Talk:Falsifiability of Creation

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I DEMAND THIS ARTICLE BE MADE

Seriously, if you guys say this site is made to prevent liberal bias, you certainly have a lot of bias yourself. Creation is unfalsifiable, and, just like Evolution, it deserves to be said that neither can be proven scientifically, and no, a single book written by some old guys does not count as proof.

Even if this site is meant to have a Conservative bias, conservative\neqchristian. I also think that the Date of Creation should be heavily edited to reflect that Creation is, like Evolution, an improvable theory.

I'd do this myself, but I am unsure of your conservative guidelines for writing pages and I'm used to writing on Wikipedia The most reliable source of unbiased, open information.—The preceding unsigned comment was added by MarluxiaKyoshu (talk)

You have just started off on two left feet.
First and foremost, you, whoever you are (who forgot to sign your submission), are in a position to "demand" nothing.
Second, please see Examples of Bias in Wikipedia before you tell us that Wikipedia is "the most reliable source of unbiased, open information."--TerryHTalk 06:44, 13 April 2008 (EDT)
Already read it, and most of those problems are just vandalism that were never reported enough to be changed, you know, a better idea would be to simply go add in the articles of people or things you find need to be put there, and while I am a liberal, I will say that though Wikipedia may be considered Liberal, that is because the policy is freedom of content, as in, if there is proof of something, it should be documented, period. They are not Liberal, it's just that liberalism has similar view to what Wikipedia does. their goal is to supply a source of verifiable, uncensored information to anyone who inquires, and that is what they do very well. Conservapedia seems to just censor what they don't like and tout anything even harmlessly bad about the topics they don't like, and 'forget' to mention the good of said topics —The preceding unsigned comment was added by MarluxiaKyoshu (talk)
Even on Wikipedia, users are expected to sign their talk-page posts.
I've tried "adding in" content to Wikipedia's biased articles. It doesn't work, because the people that control the articles are "liberal" (I'm talking about creation/evolution/ID articles, and they are evolutionists).
Philip J. Rayment 10:30, 13 April 2008 (EDT)

False?

"If any part of His life did not take place as stated, then the Bible is false. No one has yet shown that the Bible misrepresenta [sic] any part of Jesus' story." Sorry, but hasn't Andrew demonstrated that the Bible is false with regard to Essay:Adultress Story? Many other sections are disputed too, I understand, by more qualified Biblical scholars. 10px Fox (talk|contribs) 07:51, 13 April 2008 (EDT)

The Reverend Professor Keith Ward (qualifications here) - and not a liberal, but a critic of Dawkins - for example points out in "What The Bible Really Teaches - A Challenge for Fundamentalists" (Society for Promoting Christian Knowledge, London; 2004 ISBN 0-281-05680-3 p.147): "...in the song of Zechariah, in the Gospel of Luke...[the] prophet blesses God for, he says, with the birth of Jesus God has kept his promise 'to rescue us from the hands of our enemies, and to enable us to serve him without fear' (Luke 1:74). It is false that the Jews were delivered from fear of Roman domination, and allowed to live in peace. The nation was destroyed by Rome within a generation." So what are we to take from that? That the Bible really is erroneous? Or the Gospel? Or the Gospel writer? Just that section of prophecy? Is there perhaps some other interpretation of the words? 10px Fox (talk|contribs) 08:20, 13 April 2008 (EDT)
What's false, if anything, abut the Pericopa Adultura is the authenticity of the manuscript. Definite standards exist to help decide whether any given text ought to remain part of the Bible or not. In other words, the dispute with the Pericope is whether it is canonical.
No one has yet falsified any narrative contained in canonical text.--TerryHTalk 14:30, 13 April 2008 (EDT)

I also have concerns about this article. In principle, it's correct. Practice is not so clear-cut, however. The main problem, I think, is in expecting archaeology to be able to prove that something didn't happen. Archaeology "proved" (according to the article) that Assyria didn't exist. The same with the Hittites. Now the "proof" turned out to be wrong, and Assyria and the Hittites did exist. But until the evidence was found, isn't it true to say that Archaeology "proved" the Bible wrong? No, it's not true, because a lack of evidence is not evidence of a lack. And that's the point: Archaeology cannot really prove that something didn't happen, so the Bible is not falsifiable in that manner.

