting something on for the express purpose of inciting something immoral in another person. It changes our circumstances from being ignorantly fashionable to prowling on those with low thresholds for temptation. We know this innately. That was his point. Not that sin was a matter of "bad taste".

That's what the Bible means when it talks about man looking at outward appearances but God looking at the heart. For some of us this is good news, and for others of us this is bad news. It means that the person who hurts his brother out of careless neglect and the person who hurts his brother in the very same way out of contempt and malice are in very different states, and God sees them for what they are. People who witness it on the outside might say the same things about them and judge for themselves, but only God knows our true intentions.

This is what I meant by skimming things and not reading them thoroughly, but instead looking for something to which you can object. And yes, I know all about the Flying Spaghetti Monster; it was created in my hometown, and I think it does a good job of personifying our modern culture and the fact that college students think they know everything even though they haven't yet been out in the real world, that they do more mocking than they do in gaining valuable experience, and that irreverence of that breed makes jesters of them all in the end.

Darknightdestiny The difference is that the God of Christianity is not something a man would have made up, and He does not consist of materials which humans can understand or dissect. Christianity bears no markings of human invention. It asks that we do the moral thing even when it is most difficult and dangerous, even to the point of self-sacrifice; it asks that we not compete; it asks that when we give we do it anonymously and not make a show of ourselves; it says that we cannot be saved based on a tally of rights outweighing a tally of wrongs. It is everything we expect a human organization to not be; it is difficult, it is invested in the afterlife and not the present, and it takes much out of us and promises to replace it later. I do not think anyone who didn't truly believe it would follow it, and I do not think it is the sort of thing anyone looking for money or support in a humanitarian endeavor or an evil or self-involved cause would organize, because it wouldn't help him achieve this end and its philosophy is the opposite of all things selfish and prideful.

The spaghetti monster, however, is a human invention, and this is spotted quite easily. Try very hard and you will come to realize that the things we ourselves "create" always consist of things which are already known to us. They are either composite images or mix and match settings or philosophies based on experience or observation. We know what it looks like to watch something grow and change, so we decide we think that is what Evolution might look like. We know what a cow and a camel look like, so we think we can envision some sort of hybrid. But I challenge you to conceive of something that is not a combined image of two other things. I challenge you to conceive of some parent organism that has never been known to man. Does the image in your head look like something you know to already exist? Try as hard as you might, but we do not have the power to create anything new. Therefore the idea of God came from somewhere else, as did all the hopes and desires that we cannot seem to fulfill without Him. We do not come up with anything truly new without an outside source or a discovery previously unknown to man. The spaghetti monster can only be defended as far as human knowledge will take it. Whether or not we can disprove its existence, its dependence on an outside source for any qualities which would make it more than a merely human formula, easily dissected and accessible to control, is apparent. We do not even understand the mystery of time; we cannot control death or disease because we cannot predict their onset or mutation in all cases; we cannot depend on our plans because even the weather can destroy them. If we cannot understand even this, then we cannot understand a God beyond human intelligence; anything less, whether it can be disproven or not, isn't worth the time if it's easily formulated and fits within the realm of human comprehension. If it fits, it means we can master it, and it thus does not deserve to be called anything above us.

Of course the first thing they should not have done was compose their monster from a substance which required human innovation, chemical processing, and a cook.

What I'm hearing from you is that all views are valid except the one that says reality is the same for everyone and dares to call anything bad. Remember: if you defend everything, you stand for nothing. But you are here in the first place after all, and you have stayed, so I'm inclined to think you are either looking to antagonize someone or else you are sincerely interested in a topic for which you seem to hold little regard.

Darknightdestiny First I want to say that I do not think faith means the setting aside of reason. I think it means looking beyond reason when reason seems inadequate by itself. But I do not think anyone is really expecting that we follow something in which we do not trust-under most circumstances that it just lunacy. On the other hand, human reasoning is continually fading and being replaced, while in the scope of it eternity it seems to be but a speck.

Do not forget that the definition of a scientific theory is a scientific hypothesis that has yet to be proven. Also remember that it's not wise to base further research on something that is unfounded. You test and examine things to try and prove a theory; you don't use a theory which cannot be observed in real time to test and examine things the other way around. You cannot prove a theory by the theory itself, either; your theory needs to have a strong foundation. If you have any questions about why this is, you should ask a scientist, someone who is currently studying their field in a modern laboratory with up to date information and tools, who is practicing active science, instead of a teacher who left the field a while ago, or who got his degree from another teacher twenty years or so ago. Evolutionary theory is only almost one hundred and fifty years old, mind you. Ancient astronomers and magi, mathematicians and advanced civilizations such as the Mayans, have left nothing in their records of such concepts. And note that Darwin was a British author, not a physicist.

Evolution is supposed to have taken place over 4.5 billion years. As that is already a stretch, with no modern observations, it is quite a folly to assume that even if it were true that we should know anything about it, given only a century and a half of practicing the theory.

Whether or not we like it has nothing to do with it. I don't think that anyone is ascribing to Christianity despite "proven scientific discovery" (be careful what you say about what's proven and what's not if you haven't actually heard the evidence or studied it for yourself); ascribing to something you knew to be false would be silly, and also not worth anything in the way of faith (and faith wouldn't matter any more in that case anyways). Do you decide what to believe based on whether or not you like it, or whether or not it is convenient? Really, I don't think I've ever been more insulted or disturbed by such an assumption. Rather, we're told to study the scriptures, to be gentle as doves but wise as serpents in the way we deal with the outside world. I do not think that God meant for us to ignore our sense of reason. In fact, we believe He's the One who gave it to us in the first place.

Do you know what "proven by scientific discovery" means? It means that something is no longer a theory, but a law; it means that it has been found to be true in all instances, like a mathematical formula. It means that it has surpassed all reasonable doubt. This is not the case of Evolution; frankly, if Evolution had been proven beyond all doubt, we would have no choice about whether or not to believe it whether we liked it or not. Can you force yourself to believe that the sky is green? To try would be silly. Did anyone stop to think that maybe we actually mean it when we say we believe Christian doctrine? We don't sit around trying to believe something that is unbelievable; if something is truly unbelievable than one is going to have little success attempting to make it a reality in their mind, because his intellect will get in the way. It is designed to do that! I don't think anyone decides to defend and live by something they don't believe just because they like it; in fact, I think that would make life very hard and unenjoyable. I hope you don't really think that about people. It is a very biased and derogatory thing to say, and it will color your perceptions of someone before they even open their mouth. And I think it is just as unfounded to go on believing that people who don't believe in Evolution are attempting to live this way. We know that Evolution cannot be proven to be true for all things at all times, because it cannot be observed directly, just as no one person can assert that all the dinosaurs are extinct because no one person can be standing in all places at once and looking in every direction at once. No true scientist will call Evolution "the law of evolution"; Creationism here sides with the reasonable doubt, with the scientific process. And we are perfectly within our bounds; God made science after all. And while I'm sure He is pleased when we know how to defend what we believe by means of reason, He does not depend on our defense.

