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Disagreement with current entry

I couldn't decide whether to erase this article and make an actual page for the moon, or rebut the points made by Aschlafly. I figured I might be banned if I just rewrote it, but this article is so silly that it doesn't really warrent a point by point rebuttal.

As it is written, this article is not about the moon. It is simply a collection of creationist claims about the moon, which belong in pages for creationism. A page about the moon should certainly include physical data and scientific theories of the moon's formation, and THEN it would be appropriate to bring up the christian objections to those theories.

In addition to the above, these arguments are not even credible. Answers in Genesis asks christians not to argue that a receding moon argues for a young earth. Point 5 is illogical on its face. It says that our solar system is one of few (Source? how few is "few"?) that has a single star. (Also, it says only one moon, which is false, their are many moons in our solar system, earth has only one moon.) The truely illogical part is that being one of these supposed few demonstrates "uniqueness." Clearly if there are multiple systems that meet the criteria, than our solar system is NOT unique. Does this argue for the existence of multiple Gods? Of course not, but no more so than it argues for one God. It is simply an erroneous, illogical, and irrelevant statement. Conservapedia will be rightly mocked for allowing content like this.

So editors, please advise. How should I proceed? Erase the article and replace it with a more thorough, more appropiate page, or will that result in banning?

I advise that you add your description of the moon at the top of the article and put the rest in a section towards the bottom. Thank you for your contributions. ~ SharonS 20:36, 22 February 2007 (EST)

I don't see any way to edit the page, but the reason why one face of the moon is always turned towards earth is because of tidal locking, not coincidence.

"Tidal locking" doesn't explain it. You'll have to justify your argument much better than that.--Aschlafly 00:48, 8 March 2007 (EST)
tidal locking can be seen elsewhere in the solar system. Pluto and Charon, for example. Or the moons of Phobos and Deimos to Mars. Using Mercury to explain the phenomena away isn't really accurate.--Dave3172 00:56, 8 March 2007 (EST)
The same claim was made about Mercury, misleading people for years, before it was proven false. Similar flaws can be expected to be found with the other bodies. "Tidal locking" would not explain the totally synchronous orbit anyway. There would be deviations greater than what is seen.--Aschlafly 01:06, 8 March 2007 (EST)

Point 5 in the article is complete and utter nonsense and should be removed. It is an opinion of one person with absolutely no relation to the moon. Can someone please unlock this article?--Sm355 12:44, 17 March 2007 (EDT)

Further Disagreement with current entry

Some links and comments about the points in the article:

1. If you check the Wikipedia article for Solar Eclipses, you'll note "An annular eclipse occurs when the Sun and Moon are exactly in line, but the apparent size of the Moon is smaller than that of the Sun. Hence the Sun appears as a very bright ring, or annulus, surrounding the outline of the Moon." (there's a pic too) so its not always a perfect match; this is because the moon's orbit is not a perfect circle, but rather an ellipse: "The distance from from the Earth to the Moon varies by about 13% as the Moon travels in its orbit around us." [1]

Of course it's not completely, 100%, absolutely physically identical, and the entry does not claim it is. Neither are perfect twins, by the way.--Aschlafly 12:34, 17 March 2007 (EDT)
The entry claims "Throughout man's existence, the Moon has had the same size as the Sun when viewed from Earth." This is demonstrably not true. It is similar, but if it was "the same" then annular eclipses would not occur. -- Limulus 17:25, 17 March 2007 (EDT)

2. [2] The link given about Mercury also gives the scientific explanation about the moon BTW. Also, the deal with Mercury (from that article) was apparently because it was claimed that the direct visual observation of it indicated that it had a single side facing the sun; *that* was wrong. We can clearly see that the moon presents the same side.

This doesn't refute the statement in point 2 that "The cause of the bulge on the Moon to lock in its rotation remains a mystery to those who reject design."--Aschlafly 12:34, 17 March 2007 (EDT)
quoting from the link: "Since Earth's gravity is much stronger than the Moon's, the tides from the Earth on the Moon are much stronger than the Moon's tides on the Earth. The Moon has tidal bulges just like the Earth, and so it too was slowed by the Earth's pull on its nearer bulge." And especially if the moon started out as a molten mass it would have solidified in a non-spherical shape as a result. -- Limulus 17:25, 17 March 2007 (EDT)

3. [3]

Your point?--Aschlafly 12:34, 17 March 2007 (EDT)
Did you even bother to read the link? Right now point 3 is "The Moon's surface lacks the abundant iron that permeates the Earth, thereby proving that the Moon did not come from the Earth." But iron does not 'permeate' the earth, it is far far more common in the core than in the outer layers. And the computer modeling mentioned at the link demonstrated that if a large enough meteor struck the earth, its iron would sink to the core and blast out a large amount of the less dense outer layers and *that* is what they're saying the moon was made from. They further argue that "The moon has exactly the same oxygen isotope composition as the Earth, whereas Mars rocks and meteorites from other parts of the solar system have different oxygen isotope compositions." -- Limulus 17:25, 17 March 2007 (EDT)

4. That's basically "Slichter's dilemma" and was solved by the 80's [4] is not an authority. Your point?--Aschlafly 12:34, 17 March 2007 (EDT) has a lot of very useful material based on mainstream science. You can argue against it point by point, but dismissing it out of hand is not very useful to fixing the mistakes in this article. My point, if you actually read the article, is that since the 80's its been demonstrated that with a better model of the continents incorporated into the earth-moon system you get an age for the moon that is several billion years old, not "a young age for the Moon of no more than one billion years" which led to "Slichter's dilemma". -- Limulus 17:25, 17 March 2007 (EDT)

5. There are "hundreds of billions of stars" in our galaxy alone. [5] So "few" could easily be many many million in just our 'neighborhood' of the universe.

Many millions of solar systems with just one sun? You need to support that far-fetched claim.--Aschlafly 12:34, 17 March 2007 (EDT)
Aschlafly, perhaps you are not aware that the stars we see in the sky are actually different suns. They only look faint and point-like because they are so far away. Astronomers are now finding that many of these stars have their own planets orbiting them, so yes, evidence does point to many millions of solar systems (each orbiting their own parent star) existing in our Galaxy alone.--Macronking 12:42, 17 March 2007 (EDT)
[6] states that "Two out of every three stars in the Milky Way is a member of a binary or multiple star system" So in the article where it says "Our solar system is one of the few that has only one sun." its actually 'one of the third'. Combine that with "hundreds of billions of stars" in our galaxy, that's dozens of billions with only one sun. And BTW, there are "many billion" galaxies in the universe (likely somewhere between 10 and 125 billion [7]) so the number of one sun solar systems is, literally, astronomical ;) The only thing "far-fetched" is to claim that the article as currently written is accurate in the least. -- Limulus 17:25, 17 March 2007 (EDT)
Minor nitpick: I figure it is more like half the solar systems in our galaxy have just one sun. If the other half are binary, then it would still be correct that "Two out of every three stars in the Milky Way is a member of a binary or multiple star system". RSchlafly 17:53, 17 March 2007 (EDT)
Hey, good point! Thanks for spotting that :) -- Limulus 21:55, 17 March 2007 (EDT)

All five of these points should really be dropped, as has been previously suggested. -- Limulus 04:32, 9 March 2007 (EST)

Number 5

The existence of 1 moon and 1 sun suggest 2 gods to me (1+1=2). Throw in the Earth and we are up to 3. Now, toss in the other planets and their moons and we are getting up to a pretty awesome set of gods and goddesses. All we need is a rainbow bridge to heaven!

1 moon; 1 earth = 1 God?

1 web site; one nutcase writer = 1 screwed up view of the world.

Could someone please unlock the Moon page so a professional can repair it? The first four points on this page are demonstratably false, and the fifth point is just religious opinion that has absolutely nothing to do with the Moon.

Current Article Factually Incorrect

Again, can someone please unlock this article? The first four points are factually incorrect. If vandalism is an issue, then at least remove the incorrect material and keep a bare-bones page instead. Macronking

Errors explained and supported are corrected. Ideologically motivated claims of error are not. All I see here so far are the latter.--Aschlafly 12:33, 17 March 2007 (EDT)

The article needs work, and even contradicts itself. Item 2 says "without any plausible physical reason", and then gives tidal forces as a physical reason. Item 3 says "There is no plausible non-creation theory of origin" after giving the theory that the Moon broke off from the Earth. Item 5 is completely silly. There are billions of solar systems with only one sun. We don't know of any with something like the Earth and Moon, but there are certainly many with one sun. RSchlafly 13:10, 17 March 2007 (EDT)

I welcome specific suggestions for improvements. Ideologically motivate changes without proof, of course, would be better sent to Wikipedia!
Point 2 is correct, there is not "any plausible physical reason." The point then notes that tidal forces do not explain the bulge on the moon, and how the same theory for Mercury has been disproven.
Point 3 explains why the Moon could not have possibly broken off from the Earth, which was the leading theory until samples were taken from the Moon that showed its crust is nothing like the Earth's.
Point 5 is correct. I'll look for a cite. There is no evidence that there are "billions of solar systems with only one sun."--Aschlafly 14:40, 17 March 2007 (EDT)
I think that it is reasonable to say that the Earth-Moon system is very unusual in the universe, as far as we know. We don't know how unusual, but some of those unusual aspects may be critical for life on Earth as we know it. It is also a fact that the Moon has less iron than Earth, and is receding.
But it is very misleading to avoid saying that there is a generally accepted scientific theory that the Moon resulted from a gigantic collision with the Earth several billion years ago. The theory explains the lack of iron and several other anomalies. I don't know why you avoid this, since it is consistent with your thesis that the Earth-Moon system is unique.
Your tidal comments are nonsense. The same tidal force theory that explains the Moon's rotation also explains Mercury's. Mercury just happens to be locked into a slightly different resonance. RSchlafly 15:27, 17 March 2007 (EDT)
RSchlafly is right on all 3 points. In fact, they used to suppose that Mercury's resonance resulted in an 88-day rotational period, same as its "year". I was in 4th grade when I happened to find out that Mercury's rotational period was actually 58.6 days, due to its 3:2 resononce. That is, it rotates 3 times for every 2 revolutions around the sun. --Ed Poor 17:10, 19 March 2007 (EDT)
And I immediately corrected my dad's Encyclopedia Britannica in red ink! (I was born for this, you see. ;-) --Ed Poor 23:35, 19 March 2007 (EDT)

The second paragraph from the top of the article has a confusion of phases of the Moon with eclipses. The phases of the moon are because of the shadow of the Moon, not the Earth. Or, in other words, parts of the visible Moon are dark because it's local night there. Canuck 07:18, 2 November 2008 (EST)

Fixed, thanks. It's not locked; you could have fixed it yourself. Philip J. Rayment 07:40, 2 November 2008 (EST)

Simple rebuttal to Aschlafly's Moon point #4

Your Moon point #4 that the Moon must have been receeding faster in the past can easily shown to be false in three lines. First, write the total angular momentum (L) for the Earth+Moon system. It consists of three parts: the Earth's rotation on its axis, the Moon's rotation on its axis, and the Moon's revolution about the Earth:

L = Ie We + Im Wm + r^2 Mm Wm

where Ie and Im are the momen of inertias of the Earth and Moon, We and Wm are the angular rotations of the Earth and Moon, Mm is the mass of the Moon and r is the Earth-Moon radius. Second, since angular momentum is conserved, take the time derivative dL/dt, set it to zero, and solve for dr/dt. For brevity, I'll denote the time derivate with a D, so dr/dt = Dr. This gives:

Dr = -(DWe + DWm(1 + Mm r^2)) / (2 r Wm Mm)

Third, both the numerator and denominator in this expression are positive, since We and Wm are negative (both the Moon and Earth rotate slower, that is We and Wm are less than zero, as energy is lost due to tidal friction). This means that Dr is positive. So the rate of change in the Earth-Moon distance is increasing with time, so it was slower in the past. This refutes your claim that the Moon must have been receeding faster in the past.--Macronking 12:58, 17 March 2007 (EDT)

Aschlafly, I've shown that one critical point in your Moon point #4 is incorrect. Please unlock the page so a professional can correct it.--Macronking 14:15, 17 March 2007 (EDT)

Presumably the speed of the Moon's orbit would decrease as it got further away. I don't see how you factored that into your analysis.--Aschlafly 14:40, 17 March 2007 (EDT)
I agree that Moon point #4 is incorrect, but I am not sure that your argument is correct either. It looks like a good argument that Dr is positive, but then you conclude that Dr is increasing. For that you would need to show that the 2nd derivative is positive. I don't see why that follows from your argument. RSchlafly 14:37, 17 March 2007 (EDT)


So I thought I had found the most ridiculous articles when looking through various animals, and dinosaurs. I was wrong. This article, if you can even call it that, is basically just a list of how to (wrongly) justify creationism by attempting to find logic in the solar system.

First of all, one source? ONE SOURCE? For an entire article about something which should have plenty of scientific sources about various things? Not a mention of humans landing on the moon, only mention of scientific theory of its creation is trying to disprove it (wrongly again), no mention of the other moons in the universe, no mention of what the moon is made of, no mention of water that used to be on the moon, no mention of impact craters, no mention of physical characteristics, no mention of anything FACTUAL.

1. Very irrelevant, is this an artistic study source or an encyclopedia?

2. Last sentence is again very irrelevant, and there are several different theories to why this occurs. Tidal forces should not be dismissed so easily either, especially with only once source using Mercury to show that it does not work that way. We're not talking about Mercury, are we? This is (like most articles on this website) trying to state things as fact which are opinions.

3. "There is no plausible non-creation theory of origin for the Moon at this time." - Made me fall out of my chair laughing. Did you take science class in school? Doesn't seem like it. There are a ton of theories for the moon, and the primary theory is definately not what you said it was. That was an early speculation at most. I always thought that the primary theory was that a space rock hit earth and part of that formed the moon, which also explains the Earth's tilt.

4. Wrong wrong wrong wrong WRONG. The main theory, once again, is not that the piece broke off from the Earth. The theory that a space rock hit the Earth would account for everything, making this point completely irrelevant, biased, and incorrect.

5. "Our solar system is one of the few that has only one sun. Only one sun and only one moon: this uniqueness may reflect the existence of only one God." - more laughter from me. How does it reflect the existance of one God? Does that mean in the billions of other solar systems there are other gods? And if they have two suns and two moons, there's two? It makes no logical sense what-so-ever, and is once again irrelevant to this article. If you have personally travelled to every solar system, I suppose that would be a reliable source. But, you haven't, and haven't cited anything for this amazingly inaccurate statement, so please fix the article. --ALFa 15:37, 17 March 2007 (EDT)

I agree. Unlock the article. RSchlafly 15:46, 17 March 2007 (EDT)

"Global" (no pun intended) reply to the above

As a simple matter of the history of theories of the moon's origin, the above criticism is completely false. There were "accepted" theories of the moon's origin, and they were all disproven by the lunar landings. Even if you cling to those theories, please admit the historical facts. Afterwards, in a panic, scientists convened to develop a brand new theory of the moon's origin. The current theory was the result of the scientists not being able to think of any other atheistic explanation. That's all.

Let's proceed this way. Obviously ALFa wants to take a crack at a content page. I've just written Moon Theories and it is unlocked and available for ALFa to edit. After we improve it and hopefully agree on some content, then let's merge the best of it with the Moon page. Sound like a good procedure? Feel free to start right in.--Aschlafly 19:13, 17 March 2007 (EDT)

" any other atheistic explanation ". Ok, but filling the gaps in science with religious faith is not in the least bit helping anyone. All you have done is criticise the current theory. There is most definitely no religious explanation that can be tested since it requires a person to have faith in something that cannot be seen, heard, sensed etc. For example, there is an anomaly with the Pioneer 10 spacecraft where it has veered off course and can not as yet be explained by scientists. One could say that God had a "hand" in this, but we cannot test this hypothesis at all and requires complete faith to continue to believe this idea. That is why more scientific investigation needs to be conducted and not signing the idea straight off to God.--Sm355 19:27, 17 March 2007 (EDT)
Answers in Genesis ascribes to the idea that "the moon was specially created ex nihilo at its present distance and in its present orbit some 6,000 years ago" [8] A Moon Theories page will not resolve the conflict then since there is a fundamentally unresolved matter of the age of the universe (e.g. mainstream science estimates that the moon and earth are nearly a million times older than AiG does) from which most of the conflict between mainstream science and biblical literalism derives IMHO. There is no need for rhetoric about 'atheistic explanations' BTW. The current scientific explanation is basically a glorified version of 'a big rock hit a bigger rock and knocked off a piece'. The "several striking characteristics that only be described as artistic in design" sounds rather like the Virgin Mary sightings in baking pans, etc. [9] [10] [11] [12] that is, people seeing what they want to see... -- Limulus 04:03, 18 March 2007 (EDT)

Article is disturbing

I think that Ronald Reagan is a great man. I also see dangerous doctrines of social engineering coming out of the ideology of Darwinism. But when I look at this locked moon page, I see a strange message that conservatives shouldn't overthink astronomy. There is a lot that the page doesn't say about the moon. It doesn't give its diameter, its mass, the length of its orbit, or its distance from the earth. It doesn't give its composition as studied in the Apollo program. Heck, it doesn't even say that men landed on the moon at all! All it does is give a numbered argument for why the moon is evidence for young-Earth creation specifically. It also has only one single reference for one of its many points.

So I took an interest in the references. I did not know that the moon is receding from the Earth, so I looked that up. NASA says that the moon is receding from the Earth at 3.8 centimeters per year [13], whereas this page says: "The Moon is currently receding from the Earth at less than 6 inches per year. The Moon could never have been closer than about 150,000 miles or it would have been broken up by tidal forces. If the rate of recession is assumed to have averaged about 6 inches per year,..." If you are only interested in what the rate of recession is less than, why stop at 6 inches? Why not say, "The moon is currently receding from the Earth at less than 10 feet per year. If the rate of recession is assumed to have averaged about 10 feet per year..."

I also did not know much about the surface composition of the moon, so I looked that up too. This page says, "The Moon's surface lacks the abundant iron that permeates the Earth, thereby proving that the Moon did not come from the Earth." I think that the first half of that is true, but according to this page [14], the Earth's surface also lacks the abundant iron that permeates the Earth. Are we not supposed to think about the difference between surfaces and permeations? PBrown 13:40, 17 March 2007 (EDT)


I've altered the article to more closely reflect the contents of the reference given, and to correct some errors on the Roche limit section. Might put up an article on tidal locking later if no one else gets to it. Also removed the reference to 'artistic' features, since I don't see anything particularly artistic about, say, iron deficiency. Tsumetai 08:52, 19 March 2007 (EDT)

Far side and near side

"Not surprisingly, it turned out to look a lot like near side."

The far side does not look like the near side. There are no great seas across it and it is simply a lot of craters. [15] 31% of the near side is covered in these seas while only 2.5% of the far side is. They do not look anything alike. --Mtur 18:58, 19 March 2007 (EDT)

  • You're right. I removed it. Dpbsmith 10:12, 20 March 2007 (EDT)

Old Earth

While Conservapedia does not take sides in this, it does tell the truth, and the truth is that atheists heavily promote old earth theories as a way of leading students away from faith.--Aschlafly 18:24, 23 November 2007 (EST)

I think "promoted by atheists" is unnecessary - Christian astronomers such as Guillermo Gonzalez, Alan Sandage (discovered of quasars) and Fred Heeren (a Christian apologist) are old earth believers, and there is nothing inherently atheistic about what they believe. "Promoted by atheists" is true, but atheists also promote a lot of other things. The fact is, many theists promote it as well, so it's a non sequitur. Just because atheists use it as a tool to lead some from faith does not mean that they should have dominion of the field. DanH 18:27, 23 November 2007 (EST)

I don't object to having young earth bias in the articles, but to say that if you don't believe in a young earth, you're an atheist, that really offends me. DanH 18:28, 23 November 2007 (EST)

No one said that, Dan. But it is indisputable that atheists promote, and promote heavily, a theory of an old earth. And it's obvious why they do so: it leads many students, though obviously not all, away from faith and political views consistent with faith. Show me 100 teenagers who believe the earth is over 10 billion years old, and I'll show you 90 teenagers growing up to be atheists.--Aschlafly 18:38, 23 November 2007 (EST)
  • If an atheist says the sky is blue, those agreeing with him are also atheists? Ergo, just because most atheists are thought to believe in an Earth older than 6,000 or so years, that makes it an "atheistic thought"? Poppycock! What kind of ideology-driven, non logic is that? You are not backing down to atheists by re-stating that clearly, and taking away the pious, insults leveled at the majority of Christians. You have now switched the time-frame from a billion to ten billion years, without explaining that. --şyŝoρ-₮K/Ṣρёаќǃ 18:43, 23 November 2007 (EST)
(Repeating some of Andy's post which I wrote before I had an edit conflict with him, then TK.) I don't think anyone said that believing in an old earth makes one an atheist. If they did, I would disagree with them.
However, there is something inherently atheistic about belief in an old Earth and moon when the Bible clearly teaches that the whole of creation is "young" (i.e. around 6,000 years old). Christians who believe in an old creation do so because of non-biblical reasons, i.e. reasons promoted by atheists (or because they trust other Christians who believe such). See Old Earth Creationism for evidence of this.
Philip J. Rayment 18:44, 23 November 2007 (EST)
  • Totally amazing, Philip, that all those billions of Catholics, and other Churches, seem to miss this "truth" you and others claim.....--şyŝoρ-₮K/Ṣρёаќǃ 18:46, 23 November 2007 (EST)

TK, no one said that people who agree with atheists about an old earth must also be atheists. It's a Christian view that there is life after death. That does not mean everyone who believes in life after death are Christians. Hindus are not, for example.
But we are going to the tell the truth here, and atheists do heavily promote their view of an old earth to weaken and often destroy the faith of teenagers and adults. And once that faith is destroyed, many other things follow: depression, despondency, abortion, liberal political views, etc. Is this effect seen in every single case? Of course not. Is it seen on a statistical basis out of groups of hundreds, thousands and millions? Of course it is. And we're going to tell the truth here.
As to "billions of Catholics and other Churches" believing in an old earth, TK, that is precisely the type of liberal hearsay and misperceptions that we criticize and expose here.--Aschlafly 18:53, 23 November 2007 (EST)
  • So, you have dared to publicly brand what I said, factual as it is, as being like "Liberal hearsay" and a misconception of what the Roman Catholic Church believes? That what I said was a "mis-characterization", that the Catholic Church believes in a Earth older than 6,000 years? I just want you to state that is so publicly, here if that is what you meant to say. --şyŝoρ-₮K/Ṣρёаќǃ 18:59, 23 November 2007 (EST)
(Replying to TK)
  • I doubt that there's "billions" of Catholics, at least if you are just counting ones alive today.
  • The majority believing something does not make it right.
  • If you count Christians over the last 2000 years, plus Jews before that, most would have believed it to be 6,000 years (now), so the majority in this case is for a young moon.
  • An appeal to popularity argument is a logical fallacy.
Philip J. Rayment 18:56, 23 November 2007 (EST)
The Roman Catholic Church - the largest branch of Christianity - says there are a total of 1.156 billion baptized members around the globe. --şyŝoρ-₮K/Ṣρёаќǃ 19:05, 23 November 2007 (EST)
I guess that might just qualify as "billions" (plural), but that still leaves my other points unanswered. Philip J. Rayment 19:11, 23 November 2007 (EST)
  • Conversely, Philip, a minority believing something is right, like a 6,000 year old Earth, does not make it "right" either. Nor should the beliefs of that minority be constantly presented as "the truth", the only truth, because it is insulting to others. --şyŝoρ-₮K/Ṣρёаќǃ 19:02, 23 November 2007 (EST)
True (your first sentence), but YECs are not claiming it to be true because of majority opinion, like you claimed for an old Earth, so that is irrelevant.
There is nothing wrong with presenting the beliefs of the minority as true if they are true, and you are concentrating on arguments of popularity rather than addressing the points that I raised.
Philip J. Rayment 19:11, 23 November 2007 (EST)
TK, out of 1 billion Catholics worldwide, I'd be surprised if 1% of them believe the Earth is more than 1 billion years old as taught by the atheists. But I will say this: more than 50% of educated ex-Catholics (and ex-Christians) lost their faith because they were indoctrinated with atheistic dogma in school. Promoting an old earth view is perhaps the single most effective way of enticing a teenager to lose their faith.--Aschlafly 19:09, 23 November 2007 (EST)
  • Andy, please answer the question! Are you branding my statements as mis characterization of what the Catholic Church believes, and me being out-of-step with Conservative thought? Your time frame keeps jumping wildly between a billion and ten billions of years, so it is hard to answer what time-frame you imagine is being taught. And so long as one accepts Jesus Christ as their Lord, and accepts that all of creation is God's work, should this be the battle you (or any of us) should fight, given all of Christianity is under attack? My answer is no, it should not! --şyŝoρ-₮K/Ṣρёаќǃ 19:21, 23 November 2007 (EST)
Faith requires belief in Jesus and only one Adam, and the Catholic Church has absolutely prohibited anyone from teaching to the contrary. Enough said?--Aschlafly 19:24, 23 November 2007 (EST)

This is a deeply personal issue for me that cuts to the edge of an intense faith struggle in my past, so I don't share it often. And I agree with Andy that proving an old earth threatens the faith of many. But we must still reach out to these people who are taught this and show them that their faith is true no matter what they believe about origins. It is nearly impossible to change one's mind on origins. If someone is convinced beyond a doubt that the earth is old and struggling with their faith, are we to let them go to hell if we cannot convince them the earth is old? No, we are to disagree with them on this issue, knowing that Biblical history and prophecy verify the Bible.

