User Name:

Password:

FAQ Donate Join

Atheist Community of Austin
Age of the Earth

How do you respond to a Christian's claim that the Earth is 6-10,000 years old and one of their argumens is that nobody was there when the Earth was created?

Well, I'd first ask why the preponderance of scientific evidence (radiometric dating, star-light from farther than 10,000 yrs, etc..) claims otherwise.

Then, if they claim that 'God just set it up that way' (i.e., as a deceptive illusion), conversation ends. There's no way to break through that crap.

I made the same argument to a Christian & he said, "yeah, but you've only got the scientists' word for that." How do you reason with a brain like that?

You can't.

I wonder if much of the conversation with religious fundamentalists is false in the sense that, if you assume that they are rational (most people are), they are either charlatans or there is a level at which they are already uncomfortable with their arguments for young earth creation and they suspect that the evidence is that the earth is several orders of magnitude older. They know for instance that the scientific method has no opinion. It allows the facts to speak for themselves and will gradually find the truth even though it was unsuspected.

The religious person's problem is that they are embedded in a very narrowly focused culture, where their education is stunted by constant reinforcement of insipid ideas about life, the earth and the cosmos, and from which they find it difficult to escape for fear of being outcast from their social group.

But now, the internet is bringing knowledge to everyone and gradually, the end of superstition. People are slowly realising that God is an artefact of their own personal imagination, their own inner voice. This in itself is not necessarily a bad thing. But organised worship is different; it is about keeping the proletariat in a state of ignorance and it is about money, power and political control and should be vigorously resisted. This is why separation of Church and State is a fundamental protection against authoritarianism and why the religious right want to take it away.

If you don't use your own brain, someone else will.

I agree. Last June, I had the interesting experience of hiking across the Grand Canyon with two young earth creationists. We started at the North Rim and hiked down Roaring Springs Canyon and then along Bright Angel Creek to Phantom Ranch and then up the Bright Angel Trail to the South Rim. My wife drove around to pick us up.

As we descended through the clearly defined layers, I pointed out how they were lying essentially flat and could be seen all around the canyon and on opposite walls. They agreed with that, but when, near the bottom of the canyon, I pointed out the Vishnu Schist which I told them was about 1.8 billion years old, they looked at me like I was crazy. I probably am. I did not think that anyone could hike through that magnificence and think that it could happen in 6000 years.

Since the three of us are in our mid-sixties, I tried to get an estimate from them about how much rock could have eroded away during our lifetimes. We agreed that it would certainly be less than an inch. If the Earth were only 100 or our lifetimes old, the Grand Canyon should therefore have been less that 10 feet deep!

"Not necessarily so. The Earth could have been created with this canyon already here." I just smiled and gave up.

Anyone making a claim has a burden of proof. Someone making this claim would likely be using the Bible as "evidence". There are thousands of contradictions and problems in the Bible, so it can't be considered reliable. As the other respondent said, you might be wasting your time with such a person.

Thanks, their not getting it so I'll just let them believe whatever they want because they are using genesis chapters 1-2 as a starting point and that's just a primeval myth that Hebrews got from the Babylonians.

Can you give us some examples, Don?

Here's a couple of source for some of them.

http://skepticsannotatedbible.com/contra/by_name.html

http://www.infidels.org/library/modern/jim_meritt/bible-contradictions.html

You're a Chatty Cathy doll that just keeps pulling it's own string.

Anthony asked, "How do you respond to a Christian's claim that the Earth is 6-10,000 years old and one of their argumens is that nobody was there when the Earth was created?"

My answer: Scientists study the evidence to determine the age of the Earth. What they have found is credible evidence that the Earth must be billions of years old. Although, Christian fundamentalists continued to vehemently deny all the scientific evidence.

In Western Australia, single zircon crystals found in younger sedimentary rocks have radiometric ages of as much as 4.3 billion years, making these tiny crystals the oldest materials to be found on Earth so far. The source rocks for these zircon crystals have not yet been found. The ages measured for Earth's oldest rocks and oldest crystals show that the Earth is at least 4.3 billion years in age.

Astronauts of the Apollo Moon landing missions turned up lunar rocks that have oxygen isotope compositions, which are nearly the same as the Earth. This might mean that portions of the Moon were once part of the Earth. Scientists announced their findings in 1969, saying that the Moon was at least 4 billion years old.

I would recommend that everyone (especially fundamentalist Christians) read the Pale Blue Dot by Carl Sagan. It is inspiring and beautiful, and the morality of the message by far surpasses that of the war mongering idiots who wrote the bible, and then convinced everybody do nothing while they plundered the earth. Just sit there waiting on Armageddon and a savior god. That's the biblical message.

This quotation from A Pale Blue Dot was inspired by an image taken, at Sagan's suggestion, by Voyager 1 on February 14, 1990. As the spacecraft left our planetary neighborhood for the fringes of the solar system, engineers turned it around for one last look at its home planet and photographed it. Earth appears as a tiny point of light, a pale blue dot.

From A Pale Blue Dot: The Earth is a very small stage in a vast cosmic arena. Think of the rivers of blood spilled by all those generals and emperors so that, in glory and triumph, they could become the momentary masters of a fraction of a dot. Think of the endless cruelties visited by the inhabitants of one corner of this pixel on the scarcely distinguishable inhabitants of some other corner, how frequent their misunderstandings, how eager they are to kill one another, how fervent their hatreds.

Our posturings, our imagined self-importance, the delusion that we have some privileged position in the Universe, are challenged by this point of pale light. Our planet is a lonely speck in the great enveloping cosmic dark. In our obscurity, in all this vastness, there is no hint that help will come from elsewhere to save us from ourselves.

The Earth is the only world known so far to harbor life. There is nowhere else, at least in the near future, to which our species could migrate. Visit, yes. Settle, not yet. Like it or not, for the moment the Earth is where we make our stand.

It has been said that astronomy is a humbling and character-building experience. There is perhaps no better demonstration of the folly of human conceits than this distant image of our tiny world. To me, it underscores our responsibility to deal more kindly with one another, and to preserve and cherish the pale blue dot, the only home we've ever known. Carl Sagan, Pale Blue Dot, 1994

NASA's Hubble Space Telescope has uncovered the oldest burned-out stars in our Milky Way Galaxy. These extremely old, dim "clockwork stars" provides a completely independent reading on the age of the universe without relying on measurements of the expansion of the universe. Previous Hubble research sets the age of the universe at 13 to 14 billion years based on the rate of expansion of space, astronomers have long sought other age-dating techniques to cross-check their conclusions.

In 2002 the Hubble telescope studied a small region of clusters of ancient white dwarf stars, that turned out to be 12 to 13 billion years old. The globular cluster located in M4 (white dwarfs) is giving astronomers a new way to answer the biggest questions in astronomy; how old is the universe? The ancient white dwarfs in M4 are about 12 to 13 billion years old. After accounting for the time it took the cluster to form after the big bang, astronomers found that the age of the white dwarfs agrees with previous estimates for the universe's age. A ground-based observatory snapped a panoramic view of the entire cluster, which contains several hundred thousand stars within a volume of 10 to 30 light-years across.

Astronomers estimate how long ago the white dwarf stars were burning by measuring the temperature of the burned out remnants of white dwarf stars, the burned out remnants of the earliest stars that formed in our galaxy.

Hot, dense spheres of carbon "ash" left behind by the long-dead star's nuclear furnace, white dwarfs cool down at a predictable rate, the older the dwarf the cooler it is, making it a perfect "clock" that has been ticking for almost as long as the universe has existed.

Just for the record, and I can't emphasize this enough--Genesis says "In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth." So the earth was already there, void and formless before the six days of "creation", which is probably a misnomer. What God did was took a billion-year old earth and convert it to a bio-friendly place. Each creative day was 7000 years long each, but that is not the age of the earth. When God said, "Let there be light" he just moved the earth over to where the sun was.

What a lovely just-so story.

The prick has spoken.

Where have I heard that before? Ha yes, on 'Atheist Experience' (topic) The "meme of memes".

Teufelhund said, "Linda, my intention was not to be mean--spirited-- if I my use that word."

Linda "Why not? I'm sure you use superstitious words all the time like most fanatic "PRICKS" (emphasis is ONLY to make sure it's noted) . I don't believe in the spirit world."

Alternatively, you don't have any basis for that claim, not even a Biblical one, and are just making things up to try to reconcile a horribly fantastical story with the facts of reality.

There is no reality in the Genesis story of creation at all. What he is repeating is what is in the Bible. According to the Bible, God created the Earth before the sun. We know scientifically that nothing happened the way it is depicted in the Biblical Genesis story. If you were all that smart you would have told him that the Earth could not have existed before the Sun.

I didn't have to because the christian was already being ridiculous saying "were you there" and he would probably have said even more moronic statements like the ones you see on Ken Ham's website.

Nowhere in the Bible does it say a day is 7000 years. Neither does it say anything about God moving the Earth over to the Sun. So no, he's not repeating what's in the Bible. If you were all that smart, you wouldn't assert that it was in the Bible when you clearly don't have a clue what you're talking about.

Carbon dating is a scientific fact, if the person you're talking to believes otherwise then it's a losing battle.

Bible's most valuable message is not "God created the Earth in six days". That's just the first 2 chapters. Have you read the rest? Yes, it fails to explain material world accurately. So does science in realm of the human nature. Can an elephant defeat a whale?

Euclidean geometry is based on concepts of infinitely small point, infinitely long straight line and infinite flat plane. Did you see such things in reality? Then Mr. Euclid proceeds with accepting 5 axioms without proof or evidence and builds a beautiful theory. So, the foundations of the theory are totally bogus, yet they describe reality accurately as long as we ignore the imperfections of the reality and apply conclusions within limitations. Didn't we need a "leap of faith" to make Euclidean geometry true?

Newton's mechanics is based on concepts of material point and inertial frame of reference. Do they exist in nature? Leap of faith again?

Then comes Mr. Einstein and postulates "The speed of light in a vacuum is the same for all observers, regardless of their relative motion or of the motion of the source of the light." Oh, that is so "common sense"! And there goes Mr. Newton's theory. Not that it's wrong, but it's limited and miserably fails when misapplied at large speeds. Oh, and, by the way, mass and energy are, pretty much, the same thing. E=mc^2. Another "common sense" statement known to every student in the middle school.

Before Copernicus, "common sense" was that the Sun goes around the Earth. That was "objective reality" perceptible by all observers. All the "evidence" was against those ridiculous statements of Mr. Copernicus. It took a big "leap of faith" to change that view.

So, what does science need to be true? Two things among others: faith to believe that there is unlimited unknown outside its realm and humility to accept its own limitations. What does the Bible teach? Among other things, that you need faith and humility to comprehend the greatness of the Infinite. And, by the way, faith and humility will bring you a long way in many other areas. So, where does the Bible contradict science? Or shall we focus on the first two chapters and argue about how long a day was when there was no Sun? Then, why not also discuss the reality of an infinite smooth flat plane and ban geometry as "faith teaching"?

@AG "Yes, it fails to explain material world accurately. So does science in realm of the human nature." It does? How so? As far as I'm aware, evolution explains human nature quite admirably.

"Can an elephant defeat a whale?" Can a red herring prove anything?

"Didn't we need a 'leap of faith' to make Euclidean geometry true?" I don't know what you're babbling about here, but if something demonstrably works, there's no faith involved.

The theory of relativity has very little to do with common sense. It requires throwing common sense, a demonstrably weak method of determining truth, out the window.

"Before Copernicus, 'common sense' was that the Sun goes around the Earth." See?

"All the 'evidence' was against those ridiculous statements of Mr. Copernicus." No it wasn't, or we wouldn't have changed the view.

"It took a big 'leap of faith' to change that view." Only if you refuse to consider the evidence.

"So, what does science need to be true?" Evidence.

"Two things among others: faith to believe that there is unlimited unknown outside its realm." What?

"Humility to accept its own limitations." No, logic tells you the limits of science.

"And, by the way, faith and humility will bring you a long way in many other areas." Faith has never accomplished anything, and humility is overrated.

"So, where does the Bible contradict science?" When it gets the facts of reality wrong and further wants you to accept things on faith, where science is evidence-based.

"Or shall we focus on the first two chapters and argue about how long a day was when there was no Sun?" We can talk about the pillars of the Earth if you prefer. Maybe we can talk about how Jesus saw the entire Earth from the top of a mountain. Let's consider that in the Bible, pi = 3. Let's consider the scientifically impossible flood, or the fact that light didn't refract through water before God made a rainbow for Noah. Let's consider that a viable population for reseeding a species is 50, when all that was left of the human race was but four people committing wild incest.

"Then, why not also discuss the reality of an infinite smooth flat plane and ban geometry as "faith teaching"?" Because math is a conceptual field. The Bible attempts to describe reality.

Antifides: "Because math is a conceptual field. The Bible attempts to describe reality."

So, math does not attempt to describe reality? Hmm...

Correct.

Antifides: "Because math is a conceptual field. The Bible attempts to describe reality."

I thought, you did not put much thought in your statement. Apparently, you did put some if you confirm it. I wonder, what it is you mean when saying that math does not attempt to describe reality. Can you, please, explain how using calculus to describe mechanical motion of physical bodies or using Fibonacci numbers to describe the patterns formed by sunflower seeds, pine cones, and spiral galaxies are not "attempts to describe reality using math"?

Well, of course, math does not do anything by itself. People use math to do things. Is this a word game of some sort?

Math deals in the conceptual, so concepts like infinite planes are fine within mathematics, without any attempt to claim one actually exists.

You can describe reality with mathematics. You can also describe it with words. Mathematics and linguistics as fields do not describe reality, however, hence why I found your infinite plane example objectionable. You simply pulled something from the field of mathematics, not an application of mathematics to reality. So, word game? No. Important distinction. To make your analogy accurate, you would have to take a math-based attempt and failure to describe reality which is nevertheless taught as true.

So, in the specific case, you asked why ban the faith teaching of the Bible but not the "faith teaching" of the geometric infinite plane. Because the Bible is attempting to claim reality is a way that it is not, and therefore it IS faith teaching to believe that without and in face of evidence. On the other hand, geometry teachers aren't trying to get you to believe that there are infinite flat planes without or in face of evidence, and thus it is not faith teaching.

AG, Einstein's theory of General relativity is a theory of gravity in which gravity is described by saying that space and time are dynamic quantities that can curve in response to the effects of matter and can in turn alter the behavior of matter.

In a curved space-time the laws of Euclidean geometry no longer hold: the angles of a triangle do not in general add up to 180°, the ratio of the circumference of a circle to its diameter is in general not pi, and so on. This curvature in turn affects the behavior of matter. In Newtonian physics a particle with nothing pushing or pulling it (no forces acting on it) will move in a straight line. In a curved space-time what used to be straight lines are now twisted and bent, and particles with no forces acting on them are seen to move along curved paths.

Newton's theory of gravity described gravity as a force. Newton's law of gravity explained gravity on Earth and the orbit of the moon about the Earth, the motions of the planets about the sun and etc. General Relativity also explains all of those things, but in a very different way. In General Relativity, a massive body like the sun causes the space-time around it to curve, and this curvature in turn affects the motion of the planets, causing them to orbit around the sun. There are small differences that can and have been measured in the solar system, and to date all the data have matched the predictions of General Relativity.

Unlike the "God of the gaps" argument, which supposedly does away with the big bang or evolution (for it to be science) evidence and testability, are required. Nevertheless, those are interesting conclusions that are based on absolutely nothing.

According to the "Word of God" the Bible begins by stating: "In the beginning, God created the heavens and the Earth. God formed the Earth and the world, from everlasting to everlasting", all at the same time. Even though, we know that there are many planets that are much older than Earth - but what the heck.

The big bang theory of how the universe evolved includes the atoms that make up the molecules that make up life; they did not exist before the big bang. They came into existence over time as our universe evolved. At quantum physics level transitions do occur spontaneously without an apparent cause, like nuclear reactions. The Universe does not require a cause. Every atom that ever was or will be came into existence during the big bang. All of the energy and mass in our universe was formed within and following the expansion of the singularity. Every atom then and now was actualized in the course of the big bang. When the initial extremely hot universe began cooling the heat was converted into volume. As a result of the cooling of the universe subatomic particles were able to condense into the matter that we recognize in the universe today, things such as electrons, neutrons, and protons. About a million years later (when the universe was cooler) there was a condensation of subatomic particles into hydrogen atoms (much fewer helium atoms and even fewer lithium atoms). These hydrogen atoms continue to make up a large part of the matter in the universe. Beside these forms of matter there was a formation of the physical forces in the universe. The singularity, big bang, inflation and then the cooling created the energy and matter in the expanding universe, except for that life would not exist in the universe. The gravitational collapse of clouds of matter around inhomogeneous (clumps) was the source of galaxies, stars, solar systems, and planet formation. Solar systems and planets allowed the formation and composition of complex carbon based molecules and other materials that form the basis for life.

The Hubble Space Telescope documents how the universe evolved to gain insight into the most basic processes underlying the formation of everything around us. These studies allow us to chart for the first time the maturation process of galaxies.

Other than Creation week the Bible also states "with the Lord a day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years are like a day". If Creation took six days (and a day is a thousand years) that's six thousand years.

Howbeit, that it took about a million years for the universe to become cooler for the condensation of subatomic particles into hydrogen atoms (much fewer helium atoms and even fewer lithium atoms). These hydrogen atoms continue to make up a large part of the matter in the universe. The age of the Earth is about 4 billion years and our universe is 15 billion years old.

Naturally, we can't overlook the notion that the intelligent designer or Creator is a cosmic prankster who designed everything to make it look as though it had evolved. Or God might never have created the universe and it doesn't exist at all, but is just our perception; or we don't know what reality is because we are living in a delusion. But how can that be if God told us what He did and the Bible is true - and everything?

These kinds of arguments are without one shred of evidence or proof, and are an attempt to fix Genesis, which defies what we know scientifically. If God used evolution instead of supernatural instant creation why wouldn't he tell us about it? Religion is more attractive to people without any ability to understand actual science. They can understand "god did it" and that's about it.

Linda,

You seem to be very educated and know a lot. You also seem to assume that one has to be gullible to believe in God. (Linda: "They can understand "god did it" and that's about it."). In this forum, I would refrain from assumptions about your opponents since you have never seen them (just as you have not seen God). Not to brag, but to make a point, I've spent 10 years in college studying physics and electrical engineering. Enough to learn that humans don't know s..t about the universe, life, or themselves. Presenting more scientific facts just confirms my opinion. "God did it" - is the only logical explanation I can come up with.

"If you can't explain it simply, you don't understand it well enough" -- Albert Einstein.

Speaking of Einstein. The old man had a few things to say about science and the universe. Here are just some of the quotes attributed to Einstein:

"Science without religion is lame, religion without science is blind."

"There are two ways to live: you can live as if nothing is a miracle; you can live as if everything is a miracle."

"Logic will get you from A to B. Imagination will take you everywhere."

"As far as the laws of mathematics refer to reality, they are not certain, and as far as they are certain, they do not refer to reality."

"Gravitation is not responsible for people falling in love." AG: I read this as "science should not be misapplied." Same goes for religion and the Bible.

"Only a life lived for others is a life worth while." AG: Compare with the New Testament teachings.

"The only real valuable thing is intuition." AG: Christians call it "The Holy Spirit".

"If we knew what it was we were doing, it would not be called research, would it?" AG: Does science "know what it's doing"? What does science know?

"Everything that can be counted does not necessarily count; everything that counts cannot necessarily be counted." AG: I can paraphrase this as "Everything for which there is evidence, isn't necessarily evident; everything evident does not necessarily has evidence."

"Few are those who see with their own eyes and feel with their own hearts." AG: Can "feeling with your heart" be accepted as evidence?

"Once we accept our limits, we go beyond them." AG: on importance of humility and how it applies to science and humans.

"The only thing that interferes with my learning is my education." AG: Do not overestimate what you know or learned at school or read in the books.

"God always takes the simplest way."

"God does not play dice." AG: on relevance of probability theory to creation.

"God may be subtle, but he isn't plain mean." AG: On questionable passages in the Bible. I may not understand what God meant in everything I read in the Bible, but it does not make God evil.

"Never do anything against conscience, even if the state demands it" AG: I can replace "state" with "Bible". How can a Christian tell what is against conscience, even in the Bible? There are such things as prayer and The Holy Spirit, largely unknown to atheists.

"I am a deeply religious nonbeliever - This is a somewhat new kind of religion"

"All religions, arts and sciences are branches of the same tree."

AG: Compare this with Mark 15:1-7 "I am the true vine, and my Father is the gardener. He cuts off every branch in me that bears no fruit, while every branch that does bear fruit he prunes so that it will be even more fruitful. You are already clean because of the word I have spoken to you. Remain in me, as I also remain in you. No branch can bear fruit by itself; it must remain in the vine. Neither can you bear fruit unless you remain in me. I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing. 6 If you do not remain in me, you are like a branch that is thrown away and withers; such branches are picked up, thrown into the fire and burned. If you remain in me and my words remain in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you."

