Answering Dr. Dino: a handy reference

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Answering Dr. Dino: a handy reference

Postby Darth Wong » 2004-01-24 10:13am

Dr. Dino once produced a "list" for his followers to trot out whenever they find an evolutionist:
Dr. Dino wrote: 1. Where did the space for the universe come from?

2. Where did matter come from?

3. Where did the laws of the universe come from (gravity, inertia, etc.)?

4. How did matter get so perfectly organized?

5. Where did the energy come from to do all the organizing?

6. When, where, why, and how did life come from non-living matter?

7. When, where, why, and how did life learn to reproduce itself?

8. With what did the first cell capable of sexual reproduction reproduce?

9. Why would any plant or animal want to reproduce more of its kindsince this would only make more mouths to feed and decrease the chances of survival? (Does the individual have a drive to survive, or the species? How do you explain this?)

10. How can mutations (recombining of the genetic code) create any new, improved varieties? (Recombining English letters will never produce Chinese books.)

11. Is it possible that similarities in design between different animals prove a common Creator instead of a common ancestor?

12. Natural selection only works with the genetic information available and tends only to keep a species stable. How would you explain the increasing complexity in the genetic code that must have occurred if evolution were true?

13. When, where, why, and how did:

* Single-celled plants become multi-celled? (Where are the two and three-celled intermediates?)
* Single-celled animals evolve?
* Fish change to amphibians?
* Amphibians change to reptiles?
* Reptiles change to birds? (The lungs, bones, eyes,reproductive organs, heart, method of locomotion, body covering, etc., are all very different!)

How did the intermediate forms live?

14. When, where, why, how, and from what did:

* Whales evolve?
* Sea horses evolve?
* bats evolve?
* Eyes evolve?
* Ears evolve?
* Hair, skin, feathers, scales, nails, claws, etc., evolve?

15. Which evolved first how, and how long, did it work without the others)?

* The digestive system, the food to be digested, the appetite, the ability to find and eat the food, the digestive juices, or the body’s resistance to its own digestive juice (stomach, intestines, etc.)?
* The drive to reproduce or the ability to reproduce?
* The lungs, the mucus lining to protect them, the throat, or the perfect mixture of gases to be breathed into the lungs?
* DNA or RNA to carry the DNA message to cell parts?
* The termite or the flagella in its intestines that actually digest the cellulose?
* The plants or the insects that live on and pollinate the plants?
* The bones, ligaments, tendons, blood supply, or muscles to move the bones?
* The nervous system, repair system, or hormone system?
* The immune system or the need for it?

16. There are many thousands of examples of symbiosis that defy an evolutionary explanation. Why must we teach students that evolution is the only explanation for these relationships?

17. How would evolution explain mimicry? Did the plants and animals develop mimicry by chance, by their intelligent choice, or by design?

18. When, where, why, and how did man evolve feelings? Love, mercy, guilt, etc. would never evolve in the theory of evolution.

19. *How did photosynthesis evolve?

20. *How did thought evolve?

21. *How did flowering plants evolve, and from that?

22. *What kind of evolutionist are you? Why are you not one of the other eight or ten kinds?

23. What would you have said fifty years ago if I told you I had a living coelacanth in my aquarium?

24. *Is there one clear prediction of macroevolution that has proved true?

25. *What is so scientific about the idea of hydrogen as becoming human?

26. *Do you honestly believe that everything came from nothing?



After you have answered the preceding questions, please look carefully at your answers and thoughtfully consider the following questions.

1. Are you sure your answers are reasonable, right, and scientifically provable, or do you just believe that it may have happened the way you have answered? (Do these answers reflect your religion or your science?)

2. Do your answers show more or less faith than the person who says, "God must have designed it"?

3. Is it possible that an unseen Creator designed this universe? If God is excluded at the beginning of the discussion by your definition of science, how could it be shown that He did create the universe if He did?

4. Is it wise and fair to present the theory of evolution to students as fact?

5. What is the end result of a belief in evolution (lifestyle, society, attitude about others, eternal destiny, etc.)?

6. Do people accept evolution because of the following factors?

* It is all they have been taught.
* They like the freedom from God (no moral absolutes, etc.).
* They are bound to support the theory for fear of losing their job or status or grade point average.
* They are too proud to admit they are wrong.
* Evolution is the only philosophy that can be used to justify their political agenda.

7. Should we continue to use outdated, disproved, questionable, or inconclusive evidences to support the theory of evolution because we don’t have a suitable substitute (Piltdown man, recapitulation, archaeopteryx, Lucy, Java man, Neanderthal man, horse evolution, vestigial organs, etc.)?

8. Should parents be allowed to require that evolution not be taught as fact in their school system unless equal time is given to other theories of origins (like divine creation)?

9. What are you risking if you are wrong? As one of my debate opponents said, "Either there is a God or there is not. Both possibilities are frightening."

10. Why are many evolutionists afraid of the idea of creationism being presented in public schools? If we are not supposed to teach religion in schools, then why not get evolution out of the textbooks? It is just a religious worldview.


EDIT: de-sticky-fied and moved to new forum.
Last edited by Darth Wong on 2007-11-05 02:17pm, edited 1 time in total.
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"It's not evil for God to do it. Or for someone to do it at God's command."- Jonathan Boyd on baby-killing

"you guys are fascinated with the use of those "rules of logic" to the extent that you don't really want to discussus anything."- GC

"I do not believe Russian Roulette is a stupid act" - Embracer of Darkness

"Viagra commercials appear to save lives" - tharkûn on US health care.

http://www.stardestroyer.net/Mike/RantMode/Blurbs.html

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Postby Darth Wong » 2004-01-24 10:14am

I suggest the following answer:

1. Where did the space for the universe come from?

Where did God come from? At least we know the universe exists.
2. Where did matter come from?

Where did God come from? At least we know that mass exists.
3. Where did the laws of the universe come from (gravity, inertia, etc.)?

Where did God come from? At least we know that the laws of the universe exist.
4. How did matter get so perfectly organized?

