Creation is true.


I have made the earth, and created man on it. I–My hands–stretched out the heavens, and all their host I have commanded. Isaiah 45:12

There is One who declares Himself as the Creator of life. He has spoken clearly and that fact is represented by a collection of books – sixty-six to be precise. These books were written over a period of centuries by about forty different authors and have a common theme.

These authors are in agreement that God created the heavens and the earth and the Bible teaches us plainly that this is so. Creation is taught, not only in Genesis, but throughout the scriptures. That God created all that exists is taught or mentioned 39 times. The ‘creation’ is referred to 13 times and God is described as our Maker, 17 times. It is declared that God made man 10 more times, so total number of times Creation is taught is seventy-nine times.

For those who choose not to accept Creation, there are hurdles that must be crossed or by-passed in order to believe something other than Creation.

HURDLES THAT MUST BE CROSSED TO REJECT CREATION

Perhaps the first thing to point out to those who are attempting to decipher all the tons of information and misinformation that is being placed on the internet is the logic argument. Is it logical that intelligence springs from no intelligence, but rather an accidental process? Evolutionists are able to believe that non-intelligent life forms evolved into complex life forms. Evolutionists have no trouble believing that mutation and adaptation accounts for ever increasingly complex life forms. They believe that from this non-intelligent cell or organism, mankind evolved. With him evolved speech, reasoning, emotions, artistic beauty which includes music and the visual arts, love and caring, racial differences, mathematical and high level thinking along with evil. The logic argument doesn’t hinder their belief because they know that mutation and adaptation have occurred in nature. In their reasoning, this could result in the development of mankind and all of his complexities.

It is important to remember at this point that even without life or life-forms of any kind, the question still arises. This is a hurdle that requires an answer to logically believe something other than Creation. How did matter begin? Matter and elements have an origin which random selection cannot explain. Consider the order found in ‘matter’ in our world. The periodic table is logical and from it we find the materials needed to not only provide material wealth, we find all we need to survive the changes in atmosphere and climate.

As mentioned earlier, the Bible declares that God created the heavens and the earth. That means that a group of writers who wrote over centuries of time all agree that God is our Creator.

If one goes past the “Is it logical?” hurdle and still believes that some process other than a Creator is responsible for life as we know it, the next thing to look at would be: How does one go from nothing to something and from animate to inanimate? Here I always think of the scientists who supposedly challenged God telling Him that he could make life just as God did. He said to God that all he needed would be what God used, dirt! As he waited for God to hand him a fistful of dirt God replied, “Get your own dirt.” Where will the scientists get “dirt”? Here is what one scientist says:

The most popular explanation is that matter came from fluctuations in a pre-existing quantum vacuum. These fluctuations are caused by virtual particles that simply pop into and out of existence.

The properties of virtual particles are described by the uncertainty principle and the law of conservation of matter and energy. In a low-energy environment, massive particles cannot borrow enough energy to exist in any quantity for any minute amount of time. This is why we do not observe the creation of these particles in our everyday life.

However, in a high-energy environment such as that which existed at the beginning of the universe, there would have been adequate energy for the creation of massive particles. Massive particles have actually been created by scientists by using high-energy accelerators. The creation of matter from nothing (a quantum vacuum), is a testable scientific fact. (Italics are mine.)

Then we learn that what he says isn’t exact or completely true. Has matter really been created in a lab?

For matter to be created, pre-existing particles are taken, and slammed together, and the kinetic energy creates larger particles, using a energy to mass conversion, but one still had to start with at least two particles to begin with…One could also look at the compton effect where a high energy gamma passing near a heavy nucleus (e.g. lead) will produce an electron, and a positron. But no particle larger that that can be produced. This is not getting something from nothing, because that one had to start out with a source for that high-energy gamma, and needed a heavy nucleus, to begin with.

Stephen Hawking says that there is a “theoretical spacetime mishmash called quantum foam” needed in order for his scientific version of ex nihilo ( from nothing) to be possible. So even Hawking hasn’t solved the dilemma of something from nothing because he is thinking something ex quispiam (from something). So the next hurdle that those who wish to do away with Creation must pass is the ‘something from nothing hurdle’. Stephen Hawking has satisfied himself, according to his book, The Grand Design, by stating:

Because there is a law such as gravity, the universe can and will create itself from nothing. Spontaneous creation is the reason there is something rather than nothing, why the universe exists, why we exist.

The question Dr. Hawking fails to address is: Who established the “law”? Can there be a ‘law’ without a ‘law-maker’?

Another hurdle that Dr. Hawking and many other scientists have not explained satisfactorily is the question of ‘the energy’. IF we find that something can come from nothing, all scientists admit there must be an energy present. (It is my belief that scientists have stumbled upon something here that proves Creation.) He created not only the heavens and the earth, he spoke order into existence and He is the energy source.

For those who get past the logic hurdle and the something from nothing hurdle, and still want to reject creation, there remains a third hurdle – I call this hurdle the consciousness hurdle. There remains for all men a certain consciousness that reminds us that there is more to life than death. With our senses we find that all living things die. What we cannot explain with our senses is the awareness that mankind has a purpose or calling to his or her life. Different religious groups call this awareness by different names, but it has been present for as long as recorded history has existed and certainly there isn’t reason to believe that it began there. It is noted in the very presence of questions concerning origins and the fact that mankind has a guilt consciousness and a consciousness of wrong and right. To be able to explain this consciousness, some say man “created” religion. To some degree that is true. Hinduism, Buddism, Confusionism, and many other ‘isms’ have attempted to connect man with the greater Presence. It is only Christianity that finds the Creator reaching out to man. Because of this reality, many are drawn to and converted to Christianity. Some, however, attempt to discredit Christ and become enemies of Christ. These are they who search for another explanation.

The need for God in our lives has been described as a God-shaped vacuum inside our hearts that can only be filled by God. Some describe this need in more spiritual terms and others ignore it completely. I think it is safe to say that there isn’t a human who hasn’t felt or realized this need for God at some time in their lifetime.

The last hurdle I am thinking of, (People smarter than I probably know others.) is the mystery of death ending in life. Those who have been with a loved one as they die often find the person seeing another ‘dimension’. The dying sometimes talk to people on the other side and often those who have been comatose for long periods will sit up and declare that they see a place or beings that others in the room cannot see. There are books and accounts of near-death experiences as well that suggest there is another and better life for believers. The Bible teaches that with Christ, death is swallowed up in victory.

So when this corruptible has put on incorruption, and this mortal has put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written: “Death is swallowed up in victory.” 1 Corinthians 15:54

The real mystery, in my opinion, is why some people spend their entire lives attempting to disprove the Bible, creation, and Christ’s resurrection. Why would anyone want to go to so much trouble to disprove something so wonderful and so obvious? There is another mystery as well. Why do many people fail to believe when there is so much evidence of an Intelligent Designer that the Bible identifies as Creator God?

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About jlue

I am a grandmother of seven and I like to garden, read, study the Bible, and spend time with family. I am not very politically active, but very interested in who is elected to lead our country.
This entry was posted in Christianity, Creation (Evidences), evolution, Our World Today and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

40 Responses to Creation is true.

  1. smijer says:

    Since this carried over from facebook, I will put a reply here…. I don’t care to debate the subject. I enjoy talking to people who care about understanding how the world works, and talking about interesting subjects like science. I don’t think much is accomplished by debating someone who cares only whether they can make an argument to convince someone else of their religion.

    But, since this isn’t really a discussion between just you and me, I would like to make a polite accusation, and ask if you deny it or accept it. I would also like to see you refute it or explain it. I will give solid evidence of my accusation, and trust me that it isn’t meant in a mean-spirited way… I just want to bring out a point, that I think lies hidden – and one that it could be helpful to see – even for you.

    The accusation is this: instead of presenting real obstacles that exist to a naturalistic understanding of the world (and, tangentially, to biological science), you are inventing obstacles. Or, at least, you are presenting invented obstacle instead of real ones, whether or not you are the person who invented them.

    Now, this discussion started on facebook as a discussion about biological evolution, not about religion or “creation”, broadly speaking. The only versions of supernatural creation that were dismissed as plainly contrary to the facts of nature are exactly those which are plainly contrary to the facts of evolution (for instance, the idea that life forms have existed in their modern form or something recognizably similar to it since they first appeared on the planet).

    It seems to me that Rachael and I were willing to leave broader religious questions aside for a while and discuss biological evolution – a scientific matter which I feel should be settled by careful science, rather than by rhetorical tricks. You seem eager to change the subject to one that (maybe) is more amenable to rhetorical tricks…

    I don’t want to embarrass you, but I do feel that it’s worth pointing out publicly and forefully, that when the evidence is against one, changing the subject does not bolster one’s viewpoint.

    I also want to notice that this change of subject is good evidence. that your real interest is in religion, not in biology. And, I’m sure you are aware that if you don’t really care about biology it is very unlikely that you’ll ever really make the kind of effort rooted in real curiosity that is required to responsibly evaluate the science behind it. If you really don’t care about the science, it is more honest and helpful to say, “I don’t believe in evolution, but I really I don’t care enough about biology to put much effort into finding out if I am right or wrong about that – it doesn’t matter to me. My real interest is in my religious views. I disagree with the scientists, but it’s on the basis of my faith, not the evidence.”

