Planet Declared As 100% Likely To Have Life... Now Can't Even Be Found

from the oops dept

You may recall a few weeks ago, we wrote about the discovery of the first "potentially life-sustaining planet" outside of our solar system, which got some astronomers so excited that one declared the chance of life on the planet to be 100%. Of course, he may want to adjust his optimism a bit downwards as Slashdot points us to the news that another group of astronomers are saying they can't find any trace of the planet:
But at this week's Astrophysics of Planetary Systems meeting, astronomer Francesco Pepe of the Geneva Observatory and the Swiss group reported that he and his colleagues could find no reliable sign of a fifth planet in Gliese 581's habitable zone. They used only their own observations, but they expanded their published data set from what the U.S. group included in its analysis to a length of 6.5 years and 180 measurements. "We do not see any evidence for a fifth planet ... as announced by Vogt et al.," Pepe wrote Science in an e-mail from the meeting. On the other hand, "we can't prove there is no fifth planet." No one yet has the required precision in their observations to prove the absence of such a small exoplanet, he notes.

Astronomer Paul Butler, a member of the U.S. team who is at the Carnegie Institution for Science in Washington, D.C., says he can't comment on the Swiss work because he wasn't at the meeting and the data are unpublished. He notes, however, that more observations will likely be needed to solidify the existence of Gliese 581g. "I would expect that on the time scale of a year or two this should be settled."
So, perhaps before we declare it 100% likely to have life, we should make sure it actually exists.


Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  1.  
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    RD, Oct 13th, 2010 @ 10:36am

    Flame on!

    And yet these are the same people that will claim with a straight face that evolution is the end-all, be-all, no-argument, for-absolutely-certain ONLY answer for life on earth.

    You may now get your hate-on.

     

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  2.  
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    Freak, Oct 13th, 2010 @ 10:40am

    Re: Flame on!

    If you're going to troll, at least use some common sense.

    Evolution has nothing to do with abiogenesis or biogenesis and is actually completely compatible with some creationist viewpoints.

     

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  3.  
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    Chronno S. Trigger (profile), Oct 13th, 2010 @ 10:43am

    Fifth Planet

    It was there, it's just not now. Expect a meteor shower of green rocks and a baby in a ship in a few years.

     

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  4.  
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    Hephaestus (profile), Oct 13th, 2010 @ 10:47am

    Re: Fifth Planet

    Remind me again, when does his cousin get here? Always wanted to date and ET ...

     

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  5.  
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    Marvin, Oct 13th, 2010 @ 10:54am

    Wonders of wonders

    My Eludium Pu-36 Explosive Space Modulator works!

     

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  6.  
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    silly goose, Oct 13th, 2010 @ 10:57am

    oh too bad I wanted to build a summer home there for my great x1,000,000 grand children.

     

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  7.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Oct 13th, 2010 @ 10:59am

    Bypass

    The new hyperspace bypass is almost complete!

     

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  8.  
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    John Doe, Oct 13th, 2010 @ 11:04am

    Klingon planet?

    Maybe they fixed their cloaking device?

     

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  9.  
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    TheOldFart (profile), Oct 13th, 2010 @ 11:04am

    To quote Peter Walker

    "The supreme arrogance of religious thinking: that a carbon-based bag of mostly water on a spec of iron-silicate dust around a boring dwarf star ... would look up at the sky and declare, 'It was all made so that I could exist!'"

     

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  10.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Oct 13th, 2010 @ 11:11am

    Re: Flame on!

    No...

    If they're giving you an "absolute" conclusion, they're either preaching religion, or they're a science hack looking for a headline.

    ...just like this guy.

     

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  11.  
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    Marcus Carab (profile), Oct 13th, 2010 @ 11:13am

    Re: Flame on!

    If anything RD, this demonstrates the power of the scientific method. When one theory is proposed or observation published, other people all over the world go to work on confirming/rejecting it. Do you not think they do the same thing with evolution? Because they absolutely do - in fact there are way, way more people looking for ways to invalidate the theory of evolution than probably any other scientific model. And despite all that effort, nobody has been able to poke any significant holes in it.

     

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  12.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Oct 13th, 2010 @ 11:15am

    Re: Wonders of wonders

    Voted extremely funny, Marvin ;)

     

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  13.  
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    John Doe, Oct 13th, 2010 @ 11:16am

    Re: To quote Peter Walker

    You have it completely backwards. The universe was not made for us, we and it were made to glorify God.

     

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    future car, Oct 13th, 2010 @ 11:17am

    I think it must have move behind a black hole, or inside a black hole. Now, where did I put my black hole ...

     

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  15.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Oct 13th, 2010 @ 11:19am

    Re: Re: Flame on!

    Whereas, in religion, if you disagree, you are a heathen, and you will burn in hell and suffer pain for all eternity, just because you DARED to ask "Why?".

     

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  16.  
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    Hephaestus (profile), Oct 13th, 2010 @ 11:19am

    Weird thing when I read the title I felt a billion voices cry out all at once ...

     

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  17.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Oct 13th, 2010 @ 11:24am

    Re: Re: To quote Peter Walker

    So, we are merely furniture for God? A cute painting perhaps? Something he made in his spare time just to show how great he was?

     

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  18.  
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    PRMan, Oct 13th, 2010 @ 11:27am

    Re: Flame on!

    And even let universities DISALLOW science classes where anybody would dare compare theories!

    Not that they taught only creation, but even if they attempt to compare. Where's the science if your theory can't stand up to challenge?

     

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  19.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Oct 13th, 2010 @ 11:28am

    Re: Flame on!

    Do you have a better answer? Other than some invisible all-powerful something did something and something popped up in space and then he put us into that something?

     

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  20.  
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    Dark Helmet (profile), Oct 13th, 2010 @ 11:28am

    Re:

    No, no, that thing near it was too big to be a space station....

     

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  21.  
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    Chronno S. Trigger (profile), Oct 13th, 2010 @ 11:29am

    Re: Re: Fifth Planet

    End of the sixth season, after the dam breaks.

     

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  22.  
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    mojo, Oct 13th, 2010 @ 11:32am

    I could never figure out why God, of all people, apparently has a very frail ego. I mean seriously, if the reason we were all made was to "glorify god," we're talking about a guy who sat around one day and said, "hmmm, I may be all-powerful, but there's no one around to praise me. I think I'll invent life for the sole purpose of constantly telling me how wonderful I am."

    You actually want to HANG with that A-hole?

     

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  23.  
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    John Doe, Oct 13th, 2010 @ 11:33am

    Re: Re: Re: To quote Peter Walker

    Not sure how you come to this conclusion. Would God allow his Son to be killed for a cute painting? No he wouldn't. He did it to save us since we couldn't save ourselves.

     

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  24.  
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    Pickle Monger (profile), Oct 13th, 2010 @ 11:33am

    Re: Flame on!

    See RD? No hate: just pure common sense. And calmly explained too.

     

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  25.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Oct 13th, 2010 @ 11:34am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: To quote Peter Walker

    Let's kill him for the crime of creating us.

     

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  26.  
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    Pickle Monger (profile), Oct 13th, 2010 @ 11:37am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: To quote Peter Walker

    Depends on the God, I suppose...

     

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  27.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Oct 13th, 2010 @ 11:38am

    Re:

    Not a frail ego. He, just any good dictator, needs followers (slaves) to do his bidding.

     

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  28.  
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    John Doe, Oct 13th, 2010 @ 11:40am

    Re:

    Why did your dad make you? Maybe God had similar motives?

     

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  29.  
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    rabbit wise (profile), Oct 13th, 2010 @ 11:41am

    Re: Re: Flame on!

    Or...they are one of the so-called "science" channels who couch facts just so it makes for maximum viewers and minimum legal problems.

    Or a reporter who was completely freaked out by a Neil Tyson type hands and perhaps did not understand the whole bit in the first place and either misquoted or pulled something out of context. (That never happens!)

     

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  30.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Oct 13th, 2010 @ 11:42am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: To quote Peter Walker

    Explain to me one thing: how does God murdering his son (through the hand of his minions) save us from anything? That has always baffled me.

     

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  31.  
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    rabbit wise (profile), Oct 13th, 2010 @ 11:45am

    Re: Re: Re: Flame on!

    You have never dared to (ask a) question anything in quantum theory, have you?

    Heathen is a really nice word compared to what they call you if you question the validity of their theories.

     

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  32.  
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    Joe, Oct 13th, 2010 @ 11:45am

    I took a couple of courses in Astronomy and astrophysics in university and when discussing the requirements of life, besides the standard working through of the Drake equation, we also took a look at what the base requirements are for life as we understand it to emerge. If all the conditions are there, then the chances of life emerging is 100%. Life is incredibly tenacious, especially when you see bacterium surviving buried within asteroids and other extremely hostile environments.

    However, the claim here that the planet is 100% certainty life supporting still seems like wishful thinking though. Even if it's within the 'habitable zone' around the sun, that's still no guarantee. More likely a wish by the surveyors to be the first to find a habitable planet.

    Now let's return to the religious argument underway...

     

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  33.  
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    rabbit wise (profile), Oct 13th, 2010 @ 11:47am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: To quote Peter Walker

    WIN.

    I just snarfed my Dr. Pepper.

     

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  34.  
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    Ben (profile), Oct 13th, 2010 @ 11:48am

    From the same article (comments)

    The American team used a combined set of observations: One 11-year-long set consisted of 122 measurements made by the team, while the other set was 4.3 years long and consisted of 119 measurements published by the consortium.

    [The Swiss group] used only their own observations, but they expanded their published data set from what the U.S. group included in its analysis to a length of 6.5 years and 180 measurements.

    So, the American study had 241 observations over at least 11 years and the data is peer reviewed and published. The Swiss apparently are refuting that by ignoring half the data and adding 61 data points from 2.2 years that haven't been peer reviewed. Obviously they're a reputable group, but I'll wait for them to look at *all* of the data available to them, preferably published data, before just taking them at their word. Doubly so for a negative finding since alpha (chance of a false positive) tends to be a lot smaller than beta (chance of a false negative).

     

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  35.  
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    John Doe, Oct 13th, 2010 @ 11:55am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: To quote Peter Walker

    Read the old testament about the sacrifices people were to bring for their sins. They were to sacrifice the first born male without blemish (animals that is). Think about what kind of sacrifice that is. A strong, male animal would have been good stock and to give it up for doing wrong would have been quite a punishment.

    Now fast forward and see that Jesus was the first born male (to Mary), without the blemish of sin. So God provided the sacrifice for us, we did not give up anything, he did.

     

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  36.  
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    Dark Helmet (profile), Oct 13th, 2010 @ 12:00pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: To quote Peter Walker

    Wow. God is very poetic. It's almost as though that story was created to perfectly coincide with past traditions and customs so that it would be palleteable for people.

    On the other hand, it isn't as though the Christian faith has shied away from incorporating traditions and customs from opposing religions into their practices....

     

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  37.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Oct 13th, 2010 @ 12:05pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: To quote Peter Walker

    A b*sterd child born to a hussy out of wedlock is the savior?

    Does that mean that Larry Flint is God?

     

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  38.  
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    TheOldFart (profile), Oct 13th, 2010 @ 12:14pm

    Re: Re: To quote Peter Walker

    How do you come to claim that you know the mind of god?

    How could you possibly know what Thor was thinking when he created the universe?

    What possible basis is there for such a ridiculous claim? Where is your evidence?

    Here's a hint: quoting books written by near primitives, and in particular books that also claim absolutely that rabbits chew cud, that bats are birds, and that the sun goes around the earth and that all of those are the result of an invisible being who lives in the sky is not evidence of anything other than a feeble mind that is completely satisfied by written compilations of ancient superstitions created from hundreds of even earlier and more primitive beliefs and tales.

    So you might want to try the evidence route rather than claiming you have divinely inspired knowledge of what Thor was thinking when he created the universe.

    BTW, found any evidence of that flood yet?

     

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  39.  
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    Chronno S. Trigger (profile), Oct 13th, 2010 @ 12:14pm

    Re: Re:

    Too much tequila that night down in Cancun?

     

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  40.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Oct 13th, 2010 @ 12:19pm

    Re:

    Actually the universe was God's Masters Thesis, he got a C-.

     

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  41.  
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    Will Sizemore (profile), Oct 13th, 2010 @ 12:21pm

    @ Chronno S. Trigger (#3) and Hephaestus (#4): Everyone knows that this planet exploded into YELLOW JELLY, not silly green crystals, and she's gonna be far too ugly for any of us to want anything to do with when she gets here.

