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Nyedunnoium

Posted by bonesiii on February 27, 2014 at 10:30 AM Comments comments (0)

Please note: I am considering doing a line-by-line rebuttal of Bill Nye's arguments in his recent debate with Ken Ham. For now, these links should suffice. CMI's article is probably the best place to start. AiG itself composed a very in-depth list of articles (links to old ones) that have already debunked most of Nye's points. To the specific debate topic itself, ICR's response utterly disproves Nye's overall point that creationists can't be good scientists (Nye's argument is a No True Scotsman fallacy).

http://creation.com/ham-nye-debate

http://www.answersingenesis.org/get-answers/features/debate-answers

http://www.icr.org/article/7897/


I'd also like to note for the record that in my opinion, contrary to many people's claims, if anyone "won" the debate it was clearly Ken Ham. Those arguing that Nye "won" are appealing to things like emotionalism that are other than genuine qualifications for having a sound argument. Nye continued to perpetuate misconceptions about Ham's own position even after the entire audience heard Ham just refute it, apparently oblivious. I have to believe that anybody with a brain who watched that noticed this, and this only scratches the surface of the glaring logical errors in Nye's arguments. To claim that a debate can ever be "won" by employing illogic is a grave mistake that sets a dangerous precedent for any kind of abuse.


For now, I would like to use this as an opportunity to make a point about the illogic of "materialism."


Materialism is a philosophy which has proven nearly impossible to define in any helpful way. At first glance, the usual summary definitions given seem to give us a clue what atheists mean by it -- "matter only". Given the name, this certainly makes sense.


But wait a second.


Do atheists fail to believe in light? Heat? Gravity?


Surely not -- they don't ONLY believe in "matter." So "material" CANNOT, in their own beliefs, be limited to matter! What, then, is the dividing line?


In the debate with Ken Ham, in answer to a question about what came before the Big Bang, Bill Nye gave a remarkable answer.


"I don't know."


How is this a materialist answer? I was hoping for him to clarify where this mysterious line is between materialism and theism. Why, for example, if existence is truly infinite as the causality proof demands, wouldn't that infinite variety include intelligence? In fact, it DOES -- our own, at least, as well as some animal intelligence.


Given that intelligence cannot even be denied to exist by atheists, the only logical explanation to me for materialism seems to require a clear definition of the properties of "extra-universal" ("before the Big Bang", etc.) "material" -- which necessarily demands an explanation of why these properties absolutely cannot have intelligence (perhaps it is similar in some ways to matter for example, and existing in infinite amounts, which could be one basic definition of God, though anyone truly honest must admit that immaterial information is the most important quality, just like our intelligence, or DNA information, etc.).


And what's more, it MUST clearly prove why these properties, with this limit against intelligence, ARE all that exist beyond this universe.


Notice that the key here is that it is irrational to refuse to believe in a sound understanding of reality just because the possibility of alternatives has not been entirely disproven (although I would have to say the causality/existence proof DOES disprove atheism -- one of the very few things we CAN totally disprove, such as "there's no existence at all"). It is not that it's irrational to be aware that alternatives might be possible, or that we cannot absolutely prove all details of our worldview (though I'd say on the second point, we can come pretty darn close), but that claiming "agnosticism by the name of atheism" on the basis of UNKNOWNS is taking it a step farther, a step too far.


The difference may seem subtle, but consider a simple analogy -- should we refuse to believe in refrigerators because we can't absolutely disprove an "I don't know" type of answer for how an illusion of a refrigerator might be operating instead?


The objection that we can directly observe our own refrigerator fails, because in sound logic there is very little difference between direct observation and indirect (but sound) deduction; in both cases input is being analyzed for sound patterns of conclusions, and the possibility we're being asked to accept itself incorporates a workaround for the direct observation of refrigerators anyways. Also, I can extrapolate from my observation of my fridge to the likely existence of other refrigerators in other buildings I have NOT observed.


Hasty Generalization fallacy warns us against assuming things based on insufficient evidence.


Likewise, the observation of the existence of intelligence where we observe it (humans, to some extent animals) makes it plausible to extrapolate to the likely existence of intelligence elsewhere. Just as different fridges will have different qualities, we cannot rule out that other intelligence may have different qualities than human (such as infinity, for God). A similar but watered-down argument is, after all, used by many of the most extreme atheists for aliens. And just as different material things can have different qualities while retaining the same quality in question (ability to chill things, intelligence, etc.), Hasty Generalization warns us that we must not assume matter is the ONLY type of material which may have immaterial intelligence involved.


Something LIKE matter in the qualities that are important for allowing intelligence MAY very well exist. Indeed, empirically, and based on the infinite variety part of the existence proof, matter-like "material" beyond our universe capable of intelligence should be viewed as inevitable.


For lack of a better term, then, let's call the substance that many atheists now say exists beyond this universe's material "Nyedunnoium."


My point is that the existence of BELIEF in Nyedunnoium, simultaneous with lack of belief in God, is proof positive that materialistic atheism is irrational -- that we should accept theism at least and should definitely devote much time to figuring out WHICH theism (I would say the Bible based on the prophecies and much more as I've explained elsewhere). Why? Because Nyedunnoium is something accepted on faith, out of logical necessity (due to causality; there has to be SOMETHING), yet withOUT sound proof of what its qualities are.


Without proof of those qualities, and proof that that's all there is, it is not rational to believe in this substance, by the very same arguments atheists use against belief in God! But evidently Bill Nye and many like him do.


Let's emphasize this again. Bill Nye is confident that not believing in God is rational, but not confident that there isn't something else besides this universe. Confident that if there is something beyond this universe, it's rational to think it doesn't have intelligence, but completely ignorant of its properties.


Nye believes it is okay to think it can't have the property of intelligence, but doesn't know its properties.


This is absolute lunacy!


Admittedly, this is a little better than the anticausality belief of Stephen Hawking (see my [draft] of my main origins essay), and to be clear, Nye's noncommittal answer doesn't establish that he is absolutely sure there DOES have to be "something". However, even these nuances only make matters worse. He is open to the possibility of Nyedunnoium (he might even like the term, I have no idea), so he should also be open to the possibility of God. He should reject "atheism" and be instead an agnostic, preferably a seeker! He needs to take the risks for his own soul's future seriously (even just the RISK that he might HAVE a soul that could be in jeopardy), and so does everybody.


In other words, he's not just saying he's sure Nyedunnoium exists, and contradicting himself on ignorance of its properties yet knowledge that intelligence isn't one of them -- no, this is far worse. If this caution is correct, then he isn't even sure Nyedunnoium exists! So, he MIGHT be open to the anticausality of Hawking! Either way he goes with this, to think this guy is 'scientific' is absurd!


Again, I'm not sayig that it's irrational to be aware it MIGHT be possible, in ways we don't know, for this Nyedunnoium to satisfy all three qualities of existing, being all that exists beyond this universe or other universes (multiverse), and lacks intelligence. I am always aware of this possibility and many more besides, but I DO believe in the one possibility that actually has sound proof and strong evidence, just like I believe in the refrigerator. Nye does NOT believe in God and this is where the crucial difference is. In order to fail to believe in God, you must either consider it rational to think he might not exist, or else abandon rationality. Attempts to obscure the difference are just cheap copouts, though admittedly it can get a little confusing, so some misunderstanding may be inevitable.


To try to express what I'm saying even more clearly, here's another analogy (variant on a somewhat common one I use too, and have a longer version of in another entry I'm drafting for later). Say I witness a murder, I see the murderer and am absolutely certain I saw him clearly. Do you think if I went to the witness stand in court and said "I suspect what I really saw was a holographic projection of the suspect by time travelers from the future who want to frame him" that anybody would think me rational to say that?


No!


Likewise, to think God has any serious chance of not being real, we would have to either be hopelessly ignorant of countless undeniable features of our observeable reality that fit that exactly, or if we do know of them (and come up with countless ad hoc rescuing patches to explain them away as evolutionists do), we'd have to believe that this universe could have not just accidently spawned us, but also accidently happened to look in every way like God is real! I've said this before, but talk about really bad luck for atheists! You gotta know they would greatly prefer a universe they can be free to "zoom in" on in any amount of detail and always look like evolution is likely, like the Bible failed to have any fulfilled, unfakeable prophecies, like Earth could always be old enough (versus things like the erosion of continents showing if they were that old they would all be underwater by now), etc.


And if Nye is serious that he is open to the possibility of Nyedunnoium for the purposes of satisfying the causality demand, then this only gives even further evidence of the necessity, ultimately, of taking the causality proof to its infinite-variety (including God) logical conclusion as I have. Similar to Dawkins' recent admissions that some kind of multiverse scenario may be necessary; that this universe is not enough for a rational atheist since life evolving here is far too unlikely if it's the only one (among perhaps other reasons). Because if Nyedunnoium is necessary to explain the universe, what explains Nyedunnoium?


This is why I say that there MUST be an infinite chain of causality, with the TOTAL of this infinite chain being God (also explaining biblical statements that there is nothing higher than God, for example "to swear by" -- swear in the promise sense), rather than God being a finite thing that in turn needs another explanation as assumed by the common childish question "who created God".


Since Nyedunnoium, by virtue of being (by blind faith) demanded to lack intelligence properties, thus cannot satisfy the infinite variety demand, something else beyond it still must exist, and so forth, and somewhere along the chain there MUST be intelligence, and ultimately there must be infinite instances of it! Again, this is a basic mathematical definition of God.


So, ultimately, no matter how you slice it, materialism is a pointless argument against God and if anything only demonstrates further why God must exist, if you think it through -- yes, as "immaterial"! It may boggle our limited human minds to try to comprehend such a thing, but there it remains -- the sound logic demands it. Remaining "agnostic" toward God based on the hope in materialism is an intellectual dead end, and should be abandoned by everyone.

Germs & Blind Trust

Posted by bonesiii on January 26, 2014 at 4:25 PM Comments comments (0)

Two points I just thought of that I haven't really heard others point out:

 

1) Bacterial resistance "evolving" -- besides the usual debunking that this results from a breaking of a function normally helpful to the microbe, there's a larger point here that's missed -- this is still the life system of Earth BREAKING. This is not getting better.

 

Now, evolutionists usually would counter that evolution doesn't work that way -- it brings benefit to the specific organism, not to the life system.

But they don't seem to think farther than this. We are seeing so many new illness emerging, rapidly. If millions of years of germs getting stronger has occured -- especially if microbes had a vast head start of evolution on multi-cellular beings -- then how is it ANY large-scale life can still survive?

 

Surely the germs would all be superbugs by now, like the flesh-eating disease, and no multi-cellular life could have ever evolved, at least not beyond simple colonial activity. We would see the microbes even NASA found itself unable to eradicate (which can go anywhere on Earth) combined with the "germ" behavior of disease microbes. If those two things ever coincide, it seems to me all other life would rapidly end.

The only rational explanation for why it hasn't is that life was created, thousands of years ago, not millions, so those supermicrobes have not yet broken to become supergerms.

 

There's other angles too.

 

If evolution only works for the individual, then how is it we can have evolutionISTS preaching "good morals" to us, saying that a cooperative system is better for survival? They can't have it both ways. If evolution means that individuals are stronger when they break out of a cooperative system, even attack other members of that biome, then it follows necessarily that human individuals living in a moral, cooperative society are made WEAKER by that society.

 

Nothing could be further from the truth. The Apostle Paul debunked this myth two-thousand years ago. When all the parts of a body (literally and figuratively for any cooperative system, right down to your refrigerator) work in unison, and have varied functions that complement each other, each part is better off.

 

But if each part is better off when they work together, then once again we are back around to the fact that new emerging diseases, and new resistant strains, are things BREAKING -- getting worse -- NOT valid evidence of upward, constructive evolution. Technically this point holds even IF the resistance involved increasing genetic information (it does not), since evolution would favor information that tells the organism to attack other organisms. Information favoring cooperation would be selected against, and go extinct rapidly.

Even appealing to the modern nature of medicine is irrelevant, since some things like the flesh-eating germ have overcome natural barriers to consume flesh whether medicine is in play or not. This should have happened millions of years ago, you'd think.



 

 

 

2) Evolutionists love to pretend they sound smart by screaming, "The majority of scientists, peer reviewed!"

 

But have you ever stopped to consider, how do we know the majority, or the scientists, or the peer review produce reliable conclusions?

 

Actually, the very use of such arguments is an admission that you do NOT understand the reasoning they used to find their conclusion. It is to say, "They're the experts, not me." (And by extension, not us, the creationist wingnuts, as Richard Dawkins has called us.) Of course, never mind that we have some of the best scientists alive today... but there's a key difference in how our side's scientists treat those who they ask to beileve as they do. They do NOT ask them to blindly trust them, but break down the jargon into lay English to explain to us WHY they are correct. Creation scientists say "Don't take my word for it, look at the facts yourself."

 

Surely this is a stronger sign of reliability? The evolutionist scientists hide behind their imposing majority, their fancy-sounding degrees, their constant refrain of "peer review!" When they do try to give reasoning and evidence to support their views, critical analysis always shows it does not soundly support their conclusions. In the end they always fall back on "Just trust us!" We're supposed to believe that they have some secret smoking gun that they're keeping away from the public, but that is very reliable. A secret knowledge cult (where the secret is... there is no secret).

 

But let's look at it more closely.

 

If you are going to shirk your personal duty to become informed on WHY things are true, and trust an expert... How do you know WHICH experts to trust?

 

It certainly SOUNDS good to trust the vast majority, but the majority has been wrong repeatedly; majorities are usually composed of those who have devoted the LEAST time and thought to solving a riddle. You have to look for which individuals are showing SOUND support. Only if you could prove that a majority is composed of individuals each using sound support could the fact that it's a majority have any rational value.

 

Sounds good to trust the professional scientists (you'd like to hope they're the ones using ONLY sound support), but don't you have to "trust but verify"? Shouldn't you scrutinize those scientists VERY closely to make sure they're not abusing the authority you grant them? It's human nature for blind trust in other humans to attract the uninformed, illogical, lazy, or worse to the positions being blindly trusted.

And very few scientists ever seriously take on the question of origins itself; most are specialists, trusting that all the OTHER scientists have the evidence for evolution/millions of years, though their own field appears to fit better with the Bible, if they even think to consider which fits better at all, or even take the time to understand the Bible to know whether it does. Those few who do seriously understand the Bible and the science relevant to critically test BOTH/all worldviews become biblical creationists. Every single evolutionist promoter I have ever investigated fails to properly test evolution critically and fails to undertand the Bible.

 

Sounds good to trust peer review... but again, the reviewers are just as fallible, and if you're not supervising them very closely, then the reviewers themselves are not being reviewed, and the whole argument becomes contradictory. The reviewers are supposed to be oversight to check for errors in the reviewee's reasoning. But who's overseeing the reviewers? Often peer reviewers enjoy the exact opposite of close scrutiny -- anonymity!

 

Now, if you allow peer reviewers to be publicly identified, and closely supervised... we run into another problem. Who supervises THOSE supervisors? What if you get an entire system of people who all have a bias for a certain view, and aren't limiting their conclusions to only those that have genuine sound support? It only needs to happen ONCE to become entrenched and nearly incurable (if the cures try to enter via the peer review system, since that whole system is designed to weed out contrary views).

 

Now, the ultimate point that occurred to me is this.

 

As long as you're going to be placing blind trust in someone, why not put it in God? Note I am NOT arguing for blind trust at all; this is an argument against the entire practice. But notice that the VERY SAME PEOPLE who blindly choose to trust evolutionist-controlled peer review by the evolutionary majority of evolutionist scientists, will actively MOCK us for even APPEARING to "blindly" have faith in God.

 

But let's measure the two (alleged) blind faiths.

 

Why would trusting a majority of scientists have value? Simple. Each scientist, working together, becomes part of a vast intellectual network. The collective intelligence, at least on paper, increases with the more scientists checking the other scientists' work. This is a key part of the basis of the scientific method.

 

But what is God? Is he not claimed to be an INFINITE collective intelligence, of an un-ending number of intellectual parts analyzing every possibility, forever and ever, and even beyond time so ALL his sound conclusions are instantly available should he choose to reveal the? Yes, this is what the Bible teaches -- again, for now we're just talking about what these two options are, not whether they're true. We know scientists exist (though the shirkers do NOT know whether the scientists are using sound investigation, keep in mind), but for the sake of argument, we'll pretend for now that we don't know God exists (we do, by means such as the infinite existence proof).

 

There's another problem. While collective intelligence increases with the number of scientists, the TIME required to self-correct mistakes ALSO increases exponentially. The more widespread a false belief becomes, the more work is required to spread knowledge of WHY it is false to the entire collection of scientists.

 

Worse, if there's even a SLIGHT reliance on the appeal to peer-reviewed majority-authority fallacy mix (or other fallacies; a variety of fallacies are common among evolutionists), among the -scientists themselves- then false ideas can become almost impossible to eradicate. Most scientists seem open to SOME less important ideas being challenged, but the core ideas of their worldview, the very framework of ideas through which they see everything, they feel would be 'rocking the boat' too much to challenge.

 

Even worse, when highly unprofessional emotionalism gets involved, especially the widespread scorn we've seen directed at scientists who try to challenge this (rather than mere calm explaining using ONLY sound reasoning why arguments do not work), and the punishing in practical terms such as firings, the HUMAN system becomes virtually guaranteed to be wrong in major ways. Self-correction becomes banned, if it tries to touch "important" ideas. Instead, ad hoc patches are continually concocted to explain away the contrary evidence.

 

By contrast, God's infinite and beyond-time nature means that even if, hypothetically, he had errors in PARTS of his reasoning, eventually there would be enough "time-equivalent" (beyond our universe) to correct them by whatever means necessary.  Furthermore, God cannot sin and is entirely self-consistent and entirely focused on truth, so no part would scorn any other part for daring to consider alternatives, and only sound support would ever be used in his reasoning. (Of course, there's also the angle that as the Creator of everything, he knows what he has done, without even technically needing to observe, though he does that too, of course.)

Note that this reasoning also means that prior to testing which other religious views are correct, it also makes less sense to trust their 'gods' who are finite, fallible, or otherwise inconsistent with an infinite, beyond-time God of ultimately trustworthy knowledge and honesty. Like with the basic infinite existence part of the causality proof, other religions and atheism really should be lumped together, if there's any lumping to be done, including all theistic evolution versions (imagining a very limited god unable to supernaturally create quickly and cruel to force death and suffering on beings before sin), rather than "evolution versus religion" or "atheism versus religion." Of course, other religions fail truth/falsehood tests too, such as Islam's misconception that the Christian Trinity is the Father, Son, and... Mary... Of course, in today's society at least in English-speaking countries like my own, America, these other anti-biblical religions are not very front-and-center opposition to Judeo-Christianity, so it makes sense to focus on the one that is most popular.

 

So, what we KNOW about the human collective-intelligence system of scientists is that it is merely finite, with limited "processing capacity", it is highly emotional, it deviates most strongly from the scientific method on the big questions, and even if all its members were honest truthseekers, it still could take thousands of years to inform each one why they were wrong so that they change their minds.

 

Even under the best-case scenario, where we assume every scientist would change their minds, we thus KNOW that this system is not very reliable. By contrast, personal investigation into the science itself, learning how to do sound logic, etc. (the truthseeking method) is far, far, far more reliable as a way to seek truth.

 

What we are TOLD (but for sake of argument we "not" know, for now) is that God cannot be wrong, knows everything, and is completely honest. So even from a blind-faith perspective, it really should be obvious to everybody that those trusting God are making a much smarter "gamble" than those trusting peer-filtered majority-scientists.

 

Of course, we do NOT really gamble; we believe in God because for a vast variety of reasons we become convinced he really is real. I've gone into that enough elsewhere. But my point here is, although it may take some time to explain to the people who aren't thinking these things through, there is no rational reason to be intimidated by their constant demands for peer-review, etc. (Of course, our own scientists do use peer review, and often point out contrary evidence that's already peer-reviewed by the evolutionists themselves... and actually WE are the peer review correcting evolutionists! And we have scientists; the only actual difference is that we are -- currently -- the minority.)

 

In other words, we need to challenge them to stop relying on blind trust in peer-review, in scientists (of either/any worldview), or in majorities (or for that matter minorities, but generally trusting a minority makes more sense!). If they insist on using blind trust, then point out that God makes a lot more sense to trust. But always challenge them to stop using copouts and seek to understand the science personally. They don't have to know all the equations by heart, but a layman CAN understand the key concepts and behaviors of how things work.

 

Either they should personally take the time to hear out both sides (to make sure no side gets away with censorship) and try to conceptually understand the science logically, or they really should stop acting as if they have any idea what they're talking about, and should simply admit they don't know what to believe and must decline to take an opinion. It is not rational to dogmatically defend an opinion based only on blind trust -- usually they will point this out themselves, but they seem unable to realize it is THEY who do the thing they condemn, not us.

A Statue's Arms

Posted by bonesiii on November 26, 2013 at 12:05 AM Comments comments (0)

 Simple analogy for the scientific likelihood of the Global Flood described in the Bible, illustrating the fallacy of uniformitarianism interpreted as "science", specifically in geology.

 

Evolutionary and old-earth laymen and even scientists have fallen for a somewhat understandable but fallacious misunderstanding of how science related to global geology. The general idea of modern science is observe present processes and logically extrapolate from these to understand why things happen. One of the most important strategies in science is repeatability. This is useful for testing laws of nature, across time. However, old-earthers have confused this for uniformitarianism.

 

Things happen due to causality, involving multiple factors. The more complex the design of a machine, the less "repeatable" its results will be compared to -similar- but somewhat different machines. "Machines" here can refer both to manmade technology and to physics of natural materials, biology, or anything in creation. Causal factors even extend to psychology and intelligence when a living being is involved. If you can produce the same factors in a simple situation, then similar 'machines' WILL produce the same or similar enough reseults. However, the larger the scope of an event, and the more psychology and historical society are involved, the less repeatable events become.

 

This is the essential difference between "operational science" (repeatable experimentation and the like) and "historical science" (the attempt to understand what past events actually occurred and why).

 

Now, uniformitarianists decided to only consider presently observeable processes in their attempt to explain geological events.

 

This idea by itself makes sense, but in practice they were oversimplistic; they employed a Hasty Generalization fallacy, and considered only the MOST COMMON observed events, failing to consider the many observeable local-scale catastrophic processes, and also failed to apply observed principles in other situations besides geology to extrapolate to non-repeatable global events. Both failures are fatal to any sound attempt to analyze the plausibility of the Global Flood. It is a strawman fallacy to pretend that the Bible ever portrayed this Flood as a common, repeatable event, or even repeatable twice. Quite the contrary; God is recorded as promising that it would only happen once in all of history.

 

Modern creationists largely believe that the mechanism behind the Global Flood is runaway tectonic subduction of original oceanic plate material.

 

There was originally one super-ocean and one super-continent. These pressures caused the super-continent to break up, spreading out rapidly at first and then gradually slowing down. New oceanic plate material was made on contact with mantle material with water. This led to intense evaporation, fueling rainclouds, and also a pump-action effect; the new plates were hotter at first and thus "floated" higher on the mantle, pushing ocean water up across the coasts. These processes combined with deposition during the Flood and massive erosion in the recession stage produced the Earth's surface almost as we see it today. Smaller-scale events, exponentially lessening in intensity, also occurred afterward (especially the Ice Age), as well as normal volcanic, storm-action flooding, and erosional forces, among others.

 

To a uniformitarian mind, this may seem "unscientific" because we cannot observe a Global Flood today. This is not accurate, because we CAN observe the differences between normal, everyday rates of processes and local catastrophes. We can scale up the physics by comparing smaller catastrophes to larger ones. And we can factor the known, unchanging physics of matter and energy that cause these things.

