What would you expect?

A thread over at the Richard Dawkins forums got me thinking:

Creationism (which, despite the best efforts of its followers, includes “intelligent design”) is never, ever supported by evidence. Any alleged support for this idiocy is almost universally in the form of either argument from personal incredulity (“I can’t conceive of how life could have evolved from a single common ancestor, therefore god created life”) or baseless critique of evolutionary theory (and often of evolutionary theory that is woefully out of date).

All of this made me wonder, what evidence, if true, would falsify creationism for the creationist? After all, creationists have fought hard to get this stuff taught in science classes, and falsifiability is a key component of the scientific method. Thus, it seems logical to ask the creationist: what would you expect to observe if creationism is false?

I thought about this a little more (and posted some of this to the Dawkins forums), and here are my thoughts on the topic (coming from the point of view of a cell/molecular biologist, remember):

1. The genetic code

The Universal Genetic Code (RNA Version)

The genetic code allows us (and the ribosome) to translate the sequence of nucleotides in RNA (A, C, U, and G; which are themselves encoded by the sequence of nucleotides in DNA) into the amino acid sequence of a given protein. It is a triplet code, meaning that each amino acid is encoded by three consecutive nucleotides; the amino acid methionine (more on this in a moment) is encoded by the RNA sequence A-U-G (or, if you like, the DNA sequence A-T-G…thymine is replaced by uracil in RNA). Each set of three nucleotides in RNA is called a ‘codon’. The code is also redundant, meaning that a single amino acid can be encoded by several codons; the amino acid serine, for instance, is encoded by UCU, UCC, UCG, UCA, AGU, and AGC. The opposite, however, is never true; each codon codes for only one amino acid.

The intriguing thing here is that the code is universal (or very nearly so); the same three nucleotide codon mechanism is used in all organisms, and there exist only very minor, infrequent exceptions to the code itself. Bacteria use the same code as do humans (which allows us to use bacteria to produce human proteins for research or therapy), as do sharks, as do platypuses, as do lobsters.

The interesting thing to consider is why this should be so. Why should the code be universally applicable? There are two approaches to this question.

First, if all life originated from a common ancestor, we would expect that the code, which was laid down in the very earliest organisms which used the RNA-protein system, was simply used by all descended organisms, and that any divergence from the universal code should occur most in distantly related organisms; that is, the degree of similarity in the code should be greatest for those organisms that are most closely related to one another and least for those organisms that are less closely related to one another.

Alternatively, if life were created as we now see it (i.e. there is no common descent), then we would not expect to see a universal code; indeed, there is no a priori reason to expect a universal code. Why should lobster proteins be synthesized using the same code as human proteins? There is no advantage to having UUU encode phenylalanine and not serine (or vice versa), so why should the code be universal?

In fact, the code is very nearly universal, and, as predicted, the divergence from universality is correlated to the degree of relatedness of the organism; this should serve as the first falsification of creationism. Justifying a universal genetic code under creationism requires some sort of statement that “god is mysterious” or that there is some unique strength in the particular code we see. Of course, neither of these statements is supported by a lick of evidence, and so they get us nowhere.

The fact remains, a universal genetic code is a falsification of creationism.

2. Shared Genetic and Protein Homology

DNA contains the four bases A, T, C, and G, the sequence of which determines the sequence of the RNA that will be encoded by the DNA, and, through the genetic code, the protein that will ultimately be produced. As we have seen, however, the genetic code is highly redundant; if you were creating a DNA sequence to encode for a given gene (to ultimately encode for a given protein), you have options. Lets say you needed to put the amino acid serine into your growing protein. You could cause serine to be inserted into the growing protein by altering the DNA in a number of ways: TCT, TCC, TCG, TCA, AGT, and AGC; all of these encode serine.

Now, one might assume that if serine was required in a given protein in a specific organism that it would also be required in that same protein in other organisms (serine, for instance, is often modified by enzymes called kinases, which can drastically alter the function of a protein).

So, if we hypothesize that life was created as we see it (i.e. not descended from a common ancestor), we would expect to see, across species, a random allotment of these 6 serine codons. That is, if we accept that the presence of serine is required for the function of a given protein (which is well-documented), then the DNA sequences encoding that serine in different, allegedly unrelated organisms should show a random assortment of the six codons that encode serine; there is no reason to expect the TCT codon to occur more frequently than the TCC codon (or any other codon), since they both have exactly the same effect on the final product: the protein.

What we observe is quite different. Take the protein called ‘p53’, which is absolutely critical for the proper sensing and repair of damaged DNA, as well as for the death of individual cells when the damage is too severe to be fixed. The 15th and 20th amino acid of human p53 is serine; both are modified by phosphorylation, and both are required for the normal function of the protein.

Human serine 15 is encoded by the DNA sequence AGT; human serine 20 is encoded by TCA. Now let’s look at mouse p53. Mouse serine 15 (which is actually at position 18 in the mouse gene) is encoded by AGC; the T in human p53 has been changed to a C in the mouse p53, but this has no effect on the protein sequence; both encode serine. Mouse serine 20 (which is actually at position 23 in the mouse gene) is encoded by TCA, the same as the human sequence.

Now, let’s look at chimpanzee p53. Serine 15 is encoded by AGT, the same as human p53. Serine 20 is encoded by TCA, the same as human p53.

Do you see something happening here?

The human, mouse, and chimpanzee p53 proteins are functionally very similar (as evidenced by the over 43000 research papers published on the subject), and they all have conserved amino acids in very specific places (since these amino acids perform very specific functions). And yet, while all three forms encode serine 15 and serine 20 (the mouse serines are pushed forward through the insertion of three additional amino acids that are lacking in the human and chimp p53), the human and chimpanzee p53 are encoded by THE SAME DNA sequence, whereas the mouse p53 serine 15 (18) is encoded by a different DNA sequence altogether*.

If we repeat this exercise for other organisms, we see precisely the same thing; the degree of relatedness between the organism predicts the extent to which the SAME amino acid is encoded by the SAME DNA sequence. The protein sequence has to remain the same in order to maintain the same function, but the DNA sequence is under no such restriction; there are options at the DNA level.

If all life were created as is, we would expect a random allotment of DNA sequences making up the same codon. Thus, the observation that the degree of relatedness of two species predicts the extent to which a codon for a specific amino acid will be identical across the two species is a falsification of creationism. I have yet to hear even an attempt to rationalize this finding based on creationism.

3. Protein Homology in Organisms Sharing Similar Environments

One might argue that protein sequences in organisms sharing a common environment, particularly of proteins that are absolutely required for survival in that environment, should be very similar. If this were true, we would, for instance, expect that cytochrome c, a protein that is absolutely required for efficient energy metabolism, in bats would be very similar to that found in pigeons, since they both must meet the energy requirements of using flight as a primary means of locomotion. Similarly, we would expect that bat cytochrome c would be dissimilar to that found in humans, since the energy requirements created by the environments in which the two organisms live is likewise dissimilar.

That is to say, if life was created as we see it, we would expect that the sequence of proteins required for survival in a given environment for a given organism (irrespective of those factors I have discussed above) would be more similar in other organisms living in the same environment than in those who live in entirely disparate environments.

In fact, this is not at all what we observe. Bat cytochrome c is more homologous to whale and human cytochrome c than it is to pigeon cytochrome c, or to cytochrome c observed in other birds. This is a falsification of creationism.