Phillip, the Bible does NOT necessitate 6000 years old. The word "day" that is used in Hebrew is used elsewhere in SCripture to indicate a long period of time - even Henry Morris admits this. Please, theologians like Billy Graham, Norm Geisler, JP Moreland, Gleason Archer, Hank Haanegraaf... they all say you can belief in an old earth. The Bible does not NECESSITATE IT. David Snoke's A Biblical Case for An Old Earth examines all these issues, including the Hebrew - both young and old earth views are theologically feasible.

I nearly lost my faith as a teenager when confronted with undeniable proof of an old earth - every argument put forward by young earthers was clearly explained by others. I became ill and even thought about killing myself because I felt my faith was gone. I talked to a couple of Southern Baptist seminary students who helped me out. I managed to stay a Christian because I found arguments that an old earth was exegetically possible. I know others have lost their faith in this manner - scientist Greg Neyman has documented this trend. Both sides are guilty of this - old earthers try to destroy faith of the young earthers by proving the earth is old, and young earthers try to destroy the faith of old earthers by exegetically proving the Bible says the earth is young. All that matters for the plan of Salvation is set in place in the New Testament. I don't even mind the article putting forth every young earth article out there, but I would hope that the article would say "old earth view put forth by atheists and old Earth creationists." If I sat next to any young earth believer in a pew in Sunday morning, nothing would theologically differentiate us other than the insignificant issue of origins. The real problem is liberals who say that Jesus is not the only way to heaven and accept this. DanH 23:46, 23 November 2007 (EST)

Dan, virtually no one's faith survives the atheistic promotion of an old earth. Perhaps only 1 in 100 can, and not much more than that. Even if your faith survives, you'll be causing others to lose their faith by espousing an old earth. This is as factual as observing how alcoholics lose their health over time.
Personally, I didn't reject an old earth for reasons of faith. I completely accepted an old earth until I was about 40 years old. I only rejected an old earth based a thorough open-minded application of logic and science that took several years. Then, as an unexpected bonus, I found my faith greatly strengthened. I had been taught all the lies about the Catholic Church embracing an old earth (not true), about how science proves it (not true), about how everyone supposedly accepts it (not true), etc.
One thing I've noticed is how a believer in an old earth will shy away from debate of the issue when he senses his belief in an old earth might be shaken. That's how darkness works: it abhors light. Most of the believers in an old earth would change their mind as soon as they allow it to be open, and allow logic to shine in. Try it, please. Godspeed.--Aschlafly 00:10, 24 November 2007 (EST)

I like to always keep an open mind on this issue, so I don't wish to shy away from these issues. I will try to expand my readings of more diverse sources on the issue in the future. I don't like to promote my old earth views out of fear that I may damage another's faith - when talking about reasons to believe, I prefer to talk about historical verification of the faith because anyone who claims that Jesus did not rise from the dead has a lot of explaining to do when looking at the history. DanH 00:15, 24 November 2007 (EST)

Perhaps if we just specify more precisely - rather than saying that atheist support it (which, in fairness to both Dan and TK - does kind of imply that Christians don't support it) - we could say, Atheist and non-Young-Earth Christians support it? I mean, that's obviously a completely true statement - and that way we can make sure not to offend anyone - so really it's a win-win.--IDuan 00:26, 24 November 2007 (EST)

In reply to Dan, please realize that Jesus and His sacrifice make no sense unless there was one Adam and his original sin. The Catholic Church has prohibited teaching anything to the contrary about man's origins.

But, as I said, I reject an old earth based on logic and science. The arguments for an old earth have logical flaws and much deceit, while arguments against it are compelling. But watch how old earth believers are pulled away from discussing it with an open mind, as I was until I overcame that when I was 40 years old.

Unfortunately, I have to sign off soon tonight but will be back online tomorrow morning. Godspeed.--Aschlafly 00:29, 24 November 2007 (EST)

I do believe in one Adam, a special creation, and I don't think not believing in one is an option, given that Adam is mentioned both in the Old Testaments and New. It is unfortunate that many old earth believers do not. DanH 00:33, 24 November 2007 (EST)
OK, now how about a worldwide flood after the origin of man? There is limestone in every part of the world, at every altitude. There are salt-water lakes inland and high altitudes. There's no doubting that a worldwide flood occurred after the origin of life, as limestone can only be formed from the sidement of living organisms. The Grand Canyon can only plausibly be explained as having been formed by a flood. But many old earthers will deny all this to erode faith, particularly in students. Dan, what's your view?--Aschlafly 09:39, 24 November 2007 (EST)
My view is the same as Greg Neyman - universal flood but local in nature. However, I didn't come to the site to promote science - I came to promote a Christian worldview and political conservatism. I feel demonized, by being accused of promoting atheism and rejecting God (as evidenced by the last comment of Phillip's reply to me - that's really what it says.) I don't wish to make anybody believe the same I do about origins - I simply want to be accepted as a Christian with a different view on the issue, just as one with multiple denominations. I am going to need some time to reconsider my role on this project. DanH 12:34, 24 November 2007 (EST)
My comment was about those that reject God; it wasn't putting you in that category—I know that you don't reject God. I do accept you as a Christian with a different view on the issue, and the only reason for challenging your view is because you made statements that I felt needed a response. Philip J. Rayment 08:19, 25 November 2007 (EST)
Dan, I don't know who Greg Neyman is, and I'm just trying to have an open-minded discussion of this topic with you and others here, which is what the real value in a wiki is. Maybe we can learn from each. We're not going to learn anything if discussion ends, that's for sure.
From a purely scientific point of view, if there was no universal flood, then why is there limestone (which requires water and organisms) at every altitude and every part of the world? Why are there salt-water lakes far inland and at high altitudes all around the world? From a purely religious point of view, were there descendants of Adam outside of Neyman's theory of a flood? That would cause doctrinal problems that undermine Jesus' Crucifixion.
As perhaps you'll agree, the promotion of an old earth does erode faith in many people. From a belief in the old earth comes a denial of Adam and/or the Flood, and eventually denial by many of the purpose of Jesus, and before long many people are ex-Catholics or ex-Christians who don't want to discuss it anymore. It's sad and entirely avoidable with open-minded discussion.--Aschlafly 12:51, 24 November 2007 (EST)
I don't know much about limestone and the Grand Canyon, other than a supposed refutation of the model that explains the deposition of sandstone in the Grand Canyon during the flood. I will read more about the issue - I am not as averse to the idea of a universal flood as many on the old earth side, given that any flood would have had to be a miracle in any event and it would certainly be within God's power. The interpretation of a local flood would hold that the entire population of Earth was destroyed, but that the flood was only large enough to kill the population (under the Hebrew meaning of the term kol eretz, which means all the land, both here and elsewhere in the Old Testament), and thus that the descendants of Noah were the only remaining people (and thus the descendants of Adam). When we read the Bible today, we bring in modern assumptions, such as that of a spherical earth. Not all people necessarily had that knowledge then, although the Bible does refer to the "circle" of the earth in the book of Job or Psalms. Thus, the same word that would have been used to refer to a flood over the entire earth may have referred to a flood that simply killed all of the people on earth. But a global flood might have been possible as well.

I would strongly agree with you that shying away from intellectual issues is a major problem with the proliferation of atheism, which is a shame, given that all of archaeology, history, and science (anthropic principle, impossibility of evolution, etc.) points to the truth of the Bible. I won't even doubt that some have turned away because of the views of an Old Earth, or that some have modified their biblical reading to fit with scientific observations. I will freely admit to this charge - although I think we do it more often than we think. When we read Joshua's account of the sun standing still, we don't take this to refer to heliocentrism as many did before discoveries indicated otherwise - we take this to refer to how the sun appeared from the Earth. It's not the most natural reading, but it is a possible reading of Scripture - and that is how old Earth interpretations are - not the most natural readings, but possible ones nonetheless. DanH 13:04, 24 November 2007 (EST)

A local flood that killed the entire population of the Earth would be a remarkable event, even assuming that the entire population was confined to the Middle East. The Bible records that the flood lasted a year and covered the highest mountains, and the ark landed on Ararat. Ararat, from memory, is about 14,000 feet high. So the "local flood" idea proposes a flood 14,000 feet deep that lasted a year, but was somehow confined to the Middle East! Unless, of course, you want to mythologise/allegorise/whatever those points. Then of course, why would Noah need to build an ark, when he could have emigrated? And why take birds on board, when they could easily fly to another country? For that matter, why take representatives of all the animals, or does the idea claim that the animals hadn't spread beyond the Middle East either?
The "spherical Earth" is not a modern assumption. It is an observation.
I'm not convinced that you are correct regarding Joshua's long day. Specifically, do we know how ancient people took it, or is that an assumption? And is heliocentricism really the "most natural reading"? The sun standing still is a literal reading of how it appears from Earth, and perhaps that's simply how ancient people understood it; that is, perhaps no-one understood it to teach heliocentricism (prior to the church adopting pagan ideas on that).
Philip J. Rayment 08:19, 25 November 2007 (EST)
Dan, we seem to agree that God could have created a young earth, and we seem to agree that the Flood could have been worldwide. Because it could have happened, there is no rational argument for insisting that it must not have happened. For example, if my wife tells me that she think it rained last night, and I say "no, I don't think so," wouldn't it a surprise if I then emotionally insisted on cutting off debate?? Or if I then insisted that my wife not express her view to our children?? If that insistence on censorship happened, then it would be reasonable to conclude that there something more than science lurking below the discussion.
A central part of the old earth theory is a denial of a worldwide flood. The theory of an old earth was promoted as a way of persuading more people about evolution in the 1800s. But if there was a worldwide flood after the origin of life, as proven by the limestone deposits, then evolution was cut off anyway and the usefulness of the old earth theory is diminished. So I'd be amazed if you could find a single person who beliefs in both an old earth and a worldwide flood. Yet Catholic doctrine, and Jesus' Passion, implicitly relies on Noah's flood and most Americans accept it.--Aschlafly 13:28, 24 November 2007 (EST)
  • There is a mixing of doctrine here that fits a disturbing pattern. The Holy Roman Church does not endorse, nor has it ever said that the Earth was "young" in the manner than YEC's claim it is. One can believe in an Earth significantly older than 6,000 years. And contrary to what Andy is promoting here, I believe the Catholic Church has and continues to save millions of souls, believing in one Jesus, one Adam. I don't see anyone "cutting off debate here" but I do see the issue raised as a "red herring". The Catholic Church states the flood is fact. That doesn't mean it happened in the time-frame YEC's are saying it did. --şyŝoρ-₮K/Ṣρёаќǃ 13:46, 24 November 2007 (EST)
I very much doubt that it's true that the 'Holy Roman church ... has [never] said that the Earth was "young" '. They may not have said so in the last, say, century, but I'd be pretty certain they've said so earlier.
Sure, one can believe in an Earth significantly older than 6,000 years, just as one can believe in pixies at the bottom of the garden. What one can believe is not the point. What the Bible teaches is the point.
Philip J. Rayment 08:22, 25 November 2007 (EST)
TK, I didn't say anything about what "YEC's are saying," and I don't believe in relying on hearsay anyway. I'm engaging in a direct and open-minded discussion of the facts here regardless of the perceptions and misperceptions of what others may believe. This discussion is what wikis do best.--Aschlafly 13:50, 24 November 2007 (EST)
The only person I've ever come across who mixes the views of an old Earth with a worldwide flood is John Oakes, who wrote a book called "Does God Exist?" The book has a lot of seemingly contradictory beliefs, though, because it mixes that with theistic evolution. DanH 14:23, 24 November 2007 (EST)

By the way, being raised Baptist, I'm not very familiar with Catholic views, so out of curiosity, I'd like to ask how their view of the Passion is associated with Noah's flood. DanH 14:26, 24 November 2007 (EST)

Dan, if we agree that God could have created a young earth, then why insist with incomplete information that He must not have done so? Also, if we agree on a massive flood, about when do you think it occurred? Around 3000-3500 B.C., or millions of years ago? (Will reply to your second point a bit later.)--Aschlafly 14:28, 24 November 2007 (EST)

If the flood were local, I would probably place the flood early in human history, around 30,000 or 35,000 BC, at least at some point before humans were first in places such as America, because if a flood was local in scope and universal in nature (and the Scripture makes clear that all mankind other than Noah's family was affected), it could not have affected this. Of course, this view accepts that the genealogies in Genesis 5 and 11 were telescoped and thus did not include every generation.

One of the scriptural reasons I accept it as local is Genesis 8:3, where the Bible says that the flood waters receded. If the flood was worldwide, where would the waters have receded to? Also, when God used a wind to help recede the waters in Genesis 8:1, a wind would not have had as much of a tempering effect if the water covered the entire earth. DanH 14:33, 24 November 2007 (EST)

If the flood was 30,000 or 35,000 B.C., and destroyed all of humanity, then the Australian Aborigines must not be humans, given that they are supposed to have arrived in this country 40,000 to 60,000 years ago. This is one of the problems with Hugh Ross' teach that Greg Neyman supports. And to be picky (like I tend to be; sorry), this doesn't "accept" that the genealogies in Genesis were telescoped, it claims it, which makes a mockery of them, as they are not just genealogies, but chrono-genealogies.
Psalm 104:8 (NASB) says that "The mountains rose; the valleys sank down". The flood waters didn't cover Everest; Everest, along with many other mountains, rose up at the end of the flood, and the ocean troughs formed or deepened. This explains where the water went.
Philip J. Rayment 08:33, 25 November 2007 (EST)
30,000 BC is too long ago, as human population would have grown to much larger than what it was by the time of Christ. But adherence to an old earth would inevitably cause older and older times for everything. All the geneology in the Bible is completely false if the flood was 30,000 BC, and we should have discovered writings older than 3000 BC if the flood was 30,000 BC. Yet no writings or civilizations have been discovered older than the biblical estimated date for the flood.
In response to your question above abou the Catholic Church, Peter was the first Pope and founder of the Catholic Church. He said in 2 Peter 2:4, with the full power of infallibility:
4 For if God did not spare the angels who sinned, but cast them down to hell and delivered them into chains of darkness, to be reserved for judgment; 5 and did not spare the ancient world, but saved Noah, one of eight people, a preacher of righteousness, bringing in the flood on the world of the ungodly; 6 and turning the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah into ashes, condemned them to destruction, making them an example to those who afterward would live ungodly; 7 and delivered righteous Lot, who was oppressed by the filthy conduct of the wicked 8 (for that righteous man, dwelling among them, tormented his righteous soul from day to day by seeing and hearing their lawless deeds)— 9 then the Lord knows how to deliver the godly out of temptations and to reserve the unjust under punishment for the day of judgment, 10 and especially those who walk according to the flesh in the lust of uncleanness and despise authority. They are presumptuous, self-willed. They are not afraid to speak evil of dignitaries, 11 whereas angels, who are greater in power and might, do not bring a reviling accusation against them before the Lord.

--Aschlafly 14:38, 24 November 2007 (EST)

Reply to DanH

First let me thank DanH for his more restrained discussion here, and for spending time thinking about it.

"...we must still reach out to these people who are taught [an old Earth] and show them that their faith is true no matter what they believe about origins.": Agree totally.

"It is nearly impossible to change one's mind on origins.": If it's really made up and closed, but YEC groups have been having great success in changing people's minds.

"If someone is convinced beyond a doubt that the earth is old and struggling with their faith, are we to let them go to hell if we cannot convince them the earth is old?": No YEC would "let them go to hell" for not believing in a young Earth.

"Phillip, the Bible does NOT necessitate 6000 years old. The word "day" that is used in Hebrew is used elsewhere in SCripture to indicate a long period of time - even Henry Morris admits this.": As do I. And the same applies in English. The sentence, "In my grandfather's day, it took six days to drive across Australia, travelling during the day" uses the word "day" in three different ways, and one of those ways (the first) is as an indefinite period of time. But which way each occurrence is used is quite clear from the context, and to try and argue that the second reference ("six days") can refer to a long period of time is to abuse the language—it can't mean that. The same applies in Hebrew. When used with "morning", "evening", or a number, the word "day" (yom) only ever means a literal day. Genesis uses all three! That it can only be used this way is clear from Hebrew scholars, and from the witness of the church for thousands of years, in that essentially nobody proposed an "old" Earth on the basis of the biblical record. That is, the idea for an "old" Earth has not come from the Bible, but from non-biblical sources, i.e. secular/atheistic ideas.

"Please, theologians like Billy Graham, Norm Geisler, JP Moreland, Gleason Archer, Hank Haanegraaf... they all say you can belief in an old earth.". Yes, they do (as far as I know), but why? They do so because they are trying to accommodate the (supposed) science, not because of Scripture.

"David Snoke's A Biblical Case for An Old Earth examines all these issues, including the Hebrew - both young and old earth views are theologically feasible." I've not read that. What are his biblical reasons for believing that the Bible teaches an old Earth? Or is it just that it is "feasible", rather than taught?

"I nearly lost my faith as a teenager when confronted with undeniable proof of an old earth - every argument put forward by young earthers was clearly explained by others.": The problem that I have with that, of course, is that I don't believe that there is any "undeniable proof" of an old Earth. And you haven't mentioned any.

"I became ill and even thought about killing myself because I felt my faith was gone. ... I managed to stay a Christian because I found arguments that an old earth was exegetically possible.": What you appear to be saying is that in a contest between the claims of fallible scientists and the Bible, if you can't reconcile them, you will go with the fallible scientists? In that case, the fault is with the fallible scientists, not with those that seek to uphold the Bible. What I also noticed is that your comments seem to imply that you had to have the biblical case for an old Earth explained to you, because your plain reading of it suggested otherwise. So the problem was not with the YECs, but between the old-Earthers and your reading of the Bible. So why blame the YECs?

"Both sides are guilty of this ... young earthers try to destroy the faith of old earthers by exegetically proving the Bible says the earth is young.": This is nonsense. YECs are not trying to "destroy the faith" of anyone, but to build their faith, by showing that the Bible as nearly everyone, atheist or Christian, understands it (whether they believe it or not), can be believed.

"...the insignificant issue of origins...": The issue of origins, as has been explained by Andy and even accepted by you, has the potential to destroy the faith of many people. It is thus not "insignificant".

"The real problem is liberals who say that Jesus is not the only way to heaven and accept this.": The real problem is those that question (reject) God, whether that be in rejecting the biblical foundations of Genesis or the later parts in the New Testament.