    I want to pause a moment and say something about ideas of faith:

    I feel that people should individually choose whether they wish to use faith, and what they wish to use it for. If they believe their faith will help others, then they should offer it to those willing to hear about it. If they have evidence, or reason involved in their beliefs, and they feel it can be helpful and persuasive to people who do not trust faith, then they should most certainly offer the more substantial reasons for adopting new beliefs.

    I simply do not understand why someone would create fake obstacles in order to provide something fake to convince people who do not accept faith.

    It is as though I offered you something you didn’t want: my pet lizard, for instance. It is though you refused my offer because you didn’t want it, and, I then offered you a box saying that it contained something you did value (like some nice jewelry)… but that only had my pet lizard inside. Maybe, in my eagerness to have you accept my offer, I didn’t think it through enough to realize it, but what I did amounts to dishonesty. My better move would to be to accept the disappointment that my lizard didn’t have the same value to you as it does to me, and to look instead for something we did both value.

    I don’t feel like you responded with your best move. I feel that – without malice or deceptive intent, you offered a box, said it was jewelry, but it was that same old lizard inside.

    I promised evidence to back up my accusation. I will now provide it. All of the obstacles I have read in your post seem contrived to me, but to provide evidence against each one of them individually would take quite a bit of work. Instead, I am going to take the easiest and first of the one: Logic.

    Before I get too much further in, I would like to know more about what you mean when you talk about “intelligent beings”. To discover if there is a reason that intelligence couldn’t evolve, we would probably have to know more than just how to label it, but we can probably get by for the purposes of this discussion with understanding what you are naming “intelligent”.

    Do you mean that it is not logical that intelligent humans could evolve from unintelligent apes? Do you mean that intelligent apes and humans could not evolve from unintelligent monkeys? Do you mean that intelligent simians could not evolve from unintelligent, non-simian primates? What is the jump in your mind from intelligent to unintelligent?

    Answer that if you like. It would help clarify what you are saying. Unfortunately, no matter whether or how you answer it, the problem persists. The problem is this: *there is no principle of logic that follows any standard axiom set, and which implies that intelligent animals cannot evolve from unintelligent animals.* You can look it up. Logic does not present an obstacle.

    So, this is the big money question. I am hopeful for a reply that does not evade the question, but takes it head on, honestly… Which is it:

    1) You presented a fake obstacle instead of a real one, for reasons similar to those I suggested with the lizard and the jewelry.
    2) You presented a fake obstacle because someone tricked you into thinking it was real, and you didn’t think critically about their argument before you internalized it.
    3) There is standard rule of logic that prevents intelligent animals from evolving from unintelligent ones, or even makes such an event too unlikely to accept. You can give its name and a brief description of how that principle can be seen to be generally sound.

    Again, if your faith is valuable to you, I am glad for you that you have it – but faith is not valuable to me, and you are not likely to trick me into accepting conclusions from your faith by dressing them up as reasonable “obstacles”, when they are not. Furthermore, I don’t think that is the proper and respectful way to deal with subjects where people disagree.

    Will you publicly admit that the first obstacle on your list was fake? Or will you prove my accusation wrong by publicly presenting the principle of logic you had in mind, and show us how we can expect it to be generally sound, and applicable to the question?

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    • jlue says:

      I don’t want to embarrass you…

      How could you? If what I wrote was insignificant in the discussion, you would not be here responding. The fact is, the hurdles I mention are very significant and I stand by each of them. The first two have nothing to do with faith and everything to do with reality. Before I answer you, I would like to say this about what you wrote:

      it can be helpful and persuasive to people who do not trust faith

      I am not sure how one “trust faith”. Perhaps you are referring to those who do not have faith in God. Is that who you mean as those who do not ‘trust faith’?

      Do you mean that it is not logical that intelligent humans could evolve from unintelligent apes?

      The last time we had this conversation, you said that humans actually did not evolve from apes, but that they had another branch that resulted in humans.I think it was you, and not a web-site, that says there are many different ‘paths’, (that may not be the right term) for evolution to take from a one-celled organism that results in different species. Do you recall saying that? That probably isn’t scientific terminology, but I think that is basically what was said.

      I don’t think that is the proper and respectful way to deal with subjects where people disagree.

      What is disrespect about presenting what most people find as hurdles to accepting that life and matter sprang into existence in some way other than having a Creator or Designer? The bottom line is, which is more logical? Even Stephen Hawking realizes that for his theory to be correct, there had to be an energy source. That is what I am saying as well. I think he is ‘reaching’ as do most scientists who do not want to acknowledge that Creation really isn’t something that can easily be dis-proven. I am simply saying that is a hurdle that one must pass to reach the conclusion that scientists say they believe. How is that disrespectful?

      You asked two things that you want me to answer.

      I would like to know more about what you mean when you talk about “intelligent beings”.

      From primordial soup to animals that are able to think rationally and irrationally, create music and art, do mathmatics, plan for their future, build structures for comfort and beauty, love, scheme, understand, and many other things too numerous to mention is going from unintelligent to intelligent.When I speak of intelligence I mean the ability to learn facts and skills and apply them, especially when this ability is highly developed. I understand the ‘biologists’ who are also evolutionists are now making an argument that one celled creatures have a type of intelligence and I will grant you that the Creator did place an ability within even one cell, however, there is a big difference between that type of intelligence and the kind recognized in mankind. There is even a big difference between apes and man, but like I said, at least one school of thought is that man did not directly evolve from apes.

      Your other question was:

      Will you publicly admit that the first obstacle on your list was fake?

      I don’t want to embarrass you,but no, logic is fully on the side of Creation. Because of this, there are thousands if not millions of people who realize this is an obstacle, even those who do not believe the Bible. Even if you have satisfactorily made the hurdle and no longer have this as an obstacle, that doesn’t remove it from the course. I would think you could see that, but if you cannot, perhaps you bypassed it. If you saw it, then you would have to hurdle it.

      Faith doesn’t have to be important to you for the hurdles to be made. I suspect you spent a great deal of time and effort to end any reliance you may have had at one time on faith. The fact that it still bothers you to read what a person of faith writes might be an indication that some of these hurdles haven’t been completely conquered.

      Evolutionists get upset if people of faith answer in any way that doesn’t involve science, but the questions evolutionists are tackling always end up being faith-based. Will you admit that?

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      • smijer says:

        Because you didn’t provide the name of the logical principle, show how it was violated, and show how it generally applies, I can only assume you are trying to avoid coming to terms with the truth of it.

        If there is such a principle, then there is an obstacle.

        If there is no such principle, there is no such obstacle. Nothing to be “overcome”. Nothing to be gotten around.

        Logic isn’t subjective and comparative. There is no “more logical” and “less logical”. Logic is math. Either a proposition is logically valid, or it is logically invalid. I repeat: when you ask the question “which is more logical”, you might as well be asking, “which number is more integer”. It makes no sense, because a number is either an integer or not.

        Logic isn’t democratic. It doesn’t matter one little bit whether “thousands”, or even “millions” of people believe that logic presents an obstacle. If there is an obstacle, you don’t need to appeal to the feelings of people to prove it. If there is no obstacle, then the feelings of billions of people are not enough to rescue the proposition from falsehood.

        If there is a logical principle that is violated by the evolution of intelligent animals from unintelligent ones, just tell us what it is. If you cannot tell us what it is, admit that your statement was wrong. This may lose you the battle over this “obstacle”, but it will gain you the advantage of a perception that you can be trusted to seek and acknowledge truth in a discussion.

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      • jlue says:

        The “principles of logic”are man-made principles, however, after careful examination, I believe creation to be more logical than evolution even by these man-made determinations. Logic is a system of reasoning, so that it may not be logical for me to even try to convince you of what logic is or isn’t. Relationships and fields of study are involved in different kinds of logical thinking. If being demonstrable makes something logical, then evolution has no logic whatsoever, because it isn’t demonstrable. Actually, it isn’t even teachable when you consider the different ideas evolutionists have put forth. You might teach your ‘belief’ about what evolution is and how it happened, but it may not fit another person’s model.

        By the principles of logic, evolution can never be true because you can not say definitively that all species evolved from a one cell organism. That violates identity. No one has ever witnessed a lizard becoming a bird.

        Evolution cannot be true because it violates non-contradiction. No one has ever experienced becoming a different organism. We started out human and remain human until we die.

        It violates uniqueness to say that I was once a one-celled animal or even a goat.

        It violates specificity. For every different one-celled animal there should be a species into which it is evolved and this has not been demonstrated. So by the rules of logic, evolution isn’t logical. That is why I say it isn’t logical to believe that animate comes from inanimate or complex forms come from simple.I know scientists say they have figured out how it could have happened, but they are unable to reproduce it or even give a clear understanding of how and when each species evolved.

        I think Creation can be shown to be more logical than evolution. For example, we know that God said he made man in His image.This can be demonstrated by looking at man’s qualities that are foreign to other species: Man thinks, acts, loves, creates etc. – God gave the order of the creation. The way it is given in Genesis would work – water, light, dry land, plant life, animal life, man. I can demonstrate that those things are needed in that order for man to exist….

        I do notice that the subject, “Creation is true” never has to be evaluated by you on merit if we talk about logic rather than creation vs. evolution.

        Oops, I used your taboo term of more logical, however, I think the rule of common usage will let me get by with this. If not, I will say, I think creation is logical and evolution isn’t.