Note that when I say “falsification of creationism”, I don’t commit the creationist’s blunder of claiming that this is evidence of common descent; evolution by common descent, like all scientific theories, requires positive evidence in its favour. It just so happens that, taken together, the data I’ve shown here are highly consistent with the theory that all life is descended from a common ancestor. But remember, it is a false dichotomy to state that evidence against one theory is evidence for another theory, unless the two theories are the only possible ones.

The next time a creationist provides you with some ridiculous criticism of evolution, take the following approach. First, if you can, respond to the criticism and set the creationist straight. Now that probably wont work (or you may not have the detailed scientific knowledge to respond immediately), so you might also want to point them to the appropriate authorities on the subject (this is really good start, which I always recommend). But don’t let the conversation end without asking them for an example of a piece of data that, if true, would falsify creationism for them. If they can’t answer, they’re not talking science, and they’re only interested in dogma. At this point, you can safely walk away, thus protecting your brain from further idiocy-induced atrophy.

* – For those who are really interested in the evolutionary biology here, it follows that serine 20 is better conserved than serine 15; serine 20 (23 in mouse) lies within the binding site for a protein called HDM2 (or, more commonly, MDM2), which inhibits the function of p53. When serine 20 is modified by the addition of a phosphate group, this inhibits the binding of MDM2, which promotes the function of p53 (by inhibiting the inhibitor). MDM2 binding is a VERY important process for the regulation of DNA damage sensing, DNA repair, and apoptosis (cell death), and thus serine 20 is likely to be VERY well conserved by natural selection. Serine 15, by contrast, may be somewhat less important in this regard, and thus somewhat more poorly conserved…I haven’t done any detailed studies to look at this, but it could make an interesting paper…

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11 Responses to What would you expect?

  1. laelaps says:

    Nice work! It’s interesting how “scientific creationism” didn’t end up being that scientific in the end, and although some of the talking heads of creationist ministries have come up with hypotheses they haven’t tested them at all. I have actually read some of the creationist “technical journals” like CRSQ and Creation that claim to have scientific proof of YEC theology, but the bulk of such magazines are made up of book reviews, editorials, and other nonsense. I’ve even seen creationists essentially sabotage their own results by trying to date dinosaur bone with carbon-14.

    The biggest problem I’ve found, though, is that (as creationists admit) everything must go through the Bible first. Since the Bible can’t be wrong (and the Bible says Homo sapiens CAN be wrong), anything that contradicts it is incorrect, or at least anything that goes up against an evangelical spin on the Bible is incorrect. This is the hardest hurdle to overcome, although creationists rarely realize they don’t even know their own theology. Passages like Deuteronomy 12:32 say “See that you do all I command you; do not add to it or take away from it.” I would saying adding dinosaurs on Noah’s Ark, Homo habilis to the tower of Babel story, and other creationist shoehorning directly contradicts the oft-cited godly command to not add or subtract to the holy books.

    Anyway, despite the creationist ministries and mouthpieces, I’ve come across both open and close-minded evangelicals in my experience. Some are horrified that I don’t think everything in the Bible is true out of historical/cultural context, but others simply don’t know anything about evolution (they’ve “defaulted” to creationism because that’s all they know and it’s “proper” to believe it). I think, in general, that the majority of the public has a poor understanding of science and the natural world, and I think there is hope to spread a better understanding of science and evolution amongst those who simply have never heard of most of the amazing things scientists have uncovered over the centuries. Then again, I live in New Jersey so things are probably not so easy everywhere.

  2. Twelve says:

    Concerning the universal code thing you explained (“universal code thing,” what an educated term): You didn’t refute creationism with that. You simply a single theory of creationism. As someone who isn’t a biologist, I don’t know too much about this, but isn’t this universal code a necessity for survival, or something to that effect? If an omnipotent, eternal being does exist, then there should be no reason for every living creature to have the same code yet different ancestors. After all, it is an omnipotent being. As I said before, I am no biologist, but does the DNA code have anything to do with the similarity between monkeys and humans? Monkeys are quite similar to us in appearance, so wouldn’t creating them that way require similar DNA? Besides, there is still no evidence for monkeys evolving into humans. There has been no in-between found to this day, so there isn’t much evidence for macroevolution either.

    And for point #2:
    You still didn’t refute creationism with this either. You say that:

    If all life were created as is, we would expect a random allotment of DNA sequences making up the same codon. Thus, the observation that the degree of relatedness of two species predicts the extent to which a codon for a specific amino acid will be identical across the two species is a falsification of creationism. I have yet to hear even an attempt to rationalize this finding based on creationism.

    I don’t see how that is a falsification. I’m kinda slow today, so I may be wrong, but it appears that you are saying that if life were created by God, then “we would expect a random allotment of DNA sequences making up the same condon,” and that it isn’t, in reality. I’m not sure of your views of Christianity, but I don’t see why God wouldn’t make life in the manner that He did. Aren’t these code sequences and such, in the structure that they are, a good thing? That seems to be in favor of creationism.

    _____________

    But don’t let the conversation end without asking them for an example of a piece of data that, if true, would falsify creationism for them. If they can’t answer, they’re not talking science, and they’re only interested in dogma. At this point, you can safely walk away, thus protecting your brain from further idiocy-induced atrophy.

    Easy for you to say. All you need is God to appear to you and proof that you weren’t hallucinating…..then again, you might think that you’d gone crazy and the proof you received was just a figment of your imagination — Anyway, moving on.
    I cannot easily come up with a piece of evidence that, if true, would refute Christianity, because I don’t use science to solve my every problem. I only have to use logic to prove that an omnipotent, eternal, perfect, timeless (eternal again) being with a will of its own exists, and have done so before. I don’t have to use science, which is just logic drawn off of observation, and I don’t think that every problem can be solved by observation. Sometimes, you have to use pure logic. Math, for example, is not scientific, but is accepted. Pure logic in favor of creationism, however, is not, and is considered mere “speculation,” and is simply dismissed. Odd how that works. Another example is the statement, “The only avenue to truth is through science.” That statement, in itself, cannot be proven by the scientific method. I’m not saying science isn’t good, it’s very helpful, but when something cannot be observed directly, logic should become the next resort.
    (Returning to my original point…) Because I have used logic, and only logic, to prove God to myself, I believe that God created the earth as much as I do that 2+2=4. I cannot imagine any scientific evidence that would dis-prove God, because I didn’t use science to prove Him in the first place, and I can’t imagine a world without Him, because I believe that without Him, the world can’t exist, so how am I supposed to come up with any evidence against God that may or may not be true, unless it is logical evidence, which I obviously haven’t thought of yet, because if I did, I wouldn’t believe in God. Now you see our dilemma.
    As for you, you only need to have God appear in front of you, and enough of an open mind to believe that you hadn’t gone crazy, weren’t hallucinating, dreaming, or had suddenly acquired an extremely overactive imagination.

  3. edge100 says:

    I am no biologist,

    And yet you see no issue with your claim that evolution, the fundamental underpinning of all biological science, is false? At the very least, your position should be: show me the evidence. I pointed you to the Talkorigins.org link, which has all the evidence you need. But just in case you need it spelled out, here you go:

    isn’t this universal code a necessity for survival, or something to that effect?

    No.

    There is no a priori reason for a lobster, a rose, and a human to have the same genetic code. The code could be organized in billions of different ways, and still be equivalently functional. The universality of the genetic code is one of the strongest pieces of evidence that all organisms share a common ancestor.
    If all organisms were created separately, there is no reason to think they should all share a code, because no particular code is any better than any other.

    does the DNA code have anything to do with the similarity between monkeys and humans? Monkeys are quite similar to us in appearance, so wouldn’t creating them that way require similar DNA?