Philip J. Rayment 01:34, 24 November 2007 (EST)

Reply to All

Ok everyone - while this YEC v OEC debate is obviously an important point - the real question is what to put into the article. I would like to re-suggest that we state that both atheist and non-Young earth Christians support the idea of an old earth - rather than what we have now, which only states atheist. Beyond that however- we're presenting the idea of an old earth in too much of a negative light. Andy and Phillip (et all) - while both of you obviously think that the earth is young, I think it's fairly obvious that many on this site disagree - and therefore I believe that we should not take a bias towards either side, and thereby I suggest that we drastically reduce the intro, and have maybe one sentence from each side - because if we do bullets like we have now - then this article is going to end up a war zone, and tit-for-tat arguing does nothing to build the encyclopedia.--IDuan 15:27, 24 November 2007 (EST)

Where does your approach end, Iduan? Must we also say in other entries that some Christians support same-sex marriage, abortion, censorship of classroom prayer, banning of the Ten Commandments, etc.??? A good encyclopedia can present positions based on a majority without being paralyzed by each and every exception. There is nothing wrong, for example, with observing and stating that the Founders of America were Christian, even if there may have been one or two exceptions.--Aschlafly 15:37, 24 November 2007 (EST)
Andy, come on. Obviously my goal is not to say that some Christians support the banning of the 10 Commandments. Seriously? You're mentioning things completely irrelevant to the point - and obviously the belief in an old earth is not a extreme minority opinion (as the others are) at all. The point is there is obviously a debate over this within the Christian community as proved by TK and DanH and you and Phillip (et all) - and belief in an old earth is a widely held opinion - just like belief in a young earth is weidely held - therefore both should be mentioned--IDuan 15:45, 24 November 2007 (EST)
Agreed. Most of the Founding Fathers were Christians, and there is no reason to deny that. There is slightly more diversity among leading Christians about the age of the Earth, as evidenced by the list here:

I'm not saying these folks are the majority or even that they're right, but only that it is a fairly widely held view. DanH 15:52, 24 November 2007 (EST)

The debate did not start over the issue of the old-Earth age being mentioned, and in fact it was in there until Ed took it out, and he's now said that it should be back in. I plan on doing that. The debate was over whether or not the old-Earth view is, at heart, atheistic or not. It is true that a large number of Christian have adopted an old-Earth view, although I'm utterly convinced that this is totally opposed to the clear biblical teaching (for example, there is nothing in the Bible about an old Earth even remotely as clear and unambiguous as the statement of Exodus 20:11 that " six days the LORD made the heavens and the earth, the sea, and all that is in them..."), as well as being convinced that their prime reason for having this view is to accommodate the beliefs of fallible scientists, not because of biblical teaching, even though they make arguments that the bible can allow for an old Earth. Philip J. Rayment 08:47, 25 November 2007 (EST)

The Pope has no problem with evolution. Since evolution requires billions of years the Pope will have no problem with a history going back billions of years. Since he is God's representative on Earth, arguing against him is blasphemy.
PeterBird 08:15, 27 November 2007 (EST)
I'm not a Catholic, do don't accept your last sentence. What defines Christianity is not its leaders, but the Bible. The biblical history is that of a "young" Earth. Philip J. Rayment 20:44, 27 November 2007 (EST)
Interesting discussion about who believes what. Are you saying the Pope is not God's representative on Earth and that he has interpreted his Bible wrong? DaleHill 12:24, 28 November 2007 (EST)
Only Catholics believe that the Pope is God's representative on Earth, and I've said that I'm not a Catholic, so the answer to your first question should be obvious. To answer the second, if the Pope has endorsed evolution and/or long ages, then yes, he's interpreted the Bible incorrectly. See my further comments below. Philip J. Rayment 20:55, 28 November 2007 (EST)
You and PeterBird do not quote the Pope because, in fact, he neither endorsed an old earth or evolution. Nor would. Go reread above what the first Pope and founder of the Catholic Church, Peter, said.--Aschlafly 15:42, 28 November 2007 (EST)
This article quotes popes [16]. Pius XII apparently embraced the big bang already in the 1950s. Order 19:05, 28 November 2007 (EST)
Order, I'm not going chase any more of your hearsay. This is Conservapedia, and we're not fooled by that. If you make a claim, then you back it up with a quote here. I can only assume you are unable to do that. Please, please, waste someone else's time, somewhere else.--Aschlafly 20:26, 28 November 2007 (EST)
I probably should stay out of this one, but this is my understanding: Not everything that the Pope says is considered infallible; only specific statements. I don't recall whether or not the current Pope has said anything to endorse evolution and/or long ages, but I'm sure that at least one or two previous Popes have. However, I don't think any have done so in the form of an infallible statement. Philip J. Rayment 20:55, 28 November 2007 (EST)
Philip, Peter was the first Pope, and his views are crystal clear. I'm sure no pope has contradicted that. But surely the supporters of evolution could come up with a quote of endorsement by a pope if it existed. It doesn't.--Aschlafly 22:03, 28 November 2007 (EST)
Philip, not everything the pope say is infallible. The pope is only infallible if he makes a statement "ex cathedra" which means in his role as head of the catholic church on behalf of the catholic church. So if a pope writes a letter to a scientist, he is not infallible. Neither was the Regensburgspeech by Ratzinger infallible, because he spoke the academic Ratzinger, and not as pope of the catholic church. Infallibility only applies to very special occasions.
Andy, not sure what qualifies as hearsay here, but I gave you a source [17]. If you want another source, here is an encyclical by pope Piux XII [18]. And these are "ex cathedra", this means they are covered by the claim of infallibility. And the encyclical says that Catholics are free to form an opinion on evolution, as long as it assumes a single Adam, and as long as they do accept that souls are god given. Order 22:31, 28 November 2007 (EST)
Andy, that Peter was the first Pope is a doctrine of Catholics, and I'm not Catholic, but that's not relevant to the discussion here, as we are talking about a Pope endorsing evolution or long ages, which Peter doesn't do anyway.
Order, thanks for the clarification on speaking infallibly (supposedly; I don't agree with it myself). I couldn't remember what the term was, let alone just when it applied.
Philip J. Rayment 00:23, 29 November 2007 (EST)
Infallibility is Catholic doctrine, but if you are not Catholic you are free to not accept this doctrine, it won't make it worse :) Order 00:55, 29 November 2007 (EST)

Mr. Schlafly I assume you are referring to the citing of 2 Peter 2:4 above. Does Pope John Paul II's Message to Pontifical Academy of Sciences on October 22, 1996 carry no weight? There he mentions his predecessor Pius XII in his Encyclical Humani generis (1950) had already stated that there was no opposition between evolution and the doctrine of the faith about man and his vocation.. Later he continues Today, almost half a century after the publication of the Encyclical, new knowledge has led to the recognition of more than one hypothesis in the theory of evolution. It is indeed remarkable that this theory has been progressively accepted by researchers, following a series of discoveries in various fields of knowledge. The convergence, neither sought nor fabricated, of the results of work that was conducted independently is in itself a significant argument in favour of this theory. [...] The sciences of observation describe and measure the multiple manifestations of life with increasing precision and correlate them with the time line. Nowhere is the evolutionary time line explicitly rejected by his Holyness. The above may well be a non-existant quote of endorsement by a Pope. DaleHill 06:26, 29 November 2007 (EST)

DaleHill, your quote omits the rest of the sentence: "there was no opposition between evolution and the doctrine of the faith about man and his vocation ... on condition that one did not lose sight of several indisputable points" Those "indisputable points" are utterly incompatible with the modern theory of evolution as it is promoted, believed and taught today. This is why the theory of evolution and an Old Earth erodes one's faith: it gets people to believe in things from which disbelief in Christianity logically follows. Promoters of these atheistic concepts will say the equivalent of "no, I didn't say '2+3=6', I said '2+2=5'!!!" The former plainly follows from the latter.--Aschlafly 10:37, 29 November 2007 (EST)
It further goes on to state: Pius XII stressed this essential point: if the human body takes its origin from pre-existent living matter the spiritual soul is immediately created by God i.e. accepting that humans evolved from pre-existent living matter, i.e other creatures, it is our souls that are created by God. He rejects theories of evolution that have no place for God. Not all theories of evolution, only those where God's creation of our souls is absent. God of course created the universe in which life evolved over billions of years.
The sciences of observation describe and measure the multiple manifestations of life with increasing precision and correlate them with the time line. The moment of transition into the spiritual cannot be the object of this kind of observation, which nevertheless can discover at the experimental level a series of very valuable signs indicating what is specific to the human being. But the experience of metaphysical knowledge, of self-awareness and self-reflection, of moral conscience, freedom, or again, of aesthetic and religious experience, falls within the competence of philosophical analysis and reflection while theology brings out its ultimate meaning according to the Creator's plans.
In such a time scale, the Pope, along with mainstream scientists, in all likelihood has no problem with the moon being 4.6 billion years old. The latter plainly follows from the former.
DaleHill 10:57, 29 November 2007 (EST)
Andy your argument is that the pope cannot allow Catholic to explore and develop a theory that you deem to be inconsistent with your understanding of what the theory of evolution entails. However, what you would need papal evidence that says that theistic evolution is impossible and incompatible with Catholic faith. Many Catholics endorsing it, and Pope John Paul II permitting this endorsement, and explicitly stating that Pius XII had already stated that there was no opposition between evolution and the doctrine of the faith points the other way. Order 17:40, 29 November 2007 (EST)
Folks, maybe Wikipedia is a better place for your misinformation. The Pope, I assure you, accepts one Adam as the ancestor of all humans and agrees with what Peter said as quoted above. The Old Earth is contrary to that, and thus is rejected. Neither DaleHill nor Order can quote anything to to the contrary, because it does not exist except in the wishful thinking of atheists who reject everything the Pope stands for anyway.--Aschlafly 18:50, 29 November 2007 (EST)
Andy, maybe you should have read the encyclical Human Genreris that was quoted. The pope does believe in one Adam, and I for example mentioned it myself that he is fine with evolution as long as it accepts one Adam, and that souls are god given. The pope doesn't think that it has to be contradictory to an Old Earth view, and that is also written in Human Genreris. He believed it so strongly, that he put it into an encyclical, something which is covered by his claim of infallibility. That you think that and old earth view is incompatible with a single Adam is well known, but it is official that the Catholic Church thinks otherwise. Order 19:39, 29 November 2007 (EST)
Like erosion, User:Order, you push for concepts that are logically contrary to faith. Why don't you disclose your own point of view first, so readers can see where you're coming from? What you say about the Pope, with whom I expect you to completely disagree on almost everything, is false. The Old Earthers reject the Flood circa 3000 B.C., for example, while the Pope must accept it as the first Pope does. Let's be up-front about that also.--Aschlafly 09:53, 30 November 2007 (EST)
The only concept I push is to accept the fact other people can disagree with your views and are still good Catholics, with the popes approval. If anything it is logically contrary to your faith. Thanks for asking about my views, but I am not the pope, and we were discussing the popes views. There are official documents by the Vatican detailing the popes view, so we don't have to guess what his views are. Why do you have difficulties to accept that the pope allows for views different from yours? If the pope says that people can be good Catholics and believe in theistic evolution, does it make your beliefs less true? Order 17:25, 30 November 2007 (EST)
User:Order, you're not fooling anyone here. You don't quote from a pope to support your views, because no pope has supported your views. The first pope, Peter, stated very clearly in the Bible that the Flood occurred as described in the Bible. Now please show me one -- just one -- Old Earther who accepts that. You won't be able to. Please show me one pope -- just one -- who doubted what Peter said. You can't. So don't pretend that popes support Old Earthism as a way of pulling people away from their faith.--Aschlafly 18:32, 30 November 2007 (EST)
I'm not sure why you're debating evolution on the talk page for the moon, but he's not pretending anything, not trying to fool anyone, and not spreading misinformation... here's a source: . Happy to help, although I doubt that this will be the end of the discussion. --BillOhannity 18:56, 30 November 2007 (EST)
Here is quote from Pope Benedict: This clash is an absurdity because on one hand there is much scientific proof in favour of evolution, which appears as a reality that we must see and which enriches our understanding of life and being as such. [19]
Additional sources: Truth Cannot Contradict Truth, Message from the Pope, 1996, EVOLUTION AND THE POPE, The Pope and Evolution, POPE SUPPORTS EVOLUTION
Were you looking for something more specific, or professional, or clear-cut, though? Or perhaps these speeches have been misinterpreted, or just wildly spun and taken far out of context by the liberal media? Anyway, I hope these help.Feebasfactor 19:24, 30 November 2007 (EST)

Mr. Aschlafly. In light of this enlightenment I suggest you rewrite the article Pangea, its Old Earthism may erode your visitors faith: it may get them to believe in things from which disbelief in Christianity logically follows. While you are at it, perhaps review all the articles in the Category:Geology, there may be others amongst them promoting atheistic concepts. Perhaps some of the articles in the Category:Astronomy also need rewritten. In the article Universe, a meticulous Old Earthist explanation is set against a marginalised, weak descripton of the true Christian view which follows at the bottom of the page, giving the impression its not to be taken seriously.
DaleHill 08:25, 30 November 2007 (EST)
DaleHill, all the entries are constantly being improved here. You can mock the "true Christian view," but I suggest you consider giving it more credit than you do for what man has achieved.--Aschlafly 09:53, 30 November 2007 (EST)
DaleHill, thanks for drawing attention to those articles that need some work. I'll have a go at them myself, subject to time and me remembering. Philip J. Rayment 02:00, 1 December 2007 (EST)
I have updated the two specific articles that DaleHill mentioned, Pangea and Universe. Philip J. Rayment 20:16, 2 December 2007 (EST)

Primeq's edits

The reason I reverted Primeq's edits are as follows:

  • The edit was a POV argument regarding how one should use or not use sources. As such it has no place in an article about the moon, although would be appropriate on this talk page.
  • The logic was faulty. There is nothing inconsistent with quoting a source with regard to observed facts whilst dismissing that source with regard to unobserved belief.

Philip J. Rayment 18:35, 23 November 2007 (EST)

  • Nothing wrong, so long as it agrees with YEC beliefs, Philip. Those who believe in a older earth are branded here as atheists, and their edits reverted, branded as "illogical" and contrary to "facts" only observed by YEC's. That is indeed disturbing. --şyŝoρ-₮K/Ṣρёаќǃ 18:49, 23 November 2007 (EST)
It has been pointed out more than once on this page in the last half hour that nobody is branding anyone as atheists simply for believing in an old Earth.
I don't understand your first sentence. The second part of your second sentence is unsubstantiated and I reject it.
Philip J. Rayment 19:00, 23 November 2007 (EST)
  • If you say "old earth" is an atheistic belief, you are indeed branding all those who believe in a Earth older than 6,000 years as such. If you state many atheists believe in a "old earth" you are not. --şyŝoρ-₮K/Ṣρёаќǃ 19:09, 23 November 2007 (EST)
No, people frequently believe two contradictory things, so Christians (i.e. theists) believing something that is inherently atheistic does not mean that they are not Christians. Philip J. Rayment 19:13, 23 November 2007 (EST)
  • So you cling to insulting others, by saying your way, or none at all, Philip? Your "truth" is greater than others? If that is not what you are saying, why do you insist upon always stating it as absolute "truth" and "fact", instead of qualifying it as the beliefs of a small minority of Christians? Doing so does not denigrate what you believe, or make it wrong. --şyŝoρ-₮K/Ṣρёаќǃ 19:57, 23 November 2007 (EST)
Jesus said that He was the only way to God. There's nothing wrong with saying that one thing is the truth if it is the truth. Truth is greater than lie; I'm merely claiming that a young Earth is the truth. If you want to refute that, fine, but you won't get far refuting it by asserting that I'm not allowed to claim it as the truth. To qualify it as the beliefs of a small minority of Christians would be very misleading, given that it has been the traditional view of Bible-believers for thousands of years, and is still accepted by a significant and growing number of Bible-believers. Philip J. Rayment 00:22, 24 November 2007 (EST)

The question remains - why are we cherry-picking NASA's statements? Does anyone fully understand and can they ratify the laser-interferomtry techniques supposedly used to measure the rate of moon-recedence? Are there reasons to believe the laser-measurements, yet disbelieve the isotope-ratio techniques used to age the moon? I'm sensing a disturbing ethic here of selective accreditation. I'm going to need some help. Regardless of these edits which (out of respect for the Conservapedia social-contract)I will not merely just re-enter and thereby start a cycle of edit/revert followed by account cancellation, I do believe some kind of statement of moon-age is warranted. —The preceding unsigned comment was added by Primeq (talk) --17:38, 23 November 2007

We are not "cherry-picking". I've already explained above the distinction (observation vs. belief). Yes, there are good reasons to disbelieve the dating methods, as explained in radiometric dating. In essence, dating is a calculation based on measurements and assumptions—age is not something that can be directly measured—and those assumptions include an assumption of long ages. So using them to prove long ages is a circular argument.
Regarding a "statement of moon-age", I have reinstated that, with my apologies for completely reverting your edit rather than retaining that useful bit.
Philip J. Rayment 00:42, 24 November 2007 (EST)
  • Perhaps the problem is one of my own, or other's ignorance? To me, an "old earth" is one significantly older than 6,000 years. Yet, I keep seeing figures ranging from 1 billion to more than 10 billion years. For those who have not committed their life to Biblical study, and that of Geology, it becomes very confusing when there are such drastic differences introduced in and out of this discussion. --şyŝoρ-₮K/Ṣρёаќǃ 19:57, 23 November 2007 (EST)

In reply to Primeq, who pathetically has already given up, radiometric dating relies on defective circular logic. As a matter of sound logic it's not worth relying on, because it assumes that atomic-level decay has been constant since the beginning of the universe. That's implausible and circular with respect to its application.--Aschlafly 20:56, 23 November 2007 (EST)

"Many" atheists edit

I reverted the qualifier "many" from "promoted by many atheists". Old earth theories are promoted by atheists. There is no denying that. Virtually all atheists believe in old earth theories. Very few, or none, Catholics or any other Christian promotes old earth theories.--Aschlafly 19:23, 23 November 2007 (EST)

You are exaggerate the link between Old Earth beliefs and atheism. Miller et al found a negative correlation between belief in evolution and belief in God, but the correlation isn't as strong as you suggest. For example, 78% of all American believe Over periods of millions of years, some species of plants and animals adjust and survive while other species die and become extinct. which makes them OLD Earthers. Given this number, and according to your logic at most 23% can believe in God, 22% who do not believe in an old earth, plus 1% who believe in God and an old earth. But we all know that at least 80% of all Americans believes in God. This means that at least more than 50% (close to 60%) must believe in as well God as in an old earth. You probably know some.
To complete the picture I should add that according to the study, 62% of all Americans believe "Human beings were created by God as whole persons and did not evolve from earlier forms of life." If we sum this up, this means that at least 40% believe in an old earth, and at the same time that humans were created by God. You might find this all unreasonable, but it is what people apparently believe. Order 11:22, 26 November 2007 (EST)
That's a loaded, vague poll question. The more precise and neutral the question becomes, the lower the percentage of Americans who really believe in what atheists teach about an Old Earth. For example, Christians almost unanimously believe in one Adam as the father of all mankind, as Jesus atoned for Adam's original sin. Old Earth doctrine rejects that.--Aschlafly 13:02, 26 November 2007 (EST)
There is nothing vague about the statement: "Over periods of millions of years ...". It is obviously an old earth view. And agreed, and I mentioned it, there is also a majority believing that "Human beings were created by God ...", thus in an Adam. And quite a few people believe both. Order 17:56, 26 November 2007 (EST)

I've not studied the figures, so I'll leave Andy to defend his statements there, but I will add that I think we are not talking about a correlation of beliefs, but a basis of beliefs. The church, unfortunately, long ago capitulated to the majority view of scientists and felt that they had to "reinterpret" the Bible according to the findings of science, not realising that when we are talking about the past (long ages, the evolutionary family tree, etc.), that we are talking about history, not science, and that these scientists were basing their claims on naturalistic assumptions, not on scientific evidence. Therefore a very large number of Christians today accept long ages and (to a lesser extent) evolution, but even though these idea are accepted by many Christians, they are still at heart atheistic ideas. Philip J. Rayment 20:36, 26 November 2007 (EST)