Darknightdestiny God is still not likely to show up on your doorstep in a way that you would recognize and prove His existence to you in the way you hope to prove that He does not exist. The reason is that He wants people to come to Him of their own free will, not because they have been forced to acknowledge that all these things they've heard about Him are actually true and that they don't really have much of a choice unless they want the "or else" option. He wants fully functioning relationships, not a puppet army.

Furthermore, I am not threatened by science or discovery, because my "religious documents" are easily reconciled with true science. Just because I don't agree with something doesn't mean that I'm threatened or frantic. I am simply tired with all the compromise and contradiction within the "christian" community. Some people might take things in the Bible to be metaphorical, and even Jesus used illustrations, but those were easy to spot, and He still meant every word He said. A lot of people do regard it as "nice moral teaching", but if it claims to be the Truth, and it is not, then it is not nice moral teaching, but something that lies about itself. And it does claim to be the Truth. So you see, there is no middle ground. These people might call themselves religious, but if they don't believe the religion in which they claim to take part, and also ascribe to contradictory ideas, then it is not that particular religion which they follow, but one of their own making, custom-tailored to fit their every convenience.

It's important that we can get along with our fellow man and have civilized conversation; it is not important that we agree with everyone. Most of the people I interact with on a daily basis are not Christian, and we get along just fine. We talk science and politics and philosophy all the time, and we are good-natured about it. This is because we stimulate each other intellectually and ask direct questions with the intentions of learning something new, not with starting an argument. And we are happy to enlighten each other.

People who have direct and blunt questions about why I believe what I believe make me far less uneasy than those who would rather water everything down so that everyone is happy. Complacency can easily become far worse than outright opposition if it infects your way of life. People today are so dispassionate when it comes to faith or activism or politics; they try to appease everything at once and then they end up with nothing at all in the end. You cannot satisfy two opposing principles. It even says in the Bible that one cannot serve two masters; this is nothing new! It's not a matter of being stubborn, it's the nature of the philosophies involved. We can be kind about it, and that is a good thing. But the problem these days is that we're so afraid of saying that any one idea is wrong that we no longer know how to decide what we believe, whether it's okay to side with anything at all for fear of offending someone, much less have the motivation to research something and decide that we know why it is we believe it (or don't believe it) at all.

Darknightdestiny Let me ask you, when is the last time you actually saw anyone citing sources in an opinionated article, a blog, a public argument or debate? When is the last time you saw any documentation? Does it not seem like we're all repeating what we've heard elsewhere like parrots, not bothering to investigate for ourselves? Isn't deciding not to remain open to a thing considered closed-minded these days, despite the fact that the one thing might close off other options? And we compromise ourselves anyway, because we don't want to be thought of as close-minded or as the person who chose the narrow option over the one that the majority of more "open-minded" and "accepting" people chose. We talk much without saying anything of substance and become afraid to use sources like the Bible or a Christian journal. Why? Even to non-believers, there is no reason why Biblical verse should be any less valid than another man's quotable quote. There is no reason why scientific study should be less valid because it was conducted by a Christian. But people roll their eyes and write it off anyways. Don't. I am not rude or close-minded or a "crazy fundie" just because I want the same rights as you and want to be respected in the same way for things that are no less valid than your own opinions and insights. Stating my opinion and taking part in an open conversation does not mean that I am threatened any more than the rest of your posts mean that you are threatened by Mere Christianity. Making me into your scapegoat poster to whom you can vent these frustrations in the third person and deflect or making me into a composite object of the Christian you love to hate using every image you've come across in the media isn't going to change that truth or make me that person. So many of you are talking about religious people in general like we're not individuals but the ideas you got from news reports and consistent public enemy number one, and it's very disrespectful of us as fellow human beings. You use words like "how come every time," and "why do religious people always," and that's very exclusive. No one likes being put in a box and tagged with a sticker, thank-you-very-much.

I do not think that people who collect various and opposing philosophies and tuck them away on their shelves so that others might think they are highly intelligent and humanitarian have the most solid world-views. I would much rather be known for being noble and firm in one thing than for being someone who says what they can to please their peers and has no clear opinions (or objections to) anything. It is greatly unfair that all manner of ideas can be defended openly but the religious, and that those who are not ashamed of their faith are labeled "religious-minded" (like it's a bad thing!) and intolerant and close-minded, while others can act in the same manner concerning other issues and not be blamed. They are even congratulated! You might as well accuse a gay person of being intolerant of those who believe marriage is between a man and a woman, but you probably won't, either because you think it's bigoted or because it doesn't concern you (I will not talk about my position on this matter here, so do not ask). This is why I am so puzzled that people who are not concerned with religion take such an offense from it, when people who are indifferent to other issues take no offense from them. It must be part of our human nature, to shirk away from anything that might expose us as being in the wrong or sets out to right anything within a person in a less showy way which doesn't benefit them socially or make them into heroes. But the truth of the matter is that the gay person is not intolerant in this case; he is merely of an opposite opinion. I am of an opposite opinion here in this thread, and I am just as entitled as any of you to say my piece. If you think that my being religious makes my opinion any less valid, then you are the one who is close-minded. Indeed, I think one has to have an extremely open mind to be able to accept Christianity in the first place, and I know that even if I were able to prove Creationism and that the earth was young right here and now, there would still be many people whose minds would remain closed to it and insist that there must be something I missed, because I could not possibly be right.

Darknightdestiny Now, I'm not trying to be condescending, and I won't imply that one view makes the person who holds it any more intelligent than the other, but we can't both be right. I'm just going to give you some information on why I think Creationism is a very valid standpoint, because in all fairness you did ask for it. It's curious that so many people think it's just the Church which preaches Creationism, as if there aren't scientists who study it. As if Christianity and science are pitted against each other; in fact, the reverse is true.

"A growing number of respectable scientists are defecting from the evolutionist camp. ...moreover, for the most part these 'experts' have abandoned Darwinism, not on the basis of religious faith or biblical persuasions, but on strictly scientific grounds, and in some instances, regretfully." - Wolfgang Smith, Ph.D., physicist and mathematician.

First, the Second Law of Thermodynamics states that the universe is in a continual state of degeneration. Energy is being constantly expended, and all things are gradually winding down. This is not a theory, but a scientific fact; it has been proven to be true for all things animal, vegetable or mineral (and those things synthetically derived from either, or naturally found in either), and at all times. Matter in and of itself does not become organized, but instead falls into disrepair. It needs "teleonomy", an innate sense of instruction or direction, what Dr. A.E. Wilder-Smith calls the difference between a stick and an orchid.

Matter does not organize itself even with the addition of energy. Energy is nothing without momentum; and when something dead receives the sun's energy, it decays.