    DNA has everything to do with the difference between “monkeys” and humans.

    And no, similarlity in appearance definitiely does NOT predict genetic similarlity. Whale genes are MUCH more similar to cow genes than they are to fish genes, despite looking MUCH more similar to fish than cows. Bat genes are MUCH more similar to human genes than bird genes, despite looking MUCH more similar to birds than humans.

    There is NO correlation between what an organism looks like and its genetic makeup.

    there is still no evidence for monkeys evolving into humans. There has been no in-between found to this day, so there isn’t much evidence for macroevolution either.

    First off, monkeys DIDN’T evolve into humans; if you can’t get this right, you’ll need to go WAY back to basics.

    Monkeys and humans share a common ancestor. Here is a list of 14 species that are transitional between humans and our nearest relative, the chimpanzee.

    There are transitional fossils for virtually any species you can name; we can trace the evolution, via fossils (and remember, fossilization is itself a VERY rare event…we’re lucky to have any at all). Also remember that, in the age of molecular biology, while fossils remain an important resource to track the evolution of various species, molecular approaches (such as the genetic data I showed) are far better; we can see transitional genotypes much more readily than transitional fossils; both play the same role, however.

    if life were created by God, then “we would expect a random allotment of DNA sequences making up the same condon,” and that it isn’t, in reality. I’m not sure of your views of Christianity, but I don’t see why God wouldn’t make life in the manner that He did. Aren’t these code sequences and such, in the structure that they are, a good thing? That seems to be in favor of creationism.

    No.

    Let me say it again; the amino acid serine is encoded by 6 different codons; the code is “redundant” (the technical term is ‘degenerate’). Specific serines also happen to be very important for the function of many proteins, including the one I named (p53). If god knew that a serine HAD to go in one particular place in a protein, he could have used any of the 6 serine codons and got the same result. So the DNA sequence AGT (serine) and TCT (serine) are 100% functionally identical; it does not matter one iota which one is there; they both give serine in the final protein. So even if god knew that a serine was required at position 15 of p53, he could have said “mice all get AGT and humans get TCT”, and the result would have been identical. To take that one step further, there is no a priori reason to see the same exact codon (not the same amino acid, but the same codon FOR that amino acid) used over and over and over, and to see that the degree of “sameness” of a particular codon is absolutely correlated to the relatedness between organisms.

    So, if creationism is true, we expect to see a random allotment of serine codons, because no particular codon is more useful than any other. What we see is VERY different.

    Whale p53 shares a MUCH larger proportion of its serine codons with human p53 than with fish p53, even if the proteins from each organisms ALL have serine in the same place (which, in many cases, they do).

    This is strong evidence suggesting that the particular codon used for a specific amino acid is not randomly allotted, but rather subject to selection and evolution. If creationism were true, we would not expect to see ANY relatedness between serine codons (again, not the amino acid, but the codon that codes for it), because there is no advantage to using one over another. Since we DO see relatedness between codons, creationism is falsified.

    I cannot easily come up with a piece of evidence that, if true, would refute Christianity, because I don’t use science to solve my every problem. I only have to use logic to prove that an omnipotent, eternal, perfect, timeless (eternal again) being with a will of its own exists, and have done so before.

    I cannot easily come up with a piece of evidence that, if true, would refute Islam, because I don’t use science to solve my every problem. I only have to use logic to prove that an omnipotent, eternal, perfect, timeless (eternal again) being with a will of its own exists, and have done so before.

    I cannot easily come up with a piece of evidence that, if true, would refute Flying Spaghetti Monsterism, because I don’t use science to solve my every problem. I only have to use logic to prove that an omnipotent, eternal, perfect, timeless (eternal again) being with a will of its own exists, and have done so before.

    See how easy it is to write nonsense?

    Now I agree with you: it’s very hard to falsify the notion that god exists. Now I take the position that we are not required to believe something is true simply because we cannot prove it is false (you cannot prove the non-existence of Zeus, Thor, Ra, or any of the other gods, yet you absolutely reject them. Why?).

    BUT…

    Christianity can be falsified.

    Here’s how:

    Matthew 7:7, Matthew 17:20, Matthew 21:21, Mark 11:24, John 14:12-14, Matthew 18:19 and James 5:15-16 all state that if a person is a true believer, then their prayers will be answered. Jesus does not qualify his remarks. He doesn’t say “Pray, and I’ll think about it” or “Pray, and you’ll get something that will, in the end, help you, but wont look like it at the time” He says this:

    Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask for in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours – Mark 11:24

    So, if the true believer prays, and the prayer is NOT answered, then Christianity is falsified.

    Do you believe in the literal truth of Genesis? Easily falsified.

    You see, while it’s impossible to falsify the existence of “god” in general (though that doesn’t mean god’s existence is likely or even probable), it’s very easy to falsify specific religions by taking them up on their specific claims.

    Want another? Jesus explicitly stated he’d return to Earth during the lifetimes of some of those who were living over 2000 years ago. His failure to return is a falsification of Christianity.

    I don’t think that every problem can be solved by observation. Sometimes, you have to use pure logic. Math, for example, is not scientific, but is accepted.

    The fallacy of equivocation.

    Moreover, math is most certainly scientific. It is the formal codification of the law of numbers.

    There are observational sciences (like geology), there are experimental sciences (like biochemistry and, my own field, molecular biology), and there are theoretical sciences (like physics and math).

    Theology is not even a subject, because, at its core, it rests on the unproven assumption that there is an omnipotent being called “god”. Without external evidence of this being’s existence, we cannot ascribe any effects to it.

    Pure logic in favor of creationism, however, is not, and is considered mere “speculation,” and is simply dismissed.

    Creationism has nothing whatsoever to do with logic; at least no logic that I’d be proud of. But go ahead, give me your best evidence/logic in favour of creationism. I will not accept ANY critique of evolution as evidence FOR creationism (this is the LOGICAL fallacy of the false dichotomy; both evolution and creationism could be false, thus evidence against one isn’t evidence FOR the other). Go ahead…you can use this space for a new argument, or direct me to one on your own blog.

    Another example is the statement, “The only avenue to truth is through science.”

    That isn’t my statement, so perhaps you should stop with the straw men already.

    That statement, in itself, cannot be proven by the scientific method. I’m not saying science isn’t good, it’s very helpful, but when something cannot be observed directly, logic should become the next resort.

    Guess it’s a good thing that the fundamental underpinning of science is…LOGIC!

    What we are looking for is one…just one piece of evidence that is consistent only with the existence of god. There are plenty of things that COULD HAVE been due to god, but they just as easily COULD HAVE been due to natural forces. The only difference is: we KNOW that natural forces exist. We have no such external evidence for the existence of god.

    So, any god-only evidence?

    Because I have used logic, and only logic, to prove God to myself, I believe that God created the earth as much as I do that 2+2=4.

    Just out of curiosity, just how old do you think the Earth is?

    I can’t imagine a world without Him,

    So because you personally cannot imagine that god does not exist, therefore he does? Because the limits of your imagination are too narrow to suppose that the universe came into being without the input of an omnipotent supernatural agent, then it automatically did?

    Wow…I thought vanity was frowned upon but Christians.