Long ages are not necessarily atheistic, there are non-Christian cosmologies, like Hinduism that have no problem with long ages, and of course many Christians that have no problem with them either. Long ages by itself aren't atheistic. You might argue that they are in error, that the Church gave up it young earth for political gains, but criticism of the old world view and criticism of the Church for adopting it is just a tangent. The subject was the strong correlation between atheism and old earth belief - Andy said repeatedly that less of 1 in 100 believers also believes also in an old earth - and fact remains that a clear majority of Americans do combine a belief in God with a belief in long ages. They might be in error, but that doesn't change the fact that they do believe it, which implies that the correlation is by no means as strong as Andy suggests, nor that it is inevitable.Order 21:47, 26 November 2007 (EST)
Hinduism is arguably an atheistic religion. If, as I understand it believes, all is God, then the universe must have created itself, which is essentially the atheistic view. It certainly doesn't propose a personal creator God. But I might be stretching things a tad there, and that argument is not my main response.
The reason that I called long ages atheistic is because long ages were the result of an attempt to explain the universe without God. And explaining the universe without God is still the only justification for long ages; you certainly don't need long ages if you have God, and the evidence for long ages is ambiguous at best.
Philip J. Rayment 04:37, 27 November 2007 (EST)
Hinduism is polytheistic and does have a creator God, and some even argue that it almost mono-theistsic and that the different gods are only different aspects of the same divine being. But it is by no means atheistic, this in contrast with Buddhism. Anyway, Hinduism is a tangent, given that this this religion will only account for a few of the at least 60% of Americans that believe in an creator God, and accept at the same time an old earth view.
You are right that an atheistic world view, together with the theory of evolution, and modern astronomy requires an old earth. However, the question is not if atheism requires an old earth, the argument is that an old earth view requires atheism. And this is not the case. The existence of a creator god does not require that the earth is young. And a majority of American believes exactly this, even if you disagree with then, and even if they are wrong. Order 07:12, 27 November 2007 (EST)
I'm arguing that the idea of an old Earth is atheistic because that's the origin of and continues to be the driver of the idea, not because of a correlation of beliefs.
As far as the existence of a creator God not requiring a young Earth is concerned, this is only true if the creator god is one of your own making; it is not true of the creator God described in the Bible. The "evidence" for the long ages is in the rock layers containing fossils, which bear evidence of death, suffering, cancer, etc. This would make the creator God the creator of death, suffering, disease, etc. before the appearance of man, whereas the God of the Bible can only do good, and made a good world that subsequently became bad when mankind rejected God.
Philip J. Rayment 20:53, 27 November 2007 (EST)
We all know that 'your God is incompatible with an old Earth, fair enough, but we also know that the God of 60% of all American is incompatible with it. No need to convince me, convince the 60% of Americans that disagree with you. To clarify the difference, consider the following questions
  • Would the creator God of the bible have been able to create the Earth 6000 years ago?
  • Would the creator God of the bible have been able to create the Earth 10.000 years ago?
  • Would the creator God of the bible have been able to create the Earth 100.000 years ago?
  • Would the creator God of the bible have been able to create the Earth 100.000.000 years ago?
Most Christians answer "Yes" to all of these questions. He is all powerful, isn't he. A creator god that wouldn't be able to create an old earth, wouldn't be exactly all powerful. You however try to answer the following question:
  • Did the creator God of the bible create the Earth 6000 years ago?
  • Did the creator God of the bible create the Earth 10.000 years ago?
  • Did the creator God of the bible create the Earth 100.000 years ago?
  • Did the creator God of the bible create the Earth 100.000.000 years ago?
You can answer at most one of these with "Yes", and we know that you will answer "Yes" to the first question, and "No" to the others . But we also know that 78% of all American answer the same question it with "No", and believe that the earth has been around for a long time. Order 22:21, 27 November 2007 (EST)
I was talking about the God of the Bible, not specifically "my" God. And yes, all those Christians who have compromised with the atheistic origins myths need to be shown where they are wrong, which is what various creation ministries are progressively doing.
Until you show them that their view of the biblical God is incorrect, it is still correct to state they do believe in what they believe, namely an old universe. —The preceding unsigned comment was added by Order (talk)
I'm not disputing that that's what they believe; I'm disputing that that is relevant to whether or not long ages can be described as atheistic. Philip J. Rayment 21:13, 28 November 2007 (EST)
Theism and atheism are both human views on the universe, and as such it is relevant to observe that there are humans that subscribe to theistic old earth view, such a Hindu cosmology, or Christian theistic evolution. It shows that you can combine theism and long ages. Order 02:52, 29 November 2007 (EST)
I think we are going around in circles now. Philip J. Rayment 04:06, 29 November 2007 (EST)
We are. In essence, your point is that "theism" means to accept the literal interpretation of the bible that you defend, and you call everything else "atheistic", while my point is that all world views that includes a God ar "theistic", and only those philosophies and views "atheistic" that see no need for a god. Order 08:09, 29 November 2007 (EST)
Continuing around the circle... No, I'm not saying that "theism" means to accept the literal interpretation of the Bible. I'm talking about Christianity, not theism. And I'm not calling everything else atheistic. Philip J. Rayment 08:22, 29 November 2007 (EST)
One extra round... But, there are Christian old earth views, in wich God play an essential role, e.g. as prime mover, aren't there? Order 09:07, 29 November 2007 (EST)
There are Christians who hold such views, but it is not a part of Christianity, which is defined not by the views of its leaders or followers, but by the Bible. Philip J. Rayment 20:54, 29 November 2007 (EST)
This is a view of one part of Christianity. Catholic Church for example believes that while the Bible is the most important source, it has to be read the tradition of the Church in mind. Orthodox Churches has similar views that faith does not rely only on scripture. It is obvious that you subscribe to a protestant view, but this is just one of the many branches. Order 21:23, 29 November 2007 (EST)
The Creator God of the Bible is not able to (a) do things that are logically nonsense, like creating a yellow question, or (b) do things that are against his nature, such as lie or contradict Himself.
The creator God of the Bible is not able to create the Earth 10,000, 100,000, or 100,000,000 years ago, because no such time existed. Time is part of His creation, so there is no such thing as 10,000 etc. years ago. The question presupposes that God creates something at a point in time, whereas he actually created time. Time itself began 6,000 years ago. It's like asking if God can begin something before it begins. That's nonsense.
So, God had no way to influence when the world started? He couldn't make it, and then have his Son arrive, say 4001 years later, rather than 4000. Put in an extra day between Adam and Jesus? Or an extra month. Or an extra year. In this case the universe would be predetermined, and not just for us, but even for god. Indeed, I think that very few Christians would agree with your limited understanding of the abilities of God. —The preceding unsigned comment was added by Order (talk)
Your first question in that paragraph still presupposes that God would create at some point in time. God is outside of time, creates everything including time, and time gets measured from that point.
For your second question, yes, He could decide how much later Jesus came. How is that relevant to the point?
Do you really think that most Christians would believe that God can sin?
Philip J. Rayment 21:13, 28 November 2007 (EST)
Your last question suggests that you think that I am talking about logical paradoxes, but I am not. If he can create time, he should be able to create any amount of time. That's not a paradox. Lets call the beginning of time year 0. He could then decide to have his son arrive 4000 years later, and have us discuss it 6000 years later, and have the world end some short while after it. I guess this is your view of the world, since it is consistent with a literal interpretation of the bible. But since he can create time, he could also create the universe at time 0, then send his son 10.000 years later, and have us discuss it 12.000 years later. It is as logically consistent as the first version. Theist that believe in an old earth believe that a few million years elapsed between the beginning and the birth of his Son. There is nothing illogical about it. And it consistent with a less literal interpretation of the bible. Order 02:52, 29 November 2007 (EST)
I didn't think that you intended it to be a logical paradox; but that's what it amounted to, given that we are not really talking about hypotheticals, but history. Yes, He could have had us discussing it 12,000 years after the year zero, but we are not at the year zero trying to determine when we might discuss it, but at the year 2007 AD discussing whether, given what we know, creation could have been 12,000 years ago. It is not "consistent with a less literal interpretation of the bible", any more than "go" is consistent with "stop". Philip J. Rayment 04:06, 29 November 2007 (EST)
All theories about the world are hypothetical. There might be an objective truth out there, but what is in your head is hypothetical. And yes, theistic evolution is hypothetical as well. And if you think that the less literal interpretation is contradictory, tell them about it. They will tell you that even you interpret not all parts of the bible literally. Buts we get on an endless tangent, since we both know where these arguments go, and we both know which parts of the scripture that are typically used in this argument. It is like watching reruns. Order 08:09, 29 November 2007 (EST)
The non-literal interpretation of the creation account is contradictory, and I do tell them about it, and they have no real answer. I don't read all the Bible literally, because I recognise metaphor, parable, etc. I only take literally the parts that were intended to be read literally, such as the creation account. Philip J. Rayment 08:22, 29 November 2007 (EST)
The crucial difference is then they also read Genesis metaphorically, where "day" translates to "age". But that doesn't make them atheists. Order 09:07, 29 November 2007 (EST)
Whether or not something is defined as a "metaphor" is determined by the speaker/writer, not by the listener/reader. So it is incorrect to read history as metaphor, for example, but correct to read metaphor as metaphor. I do the latter; people who do the former are reading it incorrectly. And I have never said that someone reading it incorrectly makes that person an atheist. Philip J. Rayment 20:54, 29 November 2007 (EST)
The real question, therefore, is essentially what He did do, or more specifically, can the evidence be understood as Him creating everything (including time) billions of years ago. The biblical answer is a definite "no", and the true scientific answer is "this is beyond the realm of science, because it's history and not observable, testable, nor repeatable". So with one answer "no" and the other a non-answer, there's no "yes" there at all.
Philip J. Rayment 07:56, 28 November 2007 (EST)
First, history is a science, and just because something is in the past, doesn't mean that it beyond the realm of science. All observable facts are in the past, and it hasn't stopped science. The biblical answer depends on your interpretation, and with your interpretation the answer is "no". But, it happens to be the case that at least 60% of Americans do not share your interpretation. And this regardless of whether any of these interpretations is true.
Anyway the real question was how strong the correlation between atheism and an old view. And a secondary question was is an old earth view implies atheism. And the correlation isn't that big, and you can combine an old world view with theism, and people prove it every day. Order 09:13, 28 November 2007 (EST)
Perhaps history can be considered a science, but it is not an empirical science in the same sense as, say, chemistry. Scientists cannot observe, measure, or otherwise test unique past events, and in many cases (e.g. Big Bang) are incapable of reproducing them. And even in cases where they can replicate them, it wouldn't prove that it happened that way the first time. For example, showing that scales can be turned into feathers shows that such as thing is possible, not that it did actually happen in the past.
I'd like to know how you can observe any facts in the past. The only things I can observe are in the present. Once they are in the past, I can no longer observe them. If you can, may I please borrow your time machine?
Welcome to my time machine. Lean back and look out of the window. The tree as you see it, doesn't exist anymore, it existed a fraction of a fraction of a second ago. If thats not cool for you, put on your sun glasses and look into the sun. You see as the sun was 8 minutes ago. —The preceding unsigned comment was added by Order (talk)
Even though the light has taken a moment to arrive, we are still observing in the present within any meaningful understanding of the word. That sort of answer will not allow me to see what you were doing yesterday, let alone things like dinosaurs turning into birds 65 million years ago. Philip J. Rayment 04:06, 29 November 2007 (EST)
When I look at some files in a library, as historian frequently do, I look at them in the present, and not in the past. No real difference. Order 08:09, 29 November 2007 (EST)
The difference is that the books were frequently written by, or based on accounts of, people who witnessed the events. This does not apply to things such as the Big Bang. Philip J. Rayment 08:22, 29 November 2007 (EST)
But you do not only accept eye-witness accounts. I mean if you get into you kitchen and the door of your fridge is open, and there is water all over the floor I would assume that the ice melted, even I there wouldn't be somebody who witnessed it. Order 09:07, 29 November 2007 (EST)
True, I do accept things other than eye-witness accounts, but such things are not science. So I would assume, and therefore believe that the ice melted, but I couldn't claim that as science. Philip J. Rayment 20:54, 29 November 2007 (EST)
According to all philosophies of science, be it Popper, Lakatos, Carnap, Feyerabend, or Kuhn, and despite their disagreement on how science works, this is exactly what science is about. Assumptions about the world, and the quest for supporting or contradicting evidence. Order 21:29, 29 November 2007 (EST)
The biblical answer depends on what the Bible actually says. If you are driving and encounter a "stop" sign, do you argue with the policeman that what it means depends on how you interpret it? Or do you recognise that it means that you are to stop?
You are restating your opinion that whether or not long ages are atheistic depends on the correlation between beliefs. I have a different opinion, and you are simply restating yours rather than justifying it. Despite me pointing it out, you are still ignoring the distinction between theism and belief in the Bible. You cannot combine an old-world view and belief in the Bible and remain consistent. Many people do combine the two, but they are not being consistent.
Philip J. Rayment 21:13, 28 November 2007 (EST)
Regarding the replication of history, one need not replicate the actual event (such as the Big Bang). What must be repeatable is the observation, so in other words all cosmologists can observe the COBE background radiation, or the Hubble motion of surrounding stars which are clear predictions of the Big Bang Theory. Likewise, scales evolving into feathers can be observed on the fossils of Archaeopteryx, or other feathered dinosaur fossils. SSchultz 23:21, 28 November 2007 (EST)
No, simply repeating an observation that is not the event doesn't mean that the event itself has occurred. For one, you also have to be certain that the observations are incompatible with alternative theories.
And scales evolving into feathers is something happening, and you don't see something happening on a fossil, any more than you see movement on a still photograph. Additionally, the feathers on Archaeopteryx are fully-formed, so that blows that claim.
Philip J. Rayment 00:34, 29 November 2007 (EST)

How do you see a seed spring? Or how do you see the tide? Or how do you see the change in fashion? Order 02:52, 29 November 2007 (EST)

By observing them as they are happening. Your point? Philip J. Rayment 04:06, 29 November 2007 (EST)
If you cannot observe what I was doing yesterday, how can you observe what I was wearing yesterday? Talking about observing changing fashion. Order 08:09, 29 November 2007 (EST)
I (in theory) did observe what you were wearing yesterday. I observed it yesterday. That's why I said that I observe them whilst they are happening. But nobody was around to observe scales evolving into feathers. Philip J. Rayment 08:22, 29 November 2007 (EST)
What you observed yesterday, happened yesterday, and this experience is not in the present anymore. You refer to memories of the past. You might trust them they are your memories. But what happens if your eyewitness is another person that you may or may not trust? Do you have an eyewitness for him witnessing what he says he saw. Of do you try to get him to tell you some details that you can check now in the present, to figure out if his story holds water. And what is there was no eyewitness. Like in the fridge example. Do you then give up apriori to explain what happened? Order 09:07, 29 November 2007 (EST)
With eyewitness accounts, you do have to be able to trust the eyewitness. And I would only consider eyewitness accounts "scientific" if the eyewitness make his observations in a scientific manner (although even if not, I would still consider them reliable if I trusted the eyewitness). Regarding an eyewitness to the eyewitness, the Bible actually cautions us to not take the word of one person, but to only rely on two or more eyewitnesses.
Philip J. Rayment 20:54, 29 November 2007 (EST)
So what do you do if there is no eyewitness? Order 21:23, 29 November 2007 (EST)
Generally speaking, I don't claim to know for certain. Philip J. Rayment 01:53, 1 December 2007 (EST)
Just like the rest of us. Order 08:52, 1 December 2007 (EST)
If only! Unfortunately, many people insist that evolution, long ages, etc. are certain, even though there have been no eyewitnesses. Philip J. Rayment 17:25, 1 December 2007 (EST)
The problem with that statement is that there are many other people who insist that creationism, short ages, etc are certain, even though there have been no eyewitnesses for that either. --BillOhannity 17:49, 1 December 2007 (EST)
That's begging the question, because according to those (us) creationists, there have been eyewitnesses, such as Adam, Noah, etc., and of course God. Philip J. Rayment 18:01, 1 December 2007 (EST)
And many biologists would claim to be witnesses to evolution, and geologists would claim to be witnesses to a 4.5 billion year old earth. How are you choosing who counts as a witness and who doesn't? --BillOhannity 18:19, 1 December 2007 (EST)
It is absolute nonsense to suggest that biologists have observed the evolutionary family tree from first cell to human, or even any stage of that like dinosaurs turning into birds. The same applies to the geology. No geologist has seen the supposed 4.5 billion years of the Earth's history. Virtually all of these events supposedly occurred before humans appeared on the planet, so that claim is abusing the term "eyewitness". If a person claimed to a judge that they witnessed a bank robbery because they saw the sign on the door saying that it was closed because of a robbery he would likely be charged with contempt of court. Philip J. Rayment 02:20, 2 December 2007 (EST)
That, of course, is your opinion, and you are welcome to it. It is my opinion that believing a book written thousands of years ago has more knowledge of the earth and the universe than researchers who have the advantage of all modern technology to aid in their research is absolute nonsense. It is equally nonsense, in my opinion, to claim that people in a book written thousands of years ago are eyewitnesses. Sure, scientists did not witness all 4.5 billion years of the earth's history, but they have conducted all sorts of experiments to prove the age of the earth. All you know about your supposed eyewitnesses is what the Bible says about them. --BillOhannity 10:42, 2 December 2007 (EST)
What exactly is my opinion? And what's wrong with my opinion? Simply dismissing my argument like that is the resort of someone with no answer. It is not opinion that scientists haven't observed those things—you have yourself now admitted that. Come on, actually refute my argument or admit that you can't.
Your opinion about the Bible is not based on any evidence. Why should the age of the book have any bearing on it's veracity? Is this an example of chronological snobbery?
Your next opinion is contrary to logic. Why is it "nonsense" to claim that people who lived thousands of years ago would be eyewitnesses to events that occurred at the time? Because that is the argument, and whilst you no doubt don't believe the premises, the conclusion based on those premises is entirely logical, so is not "nonsense".
Philip J. Rayment 20:08, 2 December 2007 (EST)
Yes, all we know from our "supposed eyewitnesses" is what the Bible says about them, for these very men wrote down what God did...and God told them what to write. God said He created the earth and everything in it in six days. Your version of events went through various changes over a period of nearly two hundred years because your "emminent scientists" couldn't agree on how it was done. What's the latest excuse today? Is it life was created after lightning hit a swamp? To me, the people you worship will come up with theory after theory after long as it doesn't include God. You need to prove God doesn't exist first before you start telling the rest of mankind as to how life was created, especially when you have no absolute proof of that whatsoever. Karajou 11:05, 2 December 2007 (EST)
Not sure where to start with that. First of all, you just hit on a key difference between science and religion. I do not worship scientists, nor do I take what they say as fact without questioning it and deciding for myself first. Second, I said nothing about the existence of non-existence of any god. Third, I'm not telling mankind anything about how life was created, I am merely pointing out that PJR's own arguments can be applied against him. Fourth, while I have no intention of trying to prove that god doesn't exist, I can assure you that any attempt to do so would fail because those who would need to be convinced would reject any evidence provided since it "goes against the bible" or whatever they like to call it. Fifth, I doubt that anyone can prove definitely the existence of a god, which is why religions rely so much on faith. In fact, now that you mentioned say that "these very men wrote down what God did...and God told them what to write." What real proof do you have for that, other than it says so in the bible?--BillOhannity 11:20, 2 December 2007 (EST)
And I'm not sure where to start in replying to that, but one thing I'll mention is that you are incorrect about what our response would be and about what "faith" is. Philip J. Rayment 20:08, 2 December 2007 (EST)
There's plenty of evidence out there that confirms the existence of God: in nature, in the historical record, and in the archaeological record. You said plenty in your above posting that it is a personal choice by anyone whether to accept such evidence or reject it. If someone says that Napoleon was a girl, no amount of evidence to the contrary will make him change his mind. The same thing applies to you. No amount of evidence that we can muster in support of God will cause you to change your mind about it. With all due respect, that's the sign of a closed mind. Karajou 12:05, 2 December 2007 (EST)
With all due respect to you as well, I would appreciate you not making assumptions about me. I do have an open mind, and I would absolutely love to see your evidence. I would argue that those who start all of their discussions with "the bible is fact, now let's work from there" is more a sign of a closed mind. I did say that it is a choice to accept or reject evidence, but it should be accepted or rejected based on its merits, not based on whether or not it supports your pre-existing beliefs. --BillOhannity 12:27, 2 December 2007 (EST)
BillOhannity, those are not assumptions I made about you; they are facts about you that you have given to us. As to evidence, we have some in the various articles on this site. There is much more out in print as well as the internet. By saying that you demand to see evidence from us, we have met that demand; it is your choice that you refuse to see it. The only thing further to say now is that since you insist on making this debate endless, I'm going to invoke the 90/10 rule. Please contribute to the positive content of the articles or leave. Karajou 12:37, 2 December 2007 (EST) ::::::::::Not sure why you insists so much on eyewitnesses. It is known that they are particularly reliable sources of evidence. Either way, in empirical science nothing is absolute certain. People who believe that a scientific theory is absolute certain can't be scientists. Only religion tries to give absolute certainties. You can't apply the mindset of religion to science. Order 20:07, 1 December 2007 (EST)
In one sense, eyewitnesses are all that you have. Even current scientific research of, for example, chemicals, is eyewitnesses (the scientists) reporting what they have seen (through the microscope). For historical events, such as events in ancient Rome, eyewitnesses are virtually all we have to go on (or later accounts based on earlier accounts going back to the original witnesses; but even there the closer the accounts are to the original, the more accurate they are generally considered to be). Archaeologists can glean some information from stone artifacts, pottery fragments, etc., but the best source of information is written documents, i.e. written accounts by eyewitnesses or based ultimately on eyewitness accounts.
Scientists will claim/admit (depending on the circumstances) that nothing in science can be absolutely certain, but when it comes to evolution and long ages (among other things), they effectively say that it is certain. Evolution is no longer a "theory" (in the layman sense of "uncertain"), but "fact", and no alternative view (creation or intelligent design) is allowed to be considered.
I agree that you can't (shouldn't) apply the principles of religion to science, as "religion" claims certainty because it is the revelation of the omniscient and infallible God, which science isn't. So why does science claim that God got it wrong?
Philip J. Rayment 02:20, 2 December 2007 (EST)

Philip, your answer touches quite a few subjects, so I'll restrict myself to a few aspects. First, you should at some point decide what an "eyewitness" is. While you demanded first that events had to be observed in the present, you now call anybody an "eyewitness" who measures indirect evidence in the present. This is so broad a definition, it covers any human observation. And you also seem like to underestimate the value of archeology, and overestimate the value of eyewitness accounts. But thats an aside. Order split into two sections, continues below


But the important point in your reply is the last point. From you wording it seems like you take personal offense at scientists developing theories that contradict your reading of the bible. And yes, I mean your reading of the bible, because even you do not read all of it literal. And I am not just talking about the parables. The bible is not a book that lends itself for literal reading. Sometimes it is difficult to know if something is a parable at all. But more important, sometimes a literal reading of the book leads to inconsistencies and absurdities. Take the differences between the two creation accounts, or when it talks about the "sons of god", or god losing against Jacob. There have been books been written by apologists about why these are not inconsistencies and absurdities. And the apologists might even be right. But if you could read the bible literally, there would be no need for apologists telling us how read it. The book itself would be sufficient.

Anyway, you seem to be angry with the scientists for proposing an old earth. However, scientists do not propose a theory because they are evil, or because they don't like your god, but simply because they try to come up with the best explanation for the observations that they see. And over the centuries even Christian scientist had to accept that the bible is not a great book when it comes to science. It doesn't give useful answers to the scientific questions. There is no accurate prediction of the background radiation, it doesn't explain electromagnetism, nor a useful classification of mammals, it is silent on prime number factorization, etc. Attempts at biblical science might be an intellectual stimulating subject, but even the biblical scientists looks first at the observed facts and then into the bible if he can reconcile the facts with scripture, and not the other way round.