    @ Bible Thumpers and Evolutionists: Old Testament and New Testament prove the evolution of humans, Earth itself, faith, and religion. How so? Bible scholars teach that humans didn't eat meat, but now we can/do/need to unless we get our nutritional requirements from sources we didn't have before Adam and Eve committed the first sin. Christians eat pork. Christian men have sex with their wives when she is in her menstrual cycle. The Apostle Paul wrote that all things were lawful, though not expedient, so as long as it doesn't hinder your brother's walk with God, you can do it, understanding that it may still hinder your own walk, and therefore not necessarily a good idea.

    @ John Doe (#8) and Dark Helemt (#20):
    Come on, we all know it was just a Death Star!

    Maybe it was a giant mirror? Maybe it was a hoax? If you've never watched the Big Bang Theory, you might not get the visual I have, but I remember an episode when Leonard, Raj, and Howard taught Sheldon how to pull a prank and the crap that Kripke and Sheldon did to each other was just hilarious.

     

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  42.  
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    Hephaestus (profile), Oct 13th, 2010 @ 12:26pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: To quote Peter Walker

    You wouldn't catch a greek god doing anything like that ... :)

     

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  43.  
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    Hephaestus (profile), Oct 13th, 2010 @ 12:26pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: To quote Peter Walker

    You wouldn't catch a greek god doing anything like that ... :)

     

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  44.  
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    Hephaestus (profile), Oct 13th, 2010 @ 12:28pm

    Re: Re:

    Then I guess it really was just a small moon ...

     

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  45.  
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    The Mighty Buzzard (profile), Oct 13th, 2010 @ 12:30pm

    Re: Re: Re: Flame on!

    Or global warming.

     

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  46.  
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    John Doe, Oct 13th, 2010 @ 12:30pm

    Re: Re: Re: To quote Peter Walker

    I don't claim to know the mind of God. The bible even asks the question "who can know the mind of God?". But the bible is how you can know something about why God did the things he did. As for the claim that the bible can't be right because it was written by man, if God can create all of this, then surely that God can get a book written to say what he wants it to say.

    I love how anti-religious types always say religion is for feeble minds. Show me your proof that your mind is any less feeble than mine. Since you are trying to put words in my mouth, I would say your mind is either feeble or devious; neither of which is good.

     

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  47.  
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    Dark Helmet (profile), Oct 13th, 2010 @ 12:31pm

    Re: Re: Re: To quote Peter Walker

    "BTW, found any evidence of that flood yet?"

    Wasn't there something about scientists that found that the area where that story is likely to have originated does show a rather monumental flood occurring? Obviously the whole "entire world being flooded and Noah having an ark in which he had two of every animal" thing is the stuff of fables, created to explain something to primitive people, but I thought that there was some proof that a huge flood had occurred in the area.

    Beyond that, I'm okay with belief in God. I personally believe in some kind of a higher power. I'm also not so egotistical to believe that I'm for sure right, or that even if there is truly a God, my feeble human mind has any ability to comprehend what its existence entails.

    Faith can be a beautiful thing. Organized religion is a form of social control. It too can be a net positive, though it rarely is. I just think it's egotisical on a grand scale to claim your version of God is the right one and everyone else's is wrong....

     

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  48.  
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    Hephaestus (profile), Oct 13th, 2010 @ 12:31pm

    Re: Re: Re: Fifth Planet

    Cool just got to wait for him to grow up and then wait another 6 years ...

     

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  49.  
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    The Mighty Buzzard (profile), Oct 13th, 2010 @ 12:34pm

    Re: Re: Flame on!

    Figure out the cause and means of propagation of gravity, before you go off on others. "It's just fucking magic" is still currently in the running for a scientific explanation of gravity.

     

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  50.  
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    TheOldFart (profile), Oct 13th, 2010 @ 12:41pm

    I'm not sure Drake's equation is applicable

    ...for the reasons you've listed. We've got bacteria living miles down in the Earth's crust, just on chemical energy. Seems to me that even burned out remains of planets that once had life are likely to still have it unless they're too hot or too cold for "orderly" chemical reactions to occur.

    Drake's equation is about civilizations and life forms detectable by radiation they generate. If the "aliens" invent cable TV or satellite TV before they invent broadcast TV then technically speaking they would never show up in that equation because the radiation levels would be too low to ever detect. Well, assuming they're not stupid enough to set off nuclear weapons on their own planet anyway...

    (what did that recent demotivational poster say? "The truth behind atomic bombs: they actually contain midgets that divide by zero")

    Going back to the original article, the declaration by one astronomer that there is 100% chance of life is not science, it's just the personal opinion of one guy, so the implied slight on science/scientists in general is a pretty flimsy construction anyway.

     

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  51.  
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    Dark Helmet (profile), Oct 13th, 2010 @ 12:45pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: To quote Peter Walker

    "I don't claim to know the mind of God."

    Good start....

    "But the bible is how you can know something about why God did the things he did."

    Er, not really. The Bible will provide you with a many-times-interpreted by many different men, minus several books that didn't make the "cut" for a variety of reasons (some of which had to do with claims of accuracy, some political), of why God did some stuff, although most of it is like quadruple hearsay (This guy knew one guy who's brother told him that God appeared in a dream....). That's very different from "know".

    "As for the claim that the bible can't be right because it was written by man...."

    Uh oh.

    "if God can create all of this"

    This being a world that includes flaws and imperfections....

    "then surely that God can get a book written to say what he wants it to say."

    Sigh. This is where the hardcore religious folks lose me. I ask them, if their version of God is correct, why it lets things like murder happen. "Because," they tell me. "God gave us free will, and man is imperfect, so we routinely do messed up stuff."

    So I say "ok", then we can assume the bible follows those same rules. "No, no, no," they say. "The bible is perfect." But wait, it was written by man? "Yes". And man is fucked up? "Yes". Then the bible might be fucked up too? "No."

    Awesome. You want proof that the bible, at best, has been unduly influenced by man? It's actually really easy. Despite the fact that the bible indirectly tells us that the heavenly God is purely spirit, with no physicality, God is referred to as male throughout the Bible. Imagine that. A bunch of male priests (other than a few outliers) took an asexual being and made it male. Huh. So they took what should be called "it" and made it male.

    How is that "perfect"?

     

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  52.  
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    Pickle Monger (profile), Oct 13th, 2010 @ 12:46pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: To quote Peter Walker

    He is to some of us... With too many goddesses to count... ;-)

     

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  53.  
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    John Doe, Oct 13th, 2010 @ 12:50pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: To quote Peter Walker

    Genesis says that God made man (males) in His image and woman in man's image. Whether God is male in the same way we are male I don't know, but apparently he does have some kind of gender traits.

     

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  54.  
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    Pickle Monger (profile), Oct 13th, 2010 @ 12:53pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: To quote Peter Walker

    "Obviously the whole "entire world being flooded and Noah having an ark in which he had two of every animal" thing is the stuff of fables"

    Actually, the Sumerians had a nearly identical account of an event though on a scale far less grand that that of Noah in Torah/Bible. So, who knows: probably has a very real basis...

     

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  55.  
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    rabbit wise (profile), Oct 13th, 2010 @ 12:54pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: To quote Peter Walker

    To those that wrote Genesis, their whole world did flood. And several other civilizations' whole worlds flooded. That does not mean the whole world as we know it today flooded.

    How arrogant to read a book written in generations past and measure it with the current knowledge. When that portion of the Bible was written what was the "whole world".

    Leaving god out of it, how inspirational is it that complete communities were flooded almost out of existence and managed to survive?

     

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  56.  
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    TheOldFart (profile), Oct 13th, 2010 @ 12:56pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: To quote Peter Walker

    You claim you know how the universe came into being.

    You "know" that Thor created it and why. In your own words:

    "The universe was not made for us, we and it were made to glorify God."

    Who told you that? Where did you get this "knowledge"? You claim specifically that "we and it were made to glorify god". How do you know that it wasn't made for us to laugh at god? How do you know it wasn't made for Thor to take his frustrations out on? How do you know it wasn't made as a prototype, a proof-of-concept to show to the other gods what he was thinking about doing for real?

    How do you know? How can you say for sure that none of those other gods or other stories are correct and only your god story is?

    Religion *is* for feeble minds. It's the 21st century, did you know that? Every single "god did it" has fallen by the wayside as science and technology have come up with explanations of how the world and the universe actually work. Religion has been in retreat for more than 5,000 years. We know where lightning comes from now. We know how earthquakes happen. We know how tiny seeds become trees. We're learning in excruciating detail the role of DNA in living things. All of the "oooh, it's scary, a god must have done it" crap has been retired. Now we know that the universe is flat and that random quantum fluctuations provide all the required conditions for the universe to exist.

    We know all that, we can prove those ideas, there is evidence to support them, in some cases we can demonstrate through experiment that they are correct.

    Meanwhile, where is the evidence for a god? Any god will do, evidence of Thor, of Odin, of Mars, of Baal, of Brahma, or the god of Abraham.

    Your "evidence" is contained in a book known for two things: extreme violence and absurd tales for which there is no evidence for and an entire universe full of evidence against.

    Only a feeble mind would cling to that last straw all the while injecting "santa claus...er... the easter bunny... er... thor... er... god did it and I *KNOW* that he did because this old book says so" into every conversation about science.

     

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  57.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Oct 13th, 2010 @ 12:56pm

    How convenient, Mike left out the part where they also said "we can't prove there is no fifth planet". Plus, they used different observations than their American counterparts.

     

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  58.  
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    Pickle Monger (profile), Oct 13th, 2010 @ 1:00pm

    Re: Re:

    To try to save the marriage?

     

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  59.  
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    Pickle Monger (profile), Oct 13th, 2010 @ 1:00pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    Also, I wasn't present at the time of conception but I'm pretty sure it was mostly my mother's decision.

     

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  60.  
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    Dark Helmet (profile), Oct 13th, 2010 @ 1:02pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: To quote Peter Walker

    "Genesis says that God made man (males) in His image and woman in man's image. Whether God is male in the same way we are male I don't know, but apparently he does have some kind of gender traits."

    See, I truly don't want to offend here, and believe it or not I honestly do respect people with faith, but when people tell me the virtues and/or "rightness" of their religion and I know it better than they do, I get REALLY frustrated.

    What you're saying is not correct. The Christian bible indirectly deals with the question of the heavanly God's (being separate from Christ and the Holy Spirit) sexuality, and it is clear that God is asexual:

    "God is spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth." (John 4:24)

    God is not physical. He does not have sexual organs. He is NOT male.

    "See My hands and My feet, that it is I Myself; touch Me and see, for a spirit does not have flesh and bones as you see that I have." (Luke 24:39)

    Christ was saying that only his part of the trinity is physical. The Holy Spirit and heavanly God are not. They cannot be male as they are not physical beings.

    Your assertion that man is made from God and woman from man is also against biblical assertions, such as Galatians 3:28, in which men and women are said to be spiritual equals, or Mathew 22:29-30, which clearly says that there is no sexual differentiation in Heaven.

    But I don't fault you for making statements that the bible contradicts. It really isn't your fault, because much of the way the rest of the bible is worded would support your statements. That's the point. The Bible isn't totally consistent. That's all that's being suggested....

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Oct 13th, 2010 @ 1:03pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: To quote Peter Walker

    Hint: The bible was written by some random people, not your imaginary friend.

     

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    Palmyra (profile), Oct 13th, 2010 @ 1:03pm

    Re: Flame on!

    Hate, no. Just pity, just pity...

     

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  63.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Oct 13th, 2010 @ 1:05pm

    Re:

    Congratulations! You have just failed your reading class. Please report to the nearest McDonald's for your certificate.

     

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  64.  
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    Pickle Monger (profile), Oct 13th, 2010 @ 1:07pm

    Re:

    Try reading again slowly. Maybe use your finger so you don't loose the line.

     

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    Chronno S. Trigger (profile), Oct 13th, 2010 @ 1:07pm

    Re:

    I would like to point out that we can't prove Big Foot doesn't exist ether. Doesn't matter, that's not how science works.

    I would also like to point out that it would be kinda pointless to get a second opinion, if that opinion was made with the same observations as the first.

    And, he does have in the article "On the other hand, 'we can't prove there is no fifth planet.'"

     

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  66.  
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    Dark Helmet (profile), Oct 13th, 2010 @ 1:08pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: To quote Peter Walker

    "Actually, the Sumerians had a nearly identical account of an event though on a scale far less grand that that of Noah in Torah/Bible. So, who knows: probably has a very real basis..."

    I remembered that too, though for some reason I kept thinking of the Asyrians rather than Summerians. But I also recall some scientists studying the shale around one of the seas (would have to be the Dead Sea?) or something like that....