 

Uniformitarian fallacy may still cause some to stubbornly refuse to consider it simply because it cannot actually be repeated. But this is irrational, as we can also observe the principle of single-event, non-repeatable catstrophes in individual 'machines' -- and in any case, sound logic is the determiner of truth, not merely direct observation.

 

The Earth is one machine. Theoretically, if we had a second Earth set up as God created it, we might be able to observe a Global Flood on it. But this is not available to us.

 

Consider the analogy of a statue's decay over time.

 

If all you ever have is one statue, then you can only scientifically observe the principles of decay on that statue. Most ancient stone statues' arms have fallen off. It is easy for us to see why -- they are far less stable than most of the rest, and most other unstable parts will be much smaller. The effect is that a statue will at first decay normally, in little bits here and there, but the major weakness (two in this case) will develop over time, to the point where the arms will suddenly snap off. For the scale of that machine, that is a catastrophic event. We could understand this scientifically even without directly observing it, by understanding the properties of materials.

 

Uniformitarianism would assume that only the average events of decay, which are small, could be used to explain the damage to the statue. Likely they would have to believe that the arms began already off, or if the arms are not found laying on the ground next to the statue anymore, that the statue was essentially carved without any arms, because the rate of decay on the arms must be the same as the rest, and the amounts falling off per unit of time must be roughly the same over time. Clearly, if anyone proposed such a thing, we would all easily recognize the foolishness of it, but this is just what is done in geologic uniformatarianism, including the more recent limited catastrophism (which would be analogous to noticing little tufts of hair on that statue's head still falling off, so admitting that small 'catastrophes' are possible.

 

A crucial point to consider is that the tectonic stability of the Earth's crust is essential for life and the normal processes on the surface.

 

A statue's arms are not foundational to it. A catastrophe of the arms falling off (or two catastrophes... one if the statue is designed so only one arm is loose) will not affect the rest of the statue. However, if you carve a statue of a man standing on one hand, the instability IS foundational. If a gust of wind combined with slow decay prior to it to weaken the arm causes that point to break, the entire statue will fall.

 

If human and animal life on land is analogous to ants trying to hold on to the statue's surface, the shock of the fall will knock them all off. An ant would need to be off the statue (the land, analogous to the ark) and then come back on later to be sure of getting a steady grip on it after the fall. Ants will not tend to die from being shaken off (unless crushed under), but analogies can only go so far. If you suppose that a type of ant would die at any sudden shock, the analogy is closer.

 

After the statue falls, a new foundation, a much more stable and therefore permanent one, is created -- the many points on its side where it contacts the ground. It very well may break into several large pieces from the impact. And if miraculous intervention is necessary for the Flood, a person could knock over a statue before natural causes would, and never do it again. All of this works in principle.

 

Another analogy could be to a car crash. Nothing observeable in one car's normal operations could explain the end result of a crash. Logic and true science demand a catastrophic explanation. The only ways to ignore this necessity are to ignore major features of the car, or to try to come up with unobserveable ad hoc "patches" or rescuing hypotheses. Ironically, this is done at almost every point in geology (and other sciences where corrupted by evolutionism and old-eartherism), so it ends up relying on far more unobserveable things than the simple catastrophic explanation. Ockham's Razor would dictate that catastrophism is the only rational explanation.

 

This is especially true when historical observations are factored. A person may witness the statue falling. In the ant analogy, the ant that leaves the statue before the disaster and comes back (assuming human intelligence) will observe it. And Noah's family did just this.

 

Of course, the original formation of the statue by an intelligent carver, and the causes of its ability to decay (somewhat analogous to choice of medium as some are more decay-prone than others; biblically this refers to the Fall), are also forgotten in uniformitarian thinking, at least of the secularistic variety. Both are also observeable in principle, even though there was no Noah equivalent to observe the original carving of Earth's geology on Days 1-3. Even this is not a problem from an observational approach, since the carver (God) did observe what he was doing.

New Sites

Posted by bonesiii on September 19, 2013 at 6:20 AM Comments comments (2)

Two sites I have been planning for a long time have just been launched (for now still using webs.com), although very little is on them so far. Both are technically blogs, but I'm using them for much more specific purposes than this blog.


The first is:


http://linguabible.webs.com/


The "Lingua Bible" is my attempt to use a simple, universal spelling-pronunciation system to (eventually, maybe) have the entire Bible (the ESV) with the names and some other words being much more accurate to the source languages, especially Hebrew. Primary source for the pronunciations is blueletterbible.com.


It also uses the "toledoth" (colophons) theory for Genesis, and re-groups a few other parts, such as listing the Psalms and Proverbs by author, or grouping the Minor Prophets as part of a collection called The Twelve as is done in the Tanakh. These groupings and "book" versus "collection" labels should not be taken as certain. Some of the more confusing verses have grayed-out, bracketed explanatory notes, as well as some points of interest. For now I'm also graying out the verse numbers too.


Note that the new version of the spelling scheme ends up with names a bit different from the preliminary entry I did here about Bible names. Due to space considerations, the vast majority of the Bible will only be offered in PDF form but some of the most crucial parts to understanding the Bible as a whole will be both PDFs and on the blog.


The second is:


http://wordcontext.webs.com/


Whenever I find time, I intend the main purpose of this site to be the Word series of blog entries that I've been planning for a while now, and will likely be way to long to include here. I also want it to be a place I can link to freely from anywhere without worrying about what spam/troll/etc. comments people might run into (both sites), so comments have been disabled, but my email is still provided. I'll probably link to each from the other when they're more developed.


I also hope to use it for entries on common misconceptions, especially about specific verses, such as the only one I've got up so far as of posting this entry. I also plan to move my "Wacky Theories" such as the Cain's line theory there. If I ever get around to finishing my origins essay I'll probably repost that as a third page on that site. This old site I'll continue to use for drafts, off-topic content, and to allow open comments for anyone who happens to find it, etc. I will try to occasionally do roundup entries here linking to several completed entries on both of those sites.


For now, here are the entries that are completed:


Lingua Bible:


Book of Baara (Creation)

http://linguabible.webs.com/apps/blog/show/32622485-bara


Book of Adaam (Garden, Fall, Cain & Abel, and Cain's descendants):

http://linguabible.webs.com/apps/blog/show/32623441-adam


Book of No'eakh (Noah's genealogy, all flesh violent, and God's decision):

http://linguabible.webs.com/apps/blog/show/32729398-book-of-no-eakh


Book of Beynym No'eakh (Sons of Noah; Flood to Babel):

http://linguabible.webs.com/apps/blog/show/32947120-book-of-beynym-no-eakh


Word Context:


Nye's Moonshine:

http://wordcontext.webs.com/apps/blog/show/33083255-nye-s-moonshine

Creationist Insanity?

Posted by bonesiii on June 24, 2013 at 3:05 PM Comments comments (0)

 

Often skeptics will present the possibility (sometimes assuring us it's certain) that biblical creationists may be wrong due to being insane; being literally unable to understand why (they think) evolutionism is true and/or the Bible is wrong.

 

This approach has always intrigued me, because as I often point out, it's usually claimed that the insane do not realize they're insane. As John Locke of LOST said in the episode White Rabbit (to Jack, who thought he must be going insane because he had seen his dead father walking around alive):

 

“No, crazy people don't know they're going crazy, they think they're getting saner.”

 

It's true that I think I'm sane.

 

Does that very fact mean that I'm actually insane?

 

Well, to be fair, I actually suspect I'm NOT entirely sane. In fact, I suspect I'm so insane, I can't even tell that I'm insane. And since I suspect this, I'm not insane. I guess.

 

Jokes aside, there are two key answers to this argument:

 

1) The wonderful thing about sound logic is that it gives us a testable methodology to finding real truth – at least truth that is definitely true in practical reality as universally observed by us. The fact that biblical Christianity enjoys clear, sound support (resting on demonstrably true premises such as the observation of universal causality and using only valid, reliable reasoning formats to extrapolate them to other true conclusions such as that the Bible really is God's Word) gives us a sure guide to knowing that the Bible is true.

 

This is testable because the whole principles of logic have in fact been derived largely from real-world experimentation. For example, we learn that an idea that is unpopular can be true (avoiding the fallacy of Ad Populum) by observing examples such as many people believing a myth that can be tested scientifically and proven false, as seen in numerous episodes of Mythbusters. We can then apply this to see that evolutionism may be wrong even though it is very popular at the moment..

 

Going beyond merely opening the door for the Bible's truth, we can also use sound logic to determine that the sorts of prophecies given in the books of the Bible and later fulfilled (especially the Messianic prophecies) were not possible to be faked, except by an extremely unlikely series of coincidences.

 

So an informed atheist is forced to believe that the same universe in which incredible unlikely life evolved by unknown means is also the same universe that just happened to have these prophecies and also have them exactly fulfilled right on schedule. Since under the multiverse theory, there's no reason for the second coincidence to be causally related to the first coincidence, it would also be an additional coincidence that they both happened in the same universe. No rational person would find this a satisfying conclusion. Therefore sound logic justifies making a leap of faith here to belief that the Bible is true, and the God that is beyond time gave us the prophecies.

 

And going beyond mere leaps of faith, the causality proof can show us absolutely that this beyond-time God MUST exist, and would definitely prove his beyond-time nature with prophecies. Since this only works for the Bible, we then know soundly that the Bible is true. From there we can then study hermeneutics to learn what the Bible says and translate it into our own languages, and read those translations with appropriate cautions, etc. This results in biblical Christianity as we know it today. (Note that I have found that most skeptics do NOT actually know it well at all, including those that use this argument; probably this is the main problem, so what they need to do is spend much more time researching.)

 

Note also that the multiverse theory if taken to its logical conclusion is really another approach to the causality proof, showing that ultimately infinite existence must exist, which is synonymous with God – so attempts to refute the sound support of the Bible are themselves inherently self-refuting.

 

This applies to all attempts to argue against the Bible's sound support, since to doubt any part of sound logic casts the whole process into doubt which would eliminate the ability for the skeptic to use logic to argue against the Bible in the first place. Since the atheists accept logic when it is emotionally convenient (such as in deciding what jobs to apply for or what car to buy), they contradict themselves when they ignore logic on the questions of origins and salvation. This also applies to fallacious attempts to dispute biblical Christianity versus unbiblical Christianity.

 

2) The insanity argument itself is also self-refuting.

 

Notice that the skeptics also believe themselves to be sane, and by the same principle it's hypothetically imagineable that the skeptics might be insane as well (maybe some actually are, of course, but likely the majority are sane but making bad choices is part of the life of “sane” people at least in this fallen world; of course, I do believe that all people are partially insane compared to an unfallen state).

 

Therefore, by their own argument, we couldn't be any more confident of their conclusions than ours.

 

This means that trying to argue for your own conclusions by accusing the mutually exclusive alternative of being an insane thought is fallacious. It is of no help in determining which of the two options is true (assuming for sake of simplicity here that it is applied to genuinely exclusive options; if there are other reasonable alternatives the fallacy of false dichotomy comes into play as well).

 

Ultimately this proves to be yet another of the countless attempted distractions from the real issue – which view enjoys sound support, and what is it?

 

Every time I have questioned those using this argument and challenged them instead to show soundly why their conclusion is true (thus why there would be any reason to even suspect that we might disbelieve it due to insanity versus mere ignorance), they have refused to give any genuinely sound explanations (usually they ignore the question, but sometimes give the old tired Evolution Dogma 101 talking points or grasp at whatever unsound straws come to mind in the moment).

 

If it could be shown that evolutionary origins belief has sound support, then we might have reason to take this seriously, because it would then appear that two mutually exclusive alternatives were both soundly supported (in the same sense, same place, same time, etc.) and therefore we would seem to believe in a contradiction. Then we could legitimately wonder if we were insane, but even then, more likely we would simply be in error about the soundness of one of the two possibilities (and when some have confused unsound arguments for sound it is usually the evolutionists who are shown to have done so). Often this happens due to false premises that sound obviously true without careful investigation, plugged into valid reasoning.

 

Note that I don't know whether the conventional claim that the insane don't usually realize they're insane is statistically accurate (it could be a myth, or possibly many do realize it but don't or can't express it), but this is technically irrelevant to the argument because the main idea is that someone is accused of insanity, regardless of whether they believe that's true or not. An evolutionist could just as easily argue that we're both insane and lying about the not knowing it (and we could say the same of them; not that we should but it shows the argument to be unreliable).

 

Short Answer:

The argument that creationists are insane (and therefore creationism is false) is fallacious and self-refuting, likely used as a distraction from the lack of sound support for evolution, and is demonstrably false because biblical Christianity (including creation) has sound support, as has been given often by apologists such as those at answersingenesis.org and creation.com.

Better Blog Site?

Posted by bonesiii on June 24, 2013 at 3:05 PM Comments comments (0)

This is just a note that I think I'll be soon(ish?) be trying to find a better site to host this blog. I'm not really sure where, but I'm growing tired of the code errors this seems to always make every time I post an entry (it often adds extra spaces between paragraphs or deletes them, and I dunno of a way to turn that off). It's especially annoying if I try to edit an entry.


So like... if anyone knows of a good site or alternative, that would be cool (for free only). Unlikely I know but hey, throwing it out there. :P

Apples?

Posted by bonesiii on February 11, 2013 at 6:40 AM Comments comments (1)

Many people have wondered what type of fruit was being referred to in Genesis 2-3, from the forbidden Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil in the Garden of Eden. Especially there is a common tradition that it was apples.


However, I've thought of a possibility that would rule apples out if it is correct. I cannot apparently be certain that this is the case (read on for why), but there are some interesting clues in Genesis 1-3 that the forbidden tree might not have been seed-bearing. There is only one such tree; it was apparently not supposed to be spreading around like other plants, and when God spoke about what our food would be, he specifically mentioned seed-bearing plants & trees.


If this is correct, since apples bear seeds, they could not have been the forbidden fruit. Nor could any other known plant of today, such as figs.


Here are the verses that got me thinking along these lines:


“And the Lord God planted a garden in Eden, in the east, and there he put the man whom he had formed. And out of the ground the Lord God made to spring up every tree that is pleasant to the sight and good for food. The tree of life was in the midst of the garden, and the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.” (Genesis 2:8-9)


“And God said, 'Behold, I have given you every plant yielding seed that is on the face of all the earth, and every tree with seed in its fruit. You shall have them for food.'” (Genesis 1:29)


“And the woman said to the serpent, 'We may eat of the fruit of the trees in the garden, but God said, ‘You shall not eat of the fruit of the tree that is in the midst of the garden...''” (Genesis 3:2-3a)


It makes sense that this forbidden tree would not be designed to reproduce, lest more of them grow somewhere other than the midst (middle) of the garden, and God's instructions become useless.


However, there is room for caution here. This is Eve's statement, but she goes on to add that God said not to even touch this tree. It is commonly pointed out by scholars that this appears to be an addition to what God actually said to Adam earlier. I have noticed something else rarely mentioned; it's possible she added the mention to the location. Here is what God actually said:


“And the Lord God commanded the man, saying, 'You may surely eat of every tree of the garden, but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat of it you shall surely die.'” (Genesis 2:16-17)


This is somewhat problematic because it's also stated that the Tree of Life is in the “midst” earlier. That part also confirms Eve's statement of the forbidden tree's location.


Either it is meant to be implied that Adam then asked God where this forbidden tree was and God told him the first part of what Eve said, or God was already giving Adam a tour of the garden and had just showed him this tree and told him what it was. If the latter, God may also have made it clear verbally that it's in the middle – or either Adam or Eve may have deduced this.


There is a reference in Revelation to apparently multiple Trees of Life:


“Then the angel showed me the river of the water of life, bright as crystal, flowing from the throne of God and of the Lamb through the middle of the street of the city; also, on either side of the river, the tree of life with its twelve kinds of fruit, yielding its fruit each month.” (Revelation 22:1-2)


This seems to mean that there may in fact be twelve separate kinds – whether rootkinds or branchkinds is not clear – of Tree of Life. If this interpretation is correct, then “tree” in Genesis 2 when it refers to the Tree of Life may be plural (my attempts to find information about this online have so far been fruitless... haha okay). The garden could have been set up in concentric circles; a single forbidden tree in the very center, twelve Trees of Life with restorative properties ringing this, and then other edible trees ringing these.


However, this also opens up the confusing possibility that “tree”could be plural in the forbidden tree as well, which would probably nullify the theory that it did not bear seeds. So, take the “could” there as the keyword...


Another caution is that it's unclear whether the reference to seed-bearing plants was intended to mean only those could be eaten. God goes on to say this:


“'And to every beast of the earth and to every bird of the heavens and to everything that creeps on the earth, everything that has the breath of life, I have given every green plant for food.'” (Genesis1:30)


Do humans have the breath of life? Yes:


“...then the Lord God formed the man of dust from the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and the man became a living creature.” (Genesis 2:7)


So “every green plant” was allowed to be eaten, including by humans. This begs the question of whether the forbidden tree was green, but we are not told (the best we could get is a guess that the reference to Eve seeing that it was good for food referred to green color, but she also saw that it was desirable for giving wisdom, which seems baffling to understand in terms of today's known world, so we cannot safely make such a simple assumption).


Still, I must wonder, why does God bother to mention seed-bearing plants here? My guess is that it is meant to be cumulative, because of the rule that context determines intent. Not all animals would need to worry about this requirement – so all life could eat any green plant, and in the case of humans, an extra rule is added that we can only eat seed-bearing plants. The "good for food" statement just before the first mention of the two special trees could in this case mean good for animalian life in general, meaning that the forbidden tree is green, while the context is intended to clarify that for humans, the forbidden tree can be identified by more than just its placement because it lacks seeds.


This rule of interpretation shows up in another even clearer example in God's statement to Adam about what in the Garden he was allowed to eat. The first clause, “every tree in the garden” is clearly meant to be modified with the second clause, with the meaning of “except” for the forbidden tree.


So I would say that given the geometrical concerns of the Garden's layout given the clue in Revelation, and the reasonable idea that there was only meant to be one forbidden tree, we have one most likely theory: that the forbidden tree was singular and exactly in the center, with no seeds. (We can add a somewhat likely idea to this; that the forbidden tree was encircled by twelve distinct seed-bearing trees with life-sustaining and healing properties (apparently the means by which we would have lived forever physically had we not sinned), and these encircled by other trees including some that have surviving branchkinds today. However, read on for an alternate interpretation for the Tree of Life which seems more likely to me.)


There's quite a wide range of alternate possibilities that can fit the evidence; my theory here is not really a clear winner but it seems to fit the most naturally.


Perhaps there was only one rootkind Tree of Life and the twelve fruit mentioned in Revelation are branchkinds (basically the same idea as “speciation” or the forming of distinct “breeds” from pre-existing genetic information). This would make the geometry awkward if the exact center was the main way they could tell which tree was which.


Of course, it's also possible there were other identifying characteristics as we would expect and that God simply pointed out which one it was, and Adam could simply point out those details to Eve and their descendants. This would beg the question of why Eve makes it about the location.


It's even possible all these trees bore seeds, but that various reasons prevent their being spread, such as a need for humans to cultivate them, and humans were evicted from the Garden.


I have also considered that it's possible the location was very easy to tell due to being on a small island. Genesis also tells us that a river, which later splits into four other rivers so apparently was quite massive, flows out of Eden. If the forbidden tree was the only one on such an island it would be patently obvious which one it was to everybody.


This could fit with multiple rootkinds of Trees of Life, evoking similar geometry as the “both sides of the river” arrangement as in the New Jerusalem in Revelation. But if there was only one individual rootparent Tree of Life, this would also make it easy to tell which was which if it wasn't on the island (it would lose the nice circular symmetry of the other theory, but who knows if that would have been of any value anyways). I would venture to say that an island with a single forbidden tree, and a single Tree of Life somewhere off the island (that later branched into twelve types for the New Jerusalem) is more likely than twelve original rootkinds of the life tree, since this makes the term “tree” singular in both cases, which is apparently correct (otherwise I would have expected to find some search results pointing out the difference...).


In any case, there's another very good reason to conclude that the forbidden fruit could not have been apples or any other known fruit of today.


Both the Tree of Life and the forbidden tree are given special attributes. Both are mentioned as being in the midst of the Garden. In the case of the Tree of Life, God gave this reason for mankind's eviction after their sin:


“Then the Lord God said, “Behold, the man has become like one of us in knowing good and evil. Now, lest he reach out his hand and take also of the tree of life and eat, and live forever—” therefore the Lord God sent him out from the garden of Eden to work the ground from which he was taken. He drove out the man, and at the east of the garden of Eden he placed the cherubim and a flaming sword that turned every way to guard the way to the tree of life.” (Genesis 3:22-24)


So even if both kinds of trees bore seeds, God would not have permitted those seeds to leave the Garden and plant elsewhere. If wind or animals could do this for the one kind, there would seem to be at least some risk of the same for the other.


Therefore, almost certainly no seeds of either of the two special trees (or thirteen special trees) ever left the Garden.


Another problem is that Eve seems to be able to tell that the fruit would give wisdom by sight. This is taken as if it was perfectly normal, much like the talking serpent in the same passage. The phrasing is literal, so the literal meaning apparently has to be that the fruit had an actual power to impart wisdom. But neither apples nor any other modern fruit can do this, barring some extremely surprising genetic anomalies we might find when/if we eventually sequence and understand all plant genetics.


Would it hurt us if we were still eating this fruit nowadays?


Apparently not. God did not mention the forbidden tree as part of the reasoning of evicting us from the Garden. Once the knowledge of the potential for other sins (besides the original single rule) was attained, the Bible seems to teach, it is inherited naturally by all of us, probably genetically. So if apples or whatever WERE the forbidden fruit, we would probably not suffer any further ill effects from eating it.


Still, all the evidence seems to imply strongly that God would also not design the forbidden fruit to spread to survive on the post-Flood Earth today. Apples, etc. are present outside the Garden, therefore they couldn't be the forbidden fruit if this reasoning is correct.


One further caution, however, relates to a common theory among biblical scholars that it is possible that eventually, when mankind had gained significantly in scientific and spiritual knowledge and had matured, God would have granted us permission to eat of the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil.


This knowledge does not sound like it would be inherently, eternally, dangerous. Revelation and the rest of the Bible seems to confirm that the saved will still have it eternally, yet we will not sin at all. And we have it now, yet through accepting Jesus and relying on the heartfelt guidance from the indwelling Holy Spirit, we can avoid sinning already, to an increasing extent the more we grow in our relationship with God.


And God can give a rule and then rescind it later as it becomes unnecessary, as seen with the rescinding of the requirements for sacrificial offerings after Jesus paid the price for sin once and for all.


So it's possible that eventually God would allow people to gain that knowledge and it would be treated properly, perfectly, with none of the ill effects described in Genesis 3 or after. If so, this opens up the possibility that there would indeed be a benefit to this tree being able to be reproduced, although it's also just as possible people would simply make a pilgrimage to the one tree's location.


However, we obviously cannot know, for now, whether God would have done that, as the Bible does not say. And this would still not provide positive evidence for the idea that seeds from that tree did grow beyond the Garden in the actual course of events.


NOTE: Of course, much of this reasoning assumes that the Garden was taken away into heaven, or the Trees were, prior to the Global Flood.


If the forbidden tree (or the Tree of Life for that matter) had seeds which could survive the waters, and if these seeds didn't happen to be buried under the Flood sediment, then it could exist on the post-Flood Earth. It seems clear this cannot have been the case for the Tree of Life, but it remains slightly possible that the forbidden seeds could have still been planted outside Eden, accidentally during the Flood. In that case, they could be apples.


