My Dad's Argument and My Sister's Stress?

Discussion about scientific issues as they relate to God and Christianity including archaeology, origins of life, the universe, intelligent design, evolution, etc.
Dallas
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My Dad's Argument and My Sister's Stress?

#1

Post by Dallas » Mon Jan 02, 2012 7:22 pm

My father is a "typical" atheist. He believes nothing the Bible says, yet, he doesn't read it. He claims that it contradicts itself. By contradicts itself I mean It says one thing then says another abolshing that for said first law that was there (His Eyes). So what made this argument come up was my sister is worried about the end of the world. What made her worry was she heard that scientist named a coment/asteroid wormwood. If you're not familiar with wormwood it appears in Revelation 8:10-13. Now she's all scared that the end of the world is coming faster than she thought. Which it is, and if you're a Christian you can see it also. Now back on topic :P. She was telling my father about this, then he got on the rant which I was talking about earlier and he said something around the lines of Evolution show's the way earth/life appeared. So I stuck my tongue out and made a fart noise :P. So one thing I wanted to tell my father was If you believed in evolution, you must believe that some homosapiaens are programed homosexual. Now my father is AGAINST homosexuals in every way, shape and form. He believes they choose to be that way, and honestly I believe the same since there is no evidence portraying that it's not by choice.

So what are your guys's thoughts on Both my sister and Father?

Thank you,

-Dallas
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Re: My Dad's Argument and My Sister's Stress?

#2

Post by sandy_mcd » Mon Jan 02, 2012 10:13 pm

I can't find any reference to scientists naming an asteroid (more likely than comet?) "Wormwood". Does your sister have any? Why is she afraid of the end of the world coming (and on what timescale)? How will this affect her behavior?
Your dad can believe in evolution and be against homosexuals. [He may also be against polio, measles, etc.] Believing that they choose to be homosexual is something else. A person can choose to act or not act on impulses/desires (homosexual/heterosexual, hamburgers, alcohol, etc), but i don't understand how anyone can believe that there is a choice in what one is attracted to. [OK, I am attracted to fresh vegetables and not processed snacks - nope, didn't work.]

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Re: My Dad's Argument and My Sister's Stress?

#3

Post by Ivellious » Tue Jan 03, 2012 2:04 am

Yeah, I disagree that believing in evolution means that you think everyone is programmed to be homosexual...Could you explain the logic behind that?

As far as your sister, I guess I never really understand the big deal behind the end of the world and so on...I mean, why waste your time fretting about it if it's inevitable anyway? May as well spend your time enjoying yourself instead of paying attention to scientists naming obscure space objects after biblical terms/a type of plant. I also could not find that a scientist named a comet wormwood...I doubt it could be all that important anyway...I could go stargazing and name something "666" or "satan" or "The apocalypse is nigh" and it wouldn't really mean anything, would it?

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Re: My Dad's Argument and My Sister's Stress?

#4

Post by sandy_mcd » Tue Jan 03, 2012 2:19 am

Ivellious wrote:I could go stargazing and name something "666" or "satan" or "The apocalypse is nigh" and it wouldn't really mean anything, would it?
http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-201_162-573 ... 6-sticker/
(AP) ATLANTA - A Georgia factory worker claims in a federal lawsuit that he was fired after he refused to wear a 666 sticker he feared would doom him to eternal damnation.
Billy E. Hyatt claims he was fired from Pliant Corp., a plastics factory in northern Georgia near Dalton, after he refused to wear a sticker proclaiming that his factory had been accident-free for 666 days.

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Re: My Dad's Argument and My Sister's Stress?

#5

Post by Ivellious » Tue Jan 03, 2012 2:35 am

Well, I'm sorry to those offended by this, but when you take a symbol from the Bible to that level, it's just superstition. Maybe I'm wrong, but I don't think I remember the Bible saying that being in the vicinity of the number 666 damns you eternally, nor does naming a comet Wormwood bring the apocalypse to Earth. There comes a point where it's just silly to take the Bible's message to a level beyond what it says.