AG: Science does not and never will explain everything. Neither do religions, atheism, philosophies, or humanism. Just as atheists simply say, "we do not believe in God or gods. Why should we?", theists say "we believe in God. Why shouldn't we?" Scientific arguments are absolutely irrelevant to whose position is right. I dare to claim that people asking "Why not?" open themselves to more opportunities than people who say "Why should I?" to everything.

http://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/authors/a/albert_einstein

That's a good one. I've heard it before. But what was written comes from apologetics (not physics or science) it's not an assumption. You are also wrong about Albert Einstein. Theists try to use Albert Einstein as an example of a genius that (like themselves) believed in God and religion. He certainly was not! "It was, of course, a lie what you read about my religious convictions, a lie which is being systematically repeated. I do not believe in a personal God and I have never denied this but have expressed it clearly. If something is in me which can be called religious then it is the unbounded admiration for the structure of the world so far as our science can reveal it. "Albert Einstein, in a letter March 24, 1954; from Albert Einstein the Human Side, Helen Dukas and Banesh Hoffman, eds., Princeton, New Jersey: Princeton University Press, 1981, p. 43.

A letter, handwritten in German, from Einstein to philosopher Eric Gutkind, January 3, 1954 (concerning religion). Albert Einstein said, "The word god is for me nothing more than the expression and product of human weaknesses, the Bible a collection of honorable, but still primitive legends which are nevertheless pretty childish. No interpretation no matter how subtle can (for me) change this.

Einstein dismissed the idea of God as the product of human weakness and the Bible as "pretty childish." "For me," he added, "the Jewish religion like all other religions is an incarnation of the most childish superstitions." There is 100 percent certainty of the letter's authenticity.

"The idea of a personal God is quite alien to me and seems even naive."Albert Einstein in a letter to Beatrice Frohlich, December 17, 1952; Einstein Archive 59-797; from Alice Calaprice, ed., The Expanded Quotable Einstein, Princeton, New Jersey: Princeton University Press, 2000, p. 217.

"I do not believe in immortality of the individual, and I consider ethics to be an exclusively human concern with no superhuman authority behind it."Albert Einstein, letter to a Baptist pastor in 1953; from Albert Einstein the Human Side, Helen Dukas and Banesh Hoffman, eds. , Princeton, New Jersey: Princeton University Press, 1981, p. 39.

"The most important human endeavor is the striving for morality in our actions. Our inner balance and even our very existence depend on it. Only morality in our actions can give beauty and dignity to life. To make this a living force and bring it to clear consciousness is perhaps the foremost task of education. The foundation of morality should not be made dependent on myth nor tied to any authority lest doubt about the myth or about the legitimacy of the authority imperil the foundation of sound judgment and action."Albert Einstein, letter to a minister November 20, 1950; from Albert Einstein the Human Side, Helen Dukas and Banesh Hoffman, eds., Princeton, New Jersey: Princeton University Press, 1981, p. 95.

"The religious feeling engendered by experiencing the logical comprehensibility of profound interrelations is of a somewhat different sort from the feeling that one usually calls religious. It is more a feeling of awe at the scheme that is manifested in the material universe. It does not lead us to take the step of fashioning a god-like being in our own image-a personage who makes demands of us and who takes an interest in us as individuals. There is in this neither a will nor a goal, nor a must, but only sheer being. For this reason, people of our type see in morality a purely human matter, albeit the most important in the human sphere."Albert Einstein, letter to a Rabbi in Chicago; from Albert Einstein the Human Side, Helen Dukas and Banesh Hoffman, eds., Princeton University Press, 1981, pp. 69-70.

Einstein did not believe in God, the only way to arrive at that conclusion is to take something he said about religion and God completely out of context or you don't understand what he is really saying.

In later life, he expressed a sense of wonder at the universe and its mysteries - what he called a "cosmic religious feeling" - and famously said: "Science without religion is lame, religion without science is blind."

Einstein said: "I do not believe in the God of theology who rewards good and punishes evil. My God created laws that take care of that. His universe is not ruled by wishful thinking, but by immutable laws."

AG Quote: "Everything that can be counted does not necessarily count; everything that counts cannot necessarily be counted."

Yes well, "Liars can figure but figures don't lie."

AG: I can paraphrase this as "Everything for which there is evidence, isn't necessarily evident; everything evident does not necessarily has evidence."

A priori (Latin for beforehand) a priori truth is something you know must be true before you even start looking. Theories without evidence are considered first approximations - not the same thing as theories with evidence. The evidence may not be known, but it has to be looked for and confirmed to be a theory. Gravity is a force that can only be "known" by the observable effect. Things that exist are evident; meaning there is some kind of real evidence. The rules of logic, we can discover what truths follow from other truths. There is always evidence for "existence" logically, empirically etc. that will be proven if indeed it exists.

"A faith untested by reason is a faith not worth having."

Einstein's special theory of relativity; a large amount of energy could be released from a tiny amount of matter, expressed in the equation e=mc2 (energy equals mass times the speed of light squared). The theory changed the face of physics. This theorem started as a logical mathematical equation and was proven by the Atomic Bomb.

AG Quote: "God always takes the simplest way."

Occam's Razor - If there are a number of explanations for observed phenomena, the simplest explanation is preferred. Called also scientific parsimony. When competing hypotheses are equal in other respects, the principle recommends selection of the hypothesis that introduces the fewest assumptions and postulates the fewest entities while still sufficiently answering the question. That absolutely leaves out "the god of the gaps" as a scientific explanation of anything. In scientific theories a superficially simple explanation of a phenomenon would fail to capture all the essential and relevant parts. Instead, one should choose the simplest explanation that explains the most data. God did it explains nothing. Basically no one should believe something for which one has no evidence; or, alternatively, that of two ideas which explain the same evidence, the simpler idea is to be preferred, but not ideas for which there is no evidence.

"AG: Compare this with Mark 15:1-7 "I am the true vine, and my Father is the gardener. He cuts off every branch in me that bears no fruit, while every branch that does bear fruit he prunes so that it will be even more fruitful.

This is primitive man's knowledge of growing fruit and knowing that you prune off the areas that don't produce fruit because it saps the plant. It's not rocket science.

"AG: Compare this with Mark 15:1-7 "I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing."

No evidence for that one! It sounds more like a threat. They often threatened people who didn't believe them. "You'll never be anything without god" and then they attack them in order to prove their lies.

"AG: Compare this with Mark 15:1-7 "I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing."

There is no need for a "god of the gaps" for evolution or reproduction. This is not science and it's not miraculous. It isn't science and doesn't explain a damn thing about evolution.

"AG: Compare this with Mark 15:1-7 "If you do not remain in me, you are like a branch that is thrown away and withers; such branches are picked up, thrown into the fire and burned. If you remain in me and my words remain in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you."

This is nothing more than blind servitude; have a nice life.

And yet, Einstein was an agnostic-- not an atheist.

A letter, handwritten in German, from Einstein to philosopher Eric Gutkind, January 3, 1954 (concerning religion). Albert Einstein said, "The word god is for me nothing more than the expression and product of human weaknesses, the Bible a collection of honorable, but still primitive legends which are nevertheless pretty childish. No interpretation no matter how subtle can (for me) change this.

Einstein dismissed the idea of God as the product of human weakness and the Bible as "pretty childish." "For me," he added, "the Jewish religion like all other religions is an incarnation of the most childish superstitions." There is 100 percent certainty of the letter's authenticity.

So, what was AG's point to post passages from the Bible and compare them to Einstein quotes?

Try again dork! This was about what Einstein actually said.

It just occurred to me that Mark 15:1-7 is a summary of evolution theory, the origin of species, "natural selection" and "survival of the fittest" in a nutshell:

Mark 15:1-7 "I am the true vine, and my Father is the gardener. He cuts off every branch in me that bears no fruit, while every branch that does bear fruit he prunes so that it will be even more fruitful. You are already clean because of the word I have spoken to you. Remain in me, as I also remain in you. No branch can bear fruit by itself; it must remain in the vine. Neither can you bear fruit unless you remain in me. I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing. If you do not remain in me, you are like a branch that is thrown away and withers; such branches are picked up, thrown into the fire and burned. If you remain in me and my words remain in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you."

It's funny that it took 1800 years and much work for scientists to discover what God was saying all along.

AG, "It just occurred to me that Mark 15:1-7 is a summary of evolution theory, the origin of species, "natural selection" and "survival of the fittest" in a nutshell:"

Well, you are not the first to quote biblical verses and claim it's evolution. We know that in every cell of every living creature, atoms are configured into proteins and tangled strings of DNA. We know, even, that these atoms were all synthesized from pristine hydrogen by processes deep inside stars that died before our solar system came into being. We are literally the ashes of ancient stars - the "nuclear waste" from the fuel that made them shine. We know, also, what forces acted on those stars, and act on our bodies. The forces uncovered by Faraday and Newton to the "nuclear" force that actually holds the nuclei of atoms together - and without this force there would be no carbon, no oxygen and no life. If you think that the verse you are quoting "Mark 15:1-7 is a summary of evolution theory" you don't know a damn thing about the theory. Mark 15:1-7 only describes how fruit trees are pruned if they don't bear fruit. We know that the essence of all substances - color, texture, hardness and so forth - is set by the atoms of which they are made, and by how those atoms are linked together. There is no "god of the gaps." in the theory. There is nothing in Mark 15:1-7 that indicates an understanding of the chain of events that caused atoms, stars and planets to emerge and life on this planet to evolved.

Linda,

Thanks a lot for your post. It prompted me to read about Big Bang more.

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

Very interesting. So, science does provide evidence that the universe (time, space, and physical matter) actually had a beginning (Big Bang) and will have an end (Heat Death). It also has evidence that time logarithmically slows down and that ALL protons in the universe "appeared" within what we call "10 seconds" after the "Big Bang". So, how long did it take for humans to "appear"? By whose clock? Yet, science, somehow, does not have an evidence for "creation" and states, it is impossible to create the world in 6 days.

The Big Bang theory also predicts that not only life on Earth will come to an end and the oceans will evaporate due to increased energy emission from the Sun, but that the Sun itself will seaze to exist and the whole matter will thermally disintegrate. Yet, science does not have evidence for the Biblical "end of the world".

Did you ever wonder, what caused the Big Bang? What was before the Big Bang? What is going to be after the Heat Death? Hmm... More questions than answers I see... I thought, we got it all explained.

So, the universe expands, ever slowing down. Also, the matter moves in a space curved by mass. What if... Just a thought... What if the space turns out to have a closed shape? What if after expanding to the farthest state, the whole thing will start collapsing again? Is it possible that the whole thing oscillates back and forth from Big Bang to Heat Death and back? Given that most processes have periodic nature, this seems very plausible to me... Still, how did the whole thing come to be?

It's also interesting that the Big Bang theory was created by "Monsignor Georges Lemaître, a priest from the Catholic University of Louvain" http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Big_Bang. I hope, it had nothing to do with "banging boys".

I'm sorry that you thought we had it all explained. If we had it all explained, we wouldn't need science anymore. Well, we might still need the applied sciences.

Anyway, yes, there are things that are unexplained. We're okay with the fact that there is still stuff to learn and are working to learn it. Religious folk posit an unsubstantiated explanation and end their inquiry. One of the two discovered that the solar system is heliocentric. The other declared the information heresy.

I'd rather be on the side that discovers information than the side that tries to silence it.

"Did you ever wonder, what caused the Big Bang?" Shortsighted. I wonder if the Big Bang had a cause. Then, if it did, I wonder what it was. I do not jump to the unsubstantiated conclusion that a being of any kind, much less a specific one, was the cause.

"What was before the Big Bang?" You want to know what was before time? You do realize that time is required for a before, right? But let's assume there's something that resembles time that exists outside of our universe. In that case, we don't know what came "before" the Big Bang.

"It's also interesting that the Big Bang theory was created by 'Monsignor Georges Lemaître, a priest from the Catholic University of Louvain'" How is that interesting?

"I hope it had nothing to do with 'banging boys.'" It didn't. It had to do with the origin of the universe.

Linda,

Thanks for your post. This is the best I read so far. I am always impressed by your ability to provide tons of "verifiable information" from the top of your head. I knew, Einstein did not believe in God, I never said that and never "arrived at that conclusion". My point was to demonstrate that his quotes can be used both for and against religion.

Linda: "...The word god is for me nothing more than the expression and product of human weaknesses, the Bible a collection of honorable, but still primitive legends which are nevertheless pretty childish. No interpretation no matter how subtle can (for me) change this."

A good opinion. I like that. I understand science and evidence well. To me, relationship with God is like relationship with Father. Imagine, you ask, "Daddy, where do children come from?" You are likely to hear something like "You know, a man and a woman love each other, marry, live together, and in some time they have a baby." I hope, your parents did not launch a full-scale lecture on sex, genetics, DNA, evolution, and general relativity theory. Is the parent's story primitive? Yes. Is it 100% factual and correspond to reality? No. Is it a "lie"? As you grow older and learn the truth, do you hate your parents as "liars"? As long as you got the "love" part of the story, you are, probably, OK. (Sorry if it's not the case). That's what God and God's word (Bible) are to me. They do provide me a moral direction and psychological stability in many areas of my life. I find the story about Adam and Eve a fairly accurate account of the source of human suffering. It's good enough for me. I don't see a problem accepting scientific discoveries and view Bible as God's Word and "true" at the same time.

Linda: "Yes well, 'Liars can figure but figures don't lie.'"

I know, I know. It's English. We drive in parkways and park in driveways; have noses that run and feet that smell, etc. I disagree with your quote, though. As you may know, there are "lies, damn lies, and statistics" (I'm sure you even know the page where Mark Twain said that) :).

Linda: "Mark 15:1-7 only describes how fruit trees are pruned if they don't bear fruit."

That's right. And this is just a childish story about a fox:

"Driven by hunger, a fox tried to reach some grapes hanging high on the vine but was unable to, although he leaped with all his strength. As he went away, the fox remarked, 'Oh, you aren't even ripe yet! I don't need any sour grapes.' People who speak disparagingly of things that they cannot attain would do well to apply this story to themselves."

Antifides,

"If we had it all explained, we wouldn't need science anymore."

I'm glad you finally get an idea of what I meant by "unlimited unknown" in one of my previous posts. Somehow, humans will always try to understand ever-elusive "truth". Something ever beyond their understanding. Do we need evidence to understand that what we don't know is unlimited? May be, when science reaches the end of everything there is to know, we will come to "the end of the world" - literally and figuratively? Compare this to the Bible:

"And this gospel of the kingdom will be preached in the whole world as a testimony to all nations, and then the end will come." Matt 24:14. Just another definition of when the end will come - when everyone believes in God and there is no need in all this stuff any more.

Not all can be explained by natural sciences. My dad does not believe in God, but he witnessed several people who knew exactly about events far away at the time they were happening which later proved to be true. When I was a grad student in physics, one of my coworkers told us that he used to work on a secret government project developing some physical machine affecting human brain from a long distance and could trigger certain behaviors. He said, he developed severe headaches while working there. I take this story with healthy skepticism, but this guy was not the type who told fairy tales. I know, there are stories out there. These two, however, are not from TV, Internet, or Inquirer Magazine, but from personal experiences of people I know and trust. I do believe, there are spiritual things in this world to which natural science didn't get even close. I'm sure, one day there will be a perfectly scientific explanation to this stuff, at which time these things will no longer "belong to God".

"The secret things belong to the LORD our God, but the things revealed belong to us and to our children forever, that we may follow all the words of this law." Deut 29:29

"Does it have a cause?" - excellent question. One of those we may never answer. Another one, "does it have a purpose?"

Antifides: "It's also interesting that the Big Bang theory was created by 'Monsignor Georges Lemaître, a priest from the Catholic University of Louvain'" How is that interesting?"

My point is that, may be, not all believers are devoted to "declaring information heresy" and "silencing it". Also, may be, if we avoid general statements like "Religion is more attractive to people without any ability to understand actual science. They can understand "god did it" and that's about it.", and "atheists are communists", we have a chance of being better persons by biblical and humanistic standards?

AG said, "Thanks a lot for your post. It prompted me to read about Big Bang more."

Thanks AG for a Wikipedia web site: That might be a good starting point but it's not the last minute in astrophysics. I wonder why anyone who studied physics for ten years needs to get information from Wikipedia?

AG said, "Did you ever wonder, what caused the Big Bang? What was before the Big Bang? What is going to be after the Heat Death? Hmm... More questions than answers I see... I thought, we got it all explained."

No, because nothing was before the big bang. You don't understand the answer when you've supposedly read them. George Lemaitre big bang theory states that there was a beginning and nothing came before. Where is your proof (or evidence) of gods existence? Or proof for any of the rest of your statements. You want us to provide all the answers while you say "god-did-it".

AG said, "What is going to be after the Heat Death? Hmm... More questions than answers I see... I thought, we got it all explained."

It's not necessarily true that the only way the Earth could cease to exist is when the sun burns out. If something very large (say an asteroid) hit the Earth it would cease to exist - it could happen at any time and did almost happen not that long ago. After that nothing will exist.

AG said, "So, the universe expands, ever slowing down. Also, the matter moves in a space curved by mass. What if... Just a thought... What if the space turns out to have a closed shape? What if after expanding to the farthest state, the whole thing will start collapsing again? Is it possible that the whole thing oscillates back and forth from Big Bang to Heat Death and back? Given that most processes have periodic nature, this seems very plausible to me...

George Lemaitre described the beginning of the universe as a burst of fireworks, comparing galaxies to the burning embers spreading out in a growing sphere from the center of the burst. He believed this burst of fireworks was the beginning of time, taking place on "a day without yesterday."

Scientists accepted the Big Bang as fact, but some scientists predicted that gravity would eventually slow down the expansion of the universe and make the universe fall back toward its center, but Lemaitre believed that the universe would keep expanding. He argued that the Big Bang was a unique event, while other scientists believed that the universe would shrink to the point of another Big Bang, and so on.

In the winter of 1998, two separate teams of astronomers in Berkeley, California made a startling discovery. They were both observing supernovae - exploding stars visible over great distances - to see how fast the universe is expanding. In accordance with prevailing scientific wisdom, the astronomers expected to find the rate of expansion to be decreasing, Instead they found it to be increasing - a discovery which has since "shaken astronomy to its core" (Astronomy, October 1999). The observations made in Berkeley supported Lemaitre's contention that the Big Bang was in fact "a day without yesterday." AG, I hope you understand that this discredits the assertions you posted?

AG said, "Still, how did the whole thing come to be?"

In his book 'The Grand Design' by Stephen Hawking and Leonard Mlodinow it is explained that before the beginning of the Universe, there was nothing. No other universe, no god, no creator, no flow of time. It's hard to comprehend but just because we think in terms of now and earlier and later, does not mean that this is always true. Physicist Stephen Hawking compares the beginning of the Universe to the South Pole. If you start at the South Pole you can go North just like you can go forward in time from the beginning of the Universe. But you can't go South (p 135 in The Grand Design). Starting at the South Pole, there is no South; this is just like at the start of the Universe when there is no earlier time. 'The Grand Design by Stephen Hawking and Leonard Mlodinow sum up the Physics relating to the start of the universe as follows: "Because gravity shapes space and time, it allows space-time to be locally stable but globally unstable. On the scale of the entire universe, the positive energy of the matter can be balanced by the negative gravitational energy and so there is no restriction on the creation of whole universes. Because there is a law like gravity, the universe can and will create itself from nothing in the manner described in Chapter 6 of 'The Grand Design'. Spontaneous creation is the reason there is something rather than nothing, why the universe exists, why we exist. It is not necessary to invoke God to light the blue touch paper and set the universe going." (p. 180)

AG said, "It's also interesting that the Big Bang theory was created by "Monsignor Georges Lemaître, a priest from the Catholic University of Louvain" http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Big_Bang. I hope, it had nothing to do with "banging boys"."

George Lemaitre studied math and science at Cambridge University, where one of his professors, Arthur Eddington, was the director of the observatory. In January 1933, the Belgian mathematician and Catholic priest George Lemaitre detailed his Big Bang theory.

Science is not about what anyone feels, or just believes. Quantum physics does not require us to abandon the distinctions between information, reality, and irrationality. If we did that then nothing would make sense, but it doesn't. We are nearing the end of that time when dishonest people can claim that we don't know what happened at the beginning - it's going to become increasingly more difficult for games to be played any longer. The LHC experiments will assist in our understanding of the fundamental laws of nature and the universe. The time is very near that those who create their own reality that they are more pleased with will no longer be able to fool anyone. Science discovers what is really there. Science can study actuality, and answer real questions, and that's where all the answers have and will come from. While the "god of the gaps" has answered nothing and is becoming less and less believable because science is answering more and more about the universe and life in the universe. Using natural causes is the way we have found all of the answers to scientific questions so far. While religion continues to look for supernatural causes but never finds them. None of the answers have come from supernatural causes. Every time we learn or discover something new the "god-of-the gaps" has less credibility.

Linda,

Thanks for your post. As always, great information. I'll ignore the sarcasm and resist the urge to return it.

While you are at it, did you ever consider the possibility of v being larger than c in sqrt(1-v^2/c^2)? Are there any latest theories about that? What happens to the universe in theory when we go into imaginary components? Historically, all theories end up being a particular case of a wider theory. Can general relativity theory be a particular case of something more general?

Still it's boggling for someone to believe the earth is 6-10,000 years old just from reading the bible and the fact nobody was around to see the Earth form. Now I have to ask do you actually have to be nice to such a person or should you be rude to them?

Anthony: "Now I have to ask do you actually have to be nice to such a person or should you be rude to them?"