  4. Twelve says:

    There is no a priori reason for a lobster, a rose, and a human to have the same genetic code. The code could be organized in billions of different ways, and still be equivalently functional. The universality of the genetic code is one of the strongest pieces of evidence that all organisms share a common ancestor.
    If all organisms were created separately, there is no reason to think they should all share a code, because no particular code is any better than any other.

    I see your point, but regardless, would it not be simpler to use this universal code? Sure, for an omnipotent being, it wouldn’t matter, but why not use this code?

    And no, similarlity in appearance definitiely does NOT predict genetic similarlity. Whale genes are MUCH more similar to cow genes than they are to fish genes, despite looking MUCH more similar to fish than cows. Bat genes are MUCH more similar to human genes than bird genes, despite looking MUCH more similar to birds than humans.

    There is NO correlation between what an organism looks like and its genetic makeup.

    Sounds a bit odd, don’t you think? Saying that genetic code has little to do with appearance?

    First off, monkeys DIDN’T evolve into humans; if you can’t get this right, you’ll need to go WAY back to basics.

    I’m quite aware of that belief (that humans didn’t evolve from monkeys), I just use that phrase as nothing more than what it is, a phrase, while at the same time pointing out my disagreement with your common ancestor theory.

    This is strong evidence suggesting that the particular codon used for a specific amino acid is not randomly allotted, but rather subject to selection and evolution. If creationism were true, we would not expect to see ANY relatedness between serine codons (again, not the amino acid, but the codon that codes for it), because there is no advantage to using one over another. Since we DO see relatedness between codons, creationism is falsified.

    This is no falsification. There is no reason for God to use random “allotments” when He can just as easily use the allotment that you see now. Why wouldn’t you expect “ANY relatedness between serine codons.” There may be no advantage, but why would God create each organism in a different way, with a different structure, when He could use a single, practically-unified system?

    I would like to clarify that I don’t believe that humans were always as they are today. I believe that there have been slight changes, due to the effects of the environment and whatnot, but I don’t believe in macroevolution (a change into an entirely different species).

    So, if the true believer prays, and the prayer is NOT answered, then Christianity is falsified.

    Prayers ARE answered, though, and the answer can be “yes” or “no.” Sometimes, “yes” takes a while; and other times, the answer is “no” when what you pray for shouldn’t be answered with a “yes.”

    Want another? Jesus explicitly stated he’d return to Earth during the lifetimes of some of those who were living over 2000 years ago. His failure to return is a falsification of Christianity.

    To be honest, I haven’t a clue as to what you’re talking about. Would you care to clarify?

    Theology is not even a subject, because, at its core, it rests on the unproven assumption that there is an omnipotent being called “god”. Without external evidence of this being’s existence, we cannot ascribe any effects to it.

    Then prove, using the scientific method, that “infinity” exists. Then try and prove, using the scientific method, the statement, “Science is the only avenue to truth.” There are things that simply cannot be proven using the scientific method.
    Now, what if theology rests on the proven “assumption, that there is an omnipotent being called God? If the assumption happens to be true, then what happens to your statement?
    There is no observable evidence for God that can be perceived except for everything that exists. If God exists, then any existent thing is proof that He does. Because the evidence is “everything,” there is no way to prove that He exists without putting your mind to good use, and actually thinking about it. God can be proven through the process of elimination.

    Creationism has nothing whatsoever to do with logic; at least no logic that I’d be proud of. But go ahead, give me your best evidence/logic in favour of creationism. I will not accept ANY critique of evolution as evidence FOR creationism (this is the LOGICAL fallacy of the false dichotomy; both evolution and creationism could be false, thus evidence against one isn’t evidence FOR the other). Go ahead…you can use this space for a new argument, or direct me to one on your own blog.

    I am going to start with an omnipotent, eternal (timeless), morally perfect being, instead of trying to explain every little detail (that would take way too long). And since I’m too lazy to type it up all over again, I’ll just copy/paste it from a post on another website I made the other day.

    “1. Time cannot be eternal, because that would require an infinite past, which can’t exist, because there would be an infinite past to surpass in order to reach the present. It would be like trying to jump out of a bottomless pit. How can you jump out if there is no point at which to jump from?

    That being said, there cannot be an infinite chain of temporary creators, as that would be tantamount to an infinite past.

    Therefore, whatever created the universe is eternal, and not subject to time.

    2. This being had to have the power to create EVERYTHING, and an omnipotent being fits the bill.

    3. This being had to have a will of its own, considering the fact that humans do. This point is debatable, which is why I won’t go any further than this.

    4. Imperfection only leads to worse imperfection; imperfection only gets worse. If the omnipotent creator was eternal, then by now, it would be ultimately evil, as time does not exist where it resides, and therefore the imperfection would get worse, quite literally, in no time at all. If the being was evil and omnipotent, then it would only be logical to say that humans would be suffering FAR more than what we are now.

    5. If the being was timeless and eternal, then that being would know our every move, thought, and choice before we make it.

    Imagine that the being is looking into a jar (time), and when looking from the outside of the jar in, time is an illusion, and everything that happens within the jar can be seen outside the jar, all at once. If the being does not interfere with the humans in the jar by making their choices, then although the being can see our every choice before we make it, that being is not predetermining our decisions for us, and we still have free will.

    ____________

    Put all that together, and you end up with an eternal, omnipotent, all-knowing, perfect being with a will of its own.

    Sound familiar?”

    I like to make things simple, so as to make a stronger argument. Going one point at a time really simplifies it all.

    That isn’t my statement, so perhaps you should stop with the straw men already.

    I didn’t say it was your statement. I was providing an example.

    Guess it’s a good thing that the fundamental underpinning of science is…LOGIC!

    Exactly! So why can’t you use logic on its own? I don’t see why that is such a horrible option. If logic supports all sciences, then why can’t it support itself?

    What we are looking for is one…just one piece of evidence that is consistent only with the existence of god. There are plenty of things that COULD HAVE been due to god, but they just as easily COULD HAVE been due to natural forces. The only difference is: we KNOW that natural forces exist. We have no such external evidence for the existence of god.

    So, any god-only evidence?

    Ok, but it’s based on logic alone, which isn’t acceptable for some inexplicable reason.

    Just out of curiosity, just how old do you think the Earth is?

    That seems more like a way to start a different argument than simple curiosity. Regardless, my answer is “I don’t know.” No one really knows, nor will we ever know for certain.

    So because you personally cannot imagine that god does not exist, therefore he does?

    I didn’t say that, nor did I imply it.

    Because the limits of your imagination are too narrow to suppose that the universe came into being without the input of an omnipotent supernatural agent, then it automatically did?

    Wow…I thought vanity was frowned upon but Christians.

    I explained well enough. You are just taking my words out of context. Read the following carefully:

    “Because I have used logic, and only logic, to prove God to myself, I believe that God created the earth as much as I do that 2+2=4. I cannot imagine any scientific evidence that would dis-prove God, because I didn’t use science to prove Him in the first place, and I can’t imagine a world without Him, because I believe that without Him, the world can’t exist, so how am I supposed to come up with any evidence against God that may or may not be true, unless it is logical evidence, which I obviously haven’t thought of yet, because if I did, I wouldn’t believe in God.”

  5. edge100 says:

    I see your point, but regardless, would it not be simpler to use this universal code? Sure, for an omnipotent being, it wouldn’t matter, but why not use this code?

    No, it wouldn’t be simpler. All possible codes are equally “simple”, because they are functionally equivalent.