"There is no recorded experiment in the history of science that contradicts the second law or its corollaries..." - G. Hatspoulous and E. Gyftopoulos, physicists

"Of all the statements that have been made with respect to theories on the origin of life, the statement that the Second Law of Thermodynamics poses no problem for an evolutionary origin of life is the most absurd..." - Duane Gish, Ph.D., biochemist

DNA is the means by which our teleonomy works, and as Wilder-Smith says, "The pure chemistry of a cell is not enough to explain the working of a cell, although the workings are chemical." In other words, the fact that it works does not explain why it is that it does work (sound familiar to anything in Mere Christianity?). DNA has not been replicated in a laboratory, and even the amino acids which have been synthetically created (by human direction) have always been of an equal mixture of "right-handed" and "left-handed" variety. All life uses only the left-handed variety, and induction of a right-handed acid can destroy the whole chain (see Wilder-Smith's "The Natural Sciences Know Nothing of Evolution," page 18). Even the simplest DNA is so complex that it could never have come into being by means of pure, undirected chemistry; indeed "new natural laws will need to be discovered to explain how high the degree of order and specificity of even a single cell could be generated by random, natural processes" (Luther D. Sunderland, "Darwin's Enigma: Fossils and Other Problems," fourth edition, page 8).

Darknightdestiny "The chance that useful DNA molecules would develop without a Designer are approximately zero. Then let me conclude by asking which came first - the DNA (which is essential for the synthesis of proteins) or the protein enzyme (DNA-polymerase) without which DNA synthesis is nil? ... there is virtually no chance that chemical 'letters' would spontaneously produce coherent DNA and protein 'words'." (George Howe, "Addendum to As a Watch Needs a Watchmaker," Creation Research Society Quarterly, Vol. 23, No. 2, page 65)

"Evolution lacks a scientifically acceptable explanation of the source of the precisely planned codes within cells without which there can be no specific proterin and hence, no life." (David A. Kaufmann, Ph.D., "Human Growth and Development, and Thermo II", Creation Research Society Quarterly, Vol. 20, No. 1, page 28)

"My attempts to demonstrate Evolution by an experiment carried on for more than 40 years have completely failed." - N.H. Nilsson, famous botanist and Evolutionist

"The notion that not only the biopolymers, but the operating programme of a living cell could be arrived at by chance in a primordial soup here on the Earth is evidently nonsense of a high order... Quite a few of my astronomical friends are considerable mathematicians, and once they became interested enough to calculate for themselves, instead of relying on hearsay argument, they can quickly see this point." (Sir Fred Hoyle, "The Big Bang in Astronomy," New Scientist, Vol. 92, No. 1280, page 527)

"In the meantime, the educated public continues to believe that Darwin has provided all the relevant answers by the magic formula of random mutations plus natural selection - quite unaware of the fact that random mutations turned out to be irrelevant and natural selection a tautology." - Arthur Koestler, author.

On natural selection: It is true that certain environments may encourage the emergence of some latent traits already in the genetic code of a breed of animal as the majority rather than the minority. But environments do not create new traits, they only encourage or discourage a population bearing these traits in growth. If it were necessary for a group of hunter-gatherers to be fast runners in order to survive, then the population would be made mostly of fast runners. But they would still give birth to slow runners and the physically weak, which would die. And when it was no longer necessary for survival, those traits would again emerge. Chinese women have been binding their feet for years, but they have never given birth to generations of girls with tiny, disfigured feet. They give birth to normally formed children who then have to bind their own feet. Tribal women who wear brass rings on their necks do not give birth to daughters with lengthened necks; they undergo the process themselves.

On the emergence of traits and species: Many new species have emerged through cross-breeding. But one thing remains true; only animals within the same kind can mate with each other. Different species of canines, wolves, dogs, can mate and produce offspring, just as different species of cats, equius and bovine may. But a cat cannot mate with a dog; it does not produce an abomination of nature; it produces nothing at all. Most Creationists do not resort to the Creative Evolution compromise; it is not necessary. God created different "kinds" of animal, and these are the kinds which have produced the many sub-species we see today. Instead of one evolutionary tree, imagine several trees stemming each from one kind of animal which has the perfect genetic code bestowed to it, so as to produce several species of animal through the emergence of latent traits. We have several races of human beings; different traits are attractive to different cultures, and we know how people tend to group with those of their likeness. We can see this especially within the Japanese population, post-invasion, with their Hun-like facial characteristics and varying colors of hair.

"The only competing explanation for the order we all see in the biological world is the notion of Special Creation." - Niles Eldredge, Ph. D., paleontologist and Evolutionist, American Museum of Natural History

"No matter how numerous they may be, mutations do not produce any kind of Evolution." - Pierre-Paul Grassé, Evolutionist

Considering what a small change to something such as an ocular connection, a hormonal balance, neural chemicals, heart rate, distribution of fat, metabolism and the wiring of the nervous system can do to damage the functioning of a human being, supposedly the highest organism in the evolutionary tree, the notion that a series of changes like this could produce a higher organization in an animal is highly unlikely. That it would thrive amidst the parent species, animals with bodily systems that remain uncompromised and stable niches in their ecosystems, is even more unlikely. In the event that a mutation would be beneficial to an animal, it would be expected that it surpass its parent species and pass on this trait to future generations while the old population is overrun and dies out becoming another fossil in the geologic column.

But there have been no missing links in the fossil record, despite artist's renderings of ape-like men based on findings of interred man and ape bones, pig-hoaxes and bones that were found to be either definitively man or definitively ape. Often, the bones found matched the build of the local modern population. All animals which have been discovered have been definitively one kind or another, even archeopteryx, whose feathers were found to be completely formed and detailed, aerodynamic and containing structures which were able to make the best use of harnessed wind. All fossils are of fully functioning animals.

Darknightdestiny "As is now well known, most fossil species appear instantaneously in the fossil record." - Tom Kemp of Oxford University

"The curious thing is that there is a consistency about the fossil gaps; the fossils are missing in all the important places." - Francis Hitching, archaeologist

"Evolution requires intermediate forms between species and paleontology does not provide them." - David Kitts, paleontologist and Evolutionist

"Fossils are a great embarrassment to Evolutionary theory and offer strong support for the concept of Creation." - Gary Parker, Ph.D., biologist/paleontologist and former Evolutionist

"The uniform, continuous transformation of Hyracotherium into Equus, so dear to the hearts of generations of textbook writers, never happened in nature..." George Simpson, paleontologist and Evolutionist

"Modern apes... seem to have sprung out of nowhere. They have no yesterday, no fossil record. And the true origin of modern humans... is, if we are to be honest with ourselves, an equally mysterious matter." - Lyall Watson, Ph.D., Evolutionist

"The Evolutionist thesis has become more stringently unthinkable than ever before..." - Wolfgang Smith, Ph.D.

"We're not just evolving slowly. For all practical purposes we're not evolving. There's no reason to think we're going to get bigger brains or smaller toes or whatever - we are what we are." - Evolutionist Stephen Jay Gould of Harvard, October 1983 speech reported in "John Lofton's Journal," The Washington Times (February 8, 1984)

Humans have indeed been found throughout geological strata and existing parallel with creatures dubbed "prehistoric". The truth is that less than eighty-five percent of the earth contains fossils which are found in even three of the proposed geological layers consecutively and in the proper evolutionary order. There are many more layers than three, and they are all jumbled. Despite this, evolutionists will date a fossil by the rock within which it is found, even though the rock is also dated by the fossil found within it. Confusing? Quite.