However, if it did not have seeds (or any equivalent), then the Global Flood would spell the permanent end of the forbidden tree. I consider this most likely.


Also, the reference to the Tree of Life in the New Jerusalem, which Jesus seems to imply in the gospels and John in Revelation is already in existence and being prepared, would imply that it/they were transplanted there, probably by uprooting so none were left on Earth, prior to the Flood. I like to imagine that Enoch had something to do with that, but who knows.


In conclusion, there is not an absolutely definitive answer, but I think we have enough strong textual evidence to say that the forbidden tree is probably not related to any extant (surviving today) tree.

To Cure Hiccups

Posted by bonesiii on December 3, 2012 at 7:20 PM Comments comments (0)

I have noticed that the most effective, simple cure for (normal) hiccups is extremely rarely known, and even when it is known, it's usually not explained properly. I figured this out over the years by simple logic from the explanations in the news of what normal hiccups are, and have been testing it successfully for years. So here it is (basics in bold for easy skimming).


Hiccups are essentially muscle spasms in the diaphragm -- the muscle that forms the "floor" of the lungs and is one of two ways we breathe. Now, when spasms occur in normal muscles, the standard advice is simply to stretch them for a few seconds.


So the easy solution to hiccups is to stretch the diaphragm for a few seconds. The trick is knowing how to do so.


The key is that the muscles that surround our rib cage form the second method of breathing, and when used in combination with holding your breath, can increase pressure on the diaphragm, forcing it to expand downwards, stretching like a balloon under pressure.


So, if you get hiccups, simply take a breath, and compress your lungs via the rib muscles.


It's basically the opposite of sucking your stomach in; your diaphragm should move down, so your stomach should puff out (yes, it'll make you look fat lol). No need to be extreme; just hold it for a few seconds, and release. Now breathe normally. The hiccups should be cured; if not, try taking a deeper breath and holding it longer.


The key is that using the rib muscles to compress stretches the diaphragm more than your control over the diaphragm itself makes possible. It's the equivalent of many types of exercise warmup maneuvers which will typically also bend the muscle more than its own inherent control can do.


The partial version of this is fairly well known, but it's usually just explained as "holding your breath." (As cited on the Wikipedia page.) Just holding your breath is one possible indirect way of causing this, as some people when holding their breath will "accidentally" apply stretching pressure. But this explanation tends not to work because not everybody will habitually stretch their diaphragm when they hold their breath, so these people are left with the impression that holding your breath is just another urban myth akin to "scare me" nonsense.


Actually, sucking in a lot of breath is really not necessary most of the time. Just hold whatever breath you have and compress downward, although the more air inside the better. A normal breathing in is usually enough.


Incidentally, "scare me" sometimes works for the same reason; it will sometimes cause people to suck in their breath, accidentally stretching the diaphragm, but you may as well save yourself the trouble (and the sillyness) by just stretching it intentionally. :P


To be clear, don't make a big deal about it. It's actually extremely easy.


Sometimes when I've briefly tried to explain this to people, they look all dramatic and try to puff themselves up like, well, a pufferfish, and then think they have to hold their breath until they're blue in the face. (Probably because people are so used to the myth that hiccups are hard to cure, that they think all solutions must be used with gusto.) No, no. Generally just a few seconds will do, and if not, there's no real harm in pausing to take a breath and then stretch it again. It seems to work "cumulatively"; the time spent stretching adds up, rather than the whole thing collapsing so you'd have to start over (though this is hard to quantify just from personal experimentation, so I can't be sure of this part).


NOTE: Wikipedia states on the hiccup page that some forms of hiccups are caused by more serious medical issues, so it's possible this method will not cure all hiccups. Basically, try it, and if it doesn't work, then try something else -- but I find that unlike most "home remedies" that carry that same advice, this one actually works every time I try it. :)


Drinking water may work as a more long-term fix if water deficiency is causing the original problem, but to me the idea of drinking while your breathing is violently spasmodic seems dangerous, as you might easily take it in the wrong way and have to cough it up. If eating or drinking I try to hold whatever breath I have already and be sure to swallow before trying this.

Purpose of Stars

Posted by bonesiii on November 1, 2012 at 6:15 AM Comments comments (2)

The question of why God made so many stars has puzzled many, from my experience talking with people I know.


Reactions to this range from the belief that the answer is obvious (such as to demonstrate how wonderful our Creator's love for us is that he even notices us and that he didn't put us in some tiny box) to that a good answer is impossible (such as the idea that God would not want to confuse us about the age of the universe in this early scientific era when we have very limited information but enough to know that at face value distant starlight seems to require much more age than the Bible's 6000 years (as of the 2000s AD).

 

I believe there are many different factors in God's decision, but one occured to me recently that I haven't seen anyone ever say.

 

That is to demonstrate a large number, so that he could make a comparison to the number of the stars when giving Abraham a prophecy of how numerous his descendants would be, and for others to understand how vast the numbers of humans would be. This is one of the most common uses of the idea of the stars in the Bible.

 

It often accompanies another comparison to the sand on the seashore. This gives me the idea that this may be a factor in why God created our world with atoms, molecules, and the possibility of larger particles like sand, versus making something more abstract like a computer simulation. Just as evolution is a popular myth now that confuses Christians, there was a powerful myth in biblical times and even with surviving traces today that matter is evil, while only the 'heavenly' is good (though those who put this forward have no answer for what the heavenly is like or whether it, too, is made of particles). Thus it puzzled many why God did make a universe with matter.

 

Of course, the truth is that demonic powers will encourage the corruption of any part of creation, no matter what its design; if God had made a video-game-style universe, people could concoct the claim that that is evil. Or if God had not made anything besides our solar system, people could say that the universe could only be about a week old, and any apparent memories to the contrary are merely part of the first night's dreams.

 

In any case, what I like about this answer is that it incorporates actual Scripture rather than just speculation.

 

Once we consider that God decided to make numerous "particles" both tiny and massive -- atoms and stars, photons and galaxies -- the vast distances become necessary because long-burning sources of light such as stars require that much space, thereabouts, or else we would burn up from the concentrated heat.

 

Another idea I have had takes into account that we were not supposed to sin and die, but we were supposed to reproduce.

 

All Genesis tells us is that we are to "fill the Earth." It does not tell us whether God would cease reproduction, under the original system, once Earth is filled.

 

Now that the Fall did happen, we apparently know from a revelation of Jesus that at the New Creation, reproduction will stop. It's possible that under the new system, once Earth is basically filled, that will be the end of this creation -- we're nowhere near there yet, but much closer than at the time of Adam, and most of the easily fillable land is populated. (We don't know exactly how "fill" is defined, though, so there is room for a mystery about the exact date of the end. Science should enable tons more expansion, for example into floating oceanic cities and the like.)

 

If we take as a premise that under the originally perfect system, God would NOT cease reproduction at that point, then it is quite possible with eternal lifespans that we could travel to the stars. All that would be needed would to make a spacecraft that could contain enough supplies to last for the first journey and a long time after landing on another planet to serve as a colony, with terraforming technology to make the new world eventually habitable (possibly after a long time of sending out intersteller probes). Presumably this would be quite within our means; there would be no need for faster-than-light travel technically, although who knows what sort of technology would be possible with perfect minds and the possibility of common miracles.

 

Even if he did cease reproduction, I think it would be inevitable that we would want to explore and possibly terraform, just so we would have more room to be creative. Eventually everybody could own their own terraformed planet or multiple terraformed planets. Possibly it would take incredibly long times to travel between them, but it would be possible.

 

A problem with that, of course, is that once you leave Earth, you're opening up the risk of death. We don't know how protective the original created system was, but presumably God would not allow us to do anything that he would not agree to give us protection for, including possibly miraculous protection. Since we would not be at odds with him due to sin, there would be no reason for him to withhold miraculous protection from us, even from the deadly nothingness of space.

 

I think another -- very obvious -- purpose of stars is just that God is highly creative.

 

He seems to like to watch vast numbers of possibilities play out. I know I would if I were him. Give me the option to make a tiny universe with one star and a few planets, or a vast universe filled with galaxies full of stars, and there would be no question I'd choose the latter.

 

Now, of course another purpose of stars is directly stated in Genesis; to give more light to the Earth at night. They are also helpful with navigation at sea, among countless other uses. Plus, they give us something to use our minds studying for enjoyment. The list really can go on and on.

 

 

Tennis Takes Two

Posted by bonesiii on August 15, 2012 at 12:45 AM Comments comments (0)

CMI had a good article today that sums up why this conversation has stalled, Robert:


http://creation.com/anyone-for-tennis


Thus far I have explained in detail why your argument fails. But you have apparently rejected my explanations, apparently for no other reason than fear of people knowing that you were wrong. It's okay to admit you were wrong. :) It happens. :)


Or, if you do think you're right, please engage in the conversation and explain why so. Otherwise, it will be plain to all that it is you who is "running" and dodging. So please go back to the article and look up the questions I asked that you did not answer, and answer them. :) Show us that the truth is what you care about.



Following the “tennis” rule, in addition to (and for some, to remind you of) my previous questions, here are some I think you would agree are directly relevant. They're not trick questions; honest disagreement is fine, but I would want to know your reasons for it. :) And if you must cite official definitions, that's fine, but it must be -in addition to- your own words, that any English-speaking layman can understand. To show that you actually understand what you are citing.


1 - Did thought go into the forming of the Goliath argument's major & minor premises?

 

2 - Is it fair to describe logic as the study of thought? How about my wording of the study of reliable and unreliable ways of thought?


3 - Are you a logician? By this I mean the plain English term, as with myself, as someone who attempts to practice only valid and sound logic always, to seek the truth honestly. Someone who always adopts a calm, objective point of view when analyzing things. Not your common mistake of pretending that only people with official sounding titles can be logicians. :)


4 - Are you a logician by your own apparent definition? And what is that definition?


5 - Are you engaging in the Proof by Verbosity (or intimidation) fallacy? Described on Wikipedia as “giving an argument loaded with jargon and appeal to obscure results, so that the audience is simply obliged to accept it, lest they have to admit their ignorance and lack of understanding.[1]” Full paragraph here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Proof_by_verbosity


6 - May stipulations be fairly (soundly) rejected? If not, why not? (Plain English, remember.)


7 - Can refusing to answer the other person's questions as you have been doing be fairly called “obfuscating”?




Here are more, with the same “tennis rule” and plain English rules as in the previous post:


8 - Do you claim that your stipulative definitions are “correct or incorrect”, or do you agree that the purpose of stipulations is merely to define terms in an argument and therefore not to comment on their correctness or incorrectness? I'll make it easy on you; see here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stipulative_definition (please read the whole article).


9 - Do you agree that an answer of “yes” to your stipulation forms (a through d) does NOT indicate agreement with the definitions but merely recognition that the arguer in question defined them that way? (As you know, I ask because you have twisted my words in ways laymen might not spot before.)


10 - Do you agree with me that you did not choose the ideal definitions for those terms; for example, in normal terms 100 is not a 'few', but 6 may be fairly called a few? If you disagree, explain why.


11 - Wouldn't it be wise to choose normal, mutually agreed-on definitions for the words? If the argument is of any actual value, it should function with normal definitions that the people whose argument you are attempting to refute agree to (such as the distinction between origins science about the past and operational science in the present). Yes?


12 - Do you believe that without a time machine or without the word of the all-knowing, beyond-time God of the Bible we can accurately know the age of any object, considering that the past is gone, and all we have to study is the present?


13 - Do you agree that if we find the most sound scientific conclusion, and the most hermeneutically sound interpretation of the Bible, and if these two match, we have found the most reliable indicator of truth? (For example, the knowledge confirmed by both science and the Bible that the Earth is (roughly) spherical.)


14 - Do you acknowledge that Answers in Genesis supports time dilation as one possible biblical model, thus allowing some objects to have ages in their own relativistic reference frames much longer than six-thousand years? By much longer I mean spanning up to billions of years for the most distant stars.


15 - Do you understand that all mainstream “young Earth” creationists support time dilation, like Answers in Genesis?


16 - Do you agree that since the popular-young-earth-creation-science movement accepts time dilation, the Goliath argument does not accurately depict their views as believing no object can be measured as older than about six thousand years? In other words, do you concede that your argument is essentially irrelevant to the mainstream creationist position? That it is really just a Straw Man? See here about that fallacy: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Straw_man


17 - If you dodge my questions, you could be fairly described as “hiding” or “running”. Yes?



Here's two more questions for you. :) Same rules as in the previous posts.


18 – Do you agree that we can first be convinced with sound, logical reasoning that the Bible is the word of the infinite, all-knowing, beyond-time God who is Holy and Love and cannot lie, second apply the standard rules of the languages it was originally written in (hermeneutics) to figure out its intended meaning, and third thus humbly accept that meaning as true, and test all human claims by it? (I do; this is why we are not really just assuming on blind faith, but knowing from sound faith.)


19 – Do you agree that it is actually 'old Earth creationists' who blindly accept the unproven claims of atheists and secularists in many ways (sometimes arbitrarily rejecting some while accepting others), and thus have their own interpretation which they bring -to- their reading of the Bible, thus are using an illogical approach? (I am convinced this is the case.)



I look forward to your answers. :) If you don't answer, then it would seem you are afraid that people will notice that your argument is contradictory...


Which is okay. It happens to the best of us, and we can simply admit it and move on. :)



Previous entries:

http://bonesiiitruthseeker.webs.com/apps/blog/show/17924435-giant-pickle-

http://bonesiiitruthseeker.webs.com/apps/blog/show/17967479-time-dilation-aig

http://bonesiiitruthseeker.webs.com/apps/blog/show/17968146-broken-chain

http://bonesiiitruthseeker.webs.com/apps/blog/show/17992485-earthframe-time

http://bonesiiitruthseeker.webs.com/apps/blog/entries/show/18000494-love-is-the-answer-



[Update: Robert did respond. ^_^ That's a good sign. Here is my preliminary reply:]




Thanks for the reply! New series of questions:


1 - “Do you believe that without a time machine or without the word of the all-knowing, beyond-time God of the Bible we can accurately know the age of any object, considering that the past is gone, and all we have to study is the present?” “Baty replies: Yes!”


Please explain how. Give us some examples. How could we know?


2 - “Do you agree that if we find the most sound scientific conclusion, and the most hermeneutically sound interpretation of the Bible, and if these two match, we have found the most reliable indicator of truth? (For example, the knowledge confirmed by both science and the Bible that the Earth is (roughly) spherical.)” “Baty replies: Yes, but I'm not so sure your example is a necessarily good example of that.”


Thanks for the agreement in principle at least. :) As to the example, why not?


3 - “Do you acknowledge that Answers in Genesis supports time dilation as one possible biblical model, thus allowing some objects to have ages in their own relativistic reference frames much longer than six-thousand years? By much longer I mean spanning up to billions of years for the most distant stars.”


“Baty replies: That's an interesting subject we can discuss if it becomes relevant, and you will be welcome to document your effort to get Ken Ham to tell you what position he holds as to time dilation today, August 14, 2012, or later, at that time.”


You demonstrate once again that you dodge the tough questions. If you seriously doubt this, feel free to send in a feedback question. :)


4 - “Do you understand that all mainstream 'young Earth' creationists support time dilation, like Answers in Genesis?”


“Baty replies: I heard you are really deep into science fiction, and it is my position that what Ken Ham and mainstream YEC folks like him propose is science fiction; with hopes of making it into something more.”


What about it do you disagree with? The possibility that God used miracles? The existence of gravitational time dilation? The universe's expansion? Evolution itself can sound like science fiction. Besides, you know the difference between fiction and worldviews.


5 - “Do you agree that since the popular-young-earth-creation-science movement accepts time dilation, the Goliath argument does not accurately depict their views as believing no object can be measured as older than about six thousand years? In other words, do you concede that your argument is essentially irrelevant to the mainstream creationist position? That it is really just a Straw Man? See here about that fallacy: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Straw_man”


“Baty replies: No! That will be made clear at such time as you might successfully complete the  exercise.”


Why do you answer no?


Anyways, I have shown clearly why you are wrong to answer no; you did misrepresent the mainstream view. Your strategy now appears to be to simply not admit you were wrong, even though it's plain you were. I get that. It can be hard to overcome pride. It can be your own worst enemy. And practice helps (and especially the Holy Spirit! ^_^)


My answers are that the first and second premises are both false, for reasons I have explained. :) And the conclusion cannot be relied on (is probably false). You may fill those into your forms. And your second two stipulations are not reasonable by normal English, nor would mainstream creationists accept them easier. You are clearly trying to persuade by emotion rather than sound logic, overusing jargon, and directing attention away from the weakest parts of your argument.


Thanks for engaging in the conversation. Most of the rest of your answers show you to be very self-contradictory, as you denied that you doing the same things you accused me of would deserve the labels you applied. They are here:


http://groups.yahoo.com/group/Maury_and_Baty/message/28275


Thinking people can read them and judge for themselves. No doubt many will emotionally side with you – and some may logically point out actual errors in my reasoning too. :) But I'm fine with that. I'm a truthseeker, and I know there are others out there. ^_^


Now as far as your exercise goes, I think I see one way to move on, at least a little. You gave answers that were not just yes/no. As I requested, and I thank you for that. :)


6 - Do you promise to always quote my exact answers, by only copying and pasting them, to your stipulation form, so that we can proceed – and never to reword it as you've been doing repeatedly? (For example, you keep adding exclamation points and the like that I did not use.)


I'm not demanding you do this, as I said earlier. But a promise on this would definitely show that you are making a good faith effort at a real conversation here, not just trolling. A refusal would imply that you do intentionally misrepresent people's positions.


7 - I'm also curious, which forms that you use deal with how we can tell whether the first premise is true or false? We need to be able to tell, since the premises must be true to reach a true conclusion. I've explained my basic thinking on it. Let's hear yours. :)


8 - Do atheists mix their religious beliefs with their science?


9 - Do they have faith?


10 - Is their faith blind?


Hopefully he will remain engaged in the conversation. ^_^


We will be able to tell more, of course, once that book-to-article series is completed (though we already know AiG accepts the possibility of time dilation). But hopefully we can progress in a truthseeking discussion in the meantime. Unfortunately Robert's answers show him to be very contradictory, as I suspected. At the root of this appears to be an assumption that he sticks to dogmatically that he simply IS right, and thus cannot be proven wrong -- even if he has been proven wrong. He doesn't seem able to see it.


But we'll see. This is a normal pattern; I've seen it many times before, and people can and do repent of it. Many have done so in response to my attempts to help them.:) I pray that God will convict him of the sin of pride and that he will rely on the Spirit's guidance more. ^_^ I especially hope he will come to realize that God's word is trustworthy, especially in comparison with atheistic/secularistic scientists, who have been proven wrong over and over. :)


One useful thing to add for the record is of course that even atheists can help us learn more about God's creation. I think most people are trying to do the right thing in this life, but so many are lost apart from Christ, and compromising has only driven more and more away. We need to get serious about trusting God's word and spreading the gospel, before it is too late.


Robert has demonstrated that antagonism has infected even members of churches (as we've seen throughout history and often warned of in the Bible), and that it seems to be connected to the rejection of the plain meaning of God's Word, as we would expect. I hope he and others like him will realize this and allow God to help them to overcome the original sin of pride someday. I know he can do it, because he's done it for me and for many others. ^_^




[Update2: Immediately after my second round of questions he dropped back into not answering, insulting, and misrepresenting (or perhaps somewhat innocently misundertanding :)) again:


http://groups.yahoo.com/group/Maury_and_Baty/message/28285

http://groups.yahoo.com/group/Maury_and_Baty/message/28286


A key part of that is this: "the Earth and/or some things on it are actually much older than 10,000 years and we can so determine from evidence and its interpretation independent of 'the text'."


But Robert, you know full well I've been saying all along that taking God's Word (or anything) off the table for consideration is NOT good truthseeking. No, I reject that stipulation. I do appreciate the attempt, though. This was actually a point I was hoping all along you would make (took you a long time though :P).


My answer to this is pretty simple. When lava rock of known age had been dated, they read millions of years of dates too. But they throw these out as errors and blame it on heat and the like. Why? Because there were reliable eyewitnesses who know the rock is young. Likewise, God has (by prophecies, Jesus' resurrection, etc.) proven himself to be a reliable eyewitness too. In reality, scientists do not really believe the assumption you are trying to promote. What they do reject is God (the atheists and secularists who drive the 'science' that you have bought into to based on their worldview assumptions and pride fallacies, etc.). They arbitrarily (and illogically, clearly wrongly) reject him as a reliable witness. OECs don't seem to realize that this is where the old Earth ideas are coming from.


However, note my possible disagreement with mainstream creationists on Days 1-2 (at least as possibilities I'm open to). Hermeneutically I do think the strongest case is that they were all six days, though. If any were longer, Jesus could have simply said so. (And if those two -were- longer, probably only by a few hours anyways.) CMI also has a very insightful article talking about other words the Bible could have used for long ages, here:


http://creation.com/how-long-were-the-days-of-genesis-1


So mainstream creationists do think that the Earth only experienced six normal days in time length during the creation week. You are correct on that point.


Here is what I said to him yesterday, probably final for a while:]


“They have suggested that I take on Ken Ham, et al, directly. Alas, such folks as Ken Ham 'hide' from folks like me and the admissions they would be compelled to make if they 'came out'.” (Quote from Robert.)


You know full well that creationists have debunked the reasoning you relied on to form your arguments time and time again; I've shown you much of it. Instead of a healthy acknowledgement of this, you just say things like “but he hasn't affirmed it again today.” By that logic all the people you cite and rely on would be thrown out too.


Ultimately this discussion has indeed proved useful to me as well. You come away still willing to pretend you got the conclusion you always intended to pretend (as I thought you would) – despite your reasoning being clearly debunked, you showed a seeming inability to understand why it had been disproved.


I've noticed this kind of blindness often among opponents of biblical creationists. They exhibit poor thinking skills, and worse, they go around congratulating themselves on how much smarter they are. How wise you are in your own eyes!


Your core problem is that you base everything on a devotion to stubborn pride.


It's all about trying to avoid the horrible fate of having to admit you were wrong about something. (I know because I've been there, before I accepted Jesus [and committed to "living by the Spirit" re: Galatians ^_^].) You've fit the pattern exactly. People like that spend all their time hunting for 'thought crimes'. A new idea is a sin to them. A different idea, a strange idea, an uncommon idea, etc. All wrong in such people's eyes. Only accepted orthodoxy... except for Darwin of course, he gets a pass.


Often they will give lip service to free thought while condemning actual free thought. They think that if they can achieve an emotional reaction, or construct a sentence containing an insult, it proves they won the argument.

 

They will tend to think that in order to be logical, they must overuse jargon and the like to impress people, and yet when logical principles would bring flaws in their arguments into focus, they contradictorily reject that part of logic.They don't spend enough time learning to be logical to become adept at it. They often won't commit to always using only sound reasoning (as I do, which is why I call myself a logician), leaving open the possibility that they are intentionally using fallacious reasoning.

 

And above all, once they say something, they are locked into stubbornly defending it no matter what, even on the smallest trivial details and wordings. Even constructive criticisms to improve such details are treated as offensive.


Truthseekers on the other hand are comfortable admitting flaws where they exist, imagining all kinds of possibilities, etc. We are able to engage with maturity in a polite, friendly discussion, without hunting for things to get offended about.

 

And we are thus better able to find good solutions, even on the mundane and trivial things. I notice this in myself compared to others who aren't as adept at truthseeking all the time [or how the old me who is now dead was, compared to the new me who is alive in Christ]. I will tend to easily find the best way to do things practically while most people who are more steeped in stubbornness like you will often apparently never even think to look for a better way or will stop halfway. So I apply that successful strategy to everything, including truthseeking about origins, and I find it yields answers and possibilities that make sense, as well as many other interesting lines of thought.