        By discussing the ‘logic argument’, we are avoiding the real discussion. How does one get past the hurdles and accept evolution as the reason life exists as we know it? When was the leap made in evolution from animals without higher level thinking skills to those with these skills? From whence did inanimate objects spring? When did inanimate become animate and was there a power source for the catalyst? If random selection is responsible for matter and life, what explains the vastness of the universe and no life forms found anywhere to date? What explains the quest for God that man-kind has always demonstrated in his nature? Isn’t it true that mutation results in abnormalities when they occur in today’s genetic findings? Where is the explanation for animals that defy evolution to be found – and there are many? These are a few questions that need to be answered. There are many more that are unspoken here.

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    • jlue says:

      I updated my last comment. Maybe you will have time to re-read it.

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      • smijer says:

        Thank you for trying to be more straightforward in that reply.

        Now you seem to believe that you have found some actual principles of logic that are violated by the evolution of an intelligent animal from an unintelligent one. You did not select an example of what you identify as intelligence. (Had you found them before you claimed they existed?)

        Let’s examine your first proposed violation of logical rules:

        By the principles of logic, evolution can never be true because you can not say definitively that all species evolved from a one cell organism. That violates identity. No one has ever witnessed a lizard becoming a bird.

        How do you define the law of identity? I have a definition in mind but it has nothing to do with “anyone ever seeing” anything at all, and it has no bearing on whether all species evolved from a (population of) one celled organism(s). So, to be fair, I’ll will keep my definition to myself for now and give you a chance to define what you mean by the law of identity.

        Then we can see if either the failure of a person to witness a lizard becoming a bird, or your claim that “you can not say definitively that all species evolved from a one cell organism” implies a violation of the law as you define it. If we see that there is a violation under your definition, we can further examine whether your definition is an appropriate one that really represents a law with universal applicability (or at least applicability to the question at hand!), and, if necessary, we can examine your claim that “you cannot say definitively…”.

        I will happily concede that no one has ever witnessed a lizard becoming a bird. If you can produce a violation of logic that has to do with that point, then you may be destined for fame as the person who proved 150 years of science wrong, since a lizard has almost certainly never become a bird.

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      • jlue says:

        I think I will let you work on this. I notice you ignore my questions.

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      • smijer says:

        Ok, If that is how you want to approach it, that is fine.

        First, I will provide the definition of the law of identity as it is universally applicable. The statement of it that appears on Wikipedia is accurate and adequate:

        an object is the same as itself: A → A (if you have A, then you have A);

        Next, I will point out that the mechanisms of evolution are reasonably well understood, and there is no part of that mechanism which requires a thing to be anything other than what it is.

        Therefore, identity is not validated.

        If you will concede this, then we can proceed further.

        If you can adequately refute this by providing a better definition of the principle of identity, or by showing a point in the mechanisms of evolution where it is actually violated by a thing being something other than what it is, then we can proceed further.

        If you will not either concede this or show that identity is indeed violated, then I re-affirm that identity is not violated. I also assert that the other principles you suggested are not violated, and that I could duly demonstrate them if necessary, and will be glad to demonstrate this to anyone who may mistakenly believe it and is willing to show evidence that they are arguing in good faith (if you will neither concede the point or support your position, I cannot believe you are arguing in good faith).

        In turn, I will re-affirm that there is no violation of a logical principle involved in the evolution of an intelligent animal from an unintelligent one, and that the first obstacle that you presented was fake. I will also assert that the other supposed obstacles are fake, and – if anyone is honestly not persuaded of that fact, and willing to argue in good faith, I can demonstrate that.

        Finally, I will suggest that the answer to my first question was this, whether you will admit it or not:

        2) You presented a fake obstacle because someone tricked you into thinking it was real, and you didn’t think critically about their argument before you internalized it.

        It is true that I didn’t answer any of your questions, because:
        1) I don’t care to debate evolution with someone who is not interested in the life sciences and natural history, and
        2) I did not wish to cooperate from a strategy of diverting attention from the specific assertions you were making about why people should feel they have “obstacles” to overcome before they can dare to not adopt your beliefs.

        If you become interested enough in the subject to have a good faith discussion about evolution, I may be willing to answer some questions about the subject.

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      • jlue says:

        I don’t really care to debate what I see as obstacles with someone who doesn’t recognize that these things are obstacles. But since you are family… I will say this. I think evolution violates identify because there is nothing that can bridge the identity gap. People have always been people as far as the fossil record shows and as far as we know. There is not intermediate beings to bridge that gap, so that when evolution teaches there has been an evolving, no one can show the stages. We can only take someone’s word that it happened. Perhaps you would recognize that more as being an Excluded Middle as a problem. Perhaps it violates both of those principles
        Please don’t forget that I did not come to you for an argument, you came to me.

        I really am not interested in arguing with you. If you cannot recognize why evolution isn’t logical, I can’t force you to do that.I am not convinced that the man-selected principles of logic must hold true before something can be determined to be logical, but I will say that most logical arguments will not violate those principles. The principles work very well when used to describe objects. Here is how I see evolution violating logic. Consider the statement:

        A novel that in chapter one reports that the butler discovered the body of his employer and in chapter eight states that the butler was already dead by the time his employer died is illogical.

        Now consider the statement that:

        Hoofed mammals evolve into whales. Hoofed mammals are not evolving into whales today.

        That isn’t logical and there are probably thousands of statements like this in the evolutionary story.

        Or

        A man might say:

        I believe that dogs chase cars because there is evidence all around me. I have seen dogs killed while chasing cars. I have seen dogs chase cars. My dog chased every car that came by our home. Fido is a dog, therefore he must chase cars.

        In evolution a scientists says:

        I believe that humans evolved from Neanderthals. I have seen fossils of Neanderthals that resemble humans. Jerry is a human therefore he must have evolved from a Neanderthal.

        I am tired and hope you can get around to my questions soon. I certainly have taken the time to answer yours although I did not ask for them.

        PS. God has said:

        I have made the earth, and created man on it. I–My hands–stretched out the heavens, and all their host I have commanded. Isaiah 45:12

        Regardless of how good or bad arguments are, if the God of the Bible is real, and I believe that He is, nothing can trump what He says. Remember that some people say:

        The Bible says it. I believe it. That settles it.

        Talmadge Barnes pointed out that it should be:

        The Bible says it. That settles it

        As for its reliability, it really doesn’t make any difference what you or I believe. The same thing goes for what we say here. The truth will not change just because you win an argument or I win an argument.

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      • smijer says:

        I don’t really care to debate what I see as obstacles with someone who doesn’t recognize that these things are obstacles.

        You made a two-fold mistake when you chose *logic* to present as an obstacle. Logic is black and white. Either the violation is there or it isn’t. You can’t get by with “well, I see a violation and you don’t.” Identity is the principle that a thing is itself. You have not disputed that account of the principle, and you have not shown any way that evolution requires any thing be anything other than itself.

        “Identity gap” is word salad. I can see that you have something in mind.. I can see that you aren’t convinced of the evidence that, for instance, humans evolved from ancestral apes. And that’s fine…

        You are welcome to maintain your current level of familiarity with, and your current skepticism of the evidence concerning human evolution. Although I disagree with it, I am not going to try and present obstacles and tell you that you must overcome them before you can dare to disagree with me. I think that there is a lot more out there for you to understand and learn about, but it’s completely up to you whether it seems important to you and interesting to you enough to do it.

        The point is, yes, I see what you have in mind, and the issue you are raising. But that issue is not a matter of a violation of logic, as you suggested. Logic says a thing must be what it is. Logic doesn’t say that a things descendents cannot be other than it is.

        To anyone who is remotely familiar with logic, it is a very simple matter to read this discussion and say, “She stated that identity was violated, but she cannot show how identity was violated and she doesn’t even to seem to have a strong grasp of what identity means.” By continuing to claim that identity is violated, you do not convince anyone who has even the remotest competence in logic that indeed identity is violated. Remember, logic is black and white – it is mathematics. It is very straightforward to see when a principle has been violated and when it has not. Mathemetics is precise enough that it can be translated into a system of formal proofs, and those formal proofs are the final word. In mathematics, there is no uncertainty, once a thing is proved. There is no fall-back position that allows you to claim a violation without being able to demonstrate it very clearly.

        By continuinig to hold that you have found a logical violation, and continuing to do everything but identify it, you are only going to persuade the easily deceived.

        Now, I decided prior that I wouldn’t proceed to deal with any of your other “logic” arguments until we had decisively settled “identity”, and that if you refused to admit you were wrong about identity, and refused to prove you were right, then I would just let it go. I do see that you have offered some other arguments (ironically, ones that could be considered to actually target principles of logic in an applicable way, if better formulated). And I am going to give in to the temptation to answer one of them, because I feel it could be instructive for others paying attention – maybe even for you:

        A novel that in chapter one reports that the butler discovered the body of his employer and in chapter eight states that the butler was already dead by the time his employer died is illogical.

        With a very reasonable set of suppositions, yes, you can demonstrate a logical flaw here. Take as given that a person cannot discover a body after a person has died. Now if you have a statement that the butler died before his employer, it is easy to prove from that the statement that, by definition of “has died”, the butler did not discover his employer’s body. Given our one assumption, this statement is logically equivalent to the statement that the butler was dead before his employer. That means you could rephrase the statements this way: “The butler did not discover his employer’s body and the butler did discover his employer’s body.” Now leaving aside grammatical tricks that could allow the two statements to have two different butlers and/or employers as referents, the law of non-contradiction says this is impossible.