"A circular argument arises: Interpret the fossil record in terms of a particular theory of evolution, inspect the interpretation, and note that it confirms the theory. Well, it would, wouldn't it?" - Evolutionist Tom Kemp

"The intelligent layman has long suspected circular reasoning in the use of rocks to date fossils and fossils to date rocks. The geologist has never bothered to think of a good reply..." - J. O'Rourke in the American Journal of Science

Fossils are not made today. The conditions required for producing a fossil are things such as compression, time, rich minerals, moisture and preservation. Things which die out in the open are not subject to these conditions, but decay and eventually turn into the dust of the earth if human intervention does not take place. The Genesis flood account provides much means for this, and the deposits of coal in the earth (a product of large amounts of dead plants - see Steven A. Austin, "Catastrophes in Earth History", page 318; "Depositional Environment of the Kentucky No. 12 Coal Bed (Middle Pennsylvanian) of Western Kentucky, With Special Reference to the Origin of Coal Lithotypes" doctoral dissertation, page 390). Recent and swift burial would account for the inconsistency of the geologic column. A worldwide disaster would have been necessary for these massive burials, and if not a flood, then several successive disasters would have been necessary. But if that were the case, then there should be many more fossils throughout the layers; if man has been around even for as long as projected by evolutionists, then we should be up to our necks in dead animals and humans by now, but we are not. Creationists, on the other hand, believe the flood to have happened some estimated four thousand years ago.

"We have to admit that there is nothing in the geological records that runs contrary to the view of conservative creationists..." - Evolutionist Edmund Ambrose

"Eighty to eighty-five percent of Earth's land surface does not have even 3 geologic periods appearing in 'correct' consecutive order. becomes an overall exercise of gargantuan special pleading and imagination for the evolutionary-uniformitarian paradigm to maintain that there ever were geologic periods." - John Woodmorappe, geologist

"Be suspicious of a theory if more and more hyphotheses are needed to support it as new facts become available... this is exactly what has happened to Darwin's theory." - Sir Fred Hoyle and N. Chandra Wickramasinghe

"Is it really credible that random processes could have constructed a reality, the smallest element of which - a functional protein or gene - is complex beyond... anything produced by the intelligence of man?" - Molecular biologist Michael Denton, Evolution: A Theory in Crisis, page 342.

The half-life of the earth's magnetic field is 830 to 1400 years (see Dr. Barnes, "Depletion of the Earth's Magnetic Field," Impact No. 100, Acts & Facts, October 1981). "If we went back about 10 thousand years the Earth's magnetic field would have been as strong as the field in a magnetic star. A magnetic star is like our Sun; it has a nuclear power source. Surely, our Earth never had a nuclear source like the Sun. Surely, our Earth never had a magnetic field stronger than that of a star. That would limit the age of the Earth to 10 thousand years." (see Thomas Barnes in Willem J.J. Glashouwer and Paul S. Taylor, writers, "The Earth, A Young Planet?" film) The stronger magnetic field of past years would also mean that radioactive carbon-14 rays would not have been as effectively absorbed by living things, adding inconsistency to the carbon-14 dating process.

message 35: by Darknightdestiny (last edited Dec 22, 2007 08:45AM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

Darknightdestiny "The best physical evidence that the earth is young is a dwindling resource that evolutionists refuse to admit is dwindling... the magnetic energy in the field of the earth's dipole magnet. ...To deny that it is a dwindling resource is phony physics." - Thomas Barnes, Ph.D., physicist.

Many cite C-14 dating methods as evidence for an old world; but not many know that C-14 methods are not relied on for non-living things or petrified materials. For this, potassium-argon and uranium-lead methods are used.

Radiometric dating "is an exceedingly crude instrument with which to measure our strata and I can think of no occasion where it has been put to an immediate practical use. Apart from very 'modern' examples, which are really archaeology..." - Derek Ager, geologist and Evolutionist

C-14 is not material inherintly present in all living things. Rather, it is what a living thing produces when it absorbs radio-active rays from our sun. Carbon-14 also does not remain for millions of years, but is gone within 30 to 100 thousand years. New hardened lava rocks are sometimes estimated as being 3 billion or even 10.5 billion years old, when their true age was 200 years. (see John G. Funkhouser, "The Problems of Dating Volcanic Rocks by the Potassium-Argon Methods", Bulletin Volcanologique, Vol. 29, page 709)(see William Laughlin, "Excess Radiogenic Argon in Pegmatite Minerals," Journal of Geophysical Research, Vol. 74, No. 27, page 6684)(see C. Noble and John J. Naughton, "Deep-Ocean Basalts: Inert Gas Content and Uncertainties is Age Dating", Science, Vol. 162, Page 265)

Furthermore, these methods assume much about the atmosphere, environment and chemicals already present at the time of fossilization, and the conditions surrounding the fossilization and preservation of those conditions. A younger basalt rock at the top of the Grand Canyon (western Grand Canyon lava flows) was dated at 270 million years older than an ancient basalt rock at the bottom ("Precambrian" Cardenas Basalt) of the Canyon. (see Steven A. Austin, "Excessively Old 'Ages' for Grand Canyon Lava Flows," Impact, No. 224, page 4)(see Steven A. Austin, "Grand Canyon Lava Flows: A Survey of Isotope Dating Methods," Impact, No. 178, page 4) To me, this casts reasonable enough doubt on any such dating method!

Speaking of our sun: calculations of its rate of shrinkage (see John A. Eddy (astrophysicist with the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics and High Altitude Observatory in Boulder) and Aram A. Boornazian (mathematician with S. Ross and company in Boston), "Secular Decrease in the Solar Diameter, 1836-1953", Bulletin of the American Astronomical Society, Vol. 11, page 437) would show that for over 99% of Earth's estimated Evolutionary age, it would have been too hot to support life on the planet. Assuming a constant rate of shrinkage, the CRC Handbook of Chemistry and Physics, 54th edition, pages F160-F216, lists figures that would have the sun and earth touching only 210 million years past. Evolutionists estimate that the "big bang" took place 95 times further back than that.

"I suspect... that the Sun is 4.5 billion years old. However, given some new and unexpected results to the contrary and some time for frantic readjustment, I suspect that we could live with Bishop Ussher's figure for the age of the Earth and Sun (approximately 6 thousand years). I don't think we have much in the way of observational evidence in astronomy to conflict with that." - Evolutionist and astrophysicist/geophysicist Dr. John A. Eddy, High Altitude Observatory, Boulder, Co. (see John Eddy in R.G. Kazmann, "It's About Time: 4.5 Billion Years," (report on Symposium at Louisiana State University), Geotimes, Vol. 23, page 18.)