Atheists keep searching answers to simple questions like this getting hurt in the process. Reading the Bible would save them lots of trouble.

"Do to others as you would have them do to you." Luke 6:31 Do you want other people to be rude to you? How much "experimental data" do you need to accept this "truth"?

This is just what's on the surface. On a deeper level, rudeness comes from pride.

"The proud and arrogant person--"Mocker" is his name-- behaves with insolent fury." Prov 21:24

By being rude, you assume that your opinion is superior of the other person's. Not only you close your mind to considering another point of view, but you put youself at risk of harm. Usually, you have no idea who you talk to. Some people may pull out a gun and shoot your head off. You may assume another person is "stupid" without realizing that this person may have a subtle disability which makes him struggle with everyday life. It may be "funny" until you have a child with such disability and all your doctors and science can do NOTHING about it. God has a way of humbling the proud.

"Pride goeth before destruction" Prov 16:18

Need evidence for this one? Here it is: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SOSh3R0EadQ

Being rude does not prove anything except that you are a rude person.

People who reject Bible after reading the first 2 chapters make their lives very difficult. They have to collect much "experimental data" to get what believers learn in preschool. "Experimental data" comes in form of disappointments, ruined relationships, lost property, ruined health through addictions or STD, or plain injuries (like in the video). Bible is a summary of such "experimental data" collected over thousands of years.

As far as the age of the Earth goes, as I said, why is it reasonable to believe that all protons in the Universe were created in 10 seconds, and "boggling" to believe that the Earth was created in 6 days? Even physicists say that time is not uniform. Bible says in many places that God is beyond time. 6 days in the Bible, for sure, do not mean 6 periods of rotation of our planet around itself. What do "6 days" mean? Why does it matter?

IMHO, atheism is a very proud and bold point of view and, as such, is not a wise one. Science may know "something" compared to what it knew 200 years ago, but it knows NOTHING compared to what there is to know. I think, it is a far better attitude to bow your head and thank the Lord that He gave us the ability to understand these things and reveals His majestic work to us in various ways. If getting on your knees is not acceptable to your ego, go ahead, insult me. I'd rather get on my knees before God than be brought to my knees by some jerk with a gun with same arrogant attitude.

To conclude, a few quotes on pride:

Pr.3:34

He mocks proud mockers but gives grace to the humble. (NIV)

Pr.11:2

When pride comes, then comes disgrace, but with humility comes wisdom. (NIV)

Pr.13:10

Pride only breeds quarrels, but wisdom is found in those who take advice. (NIV)

Pr.16:5

The LORD detests all the proud of heart. Be sure of this: They will not go unpunished. (NIV)

Pr.16:18

Pride goes before destruction, a haughty spirit before a fall. (NIV)

Pr.16:19

Better to be lowly in spirit and among the oppressed than to share plunder with the proud. (NIV)

Pr.18:12

Before his downfall a man's heart is proud, but humility comes before honor. (NIV)

Pr.21:4

Haughty eyes and a proud heart, the lamp of the wicked, are sin! (NIV)

Luke 14:7-11

"When someone invites you to a wedding feast, do not take the place of honor, for a person more distinguished than you may have been invited. If so, the host who invited both of you will come and say to you, 'Give this man your seat.' Then, humiliated, you will have to take the least important place. But when you are invited, take the lowest place, so that when your host comes, he will say to you, 'Friend, move up to a better place.' Then you will be honored in the presence of all your fellow guests. For everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, and he who humbles himself will be exalted."

AG,

Since it seems Anthony isn't going to answer I hope you don't mind if I point out that you left off the first part of his quote. Anthony's complete quote, "Still it's boggling for someone to believe the earth is 6-10,000 years old just from reading the bible and the fact nobody was around to see the Earth form. Now I have to ask do you actually have to be nice to such a person or should you be rude to them?

"Nobody was around to see the Earth form" isn't the only way that we could possibly find out how old the Earth is. Science has determined through numerous methods that the age of the Earth is unquestionably a least 4 billion years and our universe is 15 billion years old. Why would giving an uninformed person some actual facts be "rude" or not nice?

AG, "Atheists keep searching answers to simple questions like this getting hurt in the process. Reading the Bible would save them lots of trouble."

No, it's the scientists, cosmologist, and astrophysicist who find out what the facts are and if the answers contradict the bible babble the fanatic nut jobs go crazy and try to discredit the scientists. These crazies have never discredited science or the scientists, but because of their vicious attacks against science the scientists had to speak out against their stupidity. They are the one's getting hurt because of what some of them have done trying to prove science wrong. They want scientists to simply have "faith" that something is true without one shred of evidence or believe something is true in spite of incontrovertible evidence that it isn't true. If that were how science operated it wouldn't be science.

AG said, "Do to others as you would have them do to you." Luke 6:31 Do you want other people to be rude to you? How much "experimental data" do you need to accept this "truth"?

I have noticed the fanatic isn't above rudeness and downright viciousness towards anyone that doesn't agree with them. Confucius taught "do unto others" long before it was plagiarized and put into the New Testament as something Jesus (who never existed) supposedly said. There is nothing in the NT that wasn't in the literature long before Jesus.

AG said, "This is just what's on the surface. On a deeper level, rudeness comes from pride. "The proud and arrogant person--"Mocker" is his name-- behaves with insolent fury." Prov 21:24"

You are the epitome of simple-minded rudeness; a nasty little jerk that thinks nobody has the right to think period. That's all religion is about. You are on an atheist message board trying to convince people that your religion is the "truth" and isn't faulty, but when they prove to you that it isn't true and is defective you insult them and just keep trying to force it down people's throats. You are a first class idiot!

AG said, "By being rude, you assume that your opinion is superior of the other person's."

So, you assume your brainwashing is superior to reasoning isn't that rude? You deny anything scientists have discovered if it conflicts with religious brainwashing. It's not rude to come to the conclusion (after listening to a loads of crap) that the person is confusing brainwashing with knowledge and cannot accept facts. To continue to force a false premise (when the evidence proves it is wrong) because you cannot face reality is contemptuous.

AG said, "Not only you close your mind to considering another point of view, but you put youself at risk of harm."

Oh! You do consider another point of view? Sure, sure clown! That doesn't put you at risk of harm because atheists are not violent idiots.

AG said, "Usually, you have no idea who you talk to. Some people may pull out a gun and shoot your head off.

And you're not kidding either! I think most of us know to whom we are speaking to by now.

AG said, "You may assume another person is "stupid" without realizing that this person may have a subtle disability which makes him struggle with everyday life.

However, I doubt that anyone simply assumes a person is stupid without evidence, and there's plenty of evidence of that.

AG said, "It may be "funny" until you have a child with such disability and all your doctors and science can do NOTHING about it. God has a way of humbling the proud."

Medical science has found why disabilities occur and that's the way to prevent them and find cures. "God did it" would never help anyone with a disability. The idea that their disability was God's way of punishing the parents is a primitive uninformed idea. That's how you know someone is stupid.

AG said, "Pride goeth before destruction" Prov 16:18 Need evidence for this one? Here it is: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SOSh3R0EadQ

In this video "pride goeth before destruction" the problem once again is stupidity. Flip-flops at the start of a boxing match. This is just some more crap to prove a point and it doesn't.

AG said, "Being rude does not prove anything except that you are a rude person. People who reject Bible after reading the first 2 chapters make their lives very difficult. They have to collect much "experimental data" to get what believers learn in preschool. "Experimental data" comes in form of disappointments, ruined relationships, lost property, ruined health through addictions or STD, or plain injuries (like in the video). Bible is a summary of such "experimental data" collected over thousands of years.

If they are not meatheads when they finish the first 2 chapters they know it's a crock. Scientific evidence does not support anything written in Genesis. There's plenty of data supporting the findings that the most religious countries have the worst problems. More poverty, unwanted pregnancies, STD's and violent crimes. The less religious countries have far less violent crime, better economies, better education, fewer teen pregnancy and STD's. They are better in every way. You are just flat ass wrong. Why don't you do some real research outside of bible fantasyland? It improves any culture when they replace religion with education and "biblical morality" with social justice.

AG said, "As far as the age of the Earth goes, as I said, why is it reasonable to believe that all protons in the Universe were created in 10 seconds, and "boggling" to believe that the Earth was created in 6 days? Even physicists say that time is not uniform.

We know after the big bang the universe expanded and started cooling down. We know when particles formed and at what temperature. After the universe was 10 seconds old, protons and neutrons come together to form deuterium nuclei. As the universe continues to expand, the temperature will continue to decrease. This information tells us how the universe formed. The universe is 15 billion years old.

AG said, "Bible says in many places that God is beyond time. 6 days in the Bible, for sure, do not mean 6 periods of rotation of our planet around itself. What do "6 days" mean? Why does it matter?"

It doesn't matter where you think God is! The Bible states "with the Lord a day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years are like a day". If Creation week took six days (a thousand years long) that's six thousand, but if a years was 24 hrs it's 6 days. According to Genesis the morning and the evening were the first day and that is a 24 hr day, but that was before the sun was created for the Earth to rotate around. Also, "God separated light from darkness" that wouldn't be necessary because darkness is merely the absence of light. Without light, there will automatically be darkness. I hope that even you recognize the errors.

AG said, "IMHO, atheism is a very proud and bold point of view and, as such, is not a wise one. Science may know "something" compared to what it knew 200 years ago, but it knows NOTHING compared to what there is to know. I think, it is a far better attitude to bow your head and thank the Lord that He gave us the ability to understand these things and reveals His majestic work to us in various ways. If getting on your knees is not acceptable to your ego, go ahead, insult me. I'd rather get on my knees before God than be brought to my knees by some jerk with a gun with same arrogant attitude."

Your opinions are not humble and are not worth much believe me. What you think about atheists isn't the most important thing in the whole fucking world! Atheists believe in facing the truth even if it's the ugly truth instead of just believing a pack of sweet little lies. We have not been putting out addled insulting remarks; you got the facts and you answered them with incoherent prattle and bible verses. All you know how to do is post whiny complaints. Memorizing biblical insanity is not knowledge or experience. The bible sanctifies slavery and any number of immoral acts too numerous to mention. Some of us don't need a reward to do what is right. You are a self-absorbed jerk with an arrogant attitude, and down right stupid. So, just shoot me!

What's "rude" is you posting a question for "Linda" and when you got the answer you ignored it because (as usual) it was interrupted and you had to first post pages of bible babble and threats instead of first answering my reply.

From: AG (Posted May 23, 2011 at 4:55 pm) "Linda, Thanks for your post. As always, great information. I'll ignore the sarcasm and resist the urge to return it. While you are at it, did you ever consider the possibility of v being larger than c in sqrt(1-v^2/c^2)? Are there any latest theories about that? What happens to the universe in theory when we go into imaginary components? Historically, all theories end up being a particular case of a wider theory. Can general relativity theory be a particular case of something more general?

The answer should be just after this post: From: Linda (Posted May 28, 2011 at 4:25 pm)

From: AG (Posted May 23, 2011 at 4:55 pm) AG said, "While you are at it, did you ever consider the possibility of v being larger than c in sqrt(1-v^2/c^2)?"

I assume this refers to (FTL) faster than the speed of light particles or (a theory of travel or communications). There are several serious possibilities for real faster than light (FTL) that are proposed in the scientific literature, but these always come with technical difficulties. The Heisenberg Uncertainty Principle tends to stop the use of apparent faster than light quantum effects for sending information or matter. In general relativity there are potential means of faster than light (FTL) travel; there is nothing that I know about that works right now, but theoretical physics leaves room for that possibility.

If v is greater than c we can write - E^2 <! p^2*c^2 (for a faster than light particle). The energy squared can also be expressed as - E^2 = p^2 * c^2 + m^2 * c^4.

The mass would then be the square root of a negative number, without doubt this is an unreal number that is called an imaginary number (imaginary numbers are used in mathematics) as a product of a real number multiplied by something that symbolizes the imaginary square-root of negative one: i = sqrt(-1). So, the mass is imaginary. E = mc2 is not a statement of kinetic energy; it is either a statement of inherent energy (if m is the rest mass) or total energy (if m is the relativistic mass).

If the object moves, the situation is different. Its total energy is obviously different then the rest mass multiplied by c squared, because it has an additional part, called the kinetic energy. In order to reflect this kinetic energy in the total energy, we have to modify the equation E=mc^2 by a factor 1/sqrt(1-v^2/c^2), where v is the speed of the moving object. So it will look like E=m/sqrt(1-v^2/c^2)*c^2, where m is the rest mass of the object.

There is also a formula that was introduced called the dynamic mass M, defined by M=m/sqrt(1-v^2/c^2)*c^2 and then the Einstein's formula is then E=Mc^2.

An object with a rest mass that is not zero can't travel faster than light. Tachyons are hypothetical particles that travel faster than light locally. Their mass must take on imaginary values (negative) while the energy and momentum are actual numbers. The tachyon is a particle that would hypothetically have a negative rest mass, so it can move faster than light, but there is no evidence other than theoretical for that particle.

We know things such as shadows can go faster than light, but not in a useful way. We also know that a way to go faster than light is to make the light slow down. Light in vacuum travels at a speed c which is a universal constant but in a dense medium such as water or glass, light slows down to c/n where n is the refractive index of the medium (1.0003 for air, 1.4 for water). It is certainly possible for particles to travel through air or water at faster than the speed of light in the medium, and Cherenkov radiation is produced as a result.

AG said, "Are there any latest theories about that?"

Yes, some scientists think that faster than light particles could be detected by the LHC. One of the major goals of the LHC is finding the Higgs boson particle that physicists call upon to explain why particles like protons, neutrons and electrons have mass. If the LHC succeeds in producing the Higgs boson, some scientists predict that it will create a second particle, called the Higgs singlet, at the same time. These singlets should have the ability to jump into an extra, fifth dimension where they can move either forward or backward in time and reappear in the future or past.

AG said, "What happens to the universe in theory when we go into imaginary components?"

Nothing! In quantum field theory forces are mediated by virtual particles. Virtual particles are called 'virtual' since they are only expressed mathematically.

AG siad, "Historically, all theories end up being a particular case of a wider theory. Can general relativity theory be a particular case of something more general?

Many theories that are accurate will eventually be surpassed by something more complete. Relativity more accurately describes the motions of bodies in strong gravitational fields, or at near the speed of light, than Newtonian mechanics did. All experiments done to date agree with relativity's predictions to a high degree of accuracy. Einstein did not introduce the notion that the mass of a body increases with velocity, just that it increases with energy content. The equation E = mc2 was only meant to be applied in the rest frame of the particle. The case of photons and other particles, which move at the speed of light, is special. From the formula relating relativistic mass to invariant mass, it follows that the invariant mass of a photon must be zero but the relativistic mass need not be. The rest mass of a photon is zero - but the photon can never be at rest - this is just a matter of terminology. In modern physics texts the term mass when unqualified means invariant mass and photons are said to be mass less.

Some theoretical physicists developed M-theory, or a "theory of everything", to the point that it can accommodate the properties of all the known subatomic particles and forces, including gravity, but it requires 10 or 11 dimensions instead of our familiar four. This has led to the suggestion that our universe may be like a four-dimensional membrane or "brane" floating in a multi-dimensional space-time called the "bulk."

We already know about the four dimensions, string theory predicts the existence of six more. Some physicists even think the existence of these extra dimensions could explain why gravity is so much weaker than the other fundamental forces. This might be explained if its force was being shared with other dimensions. If these extra dimensions do exist, the LHC could be the first accelerator to detect them experimentally.

In science there has to be experimental evidence before something becomes a theory or is believed to exist. That is through observing it, or the observation of it's effects experimentally. Until that happens it is not considered true.

Wow you really took the time to go through all of that crap and in the end you will get ignored and forgotten anyway.. But great points and awesome information for us infidels and the one or the other halfway open minded religious nutjob :)

However, i see in his world view something that sounds like this:

"Show me where the big bang THEORY or THEORY of evolution are talked about in the Bible and we can have a debate. Otherwise, your&#65279; point is moot. Good day."

If i see that people ignore reality just because it contradicts with what they hear from religious muppets and read in their bible, i take a turn left and look for some paint to watch it dry, it makes more sense and more fun than wasting my breath on brainwashed ignorant morons who quote their holy fairy tales instead of using their few brain cells.

Hey Linda, why not criticize that tool Don Baker when he cites Wikipedia? Is your bias showing? Linda I doubt that you have a clue to what you are talking about. There was nothing before the Big Bang? How do you know? As far as I am aware no cosmologists has a clue what happened prior to the Big Bang. Take your Hawking worship somewhere else.

From: Tom Smithe "Hey Linda, why not criticize that tool Don Baker when he cites Wikipedia?" Maybe it's because Don Baker wasn't claiming that he studied physics for ten years and giving Wikipedia references? I doubt that you will catch on even when it'a explained to you.

AG said Linda's posts were always the best and I agree!

Again I said, "You don't understand the answer when you've supposedly read them. George Lemaitre (originator of "the Big Bang Theory") states that there was a beginning and nothing came before.

George Lemaitre described the beginning of the universe as a burst of fireworks, comparing galaxies to the burning embers spreading out in a growing sphere from the center of the burst. He believed this burst of fireworks was the beginning of time, taking place on (what he called) "a day without yesterday."

Scientists accepted the Big Bang as fact, but some scientists predicted that gravity would eventually slow down the expansion of the universe and make the universe fall back toward its center, but Lemaitre believed that the universe would keep expanding. He argued that the Big Bang was a unique event, while other scientists believed that the universe would shrink to the point of another Big Bang, and so on.

In the winter of 1998, two separate teams of astronomers in Berkeley, California made a startling discovery. They were both observing supernovae (exploding stars visible over great distances) to see how fast the universe is expanding. In accordance with prevailing scientific wisdom, the astronomers expected to find the rate of expansion to be decreasing, Instead they found it to be increasing, a discovery which has since "shaken astronomy to its core" (Astronomy, October 1999). The observations made in Berkeley supported Lemaitre's contention that the Big Bang was in fact "a day without yesterday."

I hope you understand why this answer discredits what was posted? ...And it had nothing to do with Hawking.

But from what you've written so far I doubt that you understand anything I've posted here (using words and terms with more than one syllable) much less comprehend what it means and why the points your trying to make are so obtuse!

Linda said: "George Lemaitre (originator of "the Big Bang Theory") states that there was a beginning and nothing came before."

Now Linda is quoting Catholic priests to prove a scientific point :). Isn't it interesting that the originator of the big bang theory was a Catholic priest? And isn't it interesting that a Catholic priest was capable of generating a credible scientific cosmological idea? And isn't it interesting that Linda finds this idea credible despite of the fact that it came from a Catholic priest? Now, who said, miracles do not happen? I just mentioned three. :)

So, may be belief in God is not a certificate of stupidity and not an evidence of lack of education. Somehow, atheists often consider believers ignorant or stupid. I think, such stereotype is akin to racism.

Just yesterday, I was driving with my son's music teacher who is Jewish. I mean, ethnically, not by religion. I doubt, she read Torah in the last 30 years. She made a hateful remark about a young girl sitting in the parking toll booth who appeared to be Arab. When I asked why she made such remark, she argued that all Arabs, speaking figuratively, "pick up a rock" (to kill infidels) as soon as they can do it when they are 2 years old and carry it with them for the rest of their lives. She said, "Look what they are doing all around the world! - Killing people, throwing bombs, etc. What can you expect if their religion teaches them to kill infidels?" I asked if she read Quran. She didn't. I didn't either, so I cannot argue for or against Muslims (BTW, "all Arabs are Muslims" is a false statement). But I did read the Bible, and I know that Deuteronomy commands Jews to exterminate every living thing in a captured enemy city. I did not discuss with her what Judaism commands, I only mentioned that Christians are no better than Muslims - they killed Jews for centuries quoting Bible. So, judging people by "what their religion commands" is not right. Extremists come from every creed. I think, without religion, people would still kill each other. The teacher's remark proves that one does not need to be religious to hate people making far-reaching assumptions from people's appearance alone. Was her belief "justified" (based on evidence)? Apparently so. She has plenty of relatives and friends in Israel and watches Israeli news over the satellite. I guess, she had plenty of data for her belief. Was the data relevant to the girl in the booth?

It's interesting how people project actions of few extremists onto billions of people who share the same religion, appearance, ethnicity, etc. and make hateful statements about people they don't know. The girl did not cover her face, so it was not obvious to me that she was Muslim. I think, such attitude is fundamentally wrong, and it's a shame to feel a similar attitude from people who, supposedly, value evidence and "scientific truth" above all.

I keep making this point. We cannot make any inference with 100% certainty. If we truly value science, we must always doubt what we say and refrain from overly confident or overly general statements. Such statements are sure to prove wrong sooner or later. This applies to believers as well. And this applies to theories about the origins of the universe also.

"It is wrong always, everywhere, and for anyone, to believe anything upon insufficient evidence." said William Kingdon Clifford, a mathematician whose geometric ideas are used in general relativity today. Compare to Linda elsewhere: "...NO one should believe something for which there is no evidence;..." This is a strong statement which seems to be self-refuting. If taken literally, it leads to infinite regress. There is always a question of how much and what kind of evidence is deemed "sufficient". Despite of the "always", "everywhere", and "for anyone", Mr. Clifford in his essay "The Ethics of Belief" immediately makes 2 exceptions to his absolute rule:

"We may believe what goes beyond our experience, only when it is inferred from that experience by the assumption that what we do not know is like what we know." and "We may believe the statement of another person, when there is reasonable ground for supposing that he knows the matter of which he speaks, and that he is speaking the truth so far as he knows it."