     

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  67.  
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    Pickle Monger (profile), Oct 13th, 2010 @ 1:10pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: To quote Peter Walker

    Still not as arrogant/ignorant as saying "my little corner of the world is all that exists". Can't blame the people of the time but what's the excuse of those alive today?

     

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    Gabriel Tane (profile), Oct 13th, 2010 @ 1:11pm

    Re: Re: Flame on!

    Damn... I was SO not going to get into this one. ~sigh~

    Considering that the 'competition' is a religion that has a LONG history of burning, condemning, murdering, hating, preaching against, denouncing, and flat out DAMNING anything that resembles competition to their beliefs...

    I can't take your statement very seriously.

    All of the argument over creationism and intelligent design (same thing, really) in schools has been about the validity of creationism and ID as sciences, not as a hypothesis in and of themselves. Most scientists that I hear about (that aren't too far on the other extreme) don't say "creationism is wrong", they say "creationism isn't a scientific theory/hypothesis and shouldn't be taught alongside accepted science." And remember, the whole thing started with religious representatives not liking the competition of the theory of evolution ‘corrupting the minds of the youth.'

     

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  69.  
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    Pickle Monger (profile), Oct 13th, 2010 @ 1:11pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: To quote Peter Walker

    Black Sea and the Mediterranean

     

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    Dark Helmet (profile), Oct 13th, 2010 @ 1:13pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: To quote Peter Walker

    Ugh, shame on me. I should have known that....

     

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    Pickle Monger (profile), Oct 13th, 2010 @ 1:16pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Flame on!

    Ever heard of "Schrodinger's cat"?

     

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    rabbit wise (profile), Oct 13th, 2010 @ 1:19pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Flame on!

    OMG. Stop.

     

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    Greg, Oct 13th, 2010 @ 1:22pm

    Re: Re: Flame on!

    There is no challenge. They just want to avoid wasting time with people who refuse to accept anything but their 'theories' and who have not produced a single shred of evidence to support them.

     

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    Gabriel Tane (profile), Oct 13th, 2010 @ 1:22pm

    Re: Bypass

    I wonder if they read the public notice... or could even find it. :/ Damn Vogons.

     

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    Pickle Monger (profile), Oct 13th, 2010 @ 1:23pm

    Re: Re: Re: Flame on!

    I take it by "currently" you mean the time of the pyramids...

     

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    rabbit wise (profile), Oct 13th, 2010 @ 1:25pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: To quote Peter Walker

    There is absolutely no excuse.

    There's an epiphany in there somewhere.

     

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    Gabriel Tane (profile), Oct 13th, 2010 @ 1:25pm

    Re: Re: Re: Flame on!

    Sounds the ICP view of the universe.

    And go read up on string theory... pretty convincing explanation 'where' gravity comes from.

     

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    Fentex, Oct 13th, 2010 @ 1:35pm

    A planet tidally locked to it's sun without a large satellite stands a good chance of having no magnetic field worth a damn among other extreme conditions that makes like far less likely than certain.

    We only have Earth as a data point on how likely llife is and we know it happened almost as soon as Earth cooled enough for life to get by, so it seems like it's probably in the irght conditions.

    But Earths conditions include a lot more than just size and distance from Sol, the rotating metallic core of Earth provides magnetic protection from deadly radiation, the Moon and it's tides help it and help moderate the density of our atmosphere.

    Our astronomy is getting better, and continued investment in improved observation will mean we'll have a good catalogue of nearby stars in the next few decades and have a btter idea of the propensity of Earth like planets in the Universe.

    But for now what little we can see does not make a good candidate for a life bearing planet.

     

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    Gabriel Tane (profile), Oct 13th, 2010 @ 1:37pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: To quote Peter Walker

    From what I remember, there are many ancient cultures that had some kind of flood story and/or 'destruction of the world' story.

    Just don't ask me which ones... Humanities was a LONG time ago.

     

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    Gabriel Tane (profile), Oct 13th, 2010 @ 1:40pm

    Re: Re:

    lose

     

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    RD, Oct 13th, 2010 @ 1:53pm

    Wow

    Wow, 80 comments, tons of hate and bile, and not ONE of you people (and I mean that EXACTLY how it sounds) either got the point of my initial post OR that I took NO STAND on God, religion or creation whatsoever. To question something and doubt it IS NOT TO TAKE THE OPPOSING SIDE by assumption.

    So please, spare me your "you are just a XXX" judgments.

    My point was, that if a SCIENTIST can proclaim something like this (100% that the exoplanet has life!) as fact, and then not even be able to FIND the planet later (let alone prove ANY percentage of chance of life) then how can we accept their judgment and analysis on something as complex and all-encompassing as the theory of evolution (which, by the way, said scientists state categorically is also FACT, not theory)?

    I said nowhere anything about God.

    I said nowhere anything about creation.

    I said nowhere anything about religion.

    I simply questioned the veracity of the theory of evolution
    and the credibility of those who claim "100% chance of life!" without any evidence who are also CERTAIN of the theory of evolution being the ONLY answer.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Oct 13th, 2010 @ 2:17pm

    Re: Wow

    It's the only plausible answer that does not rely on "faith".

    The requirements for it to be true have been experimentally confirmed (genetics, basically) AND, despite amazing efforts, it has not been convincingly rebutted.

    The only reason it is called a theory is simply because we still do not have enough data to prove that it works 100% or have 100% certainty that "it" shaped the world the way we know it today (biologically speaking).

    This "planetary fiasco" actually highlights a great thing about the scientific process. It shows that any moron can claim whatever he feels like, but in the end, the scientific community will be the judge of the validity of those claims.

     

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    Pickle Monger (profile), Oct 13th, 2010 @ 2:19pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    Merci bien, kind stranger.

     

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    Squane (profile), Oct 13th, 2010 @ 2:34pm

    Re: Fifth Planet

    Actually they cloaked it. They realized that we were looking at them with a giant telescope and freaked out a bit.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Oct 13th, 2010 @ 2:34pm

    Re: Re: Re: Flame on!

    Like others said, there is a convincing explanation. But the most important thing is: There is a theory, and the theory states that a force (gravity) pulls matter into the center of objects with very large mass. SOMETHING must generate that force and THAT is what we MUST find out, even though we don't (didn't) know what it is or where it comes from. It's not magic. We just don't (didn't?) know enough to explain it yet.

     

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    Dark Helmet (profile), Oct 13th, 2010 @ 2:43pm

    Re: Re: Wow

    "The requirements for it to be true have been experimentally confirmed (genetics, basically) AND, despite amazing efforts, it has not been convincingly rebutted."

    Rebutted? No. But it's fairly accepted that microevolution and macroevolution are two separate things, and that microevolution cannot explain certain things that occurred in nature:

    "Major transitions in evolution - such as the origin of life, the emergence of eukaryotic cells, and the origin of the human capacity for language, to name but a few - could not be farther from an equilibrium. Also, they cannot be described satisfactorily by established models of microevolution." -- Dr. Fagerstrom, et al.


    Gradualism might occur, but the fossil record seems to be against it. Species in the fossil record, to a large extent, seem most often to simply "appear". Now, I happen to believe there is a logical scientific explanation for this, but such spontaneous speciation goes against popular evolutionary theories. The fossil record is, of course, incomplete, but not overwhelmingly so.

    Punctuated Equilibrium is inherently less likely than gradualism, because of requirements of isolation of a small number of the species from the group in order for beneficial mutations to take hold and dominate. This is called species sorting, and there are huge problems with it (namely the problems of inbreeding amongst the isolated population and it's likely negative effects).

    Again, IMO, science CAN explain what actually happened, although we might not be able to because of a lack of information. Straight creationism is a bedtime story, Intelligent Design as currently explained is likely a bad attempt at justifying creationism and science together. Having said that, evolution as the theory currently stands doesn't do the complete job either. There's just too much missing information....

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Oct 13th, 2010 @ 3:01pm

    now dark helmet isnt telling the truth

    the death star has now located earth and is now on its way isn't it...

     

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    ChrisB (profile), Oct 13th, 2010 @ 3:03pm

    Re: Re: Re: Flame on!

    > creationism isn't a scientific theory/hypothesis

    Good point.

    "What is your falsifiable hypothesis?" is all you need to say to chase away most creationist/ID believer.

    Ask them "What proof would I need to show you to change your mind?" A scientists will tell you. A fanatic will not.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Oct 13th, 2010 @ 3:03pm

    @38 i know the mind of god

    he said to me earlier he wants you to send a pizza to the following address......oh nvm you can't quite reach it yet

     

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  90.  
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    CrushU, Oct 13th, 2010 @ 3:05pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: To quote Peter Walker

    Plugs on a computer are called male or female, are they physical beings?

    Christ referred to God as His Father.

    Yet, for quite some time, authors referred to gender-neutral parties as 'he'. You think the Bible is an exception to this? Christ walked the Earth at a time when women were treated ... not well. In that context, it makes sense to refer to a 'Father', not a 'Mother'. It's also possible Christ meant something else, but found the best way to convey the concept as referring to a 'Father'.

    The Bible itself is a paradox; It claims that itself is reliable, how can that be possible? It's circular reasoning!

    Many suppositions made in the Bible have been proven true by archaeology and physics. That is, unfortunately, the best concrete reasoning provided for the Bible being true available to outside testing. There is STILL debate on whether parts of the Bible were literal or figurative, so the debate doesn't end just on 'Is the Bible true?'.

    On the plus side, the Bible says that all of Creation reveals God in and of itself. Christ Himself stated that if He were to try and prevent people from stating He is Lord, the rocks themselves would cry out to affirm this fact. (That'd be one of those 'is that literal?' passages.)

     

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    rabbit wise (profile), Oct 13th, 2010 @ 3:15pm

    Re: Wow

    Um, wow, yourself.

    I took your comment as you meant it and pointed that it was possible that someone (as some of us can tend to do) got a tad bit over-excited. It happens. Usually with vast amounts of coffee but it happens. Also, astronomers can, sometimes, talk over people's heads so it is possible that someone misquoted or possibly took something out of context. *points up*

    And I was rather enjoying the lively...debate. I didn't see any hate or bile anywhere here. If you can't step on the frogs, get out of the rain forest.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Oct 13th, 2010 @ 3:40pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: To quote Peter Walker

    Have you even read the scriptures? Mary was wed to Joseph so it wasn't a birth out of wedlock. Joseph is still a cuckolded schlemiel.

    And you're probably too young to remember that Eric Clapton is God.

     

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    Will Sizemore (profile), Oct 13th, 2010 @ 4:05pm

    Jesus Christ, Himself, explained to His apostles that he spoke in parables, which can be interpreted as figuratively.

    Do we, as humans, remember plain, vanilla facts as easily as something that is cleverly worded? To literals translate as easily as figuratives?

    That being said, it is completely ignorant to assume that in all this vast universe, whether God created it or not, we alone were created in His image to serve Him. Its certainly plausible that more than one 'world' was created.

    What about, "...and there were giants in those days..." and any evidence of them? Some interpret this to be really big people who got flooded out. Some interpret this as proof that the dinosaurs, or at least fossils of the dinosaurs, were recorded in that time. What if this was really a reference to extra terrestrials on Earth at the time? What if it was the Titans?

    That particular passage about flesh and spirit was Jesus' way of showing that he HAS flesh and is not a ghost, as His disciples feared. He did not say that spirits have no genitalia or gender; only that they do not have flesh and bones as humans do.

    The Bible does insinuate that we who will enter into heaven will have no gender, but I don't recall any portion which says that outright. What I do recall is that we are referred to as the Bride of Christ and He is the Bridegroom. I guess that could be literally interpreted to say that not only is Christ, and therefore His Father male, but that He is bisexual and we are all his 'bitches.'

    As for creation or evolution, does it really matter? Really? We're here already. Or are we not?

    My big concern is with the end. There's some scary stuff coming, according to John in the Book of Revelation. Part of the reason I left the church was because of the doctrine of the Rapture. Baptists will teach that because John was called up in chapter 4 that we will all be caught up in the sky. But if you cross reference as I did in my study bible, the references will refer to those whom are already dead being called up, and at no point does the bible say that it will happen BEFORE the Time of Tribulation.

    Timelines in the bible are all very contradictory. We are certain that Man's history predates the biblical calendar and we also know that when information is passed via litany and further translated to all tongues, that units of measurement (including time) can get goofed up.

    As for a possible figurative interpretation, Jesus Christ could have been an alien from a race that planted us here and He was telling our ancestors that He and His Father will return for us when Earth dies, and he'll take all our remains from Earth so that when later races settle here, that there won't be any trace of us left.

    I don't mean to say that I believe that. My last paragraph was a work of complete fiction. I'm just pointing out that there are so many ways to interpret the same facts, and the fact is that the bible does contain words that can be interpreted any number of ways to make my next point.

