What has happened to American universities?

With the same flaws? He was starting with broken genes?

You can certainly believe God guided Evolution; I certainly do.

Whatever God did, common descent was apart of it. Even Kenjackson’s writer testifies to that.

What “flaws?” God is perfect and His works are also perfect from His perspective. YOU might disagree, but so what?

1 Obviously, I disagree, and I feel I’ve presented at various times plenty of evidence that God created the universe. On the other hand, I’m aware of no evidence that the universe has existed forever.
2 We look at other things, too. Some of them related to the evidence of the existence of God.
3 There’s a lot that none of us know, but you don’t accept some of what we believe is compelling evidence.

4 No, we also believe God is eternal because He says so in the scriptures.
5 Indeed, how can one measure the infinite? But I get the impression that part of you is saying that because we haven’t measured it, we cannot deduce it, therefore, it isn’t so.
6 This is an assertion, not an argument. As Christians, we believe that God has told us what He wants, through the scriptures, and through conviction. Oftentimes, we’re not too good at listening and obeying.

7 Not so. Evidence that things have a beginning is ubiquitous. Evidence that things are eternal, outside of the metaphysical, is nonexistent.
8 News to me. My understanding is that time figured prominently in Einstein’s theory of relativity.

9 Not at all. It’s the logical difference between nature and supernature.

Let me preface this conversation with the following. I do enjoy my discussions here (I think I came here to RO in 2015). I intentionally avoided discussions on faith early on because I didn’t want to be perceived as a person simply looking to disparage people’s faiths. I’m not sure exactly when I started responding to questions of faith, but it’s probably only been the last year, perhaps a little more.

So I hope everyone understands (as I’m sure I’m in a very small majority here on RO, that anything I say is not meant to be a disparagement of faith, just that I do not share beliefs on it. I’ve made it clear that I think that people are entitled to their faith and that I don’t think that Christianity (and religion in general) from a historical perspective is a bad thing. I can see many positives.

I want to be crystal clear that I think we know we disagree and we’ve made some of these arguments before. That said, I enjoy these conversations (especially with you) if for no other reason we both get a mental workout as we try to use our understanding and knowledge to make a point and share it with each other.

As far as your response, all we can do is work through each other responses and see where it leads.


Wow, I feel exactly the same, so the question really boils down to; how do we evaluate evidence in a way that yields information that is (and whatever word I use here I feel is a landmine)…

Has the most predictive power?

I invite you to insert your own word.

But this relies on circular reasoning.


(and I’m doing my best here to represent god accurately, feel free to correct me)
God is the infallible creator of the universe, he is omnipotent and omnipresent and has existed eternally.

How do we know that? Because the bible says so.

Who wrote the Bible?

Humans inspired by god?

See the problem?

I’m merely saying that making the claim that god is eternal seems to be projecting the claim onto god because it needs to be true in order to substantiate other claims about god. In other words, the facts are made to fit the claim, rather than a claim being consistent with the facts.

That said, deduction as a path to understanding can be justified. Take for example the deductive arguments used to justify the claim that dark energy and dark matter are thought to exist.

How do we know these things probably exist?|

Because we’ve tested gravity and we have some idea of how it works. We’ve sent a spacecraft to Pluto, I feat that I think most people don’t realize the levels of difficulty, lending some evidence to the fact that our understanding of gravity acctually works in the real world.

Then we look at the galaxy we live in and realize that, given the rules we know and understand, it shouldn’t work. Dark Matter is the placeholder for whatever forces that exist that cause* the gravity needed to hold the galaxy together.

It’s purely deductive and the evidence is based on known, tested and verified rules. Dark Matter is extrapolated based on that understanding.

If we deduce God as the creator, what information are we basing his existence?

If 3+?=5, we know what 3 and 5 are so that we can deduce 2. What “3” and “5” are you relying on to come to the “2” of god?