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Re: My Dad's Argument and My Sister's Stress?

#6

Post by Ivellious » Tue Jan 03, 2012 2:38 am

Though, I do sympathize with the guy to some degree...if he honestly got fired for that then the company is just ridiculous and deserves to get sued for it. But usually in these cases there's something else behind it, so idk, I'll try not to judge the company until the verdict comes out.

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Re: My Dad's Argument and My Sister's Stress?

#7

Post by neo-x » Tue Jan 03, 2012 5:08 am

Well, I'm sorry to those offended by this, but when you take a symbol from the Bible to that level, it's just superstition. Maybe I'm wrong, but I don't think I remember the Bible saying that being in the vicinity of the number 666 damns you eternally, nor does naming a comet Wormwood bring the apocalypse to Earth.
Quite true, being labeled as 666 may be disgusting to a person but it certainly doesn't damn them or anything like that...the number doesn't have any magical effect; that would be ridiculous to believe nor does the Bible teaches so. This is the point where people apply the Bible as they wish and not how it should be. The bible says, no one knows the time the world will end, so if someone tells you he knows the exact date then he is either assuming his brains out or just being y=:)
It would be a blessing if they missed the cairns and got lost on the way back. Or if
the Thing on the ice got them tonight.

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Re: My Dad's Argument and My Sister's Stress?

#8

Post by Dallas » Tue Jan 03, 2012 10:24 am

Ivellious wrote:Yeah, I disagree that believing in evolution means that you think everyone is programmed to be homosexual...Could you explain the logic behind that?

http://www.amazon.com/Biological-Exuber ... 0312192398
IT's a book that determines animals with homosexual traits. Also I didn't say that everyone is programmed homosexual just a few if you believe in evolution.
That's the only logic I have to this.
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Re: My Dad's Argument and My Sister's Stress?

#9

Post by Reactionary » Tue Jan 03, 2012 10:35 am

If (naturalistic) evolution is true, then pretty much everything you do is programmed...
Including questioning whether you're programmed, here on God and Science forum.
"Do not give dogs what is sacred; do not throw your pearls to pigs. If you do, they may trample them under their feet, and then turn and tear you to pieces." Matthew 7:6

"For his invisible attributes, namely, his eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly perceived, ever since the creation of the world, in the things that have been made. So they are without excuse." Romans 1:20

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Re: My Dad's Argument and My Sister's Stress?

#10

Post by Stu » Tue Jan 03, 2012 12:46 pm

Dallas wrote:My father is a "typical" atheist. He believes nothing the Bible says, yet, he doesn't read it. He claims that it contradicts itself. By contradicts itself I mean It says one thing then says another abolshing that for said first law that was there (His Eyes). So what made this argument come up was my sister is worried about the end of the world. What made her worry was she heard that scientist named a coment/asteroid wormwood. If you're not familiar with wormwood it appears in Revelation 8:10-13. Now she's all scared that the end of the world is coming faster than she thought. Which it is, and if you're a Christian you can see it also. Now back on topic :P. She was telling my father about this, then he got on the rant which I was talking about earlier and he said something around the lines of Evolution show's the way earth/life appeared. So I stuck my tongue out and made a fart noise :P. So one thing I wanted to tell my father was If you believed in evolution, you must believe that some homosapiaens are programed homosexual. Now my father is AGAINST homosexuals in every way, shape and form. He believes they choose to be that way, and honestly I believe the same since there is no evidence portraying that it's not by choice.

So what are your guys's thoughts on Both my sister and Father?

Thank you,

-Dallas
Sounds like your dad has been fed the same "evolution is a fact" nonsense that many other people have been subjected to.