It is not perfectly organized. Most of the universe is chaotic.
5. Where did the energy come from to do all the organizing?

When you light a match in a cloud of hydrogen and oxygen, it "organizes" itself into ordered groups of H2O. This is caused by the nature of matter, not by some kind of magical "energy" input.
6. When, where, why, and how did life come from non-living matter?

We don't know precisely when, but at some point the planet was covered with mindless nonsentient life; a state which persisted for billions of years. This is clearly shown in the fossil record. The only theory which can explain this using observable phenomena is chemical abiogenesis, which posits a primitive RNA-like self-replicating molecule.

The alternative, of course, is to buy into Dr. Dino's theory that something called "God" did it. Naturally, he cannot explain how God did it, and God himself is inscrutable, so his theory is really a long-winded way of saying "I don't know either".
7. When, where, why, and how did life learn to reproduce itself?

Rhetorical repetition of the previous question. Since the first "living organism" would have been a mere molecule that tends to produce certain reactions through catalysis, no "learning" was required.
8. With what did the first cell capable of sexual reproduction reproduce?

Ask the nearest plant. Half of the world's plants can reproduce asexually or sexually. They demonstrate the "missing link" for the evolution of sexual reproduction.
9. Why would any plant or animal want to reproduce more of its kindsince this would only make more mouths to feed and decrease the chances of survival? (Does the individual have a drive to survive, or the species? How do you explain this?)

The drive to reproduce is an obvious evolutionary trait, since evolutionary success is defined by propagation over multiple generations. In short, given two species, one of which has a drive to reproduce and the other does not, the one with a drive to reproduce will not go extinct. This is painfully obvious to anyone with a functioning brain.
10. How can mutations (recombining of the genetic code) create any new, improved varieties? (Recombining English letters will never produce Chinese books.)

"False analogy" fallacy. Recombining English letters can and does produce new English words, which is all we're interested in. Since every single life form on Earth shares the same base nucleotide pairs, there was never a need to produce "words" in a different "language". In fact, our shared biochemical heritage is one of the proofs of common ancestry.

BTW, bacterial mutations demonstrate clearly that this question is nonsense, since what he describes as impossible is actually quite commonplace. And in fact, we are all slightly mutated relative to one another, which is why all humans are not identical. Do not confuse real biological mutation with the kind of mutation you see in "The X-Men". It does not produce freaks or magic powers; a good example of a mutation is Shaquille O'Neal.
11. Is it possible that similarities in design between different animals prove a common Creator instead of a common ancestor?

Sure. However, the logical principle of parsimony, aka Occam's Razor, demands that you actually provide evidence of this Creator's existence and a testable definition before it can be considered a viable theory to compete with common ancestry. Got one handy?
12. Natural selection only works with the genetic information available and tends only to keep a species stable. How would you explain the increasing complexity in the genetic code that must have occurred if evolution were true?

This isn't difficult; one of the things which can happen in reproduction is something called gene duplication, where a gene is doubled. This gene can then be modified, thus adding new "information".
13. When, where, why, and how did:

* Single-celled plants become multi-celled? (Where are the two and three-celled intermediates?)

Why do we have to know exactly where and when this happened in order to know that it was possible?
* Single-celled animals evolve?

See above.
* Fish change to amphibians?

See above. BTW, go look at a lungfish sometime. It's pretty obvious how it happened.
* Amphibians change to reptiles?

See above. BTW, a lot of amphibians are reptiles. No "change" was requird. Perhaps you should try opening a zoology book sometime.
* Reptiles change to birds? (The lungs, bones, eyes,reproductive organs, heart, method of locomotion, body covering, etc., are all very different!)

Actually, some of the ancient dinosaurs were virtually birds already, specifically the flying varieties (you did know there were flying varieties of dinosaur, right? :roll:)
How did the intermediate forms live?

Lungfish, for example, live quite well even today. What does Dr. Dino think an "intermediate form" looks like? Does he realize that an "intermediate" form is not some kind of freakish life form but rather, any life form whose evolutionary path is not a dead-end? Does he realize that we could be an intermediate form? Do you?
14. When, where, why, how, and from what did:

* Whales evolve?
* Sea horses evolve?
* bats evolve?
* Eyes evolve?
* Ears evolve?
* Hair, skin, feathers, scales, nails, claws, etc., evolve?

He obviously subscribes to the "lazy attack" method of argument against evolution theory, where he just challenges you to know everything about every species of he declares victory by default. As I said earlier, this is yet another example of his use of the "appeal to ignorance" fallacy. Can he show that the predictions of evolution theory are inconsistent with the fossil records of these creatures? Can you? Why does he feel that whales and dolphins could not have evolved, and how does he explain vestigial features in both of them, such as the fact that the dolphin contains a complete skeleton of a hand inside its flippers? Why does he feel that items such as eyes and epidermal features could not have evolved, even though more primitive versions of all are found in various animals even today?
15. Which evolved first how, and how long, did it work without the others)?

* The digestive system, the food to be digested, the appetite, the ability to find and eat the food, the digestive juices, or the body’s resistance to its own digestive juice (stomach, intestines, etc.)?
* The drive to reproduce or the ability to reproduce?
* The lungs, the mucus lining to protect them, the throat, or the perfect mixture of gases to be breathed into the lungs?
* DNA or RNA to carry the DNA message to cell parts?
* The termite or the flagella in its intestines that actually digest the cellulose?
* The plants or the insects that live on and pollinate the plants?
* The bones, ligaments, tendons, blood supply, or muscles to move the bones?
* The nervous system, repair system, or hormone system?
* The immune system or the need for it?

Honestly, this "explain everything in the universe or I win" debate technique is not only tiresome, but highly fallacious. Can you show why any of this is not possible under the laws of nature, hence requiring divine intervention?
16. There are many thousands of examples of symbiosis that defy an evolutionary explanation. Why must we teach students that evolution is the only explanation for these relationships?