 

And I have said before that I observe the sorts of illogical behavior I've described mostly in opponents of biblical creation, but logical, honest, truthseeking attitudes (and loving, etc.) among biblical Christians. Sadly it seems often to hold true even of compromising Christians in far too many cases, and you have unfortunately shown yourself to be a case in point. This is yet another strong evidence that biblical Christianity is true; we are more logical in general. There -are- exceptions, but this is the general rule I have honestly observed [it's worth adding that I believe the exceptions are simply Christians who have compromised on different subjects, especially on love -- all this bad stuff comes around to compromise in different ways]. Many others have noticed this as well.

 

The basic problem between these two comes down to bias among opponents. Biblical creationists tend to arrive at our conclusions based on honest objectivity, while opponents (since they are wrong) cannot have truly open minds if they have their minds emotionally made up based in stubborn pride. They confuse their own stubborn bias, which causes them to successfully fail to admit when they are wrong, with being proven right [this is why real truthseekers cannot trust the judgements of those who demonstrate "by their fruit" that they are intensely prideful; they are steeped in bias and cannot fairly understand others]. Likewise with fallacious appeals to majorities or flawed authorities (like courts, who do not determine biblical truth, as you well know, and are also prone to bias)[, showing that they are not actually skilled in logic themselves, or not enough]

 

And in order to defend their position, the prideful usually need to construct Straw Men to tear down, so they can further convince themselves that they 'won.' (Since fairly tearing down the actually logical reasoning we really use is probably impossible, due to our conclusions being true.)

 

What they usually don't realize, something I have always noticed, is that when a person such as this constructs a Straw Man, they are typically not very imaginative. (After all, if they were more imaginative they might imagine other possibilities besides the ones they cling to.) So they usually only look so far as their own “secret” sins, the things their subconscious tells them they are wrong on but that they ignore, and try to hide. The idea usually seems to be that if they accuse their opponents of something, everybody will assume that it couldn't possibly be true of the accuser [we could call this part of it Innocent Accuser Fallacy; I call the whole thing Inverse Accusation Fallacy; psychologists call it projection]. And yet, often the details are so outlandish to describe the accused, that it is easy to see that the accuser is really describing themselves.

 

Thus, the details of the Straw Men tend to expose the accuser's own flaws. And you have done this yourself, as your answers to my questions showed. The fundamental Straw Man that you constructed was that we, biblical creationists, are not logical, and make up our own interpretation to bring into the text. When in fact – as biblical creationists have been pointing out all along – it is -you- who are illogical and who make up your own interpretation to bring into the text.

 

Someone referenced on your site accused creationists of switching off our brains. But it's always been my experience that it's stubborn pride that switches off brains. Calm, friendly approaches actually foster [clear] thought. :) I've tried both, so I know. The key is what attitude you have in your heart. Both sides think, but your side thinks poorly because your hearts are not open to honest thought.

 

And the worst part of it is, you are only hurting yourself in doing this. The stubborn prideful make themselves miserable, because they are always in conflict with their own conscience. Yet the calm friendly are aware that there are stubborn people out there, and we tend to learn not to let it upset us, and to maturely realize that it doesn't speak to truth or falsehood of ideas, but rather to attitude problems.

 

I am praying for you that you will see the error of your ways someday.:)

 

I know that pride can be nearly impossible to overcome right away, and I never expected you to do that. But I hope that someday after a lot of honest soul-searching, you will realize that the way of humility and a truly open mind is much better. And then maybe you will graduate upwards to realize why we can trust the Bible's plain meaning! :)

 

 





I prayed a lot about whether I should explain to Robert directly the pattern he has fit into that I have seen in others, and helped many of them see and fix. I touched on some it already, but I felt the Spirit was telling me that he did need a more direct Ezekiel 3 watchman notice, as well as much from Proverbs, Jesus, and Paul. In his case I felt his heart needed a direct explanation of how he 'empirically' fits the pattern of stubborn pridefulness which 'switches off the brain' to some extent.


Many other people directly pointed out this same mistake in me when I was young, and though I directed all kinds of negative emotions towards them at the time, I now know that they were right -- stubborn pride is not good, and I am very grateful they had the guts and cared enough to tell me.


It has become crystal clear that the type of debate he has been using all along is the mudslinging, defensive debate where it's all a game to make him feel confident by insulting all who disagree and the like, because deep down he does know he's wrong, and he needs to do something to "shout down" his conscience (as I 'read' him and based on what I know I was like).


Notice he also makes many appeals to pride, a fallacy I've seen a lot in less skilled thinkers, and in myself back when I was like that. The idea they hope you think it's about (and maybe they honestly do think it) is "come over to my mud puddle, and you'll be more prideful, which is good for some unknown reason". What they don't seem to realize is that emotional transmission pumps pridefulness into their opponents, which only makes them sit down in their own muddles and throw insults back. It all ends up being a giant waste of time for them all, because neither side really had any intention of giving up an inch.


They're so convinced that everybody is really like this, that there are no truthseekers, that they can't recognize them when they see them. Notice how me simply honestly describing myself, in how I define myself as a logician for example (which he likely already knew because I already said it on the "Rules" page here), he thinks is somehow a retreat. Also whenever I acted like a normal truthseeking person, recognizing that he had good points and the like, he took it as me admitting defeat! No, Robert. The whole point of truthseeking is that we suspect we might not have it, or that others might not, and it is to improve and learn and find more truth. Being shown wrong is never a defeat to a real truthseeker, because we simply change our minds and become more right. The truth is that I have gained much out of this conversation, but sadly it appears you have not.


I learned from God in the Bible that true manliness, true maturity, is not about puffing yourself up, or giving into those who do. It's about love and humility. Peace and joy. Get out of the mud puddle and let the Spirit wash you clean!


Love and seek truth. Think clearly. Learn from others. I think all sides on origins have good ideas, and I wish we were all mature enough to discuss it like healthy human beings do all the time on more trivial things. We can all learn from each other if we adopt God's way.


I felt that it would be helpful to try to work with him and see if he would respond to constructive criticism to test whether he was really using the other kind; truthseeking debate, but the only answers he would accept were agreement. As soon as we got to the parts where I disagreed, he locked up again, and has shown his argument to be filled with self-contradictions. And as of now he is still not taking in everything I've said and honestly understanding why it debunks the basic reasoning of OECism; he's only slowly working through little pieces of it out of context.


Ultimately the common advice to not feed a troll does seem to prove true in his case. I've in the past always tried to work forgivingly with trolls to help them see why they are wrong, because the common advice has the one strong downside that it does not help the troll, who is really a misguided, flawed human being like the rest of us, who can find forgiveness and can turn away from pride. Sometimes it works and they eventually admit they were wrong (though outside a context where they had to agree beforehand not to troll in order to post, I find it never happens overnight).


But at this point we've come down to the "answer, don't answer" principle in Proverbs, which Jesus also used on the Pharisees. No doubt in seeing this, to help his pride, Robert may make a show of answering a little more, but he will probably not go all the way. It's become clear that if I answer adopting his strategies, as I experimented with a little and he misrepresented my answer, then refused to promise not to do so again, I would be adopting his folly. So instead I felt that the Spirit wanted me to clearly explain why he was not wise, to answer according to his folly in the way Proverbs does advise. I do think I have given him enough information that his subconscious has already proven to him that he is wrong, and over the rest of his life, his conscience will continue to work on him, I think. It's up to him to listen or ignore it. I have noticed that it is hardest for those who have built up a following by their pride-based arguments to see the light, though, so unfortunately I think Robert will have much to overcome. But I'm praying for him, and again urge everybody else to pray for him, me, and everybody involved. ^_^


Meanwhile, the possibility I'm wrong about any of this remains, so as I said before I'll try to keep reading. There'll likely be some more light shed on this in the coming months, once the current AiG book-to-article series is fully posted. ^_^


[UPDATE as of August 30:]



While the book-to-article series has yet to shed direct light on this (as if that was necessary considering the direct light I already cited, heh), today's article in response to Bill Nye's recent video had a very relevant paragraph that directly debunks the entire Goliath argument:


"Nye’s belief that “billions . . . explains so much” is based on circular reasoning and unverifiable assumptions. God’s Word, however, explains our origins, what we see in the world, and even why we are the intelligent yet sinful creatures we are—all on the authority of the God who has always been here and always tells the truth. Nye claims, “There is no evidence for it”—God’s explanation for what we see. But he is wrong. The evidence affirming God’s explanation is all around us and even beneath our feet in the fossil record (Romans 1:18–20). And it’s also in our conscience (Romans 2:14–16)."


From:


http://www.answersingenesis.org/articles/2012/08/30/bill-nye-crusade-for-your-kids


This is a good example of the sort of clarification I mentioned earlier about AiG's position on presuppositional logic. They do NOT believe in merely assuming and bringing that into things, but rather they, like other mainstream creationists and myself, have looked into these things enough, have had the open minds to do so, and the logic to see that the evidence best fits with the Bible's plain meaning. True science, investigating both the Word and the world, produces clear agreement -- biblical creation is true!


[Final Update! Ken Ham in his blog today just confirmed this question:


"I encourage you to read the book Old-Earth Creationism on Trial, which is available for purchase or online to read."


He then links to the article I already cited which cites Starlight & Time by Humphreys, etc.. Thus, there is no excuse left (for today anyways :P) to claim that AiG no longer supports time dilation. Yes, they do. And specifically Ken Ham. From:

http://blogs.answersingenesis.org/blogs/ken-ham/2012/09/19/why-not-edit-the-bible/

]

Cain's Line Theory

Posted by bonesiii on August 13, 2012 at 9:45 PM Comments comments (0)

While I was researching the question of why we don't (apparently) find pre-Flood ruins, I noticed some things that made me form the following biblical theory and some related sub-theories.


I have often heard that Cain's line died out in the global Flood, so that only Seth's line lived on. But I noticed several clues that this might not be true, and they provide a theory about another mystery -- who are the four wives that were on the Ark?


NOTE: See this page about my preferred spellings for many of these names. I will be using these here, except that well-known common versions will be given in parentheses after them the first time they're used. If I alter the spelling in a Scriptural reference it will be in {} brackets, with any well-known forms if needed in parentheses (all normal brackets in Scripture here are translator's footnotes, from NIV 1984). I will sometimes refer to Cain or his line by the standard spelling here. Bold quotes are from the Bible, bold and italic from sources like Wikipedia and Blue Letter Bible.


The common idea is that we are all only descended from Seth and his wife, and perhaps other sons and daughters (Genesis 5:4) married into the line, not from Kayin's line (Cain). I have never heard any actual support for this; it seems to be treated as an assumption (if anyone does know of support for it please inform me ).


First of all, let's review who survived the global flood (Genesis 7:23):


"Every living thing on the face of the earth was wiped out; men and animals and the creatures that move along the ground and the birds of the air were wiped from the earth. Only Noakh {Noah} was left, and those with him in the ark."


The context tells us that there were four people whose names we know on the ark -- Noakh and his three sons, Shem, Ham, and Yafeth (Noah, Shem, Ham, and Japheth) -- and each of their wives, who are not named. We are also given the genealogies for the four men (Genesis 5), but not for the four women.


That is... it appears, at first glance, that we are not given the womens' genealogies.


And yet, oddly we are given a genealogy for the descendants of Kayin. If his line really did die out, this would seem somewhat pointless, though possible. Here it is, with a bit of context that'll come into this (Genesis 4:15b-26):


"Then the Lord put a mark on {Kayin} so that no one who found him would kill him. So {Kayin} went out from the Lord’s presence and lived in the land of Nod, [Nod means wandering] east of Eden. {Kayin} lay with his wife, and she became pregnant and gave birth to {Enokh "Cainson" (Enoch)}. {Kayin} was then building a city, and he named it after his son {Enokh}. To {Enokh} was born Irad, and Irad was the father of {Mehuyael}, and {Mehuyael} was the father of Methushael, and Methushael was the father of {Lamekh "Cainline" (Lamech)}.


{Lamekh} married two women, one named Adah and the other Zillah. Adah gave birth to {Yabal}; he was the father of those who live in tents and raise livestock. His brother’s name was {Yuval}; he was the father of all who play the harp and flute. Zillah also had a son, {Tubal Kayin}, who forged all kinds of tools out of [Or who instructed all who work in] bronze and iron. {Tubal Kayin}’s sister was Naamah.


{Lamekh} said to his wives,


'Adah and Zillah, listen to me;

    wives of {Lamekh}, hear my words.

I have killed [Or I will kill] a man for wounding me,

    a young man for injuring me.

If {Kayin} is avenged seven times,

    then {Lamekh} seventy-seven times.'


Adam lay with his wife again, and she gave birth to a son and named him Seth, [Seth probably means granted] saying, 'God has granted me another child in place of {Hevel (Abel)}, since {Kayin} killed him.' Seth also had a son, and he named him Enosh.


At that time men began to call on [Or to proclaim] the name of the Lord."


There are many interesting points to this.


First, note that it's highly unlikely the reference to Seth's birth and his son Enosh are chronological with all of Cain's line being born first.


I suspect that the "then" in the line "{Kayin} was then building a city" and the "at that time" after the reference to Enosh means that the calling on the name of the Lord began when Cain was building the city. This calling is often thought to mean simply that some people were beginning to repent of their sins and put faith in God to save them, in a Hebrews 11 style of faith.


After that, it's obvious that the writer felt a reason to give more detail about Lamekh and his son, and to group this with the mention of Cain and his son Enokh, thus to also include Lamekh's patriarchal genealogy. I get the impression that most people think it is merely to show how violent the world had been then, and to show how intelligent the people were, already working with metal for example.


It makes sense that these are reasons this was done. But we should not blindly assume that they are the only reasons.


The most striking clue I see here is this sentence, which by the standard theory seems pointlessly tacked on: "{Tubal Kayin}’s sister was Naamah."


Now if this line died out, what possible purpose could there be in giving us this random woman's name?


We aren't given any details about her. It seems to imply that the people at the time this was written knew full well who she was, thus it was too common of knowledge to bother including. The Bible does often refer to extrabiblical sources, especially when referring to the annals of the Kings of Israel. These references do not elevate those sources to Scripture but merely confirm that the details being mentioned are for the most part accurate. It may be that this was intended as a reference to folk knowledge that was not written down.


Notice also that the only details we are given about what anybody in Cain's line did productively are that Kayin built a city (presumably in Nod, east of Eden), and these three:


"{Yabal}; he was the father of those who live in tents and raise livestock"


"{Yuval}; he was the father of all who play the harp and flute"


"{Tubal Kayin}, who forged all kinds of tools out of bronze and iron"


Now why would the mention of "Enokh City" be included?


That one seems pretty easy. Perhaps it was always the biggest city or even the only major city. And perhaps Noah and his family simply lived there prior to the Flood.


For the others, it does seem strange if the line died out, that these three would be the only significant inventors in all the pre-Flood history. For the first two, it seems to make sense as they are called fathers (probably in the same sense that we call Mendel the father of modern genetics). Perhaps the brothers Yabal and Yuval were unusually inventive. But we are not told that Tubal Kayin was the inventor of forging, merely that he forged.


Also, some think that the use of Kayin with Tubal is a title, referring to a job of metalworking. Given also that Kayin himself built a city, perhaps Kayin invented metalworking as part of that construction, and his name became a title for that job. Thus, Kayin would be the inventor of metalworking and Tubal merely someone who worked at that job. If this is right, then why bother to mention his job?


Thus the purpose does not seem to be to list the three most important inventors, and if depicting violence and inventiveness were the only purposes, I would expect at least a few other examples.


Yet, it would make sense to list just these three if these were the three areas of expertise that were continued after the Flood.


Notice the tense (at least in the translation) of the "father" statements as well:


"{Yabal}; he was the father of those who live in tents and raise livestock"


"{Yuval}; he was the father of all who play the harp and flute"


"{Tubal Kayin}, who forged all kinds of tools out of bronze and iron"


Only with Tubal Kayin is it in the past tense. The other two say that they were the father of all who do these things even in the present.


And notice the interesting math here. We have three generations that are placed right at the end of the Flood.


In the earliest of these three final generations, we have Lamekh "Sethline" (Genesis 5:25-31), and perhaps we also have, at the same time, Lamekh "Cainline".


In the next proposed generation, we have five people. There is Noakh in Seth's line, and in Cain's there is the woman named Naamah and her brother and half-brothers.


Then in the final generation, we know there are three sons of Noakh; Shem, Ham, and Yafeth.


The math does not appear to immediately match up. But what if the purpose of mentioning the three sons of Lamekh Cainline are not really about those men at all, but about daughters born to them? What if the implication here is that the sons of Noakh married daughters of Lamekh Cainline?


That would put the math like this, for the final two generations:


Noakh & Naamah


Noakh's three sons & three granddaughters of Lamekh Cainline.


With that idea, the numbers match up. So the theory is that the purpose of mentioning Naamah is that she was Noakh's wife, and Shem, Ham, and Yafeth married her nieces. Noakh's sons may have learned the trades mentioned from their fathers-in-law, and that would explain why those trades live on in the post-Flood world. (Again, we aren't specifically told here that metalworking lived on, but we know from other historical sources that it did.)


This might seem unlikely at first, because the common assumption is that Cain's line was ungodly, and Seth's line was godly. And this may very well be, but it's also possible that Noakh and his sons had nobody else to choose from. But I suspect it's not that simple. Notice the parallels in the names of the two genealogies.


In the case of the two Lamekhs, if my theory is right, they probably were born around the same time. There are also the two Enokhs. And several of the "M" names are similar. In Cain's line, there's Mehuyael and Methusael, and in Seth's line there is Mahalalel and Methuselah.


Notice also the use of "el" in those two names in Cain's line. They come in the third and fourth generations after Enokh. If I'm right that the calling on the name of the Lord began during Enokh Cainline's time, this makes sense. Irad might be one who turned to the Lord, and named his son Mehuyael accordingly, who passed that on to his son Methusael.


The two genealogies are not the same in length. One is Kayin, Enokh "Cainline", Irad, Mehuyael, Methusael, Lamekh "Cainline", and Yabal & siblings. That's seven generations. The other is Seth, Enosh, Kainan, Mahalalel, Yared, Enokh "Sethline", Methuselah, Lamekh "Sethline", Noakh, and Shem & siblings. That's ten. A fairly big difference.


But, if my theory is right, then Cain's line is strongly implied to be at least eight generations, counting granddaughters of that Lamekh.


Genesis 5 also gives a wide range of different ages for when the men of Seth's line fathered the male children who then went on to father the others in Noakh's genealogy. They range from 65 in Enokh Sethline's case to 187 in his son Methuselah's case. It's possible that in Cain's line, the times were longer, at least for Lamekh Cainline's genealogy.


Why might that be? Well, Kayin probably married one of his sisters prior to the murder of Hevel. After that, he is clearly afraid that others will be antagonistic to him. If he thinks they will want to kill him, how likely is it they will want to give his sons and grandsons daughters? Not likely. The daughters of the other sons and daughters of Adam were likely married to the sons in any other line besides Cain's.


So perhaps Enokh Cainline could only marry his sister, a daughter of Kayin. That would take longer. The same could be true of Irad. Especially if Enokh failed to produce a daughter.


Now, who is more likely to be forgiving? Those who follow God.


Who was most likely to be following God in the Pre-Flood world? We can't rule out the other unnamed lines, but it certainly seems that Seth's line must be the most godly, since by the time of Noakh, only he and his family were left of the godly.


And since God gave protection to Kayin, forgiving him, who is likely to want to turn to God? Kayin, or someone in his line.


Perhaps Kayin himself did repent, although it does seem unlikely.


Or perhaps Enokh or Irad were having trouble finding wives, so they "converted". Whether genuine or faked, it would be far too much of a stretch to theorize. But it does seem likely that they might find wives from Seth's line.


Intermarriage at that time, perhaps in Yared's generation, would explain why the earlier name of Enokh, obviously known by that time to be associated not just with Kayin's son but with Kayin's city, would be given to the Enokh of Seth's line -- the one who walked with God and then was "God took him away" (which many think means he did not experience physical death). The conversion would explain the names of the next generation in Cain's line.


If we count backwards, the timeline roughly seems to match:


Noakh marries Naamah.


Lamekh and Lamekh's fathers may have been friends or allies to wish to name their sons the same, perhaps one after the other.


Methuselah may take up more time, but he's roughly at the time of Methusael. Notice the close similarity.


Enokh Sethline goes with Mehuyael.


Prior to that then is Irad and Yared. Again notice the similarity.


Prior to that is Enokh Cainline, who may span the Seth line generations of (still going backwards) Mahalalel, Kainan, and Enosh.


Notice also that Kayin seems especially happy to have a son. Yet we know he had a wife. We don't really know he was married prior to killing Hevel, so it's possible it was he who had trouble getting a wife due to his crime, and he who spanned several generations prior to this.


Perhaps Kayin himself could only get a wife from the generations of either Enosh, Kainan, or Mahalalel, because only a woman from Seth's line was forgiving enough. We can probably eliminate Enosh's generation, since the calling began after he was born. That gives two generations to find a wife for Kayin. Or it may be Enokh who had this trouble and Kayin already had a wife; perhaps she was barren for a while and the celebration of a son comes from that (a common occurance later in the Bible).


But I do think it is likely that Kayin's wife may have come from the generation of Kainan, perhaps a sister of Kainan, both of Enosh. Why build a city if you're just one tiny family that is widely reviled? It's possible, but it seems nearly as likely or maybe more so that he was also celebrating a whole familial alliance between his and Seth's line.


If this is right, then the two lines run like this, with pairings indicating people who bore their named sons in the same approximate generation (not reflecting when these people were born) -- Cain's line second in any pairing:


Adam


Seth


Enosh


Kainan & Kayin (yet again notice the name similarity, perhaps meaning that Enosh is likely to be the one who forgave Kayin and allowed him to marry one of his daughters, making Kainan the brother-in-law of Kayin, perhaps named partly in honor of this)


Mahalalel & Enokh Cainson (perhaps the name similarity to Enosh is in thanks to Enosh for allowing Kayin to marry)


Yared & Irad


Enokh Sethline & Mehuyael


Methuselah & Methusael


Lamekh Sethline & Lamekh Cainline (likely a split began here due to the Cainline one's ungodliness, explaining the loss of name similarities in the next generation, but the tradition of intermarriage may remain)


Noakh & Naamah (plus Yabal, Yuval, & Tubal Kayin)


Noakh's sons & probably the daughters of Yabal & bros.


Interestingly it all matches up well, with some exceptions like the second Enokh, and yet there are likely explanations for those as well (thus not "patches" since they have other evidence, though admittedly it's extremely loose).


It may merely be that Kayin was celebrating that he would still have descendants despite being reviled, however, and if he had already married before killing Hevel this does make sense. His son may have later married into Seth's line, thus starting the alliance and the reason for a city. So the theorizing gets fuzzy here and there are a number of scenarios that may make sense and would need more analysis if possible.


But the point of this is, I think these two lines were likely intermarrying long before Nhoakh and his sons.


Why?


Well, we are told that Lamekh Cainline is very violent and has two wives. Yet Noah is said to be godly, the only godly person left. He didn't kill anyone, and he had one wife. He also certainly didn't brag that he killed anyone. The idea that their lines would intermarry seems absurd at first glance.


We must remember that the state of things at Noah's time does not mean it was always that bad.