When scientists develop theories that contradict your interpretation of the bible, they do it because they have a different interpretation of the bible, and not because they want to bring god down. Their findings do not contradict their view of the bible, only your view of it. So it is your problem to reconcile both sides, but not theirs. Although your feelings are understandable, it is unjust for you to be angry with the scientists for causing you problems. They don't do it because they are evil, but because it part of the job description of what scientists do. They'd probably like you when they'd meet you.Order 03:33, 4 December 2007 (EST)

I fail to see your point about eyewitnesses. Surely "any human observation" is essentially synonymous with "eyewitness" (ignoring that one refers to the act and the other to the person).
Your insistence on eyewitness reports is useless when everything is an eyewitness report. Order
The claims of scientists regarding the Big Bang, fish turning into amphibians, dinosaurs into birds, and a whole host of other such claims are not eyewitness reports. Philip J. Rayment 08:53, 5 December 2007 (EST)
You admitted before that scientific observations are eyewitness reports. It seem that you reject that scientists make any deduction from these observations. A crime scene investigator can come to the site of an accident and witness that a car is wrapped around a tree, but you don't want them to conclude from this that a car accident happened the day before, because they didn't see it happen. This is no different from archaeologist arriving at an excavation site. I am not sure why you only want to accept eyewitness reports as evidence, and not other kinds of evidence, but for the sake of argument lets assume that nothing can be assumed to have happened unless there is a first person account of the event. Order 18:26, 5 December 2007 (EST)
I'm not rejecting that scientists can make deductions; I'm rejecting that those deductions have the same veracity as the observations. I'm rejecting that scientists can claim as scientific fact that dinosaurs turned into birds 65 million years ago yet dismiss biblical records as "religious", when the reality is that the Bible contains what are strongly arguably eyewitness accounts whereas the bird evolution is not an observation, but a deduction based more on ideology that observation. Philip J. Rayment 08:54, 6 December 2007 (EST)
With your restricted interpretation of eyewitness account, I could easily argue that the biblical account cannot be an eyewitness account. Much of it is a third person narrative, for a start. But I can already imagine that your reply will then refer to Moses, etcetera. But that would be sophistry, and as I said before I really do feel like going repeating much of the history of apologetics. Order 10:47, 6 December 2007 (EST)
Even where the account was not witnesses by its human authors, it was witnesses by God, the ultimate author of the Bible, so it still all qualifies as eyewitness account. Philip J. Rayment 07:57, 7 December 2007 (EST)
In this case it wouldn't be an eyewitness account, but an ego document. But, under a literal interpretation the books were written by Moses, who lived at some later stage, and was definitely no eyewitness. So, in the end it is just a 3rd person account written way after the fact. Anyway, I am not sure why you keep insisting on discussing these kind of details. I am happy to engage in the intellectual game about who of us can come up with a smarter interpretation of the bible, but it strikes me as pointless. I'd rather prefer that you'd address my actual question, if and why you are so angry with those scientists. Order 10:38, 7 December 2007 (EST)
If God observed it and He wrote about it, that perfectly fits the definition of an eyewitness account. A "literal interpretation" refers to how it is to be understood, not who wrote it. There is a school of thought, that I go along with, that as far as Genesis is concerned, Moses compiled the book from pre-existing documents that would have been handed down to him, and these pre-existing documents were written by eyewitnesses. So in Genesis 5:1 where it says "This is the written account of Adam's line.", this would be the "signature" of Adam at the end of his account, which started in Genesis 2:4 (the chapter and verse divisions are a later innovation). So there is no reason that Genesis could not be eyewitness accounts by various people from Adam onward. I continue discussing this because you keep disputing it! I've already answered about the scientists. Philip J. Rayment 05:51, 8 December 2007 (EST)
A literal interpretation means that you interpret it literal, and not how it supposed to be understood, unless you have guidelines how it is supposed to be understood. Otherwise you are just guessing how it is to be understood. If god made the creation, him writing about it is not an eyewitness account, it is an ego-document. At the sixth day he could have told Adam anything, and there would have been no witness, to confirm the event. That is what eyewitness are for. It is traditionally believed that Moses wrote the first five books. That according to "some" schools of thought there are older sources, is just one of many explanations, and unless you have evidence that these sources existed, is is just an unsupported assumption. And for these other sources also need evidence with respect to the authorship. If your only evidence is that there is no reason why it couldn't be a eyewitness report, then you only claim that it is possible to be an eyewitness report. But what you need to show is that it is necessary. Necessary from evidence, and not necessary to save your interpretation. Order 02:50, 9 December 2007 (EST)
I'll rephrase my comment: A "literal interpretation" refers to how you understand it, not who wrote it. You were claiming that reading it literally meant that it was written by Moses, and it was that point that I was disagreeing with. As for how one is supposed to understand it, you can usually determine that from things like the style of wording and how it was or would have been understood by the author's contemporaries. So you are not "just guessing".
"Eyewitness account" means that it was seen by someone there. Whether or not that person was also involved with what happened is a separate issue, so that God was the Creator does not negate that he was also an eyewitness to it. I presume that your use of "ego-document" is a pejorative way of saying "autobiographical account", and is meant to imply that it is therefore unreliable. But in this case we are talking about the infallible God Who cannot lie, so that implication is incorrect. Now you quite likely don't accept that characteristic of God, but again, that is a separate issue to the point in question, whether or not there was an eyewitness to the events.
"unless you have evidence that these sources existed, is is just an unsupported assumption": The evidence is in the literary use of "colophons", such as the "signature of Adam" that I referred to. This was the style of ancient documents, and this style is recognisable in the various sections of Genesis. So it is not an "unsupported assumption". Either way, whether God told just Adam or God told a lot more to Moses, it is still an eyewitness account, and by the infallible God Who cannot lie.
Philip J. Rayment 05:32, 9 December 2007 (EST)

Defining "literal meaning" as how people understood it at the time when it was written, is useful, so lets stick with it. However, I didn't claim that Moses wrote the the Pentateuch, I said that this is the traditional view. Modern scholars are looking at style, word choice, and historic context, and came to the conclusion that the Pentateuch was compiled from a few earlier sources quite some time after Moses died. So, neither Adam nor Moses would be the main author, it would have been from a collection of sources, and Moses might or might not have been one of them. But if we look at the bible as contemporaries understood it, they did believe that the books were written by Moses. And both you and the modern scholars disagree with this traditional view.

Call the creation account auto-biography if you like that better. However there is no account how the auto-biography was transferred into written form, it might be Adam, it might be Moses, it might be someone else, and we do not only not know who it was, we don't even know if he is reliable. It was been said that Moses wrote down the laws, but for the rest on the Pentateuch it is mostly unclear who wrote it. When police makes a record of an eyewitness account, they make sure that they got a signature of witness and interrogator. A report of a person claiming to have heard an eyewitness account isn't an eyewitness account anymore.

And the colophon that you mentioned doesn't say that it was written by Adam, it simply says that it was about Adam and his line. Order 07:35, 9 December 2007 (EST)

"Modern scholars" are rejecting that the Bible is what is says it is and think that they know better. The idea that it wasn't written by Moses started with, among other things, the idea that writing hadn't been invented then, which has since shown to be wrong. It also assumes that different terminology means different authors, rather than (a) different purpose by the same author, or (b) the same author changing his style over time. In other words, those ideas that it was written later than Moses don't hold water. I don't really disagree with the traditional/biblical view. The Bible refers to the Pentateuch as "the books of Moses", and whether he is the original author or the editing compiler they are still his books.
Under the Moses-as-compiler idea, the author of the creation account (Genesis 1:1 to 2:4a) could be God Himself, Who might well have written that part and handed it to Adam with the instruction to keep the history going. In any case, God was the ultimate author of the entire Bible (using various human "ghost writers"), and by definition He is reliable. They didn't have police in those times, or more to the point, they didn't have the same practices as today. But that doesn't mean that they don't qualify as eyewitness accounts.
The colophon was, as I said, like the "signature" of the writer. So when it says that this is the account of Adam, it means that it's Adam's account; that Adam is the author of it.
Philip J. Rayment 08:25, 10 December 2007 (EST)

The colophon says "this is the written account of Adams line", which it is, and it is not an "account by Adam". This wouldn't make much sense anyway because this account is really an "account of Adams line". It describes the line that starts with Adam and his sons, and ends with the sons of Noah, a few hundred years after Adams death. Of course do modern scholars propose different interpretations because they thing they know better. They do exactly the same as you, when you look at style, wording, context to determine the meaning. You also think that you know better than the traditional interpretation. Asserting that a different style might be explained by a single author changing his style, is an unsupported assertion, and given the fairly substantial differences multiple authorship is at least as believable. You explanation has quite a few "could haves" and "mights", and is not exactly convincing or necessary. And there is still more evidence that Moses wasn't the only author. For example that the Pentateuch describes his death, and events that happened afterwards, and the fact that the books use names for biblical places that weren't used in the time of Moses, but only centuries later. However, we work as agreed to work under the assumption that the audience at the when it written was able to understand it, which means it should have been written when those names were actually used. Of course, we cannot go back in time an check it, nor do we have eyewitness accounts, but neither have you. And you can claim that there were ghostwriters, you should be a bit more specific. An eyewitness account which is passed down through works of unknown a ghostwriters isn't an eyewitness account anymore. If you explanation would be anymore vague, it could also apply to urban legends. Order 09:31, 10 December 2007 (EST)

The colophon can be translated in a number of ways. Regardless of the precise wording, the purpose was apparently as a signature, indicating that the account was by Adam.
I mentioned that the colophon was at the end of the account. The line from Adam's sons to Noah is the next account, not Adam's account.
I don't think that I know better than the traditional view, generally speaking. As a creationist I believe that Adam was created perfect and that we, his descendants, have accumulated a host of genetic errors and have deteriorated. So he was smarter than us, although we have the benefit accumulated knowledge. As a rule, therefore, I defer to the sources nearer the original than the present, unlike many modern scholars who, adopting an evolutionary assumption, think that man has improved rather than deteriorated, and that we therefore are more likely to come up with the correct answer than those that went before us.
Claiming that a given author might change his style over time I consider to be self-evident, because I myself have done it! And that's over a space of fewer years than Moses was leading the Israelites.
Clearly Moses didn't write the part about his own death, but that says nothing about him not writing the rest. That very argument (that he didn't write his death) was used by Thomas Paine in Age of Reason, yet Paine himself admitted in a later edition of his book that the previous edition of his book contained something that he didn't write! That is clearly a silly argument. The Pentateuch describes nothing or next to nothing after his death.
I believe that the claim that the books use names that were only in use later is probably fallacious, just as the claim that writing wasn't invented at the time was fallacious. If you give me specifics, I'll try and check that out further. There is the possibility, though, that a later editor did update some place names.
The "ghostwriters" (note that I put it in quote marks) were people like Moses, who wrote under God's inspiration. It was their own words and style, but with God's guidance and guarantee of accuracy. The term "ghostwriters" in this case does not mean that their names are not known.
Philip J. Rayment 10:13, 10 December 2007 (EST)

Thanks for admitting that the colophon can be translated in a number of ways. So you do admit that there is not only one valid interpretation. What the purpose was can clearly be disputed, and you know perfectly well that the colophon view is a minority view. But eitherway, we established that the colophons can be translated in more than one way. Of course an author can change his style. You are right. But you have to prove that this author has changed his style. Of course, maybe the author changed his style. Maybe it is a literal device. Who knows. You don't either. So what you do is guessing. Why should I tell you the name of a city that wasn't name, if you already tell me that you will discount any such name with the argument that " a later editor did update some place names." Your theory about the ghostwriters is very nice theory, but it doesn't even come close to be a scientific theory, since you got neither proof, nor evidence, and certainly no eyewitness accounts. Order 21:02, 15 December 2007 (EST)

I had never indicated that the colophon could only be translated one way, and I had at least implied that there is more than one valid view. My point was always that there is some evidence (even if not conclusive) that all of Genesis (apart from chapter 1) could have been written by human eyewitnesses, and that any claim that it was was not recorded by eyewitnesses because the events predated Moses was an invalid argument.
Why is the onus on me to prove that he changed his style? The claim has always been that Moses was responsible for the first five books, and surely if someone want to claim otherwise, the onus on them is to show that he didn't change his style, especially given your acknowledgement that an author could do this.
I didn't say that I would discount any such city name as a later editorial update. I merely pointed out that this might be a possible explanation. I also notice that you didn't dispute that this might be possible. If you are acknowledging that this is possible, it follows that city names unknown in Moses' time cannot therefore be used as evidence that it must have been written later than Moses' time.
Your last comment about ghostwriters seems to reject my argument by requiring a standard that could not be met by any theory, and begs the question by declaring that there were no eyewitness accounts, the very point in contention.
Philip J. Rayment 02:29, 16 December 2007 (EST)

A lot of things are possible, and of course you can have many alternative possible explanations. But the interesting ones are the likely explanation. Given the inconsistencies, it might be caused by a single person changing his style, but it could also be due to an editor compiling from different sources, especially since it is very likely that someone edited the text anyway some time after Moss death. It is argued that the changes are too big for a single author. While possible, it is not considered to be the most likely explanation that there were at least two stories, before an editor went to work. Anyway, point is there a lot possible, but that doesn't make it likely. A explanation becomes more likely, the more supporting evidence you have, and evidence can come in different shape and forms. The eyewitness standard was set by yourself, and indeed I think it is a bit unreasonable. If you defend an explanation that is just possible, you should at least have the courage to admit, that other explanations are considered more likely. Order 03:35, 17 December 2007 (EST)

You are wanting me to admit that my view of how the Bible came to be written is just one of several possible explanations. Okay, I admit that—because I've never claimed otherwise. It was you who said that you could argue that it wasn't an eyewitness account ("I could easily argue that the biblical account cannot be an eyewitness account"), and I was merely countering that argument, by pointing out possible explanations that would allow it to be an human eyewitness account. If I can show even one possible explanation (i.e. one that you can't refute as being impossible), then I have succeeded in refuting your assertion that it could not have been an eyewitness account. Now you are (unwittingly?) trying to turn the argument around to get me to admit that my explanation is not the only possible one! Philip J. Rayment 05:51, 17 December 2007 (EST)

If you defense is that it is logically possible to be an eyewitness account, you are indeed right, it is logically possible. But also a good work of fiction is logically possible, so this is a fairly weak argument to support your position. That is why I called this kind of argument sophistry. I thought that you were claiming that you had actual evidence to support your position. Order 03:27, 18 December 2007 (EST)

As I said, I was merely trying to refute your claim that it could not be an eyewitness account. It looks like I succeeded in that. The only thing I failed in was in not doing what you thought I was doing. Philip J. Rayment 06:52, 18 December 2007 (EST)

Feel free to declare victory on this point. You are quite far away from your earlier position that your view is the only legitimate view, but now it is merely one view that could be logically possible. If you are happy with such a minimal position, I'd call that a victory too. Order 19:33, 18 December 2007 (EST)

I've never said that "my view is the only legitimate view" in so many words. That's your spin. I have said that the young-Earth view is the only legitimate way to understand the Bible, but I never said that the colophon explanation of how Genesis was written was the only legitimate view. Philip J. Rayment 07:06, 20 December 2007 (EST)

Your way is only one way to understand the bible, since it may be translated in different ways, understood in different ways, and interpreted in different ways, different theories how the bible came about. And saying that your interpretation might be logical possible, that is not exactly much. There are other interpretations that are logically possible, too. It seem like you are arguing with the desired outcome in mind, namely that the scripture must be correct on a fairly literal level, and with that in mind there indeed only a few possible interpretations. And yours might be one of them. Order 18:06, 20 December 2007 (EST)

Oh dear, we've been over this already. There's so many unsubstantiated generalisations in that paragraph that I'm not going to repeat myself going over them all again. Philip J. Rayment 07:49, 21 December 2007 (EST)

Scientific Claims

"From you wording it seems like you take personal offense at scientists developing theories that contradict your reading of the bible.": What I object to is the scientists who didn't witness past events claiming superiority over God who did witness those events.
What you demand of these scientists is to subject themselves to your beliefs, even though they do not share your beliefs. Order
No, but I expect them to recognise and acknowledge that they are beliefs, not scientific facts, and therefore not claim, whether explicitly or implicitly, that the Bible is wrong. Philip J. Rayment 08:53, 5 December 2007 (EST)
Most will be happy to concede that your statements are "beliefs" and not "scienitifc fact". Isn't it you who doesn't distinguish between belief and scientific fact? Anyway, what gives you the right to demand from them to not present scientific theories that oppose you beliefs? Order 18:26, 5 December 2007 (EST)
I do distinguish between belief and "scientific fact", but I reject that things like evolution are scientific fact: they are belief, but although they, as you say, will be happy to "concede" ("claim" would be more accurate) that my statements are beliefs, they won't admit this of their own statements. I'm not rejecting their right to propose scientific theories that oppose my beliefs. I'm rejecting their right to propose atheistic beliefs as scientific facts. Philip J. Rayment 08:54, 6 December 2007 (EST)
You should welcome it, because as soon as it is proposed as scientific it is open to criticism and scrutiny. Order 10:47, 6 December 2007 (EST)
If only it was. But materialists do not allow (to the extent that they can stop it, such as in secular scientific journals) their views to be scrutinised and questioned from a non-materialist point of view. Philip J. Rayment 07:57, 7 December 2007 (EST)
You can question them from a non-materialist view point as you like. But that unless you provide material evidence, its not science. Order 10:38, 7 December 2007 (EST)
Yet the same doesn't seem to apply for goo-to-you evolution, which has almost no material evidence. Philip J. Rayment 05:51, 8 December 2007 (EST)
There is no evidence that you accept, but here is quite some evidence, and in addition it is back-up by mathematical models which have been proven to work. That you only accept eyewitness reports is your choice, but you can't blame that other prefer to rely on more reliable evidence than eyewitness reports. Order 02:50, 9 December 2007 (EST)
The maths actually work against it, as shown by evolutionists Hoyle and Wickramasinghe. As for there being some evidence, claiming it without demonstrating it is a non-argument. There is almost no material evidence. No, I can't blame others for relying on more reliable evidence, but I'm disputing that the arguments based on materialistic assumptions are more reliable. Philip J. Rayment 05:32, 9 December 2007 (EST)

Hoyle and Wrickramasinghe were advocating panspermia, and their argument deals with abiogenisis. We've been over this before. Look at the work of Rechenberg, Fogel, and Holland, who have proven that simple arguments from improbability are not applying to evolution, i.e. they have proven mathematically that evolution is not a random walk. If you want to promote Hoyle's idea of panspermia to solve the problem of abiogenesis, feel free to do so. But this is a tangent. Order 17:44, 9 December 2007 (EST)

Evolution is by definition random at heart, because it excludes design. Yes, Hoyle and Wickramasinghe were talking about abiogenesis, so that was a bad example. That they were promoting the idea of panspermia is irrelevant, though. Evolutionary computations do not prove that the mathematics of evolution work, because they are not trying to do that, and they are not actually models of evolution, but natural selection. See the dam example in that link (including in the last section) for further information, and see here for more reasons why the computations are not like evolution. Philip J. Rayment 08:55, 10 December 2007 (EST)

Your first sentence is mistaken on two accounts. First, evolution is not random, if you mean with random, random walk. If you mean without teleological purpose you are right, but that meaning of "random", doesn't allow you to calculate probabilities. If you calculate probabilities, your random wither mean that "uniform distribution" or "random walk" and evolution is neither. Because selection isn't random. And you can calculate at what population size genetic drift (random walk) is superseded by the effects of selection.

Second, randomness doesn't exclude design. If you are using a wifi connection right now, your are using a randomized backoff algorithm. And that has been purposefully designed. Randomness can be perfectly well be part of design.

Nice example with the dam example. You can show many instances of evolution that are different from biological evolution, but an instance that proves that evolution works for a dam, doesn't disprove other instances of the principle of evolution. It is like saying just because one instance of a wiki based encyclopedia does work, another instances of a wiki based encyclopedia that is different in many details cannot work. Order 21:12, 15 December 2007 (EST)

By random I do mean without purpose or design. I don't follow the second half of your first paragraph.
I never claimed that randomness excluded design. I said that lack of design means randomness. Sure, a designed system could incorporate randomness (but see a following comment), but an undesigned system must rely on randomness, or chance, and chance/randomness doesn't produce design, yet we see design everywhere. However, systems that use a randomness algorithm actually produce pseudo-randomness, because true randomness cannot be designed, as randomness is the opposite of design. It actually takes some quite clever design to get the pseudo-randomness to be a close representation of true randomness!
You appear to be missing the point in the last paragraph. The link didn't show evolution working with the dam example. It showed natural selection working, but natural selection is not evolution, and it showed that natural selection only worked because you had design to start with. Your last sentence is not what I was claiming.
Philip J. Rayment 02:44, 16 December 2007 (EST)

If you use "random" without purpose or design, you cannot use probabilistic arguments anymore. If you define "random" as without purpose, you are right, evolution is random. But you still can't argue from probability, under this definition. And saying that "random" means "without design" is a funny definition. Evolution doesn't claim that it is "without design", it is actually all about design.

If you can implement true-randomness is a somewhat philosophical debate, but a hot cup of coffee will get a long way.

Of yes the selection bit in the article. That was indeed an interesting bit, that I forgot to mention. First, the authors claim that selection is working, and not producing random results. Then they claim that evolution is only working if the rate of mutation is big. And then they claim that evolution with little mutation is actually selection. And that it therefore cannot work. Can these authors make up their mind if selection works or not? Order 09:16, 16 December 2007 (EST)

I mentioned that I didn't follow all that you were saying, but with your last post I think I understand better what you were getting at. Although I mean "without purpose", it follows that it will also be statistically random. Therefore you can use probability arguments. If nobody purposely designed life, then it had to come together by chance interaction of molecules, but you can use probability arguments to show that the chances of this are zero.
"Design" requires a designer. No designer: no design, and you're back to chance.
I think you are reading things into the article. Please explain where the author (singular) makes all these inconsistent claims.
Philip J. Rayment 03:23, 17 December 2007 (EST)

The authors first claim that genetic algorithm are suitable for solving multidimensional problems, and later complain that the dam example only works because they only consider a one-dimensional problem at a a time. But the fundamental problem is that they discuss a example of a genetic algorithm that works, and argue that this shows that the same principles do not work in nature. That is a fallacy. All they do is to show that the robot/dam example is not biological evolution. I figure that that is fairly obvious.

It appears that you define design as "Design requires a designer", and everything you want to say about it is then a tautology. Yes, in that case there is no design in nature. But this is just, because you define it that way. So, you eye is not designed. And don't tell me how wonderful your eye works, because your definition of "design" doesn't depend on how things work.

Anyway, what I still try to understand is you claim that the absence of "purpose" allows you to calculate "probabilities". I do know what random means, namely that you got a sample space, and a uniform distribution of that sample space. I suspect that it then depends on you definition of "purpose", since I cannot see how the absence of "purpose" ensure that the distribution on the sample space is uniform. Neither "purpose" in it functional nor teleological meaning do make sense. Rather than guess what you mean I would like to ask you to (1) define purpose, (2) give on example of a object without purpose (3) tell us what the sample space is, and why the absence of "purpose" implies that the distribution must be uniform. Order 03:43, 18 December 2007 (EST)

Your explanation of your objection to the article is still difficult to follow. I assume that your first reference to "dam" ("later complain that the dam example only works") was meant to be a reference to "robot". The article doesn't mention "one-dimensional". They are not saying that it doesn't work in nature. What they are saying (one of a number of points) is that the working method is so much simpler than evolution is that it can't be used as evidence that evolution works.
Yes, design requires a designer, by definition, but your subsequent statement that that means that there is no design in nature is begging the question, by assuming that it wasn't designed. The point is that "design" is apparent from its attributes, and we can see design in nature (things working together in non-random ways). As we can see design, and design requires a designer, then there must be a designer. This is working from the evidence to the conclusion, it's not a tautology. Saying that there is no designer because there is no design because design requires a designer but there is no designer is the tautology.
If there is no design, then life, etc. has come about through random processes (mutations, etc.), and because they are random, the probabilities can be mathematically calculated.
"Purpose" is the intent of the designer. An example of something without purpose is a mutation. I'm not into the terminology that you are using, so I'm not sure that I can answer your third request. I guess that the "sample space" might be "life". Without design (hence without purpose), mutations will occur randomly, and randomness only produces noise, not information. Information is non-uniform, whereas noise is statistically uniform. These sentences have non-random arrangements of letters, and the number of uses of each letter is therefore different ("E" occurs much more frequently than others, for example). If the letters were random, you'd expect all 26 letters to have about the same number of occurrences. Non-randomness/information requires design. Life is non-random. Life contains information (DNA). Therfore, life was designed.
Philip J. Rayment 07:24, 18 December 2007 (EST)

You have to make up your mind if you define "desgin" by it origins or its structure. If you use the definition of design from structure to identify design, you cannot change to the definition of design from origin to show that it there must be a designer. That is just playing with two definitions of the word design. Nobody argues with the fact that life exhibits structure. Under that definition life exhibits design. Call it apparent design if it makes you happier.