The first exception is based on the principle of "uniformity of nature", i.e. an assumption that the same natural laws apply everywhere in the universe. So, do we know how the universe started? Let's see.

"Our physics can explain most of the evolution of the Universe after the Planck time (approximately 10^-43 seconds after the Big Bang). However, events before this time are undefined in our current science and, in particular, we have no solid understanding of the origin of the Universe (i.e. what started or `caused' the Big Bang). At best, we can describe our efforts to date as probing around the `edges' of our understanding in order to define what we don't understand, much like a blind person would explore the edge of a deep hole, learning its diameter without knowing its depth."

http://abyss.uoregon.edu/~js/cosmo/lectures/lec20.html

Now, that's a fair statement from an astronomy professor.

Apparently, before the Planck time, the laws of physics, as we know them, did not exist. There were no particles or anti-particles. So, even if we accept Clifford's strict evidentialism, we cannot infer anything about universe before Planck time based on what we know about universe now.

Vacuum, quantum or traditional, true or false, did not exist either. Any definition of vacuum I know of involves "space":

"...given a certain region of SPACE, ... it is in its vacuum state when on the average it has the lowest possible energy."

http://www.physics.arizona.edu/~rafelski/Books/StructVacuumE.pdf

This definition is not from dictionary. It's from a 180-page book exclusively about quantum vacuum written by a couple of university professors.

Linda, particle - anti-particle generation from quantum vacuum fluctuations are observed experimentally TODAY, in our 4-D space-time which already exists. This was not true before the 10^-43s after the big bang. There was no space to have vacuum, there was no time for fluctuations. Strong and weak forces did not exist to join quarks and leptons into baryons. Baryogenesis became possible only around 10^-35s (100,000,000 Planck times) after the big bang. And that is if everything else is true. But what started the whole thing - there is no data. Sorry.

Can we ever know what happens in a singularity? Black holes seem to protect their mystery with the "cosmic censorship" principle. We cannot get any information about what's going on under the event horizon of a black hole. Sorry again.

If the universe was created by a process similar to particle-antiparticle generation in quantum vacuum, we should have as many anti-particles as we have particles, so, exactly one half of the universe must consist of antimatter. This is not true. Scientists estimate the ratio between particles and anti-particles in the universe to be 10 billion to 1.

http://abyss.uoregon.edu/~js/cosmo/lectures/lec22.html

Scientists explain this by the fact that the universe is unstable and, therefore, there is a fundamental lack of symmetry. There is charge-parity violation, for example. However, why is universe asymmetrical and unstable, we don't know. Clearly, this casts another shadow on particle-antiparticle generation in quantum vacuum idea which did not seem plausible in the first place. The asymmetry implies that the universe did not start from nothing.

Now, to have a supernova explosion, an existing massive star must collapse on itself to release the gravitational energy. That, again, occurs in the existing space-time, with existing matter. Therefore, assuming that big bang was like a supernova explosion seems inappropriate as well.

And I did not even mention the dark matter and the dark energy. That's another "virtual thing" that explains observed phenomena. Galaxies don't move as they should, but if we throw "dark matter" into the pot, we can explain it quite well. We only have to make up 20 times the mass of observable matter in this way. Reminds me of epicycles in Ptolemaeus geocentric model. In fact, epicycles were just a minor embarrassment compared to the dark matter. Crystal spheres used to explain quite beautifully why the Moon and the Sun do not fall down while traveling around the Earth and being visible to us until people found a better explanation.

Don't interpret my comments as if I try to refute scientific ideas to prove creation theory. I find reading Hawking and Penrose is quite enlightening. I just don't do it with my drooling mouth open and do not accept conclusions pushed down on me without first thinking if they make sense. It is an overstatement to say that science reliably explains how the universe started itself from nothing. There are, at least, few theories on that account, none explaining all of the above questions. Such confidence is not far away from the confidence of hardcore creationists regarding dinosaurs in the Noah's ark and other 100% true things. Again, I'm sure that if I travel 5,000 years into the future and tell the big bang story, I would get weird looks. And, I'm sure, my jeans and shirt will look as exotic as a robe and a staff.

If God exists, He is the only one who can be trusted 100%. If God does not exist, nothing can be trusted 100%. So, God is still the only one who can be trusted 100% regardless of His existence. This is true for believers and atheists alike and is the only belief that cannot be refuted. I know, this paragraph can give a headache.

My point is that science is not a silver bullet for dogmatism and cannot cure the lack of critical thinking. And a habit of making unjustified inferences does lead to hate speech and worse. Religion is not required.

Linda said elsewhere: "Nobody has to believe something is true without proof. That should be the position of every rational person." I simply practice what you preach, Linda. You should too :).

AG said, "Linda said: "George Lemaitre (originator of "the Big Bang Theory") states that there was a beginning and nothing came before. Now Linda is quoting Catholic priests to prove a scientific point :). Isn't it interesting that the originator of the big bang theory was a Catholic priest? And isn't it interesting that a Catholic priest was capable of generating a credible scientific cosmological idea? And isn't it interesting that Linda finds this idea credible despite of the fact that it came from a Catholic priest? Now, who said, miracles do not happen? I just mentioned three. :)"

LINDA'S ANSWER: You're just quivering with excitement because a Catholic Priest isn't as dumb as a fundie? Or maybe it's because you still don't know how science works? What George Lemaitre discovered, Einstein had recognized almost fifteen years earlier. In 1915, Albert Einstein had concluded that the universe could not be static because of calculations based on his recently-discovered theory of relativity (thus anticipating the conclusions of Lemaitre). After Russian physicist Alexandra Friedman produced computations showing that the structure of the universe was not static but even a tiny impulse might be sufficient to cause the whole structure to expand or contract according to Einstein's Theory of Relativity around 1922, George Lemaitre recognize what Friedman's work meant. George Lemaitre a Belgian astronomer (based on Friedman's computations) decided that the universe had a beginning and that it was expanding as a result of something that had triggered it. He also stated that the rate of radiation could be used as a measure of the aftermath of that "something". So, it was not one person, it was what one person did while standing on the shoulders of giants. ...And all of this might have been ignored except in 1929 Edwin Hubble, working at the California Mount Wilson observatory, made one of the most important discoveries. Hubble's observation showed the celestial bodies were moving away from us. Later on Hubble made another discovery; the stars weren't just racing away from Earth; they were racing away from each other as well. Hubble concluded a universe where everything is moving away from everything else is a universe that is constantly expanding. If the universe was expanding (getting bigger) as time passed, then in the past the universe was smaller; and as we looked back in time everything would be getting smaller until it came together from different directions or converged at a single point. The finding from this model was that at some time all the matter in the universe was compacted in a single point that had zero volume because of its immense gravitational force. Our universe came into being as the result of the explosion of this point that had zero volume. This explosion is known as the Big Bang and this has repeatedly been confirmed by observational evidence.

There was no moment of creation or a moment when the universe just came into existence completely formed. The universe is not an instantaneously created object we know that the universe evolved. It wasn't created by a Creator.

AG said, "So, may be belief in God is not a certificate of stupidity and not an evidence of lack of education. LINDA'S ANSWER: It's not surprising since Georges-Henri Lemaitre was no Elmer Gantry. He went to the best schools, attended Jesuit school before entering a Catholic University to study physics and mathematics. He was curious and very smart, which most scientists are. Under the tutelage of Charles de la Vallée-Poussin, he earned a doctorate in 1920 from the Université Catholique de Louvain (UCL). He discovered Einstein's Theory of Relativity while studying at the University of Cambridge's solar physics laboratory (1923-24) followed by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge (1925-27). During these studies, he took an interest in the works of American astronomers Edwin P. Hubble and Harlow Shapley dealing with the expanding universe. Edwin Hubble, seemed to have proven Lemaitre's theory initially called the "Big Bang Theory" by its critics.

AG said, "Somehow, atheists often consider believers ignorant or stupid. I think, such stereotype is akin to racism."

LINDA'S ANSWER: But then you also think that Evolution is akin to racism. Christian martyrdom what fun; it's just so "sad" I've got fake tears streaming down my cheeks! Nevertheless, your pity party sure does require making up a lot of crap. Nobody said "every theist was stupid"! Nothing you've written about a Jewish teacher hating Muslims has anything to do with a fanatic proselytizing on an atheist message board and when it doesn't work (like most fundies) getting really venomous. Your religious or spiritual experiences are not proof of anything and (if the truth were told) that's really all you've got. Get over yourself!

AG said, "It's interesting how people project actions of few extremists onto billions of people who share the same religion, appearance, ethnicity, etc. and make hateful statements about people they don't know. The girl did not cover her face, so it was not obvious to me that she was Muslim. I think, such attitude is fundamentally wrong, and it's a shame to feel a similar attitude from people who, supposedly, value evidence and "scientific truth" above all."

LINDA'S ANSWER: What a fake!! You're little diatribe or attempt at analogizing this into what's happening on this message board is comical, and won't work. Especially with anyone who has your number. You are trying to portray yourself as an egalitarian when every word out of your mouth screams right wing fundie. You clearly don't think atheists have any rights at all. Anyone who can read just needs to go over this thread and they will see that you are the one trying to force your religious views on atheists. Why post a butt load of Bible passages, that were totally irrelevant to the discussion, otherwise? You're being judged according to what you've written (the remarks you've made) speak volumes about whose the narrow minded bigot.

AG said, "I keep making this point. We cannot make any inference with 100% certainty. If we truly value science, we must always doubt what we say and refrain from overly confident or overly general statements. Such statements are sure to prove wrong sooner or later. This applies to believers as well. And this applies to theories about the origins of the universe also."

LINDA'S ANSWER: Believers don't have to explain anything and they don't have a feasible theory about the origin of the universe because they don't have to, unless you think "god did it" is a theory or an explanation? You stated (in a previous post) that science has been wrong more than it's been right. Go back and read some of your crap. I stated scientific theories are replaced with better theories all the time. That doesn't mean that all of them were wrong. Usually a hypothesis doesn't ever become a theory if it doesn't pass rigorous testing. Now that we have more advanced and much better technology there are far better ways to make discoveries and confirm a theory. If you would care to go back and read some of your statements it's clear that you obviously think you can convince someone that evolution was in the Bible first...and Darwin's evolution should be replaced with creation theory since it's racist. I think even the dullest bulb knows where you are coming from. Science always remains open to new information, new discoveries, and new ideas. Religion is a stagnant, stinking never moving quagmire.

AG said, ""It is wrong always, everywhere, and for anyone, to believe anything upon insufficient evidence." said William Kingdon Clifford, a mathematician whose geometric ideas are used in general relativity today. Compare to Linda elsewhere: "...NO one should believe something for which there is no evidence;..." This is a strong statement which seems to be self-refuting. If taken literally, it leads to infinite regress."

LINDA'S ANSWER: No Creation leads to infinite regress - evolution doesn't. It's not turtles all the way down. Do you know what you're talking about or just copying something. William Kingdon Clifford was born at Exeter, England, May 4, 1845. This believer has been dead a long time. What I said was that belief was on faith alone; there is, and never has been, one shred of evidence of it God's existence.

AG said, "There is always a question of how much and what kind of evidence is deemed "sufficient". Despite of the "always", "everywhere", and "for anyone", Mr. Clifford in his essay "The Ethics of Belief" immediately makes 2 exceptions to his absolute rule: "We may believe what goes beyond our experience, only when it is inferred from that experience by the assumption that what we do not know is like what we know." and "We may believe the statement of another person, when there is reasonable ground for supposing that he knows the matter of which he speaks, and that he is speaking the truth so far as he knows it."

LINDA'S ANSWER: There is plenty of evidence for the scientific theories being discussed, where is the evidence for the Creation theory. There is absolutely none. That is why nobody should believe it. The cosmic microwave background (CMB) is evidence of the big bang model and the measurements of temperature fluctuations in the radiation by the COBE and WMAP satellites. The CMB is the primordial radiation left over from the time that atoms first began to form. Cosmologists and astronomers spend a great deal of time studying the tiny temperature fluctuations imprinted in the CMB, as this gives information on the density and geometry of the early universe. Just as the COBE satellite results were a turning point in our view of the early universe, the resolution of B-mode polarization in the CMB by PLANCK satellite telescope will give more support for the big bang model and cosmic inflation, and even offer evidence for the existence of gravity waves.

Quantum vacuum fluctuations or virtual particles are particle-antiparticle pairs that come into existence in otherwise empty space for very brief periods of time, in agreement with the Heisenberg uncertainty relations.

AG said, "The first exception is based on the principle of "uniformity of nature", i.e. an assumption that the same natural laws apply everywhere in the universe."

LINDA'S ANSWER: Are you kidding? Nobody is assuming that unless it was in the 1800's, which may be where this came from.

AG said, "So, do we know how the universe started? Let's see. "Our physics can explain most of the evolution of the Universe after the Planck time (approximately 10^-43 seconds after the Big Bang). However, events before this time are undefined in our current science and, in particular, we have no solid understanding of the origin of the Universe (i.e. what started or `caused' the Big Bang). At best, we can describe our efforts to date as probing around the `edges' of our understanding in order to define what we don't understand, much like a blind person would explore the edge of a deep hole, learning its diameter without knowing its depth." http://abyss.uoregon.edu/~js/cosmo/lectures/lec20.html Now, that's a fair statement from an astronomy professor. Apparently, before the Planck time, the laws of physics, as we know them, did not exist. There were no particles or anti-particles. So, even if we accept Clifford's strict evidentialism, we cannot infer anything about universe before Planck time based on what we know about universe now. Vacuum, quantum or traditional, true or false, did not exist either. Any definition of vacuum I know of involves "space": "...given a certain region of SPACE, ... it is in its vacuum state when on the average it has the lowest possible energy." http://www.physics.arizona.edu/~rafelski/Book /StructVacuumE.pdf This definition is not from dictionary. It's from a 180-page book exclusively about quantum vacuum written by a couple of university professors."

LINDA'S ANSWER: Apparently, you still don't know that modern physicists do not think that there was anything before the Big Bang; there was nothing before. Modern physicists do say that something can come from nothing and most modern physicists agree. Quantum vacuum fluctuations or virtual particles are particle-antiparticle PAIRS that come into existence in otherwise EMPTY SPACE FOR VERY BRIEF PERIODS OF TIME, in agreement with the Heisenberg uncertainty relations. They produce MEASURABLE effects, such as the Lamb shift and the Casimir-Polder force. These particles are not anomalies; they are so common that physicists say that empty space is always filled with virtual particles. So, if empty space is nothing then this is one example of something coming from nothing. See? That's what most people call evidence. Now give us the evidence for Creation, the existence of anything supernatural or any supernatural event.

AG said, "Linda, particle - anti-particle generation from quantum vacuum fluctuations are observed experimentally TODAY, in our 4-D space-time which already exists. This was not true before the 10^-43s after the big bang. There was no space to have vacuum, there was no time for fluctuations. Strong and weak forces did not exist to join quarks and leptons into baryons. Baryogenesis became possible only around 10^-35s (100,000,000 Planck times) after the big bang. And that is if everything else is true. But what started the whole thing - there is no data. Sorry."

LINDA'S ANSWER: Yes you are (sorry). Nothing you have written has a thing to do with the actual theory. There was no matter as we know it in the time leading up to the big bang, but there was a concentration of energy that began to expand at some point. There is a concept that most modern physicists agree on consistent with all current knowledge that gives an explanation of the origin of our universe. From a random quantum fluctuation the universe tunneled from pure vacuum to what is called a false vacuum, a region of space that contains no matter or radiation. The space inside a bubble of false vacuum is curved, or warped, and a small amount of energy is stored in that curvature. This ostensible violation of energy conservation is allowed by the Heisenberg uncertainty principle for sufficiently small time intervals. The bubble then inflated exponentially and its curvature energy transformed into matter and radiation. Inflation stopped and the more linear Big Bang expansion commenced.

AG said, "Can we ever know what happens in a singularity? Black holes seem to protect their mystery with the "cosmic censorship" principle. We cannot get any information about what's going on under the event horizon of a black hole. Sorry again.

LINDA'S ANSWER: Sorry you don't know what you're talking about? The American physicist John Wheeler gave this phenomenon the name "black hole" in 1967. Since no light escapes from a black hole, it cannot be observed directly. However, if a black hole existed near another star, it would draw matter from the other star into itself and, in effect, produce X-rays. In the constellation of Cygnus, there is a strong X-ray source named Cygnus X-1. It is near a star, and the two revolve around each other. The unseen X-ray source has the gravitational pull of at least 10 suns and is believed to be a black hole. Another type of black hole, a primordial black hole, may also exist dating from the time of the Big Bang, when regions of gas and dust were highly compressed. Recently, astronomers observed a brief pulse of X-rays from Sagittarius A, a region near the center of the Milky Way Galaxy. The origin of this pulse and its behavior led scientists to conclude that there is probably a black hole in the center of our galaxy.

Details of a black hole's structure are calculated from Albert Einstein's general theory of relativity: a singularity of zero volume and infinite density pulls in all matter and energy that comes within an event horizon, defined by the Schwarzchild radius, around it. Black holes cannot be observed directly because they emit no light. However, their enormous gravitational fields affect nearby matter, which is drawn in and emits X rays as it collides at high speed outside the event horizon. Some black holes may have nonstellar origins. Astronomers speculate that supermassive black holes at the centres of quasars and many galaxies are the source of energetic activity that is observed. Stephen Hawking theorized the creation of numerous tiny black holes, possibly no more massive than an asteroid, during the Big Bang. These primordial mini black holes lose mass over time and disappear as a result of Hawking radiation. Although black holes remain theoretical, the case for their existence is supported by many observations of phenomena that match their predicted effects. However, certain developments in quantum gravity suggest that the Planck mass could be much lower. This would make it conceivable for micro black holes to be created in the high energy collisions occurring when cosmic rays hit the Earth's atmosphere, or possibly in the new Large Hadron Collider at CERN if micro black holes should be formed in these collisions, it is expected that they would evaporate in about 10/-25 seconds, posing no threat to the Earth. The fact that you (know nothing about how there ever going to learn anything about black holes) doesn't mean a thing.

AG said, "If the universe was created by a process similar to particle-antiparticle generation in quantum vacuum, we should have as many anti-particles as we have particles, so, exactly one half of the universe must consist of antimatter. This is not true. Scientists estimate the ratio between particles and anti-particles in the universe to be 10 billion to 1."http://abyss.uoregon.edu/~js/cosmo/lectures/lec22.html

LINDA'S ANSWER: 'A Brief History of Time' Stephen Hawking "There are something like ten million million million million million million million million million million million million million million (1 with eighty [five] zeroes after it) particles in the region of the universe that we can observe. Where did they all come from? The answer is that, in quantum theory, particles can be created out of energy in the form of particle/antiparticle pairs. But that just raises the question of where the energy came from. The answer is that the total energy of the universe is exactly zero. The matter in the universe is made out of positive energy. However, the matter is all attracting itself by gravity. Two pieces of matter that are close to each other have less energy than the same two pieces a long way apart, because you have to expend energy to separate them against the gravitational force that is pulling them together. Thus, in a sense, the gravitational field has negative energy. In the case of a universe that is approximately uniform in space, one can show that this negative gravitational energy exactly cancels the positive energy represented by the matter. So the total energy of the universe is zero."

AG said, "Scientists explain this by the fact that the universe is unstable and, therefore, there is a fundamental lack of symmetry. There is charge-parity violation, for example. However, why is universe asymmetrical and unstable, we don't know. Clearly, this casts another shadow on particle-antiparticle generation in quantum vacuum idea which did not seem plausible in the first place. The asymmetry implies that the universe did not start from nothing."

LINDA'S ANSWER: "Virtual particle pairs are predicted to have a calculable effect upon the energy levels of atoms. The effect expected is minute - only a change of one part in a billion, but it has been confirmed by experimenters." John Barrow and Joseph Silk. In 1953 Willis Lamb measured this excited energy state for a hydrogen atom. This is now called the Lamb shift. The energy difference predicted by the effects of the vacuum on atoms is so small that it is only detectable as a transition at microwave frequencies. The precision of microwave measurements is so great that Lamb was able to measure the shift to five significant figures. He subsequently received the Nobel Prize for his work. No doubt remains that virtual particles are really there."

AG said, "Now, to have a supernova explosion, an existing massive star must collapse on itself to release the gravitational energy. That, again, occurs in the existing space-time, with existing matter. Therefore, assuming that big bang was like a supernova explosion seems inappropriate as well."

LINDA'S ANSWER: Oh, it's thoroughly inappropriate, and wrong as well! Primordial black holes are a different type than the kind formed when a supernova occurs, Primordial black holes are thought to have formed in the first "moments" after the Big Bang. Primordial black holes would be smaller and created by the energy of the Big Bang itself and would then have been widely dispersed as the Universe expanded. This was all after the Big Bang nothing was before. The Big Bang theory' is a model used by physicists to explain the creation of the Universe. According to this theory, the Universe was created billions of years ago when matter and anti-matter collided creating a big bang. This theory is the theory purposed by Lemaitre. The LHC is conducting experiments involving the Big Bang theory.