Agreed, but how is it any less valid than the assertion that god has told anyone anything? How can scriptures be evidence for god, when you have the clear problem of circular reasoning as evidence to the truth of what you claim?

This is similar to the argument postulated by William Paley. The watchmaker’s argument…I’ll post below up for anyone that isn’t familiar.

[S]uppose I found a watch upon the ground, and it should be inquired how the watch happened to be in that place, I should hardly think … that, for anything I knew, the watch might have always been there. Yet why should not this answer serve for the watch as well as for [a] stone [that happened to be lying on the ground]?… For this reason, and for no other; namely, that, if the different parts had been differently shaped from what they are, if a different size from what they are, or placed after any other manner, or in any order than that in which they are placed, either no motion at all would have been carried on in the machine, or none which would have answered the use that is now served by it (Paley 1867, 1).

Which, is similar to the argument you’re making (feel free to correct me).

What is the evidence?

In this case, when you come upon something arranged in a particular manner, like a watch, you don’t assume that it created itself. You recognize, design?

Right? Would you agree?

So what is the problem with Paley’s argument?

Everything about a watch is something that is consistent with our experience. i don’t need to have ever seen something to be able to deduce that a watch is something that humans are capable of creating.

I’ve witnessed the creation of other complex machines.

If I were to take the watch apart, there is nothing in its parts that are inconsistent with the capabilities of a human designer. I’ve also witnessed (or could do research and find) people who are capable of making machines as intricate and conclude that the watch is consistent with human design, fabrication
and assembly.

Basically, there is nothing about a watch that is inconsistent with my direct experience or my ability to deduce experience based on other experiences. For example, I don’t understand how nor have I ever seen the creation of a watch, but I know based on my experience that watches are something that humans are capable of based on other things that I have experienced. I’ve met people who have the same level of technical expertise (even if in different fields) thus deducing that a watch has a creator, without the foreknowledge of its creation is not an irrational leap based on my experience, direct or indirect.

What I’ve never experienced is the creation of a universe born out of nothing created by a disembodied intelligence. The point is, the watch cannot be, in any reasonable sense, compared to the universe because there is evidence based on experience for the watch, but there is none for the creation of a universe.

Thus your claim that “Evidence that things have a beginning is ubiquitous.” is based entirely on, and consistent with, your experience. But what experience do you have of the creation of universes? The answer is none. Thus, unlike EVERYTHING else, that you rightfully point out, has a beginning is grounded in human experience, direct, indirect, based on induction and deduction, but you cannot project your experience on the universe because you don’t have the same experience with universes as you do everything else that you claim has a beginning.

One last point.

You’re stuck with the same problem that Ken Jackson was stuck with. You point out the obviousness of beginnings, but then point out that god is not subject to the very basis of your claim, that beginnings are ubiquitous. According to you, apparently not. And we arrive at the problem of special pleading

It does, but in order to unify General Relativity and Quantum theory, time has to be removed.

That does not make time irrelevant, nor if it were learned that time is an emergent property wouldn’t invalidate, Einstein because remember we view the world through the window of our perception and Einstein’s theories are consistent with that perception, but it is possible that time may not exist independent of our perception.

There are observed examples where time does not exist as we experience it.

Plank time measures the smallest units of time. Some quadrillionth of a second. That means that time plays out just like a movie projector (like when we were kids), except instead of 24 frames-per-second, it’s playing out at a quadrillion frames per second.

Now, that said, let me ask you an interesting question.

What is time?

Logical and supernatural are terms that are mutually exclusive.

It’s exactly as I said before

We track lineage through patterns of errors in the nitrogenous bases of DNA; a T that should be an A, a G that should be a C, etc.

We can use this to look at how closely related you are to someone else. We can see if you’re close family, distant cousins, or have to go back several generations to find a connection.

We can even use this to establish that all humans are related.

And we can go even further back than that, to establish that humans are related to animals.