Show how they defy an evolutionary explanation.
17. How would evolution explain mimicry? Did the plants and animals develop mimicry by chance, by their intelligent choice, or by design?

What does he mean by mimicry? If he's talking about something like the chameleon, there is a "survival of the fittest" explanation which is so obvious that you'd have to be either blind or stupid not to get it.
18. When, where, why, and how did man evolve feelings? Love, mercy, guilt, etc. would never evolve in the theory of evolution.

Why does he think that Man had to evolve feelings? Does it occur to him that all animals have emotions, not just us? Has he ever owned a pet? And why is the usefulness of emotion not obvious to him? Love and lust are necessary for procreation. Desire for food, territory, etc. are necessary for survival. Fear is necesssary for survival.
19. *How did photosynthesis evolve?

Obviously, since electromagnetic energy can catalyze certain chemical reactions, early organisms would thrive if they employed those reactions.
20. *How did thought evolve?

Since there is a continuous spectrum of organisms between unthinking bacteria and thinking humans even today, it's pretty obvious that there is no magical point at which you can declare that "thought" suddenly begins in life.
21. *How did flowering plants evolve, and from that?

Is he seriously arguing that there is no evolutionary imperative for flowering plants, even though it may be part of their reproductive mechanism?
22. *What kind of evolutionist are you? Why are you not one of the other eight or ten kinds?

The fact that there is not perfect consensus among scientists is proof of their rationality, not their dogmatism. The theory of evolution continues to improve as we learn more about the biosystem; it is not static and immune to new evidence, unlike a certain religious theory.

There are many competing explanations for quantum gravity too; does this mean that gravity is not real?
23. What would you have said fifty years ago if I told you I had a living coelacanth in my aquarium?

I don't know; do you have a living coelacanth in your aquarium? If so, show it to me. And then explain what that has to do with your attacks on evolution theory.
24. *Is there one clear prediction of macroevolution that has proved true?

Macroevolution and microevolution share exactly the same mechanism, and the predictions of evolution have been proven true on countless occasions. "Dr. Dino" only distinguishes between "macroevolution" and "microevolution" by pretending that the process of evolution would magically hit some kind of "wall" and stop after a while. This is like claiming that you can have "micro-erosion" of rock but not "macro-erosion", hence you can't make the grand canyon with a river.
25. *What is so scientific about the idea of hydrogen as becoming human?

Please clarify. At no point did we leap directly from hydrogen to humans.
26. *Do you honestly believe that everything came from nothing?

No, everything came from everything. The universe has always been here. Time is a property of spacetime, which is a property of the universe. There was no time before the universe. Yes, I know, you will say the same about God, but there is one major distinction: we can verify that the universe exists.
After you have answered the preceding questions, please look carefully at your answers and thoughtfully consider the following questions.

1. Are you sure your answers are reasonable, right, and scientifically provable, or do you just believe that it may have happened the way you have answered? (Do these answers reflect your religion or your science?)

I am sure that my answers are the only ones which are reasonable given the information at hand. I am also sure that saying "God did it" does not explain anything, since it's the same as saying that "unknown" is a valid solution to a mathematical equation.
2. Do your answers show more or less faith than the person who says, "God must have designed it"?

Less, since none of my answers depend on objects which cannot be observed. They all require only the universe (whose existence is not in question), the laws of chemistry (whose existence is not in question), and the mechanism of natural selection (which has been verified through observation).
3. Is it possible that an unseen Creator designed this universe?

Yes, but there is no particular reason to believe this is the case. Until you can show some particular reason, it is a totally irrational "theory".
If God is excluded at the beginning of the discussion by your definition of science, how could it be shown that He did create the universe if He did?

Define God in some testable manner. Note that the Biblical God is quite testable, since there are many predictions generated by the Bible. Unfortunately, it's trivially easy to show that many of them are untrue, such as his ludicrous claim (in the Book of Job) that hailstones are stored in warehouses in case of war, rather than being formed through atmospheric precipitative processes.
4. Is it wise and fair to present the theory of evolution to students as fact?

Yes. It is the only rational explanation for our observations which relies solely on phenomena and/or objects whose existence can be verified through observation. It is as reliable as the theory of planetary movement through gravity rather than angels pushing them through their orbits.
5. What is the end result of a belief in evolution (lifestyle, society, attitude about others, eternal destiny, etc.)?

Is he arguing that belief in evolution makes you a bad person? That's quite a pitiful line of reasoning.
6. Do people accept evolution because of the following factors?

* It is all they have been taught.

On the contrary, far more people know creationism than evolution, since the study of scientific principles requires much more time and effort than "God did it".
* They like the freedom from God (no moral absolutes, etc.).

Again, is he trying to imply that all atheists are immoral? This is a rather ridiculous way to prove that a scientific theory doesn't work.
* They are bound to support the theory for fear of losing their job or status or grade point average.

Put on your tinfoil hats, people. Dr. Dino is now resorting to the "big evil conspiracy" theory in which evolution is propagated against the will of the world's scientists, who are cowering in fear, afraid to admit the truth. And who is running this global conspiracy? Could it be ... SATAN??? :roll:
* They are too proud to admit they are wrong.

Prove I'm wrong. Demonstrate an alternate theory which is logical. Note that "God did it" is not a logical explanation of anything, unless you can show how God did it. Otherwise, I could simply say "Nature did it" and have an equally undeniable yet hopelessly vague "explanation".
* Evolution is the only philosophy that can be used to justify their political agenda.

This "conspiracy of silence among scientists" argument is quite frankly stupid.
7. Should we continue to use outdated, disproved, questionable, or inconclusive evidences to support the theory of evolution because we don’t have a suitable substitute (Piltdown man, recapitulation, archaeopteryx, Lucy, Java man, Neanderthal man, horse evolution, vestigial organs, etc.)?

Of those, the only one that has been legitimately disproved was Piltdown Man, and that was disproven by other scientists, not by creationists. Leave it to a creationist to use the honesty of scientists as proof against itself.
8. Should parents be allowed to require that evolution not be taught as fact in their school system unless equal time is given to other theories of origins (like divine creation)?