        Good job. The statements violate the law of non-contradiction, and we have demonstrated it clearly. Let’s see if we can do the same with the two statements you try next:

        Hoofed mammals evolve into whales. Hoofed mammals are not evolving into whales today.

        Let’s see. First, let’s translate this into a syllogism as we did before. We can re-state the first sentence this way: “At any time that there are hoofed animals, at least some of them are always in the process of evolving into whales.” Now, we can take as a reasonable axiom that “Today is a time when there are hoofed animals”, and show by definition that the first statement is equivalent to the statement, “Hoofed animals are evolving into whales today.”
        Now, your two statements are “Hoofed animas are evolving into whales today, and hoofed animals are not evolving into whales today” – a violation of non-contradiction.

        So, very good – you are now dealing with two statements that belong to a theory that is illogical, because it violates the law of non-contradiction.

        The problem is that the theory these two statements belong to is not the one scientists rely on to understand modern biology and natural history. It is not the theory of evolution as it is currently understood. As I’m sure you knew before you created the “contradiction”, evolution does not require that any historical evolutionary pathway that has ever been followed must be followed more than once, or all the time. It is only because of the ambiguity of the English language that it is possible to say that evolution does say that “hooved animals evolve into whales”, and even then, this type of statement will draw funny looks from paleontologists, who would probably reply, “well, yes, they *did*”.

        Neither science nor logic are settled by rhetorical tricks like relying on ambiguities in human language to define a statement into truth or falsity. But with science, we have to rely on empirical evidence, which requires a certain amount of skill with analysis. With logic, the facts are very straightforward. Either there is a violation or there is not. If there is one, and you have discovered it, then you are on your way to fame for overthrowing 150 years of science through the overwhelming power of logic. If not, just be a good sport and admit it.

        If you value faith, and you think that it is a good guide to reality, then there should be no shame in admitting that the reason you believe in a creator is because of your Christian faith. There is no requirement to pretend that this belief is the product of reason or evidence. Your childhood and facebook friend Archie doesn’t seem to feel the need to pretend that way. He doesn’t try to corner people with fabricated “obstacles” to try to psych them into agreeing with him. So, you get the impression that he is confident, sincere, and secure in his beliefs – and even if you disagree with him, you respect his honesty. I think it’s a good model.

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      • jlue says:

        I think what you’re really trying to say, but are embarrassed to say it, is that semantically, you can prove evolution to be logical. That is okay with me, if it satisfies you.

        To believe evolution, one must believe that “Hoofed animals evolved into whales.” If restating that to make it fit your, “This is logical” argument is more pleasing to you, I see no reason why you shouldn’t do that. I find it violates several principles of logic. I understand that you can believe that it happened. I am not trying to change your mind, as you think I am. Beliefs are personal and just as you give me ‘permission’ to have my beliefs, I give you permission to have yours. Perhaps it is better said that because identity isn’t violated, evolution is hard to believe. Of course many believe and if you say “I believe it happened” then that is your privilege. Today the principle isn’t violated because to use an example we have already begun, there are no animals that are half hoofed and half whale. However, to believe evolution, there should be an animal somewhere in the transition phase. Perhaps I stated it incorrectly. The identity principle precludes evolution from being acceptable as a “proven” theory. Because we are what we are without any real evidence of how we became or the transitional form.

        I suppose Excluded Middle is the principle that is more clearly violated and the fact that identity hasn’t been violated would describe reality better.

        Now, if you know of an example, other than an artist sketch, maybe you need to show it to the rest of the world. The fossil record is said to (according to some) indicate there was one at some time, IF evolutionists are reading them correctly and if they have not created another Piltdown man. The problem with that is the fossil record is so limited and the fossils themselves are rarely studied. They are kept apart from those studying to maintain their integrity, or so I am told. So what we have is an artist sketch of an animal that is supposed to have been on the earth at one time and we are told that this animal ‘decided’ (for lack of a better word) to evolve into a whale and return to the water to live as a whale from there on out. I really do not think you want to find if it violates logic. I think you want to win a debate and cling tightly to what you believe happened. If there is a violation, that would present a problem, I suppose.

        Suppose you were able to find evidence that there could have been an evolutionary process that resulted in life moving from the sea to land, becoming hoofed and then returning to sea. Keep in mind that “evidence” is not the same as “proof” and therein lies the rub. If everyone does not accept that what you accept as ‘proof’ you seem to feel that makes you superior in some way. Here is what I say:

        Creation has the same claim that evolution has chosen as for as evidence goes. What evidence, you say? The evidence of design is my answer. Do we find apparent design in biology? Yes. In fact, apparent design is seen more frequently than it isn’t. So I can understand how you this logic argument is very important to you. If this argument isn’t won, then those who think as you do must admit that Creation is just as logical, or more so, as evolution.

        You have probably studied Ayers:

        Round about 1920 a gang of philosophers including Rudolph Carnap and Kurt Godel started meeting in Vienna. This so-called ‘Vienna Circle’ dedicated themselves to reconciling philosophy with the new sciences and so determined to take it upon themselves to evaluate truth solely in terms of the empirical verifiability or logic of language. This was the school of ‘Logical Positivism’, and it was AJ Ayer who is chiefly remembered for popularising it in England.

        If the logic argument worries you so much, why can’t you say, “I see Evolution as logical so I do not have to convince anyone else of that? It is enough for me if I know that.” I caution, don’t let one argument or one man-made decision keep you from seeing reality.

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  2. smijer says:

    why can’t you say, “I see Evolution as logical so I do not have to convince anyone else of that? It is enough for me if I know that.”

    As I mentioned, logic isn’t a matter of perspective. Either evolution requires a violation of logic or it does not. If there is a violation of logic, then it can be demonstrated very simply and straightforwardly. There is no room for feelings, hunches, or intuitions.

    You (not me – you) claimed that logic presented an obstacle to evolution. You didn’t claim it in the way you suggested I should hold my own personal views: You didn’t say “I see Evolution as illogical so I do not have to convince anyone else of that”.

    What you decided was this: “I am going to try to convince people that evolution is illogical so they will have to believe in my religion”.

    That is what elicited a response from me. Because you tried to use false statements to convince people that they needed to believe in your religion, I thought it would be good to show the falsity of those statements so that people could make an honest and well informed decision on their own. And I hoped to encourage you to adopt a better model, a more honest model, for sharing your faith.

    At this point, your options are very limited. You can rescue your original statement by showing the logical proof for it (there is one if your statement was true!), or you can admit it was wrong.

    If you had chosen a subject other than logic, you could have hid behind “perspectives”, or appealed to unavailable evidence, or any number of standard apologetic tricks for avoiding the force of the evidence. With logic, it works differently. You mentioned the law of the excluded middle. It states that for a coherent statement, the statement must be true, or its negation must be true. It applies to your statement that logic was a problem for evolution. Either it is true that logic is a problem for evolution or it is not true that logic is a problem for evolution. If logic is a problem for evolution, we can identify that problem and demonstrate it with a formal proof or an equivalent in ordinary language. If you can’t do that (and you have proven that you can’t), then the negation must be true. Logic is not a problem for evolution.

    Of course, evolution could have other problems. In fact, there are probably some things wrong with the theory. And chances are they will be discovered by someone who cares about the facts and evidence.

    It could be true that coincidentally, a collection of people who generally care much more about preserving a 19th century hermeneutic for interpreting English translations of the Protestant canon have, through their faith, learned of flaws in evolution that people who use the scientific method have not yet noticed. But that is not the most probable state of events.

    Why should their devotion to a special way of reading of their holy books give them more insight into nature than a willingness to look at nature and draw conclusions from the evidence in it?

    The most probable state of affairs is that the people who put more weight on an interpretation of scripture than the evidence of nature, and reach conclusions contrary to that derived from giving weight to the evidence of nature, are not the people who have an especially accurate understanding of nature.

    It is more likely that whatever flaws there are in the theory of evolution will be exposed by people who care about understanding nature using the facts and evidence it presents to us.

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    • jlue says:

      What you decided was this: “I am going to try to convince people that evolution is illogical so they will have to believe in my religion”.

      Speaking of logic, do you really think that because you say that is what I am saying it qualifies as a quote? Do you really believe that just because someone doesn’t believe in evolution they have to become a Christian? I thought you understood faith and “religion” and what makes a person convert to a certain faith or religion better than you do. I do respectfully request that you not quote me on the basis of what you think I meant.

      Like

      • smijer says:

        So as to avoid an unnecessary distraction, I will include the quote of your actual words,

        “For those who choose not to accept Creation, there are hurdles that must be crossed or by-passed in order to believe something other than Creation.”

        You have already demonstrated that you only had fake obstacles to offer, but it may have been unfair to interpret it as indicating that your intention was to present these obstacles in an effort to make people feel they had a choice between an unattractive obstacle and your religion. Would you care to rephrase that statement so that it reflects your true intentions?

        Great if you do. Fine if you don’t. We don’t have to pursue that question if it will distract from the state of the argument as it stands now. It is better that we not distract from the points that have emerged.

        And, if you wish to prove yourself right or admit you were wrong, I’ll watch for a reply on that matter as well. Otherwise, we might well leave things as they stand.

        Like

    • jlue says:

      What you decided was this: “I am going to try to convince people that evolution is illogical so they will have to believe in my religion”.

      That is what elicited a response from me.