On the Big Bang: central explosions yield uniform distribution of materials. Yet our universe is full of gaps, various sizes of planets and stars that bear no pattern given their orbits or rotations, travel at different speeds, and stars which cycle at different times and ages, clusters which do not all follow the same schedule of birth and death. Another of the main claims for the Big Bang is the red shift of light seen in some celestial bodies; Evolutionists claim that it is the Doppler Effect, a visible sign of objects travelling away at great speeds. However, some stars have blue shifts, some twin planets or stars which orbit each other have different red shifts, and some planets and stars unto themselves have more than one varying red shift! One object cannot itself be travelling at two different and constant speeds. Therefore, the red light is another source; possibly gravity (predicted by Einstein), photon decay or "tired light" (see Paul A. La Violette, "Is the Universe Really Expanding?" The Astrophysical Journal, Vol. 301, page 544-553)(see D.F. Crawford, "Photon Decay in Curved Space-Time", Nature, Vol. 277, page 633-635)(see J.C. Pecker, A.P. Roberts and J.P. Vigier, "Non-Velocity Redshifts and Photon-Photon Interactions," Nature, Vol. 237, No. 5232, page 227-229 (collisions of photons would reduce their speed and generate a redshift in a dense cloud of colliding photons - redness would increase with cloud's heat)

Further evidence is found in the lack of human population that should be present given man's evolutionary history, and the age of short-period comets (maximum estimate ten thousand years); there are a few of these left, but no source or cloud for them has been found, within ten thousand light years or otherwise. There is a lack of space dust, not enough helium content in our atmosphere from our sun, radio-active elements on earth or the helium leaking from the planet's core (see Dr. Melvin Cook, former Nobel Prize nominee, Physical Chemist, Ph.D. in physical chemistry from Yale University, Explosives expert and Director of the Explosives Research Institute at the University of Utah... etc.)(see Larry Vardiman, "The Age of the Earth's Atmosphere Estimated by Its Helium Content", Proceedings of the First International Conference on Creationism, Vol. 1, page 188). Given 4.5 billion years, two thousand times the amount of helium should be present. Dudly J. Benton, Ph.D., asserts that "under the most extreme upper atmospheric conditions only 1.4 helium atoms in 10 million helium atoms can escape from Earth's gravity via thermal effects. Dr. Cook and other physicist have said concerning the helium in the atmosphere that Earth's age could be as little as 10 to 15 thousand years, and no more than 1.8 million years. There is also a lack of space dust on the moon and other surfaces. Also, retro-calculations on the rate of escape of our moon yield similar results as the retro-calculations of the shrinking sun.

message 36: by Darknightdestiny (last edited Dec 22, 2007 08:59AM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

Darknightdestiny "The fact that a theory so vague, so insufficiently verifiable, and so far from the criteria otherwise applied in 'hard' science has become a dogma can only be explained on sociological grounds." - Ludwig von Bertalanffy, biologist

"It is not the duty of science to defend the theory of Evolution, and stick by it to the bitter end - no matter what illogical and unsupported conclusions it offers..." - I. Cohen, mathematician and archaeologist

"The theory of Evolution... will be one of the great jokes in the history books of the future. Posterity will marvel that so flimsy and dubious an hypothesis could be accepted with the incredible credulity that it has." - Malcolm Muggeridge, well-known philosopher

There. Don't feel badly for me; I didn't have to compile these myself. They were easily at my fingertips, in a companion book already published ( Paul S. Taylor, "The Illustrated Origins Answer Book" ). It's forty-seven pages of summary with sixty-eight pages of small print reference to back it up. Three hundred and fifteen of them! It's in my list of read books, and while I'm not willing to part with my copy, you can find it for as low as two dollars on Amazon. What I've put here is a very small amount of the information which is in this book. The references are all there; things not marked with citations (and most of his compository is citations) are either common Christian ideas or paraphrasing. For that, this here is my citation.

But aside from all of this, there are several reasons I believe in Intelligent Design: other than the Second Law of Thermodynamics, the magnetic field surrounding our planet, lack of fossils, shrinkage of the sun, lack of comet clouds, extreme order yet lack of uniformity in the universe and the complexity of DNA, there's the immune system, the fact that our brains store information at all and even recall it and seem to have an infinite capacity, the onset of puberty, menopause and andropause, the fact that a woman's body knows not to treat her embryo like it would a parasite, photosynthesis, meiosis, mitosis, all manner of reproduction: sexual, asexual, internal and external, fascial tissue and its role in transmitting information and preserving the skin and clotting blood to seal injury, neural synapses, the organization of ant and bee colonies, the lifecycle of a caterpillar, instinct, the separate chemical contents in differing types of blood, sensory pain as a means of preservation, that we carry blood and plants carry sap, that we all require separate types of nourishment and process it in different ways, reflexes (and all of these things, save for Thermo II, vary so greatly between the kingdoms in scientific classification).

I'm not going to try to convince you much further on the Creation versus Evolution issue past this. You might look at all this and tell me you're still not convinced; and while you're entitled, I do think that in the face of true and proven science (or truly refuted theories) versus the last threads of conjecture, to not even consider it as valid is quite like the scientists who are still looking for something with which to solidify their theory, if for no other reason that there "has to be something else" because to give it up means to admit defeat and the only other conceivable option.

If nothing else, it shows that many intelligent people are not in support of Evolution, and that it is a theory that is far from being considered "proven by scientific discovery".

I do think it's a rather fitting analogy though, and not a wonder why man thought of evolution before anything else (what else would there be?) as an opposition to Intelligent Design. "We can make ourselves." Isn't that the whole problem with humanity and the turn our sciences have taken? Man thinks he's already reached godhood. What happens when he decides there's nothing else he could possibly learn?

I do have a thought as to why people might be threatened by the idea of a young Earth (besides that it renders the Evolutionary time-table impossible). Some might take it to mean that we are closer to God than we thought, and in the case of many, closer than we would like to be. It might be taken to mean that our space is much smaller, our deeds that much more visible, our accountability much higher. It might mean that we can't formulate everything and put it in neat little boxes; it might mean that we can't understand everything that's come to pass in such a short time, and therefore we can't manipulate it and pervert it and finally destroy it. It might mean that there really are limits and boundaries, and things we aren't allowed to discover. Evolution and a world aged billions of years makes everything seem so far away and muffled, mysterious and fantastical. It keeps us from considering the real mystery, from looking at it head on, because many of us find it easier to hide from it.

I believe I will duck out now. No one seems to be very interested in talking about the actual book, Mere Christianity, and I cannnot stay in chat rooms for very long, because sooner or later they all degenerate into bickering. The urge to stay and have the last word is usually a very great temptation for me, and it means much that I learn to let it go. It is rather ironic that a book written in order to explain a greatly misunderstood belief system has a thread here which is full of expressions betraying those misconceptions. I wish that more people had finished the book and wished to discuss its points. Like I said, I do have an extra copy if anyone wants one or knows someone else who would be interested in reading it.

I'm sorry for the length of the post, but I don't have plans to return to this thread, so I wanted to say everything I felt necessary to say before I went. I am also sorry for the delay, as while the information was easy to come by, it took a while to type. If this hasn't convinced you that Creationism is a valid viewpoint, it should at least have demonstrated that there is enough reasonable doubt in the scientific community still today which prevents Evolution from being called scientific law. We cannot skip ahead of that and form arguments without a foundation. Observation and experimentation are required first, and those have so far all failed.

message 37: by [deleted user] (new)

After putting together some responses to your well-written statements here, I decided to delete them. I realized my motivating factor was worry that others would accept your criticism of evolution as, dare I say it, gospel because you shared quotes from scientists disillusioned with evolution or hateful of its implications for the idea that God made all the animals at once. Instead, I'll leave refutations to those who really have a handle on the science.