AG said, "And I did not even mention the dark matter and the dark energy. That's another "virtual thing" that explains observed phenomena. Galaxies don't move as they should, but if we throw "dark matter" into the pot, we can explain it quite well. We only have to make up 20 times the mass of observable matter in this way. Reminds me of epicycles in Ptolemaeus geocentric model. In fact, epicycles were just a minor embarrassment compared to the dark matter. Crystal spheres used to explain quite beautifully why the Moon and the Sun do not fall down while traveling around the Earth and being visible to us until people found a better explanation."

LINDA'S ANSWER: Cosmological argument or (first cause) advocates say that cold dark matter would throw off the rotation of galaxies, when in fact we need it to understand their rotation. Recent measurements indicate that cold dark matter makes up twenty six percent of the matter in the universe and increases the rate of expansion of the universe. The vacuum fluctuations open up the possibility that the universe covered by the Big Bang model is only part of a larger whole. It is now almost certain the vacuum fluctuations during an early period of rapid inflation gave the universe the microstructure it needed to eventually form the physical structures that have condensed out of it, eventually leading to galaxies and everything in them.

There is no need for a "first cause" because the laws of reality allow matter and energy to pop into existence, given small enough time frames and small enough distances. Self-consistent understanding of physics demands that universes can and will be spontaneously created from nothing. Gravity makes it possible for the universe to spontaneously come into existence, as a necessary outcome of the way physics operates. Time did not exist before the universe. Time came into existence at the Big Bang, so nothing came 'before' the universe - before is meaningless.

The Big Bang theory has plenty of evidence to back it up, but (as with any theory) there are still questions being answered. Evolution is considered a theory and a fact, but we are still finding new questions and answers. That is how science works. It never stands still, which is apparently about all that religion is capable of doing.

Science makes everyone aware of the fact that the verses in Genesis were not inspired by a superior being. Genesis (7:11-12; 8:2) the sun, moon, and stars moved across or were fixed in the firmament (Gen. 1:14-19; Ps. 19:4,6). Needless to say, there is no "firmament" that holds water or stars up in the sky. But there is dark matter.

AG said, "Don't interpret my comments as if I try to refute scientific ideas to prove creation theory. I find reading Hawking and Penrose is quite enlightening. I just don't do it with my drooling mouth open and do not accept conclusions pushed down on me without first thinking if they make sense. It is an overstatement to say that science reliably explains how the universe started itself from nothing. There are, at least, few theories on that account, none explaining all of the above questions. Such confidence is not far away from the confidence of hardcore creationists regarding dinosaurs in the Noah's ark and other 100% true things. Again, I'm sure that if I travel 5,000 years into the future and tell the big bang story, I would get weird looks. And, I'm sure, my jeans and shirt will look as exotic as a robe and a staff."

LINDA'S ANSWER: No, you only drool when you're reading the Bible! How about it, was your drooling mouth open when you found evolution in the Bible? You will never drool over anything scientific because it doesn't back up what you already believe that's in the Bible. So, don't tell me who is coming to conclusions without evidence.

AG said, "It is an overstatement to say that science reliably explains how the universe started itself from nothing. There are, at least, few theories on that account, none explaining all of the above questions. Such confidence is not far away from the confidence of hardcore creationists regarding dinosaurs in the Noah's ark and other 100% true things. Again, I'm sure that if I travel 5,000 years into the future and tell the big bang story, I would get weird looks. And, I'm sure, my jeans and shirt will look as exotic as a robe and a staff."

LINDA'S ANSWER: Stories of floods are not unique to the Old Testament the ancient Sumerians, Babylonians etc. had a very similar flood story. What geological or archaeological evidence is there of a universal flood and the destruction of all humans, all plants and all animals except for the ones on Noah's Ark? There should be a layer of sediment dating from the same time which contains all the fossils of these creatures. There should be evidence that all human societies were wiped out simultaneously. No such evidence exists of a universal flood.

LINDA'S ANSWER: Yes, I'm sure that you think the Big Bang theory is as idiotic as dinosaurs on Noah's ark or (how about) God blew the breath of life into a man he made from dirt, but then he (must have run out of dirt) 'cause he made him a woman out of man's rib. Is evolution just as dumb as Creation too?

AG said, "If God exists, He is the only one who can be trusted 100%. If God does not exist, nothing can be trusted 100%. So, God is still the only one who can be trusted 100% regardless of His existence. This is true for believers and atheists alike and is the only belief that cannot be refuted. I know, this paragraph can give a headache."

LINDA'S ANSWER: People have to educate themselves and find the facts for themselves. You can trust yourself 100% I presume? If God existed there would be some kind of evidence just like the evidence that has been produced that supports the Big Bang theory and the theory of Evolution which is now, a theory and a fact, but there isn't. Not one shred, and what we do know discredits the story all together.

AG said, "My point is that science is not a silver bullet for dogmatism and cannot cure the lack of critical thinking. And a habit of making unjustified inferences does lead to hate speech and worse. Religion is not required."

LINDA'S ANSWER: What a joke, the scientific method isn't based on myths or hogwash. Hate speech? As in Darwin's Theory of Evolution was racist. Let's replace science with the Bible babble since it's 100% regardless of His existence. And you are not kidding!

AG said, "Linda said elsewhere: "Nobody has to believe something is true without proof. That should be the position of every rational person." I simply practice what you preach, Linda. You should too :)."

LINDA'S ANSWER: No, you don't! You are telling us that we can only rely on a mythological figure to know what is 100% true. It has always been obvious that you believe what you have been brainwashed into believing and you are very perturbed that you can't force it down our throats. The Christian use of fear is the evidence that there is no support for Christian beliefs. If there was sufficient (or any) evidence that Christianity's truth was apparent to anyone, Christians (including the authors of the Gospels) wouldn't have to use fear, threats or rewards to inspire anyone into "belief."

The cosmological argument (first cause) is not new, so presenting pseudoscience versions of it does nothing to change the basic assumptions. That 'something' couldn't come from 'nothing' and there had to be a 'first cause'. How does introducing a Creator overcome these problems 'something can't come from nothing' or there has to be a 'first cause'? Where or what did the Creator come from, what is the Creator made of, what caused the Creator? An argument that doesn't answer any questions is not evidence of anything.

Yeah it is a fact that it is good at not getting a precise time.

Not "getting" a precise time for what? Would you care to elaborate? That means explain these idiotic remarks. It's obvious who doesn't have a clue.

Back to the subject: You may want to ask, how did they come up with 6 to 10000 years for the age of the Earth. Most believers don't know. It's not written in the Bible; besides, there is not one corroborated calender date in the whole Bible; did you ever notice? But enough of this childish theory.

The principle of the dating of rocks is as simple as a little experiment in your garden or on your shelves or on your windowsill. We all know how fast dust builds up on our shelves. Well let one build up dust for 6 months or more. If you don't want to use a shelf, use an 8 x 11 inch black sheet of drawing paper. We all know what the results will be. Imagine that you leave the shelf, or paper, build up a quantity of dust equal to that the thickness of a normal page of paper in anyone of your books. For the sake of simplicity of calculation, let us imagine also that it took a year to build up this amount of dust. Let us admit that your book contains 400 pages. How long would it take for your shelf to build up enough dust to equal the thickness of your book? The answer is easy; 400 pages times 1 year per page = 400 years if we admit that the dust will deposit at a relatively constant rate and that no one will clean up the shelf before the dust covers it over. But what does this have to do with dating rocks? Well, take a box, a small one (8 x 11), put it on a windowsill or better yet in your garden or the porch in the open. Leave it there for several weeks or several months. You are bound to collect dust there too; pollen, leaf debris, bugs, dust particles, sand and so on. Now dig a small hole in a virgin corner of your flower garden. You can see the same material that you collected in your box being incorporated into what is called topsoil. If you can, go see a cellar being dug or a road trench or canal excavation or better yet a mine or quarry. You will see the soil becoming packed and hard layered as it reaches greater depth and is in contact with the bedrock. If you were to examine the soil carefully, you would see that each layer of 'dust' and debris that you had on your shelf is slowly being compacted and integrated into the topsoil. If you apply the same principle of deposit to the soil in your garden, a layer of virgin soil equal to the thickness of your book of 400 pages must have taken 400 years to form. Geologists apply the same principle to layers of sediments (layer = strata; study of layers = stratigraphy). In ponds, lakes, oceans and many other environments, dust, debris, rock particles accumulate to form what is called sediment. These sediments can attain several feet, several dozen feet and even several hundred and thousands of feet of thickness depending on the environment in which they settle. They become compact, often dry up and harden. By numerous experiments and observations geologists have been able to determine the average rate of deposit of these sediments in all environments found on earth. By using the same principle as with your shelf they can determine the time it took for a whole layer of rock (called Strata) to form (however thick it may be) from the time it takes for one tinny layer to form, taking into consideration, among other things, the compression of the older deeper layers. This may seem somewhat of an approximation, and it is, but it gives a good idea of how much time has elapsed, far better than any speculation from any scripture or hocus-pocus guess. Once such calculations can be made, in any specific area, it is not difficult to determine the time it may have taken to form the layers visible in a cliff or even in such a breathtaking place as the Grand Canyon, USA. The corollary to this observation is the fact that the deeper layers must and are the oldest, though there are easily explainable exceptions to this rule. Consequently, the oldest rocks are necessarily the deepest in such an arrangement. This type of dating rocks is called 'relative chronology'. It is stratigraphy that set the record straight in disputed discoveries like those of Troy and of the 'Treasures of Priam' that were made by the late Heinrich Schliemann (1822 - 1890) who dug right through the Homeric city of Troy without knowing it to study an older level of occupation of the site. In corroboration to these 'relative ages', geologists have a more precise tool for dating rocks that is called 'absolute chronology or absolute age'. This is based on the measuring of the quantities of certain radio-active elements known to be in rocks and the time it takes these substances to decay naturally; this is also called radiometric dating. One of the most renowned elements is Carbon 14 but it is far from being the only one used. Geologists have tons of data corroborating rates of sedimentation in all environments, past and present. When one looks at an uninterrupted succession of layers of rock as imposing as in the Grand Canyon in southwestern USA, one cannot but understand that these rocks are extremely older than 6 or 10 thousand years of age. This succession rises a mile high and represents about 85% of sedimentary history of the Earth at that location. If each, sometimes paper thin layer, composing the rocks of the Grand Canyon, took, on an average, one year to deposit, then the whole edifice would be at least 5280 feet/mile x 12 inches per foot divided by 1/32 inches per paper layer = 2,027,520 years old at first approximation; far more than 10 thousand years. This is a direct application of relative chronology. Of course geologists don't just approximate, they measure and collect data, but this is not a book on Geology. If you understand the principle at stake here that is all that matters. If you are intrigued and want to know more there are plenty of books and documents on the Web and in libraries, bookstores and schools to consult.

Dear Anthony,

Hope we haven't lost you. You might want to admit for the sake of the discussion with a Christian Creationist, that the Earth is 6000 years old. Then bring up the fact that the pyramids of Egypt were built earlier then 2550 BC. That means that they are at least 2550 + 2011 = 4565 years old. If the Earth appeared 6000 years ago, this means that the Egyptian's civilization began about 5500 years ago to account for the time necessary to create a such a civilization that could build large pyramids. This leaves 6000 - 5500 years = 500 years for the prehistoric period with the paleo and mesolithic, the neolithic, the Iron age, the bronze age and much more. If this is not pathetic enough, according to creationism itself, Noah's flood occurred 2310 BC, destroying the Egyptians and their grandiose civilization that oddly enough several generations later are back to keep the Jews as slaves; see the exodus. talk about anachronisms! This is quite a stretch of the archaeological facts.

Dear Anthony,

Forgive my typos in my last post, I was in a hurry. Here is one last argument for you, if the other previous ones fail. When a geologist shows a rock and says it is 3.3. to 3.5 billion years old, with evidence to prove it, he is including in this statement a margin of error of about 4.4%. It's like making change for a $100 bill and giving the customer an extra a $4.40 too much. But when a Creationist says that the Earth is 6 to 10 thousand years old, without evidence, he is arbitrarily including a margin of error of 40%. It's like giving $40 too much for change on a hundred. Enjoy. Cheers

Thanks.

James Clovispoint said, "Back to the subject: You may want to ask, how did they come up with 6 to 10000 years for the age of the Earth. Most believers don't know. It's not written in the Bible; besides, there is not one corroborated calender date in the whole Bible; did you ever notice? But enough of this childish theory."

The Bible states "with the Lord a day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years are like a day". If Creation week took six days (a thousand years long) that's six thousand, but if a years was 24 hrs it's 6 days. According to Genesis the morning and the evening were the first day and that is a 24 hr day. But some creationists revised the 6 day idea to 6-10 thousand when scientists started to date rocks --and found some were much older than 10 thousand years. .And "back to the subject"! Really? No, you are not back to the "subject" of Anthony's last post (in which he asked should you be rude to people that believe the age of the earth is 6 to 10 thousand yrs. Old.)

Sorry, but since most everyone gave better answers than yours to Anthony's first post. And...then you didn't answer his most recent post. You're the one wasting your time. Unless there's another motive for chiming in?

AG posted {From: AG (Posted May 23, 2011 at 4:55 pm) AG said, "While you are at it, did you ever consider the possibility of v being larger than c in sqrt(1-v^2/c^2)?"}

I answered that {From: Linda (Posted May 28, 2011 at 4:25 pm) but AG never replied, since he had to answer Anthony who successfully distracted him with a question that was much easier to answer.

Anthony (Posted May 25, 2011 at 10:29 pm) "Still it's boggling for someone to believe the earth is 6-10,000 years old just from reading the bible and the fact nobody was around to see the Earth form. Now I have to ask do you actually have to be nice to such a person or should you be rude to them?"

AG (rudely ignored my reply that was first) to said (among other things) "By being rude, you assume that your opinion is superior of the other person's. Not only you close your mind to considering another point of view, but you put youself at risk of harm. Usually, you have no idea who you talk to. Some people may pull out a gun and shoot your head off. You may assume another person is "stupid" without realizing that this person may have a subtle disability which makes him struggle with everyday life. It may be "funny" until you have a child with such disability and all your doctors and science can do NOTHING about it. God has a way of humbling the proud."

I gave AG another answer (it seems) he couldn't answer..

From: Linda (Posted Jul 18, 2011 at 4:29 pm) And you're not kidding either! I think most of us know to whom we are speaking to by now. Etc...

What's "rude" is you posting a question for "Linda" and when you got the answer you ignored it because (as usual) it was interrupted and you had to first post pages of bible babble and threats instead of first answering my reply. The pointless interruptions continue ----and all of it was either repetitive or not as good as the answers Anthony had gotten. Then..

From: James Clovispoint (Posted Aug 31, 2011 at 6:00 am) From: James Clovispoint (Posted Sep 2, 2011 at 11:16 am) James Clovispoint (Posted Sep 2, 2011 at 6:04 pm)

Nothing that answered Anthony's last post (asking) "should you be rude to people that believe the age of the earth is 6 to 10 thousand yrs. Old." But.....

From: Anthony (Posted Sep 3, 2011 at 2:34 am) Thanks.

Anthony thanked "Clovispoint" but Anthony didn't answer AG or thank me for answering the menacing reply? This is the usual - Now maybe AG would like another chance to answer this since (someone) thinks it will just get lost. How about it AG you seem to have time to post crap all over the message board.

From: AG (Posted May 23, 2011 at 4:55 pm) AG said, "While you are at it, did you ever consider the possibility of v being larger than c in sqrt(1-v^2/c^2)?"

Answer from Linda: I assume this refers to (FTL) faster than the speed of light particles or (a theory of travel or communications). There are several serious possibilities for real faster than light (FTL) that are proposed in the scientific literature, but these always come with technical difficulties. The Heisenberg Uncertainty Principle tends to stop the use of apparent faster than light quantum effects for sending information or matter. In general relativity there are potential means of faster than light (FTL) travel; there is nothing that I know about that works right now, but theoretical physics leaves room for that possibility.

If v is greater than c we can write - E^2 <!! p^2*c^2 (for a faster than light particle). The energy squared can also be expressed as - E^2 = p^2 * c^2 + m^2 * c^4. The mass would then be the square root of a negative number, without doubt this is an unreal number that is called an imaginary number (imaginary numbers are used in mathematics) as a product of a real number multiplied by something that symbolizes the imaginary square-root of negative one: i = sqrt(-1). So, the mass is imaginary. E = mc2 is not a statement of kinetic energy; it is either a statement of inherent energy (if m is the rest mass) or total energy (if m is the relativistic mass).

If the object moves, the situation is different. Its total energy is obviously different then the rest mass multiplied by c squared, because it has an additional part, called the kinetic energy. In order to reflect this kinetic energy in the total energy, we have to modify the equation E=mc^2 by a factor 1/sqrt(1-v^2/c^2), where v is the speed of the moving object. So it will look like E=m/sqrt(1-v^2/c^2)*c^2, where m is the rest mass of the object.

There is also a formula that was introduced called the dynamic mass M, defined by M=m/sqrt(1-v^2/c^2)*c^2 and then the Einstein's formula is then E=Mc^2. An object with a rest mass that is not zero can't travel faster than light. Tachyons are hypothetical particles that travel faster than light locally. Their mass must take on imaginary values (negative) while the energy and momentum are actual numbers. The tachyon is a particle that would hypothetically have a negative rest mass, so it can move faster than light, but there is no evidence other than theoretical for that particle.

We know things such as shadows can go faster than light, but not in a useful way. We also know that a way to go faster than light is to make the light slow down. Light in vacuum travels at a speed c which is a universal constant but in a dense medium such as water or glass, light slows down to c/n where n is the refractive index of the medium (1.0003 for air, 1.4 for water). It is certainly possible for particles to travel through air or water at faster than the speed of light in the medium, and Cherenkov radiation is produced as a result. AG said, "Are there any latest theories about that?"

Yes, some scientists think that faster than light particles could be detected by the LHC. One of the major goals of the LHC is finding the Higgs boson particle that physicists call upon to explain why particles like protons, neutrons and electrons have mass. If the LHC succeeds in producing the Higgs boson, some scientists predict that it will create a second particle, called the Higgs singlet, at the same time. These singlets should have the ability to jump into an extra, fifth dimension where they can move either forward or backward in time and reappear in the future or past.

AG said, "What happens to the universe in theory when we go into imaginary components?"

Nothing! In quantum field theory forces are mediated by virtual particles. Virtual particles are called 'virtual' since they are only expressed mathematically. AG siad, "Historically, all theories end up being a particular case of a wider theory. Can general relativity theory be a particular case of something more general? Many theories that are accurate will eventually be surpassed by something more complete. Relativity more accurately describes the motions of bodies in strong gravitational fields, or at near the speed of light, than Newtonian mechanics did. All experiments done to date agree with relativity's predictions to a high degree of accuracy. Einstein did not introduce the notion that the mass of a body increases with velocity, just that it increases with energy content. The equation E = mc2 was only meant to be applied in the rest frame of the particle. The case of photons and other particles, which move at the speed of light, is special. From the formula relating relativistic mass to invariant mass, it follows that the invariant mass of a photon must be zero but the relativistic mass need not be. The rest mass of a photon is zero - but the photon can never be at rest - this is just a matter of terminology. In modern physics texts the term mass when unqualified means invariant mass and photons are said to be mass less.

Some theoretical physicists developed M-theory, or a "theory of everything", to the point that it can accommodate the properties of all the known subatomic particles and forces, including gravity, but it requires 10 or 11 dimensions instead of our familiar four. This has led to the suggestion that our universe may be like a four-dimensional membrane or "brane" floating in a multi-dimensional space-time called the "bulk."

We already know about the four dimensions, string theory predicts the existence of six more. Some physicists even think the existence of these extra dimensions could explain why gravity is so much weaker than the other fundamental forces. This might be explained if its force was being shared with other dimensions. If these extra dimensions do exist, the LHC could be the first accelerator to detect them experimentally.

In science there has to be experimental evidence before something becomes a theory or is believed to exist. That is through observing it, or the observation of it's effects experimentally. Until that happens it is not considered true.

"This is the usual - Now maybe AG would like another chance to answer this since (someone) thinks it will just get lost. How about it AG you seem to have time to post crap all over the message board."

Linda,

I did read your reply several times, despite what Jayhennem may think. I did not reply, because I did not see that this discussion can go anywhere. For some reason, you think that my main goal is to prove that God exists somehow by discrediting scientific facts that you provide in such abundance. If this is your expectation, I would have to disappoint you.

In almost all of my posts, I'm trying to point out inconsistencies in atheistic position which are, in my opinion, as bad as inconsistencies in theistic claims. What I notice is that atheists are so convinced that science, reason, and logic can explain everything that they simply refuse to see these inconsistencies.

The point of my question was to show that what scientists believe is absolutely true today may (and in most cases is) proven false by future research. The statement that nothing can travel faster than light is merely an example. Almost every scientific truth in the history has been proven wrong or limited in this way. Therefore, one cannot put absolute trust in any scientific theory. Note that every theory, however limited, can be useful within its limitations. Even the model of flat earth can be used for most practical purposes of everyday life. Ancient people did not fly across several time zones or launch satellites.

Another point was to show that scientists involve arbitrary concepts to explain the world all the time.

"In quantum field theory forces are mediated by virtual particles. Virtual particles are called 'virtual' since they are only expressed mathematically." -- your words.