    I’m quite aware of that belief (that humans didn’t evolve from monkeys), I just use that phrase as nothing more than what it is, a phrase, while at the same time pointing out my disagreement with your common ancestor theory.

    Fair enough, but let’s discuss the theory as it stands. Monkeys did not evolve into humans; no evolutionary biologist claims this.

    Sounds a bit odd, don’t you think? Saying that genetic code has little to do with appearance?

    You misunderstand.

    You made the point that you might expect the genes of monkeys and humans to be similar because they “look” the same. I extend that argument to other organisms that “look” the same, and point out that looking the same is a VERY poor predictor of genetic “sameness”. Whales look a lot more like fish than they look like cows, and yet the whale genome is FAR more similar to the cow genome than the fish genome.

    So looking the same isn’t a good predictor. Neither is shared environment. Bats and birds share an environment with similar requirement (in terms of energy metabolism, vision, flight, etc), so you would predict that their genomes would be more similar than bats and humans, which have very limited environmental overlap. But you don’t. You see that bats and humans are much more genetically related than bats and birds.

    THAT is strong evidence for common ancestry.

    This is no falsification. There is no reason for God to use random “allotments” when He can just as easily use the allotment that you see now. Why wouldn’t you expect “ANY relatedness between serine codons.” There may be no advantage, but why would God create each organism in a different way, with a different structure, when He could use a single, practically-unified system?

    You miss the point.

    The important point is not that the codons are the same, it’s that they are, in fact, DIFFERENT. Moreover, the difference is always correlated to the relatedness between organisms.

    I buy your argument: if god wanted to create a protein in which serine was an important amino acid at a particular place (say, p53 Ser15), then he could simply use the same codon for mice, humans, lobsters, zebrafish, rats, chimpanzees, etc. Alternatively, he could have used random codons that all code for Serine, just to keep it interesting.

    But that is not what we see: we see that the codon encoding p53 Ser15 is NOT randomly placed; it differs, as I showed, in correlation to the relatedness of the organism. Human p53 ser15 uses the same codon as chimpanzee p53 ser15, but both human and chimp p53 use a DIFFERENT codon than mouse p53 ser15 (ser18). There is NO reason for this to be so.

    So the point is this: codon usage is (a) not random (b) not uniform across all organisms, and (c) correlated to the degree of relatedness between organisms. Creationism predicts either random allotment or identical allotment, neither of which is observed.

    On the other hand, evolution predicts non random allotment with differences correlated to degree of relatedness, but NOT correlated to degree of likeness (i.e. closer similarity in bats and humans than bats and birds).

    Prayers ARE answered, though, and the answer can be “yes” or “no.” Sometimes, “yes” takes a while; and other times, the answer is “no” when what you pray for shouldn’t be answered with a “yes.”

    But you see, those are YOUR qualifications. Jesus said no such thing. He said that if the true believer prays, and believes that the prayer has been answered, then it will be answered. End of story.

    There is no evidence that prayer is answered, and we have well-designed studies showing that prayer in fact does NOT work…

    http://tinyurl.com/22fal3 (a meta-analysis, meaning a review of the body of evidence, not just a single piece)

    And the best one of all…http://tinyurl.com/yw7z2q (a large randomized trial of heart patients showing NO effect of prayer whatsoever, and actually a slightly negative effect)

    To be honest, I haven’t a clue as to what you’re talking about. Would you care to clarify?

    For the Son of Man is about to come in the glory of his Father with his angels, and then he will reward each one according to his deeds. I assure you that there are some here who will not die until they have seen the Son of Man come as King. – Matthew 16:27-28

    Behold, He is coming with the clouds, and every eye will see Him, EVEN THOSE WHO PIERCED HIM. – Revelations 1:7

    Clear enough for ya?

    Then prove, using the scientific method, that “infinity” exists. Then try and prove, using the scientific method, the statement, “Science is the only avenue to truth.” There are things that simply cannot be proven using the scientific method.

    Perhaps, but the question of whether of not there is a god (let alone whether or not, out of the infinite number of POSSIBLE gods, it is Yahweh) is 100% a scientific question; it is either true or false. We may or may not have the ability to answer the question today, but that doesn’t make the question any less scientific.

    There is no good reason to believe anything unless there is evidence to suggest that the thing is true. We can hand wave all we like, but the fact remains that there is no evidence that god exists. Period. Until such day that evidence is profferred, the default position should be that no god exists. Absence of evidence is not evidence of absence, it is true, but absence of evidence WHERE EVIDENCE SHOULD BE is evidence of absence.

    An omnipotent, omniscient god could leave evidence of its existence. In fact, according to the ‘holy’ books of each and every religion, past and present, god HAS, at some point in the past, made himself plainly visible. Unfortunately, his ability to do so, it would appear, has diminished with the advent of reason, logic, and science, which hopefully says something about the nature of those stories to begin with.

    Now, what if theology rests on the proven “assumption, that there is an omnipotent being called God? If the assumption happens to be true, then what happens to your statement?

    Then let’s have the proof. Until then, Santa Clausology or the study of fairies has the same degree of intellectual honesty. There is PRECISELY the same amount of evidence to suggest that the Tooth Fairy exists as there is suggesting that god (again, let alone Yahweh) exists. None!

    I am going to start with an omnipotent, eternal (timeless), morally perfect being, instead of trying to explain every little detail (that would take way too long). And since I’m too lazy to type it up all over again, I’ll just copy/paste it from a post on another website I made the other day.

    “1. Time cannot be eternal, because that would require an infinite past, which can’t exist, because there would be an infinite past to surpass in order to reach the present. It would be like trying to jump out of a bottomless pit. How can you jump out if there is no point at which to jump from?

    That being said, there cannot be an infinite chain of temporary creators, as that would be tantamount to an infinite past.

    Therefore, whatever created the universe is eternal, and not subject to time.

    2. This being had to have the power to create EVERYTHING, and an omnipotent being fits the bill.

    3. This being had to have a will of its own, considering the fact that humans do. This point is debatable, which is why I won’t go any further than this.

    4. Imperfection only leads to worse imperfection; imperfection only gets worse. If the omnipotent creator was eternal, then by now, it would be ultimately evil, as time does not exist where it resides, and therefore the imperfection would get worse, quite literally, in no time at all. If the being was evil and omnipotent, then it would only be logical to say that humans would be suffering FAR more than what we are now.

    5. If the being was timeless and eternal, then that being would know our every move, thought, and choice before we make it.

    Imagine that the being is looking into a jar (time), and when looking from the outside of the jar in, time is an illusion, and everything that happens within the jar can be seen outside the jar, all at once. If the being does not interfere with the humans in the jar by making their choices, then although the being can see our every choice before we make it, that being is not predetermining our decisions for us, and we still have free will.

    ____________

    Put all that together, and you end up with an eternal, omnipotent, all-knowing, perfect being with a will of its own.

    Sound familiar?”

    I like to make things simple, so as to make a stronger argument. Going one point at a time really simplifies it all.

    There is no fact in this at all! This is all just conjecture. You’ve willed your god into existence. I’m not even going to waste time on this, because there’s just no substance. It’s just hand-waving.

    Exactly! So why can’t you use logic on its own? I don’t see why that is such a horrible option. If logic supports all sciences, then why can’t it support itself?

    Fortunately, science is not bounded by the limits of human “logic”. Special relativity is not “logical”, because we do not observe the slowing down of time as we speed up. But THAT is a physical reality. Something need not be logical to be true.