There's other problems, but you (hopefully) get the idea. It's not that the Bible is not falsifiable, but that the example ways of doing that are not all good ones.

Philip J. Rayment 10:38, 13 April 2008 (EDT)

Bible Prophecies

"There be some standing here, which shall not taste of death, till they see the Son of Man coming in his kingdom." (Matthew 16:28) --Gulik5 (BTW, how do you do that Bible-link thingie?)

See {{Bible ref}} and {{Bible quote}}. Philip J. Rayment 12:04, 13 April 2008 (EDT)

Encyclopedic

I know this probably won't change anything, but I thought I should point out that this article does not look encyclopedic at all, but more like evangelism.--TomMoore 12:56, 13 April 2008 (EDT)

The notion that "encyclopedic" requires a definition that casts doubt on the veracity of certain facts of history is truly a sad commentary. James Ussher's The Annals of the World was regarded as "encyclopedic" in its day, and rightly so.--TerryHTalk 14:33, 13 April 2008 (EDT)

"Best attested figure in human history"

Is that true? The Holy Bible is indeed the main record of the man, and a large and often well-authenticated book it is, but it is pretty much the only source. (I'm not for a second denying that record). But surely Adolf Hitler, Ronald Reagan or even Britney Spears would have had tens of thousands of different texts about them, by tens of thousands of different witnesses - far more than Christ? I don't disagree with the intention of your point, but there's probably a better, more accurate way to phrase the same point that doesn't contain factual inaccuracies. Billabong 15:52, 13 April 2008 (EDT)

Yes, it's true. Where did you get the idea that the Bible was the only source? The Roman historians Seneca, Tacitus, and Pliny the Younger all talk about Him, His followers, or both. And don't forget Flavius Josephus, either, and remember that he didn't follow Christ himself; he just reported on those who did.--TerryHTalk 16:01, 13 April 2008 (EDT)
Terry, you should be careful about citing Flavius Josephus. Although he does say that Jesus existed, and led the Jews in rebellion, the part of the document that describes Jesus as the messiah has been proven to be a later addition, forged by medieval Monks. That's the Testimoniam Flavianum, and it's definitely unreliable.-Madison 16:37, 13 April 2008 (EDT)
Interesting Terry, thanks for the response. But even if what you say is true, isn't it likely that more modern internationally famous figures are actually more attested, simply because of greater population, more people in the media, more media, etc? Even with all the authors and commentators you refer to, I'd be hard pushed to think he was more written about, quoted, listened to, reported upon, commented upon than a modern US President? I'm not decrying Him, I'm simply saying that modernity has surely brought more 'attesting' than could have been possible in history? I'll happily stand down if we can find some evidence otherwise, but it'll make for interesting research - if it's even provable. Billabong 17:35, 13 April 2008 (EDT)
I think you've got a valid point, Billabong, except that Britney Spears is not a good example of someone in history. "Best-attested in ancient history" might be better. Philip J. Rayment 23:00, 13 April 2008 (EDT)

six twenty-four-hour days

I see that this article specifically talks about six 24 hour days. You will be aware that there are other interpretations which count the "days" as being a thousand years long or longer. Would it be appropriate for me to add something bout this? I understand that we're intended to edit rather than talk, but I wouldn't want to start off with a bad edit or simply have my entry reversed. thank you.Tolerance 16:33, 13 April 2008 (EDT)

No, it would not. Yes, I am aware that "other interpretations exist." I command you to be aware that they are flat-out wrong. Nor would a "day/age" interpretation make a bit of sense, for this reason above all: plants are created on Day Three, and no animals exist until two Days later. How could the plants survive? Blank-out.--TerryHTalk 21:09, 13 April 2008 (EDT)
Tolerance, see Creation week. Philip J. Rayment 23:03, 13 April 2008 (EDT)

On that point, the article says:

Creation as a concept is not separable from the rest of the Bible. The chief reason is that Jesus Himself attested to it, and attested to the Creation Week as consisting of six and no more than six (twenty-four-hour) days.

(This is after I altered it, but didn't change the point that I'm querying.) Jesus certainly quoted from the creation account in Genesis and implicitly attested to the account being historical and accurate, including an implicit endorsement of the six days (e.g. Mark 10:6 ), but I'm sure that He didn't explicitly attest to creation week consisting of six days. I'm querying what was in mind there.