Should parents be allowed to require that geology not be taught as fact in their school system unless equal time is given to other theories of rock formation such as "God did it?" Should parents be allowed to require that astrophysics not be taught as fact in their school system unless equal time is given to the theory that angels push the planets around? Should parents be allowed to require that meteorology not be taught in their school system unless equal time is given to the theory that God makes and keeps hailstones in warehouses in the sky, as described in the Book of Job?
9. What are you risking if you are wrong? As one of my debate opponents said, "Either there is a God or there is not. Both possibilities are frightening."

"False dilemma" fallacy. What if there is a Great Spirit, as the Native Americans believed? What if there is Brahma, as the Hindus believe? What if there is Enlightenment, as the Buddhists believe? What if the universe itself is God, rather than God being a weirdo who makes creatures and then punishes them for following their own nature? Pointless speculation about that which we cannot know is irrelevant to a rational evaluation of a scientific theory.
10. Why are many evolutionists afraid of the idea of creationism being presented in public schools?

Present it all you like, so long as you do it in a "comparative religion" class where you also discuss other religious explanations for the origins of the universe. But do not force it into a science class where it does not belong. Science is about describing the observable universe via rational means, using observable phenomena.
If we are not supposed to teach religion in schools, then why not get evolution out of the textbooks?

Why do you insist upon trying to teach religion as a science, rather than teaching it as a religion?
It is just a religious worldview.

Yet it happens to rely exclusively on phenomena and objects whose existence can be verified; something you cannot say about every other "religion".
Image
"It's not evil for God to do it. Or for someone to do it at God's command."- Jonathan Boyd on baby-killing

"you guys are fascinated with the use of those "rules of logic" to the extent that you don't really want to discussus anything."- GC

"I do not believe Russian Roulette is a stupid act" - Embracer of Darkness

"Viagra commercials appear to save lives" - tharkûn on US health care.

http://www.stardestroyer.net/Mike/RantMode/Blurbs.html

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Postby Darth Wong » 2004-01-24 10:14am

Anyone got any improvements to suggest?
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"It's not evil for God to do it. Or for someone to do it at God's command."- Jonathan Boyd on baby-killing

"you guys are fascinated with the use of those "rules of logic" to the extent that you don't really want to discussus anything."- GC

"I do not believe Russian Roulette is a stupid act" - Embracer of Darkness

"Viagra commercials appear to save lives" - tharkûn on US health care.

http://www.stardestroyer.net/Mike/RantMode/Blurbs.html

User avatar
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Postby Darth Wong » 2004-01-24 10:37am

Also, you can fire back a rebuttal series of questions, taken from TalkOrigins.org:
1. Is there any reason to believe in your theory rather than some other version of creationism?

1a. If you believe that some animals -- for example, dinosaurs -- were not saved on the Ark, explain why you believe the Bible is incorrect.

1b. Why are many Christians evolutionists?

1c. If you are a young-earth creationist: Why are many creationists old-earth creationists?

1d. If you are a young-life creationist: Why are many creationists old-life creationists?

1e. Some people say that scientific creationism does a disservice to Christianity by holding Christianity up to ridicule. How would you answer that charge?

2. Is there any observation which supports any feature of your theory? (An adequate answer to this question will not be something which is a problem for evolution, but is rather evidence for your theory. Remember that it is logically possible for both evolution and your theory to be false. Something which appears to support Lamarkian evolution rather than Darwinian, or punctuated equilibrium rather than gradualism is not enough. Also, the observation must be something which can be checked by an independent observer.)

2a. Is there any observation which was predicted by your theory?

3. Is there any comprehensive and consistent statement of your theory? (The suggestion that major points are still under investigation will only be accepted for theories that are relatively recent. Any exposition which cannot be distinguished from solipsism or nihilism will not be accepted.)

3a. Is there any statement of the scientific (or other) rules of evidence which you accept? (If your answer is that some document is your guide, explain the rules for interpreting the document, and your rules for determining which document is your guide.)

4. Why is there the remarkable coherence among many different dating methods -- for example: radioactivity, tree rings, ice cores, corals, supernovas -- from astronomy, biology, physics, geology, chemistry and archeology? (This is not answered by saying that there is no proof of uniformity of radioactive decay. The question is why all these different methods give the same answers.)

4a. Explain the distribution of plant and animal fossils. For example, the limited distribution of fossils of flowering plants.

5. Is there any feature of your theory which is subject to scientific test? This is often stated: is creationism scientific in the sense that it could be falsified? (After Karl Popper's criterion.) Another way of phrasing it is: is there any kind of observation which, if it were seen, would change your theory?

5a. Is there any observation which has changed your theory?

5b. Is your theory open to change, and if so, what criteria are there for accepting change?

6. Why is there the present distribution of animals and plants in the world? How is it that marsupials are restricted to Australia and nearby islands and the Americas, monotremes to Australia, and few placental mammals are native to Australia? Why are tomatoes and potatoes native to the Americas only? (This is not a question merely of how they could have arrived there, it is also of why only there.)

7. Is there a consistent reading of the Flood story of Genesis? How many of each kind of clean animal went on the Ark? Present a calendar of the events of the Flood from the birth of Noah through the birth of Arpachshad (sometimes called Arphaxad, grandson of Noah), paying special attention as to the day when Noah entered the Ark and how long the Flood lasted. If you change the text of Genesis, give a reason for the change other than the need to fit your beliefs.

7a. Why does the Flood story need to be consistent?

8. Where did all of the water come from and go to? (This is a very old problem for the Flood story, and it may be the most frequently asked. Quantitative answers are required.)

9. What did all of the carnivores eat after leaving the Ark? (This is not a question about what they ate on the Ark.) In other words, explain how the food chain worked before the present ratios of a few predators to many prey.

9a. Explain how the degree of genetic variation in contemporary animals resulted from the few on the Ark.