Indeed mutations do occur random. Do you know how selection works? Not-random. And together it is still not random. There is more to evolution than genetic drift.

So the challenge remains to give me one single example of something without purpose, and how that lack of purpose implies randomness. An example of something without purpose, would for example be a stone rolling down a hill, set in motion by say rainfall. If you tell me why that is random in the sense that it produces a uniform distribution over a sample space, and that the lack of intent was instrumental to produce the uniform distribution, it would be greatly appreciated. Order 20:34, 18 December 2007 (EST)

"Nobody argues with the fact that life exhibits structure. Under that definition life exhibits design.": You've no doubt heard the expression that if it looks like a duck, walks like a duck, and quacks like a duck... it's probably a duck! You have to explain how something that exhibits all the hallmarks of design is not designed.
If mutations are random, not occurring by design, and natural selection was brought about by random processes, not design, then where does design come into it? Yes, natural selection is not random, but surely that speaks of design. Otherwise, if mutations are random and natural selection is the product of randomness, where does non-randomness (design) enter the picture?
I have already given you an example of randomness (a mutation). I have already answered the rest of your question when I gave you the example of the letters making up the sentence. How about you work with that and point out the flaws in that example, instead of asking for another?
Also, perhaps you could give me an example of something that exhibits evidence of design (i.e. structure and complexity) but which we know from observation of it occurring was not designed by an intelligent being. Exclude life itself (because that's what we are discussing and we didn't see the origins of life), exclude individual living things because we know that they come about from other living things, and tracing it back gets back to the origin of life, already excluded), and exclude crystals, because they are not complex and derive any apparent design they have from their chemical properties (unlike complex things). Can you provide any examples?
Philip J. Rayment 07:22, 20 December 2007 (EST)

You can do it without this little game with the two definitions of design, can't you. Because in your very first senetence you do it straight again. Argue from first structure, and then switch to the definition from origin. So call it apparent design. Or structure. And nature exhibits structure. And there is structure in nature that is not biological.

Selection is no random at all. That is the the crucial point. If all pandas go extinct, then that is not random. That cases of infections with penicillin resistant golden staph bacteria increases is not random.

If your argument is from letters making up a sentence, then you should allow genetic algorithms, because that is exactly how they work, on strings. And don't give me a link telling be that a certain dam example isn't anything like biological evolution. That is arguing from a single non-related example. It has been mathematically proven, that the average fitness of a set of sample solutions multi-dimensional optimization problems of finite dimensionality, will improve from one iteration to the next under a scheme of mutations and selection. Your string with about 30 characters is peanuts compared to optimization problems that have been tackles with such algorithms.

So, and I am a bit disappointed that you gave up to provide an example. If you cannot give a single example for something where the lack of purpose implies randomness, your claim that lack of purpose implies randomness can't be that strong. It seems like you cannot come up with evidence for your own position, but only criticize the position of others. Creationists are often blamed for arguing along the line "you cannot explain everything therefore my explanation must be right". We all know that that is a poor argument. It seems like you ask me for an example, rather than do your own homework, because this is the only way you know to argue your case. You still operate under the assumption that I want to convince you of evolution, or the the big bang, while my position merely that you should be able to admit to yourself that your view could be wrong. Order 09:21, 20 December 2007 (EST)

I DID give you an example, and I reminded you that I gave you an example. Saying that I didn't does not make it so. And I asked you to point out the flaws in the sentence example I gave you, and asked for an example of something that appears to be designed but isn't. You neither pointed out any flaws (calling it "peanuts" is not pointing out a flaw), nor provided the example that I asked for. What do you mean by my view "could be wrong". I'm not claiming infallibility, if that's what you're after. But I am claiming that the evidence is on my side, and if you want me to admit that I "could be wrong", then the onus is on you to show how it "could be wrong". Philip J. Rayment 07:59, 21 December 2007 (EST)

You repeated the observation that mutations are random, which is probably true and barely contested, but you didn't show that it is the lack of purpose that makes it random. And that was your claim. Because you used the general claim that lack of purpose implies randomness, to characterize all of evolution as random, even the bits that aren't random. So, we are still waiting for an example where randomness is caused by a lack of purpose.

The Creation Study Committee for the Presbyterian Church made very detailed report about how you could be wrong. It is nice that you ask me to come up with a theory, but you might already have noticed that I am fairly reluctant to play along with the creationist game of criticizing others, under the assumption that this proves their theory to be right. If you claim to have the evidence on your side, you could tell us what this evidence is. We will then see how strong your evidence is and if it measures up to your testability criterion. Order 11:49, 21 December 2007 (EST)

That a "lack of purpose...makes it random" is true by definition: "Random, adj. 1. going, made, occurring, etc., without definite aim, purpose, or reason." (The Penguin Macquarie Dictionary).
You'll need to remind me what it is that you think I "could be wrong" on.
Creationists do not criticise others under the assumption that this proves their theory to be right.
Philip J. Rayment 01:50, 29 December 2007 (EST)

Thanks to admit that you use random according to this definition. And nobody contests that evolution is thought to be random under this definition. Which is distinct from the definition: uniform distribution over a sample space. But you wanted to compute probabilities. What are the other definitions in your dictionary? In Merrian Webster the second meaning is that of uniform distributions over a sample space. So, when are you going to present an instance where a lack of purpose or design leads necessarily to a uniform distribution over a sample space? Order 02:16, 29 December 2007 (EST)


"And yes, I mean your reading of the bible, because even you do not read all of it literal.": I don't read all of it literally because it wasn't meant to be read literally! If I read it the way that it was meant to be understood, how does that make it "my" reading?
How do you know how it should be understood? You do it by interpretation. Do you think that old earthers decided to go for an interpretation which they assume to be wrong? No, they follow it, because they think that it is the right interpretation. Anything else implies that they are kind of insane. Order
How does anyone know how any language should be understood? How do you understand what I'm typing here? You familiarise yourself with the way words are used and sentences are constructed. In Genesis, the word for day (yom), when used with a number, or with the word morning, or with the word evening (and it is used with all three in Genesis) only ever means an ordinary day. And the Hebrew experts agree on this (see Creation Week). Furthermore, the believers in an old Earth acknowledge that they do so for extra-biblical reasons: see Old Earth Creationism. Philip J. Rayment 08:53, 5 December 2007 (EST)
You act under the assumption that I want to convince you that your interpretation is wrong. But that is not my intention, so there is no need to go over all the apologist arguments again. I know where to find the answersingenesis site, and you know where to find apologist literature, that goes back to Augustine, contradicting your interpretation of the word "yom". My intention is really not to repeat this apologist argument. My intention is to make you realize that people who disagree with your interpretation do not do this because they are evil, mean spirited or malicious. Order 18:26, 5 December 2007 (EST)
No, I'm acting under the assumption that you want to convince me that I can't be sure of my interpretation. No, I don't know where to find apologist literature that contradicts the expert view regarding the word "yom". Perhaps you could point me to it. I have already pointed out that I'm not claiming that people who disagree are evil, mean spirited, or malicious. I'm merely saying that they have those views for the wrong reasons and there arguments are invalid. Philip J. Rayment 08:54, 6 December 2007 (EST)
I am fairly sure that you are sure of your interpretation. Instead I try to convince you that others are evenly sure. I assumed you knew about the different interpretations, because you immediately took off to explain the word "yom". A very detailed report outlining a few important interpretations of the creation story can be found in a report by Creation Study Committee for the Presbyterian Churches of America [20]. The committee could not agree on any of these interpretations, and agreed to disagree. They all agree that the creation story describes a historical event, but they could not decide how to interpret the account. Order 10:47, 6 December 2007 (EST)
Yes, I agree that the people holding to an old-Earth view are also sure, but that doesn't mean that their case is at all valid. Philip J. Rayment 07:57, 7 December 2007 (EST)
"Take the differences between the two creation accounts...": What so contradictory about them? One is written as a chronological sequence of creation week events, the other as a non-chronological look at the first family. There's no contradictions.
Thanks for explaining that there is no contradiction under this interpretation. Order
Well, you have not provided any evidence of any contradictions. Philip J. Rayment 08:53, 5 December 2007 (EST)
See above.Order
There's no evidence above, so your claim that there is contradiction fails. Philip J. Rayment 08:54, 6 December 2007 (EST)
See below.Order
"...or when it talks about the "sons of god"...": Yes, reading a metaphor or euphemism literally can cause problems, which is why I don't do it.
Thanks, for telling us under which interpretation this is correct. Order
That's reading it the way it was meant to be read. It's not an optional "interpretation". Philip J. Rayment 08:53, 5 December 2007 (EST)
See above.Order
Is that the best response you can give? That's no response. Philip J. Rayment 08:54, 6 December 2007 (EST)
See below.Order
"But if you could read the bible literally, there would be no need for apologists ...": The reason there are apologists is not because of contradictions, but because of people claiming that it says things that it doesn't.
Yes, and they can claim this, because it is only correct given a certain interpretation rather than under a straightforward literal reading.Order
No, they claim it because they want to find fault with the Bible. I've seen so many absolutely ridiculous arguments... They are searching for any possible contradiction or discrepancy that they will argue from silence, read metaphor literally (and accuse us of being the literalists!), etc. Philip J. Rayment 08:53, 5 December 2007 (EST)
Yes some apologist use flaky arguments, but there also genuine professional apologists who try to make a sound argument. What I object to is not your argument with respect to the bible quote, but your insistence to portray people who disagree with you as malicious. All people I have met that think about the subject, make genuine and honest effort to understand the world around them, and the bible is part of their world, and you are doing unjust in assuming ulterior motives. Order 18:26, 5 December 2007 (EST)
Please show me where I have accused them of being malicious or apologise. And how am I being unjust in assuming ulterior motives. There's nothing wrong with accusing them of that if it's true, and you haven't shown that it isn't. Philip J. Rayment 08:54, 6 December 2007 (EST)
You'll need evidence that they do. And not just anecdotal evidence. You said repeatedly that the motive was the promotion atheism. I happen to know a professional apologist who doesn't share you view on the creation story. And he gives many talk criticizing Dawkins and atheism. Therefore, I have good reasons to believe that he doesn't defend an old earth view because he want to promote atheism. The same holds, I guess, for the members of the creation study group of the presbyterian church. Those who defend the day-age interpretation don't defend it to promote atheism. Order 10:47, 6 December 2007 (EST)
Perhaps I've not been sufficiently clear. The old-Earth paradigm is atheistic in its origins and in principle (for reasons already explained), but I'm not accusing compromising Christians of trying to promote atheism. Rather, I'm accusing them of trying to harmonise Scripture with what they believe to be solid science, but which is really atheistic philosophy, and doing so by reading Scripture in a way that is not how it was meant to be understood. As some creationists have said, why is it that in trying to harmonise the Bible and old-Earth views, it is the Bible that gets "interpreted". To put it another way, why do they "interpret" the six days of creation in the Bible to actually mean millions of years rather than "interpret" the millions of years to actually mean six days? Philip J. Rayment 07:57, 7 December 2007 (EST)
We know that you think that the old-earth view is atheistic by nature, but there are ample theistic old-earth views. Some are a reaction to bring scientific findings, some out of philosophical considerations. St Augustine already said in 400 AD clearly that it is a folly to reject knowledge about the universe because it contradicts scripture. He said this way before Darwin, and even though he was a in favor of a young earth. But he rejected the 6-day account, mostly for philosophical reasons. So, the call to "harmonize" scripture with generally accepted knowledge is as least as old as St Augustine. Not sure if you want to argue that this Saint qualifies as atheist origin. And if you don't believe me, the Creation Study Group report for the presbyterian church says explicitly about the old earth view being a reaction to Darwin: This is not so, however, as we can clearly appreciate from the discussion under question 3) above where we see that a view open to the possibility of creative days of unspecified length was held by prominent and influential church fathers, some of whom lived long before Charles Darwin. (Section IV.B.4) Order 10:38, 7 December 2007 (EST)
Yes, Augustine did reject literal days, and not for atheistic reasons, just like modern old-Earth creationists. But like them, he did so for reasons other than that's what the Bible teaches. Augustine was not a Hebrew scholar, and tended to allegorise almost everything. He proposed his non-literal days idea because he couldn't believe that God would take so long, not because that's what the Scripture said! So you are right, attempting to interpret Scripture to mean something other than what it actually says is quite old, but that doesn't justify it. Nevertheless, the attempts to make the days into long periods of time are because they are trying to harmonise Scripture with the atheistic idea of long ages. Philip J. Rayment 05:51, 8 December 2007 (EST)
Not sure why you feel the urge to dismiss all other interpretations, even the one by Augustine, as unjustified, and in addition feel the need to put your scholarship above those of some of most prominent church teachers in history. There can be many justified interpretations, while there can be at most one correct one. Modern old earth interpretation might very well be fed by the urge to harmonize it with new scientific findings, but this practice has been advocated at least since St. Augustine. And there existed long days interpretations long before Darwin, apparently already in the 2nd century B.C. Order 02:50, 9 December 2007 (EST)
I feel the urge to dismiss them as unjustified because I believe that they are unjustified. I'm not going above some of the most prominent church teachers; I'm going along with the vast majority. Augustine was an exception to the rule, but even so did not attempt to harmonise with scientific findings nor with old Earth ideas. Philip J. Rayment 05:32, 9 December 2007 (EST)

We do know that you think that they are unjustified. And calling someone like Augustine unqualified, looks like you are picking on someone just because the person disagrees with you. Furthermore, St. Augustine did advise to harmonize scripture with scientific findings. He explicitly acknowledged that people of another persuasion can have knowledge about the world, and said that is "disgraceful" to see people arguing against them just because it might be in conflict with scripture. Order 07:35, 9 December 2007 (EST)

I never said that Augustine was "unqualified". I said that he was an "exception". Neither did I deny that he promoted the idea of harmonising Scripture with scientific findings. I merely said that that's not what he was doing in this case. Philip J. Rayment 08:58, 10 December 2007 (EST)

Atheist Science

"...scientists do not propose a theory because they are evil, or because they don't like your god, but simply because they try to come up with the best explanation for the observations that they see.": Are you seriously claiming that atheistic scientists (i.e. the subset that is atheistic) have no motive to find explanations that exclude God? Even evolutionists will admit that Darwin's motive was to eliminate God, and this was also the motive of people like Hutton and Lyell.
Yes, this is exactly what I am claiming. You claim that scientists have as ulterior motives to bring down god. Darwin did not travel around the world because he was angry with god, but because he was curious. He didn't propose his theory because he wanted to debunk the bible, but because lamarckism and catastrophism didn't explain what he saw very well. —The preceding unsigned comment was added by Order (talk)
Then you have an impossibly-high opinion of scientists as being totally objective, and are wrong, as I already mentioned that even evolutionists admit that this was Darwin's motive. Philip J. Rayment 08:53, 5 December 2007 (EST)
Where do I say that scientists are totally objective? What I say is that most scientists are genuinely curious, and mostly driven by honorable motives. Of course they are humans, too. You in contrast portray the scientific community as this great anti-biblical conspiracy of people with bad intentions. And this while intentions are quite irrelevant in science, relevant is what evidence exists to support or reject a theory. Order 18:26, 5 December 2007 (EST)
You said that scientists promote a theory simply because they try and come up with the best explanation, and reject that their religious views colour their thinking. That amounts to saying that they are totally objective.
I do not claim that there is a conspiracy. Rather, there is a ruling paradigm and ideology that overrides objectiveness.
I wish you'd tell anti-creationists, including American judges, that intentions are irrelevant. They reject creationism not because of the evidence, but because of the intentions of those holding to it.
Philip J. Rayment 08:54, 6 December 2007 (EST)
No, there are other things that may color the thinking of scientists. You pointed to a few of them. And if you are concerned about paradigms, I guess Kuhn has written about paradigm shifts in science. It is a recognized concept in the philosophy of science. Order 10:47, 6 December 2007 (EST)
"And over the centuries even Christian scientist had to accept that the bible is not a great book when it comes to science.": Only the ones that have been taken in by the atheistic ideas of Hutton, Darwin, etc.
Even Christian had to accept that. Catastrophism, for example, lost out in an almost 100% Christian environment because it didn't explain the observed facts very well, not because people turned atheist. Scientists really tried hard to make it work, but they couldn't.Order
Catastrophism lost out because people such as Hutton deemed it to be wrong, and the evidence has led to a partial return to catastrophism. So you have that back to front. Philip J. Rayment 08:53, 5 December 2007 (EST)
Yes, that has happened to some extend. There are a fair number of scientist believing that the great mass extinction was caused by an catastrophic event, while others are still skeptical. It is a nice illustration that it is not the intentions that matter in science, but that the scientific community changes its stance based on evidence. Right now some scientist are looking for evidence supporting the theory, while other are looking for evidence contradicting it. And how to correctly interpret the bible plays no role at all in this discussion. Only physical evidence. Order 18:26, 5 December 2007 (EST)
Except that they will not even consider an explanation that would be consistent with the Bible. Philip J. Rayment 08:54, 6 December 2007 (EST)
You might want to look at the reasons why they won't look at the explanation? Is it atheism or something else? And you are a bit too negative. In biblical archeology, for example, scientist are actually quite pleased if the find a site that was already mentioned in biblical times. Order 10:47, 6 December 2007 (EST)
I was generalising; I recognise that there are exceptions, although the archaeological exceptions that you mention are generally not ones that go against the materialistic paradigm. Why won't they look at the explanation? Well, you tell me, if you think it's something else. They do say that they won't consider it because it invokes the supernatural, and science can't study the supernatural. Now it is true that science can't study the supernatural, but it doesn't follow from that that science can't consider a supernatural explanation. Philip J. Rayment 07:57, 7 December 2007 (EST)
In science it is all about testability. This doesn't mean that you have to repeat the event, but that you can repeat the observation that support a theory, and that you can predict observations. Supernatural explanation fails in this respect, by you own admission, since you can't study the supernatural. But also this is a digression, and should be discussed on the Philosophy of Science or Creationism pages. Order 10:38, 7 December 2007 (EST)
You can have (and test) observations that support the theory, but you can't test the theory itself if it was in the past. Repeatability frequently applies to the test, not the event, but in those cases it is the observation that is being checked, not whether the event happened. That is, you can repeatedly test the C12/C14 ratio in a sample, but you are checking the ratio, you are not checking how that ratio came to be there. To study how it came to be there, you would need to repeat the original event, which is, of course, impossible. So the observation of the ratio is science, but the explanation of how it came to be there is not. And whilst you can't study the supernatural, you can make predictions based on a supernatural explanation and test those predictions. And this has been done (i.e. predictions based on the creation model) with the predictions being tested and found to be correct. Philip J. Rayment 05:51, 8 December 2007 (EST)
It is good to see that creationist made some progress, but of course we do not know where this will lead. If we can test the supernatural, science can start cataloging it. Maybe at some point in the future we know why nature is fond of beetles. But as said, when we start testing the supernatural, it might turn out to quite different from what any of us believes. Would you accept any evidence that would contradict your beliefs? If the preditions creationists fail, would it make you change your view on this matter?
Anyway, you seem to be mostly hiding behind the fact that we cannot go back in time, which is true. But, even if you would be able to repeat the original event, the observations might still be wrong, just like observations in the present can be wrong. In addition, if you reject any claim about the past, because the past is inaccessible, then it would evenly apply to your claims about the past. You cannot go back in time and see creation happen either. If you reject scientific theories because their observations might be wrong, your theory explaining those same observations has exactly the same problem. Order 02:50, 9 December 2007 (EST)
The tests are not of the supernatural itself, but of predictions if the creation account is true. Sure, I'd accept evidence that contradicts my beliefs, because my beliefs are based on evidence. A failed prediction, however, is not itself conclusive.
I'm not "hiding", just pointing out a very pertinent fact. I'm not rejecting "any claim about the past". I'm rejecting claims based on ideology where they conflict with reliable eyewitness accounts. I'm rejecting the claim that ideology-based science is the only reliable source of information. Philip J. Rayment 05:32, 9 December 2007 (EST)

If a test of a prediction of the supernatural wants qualify as a scientific test, it should, if it fails, tell you something about the supernatural. And you have been arguing that you can't know about things that happened in the past. But feel free to drop that assumption, it wasn't very useful. However, if you want to stick to this "pertinent fact", then accept that this pertinent fact also applies to you. We know that you think that certain findings are based on ideology, but it seem like you are labeling them as ideological because the are against your "ideology". The findings you are arguing against have been proposed and observed by scientists with all kinds of background, and it would be hard to find an ideology that they all share. Order 07:35, 9 December 2007 (EST)

I have not been arguing that you can't know about things that happened in the past. I've been saying that you can know about them, from eyewitness accounts, but not directly from scientific investigation.
No, I'm not labelling them ideology because they are against my ideology, but because they are ideology. Yes, mine are based on ideology also. Creationists have been saying this for years, that it all comes down to ideology. It's the secularists who deny or won't admit this. True, there are a range of ideologies, but they can be put into two groups of theistic and atheistic.
Philip J. Rayment 09:46, 10 December 2007 (EST)
For more on eyewitnesses vs. scientific evidence, see this article posted today. Philip J. Rayment 07:10, 11 December 2007 (EST)

This article just observes the obvious that scientific findings are falsifiable. Not exactly news. And talking about forensic evidence. Quite a lot of wrong convictions were based on faulty eyewitness reports, and they have been overturned by scientific evidence. If modern forensic science shows one thing, together with science of human perception and memory, it is that eyewitness reports can be highly unreliable. Order 21:22, 15 December 2007 (EST)

Did you actually read that article? Or do you not understand falsifiability? It didn't mention falsifiability. It is basically arguing that your assertion is wrong. And I reject that "quite a lot" of wrong convictions are based on faulty eyewitness reports. No doubt there are some, particularly where there was only a single eyewitness, but I really doubt that the numbers are that high. I realise that it's only one case, but the case of Azaria Chamberlain is an example of the opposite. That article doesn't explain this point, but in that case the scientific evidence contradicted the accounts of the witnesses, and Lindy Chamberlain was convicted. It was later shown that the scientific evidence was wrong, and the witnesses were correct. Essentially, a person was wrongly convicted and sentenced to life with hard labour simply because the jurors believed the scientific evidence to be more reliable than the witnesses. Philip J. Rayment 02:55, 16 December 2007 (EST)

The article is about falsifiability. It says that scientist can have it wrong. They propose a theory, look for evidence, and then its wrong, and they have to amend or change the theory.