Philip J. Rayment 09:33, 14 April 2008 (EDT)

Biblical Inconsistency?

The article states that "[i]f anyone can show definitely that any part of the Bible is inconsistent with any other part, then he has shown the Bible to be false."

Now this raises a question for me, and I'm hoping someone with more theological background can weigh in on this. Genesis, as I'm sure many people know, contains two creation stories. Gen 1 contains the familiar one, but Gen 2 adds another one. And rather than simply being two different ways of telling the same story, they are overtly contradictory. Gen 1 posits that God created man last (that is, after the animals), whereas Gen 2 says that He created man first. There are other contradictions, as well, but from a scientific standpoint, one is enough to get started. Now, there are two ways I can see us dealing with this problem.

1) Accept the Bible as the supreme source of spiritual Truth (which is my personal belief) and cede that parts of it are not meant by Him to be taken literally or as history. Thus we acknowledge that the Bible is Truth, but that it cannot be used as a source of scientific authority.
2) Insist that the Bible is meant to be a totally historical document, accept that it is inconsistent, which violates the claim made in the article (per the article itself), and in turn falsifies the Bible.

I don't know about anyone else, but that second possiblity is personally very disturbing. But the question still remains: where's the other universe? --Thinker 19:16, 24 October 2008 (EDT)

There is a third possibility: That what you see as an inconsistency is not actually an inconsistency. The first part of the account is chronological, the second is not, yet you make a chronological claim about it. The NIV translates Genesis 2:19 as "Now the LORD God had formed out of the ground all the beasts of the field and all the birds of the air." (my emphasis).
The language of Genesis 1 is that of narrative, and the experts agree that it was meant as history. And that's a point to keep in mind: The Bible was not written as a science textbook, but it does contain a lot of history, and some of that history does overlap areas that science claims. But is it really science (observation and testing) or history that is in dispute? We can run tests to see if scales have the capability of turning in feathers, but we can't run tests to see if that's what actually happened in the past. The former is science, and the latter is history. Okay, the two are not mutually exclusive, and certainly science can aid our understanding of history, but we must not blur the distinction.
Philip J. Rayment 00:09, 25 October 2008 (EDT)

I see we're probably about to enter an identical debate as the one on the Roman Catholicism talk page, but I would like to respond here before moving the debate.

After reading it even more carefully, I insist on my assertation that the second account is chronological. It does not include specific lengths of time, like the first account, but it certainly contains order. Gen 2:4-7 clearly describes the creation of man before "there was field shrub on earth and grass had sprouted." More importantly, Gen 2:8-9 very clearly says that the creation of plant life took place subsequent to the creation of man, which is contradictory to the first creation story. Gen 2:18-20 asserts that God created animal life in response to man's being alone (also my translation, NAB, does not have "had" in 2:19...even if it did I would argue that it meant "had created" in the sense of "ordered to be created"). I honestly fail to see how this can't be taken chronologically.

You say that experts agree Gen 1 was meant as history, but I utterly disagree with this claim. The Catholic Church's official doctrine is that the creation stories were not meant to be taken literally. Whether or not we agree with this claim, the Church's stance is at least evidence that the experts do not agree about the intent of Genesis. Now, for fear of entering into a doctrinal battle (as per my user page, I want to avoid those), that is all I will say on that particular matter.

Finally, you establish a dichotomy between science and history, whereas any professional historian will tell you that history must follow the scientific method. In the course of historical studies, a narrative must be treated as the primary evidence on which hypotheses are made. Testing these hypotheses becomes difficult to impossible, which is one reason why the fossil record is only weak evidence for any origins thoery. Evolution is actually tested in completely different ways, which I discuss in our debate on "counterexamples to evolution" discussion. --Thinker 11:44, 25 October 2008 (EDT)