    It is never pointless to re-examine old data and observations of such, because as we learn new facts about our existence, we can see how those previous observations COULD have been slightly colored by opinions and limited data at the time.

    Oh, and how can a flat world flood, anyway?

     

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    TheOldFart (profile), Oct 13th, 2010 @ 5:11pm

    Re: Re: Re: Wow

    "Having said that, evolution as the theory currently stands doesn't do the complete job either. There's just too much missing information...."

    Huh? Missing information does not mean the theory is incorrect. It doesn't even imply that the theory might be incorrect.

    It took a long time to fill in the details of quantum theory. There is still a lot of missing information. No one thinks that quantum theory is wrong because there are things we don't know or how things we do know actually fit into the theory. The theory is falsifiable, the theory allows scientists to make fantastically precise predictions that have repeatedly been validated.

    Likewise the theory of relativity. Einstein never thought we'd be able to actually observe gravitational lensing. He and Bose predicted the Bose Einstein condensate 60 years before we had the technology to actually create it. Those predictions were *spot on*.

    The theory of gravity works. The theory of relativity works. Quantum theory works. Evolutionary theory works, it's falsifiable, it makes predictions. Gaps in our knowledge of any of those areas do not invalidate those theories and they certainly don't open the door for suggesting that invisible beings are responsible for any aspect of them, something that the OP insists is not just a possibility but an absolute certainty.

    BTW, ID is not anything different than creationism, it is precisely the same thing. They simply did a search for "creation" in their ridiculous "literature" and swapped that term with "intelligent design". That was what the court case (I believe in PA) was all about, the judge found that it was an attempt to whitewash creationism.

     

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    abc gum, Oct 13th, 2010 @ 5:26pm

    Re: Re: Re: Flame on!

    Evangelical Scientists Refute Gravity With New 'Intelligent Falling' Theory

    http://www.theonion.com/articles/evangelical-scientists-refute-gravity-with-new-int,1778/

     

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  96.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Oct 13th, 2010 @ 5:41pm

    i moved the marble

    haha jokes on you all
    and to quote the hitchhikers guide to the galaxy
    "and who is this god fella anyways, where promptly he disappeared"

     

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    TheOldFart (profile), Oct 13th, 2010 @ 5:59pm

    Re: Wow

    Maybe you're being laughed at for making a ridiculous claim? Since your claim is obviously ideologically founded and that claim is identical to what young earth creationists claim and therefore every bit as ridiculous, did you expect anyone to think otherwise?

    You claim that one person's opinion printed in the popular press is equivalent to a falsifiable scientific theory and a couple of centuries worth of science across dozens of scientific disciplines.

    Why not just say we can't believe any scientific theory or any scientist because we can always find individuals with science degrees who claim the opposite in the National Enquirer?

    You obviously don't understand science or the scientific process, but you want to cry foul because people associate you with the usual suspects who make identical ridiculous and uninformed statements?

    As my mom used to tell me, "Son, if you're looking for sympathy it's between 'shit' and 'syphilis' in the dictionary"

     

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    TheOldFart (profile), Oct 13th, 2010 @ 6:05pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: To quote Peter Walker

    According to some, the basis is the annual flooding of the Nile/Tigris/Euphrates.

    All the stories in the bible are re-hashes of older stories. The virgin birth, the 12 disciples, water into wine, the three wise men traveling to the birth site, the birth at the winter solstice, all of it is just adaptations of more ancient stories.

    Just for starters, if you're interested:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jesus_Christ_in_comparative_mythology

     

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    TheOldFart (profile), Oct 13th, 2010 @ 6:07pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Flame on!

    The Onion will always rate highly as a great source for news. Ever since they published the headline "Reagan's Body Dies!" I have sacrificed small animals and the occasional child who wandered away from its mother, just to keep the Gods of Onion appeased.

     

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    TheOldFart (profile), Oct 13th, 2010 @ 6:21pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: To quote Peter Walker

    You used the magic word: faith.

    James Carse does a great job of explaining where the religious go wrong. When they lose their faith and adopt a belief system, they have lost their way.

    To have faith that a god critter invented the universe (or that a god critter lays colored eggs in baskets full of grass for that matter) is a matter of personal belief. People are entitled to their own beliefs.

    Where the religious go wrong is when they lose that personal faith and come to believe that not only are those subjective statements of faith true for themselves, but they are also the objective truth, true for others regardless of evidence, logic or their own faiths.

    That's where I draw the line. Someone wants to say "I have faith in my invisible god-thing", that's their right, they're welcomed to it. When they switch to saying "My god is real and his acts and thoughts and will as I interpret them apply to every person and every natural process in the universe", that's when I tell 'em to go take a flying f at a rolling doughnut.

     

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    John Doe, Oct 13th, 2010 @ 6:29pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: To quote Peter Walker

    Wow, you clearly have issues going on here. The bible is where I get my information, try reading it sometime. As for science proving anything, it has never disproved God. I can't prove it either, but that is why it is called faith.

    Just to set the record straight, you injected the religious conversation, not me.

     

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    John Doe, Oct 13th, 2010 @ 6:53pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: To quote Peter Walker

    Please read Genesis 1:26-27, 2:19-23, 1 Cor 11:7-9. But I assume you know this since you know it better than anyone else?

     

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    TheOldFart (profile), Oct 13th, 2010 @ 7:22pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: To quote Peter Walker

    "As for science proving anything, it has never disproved God."

    As for Logic 101 class, most of us managed to at least get the gist of the idea that proof of a negative is not only impossible, it's right up there with Godot, escargot and Zeno's arrow when it comes to never actually arriving.

    Science has also failed to disprove the Easter Bunny, Bigfoot, Santa Claus, or that Elvis is dead. That's your standard of "evidence"? Does that mean we should believe in all those too? Or only the invisible things you tell us really do exist?

    (and a free virtual beer to any or all who know where the escargot reference comes from)

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Oct 13th, 2010 @ 7:34pm

    It could be an imaginary planet with imaginary life.

     

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    RD, Oct 13th, 2010 @ 7:54pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: To quote Peter Walker

    "That's where I draw the line. Someone wants to say "I have faith in my invisible god-thing", that's their right, they're welcomed to it. When they switch to saying "My god is real and his acts and thoughts and will as I interpret them apply to every person and every natural process in the universe", that's when I tell 'em to go take a flying f at a rolling doughnut."

    Sure, and that may work on a personal level. But, if God does exist, then by the same token you can surely go take your flying-F, but doing so wouldnt matter to HIM either (at least as regards his existence or not).

     

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    Karl (profile), Oct 13th, 2010 @ 8:56pm

    Re: Flame on!

    And yet these are the same people that will claim with a straight face that evolution is the end-all, be-all, no-argument, for-absolutely-certain ONLY answer for life on earth.

    Ha, I was wondering how soon this thread would turn into anti-science proselytizing. I couldn't decide whether it would be from a religious fundamentalist, or some Lacan-quoting postmodernist philosopy major. Turns out it's in the first post! And not just against science, but against evolution at that!

    Of course, RD is correct. Evolution is a myth. the universe was created on September 21, 1897, by Santa Claus. If there is evidence of the universe which predates that, it's only because Santa put it there.

    Now, I know that there are a lot of doubting Bumbles out there, who won't believe that an old man in the sky with a white beard could be the Creator of the Universe. So I'll prove what I say is true.

    A physical being limited in space and time could not possibly deliver presents to all the children in the world in one night, no matter how many reindeer disciples He has. So logically Santa must be pan-dimensional. This would also explain why He can be ringing a bell on a street corner, while I am also sitting on His lap inside the local shopping mall.

    Similarly, in order to produce enough toys for the whole world, He would have to have a massive factory. Since we have flown over the North Pole without seeing any evidence for it, it must therefore exist on a higher plane of existence. A factory cannot run without raw materials, which means that Santa must be able to generate matter out of the void.

    Santa must also be omniscient, because otherwise, He would not know who to put on His list, which He checks twice, of who's been naughty and nice. Obviously He is older than the human lifespan, so He is likely immortal.

    These beliefs are propped up by empirical evidence. For instance, my letters are answered on Christmas morning in the very real form of gifts under the tree. Sometimes I don't get what I ask for, like that one time when I asked for a Transformer but received a Gobot instead, but I chalk this up to a test of faith. Besides, I am only a limited human, so cannot comprehend the wisdom of Santa's actions.

    Other people have proposed different ways in which those presents could get under the tree, like the "Consanguineal Model of Gift Distribution" (and related theories like the "Stocking-Stuffer Hypothesis"). But those people are fools, whose beliefs are based on faith as much as mine. Mired in nonsense theories that were abandoned in Ptolemy's time, they can't even prove with any certainty that Santa doesn't exist! Their real agenda, obviously, is to eliminate the idea of Naughty and Nice, and make the world bow down to their Clausless beliefs.

    I hope they burn in Hanukkah for all eternity.

     

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    Karl (profile), Oct 13th, 2010 @ 9:37pm

    Re: Wow

    My point was, that if a SCIENTIST can proclaim something like this (100% that the exoplanet has life!) as fact, and then not even be able to FIND the planet later (let alone prove ANY percentage of chance of life) then how can we accept their judgment and analysis on something as complex and all-encompassing as the theory of evolution (which, by the way, said scientists state categorically is also FACT, not theory)?

    One was the hyperbole of a single scientist, reacting to a nascent hypothesis using one set of data. A hypothesis that was put into question by other scientists, but can be either proven or falsified with more data.

    The other is a scientific theory that has been confirmed by over a century's worth of empirical data, and is central to diverse fields such as archaeology, biology, medicine, and pretty much any other field related to life science. It has been put into question almost exclusively by people outside their fields of expertise, for non-scientific (religious) reasons, who offer no empirical data themselves, and whose theories are not falsifiable.

    Yeah - that's exactly the same thing.

    Incidentally, science uses "theory" in a more specific way than the general populace. Most people use "theory" when a scientist would use "hypothesis." Scientific theories can only be considered "true" when they explain a great deal of data, are falsifiable, and are in fact not falsified. For example, the idea that the earth moves around the sun is called the "heliocentric theory," but that doesn't mean it's "only a theory."

     

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    RD, Oct 13th, 2010 @ 9:44pm

    Re: Re: Wow

    "It has been put into question almost exclusively by people outside their fields of expertise, for non-scientific (religious) reasons, who offer no empirical data themselves, and whose theories are not falsifiable."

    Meaning anyone who dissents or disagrees with it has their arguments dismissed out of hand, because they dont toe the line. Because thats exactly what happens. Its exactly what you are doing to me. I dont accept it, or agree with it, and find much lacking in it, therefore I'm a "wacko" and a "non thinker" and a "zealot" or whatever bigoted phrase you can pull out to try to denigrate and discredit someone who disagrees.

     

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    mike allen (profile), Oct 13th, 2010 @ 11:13pm

    where is the proof of this god person. at least give me a link to his web site.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Oct 14th, 2010 @ 4:20am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Flame on!

    Yes and no.

     

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    John Doe, Oct 14th, 2010 @ 4:49am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: To quote Peter Walker

    Where the non-religious go wrong is to believe that religion is wrong. God is more real than you or I. So yes, it does apply to everyone whether they know or accept it or not.

    But I don't force my religion on anyone. We are all free to believe what we want to believe.

     

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    Gabriel Tane (profile), Oct 14th, 2010 @ 5:53am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: To quote Peter Walker

    Sweet! I love this stuff. Of course, since my company hasn't blocked Wikipedia, looks like I'm not getting much work done! ;)

    Say true, I've always through of Jesus in the same line as Hercules, Achilles and other mythic heroes. Think about it... Special birth, divine heritage, epitome of what is best in man... fits the mold nicely, I think. He was just a bit less militant and violent than those heroes. Was he real? Sure, why not. Was he all the things people reported about him? Dunno... but how can you take all those stories at face value and sneer at all the other? (not you personally, TheOldFart)

    I think the reason we don't refer to Christianity as the Christian Myths is because it's still mainstream. I'd love to be able to peak a few thousand years ahead. :)

     

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    Gabriel Tane (profile), Oct 14th, 2010 @ 6:01am

    Re: Re: Re: Wow

    RD:
    Meaning anyone who dissents or disagrees with it has their arguments dismissed out of hand, because they dont toe the line. Because thats exactly what happens. Its exactly what you are doing to me. I dont accept it, or agree with it, and find much lacking in it, therefore I'm a "wacko" and a "non thinker" and a "zealot" or whatever bigoted phrase you can pull out to try to denigrate and discredit someone who disagrees.
    Are you trolling? Or blind? You quoted what he said then interpreted in the way that looks the most like a personal attack at you. He wasn't calling you or any other a "wacko" or "non thinker"... he was saying "bring some proof". If you don't bring proof, you're acting like all the other "wackos" and "zealots" who do say "I'm right because I say so! Because people just like me back me up!" Karl, please correct me if I'm wrong in my interpretation of what you said.