9b. Explain how a viable population was established for all of those animal kinds from only a single pair of each.

9c. Discuss how symbiotic animals and parasites survived immediately after the Flood.

10. Is it possible to fit the pairs (male and female) of all kinds of land animals and birds on the Ark? The answer must give a detailed calculation. Remember to include all invertebrates as well as vertebrates, food and water, and neccesary environmental controls. Remember to include all kinds of cattle. Explain the meaning of the word "kind".

10a. Calculate the structural soundness and stability of the Ark, both loaded and unloaded, on land and on the Flood waters.

10b. Explain the logistics of loading and unloading the Ark. Relate this to the time available given in the answer to question (7) and to the distribution referred to in questions (6) and (9).

10c. Explain how there were pairs, male and female, of social (forming colonies), parthenogenic (female only) and hermaphroditic (both sexes in one individual) animals.

11. Why do you feel that there must be a mechanistic, naturalistic or materialist exposition of the wondrous events described in the Bible?

12. Why has God given us all the evidence for an earth more than 100,000 years old and for evolution and the intelligence to infer that? Why has God given us a Bible with all of the evidence that it is not to be read according to the norms of modern western historical and scientific writing?

And:
What is creationism?

Many people find that the most important part of a theory is a clear description of what the theory says and does not say.
  1. Give a comprehensive statement of creationism. (There are questions below about conventional science, so please restrict your discussion here to the positive aspects of creationism.) This is the one question of over-reaching importance, so much so that you might consider many of the following questions merely asking for certain details of what makes up a comprehensive statement of creationism. It should be noted that many people prefer quantitative details where appropriate.

    It is often a great help to communication if each party understands what the other means by certain critical expressions.
  2. Define technical terms and other words or expressions that are likely to be misunderstood.
  3. Include the evidence for creationism (please remember that merely finding problems with conventional science does not count as support for creationism, as there may be other theories which differ from both conventional science and creationism). A good example of evidence for creationism would be some observation which was predicted by it. That is much better support than merely giving an explanation for observations which were known before it was formulated. Far less convincing is evidence which has an alternative explanation.

    In order to decide between conflicting theories, it is important that not only must the conflicting theories be well described, and that the evidence supporting the conflicting theories be proposed, but also that there be established some rules for deciding between the theories and evaluating the evidence.
  4. Can you suggest principles for so deciding and evaluating?

    There are many alternatives to creationism. Some of the alternatives are: theistic evolution and old-earth creationism.
  5. Distinguish your theory of creationism from some of these alternatives and give some reasons for it rather than the others.

    Many people find a theory which is open to change in the face of new evidence much more satisfying than one which is inflexible.
  6. Describe features of creationism which are subject to modification. Another way of phrasing it is: is there any kind of observation which, if it were seen, would change creationism? Is it open to change, and if so, what criteria are there for accepting change?
    • Exposition of creationism.
    • Definitions of terms.
    • Evidence for creationism.
    • Rules of evidence.
    • Distinguishing characteristics of creationism.
    • Evidence which modifies creationism.
How do creationists describe conventional science?

It is helpful in any discussion that both sides understand what the other is talking about. In answering the questions above, you have helped us in understanding your theory. Often communication is helped if each participant explains what he thinks the other person is saying. It should also help those who support conventional science to clarify their exposition. These questions are in a sense parallel to the questions asked before about creationism.
  1. Explain what you think some of the terms used in conventional science mean. Here are some which seem to lead to misunderstanding:
    • evolution
    • primitive
    • natural selection
    • theory
  2. It would also be helpful if you could give a brief description of your understanding of conventional science. Please do not state here what your objections are to conventional science - that can be talked about later. Just say what conventional science says.
  3. It might be helpful if you explain why you think that conventional science came to its present position, and why people hold to conventional science. (And once again, please restrict this to a description, as debate can come later.)

    Many people who support conventional science feel that those who oppose it do so because of unwelcome consequences.
  4. What are the consequences of accepting conventional science?
    • What are the meanings of the terms used by conventional science?
    • What is does conventional science say?
    • What is the evidence for conventional science?
    • What are the consequences of accepting conventional science?
How does creationism explain the evidence for conventional science?

In answering the earlier questions, you have described your theory and given us evidence for it. Now we ask for your opinions on the evidence for conventional science.

Many people hold to conventional science because they believe that it has been developed over centuries, driven by discoveries. They wonder how any person could explain the evidence any other way. Here is a very brief list of questions about evidence which many people find convincing.
  1. Why is there the coherence among many different dating methods pointing to an old earth and life on earth for a long time - for example: radioactivity, tree rings, ice cores, corals, supernovas - from astronomy, biology, physics, geology, chemistry and archeology? These methods are based on quite distinct fields of inquiry and are quite diverse, yet manage to arrive at quite similar dates. (This is not answered by saying that there is no proof of uniformity of radioactive decay. The question is why all these different methods give the same answers.)
  2. Explain the distribution, seemingly chronological, of plant and animal fossils. For example, the limited distribution of fossils of flowering plants (which are restricted to the higher levels of the fossil record). Here we are considering the distribution which conventional science explains as reflecting differences in time - the various levels of rock.
  3. In the contemporary world, different animals and plants live in different places. Why is there the present distribution of animals and plants in the world? For example, how is it that marsupials are restricted to Australia and nearby islands and the Americas, monotremes to Australia and nearby islands, and few placental mammals are native to Australia? Or why are tomatoes and potatoes native to the Americas only? (This is not a question merely of how they could have arrived there, it is also of why only there.)
  4. There is a large body of information about the different species of animals and plants, systematically organized, which is conventionally represented as reflecting genetic relationships between different species. So, for example, lions are said to be more closely related to tigers than they are to elephants. If different kinds are not genetically related, what is the explanation for the greater and less similarities between different kinds of living things? That is to say, why would special creation produce this complex pattern rather than just resulting in all kinds being equally related to all others?
    • Coherence of many different dating methods.
    • Chronological distribution of fossils.
    • Spatial distribution of living things.
    • Relationships between living things.
Theological questions

It is the impression of many people who support conventional science that many people who are creationists are so because of religious reasons. This is puzzling to people who consider themselves to be religious, yet accept the findings of conventional science.