It’s the same science Dave; scientists who do lineage testing, also track human relation to animals. It’s the same science, doing the same thing. It’s simply looking at patterns of errors in DNA.

1 Like

BS. Those aren’t “flaws”. They are simply proof that God used the same materials to create every living creature. YOU might think that a “T” should have been an “A” or “G,” but your opinion is immaterial.

1 I never believed otherwise. As far as I’m concerned vis a vis you, we’re cool. :slightly_smiling_face:

2 I don’t know how to articulate it well, but I believe that scripture contains empirically verifiable facts that come together to present a complex and difficult-to-impossible-to-dismiss truth.

3 The equation is a lot more complex than that, but I feel I have presented some of the evidence of that, including historical evidence of the divinity of Jesus.

4 Not exactly, because his is an argument about what the origin of a thing is; not whether or not origin is ubiquitous and normal.

5 None of which have a millionth of a percent of the complexity of the universe.

6 So near as I can understand, you’re kind of pinning your agnosticism on the notion that “it could happen that way” (I’m not conceding that it could) with nothing to support it. It frankly sounds a little lawyer-talky to me, rather than scientific. Cause and effect are so well documented; it makes little if any scientific sense to dismiss it.

7 Not really. Eternal existence is something that cannot be explained by science in terms of natural law. The only logical (yes, I believe it is) alternative is supernature.

8 The Bible talks about some examples of this. :slightly_smiling_face:

9 It’s the thing that has left me with a bald head, a paunch belly, poor health, and a sometimes-grumpy attitude. :stuck_out_tongue:

10 How so?

This was, as much for you, as the others here, but, I do appreciate the comment

Since you didn’t list them I can only assume that the empirical facts you allege establish that 1) a god exists, 2) that, god is the god of the Christian bible 3) That the Bible purports to know what god wants and shows equal evidence for this as well and lastly 4) upholds all of the claims you’ve made with respect to gods “nature”?

Since it’s come up so recently and Republicans seem to put so much weight on it, isn’t everything in the Bible “hearsay”? I mean, isn’t it true that the most recent writer of the New Testament started writing ~70 years after Jesus died?

If we can’t trust people today with second-hand knowledge of what happens today (when people with conflicting interests and their own agendas agree on almost all of their claims without conspiring), how can we trust stories handed down over generations? Where the writers never witnessed anything?

Historicity can be useful, but it seems, given the fantastic implication and consequence of the existence of god, that the evidence for god should be just a little bit more compelling.

That said, there are two major things that need to be established,

  1. a god exists (which I’m completely agnostic too)

  2. Once the existence of a god is established that the sect of Christianity you believe in, IS the god in #1

Now, personally, despite what people here may believe, I don’t outright reject the idea that a god might have created the universe, it wouldn’t bother me one bit, what I reject is that if a god exists that Christianity, or any other religion, understand what god is never minded that God has the capacity to want never mind the idea that it actively wants anything.

I mean, it seems sort of an oxymoron to me that something with as much power as Christians (and other religions) alleges that a god could even be capable of something as want. See, humans want and I think this lends evidence to the idea that humans project their experience onto god and not the other way around. It would appear that we’ve created god in our image, not the other way around.

Ok, so you said “Not so. Evidence that things have a beginning is ubiquitous.”

The implication is, as Paley’s argument contends. Everything that is designed has a creator? Right?

I understand your point, but you’re straying from mine. I was just refuting Paley’s argument that we don’t assume watches come into existence naturally so why should we assume that Universes do?
To reiterate, if we are curious about who created a watch, we have but to investigate and find a watchmaker. Even if we couldn’t find one, we can examine the parts and witness other similar mechanical machines and also observe the natural world and through a process of deductive reasoning determine that the watch had a creator.

No one can infer design based on any sort of experience. Universes cannot be observed in nature, universes are nature, but watches can be observed relative to nature and can be witnesses directly being made. This is why the watch argument fails, it’s inductive, not deductive, which by itself does not prove it wrong, merely inconclusive.