     

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    Niall (profile), Oct 14th, 2010 @ 6:05am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Flame on!

    I think you'll find that gravity is the effect of the bending of spacetime, as extremely well predicted (and verified) by general relativity. So yes, we can explain it pretty well. It's just some extreme corner cases we don't have full evidence of...

     

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    Gabriel Tane (profile), Oct 14th, 2010 @ 6:05am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: To quote Peter Walker

    No, I think we're saying "your interpretation of religion is wrong for me"... at least that's what I usually say. How can you or any other person be so arrogant to say that what and how you believe is right for EVERYONE ELSE IN THE ENTIRETY OF CREATION? Wow.

    Considering that we can't get two people to agree on what happens in an automobile accident, how can anyone claim that one mortal's interpretation of one version of creation is more valid than any other?

     

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    John Doe, Oct 14th, 2010 @ 6:07am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: To quote Peter Walker

    Easy, the bible was given to us so we would know the truth. If a God exists that can create all that is, then surely he can make himself known to his people if he wanted to.

     

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    Niall (profile), Oct 14th, 2010 @ 6:16am

    Re: Re: Flame on!

    +1 internets!

     

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    Niall (profile), Oct 14th, 2010 @ 6:20am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: To quote Peter Walker

    And if Joseph wasn't the father, how could Jesus be descended from David, etc. through Joseph?

     

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    TDR, Oct 14th, 2010 @ 6:24am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: To quote Peter Walker

    Because if you look in depth at the different believe systems, you'll find similar flaws in nearly all of them, save one. Because its approach is diametrically opposite to the rest. Most world religions are about how man can become God, but only the Christian faith speaks of God becoming man, dying, and coming back to life again. Only the Christian faith speaks of a truine God - something not found in any other faith. A God that is, to say, 3 Whos in one What. We, as humans, are one person and one being. But he is 3 persons in one being, separate yet one.

    A God that is transcendant - beyond all time, space, matter, and energy - which, according to general relativity and the cosmological constant, all 4 of those had a finite beginning and came from outside the universe. There were as many as ten dimensions at the time of the big bang. A God who is always Now, because he has no past or future, because he has access to multiple dimensions of time and isn't bound to a single point of it as we are.

    Now, on the matter of this planet - Gliese 581g - it's not quite the goldmine some scientists claim it is or were hoping for. To start with, it orbits its star much closer than the Earth orbits the sun, causing Gliese to tidally lock with its star which leaves one half of the planet always facing the star and the other half always facing away. According to astrophysicists Jeff Zweerink:

    "Though this planet is in the liquid-water-habitable zone, the question is whether the conditions on the planet’s surface are conducive to life. Liquid water is one in a whole slew of requirements needed to support life. This particular planet fails to meet most of the rest of the requirements for life."

    As for those requirements, I have them here, with references to back them up. Each PDF has references for every item listed, some with links as well.

    http://www.reasons.org/files/compendium/compendium_part1.pdf
    http://www.reasons.org/files/ compendium/compendium_part2.pdf
    http://www.reasons.org/files/compendium/compendium_part3.pdf
    http: //www.reasons.org/files/compendium/compendium_part4.pdf

    The first PDF lists 140 features of the cosmos as a whole (including the laws of physics) that must fall within certain narrow ranges to allow for the possibility of physical life's existence.

    The second PDF describes 402 quantifiable characteristics of a planetary system and its galaxy that must fall within narrow ranges to allow for the possibility of advanced life's existence. This list includes comment on how a slight increase or decrease in the value of each characteristic would impact that possibility.

    The third PDF identifies 922 characteristics of a galaxy and of a planetary system physical life depends on and offers conservative estimates of the probability that any galaxy or planetary system would manifest such characteristics. This list is divided into three parts, based on differing requirements for various life-forms and their duration.

    And the fourth PDF presents a breakdown of the characteristics required by advanced life (from Part 3) as they must occur, separately, in the galaxy cluster, galaxy, star, planetary system, planet, moon, planetary surface, and ecosystem where advanced life exists.

    Bottom line, there's only less than 1 chance in 10^390 (10 to the 390th power) exists that even one planet containing the necessary kinds of life would occur anywhere in the universe without invoking divine miracles.

     

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    Niall (profile), Oct 14th, 2010 @ 6:28am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: To quote Peter Walker

    Yes but your entire argument rests on the SUPPOSITION that the bible is somehow 'specially' immune to all the error and corruption of man, when being written over centuries, and subject to massive debate over what is included or not in it. Extraordinary claims need extraordinary proof.

    Now, if god had etched it in kilometre-high letters on the walls of the Norwegian fjords.... ;)

     

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    TDR, Oct 14th, 2010 @ 6:32am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: To quote Peter Walker

    Just wanted to address this, as it isn't really that hard to understand. In Jesus' time, Jewish tradition had a woman's lineage done in her husband's name. That's why there are two sets of lineages for Jesus in the gospels. One is Joseph's, the other Mary's. But following Jewish tradition of that time, her lineage was done in Joseph's name. That's all.

     

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    Gabriel Tane (profile), Oct 14th, 2010 @ 6:38am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: To quote Peter Walker

    Yup... I was waiting for that. And I'm going to take them in reverse order because the second part is shorter to address...

    1) I did not say that god does not exist... I was calling into question your assertion that YOUR INTERPRETATION is the correct one.

    2) You say that your interpretation is backed up by the bible. This is just more of the circular logic that does NOT answer the question. I say "why should I take you at your word... I don't know you". And your answer is "read these words written by someone else you don't know". So, of course I say "Why should I believe these other people I don't know?" And you answer "because this book says it's true". That's worse than when my dad always told me "because I SAY so!"... I say 'worse' because I now understand his use of that was because he didn't feel like explaining or felt he didn't need to. Most religious advocates I speak to (such as yourself) use the "because I say so" only because it's the only proof you have... and when it fails (which it usually does), you only have "because this BOOK says so!"

    It's a book written by (have scholars agreed on who wrote it yet?) people LONG ago telling stories they HEARD from other people who heard them from still others, has been translated through multiple languages, and is riddled with contradictions and illogical statements.

    You're right in the assertion that taking this book at face value is a leap of faith... and you're welcome to yours. I truly do wish I had that kind of welcoming faith. But I need more evidence... more proof. And the bible only brings more questions than it answers.

    I am not calling into question the validity of your faith, or your interpretation of the universe. I'm calling into question your assertion that everyone else who disagrees with you is wrong when you bring no evidence (sorry, the bible is not evidence) to back up your statement.

     

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    TDR, Oct 14th, 2010 @ 6:39am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: To quote Peter Walker

    Because most of the supposed "errors" people find in the Bible aren't errors at all, but rather misunderstandings of how God works, misunderstandings of Scripture, of the culture of the day, etc. There have been entire, pages long documents written explaining how these "errors" really aren't such at all. Rather, just people misunderstanding or taking things out of context or not being familiar with the setting of the time and how things were back then or, as I said, God's nature and how he really works.

    For instance, the lineage issue I just addressed is one such "error" sometimes brought up. Another is David's census of Isreal. In one book of the Bible, it says God inspired him to do it. In another, it says the devil tempted him to do it. Some take that as an "error" because it never occurs to them that both could have happened at the same time. Which they did. Those two books of the Bible were written at different times, one before the exile to Babylon and one after, and both are true. A thing can be done for different reasons, good or bad, and the motivations can come at the same time. That's all.

     

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    Niall (profile), Oct 14th, 2010 @ 6:41am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: To quote Peter Walker

    I think that's stretching statistics away from scientific plausibility and into Fundie/Creationist 'babble'-physics.

    That's like saying "This tiny pebble that I found here at my feet at the base of Mount Everest had a 10-gajillion-to-one chance against being here, so not only is it highly unlikely that it's really here without a divine miracle, but that also disproves there being any more stones around the base of Everest."

    A lot of these conditions are not linked, so cannot be 'multiplied' into a false unlikelihood, which is a favourite of evangelical science-haters. Also, it has also been shown that pairs of these can change and still support life. A lot of these numbers are also highly irrelevant to life on Earth, or indeed any other planet, or are facets of the same thing stated many times. Most of those numbers just looked like they were pulled out of a hat, and then run through a dodgy stats program that any 17-year-old maths student would be given an 'F' for using. I know I would have never gotten into a Physics degree using lousy reasoning like that, let alone graduated...

    We know there's one planet already with life, so are you saying that statistically every other planet in the universe (and we've already found over 50 just nearby in a few short years) cannot have life? Riiiight. It all comes down to the very weak "god of the gaps" theory.

    It's always funny when fundie 'scientists' try to use use hard science to try to disprove hard science.

     

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    TDR, Oct 14th, 2010 @ 6:41am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: To quote Peter Walker

    You want evidence, Gabriel, read the PDF's I just supplied. And go to reasons.org, where they came from. You'll find all the evidence you want.

     

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    TDR, Oct 14th, 2010 @ 6:43am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: To quote Peter Walker

    It's nothing like what you describe. Why don't you read through the main site for a while before making any judgements? You can't have read through all 4 PDFs [b]and their hundreds of references[/b] already. Do it, then talk to me again. Every line.

     

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    Niall (profile), Oct 14th, 2010 @ 6:43am

    Re: Re:

    Because he lusted after my mother? Maybe god lusted after my mother too, and that was why he 'created' her, but somehow I think not.

    So who did god 'shag' to create man, according to your insightful metaphor? Gaia?

     

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    Gabriel Tane (profile), Oct 14th, 2010 @ 6:47am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: To quote Peter Walker

    Because if you look in depth at the different believe systems, you'll find similar flaws in nearly all of them, save one. Because its approach is diametrically opposite to the rest. Most world religions are about how man can become God, but only the Christian faith speaks of God becoming man, dying, and coming back to life again. Only the Christian faith speaks of a truine God - something not found in any other faith. A God that is, to say, 3 Whos in one What. We, as humans, are one person and one being. But he is 3 persons in one being, separate yet one.
    Post hoc, ergo propter hoc. There are many similarities and differences between any and all religions when you line up any selected facets and compare them. That does not validate or invalidate any of them. And if you read a lot of the ancient myths, they're not about how man can become god... they're about how the gods are the image of perfection that man can NEVER achieve except in cases of heroes, which served to show what man COULD be if he tries hard enoug... sound familiar? The difference is that most ancient myths believed their gods to possess the flaws that humans do when it comes to things like greed, lust, arrogance, etc. Most books I've read on it think that these traits were included to add that sliver of a layer of attainability. If it were true perfection, it would not be the uplifting example of excellence to hope for... it would be a constant reminder of failure.

     

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    TDR, Oct 14th, 2010 @ 6:51am

    Re: Re: Re:

    Now you're just trying to provoke me. And you're still thinking of God in human terms. Which is a common, understandable mistake, but one you should try to stop making. He isn't human, after all, so why should we think of him from that perspective? He's nothing like us. At all.

    If you have something constructive to say, fine, but otherwise lay off the venom. It doesn't make you look good, only afraid to see a perspective other than your own. And I haven't seen you back up anything you've said. Unlike me, which I have. The PDFs have hundreds of references in them, from Christian and secular scientists and their findings.

    Here's the main site: www.reasons.org

     

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    Niall (profile), Oct 14th, 2010 @ 6:52am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Wow

    Hmm, Newton came up with a workable theory of gravity in the seventeenth century. It took until the early twentieth century to understand how gravity works, and we still haven't worked out all the kinks. Hasn't stopped us using Newton or Einstein to do some pretty serious stuff needing accuracy beyond the fantastical.

    The concept 'Theory' in science is NOT the same as the common meaning of "wild guess" (as creationists use it). It's not even the "I think I'm right so wait until the episode proves me right that you get in pseudo-scientifical CSI. When used in the mainstream, it refers to a strongly evidenced and highly likely situation, all the way to "If I drop this hammer over your head, you WILL get a headache".

    The fact that you are trotting out all the standard creationist objections, and even the fact that you had to bring evolution into to conversation, also demonstrates the overly religious bent of your beliefs, making it not so surprising that everyone else has decided that is your belief set, without you having to state it.

    "OMG, this scientist couldn't even get this right, so why should I believe that Maxwell invented the science that makes my monitor work, and maybe Lamark really was right and not Mendel!"