If he's a fella with an open mind, buy him Michael Behe's book The Edge of Evolution. A devastating read showing just what Darwinian evolution can, and more importantly, cannot accomplish.
If anything make sure he reads Chapter 7. It's about as devastating to neo-Darwinian evolution as it get's. Bottom line goes something like this:

The majority of functions within the cell are performed by proteins, specifically proteins that bind to one another to create larger systems. Problem is this: in order for any protein to achieve said binding, specific sets of criteria need to be met.
1. The shape of each protein must complement one another.
2. Negative and positive areas must align correctly.
3. Hydrophobic areas must match.
4. Polar groups must compliment each other.

It is far more complicated than a simple jig-saw puzzle were any piece can be 'made' to fit another -- in fact any protein that can bind indiscriminately to another protein is only likely to clog up the cell and is usually eliminated. You cannot have rogue proteins floating around binding to random targets, the system would jam up.

In order to achieve the random mutations required to create such complementary arrangements, massive population size and reproduction rates are evolution's best tool, the larger the population the more chance there is for a beneficial mutation to occur.

Behe studied malaria, E.coli and HIV.
In every infected human there are approximately a trillion malaria cells. Malaria and the human immune system have been at war for nearly as long as we have lived.
HIV's mutation rate is 10,000 times faster than malaria.

These organisms provide the perfect case study to determine just what Darwinian evolution can achieve. Behe's careful (and favorable) analysis reveals it is virtually impossible for the random mutation / natural selection mechanism to achieve anything anywhere near as complex as that which is found within the cell.

Some stats (according to an old earth view):

Population sizes:
Primates in the line leading to modern humans in the past ten million years = 1012
Malaria cells in one sick person = 1012
Bacterial cells in the history of the earth = 1040

Likelihood of an event by random mutation:
Malaria cells needed to generate chloroquine resistence (two specific amino acid changes) = 1020
Estimated organisms needed to generate one protein binding site = 1020
Estimated organisms needed to generate two protein binding sites = 1040

Actual protein binding sites generated by random mutation:
Humans (108 organisms) = 1 (this was sickle cell hemoglobin)
E. coli (1013 organisms) = 0
HIV (1020 organisms) = 0
Malaria (1020 organisms) = 0

Note that in the cell alone there are approximately 10,000 different types of protein-protein binding sites, far far beyond the edge of evolution.
Behe felt it wise to err on the side of caution allowing room for exceptions -- the result:
complexes of three proteins, or two binding sites are all that can be expected to occur through the Darwinian mechanism of random mutation. Even if one were to increase that number dramatically, it would still not reach anywhere close to incredibly complex structures such as the flagellum consisting of dozens of protein parts, and the cilium containing hundreds!

Of course Behe goes into far more detail, analysis, counter arguments and exceptions. I've simply laid out some of the key points raised.

Darwinian evolution is dead in the water, materialists just don't have anything else to replace it with just yet...
Only when the blood runs and the shackles restrain, will the sheep then awake. When all is lost.

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Re: My Dad's Argument and My Sister's Stress?

#11

Post by sandy_mcd » Tue Jan 03, 2012 1:44 pm

Stu wrote:Darwinian evolution is dead in the water, materialists just don't have anything else to replace it with just yet...
But Behe's ideas have been around for awhile. Why haven't they found widespread acceptance among scientists, especially scientists who are Christians?

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Re: My Dad's Argument and My Sister's Stress?

#12

Post by Stu » Tue Jan 03, 2012 3:12 pm

sandy_mcd wrote:
Stu wrote:Darwinian evolution is dead in the water, materialists just don't have anything else to replace it with just yet...
But Behe's ideas have been around for awhile. Why haven't they found widespread acceptance among scientists, especially scientists who are Christians?
What makes you think they don't?

I'm pretty sure if you ask most Christian scientists and they would agree with much of what Behe has to say regards both irreducible complexity as stated in Darwin's Black Box; and likewise Darwinian evolution's impotence in creating any true novel functions as laid out in The Edge of Evolution -- released in 2007.
Only when the blood runs and the shackles restrain, will the sheep then awake. When all is lost.