Quite the opposite. Any good scientist admits when s/he does not know and understand they cannot prove a negative. It’s not Law-yer-y, it is technical and wordy, but it’s not wrong.

But supernature, by definition is beyond logic. By claiming supernature, you conceed that reasoned evidence is beyond reach, otherwise, it would exist in nature and wouldn’t be “super”.

I don’t think that’s true at all. as I’ve said there is a growing body of evidence (though I freely admit it’s far from conclusive) that the whole concept of time upon which eternity relies may just be a figment of human perception and not a fundamental part of reality.

Now, that being said, I can see where science and religion will clash once again as they have with evolution. Evolution seeks to explain something that was once accepted to be the realm of god. Now we have a concept of eternity, another cornerstone upon which the concept of god exists. If you take away eternity it erodes another pillar of faith.

LOL…And me a sore back, glasses on the end of my nose, a similar belly and the feeling time (the thing that may or may not exist) seems to be going faster.

Seriously. Time, IMO, is a measure of change. Our clocks don’t measure time they measure change.

Can you imagine time without change?

If the universe began with the “big bang” when everything was compressed into an unimaginbly small point, if nothing changed, what would it mean to have time? How would you measure time in such a place?

Now, just having a bit of fun here, but seriously, let that bounce around in your head. Maybe eternity is just a place without change? The universe in a state without any perceptable change is, by any reasoable deficntion, a place without a meaningful defintion of time.

Now is that state “god”?


There is a book called “God Debris” that is a work of pure fiction, but it is interesting none-the-less, it postulates the idea that the universe was created at the moment god was destoyed by his own will. That the universe is “god debris” and that at some point in a trillion millennia it will (may) reform.

Obviously this is a sort of Pantheistic view, I’m not suggesting taking it seriously, and I know it’s anathma to what you believe, but it is interesting none-the-less.

10 Logical and supernatural are terms that are mutually exclusive.

10 How so?

By definition?

Always a pleasure. Thanks FC.

I usually avoid getting into such discussions as this one, but there was a time when I was convinced that “God” was nothing more than whatever force there is that keeps atoms in constant motion. Remember that even at absolute zero, there is SOME movement. I changed my mind as I read more of the Bible and became convinced that God is a Being who cares about humanity AND us as individuals.

They’re non-functional mutations Dave.

Some are just outright dead genes. Some are telomeres transformed into centomeres.

If God used the “same material”, then you’re saying he started with mutations. With a genome that had dead genes

We know what mutations look like Dave; they still happen. And we use them to track lineage.

If you use 23andMe, or Ancestry.com, that’s what they’re doing, Tracking your lineage, through patterns of mutations.

BS. You (nor anyone else) knows the actual FUNCTION of each gene in the human genome.

1 Actually, I alluded to it in the item right after what you quoted in regard to historicity of the divinity of Jesus, and I’ve talked about that in depth in the past in regard to the evidence of Jesus’ ressurection, and also in terms of Old Testament prophesies about the coming of the Messiah that predate Jesus’ birth by over two centuries that Jesus fulfiled at quadrillions-to-one-against in terms of random chance.
a With a capital “G,” but yes.
b Same as above.
c The Bible, being an inanimate object, doesn’t of course “know” anything. I’ll even allow that not every detail that’s been recorded in it is 100% correct. But I believe the essentials are, and that God does reveal much of His will in it.
d SUPERnature. :grinning:
2 Copying text isn’t quite the same thing as REO Speedwagon evidence (“Heard it from a friend who, heard it from a friend who, heard it from another…”). In terms of historicity, secular historians accept less direct evidence as settled history. Kind of a side note, but notable Christian apologist Dr. Ravi Zacharias pointed out that there is more documentational evidence of the existence of Jesus than there is of Plato.