More likely godliness was more widespread until then, and God knew that if he did not send the Flood, Noakh's sons or perhaps grandchildren, etc. would be killed, or all fall away, and humanity would become entirely evil. There would be no hope of salvation for any of them; the stage could never be set for Jesus to come. And likely they would all destroy themselves eventually, especially if they unlocked modern technology later on.


A note on that last point is that the lifespans dropped considerably only after the Flood. It's theorized that something happened (I think I know what, but that's a theory for another time) as part of the Flood itself to cause that. It's also been pointed out that humans living close to a thousand years old could become extremely knowledgeable about science even while being very evil. A shorter lifespan tends to limit the effectiveness of the study of physics by evil people as they do not as easily calmly analyze things and spend a lot of time in violence that good people may spend in study.


If those theories are right, then without a Flood people's lifespans would probably continue to be very long, shortening much more gradually, and might not have reached our lifespans until much later. People would have been more able to learn the deeper physics such as how to make nuclear bombs and who knows what manner of torture and horrors. The lost today often think of the Flood as a cruel act by God, but when you think it through, it's clear he waited until the last possible moment when if he did not act, humanity would be utterly lost forever.


But even if there was godliness spread more around prior to Noah, why would he marry anyone connected to Lamekh?


Simple. If the intermarriage began much earlier, it would be tradition.


We also know there was such a tradition after the Flood as shown in Abraham's time, which may have been passed down from Noakh.


And it may be Lamekh Cainline himself who represented the end of godliness in his line. Gone is the use of el in names, in either line.


We should also not assume that Noah himself would be considered unusually godly today. He may have merely been the one who was not too far gone, who would listen to God's call, but he may have been relatively sinful. Keep in mind that although he is called blameless (Genesis 6:9), it is tempered by the words following it:


"Noah was a righteous man, blameless among the people of his time, and he walked with God."


This may mean that in comparison he was righteous. Also, the walked with God tells me that he was not merely a good legalist, but that he had a saving faith, a trust that God would save him, similar to many others mentioned as such in Hebrew 11. He was looking forward to the Savior, though he did not know Jesus' name, in other words. But he likely did compromise to some extent with his culture.


Considering that, plus the tendency of the godly to be forgiving, and the more practical concern that his sons needed wives, it makes sense he would go back to an old familial alliance with Cain's line to fulfill that need. It's possible even without the previous intermarriage part of the theory in fact, though the name similarities seem to make that part likely, to me.


Now since so much of this is about names, I think it's important to include the meanings of the names as far as they are known.


The source for most of this is Wikipedia. Where it does not give the meaning, I went to Wiktionary or Blue Letter Bible and noted it. They're paired as above to help see if the pairings have any additional evidence, but before looking them up I do not expect to find much beyond the obvious ones like Methuselah and Methusael; what I suspect is that making names sound similar, while their meanings were unique to the individual, was a way of signalling an alliance or friendship between the parents. Still, similarities in the meanings would bolster the theory even more.


To differentiate, the names in Seth's line are bolded.


Seth – “Placed; appointed... In Genesis 4:25, there is a folk etymology for Seth's name, which derives it from the Hebrew word for 'plant' as in 'plant a seed' (syt). Eve says, 'God has planted another seed, under/replacing Abel's'.”


Enosh – “mortal man”


I should pause here to note that the Enosh page says this:


“The traditional Jewish interpretation of this verse, though, implies that it marked the beginning of idolatry, i.e. that men start dubbing "Lord" things that were mere creatures. This is because the previous generations, notably Adam, had already "begun calling upon the name of the Lord", which forces us to interpret הוחל huchal not as "began" but as the homonym "profanated". In this light, Enosh suggests the notion of a humanity (Enoshut) thinking of itself as an absolute rather than in relation to God (Enosh vs. Adam).”


Although in a very different way, this would perhaps help explain how Cain's and Seth's lines would be more likely to intermarry, and the rather unflattering meaning given to Enosh. Perhaps Kayin started it and tempted others into it, as part of his strategy to get a wife.


Kainan – “possession; smith”

Kayin (born before Seth) – “spear” (from the Curse and mark of Cain page) or “Blacksmith” (from the Lamekh page under Tubal Kayin), also “Cain sounds like the Hebrew for brought forth or acquired” (footnote to Genesis 4:1)


Now that's interesting. Obviously Kainan was born much later, so probably Kayin invented metalworking first and that meaning of smith could have been a prophecy or decision that Kainan would work as a smith for Kayin, as part of the proposed deal with Enosh, perhaps involving idolatry, or a turning towards godly forgiveness, or something else entirely.


Mahalalel – "praise of God” (Blue Letter)

Enokh Cainline (same meaning in both lines) – "dedicated” (Blue Letter)


Yared – “descent or to descend”

Irad – “its meaning is unknown and it is assumed that it is a play on the Hebrew word 'Mored' which means Rebelius [sic] in reference to Irad being a part of the 'Bad Seeds' of Cain's blood. Irad is also a Persian name meaning 'desire'.” So says Wikipedia, but Blue Letter disagrees: "fleet"


Enokh Sethline (same meaning in both lines) – "dedicated” (Blue Letter)

Mehuyael – "smitten by God" (Blue Letter)


Methuselah – “'Man of the dart/spear', or alternatively 'his death shall bring'”

Methusael – "who is of God"


Lamekh Sethline (same in both lines) – “Pauper”

(Other Lamekh)

Adah (of unknown descent) – “Ornament, Dawn”

Zillah (of unknown descent) – “Shadow”


Noakh – “Lamech named him nûaḥ (the final ḥ is a more guttural sound than the English h), saying, 'This same shall comfort us in our work and in the toil of our hands, which cometh from the ground which the LORD hath cursed.'... This connects the future patriarch's name with nāḥam, 'comfort', but it seems better related to the word nûaḥ, meaning 'rest', and is more a play on words than a true etymology.”

Naamah – “Beautiful, Pleasure” Her page adds that some extrabiblical sources do call her the wife of Noakh, or at least that Noakh had a wife by that name, sometimes of a different genealogy. One is said to be of Seth's line, but if my theory is right, they are not two distinct lines anyways, and these traditions may have become confused.

Yabal – “Shepherd”

Yuval – “The ram's horn, Musician, (also) stream”

Tubal Kayin – “[You will] be brought of Cain (not translating Cain), Blacksmith (translating Cain)”


Naham and Naamah are similar in sound, though not so much in meaning.


Note that the three sons of Lamekh fit my theory that two of them invented the lines of work of shepherding and music, and that Kayin invented metalworking. Prior to the inventions of these things they would not have had names, so these three individuals' names may have meant something entirely different until they started what they became famous for. Then, their names could have been used as the words for those jobs.


In Kayin's case “brought forth” looks like the original meaning, especially in light of Eve's statement in Genesis 4:1, and that he was the first child ever. “Spear” may have become a meaning metaphorically after he killed Hevel, or perhaps he made a spear to kill him with, or in general may have been the inventor of spears. Perhaps he originally invented wooden spears, and later invented smithery to improve this. He may have hunted for food, or fish, rather than eating fruit (we don't really know if the eating of meat began prior to the Flood but it's very likely).


In Yuval's case, stream might perhaps be the original meaning, while the other two refer to his starting music, or a type of music, perhaps actually using ram's horns (though that is likely a later meaning from Israel's time).


Shem – "renown; prosperity; name"

Ham – “'hot' or 'burnt'”

Yafeth – "opened" (Blue Letter)


So, there is some evidence there, but it's shaky, and most of it I already mentioned prior to this list.


Something else to consider here is the “sons of God” reference in Genesis 6; the fathers of the “Nephilim” or giants.


Marriage to “daughters of men” is mentioned there. It's sometimes theorized these were actually fallen angels, but also theorized to be descendants of descendents of Seth who were godly. The basic idea of marriages that may have been questionable for some reason fits my theory, but the Seth line idea would reverse the direction, and there's no particular reason to associate “men” with Cain's line specifically. It's possible this refers to something else entirely, especially if the fallen angels theory is true.


However, I do see a possible clue in Genesis 6:1, which says that this happened when men began to increase in number, and daughters were born to them. Clearly, there had to be some daughters originally for men to be increasing in numbers, and Genesis 5 already confirmed that Adam and Khavah had plural daughters. But let's suppose that all of those were taken.


The increasing in number would probably happen after Enosh's birth, around the time of the “calling on the name of the Lord” (or possibly the beginning of idolatry). The same time I theorize Cain's city is built, which means the marriage alliance has begun already under my theory when many more daughters are born.


Perhaps after that first marriage alliance, Kayin's line began to have many daughters, reversing the original trend, and in Seth's line it was mostly sons. Perhaps a sense of irony on God's part. If so, it would turn what might have started out as one act of mercy towards Kayin into a constant temptation for the mostly godly men of Seth's line.


Now, why would their offspring be giants?


Perhaps the explanation is simply in the theory that all involved in this alliance – those in Seth's and Cain's intermarrying lines – lived in Enokh City.


We don't know anything about this city but presumably it would offer some protection from wild animals, which likely at this time included deadly dragons like the Tyrannosaurs. His knowledge of metalworking could aid in perhaps building a strong fence, and woodworking might help. Perhaps metal tools for carving stone were made. Or perhaps they lived in natural caves, needing merely walls and doors added to keep dragons and other dangerous animals out. Or some combination of these.


This would enable them to survive longer from predators and thus grow taller. Perhaps the natural genetic variation just happened to split a natural tendency for height their way and not to the others.


There's also diet to consider.


Daniel demonstrated that a vegetarian diet, at least at some point in the past, was healthier, and we know that was the original right way. Perhaps the other descendents of Adam lived in the woods and primarily hunted and gathered, while those in Cain's city (both his and Seth's line) had farms within protective walls, and they were still vegetarians. Cain was a farmer originally, after all (though I did theorize above he may have become a hunter by necessity, but that may have just been for a time).


Combined with the name of the land Nod that Kayin went to after killing Hevel, “wandering”, perhaps he was originally a farmer, maybe using a sharp wooden tool to work the ground, then used it to kill Hevel. Then, he may have taken it to wander in the east, hunting for food and gathering. Later, he may have founded the city and gone back to farming, inventing metalworking to help with that as well as anything else they needed it for.


Combining genetic luck (not from upvolution but normal genetic variety already present in Adam and Khavah), the benefits of vegetarian diet and healthy life (compared to the stunting effects living in a jungle can have), and the protection of a city ensuring longer lifespans, it does make sense that their descendants would be noticeably taller on average than the other lines which presumably Cain would not allow in his city out of fear they might kill him.


Metalworking would also give them the advantage in defense, hunting.... and murder... and warring. Outsiders might have also wanted to war with them to capture the city, lacking the inventiveness perhaps needed.


As another note, I consider the idea of music as an occupation to strongly imply a stable city life.


This last line of reasoning with the Nephilim is certainly weak, but it's possible for it to fit. It's also possible that the fallen angel theory is correct and that this is a second event unrelated to what I have theorized.




In conclusion, the theory is really three related theories.


First, that Noakh's sons married daughters from the three branches of Lamekh Cainline mentioned in that genealogy, and Noakh married Naamah. This is the core of the theory; if it is true, then we are all descended from Cain as well as from Seth, not Seth alone.


Second and more loosely, there may also have been an alliance of traditionalized intermarriage between the two lines whose genealogies are given prior to the Flood, going back at least to Enokh Cainline most likely.


Third and most loosely, perhaps Cain himself was unable to get a wife from his own generation, so she may have been a descendant of Seth. Or the same basic idea might apply to Cain's son Enokh.


There are a number of lesser side theories as well, such as how the above theories may shed light on the confusing “sons of God” and Nephilim references in Genesis 6.

Pre-Flood Names

Posted by bonesiii on August 13, 2012 at 6:10 PM Comments comments (0)

 From their Wikipedia pages, the following are the "real" englicized Hebrew spellings of the names of people given by the Bible, who were alive prior to the Flood (some surviving on the Ark). These are the spellings I intend to use in the future on this site, and may link back to this entry often. Due to oddities of language like consonant shift and misunderstandings, our English Bible translations tend to use strange spellings that are often clearly inaccurate.


I have in the past done a more extensive study of these but that is not factored here, so these should be taken as the spellings I think are best just based on what is commonly accepted. I modified some to a more preferable spelling and noted it. Also, various versions in related languages are also given on Wikipedia which are not included here, including modern Hebrew. The attempt is to get closer to how they might have been spelled at the time if English was known then. No doubt many of them are still not exactly accurate, and I may want to update them later if there's convincing evidence of that.


Bold names are my preferred spellings. Italic are the commonly used English versions. Unless otherwise noted, the names in the two Line lists are in order of "who begat who". Nicknames to distinguish the two different Lamekhs and Enokhs are in quotes. Question marks are uncertain based just on the Wikipedia pages.


Advised Pronunciations:

a - ah

e - eh

i - ih

ai / ay - as in eye

o - oh

u - as in food

kh - as in German ch, or approximate as k (unsure; it may actually be a pronounced h sometimes)

(The rest should be the same as in English. Actual original pronunciations and some pronunciations in modern Hebrew may be different especially with the vowels. Some have well-known pronunciations that are different from this.)


Our "Kindparents", the two original humans:

 Adam

Khavah, or Hawwah (Eve)


Named Sons of Adam (they had other sons & daughters):

Kayin (my preferred spelling), or Qayin (Cain)

Hevel (Abel) -- no descendants

Seth


Cain's Line:

Enokh "Cainline" (my preferred spelling), or Enoch

Irad

Mehuyael? (Mehujael)

Methusael

Lamekh "Cainline" (my preferred spelling), or Lamech

Adah -- a wife of Lamekh

Zillah -- a wife of Lamekh

Yabal (Jabal) -- son of Lamekh & Adah

Yuval (Jubal) -- son of Lamekh & Adah

Tubal Kayin? (my preferred spelling), or Tubal Qayin? (Tubal-cain) -- son of Lamekh & Zillah

Naamah -- daughter of Lamekh & Zillah


Seth's Line:

Enosh (Enos)

Kainan, or Kenan, Qenan, Cainan

Mahalalel, or Mahalaleel

Yared (Jared)

Enokh "Sethline" (my preferred spelling), or Enoch

Methuselah

Lamekh "Sethline" (my preferred spelling), or Lamech

Noakh (my preferred spelling), or Noach (Noah)

Shem -- son of Noakh

Ham -- son of Noakh

Yafeth (my preferred spelling), or Yapheth (Japheth) -- son of Noakh

Love is the Answer!

Posted by bonesiii on August 12, 2012 at 5:15 PM Comments comments (0)

Record of final comments to Robert Baty (NonAnonymous on Christian Post); decided to finish it up on his user page rather than the article where it began. In hindsight, it appears memos posted there disappear after a certain number of new ones are posted, so putting the backups here for the record.


Unfortunately it now appears that he was trolling from the start, and as such I've simply decided to stop feeding the troll, as well as to pray that he will see the error of his ways. :) He has in fact twisted my words the very way I warned him that I suspected he would. Anyone who doubts this can read the record of my posts on the final page (as of now) of comments here:


http://www.christianpost.com/news/comedian-to-take-aim-at-hypocrisy-christian-right-in-new-show-79435/


I may reply again if I feel moved by the Spirit to do so, but for now, I feel that I've said what God wanted me to say; I've tried to fulfill the Ezekiel 3 Watchman Principle as well as I know how, and it will be up to Robert Baty himself to consider it in his future and decide if he is willing to admit he was wrong. Meanwhile, since I might be wrong, I will continue to consider that as well and read more from his site. :)


I would encourage others who may find this to also read his site and make up your own minds.


Try to take his extreme pridefulness with a shaker of salt and see if perhaps he does have some good ideas within them. Some points he made to me did help me, as I've trained myself to look past Ad Hominem fallacies and see the little nuggets of exaggerated truth in any others. ^_^ Unfortunately it has been difficult to find much in the way of reasoning as most of what he spends his time saying is the same thing repeated over and over again.


Anyways, judge for yourselves; here is the link:


http://groups.yahoo.com/group/Maury_and_Baty


I have always observed that the top way that some people hamper their own clear thinking is in such an apparent psychological addiction to the strongly negative emotions, especially pride and stubbornness. I think love and respect are the real answers, and we learn of this from God's Word. :) Listening more and more to God on this subject has always helped me, and when I was very young and acted just like Robert was acting now, I was really miserable. There is a better way, and that Way is found in Jesus!


I may say more at his user page, especially if he apologizes for his trolling and flaming, but mainly right now I'm waiting to see the rest of the Answers in Genesis book that is being published as an article series (and is already published as a book). Robert has staked a key part of his argument on one admittedly confusingly worded quote from that, and appears not to be considering that upcoming chapters may back up my take on it. We will see.


Though, I have already shown from other context in that book and the previous book-to-article series that AiG does accept time dilation, in following AiG's feedback rules to search the site for the answer before asking (and I stand by that if he really doubts me, he can ask them anyways). See my findings here:


http://bonesiiitruthseeker.webs.com/apps/blog/entries/show/17992485-earthframe-time


Bold is for quotes from Baty, bold and italic quotes from the Bible in this entry. :)


Due to his refusing repeated to answer my questions even though I've answered his, to twisting my words and continually falling back on Ad Hominems, I have decided I need to obey the following Scripture in regards to him:


“Warn them before God against quarreling about words; it is of no value, and only ruins those who listen. Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a workman who does not need to be ashamed and who correctly handles the word of truth....


Flee the evil desires of youth, and pursue righteousness, faith, love and peace, along with those who call on the Lord out of a pure heart. Don’t have anything to do with foolish and stupid arguments, because you know they produce quarrels. And the Lord’s servant must not quarrel; instead, he must be kind to everyone, able to teach, not resentful. Those who oppose him he must gently instruct, in the hope that God will grant them repentance leading them to a knowledge of the truth, and that they will come to their senses and escape from the trap of the devil, who has taken them captive to do his will.”


That's 2 Timothy 2:14b-15, 22-26. Another vital scripture from Galatians is cited below.


So rather than continuing to allow him to fight with me, I will simply step back and read, and listen, and watch, and most importantly pray for him. I urge anyone else who does see this to pray for him, and me, as well. ^_^


------------


Let's continue our discussion here [his user page]. :)


In closing for how this started in the article, I stand by my ideal of all-inclusive research. I know it's an impossible standard to ever fully meet, but I love impossible ideals because they always challenge me to improve constantly, to always be learning, and never fear that I'll learn too much and become bored. =D Any strategy of research that “puts the blinders on” (to quote an Amazing Race contestant) is always going to be less trustworthy than one that strives to consider -everything- in God's creation.


We should NOT be trying to take the Bible OUT of science! The Bible is the Word of the God who is love. Every word in it crackles with transformative power. Science has been called “thinking God's thoughts after him.” To me it's a wonderful, very helpful thing to study God's creation.


It should never be turned into a mere weapon to beat people over the heads with in dry debates. Atheism has poisoned and deeply corrupted science, and led by example in the way of prideful mudslinging debate, rather than friendly, loving, truthseeking debate. Science desperately needs infinitely more of God! We all need to wake up to this!


The Word is always good to learn from and to pay close attention to. I understand the temptation to abandon it to “play nice” with the atheists, but we are called to call the lost to Christ. Just playing nice isn't going to save them, and besides, we need to give them the good news with kindness too! We can be nice without putting the brilliant light of God's truth under a basket – really it is only with God that we truly can be nice; this is what I have always observed.


The farther people get from the Bible, the more antagonistic, prideful, and all that stuff they behave towards others. Where YECs fail to reach them is in this way too in my experience. We all need more of God's love, and we learn about it in God's Word. So we need to take his word seriously, to stop trying to find excuses to ignore its meaning but to find more and more answers from it. God's Word is a satisfying, wonderful answer that we all need to spend time studying more and more, and incorporating into -every- area of our lives. Science included. :)


All of history IMO has been a slow reform by God of the way of rebellion that dug in deep after the Fall and psychologically “infected” people. That poison creates vast webs of protection around it to keep the lost from seeing or embracing the Way and spreads generationally into the future. Shining the light of love has been very hard into this, but bit by bit God's people have been making progress. We are the salt of the world – we keep it from all falling to chaos and hate – and we are the light. And yet so many of us have been lulled to sleep and have given more and more into the prideful ways of the world.


The more we give into it, the more people are sucked into the dead-end wide road. It's to the point that it's threatening to undo all the long progress towards peacefulness that God worked prior to and after Christ. Now is not the time to hide God's Love and God's Word from them! They need it. Their souls depend on it.


I want to be like Jesus. I do not want to beat my chest and argue with all the eloquence of the world how much better or smarter I am. The fact is I am slow, stupid, ignorant, and really a dead man walking on my own. All the horrible things you could imagine, without the Bible – without Jesus, without the Spirit, without the Father, without God! – all of that is what I am on my own. A monster.


And I've been like you. I understand why you react as a contrarian to everything I've said (or mostly :)) – I was a contrarian myself, in my old life. I thought the way to convince everybody even of good ideas was to go around insulting and disagreeing and explaining. Certainly I still try to explain, and I've tried here, but I keep thinking of that song that talks about trying to show people God but they can't see past us. Please don't reject my message for the messenger. The message I'm trying to give is basically to point to God's Word and say, “Don't take my word for it – always listen more and more, humbly and with trembling, to God! He is infinitely smarter and more loving than I could ever be.”


I was like that for so long, it took a miracle for God to snap me out of it, a time when he gave me an actual vision of the future in a dream that I distinctly remembered thinking “no way that could EVER happen”, and it did. I don't expect others to believe me in this testimony, but my point is, maybe I can't help you see your error, but I have been praying and continue to pray that God may do something to shock you out of the lulling, seemingly comfortable pattern of the lost. Don't be afraid to admit you were wrong – if you someday conclude you were. Listen to your intuition, and pray about it. Okay?


Honestly, since you've been acting so contrarian, at this point I don't see what more good my continuing this in much detail could do (though after Tuesday I may find some time; we'll see – I'll have to pray about it). I've answered your questions, but you've been refusing to answer mine. I asked them for what I felt were good reasons; I think the answers are extremely important to this. I also want to apologize for objecting to you taking me out of context. That was a selfish thing to say, and from now on, I promise not to object to anything like that. Cite what you want and leave out what you want. I'm glad you helped me see that that was unwise. :)


I will watch your user page anyways, but I doubt I will say much more, for fear that I will bias you against the ideas I hope you will see. It would be better for you to do your own research and come to the conclusions yourself. You have seen my main points, and you have heard many from other creationists.


So instead of just continuing to do what doesn't work, re: Einstein, I'm going to just stop, and just love you. :)


I think Love is the answer, is always the answer.


I forgive you of anything you might have done wrong, and I beg you to forgive me! I pray with all my heart and all my soul that you will not fall away. I hope that someday in heaven we'll look back on this and laugh at how silly we both were lol, and love forevermore. ^_^ And keep learning forever!


For my part, I intend to try to read every word on your site if possible, and I will try to consider carefully everything you and others say there. I hope you will in turn spend a lot of time on sites like AiG, and more importantly spend time in God's Word!


"As I have noted before, repeatedly, anonymous posters can and do say anything.


And then they play the victim while threatening and trying to intimidate and bully others..."


You've been repeatedly insulting me. I dunno about others, but giving out your name has not helped prevent that sort of behavior in you. The truth is that anyone can troll, flame, etc. As a moderator I've dealt with behavior like yours from troublemakers a lot. Many have, when I lovingly tried to help them see that there are better ways, admitted it. I pray that you will listen to your heart and listen to God and repent of this.


And the truth is, anonymous posters cannot do anything. We will all stand before God on Judgement Day, and there are no secrets God does not know. You may try to hide behind your name, but we all see how you're acting, and so does God. Please, please reconsider this approach. I've been there, believe me, and it is a horrible experience, but you can get lulled into thinking it's the only way, or even the best way.