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Re: My Dad's Argument and My Sister's Stress?

#13

Post by Ivellious » Tue Jan 03, 2012 7:15 pm

Irreducible complexity is a dead argument, Stu...It doesn't work as a scientific argument. It's been tried for a long time by saying "Even simple constructs are too complex to have arisen in a step by step process." But, one of the most commonly used examples of this argument, the flagella in single celled organisms (which is deceptively complex in the mechanism it uses to move the cell), has been broken down by evolutionary biologists into every step that could have been taken via natural selection...Essentially, the best example that the irreducible complexity camp uses has been shot down numerous times.

The other problem with all these concepts and attempts to "debunk" evolution is that they like to label evolution as being "Darwinism" or that we are using 150-year old science that is outdated or whatever. The reality is that, while Darwin was the father of evolution by natural selection, most of his conclusions and the ideas in On the Origin of Species is regarded as wrong by modern day science. The only thing we really take directly from Darwin's work is the concept of natural selection and the novel (at the time) idea of evolution. He was a brilliant guy and deserves the credit for evolution becoming a legit science, but really his ideas and observations just got the ball rolling for future scientists to test and revise his concepts into a more accurate and scientific theory. So anyone trying to use Darwin and his book and use that as the evolution you are debunking is wrong because scientists debunked most of it a long time ago.

Also, I'm not sure I understand the study you reference here. Did he honestly infect people with HIV and malaria and rest every cell in their bodies? Or is this just some kind of pseudo-simulation where he just crunched some numbers? Over what time span? Is there somewhere online that I could read it?

As far as why scientists don't widely regard Behe's work as science...It's because his work on Intelligent Design and his anti-evolution campaign are wholly unscientific. I've read a little bit by him. He basically lives and dies on "thought experiments," which is basically just another word for philosophy in this case. Because he can't experiment or test his ideas, and because no one can test or experiment to try to disprove them, there is no actual scientific literature on his view of ID. Hence, real scientists don't pay attention to him. That's not to say he hasn't published scientific items before, he most certainly has...but none of it has anything to do with ID or evolution.

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Re: My Dad's Argument and My Sister's Stress?

#14

Post by Stu » Wed Jan 04, 2012 2:42 am

Ivellious wrote:Irreducible complexity is a dead argument, Stu...It doesn't work as a scientific argument. It's been tried for a long time by saying "Even simple constructs are too complex to have arisen in a step by step process." But, one of the most commonly used examples of this argument, the flagella in single celled organisms (which is deceptively complex in the mechanism it uses to move the cell), has been broken down by evolutionary biologists into every step that could have been taken via natural selection...Essentially, the best example that the irreducible complexity camp uses has been shot down numerous times.
No. They have made attempts at shooting it down, but come no where near close to doing so. From the time Darwin's Black Box was first published there has been but one attempt to explain how the flagellum might have arisen through neo-Darwinian processes. That in itself has been shown to be inadequate.

