Saturday, June 20, 2009

Hovind may be nutty, but his commenters take the cake.

Over at Eric Hovinds blog, commenter Chris McGinnis posted a comment that I just have to deal with. Almost everything he says is false.

I believe one must understand science (to some extent) in order to fully appreciate Christianity. The amazing existence of "life" is the greatest proof of God. Science can do many things with what God has already provided, but cannot produce life on it's own, free of one of God's creations.

Chris is using the premiss (that God exists) to prove that God exists. IOW, Life proves that God exists because science must make do with the life that God provided.
It is my faith that made me become more interested in science. The fact that we see no new comets, but know they deteriorate at a rate which means by "old earth age" estimates we would have none proves the Bible true and therefore the existence of God.
First, I don't know what Chris means by new comet. Comets were created with the solar system. They are the left over "planetesimals". In astronomy, when we say new comet, we mean a comet new to the inner solar system. Comets that travel through the inner solar system do deteriorate pretty fast (in astronomical time scales).

What Chris does not seem to understand is that most comets orbit the sun at very great distances and never come closer than Pluto to the sun. In these outer reaches of our solar system these comets deteriorate very slowly.

However, every now and then something happens. Maybe two comets collide and slows one of the pieces down enough that it falls into the inner solar system. Maybe a big planet or something out there perturbs the orbit of one of these "comets" and it is slowed down enough that it falls. That's what we'd call a "new comet".
The fact that we don't see new stars created, but know they couldn't still be around unless they've been created 6500 or less years ago proves the Bible true, and therefore the existence of God.
Nope! I have layed on my back in my mother-in-laws horse pasture many a night with binoculars looking at the Orion Nebula. There's a bunch of stars forming in there.
The fact that a baby's heart starts beating, and we have no clue why it begins, (or at least why what causes it happens at that particular time) proves the impact of a Creator who still lives!
If we don't understand something, we just say, "Goddunit!" and that's it. All that actually proves is that we don't know why the heart starts, not that there's a God that dunnit!
The arrangement of the planets, the spacing, rotation, and revolution times prove that a designer who purposefully made this place capable of supporting us exists.
Douglas Adams tackled this with the puddle parable. Maybe, we're the ones that are adapted to live on this planet.
After all, no matter what your belief on "macro"-evolution, or Creation, you have to say that SOMETHING was here eternally. Something was here before us, before the earth, before life began.
Sure, but that doesn't mean that that something was God.

12 comments:

Anonymous said...

I wouldn't call his comments the best of the crop from creationists, but aren't you using your premise (that God doesn't) exist to prove that He doesn't exists as well.

Robert Madewell said...

How so, Anonymous? Where in this post did I argue against the existence of God? That wasn't the point of this post. I was just pointing out the errors.

PaulJ said...

I love Douglas Adams' take on the Anthropic Principle. (Adams had a superb knack of giving something an original slant.)

But I also like Julia Sweeney's version, where she remarks that the anthropic principle is like saying your hands must have been designed because they so perfectly fit inside your gloves.

ethinethin said...

I was commenting for a bit over on Hovind's blog. I'm actually an undergrad biology student, so seeing some of his comments and his commenters' comments really upset me. I don't think he or any of his creationist followers will ever understand exactly how tested and concrete the theory of evolution is.

It's survived 150 years of scrutiny more intense than any other scientific theory, thanks in part to its supposed heretical nature. There is no evidence that speaks against it and it unifies all disciplines of biology (including disciplines that have been discovered over a hundred years after the theory was first published).

Then, we go to Mr. Hovind's blog where he carries on the same lunacy his convicted fraudster father is well known for, saying things like not only is evolution "just a theory", but it "shouldn't even be considered a hypothesis!" It's willfully ignorant.

No evidence we could ever show them would change their mind because their church, their parents, or their bible told them otherwise. It's very upsetting. So I've decided not to go back to that blog. My blood-pressure doesn't need another spike.

Anonymous said...

Lets face it, the scientific fields of all nations of the world are in united conspiracy against religions. All the religions of the world are the correct one and yet non of them are the wrong one.
Nothing is eternal but gods are, they are not of time or space, never created and infinite wisdom, they themselves can create, just by thinking or talking into existence all of creation, yet they never having been created.
Gods created the universe to look like it evolved, and still is evolving. Micro wave radiation is a remenant of gods creation and proof of define intervention. Reading of the holly books confirm sub atomic particles and all of cosmology even to the not yet understood dark matter and energy. It's all in their, quantum mechanics, relativity, math, biology, you just have to know how to look for it.
ibex

GCT said...