For example, some people feel that it is necessary to give naturalistic explanations for the wondrous events described in the Bible. Other people are curious as to why there should be a search for naturalistic explanations for these events, rather than acceptance of these events as signs from God, outside of the normal.
  1. If you feel that the events of the Bible must be explained as the normal operation of natural phenomena, please explain why.

    Some people who believe in God find it difficult to accept that God would mislead people by giving evidence for conventional science.
  2. Why is there all the evidence for an earth, and life on earth, more than 100,000 years old, and for the relationships between living things, and why were we given the intelligence to reach those conclusions?
    • Why should the wondrous events described in sacred writings be given naturalistic explanations?
    • Why does the plain reading of nature seem to support conventional science?

It can be amusing to throw their "answer all my questions or you lose" tactic right back at them.
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Postby Admiral Valdemar » 2004-01-24 10:45am

Never really come across the good Doctor before, but I'll have a thorough read of this and see if I can't learn something new.

I'm currently trying to convince someone over at TheologyForums.com that Dr. Spencer Wells' genetic anthropology work doesn't say there was an Adam and Eve like the Bible and humans sprouted out of nowhere.

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Postby Mitth`raw`nuruodo » 2004-01-24 10:45am

A question: Is this designed to be sent to this guy? The tone seems to change in some parts from addressing him to addressing us (the observers/readers). A really minor nitpick, but something to change maybe.
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Postby Frank Hipper » 2004-01-24 11:08am

Darth Wong wrote:
3. Where did the laws of the universe come from (gravity, inertia, etc.)?


Where did God come from? At least we know that the laws of the universe exist.
Isn't he begging the question here?
Don't the laws of the universe exist as a function of matter and energy's very existance and interactions? Why does some outside point of origin for them have to exist?
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Postby Iceberg » 2004-01-24 11:14am

Since I'm not a biologist and have only a layman's interest in biology, is "I don't give a shit as long as it keeps working" a valid answer? ;)
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Postby Wicked Pilot » 2004-01-24 12:05pm

Admiral Valdemar wrote:Never really come across the good Doctor before...


Please, don't insult the multitude of actual doctors with legitimate credentials out there. I would ask you to rephrase your response to Never really came across that dumbshit before..., but that would even be an insult to all the dumbshits out there.
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Postby Superman » 2004-01-24 12:06pm

I am speaking from experience when I tell you that you cannot reason with this man. I talked to him after his "debate" ay my university. When you speak to him on a one on one basis (he cannot use his power point presentation notes), he resorts to making things up. When I brought up the fact that God ordered the destruction of the Alakemites (sp), he told me that they were infected with diseases. When I asked where it says that in the Bible, he told me that archaeology had proven it. When I asked for a source, he simply made up a magazine and said it was from years ago. I asked how a loving god could do this, and he changed the subject by saying something like, "ok look, if you have an infected finger, you must clean out the wound like God did with the Alakemites..."

This man is insane. Period.
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Postby Admiral Valdemar » 2004-01-24 12:26pm

Wicked Pilot wrote:
Admiral Valdemar wrote:Never really come across the good Doctor before...


Please, don't insult the multitude of actual doctors with legitimate credentials out there. I would ask you to rephrase your response to Never really came across that dumbshit before..., but that would even be an insult to all the dumbshits out there.


I was actually trying to make it sound like sarcasm, maybe quotation marks would've been better. ;) I know this figurehead of the Creationist idiot brigade is a proverbial fountain of lies, deceit and general bullshit, but I never once encountered his arguments online or someone that avidly follows him.

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Postby RedImperator » 2004-01-24 01:24pm

Darth Wong wrote:
5. Where did the energy come from to do all the organizing?

When you light a match in a cloud of hydrogen and oxygen, it "organizes" itself into ordered groups of H2O. This is caused by the nature of matter, not by some kind of magical "energy" input.


I'm probably missing something, but wouldn't the Creationist reply that the energy that triggered the organizing came from the match, whereas you still haven't answered where the energy that organized the universe came from?

8. With what did the first cell capable of sexual reproduction reproduce?

Ask the nearest plant. Half of the world's plants can reproduce asexually or sexually. They demonstrate the "missing link" for the evolution of sexual reproduction.


The missing link is even older than that. Certain types of bacteria can exchange genetic material through tubes of protoplasm they form just for the occasion. It's not a big leap from there to creating a new organism by combining genetic material from more than one parent. Many insects, as well, are capable of asexual reproduction. In the common honeybee, unfertilized eggs develop into males. Some types of wasps can reproduce for generations without a male ever becoming involved. There are even, I believe, some vertebrates that can reproduce asexually, though I can't remember which ones they are.

* Amphibians change to reptiles?

See above. BTW, a lot of amphibians are reptiles. No "change" was requird. Perhaps you should try opening a zoology book sometime.


This is not true, strictly speaking, though there are reptiles that are often mistakenly referred to as amphibians. Amphibians and reptiles have several significant differences, the first and most important being that reptile embryos are surrounded by an amniotic sac and a protective shell, while amphibian eggs are virtually indistinguishable from fish eggs with no amniotic sac or shell. The amniotic sac contains water while the shell provides the egg enough protection (and a solid enough container) to be laid on land. Because the eggs can be laid on land, where hiding space is readily available, the eggs can contain a large enough yolk to feed the embryo all the way through development. Amphibians don't have this luxury, and must be born as tadpoles with fins and gills, and continue their development outside the egg. Reptiles (and birds and mammals, for that matter) pass through that stage without ever leaving the egg (or womb).

* Reptiles change to birds? (The lungs, bones, eyes,reproductive organs, heart, method of locomotion, body covering, etc., are all very different!)