So I'm really not sure what exactly you are refering to? Could you please point me to these "numerous times" that IC has been shot down. If you're refering to Ken Miller's arguments, well that is nothing of the sort. The gist of his argument is something along the lines of: because you can remove the carburetor from a car and use it in a motorcycle, the car is therefore not irreducibly complex. That of course is wrong -- remove the carburator and you simply have a non-functional heap of metal. This of course would be discarded through natural selection within the neo-Darwinian framework.
The other problem with all these concepts and attempts to "debunk" evolution is that they like to label evolution as being "Darwinism" or that we are using 150-year old science that is outdated or whatever. The reality is that, while Darwin was the father of evolution by natural selection, most of his conclusions and the ideas in On the Origin of Species is regarded as wrong by modern day science. The only thing we really take directly from Darwin's work is the concept of natural selection and the novel (at the time) idea of evolution. He was a brilliant guy and deserves the credit for evolution becoming a legit science, but really his ideas and observations just got the ball rolling for future scientists to test and revise his concepts into a more accurate and scientific theory. So anyone trying to use Darwin and his book and use that as the evolution you are debunking is wrong because scientists debunked most of it a long time ago.
"Darwinism" is simply a term used to describe the specific form of evolution we are refering to, namely, common descent through minor modifications to DNA over time, shaped by natural selection. ie. neo-Darwinism, or the modern evolutionary synthesis that occured around the 1950's incorporating Mendelian genetics and the many other advancements in modern science.
Of course I'm not refering to Darwin's original ideas, hence neo-Darwinism. Consider the term "Darwinism" an abbreviation for the paragraph above.
Also, I'm not sure I understand the study you reference here. Did he honestly infect people with HIV and malaria and rest every cell in their bodies? Or is this just some kind of pseudo-simulation where he just crunched some numbers? Over what time span? Is there somewhere online that I could read it?
Yes that might be a good idea. Not to be overly harsh, but denouncing his work without having much knowledge thereof seems to be arguing from ignorance, no?

Of course not... we have been studying and sampling these organisms and their makeup for decades.
Are you suggesting comparative studies are worthless -- in that case Lenski's experiment is in itself a 20-year waste of time.
Behe himself received his Ph.D in biochemistry in 1978 for his dissertation work on sickle cell hemoglobin; he's not some hack who read a couple papers one day and suddenly decided life was designed; in fact for the longest time he was a supporter of evolution.
As far as why scientists don't widely regard Behe's work as science...It's because his work on Intelligent Design and his anti-evolution campaign are wholly unscientific. I've read a little bit by him. He basically lives and dies on "thought experiments," which is basically just another word for philosophy in this case. Because he can't experiment or test his ideas, and because no one can test or experiment to try to disprove them,
Well now you're treading in interesting territory, because the same can be said of much of evolutionary thinking. Homology, common descent, macro-evolution are all thought experiments; or philosophy.
Remember in many instances Behe utilised the data from experiments that Darwinists themselves use, like Richard Lenski's 20-year evolutionary E. coli experiment (which equates to around 1 million years of human evolution). So yes, his ideas can, and have, been tested many times over in the lab and in nature itself.

Vastly accelerated reproduction cycles and immense population sizes of the HIV, malaria and E. coli pathogens provide us with the best tesable cases for just what neo-Darwinian evolution can and has (ie. drug resistence, most significantly Chloroquine) achieved; and what it cannot -- specific multiple amino acid arrangements, ie. overcoming sickle cell hemoglobin.
In other words that "ceiling" of two protein binding sites is the limit of what neo-Darwinian evolution can achieve.
there is no actual scientific literature on his view of ID.
What do you mean by this?
There is plenty of scientific literature on the functioning of the flagellum or cilium.
Has the genome of HIV, malaria and E. coli not been fully sequenced?
Hence, real scientists don't pay attention to him.


Well that's where you're wrong; no doubt most evolutionary scientists would disagree with Behe -- make no mistake evolution is very much a secular religion, so I wouldn't expect evolutionary proponents to agree with him. Take a look at what Professor Michael Ruse has to say on the subject, at least he's honest about it.
Speech at the Annual Meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science: http://www.arn.org/docs/orpages/or151/mr93tran.htm

There are many "real scientists" who agree with him.
That's not to say he hasn't published scientific items before, he most certainly has...but none of it has anything to do with ID or evolution.
I'm not following, could you clarify?

For the record I don't agree with everything Behe has to say ;)

I'm happy to continue this if you like but perhaps a new thread might be in order, don't want to derail thread too much as I'm sure Dallas would appreciate some answers to his questions.
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Re: My Dad's Argument and My Sister's Stress?

#15

Post by Ivellious » Wed Jan 04, 2012 2:57 am

I agree I don't want to go too far away, but to clean up...I'll start a new thread now for this discussion.

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