3 Given people’s demonstrated ability for self-delusion for the sake of believing what they want to believe (and the concept of “relative truth” (talk about contradiction in terms) thrives on this), I submit that it wouldn’t accomplish as much as you think. If people delude themselves on minor things such as the morality of taking a company pen home for personal use (“it’s just a pen”), how much more will they bend over backward to do so when a concept threatens their entire worldview comfort zone?

4 Why would it be oxymoronic that God would desire? You’ve stated this, but I don’t think you’ve made a case for it.

5 Not exactly. I haven’t explained it fully, but the implication is that the universe is created, and didn’t just spontaneously come into existence. That is what implies (or flat-out indicates, in my opinion) a supernatural Creator, since explanations for the origin of the universe without a supernatural event fall apart.

6 Why would it need to be a similar machine? Whether it’s a machine at all or a work of art or both (humans are the last one), they are mute testimony to their creator.

7 I think you’re overthinking this, and getting into legalism again. The implications of the complexity and function (and how many things had to be just right when random chance puts the odds at ridiculous exponents to one against it happening) of the universe testifies to a lot.

8 Disagree, but after spending an hour responding to this post, my brain is getting too fuzzy to debate the particular point.

9 Not according to my Merriam-Webster.
10 No I don’t. I believe supernature is all around us; not always apparent, or at least noticed.

11 I guess all I can say is I’m skeptical.

12 This assumes that science and religion (more specifically for the point of my argument, Christianity) are in fact in conflict. It’s been pointed out that, referring specifically to the Bible, that there’s a difference between the notion of the the Bible and scientific observation being in conflict, and the notion of the interpretation of each being in conflict.
13 That assumes that eternity can be taken away. After all, evolution hasn’t been even remotely the “settled science” that atheistic or other devout secularists like to think it is; indeed, the more they learn, the more doubtful it looks.

14 Can you imagine change without time? :grinning:
15 Seems to me you’re trying to apply human experience to something outside thereof.
16 I can only say it doesn’t fit the biblical definition of eternity. It tells us that God is unchanging, but not in the sense of doing nothing.

Dave; this is how DNA testing works. We look for patterns of mutations.

We know what a mutation is; what they look like, because they still happen.

DNA thus is a strip of a tape, recording when changes were made to it. We read that record whenever we look for those patterns.

Nonsense, AS. You obviously have NO concept of how massive the human genome actually is. Someone recently estimated that assigning a computer to the task, it would take the fastest computer nearly a YEAR just to LIST the genes in human chromosomes, and you’re trying to tell us that we KNOW what each gene represents and controls? Get real for a change.


“Sequencing the first human genome cost about $1 billion and took 13 years to complete; today it costs about $3,000 to $5000 and takes just one to two days.


But I’m not about sequencing Dave, I’m talking about DNA Testing.

What 23and Me, and Ancestry.com do.

The way they tell who you’re related to, is through patterns of errors in your DNA. That’s how the technology works.

BS, they examine mitocondrial DNA to try and trace your ancestry through your mother’s lineage. DNA “errors” have no place in either system. As it happens, I KNOW my ancestry. On my mother’s side, because my Aunt (her sister) spent several years searching her genealogy because she wanted to join the DAR and found out that we are descendants of Ethan Allen’s brother. On my father’s side, some Mormon lady (a distant relative) did all that work and wrote a book about the descendants of John Jared, the eldest grandson of a British Viscount who had been granted “exploitation rights” to what is now Newfoundland by Elizabeth I. Neither he nor his sons ever came to the New World, but his eldest grandson did but settled in Williamsburg instead. I have a copy. It was written ca. 1962 and I’m mentioned as the eldest son of my father with a note: “Somewhere in the military.” I was, in fact, at that time, in Korea. Also on my mother’s FATHER’S side is a man born in Bavaria and immigrating from Alsace-Lorainne shortly after the War of 1812 and who was “naturalized” as an American citizen in 1824. I have a Xerox copy of his naturalization certificate. So, my ancestry is Scot-Irish-British and German (what was, at the time, Prussian.)