Christian leaders in the Western World argued that the Sun revolved around the Earth for many centuries after courageous scientists proved it didn't. Perhaps evolutionary theory will develop along the same lines. Or perhaps another theory or law will be explained or discovered that will better explain the natural phenomena and historical and geological record. I don't know. All I know is I'm grateful no Christian church in the United States wields such power as it did just a few centuries ago and could burn at the stake, execute, or exile scientists for coming up with new, better ways to explain and predict natural phenomena.

Evolution is a useful theory because it does the best job AT PRESENT of explaining some things we haven't figured out yet. It's debatable and inconclusive because it's hard to find physical evidence for jumps in the evolutionary ladder. However, pieces of the puzzle are always showing up, and no REPUTABLE source of evidence has refuted the theory. Reason and science are TOOLS, not religions and not belief systems. They let us evaluate the world around us and talk about what science talks about: things we can evaluate in the world around us.

A divine creator cannot be evaluated using science. That's why religious claims about the literalness of the Bible have changed through the centuries. Believers were confronted with conflicts between their learned priests and pastors (The universe was created in seven days!) and their learned scientists. The people learned that the priests and pastors had a handle on moral teachings, but very little understanding of the physical world.

For more on how the ideas about slow evolution and divine creation are debated, visit I just found it, and it looks interesting. I also just saw an entertaining documentary called _Flock of Dodos_ about a man who goes home to Kansas (my new home state!) to find out about the Creation vs. Evolution debate revolving around the Kansas State school board.

I wish all of you the best of luck in your spiritual and natural journeys.

message 38: by Darknightdestiny (last edited Dec 24, 2007 12:50PM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

Darknightdestiny I wasn't out to prove Creationism. I don't think either one can really be proved or disproven at this point, and I don't think that any amount of evidence, to be frank, is going to sway people in large amounts until one of them really is overwhelming enough to prove or disprove one.

My main concern was that people were claiming that evolution was scientifically proven fact, and I wanted to clear that up and show that many notables did not in fact believe it, and had even left its side, and that the evidence was inconclusive, not necessarily for either side.

In addition, I thought it was fairly clear that the reasons behind the scientist's non-support for Evolution was on scientific grounds, not because they were merely "disillusioned" with it or "hated" it. Not all of them were Christians or anywhere near Christianity. Some of them weren't in support of Creationism at all, but merely not in support of Evolutionism. I think that to assume it was for personal feelings or religion alone (and not really even believing) is a great insult to them as fellow thinkers and as scientists. Who's to assume their motivations are less than ours, we who call ourselves so open-minded? That's a fairly hefty accusation, and looks to me like a cleverly-concealed cop-out in the face of my entire argument. These men's and women's opinions were based on observation and experimentation, not to mention physical law.

I do think some of the words were worth considering, such as if we'd progressed thus far from the bottom up, we should understand it to this point; one would think that the knowledge of it would be passed on the same as the energy, but this is not the case. So if knowledge and brainpower comes from energy alone, why would the energy be transferred and not a collective cloud of innate wisdom and intellect?

As for whether or not life is a closed or open system, I have always known that evolution requires energy as well, and that it has never claimed that matter organizes itself without that energy. But the examples of open systems given on the FAQ site have all been non-living phenomena (unless I missed something?), and surely the tornadoes and lightning strikes we see are not the same ones every time?

All I know is that when something dead receives energy from our sun, it doesn't revive, but decays. I do believe birth and death constitute a closed system, and there has been no such escaping those in the history of mankind, save for Biblical stories and otherwise, which are taken on faith. Conception and decay are the natural life cycle, and it does not have an open end. We've not yet escaped it. Our children are not born with more energy than we had as children, and if we chop off our legs, they are not born without them. A seed is a seed is a seed. A plant does not expend any more energy than programmed by its DNA in creating it.

Thermo II as stated by physicist Lord Kelvin: "There is no natural process the only result of which is to cool a heat reservoir and do external work." (quote from A.W. Smith and J.N. Cooper, "Elements of Physics", 8th ed., page 241) That is Thermo II in its strictest sense. Who gave the version on the site you mentioned, which we supposedly misunderstood? I didn't see any credentials. I also didn't see any examples for the intermediary forms they claimed. I only saw rewriting and redirection and reinterpretation of long-standing physical laws. Of course if the physical laws were something other than what they are then there would be allowances for evolution! But they aren't. Of course if we rewrite them to make exceptions, then there would be an allowance! Of course if we claim the other side is misinterpreting (using the standard, tested law instead of our new one) the law Evolution has a shot! That was very clever, and someone who doesn't have the law as scientifically stated when proven written in a book right in front of them might fall for it, but it doesn't change the physical laws as stated when they were discovered, and it doesn't change that they have never been disproved in their strictest, truest sense. It also doesn't change that this is the sense Creationists use. The basic, infallible, proven by science sense.

We do know that energy does not increase or decrease, but is only transferred from one source to another.

I don't think our Church wants the power. We're not a political party and we're not "institutionalized" by anyone. We just build structures and see who shows up. I can't speak for people hundreds of years ago, but only say that that is not *my* Christianity. We know the Bible tells us to respond with love.

(as a sidenote, in Mere Christianity, Lewis reminds us that we shouldn't expect people who are non-Christian to live Christian lives and by our rules, and we shouldn't try to force them. This was in the context of marriages being separate as a religious institution and a civil institution, and with regards to divorce. I wonder what he'd say about gay rights?)

What I'm trying to abolish here in this thread is the image of Christians as people ignorant of science, afraid of it, and against it. Most of us really have studied the arguments from *both* sides, and most of us do at some point come to a place where we have to, if only for our own piece of mind, because it is admittedly something that requires faith as well. We're also not the most dangerous political oppressors, and we don't cower in the face of change. We just assert that some things don't change, such as history (politically correct editions, anyone?), and things which were before our time.

My concern *now* is that the site you've given will further this idea, that Creationists only argue against Evolution because they don't understand it. I can say that I have perused the site you've given, and for my part, I do in fact understand both arguments. Therefore, mine are not given from ignorance.

The only thing I would tell others is to examine all the evidence for themselves, and demand examples from both sides (the main problem with this is that both sides will claim the same examples to be in support of their own theories for different reasons. The evidence isn't black and white, and I believe this is why neither one will sway the public any time soon) and citations, and ask for scientific studies to back the claims up. I'd also warn them not to take paraphrasing and general ideological talk for fact until they've seen references in support of such talk. Not to approach something with simply "Yeah, I can see that," or, "That sounds good."