Actually, some of the ancient dinosaurs were virtually birds already, specifically the flying varieties (you did know there were flying varieties of dinosaur, right? :roll:)


Even many very late dinosaurs showed birdlike features, and dinosaur fossils have been discovered with feather imprints. Feathers apparently developed rather early on dinosaurs as a form of insulation.

And nitpick: there were no flying dinosaurs. Pterosaurs were flying reptiles but their line branched away from the ancestors of dinosaurs before dinosaurs evolved. Pterosaur wings developed quite differently from birds' (their wings looked more like bat wings than birds'), and so far as anyone knows, they didn't have feathers. Of course, some paleontologists now believe that birds should actually be classified as dinosaurs, but more traditional taxonomists draw the line between dinosaurs and birds at a point before birds developed true powered flight.

21. *How did flowering plants evolve, and from that?

Is he seriously arguing that there is no evolutionary imperative for flowering plants, even though it may be part of their reproductive mechanism?


I think he might be asking why flowers would evolve when there were already perfectly servcable methods of plant reproduction available. The answer seems to be that reproduction through pollination is faster, allows offspring to be spread further, and assures greater genetic variety. One particular theory says that dinosaurs may have spurred the evolution of flowers by eating ferns and conifers faster than they could reproduce, providing a major incentive for any plant that could reproduce and spread quickly. So the next time you stop and smell the roses, think about the herds of Triceratops which made your roses possible.

Fun fact: bees appear in the fossil record at about the same time flowers do.

23. What would you have said fifty years ago if I told you I had a living coelacanth in my aquarium?

I don't know; do you have a living coelacanth in your aquarium? If so, show it to me. And then explain what that has to do with your attacks on evolution theory.


This very bizarre criticism seems to be saying that since coelacanths were once thought extinct but were fished out of the Indian Ocean at the turn of the century, that somewhere on Earth dinosaurs are still running about. Among other problems with this assertion, a coelacanth is slightly less conspicuous and has a slightly larger area in which to hide than a Tyrannosaurus.
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Postby Mayabird » 2004-01-24 01:37pm

RedImperator wrote: There are even, I believe, some vertebrates that can reproduce asexually, though I can't remember which ones they are.


A once read about a species of lizard that can reproduce asexually. If the females are infected with a certain bacterium, the eggs in their ovaries do not split; they all have the complete set of genes they need to be viable. The offspring of these lizards are exact clones of their mothers, of course, and can honestly be said to be products of virgin mothers. :D
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Postby Majin Gojira » 2004-01-24 01:38pm

RedImperator wrote:Fun fact: bees appear in the fossil record at about the same time flowers do.


I thought that the group that gave rise to what we now call bees has origins in the Triasic period (sorry, I cannot recall the source) where they were apparently feeding on the spores of ferns.

of course, it could have been another group of hive-making insects...It's been a long time since I looked into it.


This very bizarre criticism seems to be saying that since coelacanths were once thought extinct but were fished out of the Indian Ocean at the turn of the century, that somewhere on Earth dinosaurs are still running about. Among other problems with this assertion, a coelacanth is slightly less conspicuous and has a slightly larger area in which to hide than a Tyrannosaurus.


That and the modern Ceolocanths are much larger than the prehistoric ceolocanths they decended from. (as far as I know at least...)

IIRC, modern Ceolocanths are up to 5 feet long.
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Postby Queeb Salaron » 2004-01-24 01:44pm

Mayabird wrote:A once read about a species of lizard that can reproduce asexually. If the females are infected with a certain bacterium, the eggs in their ovaries do not split; they all have the complete set of genes they need to be viable. The offspring of these lizards are exact clones of their mothers, of course, and can honestly be said to be products of virgin mothers. :D

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Postby Admiral Valdemar » 2004-01-24 01:46pm

Mayabird wrote:
RedImperator wrote: There are even, I believe, some vertebrates that can reproduce asexually, though I can't remember which ones they are.


A once read about a species of lizard that can reproduce asexually. If the females are infected with a certain bacterium, the eggs in their ovaries do not split; they all have the complete set of genes they need to be viable. The offspring of these lizards are exact clones of their mothers, of course, and can honestly be said to be products of virgin mothers. :D


There are species of fish, a salamander and a snake that can reproduce via parthenogenesis I believe, but I've never had the chance to go in detail with asexual vertebrates since it's rare and not all that advantageous.

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Postby RedImperator » 2004-01-24 02:00pm

Majin Gojira wrote:
RedImperator wrote:Fun fact: bees appear in the fossil record at about the same time flowers do.


I thought that the group that gave rise to what we now call bees has origins in the Triasic period (sorry, I cannot recall the source) where they were apparently feeding on the spores of ferns.

of course, it could have been another group of hive-making insects...It's been a long time since I looked into it.


I believe ants appeared in the Triassic, if not earlier, and are considered the ancestors of bees and wasps. And I believe true honeybees showed up in the early Cretacous at the same time as flowering plants.
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Postby Cyborg Stan » 2004-01-24 02:08pm

I recall writing my own set of responses to this a few years back, although if it's like everything else I do, I probably never quite finished. I should still have it around though...
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Postby InnerBrat » 2004-01-24 02:21pm

Started to got rhough this, but been a little distracted.
I promise to continue...

8. With what did the first cell capable of sexual reproduction reproduce?


There was no 'first cell' of that sort. Sexual reproduction is the combination of two cells into a cell with twice the genetic material. Meiosis is a separate procedure and was combined with reocmbination separately.

9. Why would any plant or animal want to reproduce more of its kindsince this would only make more mouths to feed and decrease the chances of survival?

Because all plants and all animals are mortal. It's genetic material can only survive thorugh propagation.

(Does the individual have a drive to survive, or the species? How do you explain this?)

The gene.

11. Is it possible that similarities in design between different animals prove a common Creator instead of a common ancestor?

Only if you concede that as the similarities are hierarchial - that one group of taxa is more similar to themselves than another - then there must have been multiple 'common creators' for each taxonomic group.

* Fish change to amphibians?