     

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    TDR, Oct 14th, 2010 @ 6:58am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: To quote Peter Walker

    That's because most religions came originally from the same place, which is what you'd expect to find if the Christian faith were true. The enemy wouldn't want people going to it, so religions pop up with just enough truth mixed in with inaccuracy and falsehood to turn people astray.

    Tell me one other divine being besides the Christian God that is triune, three persons in one being. Tell me one other faith that says that man can't, under any circumstances, earn his way to heaven, but rather eternal life is given through grace alone by God.

    And Niall, what you call hard science is nothing more than "science" with an inherent antisupernatural bias. It's naturalism. To be truly objective, one must allow for all possibilities, supernatural and natural.

     

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    Gabriel Tane (profile), Oct 14th, 2010 @ 6:59am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: To quote Peter Walker

    Everything I've seen in that site look like it's saying "god MUST have created all this... how else could it be? Look at how intricate and perfect it all is! How else?"

    Am I wrong in that?

     

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    TDR, Oct 14th, 2010 @ 7:02am

    Still waiting for your evidence, Niall. Every line in those PDFs was verified through experimentation, not wild guesses. And RTB's founder, just so you know, has multiple science degrees and was a scientist before he was ever a Christian. Not the other way around. Drop your preconceptions for a minute and digest that.

     

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    TDR, Oct 14th, 2010 @ 7:04am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: To quote Peter Walker

    One coincidence is explainable by itself, but hundreds? Thousands? You tell me. They have a testable creation model which has never yet been disproven and which is predictive in its nature. Actually read the articles before making judgements.

     

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    Gabriel Tane (profile), Oct 14th, 2010 @ 7:05am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: To quote Peter Walker

    Again, that's irrelevant to the argument of a 'true religion'. That's like saying my car is the only real one because it's the only one that's red. You can't point to the one or two differences between christianty and all other myths and say that those differences are proof if it's singular validity.

    The fact that no other religion includes a truine god does not invalidate all other religions. The fact that no other religion states a 'can't earn your way' does not invalidate all other religions. And, by the way, can you state for a FACT that no other religion has those same facets? If you are basing your religions singluar validity on the fact that it's the ONLY ONE with those features, you're setting it on a very unstable pedistal indeed.

    And, finally, I thought the way into heaven WAS by earning it through faith, devotion and living the way the god and jesus set down.

     

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    Gabriel Tane (profile), Oct 14th, 2010 @ 7:10am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: To quote Peter Walker

    I'm not making judgments, I'm seeking clarification from someone far more familiar with the material therein than I.

    If the site is saying that those 'coincidences' are proof of the existance of god, then I must disagree with the logic. Those things are coincidental only by our perspective. Outside our analysis of thier interrelation, those facts and factors just ARE. They simply exist.

    Instead of saying "the fact that we are here makes those coincidences meaningful and magical (or divine, if you prefer)", I look at it as "those factors are all there, so that's why we are."

     

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    Dark Helmet (profile), Oct 14th, 2010 @ 7:32am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: To quote Peter Walker

    "Tell me one other divine being besides the Christian God that is triune"

    Er, Plato actually came up with the concept of a divine trinity before Christ was born, not to mention before the Council of Nicaea indoctrinated the concept some 300 years after his death. Sorry, there's prior art there....

    "Tell me one other faith that says that man can't, under any circumstances, earn his way to heaven, but rather eternal life is given through grace alone by God."

    Islam: Man must accept the "one god" and the message of Islam to achieve salvation

     

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    Dark Helmet (profile), Oct 14th, 2010 @ 7:45am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: To quote Peter Walker

    "Where the non-religious go wrong is to believe that religion is wrong."

    Er, that's kind of an odd statement. Look at it this way, ALL religions can't be right, even if one of them is. Therefore, someone who says religion as a rule is at least mostly right, by default.

    The issue is one of historical understanding. You have to recognize why religion as a faith structure came about, why certain rituals were put in place, why others were incorporated from other faiths, and then wrap it all up into understanding your faith. It's really easy (as in simple) to just say, "my religion tells me this, so it is so", but that kind of thinking dangerously precludes from greater understanding.

    "God is more real than you or I."

    I happen to agree. I believe in a God. What I don't believe is that I have any legitimate claim to say that my belief warrants more consideration than others'.

    "So yes, it does apply to everyone whether they know or accept it or not."

    Meh. That's only true if you're correct. There's no proof you are. Maybe Islam is correct. It's possible, you know. Maybe the Hindus have it right. Also possible. Taking a possibility and applying it globally, especially the way governments have, is silly....

    "But I don't force my religion on anyone. We are all free to believe what we want to believe."

    I respect the hell out of that. The only thing I'd really like to see is a dose of humility when it comes to how "sure" some religious folk are about how "right" they are....

     

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    John Doe, Oct 14th, 2010 @ 8:06am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: To quote Peter Walker

    In Genesis 1; God said "let us make man in our image." Who do you think the "us" refers to? So the Council of Nicaea didn't invent the idea, they just realized the truth from scripture.

     

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    John Doe, Oct 14th, 2010 @ 8:23am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: To quote Peter Walker

    You say you believe in God yet you don't believe that a God that can create all this can get his word out. What kind of God can create the universe and all that is in it and he can't get a book right?

    How do we know the Christian God is "the" God? I will tell you how I know. He called me. I didn't go looking for him. Unlike a lot of salvation stories, I was not in a pit of despair, hanging on my last thread. I was just a few years out of college after getting my BS & MS degrees, had a good job and was paid decent for my age, still have a good wife and came from a Beaver Cleaver kind of family. I didn't know I needed anything else. But he convicted me of my sins. Heck, I didn't even know what salvation (born again) and conviction was yet I knew what was happening to me. That is how I know the Christian God is the God.

    Until you have been saved, you will not truly know the truth of scripture. I can't quote the verses off hand, but the new testament states that you will receive the Holy spirit and your eyes will be opened, or something to that affect.

    So there is no arrogance in my stating my beliefs, only confidence in the truth.

     

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  141.  
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    Dark Helmet (profile), Oct 14th, 2010 @ 8:26am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: To quote Peter Walker

    Er, Genesis 1 is:

    "In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth."

    You're talking Genesis 26 in the King James version. And are you suggesting that you know that the Council of Nicaea didn't alter the wording? Or someone before them? That seems likely, given the history surrounding the adoption of the Trinity.

    It rose to importance with the rising popularity of Arianism. Prior to the Council, the Trinity was not orthodox belief. According to Saint Athanasius, the Council then "commandeered the non-scriptural[63] term homoousios ('of the same essence') to safeguard the essential relation of the Son to the Father that had been denied by Arius" and altered scripture.

    Some scholars see this as an adoption of Plato's original idea of a divine trinity as a way to incorporate other's beliefs and make the faith more palletable....

     

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  142.  
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    Dark Helmet (profile), Oct 14th, 2010 @ 8:38am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: To quote Peter Walker

    "You say you believe in God yet you don't believe that a God that can create all this can get his word out."

    I do believe it could. I also believe that it could decide not to. I believe it could have allowed free will to reign and that man created much of the belief structure we now call religion. Given the way religion has been used as a social control mechanism in the past, I don't see this as particularly unlikely. Given that the book you're talking about was in fact written and managed by man, it seems likely that it is flawed. That could be completely wrong, but neither I, nor you, nor anyone else knows for sure.

    "How do we know the Christian God is "the" God? I will tell you how I know..."

    Again, profound respect for faith here, so I don't doubt you experienced anything you related. I also don't have a problem with it. I think some/all of it can be explained in other ways (social needs, chemical reactions in your brain, psychology, etc.), but that could all be wrong too. You at least sound like you care about your faith, which is awesome. I don't have a problem with that. My only problem is with you saying you "know" the Christian God is "the" God. Sorry, that isn't true. You don't know. You believe, which to me is far more powerful anyway....

    "Until you have been saved, you will not truly know the truth of scripture."

    I imagine the followers of David Koresh or Al Quaeda would say the same thing. That isn't convincing, sorry....

    "I can't quote the verses off hand"

    Acts 1:8

    "So there is no arrogance in my stating my beliefs, only confidence in the truth."

    In your confidence is your arrogance. Faith is beautiful. Treating faith as fact is horrendous....

     

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    John Doe, Oct 14th, 2010 @ 8:39am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: To quote Peter Walker

    I am referring to Genesis chapter 1 as a whole but these specific verses (NIV version):

    Genesis 1:2 "the Spirit of God was hovering over the waters"
    Genesis 1:2 "Then God said, "Let us make man in our image"

    There is the mention of the Trinity in the first chapter of the first book. Our understanding of the Trinity occurred much later.

    Also, you keep saying the bible is fallible because it was written by man. Yet you say you believe there is a God. Can God not get a book to say what he wants it to say?

     

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    Dark Helmet (profile), Oct 14th, 2010 @ 8:42am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: To quote Peter Walker

    Again, it could. Whether it did or not is the matter at hand. In general, it's willingness to let us make mistakes in our life's journey seems more evident than it taking away that freedom to make sure men wrote a book a certain way....

     

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    John Doe, Oct 14th, 2010 @ 8:43am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: To quote Peter Walker

    "Treating faith as fact is horrendous.."

    What is faith if you don't take it as fact? The very definition of faith is accepting something as fact even when you cannot prove it. So your argument is flawed.

    I was once like you, I believed there was a God, but he didn't participate in the world he created. But if you think about that for a minute, doesn't a person feed and care for his fish? Why would God not care for his creation?

     

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    DNY (profile), Oct 14th, 2010 @ 8:51am

    The big filter

    Oh,dear I'm so depressed! We find an earthlike planet and then it's not there. The inhabitants must have blown the planet to smithereens with nukes just in time for us to see the planet before it was gone. The big filter is in the future, not the past, and we're all doomed!

    I'm not actually serious. The real point is that the "100% certainty of life" on a planet is as silly a position as the one I feigned in the previous paragraph.

     

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  147.  
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    Dark Helmet (profile), Oct 14th, 2010 @ 8:53am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: To quote Peter Walker

    "What is faith if you don't take it as fact? The very definition of faith is accepting something as fact even when you cannot prove it."

    No, the very definition of faith is BELEIVING something even when you cannot prove it. There is nothing about faith that requires you to shut your mind off to other possibilities. You can have valid faith that is proved wrong down the road when more evidence presents itself.

    "I was once like you, I believed there was a God, but he didn't participate in the world he created."

    Please do not attempt to put faith in my mouth. I never said he didn't participate in our world. I said I think it's likely he didn't violate our free will in order to get his perfect book written. I don't pretend to know what form God takes, or what actions it does or do not take.

    "doesn't a person feed and care for his fish? Why would God not care for his creation?"

    Ugh, some do, some don't. What if our God is the Michael Vick of deities? I'm being glib, but seriously, why can't God be indifferent? Besides, of course, the fact that the Bible says otherwise....

     

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    DNY (profile), Oct 14th, 2010 @ 9:15am

    Re: Re: Re: To quote Peter Walker

    Thor? Too cute by half. I hope you realize that while some folks who call themselves monotheists may be one-god pagans, the ones you really have to engage in debate agree with you that there are no beings of the sort pagans called "gods" (we Christians were persecuted by the Romans on the charge of atheism), rather, we are firmly convinced that the ground-of-all-being, while absolutely transcendent, and properly unlike anything in our ordinary experience, is in some improper way more like a person than any other sort of thing, and ought be related to personally.

    If you want evidence for our position aside from the testimony of ancient texts, I would suggest that fact that the world is most well-described by mathematics suggests a kinship between the reason for existence and a mind.

    Now, some of us are also firmly convinced on the basis of events in the ancient Near East, that the ground-of-all-being (the Existing-One as he named Himself in the ancient texts you so scorn) transcends the distinction between unity and multiplicity, being at once the One God and the All-Holy Trinity, went to the trouble of assuming our nature in the person of the Son to fix the rather wretched relationship we'd vis-a-vis that same ground-of-all-being we'd gotten ourselves into (the technical name for which is "sin"), and so forth. But that is neither here nor there in considering the proposition "In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth."

    (Incidentally, I know you're not a Thor-worshipper. If you were you'd attribute the creation to Odin, Vili and Ve, who slew Ymir and fashioned the world out of his body. It's all there in the Eddas.)

     

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    John Doe, Oct 14th, 2010 @ 9:45am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: To quote Peter Walker

    You are just taking your logic in circles. Faith is believing, so the Christian faith believes that the bible is the true, inspired word of God. Therefore Christians cannot accept alternatives as the very basis of their faith (the bible) tells them not to (see the 1st commandment). Also, Jesus states that "no one comes to the Father but by me".

    Besides, how would those alternatives require any less faith than what they already have?