Like I said before, if someone doesn't believe in something, faith won't do them any good. So if your logic tells you not to believe in Creationism, all the talk in the world of faith is probably not going to help, because a faith without a genuine belief is kind of like telling someone you believe they'll catch you, and then jumping anyways, despite the fact that you expect to make contact with the ground. I don't think Jesus catches people who don't believe that He can or will, but I can't say that He doesn't make certain exceptions here or there. It's not for me to decide or to know. All I'm trying to say is that I'm not one of those people who would try to blind anyone to their own logic; I'm just stating what I myself believe. I'm not afraid of anyone else's logic, and I'm not afraid of science (or ignorant of it).

And again, I'd like to note that anyone who's had the patience to sit through this entire thread has the patience and time to read through the entirety of Mere Christianity. And anyone with a seriously open mind should find it easy to understand, and won't misinterpret it. It's very clear and very easy, almost like having someone hold your hand as they walk you through a "hall of progressive argument".

Okay, I'm really going now. Ha. I was watching, wondering if anyone was going to reply.

message 39: by Darknightdestiny (last edited Dec 24, 2007 12:22PM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

Darknightdestiny PS. (text limits)

I'm not sure what your standards are for deciding whether or not a source is reputable, but I think one that's been tested to the positive and is in accordance with scientific law is enough to throw certain pieces of evidence into question for the time being, whether they can be brought back into testing further in the future or not. Just because it's also in line with the Bible doesn't make it any less scientific outside of the Bible or in the labs or on the testing site. Some things can be refuted under modern circumstances and then brought back for review in the future. This is why Evolutionists are still searching for more pieces, and I in no way meant to imply that Evolution had been *refuted*. I personally refute it and take the other side, but my only aim here was to show that sources for either theory were easily bended for the other's use, and that there were notable scientists in each camp, and that neither one had been refuted or proven. There is no reason why one camp should be able to bend scientific law and claim the "until proven wrong" principle, while the other camp has to adhere to them in the strictest sense and go by the "until proven right" principle.

I also think that a source without citations or published scientific study to back its claims is irreputable. A handful of books on "I can see that," isn't enough. I would say to the person trying to decide to check those books and also check the books I mentioned and weigh them for themselves. I have no fear in recommending they explore all the literature available to them. I'd also ask that they consider the things I mentioned not addressed on that site, like mathematical calculations concerning the magnetic field of the earth, the shrinking sun, and the maximum life of a short-term comet for which there is no visible source, and our escaping moon. Admittedly, my favorite arguments against Evolutionism are those concerning the age of our universe and the inconsistency of the (much underrepresented, if Evolution is true) geologic column, almost as if everything were buried in a hurry and at once (necessary to create those fossils you see, whether in nine separate disasters or one giant flood. The problem for the count of nine comes with the inconsistency and jumbled nature of the column, and for the nine representing separate evolutionary periods with the fact that man appears all throughout it. I also love how all "intermediary" forms have been found to be either completely one thing or another, and have no non-functional, inhibited or "extra" characteristics, implying that they are extinct species of their own).

But I think that opening a section with, "This is the real law, and they're misinterpreting it," and then not offering any citations to the law as stated as such by any physicist or scientific journal, much less proven in that given "sense", when we've a statement made by a highly respected physicist and in reference to the law as known to be proven (or never disproved) by scientific experimentation to the contrary, makes it a highly questionable resource.

Why don't you Wiki "William Thomson, 1st Baron Kelvin"? Read just the first paragraph or so, if you'd like. All I care is that people know who he is and why he's reputable, especially in the field of thermodynamics.

As with most people I'd imagine, nothing gets me more worked up than seeing someone else misrepresent something for which I stand, spread falsities about it, or attack the people first instead of the theory.

After all, someone from another planet arriving here might think that baby bottles evolved into coffee mugs because children use training items and adults do not, when in fact they have always been two very separate and distinct things which afford the same end by two different yet similar means.

I can arrange my books from tallest to shortest. Can I make a case that they are shrinking?

Evolution may develop, it may be pushed back. All anyone had to do to prove the earth was not the center of the universe is note that it revolved around the sun. All they had to do to show it was not flat was sail the seas past the points marked on the map (also a fitting analogy). But Creationism versus Evolutionism requires much more than that.

It should also be noted that the same church (note the lower-case 'c', meaning an organization rather than the entire body of believers) which persecuted Galileo was the church which persecuted Martin Luther, the father of the Great Reformation. It is also the same church that discouraged its followers from reading their own Bibles (indeed, many were illiterate when it was finally available in print) and which kept its sermons in Latin until the sixties.

So I think that says much more about a specific church than the Christian Church of Believers as a whole.

I think Creationism is both harder and easier to accept. Creationism isn't just faith in itself, but also that all true science (which we also believe is part of our ability to reason and a gift from God) won't make it waver. The problem is that we won't always get the answer we want when we want it, like with Evolution, and that the very nature of having a God means that He's something you can't completely understand. If we were able to understand Him in His entirety, we would be able to recreate Him, and then He wouldn't be deserving of being called God. So, the problem with proving Him is that we can only use human reasoning, and He's beyond our capacity. That's why we're more concerned with disproving Evolutionism than with proving Creationism. Neither one will be proved during our time here on Earth, but one may be disproven some time in the future. That is also where faith comes in, but it's still important to know why you believe what you believe, and to know how to respond to challenges. We're told in the Bible to be "gentle as doves" and "wise as serpents." I believe that means we should be as educated about our faith as possible. That also means studying anything that opposes it, and the options for refuting them.

(I'm sorry for all the editing. I really got on a roll.)

message 40: by [deleted user] (new)

I love America because people can believe what they want to believe, as long as it doesn't infringe upon my own rights.

I don't believe in the Christian God, Jesus Christ, or Creationism. God bless you for doing so. Best wishes on your spiritual journey!

I'm all done now. Take that as you will!

Darknightdestiny I think it's important that everyone has a choice! And I'm glad that when you speak, you speak from experience and personally, instead of parroting what you may have heard elsewhere. That means a lot!

God bless you, too! And best wishes to you in everything you endeavor as well!

message 42: by Drew (new) - rated it 5 stars

Drew Creationism I think has some elements of truth, but at most a very, very small amount. Maybe all God did was blow wind in a certain, unnatural direction so one molecule mixed with another until BAM! First cell.

message 43: by Dan (new)

Dan Arel Drew wrote: "Creationism I think has some elements of truth, but at most a very, very small amount. Maybe all God did was blow wind in a certain, unnatural direction so one molecule mixed with another until BA..."

even if "god blew wind" creationism would still have not 1 strand of truth to it. creationism is based solely on the god created everything in 7 days and nothing evolves. You have to actually ignore all scientific evidence and ignore the fact that we know evolution is true to believe in one single piece of the creation myth.

deleted user wrote: "Many people in their reviews of this text extol its logic. Can someone please present me with some of its logic to strengthen a belief in a Creator-God and Jesus Christ in particular? "

i read this book and for me, it made my disbelief stronger. I thought the book was poorly written and showed a massive lack of real logic.

To much of his logic was "people are good, so there is a god". Thats weak in my opinion.