    Your “logic” is nothing but conjecture. It is not logical that god created the universe because (a) there is no evidence that god exists and (b) there is no evidence that, even if he does, that he is capable of creating universes. Anything beyond this, in the absence of other evidence, simply begs the question.

    Ok, but it’s based on logic alone, which isn’t acceptable for some inexplicable reason.

    Is there anything we observe in the known universe that could ONLY have been created by Yahweh? Be careful, though; in this direction lies the “god-of-the-gaps” argument…at one time, earthquakes could “only” have been caused by god.

    I explained well enough. You are just taking my words out of context. Read the following carefully:

    “Because I have used logic, and only logic, to prove God to myself, I believe that God created the earth as much as I do that 2+2=4. I cannot imagine any scientific evidence that would dis-prove God, because I didn’t use science to prove Him in the first place, and I can’t imagine a world without Him, because I believe that without Him, the world can’t exist, so how am I supposed to come up with any evidence against God that may or may not be true, unless it is logical evidence, which I obviously haven’t thought of yet, because if I did, I wouldn’t believe in God.”

    I read it; it’s still nonsense. There is no evidence that your god exists, just like there is no evidence that the Tooth Fairy exists. Yet one is “known” to be unreal, while the other is worshiped by billions. More importantly, only one causes untolled strife, chaos, and death, for no good reason but that Constantine decided to become a Christian.

    Think about it honestly; what is the evidence you have that tells you that you should NOT be worshipping Zeus? Or Thor? Or Ra? Or any other god besides the one you’ve chosen? Odds are, you’re wrong, simply based on the number of possible gods. Without SOME corroborating evidence, any of these gods is as (un)likely as any other. But you’ve chosen this one. Why? Presumably you think there is evidence for it.

    On the other hand, I think there is no evidence for ANY of them, and that is why I reject them all. I am an atheist for EXACTLY the same reason that you are not a Muslim; lack of evidence. We all reject most of the gods that have ever existed because of lack of evidence; I just go one god further.

  6. Twelve says:

    No, it wouldn’t be simpler. All possible codes are equally “simple”, because they are functionally equivalent.

    Still, there’s no law that says that if God created the earth, it would be random. No, I was saying that wouldn’t it make things a lot simpler to understand with this universal code? Simpler for God to make anyway.

    Monkeys did not evolve into humans; no evolutionary biologist claims this.

    Ok. I agree.

    THAT is strong evidence for common ancestry.

    But not solid proof.

    So the point is this: codon usage is (a) not random (b) not uniform across all organisms, and (c) correlated to the degree of relatedness between organisms. Creationism predicts either random allotment or identical allotment, neither of which is observed.

    Think about it for a moment. God (let’s call Him the Omnipotentialis for now, so as not to make this sound church-like) knows all that will happen, past, present, and future. If this is so, then the omnipotentialis would know that we would be able to look at the genetic structure of each organism the way we do today. The omnipotentialis, in the Bible, wanted to make a point of separating the animals from humans, and probably a point of separating animals from other animals. For example, the “clean and unclean” animals. With the technology we have today, we can now distinguish animals by genetic codes, such as what you did.

    There is no evidence that prayer is answered, and we have well-designed studies showing that prayer in fact does NOT work…

    There have been other well-designed studies that have shown differently. It all relies on the answer. God does answer the prayers, with a “yes” or a “no.” I suppose there is no direct observable proof that prayers are answered, but there’s no proof that they aren’t, since the answers could be “yes” or “no.” I suppose that is why the person has to be a believer; one who believes.

    For the Son of Man is about to come in the glory of his Father with his angels, and then he will reward each one according to his deeds. I assure you that there are some here who will not die until they have seen the Son of Man come as King. – Matthew 16:27-28

    Behold, He is coming with the clouds, and every eye will see Him, EVEN THOSE WHO PIERCED HIM. – Revelations 1:7

    Clear enough for ya?

    Jesus did come as King, and He will do so again. In the Bible, those who have died can still see things such as Jesus’ return.

    Perhaps, but the question of whether of not there is a god (let alone whether or not, out of the infinite number of POSSIBLE gods, it is Yahweh) is 100% a scientific question; it is either true or false. We may or may not have the ability to answer the question today, but that doesn’t make the question any less scientific.

    The question is not scientific. The only science required is knowing that you yourself exist, and that has been proven already WITHOUT science.

    There is no good reason to believe anything unless there is evidence to suggest that the thing is true. We can hand wave all we like, but the fact remains that there is no evidence that god exists. Period. Until such day that evidence is profferred, the default position should be that no god exists. Absence of evidence is not evidence of absence, it is true, but absence of evidence WHERE EVIDENCE SHOULD BE is evidence of absence.

    An omnipotent, omniscient god could leave evidence of its existence. In fact, according to the ‘holy’ books of each and every religion, past and present, god HAS, at some point in the past, made himself plainly visible. Unfortunately, his ability to do so, it would appear, has diminished with the advent of reason, logic, and science, which hopefully says something about the nature of those stories to begin with.

    Such is your opinion, but it is not a fact. What evidence could the God of the Bible possibly leave? What good would it do to appear in the sky? People would think it was a trick, a natural event happening by pure chance, or just a hallucination. You might think you’d gone insane, and nothing around you was real, but a hallucination, even the news showing it would seem unreal to you, and you might assume you’d simply gone insane. God did appear in human form, and what good did that do? Everyone questioned whether or not He was really God.

    There is no fact in this at all! This is all just conjecture. You’ve willed your god into existence. I’m not even going to waste time on this, because there’s just no substance. It’s just hand-waving.

    Then consider this:

    Time cannot be eternal.
    That which is timeless is eternal.
    That which is timeless (eternal) has an infinite past, which, *philosophically, is impossible.
    Whatever created time was eternal and outside of time.

    Before the Big bang, whatever caused the big bang couldn’t have caused it, because there was no time, and without time, there is no point at which to create the universe.

    The very fact that time can’t be eternal ruins every possibility humans have come up with, including atheism. Philosophically speaking, we shouldn’t exist, but we do, and because of this, we know that we cannot, and will not, ever possibly know how the universe originated.

    As beings within time, we cannot comprehend that which is outside of time, and the because time had to be created, whatever created it was outside of time. Because of this, we cannot comprehend how, exactly, the universe was created. It’s basically a paradoxical situation.

    I believe in the Bible for a number of reasons, and I will spend my time on this blog from here on out, writing about those reasons.

    There really isn’t anything to debate about this, though I’m sure it will be debated about.

    *”Philosophically,” in this post, can be interpreted as “logically.”

    Fortunately, science is not bounded by the limits of human “logic”. Special relativity is not “logical”, because we do not observe the slowing down of time as we speed up. But THAT is a physical reality. Something need not be logical to be true.
    Your “logic” is nothing but conjecture. It is not logical that god created the universe because (a) there is no evidence that god exists and (b) there is no evidence that, even if he does, that he is capable of creating universes. Anything beyond this, in the absence of other evidence, simply begs the question.

    So 2+2 might not +4. Science is bound by logic. How do you know that time slows down for that which speeds up? By observing it and using logic to put together the information to reach that conclusion.

    Is there anything we observe in the known universe that could ONLY have been created by Yahweh? Be careful, though; in this direction lies the “god-of-the-gaps” argument…at one time, earthquakes could “only” have been caused by god.

    Yeah, the universe itself.
    Something can’t come from nothing, so something had to create the earth, and the only way from that something to exist without having another something to create it, that something would have to be eternal.