    Why would God have to violate our free will to get the bible written? If someone you loved asked you to write something, would you not write it? Would that be a violation of your free will?

     

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    Dark Helmet (profile), Oct 14th, 2010 @ 9:48am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: To quote Peter Walker

    Because as man, I could not do it perfectly. Perfection can only come from God, so if there is a percect bible, it comes from God, not from man....

     

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    John Doe, Oct 14th, 2010 @ 9:58am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: To quote Peter Walker

    So the thought that God choosing the "right" people with the "right" talents and "right" thoughts couldn't happen? If you look early on, the disciples thought Jesus would be back in their lifetime. Only later on did they realize that wasn't the case. Yet the message is still good. To think that our free will trumps God is arrogance.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Oct 14th, 2010 @ 10:01am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: To quote Peter Walker

    (and a free virtual beer to any or all who know where the escargot reference comes from) Is that referencing the snail on the rubber band problem? http://forums.xkcd.com/viewtopic.php?f=3&t=55503

     

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    Dark Helmet (profile), Oct 14th, 2010 @ 10:10am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: To quote Peter Walker

    It isn't a matter of the right people. Man is imperfect and everything he does is imperfect. Therefore, if the bible is the perfect truth, man alone cannot create it. If God influenced man to make the bible, he took away his free ability to act independently.

    "To think that our free will trumps God is arrogance."

    Ugh, come on. Free will doesn't "trump" God, it was a gift from God. We act of our own free will. If God can take over our actions, then we don't have free will. This really can't be THAT hard....

     

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    Gabriel Tane (profile), Oct 14th, 2010 @ 10:17am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: To quote Peter Walker

    Not to butt in on this (which I am reading with avid enjoyment!)... but now you're talking about faith as (I think) Dark Helmet meant. DH, correct me if I'm wrong.

    Faith IS believing. What we've been arguing is that faith is not PROOF... or at least not proof for anyone but one's self.

    But I do want to sidetrack a bit on another of your statements... I just wanted to interject my interpretation of Jesus saying "no one comes to the Father but by me" and ask your opinion on it (anyone, really). Considering the poetic and symbolic language used in the bible, could he have not meant "you won't reach heaven and stand with god unless you live the life I'm preaching and strive to be like me"? This is my personal belief here, but I think god would be more worried that we get the message he and his son are teaching and live the right kind of life than to symbolically accept Jesus' divinity.

    Finally, I want to say that I've enjoyed reading and participating in these discussions. They have been very informed and informative without any anger or hate. I hope everyone else is getting something out of this like I am. Anytime I can hold my views up to someone else's and see them contrasted by other perspectives, I feel a bit stronger in what I believe... even if what I believe has to be modified a bit under these new lights.

     

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  155.  
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    Dark Helmet (profile), Oct 14th, 2010 @ 10:26am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: To quote Peter Walker

    "Faith IS believing. What we've been arguing is that faith is not PROOF... or at least not proof for anyone but one's self."

    It's not proof to one's self either. Rather, it's the taking of an idea, recognizing that you can't proove or disprove it, and choosing to believe it anyway. In spiritual matters, that's way more powerful than saying you "know" something for fact. If you know it as fact, then what power is there in faith?

    "Considering the poetic and symbolic language used in the bible, could he have not meant "you won't reach heaven and stand with god unless you live the life I'm preaching and strive to be like me"?"

    Look, there's a lot of history and false history surrounding Christ, as you'd expect with someone so important. There's evidence that his words have been totally taken out of context and that he was actually something far different from the way we interpret him. There's evidence that he's EXACTLY how we interpret him today. There's evidence that he's somewhere in between.

    The question I ask myself, one which you seem to be doing as well, is "what's important?"

    I choose to believe that any God that may be out there cares far more about people being good than believing in a guy named Jesus. Christians interpret his words to mean that unless you accept Jesus Christ as THE savior, you're doomed to hell. To me, that's silly, and any God that created that system would be evil, as there are many peoples in the world that have never HEARD of Christ. I wouldn't want to believe in that God....

     

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    John Doe, Oct 14th, 2010 @ 10:36am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: To quote Peter Walker

    First, I have been enjoying the conversation as well. It is nearly impossible to talk religion or politics without someone getting mad.

    As to your statement that we must live life according to God and Jesus' teachings to earn salvation, that is false. Romans chapter 4, along with other references in the bible, teaches that salvation does not come from works, and living a good life would be works, but comes from faith. We cannot earn salvation, it is a gift freely given by God. This is what people seem to have a problem with for whatever reason. We feel like we need to be Billy Graham's and Mother Theresa's to earn salvation. We have a hard time accepting it for free. I can assure you, I have done nothing to earn it and now that I have it there is nothing I can do to repay the gift.

     

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    Gabriel Tane (profile), Oct 14th, 2010 @ 10:39am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: To quote Peter Walker

    It's not proof to one's self either. Rather, it's the taking of an idea, recognizing that you can't proove or disprove it, and choosing to believe it anyway. In spiritual matters, that's way more powerful than saying you "know" something for fact. If you know it as fact, then what power is there in faith?
    I guess what I should have said is "it's all the proof you need to satisfy yourself". I do agree with you that it's more powerful to 'believe' than 'know' for the spiritual. And, say true, more powerful for even the physical... that's where the mystery of the unknown gets its allure. And as long as the answers we find keep giving us more questions, there's no risk in allowing your 'beliefs' to be altered by newfound knowledge. And thanks for you insight on the biblical passage. I'm with you on that one too.

     

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  158.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Oct 14th, 2010 @ 10:46am

    Re: Re: Re: Wow


    Rebutted? No. But it's fairly accepted that microevolution and macroevolution are two separate things, and that microevolution cannot explain certain things that occurred in nature:


    No - they're not generally accepted as two separate things. They're generally accepted as the same thing - the only difference being scale and time. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Modern_evolutionary_synthesis)

    The scientific consensus on evolution is overwhelming. The fact that it is a scientific theory says a lot about the preponderance of evidence for it. But the term theory also provides a lot of misunderstandings.

    Just to clarify - a scientific theory (as opposed to a colloquial theory) is a model that has been studied for a long time, has a great deal of evidence supporting it, and is predictive (that is, it makes predictions that are later found to be true). A theory is as far as scientific models go. Just to provide some perspective, gravity - still "just" a theory.

    Anyway, the whole ID/teach the controversy thing is a sham. ID is not science and there is NO scientific controversy over evolution.

    BTW, there have been PLENTY of transitional fossils. However, the nature of the fossil record means we only see discrete moments in the evolutionary record. That's just how it is.

    Just wanted to clear that up, the whole micro/macro/just-a-theory argument pops up a lot in creationist arguments, but it shows a basic ignorance of the current state of the science and science in general. Not that I'm calling anyone ignorant - just their arguments ;)

    Also, this whole evolution/religion discussion is COMPLETELY off topic. As I believe someone else mentioned, the "100% chance of life" comment was clearly the scientists own personal feelings and not part of the published study. Scientists are allowed to have feelings, y'know ;). He's obviously very excited - and he might be right - there is a school of thought that wherever there can be life there will be life.

     

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    Gabriel Tane (profile), Oct 14th, 2010 @ 10:49am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: To quote Peter Walker

    I think it's easy to see the 'problem' people have with it... based on that interpretation, it doesn't matter what you do here on earth, as long as you have faith, you're fine. So any ax-murdering, hating, evil bastard would be admitted to heaven as long as he believed in god and accepted Jesus as savior.

    And speaking of Mother Theresa, even SHE had a crisis of faith before she died. I don't know if she resolved that before death, but if she didn't, are you saying she's doomed to hell? God would take this woman, who was the closest thing to Jesus (in my estimation) in heart and soul, and condemn her to hell after all the love and charity she spread in his name?

     

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    John Doe, Oct 14th, 2010 @ 10:54am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: To quote Peter Walker

    An ax murder could go to heaven if he truly believed and repented of his sins. Problem is, most of them probably don't do that. If someone truly repents, would you not want them to be saved?

    There is a doctrine that once you are saved, you are always saved and I happen to believe that. So having questions and doubts is normal and does not condemn you to hell. Some people don't like that idea because you could say hey, I am saved, I think I will go do as I please now. But if you are truly saved, you will not stray far as the Holy Spirit will convict you of your sins and bring you back.

     

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    John Doe, Oct 14th, 2010 @ 10:55am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: To quote Peter Walker

    It is not hard to believe that if there is a God that can create all things, he can get a book to say what he wants to say.

     

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  162.  
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    Gabriel Tane (profile), Oct 14th, 2010 @ 11:00am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: To quote Peter Walker

    Hang on... I'm losing you...

    In your view, is having faith and being repentant of sin the same thing?

    And the did you mean "The Holy Spirit will CONVINCE you of your sins and bring you back"? I'm sure that was typo, but I want to be sure.

    On the first one, let me ask... is hate a sin? Is the preaching of evil hate something that would get in into hell, barring for a moment the idea of heaven thru faith? What, then, about the Westboro Baptist Church. They BELIEVE in god, have accepted Jesus as savior, but are still evil (in my estimation) and have twisted the message of god and Jesus to condemn... well, everyone, pretty much. Are they going to get into heaven after all they've done?

     

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    Dark Helmet (profile), Oct 14th, 2010 @ 11:02am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: To quote Peter Walker

    Thereby destroying free will....

     

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  164.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Oct 14th, 2010 @ 11:02am

    Re: Re: Re: Wow

    Meaning anyone who dissents or disagrees with it has their arguments dismissed out of hand, because they dont toe the line. Because thats exactly what happens. Its exactly what you are doing to me.


    Look, this is part of how science works - you propose a hypothesis and provide evidence. If someone else disagrees with your hypothesis, they say why and provide evidence. Do you see what these two people have in common? That's right, evidence.

    In science you are allowed, and even encouraged, to disagree. But, you have to have evidence. What's the important part here? One more time, evidence.

    It is possible (but not likely!) that someone could find real evidence tomorrow that completely disproves evolution. And that person would be FAMOUS and win a Nobel and have things named after them. But no one has yet, and there is a ton of evidence (there's that word again!) to support evolution.

    So, what's the lesson here? Whining about how you don't like evolution and that it doesn't make sense to you and therefore it is bad and icky, and all the people that disagree with you and call you names for thinking that way are persecuting you - it is a waste of time. People aren't persecuting you if they ask you to back up your views with evidence.

    Succinctly, put up or shut up.

     

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    TheOldFart (profile), Oct 14th, 2010 @ 11:36am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: To quote Peter Walker

    Naw, it's far more obscure.

    Les Barker, possessor of a sick and twisted senska hummer, wrote a poem called "My Snails Have Not Yet Arrived" about a fast food restaurant in France serving... you guessed it... escargot. He marries and separates, has several children, learns to recite War and Peace by rote etc., but his snails have still not arrived.

    If you're not allergic to bad puns, "Up the Creek without a Poodle" will induce laughs in most cats and several humans.

     

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    John Doe, Oct 14th, 2010 @ 11:45am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: To quote Peter Walker

    This is getting hard to follow due to the formatting of the comments.

    If you have faith, then you will repent of your sins. It isn't quite the same thing, but closely related.

    No, I meant "convict" you of your sins. But convince works about as well. Having received salvation, you will know your sins and eventually you will repent of them.

    As for the Westboro church, I do not agree with what they were trying to do. The What Would Jesus Do phrase is kind of old, but applies. We don't really know the true state of their faith and salvation, we can only truly know our own. Can they go to heaven, sure if they are truly saved. Maybe they backed down because they were shown the error of their ways? Problem is, many people hide in faith to take advantage of the faithful. So not everyone who calls himself a Christian is really so.

     

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  167.  
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    Gabriel Tane (profile), Oct 14th, 2010 @ 11:47am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: To quote Peter Walker

    Bastard... I clicked on that link and now my head hurts :(

    ;)

     

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    Gabriel Tane (profile), Oct 14th, 2010 @ 12:10pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: To quote Peter Walker

    So not everyone who calls himself a Christian is really so.
    Too true, sadly.

    By the way, if you click View In Chronology, it'll remove the Thread setup and you'll be able to read them MUCH better... had to do that about 20 [Re:]'s ago. :)

    I'm still not convinced of evil being admitted to heaven just because of having faith. Remember, there are some who murder in the name of their god. some of whom would swear that they have the same faith and salvation that you do. I was reading not long ago about a man who murdered a gay man because of Leviticus, citing that he was doing god's law. When he dies, would even this man make it into heaven for his faith? I still can't believe that a loving god would condemn those who follow a 'good christian life' as taught by him and his son to hell just because they don't believe what a book says about him. And, sorry, I'm still not convinced of that book's accuracy as being divinely guaranteed.