As a disclaimer, I am a very strong non believer and I dont even buy into the idea that Jesus even existed. But thats a whole other debate for a whole different thread.

Marcia Claesson I want to take issue with this statement: "creationism is based solely on the god created everything in 7 days and nothing evolves." There are many forms of creationism. You are describing "young earth creationism." Many Christians also believe in "old earth creationism" and "theistic evolution" as well. I'm pretty sure that C.S. Lewis believed in theistic evolution, BTW.

David Dan wrote: "To much of his logic was "people are good, so there is a god". Thats weak in my opinion."

Lewis' argument is about the origin of morals. He uses many examples to show that there are objective standards and therefore come from outside of ourselves.

This, in fact, was the kind of argument that changed the mind of an atheist blogger recently:

message 46: by Dan (new)

Dan Arel Marcia wrote: "I want to take issue with this statement: "creationism is based solely on the god created everything in 7 days and nothing evolves." There are many forms of creationism. You are describing "young..."

"theistic evolution" is nothing more than "intelligent design" and even the catholic church has said intelligent design is rubbish. Creationism has a whole is god created everything as is, he made man special, not as bacteria that evolved over billions of years into apes. Christianity sees man as gods greatest creation, when in reality we are nothing more than the product of natural selection.

I will never say science has disproved god, but it most certainly has rendered the idea of him useless.

David wrote: "Dan wrote: "To much of his logic was "people are good, so there is a god". Thats weak in my opinion."

Lewis' argument is about the origin of morals. He uses many examples to show that there are ob..."

oh boy, an atheist blogger changed her mind?! i guess all atheists should do just like her! or maybe since we are free thinkers, we can make up our own minds.

You cannot use the bible or christianity as a basis for morals at all. The bibles "morals" are downright disgusting. Genocide, the treatment of woman, slavery, rape, should i go on? all things condoned in the bible.

anyone who has sat down and read the bible can clearly see this is the work of man alone, not devine intervention. You have Jesus on earth healing the sick and believing its demonic procession, but dont you think the son of god would have been clued in about germ theory from his father?

where do wild animals get their morals from? is god teaching them morality as well?

Morals existed long before the invention of the christian god, and if anything, the creation of gods ruined morals because man was able to call something moral as long as he could claim his god was okay with it.

“Human decency is not derived from religion. It precedes it.”
― Christopher Hitchens

David Dan wrote: "we are free thinkers, we can make up our own minds...You cannot use the bible or christianity as a basis for morals at all."

Free thinkers have used the Bible as a source of morals throughout history. It is a treasure trove of brilliance and even those who do not believe it can see that.

(It seems that many "free thinkers" walk in lock-step with the late Christopher Hitchens and Richard Dawkins instead of thinking for themselves.)

Humans do not tend toward "human decency" or morality. We need to be taught it, even today. People are the same today as they were back in the times of the Bible. We have not evolved into moral excellence and we are not heading in that direction.

Where do you say that morality comes from?

message 48: by Dan (new)

Dan Arel David wrote: "Dan wrote: "we are free thinkers, we can make up our own minds...You cannot use the bible or christianity as a basis for morals at all."

Free thinkers have used the Bible as a source of morals thr..."

if we are taught morality from the bible, i guess i should go out and rape women (as long as i marry them after), keep slaves, have 100s of mistresses, slaughter helpless animals to show my love for some invisible deity, murder towns of people because they dont worship the same god as me, need i go on?

morality in the bible is a joke. its vile, repulsive and i sincerely hope people can go far beyond the teachings in that book to find morals.

human decency comes to us naturally, we are smart enough to understand pain and suffering. We do not need a book or some devine being to tell us murder is wrong. Its not like before moses came down from the mountain w/ 10 commandements that everyone ran around thinking murder was a-okay!

why would we evolve in moral excellence? the simple fact you say that leads me to think you dont actually understand the basics of evolution, but that aside, many studies have shown why alturism would be favored in evolution, and why "morality" would be passed on. Being altruism is beneficial to the individual when he sees a payoff for himself, this is exactly how such a concept would evolve over time. The social meme of morality would be passed on through teaching and observation in the human race. Though we can look at animals who have no idea what a "god" is and have never read the bible and we can see moral and altruistic behavior.

It begs the question, if the bible didnt exist, and you had no concept of heaven or hell, would you kill anyone you wanted? are you only good because god told you to be? I am a walking example that you can be good w/ out having a reward or punishment hung over your head. I am good without god, and I would like to think most other humans on this planet who are good now would also continue to be good if they found out there was no god, or no great reward after death.

not to overdue the quotes in my argument, but I think this one sums of my feelings rather well:

"Religion is an insult to human dignity. With or without it, you'd have good people doing good things and evil people doing bad things, but for good people to do bad things, it takes religion."
~Steven Weinberg

message 49: by David (last edited Jul 02, 2012 05:10PM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

David Dan wrote: "I am a walking example that you can be good w/ out having a reward or punishment hung over your head."

I'm sure you are a good person, and should be commended for that. In my personal experience, those who believe there is a God, as a whole, are better people than those who do not.

Some people may do what the Bible says because they are afraid of being punished, but many believe it is the truth about who we are and how we should live. It has more explanatory power than other options.

You say, "altruism is beneficial to the individual when he sees a payoff for himself" (as a side note, this sounds like the rewards you don't want other people to believe in), but what about when there is no payoff? For example, when a person is in danger, and another person helps them. There is no payoff.

Where would you say that you got your morals from?

message 50: by Dan (new)

Dan Arel David wrote: "Dan wrote: "I am a walking example that you can be good w/ out having a reward or punishment hung over your head."

I'm sure you are a good person, and should be commended for that. In my personal ..."

i think its a bad thing to say that people who believe in god are more or less moral in general, i can easily claim out of the people i know, more atheists are moral than christians, but im going to assume its based on who we surround ourselves with. but if we talk history, i would say you are dead wrong. believers and religion have caused countless more problems than secularism ever has.

on alturism, its not the reward i dont want people to believe in because its a much different reward, its gene survival and the passing on of those genes to the next generation, not afterlife, not a reward for being a good person. its a selfish reward, but our genes are selfish, their goal is survival, if anything in the world is immortal, its genes, from generation to generation.

and why do i think people help people? i think thats very easy. evolution has given up large brains and we have become very smart, we understand personal pain and suffering, and for many of us (though i think we can agree not all) seeing others in pain affects us, we have become emotional creatures. So we are willing to help others because we can relate to them. This can also be seen in the animal kingdom, and i dont think they are doing it for the benefit of an afterlife.

and my morals? i got them from my parents, my mom is religious, my dad an atheist, but i was never told i had to be good for god, i was taught to be good for the sake of being a good person, i came out as an atheist at a young age, and was supported by both my parents and they knew they raised me to care for others. I would almost say "do unto others" and we know that pre-dates the bible, so lets not claim thats a jesus quote. ;)

I am a father, i have a son, i am instilling in him what I feel are good morals to pass on to be a good person, but I am not using fear of hell of reward of heaven. I am instilling good in him for the sake of living a good and happy life.

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