Yes, the second part of the account does have some chronological statements, but it is not primarily chronological. I would also point out that if a document that has been around for a long time and accepted as authoritative for a long time by many people appears to have a contradiction that has somehow gone unnoticed by so many people for so long, then perhaps the apparent contradiction exists only in the minds of those seeing the contradiction. Much of ancient society was a "high context" culture, where the context of a writing was assumed to be understood, instead of being spelt out. What I'm getting at is that the second part of the account should be read in the light of the first part, and not as a totally separate account. If I said to you that Abdul's two wives often argued with each other, and someone else told you that Abdul was no bigamist, then you might conclude that one or other of us was lying or mistaken. But if you already knew that Abdul was married, widowed, then married again, but that his second wife knew the first wife well before she died, then you would understand what I said in a different light. And although you might argue that my wording wasn't clear to you, you would at least have to concede that it wasn't incorrect. Nothing in the second part of the creation account clearly and unambiguously contradicts the first part. The only contradiction is from taking an overly-literal understanding and looking for contradictions. So when Genesis 2:4-7 appears to contradict Genesis 1, you should be saying, "but plants had already been created, so what is this referring to instead?". This article explains that Genesis 2:4-7 would have been talking about cultivated plants, and clearly Genesis 2:8-9 is talking specifically about the Garden of Eden, not plants in general. I've already answered regarding Genesis 2:18-19 , but will add that naming them and finding Adam a helper was why God brought the animals to him, not why they were created in the first place.
The experts I was referring to were experts in Hebrew and Old Testament, and one (or even several) church organisation(s) does not change that. And even though the Catholic Church has compromised on this aspect in recent times, it's still official Catholic doctrine that Adam was a real person. Furthermore, essentially everyone accepted it as history until the last few centuries when "scientific" ideas started to be applied to it. Even now, most scholars who reject its literalness do so for reasons other than the text itself, as is documented in Old Earth Creationism. I'm sure this also applies to the Catholic Church.
Yes, history does to a fair extent follow the scientific method, but only up to a point. It relies to a large extent on ancient documents, and historians have to make value judgments on the reliability of those documents. There's few opportunities to do scientific tests in cases like that. Sure, one can put the stone tablet under a microscope or test its chemical composition to determine that it is authentic, or that it came from a certain culture, or whatever, but what sort of scientific tests does one run on the content of the writing? But then you admit that "testing these hypotheses becomes difficult to impossible", which is another way of saying that they are not really falsifiable, which means that they don't really qualify as science. As for evolution being tested in different ways, what I recall you saying in that other discussion is that evolution is "tested" by how plausible it is, which is different from testing whether or not it's correct.
Philip J. Rayment 10:10, 26 October 2008 (EDT)

You raise a number of very good points, and as I have exhausted my rather slim technical knowledge (as opposed to personal knowledge) of the Bible, I would be foolish to try and continue. I have been taught and have come to agree with the idea that the creation stories are meant to be taken figuratively. Others have been taught and have come to agree with other perspectives, and that is fine.

You do mention the importance of placing something in context, and I would argue that the Bible must itself be placed in an historical context. Even if you accept the Bible as the literal word of God, then we still have the idea that He was speaking to people of a different time and place. Times have obviously changed, and although Truth hasn't, I think it may be possible (not certain, only possible) that He would tell us Truth in a different way nowadays.

One last thing that's somewhat related: all science is tested by plausibility. However, plausibility is not something which is determined by how logical an idea sounds. Its plausibility is determined in many controlled experiments, and it is judged plausible if the effects match the expected results 95% or more of the time. That's a lot of uncertainty, which is why science is contstantly reworking past ideas...we don't like uncertainty, but we have to deal with it.

I truly enjoy debating with you, Mr. Rayment, as your thoughts are always well-reasoned and thought-out, but I am afraid "real-world" matters will be occupying my time for a while. Hopefully, I will soon be able to continue, and I look forward to it.--Thinker 11:09, 26 October 2008 (EDT)

I have little doubt that if God was relating Truth just to us 21st-century people, He would do it in a different way. But you seem to be assuming that He told it to people in a way that was specific to them, rather than in a general way that would be understandable by most people throughout history. Clearly God intended His Word to be passed on down to others, so would know that it also needed to be understandable by us. Of course He would also know that we would have the advantage of having some knowledge of ancient writing styles, etc. Philip J. Rayment 07:13, 27 October 2008 (EDT)

Testable propositions

Please list several testable propositions, and explain how this would affect support for Creationism if any of them were shown to be false. Please take into consideration the standard of proof which various creationists would accept, particularly those in the Old Earth and Young Earth camps. --Ed Poor Talk 09:25, 8 December 2008 (EST)

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