     

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  169.  
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    John Doe, Oct 14th, 2010 @ 12:34pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: To quote Peter Walker

    I think the real question is, would someone evil really have faith and repent of their sins? I would say someone could have been evil and changed, but I don't think anyone who is truly evil would have true faith and true repentance. You can't go through the motions, it has to be real as God knows the difference.

    It is hard to understand why God would condemn a "good man", but what you have to realize is there is no such thing as a "good man". The bible states that we all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God. Besides, if someone is trying to follow the "good Christian life" why not accept the gift we have been given?

    I am convinced of the accuracy of the bible. That isn't to say it is all literal, some is, some isn't, it has to be taken in context. But there is no way to truly believe in God and Jesus and not accept the bible as true. If the bible isn't all true, then how could we know what is and is not true? What hope would there be for anyone? There would be no hope. But God gave us hope in Jesus and his word in the bible.

     

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  170.  
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    Marcus Carab (profile), Oct 14th, 2010 @ 12:42pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Flame on!

    Not sure why you respond like that. Scrhodinger's Cat is a famous thought experiment that was introduced as a way to demonstrate the absurdity of quantum mechanics, even though now it has been adopted by many (quite incorrectly) as a way to *explain* quantum mechanics -- it's a great example of the back-and-forth criticism that happens constantly in science.

     

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  171.  
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    Marcus Carab (profile), Oct 14th, 2010 @ 12:44pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Flame on!

    That's rich. I can think of just one person on the planet who actually outright insists that he is 100% infallible and that everything he says is absolute truth, with organizational doctrines stating that it is wrong to ever question him -- and he aint a scientist.

     

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  172.  
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    Marcus Carab (profile), Oct 14th, 2010 @ 12:44pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Flame on!

    Glorious

     

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  173.  
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    Gabriel Tane (profile), Oct 14th, 2010 @ 1:10pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: To quote Peter Walker

    "If the bible isn't all true, then how could we know what is and is not true? What hope would there be for anyone? "


    That's an easy one... have faith. You yourself said that you came by your faith on a personal level with god. How is that tied to the book? If you found something in the book that truely made you doubt it's validity, would that also invalidate your belief in your god? I would hope not!

    The whole of the argument has been the validity of saying "my religion is fact at the exclusion of all others" or "at the exclusion of all evidence to the contrary". I think we've now agreed that religion and faith should exists where fact does not. ESPECIALLY where fact does not.

    So why does the bible have to be divinely accurate? If it does have flaws (which I believe it does) those flaws could EASILY (and most likely) lie with the fact that they were written down after being oral tradition, or written down long after the fact; then translated thru multiple languages, then 'edited' by a group of religious big-wigs long after the events took place.

     

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  174.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Oct 14th, 2010 @ 1:13pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Flame on!

    I responded in sheer terror. (I was actually cowering under my chair.)

    Someday, buy me a beer and I'll explain.

    In the meantime, yes, have heard of Schrodinger's cat but as it relates to quantum mechanics and SG-1.

     

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  175.  
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    John Doe, Oct 14th, 2010 @ 2:00pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: To quote Peter Walker

    Do you even realize what you are saying? If God's will isn't your will, you don't want to believe in him? Do you really think your will would align with God's will? Would you really want to give up your salvation for people you don't know and for reasons you don't understand?

    It isn't God that is evil, it is man.

     

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  176.  
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    John Doe, Oct 14th, 2010 @ 3:13pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: To quote Peter Walker

    If the bible isn't divinely inspired than what hope do any of us have? How would we know what is right and what is wrong? How would we even know that any part of the part of the bible is right? Maybe some other religion is right?

    A God that can create all that there is could surely get a book to say what he wants it to say.

     

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  177.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Oct 14th, 2010 @ 3:13pm

    Re:

    Your PDFs are kinda useless. They throw some supposed conditions for the existence of life in the Universe into a blender, mix them up, and pour out...something.

    But if you want to find gaps in those PDFs, I'll pick a few random ones from the second PDF and rant about them:

    45: Assumes organisms should evolve the same way as on Earth - Organisms not dependent on oxygen could evolve. But still, even if they did evolve as on Earth, as the number of organisms increased, the global levels of oxygen would decrease and the global level of carbon would increase. This "could" trigger the appearance of Cyanobacteria or primitive plants to that would further regulate the quantities of oxygen and carbon-dioxide. This also trumps 46.

    180: This one is stupid. Life has evolved in places of extreme heat (in most deserts, and not just unicellular organisms) and places of extreme cold (the poles). Notice that our planet has suffered a prolonged ice-age and life still thrived in it (it did not completely die off). Also, some lifeforms can survive in environments with high concentrations of methane. The existence of life in those conditions "could" contribute to lower the global methane levels of the planet (as they would probably consume methane). This would have the nice effect of cooling the planet, while also making it possible for other (non-methane loving) life forms to evolve.

    231: All viruses are parasites, therefore, all viruses require hosts to survive. The number of viruses is linked to the number of potential hosts, therefore, both their numbers rise and fall at the same time. It is virtually impossible to have "too many" or "too few" viruses (assuming viruses existed in that ecosystem in the first place).

    370: Again assumes that all life forms must be "Earth-like". It does not take into account the possibility for life to evolve in a totally different path (notice that life HAS been confirmed in places where you wouldn't normally expect it). The "too many forests" possibility is laughable. If the planet was too cool for life to evolve, then you wouldn't have plants in the first place. Forests are naturally contained if they grow too large since they are competing for nutrients, sunlight and heat. The lack of these resources would kill them quickly (down to acceptable numbers) and/or cause other types of better, more fit plants to evolve out of it.

    4 gaping flaws right there.

    Also, they seem to throw around a ton of references just to seem credible. In a proper scientific context, references MUST BE REFERRED TO in the text. You don't just toss them in the end of the text and expect people to guess why they should read them or why you felt they were important. Some scientist you found here...

     

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  178.  
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    TheOldFart (profile), Oct 14th, 2010 @ 7:27pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: To quote Peter Walker

    Why oh why oh why can religious people never take the time to read, consider or understand basic concepts like Pascal's wager?

    You just wait, when you find out the Easter Bunny really exists he's not going to give a fried egg whether you genuflected the correct number of times or sacrificed the proper number of oxen or went to church every Sunday.

    Are you afraid now? Are you scared that it doesn't matter to the Easter Bunny?

    That's *precisely* how much concern I have over what a god might think. It's an imaginary being, it's a story, a legend, a mythical creature, a movie character, it doesn't exist, it doesn't think, it doesn't have any plans for your or me and it sure as hell has no power over me or anyone else, unless they're dumb enough to think "right, well, I've heard about this invisible being and I better obey whatever it is they currently think he wants me to do even though I can never know what it is he wants me to do".

    If I believed he existed, I would reject him anyway for being the horrific piece of crap that he would have to be to allow children to suffer and die and allow such horrific things to not only happen naturally but to allow them to occur in his name.

    Go search youtube for "Harlequin baby". That's your invisible being in action. Wow, that's the kind of invisible being I'd choose to bow down before, yesiree. That's who I want to follow. Yeah, someone that'd do that to a child, or by inaction allow it to happen. Great moral example there.

    There are roughly 3,000 gods, historical and current. Are you *sure* you picked the right one? Positive? Because if not, you better think about what the real god thinks about your statements and actions. Maybe you better study up on the other 2,999 gods that you know nothing about?

    To quote Stephen Roberts: "I contend that we are both atheists. I just believe in one fewer god than you do. When you understand why you dismiss all the other possible gods, you will understand why I dismiss yours"

     

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  179.  
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    Niall (profile), Oct 15th, 2010 @ 3:54am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: To quote Peter Walker

    It doesn't make it terribly clear in the various gospels that this is the case, because that's the first I heard of that despite studying the gospels specifically in school. But stranger things have happened in the bible.

    It still doesn't deal with the discrepancies between the two lineages.

    Sounds like a great way to 'legitimise' those pesky illegitimate children that happened in that time.

     

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  180.  
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    Niall (profile), Oct 15th, 2010 @ 5:53am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: To quote Peter Walker

    That's an awfully convenient way to 'discount' 'apparent' errors in the bible. "Oh they are from different perspectives" "Oh the devil did it".

    If two books are written at different times, it's hardly a stretch to posit that inaccuracies have crept in, however innocently. As it is, the bible is a collection of books of varying providence, with people randomly choosing which to include or leave out based on their own preferences. There is no 'definitive' version carved on stone tablets/Norwegian fjords...

    Claiming the bible has useful information/history/ethics is one thing. Claiming it is 'all-knowing' or 'inerrant' is where most people who aren't heavily religious finds it sticks in their craws. Especially when there are fairly apparent errors in various places that cannot come down to either extremely bad editing (in which case the bible /isn't/ all correct as written) or outright inaccuracies (in which case the bible /isn't/ all correct).

    Although I will give that I have seen a good justification for the apparent pi=3 based on reading the passages differently. Still, insects with 4 legs? Bats as birds? Mating goats in front of sticks will make their progeny stripy? Were 7 pairs or 2 pairs of 'clean' animals saved? Is it so hard to admit that primitive tribesmen /could/ make mistakes? Especially when serious Christians (the fundies especially) nitpick science to their hearts' content trying to 'disprove' evolution or gravity or relativity or cosmology or...

     

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  181.  
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    Niall (profile), Oct 15th, 2010 @ 6:01am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: To quote Peter Walker

    As someone who did an astrophysics degree, and someone who's been reading up on this crap for over 2 decades now, I know a fair bit of it already.

    Also, what I am pointing out is that some of the core methodology is highly suspect. It's no use saying "go read 300 references" when I know that it's highly unlikely that it matters whether there are 3 or 300, if the methodology 'adding' them together is suspect. Trying to say that "these all multiply to make it highly unlikely" is VERY bad mathematics, even assuming that all the points are both relevant and exclusive. Besides, all you are saying is "this is highly unlikely". You could apply the same 'statistics' to the Earth's location in the Galaxy after its 4.6 billion years of existence. If you 'ran' history again, chances are Earth would be in a (slightly?) different relative location in the Galaxy. All that says is that any one location is highly unlikely by itself, but that doesn't make it impossible.

    If you look at the Drake equation, it uses a different set of assumptions and finds a much much different proportion of lief in the universe.

    I am well aware of how finely tuned the universe seems to be. But that doesn't mean that life has NO chance (or even a tiny tiny chance) of appearing elsewhere. It happened here. That alone makes it much more likely to happen elsewhere. There is nothing in the laws of physics, or anywhere else that says "Ok, life appeared on Earth, better stop those chemical reactions on other planets".

     

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  182.  
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    Niall (profile), Oct 15th, 2010 @ 6:18am

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Not you specifically - in fact, that was aimed at John Doe. But if you want to be needled too, be my guest! Although I'm much more enjoying the proper debate we're having.

    I don't think of the christian god in human terms, I was lampooning the fact that John Doe was anthropomorphising him in a ludicrous way.,

    And much of those conclusions have been deconstructed elsewhere, for instance http://www.talkorigins.org/. Just because you have a long list based on dodgy mathematics doesn't invalidate the whole of science. Obviously many of those elements are valid science, done by people of a religious, non-religious, or not-caring bent; it is they way that they are aggregated that I object to.

    If you think this is venom, then I suggest you go look at Fundies Say The Darndest Things for some real venom. But don't forget to check the sources they are quoting from, there is some serious right-wing/religious venom there too!

    Otherwise I am not trying to be venomous, just frustrated. Obviously, if we had some 'objective' proof of the bible as written by god, then the debate might be different. But since the bible was written by highly corrupted Man (as the bible itself points out - corrupted enough to need to eat meat and suffer disease and much-shortened lifespans) over a long time period, and contains much in the way of errors that /are/ hard to explain for people who don't just take it on faith, it's not really very helpful as an actual reference. If the bible says an insect has four legs, and the earth is a flat disk, while my experience and the science I know says otherwise, I know which I will respect (more).

    Once upon a time, I believed in the Bible. Then I asked questions, read a lot, and grew out of it. I don't disrespect others believing in it. I just don't respect them using it as an infallible source of information, especially where it impacts negatively on actual science. Faith is unprovable. Science is explicitly about the provable. So never the twain shall meet.

     

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  183.  
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    Fentex, Nov 17th, 2010 @ 2:19pm


    Major transitions in evolution - such as the origin of life


    This is a category error. The theory of evolution is not the theory of life.

    Evolution has nothing to say about how life started, it only observes how life changes through the mechanisms it has for reproduction.

    Discussing how life began is not discussing evolution.

     

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