"...but aren't you using your premise (that God doesn't) exist to prove that He doesn't exists as well."

There should be a name for this argument, because it comes up a lot. It's nothing more than an attempt to lessen the atheist's arguments by asserting that they are based on nothing but assumption. The theist then claims that both "worldviews" are held by assumption, so what's to separate them?

What the theist fails to recognize, however, is that rejection of their assumptions does not mean that the atheist is putting forth assumptions of her own. "I reject your assumption of god," is simply not the same as, "I assume that no god exists." In the end, it's a subtle attempt to shift the burden of proof.

Anonymous said...

Evolution has survived a whole 150 years! WOW!! The Bible has survived several thousand. All those tribes that have come and gone. There is archeological proof. The Bible has as much secular proof as non-secular, but if one never reads it from cover to cover, one would never know...

GCT said...

"Evolution has survived a whole 150 years! WOW!! The Bible has survived several thousand."

Correction, evolution has survived severe scientific scrutiny for 150 years, the Bible has mostly gone un-checked. Yet, when we do check it with scientific scrutiny, the Bible does not fare so well. Genesis is wrong. The Exodus never happened. Etc.

"All those tribes that have come and gone. There is archeological proof."

Archaeological proof of what? That some of the tribes mentioned actually existed? Is that how low the bar is set for you?

"The Bible has as much secular proof as non-secular, but if one never reads it from cover to cover, one would never know..."

Sorry, but that's incorrect on a few counts. There is no non-secular proof vs. secular proof, only regular proof (evidence). (Really, one can claim that non-secular proof doesn't exist.) Second, there's not a lot of proof for the Bible. There's some proof of some of the tribes mentioned, but no proof that the grandiose claims supposedly attributed to Jesus were real, that anything it says he did is real, etc.

Anonymous said...

GCT,
So, show me your proof that the Bible writings are false. By what authority do you say that Genesis is false and the exodus never happened?

The Jews were very careful about keeping their geneaologies at least until the temple in Jerusalem was destroyed by the Romans in 70 AD, or did that not happen? Christ's geneaology in both MATT and LUKE trace his lineage back to Adam. Where is your proof that Christ did not exist? Quote your sources. All I see for you scientific proof is your mouth. That definitely is not a reliable source.

There is historical evidence of agriculture, coinage, government and many archealogical digs that line up with Scripture. Have you ever read the Bible? The history of the Jews? Are you saying there was no King David? Why is there a tomb for him in Jerusalem?

Jesus Christ from the Jewish Perspective
1. The Mishna: This is the oral law to preserve the viewpoint of the rabbis after the fall of Jerusalem (70-200 AD)
2. The Gemara: This is a collection of commentaries written by rabbis on the Mishna
3. The Talmud: This is a combination of Mishna and Gemara
a.Jerusalem Talmud: Mishna and Gemara from the Palestinian rabbis
b.Babylonian Talmud: Combination of Mishna and Gemara from the non-Palestinian rabbis
4. The Talmud deals specifically with Mosaic Law
a. The Talmud refers to Jesus Christ as an historical person
b. The Talmud refers to five of Jesus Christ’s disciples were named as performing miraculous healings in His name
5. Flavius Josephus: A former Jew turned Roman and adopted into the Roman family of Flavius, whose name he took. He wrote several books
a. History of the Jewish Wars from 170 BC to 70 AD
b. An autobiography defending himself against the attacks by Justis Tiberias, another Jew
c. Two books defending the Jews against Apian, an Alexandrian schoolmaster
d.Twenty books titled “Antiquities of the Jews,” a Jewish history
from Genesis to his day
6. Many historical events in the Bible are accurately written of by
Josephus
a. Death of Herod Agrippa
b. Death of John the Baptist
c. Death of James, the half brother of Jesus Christ
d. Confirmation of the dates and life of Jesus Christ
e. Confirmation of Jesus Christ as a miracle worker
f. Confirmation of Jesus Christ as the brother of James
g. Confirmation of the crucifixion of Jesus Christ under Pilate
h. Confirmation of the messianic claims of Jesus Christ
i. Confirmation of Jesus Christ as founder of a group known as
Christians
j. Confirmation of the belief that Jesus Christ rose from the dead
7. Many historical events of the Bible were confirmed by Gentile as
well as Jewish writers
a. Thallus: A Greek writer who wrote about the hour of darkness of
Jesus Christ on the cross. His manuscripts are not available but
reference is made to him by the next writer
b. Julius Africanus: (221 AD) He refers to Thallus’s writings about
the hour of darkness at the cross of Jesus Christ. It was impossible to have a solar eclipse during a time of full moon, which is what occurred at Jesus Christ’s death
c. Cornelius Tacitus: He wrote the history of the Roman emperors;
particularly the persecution of Christians by Nero. Christianity
was a derogatory name given to followers of Christus
d. Seutonius (120 AD): Wrote of the history of the first twelve
Caesars. Wrote about Christians in Nero’s time as “followers of
a superstitious” Christus, who was causing disturbances among the Jews during the reign of emperor Claudius. (ACTS 18) Claudius evicted the Jews from Rome because of Jewish quarreling. The quarreling was about Jesus Christ. (50 AD)
e. C. Plenius Secundus (Pleni, the younger; 112 AD): Governor of
Bythnia. He wrote a letter to emperor Trajan about the Christian
problem. There is no myth about Jesus Christ!!

