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Teaching, Studying, THINKING

Here’s a comment that I generated based on a great “debate” stirred by this old blog post of mine.  The post was about why it’s such a big deal in schools discussing origin theories that involve religion.  If you have a hard time following it, click the link above and read through all the comments.  I’ve added some clarifying comments in [brackets].

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First, I just wanted to say that I find it refreshing to have a “friend” who happens to be an atheist, who also is willing to have an honest open discussion without stooping to name calling (at least to my recollection).  It seems like I can remember quite a few other discussions that have gone haywire, but this is fun. Thank you. [I’ve traded comments with this person many times]

Just so you are aware, I typically lump together naturalism, evolution and origins into the same topic, kind of like some people lump evolution into meaning more than it does. It’s the layman’s fault! I hope that clarifies what I’m writing about and why I’m bringing up different specific areas of science. [We were originally just discussing evolutionary teaching and it expanded into origins]

You made some well articulated responses that I enjoyed reading. I’ve always been impressed with your apparent grasp of the scientific theory you believe in. I’ll try to hit on a few points that hopefully sum up the comments you developed.

1) Correct me if I’m wrong, but you seem to note that if it’s not naturalistic, then it’s not scientific. You don’t quite lay it down like that, but… Let be back up a bit. If you prescribe to the theory you mention about life developing on another planet or aliens seeding the earth, let me ask if you feel that should be discussed in the classroom? Do you feel that is scientific? Remember the whole point of my post was the problem I see in inhibiting discussion in school, especially science classes.

2) [I was asked to define “shown”] “Shown”, proven. What has occurred is an interpretation, hypothesis, and a theory, not proof. I contend that the only evolution that has been proven is natural selection within a species. Evidence gets digested along with our preconceived ideas, and thus, the results are not simply what the evidence points to. As you noted, “we search for evidence of that natural explanation” just as a creationist would search for evidence that supports what the Bible says happened.

3) [He kept touting an experiment where some building blocks were formed in a lab] You’re really coming back a lot to the whole building blocks thing, which I would say compares to the Bible and the evidence showing it’s consistency and accuracy. We can’t show miracles in the lab, of course, but I contend it’s like believing in miracles to think that these building blocks could somehow become life. I believe the miracles that are documented in the Bible occurred etc just as I’m reasonably confident you believe that these building blocks turned into life… (and if my memory serves me correctly, creating those building blocks was not easy at all which would typically translate to it being next to near impossible for it to occur outside the lab)… Just an observation.

4) [Regarding the idea of abiogenesis-life coming from non-life] Can you make a hypothesis that notes that life came from non-life, and progress scientifically, gathering data through observation and experiments AND call that science?

5) [He asked] “Why assume a supernatural cause?”

Why not? Does science say that supernatural causes are not possible? Is science only defined as naturalism? If so, should it be so rigid considering how much we don’t know?

*6) I noted : “It’s never been shown that abiogenesis occurs.”
You responded: “OK. So? It has also never been shown that a divine being can ‘pop’ a living thing into existence from nothing.”

MY POINT EXACTLY. Then, WHY is abiogenesis science and starting with the ‘hypothesis’ that life was supernaturally inspired, not?

7) I’m not going to list the quotes from scientists (due to space) that elude to matter coming from nothing. If you haven’t honestly read up on that, you should do a search on it. I know there are many references out there. In the end, to me, we can dive in and dig through all sorts of theories, data and hypotheses, but until we can truly start “In the beginning..” we are simply guessing. I think it would be great to somehow understand how something could come from nothing…I don’t see how that question cannot be seriously asked when discussing the “Evolution, Origins and Naturalism” sides of science. [And funny how Hawking just published a book on this!!!]

8) [He noted that many people have no clue what evolution or much of what we were debating means] And yes, there are far too many “science” ignorant people out there…I’m confident that the both of us are far ahead of most of the population, which grieves me.

* This response one is my favorite point.

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8 Responses

  1. “I noted : “It’s never been shown that abiogenesis occurs.””

    Except it’s been shown that abiogenesis is possible based on the Miller-Urey experiments amongst others.

  2. These experiments did not create life. It’s a fun idea and deserves to be discussed in a classroom just like supernatural creation. Frankly, supernatural creation is possible.

    • No, but they demonstrated that the fundamentals of life could be created from non-life. Which is significantly more evidence than “it has never been shown” implies. And infinitely more evidence than you have for your religious claims.

    • The fact there is a Creation is great evidence, but that doesn’t hold water for you just like atoms and molecules creating atoms and molecules doesn’t make me all excited. It’s not life.

      To the Believer who has been immeasurably changed by who we believe is the Creator, to the Believer that has seen the proverbial light turn on after conversion, that is all the evidence that is needed. But, I digress. I still don’t see why supernatural creation theories and hypotheses shouldn’t be discussed in a science classroom. You haven’t given me a good answer on that one based on what we’ve discussed.

  3. BTW, is that you Morsec0de? New name?

  4. “The fact there is a Creation is great evidence,”

    Circular reasoning. You can’t call it ‘creation’ until you’ve given evidence that it was created. The fact stuff exists doesn’t work.

    “It’s not life.”

    Never claimed it was. But it’s on the way to getting to life.

    “To the Believer who has been immeasurably changed”

    So you’re just going to change subjects and say that evidence doesn’t count now?

    • Those that have been saved, especially ones who have themselves been unable to explain how their addictions or lives and attitudes changed drastically overnight are great evidence for Biblical truth, but as I said above, I digress or in other words, I got a bit off topic.

      Back on topic, “on the way to getting to life”. You make it sound like there’s not like a billion steps to go from basic molecules to life. It’s not life, and it’s no where near life. It’s simply a crutch. Now that word crutch sounds familiar.

      Again, the lack of evidence seems to be what makes it interesting to discuss in the classroom, whether supernatural or wishful thinking.

      Hey, it’s great talking to you again! I missed this! Blessings!

  5. Tree63fan,

    It’s me once again. I have edited some of my blogs and have a new blogs concerning NWT – defending its translation. You can read it now at http://www.fromthesunrising.wordpress.com
    Hope you will share it also to others. Enjoy reading…

    Yours truly,

    fromthesunrising

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