So, virtual particles, imaginary numbers, photons, force fields, etc. are nothing more than concepts in our brain which help to explain natural phenomena. Also, scientists use whatever theory is the most convenient to explain given properties of the same phenomenon. E.g. light is described as a wave to explain interference, but a particle model is used to describe light pressure. In a similar manner we can say that earth is flat and does not move if we are building a house, but we can say that earth is spherical (which, again, is only an approximation) if we calculate the shortest path to fly from New York to Paris. I guess, this is what Hawking is calling "model-dependent realism". Which model is more convenient for any given goal, very much, depends on what we are trying to achieve or explain.

Just as scientists assume the existence of virtual particles, photons, and electrons which are merely concepts, there can be no principal objections to assume the existence of God if such assumption is useful for any particular purpose. Same applies to the concepts of "soul" or "free will". If you remember, in the last chapter of "The Grand Design", they consider the Conway's game of life and conclude that when we look at a robot consisting of a few trillion cells, its decisions and responses to external stimuli would be virtually unpredictable, and it can be said to have "free will".

I can agree with you that the concepts of God, soul, etc. are not useful to explain the natural phenomena. However, I find these concepts useful to explain human behavior, intentions, causes of psychological suffering, etc. It's useless to argue which model is better without saying "for what". The problem starts when a scientist comes to a builder and tries to convince him to account for the curvature of the Earth and gravitational pull of the Sun or when builder comes to a rocket scientist and says that he should assume that the earth is level, because none of the construction manuals say that the earth surface curvature has to be accounted for.

There is also more than one way to achieve the same goal. In some countries, depending on resources and tradition, people build their houses of clay and straw, in some - of wood, in some - of stone, in some - of ice. It's useless to argue which way is better without considering the circumstances. In my opinion, same applies to religions. Some use meditation to achieve mental balance, some pray, some do yoga, some do martial arts, some go to a psychologist. Again, all is fine until we start to force our ways and our opinions upon others. It is always arrogant to assume that our world view, our scientific theory, our method, our religion, our values, our political system, etc. are the best. There is a Russian saying "what's good for a Russian, is death for a German".

Therefore, I don't see a reason to argue with someone who believes that the Earth is 6000 years old, moreover, a reason to be rude to such person. We should always ask "why?" before we do or say anything (and I should apply this to myself in the first place).

AG said, "I did read your reply several times, despite what Jayhennem may think. I did not reply, because I did not see that this discussion can go anywhere. For some reason, you think that my main goal is to prove that God exists somehow by discrediting scientific facts that you provide in such abundance. If this is your expectation, I would have to disappoint you."

I think you (and all apologists) want to believe that the bible babble is ahead of science; after all it's the inspired writings of god, and he should know more than Einstein, but unfortunately he doesn't. And it's very unlikely that anyone will come up with a Creation Science theory since evolution is so solid that it is considered a theory and a fact.

An example of what you want to accomplish: AG, "It just occurred to me that Mark 15:1-7 is a summary of evolution theory, the origin of species, "natural selection" and "survival of the fittest" in a nutshell:"

You are not the first to quote biblical verses and claim it's evolution. We know that in every cell of every living creature, atoms are configured into proteins and tangled strings of DNA. We know, even, that these atoms were all synthesized from pristine hydrogen by processes deep inside stars that died before our solar system came into being. We are literally the ashes of ancient stars - the "nuclear waste" from the fuel that made them shine. We know, also, what forces acted on those stars, and act on our bodies. The forces uncovered by Faraday and Newton to the "nuclear" force that actually holds the nuclei of atoms together - and without this force there would be no carbon, no oxygen and no life.

If you think that the verse you are quoting "Mark 15:1-7 is a summary of evolution theory" you don't know a damn thing about the theory. Mark 15:1-7 only describes how fruit trees are pruned if they don't bear fruit. There is nothing in Mark 15:1-7 that indicates an understanding of the chain of events that caused atoms, stars and planets to emerge and life on this planet to evolved.

AG said, "In almost all of my posts, I'm trying to point out inconsistencies in atheistic position which are, in my opinion, as bad as inconsistencies in theistic claims. What I notice is that atheists are so convinced that science, reason, and logic can explain everything that they simply refuse to see these inconsistencies."

Let's me see now, what explains things better than science, reason, and logic; ah yes, theories based on the superstition, irrationality, and the illogical. You say science is "inconsistent" because it's excruciatingly obvious that you don't know how science works. I compared every claim that you made by apologists with every scientific known answer. Your responses did not dispute them. You can't raise an argument with science and then try to use scripture to prove it.

AG said, "The point of my question was to show that what scientists believe is absolutely true today may (and in most cases is) proven false by future research. The statement that nothing can travel faster than light is merely an example.

A "scientific theory" is never considered absolutely true, there are "facts" and there are "theories".

Antonino Zichichi, a theoretical physicist and emeritus professor at the University of Bologna, Italy. Zichichi speculates that the "superluminal" neutrinos detected by OPERA could be slipping through extra dimensions in space, as predicted by theories such as string theory. Remember you think that M-thoery will not be around or will be something entirely different. Newton's theory of gravity is not something different and is still around, Einsteins theories are not something different, these theories are basically the same theories that were used to build more complete or better theories. In '79 Alan H. Guth (a physicist) came up with the idea that at a very early stage the universe underwent a brief stage of superluminal (faster than light) exponentially fast expansion. Now according to Einsteins Special Theory of Relativity nothing with real mass can travel faster through space than light in a vacuum, since the energy involved would approach an infinite value. The superluminal inflation is averred possible, because it is assumed that as it is space itself that is expanding, there is no transportation of energy involved. This it seems could have been caused by a super cooled phase transition at an earlier time. A phase transition is a change of state of the relevant system, for example, the change of state of ice to water or water to steam. In the inflationary case, the change would be from one grand unified force in being at the time of the Big Bang to some or all of the four forces of physics that we know today, the weak, the strong the electric and gravitation.

AG said, "Almost every scientific truth in the history has been proven wrong or limited in this way. Therefore, one cannot put absolute trust in any scientific theory. Note that every theory, however limited, can be useful within its limitations. Even the model of flat earth can be used for most practical purposes of everyday life. Ancient people did not fly across several time zones or launch satellites."

Science has never claimed to be the absolute truth; the Bible makes that claim. There are "religious convictions" not science convictions. The religious convictions are about accepting something as truth without evidence or investigation. Science never calls a theory the absolute truth, a theory can only be falsified (meaning scientists are looking for ways to disprove the theory) until that happens it's accepted; that is why science and theories are always changing, learning and growing. Religious beliefs never change, learn or grow.

The flat Earth idea was dispelled by the Greeks and was gone by the 3rd century BC. The flat earth was never a scientific theory; it was a prevalent idea among Christians that was not disputed because of things like the inquisitions.

Newton wasn't wrong. What he developed is still relevant within the domain of gravity we commonly experience. Apples still don't float.

AG said, "Another point was to show that scientists involve arbitrary concepts to explain the world all the time."

AG said (Linda said) "In quantum field theory forces are mediated by virtual particles. Virtual particles are called 'virtual' since they are only expressed mathematically." -- your words.

You make silly remarks like that because you want to believe scientific theories are based on whimsy (arbitrary) but not religion. Science endeavors to explain things (some phenomenon) but religion gives no explanation. I was describing how something is expressed mathematically in quantum field theory.

AG said, "So, virtual particles, imaginary numbers, photons, force fields, etc. are nothing more than concepts in our brain which help to explain natural phenomena.

William Lane Craig (a Christian apologist) released podcasts concerning his cosmological argument which happen to briefly criticize Hawking's cosmology. One of Craig's criticism focused on the way in which Hawking converts the time dimension to a fourth spacial dimension using imaginary numbers. As Craig explained in a Reasonable Faith podcast,"Now, the interesting thing about this is that Hawking was able to achieve this result only by using imaginary numbers for the time variable."

Imaginary numbers are the square roots of negative numbers. The "literal" square root of a negative number doesn't exist. imaginary numbers are used in all kinds of mathematical fields, as well as, physics and almost every other science. These numbers obey all the rules for 'real' numbers". imaginary numbers can be used to describe the concept of time in the very early universe? Luckily, this is discussed at length in A Brief History of Time (pg. 139).

Scientific explanations often make use of things we cannot see or feel, such as protons, electrons, and quarks. These things really exist. Chemistry is founded on "an entity" that has negative charge so atoms can bond, an essentially, so everything in the universe can work. An electron is a lepton, showing that it is the one of the smallest units of recognizable matter ever quantified, and they have a mass which scientists have measured. And they have measured the charge. What we know about particles is by smashing bits of matter together. This is how physicists compiled a list of twelve fundamental particles that make matter. These are electrons, particles called quarks, which make up protons, and which are held together by a sticky force called the strong nuclear force, and other fundamental particles known as leptons and bosons. Besides the strong nuclear force and the familiar forces of gravity and electromagnetism, there is one more fundamental force, the weak nuclear force, which causes radioactive decay. The physical description of the fundamental particles, together with a mathematical description of how they behave, is known as the standard model of particle physics. The standard model describes all known forces except gravity but (we know gravity exists because apples still fall from trees) in terms of the exchange of such particles. Particles of light, photons, carry electric and magnetic fields. The strong nuclear force in protons operates by exchanging particles called gluons. Physicists have known for a long time that some fundamental particles have mass, but the mathematics underlying the standard model predicts that they should be mass less. Without the zero mass assumption the model doesn't work. Peter Higgs presented a possible solution to this problem. He hypothesized at an early time after the Big Bang all particle became liquid. But as the Universe cooled down, one the Higgs field started to condense and become thick. Other particles, interacting with the Higgs field, were dragged back. Particles which experience this drag effect are experiencing inertia, one has to push them with a force to get them to move. According to Newton, any particle with inertia also has mass. Higgs' mechanism tells us how the particles of the standard model born mass less, as the mathematics tell us may have acquired non-zero masses. The amount of mass each particle feels is proportional to the strength with which it feels the effect of the Higgs thick fluid. The Higgs Boson is what the LHC is looking for among other things.

We know things exist because of various kinds of observations, experiments and thought. These are the factors in acquiring knowledge. A scientific theory is not based on a "belief" or something that could never be tested or falsified.

AG said, "Also, scientists use whatever theory is the most convenient to explain given properties of the same phenomenon. E.g. light is described as a wave to explain interference, but a particle model is used to describe light pressure.

Newton's corpuscular theory of light was supplanted by the dual wave-particle theory of light that explains all aspects of it. Einstein's work extended to the observed wavelength of matter to its momentum. Matter and light exhibit the behaviors of both waves and particles, depending upon the circumstances of the experiment. Albert Einstein (early part of the twentieth century) published a paper to explain the photoelectric effect: light traveled as discrete bundles of energy. Light functions as both a particle and a wave, depending on how the experiment is conducted and when observations are made. Louis de Broglie 1929 questioned whether such duality also showed up in matter, which extended Einstein's work to relate the observed wavelength of matter to its momentum. Experiments confirmed the hypothesis in 1927. Just like light matter exhibited both wave and particle properties under the right circumstances. Enormous objects exhibit very small wavelengths, and tiny objects wavelength can be observable and significant.

The wave particle duality is that all behaviors of light and matter can be explained through the use of a differential equation, which represents a wave function, generally in the form of the Schrodinger equation. This ability to describe reality in the form of waves is at the heart of quantum mechanics.

Lastly no, scientists don't just use whatever theory is most convenient to explain anything. Stephen Hawking writes "under model-dependent realism", there is no single model that can explain the universe. There are, instead, a series of models that overlap. He is talking about "the theory of everything". but where the models overlap they must make the same predictions. If they don't, one or more of the models is flawed." What he is explaining is that this "theory of everything" will not be a single equation that would explain all of physics or "the theory of everything". The "Theory of Everything is M-Theory. M-Theory is a network of theories, or models, which model different domains of reality, but which will end up making the same predictions where they overlap.

Newtonian and General Relativistic models can account for big objects in the world, and quantum mechanical models can account for little things like subatomic particles." The affect that the environment has on something changes the theory. Albert Einstein's 'General Theory of Relativity', a theory of gravity describes gravitational forces in terms of the curvature of spacetime, caused by the presence of mass. General relativity treats special relativity as a restricted sub-theory that applies locally to any region of space sufficiently small that its curvature can be neglected. Euclidean geometry is the geometry of straight lines, circles and triangles. It's the geometry of the plane or "flat space".Einstein linked gravity with the geometry of spacetime. The point is what theory is applied is determined by the environment or circumstance; it's not determined by the scientist, and it's not the same as just deciding something is true first and then going out to prove it's true or deciding that something exists without any evidence.

AG said, "In a similar manner we can say that earth is flat and does not move if we are building a house, but we can say that earth is spherical (which, again, is only an approximation) if we calculate the shortest path to fly from New York to Paris. I guess, this is what Hawking is calling "model-dependent realism". Which model is more convenient for any given goal, very much, depends on what we are trying to achieve or explain."

No, your analogy is not what Hawking is calling "model dependent realism" it's about quantum physics or the concepts involving the tiniest subatomic matter - the physics that governs the behavior of atomic and sub-atomic matter. Matter is seen in a very different light; its properties depend on how it is observed.

The Earth is not flat Anaximander (611-547 B.C.) was a Greek philosopher who made the first detailed maps of the Earth and the sky. He knew that the Earth was round, and believed that it was free-floating and unsupported. He measured its circumference, and was the first to put forward the idea that celestial bodies make full circles in their orbits. One of his greatest contributions was the fact that he was the first to conceptualize space as having depth.

AG said, "Just as scientists assume the existence of virtual particles, photons, and electrons which are merely concepts, there can be no principal objections to assume the existence of God if such assumption is useful for any particular purpose.

Scientists don't just make up things and decide they exist and apply them to a theory and hope like hell it all works out. And you are not kidding! What we know about particles is by smashing bits of matter together. This is how physicists compiled a list of twelve fundamental particles that make matter. The physical description of the fundamental particles, together with a mathematical description of how they behave, is known as the standard model of particle physics. The standard model describes all known forces except gravity but (we know gravity exists because apples that fall from trees don't float). Particles of light, photons, carry electric and magnetic fields.

AG said, "Same applies to the concepts of "soul" or "free will". If you remember, in the last chapter of "The Grand Design", they consider the Conway's game of life and conclude that when we look at a robot consisting of a few trillion cells, its decisions and responses to external stimuli would be virtually unpredictable, and it can be said to have "free will"."

The final chapter about Conway's Game of Life demonstrates that complex properties can arise from simple rules, and questions whether humans have free will.

Stephen Hawking's "model-dependent realism" is an effort to make the "overlaps" between classical and quantum theories coincide. It has nothing to do with an opinion about something imaginary 'god' or 'soul' for which there is no evidence. There is absolutely no reason to believe 'souls' exist and 'free will' is total freedom (mental and physical) to speak out and ask questions - and Holy Books or the Bible based religions have nothing to do with freedom; the Bible actually supports slavery.

AG said, Linda said, "If God is unnecessary and philosophy is dead, the field is clear for science to explain the world: to answer all the age-old questions like: "What is the nature of reality? Where did all this come from? Did the universe need a creator?"

Obviously no!

AG said, "I can agree with you that the concepts of God, soul, etc. are not useful to explain the natural phenomena. However, I find these concepts useful to explain human behavior, intentions, causes of psychological suffering, etc. It's useless to argue which model is better without saying "for what".

Well, since the Bible is completely erroneous about how the universe and life evolved; I guess they just had to find another way to use the Bible, but guess what? The Bible is no better at explaining or teaching anything else.

AG said, "The problem starts when a scientist comes to a builder and tries to convince him to account for the curvature of the Earth and gravitational pull of the Sun or when builder comes to a rocket scientist and says that he should assume that the earth is level, because none of the construction manuals say that the earth surface curvature has to be accounted for.

This little analogy does not depict what Stephen Hawking's "model-dependent realism" is about nor does it explain how science works. A scientists wouldn't ask anyone in another field to account for something if they were not an expert in that field. Scientists want the best information from the best sources. They are not just making things up as they go along - what they are trying to do has to actually work. "Model-dependent realism" beleaguers the idea that the universe was created by God in this picture of reality. That's because Hawking describes the universe as having no boundaries. This means that spacetime has no edge: it is finite but unbounded. Stephen Hawking says the beginning of the universe is a location on earth like the South Pole, he says to ask "What happened before time began?" is like asking "What lies south of the South Pole?" The question has no meaning. Hawking says, because of this the entire universe, and all its different quantum histories, is a self-contained object in which scientific laws alone, deriving from M-theory, dictate the nature of the various versions of reality. No supernatural creator and no outside intervention is required to make reality be what it is.

AG said, "There is also more than one way to achieve the same goal. In some countries, depending on resources and tradition, people build their houses of clay and straw, in some - of wood, in some - of stone, in some - of ice. It's useless to argue which way is better without considering the circumstances."

I bet you think this rant has something to do with quantum physics or "model-dependent realism" and that's why you still just don't get it.

AG said, "In my opinion, same applies to religions. Some use meditation to achieve mental balance, some pray, some do yoga, some do martial arts, some go to a psychologist. Again, all is fine until we start to force our ways and our opinions upon others. It is always arrogant to assume that our world view, our scientific theory, our method, our religion, our values, our political system, etc. are the best. There is a Russian saying "what's good for a Russian, is death for a German".

This has nothing what so ever to do with the ideas being discussed here. I'm not asking anyone to believe something for which there is no evidence. That's what you've been doing.

In the more advanced countries a very low percentage of the population believe in god or anything supernatural. I guess that is something that depends on where you're going and what you are.

AG said, "Therefore, I don't see a reason to argue with someone who believes that the Earth is 6000 years old, moreover, a reason to be rude to such person. We should always ask "why?" before we do or say anything (and I should apply this to myself in the first place)."

You were ask to answer the reply to your post not to argue over the age of the Earth or if anyone should be rude to someone who thinks the Earth is between 6 and 10 thousand years old. Most of us know that there are people who think it is rude to ever tell them they are wrong about anything. So, this is about someone who wants to think science is wrong a lot. Scientific theories have not been wrong as often as many other ideas. Science is not wrong when theories (that you don't even understand) evolve into better theories; that's how science works. You think it's important to establish that science is wrong because the elite scientists and physicists have developed theories that dispute creation (nothing was created) everything evolved.

The Dark ages were caused by Christianity, which destroyed classical culture, by the burning of all books that didn't support the Christian doctrine or the Bible. Writings from other religions were burned, as well as, books on science, literature, and mathematics etc., because Constantine was going to conquer the world through Christianity. Christianity actually has never been useful for anything but conquest.

Linda,

Thanks for your reply. I feel, our dialogue is a stalemate or, rather, a threefold repetition. I agree with almost everything you say. It is not my purpose to prove science wrong or inferior to religion. That would be silly. I simply say that religions make many good philosophical points. If you don't see these points or choose to reject these statements for some other reason, that's fine :).

"I simply say that religions make many good philosophical points."

The only good philosophical points that might come out of religion are the secular philosophical points.

Agree. Many points in the Bible have been made long before Christ. The Bible to me just looks like a convenient compilation of them. Religions also come with practices to put these philosophical points to work. If used with caution and healthy criticism, religion is not a bad thing. Without caution and healthy criticism, any belief will turn ugly (my personal humble opinion).

AG said, "Linda, Thanks for your reply. I feel, our dialogue is a stalemate or, rather, a threefold repetition."

No matter how you spin it (the inability to answer a rebuttal) is not a stalemate; I copied your statements and (presented you with an exact copy) along with my arguments and the evidence, until you can do the same (and prove me wrong) there is no stalemate. Your statements were proven wrong with the evidence and it's very clear what you were saying.

AG said, "I agree with almost everything you say. It is not my purpose to prove science wrong or inferior to religion. That would be silly.

In an earlier reply AG said, "Not to brag, but to make a point, I've spent 10 years in college studying physics and electrical engineering. Enough to learn that humans don't know s..t about the universe, life, or themselves. Presenting more scientific facts just confirms my opinion. "God did it" - is the only logical explanation I can come up with."

And that took 10 years of college "God did it" please tell me where you went to college? So I can warn people. AG said, "I simply say that religions make many good philosophical points. If you don't see these points or choose to reject these statements for some other reason, that's fine :).

In a previous post a quote of Einstein's (that was in one of my replies) was posted by AG in his reply without giving Einstein credit for his quote - AG's post avoided the fact that it was a quote by Einstein by just putting (Linda) before the quote: AG posted this, "Linda: ...The word god is for me nothing more than the expression and product of human weaknesses, the Bible a collection of honorable, but still primitive legends which are nevertheless pretty childish. No interpretation no matter how subtle can (for me) change this." Albert Einstein not Linda, but AG did that because contrary to what he wanted to believe Einstein (and others) didn't believe in god; there would have been no point to your post if that had not been the intent. You and all apologists want to think of brilliant scientists as people that believe in god when practically none do. You can't win an argument without (changing the goal posts) changing what your objectives were or distorting what the other party was saying. AG's reply was:

AG said, "A good opinion. I like that. I understand science and evidence well. To me, relationship with God is like relationship with Father. Imagine, you ask, "Daddy, where do children come from?" You are likely to hear something like "You know, a man and a woman love each other, marry, live together, and in some time they have a baby."