No, friendly, even loving discussion and yes, disagreement, is far, far more enjoyable, enlightening, etc. :) Spread peace, harmony, and love, not pride!


And listen to God. I'm sure I've made many mistakes too, and you are probably rightly spotting them, but God is perfect, and he does not lie. He loves you, and he gave his Word so that we could know the better way that Jesus' salvation brings. Eternal life isn't meant to be just a little prize, but a place where we can live rightly, in love, and the Bible is clear we need to start now! :)


I know how you will respond to this based on what you have accused me of before. But I do not want to fight. It is clear to me you only started this because you were hoping for a fight; trolling. You acted polite to entice me in, then you started acting in ways anyone less experienced with trolls would want to flame back, and you started finding any slight little thing you could to in fact accuse me of insulting you. This is exactly what trolls do, and as a moderator I've dealt with many; it's somewhat an area of expertise of mine. The time has simply come, I think, to pretty much just stop feeding you.


Also, I said long ago, and I know you saw it because you quoted from that page, that I try to avoid origins debates where the other person refuses to have an open minded, truthseeking, rather than mudslinging, insulting, etc. approach. It seems to be a colossal waste of time.


You've demonstrated you're not open to objectivity -- you've often made it sound like calm, objective analysis is a crime or something. So I'm going to fall back on my first principle and for the most part stop this (though we'll see).


I debated with myself for days whether this would be right, but I've realized I need to listen to a verse about this, that says to have nothing to do with those who argue about words. From the start that's pretty much what you've been doing. Everything I try, whether slowing down to read your words carefully, or giving my reasons in-depth, or trying to express Christian love to you, even when I tried to change my approach to follow your advice, has all gotten the same replies, of redefining that as "running" and the like. Well, a wise man once said that if someone else insults me, then I should not feel offended, because that is merely their own definition of the word. Since you admit you do not believe in the plain meaning of the Bible, it's hard to see how you can claim not to be the one just playing word games in the rest of this to make your position seem stronger than it is.


Maybe my interpretation -is- wrong, though, so I will try to consider what you say, and feel free to keep talking about it here. But for me to keep explaining why I disagree probably wouldn't be good listening anyways, so I'll try to just read and think and pray about it from now on, unless I really feel moved to say something. I just pray that God will work on your heart. And likewise, that he will work on mine. :)


I appreciate that you read a different logic book than the ones I was taught with, which has its own jargon. You might not know it but that is actually very common in logic; every educator will tend to have their own approach and there are many schools. Just as with science, I do not believe logic should be used as a club to beat people over the head with. I would love to read every logic book and take all the other schools' versions of the courses – seriously, it's a life dream I have, but right now I cannot afford it, and maybe in this life won't. But I'll consider your points.


I noticed you didn't really explain what exactly you want me to do with your stipulation (the latest one you requoted), other than just give up my principles and agree with it. I don't need your forms to move on and say the Goliath argument's first premise is false, its second premise is false, and the conclusion is probably false (though remember fallacy fallacy's warning here). I cannot agree with the stipulation, at least based on what I know now, or anything you or any other OEC has ever been able to show. As I said, giving up on God's word, as AiG has pointed out, is the core mistake that OECs make, and I do not want to make that same mistake. If our interpretation is wrong, you need to show how so from sound hermeneutics.


Always remember, I love you, Robert, and in the end, we agree on what matters, which is Jesus. (At least I think we do. :)) Whatever happens, don't fall away from Him. ^_^


Finally, it's a little disturbing that a Christian would use the label "Goliath" for anything they think is good. Goliath stood against God's people. At the very least, please reconsider the title!


 

 

 [Later:

Re: Rick [a member on his site]: "formal validity" -- This is basically where the disagreement, in terms of standard logic, appears to be coming in, as I thought. You haven't written up a chain of formal arguments to lead up to this, explaining the thinking that went into it, and as such there is technically not in your post anything formal to study beyond the modus ponens (if-then) form. :) But thought -did- go into your forming the premises, and logic is the study of thought. From what I've seen explained by OECs who make similar arguments to you, it appears to be bad thought. Also, how can he actually say there's nothing in my words?


In other words, you may consider (because of the lack of a full formal argument from presuppositions to your conclusion) my position to be that your argument is informally invalid or fallacious.


Where you would see the mistake if you were to fully lay out your thinking in propositions, and use variables to map it analytically, is that you would have to use two different definitions of “evidence”; one meaning proof and one meaning something that someone interprets, in absence of solid science, as a strong indicator, or accepts emotionally, etc. One of the variables for your term would be (if you were objective about it) a different variable, yet your format would have to treat them as if they were the same, and formal invalidity (the formal fallacy of equivocation) would come in then. :)


And I want to briefly add a note about love. What I'm trying to drive at is that it isn't any superficial thing like whether you use your real name or not that determines righteousness or sin. (Or good online etiquette versus flaming or trolling.) Countless thousands of people use anonymity and have no trouble being polite, kind, not insulting, etc. I've often noticed it's actually those who make it a point of pride to reveal their personal information who tend to behave the most antagonistically towards others. You've been behaving just like so many troublemakers I've seen. Please consider this, okay?


What matters is not any particular superficial thing, but the heart, which God judges. What matters is that you always treat people lovingly, not antagonistically. Anyone who fails in this regard is in error IMO. Really, none of this logically reflects on the superficial thing in this matter – whether to reveal your personal info or not is ultimately just a preference. But people have been pridefully antagonizing others in debates for long before internet anonymity was ever invented. When it was, those who have rejected God's love moved it onto that format. And many others move antagonism onto the format of revealing their identities too. Therefore, the solution is to embrace loving behavior always, no matter what. :)


As far as the strategy you've been using goes, it appears to be basically "agree with me or else". But I do disagree with the Goliath argument. Maybe I'm wrong, but all the evidence shouts that I'm right. What especially matters to me is that those who buy into those things act more like the atheists and insult and flame and the like to 'defend' their position, and do not seem to know how to be loving even while disagreeing. You've fit the pattern exactly. :(


Now I'm not saying I know how to be loving perfectly either; quite frankly you have challenged me to improve in a lot of ways, and this experience has convinced me all the more that I always need to look to God's Word for the answers, and live by the Spirit. In closing I just want to leave you with what I think is one of the most vital parts of the Bible for Christians to truly understand, Galatians 5:13-26:


“You, my brothers, were called to be free. But do not use your freedom to indulge the sinful nature; rather, serve one another in love. The entire law is summed up in a single command: “Love your neighbor as yourself.” If you keep on biting and devouring each other, watch out or you will be destroyed by each other.


So I say, live by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the sinful nature. For the sinful nature desires what is contrary to the Spirit, and the Spirit what is contrary to the sinful nature. They are in conflict with each other, so that you do not do what you want. But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under law.


The acts of the sinful nature are obvious: sexual immorality, impurity and debauchery; idolatry and witchcraft; hatred, discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, dissensions, factions and envy; drunkenness, orgies, and the like. I warn you, as I did before, that those who live like this will not inherit the kingdom of God.


But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law. Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the sinful nature with its passions and desires. Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit. Let us not become conceited, provoking and envying each other.”





 

 

[Finally:]

"You railed on and on and on and on before admitting that the "Goliath of GRAS" argument was so constructed that if its premises are true its conclusion will follow as true therefrom.


I warned readers to watch for your backsliding on that and you now appear to be backsliding."


I predicted you would do exactly that [accuse me of backsliding even though I warned him beforehand I was going to stand by what I did; read on]. Your original argument page created the impression you were asking for any invalidity behind or in the argument, and that was what I answered first. I never imagined you would be asking only whether modus ponens was valid; that is unversally recognized. Later you clarified that you really just meant the modus ponens. So I said explicitly, over and over, that I stand by that there is invalidity -- formal or informal; unreliable ways of thinking -- in your reasoning, but would agree that the modus ponens itself is of course valid. I suspected you would deceptively pretend like I had agreed it was entirely valid and call my standing by that it wasn't entirely valid "backsliding." You've only confirmed all my suspicions, sadly, showing that you are not open-minded. All I can do now is to pray for you and ask others to pray for you too. I hope that God will show you the error of your ways.


Always remember, I love you no matter what, and forgive you anything wrong you have done or will do. ^_^ You have worth as a human being, even if you have been misled by the "pattern of this world." I hope you will come out of it and move more in line with God's way. :)

Earthframe Time

Posted by bonesiii on August 11, 2012 at 6:25 PM Comments comments (0)

The following is a response to a follow-up point of Robert Baty's to my recent time dilation entry, which is here:


http://bonesiiitruthseeker.webs.com/apps/blog/entries/show/17967479-time-dilation-aig


He had posted a quote from an AiG article that had just been posted that same day, which I hadn't yet had time to read. I admitted it did appear like a contradiction, and encouraged him to contact AiG to ask about it. I was out of time to look into it at that moment. I've since thoroughly looked into it and found the conclusive answer.


AiG's feedback rules require searching their site first to find the answer, and it's always wise to do this anyways (finding the context), so I decided to do this for him and post the findings here.


If, Robert, you still would want a direct confirmation after this with a feedback question, however, it's another option that's open to you. Quotes bolded and italicized. Unless otherwise noted, bracketed comments were in the original quotes. Here's the reply:


---------------


I've found the answer to the confusing quote we were discussing earlier.


When you showed the quote to me, I'd been too busy responding to you to have read that day's article yet in context; I'd just skimmed it. AiG often summarizes this sort of thing (like in Humphreys' own subtitle of a Young Universe) in language that is admitedly confusing, but in context clearly refers to the biblical Earth's reference frame. What tripped me up was this part that you quoted (I did check to look at the immediate context when I answered, but not the whole article):


“Thus, all stars are of the same age, excluding the three creation days.”


The word “age” there.


However, reading the whole “3.1” section, the context makes it clear that they are contrasting the Earth reference frame in the section titled “Evolution” and in the section titled “The Bible” (in bold). The quote you cited is in that last section; in other words, it is again talking about the Earth reference frame that hermeneutics shows that the Bible is using.


I would personally not use the word “age” in such a description, but it is possible. Here it clearly means “age from Earth's point of view.” This is why the three previous creation days are excluded; it is not comparing one star's own frame-age with another star's frame-age but all stars with Earth in Earth's frame-age.


Here's the corresponding idea in the Evolution section:


“In this scheme, the earth is very much a latecomer in our universe.”


Shortly below this is a chart showing all that is thought under evolution to have happened previous to Earth being fully formed, in Earth's own reference frame. Therefore, time dilation is not being commented on one way or another; this is not yet talking about Creationist models but merely the limit of what the Bible itself actually says, an important distinction.


It's also important to realize this is an excerpt from an already-published book from AiG that they are now releasing bit by bit on their website as an article series. I don't recall off the top of my head if any of the previous sections dealt with this possibility, but if not, we must withhold judgement until all the sections are published


Looking at the table of contents on the left, we can see that this page is the first of three dealing with astronomy. The third's title looks like it might be relevant to time dilation; we'll see.


Returning to the section titled “The Basic Assumptions of Creationism”:


"C1: The basic principle of creation is taken for granted. An understanding of the original creation can only be obtained through a biblical “temper of mind.” Biblical revelations are the key for understanding this world...


Creation research comprises the following: (Note: Creation research refers to the investigation of that which has already been created; God’s creative acts themselves are hidden from us [see assumption C6].)


1. All scientifically available facts are used. As far as they involve measurements and observations, facts are processed by means of currently available scientific instruments.


2. Biblical statements are not the object of creation research, rather, they are the point of departure. It is not the intention to prove the validity of Bible, but to show that the facts of nature can be much more readily explained by means of premises based on the Bible than by using an evolutionary approach."


This section shows that all observational science, which includes the experimentally verified gravitational time dilation, are considered in the research of biblical creationists. Thus, the idea that AiG rejects time dilation is wrong. In fact this source is confirming that all mainstream creationists allow it as a possibility.

 

"2. From creation research: Questions of origin can only be answered when an a priori revelation is available (see assumption C6). We agree with W. Pauli, winner of the Nobel prize in physics, who said that all scientific methods fail when questions of origin are involved. Biblical enunciations thus have a wider range of applicability than scientific statements..."


This shows that creationists reject the equivocating assumption in the Goliath argument that empirical research only in the present could ever contradict the Bible's plain meaning.


In other words, truly empirical findings about the past require universal observations in the past as well as present. Empiricism requires observation, and God's own observations are to be included if he exists. Since he is infinite, if you put him on one side of a seesaw, and every human, including all the OECs and secularists and atheists and whonot – in fact if every human in all of history agreed with them – every human who disagrees with God on the other side, God still outweighs them mathematically.


To put it another way, this debate is easily settled in my mind by asking, “What if the vast majority of scientists in the future realized their conclusions were wrong and that empiricism even from just their point of view matches the plain meaning of a 6000-year-old (as of 2000 AD) Earth?” Clearly, we would all realize it would be powerful evidence that the Bible is trustworthy, and the trend of people falling away due to evolutionism would reverse. This shows that the Bible's plain meaning is really understood to be the strongest interpretation, in terms of convincing most people (again, see AiG's Already Gone findings).


Or to put it another way, this is why both sides use the terms young Earth creationism and old Earth creationism to describe ourselves and each other; deep down we all know that the debate is really about the self-age of the Earth.

 

Finally, this book's article series immediately follows one titled “Old Earth Creationism on Trial”. In that series, we find these quotes:

 

"Old-earthers do not reject the ability of God to miraculously intervene in His creation, but they seem more than willing to agree with those who do reject this divine action..."


http://www.answersingenesis.org/articles/oect/defense-biblical-arguments


Thus, creationists allow for even a merely miraculous use of time dilation, without the need for a non-miraculous model like Humphreys' to enable it. Of course, the mere fact that they support Humphreys' model has already provided context for what we're discussing here. So now we see that biblical creationists accept both all observational science (including time dilation) and even the idea that God could use some created physics plus miracles, which could include any variety of time dilation.


And for the conclusive quotes, from Chapter 8, posted at February 23, 2012, cited here, under section titled “Distant Starlight”:


http://www.answersingenesis.org/articles/oect/defense-scientific-arguments


“We also want to address some arguments that allegedly indicate an old universe. In our experience, the most commonly used argument for the supposed antiquity of the universe is “distant starlight.” Some galaxies are so far away that presumably it should take billions of years for their light to reach earth. Since we do see these galaxies, obviously their light has arrived. Old-universe supporters claim this demonstrates that the universe is really billions of years old....


First, we must recognize that creationists and evolutionists agree on some of the assumptions involving distant starlight. We agree that the galaxies really are far away because the techniques that allow us to measure such distances are logically sound, repeatable methods; they are part of operational science. Furthermore, most creationists agree that the light from the stars was not created “already on its way.” The reason for this is that we see things happen in space; stars explode, pulsate, and so on. If we are merely observing light that was created in-transit, then none of these things have actually occurred....


Also, the argument makes some assumptions concerning the constancy of rates. One such assumption is that the speed of light has not changed with time. If light were much faster in the past, then it could easily have traveled most of the distance from the galaxies to earth at its increased rate until it slowed down recently. Some creationists have suggested that this is the solution to the distant starlight argument; however, caution is in order. There are some good reasons to think that the speed of light really may be constant over time. The speed of light is “linked” to other constants in physics; if one changes, so do the others. It may be that the speed of light must have been pretty close to what it currently is in order for life to have been possible. Although such details are still being researched, most creationists believe that the constancy of the speed of light is probably a fairly good assumption....


One other assumption is that the rate at which time itself flows is essentially constant. But Einstein showed that this is not the case. Under certain conditions, clocks will tick slower than in other conditions. This is called “time dilation” and it has been experimentally demonstrated. One creation-based cosmology uses this principle to get distant starlight to earth in only thousands of years. We have a number of resources discussing this exciting research,16 and so we will not repeat the details here.”


That footnote says:


“D.R. Humphreys, Starlight and Time: Solving the Puzzle of Distant Starlight in a Young Universe (Green Forest, AR: Master Books, 1994).”


Which I have already shown supports time dilation, and was endorsed by Ken Ham.


So my conclusion is, the quote you brought up is probably poorly worded, but does not represent a rejection of time dilation by AiG; rather simply refers to the biblical reference frame that it's been shown is most soundly supported hermeneutically to be Earth's.


By the way, the reason for this is probably revealed in John 1, that the Son facet of the Trinity was that God's creative acts were channeled through, as I understand it, apparently meaning that Jesus in his pre-incarnation “Angel of the Lord” form was doing his own thinking and commanding, though intimately in tune with the necessary omniscience from the Father and the omnipresence of the Spirit, thus he was experiencing with his own “eyes” six days at Earth himself.


This makes sense especially because Jesus, or the Son, is referred to as the Word in John 1. Thus God's word gives the time from Jesus' pre-incarnation, angel-like perspective on Earth during creation (note that he walked in the garden with Adam and Eve).


See my Biblical Trinity Theory:


http://bonesiiitruthseeker.webs.com/apps/blog/show/prev?from_id=16288633


Probably the best way to resolve these difficulties would be to understand two different versions of every wording of age; that every object has its own earthframe age, meaning how much of Earth's time the object has existed for, and its starframe age; meaning how much of the star's own time (or orbiting bodies, etc) the object has existed for.


The Bible always refers to the earthframe age, at least in Genesis, as established by the context in the genealogies, and backed up by John. Thus biblical creationists rightly prefer earthframe language, even when talking about ages.


However, an attempted empirical dating method of an object's own age would require that its starframe age is being measured.


Of course, we should remember that we are for now contained in our own galaxy; we do not have hyperdrive, and even if we did, we do not have time travel, so we cannot empirically prove any such starframe age, thus this is a purely speculative consideration anyways. At least with the real-life limitations we have right now; perhaps in the unforeseeable future, science-fiction-esque solutions to these problems will be reached.)

 

Since we experience earthframe time, it is still, even to this day, appropriate to refer to earthframe language for the most part even in these studies, but consideration of starframe time is useful specifically in understanding how stars could undergo changes and generate light with enough time for light to reach us.


Therefore the original quote should be understood like this (bracketed addition mine):


“Thus, all stars are of the same [earthframe] age, excluding the three creation days.”


And finally, these quotes have now shown even more strongly that all mainstream biblical creationists (young Earth creationists) are open to the possibility that distant stars may have a much greater starframe age than 6000 years, while affirming that nothing has a much older earthframe age, as far as the Bible says. Thus, the Goliath argument does not accurately represent the popular YEC view.

Broken Chain

Posted by bonesiii on August 9, 2012 at 7:15 PM Comments comments (0)

The following is my response to a series of fill-in-form questions that Robert Baty has asked me to answer, about his "Goliath of GRAS" argument. This part of the response deals primarily with the first premise in his syllogism (the major premise), the key question being whether the first premise is true. I conclude in this argument that no, the first premise is not true (and the same for the second, for reasons alluded to here as well).


This conversation began in the comment section of an article on Christian Post, here:


http://www.christianpost.com/news/comedian-to-take-aim-at-hypocrisy-christian-right-in-new-show-79435/


Since my original rebuttal of his argument, showing how it is both invalid and unsound, was very long, I posted it as a blog entry here:


http://bonesiiitruthseeker.webs.com/apps/blog/show/17924435-giant-pickle-


And here's an elaboration on the matter of time dilation, which eliminates one of the core claims in his argument (the incorrect claim that mainstream creationists think that all things in the universe cannot be much older than six thousand years):


http://bonesiiitruthseeker.webs.com/apps/blog/entries/show/17967479-time-dilation-aig


He wished me to go through a systematic, categorized series of forms, usually with yes/no answers, rather than merely the original rebuttal. Each of these forms states a component of his reasoning, the question being whether I agree or disagree. These forms are shown here in bold.

Please note that although I am quoting Robert's numbered list of parts in his “step two”, the my answers are inserted after my screenname. I'm including the quote marks just to be crystal clear when I'm quoting him other than my yes or no (except in some cases it appears from his answers he is not looking for a yes or a no) answers. Also, he has been placing quote marks around my name; I know technically I should reduce them to single quotes here, but I want to preserve his original formats for these forms since he will be more able to easily copy and paste them to his records that way. For the same reason his own manual linebreaks have been kept for the forms.


All bolded quotes are from Robert Baty. If needed, any bold and italic quotes are from others, any from me with just quote marks.


To begin with, let's quote the syllogism itself again, from this page, which I found linked at the top of his homepage (on the site he linked me to originally):


http://groups.yahoo.com/group/Maury_and_Baty/message/11536


 

"Here it is, the "Goliath of GRAS":

Major premise:

If God's word (the text) says everything began over a period of six days, is interpreted by some to mean it was six 24-hour days occurring a few thousand years ago, and there is empirical evidence that some thing is actually much older than a few thousand years, then the interpretation of the text by some is wrong.

Minor premise:

God's word (the text) says everything began over a period of six days, is interpreted by some to mean it was six 24-hour days occurring a few thousand years ago, and there is empirical evidence that some thing is actually much older than a few thousand years.

Conclusion:

The interpretation of the text by some is wrong."


First fill-in-form question:

 

“The major premise consists of a

hypothetical portion ("if..."),

followed by a categorical portion,

("then...").”


 Well, we need to be cautious here. Hopefully you have heard this exact terminology from a logician, perhaps taught in a book I haven't read, since you wanted to stick to standard terminology. It's worth noting that the standard terminology is "antecedent" (between "if" and "then") and "consequent", since you wanted the standard terms.

 

But in plain English, that seems to be one fair way to explain the form of the first premise component of the valid modus ponens syllogism form.


However, my “spidey senses” are tingling with your use of “categorical,” so we need to be cautious. Read on... Firstly, why for the most part I agree. Some of this is also in answer to some of the questions you have raised earlier about me.

 

Being an English Major and logician, my chosen area of expertise is that fascinating place where the two meet, and the logical structure of English grammar, especially the categorizations of vocabulary, can be understood and analyzed.


This is of a great help to my piece-by-piece in-order analysis style of arguments and statements, etc.


In this case, we see that the logical form of this premise depends on the grammatical function of the two key vocabulary words here, “if” and “then.”


Logical education textbooks (at least the ones I learned from) also teach that the plain English synonyms of these are also ways to phrase logical statements. There is a particular branch of logic which deals with understanding the formal “if-then” meanings that can be translated from the other plain English, in order to judge the validity or invalidity of these informally worded arguments, and in translating formal arguments into plain English.


This last is what experience has taught me is among the most important. In my early days of online debating I often would try to phrase my arguments in the more formal, jargonistic ways that are typically used in logic education. Nearly universally, people did not respond well to that approach. They emotionally thought that I was trying to sound smarter than them, and would thus emotionally reject my conclusions even though I was showing them sound reasoning to back them up.


So instead I experimented with using the informal “translation” branch of logic to debate, and although it has required a lot of refinement by trial and error, I have found a method that usually works with the vast majority of people, helping them to peacefully engage in a productive, intellectually stimulating, and enjoyable conversation. (Truthseeking debate vs. mudslinging debate to use my common terms.)


Hypotheticals and categories are also part of common terminology used in logic education. :) (Though off the top of my head I do not recall the term categorical being used for the consequent.)


Finally, there is a branch of logic as it is taught in standard logic education which deals with implied syllogisms for purposes of brevity and for emotional persuasion (which in my thorough analysis procedure I try to avoid, since it can be used deceptively, so that everyone can see as much of my thoughts laid out to spot any errors), and collapsing nested syllogisms into plain English, to use as more concise premises.