      It seems to me that you allowed emotions to elicit a response, since what triggered your response wasn’t in the post at all. You ‘felt’ that is what I meant because you know that I am a committed Christian, but there are many, many, people who do not accept evolution who are not Christian and rejecting evolution doesn’t equate receiving Christ.

      Your staunch beliefs sometimes elicit a response in me, but I try not to act on those emotions. I wrote what I wrote because I find everything I said to be a reality in so many lives. Maybe, if you want to win people to become ‘evolutionist’ it would be easier if you just describe all the things about evolution that are logical and all the things that are proven and allow people to examine the evidence.

      I might remind you that there are Christians who believe evolution happens. I know there is some change over time and that mutations and adaptations occur. Some Christians believe evolution is a process that God set in place at the time of Creation. Most do not believe that matter just happened and that from that matter all that we know of the material and biological world has evolved. I know there are those who want to prove that it could have happened and if that satisfies them, so be it. That doesn’t mean that people should give up their right to express why they do not believe that.

      Free speech is allowed to some degree even today. I was willing to debate this to please you, but I think we need to give it a rest. Nothing either of us says will change what is true, so it is a little silly to keep on arguing about it. I am sorry that it bothers you because I say to decide that matter just happened or that inanimate becoming animate and evolving into life as we know it presents a *logic problem. I do stand by that because not only does it present a problem, I find there is as much or more evidence for creation than evolution. Rachael wanted to discuss this topic and I wrote what I wrote hoping it would help her if she is struggling with it. Sorry it upset you so much. It reminds me of the argument that has been going on in public school settings: Should students be presented with information that supports creation? I think they should. Certainly most people are able to think logically and decide for themselves if what is being taught is logical or illogical. Building a box and saying that you cannot use certain words unless they fit into your box seems a little ridiculous to me.

      *Logic has more meanings than a scientific definition. It can mean: any system of, or an instance of, reasoning and inference or sensible rational thought and argument rather than ideas that are influenced by emotion or whim . To ignore these meanings seems disingenuous to me. I went along with your need for a scientific resolve to whether evolution is logic or isn’t, but the truth is, I should have just reminded you of all the definitions of logic. It would have saved a lot of time and energy.

      Like

  3. smijer says:

    You ‘felt’ that is what I meant because you know that I am a committed Christian

    I ‘felt’ that is what you meant because of the words I read. If I misunderstood them, maybe you could restate them so that I could understand them better, and they still bear a resemblance to your original statement.

    I also know that you are a committed Christian, but then again (as you point out), so is Francis Collins and any number of people who are honest, love evidence and facts, and understand the difference between science and faith.

    I know that being a committed Christian doesn’t force you to offer fake obstacles to anyone who doesn’t choose your religion.

    So, no.. I don’t think your being a committed Christian enters into it.

    Like

    • jlue says:

      Did you read ALL of my last comment?

      Like

      • smijer says:

        Yes, and just re-read it to be sure I didn’t miss part the first time.

        Like

      • jlue says:

        Would you care to rephrase that statement so that it reflects your true intentions? …

        If I read you correctly the phrase that you wanted rephrased is:

        “For those who choose not to accept Creation, there are hurdles that must be crossed or by-passed in order to believe something other than Creation.”

        I took a long respite from this discussion because I realized that I was getting caught up in the emotional impact of your words and demands.

        I do not want to rephrase anything that I wrote originally. I know that there are hurdles to believing evolution. Perhaps for a child who is taught nothing else from early elementary through college and never given any information concerning creation or the Creator, the hurdles will not exist until they are older, but I believe they would have questions even prior to reading creation information. People have an amazing ability to think. Some get distracted with the cares of this world and do not give “origins” a lot of thought, but when asked to think about this, I know most people really think! It would be an interesting study to present someone who has never heard of creation with the information after they become of age and allow them to examine all arguments both for and against evolution and then listen to their reaction. This is hardly possible in the U.S.A. today.

        Please understand that my article is referring only to obstacles to the belief that evolution is responsible for matter, life, all the different species and kinds of animal life, and all the “laws of nature”. If scientists want to recognize that believing the above is theory and unproven and that evolution at best is a life-process where-by adaptation enables organisms to better adapt to their environment, I have no quarrel with that. I agree that God has put within us this ability to adapt. There are evidences of this present in creation that shows adaptations are features that suit an organism or species for its niche and habitat. Perhaps you became irate because I did not make that clear. I thought that by placing the intelligence from no intelligence and/or animate from inanimate statements in the post that most readers would know what I meant. I think I may have stated that.

        You also became irate because you thought I was trying to trick someone into becoming a Christian. A person cannot be tricked into becoming a Christian. No person can become a Christian unless the Father draws them. In John 6:44 Christ is quoted as saying:

        No one can come to Me unless the Father who sent Me draws him; and I will raise him up at the last day.

        It seems to me that since Creation is not being taught in schools, Christians (Jews and Muslims, also) should be diligent in teaching not only the reasons to believe it, but also the flaws in the theory of evolution.These are not tricks and nothing that I wrote was intended to trick anyone. I always want to bring people to the Lord, but this wasn’t the focus of this post. I would love that if it happened. I believe the Bible and I would like nothing better than for every reader to become a Christian, however, my intention in writing that ‘Creation Is True’ was to remove obstacles that might be a hindrance and allow those who have been taught what appears to be reasons not to believe in a Creator to understand that creation is not a ridiculous notion thought up by folks who are ignorant. This seems to be the consensus among many who believe that “scientists” have all the answers and anyone who questions a “scientists” is a little less intelligent.

        I am not angry with you for the insults, but I do hope you will realize that disagreeing with someone isn’t a reason to insult them.

        Like

  4. smijer says:

    This seems to be the consensus among many who believe that “scientists” have all the answers and anyone who questions a “scientists” is a little less intelligent.

    On the contrary. No one, especially not scientists, think that scientists have all the answers.

    On the contrary, those who intelligently question the scientists are generally very intelligent.

    On the contrary, those who unintelligently question the scientists often are very intelligent. What? Yes. It takes intellectual skill to build the stories that are told on the web-sites that attack science in the name of religion. It takes a great deal of skill to fabricate “obstacles” of the sort you present in your post.

    I don’t insult your intelligence. I think you are very intelligent. But, I agree with Eliezer Yudkowsky, who said it best: “Intelligence, to be useful, must be used for something other than defeating itself.”

    You were very right when you said that, instead of making up ways that evolution violates formal logic, you should have said, “oh, I didn’t mean formal logic. I meant systematic reasoning.” If you had indeed meant systematic reasoning, that would have been the obvious thing to do.

    But, if you hadn’t really thought about anything except blindly attacking evolution in a way that might be compelling, you would might not have realized what you meant by logic. And, you might instead have started googling the names of logical principles, glancing at their definitions in the most cursory fashion, and trying to invent ways that evolution violated one of them, without really understanding the principles or how they applied.

    And I suppose now, you are going to straightforwardly show how correct and systematic thinking is an “obstacle” for evolution. Or are you going to say, “no one has ever seen a banana turn into an ostrich?”

    I should remind you that science is a very specific form of systematic reasoning – namely the form that systematically reasons about the natural world with empirical (that is observed) evidence as its foundation. And I should remind you that it was this specific form of systematic reasoning that discovered evolution. And, I should remind you that it is this form of systematic reasoning that has continued to build the science of evolution over the past century and a half. So, if there was a problem between evolution and systematic reasoning, it more than likely would have been discovered *by people who care about learning about nature* by now.

    What a coincidence if the people who found it were precisely those who cared about fundamentalism, and not about nature?!

    Now, suppose I said to you that the Moon Landing Must Be a Hoax. And that American History was an obstacle to believing the moon landing was anything other than a hoax, because without America, there could never be a moon landing.

    And, suppose that I said American History was an obstacle because it had a problem with logic. For instance, NO ONE HAS EVER SEEN THE TYPEWRITER THAT GEORGE WASHINGTON USED TO TYPE THE DECLARATION OF THE ARTICLES OF CONSTITUTION!!!!

    Well, the problem isn’t just that Thomas Jefferson wrote the Declaration of Independence with a quill before the invention of typewriters. Someone who has the kind of problems I have with the moon landing will probably not be swayed by these sober facts – most likely will not bother to even hear or understand them.

    The problem is that I care only about believing the moon landing to be a hoax, and I really don’t care about American History.

    The bigger problem is that I refuse to admit that I don’t care about American History.

    Do you see how it works? It isn’t about how smart you are. It isn’t about how clever. It’s only about what you care about.

    It turns out that it is possible to care about faith in a Creator, and care about the real world and real evidence, too. You’ve pointed it out yourself. Look at your friend Archie. Look at the brilliant scientists who are evangelical Christians and Catholics, and Jews. You don’t see them publishing desperately silly web-sites trying to get people to believe that about the typewriter. And, you know, it doesn’t make me want to believe in a creator – but it does tell me that it isn’t belief in a creator that makes people behave that way. Their behavior earns respect for that point of view.

    You say your goal is:

    to remove obstacles that might be a hindrance and allow those who have been taught what appears to be reasons not to believe in a Creator to understand that creation is not a ridiculous notion thought up by folks who are ignorant.

    I don’t really endorse the value of that goal, but it isn’t a bad goal to have, if that’s your thing. But, if that’s your goal… Which of these section header best conveys that this is your goal?
    1)”HURDLES THAT MUST BE CROSSED TO REJECT CREATION”,
    or
    2) “WHY SCIENCE ISN’T AN OBSTACLE TO BELIEVING IN A CREATOR”

    To me, the second one conveys the goal you are now claiming, and the more worthy of the two.