If someone is smart enough to ask a question they should get the actual answer. Not a lot of irrelevant prattle. The only reason you think otherwise is ignorance and a fundamentalist upbringing. At a very early age children do learn that plants and animals reproduce as part of their life cycle and that in every life cycle there are distinct processes and stages.

AG said, "I hope, your parents did not launch a full-scale lecture on sex, genetics, DNA, evolution, and general relativity theory. Is the parent's story primitive? Yes. Is it 100% factual and correspond to reality? No. Is it a "lie"? As you grow older and learn the truth, do you hate your parents as "liars"? As long as you got the "love" part of the story, you are, probably, OK. (Sorry if it's not the case)."

I know you hope that everyone is being kept ignorant since the bible, that you think is so informative, doesn't know about evolution or understand biological processes.

AG said, "That's what God and God's word (Bible) are to me. They do provide me a moral direction and psychological stability in many areas of my life. I find the story about Adam and Eve a fairly accurate account of the source of human suffering. It's good enough for me. I don't see a problem accepting scientific discoveries and view Bible as God's Word and "true" at the same time.

Well! Just 'Gimme That Old Time Religion' "It's good enough for AG", oh yes, and all you were talking about was "religion makes good philosophical points" since everything else you were saying was wrong - and guess what, so is that statement. Religion is just as worthless in terms of philosophy.

I'm sure that you think the talking snake story (explains the evil and suffering in the world) since that was the intent. If there had been no explanation or argument to explain why evil was allowed in the world it would disprove the existence of god/gods, and that could lead people down the road of questioning and disbelief.

The Greeks had a better philosophy than the talking snake argument - the argument from evil. The earliest formulation of the Argument from Evil comes from the Greek philosopher Epicurus.

Either God wants to abolish evil and cannot, or he can but does not want to, or he cannot and does not want to, or lastly he can and wants to.

If he wants to remove evil, and cannot, he is not omnipotent; If he can, but does not want to, he is not benevolent; If he neither can nor wants to, he is neither omnipotent nor benevolent; But if God can abolish evil and wants to, how does evil exist?

AG said, "So, virtual particles, imaginary numbers, photons, force fields, etc. are nothing more than concepts in our brain which help to explain natural phenomena.

The reason you want to think this list represents things that people believe exists without evidence (only a concept in their brain) is because god is nothing more than a concept (imaginary) - so why don't we all just believe it?

Modern physics position is clearly that the universe started with something known as quantum vacuum fluctuations or virtual particles. These are particle-antiparticle pairs that come into existence in otherwise empty space for very brief periods of time (the Heisenberg uncertainty principle) virtual particles produce measurable effects, such as the Lamb shift and the Casimir-Polder force.

Tryon (1973) believe that the entire universe might be a massive quantum vacuum fluctuation. If the universe's total energy was zero it would make this possible. The universe could have a total energy of zero if the gravitational energy is negative and energy of matter is positive in the universe, the two could cancel each other out. Neither Heisenberg's uncertainty principle, nor the first law of thermodynamics limits the length of time a quantum vacuum fluctuation of zero total energy could persist, so the longevity of our universe does not rule out a quantum vacuum fluctuation origin. The theory is that a quantum vacuum fluctuations occurred in empty space-time, and that quantum vacuum fluctuation was the source of a local expansion of space-time, which automatically generate matter as a side-effect.

The things you listed as nothing more than concepts are not, and if you've read what I have written about this you will see that you were wrong. Now maybe you will get the picture. There is no stalemate. You just lost.

Since when were far right wing religious fanatic's opinions humble?

Linda,

"No matter how you spin it (the inability to answer a rebuttal) is not a stalemate."

The question of religious beliefs is a personal question, not a scientific one. No amount of scientific facts can refute the hypothesis that God exists. It cannot be decided based on intellect. I can only present reasons why I believe. I cannot prove that what I believe is true. I am not challenging your point of view and I am not trying to convert you, because I know I cannot. If you reject my answers, it does not mean that I was not able to answer.

"I copied your statements and (presented you with an exact copy) along with my arguments and the evidence, until you can do the same (and prove me wrong) there is no stalemate. Your statements were proven wrong with the evidence and it's very clear what you were saying."

We have different goals in these discussions. You seem to have a goal of proving me wrong. My goal is to find a mutual understanding. I don't think either of us can attain our goals. This is why I do not see a point in this argument and am willing to call it a draw. If you disagree that this is a draw, we can continue endlessly, repeating same arguments, but I don't see the point. This is why there is the "threefold repetition" rule in chess.

AG said, "I agree with almost everything you say. It is not my purpose to prove science wrong or inferior to religion. That would be silly."

Yes. This was a shorter version of my previous paragraph.

"In an earlier reply AG said, "Not to brag, but to make a point, I've spent 10 years in college studying physics and electrical engineering. Enough to learn that humans don't know s..t about the universe, life, or themselves. Presenting more scientific facts just confirms my opinion. "God did it" - is the only logical explanation I can come up with." And that took 10 years of college "God did it" please tell me where you went to college? So I can warn people."

This was poor argument technique on my part. My background is irrelevant. I agree. This was my way of saying "I know that I know nothing".

"You and all apologists want to think of brilliant scientists as people that believe in god when practically none do. You can't win an argument without (changing the goal posts) changing what your objectives were or distorting what the other party was saying."

Linda, I fully acknowledge that other people may not believe what I believe. I am very much at peace with this fact (unlike some). How can we reach anything with this argument if we even disagree on what the argument is about? The reason I quote atheists is not to show that they believed in God, but to show that what atheists say can agree with many points made by religion. By the way, how do you know for sure "what I want to think"?

"AG said, "A good opinion. I like that. I understand science and evidence well. To me, relationship with God is like relationship with Father. Imagine, you ask, "Daddy, where do children come from?" You are likely to hear something like "You know, a man and a woman love each other, marry, live together, and in some time they have a baby." If someone is smart enough to ask a question they should get the actual answer. Not a lot of irrelevant prattle. The only reason you think otherwise is ignorance and a fundamentalist upbringing. At a very early age children do learn that plants and animals reproduce as part of their life cycle and that in every life cycle there are distinct processes and stages."

You raise too many issues here. "Shall we simplify our answers to children?" "Is Bible a collection of fairy tales and lies and should not be taught to children or does it make any points worth teaching?" This may take pages to discuss. By the way, how did you infer a "fundamentalist upbringing" from my suggestion to give simplified answers to children? Shouldn't children learn arithmetics before calculus? What's the point of giving children information they cannot understand?

"I know you hope that everyone is being kept ignorant since the bible, that you think is so informative, doesn't know about evolution or understand biological processes."

May I ask how do you know what I hope?

"Well! Just 'Gimme That Old Time Religion' "It's good enough for AG", oh yes, and all you were talking about was "religion makes good philosophical points" since everything else you were saying was wrong - and guess what, so is that statement. Religion is just as worthless in terms of philosophy."

"Value" is subjective. You may have no use for a thing that would be highly valued by another person.

I'm sure that you think the talking snake story (explains the evil and suffering in the world) since that was the intent. If there had been no explanation or argument to explain why evil was allowed in the world it would disprove the existence of god/gods, and that could lead people down the road of questioning and disbelief.

"...The earliest formulation of the Argument from Evil comes from the Greek philosopher Epicurus..."

I am aware of many paradoxes related to faith, evil, omnipotence, etc. I discussed them elsewhere.

"AG said, "So, virtual particles, imaginary numbers, photons, force fields, etc. are nothing more than concepts in our brain which help to explain natural phenomena." The reason you want to think this list represents things that people believe exists without evidence (only a concept in their brain) is because god is nothing more than a concept (imaginary) - so why don't we all just believe it?"

Because not all find the concept of God useful.

"Modern physics position is clearly that the universe started with something known as quantum vacuum fluctuations or virtual particles..."

This is what I call a "threefold repetition". I can find this quote of yours in several places across this forum. Using scientific terms such as "quantum vacuum" does not mean that you say something meaningful or free from contradiction. Meditate on term "quantum vacuum", for example.

"Vacuum" - a space absolutely devoid of matter (one of several definitions). Didn't you (and Hawking) say that there was no space, time, or matter at the moment of the big bang? So, "quantum vacuum" was a what absolutely devoid of what? And what exactly fluctuated? "Fluctuation" - constant change; vacillation; instability. (another dictionary definition) Can you, please, explain how "quantum vacuum fluctuations" (i.e. constant change) occurred in absence of space and time? Somehow, this makes sense to you (while the concept of omnipotent, omniscient, and benevolent God is a complete nonsense, because it contradicts itself). I am not saying that quantum theory is wrong. This shows, however, how a total nonsense can make sense and be useful for something. I would say, I can accept the big bang theory precisely BECAUSE I can accept the concept of God with all its contradictions. When we get to the roots of our knowledge or the universe, logic stops to work. If I were to require logical explanation for everything, sorry, your "vacuum fluctuations" of nothing in the absence of space and time would have to wait in line right next to God before I can believe them.

"The things you listed as nothing more than concepts are not, and if you've read what I have written about this you will see that you were wrong. Now maybe you will get the picture. There is no stalemate. You just lost."

They may be useful concepts, but concepts nonetheless. I get the picture all right. It's somewhat surrealistic, I'd say. And who isn't lost? Feinman and Einstein admitted that nobody fully understands these theories, including themselves.

I still don't see where and why I am wrong. I'm trying to agree with you while saying that I'm making a different point, irrelevant to your arguments. But you seem to have your own idea of what my point is and keep repeating scientific information without trying to understand my point or expose inconsistencies in my reasoning. A mere rejection of a statement without understanding of the statement does not usually prove anything. Note that I'm accepting most of your scientific statements, read books you quote, and try to take them critically and show inconsistencies in these scientific views while acknowledging inconsistencies and logical paradoxes with religion. You seem to be blind to these contradictions in scientific views and accuse me of fundamentalism. Then, when I simply do not reply to your post, you take it as a sign of disrespect or inability to answer. If you think that all I write is nonsense why do you reply? And why do you insist that I reply to your posts if you have 0 interest in what I have to say? That's another paradox to me.

"No amount of scientific facts can refute the hypothesis that God exists."

This is shifting the burden of proof. No amount of evidence can refute the claims about big foot. What is presented without evidence, can be dismissed without evidence. I'm not even sure if God counts as a hypothesis.

"I cannot prove that what I believe is true."

Then why believe it? You don't appear to care wheather your beliefs are true.

Michael,

It's atheists who treat God as a scientific hypothesis. I only have the dreadful "burden of proof" when I try to prove anything. My statement is "I believe in God". I don't have to prove it.

"Then why believe it? You don't appear to care whether your beliefs are true."

I recommend you to research why people believe and how beliefs can be justified. Evidence is only one of the norms to justify beliefs called "epistemic". Beliefs can also be justified, because they are useful for a particular purpose ("prudential justification"). E.g. if I want to sell a product, I should believe that it is useful. "Usefulness" is not a physical property. Evidence of usefulness is subjective. It cannot be conclusively proven by experiment. My desire to sell the product is an acceptable justification for my belief as long as it does not conflict with morals. E.g. if I want to sell a product, I should believe that it is safe. Such belief, if not based on evidence, is immoral. Besides, evidence of safety or unsafety can be obtained. Therefore, I have a moral duty to collect evidence for such belief.

In some cases, belief without prior evidence is required to act and create an evidence for such belief. Without action, evidence cannot be obtained. E.g. "can I trust Michael?" Unless trust you first, I will never know. Declaration of Independence states that human rights are "self-evident". Such belief caused action which confirmed that the belief is beneficial for society. A belief in one's survival sometimes can make a difference between life and death, because beliefs cause people to act in certain way.

There are also immoral ways of obtaining evidence (e.g. reading private letters or testing a new drug on inmates or military personnel).

Read this article: [http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/ethics-belief/] It has extensive references. It's philosophical, not religious.

Why do I believe in God? Because such belief is beneficial to me. It helps me avoid worry, fear, and anxiety. It also provides motivation for moral behavior, such as charity, for example. It also creates a habit of regularly inspecting my motives, desires, words, relations, etc. As long as I align my faith with my morals, and not the other way around, atheists should not mind. I also limit my faith to "spiritual" side of my life where it does not contradict physical experience.

"You don't appear to care wheather your beliefs are true."

For some beliefs, I care, for some it does not really matter, and for some, beliefs create reality and become true that way. The latter is especially true with relations and moral values.

Sorry. I was replying to Linda.

Here is an article regarding attitudes towards religion. I found a link to it on an atheist web site. Read the comments. Most of them are from non-religious people.

http://www.nytimes.com/2012/04/08/opinion/sunday/kristof-learning-to-respect-religion.html?_r=2

Instead of "watching and learning" I made a choice to participate in the game carefully :).

From: Michael Perez AG said: "I cannot prove that what I believe is true."

Then why believe it? You don't appear to care wheather your beliefs are true.

From my discussions with AG I firmly believe he is a "feels good" believer. Evidence either for or against his belief really don't matter because his beliefs give him some form of pleasure and the idea of them not being true gives him some form of pain. He rejects cognitive dissonance by not dealing with it. He rejects concepts that could cause him discomfort by not addressing them. He utterly does not care if his beliefs are true. It's like the old science fiction thought game where a time machine exists that would let a christian go back to the crucifixion an actually find out if it happened and if Jesus returned from the dead to once and for all clear up any question of the authenticity of the christian claims. I've asked dozens of christians this and almost every single one has said that they would *not* go back to find out if what they believe is true. I don't' think that AG would take the trip, either. Taking the trip means that they would be faced with the prospect that their belief might not be grounded in fact and that is something they don't even want to think about.

There is a book that I read a few years ago called "Earthly Remains" written by Peter Hernon where archeologists discover the remains of Jesus and what that meant to christianity. Spoilers follow--Good read, interesting idea and handled in a way that comports with the "feels good" christianity concept in that the Catholic church worked first not to listen at all. But once the remains were verified, at least with almost a 100% certainty, then they worked to suppress the information and, finally, killed to keep that data from ever being known. It was more important to them to perpetuate the lie than admit the truth.

So I believe that is why Christians wouldn't go back to confirm their beliefs because they'd rather not know. Truth doesn't matter.

I was replying to Linda and replyed to AG by accident.

The problem, Michael Perez, is Linda didn't say the quote you posted. Try again. It was your pal AG.

Really? I must have been drunk when I responded.

"From my discussions with AG I firmly believe he is a "feels good" believer. Evidence either for or against his belief really don't matter because his beliefs give him some form of pleasure and the idea of them not being true gives him some form of pain. He rejects cognitive dissonance by not dealing with it. He rejects concepts that could cause him discomfort by not addressing them. He utterly does not care if his beliefs are true."

Mark, I know, people, probably, don't read long posts, but just in case.

In general, you are right. And I know, it sounds "irrational", but I do not view it that way. Beliefs and opinions regarding physical world do need to be supported by evidence whenever possible. So, if the purpose of my faith were to confirm physical existence of Jesus, I might take the trip 2000 years back. But this is not the purpose of faith. The purpose of religious beliefs is to create a sense of purpose for one's life, get psychological sense of confidence and security, and get some principles for moral guidance. These are issues of our consciousness. There can be no material evidence that our life has any purpose or that we will live tomorrow, or that any moral value is better than any other. Faith and tradition is all we have to support our choices in this area. So, yes, "feeling good" and avoiding "feeling bad" is the purpose. Tell me one thing that humans do for any other reason. Some people even feel good from feeling bad.

Sorry, Linda, but science cannot prove that our morality is a product of evolution. We may find evidence of compassion in apes, whales, and dolphins, but what's the evidence that compassion is moral? Just like nobody can show that homosexuality is immoral, there is no evidence that killing is bad either. Spartans considered killing babies who appeared weak beneficial to society. One can collect evidence that killing people who reach the age of 65 will radically solve the social security crisis, boost economy, and cut health care costs. Nazis and KKK used evolution theory to justify racism and extermination of Jews (along with religion). Moral principles depend on the values of particular society. All that we do is based on these values. All moral rules regarding sexual relations in the Bible seem to encourage procreation and population growth including ban on homosexuality and discouraging sexual intercourse during periods, use of contraceptives, abortions, etc. Today, having as many children as possible is not a priority. But issues of human rights are. Therefore, views on homosexuality change. Bottom line - moral beliefs cannot be based on material evidence.

Religion provides a few principles which do bring confidence, comfort, and a sense of security. I do believe that following such rules as "love your neighbor", "do not judge", "do not worry about tomorrow", "do not covet" (do not desire anything beyond the "daily bread") can make me a happier person by decreasing my worry and anxiety, anger, and other negative emotions. And my experience does confirm that as long as I believe it. The evidence is based on my own feelings and emotions, which is not evidence at all for a scientist. Beliefs create willingness to act, and acting on a moral belief creates evidence for it, while acting to disprove the belief disproves it. Waiting for evidence to act is as good as unbelief, because action is required to get the evidence. This is how the "self-evident truths" stated in Declaration of Independence are confirmed - through acting on belief.

Beliefs about physical world are not "self-fulfilled". Physical things, especially, facts about our universe, are not affected by our beliefs, so we can check if such beliefs are true. But our feelings, emotions, and opinions are directly affected by our beliefs.

Now, tell a salesman or a politician that our feelings, emotions, and opinions do not matter. Requiring evidence for every statement is not a cure from being duped. A good salesman will provide plenty of evidence and reasoning why you need to buy the crap he is selling. A good propaganda machine will also provide a lot of evidence for its cause. What matters is what we value in life, our priorities.

I watched the movie "Lorax" with my son the other day. Another fairy tale, but it had a few good points. E.g., Lorax asked Onceler, "Do you know which way a tree falls?" "Down, of course." "No, the tree falls the way it leans. Be careful where you lean." And Onceler asked Lorax after the trees were all gone, "Why couldn't you protect the trees with all your super powers?" Lorax replied, "It's not how it works." It's a side note about values and the "super powers" of God.

Well, these discussions about material evidence for God will never end. There is no material evidence for God. "That's not how it works."

AG said:

Mark, I know, people, probably, don't read long posts, but just in case.

In general, you are right. And I know, it sounds "irrational", but I do not view it that way. Beliefs and opinions regarding physical world do need to be supported by evidence whenever possible. So, if the purpose of my faith were to confirm physical existence of Jesus, I might take the trip 2000 years back. But this is not the purpose of faith. The purpose of religious beliefs is to create a sense of purpose for one's life, get psychological sense of confidence and security, and get some principles for moral guidance. These are issues of our consciousness. There can be no material evidence that our life has any purpose or that we will live tomorrow, or that any moral value is better than any other. Faith and tradition is all we have to support our choices in this area. So, yes, "feeling good" and avoiding "feeling bad" is the purpose. Tell me one thing that humans do for any other reason.

Mental development is an important aspect of maturity. When we are young, and less developed, we can and do maintain beliefs based upon comfort, utility at easing tension, providing us with joy. But as we mature childhood beliefs are replaced with beliefs based upon evidence regardless of how much our newfound understanding and information is painful to acknowledge. There are things in this wold that we must face up to in order for function. This is true of everything except religion. Religious people hold on to this "santa" even though there is no evidence, mature, adult evidence that he exists at all. And then they want to base their life on the concept when the reality, mature adult reality is more than sufficient to base their life upon and works infinitely better as it is the basis of all other aspects of their life. So in this regard, sure it would be wonderful if Santa existed and he brought all the good little boys and girls, even those who have reached the age of majority and beyond, just what the want and or deserve in life. But we have this thing called intelligence. And while belief in fairy tales or magic is certainly comforting, upon further analysis, it just don't work once we begin to understand our lives and science and our place in the universe. Yep, it's be nice if we could "live" forever in a paradise of happiness and joy. And wouldn't it be nice to not have to worry about morality and ethics cause "god" has got this covered. And it would be great if we could say our existence was predetermined by a supreme father-being who is our protector and our benefactor. And then there's aids and rabies and rape and horrible death and destruction on a truly "BIBLICAL" scale and no evidence that Santa is going to step in and save the day.

Some of us grow up. Which isn't to say that that is bad. I am much happier since I gave up mythos for the reality that we are all stardust. That when we die we cease to exist as what we are in our minds but continue to exist as what we are materially, recycled until the eventual heat death of the universe.

AG said:

Well, these discussions about material evidence for God will never end. There is no material evidence for God. "That's not how it works."

See this is what is so infuriating. Why not? Why can't god show all of us of his existence? Why can't he come down to earth and let us know everything about him? Why doesn't it work that way? Why did the creator of life, the universe, and everything stop coming to earth back when people were just entering the iron age?

AG quoting Linda without my name in front, "Modern physics position is clearly that the universe started with something known as quantum vacuum fluctuations or virtual particles..." AG said, "This is what I call a "threefold repetition". I can find this quote of yours in several places across this forum. Using scientific terms such as "quantum vacuum" does not mean that you say something meaningful or free from contradiction. Meditate on term "quantum vacuum", for example."

To start with the terms quantum fluctuation and virtual particles were used in one discussion about the origin of the universe. I explained everything with excruciating detail, which you never do. It's obvious that you don't understand quantum physics because you do not have a scientific education, and that's why you can't comprehend the concept.

AG said, "Vacuum" - a space absolutely devoid of matter (one of several definitions). Didn't you (and Hawking) say that there was no space, time, or matter at the moment of the big bang? So, "quantum vacuum" was a what absolutely devoid of what? And what exactly fluctuated? "Fluctuation" - constant change; vacillation; instability. (another dictionary definition) Can you, please, explain how "quantum vacuum fluctuations" (i.e. constant change) occurred in absence of space and time?