With respect to eyewitness accounts, here is a brief news item on BBC [21]. If you want to know more google "unreliable eyewitness accounts". It is not exactly new scientific news that memories can be deceptive, planted, or imagined. Order 09:04, 16 December 2007 (EST)

It appears that you don't understand falsifiability. The article is not about falsifiability, except to the extent that studying the past is not falsifiable. In other words, it's the opposite of your claim that "scientific findings are falsifiable". True scientific claims are, but claims about the past are not, and that was the point.
Yes, memories can be wrong, but notice also in that article that the detectives want to get to the witnesses before the media. Why? Because the witnesses are going to give them important information. Also note that it talks about convictions based on eyewitnesses. Why? Because they are generally recognised as being reliable enough to convict on. I'd suggest that the BBC article and the concerns raised in it are highlighting extreme cases and the exceptions to the rule rather than giving a true picture of the reliability of witnesses.
Philip J. Rayment 03:46, 17 December 2007 (EST)

The BBC article highlight that if you are not very careful about your eyewitness, their accounts can become easily tainted. I am not sure if the eyewitnesses that you believe to have existed never talked to one another, or to a third person, before they put the alleged eyewitness account into writing. Do you have evidence that they were so diligent.

Where do I not know falsifiability? The article states that the theories about the past can be wrong, which mean that these theories are falsifiable. It then goes on to tell us that they are sometimes wrong. No, surprise, because they were falsifiable. To conclude from this that the only really reliable evidence are eyewitness accounts, is quite a step, ignoring what we know about the reliability of eyewitnesses. Even the article says this because they expressively state that eyewitness accounts have to be corroborated to be useful. And quite often they cannot be supported by evidence. See the BBC article.

If you think that the past is not falsifiable, why do you want to convince anybody here about things in the past. This position is close to solipsism. If we accept that as an argument, you do not know anything certain either. If that would be true, I could freely claim that the first books of moses were written by two marsupials and a ham sandwich. You wouldn't be able to falsify that. Or that the world got created last Thursday. If you need such a strong assumption to support your position, you position cannot be too strong. Order 03:18, 18 December 2007 (EST)

Yes, you have to be careful about eyewitnesses. The article I linked to referred to reliable eyewitnesses. I'm quite sure that the eyewitnesses that I'm talking about didn't have TV reports to cloud their views!
No, you have falsifiability wrong. If an idea is falsifiable, it doesn't mean that it can be wrong, it means that it can be scientifically shown to be wrong. Actually, it's more precise than that. To be falsifiable, the scientists have to be able to devise a test to see if the theory can be wrong. The article pointed out that some theories were shown to be wrong not by the science, but by eyewitnesses. Even with the example the article gave where new evidence turned up later, this falsified the theory, but it wasn't a test that could be devised to check the theory, else they would (or should) have done it at the time.
Yes, it does say that eyewitnesses have to be corroborated, but it's talking about being corroborated by another eyewitness (the Bible reference is about having more than one witness).
I do think that the past is not falsifiable (i.e. able to have a scientific test devised to check if the claim is wrong), but that doesn't mean that you can't check out ideas about the past. There's other ways of checking than scientific tests, such as seeing if another witness corroborates the story, seeing if it's logically consistent, etc. Even these methods may not be able to "prove" that the history is correct, but you can often decide if it's is probably correct (and yes, scientific tests can help towards this, too). So, I could not "falsify" (scientifically test) whether the Pentateuch was written by two marsupials and a ham sandwich, but I could quite readily conclude that it's extremely unlikely to be true given that we know of no marsupials or ham sandwiches that could write, let alone see (in the case of the sandwich), etc. Of course we could apply Occam's Razor also (remembering that Occam's Razor is a guiding principle, not a test of truth). Just because it's not scientifically testable doesn't mean that we can't make a reasonable judgement of the claim.
Philip J. Rayment 07:44, 18 December 2007 (EST)

First, it is not the technology of TV that makes eyewitness report unreliable, it is that eyewitness talk to one another or to other people. And I guess that there were other people around. And there have been some fairly famous cases were scores of eyewitnesses got it wrong. Also in court, or CSI, physical evidence is more useful to turn down a conviction than any eyewitness.

And make up your mind if the past is falsifiable or not. You can't claim that its not, and then say that you can use logic, other eyewitnesses, or physical evidence from archeology to show that it is highly unlikely. This is exactly what science does, looking for the most likely explanation, ruling out the unlikely ones. And this principle applies as much to the past as to the present. And logic, eyewitness accounts (to some extend) and archaeological evidence, are generally used to test an hypothesis. Any test boils in the end down to logic.

It seems like you want use the strict eyewitness standard on others, but use a more reasonable standard for yourself. You want it both ways. But under your strict eyewitness standard, you weren't even able to show that the gospels were legit, while the non-canonical gospels weren't. You aren't, for example, able to distinguish between the gospel of Luke, Thomas, and Joseph Smith. All you could produce was secondary evidence, but no eyewitness accounts of them receiving or not receiving the divine word. Order 20:56, 18 December 2007 (EST)

I wasn't referring to the technology of TV so much as the rapid dissemination of views that it enables. Sure, people talked to other people, but as far as the rapid dissemination of views is concerned, there's a whole order of magnitude of difference. I disagree that physical evidence is generally more useful than corroborated eyewitnesses, although I don't doubt that there are plenty of examples both ways. Short of a comprehensive study on this that we can quote to each other, though, I'd suggest that this is one issue on which the best we can do is anecdotal evidence, non-representative examples, and opinion. Although I can offer an expert opinion. The former Chief Magistrate of New South Wales referred to eyewitness testimony as "the best testimony of all", and said that "Lawyers all know the value of witnesses who corroborate each other." (See link below.)
I have made up my mind on whether the past is falsifiable, and explained that in my previous post. Scientific falsifiability does not use eyewitnesses. It uses repeatable tests. If scientist A proposes that reaction B produces product C, and person D says "I saw that happen once", that is not science. To be science, someone must cause reaction B and see if it produces product C, and other scientists do the same (repeatability) to check the results. You seem to be calling all research and information gathering 'science'. Science is a specific field of endeavour, not a word that covers everything. Tests require logic, but logic doesn't require tests, so they are not the same thing.
I've already answered about eyewitnesses to the eyewitnesses, but I'll add that you don't need eyewitnesses to the eyewitnesses. Nobody expects that. You need (a) eyewitnesses, (b) corroboration (i.e. more than one eyewitness), and (c) credibility, which can be determined in a number of ways. See here for a discussion on this, not exactly to do with your questions about the gospels, but close.
Philip J. Rayment 07:57, 20 December 2007 (EST)

Oh, we do not only have to rely on anecdotal evidence, there have been studies into false testimonies, false memories, and how and when they happen. And that the TV is a different medium doesn't matter for our case. The problem is not the speed, but the fact that witnesses talk to people, and all of your eyewitness reports were written and edited way after the event, so quite some time to talk to other people. But agreed this game of finding site is a bit cumbersome. You can keeping quoting the creationweb, but I can as easily point you to say Bishop Spong. As I said in the beginning, I see litle use in repeating the apologist arguments of the last 2000 years. That they exist is sufficient proof for me that your view isn't the only valid one.

You really stick to this idea that you cannot make a scientific theory about the past. The big bang theory might be wrong but it predicted fairly accurately background radiation which can be measured now. The theory that there was significant trade in Europe way before the Romans, might be wrong, but is supported by archaeological evidence, which can be dug up now. The theory that certain Indian tribes in the US are offspring of Jews, led to the prediction that you should find genetic traces, and that theory has been proven to be wrong by genetic analysis in the present. There is still nothing that keep science from making statements about the past. Your view of science is that it has to take place in a lab, but most science doesn't.

But lets stick to your testability criterion for a while, since as I said I don't want to convince you that I am right, but to concinve you that you might be wrong. Can you give me a repeatable test that we could run to distinguish between the authenticity of the gospels of Luke, Thomas and Joseph Smith? Order 10:48, 20 December 2007 (EST)

If you pointed me to Spong, I'd probably show you where he was wrong, because he is about so much. What apologist arguments for the last 2000 years? For most of the last 2000 years the church (the apologists) argued essentially what I've been arguing.
The claim that the Big Bang idea accurately predicted the background radiation is nowhere near as clearcut as your comment would imply[22]. I've already said (in other conversations if not this one) that science can be useful in studying history; by testing some details of the historical claims, but that it cannot test for the actual events themselves occurring. So I accept the archaeological evidence example, and the DNA example too, for that matter. But aren't DNA tests done in a lab?
Repeatable testing is part of the scientific method, which I've said can't be used on past events, such as the writing of the books you mentioned, so I don't see why you would ask me for such tests of them.
Philip J. Rayment 08:19, 21 December 2007 (EST)

Of course you would like to show where Spong is wrong, but even if he is wrong, that won't make your position right. You might be more inclined to accept the work of the Creation Study Group of the Presbyterian Church, in particular their observation that different views and interpretation go back to eve before Christ.

Thanks for pointing me to a creation website trying to prove a scientific theory to be wrong. You quoting it proves that even you believe that this scientific position is falsifiable. Which cannot be said, by your admission, about your interpretation of the scripture. I did ask you to come up with a test, because you ask this from people who disagree with you. If you criticize theories about the past for not being testable, you better make sure that you own theories are testable. Order 12:11, 21 December 2007 (EST)

I never claimed that Spong being wrong would make me right. But him being wrong means that your argument that you could use him to counter my points fails.
The Study Group didn't show what you claim it to show. It did show that (a) a few early people argued for non-literal days, and (b) more do in recent times. On the whole, however, what I said is true (emphasis added): "For most of the last 2000 years the church (the apologists) argued essentially what I've been arguing."
Some specific details of the Big Bang idea are falsifiable even though the overall concept is not. So there's no inconsistency there.
I don't criticise theories about the past for not being testable. I criticise the idea that they are testable when they are not.
Philip J. Rayment 02:01, 29 December 2007 (EST)

Oh, I could still use some of the arguments Spong puts forward, for example that the gospel were written some 40 to 70 years after the crucifixion. So even though there was no TV, there was ample of time to taint any eyewitness reports. We do not even know if the writers were eyewitnesses. And the different gospels do differ on details. I assume that you have a good excuse for these differences, under your interpretation, and Spong has a different interpretation. Problem is, you still haven't provided a test how to distinguish between canonical, and non-canonical gospels, or say the gospel of Joseph Smith, or between your and Spong's interpretation.

The "few" people in mentioned by the creation study group were not the least scholars. But, since we are at it. Do you have proof that most people did argue your way? Can you produce a poll?

So, if it is not falsifiable, why did you bother to make an attempt to falsify? You are probably still claiming that the big bang theory is not testable, because we cannot go back in time? Or are there any other part on the big bang theory that are not testable? Do you have a testable alternative? Order 02:41, 29 December 2007 (EST)

Legitimate views

"It doesn't give useful answers to the scientific questions.": It is, in that sense, not a science book, but that doesn't meant that when it touches on areas of science, such as astronomy (creation of sun, moon, and stars), geology (flood), etc. that it is incorrect.
No, sometimes it is correct, sometimes its incorrect. And the knowledge in it is patchy. It doesn't tell us how the moon sun or starts were made, only that it happened. Is say not much about geology, nothing about how rock formations, clay, granite, minerals, natural resources were formed. And physics is mostly absent, just like mathematics. Order
Oh, where, pray tell, is it "incorrect"? It does tell us how they were made; by God's Word. I agree that it doesn't go into a lot of detail, but the question was whether or not it was incorrect. It does say, in general terms, how many of the rocks were made—by a global flood. Philip J. Rayment 08:53, 5 December 2007 (EST)
That they were made by his word, only tells you that it happened. With eyewitness accounts you typically require them to very specific on details that can be checked independently. What does Genesis say about the geology of the moon? Geology of the sun? Geology of earth? Can you give an eyewitness account of the sedimentation during the flood, and an eyewitness account of the formation of coal layers? Order 18:26, 5 December 2007 (EST)
I've already agreed, twice I think, that the Bible doesn't go into scientific detail on these things, and is in that sense not a science book. Rather, I'm simply claiming that on the things that it does say, it is accurate. However, your question about more detail about God creating by His Word presupposes that there is more detail to tell. What if that is a full and complete statement? How do you know that it isn't? Philip J. Rayment 08:54, 6 December 2007 (EST)
We know that you believe that it is accurate in all details. I am really reluctant to go into those details, not because I can't google, but because I think you should google yourself if you want. But of course there is more detail to tell. You insist on eyewitness accounts. So, imagine what you would ask an eyewitness? A soon as something exists you can start questions to your eyewitness. If your eyewitness tell you that there was a moon, he should be at least be able to tell the color, shape and phase. Order 10:47, 6 December 2007 (EST)
No doubt he could, but as the human eyewitnesses are long dead, they can no longer be asked. Philip J. Rayment 07:57, 7 December 2007 (EST)
Actually there were never human eyewitnesses to creation, if we look at it literal. Adam wasn't created yet. But as said, this kind of apologist arguments are intellectually challenging, but I consider them other than that rather pointless. Order 10:38, 7 December 2007 (EST)
God witnessed it. Philip J. Rayment 05:51, 8 December 2007 (EST)
Just repeating it doesn't make an argument better. As said I am quite happy to continue this discussion, even though I am certain that you will not run out of arguments to counter my arguments, but I am equally certain that I can keep this apologetic ping pong going as well. What I still cannot fully grasp why you need to want to prove so badly that all other interpretations are wrong? If you your interpretation is right, it remains right, no matter what Augustine thought about it. Order 02:50, 9 December 2007 (EST)
I'm not repeating it to make it better, but to remind you of something that you appear to have forgotten or overlooked. If God witnessed it (as He must, because He is omniscient), then there was an eyewitness. That there were no human eyewitnesses is artificially restricting the possibilities. I "want to prove ... that all other interpretations are wrong" because I believe that they are wrong, and want the truth to be known, and because the incorrect ideas are undermining efforts to evangelise. Philip J. Rayment 05:32, 9 December 2007 (EST)

Problem is that we only have human accounts about what the non-human eyewitness account might have been. Furthermore, your view is based on quite a few assumptions, which is fine when talking religion. But when you claim it is science, you will have to accept that scientist drop some of the assumptions to see if the same couldn't be explained without. That's part of Occam's Razor. If you bring you faith based account to the dissection table of science, don't be surprised if it gets dissected. But, it is good to know that you want to disprove any other account, because you want to evangelize. This way of evangelism exactly what St Augustine warned against, but we already know that you don't think too highly of him. Order 07:35, 9 December 2007 (EST)

Those "human accounts" have been overseen by the ultimate author, God, to ensure that they are accurate.
Yes, my view, like all views, are based on assumptions. Scientists don't drop assumptions; they replace assumptions with new assumptions. Yes, science itself is based on assumptions also.
Occam's Razor favours creationism.[23]
My "faith-based account" is the account of the omniscient God, so I will expect true science to confirm it (where it is able to speak to it at all). I have no fear of science, only of the anti-science musings of atheists who claims their ideology-based ideas are objective science. If Augustine really did "warn" against "[demolishing] arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God" 2_Corinthians 10:4–5 , then he was going against the Bible. But perhaps you have misrepresented him.
Philip J. Rayment 09:55, 10 December 2007 (EST)

You don't have any eyewitness accounts of the overseeing. If you watch the writers of the gospels, and the writers of the non-canonical gospels, how could your eyewitness tell the difference?

The paper on Occams razor mentions halfway that evolution is random. Its not.

Scientists do drop assumptions. Take as example euclidean geometry. This century, scientist wondered what would happen if you drop some of Euclid assumptions, and they found non-euclidean geometries that work as well, and even describe this universe better.

I am not exactly sure if Augustine was arguing against 2_Corinthians 10:4–5 , I suspect that he was more arguing along the line of what is still known in the catholic church as "truth cannot contradict truth", which means that it is not the bible that is wrong, nor scientific fact that are wrong, but our understanding of either science or bible. What Augustine said on the subject was the following:

Usually, even a non-Christian knows something about the earth, the heavens, and the other elements of this world, about the motion and orbit of the stars and even their size and relative positions, about the predictable eclipses of the sun and moon, the cycles of the years and seasons, about the kinds of animals, shrubs, stones, and so forth, and this knowledge he holds to as being certain from reason and experience. Now, it is a disgraceful and dangerous thing for an infidel to hear a Christian, presumably giving the meaning of Holy Scripture, talking nonsense on these topics; and we should take all means to prevent such an embarrassing situation, in which people show up vast ignorance in a Christian and laugh it to scorn. The shame is not so much that an ignorant individual is derided, but that people outside the household of the faith think our sacred writers held such opinions, and, to the great loss of those for whose salvation we toil, the writers of our Scripture are criticized and rejected as unlearned men.... Reckless and incompetent expounders of Holy Scripture bring untold trouble and sorrow on their wiser brethren when they are caught in one of their mischievous false opinions and are taken to task by these who are not bound by the authority of our sacred books. For then, to defend their utterly foolish and obviously untrue statements, they will try to call upon Holy Scripture for proof and even recite from memory many passages which they think support their position, although they understand neither what they say nor the things about which they make assertion. (See also here)

I assume that this shows that there is more than one legitimate view. Order 21:51, 15 December 2007 (EST)

That God oversaw the human writers is, I guess, an article of faith, but supported by the accuracy and consistency of the gospel accounts, something that is absent from the non-canonical books.
I've dealt above with your claim that evolution is not random. It is, because it lacks design, by definition. So my claim that Occam's Razor favours creation stands.
Do the non-euclidean geometries have no new assumptions associated with them? What were the assumptions dropped?
Okay, so Augustine wasn't going against 2 Corinthians 10:4-5. It was the other possibility that I suggested: that you misrepresented him. In the passage you quoted, he is arguing against Christians trying to defend incorrect views by quoting the Bible. He specifically calls these people "reckless and incompetent expounders of Holy Scripture" and says that they are "talking nonsense". There's nothing there about "more than one legitimate view" and nothing against trying to disprove anti-biblical accounts.
Philip J. Rayment 03:11, 16 December 2007 (EST)

Before you claimed that inconsistencies were to a change in style by a single author? And now you claim that everything is consistent. Can you make up your mind with respect to alleged inconsistencies? Furthermore, a study of inconsistencies is by definition no eyewitness account, but secondary, circumstantial evidence. Given that you resort to secondary evidence, I assume that you do not have eyewitness accounts of the writers writing?

You didn't dealt with the fact that evolution is random. You confused the different meanings of the word random. And the random that allow for probabilities to be computed, is not the opposite of design. On one hand side randomness can be a design choice, see you wifi adapter, and selection is not random at all, kind of by definition.

No the new non-euclidean geometries do not have new assumptions.

Augustine very accurately describes the situation we are in, there is no misrepresentation. Of course you claim to be one of the "wiser brethren", but Augustine fairly clearly defined what he means by incorrect biblical views; he defines them with respect to what even "non-Christians" know about the universe, and not with respect to biblical scholarship. The individuals that Augustine criticizes are very clearly also convinced that they are right for the right reasons, just like you, but Augustine doesn't talk about that, but about the impression that this behavior makes on the non-believers, especially if it might appear as if they do not understand "the things about which they make assertion." While you can tell us that it perfectly reasonable to you, you are not in a situation to determine what non-believers think about your argument, and what impression they get from you argument. Augustine very clearly stated that when it comes to science they should make a considerate argument, but he uses much more forceful language than we are use to. Order 08:55, 16 December 2007 (EST)

I'm talking about two different sorts of consistency. The first is consistency of language, such as what word is used for God. The second is the consistency of the message throughout the Bible. The message is consistent, although the language used to convey that message is not. Sorry I wasn't clear on that.
I'm not sure of your point about eyewitnesses to the eyewitnesses.
Selection is not random, but as I have now elaborated on, no designer means that you have randomness in the statistical sense. I have already pointed out that a designer can use (pseudo-)randomness, but no designer means that you cannot have design, only randomness.
No, Augustine did not define "incorrect biblical views" as ones contrary to what non-Christians know about the universe. He was particularly having a go at the subset of Christians who have clearly incorrect views that they are trying to defend biblically. Yes, the ones that he criticises believe that they are correct, but how many people make claims that they believe are not correct? You believe that you are correct in your comments to me. That they believed they were correct is not the issue.
Yes, Augustine is concerned about the impression that people will get in being told what they know to be correct is not correct, but he's not saying that people should not try to correct incorrect ideas.
Philip J. Rayment 05:40, 17 December 2007 (EST)

Augustine says "talking nonsense about these topics", and the the word "these topics" refers to "the earth, the heavens, and the other elements of this world, about the motion and orbit of the stars and even their size and relative positions" etc. We both get what he means, especially when it comes to his concern about the impression on others.

The biblical account is indeed consistent on a higher level, different from the literal meaning, under your translation and interpretation. We can easily agree on that.

I asked you above to give an example where lack of purpose, implies a uniform distribution. Order 03:57, 18 December 2007 (EST)

Yes, Augustine was talking about people "talking nonsense" about things such as you listed, or anything that non-Christians could easily see for themselves. But there's two points to note. First, he wasn't saying that every Christian who has views different to non-Christians is "talking nonsense"; he was only criticising the ones who were talking nonsense. To put me in that category you have to show that I'm talking nonsense, not that I'm taking a view that you disagree with. Second, he was talking about things that the non-Christians could clearly see for themselves. He wasn't talking about the distant past, which they couldn't see.
The biblical creation account is also consistent on a literal level.
Philip J. Rayment 07:52, 18 December 2007 (EST)

Using your literal interpretation it might. And when it comes to astronomy, scientists can actually look in the past, that thats a different issue. And don't tell me that they observe it in the present, because the creation account, also happened in the past, was written is the past, and the only thing you can do is read it in the present. Your island of refuge is that the past is the past. That is a very small island.