Psychologically, I believe that this sort of thing goes on in our brains whether we are aware of the formal standard logical jargon or not; since logic is the study of the structure of thought, and psychology and neurology explain how thought can have structure, including grammar and vocabulary. :)


Whether you are educated enough in logic to realize it or not, I believe it is certain that this is what happened when you formulated this premise. Thus, we can look at the nested “would-be syllogisms.” In other words, you used logic to arrive first at this premise (bad logic in my opinion for the reasons I explained; that is, fallacious logic, probably with some false presuppositions such as that a majority of scientists interpreting evidence a certain way equates with proof, which it does not). We can study that logic and spot flaws in it.


In fact, we MUST (or I must, and think we all -should-, anyways), especially on this issue, as the end result of this issue is logical or illogical answers to the question of eternal perfect life. And having a logical support for our conclusions in that matter as I do gives me strong faith, which is part of what the Bible says we should have. I strongly suspect that OECs have weak faith because their subconsciouses realize that the support for their conclusions is contradictory and illogical, though consciously they try to convince themselves of it. As such, they tend not to take the Bible as seriously in all of its parts, and do not try its (hermeneutically understood) advice.


For example, OECs and other less logical Christians tend not to catch what I think is one of the most vital teachings of the New Testament, which is that the fruit of the Holy Spirit, as revealed in Galatians, means a result of relying on his guidance, rather than that of our own nature, since the sin nature is still in us (in this life). I believe that prior to the Fall, and in the New Creation, the sin nature will be removed and we will always rely on the Holy Spirit's guidance to had a “heart-from”, intuitive ability to choose rightly at all times.


The Bible describes the Holy Spirit as evidence of our salvation (I may be paraphrasing, off the top of my head, though; taking my words here with a grain of salt and checking it against Scripture would be wise). The only way I was able to think of that this could be explained was that if we rely on the Holy Spirit's guidance NOW, we would experience a sort of “death” of the “old us” as the Bible describes, in which we stop desiring sin and start desiring to do right, from the heart.


Thus, I argued, we would not have to keep consciously trying to do right in a legalistic way and keep failing because our hearts were evil. 


We could WANT to do right from the heart, and nearly always do it in this life, and experience the wonderful results. I tried it, and it has worked amazingly well, greatly strengthening my faith even further! Love being the most important, according to Paul, and in 1 John.


Further, Jesus made it very clear that what is in our hearts matters a lot. Now he did say that Christians receive the Holy Spirit, but other verses make it clear we can choose not to rely on him (esp. Galatians in saying we might wrongly choose to live by the sinful nature), and grieve him, and he may (apparently) leave us. Combining this with the verse that says if someone leaves they were really never in us, I conclude that the most likely meaning is that relying on the Holy Spirit from our hearts is important to salvation too, so it's not just a matter of being a more pleasant experience here.


This explains all the verses that confuse legalistic Christians, especially the book of James, that basically say that good works are the evidence of saving faith, and necessary results of it, thus we can “know them by their fruits”, especially love. Those believers who live a heart-from loving life, apparently, are the ones who accepted Jesus (remember the Hebrews Abraham notes on this), accepting the Holy Spirit as Counselor in their hearts, and “live by” Him, thus following his guidance and obeying – while desiring to obey now as the “new man” – God's commands.


You might think this line of reasoning was rambling (judging from your previous reactions), but I think it is a vital point that is perhaps more relevant to the issue of believing God's plain words in Genesis than nearly anything else (other than salvation itself for example). (This is also part of the reasoning I've been meaning to add to my new origins essay draft.)


Looking around at people I have encountered who profess to be biblical Christians, or who profess to be OECs, or theistic evolutionists, or atheists/agnostics, I find that this pattern nearly always fits (sometimes I've noticed OECs do get that though, but it seems to be much less common than in biblical Christians – and of course there are self-proclaimed biblical Christians who err in this way too). Those that take God seriously on Genesis also tend to take him more seriously on the fruit of the Holy Spirit, and further demonstrate the Bible's trustworthiness by in their own lives experiencing the results the Bible promises; peace, joy, love, gentleness, self-control, etc. :) They also tend to be more analytical and less emotional in their judgements as other verses command us to be.


We could also note that atheists tend to be the most opposite of this, which is relevant for atheists to understand and realize they need Jesus (who gives the Holy Spirit in our hearts/subconsciouses (as I interpret it), and find salvation, peace, joy, and love. ^_^


This is all relevant to why it is important we study the structure in grammar and vocabulary, and why, thus, we can indeed conclude that the if-then is hypothetical. Here's how. First, we look up “if” in Dictionary.com:


“Synonyms

1, 2. If, provided, providing  imply a condition on which something depends. If  is general. It may be used to indicate suppositions or hypothetical conditions (often involving doubt or uncertainty)...”


So it is fair to call “if” hypothetical.


And “then”. This one is not as easy to show; I know it from my logic education (the study of categories), but finding a source for you is proving a bit harder. The Wikipedia page I linked earlier for modus ponens did not use that word, and neither does Dictionary.com give it for “then”. However, if we look up “categorical”, we find these definitions:


“cat·e·gor·i·cal

[kat-i-gawr-i-kuhl, -gor-] Show IPA

adjective

1. without exceptions or conditions; absolute; unqualified and unconditional: a categorical denial.

2. Logic .

a. (of a proposition) analyzable into a subject and an attribute related by a copula, as in the proposition “All humans are mortal.”

b. (of a syllogism) having categorical propositions as premises.”


So now we have a “lead” to follow the line of inquiry. We can look up “categorical propositions” on Wikipedia (or any more reputable logic site, but in my experience Wikipedia does generally stay accurate on this subject):


http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Categorical_proposition


“A categorical proposition is a part of deductive reasoning that contains two categorical terms, the subject and the predicate, and affirms or denies the latter of the former.[1] Categorical propositions occur in categorical syllogisms and both are discussed in Aristotle's Prior Analytics.


Examples:


Midshipman Davis serves on H.M.S. Invincible. (subject: Midshipman Davis; predicate: serves on H.M.S. Invincible)

Some politicians are corrupt. (subject: politicians; predicate: corruptness)

Nobody ever got fired for buying IBM. (subject: people; predicate: getting fired for buying IBM)


The subject and predicate are called the terms of the proposition. The subject is what the proposition is about. The predicate is what the proposition affirms or denies about the subject. A categorical proposition thus claims something about things or ways of being: it affirms or denies something about something else.


Categorical propositions are distinguished from hypothetical propositions (if-then statements that connect propositions rather than terms) and disjunctive propositions (either-or statements, claiming exclusivity between propositions).”


That last sentence may throw your interpretation into doubt at first glance. However, as I understand it, you are saying that the first clause (the “if”;) is the hypothetical -statement- (that is, it is not being asserted as true within this top-level premise; that is saved for the second top-level premise). And the second statement, the “then” is a simple “this is that” categorical statement (again, note the difference between statement and proposition or premise).


That is to say, the part that goes with “then” grammatically will surface as a statement asserted as true in this modus ponens' conclusion; that the interpretation is wrong. I think you would agree with this.


Therefore, with a note of caution about your apparently obscure (probably not by your fault) plain English wording, I will say yes, at least as a very likely accurate statement.


Here's the form again, filled in:


"The major premise consists of a

hypothetical portion ("if..."),

followed by a categorical portion,

("then...").

> Robert Baty - Yes!

> "bonesiii" – Yes."


Since this is a matter of interpretation, let's add the general note before I continue that I am attempting to understand your statement from a normal English standpoint; so the meaning most logicians would understand you to be using, as I understand it, in plain English, not your own special meanings. If you do have special meanings for any of this, my following answers might need to be amended. But this presumption should help keep the rest of my reasoning shorter.


“In order for the major premise

to be true, none of the

hypothesized conditions need

be true.

> Robert Baty - Yes!

> "bonesiii" – Yes.”


The “hypothesized conditions” are anything between the word “if” and the word “then” (in standard formal arrangement which this follows). In other words, the antecedent. There could be just one condition, but if there are multiple conditions inside the “if”, this applies to all of them. Let's look at it again:


“Major premise:


If God's word (the text) says everything began over a period of six days, is interpreted by some to mean it was six 24-hour days occurring a few thousand years ago, and there is empirical evidence that some thing is actually much older than a few thousand years, then the interpretation of the text by  some is wrong.”


The conditions here are in the form of a list, with three items, separated by the commas, and the word “and” between the second and third.


The falsehood of some of these will come into play in the second premise directly. There are also a number of structural errors contained within them.


Furthermore, the truth or falsehood of the categorical statement; what comes after “then” will be the issue in the conclusion. (Since false premises are fed into a valid format, we cannot affirm the conclusion as true, although Fallacy of Fallacies (fallacy fallacy, or “argument from fallacy”; Wikipedia has a page with the latter title). warns us that the conclusion might still be true for other reasons.


So what instead do we look to, in order to determine the truth of falsehood of this premise? Obviously, in order to reach a true conclusion, we must be able to either affirm the premise (the whole quote from Robert Baty I just cited) true, or label it false. (Meaning unable to be affirmed soundly as true.)


To judge whether we can confidently call the premise true, we need to look at any fallacies within its structure. Since the premise needs to be arrived at from a long chain of valid premises with universally agreed presuppositions (such as that we exist and can do logic), thus generating more true conclusions, which can then be plugged into more valid syllogisms (whether mentally or “on paper”;) to arrive at a soundly proven conclusion – one that may be treated as true.


That has never been shown for this premise, and furthermore we have seen people interpret evidence as meaning something and later be proven false (especially when their interpretation goes against the hermeneutically sound interpretation of the Bible; one of the most convincing evidences of the Bible in my view). Therefore we have good reason to call this first premise false. In other words, the conditions can all be true while the interpretation can still be true, since different people interpret the evidence differently.


(And we cannot soundly rely on a majority either since that would be the Ad Populum fallacy; the majority may be right, but should show why from a non-fallacious, purely valid format starting from universally recognized true premises.)


“One's interpretation of a text

can be wrong.

> Robert Baty - Yes!

> "bonesiii" – Yes.”


Hopefully we need no further reasoning here; we should all be aware of why that can be soundly affirmed (I just gave some of it above). This includes Old Earth Creationists.


“Following is the major premise:

> IF (A); God's word (the text)

> says everything began over a

> period of six days, and

>

> IF (B); God's word (the text)

> is interpreted by some to mean

> it was six 24-hour days occurring

> a few thousand years ago, and

>

> IF (C); there is empirical

> evidence that some thing is

> actually much older than a

> few thousand years,

>

> THEN (D); the interpretation

> of the text by some is wrong.

>> Robert Baty - That's it!

>> "bonesiii" - ??? ???"


Your question is confusingly worded, and apparently you weren't asking for a clear "yes", but I presume you mean “is this a logical way to reformat the nested syllogism from how it was stated on the page linked from the top of my homepage”, to which I answer Yes.


Not sure what you mean by “That's it!”, however.


That could be taken to illogically imply that there was no string of thoughts in your head that led up to you forming this premise. That would clearly be false. A true premise needs to be derived previously from totally non-fallacious and universally presupposed base premises. We all do this in forming opinions on the “big issues” like origins.


If you insist on this non-yes/no form as worded, you may quote my answer as this:


“>> "bonesiii" – That is a valid way to restate your syllogism's major premise, yes.”


Next:


“The basic stipulations are:

(a)

> "God's word" - communication

> from God in words that are not

> wrong.

(b)

> "Interpreted by some" - what

> some folks think it means and

> what thinking might be wrong.

(c)

> "Empirical evidence that..."

> - some thing is more than a few

> thousand years old and we can so

> determine from evidence and its

> interpretation independent of

> "the text".

(d)

> "Few thousand" - 100,000 or less.

>> Robert Baty - Yes!

>> "bonesiii" - ???"


Here is where your mistakes mainly begin to manifest.


In (a), we do not see a focus on the most hermeneutically sound way to read the words. If there is no such method, and if God did not intend it to be so, then how could the words themselves be either right or wrong? They would simply be poetic “you decide what it means” words, as far as God intends it.


However, I do believe that God did intend the words to have their own meaning, which we should be able to “scientifically” find (since hermeneutics, linguistics, etc. are branches of science), and I also believe that at least on the key ideas in Genesis 1 that debunk secularistic evolution and much more than six thousand years for the age of Earth, mainstream creationists like those at AiG and CMI have found the right meanings.


Therefore, to (a) I answer yes.


Next, (b) does not seem objectionable. Yes. Obviously, could apply just as much to OECs and YECs.


Next, (c) is where we see the equivocation fallacy and the misunderstanding of the difference between origins science, which without a time machine or a reliable (and understandable!) witness cannot empirically prove explanations about the past, and empirical observational science in the present. That is to say, we can do empirical observational science to find what explanations “best fit” the evidence, without relying on patches – and biblical creationists do this, while others fail in this regard on these key questions – but we can never be certain there are not actual patches (some have been proven).


Keep in mind also Crichton's statement, which I agree with, that consensus is not science.


Thus, scientifically, biblical creationists have found the clearly most likely explanations, all of which match the most hermeneutically sound interpreting of the Bible. Which is basically why I believed the Bible, on sound faith, rather than blindly. ^_^


So to (c) I conclude “no.” It is primarily from this preliminary reasoning that you arrived at the “if-then” that forms the entire first premise. Thus, these structural errors – these fallacies – apply to the structure of the “if-then” itself, rending it invalid. (If it did not, we could not validly use this entire premise and modus ponens would not be valid, because in order to judge validity, we need to have premises that can be true or false, and in order to arrive at true conclusions, we need to build up to them using valid preliminary structures and true presuppositions, etc. as described above and as I believe all logicians agree.)


(c) also has a number of other problems I mentioned in my previous blog entry (the first).


Keep in mind that these are stipulations feeding into the understanding of the action conditions in your premise. They are not the same thing as the conditions. In other words, they are partial statements of some of your reasoning that led up to your choosing those conditions. To use the technical term, these are presuppositions.


Most insightfully, notice that stipulation (c) implicitly relies on the things you are trying to prove by the argument. In order to know that something is older than the apparent meaning says, you must first assume that the apparent meaning is wrong. You must assume that the interpretation is wrong. Otherwise you could not “know” it, though you might wonder it.


In other words, stipulation (c) exposes your reasoning as circular. Circular reasoning is another fallacy (a common one used apparently by all opponents of biblical creationism, in my observation).


To (d) there is a major, major English language problem. “Few” calls to mind maybe three to five, maybe six. It almost never calls to mind one-hundred. Keep in mind the units in this mathematical statement are each “one thousand.” This could be phrased this way:


001 thousand.

006 thousand.

100 thousand.


In normal usage, I highly doubt anyone would agree that “few” would call to mind 100. This is clearly only being chosen because you have presupposed millions of years (I think) and in units of hundred thousands, it could be stated this way:


1 hundred thousand.

0.006 hundred thousand.

10 hundred thousand (1 million).


But the units here do not match "thousands". I answer no.


To summarize, my answers are: (a) Yes, (b) Yes, (c) No, (d) No.


Thus my overall answer is:


“>> "bonesiii" – No"


Furthermore, there is no known valid chain of arguments, building from universally agreed true presuppositions (original premises) which can lead up to this premise as a true conclusion. It may be believed true based on blind faith, but that is not good enough for me as a logician. I believe that unless someone can in the future show support that has not yet been shown, there are faulty assumptions being used as premises, without logical support, at various points along the chain.


 

In conclusion, although as of this posting you haven't yet asked if I consider the major premise to be true or false, I cannot affirm it as true.


If you ask “Is the major premise true?” my answer is no.


As for false, I cannot be certain it is objectively false (due to the warning of fallacy fallacy), but in logic if we cannot soundly call a premise true, we consider it false, as the label for “cannot soundly consider it true”. So if you ask, “Is the major premise true or false?” my answer is that the major premise is false.


That is to say, we cannot be certain that empirical evidence in the present could prove a particular interpretation of the Bible false. It can appear to be convincingly false to some, but to me the one interpretation that is based on thorough research of hermeneutics (the study of the rules of language, grammar, and vocabulary) is the most convincing, both for that reason and that when considered thoroughly, science's soundly supported findings fit best with it as well.


Thus, yet again, I believe we can be assured the Bible is trustworthy, and that what it teaches about accepting Jesus to receive the free gift of eternal, perfect life, is reliable.


And it is based on these conclusions during my years of research that I rejected the reasoning placed into this "Goliath" argument, and I stand by that rejection. In fact, this analysis has helped me to see even more clearly why the argument is invalid, and thus its conclusion is false, so this exercise has helped me to strengthen my faith in Jesus further. When God speaks to us, even though it is by inspiration through the original writers (in the original languages), his reason is to communicate with us, so it makes sense that he would speak clearly.


So what he clearly said about how he created, how sin corrupted the world, bringing in death and suffering, and how Jesus provided salvation from sin and deliverance from death and suffering in the eternal perfect life to come, is trustworthy. ^_^

Time Dilation & AiG

Posted by bonesiii on August 9, 2012 at 5:35 PM Comments comments (0)

The following is a follow-up reply to Robert Baty, that also proved too long for Christian Post comments, and will be linked to. This first part I felt would be best not to stuff in with the reply to his systematic fill-in-form questions, so I have split the whole reply up into two blog entries.


This first part is an important clarification on the issue of time dilation and other time-related concerns as to Answers in Genesis's position on whether some objects, from those objects' own relativistic reference frames, may biblically be much older than six-thousand years, while only about 6000 years went by in Earth's reference frame.

 

Anyone curious to learn more about this is encouraged to carefully read Russel Humphreys' book, Starlight and Time. It presents one biblical model for how distant starlight could reach Earth without Earth itself being millions to billions of years old, and Ken Ham, founder of Answers in Genesis, endorsed it (as a possibility) in the foreword. Further information, including other possible models AiG is open to, can be found starting on page 245 of AiG's The New Answers Book 1, Ken Ham general editor, the article “Does Distant Starlight Prove the Universe is Old?” by Jason Lisle.

 

Selective quotes from both sources are included at the end of this entry. (I'm not sure based on the publishers' copyright notices whether fuller quotes would be legal without express consent, hence the information above so you can check me on the context.)


I should note that this and the previous entry are part of the conversation begun on (what is currently) page 2 of the comment section here:

 

http://www.christianpost.com/news/comedian-to-take-aim-at-hypocrisy-christian-right-in-new-show-79435/

 

If it gets more than 2 pages in the future, just go to the last or second-to-last page to find the conversation. Between me, bonesiii, and NonAnonymous (Robert Baty). I have made many other important points in those comments. I forgot to include this link in the previous entry, and then maxed out the character limit, heh.

 

A third part to this will be posted following this as well; to avoid passing the character limit I'm splitting it up into two entries.

 

Quotes from Robert Baty are in bold, from others bold and italic, and (if any) from me just in quote marks.

 

Here's the previous entry:

 

http://bonesiiitruthseeker.webs.com/apps/blog/show/17924435-giant-pickle-

 

"I see, again, that you ipse dixit about something; providing no quote from me, in this case, regarding what you are talking about."


I just figured you would remember what you meant, lol. If either of us want the quote we can just look up several comments. You said this:

 

"Here's one that does double-duty.

 

The reference not only justifies the language used in the "Goliath of GRAS" that the anonymous "bonesiii" was seen whining about, but it also shows that Ken Ham, the young-earth creation-science champion so often referenced by "bonesiii" recognizes that my "Goliath of GRAS" is so constructed that if its premises are true its conclusion will follow as true therefrom:

 

http://www.answersingenesis.org/uk/newsletters/0705lead.asp"

 

You then went on to quote Ken Ham saying some things, which I explained in my long answer as talking about the biblical Earth reference frame. In other words, six days as experienced on Earth (or as would be experienced if he'd made us or a clock yet, but he himself knows how much time went by). BTW, I think Humphreys did calculate that it was possible the giant sphere of water would contract so much in the becoming-black-hole stage and still be contracted that much in the early white hole stage that the Day 1 and 2 revolutions still could have been roughly 24 hours. I think from what I've seen this is probably the standard AiG position on it. I personally am simply open to the possibility that those two might have been longer.

 

Anyways, what I was curious about is why, if you understood the time dilation point, you said the above, which seemed to me to mean that you hadn't understood the point. :) It's no big deal, just obsessed with curiosity lol.

 

"You probably realize that Karl Giberson is a favorite target of Ken Ham."


I know what you mean, but must you use such emotional langauge? That implies that you somehow know, as if telepathically, that Ken Ham's motives in criticizing Giberson are impure, as if he criticizes Giberson merely because it's fun, and as if he's attacking the person, not the argument. I think his motives are that Giberson has said many things that are clearly anti-biblical, and he explains why logically.


Anyways, not that it matters; he still gives another perspective and that's helpful to a truthseeker whether he's right or wrong. :) (All-inclusive research, etc.) I do appreciate that Giberson tends to come up with some imaginative possibilities. Whether the possibilities turn out to be accepted or rejected after my analysis does not in my experience rob them of value. I have often gained valuable insight from understanding why a wrong possibility is wrong, and sometimes I have found some sound points from this sort of thing from others (quite often really).

 

"While it is true that moving reference frames can dilate time and make it pass at different rates for different observers, there is no scenario in which all the things in this universe that appear to be billions of years old, can be made to appear just a few thousand."


First of all, Giberson says, "moving" reference frame, which makes me think he is talking about inertial or relative velocity time dilation, or Special Relativity, and apparently not considering gravitational time dilation, a part of General Relativity (both of which have been empirically verified as operational science). See:


http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Special_relativity

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Time_dilation#Relative_velocity_time_dilation

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gravitational_time_dilation

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/General_relativity


That aside, even if we presume he meant to include gravitationally different reference frames, what he said is not what's at issue here, from your Goliath argument. He is talking just about time dilation as measured today, when the White Hole theory and similar ones accepted by AiG I mentioned do not rely on just that. Secondly, the issue is whether Ansers in Genesis allows some objects to be very old by their understanding of the Bible, as a hypothetical dating method would read them.


Thus, the question is not whether Giberson accepts AiG's time dilation argument, but whether AiG accepts it. :) The fact that he acknowledges that YECs do use this argument backs up my assertion that they do. Likewise, I am not asking you to agree it is a logical theory, merely to acknowledge that AiG supports it as one possible model.


Forget, just for the sake of discussion, for now, Humphreys' white hole cosmology. Let's pretend that ONLY the time dilation we KNOW is in effect today is the case (it's been experimentally verified). Now, if we take the premise that the universe is a sphere, and we are near the center, then there should still be a gravitational time dilation effect, slowing down time for us, while it would go faster outside. (I mentioned this in the long answer.)

 

While this is currently not enough to give enough time dilation for distant starlight to reach us (Giberson would be correct on that point, although it appears he did not even consider gravitational time dilation), it WOULD be enough for distant stars to be significantly older in their own frames than the Earth is (about six thousand years) in the Earth's frame. :)

 

Thus, if hypothetically we could empirically date these distant stars (by traveling to them, going back in time, and dropping off a clock in orbit, then going back to the Earth-present, and reading the clock... really, "timer" would be a better word here, counting all the hours, days, years, etc.), then biblically, and within AiG's views, some objects could be older than six thousand years. Remember that dating an object inherently means dating it in its OWN reference frame.

 

As for the idea that God wouldn't have used Earth's reference frame, it's an alternate possibility that it's wise to be aware of, and do the research in the Bible to see which best fits the evidence. I think the Earth reference frame very clearly fits the evidence best. For one thing, God defines "day" throughout the rest of the days (including perhaps Day 2) as a single revolution, with evening and morning, of Earth, in its current size. Therefore hermeneutically it most likely means that even on Days 1 and 2, and very clearly means that on Day 4 when he made the stars.