    The first one (and the content under it) suggests that your goal is to confuse people about science, so they think they have to accept creation because of a bunch of fabricated “hurdles”.

    If your goal is really the second one, I think it is far better served by saying, “the cartoonish web-sites created by people who hate evolution are not representative of the belief in a Creator. Many people believe in a Creator who values honesty and rational inquiry,” than by linking approvingly to the cartoonish web-sites.

    No insult is intended. But, where the effort exists to muddy the waters, I do sometimes feel it is worth pointing out that the “hurdles” aren’t really there. I mean this in a friendly and constructive way: the mistakes you make (lizards into birds, while someone watches) aren’t the mistakes of someone who wants to know the truth of the matter. Recognize that natural history really doesn’t interest you. Recognize that, on that account, you aren’t likely to be the person who finds a problem between logic and science. If you feel your faith doesn’t allow you to accept the science, say so straightforwardly. I think that is good advice, and that by following it, you will earn a reputation for honesty, integrity, and humility, that will reflect well on your faith.

    Like

  5. jlue says:

    I have already said what I intended to say and as I said earlier, if you have a problem with my logic statement, you are free to defend your theories with logic. Most people who read blogs know how to research and how to read.

    As to your believing there is no logic obstacle, I quote Shakespeare, “The lady doth protest too much, methinks.” In this case, the lady seems to be a man, hopefully a gentleman.

    Like

  6. smijer says:

    As to your believing there is no logic obstacle, I quote Shakespeare,

    Your Shakespeare quote would be compelling if you could produce the obstacle you keep talking about. Without the obstacle quoting Shakespeare just looks like an attempt to distract from the impossibility of producing the obstacle you desire.

    Like

  7. jlue says:

    The entire post presents obstacles. You refuse to acknowledge that these are obstacles without offering your own logic as to evolution. How do you see logic in a process that you think is responsible for life and matter that exists and the nature of mankind without a Person being responsible for the process?

    Like

    • smijer says:

      The entire post presents obstacles.

      Obstacles. Not names of things that you think are obstacles, but cannot manage to place in the way. Like “logic”. You say it is an obstacle, but you cannot show that it impedes. Real obstacles impede.

      How do you see logic in a process that you think is responsible for life and matter that exists and the nature of mankind without a Person being responsible for the process?

      Best I can do is to clean this up for you. I can’t answer it as written because it doesn’t really make sense as written.

      1) It’s a mystery how the universe came to be. I can’t solve it, but I have no reason to suspect that a successful solution would include a person.

      Until we have an idea of the solution, it is almost impossible to guess whether the solution needs to include a person.

      Best I can tell, people are organic, and need an already functioning universe (not to mention, solar system, planet, water, food, and air) to exist. My mind can picture a person that exists without those things, but that is probably more a statement about my mind than it is about people. What medicine knows about how people work appears to require the atmosphere, food, & water – I cannot figure out how a person would work without those things, and I don’t have any reason to suspect that there are people who can. So, I don’t expect the solution will require a person, myself. But you are welcome to expect a person.

      That has nothing to do with biological evolution, but since you did change the subject from biological evolution to “Creation”, I figure I’ll answer it.

      2) It’s still a mystery how the first life came to exist. What evidence we have suggests a process similar to natural selection that we are familiar with from biological evolution operating on self-replicating organic chemicals. However, there isn’t enough evidence to outline one chemical pathway definitively, so it is fair to say we don’t know the solution.

      Again, without knowing the solution, it’s hard to guess whether the solution needs a person. And since people hadn’t yet evolved when the first life appeared on earth, I expect the solution will be more chemical, and less person. But, you are welcome to expect a person.

      Again, this is a separate question from that of biological evolution.

      3) The diversity of life that exists on earth today can be explained via the process of biological evolution acting on the first living organisms. It is straightforward. Living organisms have mechanisms for reproduction, at least one of which was active by the time that we had “first living organisms” – a function of a complex process of chemical self-replication, and very likely in a nucleic acid molecule. The methods living organisms have for reproduction does not always produce exact copies – there is variation in an organism’s descendants as a result of the reproductive process. A number of effects, but most noticeably natural selection, causes some variations to be differentially preserved in future generations. A number of effects, but most noticeably genetic isolation of two distinct breeding populations lead to different sets of variations among different groups of organism’s descendants. These processes are applied recursively to each new generation, since the new generations are also living organisms that reproduce. The diversity of life today is the sum of such variations and splitting of breeding populations having occurred over some 3.5 billion years on Earth.

      This explanation is well established as fact by quite a bit of evidence. This explanation is well-understood by scientists. This explanation doesn’t happen to include a person and it is successful, so we know enough to know that a person isn’t required for this one.

      This is the one about biological evolution. If you do not have a real flaw in this explanation (I don’t mean just innuendo and links to religious web-sites where the publishers don’t even *care* about the truth- I mean a real flaw), then my job is done.

      Best I could make sense of your question, I answered it, as it applies to biological evolution.

      If you have a real, well-reasoned, well-documented flaw in this explanation, then present it now. But remember, people who care enough to pay attention haven’t discovered any such flaws, so it would be a pretty big coincidence if you had one in your pocket when you don’t care enough to pay attention to the issue.

      In other words – examine your potential flaw pretty carefully – if it really holds up to scrutiny, then let’s talk about it. But, try to refrain from just throwing it out there, because the odds are that it isn’t anything like a serious challenge. A serious challenge would be more likely to be the result of careful study motivated by real curiosity about nature and how it works. In terms of probabilities, you finding a real challenge to biological evolution without caring about it – even if there is one – are worse than you winning two consecutive lotteries and getting hit by lightning. So, just pay attention to the flaw and make sure you are on firm ground before you put it out there, because you’ve got some serious odds to beat.

      Unless you have found a solution to the existence of the universe or the origin of the first living things, there isn’t much more that you and I can say about those two issues.

      You can say that your faith tells you the solutions include a person – such a person as doesn’t need a universe to live in. I can say I am not convinced that your faith is true.

      For me, the idea of such a person is difficult, since I cannot conceive of how a person would work without chemistry, and I don’t have faith telling me that one might exist anyway.

      We can disagree amiably.

      On the other hand, If you have some unexpected evidence that a person could exist independently of a universe, and that there is a good solution to the existence of a universe that includes a person, then present that evidence. But, remember – it’s a question that has stumped cosmologists who really care about the facts for some time now. Unless you are willing to do more work than they are, motivated by the same passion for understanding nature, you have some pretty tough odds to beat. You may have to settle for faith.

      You may wish to privilege your hypothesis. In other words, you may wish for your hypothesis of a person-explanation to be the default in the absence of a known answer, so that since we don’t know why the universe exists, then we default to your hypothesis that the unknown answer includes a person.

      But, unless your hypothesis is also privileged by the evidence, no one else need adopt it as a default. “We don’t know therefore God” may work for you, but no one else is obliged to adopt that program.

      Many theologians refer to such reasoning as a “God of the Gaps”, and note that such reasoning makes God smaller as the gaps in human knowledge get smaller. Many theologians prefer a big God, and therefore resist the temptation to employ faulty reasoning as a supplement to faith. For those who like their God big, the better choice may be to believe in Him by faith.

      Like

      • jlue says:

        This explanation doesn’t happen to include a person and it is successful, so we know enough to know that a person isn’t required for this one.

        Does it not make you wonder just a little why thinking that “Life could have just happened” is a more satisfactory answer for you? It feels as if you are saying, “I am satisfied with that and everyone else should be as well. Discussion closed.”

        We don’t know therefore God” may work for you, but no one else is obliged to adopt that program.

        There is so much more to faith, than the statement you made, but no one is forcing anyone to do that, either. Sometimes I feel that you are trying to force someone to believe that creation did not happen when you make some of the statements you make.

        resist the temptation to employ faulty reasoning

        Reasoning is not the exclusive property of those who reach a conclusion that satisfies a preferred outcome. According to Gallup:

        Four in 10 Americans, slightly fewer today than in years past, believe God created humans in their present form about 10,000 years ago. Thirty-eight percent believe God guided a process by which humans developed over millions of years from less advanced life forms, while 16%, up slightly from years past, believe humans developed over millions of years, without God’s involvement.

        A lot of people have faulty reasoning according to you.

        I do have a science question. I am sure you will clear this up:

        …the Earth moving away from the sun…

        This is according to – scientists

        This being ‘true’, how could life be developed or even sustained over a period of
        3.5 billion years? I am not a scientist, but the distance the earth is from the sun is said by some scientists to be very important for life as we know it to exists on planet earth.

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      • jlue says:

        That has nothing to do with biological evolution, but since you did change the subject from biological evolution to “Creation”, I figure I’ll answer it.

        One more thing, when did I change the subject. I remind your from the post that I said:

        If one goes past the “Is it logical?” hurdle and still believes that some process other than a Creator is responsible for life as we know it…

        and

        For matter to be created, pre-existing particles are taken, and slammed together, and the kinetic energy creates larger particles, using a energy to mass conversion, but one still had to start with at least two particles to begin with…

        and

        Stephen Hawking says that there is a “theoretical spacetime mishmash called quantum foam” needed in order for his scientific version of ex nihilo ( from nothing) to be possible.