When: The Devonian
Where: (this is a daft question, so I'm ignoring it)
Why: Exploitation of a new environment. (as far as 'why?' can be applied to non-sentient processes)
How: lungfishs are able to survive seasonally arid conditions, than use their fins to move betwen pools during these conditions. The ability of these adults to survive out of water is selected for.
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Postby InnerBrat » 2004-01-24 02:21pm

Oh PS, someone remind me to get oput my essay on flower/insect coevolution for you guys...
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Postby Master of Ossus » 2004-01-24 02:54pm

Doctor Dumb-Ass, in follow up question #5 wrote:5. What is the end result of a belief in evolution (lifestyle, society, attitude about others, eternal destiny, etc.)?


I would also point out that this is the very definition of an appeal to motive fallacy. I don't like to believe that, in the short run, unemployment and inflation are inversely related since I'd like to get rid of both in society. However, this has been observed and verified through repeated studies of historical societies and economies, and has been found to exist in all societies. Of particular note was the study run by Doctor Phillips, and since his work this relationship is plotted on a curve bearing his name. The fact that I don't WANT something to be true has absolutely no bearing on the validity of the statement. If I called Dr. Dino a complete moron, he obviously wouldn't want that to be true. However, his stupidity and dishonesty have been repeatedly demonstrated and verified, thus the fact is undeniable.
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Postby SyntaxVorlon » 2004-01-24 02:56pm

Wong your patience for bullshit astounds me. At any rate, will you be putting this on the site?

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Postby Admiral Valdemar » 2004-01-24 03:12pm

Master of Ossus wrote:
Doctor Dumb-Ass, in follow up question #5 wrote:5. What is the end result of a belief in evolution (lifestyle, society, attitude about others, eternal destiny, etc.)?


I would also point out that this is the very definition of an appeal to motive fallacy. I don't like to believe that, in the short run, unemployment and inflation are inversely related since I'd like to get rid of both in society. However, this has been observed and verified through repeated studies of historical societies and economies, and has been found to exist in all societies. Of particular note was the study run by Doctor Phillips, and since his work this relationship is plotted on a curve bearing his name. The fact that I don't WANT something to be true has absolutely no bearing on the validity of the statement. If I called Dr. Dino a complete moron, he obviously wouldn't want that to be true. However, his stupidity and dishonesty have been repeatedly demonstrated and verified, thus the fact is undeniable.


The ability for a Creationist to bring metaphysics in and ethics for a scientific theory never ceases to amaze. They seem to think that our "religion" that is science means we're racist for example because evolution could be construed that way via eugenics.

It's all balls in the end, they're straying off topic with that crapola.

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Postby Darth Raptor » 2004-01-24 03:17pm

RedImperator wrote:And nitpick: there were no flying dinosaurs. Pterosaurs were flying reptiles but their line branched away from the ancestors of dinosaurs before dinosaurs evolved. Pterosaur wings developed quite differently from birds' (their wings looked more like bat wings than birds'), and so far as anyone knows, they didn't have feathers. Of course, some paleontologists now believe that birds should actually be classified as dinosaurs, but more traditional taxonomists draw the line between dinosaurs and birds at a point before birds developed true powered flight.


I don't think he was referring to pterosaurs because, as you stated, they're very disimilar from flying birds. Throughout the Cretaceous, the line between dinosaurs and birds is so fuzzy as to be almost nonexistent. Many paleontologists now consider specimens like Archaeopteryx as members of the dromaeosauridae, which are very much dinosaurs. The Chineses forms from the Early Cretaceous are even more interesting (I vaguely remember a species that had four wings).

This very bizarre criticism seems to be saying that since coelacanths were once thought extinct but were fished out of the Indian Ocean at the turn of the century, that somewhere on Earth dinosaurs are still running about. Among other problems with this assertion, a coelacanth is slightly less conspicuous and has a slightly larger area in which to hide than a Tyrannosaurus.


You've nailed it. This lunatic thinks there are mid-sized sauropods still in Africa, that should discourage any efforts to take him seriously. :roll:

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Postby RedImperator » 2004-01-24 06:11pm

Lazy Raptor wrote:
RedImperator wrote:And nitpick: there were no flying dinosaurs. Pterosaurs were flying reptiles but their line branched away from the ancestors of dinosaurs before dinosaurs evolved. Pterosaur wings developed quite differently from birds' (their wings looked more like bat wings than birds'), and so far as anyone knows, they didn't have feathers. Of course, some paleontologists now believe that birds should actually be classified as dinosaurs, but more traditional taxonomists draw the line between dinosaurs and birds at a point before birds developed true powered flight.


I don't think he was referring to pterosaurs because, as you stated, they're very disimilar from flying birds. Throughout the Cretaceous, the line between dinosaurs and birds is so fuzzy as to be almost nonexistent. Many paleontologists now consider specimens like Archaeopteryx as members of the dromaeosauridae, which are very much dinosaurs. The Chineses forms from the Early Cretaceous are even more interesting (I vaguely remember a species that had four wings).[/quote]

Huh. I didn't know Archaeopteryx had been put into dromaeosauridae. Still, I don't think Archaeopteryx was a powered flyer, which is where most laymen would draw the "Definitely a bird" line. And I've found that when most people who aren't dinosaur nuts say "flying dinosaur", they mean pterosaurs. If I made a mistaken assumption, Mike, I apologize.

This very bizarre criticism seems to be saying that since coelacanths were once thought extinct but were fished out of the Indian Ocean at the turn of the century, that somewhere on Earth dinosaurs are still running about. Among other problems with this assertion, a coelacanth is slightly less conspicuous and has a slightly larger area in which to hide than a Tyrannosaurus.


You've nailed it. This lunatic thinks there are mid-sized sauropods still in Africa, that should discourage any efforts to take him seriously. :roll:
[/quote]

He really buys into Mokélé-Mbebé and considers it proof that evolution is wrong? Jesus, no wonder even other Creationists think he's an embarassment.
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