    I read it; it’s still nonsense. There is no evidence that your god exists, just like there is no evidence that the Tooth Fairy exists.

    Unless God does exist, in which case, the universe is the proof.

    the other is worshiped by billions. More importantly, only one causes untolled strife, chaos, and death, for no good reason but that Constantine decided to become a Christian.

    You mean thousands. There aren’t a lot of real Christians out there.
    So now God causes suffering? Please explain that to me, because I know that statement to be false.

    Think about it honestly; what is the evidence you have that tells you that you should NOT be worshipping Zeus? Or Thor? Or Ra? Or any other god besides the one you’ve chosen? Odds are, you’re wrong, simply based on the number of possible gods. Without SOME corroborating evidence, any of these gods is as (un)likely as any other. But you’ve chosen this one. Why? Presumably you think there is evidence for it.

    Yes, I believe there to be more evidence for the God of the Bible. I can’t find a Bible contradiction, and I can find plenty of flaws in the other religions.
    I can’t possibly explain why I don’t believe in each and every other religion, but I will point one thing out.
    Christianity is the only religion that doesn’t weigh the good and bad deeds of a person. It does not leave one’s fate up to human effort. It shows that human effort will not do any good to save humans, as we are imperfect and naturally inclined to evil. Instead, the God of the Bible is personal and “knowable,” another difference, and loves humans. Other religions don’t have a personal god that loves humans, narrowing down the creation of humans to mere caprice of just an accident, both of which I disagree. The God of the Bible loves humans so much that He actually sacrifices Himself so that humans can attain eternal life, because humans can’t save themselves by doing good deeds. Sin MUST be paid for, and good deeds don’t pay for it.

    On the other hand, I think there is no evidence for ANY of them, and that is why I reject them all. I am an atheist for EXACTLY the same reason that you are not a Muslim; lack of evidence. We all reject most of the gods that have ever existed because of lack of evidence; I just go one god further.

    As long as you’ve analyzed the entire argument, I’m fine with what you believe, though I may disagree.

  7. edge100 says:

    Still, there’s no law that says that if God created the earth, it would be random. No, I was saying that wouldn’t it make things a lot simpler to understand with this universal code? Simpler for God to make anyway.

    You’re still missing the point.

    Of course an omnipotent being could use any code it wanted to. It could do anything it wanted to, period. So ANY observable fact is consistent with the existence of an omnipotent bieng. The problem is, since we have no evidence that such a being exists, we cannot ascribe any cause-effect relationships to it, lest we beg the question (i.e. assume the thing we’re trying to prove).

    The universality of the code, and the fact that the deviations from universality are found PRECISELY where the theory of evolution predicts, is STRONG evidence in favour of the theory.

    But not solid proof.

    You misunderstand science.

    Science doesn’t deal with proofs; you’re thinkin of mathematics. Science deals EXCLUSIVELY in probabilities. When the probability of something being true increases to such an extent, we say “X is proven”. But what we REALLY mean is that the probability of X being true is so great, that it is effectively 100%. Water boils at 100C at 1 Atm of pressure; this is “proven” because every time we boil water, this holds true.

    So the non-random codon usage we observe, coupled with the VAST amount of molecular, anatomical, physiological, paleontological, geological, and other evidence for common descent detailed at http://www.talkorigins.org/faqs/comdesc/ IS, in any reasonable sense of the word, proof of common descent and the FACT of evolution. The theory of evolution, as I’ve explained, is the proposed mechanism by which this has all occured.

    The “proof” for common descent is as great, or greater, than the proof of the current theory of gravity.

    Think about it for a moment. God (let’s call Him the Omnipotentialis for now, so as not to make this sound church-like) knows all that will happen, past, present, and future. If this is so, then the omnipotentialis would know that we would be able to look at the genetic structure of each organism the way we do today. The omnipotentialis, in the Bible, wanted to make a point of separating the animals from humans, and probably a point of separating animals from other animals. For example, the “clean and unclean” animals. With the technology we have today, we can now distinguish animals by genetic codes, such as what you did.

    This is a science blog written by a scientist; I’m not going to debate you on the bible (that, apparently, is what your blog is for). Different ‘holy’ books say different things; you chose the listen to the bible. Fine. But the Bible isn’t anything more than a book, in the absence of any real evidence suggesting otherwise. You may as well quote Shakespeare (the writing would be of higher quality, at least).

    There have been other well-designed studies that have shown differently. It all relies on the answer. God does answer the prayers, with a “yes” or a “no.” I suppose there is no direct observable proof that prayers are answered, but there’s no proof that they aren’t, since the answers could be “yes” or “no.” I suppose that is why the person has to be a believer; one who believes.

    Every single well-controlled study has shown that prayer does not work. Meta-analyses of all of the studies have shown no overall effect.

    ALL prayers that do get “answered” are only to help things that might have rectified themselves anyway. God has never once answered a prayer to regrow a severed arm. Never. Not once. You’d think that at least once in 2000 years your god would have regrown at least one arm. If you can point me to a study showing that limb regrowth is enhanced by prayer (to Yahweh) relative to placebo prayer, I’ll convert on the spot.

    Jesus did come as King, and He will do so again. In the Bible, those who have died can still see things such as Jesus’ return.

    But that’s NOT what the bible says. The bible says that Jesus will return while those people are still alive. You’re reading the rest of it into the passage in order to justify his lack of return. Jesus, if he ever existed at all, is not coming back. He’s dead. Done. It’s just as likely that Elvis will return.

    The question is not scientific. The only science required is knowing that you yourself exist, and that has been proven already WITHOUT science.

    It most certainly is scientific. It is either true or false; it cannot be partially true, or true under certain circumstances. We could design an experiment to test it. Unfortunately, we don’t have the means to measure the existence or lack thereof. But that doesn’t mean the question could not be asked, and, given the right tools, answered.

    Such is your opinion, but it is not a fact. What evidence could the God of the Bible possibly leave?

    Show that prayer, to the Christian god, results in a significant increase in the regrowth of severed arms, relative to placebo prayer (or prayer to a different god altogether). Like I said, this should be no problem for an omnipotent, omniscient god. And if it happens, I’ll convert.

    Time cannot be eternal.
    That which is timeless is eternal.
    That which is timeless (eternal) has an infinite past, which, *philosophically, is impossible.
    Whatever created time was eternal and outside of time.

    Time is a property of the universe. The same as space. Time did not exist before the big bang. This is general relativity, for which there is ample evidence.

    What created god? And if you say that god has always existed, why not just say the universe has always existed? You solve nothing with this line of thinking.

    Besides, who’s to say that the universe has not always existed?

    I believe in the Bible for a number of reasons, and I will spend my time on this blog from here on out, writing about those reasons.

    Please do not simply cut and paste from your blog to mine. If you’re going to comment (which I appreciate, BTW), use some original thought.

    How do you know that time slows down for that which speeds up? By observing it and using logic to put together the information to reach that conclusion.

    The observation is the part you seem to be missing.

    Something can’t come from nothing, so something had to create the earth, and the only way from that something to exist without having another something to create it, that something would have to be eternal.

    Infinite regress. Why does god get to exist eternally, but the universe can’t?

    You can’t ascribe ANY cause-effect relationships to god unless you first prove that god exists. You have simply begged the question.

    You mean thousands. There aren’t a lot of real Christians out there.
    So now God causes suffering? Please explain that to me, because I know that statement to be false.