        How do you perceive that I changed the subject on you to “Creation”. The title of the blog tells you it is about creation. I think perhaps you changed the subject. I am not saying that I agree with all your biological deductions, but creation was the original topic. I don’t try to refute what biologist say about evolution, because, for one thing, I find all scientists do not agree.

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      • smijer says:

        The subject on the facebook post at the start of this was biological evolution.

        I don’t try to refute what biologist say about evolution, because, for one thing, I find all scientists do not agree.

        It’s true that in the same sense that not all doctors agree that smoking causes cancer, not all scientists agree that evolution explains the diversity of life on earth.

        And, just as with the doctors, the only reason I can think of for you to point out that they don’t all agree is to sow doubt about their conclusions without being burdened with the work of addressing the many who do agree, and the good reasons they have for such agreement.

        And, I don’t try to refute what doctors say about smoking. And, I find that there are some doctors who disagree with others on the topic. I don’t see how the two have anything to do with each other though.

        When you say you don’t try to refute what biologists say about evolution I start to applaud… and then I remember stuff like this:

        I do have a science question. I am sure you will clear this up:
        …the Earth moving away from the sun…
        This is according to – scientists… This being ‘true’, how could life be developed or even sustained over a period of 3.5 billion years? I am not a scientists, but the distance the earth is from the sun is said by some scientists to be very important for life as we know it to exists on planet earth.

        Then I realize that you do in fact try to refute what biologists say about evolution. And then I realize that the statement that you don’t try to refute what biologists say about evolution is just another rhetorical trick, and not an honest statement about what you try to do.

        Like

  8. smijer says:

    You’ll notice that I did not propose that we do have a solution and that the solution is that life “just happened”. That’s no solution at all – it’s just an expression of ignorance about the solution. No, I am not satisfied with that, and I do not expect other people to be satisfied by it either.

    Very straightforwardly: “Just happened” is not my position. I do not believe it.

    As I mentioned, we do not have a solution about how the first living organisms came to be. In terms of reason and science, we are relatively ignorant of the answer to that question, though I recognize that faith has some answers. It’s just that I don’t trust answers from faith, because it would be too much of a coincidence for what I chose to believe without reason and science to happen to also be what is true.

    There may be a chemical explanation, or there may not. If there is, it may be something we have a shot of discovering, or it may not.

    There may be a “person” explanation, or there may not. If there is, it may be something we have a shot at discovering, or it may not.

    No, I’m not satisfied with our ignorance of the subject. But, that does not give me license to pretend we have knowledge that we don’t. The lack of a proper answer to the question doesn’t mean that any answer will do. We *can* just declare: “It just happened”, and we *can* just declare, “God did it”. But such declarations are foreign to reason and science. They may work in faith, but apart from that, they serve only to make us feel better – they aren’t the product of reason properly so called. Maybe such declarations *are* the product of faith. If so, that’s fine, if faith is your thing. But such declarationas are not a part of science or reason.

    Reasoning is not the exclusive property of those who reach a conclusion that satisfies a preferred outcome.

    That’s absolutely true, and a big part of the reason I’m commenting on this blog post!

    In fact, the process of working toward a preferred outcome, rather than letting the facts lead one to the correct outcome is the opposite of reason.

    It is, unfortunately, a very common thing people do – especially when they are primarily motivated by a preferred outcome (one that endorses their faith, for instance) rather than genuine desire for knowledge.

    Yes it is true that “A lot of people have faulty reasoning”. Or, put more correctly – everyone is vulnerable to a particular set of biases derived from heuristic shortcuts wired into the human brain, and there are skills needed to defeat such biases are not universally learned or practiced. Science itself is probably the most successful set of skills designed to reduce human error of this sort, and reveal reliable information. Most people are not scientists, either by profession, by habit, or by temperament.

    It is precisely this mistake of reasoning toward a preferred outcome, the treatment of arguments as soldiers (because evolution removes the force of an argument from ignorance that might otherwise persuade someone of my preferred outcome, the creationist must deny its validity – even though it is very solid science, and even though it doesn’t even directly contradict the cherished doctrine of a Creator – evolution is an “enemy soldier”, and must be denied), that I am criticizing from your post and from the creationist web-sites that you endorse.

    I’m glad that you recognize that reasoning toward a preferred outcome is not legitimate reasoning. The next step is to learn how to recognize that fault when you encounter it, and to avoid it!

    Sometimes I feel that you are trying to force someone to believe that creation did not happen when you make some of the statements you make.

    I’m sorry you feel that way. I wish you could repeat to me some of the statements that make you feel that way so that I could see how my wording could have by any means convey an idea so far from the truth about what I try to accomplish.

    I sometimes feel that you are trying to force someone to believe that creation did happen when you make blog posts and try to invent “hurdles” for anyone who dares not believe in a creator.

    I do have a science question. I am sure you will clear this up:
    …the Earth moving away from the sun…
    This is according to – scientists… This being ‘true’, how could life be developed or even sustained over a period of 3.5 billion years? I am not a scientists, but the distance the earth is from the sun is said by some scientists to be very important for life as we know it to exists on planet earth.

    If this was an honest question, motivated by genuine curiosty, you would have already figured out the answer by now. You would have done so because of your curiosity, and would have succeeded because of the relative ease with which genuine curiosity about this point could be satisfied. I do not believe that it is an honest question motivated by genuine curiosity. If it is, I have every confidence that you have the resources available to you to sort it out for yourself. You don’t need my help.

    We are in the middle of an argument, and I interpret this as your attempt to poke a hole in science. If it is not such an attempt, just say so, and we can leave it be.

    If it is such an attempt, then I want to be sure it is your best. I ask for your best attempt, so that you and I can agree ahead of time that if it fails, then similar attempts (motivated by a desire to prop up faith rather than real knowledge derived from reason, motivated by curiosity) are even more likely to fail, and thus aren’t worth publishing or responding to. If this is your best attempt and it fails, then weaker attempts will likely fail, too, right?

    One other thing… no innuendo. Exactly what are you claiming? Sure science says that the distance of the earth from the sun is important for life as we know it. But what are you claiming? Say it outright – put your money where your mouth is. Don’t leave yourself room to weasel. Turn the innuendo into a positive claim that we can evaluate on a black and white basis.

    If you do that, and agree that it is your best argument, I will answer it. If it is not your best argument, I’ll be glad to hear your best one.

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    • jlue says:

      Exactly what are you claiming? Sure science says that the distance of the earth from the sun is important for life as we know it. But what are you claiming?

      I did not “claim” anything. I point to a phenomenon that scientists claim they have observed that would present a problem with life having evolved over 3.5 billion years, or 4.5 bil as some say, due to the changing conditions that would appear on earth.

      Your statement, “Put your money where your mouth is… if that is your best argument” shows me where your emphasis is. If winning an argument is your objective, what have you accomplished. It hasn’t changed any truth about the universe, or God, or creation, or even evolution. If being satisfied with what you believe because you won an argument is the objective, that is a weird way to draw conclusions, on the other hand, if all the ‘unknowns’ in origins and evolution do not bother you, it should not upset you that these may bother others. I applaud you if learning so many theories and trying to make sense out of all this information satisfies you. Winning an argument should not enter into that at all.

      I learned a long time ago, from you, that you think you can win a debate on either side of any discussion because you are such a good debater. Do you remember telling me that? You said you can ‘win’ even if you are debating something you don’t believe. Maybe you can, but how does that change the truth?

      You can believe that other people are more limited in their thinking than you if it helps you with your world view. When I was younger I did not give others enough credit. I realized more as I became older than all humans have an amazing ability to reason and understand. Other people are just as capable as you or I. Some people do not express themselves or bother to try and change another person’s mind. They are probably the truly smart ones.

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  9. smijer says:

    I point to a phenomenon that scientists claim they have observed that would present a problem with life having evolved over 3.5 billion years

    Scientists generally don’t claim that the phenomenon would present a problem. Any scientist who does make that claim is probably a creationist, and probably not very good at their job. Scientists don’t say this phenomenon will present a problem.

    Yes, put your money where your mouth is. If you were presenting evidence through your discussion that you really were genuinely curious and open to learning – that you were making a serious effort to discuss the issue in good faith, then I wouldn’t be trying to pin you down to a verifiable claim.

    You make positive claims that there are significant problems for evolution… but you seem to get real nervous about substantiating such claims.

    You’re right – clever people can win arguments without being right or even necessarily believing they are right. It is an intellectual skill. And I can see that you have that skill: you put together rhetorical statements like this one:

    on the other hand, if all the ‘unknowns’ in origins and evolution do not bother you, it should not upset you that these may bother others. I applaud you if learning so many theories and trying to make sense out of all this information”

    That’s clever – and it may give your “side” the appearance of being reasonable, to people vulnerable to such rhetorical tactics. On the other hand, if you were being sincere and straightforward you would operate very differently… it wouldn’t be a matter of “winning an argument”. It would be a matter of pursuing knowledge. Here is what you would do:

    1) Correctly identify what the unknowns in evolutionary theory are.
    2) Correctly identify what the knowns in evolutionary theory are, at least in broad terms.
    3) Assign each known and unknown an epistemic weight according to the same principles you would assign epistemic weight to knowns and unknowns in any other field of study (preferably one that is mathematically sound, such as a Bayesian scheme).
    4) Arrive at a conclusion that can properly be called “scientific” or “reasonable”.

    Would you prefer to take that route? Would you like to stop all this nonsense and have a rational discussion about the evidence?