Redshift makes creation much more probable.

That’s exactly wrong. I don’t base my beliefs about science on the Bible. I believed in evolution for decades and found no conflict with the Bible. It’s not until I learned what the truths that biology (science) has revealed that I realized evolution can’t keep up with science. People still believe in evolution by faith in 19th century science, not because of modern science.

As for the ages of the earth and the universe, I’m uncertain, but I lean toward the billions of years ages. Though the earth is confusing because the flood definitely happened. Also, the observed accumulation of mutations would seem to prevent any species (or maybe genus or family) from living for million of years.

We can use logic. We know something must be eternal, either the universe or a creator because nothing can cause itself. But the observed redshift clearly indicates the universe is expanding. So it couldn’t have existed forever.

As the creator, God is clearly outside of science, so there’s no way he can be detected or examined by science. Though the whole universe shouts of his existence, especially the nature of life. If he causes a special pleading problem for you , I’m sorry. It can’t be avoided. You seem to want to rule out God by some rule, but it’s God that makes the rules.

Infinity applies only to the only true God. We don’t define God. We read what he has said about himself. Fortunately we have a historical record, the Bible.

Edit: On second thought, your statement about special pleading above is wrong. Infinity doesn’t have to apply to everything. God is the only infinite entity and he created the universe at some point. Just as I can create some software at some point in eternity. And a builder can create a building at some point in eternity.

Yes, through the errors in the mitchanodrial DNA. Since they accrue errors at a slower rate than DNA in general, it’s a good time keeper.

We track the errors; that’s what they’re doing.

You based your belief on equating theory and observation.

“I can find fault with the theory, therefore, the observations aren’t real”. This is your logic.

But that’s not how science works. Observations happen first, and theory arises to explain them.

Even if the theory is wrong, the observations still exist. But you assume they don’t; just as you assumed the walking fish didn’t exist. Or that we had found no precursor versions of ATP synthase or Hemoglobin.

Horizontal gene transfer, Virus-gene transmission, Epigentics; none of this is 19th century Ken.

The lineage science that 23andMe uses is also not 19th century, and it shows we’re related to Neanderthals and Denisovans.

The compressed generations in mtDNA also shows humans beings have been around +150,000 years. There’s far too many generations packed in to claim it’s only 10 or less.

A flood in ancient Sumeria; there is no evidence for a worldwide flood.

The story of Noah differs considerably from the original flood myths.

What the heck have I ever written that made you think that? Observations are what drive my logic. And not observations particularly by Christians, but by mainstream biologists. Do you know about the genetic code? That’s HUGE. No secular biologist denies it’s existence or any fundamental aspect of it.

Walking fish exist just as they were created. You’re trying to use them as a evidence for evolution, but it doesn’t work.

I can’t remember what alternate versions you found for ATP synthase, but it was probably either a slightly mutated version or an entirely separate design. You’re trying to superimpose evolution. If I recall, the different Hemoglobins looked like just mutated versions. No one argues that mutation happens.

ATP synthase? If you know anything about the mitochondria, how can you possibly still defend microbe-to-man evolution? You must just be arguing for fun.

Horizontal gene transfer and virus-gene transmission don’t solve the big problems with evolution. And Epigenetics, if I understand, doesn’t change DNA, does it? How is it related to evolution?

That’s because we are Neanderthals and Denisovans! There’s only one human, though the genome has mutated some through the millennia.

I haven’t seen that. Though I saw a biologist claiming mtDNA supports the Bible timeline. What the heck does “10 or less” mean? My guess is that there have been 200 to 250 generations since Adam and Eve.

You keep saying that crap. I could just as easily declare there’s no evidence that there was ever a Roman Empire or that the Greeks and Egyptians didn’t know any math. Saying it doesn’t wipe out the evidence. And finding alternate excuses for the evidence doesn’t change the facts either.