GCT said...

"So, show me your proof that the Bible writings are false. By what authority do you say that Genesis is false and the exodus never happened?"

First off, burden of proof is on you to show they happened. But, we also know that genesis is false because of cosmology and astronomy. The big bang, etc. In regards to Exodus, there are no archaeological records to show that the plagues happened or that a large mass of people moved through and lived in the desert for that amount of time. It's simply a tall tale from folklore.

"Christ's geneaology in both MATT and LUKE trace his lineage back to Adam."

And, they disagree.

"Where is your proof that Christ did not exist?"

I don't know that he didn't exist, but we don't have good evidence that he did. And, we certainly have no evidence that he is the son of god, born of a virgin, performed miracles, etc. So, even if there was an itinerant preacher named Jesus, the stories attributed to him are almost certainly made up.

"There is historical evidence of agriculture, coinage, government and many archealogical digs that line up with Scripture. Have you ever read the Bible? The history of the Jews? Are you saying there was no King David? Why is there a tomb for him in Jerusalem?"

You're making the fallacious claim that because the Bible got a few things right that it got everything right. That's simply not the case. Some of the people mentioned in the Bible really did exist, but that doesn't mean that they all did.

Now, instead of trying to rebut all your erroneous sources, I'll simply link you to this. That should save me some typing.

Anonymous said...

Yeah, I guess every one of those historians were writing about myths. We could apply that to all history. Anybody around who can sayt they were there for the big bang? If for no other reason, Pascal's square should work for your scientific mind. Peace out..

GCT said...

"Yeah, I guess every one of those historians were writing about myths."

Those historians who wrote about the greek myths certainly were, what makes you think your myths are any more real? Also, those historians were not reporting on events as they occurred, but were rather reporting what people believed in or were claiming well after the fact. Take Josephus, for example. He never says that he has any sort of evidence that Jesus existed. Instead, he simply talks about the existence of people who believe in Jesus. Also, his works have been modified by zealous believers after the fact as well, in order to make it appear that he wrote more about Jesus than he did. Also, all those historians were writing well after the events that supposedly took place.

Also, let's not forget that there were historians living during the time of Jesus, in the area where all this occurred and not one of them mentioned a single thing about it. Not one. The inaccuracies and lies of the Xian church have been bandied about as truths for too long. I'm sorry that you've been duped by them.

"We could apply that to all history."

We should apply a critical eye to all history.

"Anybody around who can sayt they were there for the big bang?"

We have evidence of that occurrence. If you are ignorant of that evidence, you can get a taste of it on wikipedia or pick up a science textbook on it.

Also, I sense that you are confused about the nature of what constitutes evidence. The reason that we are trying to rely on historical accounts of Jesus is because we can't better evidence, like the kind that has helped us figure out the big bang. It's not that having a witness is better evidence than other sources, because generally it is not. We know that eyewitness testimony is generally not that reliable. It's just that we have to rely on it in the case of a historical figure like Jesus, because we've got nothing better.

"If for no other reason, Pascal's square should work for your scientific mind."

I wonder if perhaps by "Pascal's square" you are refering to Pascal's Wager? Do you honestly think that's a compelling argument? I usually don't link my own blog, but I've already dealt with this. So, do you believe in Allah, just in case?