As most first graders know a dictionary definition of a word is not the same thing as a scientific explanation of something. You are really simply saying something can't come from nothing and most physicists today disagree because they know that vacuum fluctuations or virtual particles are particle-antiparticle pairs that come into existence in otherwise empty space for very brief periods of time, in agreement with the Heisenberg uncertainty principle. They produce measurable effects, such as the Lamb shift and the Casimir-Polder force. These particles are not anomalies; they are very common. If empty space is nothing then an example of something that can come from nothing is that space is filled with virtual particles.

AG said, "Somehow, this makes sense to you (while the concept of omnipotent, omniscient, and benevolent God is a complete nonsense, because it contradicts itself). I am not saying that quantum theory is wrong. This shows, however, how a total nonsense can make sense and be useful for something."

We use scientific discoveries or theories to solve problems. The God theory creates more problems than it solves and can't be used to advance any discipline. The Bible is just an incoherent book filled with the rantings and ravings of primitive superstitious people.

AG said, "I would say, I can accept the big bang theory precisely BECAUSE I can accept the concept of God with all its contradictions. When we get to the roots of our knowledge or the universe, logic stops to work. If I were to require logical explanation for everything, sorry, your "vacuum fluctuations" of nothing in the absence of space and time would have to wait in line right next to God before I can believe them."

If you're implying The Big Bang Theory is as nonsensical, stupid or contradictory as God exists theory then you don't need to try to understand anything scientific. You sure don't understand astrophysics. Since 1973 physicists have believed that the entire universe might be a massive quantum vacuum fluctuation. The key feature of the universe that would make this possible would be a total energy of zero. The universe could have a total energy of zero because of gravitational energy that is negative when summed with the positive energy of the matter in the universe, the two quantities cancel out. Neither Heisenberg's uncertainty principle, nor the first law of thermodynamics, place any limit on the length of time a quantum vacuum fluctuation of zero total energy could persist, so the longevity of our universe does not rule out a quantum vacuum fluctuation origin. The proposal is not that the entire universe appeared in one shot, but that a quantum vacuum fluctuation served as the seed for a local expansion of space-time, which would automatically generate matter as a side-effect.

AG quoting Linda without the name: "The things you listed as nothing more than concepts are not, and if you've read what I have written about this you will see that you were wrong. Now maybe you will get the picture. There is no stalemate. You just lost." AG said, "They may be useful concepts, but concepts nonetheless. I get the picture all right. It's somewhat surrealistic, I'd say. And who isn't lost? Feinman and Einstein admitted that nobody fully understands these theories, including themselves.

Richard Feynman and Stephen Hawking are considered by many physicists the most important theoretical physicist of the second half of the twentieth century. Wheeler took Feynman's ideas to Einstein, and Wheeler told Einstein "that Feynman had found a beautiful picture to understand the probability amplitude for a dynamical system to go from one specified configuration at one time to another specified configuration at a later time. He treats on a footing of absolute equality every conceivable history that leads from the initial state to the final one, no matter how crazy the motion in between. The contributions of these histories differ - in phase. And the phase is nothing but the classical action integral, apart from the Dirac factor, h. This prescription reproduces all of standard quantum theory. How could one ever want a simpler way to see what quantum theory is all about." Einstein was looking for the theory of everything or (what may be M - Theory) when he died.

AG said, "I still don't see where and why I am wrong. I'm trying to agree with you while saying that I'm making a different point, irrelevant to your arguments. But you seem to have your own idea of what my point is and keep repeating scientific information without trying to understand my point or expose inconsistencies in my reasoning."

I've exposed plenty of inconsistencies in your reasoning but you are so far gone that you will never understand it.

AG said, "A mere rejection of a statement without understanding of the statement does not usually prove anything. Note that I'm accepting most of your scientific statements, read books you quote, and try to take them critically and show inconsistencies in these scientific views while acknowledging inconsistencies and logical paradoxes with religion."

You are the one trying to equate religious drivel with science. A scientific theory with inconsistencies and contradictions would never get off the ground. Who the hell are you trying to kid? As time goes by problems are resolved when a hypothesis becomes a theory but with the God hypothesis that is not happening. We find that a Creator is not necessary for anything to exists.

AG said, "You seem to be blind to these contradictions in scientific views and accuse me of fundamentalism. Then, when I simply do not reply to your post, you take it as a sign of disrespect or inability to answer. If you think that all I write is nonsense why do you reply? And why do you insist that I reply to your posts if you have 0 interest in what I have to say? That's another paradox to me."

You don't answer what I post you simply distort what I'm saying because you can't dispute any of it. You butted in on a discussion to discredit science and shore up your creationist stance. Go back and read where you first chimed in; first you tried to discredit science, then you tried to claim that a scripture about pruning a grape vine was talking about evolution, but you weren't trying to convert anyone. Why are you posting scripture on an atheist website and disputing well known scientific theory in favor of biblical nonsense if you're not trying to convert anyone?

In another post: AG said, "Nazis and KKK used evolution theory to justify racism and extermination of Jews (along with religion). Moral principles depend on the values of particular society."

I guess moral principles was behind the Ku Klux Klan rally in Dayton, TN, to urge the conviction of John Scopes on the charge of teaching evolution, and when Scopes's prosecutor William Jennings Bryan died shortly after the trial, the Klan burned crosses in his memory, calling him "the greatest Klansman of our time." Creationist's have been trying to link the theory of evolution with racism and Hitler for a very long time. This kind of smear campaign is a tactic to discredit modern evolutionary biology while propping up creationism. The accusation has never had any basis in fact.

The Eugenics Movement (had nothing to do with Darwin's theory of Evolution) eugenics is ordinarily associated with Nazi Germany, but in fact, it started in America. Not only that, but it continued here long after Hitler's Germany was in ruins. It was a government policy meant to rid America of all disease, lower the crime rate and increase the wealth of our nation by preventing the reproduction of malfunctioning people. Many people in America were sterilized because eugenicists believed that certain traits should be eliminated from the human gene pool. The eugenicists thought programs to help these people were a waste of money and they sought a way to eliminate them.

The so-called confusion between turn-of-the-century eugenics and evolution is deliberate because Darwin's Theory of Evolution states that all life is related and has descended from a common ancestor. All life is related doesn't smack of racism. The theory of evolution is not advocating any social program, it is strictly about how life evolved on this planet. There is nothing about eugenics that explains "the origin of the species." The only thing eugenics offered was the idea that people considered genetically inferior should not reproduce. It is obvious that eugenics was not a scientific theory that explained the origin of life (it was a means of ridding society of those who were deemed undesirables) and there's nothing new with that theory, it was around in ancient history, the Greeks namely Spartans threw newborns off cliffs if they had defects.

Darwin's theory in general is that life develops from non-life and by a purely naturalistic (without intervention) descent with modification. Complex creatures evolve from more simplistic ancestors naturally over time, as random genetic mutations occur within an organism's genetic code, the beneficial mutations are preserved because they aid survival (a process known as natural selection) and these beneficial mutations are passed on to the next generation. Over time, beneficial mutations accumulate and the result is an entirely different organism (not just a variation of the original, but an entirely different creature) from this perspective defective life forms would naturally be the recessive allele, therefore it is impossible to connect "the theory of evolution" with "eugenics" or any extermination program.

Also, it's interesting that at the height of the eugenics movement the people of Tennessee put a teacher on trial for teaching evolution. The law Scopes broke was against teaching evolution, not against teaching racism. The idea that racism was caused by "the theory of evolution" is ludicrous, as if the people in the South got their ideas about the superiority of the white race or that they shouldn't have children with the weak-minded nose pickers because they were reading Charles Darwin's "Origin of Species" published in 1859 - or any other science book - Tee Hee! Christianity and racism have been around much longer than the theory of evolution, which has only been around since 1859.

It is especially interesting that during the eugenics movement there was no knowledge that DNA carried genes, even Darwin knew nothing about DNA, but Darwin did suspect that complex behavior did not have a single cause.

Eugenicists didn't take into account the impact that the environment plays into a person's phenotype, and they didn't take into account the cultural differences when testing intelligence. Therefore, the eugenicists work wasn't scientific.

The god-bots have tried to blame every bad thing in the world, including the Nazis on science because science has discredited the Biblical Creation story. There are no answers in Genesis. Science does prove that nothing was created and furthermore nothing in the bible is an accurate depiction of how the universe or life in the universe originated.

There is no evidence to support any of the claims made in the Bible concerning the existence of a god. There is no support for historical accuracy of the Bible or any of the numerous supernatural claims. It's all hearsay.

If the Bible is the inspired word of God why doesn't He know how the Universe or life started? And don't give me that drippy story about how God is talking to stupid children and that's why he's telling them all of those really dumb ass stories.

The Bible is a storybook that belongs in the fiction section, because just like all of the mythology about gods the Bible does not constitute evidence for the existence of god/gods. The Bible is not different from other ancient writings. But what does have to be noted is that the Bible is erroneous concerning anything scientific and it's filled with inaccuracies and contradictions. And this is the reason that AG has tried to discredit scientific theories. He interrupts discussions to discredit science over other issues and now it's about evolution is racist. The race card is a ploy to remove evolution and replace it with the religious concept of divine creation.

The Nazi racist ideology came from religious indoctrination Hitler was opposed to Darwinism and denounced evolution. It's humorous because many racist policies originated from creationist arguments and beliefs. The belief that the Almighty created the races different, and He placed them on separate continents. The fact that He separated the races shows that He did not intend for the races to mix.

It's amazing that you think you can convince someone that there is no more evidence for the big bang theory or evolution than there is for creationism; or the existence of God, when nothing supernatural or created exists, and everything that we know about the origin of life and the universe has been through scientific discovery.

Mark said: "Some of us grow up. Which isn't to say that that is bad. I am much happier since I gave up myths for the reality that we are all stardust. That when we die we cease to exist as what we are in our minds but continue to exist as what we are materially, recycled until the eventual heat death of the universe.

AG said: Well, these discussions about material evidence for God will never end. There is no material evidence for God. "That's not how it works." -- See this is what is so infuriating. Why not? Why can't god show all of us of his existence? Why can't he come down to earth and let us know everything about him? Why doesn't it work that way? Why did the creator of life, the universe, and everything stop coming to earth back when people were just entering the iron age?"

"Why not?" is a philosophical question. Things don't always work the way we expect them to work or the way we want them to work. Being "infuriated" by this reality is not very useful. It would be nice to have material evidence for everything, but it seems to be just another illusion to think that it's possible. And that's the message I get from religion. People tend to think of God when reality is either unknown or fundamentally subjective (in matters concerning our emotions, feelings, relationships, intentions, likes/dislikes, passions, attitudes, etc.). "God knows", essentially means "nobody knows" or "there is no way to know". To me, it's just a way of thinking about the world and acknowledging that most things in this world are out of my control and beyond my knowledge and understanding, and that's cool.

Now, is it a depressing thought or an inspiration? You, probably know a joke about two shoe salesmen arriving to a third-world country. One emails back to his boss "The situation is hopeless. Nobody wears shoes in this country." The other one writes "Nobody wears shoes in this country. The opportunity is unlimited."

"The secret things belong to the LORD our God, but the things revealed belong to us and to our children forever, that we may follow all the words of this law." -- Deuteronomy 29:29. In a sense, the more we look for God in material world, the more we find where he is NOT.

"When you mislay a certain something, keep your cool, and don't get hot, calculatus eliminatus is the best friend that you've got, calculatus eliminatus always helps an awful lot, the way to find a missing something is to find out where it's not." (if you think, it's Dr. Seuss, check the facts.)

A good place to look for God is inside oneself.

BTW, belief in "heat death of the universe" is no better than belief in life everlasting. Just because the idea is coming from respectable scientific minds does not make it "reasonable" or "justified", because it's "based on evidence". "Evidence available to-date", mind you. In 3 thousand years, if humans are still around, these ideas may sound as naive as the sun going around the flat earth. That's another thought I got reading the creation story from the Bible. I'm sure, it represented the best scientific knowledge of the time based on the latest available "evidence" and "common sense".

AG said: Well, these discussions about material evidence for God will never end. There is no material evidence for God. "That's not how it works." --

Mark Loy wrote: See this is what is so infuriating. Why not? Why can't god show all of us of his existence? Why can't he come down to earth and let us know everything about him? Why doesn't it work that way? Why did the creator of life, the universe, and everything stop coming to earth back when people were just entering the iron age?"

AG wrote "Why not?" is a philosophical question. Things don't always work the way we expect them to work or the way we want them to work. Being "infuriated" by this reality is not very useful.

My infuriation is with the idea that people will not really address the inconsistency of their belief but will instead apologize for it and say, "that's just the way it works." Remember my "absent God" idea? Any sufficiently absent god is indistinguishable from fiction. The christian god is absent, as absent as Zeus, Ra, and Thor, but christians will simply gloss over this and say that that is god's plan or some such blather. And yes, I mean blather. When I talked to a good friend who is a devout Christian and I told him that I have a problem with a god that allows 9 million children under the age of five to die each year he said that the ways of god are inscrutable. Really? An all-loving god who doesn't do anything about millions of innocents dying but supposedly hears and answers the prayers of millions of americans is not inscrutable but is instead cold-blooded lunacy. It is infuriating the way Christians will blow off these things as if it's perfectly logical. There is no logical reason for anything in religion. None. When I, or someone on this forum, points out that it is rather ludicrous to believe in a being without evidence and without actual benefit or without even a modicum of consistency they will simply shrug their shoulders and say that that is just the way it is. And that is almost the definition of infuriating.

AG said: BTW, belief in "heat death of the universe" is no better than belief in life everlasting. Just because the idea is coming from respectable scientific minds does not make it "reasonable" or "justified", because it's "based on evidence". "Evidence available to-date", mind you. In 3 thousand years, if humans are still around, these ideas may sound as naive as the sun going around the flat earth. That's another thought I got reading the creation story from the Bible. I'm sure, it represented the best scientific knowledge of the time based on the latest available "evidence" and "common sense".

Everlasting life. You mean you don't die? That is demonstrably false. Actually, no, you would, according to Christianity, simply exist in eternity, not alive, as we currently define life, but as a soul bereft of body existing in an everlasting continuum of something else. Actually that would be everlasting death with benefits as opposed to everlasting death with punishment. You can't equate this kind of wishful thinking to the current state of scientific reasoning. One is evidence based and the other is one of literally hundreds of after death scenarios developed by the mind of man in order to ease our minds regarding death. I watched "through the wormhole" last night and they talked about the current understanding of the fate of the universe and it sort of ends up pretty bleak, if you're an inhabitant of said universe, I mean, as in a few hundred gazillion years it'll all be no "normal" matter but instead a universe of dark matter and dark energy. Creepy. Depressing, in a really long term way of feeling bad as in feeling really upset the the sun will turn into a red-giant kind of way. But that's the point of science--unlike religion you can't just decide not to agree with those things that you don't find palatable. You pays your ticket, you takes your ride.

But above you talked about the people of the time of the writing of the bible putting down their best idea of scientific theory of creation and I got to tell you it made me laugh. I've written before that there is nothing in the bible that wasn't' known or believed to be true by the people at the time of the writing. But if God was the ultimate author, he would have to have known that you couldn't reach heaven, just above the sky, with a tall building, and all the other stuff that the bible gets wrong about the universe. God should have had these ignorant schmucks write things they DIDN'T know. That would be evidence of his existence. But, that's not the way the world works.

<!sigh>

AG said: "Well, these discussions about material evidence for God will never end. There is no material evidence for God. "That's not how it works."

Christians claim God is the "first cause" of Creation and that is proof that there is a God. Sorry AG, maybe you should take Bible 101 again. God/gods was how primitive people explained the universe before science came along. Primitive man thought there were many gods. There was a god for everything; the wind, waters, stars and the sun and moon were gods. Most every phenomenon or happening was attributed to some god that "did it" or magic. For most of human history there were many gods the "one true god" is (in the scheme of things) very recent in human history.

AG said, "Why not?" is a philosophical question. Things don't always work the way we expect them to work or the way we want them to work. Being "infuriated" by this reality is not very useful. It would be nice to have material evidence for everything, but it seems to be just another illusion to think that it's possible."

Claims that are not testable are simply useless. If the Universe, humans, plants etc. were created on creation week, why does it appear that everything evolved naturally, fossils and all. This claim is certainly not consistent with the evidence and makes no predictions that can be tested against future observations. In fact, it actually eliminates the observable, testable scientific fact that everything is the result of "Evolution" not Creation. It is therefore important to identify untestable claims as worthless to the advancement of knowledge. They can't be eliminated through evidence; consequently they don't answer a thing. An invisible, untestable god is indistinguishable from nothing.

AG said, "And that's the message I get from religion. People tend to think of God when reality is either unknown or fundamentally subjective (in matters concerning our emotions, feelings, relationships, intentions, likes/dislikes, passions, attitudes, etc.)."

Test show no differences between theist and atheist answers to moral dilemmas; there is no difference. This is just one more thing that has lead scientists to believe morality came before religion, as well as, the study of primates. Morality evolved.

AG said, "God knows", essentially means "nobody knows" or "there is no way to know". To me, it's just a way of thinking about the world and acknowledging that most things in this world are out of my control and beyond my knowledge and understanding, and that's cool."

No, your attitude sucks! And it's very uncool! If there were many people in the world who believed that most things were beyond their knowledge or understanding we would still be living in the stone age? The reason for your lack of curiosity and attitude of defeat (nobody will ever know) is the fact that you are very poorly educated. You also don't seem to have a very good grip on your emotions.

AG said, "Now, is it a depressing thought or an inspiration? You, probably know a joke about two shoe salesmen arriving to a third-world country. One emails back to his boss "The situation is hopeless. Nobody wears shoes in this country." The other one writes "Nobody wears shoes in this country. The opportunity is unlimited."

Bah Waaah! That's one hell of a funny story? But I think the salesman needed to ask a few more questions before he decided anything. Why do none of the people have shoes? Are most of the people unemployed, and what about the economy? If nobody has a job how will they buy shoes? As usual, the fundamentalists will find that the devil is in the details that they don't want to face.

AG said, "The secret things belong to the LORD our God, but the things revealed belong to us and to our children forever, that we may follow all the words of this law." -- Deuteronomy 29:29. In a sense, the more we look for God in material world, the more we find where he is NOT."

Well, "Eagles may soar, but weasels don't get sucked into jet engines." Never mind that your colloquialisms fails because it's well known that when a question was asked that the ignorant Church Fathers couldn't answer they relied upon "it's a mystery" one of God's little secrets, but when someone found the answer (or made on up) it was revealed to them.

AG said, "When you mislay a certain something, keep your cool, and don't get hot, calculatus eliminatus is the best friend that you've got, calculatus eliminatus always helps an awful lot, the way to find a missing something is to find out where it's not." (if you think, it's Dr. Seuss, check the facts.) A good place to look for God is inside oneself."

It's the only place to look for something that doesn't exists because it's a figment of someone's imagination.

AG said, "BTW, belief in "heat death of the universe" is no better than belief in life everlasting. Just because the idea is coming from respectable scientific minds does not make it "reasonable" or "justified", because it's "based on evidence". "Evidence available to-date", mind you.

There are some speculations that there will be no end.There is no official scientific or provable "theory" about the end of everything. Everything ending with fire is straight from the Bible. 2 Peter 3:12-14 - "But the day of the Lord will come like a thief. The heavens will disappear with a roar; the elements will be destroyed by fire, and the earth and everything in it will be laid bare. Since everything will be destroyed in this way, what kind of people ought you to be? You ought to live holy and godly lives as you look forward to the day of God and speed its coming. That day will bring about the destruction of the heavens by fire, and the elements will melt in the heat. But in keeping with his promise we are looking forward to a new heaven and a new earth, the home of righteousness. So then, dear friends, since you are looking forward to this, make every effort to be found spotless, blameless and at peace with him."

When Constantine first started terrorizing and forcing Christianity on the public as a state religion the educated people regarded it as a superstition for the ignorant. At that time Rome had more knowledge, science, wisdom and wealth than any city had ever known. Rome ruled most of the known world for centuries.

Christianity brought on a thousand years of ignorance, squalor and filth, dragging the civilization of the whole of Europe down with it. That is when the world entered 'The Dark Ages', one reason being it was necessary to burn scholarly books and dumb down the public in order for Christianity to prevail. We can trace the rapid decline of the Roman Empire and the Western world descent into the Dark Ages to the rise of Christianity. Once the church leaders got control of the publication of books, they launched an all out destruction of civilization.

AG said, "In 3 thousand years, if humans are still around, these ideas may sound as naive as the sun going around the flat earth. That's another thought I got reading the creation story from the Bible. I'm sure, it represented the best scientific knowledge of the time based on the latest available "evidence" and "common sense"."

The Bible is supposed to be the inspired 'Word of God' who supposedly created everything. If that were true there shouldn't be any errors, but we all know that the Bible is filled with errors and contradictions.

Now maybe AG could answer my reply From: Linda (Posted Apr 17, 2012 at 11:37 pm)

Follow us on:

twitter facebook meetup

blip.tv ustream.tv

From the officers:

The audio and video from Steve Bratteng's July 13th lecture are now available.