Of course you do think to be one of the wiser brethren. Otherwise you wouldn't defend you position. But Augustine statement is a warning, and as with any warning one should try to assess if the warning applies to oneself. I might make factual mistakes in my arguments, but even if I did, I do not use the scripture to defend my position, so his warning doesn't really apply to me. Whether it applies to you, you may decide for yourself. Your argument is that it does only not apply to you, because you are right on the scientific part. If that is true, you are set. Order 21:14, 18 December 2007 (EST)

"Using your literal interpretation it might.": Well, that's kinda the point, isn't it? You seemed to be suggesting that it wasn't, although perhaps I misunderstood you.
I'm not following your point about astronomy. I would say that we observe it in the present, and I do agree that the creation account was written in the past and that we read it in the present. And that's the point, that we see these things in the present, and we cannot observe the past. Astronomy is a bit of a special case, though.
I guess that it depends on what you mean by "wiser brethren". You must be too, by your definition, as you too are defending your position. Which begs the question, though, wiser than who?
I'm not suggesting that Augustine's warning applies to you, because he was talking about Christians (do you consider yourself one?). I maintain that it doesn't apply to me (on this issue) for two reasons, although they likely boil down to the same reason: One, that he is talking about observations in the present, not accounts of events in the past as we are discussing, and the other because he is talking about "nonsense", contrasted with things that non-Christians know to be "certain from reason and experience". You don't know that the secular view of origins is true from experience, nor from formal logic (which is what, I suggest, he is referring to by "reason"). Instead, the secular view that you hold to is based on (materialistic/naturalistic) ideology.
Philip J. Rayment 08:10, 20 December 2007 (EST)

My point always was that there are apologist who are able to argue either way. From the very beginning I was hammering that it might be right under your interpretation.

So, if you can only read the scripture in the present, how do make any statement about the past, e.g. when the scripture was written. Or should I say allegedly written, because you seem to claim that you cannot say nothing certain about the past.

When it come to theories about the present, you discount quite a few theories about the present, most notably that selection is random. Or that purpose implies randomness, for which you haven't even found a single instance, let alone a convincing argument for the general claim. Or that you cannot make falsifiable claims about the past. And we know that you think that you are right, and you are indeed of the hook, if you are right about all of your various scientific statements that you made.

Not sure why you keep arguing against my alleged position. As said before, I asked you to defend your position, not make up a position that I might have and attack it. And with your tight eyewitness standard, and insistence that you can only make falsifiable claims about the present, you kind of got rid of all possible evidence you might have to support you claims, just because you hoped it would undermine my position that you don't know. But to shed some light on my view on the matter, this little anecdote. Earlier today I read an article explaining that the scientific explanation for the origin of the moon might have to be changed due to new evidence. Especially the time when the moon formed. I read the article, and once I was done I thought to myself, that it is interesting to know, but that this probably not the last word on the subject. And I amended my previous held belief with the new information in less than three seconds, mostly because the origin of the moon doesn't affect any of my core beliefs. See I got no problem with the fact that scientific theories can be wrong or change. That they are wrong doesn't make your explanation right. Order 11:13, 20 December 2007 (EST)

Just because you can't scientifically test past events doesn't mean that you can't "make any statements about the past". There are other sources than scientific tests. You can, for example, look at the language used (vocabulary, idioms, etc.) and see when that language was used to see when it was written. This is not absolute like a scientific test would be, but neither does it mean that you have no idea. Depending on what evidence is available, you can often come to reasonably certain conclusions.
I didn't deny that natural selection is non-random. I said that if natural selection wasn't designed, then it must be random. However the evidence is that it's non-random, which means that it was designed.
I'm not making up a position that you might have. I'm responding to claims that you are making.
"I amended my previous held belief with the new information in less than three seconds, mostly because the origin of the moon doesn't affect any of my core beliefs." (emphasis added) Exactly. The same applies to me. But if it did?
Philip J. Rayment 08:29, 21 December 2007 (EST)

So, you won't care much if it turned out that the moon was 30 million years older than you previously thought? Interesting.

Selection is not-random, but there are two problems with you suggestion that it therefore must have been designed. First, you still haven't given a single example where lack of purpose, leads necessarily to randomness. Second, that selection is not random, is not a matter of design, but a matter of the definition of selection. Selection refers to the observation that the frequency of genetic traits that lead to a better adaptation of the phenotype to the environment will increase in the gene pool over time. If you however argue instead that someone/something is steering the selection, then that is akin to advocating a version of theistic evolution. Not sure, if that is your aim, but theistic evolution entails that evolutions works.

Looking at language, vocabulary, idioms, etc is science, but we already know that you stick to a very limited view of science. Essentially, you want to use all the tools and techniques commonly used in science for yourself, to get from the evidence to "reasonably certain conclusions". But you don't want scientists to use the same tools and methods to get to reasonably certain conclusion? Using your own standard, you too will have to admit that you never heard a native speaker of old semitic languages such as Aramaic, but of course you won't hold this against yourself, only against scholars that disagree with you. It seems like you feel the need to measure with two measures to be able to defend your position. Order 12:43, 21 December 2007 (EST)

I'm not sure exactly what was in my mind with my comment about the moon. But it was probably that the precise details could change, just as with you. But no, if the claim about the moon's age increased by 30 million years, it wouldn't change much: both the old and new figures would be wrong. But more to the point, any such date is based on assumptions that I would reject. But you didn't answer my equivalent question to you. I asked what if a new age did affect your core beliefs. I'll refine the question further in light or your question to me. What if new evidence showed it to be 6,000 years old?
"Selection refers to the observation that the frequency of genetic traits that lead to a better adaptation of the phenotype to the environment will increase in the gene pool over time.": Yes, but why is this the way it happens? Was this selection process designed or did it occur by chance? Your argument is based on the assumption that this process came into being by chance. No, I'm not proposing theistic evolution. I'm proposing theistic creation (not that there can really be any other kind).
I don't have a very limited view of science, but I don't credit it with being able to perform miracles (e.g. test something that is not available to test).
I do want people to use all the same tools to get to reasonably certain conclusions. But those tools include using reliable historical documents such as the Bible, instead of a priori excluding them for philosophical reasons, then claiming that as 'science'.
Philip J. Rayment 02:36, 29 December 2007 (EST)
Sorry if I'm interrupting something, but I'm going to clarify Order's earlier statement about non-Euclidean geometries. In non-Euclidean geometries, the dropped assumption is Euclid's fifth postulate. See Mathworld for more information. CSGuy 13:17, 29 December 2007 (EST)

If the moon would be only 6000 years old? It would depend on how the moon got there, but it would be interesting. Depending on how hit got there, I would have to change my world views, but I'd figure that there would be little reason to argue with a fact once it is established as a fact.

It doesn't really matter why selection happens. In nature we have that the environment determines which phenotypes have the best reproductive chances, and the phenotype is determined to a significant extend by the genotype. The principle of evolution then predicts that in the next generation the share of those genotypes increases, that lead to fitter phenotypes. And it is not random at all, and it doesn't matter if the selective pressure is natural or man made.

Suppose someone has a golden staph infection. Assume further that about 1% of the golden staph bacteria has the genetic trait to be resistant to methicillin. If the infected person gets treated with methicillin, the number of golden staph bacteria will first decrease sharply, and then increase again. If selection were random, then after the treatment with meticillin 1% of the bacteria should be resistant to it, and 99% shouldn't. That is your claim. The common theory of evolution however predicts that significantly more than 1% of bacteria after a meticilin treatment will carry the genotype for meticillin resistance. This is a simple test to determine if your statement that selection is random is true or the statement that it is not. And without doing this test, I belive that it will be more than 1%.

But I am curious what you mean when you say that selection didn't occur naturally? What is the role of your deity in this? Can you give a bit more details?

If you want the bible to be considered a reliable source for science, you should start by giving us a test to distinguish between the gospels of Luke, Thomas, and Joseph Smith. You should have testable evidence that the creation account is an eyewitness account. Order 18:47, 30 December 2007 (EST)


"When scientists develop theories that contradict your interpretation of the bible, they do it because they have a different interpretation of the bible, and not because they want to bring god down.": Already answered above.
" Their findings do not contradict their view of the bible, only your view of it.": Which scientists are you talking about? In the case of atheists, their "findings" often do contradict "their" reading of it—because that is their motive. That's why we have so many atheists claiming that the Bible got it wrong—because they believe that the science does contradict (their reading of) the Bible.
Philip J. Rayment 06:42, 4 December 2007 (EST)
This is kind of absurd. Atheists really do not believe that the bible is the infallible word of god. They think that it is a myth. And none of their findings contradicts this view. And when it comes to Christian Old Earthers, they also do not discover anything that contradict an old earth interpretation. All that they do is propose theories that contradict your views. But you assume that they do it for some ulterior motive, propose something that they know is wrong, just to discredit god. Why is is so difficult to accept that people who do not share your belief can have good intentions? Order 08:02, 4 December 2007 (EST)
I didn't say that the atheists believed it, rather, the opposite, that their views contradict their "reading" of it. That is, just like me, when the Bible says that God made the world in six days, they believe that it means six ordinary days. We both agree on that. What we disagree on is whether or not that is correct. I believe that it is; they believe that it isn't. In contrast, the old-Earth creationists believe that the "six days" is wrong, so "interpret" the "six days" to mean "millions of years" so that they can thereby continue to think that the Bible is correct. I'm not impugning their intentions; I'm criticising their presumptions and methods. Philip J. Rayment 08:53, 5 December 2007 (EST)
Except for your insistence on eyewitness I see little criticism of scientific methods in your argument, but a lot of criticism of their intentions. You repeatedly said that scientist do not accept a theory because they think that it is consistent with the observed facts, but because of their desire to debunk the bible. If instead your aim is to criticize the scientific method rather than scientists, we should wrap this discussion up and take it to the article on the scientific method. Order 18:26, 5 December 2007 (EST)
I have no criticism of the scientific method. It's a great method for studying things in the present. I'm criticising their pronouncements about unobserved things in the past where there were no witnesses, and where the scientific method of observation, testing, measuring, and repeatability are not applicable. Philip J. Rayment 08:54, 6 December 2007 (EST)
The scientific method does not restrict yourself to things in the present. You propose an explanation and you look for supporting or conflicting evidence. Things that happen in the past leave traces in the present. Order 10:47, 6 December 2007 (EST)
If it doesn't restrict itself to things in the present, how does it observe, measure, test, etc. those things? I'm not suggesting that past events are totally off limits to science. Science can be used to throw some light on past events. But no more than that. For example, showing that scales can easily be transformed into feathers is something that science could (hypothetically) do, and if this happened, it would considerably strengthen the case for reptile-to-bird evolution, but it would still not scientifically demonstrate that this actually happened, and there is still no way that science could observe, measure, test, or replicate the past event. Philip J. Rayment 07:57, 7 December 2007 (EST)
It seems like your view of science is that of people who write down observations, and that's it. But that is just a very little part of it. Scientists come up with explanations, look for observations that confirm or contradict the explanations. And at some point, it is called a theory. And sometimes a theory gets a complete overhaul, and that is then called a paradigm shift. And you can make theories about the past, and then predict what you should find in the present. There is no need to replicate the actual event in the past, there is only need to be able to replicate the measurements in the present, that support a theory about the past. As an aside, you repeated the comment about scales evolving into feather numerous times, and I didn't comment before, but just to let you know, you comment shows an incomplete understanding of the theory of evolution. At no time did something evolve that had no purpose other than that it would be useful in the future. This kind of reasoning would be either teleological or lamarickism. The scales/feathers were always functional parts of a complete animal. But this is an aside, and I won't discuss it. This is something for the talk on ToE. Order 10:38, 7 December 2007 (EST)
My "view of science" that I've put is a rather simplified version, and I basically agree with the expanded description that you've provided. As I've just posted above, predictions can be made on the creationist model, and have been, successfully. So does that mean that the creationist model has been "proved"? The point is that although these predictions and tests can be used to support an idea, they are basically circumstantial, as you can't really rule out that there might be a different explanation for the phenomenon that you successfully predicted. And you can't test the past event itself, just the predictions that you make from it. I fail to see your point about the scales evolving into feathers. I agree that, according to evolution, it had to be useful at each step, but I don't see how that means that I have an incomplete understanding of evolution. Philip J. Rayment 05:51, 8 December 2007 (EST)
It seems like we are getting on page when it comes to what science entails. If you want discuss what part of you understanding is incomplete, e.g. what kind of transitions you should expect, we should relocate to ToE, and sort it out on that page. But this talk for moon isn't the appropriate place to sort it out. Order 02:50, 9 December 2007 (EST)
Or we could take it to my talk page or yours, or e-mail... I don't care where. Philip J. Rayment 05:32, 9 December 2007 (EST)

Philip (and Order), while not directly relating to this subject, I see that you are interested in the Bible and in knowing what other people think. I suggest you go to : it is a wealth of information. While I understand people may not like Catholicism or the Pope, Catholic Church is not only about the Pope. Centuries of theologians and christian scientists (just consider the Pontifical Academy of Sciences) have studied both the Bible and the World around us, and they have accumulated an incredible wealth of knowledge, even if both non Catholic Christians and Atheists obviously disagree with some of their conclusions. It is really worth, for everybody. I don't dispute that some Christians prefer to read the Bible by themselves, but reading what others have done with passion for years can't be bad, can it? And no, I am not taking a stance in this diatribe between you and Order.Leopeo 08:58, 4 December 2007 (EST)

Whilst I appreciate your intentions and tone, what you've done is known as "elephant hurling", in referring to an entire website to make a point. If you want to link to a specific article on that site, I'll have a look at it, but otherwise I'm not going to bother. And for the record, I'm basing what I'm saying not just on my own reading of the Bible, but on that of many others who have studied this issue in great detail. Philip J. Rayment 08:53, 5 December 2007 (EST)
Oh Philip, you completely misunderstood my post (my fault, no doubt). I was NOT making a point and I WON'T touch this dispute between you and Order with a pole. I am not talking about the Pope's views on Evolution. Besides, many of those who argue for evolution cite Catholic writings wrongly. Their position is not of blind acceptance of evolution, as Mr. Schlafly pointed out well a couple of days ago in his Talk Page. BUT this was NOT my point. Let me try to be more clear this time: Philip, from what I read here, you come across as someone who is open minded and willing to learn, and thus I give you a FRIENDLY suggestion, to help you fight against atheists, if you prefer. While you are not Catholic and disagree with much of what they preach, they have also studied the Bible and Sciences to an INCREDIBLE detail, starting from the first Pope, Saint Peter, up to today, with hundreds of theologic universities and some very highly regarded institutions, such as the "Pontifical Academy of Sciences" I mentioned. Highly regarded by Catholics, Protestants, Fundamentalists and Atheists as well. I am pretty confident that you will find much material to be of GREAT USE FOR YOU. Probably you will agree with 99 % of that material and certainly, as learned as you may be, you will learn many valuable facts. I mean, why go the same route, if you can just read what others have concluded and reached, and then disagree or go forward yourself? Finally, while I am guilty of giving a generic home page, is very well structured and quite easy to navigate. I didn't give a direct link to their evolution pages, because I WAS NOT TALKING ABOUT EVOLUTION OR THE MOON. Maybe I should have posted these suggestions to your talk page instead of here. I posted here only because either you or Order mentioned the Vatican here, and it came to my mind that I could be helpful. Sorry for using CAPITALS, I am not shouting :-) P.S. If you have specific points about the Catholic Church you want to discuss, I am not the right person, but our Joaquin Martinez seems to be very instructed in the matter. Leopeo 07:14, 6 December 2007 (EST)
P.P.S. I know you are basing your views on not only your reading of the Bible, but on the views of many who have studied the Bible in great detail. AND I RESPECT YOUR VIEWS. While I may not agree with you 100 % (or even less with Order), I am not talking about your views, especially about your views on Evolution. I am just giving a friendly suggestion, that I feel would make you stronger in all your fights, even in your fight for a Young Earth - after all, all Catholics were YEC for centuries, most probably are now, and even the most pro-evolution catholic views that some who believe in Evolution (mostly probably Atheists) cite are taken out of context, "quote mining" (?). So you will find many many texts that strengthen your positions. You can't deny, can you, that the studies of all the Creationist, Fundamentalist, Protestant, Baptist, ecc.ecc. institutions, scholars and students pale in comparison with millennia of Catholic knowledge, both in quantity and quality. Which doesn't mean that catholic ideas cannot be wrong. Leopeo 07:25, 6 December 2007 (EST)
Me again... Just to be still more offtopic (ironic, seeing what I wrote below: "This article is about the moon"). I feel that many Churches, wishing to differentiate from the Catholic Church, purposedly avoid to use Catholic material. "Read the Bible by yourself" seems to be a common stance, which I appreciate and understand. But, in my opinion, all Catholic knowledge shouldn't be rejected. Instead, it should be studied, used, and argued against if necessary. Catholics and other Churches are on the same boat in this increasingly atheist and possibly satanic world. I very much appreciate Mr. Schlafly, who is not Catholic (is he?), but still uses the words of the first Pope and of the Catholic Church to strengthen his points. And this is the last from me for now ;-) Leopeo 07:32, 6 December 2007 (EST)
All fair points, and thank you. I apologise for not properly understanding what you were getting at. Philip J. Rayment 09:02, 6 December 2007 (EST)
I don't want to drag you into this discussions, but I have the impression that my alleged position is confused with my actual position. I'll briefly summarize two of my positons, but there is no need to react. I don't blame anybody if he mistook my positions, because this a somewhat confusing discussion.
  • First, when I talked about Humani Generis I summarized said that the Catholic Chruch allows Catholics to develop their own opinion on evolution, as long as they believe in a single Adam, and that souls are god given. I think that this is a fair characterization of the Catholic position.
  • Second, I am still not trying to convince Philip that his position is wrong. I try to convince him and others that people who disagree with him might be factually wrong, but that they aren't therefore morally wrong. I believe that most of them mean well, even if you disagree with them.
Order 08:07, 6 December 2007 (EST)
If you weren't tyring to convince me that my position was wrong, you wouldn't be disagreeing with so much that I say. You may not be trying to convince me that I'm wrong about 6-day creation, but you are trying to convince me that I'm wrong about 6-day creation being the only correct biblical view to have. Philip J. Rayment 09:02, 6 December 2007 (EST)
My disagreement was with your claim that anything but YEC is motivated by the desire to promote atheism. I don't think so. And I already told you in my first statement on this matter that I don't feel like debunking the 6-day interpretation, because we all know the arguments for and against. I said "There have been books been written by apologists about why these are not inconsistencies and absurdities. And the apologists might even be right". I don't want you accept alternative views, but to accept that people can have alternative views, for legitimate reasons with good intentions. Order 10:47, 6 December 2007 (EST)
As I hope I've clarified above, attempts to harmonise the Bible with long ages is not motivated by a desire to promote atheism, even though the long ages themselves were atheistic in origin. I do accept that people can have alternative views with good intentions, but not that these reasons are legitimate. Philip J. Rayment 07:57, 7 December 2007 (EST)
Lets not argue about the word "legitimate", as long as we are aware of the difference between factually wrong and morally wrong. Order 10:38, 7 December 2007 (EST)

Tides and the earth-moon distance

I was wrong about the receding of the moon. [24] Someone please revert me. :-( --Ed Poor Talk 15:17, 24 November 2007 (EST)

Not sure which of your edits requires reversion, Ed. I like your removal of the subtitle in the first page of the entry!--Aschlafly 15:22, 24 November 2007 (EST)
I know what he is talking about, because I was going to ask why he removed it. I've fixed it. Philip J. Rayment 08:55, 25 November 2007 (EST)

This article is about the Moon

The talk in this page has evolved (pun intended) into general diatribes about the Catholic Pope, evolution, creation. I'd suggest this page to be archived, at least those discussions not specifically about the Moon or its origin. Leopeo 06:44, 29 November 2007 (EST)

Actually a good portion of the article itself is devoted to the moon in regards to creationism and evolution, or rather young earth and old earth positions - hence the debate here. Feebasfactor 07:51, 29 November 2007 (EST)
No, it hasn't evolved: evolution is impossible. It's actually devolved, which is possible!  :-) Philip J. Rayment 07:56, 29 November 2007 (EST)

Lack of falsifiabilty

Teddy added that atheistic theories of the origin of the moon lack "the falsifiability requirement of science" to the sentence that says that they have been proved false. If there were not falsifiable, then they could not be proven false.

I could accept that the sentence expresses something close to the truth, but as it is currently worded it contradicts itself.

Philip J. Rayment 08:00, 7 December 2007 (EST)

Perfect Artistic Symmetry

The Moon appears from the Earth to be the same size as the sun, in perfect artistic symmetry, unlike any known other planet-moon system in the entire universe.

  • Why is this sentence bold and in italics? Is it a quoted headline?
  • The apparent size of the Sun is 31.6′ – 32.7′, the apparent size of the Moon 29.3′ – 34.1′ . What's perfect about this?
  • And what's artistic?
  • As no moon is known yet outside the solar system, the claim unlike any known other planet-moon system in the entire universe is just hyperbole.

FrankC aka ComedyFan 13:08, 7 July 2010 (EDT)

The symmetry is as perfect to the observer as other great works of art are. Does the perfect art in the Mona Lisa suggest a superb painter or a random cause? The former. Ditto for the sun-moon symmetry. Saying that artistic result occurred by chance simply isn't plausible.--Andy Schlafly 00:49, 22 July 2010 (EDT)
This discussion reminds me of Giotto. When the Pope Nicholas IV asked him to demonstrate he was as great an artist as he was supposed to be, Giotto drew a perfect circle. Perfect. JacobBShout out! 01:29, 22 July 2010 (EDT)

Rate of Recession

Aschlafly, you repeat your claims from here, i.e., that an age of 4.6 billion years is contradicted by an extrapolation backwards in time using its observed rate of recession. Again, you fail to back up your claim with a source, a calculation/estimation or a simulation. If you find one, could you answer my questions? Thanks, FrankC aka ComedyFan 13:09, 7 July 2010 (EDT)

I commented the section out, as the extrapolation backwards isn't shown: two weeks should have been enough to come up with some calculation/estimation. As I have shown here, the extrapolation backwards doesn't lead to a contradiction.
FrankC aka ComedyFan 08:59, 21 July 2010 (EDT)
There is less discussion of this in universities than there should be, because quickly it leads to the conclusion of a young earth-moon model. Tides are not the only problem with extrapolating backwards. The moon's orbit itself is unstable, and it wouldn't take much extrapolation backwards before it becomes impossible to fast-forward to what the moon is doing now. For example, extrapolate back far enough and the moon would be drifting towards the earth, not away as currently observed.--Andy Schlafly 00:54, 22 July 2010 (EDT)

Number of moons of different planets in the Solar System

This article could benefit from a table presenting how many moons different planets in the Solar System have. I am aware that some planets have no moons. Carltonio (talk) 15:41, 8 April 2019 (EDT)