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

    God doesn’t causes suffering; he doesn’t exist. His followers do, however. In his name. If god really exists, and wants us to stone homosexuals, then we should do so. But in the absence of evidence of his existence, perhaps we should obstain from doing anything violent in his name.

    I can’t find a Bible contradiction, and I can find plenty of flaws in the other religions.

    Differing lineages of Jesus – contradiction
    Pi = 3 – contradiction
    Differing accounts of creation – contradiction
    Impossibility of the biblical flood – contradtion

    Would you like me to go on?

  8. Twelve says:

    But the Bible isn’t anything more than a book, in the absence of any real evidence suggesting otherwise

    There’s more evidence than you’d think.

    God has never once answered a prayer to regrow a severed arm. Never. Not once. You’d think that at least once in 2000 years your god would have regrown at least one arm. If you can point me to a study showing that limb regrowth is enhanced by prayer (to Yahweh) relative to placebo prayer, I’ll convert on the spot.

    No, you’d want to see it for yourself. Still, why would God regrow an arm that He allowed to be severed? I believe in the philosophy that what you “sow in sorrow” you will “reap in joy.” In other words, the loss of a person’s arm turn for the better. All such things have turned for the better, at least as far as I’ve seen. This philosophy is used by more than just the Bible, so as to not make this sound like I’m just relying on just one source.

    But that’s NOT what the bible says. The bible says that Jesus will return while those people are still alive.

    But in what life? And what was He talking about?
    Here is something on man whom, on my source, is referred to as Henry:

    “Matthew 16 –
    None of Christ’s miracles are recorded in this chapter, but four of his discourses. Here is, I. A conference with the Pharisees, who challenged him to show them a sign from heaven (Mat_16:1-4). II. Another with his disciples about the leaven of the Pharisees (Mat_16:5-12). III. Another with them concerning himself, as the Christ, and concerning his church built upon him (Mat_16:13-20). IV. Another concerning his sufferings for them, and theirs for him (Mat_16:21-28). And all these are written for our learning.”

    It most certainly is scientific. It is either true or false; it cannot be partially true, or true under certain circumstances. We could design an experiment to test it. Unfortunately, we don’t have the means to measure the existence or lack thereof. But that doesn’t mean the question could not be asked, and, given the right tools, answered.

    I’m just saying that the only observation needed is the fact that you, yourself, exists, and that can’t even be absolutely proven through science.

    Show that prayer, to the Christian god, results in a significant increase in the regrowth of severed arms, relative to placebo prayer (or prayer to a different god altogether). Like I said, this should be no problem for an omnipotent, omniscient god. And if it happens, I’ll convert.

    If there is an instance in which an arm must be regrown in order to turn things for the better, then it will happen. Prayer isn’t exactly mentioned in the Bible, though, but the people of the Bible cried out to God, which is similar.

    What created god? And if you say that god has always existed, why not just say the universe has always existed? You solve nothing with this line of thinking.

    Besides, who’s to say that the universe has not always existed?

    The universe exists within time. God does not.

    Please do not simply cut and paste from your blog to mine. If you’re going to comment (which I appreciate, BTW), use some original thought.

    I apologize. That bit was part of my post, and while copy/pasting, I accidentally pasted that into it all.
    The posts on my blog ARE original thoughts.

    The observation is the part you seem to be missing.

    How am I missing it?

    Why does god get to exist eternally, but the universe can’t?

    The universe exists within time. God doesn’t.

    If god really exists, and wants us to stone homosexuals, then we should do so. But in the absence of evidence of his existence, perhaps we should obstain from doing anything violent in his name.

    1. The Bible does not say such a thing.

    2. What evidence would you accept for God’s existence?

    Differing lineages of Jesus – contradiction
    Pi = 3 – contradiction
    Differing accounts of creation – contradiction
    Impossibility of the biblical flood – contradtion

    1. refuted

    2. What are you talking about?

    3. refuted

    and

    4. refuted (Why is the flood so impossible? There are sea animals’ fossils on the tops of mountains. That’s pretty good evidence.)

    I’m surprised you haven’t seen #s 1 and 3 refuted already.

  9. edge100 says:

    Still, why would God regrow an arm that He allowed to be severed?

    Woah, hold on! By that logic, why would God answer ANY prayers? Presumably, when god cures a cancer patient, he’s curing a cancer that he allowed to form.

    You can’t have it both ways. Either god answers prayers, or he doesnt. The bible says quite clearly that if you are a true believer, and you believe a prayer is answered, it will be.

    The rest is just you adding on stuff to square your ‘holy’ book with reality.

    If there is an instance in which an arm must be regrown in order to turn things for the better, then it will happen. Prayer isn’t exactly mentioned in the Bible, though, but the people of the Bible cried out to God, which is similar.

    It is clearly mentioned in the bible, in the passages I quoted.

    The universe exists within time. God does not.

    You’ve just asserted this by fiat. Just because you say it’s so doesn’t make it so.

    1. The Bible does not say such a thing.

    If a man lies with a male as with a women, both of them shall be put to death for their abominable deed; they have forfeited their lives. – Leviticus 20:13

    2. What evidence would you accept for God’s existence?

    Tough to say. Regrowth of severed arms would be a good start.

    To me, there is no a priori reason to even suppose the existence of god, let alone a specific god.

    1. refuted

    It’s not “refuted”; it’s a glaring inaccuracy. The same people are on the Matthew list as on the Luke list, and in different generations. In Luke, Eliakim is 6 generations from David; in Matthew, he’s 19 generations from David.

    2. What are you talking about?

    And he made a molten sea, ten cubits from the one brim to the other: it was round all about, and his height was five cubits: and a line of thirty cubits did compass it about – I Kings 7:23

    Circumference/diameter = Pi
    30/10 = 3 = Pi

    That’s a pretty bad estimate for the creator of the universe.

    3. refuted

    Genesis 1:25-27 – god creates animals before man
    Genesis 2:18-19 – god creates man before animals

    4. refuted (Why is the flood so impossible? There are sea animals’ fossils on the tops of mountains. That’s pretty good evidence.)

    Was it freshwater or saltwater? Either way, you kill off half of the fish.

    There is not enough water on earth or in the atmosphere to cover the 8848 meter peak of Everest.

    http://www.talkorigins.org/faqs/faq-noahs-ark.html

    Can you not think of an alternate reason that fossils might be found at the top of mountains? Mountains were not always that tall. The flood is a physical impossibility, and there is simply no evidence for it. In fact, it offers a great chance to actually falsify the bible.

  10. Enlightened One says:

    Edge,
    I would just like to express my gratitude for your intelligent argument that usurps each of the ignorant statements made by twelve. Being a man of science, I whole-heartedly agree with each of your statements (being that they are simply scientific facts), and I just wish to say well said.

  11. Enlightened One says:

    Also, quick point. You were mentioning this in the DNA discussion, but another point that denounces theories of creationism is concerned with how imperfect some creatures are designed. Being that we all evolved from a common ancestor, the bone structures of humans and most mammals share almost the same anatomy. This explains why the whale has what resemble fingers in the bone structure beneath the fins, or why a bat has what look like fingers beneath the wings. If intelligent design did exist, scientists argue it would be more intelligent. There’s no reason that parts of the anatomy of creatures who live very different lifestyles should share such a similar bone structure unless they came from a common ancestor. you obviously know this, it’s such a simple point. However, it seems twelve needs everything reduced to elementary-level simplicity in order to comprehend it.

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