    Or would you rather say, “no, science is too much work for me, and I think I prefer faith – but yes, I’m done trying to pretend I know something about a subject that I don’t even really care about that much”.

    Or would you rather keep trying to poke holes in science, with only rhetorical tricks, innuendo, and links to fakery on the internet as your tools.

    There are three approaches available to you. Two of them are pretty good. One of them, frankly, stinks. But if you keep working on that stinky option, I am going to keep trying to pin you down. I’m going to keep pointing out your unwillingness or inability to substantiate the claims you make against science, and am going to keep doing my best to demonstrate how honest inquiry looks, compared to motivated skepticism.

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    • jlue says:

      Jerry, Nobody can poke holes in ‘science’. At least not if by science you mean:

      the study of the physical and natural world and phenomena, especially by using systematic observation and experiment
      Encarta ® World English Dictionary © & (P) 1998-2005 Microsoft Corporation. All rights reserved.

      Problems can be pointed to and methods can be questioned, but a study is a “study”. Some studies are much better than others. I think this is where you and I have parted ways as far as discovery methods of learning are concerned. Those who see ‘science’ as an entity do not seem to be intellectually honest anymore. I am sorry to say that, but it is true. Making claims against “science” is not possible. Making claims about methodology is possible, but not”against science”. I don’t see that as even possible and questioning conclusions certainly should not be considered offensive.

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      • smijer says:

        I don’t see that as even possible and questioning conclusions certainly should not be considered offensive.

        Depends on how you do it. Watch this:

        You: The recession of the earth is a problem for evolution.
        Me: Specifically how do you claim this problem works?
        You: I don’t claim anything. Scientists claim the earth is receding, and that’s a problem for evolution.
        Me: Scientists don’t claim that it’s a problem for evolution. You did. Do you care to substantiate your claim?
        You: No I didn’t. I’m just saying. You sciency types are so defensive.

        Now you successfully got a piece of innuendo out there, and acted like you are innocent, and somehow the problem is *mine*. I’m the one doing something wrong by pointing out that you are just using rhetorical tricks to poke holes, and are unwilling to actually think about the problems that you claim exist enough to substantiate them.

        It’s not offensive, but it isn’t rational either. It’s just innuendo and rhetorical tricks. I’m not offended by them, but I do like to point out that you are unable to address these supposed problems substantively.

        Like

      • jlue says:

        You: No I didn’t. I’m just saying. You sciency types are so defensive.

        This what you said I said, not what I said.

        If having constant conditions to support life while it is “evolving” isn’t plain English, I do not know what is. You never really deal with what I say or ask. That is okay, you don’t have to, but at least acknowledge what I say without adding comments I do not make.

        Like

      • smijer says:

        “Having conditions to support life while it is evolving” is plain enough English, but it isn’t a verifiable claim, though it appears you are asking for it to be interpreted as evidence against evolution.

        Either you are making a positive claim of some sort, or you are not.

        Either such a claim is correct and represents evidence against evolution, or it is incorrect, and does not represent evidence against evolution.

        If you are making a claim, make it one we can really test. Otherwise, don’t expect anyone to assume that behind your hints there lies evidence against evolution.

        If it were me, and I thought it was my best argument against evolution, and I wasn’t afraid of revealing that my best argument against evolution was very weak, then I might make a positive claim of this sort:

        Scientists have evidence that they interpret to mean that the Earth has been receding from the sun at a constant rate for as long as the earth has existed. If that is true, then to reach the current orbit, then less than 3.5 billion years ago, the earth would have been so close to the sun that it would not have had an appreciable amount of liquid water, and could not have supported life. The latest that Earth would have been far enough from the sun to support life would have been a mere 1 billion years ago. 1 Billion years is not enough time, at observed rates of evolution and speciation, for a single population of living cells to produce the diversity of life we see on the planet today, therefore, evolution is inadequate as an explanation for what we observe if in fact, the earth’s orbit only allowed for liquid water 1 billion years ago. In addition, if the earth’s orbit has only so recently placed it in a position to support life, then the dating techniques upon which so much evidence about evolution and geology rest must be fundamentally flawed.

        I claim that there exists sufficient evidence to believe that the earth has been receding at a constant rate for as long as the earth has existed, and at that rate, life could not have begun to evolve until 1 billion years ago, which is not enough time for evolution to produce the result we observe, and is directly contrary to much of the underlying evidence behind evolution.

        Now that is a claim. It is a fictional claim that I made up – it is probably not your claim. I’m just showing you what a claim that might represent evidence against evolution would look like, presented honestly.

        Can you make a claim of this sort and present it straightforwardly?

        Will you select your best argument and make that case? If it turns out your best argument is strong, then everyone will know it, and see a good reason to disbelieve in evolution.

        If it turns out your best argument fails, then can you at acknowledge it? Can you deduce that if your best argument fails, then you are probably wrong in thinking that the evidence favors a view that evolution did not occur? Would you realize that you probably don’t have good reasons to disbelieve evolution after all?

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      • jlue says:

        I am not interested in doing the work that scientists are paid to do. Maybe you are and have, otherwise, there is plenty of information on the web for people to read and the information was placed there, in some instances, by people who make it their business to research. Some researchers are better than others, but if a person is truly interested they can usually find the methods used, how long the study was in place, what the veribles were, if the scientists had a preferred outcome he was seeking to achieve or if it was an honest effort to learn truth. That will involve a lot of time, but if you have doubts, it might be worth your while.

        If you recall, you came here making demands of me, not I you.

        Like

      • smijer says:

        That will involve a lot of time, but if you have doubts, it might be worth your while.

        I have a lot of doubts about a lot of things… but no – your efforts to instill doubts didn’t make me worry that there is really good evidence that the earth has been constantly receding at a constant rate from the sun as long as it has existed and that this rate was fast enough that it would have been too close to the sun to support evolving life during the last few billion years.

        Your efforts to instill doubts failed to work on me at all.. I could probably construct a dozen positive claims out of your shy innuendo, state them straightforwardly, and straightforwardly show why they were wrong – or at least their epistemic weight compared to the epistemic weight of evidence in the opposite direction is negligible. You may have managed to fool someone who isn’t used to dealing with this kind of fakery. That’s the source of my concern – helping prevent people from being misled by these types of tricks. To that end, I’ll wrap up with my following, final thoughts, and leave you the last word.

        I notice you are willing to pretend that the scenario of a receding earth could realistically be evidence against evolution, but you don’t have enough confidence in the prospect to actually turn that scenario into a positive claim and to see for yourself and let others see if it holds water.

        That puts me in mind of the tricks that people play with the dragons in their garage.

        Carl Sagan used this parable to illustrate the classic moral that poor hypotheses need to do fast footwork to avoid falsification. But I tell this parable to make a different point: The claimant must have an accurate model of the situation somewhere in his mind, because he can anticipate, in advance, exactly which experimental results he’ll need to excuse.

        It appears to me you already know that your argument against evolution based on the recession of the earth is doomed, and that is why you are unwilling to make a positive, straightforward claim and defend it.

        But there’s also less explicit forms of belief in belief. Maybe the dragon-claimant fears the public ridicule that he imagines will result if he publicly confesses he was wrong (although, in fact, a rationalist would congratulate him, and others are more likely to ridicule him if he goes on claiming there’s a dragon in his garage).

        Here stands a rationalist ready to congratulate you enthusiastically, should you publicly confess that you lack evidence against evolution, as you must know you do – at least on some level. Will you take me up on that?

        Like

      • jlue says:

        I do need to ask you one question. Will you tell me if this is the narrative that you believe? Timeline of evolutionary history

        Like

      • smijer says:

        Quibbles:

        “Dates over 1 billion years are speculative” – not exactly the best choice of words. Better: There is more uncertainty for dates over 1 billion years. There is always uncertainty… Anyone who tells you otherwise, as they say. It’s one of the trade-offs with an approached based on empirical evidence – you always get a level of certainty (with its concommitant level of uncertainty). The nice thing is that you can get some very high justified levels of certainty. And even where there are lower levels, the uncertainty is on the order of millions or maybe tens of millions of years. A fraction of the time scale we are talking about.

        Quibble 2: This is a rough timeline for consumption for non-scientists, and is likely not intended to furnish the full picture.

        Quibble 3: It’s two small. You can’t really see where “modern-looking humans” points. And why not a line for “homo sapiens”, which is an important landmark? Or one for “fully modern humans”. Does “modern-looking humans” mean all homo sapiens besides Neanderthals? Or does it include Neanderthals? Or some other grouping? Would any of the other Homo species qualify? My guess is that it involves only the sapiens sapiens subspecies, including cromagnon and fully modern humans (based on the timeline), but there are a couple other population groups – species or subspecies – that could qualify and hit that point on the time-line.

        Otherwise, and more straightforwardly, yes .I’m not one for unqualified answers, but when I list quibbles and qualifications, it is so you know more about where I stand, instead of less.

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  10. jlue says:

    If you are not willing to accept what scientists say, you certainly are not going to accept what I say. I am not a scientist or even a science major. I read a lot of what Creation scientist say and I also use my own knowledge of life to evaluate what I read as best I can. I wasn’t here in the beginning, however, I know what the Word of God says and I know that there is much evidence that points to it happening just that way. Sorry you think I was trying to make you doubt your beliefs, but I was actually writing to Rachael. If it helped you, I am glad. If it upset you, I am sorry. I am going to give it a rest.

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