 

Finally, finishing the "just for discussion," if any of the models AiG supports, such as those Dr. Lisle lists in the New Answers Book (purchaseable at the Creation Museum), including time dilation, which give stars more time than Earth, are true -- putting for example the White Hole cosmology back into the discussion, then there IS ennough time dilation or time zone effects for light to reach us.

 

"Einstein's General theory of relativity is the basis for the Big Bang theory which establishes the age of the universe at more than 13 billion years. There is simply no way to get the light across the universe in less time than this."


He cites the General Theory, so why then did he add "moves" earlier? Does he realize that the General Theory is the one that produces gravitational time dilation? And again, right now we're only considering whether some objects might be much older than Earth, just under the experimentally verified GTD. We're not worrying for now about whether today's GTD is enough to explain distant starlight with 6000-year-old Earth. It's vital to understand this distinction because it directly affects the logic in your Goliath argument.

 

Anyways, General Relativity is also the basis of Humphreys' white hole theory. The Big Bang theory is further based on the idea that God does not exist, or does not significantly influence his creation, so it does not make sense for Christians to assume it; we need to analyze it objectively and if the Big Bang doesn't fit, throw it out. Also, there are many problems with the Big Bang as Lisle and others have pointed out. The White Hole theory supposes that God DID do at least some "miraculous" influencing during the Creation Week, which could enable the white hole thing. 


I would add that I think God used physics at every point along the way, including if he used some version of more time dilation in the past. I think physics flows necessarily out of God's infinite existence, so even the "miracles" are not unscientific (a key point that nearly nobody seems to realize).

 

I also like the idea that God could have simply miraculously enforced more time dilation than normal in outer space during Day 4, without the need for a black hole or white hole as in Humphreys' theory. Although his theory has the nice side effect of explaining how you get the other elements and molecules from water, in the black hole compression stage on Day 1. :) So I still lean towards Humphreys' theory.

 

AiG also supports the time-zone theory which basically has the stars being created long ago from an objective reference frame, probably without time and space yet existing (as I read it; this one -is- admittedly confusing) yet for Earth, and when God told Adam that he made the stars on Day 4, he meant that at that point, Earth, and perhaps the spacetime Earth was in, had only been around for four days when the light arrived, so the hermeneutical meaning would be similar to that of our timezones, when we can say that it is "3:00" in one zone, while it is "4:00" in another.

 

So for example, at the first moments of creating stars, it is Day 4 from the stars' perspective. He makes an outer shell of them. Then progressively moves this creative effect inward, making each star on its own Day 4. Then finally all that light reaches Earth at once (or over the span of one day) on Earth's Day 4. I do think this theory creates apparent contradictions with the Day 1 and 2 events, though, since it seems strongly implied that the mass of the other bodies in this universe was all made from the same "cosmosphere" of water from Day 1. Who knows, though; that interpretation itself might be wrong, and the stars might not be made from any of that water.

 

Regardless, there are a number of different models which do logically allow starlight to reach Earth with just four days from Earth's reference frame, and it is logically most likely God told humans how much time went by on the world he made for them.

 

BTW, note that nowhere in the Bible does it say "roughly four thousand years passed between Creation and Jesus". We can only arrive that this by adding up -humans own records- of how many years passed from the humans' own perspective, in the genealogies and the like. This includes the vast majority of the time indicators in the Pentateuch. Thus, we have strong contextual support for the idea that the other time indicators -- in Genesis 1 -2 -- are also in Earth's reference frame (roughly at the average ground level, or perhaps sea level).

 

Furthermore, if God exists, there's no logical reason to suppose Earth -needed- to have millions of years of its own history. There can be billions/millions of years for the stars while there can be just six days for Earth during the Creation Week. :) Since God is all-powerful. Now there might be some reason he would -want- to do this, but no reason has ever been proposed as far as I know, and since it places death before sin, there's clear reason to highly, highly doubt it.

 

Again, if you doubt me, I can provide at least some selective quotes from those AiG books to back it up. Interested? :)

 

"To jump from the mere possibility of time dilation to the conclusion that relativity proves YEC is completely bogus."


Giberson is here using an equivocation fallacy. I'm not aware that anyone officially connected in any way with AiG has ever said that time dilation specifically proves biblical creation, and AiG makes it a point to say repeatedly that the past cannot be proven. Rather, that it provides strong evidence. You OECs seem to have trouble making the distinction. :P


Note: Personally I do consider God's existence to be proven, and the Bible's trustworthiness as his Word to be nearly proven; it can be considered empirically verified. Where I do not think I have proof is in my opinions on what I think God meant to say in the Bible. The reason for this is that there is a "populism" component to hermeneutics that supposes that the popularly understood ranges of meanings of words are exhaustive, among similar issues. So in hermeneutics I think we can reach the scientific theory stage, as I think on most issues AiG has, but we cannot necessarily reach the fact stage.


I do, however, think that my interpretations are correct, as in the most strongly supported ones, therefore the ones I'm willing to put faith in. At least the ones I've done enough research on to be convinced of. There are still many questions I do not have strong answers for from the Bible. :)

 

Witness, by the way, that we (mainstream creationists like AiG and those like me who have read a vast amount of what they say) are aware of the arguments of those like Giberson, but he is clearly not aware of YECs' actual arguments in the case of time dilation, as he expresses ignorance of Humphreys' theory which Ken Ham supports. As does creation.com from what I have seen, at least the basic "more time dilation in the past" concept.


Biblical creationists are addressing the arguments of compromisers like Giberson, in other words, but Giberson and most like him are not even engaging in the debate; they apparently remain ignorant of many vital points biblical creationists make. Therefore I am not convinced his conclusions are sound.

 

"The YEC people love to make God into a great trickster, fooling humanity with misleading data."

 

This is a common argument, that the creation itself does not lie.


However, we need merely think about it a little to spot the fallacy. Scientists have looked at the world and (due to failure to do all-inclusive research, similar to Giberson here) come to wrong conclusions before, like Flat Earth. As I've pointed out before, if people would have just stuck to the Bible, they could have known that Earth was round. Science has been doing this for a long time; picking an interpretation of the world that contradicts the Bible, then when the proof finally comes in, the Bible's portrayal is vindicated.


Giberson's view creates a serious contradiction in that he supposes that God's word fooled people.


And it is in fact lies that are most often clearly condemned in the Bible. I have done a fairly thorough survey of verses on this specific subject, and found that very few verses tell us not to deceive (though one is enough).


Most emphasize that deception with our words is clearly a sin, thus it is obviously most likely that God's plain meaning in Genesis -- the one Giberson knows that most people throughout history understood -- is correct. Including Jesus... (Yes, I know Giberson's response to this point, and it's a possibility I've considered, but I think it doesn't work.)

 

Furthermore, the Bible actually describes many, many situations in which humans looked at the world and came to the wrong interpretation. Jesus talked about some, for example the people's misunderstanding of the psychology of what makes a person unclean. They took a material-magic interpretation that would fit with some type of chemistry or drug type meaning, for things which did not have such druglike powers (although I suspect that there may have been diseases originally in the unclean foods when those laws were given). Jesus pointed out that they had missed that it's what's in the heart (which I think means subconscious) that directs people's behavior for good or evil.

 

Jesus even once went somewhere in disguise, and later kept two of his followers (after the Resurrection) from seeing his face, showing that if someone else looks at something and has the wrong interpretation, God is not going to come in and telepathically reprogram their minds.


Two people can look at the same object and believe two vastly different things about it in this world. Therefore, Giberson's point is simply wrong.








Now, here's some of the relevant quotes from AiG resources. First, from Ken Ham's foreword in Humphreys' Starlight and Time:


"I have been actively involved in the creation ministry for over fifteen years [he goes on to talk about how often he's heard from others on it]... Creationist research has explosed many of the weaknesses and flaws in evolutionary philosophy, and has provided answers in such areas as geology and biology. These contributions have given public speakers such as myself a good degree of confidence to give 'reasons for what we believe' when challenged by opponents.


However, if I were asked whether there were any major places of weakneses in the creationist armor, I would have to admit that it has been (till now at least) in the area of cosmology.


One of the most-asked questions directed at me at our seminars and through the mail goes something like this: 'If the universe is only thousands of years old, how do you explain the millions of years it takes for light to travel from distant stars?'...


How exciting it is to see in this book such a God-honoring approach.... Some traditional creationist concepts will be challenged as you read this, but we need to remember that scientific theories and models are always subject to change--the Word of God is not..."


Note that last bit reveals that he does not just bring his own interpretation to the Bible, but tries to discern what it means to say. Anyways, since the book goes on to talk about time dilation, specifically Humphreys' White Hole Cosmology model, gravitational TD, and reference frames (esp. the Day 4 part of Chapter 2, titled Creation Week: A Possible Scenario, starting at page 37), this endorsement soundly debunks any claim that Answers in Genesis does not believe any object could be older than Earth, in that object's own reference frame.


Here's some tidbits from that section to demonstrate this (this is Humphreys speaking now, keeping it in laymens' terms):


"The Day the Universe Opened (Genesis 1:14-19) [section header; then he quotes the verses]...

The shrinking event horizon [of the White Hole] reaches earth early on the morning of the fourth day. During this ordinary day as measured on earth, billions of years worth of physical processes take place in the distant cosmos. In particular, gravity has time to make distant clusters of hydrogen and helium atoms more compact."


He goes on to describe in this scenario God coalescing the stars and igniting their fusion. He also adds:


"While the light is on its way, space continues to expand [because this is a White Hole], relativistically stretching out the lightwaves (Appendix C) and shifting the wavelengths toward the red side of the spectrum. Stars which are now farthest away have the greatest redshift, because the waves have been stretched the most. This progressive redshift is exactly what is observed."


He says much more about all this in the several Appendices, getting into the jargon and math and suchnot.


Now, here's some similar quotes from The New Answers Book 1, Ken Ham general editor, from the article titled "Does Distant Starlight Prove the Universe Is Old?" by Jason Lisle, starting on page 245:


“Critics of biblical creation sometimes use distant starlight as an argument against a young universe.... But when we examine this argument carefully, we will see that it does not work.... The universe is very big... but that does not mean [it] must be billions of years old.... the techniques that astronomers use to measure cosmic distances are generally logically and scientifically sound. Moreover, they are a part of observation science [Emp. in original] (as opposed to historical/origins science); they are testable and repeatable in the present....

 

[He goes on to reject the “light in transit” model]

 

Any attempt to scientifically estimate the age of something will necessarily involve a number of assumptions. These can be assumptions about the starting conditions, constancy of rates, contamination of the system, and many others. If even one of these assumptions is wrong, so is the age estimate. Sometimes an incorrect worldview is to blame when people make faulty assumptions. The distant starlight argument involves several assumptions that are questionable—any one of which makes the argument unsound...

 

[He next lists the assumptions in sections with fairly self-explanatory headers.]

 

The Constancy of the Speed of Light


[He concludes, since so much else of physics is based on this, lightspeed has remained constant.]


 ...Rigidity of Time

 

Many people assume that time flows at the same rate in all conditions. At first, this seems like a very reasonable assumption. But, in fact, this assumption is false. And there are a few different ways in which the nonrigid nature of time could allow distant starlight to reach earth within the biblical timescale.

 

Albert Einstein discovered that the rate at which time passes is affected by motion and gravity. [He goes on to describe internal and gravitational time dilation.] ...the effects of time-dilation had been measured with atomic clocks.... Light that would take billions of years to reach earth (as measured by clocks in deep space) could reach earth in only thousands of years as measured by clocks on earth. This would happen naturally if the earth is in a gravitational well, which we will discuss below....

 

[He talks about secular assumptions of an infinitely big universe, points out that there is no evidence to support this, and concludes that the alternative is consistent with the evidence; that the universe is basically a giant sphere, with Earth near the center.]

 

This effect is thought to be very small today; however, it may have been much stronger in the past. (If the universe is expanding as most astronomers believe [due to the redshifts], then physics demands that  such effects would have been stronger when the universe was smaller)....

 

[He adds that the premise is reasonable and some creation scientists are researching it.]

 

Assumptions of Synchronization

 

Another way in which the relativity of time is important concerns the topic of synchronization: how clocks are set so that they read the same time at the same time.... Imagine that a plane leaves a certain city at 4:00 p.m. for a two-hour flight. However, when the plane lands, the time is still 4:00. Since the plane arrived at the same time it left, we might call this an instantaneous trip... has to do with timezones...


[He goes on to discuss this option, then the assumption of naturalism, which he rejects, and a major problem with the Big Bang, namely the horizon problem, which is that under physics as observed today heat should not be as uniform as it is, if the Big Bang were true, and pointed out yet another patch, which evolutionists use to solve this; a brief period of inflation during the expansion for no apparent reason whatsoever, noting that many astronomers have rejected that patch as it creates its own problems that would then need more patches to solve.]”

 

I'd add that I think time dilation is a much more reasonable model than timezones. But it shows that AiG is open to multiple options that enable other objects to be older (in their reference frame) than Earth (in its reference frame). Even within time dilation there are many possibilities besides Humphreys' White Hole theory, as he notes.

 

So if, hypothetically, we could empirically prove ages – which would require a time machine (that does not create alternate timelines, incidently; even if we could make a time machine that might not be enough), a very resilient clock to drop off in orbit of distant stars at the first moment they were made, and then return to the present, go to Earth and do the same, and measure both clocks in the present (timers, that is, counting up all the time these things existed for in their own frame), then distant stars could be older than Earth, biblically and in AiG's view. :)

 

Of course, if we could do that, we wouldn't need to be so indirect about all this. We could just observe with our own eyes whether God created as he said he did in Genesis, or whether some other explanation is the case.

 

Since God has proven himself by prophecies and the like, I say we have the next best thing, and really better, since even with a time machine we wouldn't be all-knowing, so we might not quite grasp all the important details that God laid out in Genesis.

Giant Pickle?

Posted by bonesiii on August 6, 2012 at 9:25 PM Comments comments (0)

This is a reply to Robert Baty's "Goliath of GRAS" argument, attempting to refute the biblical creationist position, which I'm convinced is true. Since a thorough analysis proved to be very long I have posted it here to link to.

 

My short answer:

 

Your argument can apparently be boiled down to two claims, neither of which are really anything new. First, that scientists have disproven the biblical "young Earth" position; creationists have been debunking this claim in a myriad of ways for years; I urge you to spend a lot of time researching in-depth the countless articles on sites like answersingenesis.org and creation.com. You make a point of claiming that your reasoning here is valid (at on your home page you also call it sound [Edit: Silly me, it says "concise" lol -- but the following analysis does address its unsoundness too]), but it is both invalid and unsound for many reasons I'll explain in the long answer below (most of which are also often explained on those creationist websites).

 

Second, you apparently try to say that this is the only problem biblical creationists have with evolutionism, but this is not true. There are many others, especially putting death before Adam's sin. These too are commonly addressed by creationists.

 

You also dress up the presentation of these arguments in a lot of fancyspeak, a scary metaphoric title (with unfortunately ironic implications for your conclusion as Goliath didn't exactly have a happy ending -- God's Bigger!), formal syllogistic format that may emotionally impress laypeople, etc. but when I as a logician look past all of this to the ideas and the actual logic behind it, it's basically a rehashing of some of the most common and least thought-through arguments and assumptions that 'old-earthers' (of various stripes) use.

 

 

Long answer (written first):

 

Alright, you asked me to look through your “Goliath of GRAS” argument, which I presume from your homepage is here:

 

http://groups.yahoo.com/group/Maury_and_Baty/message/11536

 

I'm going through this line by line without having read ahead. If it does turn out you make a case that disproves some of what I say to begin with here, bear with me and I would concede it when I get to that; as a truthseeker I know that's always possible. Based on experience, it's likely that this has already been debunked, though, so we'll see.

 

Quotes of you are in bold, of others in bold and italics, quotes from me just in quote marks (hopefully I got 'em all formatted right heh). (Not all of what you said has been quoted here; mainly the “weak points” and strong points as I see them; readers may follow the above link for the full context.)

 

You begin with a quote from Bert Thompson, Ph.D. BTW I've put it to the quoting format I was taught is correct, using the quote from the original article:

 

http://www.apologeticspress.org/apcontent.aspx?category=9&article=308

 

“[T]he most serious area of conflict between the biblical account and the evolutionary scenario is the chronological framework of history—in other words, the age of the Earth.”

 

The original quote is arranged like this. In your quoting of it you set aside the part after the dash, presumably to emphasize it. That is certainly one very serious conflict, but is it really the most serious?

 

To me a far worse one is that evolution contradicts the order of when death came into the world. (Thus what comes right before the dash has a lot more to it; the order of the major events or features of history are most at stake, and that's an umbrella category that includes a lot of things.)

 

They first claim that there was not a global flood, so that the fossils were not laid down by a single catastrophic event (that is, the vast majority of them). Secondly they claim that the fossils and their order are instead over a much vaster period of time, and put them as a record of origins, not as a record of a destructive event that happened after the Fall.

 

A major problem with this from a biblical perspective is that these fossils record evidence of creatures attacking and eating other creatures, cancer, etc. And to bury a creature that has died, or will now die due to this, is obviously death.

 

But the Bible clearly says, both in Genesis and in Paul's writings, that death entered the world through Adam, as well as suffering, thorns, etc. Prior to this there was no death (not of nephesh chayah beings; plants did not count, and some things like insects allegedly might not although personally I doubt that).

 

Thus from a biblical perspective the most logical conclusion is that the creatures buried (now known to be catastrophically) in these layers lived for a time after the Fall, prior to their burial, and the most obvious catastrophe to explain it is the global Flood, which would definitely cause massive amounts of sedimentation, and probably volcanism (esp. with the currently popular runaway subduction model, which however should not be confused with Scripture and may be wrong).

 

Thus, a far worse problem between evolution and the Bible is that the whole foundation of what Christ did, of there being a need for it, and of the restoration to a perfect creation in the future, collapses. Putting evolution as God's way of working puts death before Adam's sin.

 

Now this does not absolutely rule it out; “patches” can be concocted to explain these things away, or simply the Bible could be wrong and some other theistic or atheistic evolution could work (although I think atheism has been conclusively disproven for reasons I've summarized in comments on Christian Post). But to the question of the biblical perspective, this is the worst issue.

 

Now age of Earth is an issue as well, mainly because old Earth interpretations of the evidence were invented specifically to make atheistic evolution seem plausible (though it isn't really, IMO). The age of the Earth is an issue simply because God told us the approximate age, within a few decades or so most likely, in the Bible, and God proved his Bible trustworthy through prophecies, etc. From my perspective, then, I can reject old-earth interpretations based on the Bible.

 

The question that then remains to me is whether my conclusion that the Bible is trustworthy is correct or not. As a truthseeker I know it's always possible I may have missed something. So that is primarily what I focus on now in study. I've found enough to consider it virtually proven, if not, and have put my faith in Jesus (and experienced the benefits of it, which have only added to my confidence that it is correct, plus found many other “evidences for” after that).

 

I must admit that emotionally if it was proven false somehow I would be greatly saddened, as it would apparently mean eternal life is false. I do not wish to lose eternal life due to being taken in by deceptive illogic (which I see occuring all the time all around me in others). So I will admit up front that even if you seemed to present a case I could not think of a strong rebuttal for, I would still, at this point, err on the side of caution.

 

It has happened to me before that I have heard some arguments I thought were strong, and been unable to respond, but just had that nagging intuition that there was something wrong with it, and when I looked into it later found out why. And just the risk of losing eternal life is enough that I often wonder what rationality there could ever be in rejecting Jesus – if I illogically deny atheism even if that is true, I lose nothing; we all just go poof anyways. But if atheists and others who reject Christ are wrong, then you lose everything in hell, to suffer eternal torment (which I believe is self-inflicted, and better than a total end as we have a natural drive for self-preservation).

 

That said, FAITH in Christ means to be convinced, so I must not shy away from any opposing argument. Only those who deep down suspect/know they are wrong suppress debate (incidently, yet another evidence for the Bible versus evolution as evolutionists usually do avoid debate).

 

“While a young Earth/Universe presents no problem for a creationist”

 

Actually a young -universe- DOES present one apparent problem for creationists, that of distant starlight. Although I can imagine that he is speaking strictly from a biblical perspective for the moment or the like, just think this is important to note here [Edit: From reading his original context that appears correct. Also this is directly relevant to some of your assumptions later on]. Lemme just quote my note on that from CP:

 

“One of the things that I think is the strongest case that can be made for old ages is distant starlight. Creationists have many models to explain that. The two I think are most plausible are:

 

1) A timezone interpretation of the language in Day 4. There is strong evidence that the Bible writes with the perspective of humans on Earth, and much as we have time zones around Earth, where in one zone it is called three o'clock, the next two o'clock, etc. -- God may have simply meant that it was on Day 4 that the light of the stars reached us, but on Earth only four days did go by.

 

2) Time dilation, a real physics principle that has been measured, but today is not strong enough to make up for distant starlight. However if in the early days of creation we were inside a giant white hole, as Dr. Russel Humphreys proposed in Starlight and Time, then time could have passed more quickly farther away from the center. I lean towards this, as it allows for simultaneous creation in Day 1, short age for Earth, and long ages for stars.

 

If either of these are true, then only an old age on Earth would be a problem; this is why the distinction is made between young/old -Earth- creationists, not young/old universe per se. Both of these theories leave the apparent hermeneutic interpretation of the Bible intact, without resorting to patches since both have evidence of their own, since the Bible's language only defines how much time passed from Earth's perspective.

 

And as for Earth (and its close vicinity in the case of the moon), there are many "clocks" that give -maximum- ages far too young for evolution, a fact which is usually suppressed (including lunar recession). The dating methods evolutionists use give far older maximums, but they treat these as if they are minimums, based purely on assumptions.

 

They often ignore the effect heat would have on volcanic rock, for example, which also tends to be the ones they get the longer dates out of, except when a lava rock is of a known recent age and gives "false" old ages; then they explain it away due to heat in that case. Logically, if there was a global upheaval that included volcanism in the Flood, we would expect heat distortion.

 

Sedimentary layers in between (less affected by volcanic heat) also consistently show enough radiocarbon which when factored for the decreasing magnetic field and other logical factors come out to about 5000 years of age. Evolutionists brush these aside as universal machine contamination and the like, based on circular reasoning, even though objective tests of that hypothesis consistently fail with zero samples. These are usually not dated by radiocarbon (contrary to popular misconception) since evolutionists assume all the C14 has decayed away over millions of years, but dated by the volcanic layer immediately above it. Thus the heat distortion indirectly affects their interpretation of the age of the fossil.”

 

Lemme again put the former quote for the context of the second part here:

 

“a young Earth/Universe... is the death knell to each variety of the evolutionary model.”

 

Do all evolutionists stand by the second clause here? That a young universe would be a death knell to all varieties of evolution?

 

I have actually thought of one way atheistic evolutionists could, if they really were forced to, get around this. Now because I know of the strong proof that God does exist and that atheism is thus wrong, I know this explanation cannot be, and because atheists are so often illogical and will misuse ideas to lead people away from Christ, I cannot in good conscience reveal it to anyone (haven't even dared to write it lol). But I say this because as a logician/truthseeker who also loves imagining possibilities in this subject, it frankly amuses me that all these evolutionists think they are smarter than me thus can dictate what I must believe, when they haven't even thought of an option I think is extremely obvious.

 

Of course, I think much of what I have concluded, and others, about why the Bible is true is pretty obvious too, and they miss this as well, so this isn't surprising. The main problem is that so many have been indoctrinated to fear research into opposing viewpoints, as if it was “forbidden knowledge.” As a result, while creationists often demonstrate deep knowledge of evolutionists' arguments, evolutionists usually display deep ignorance of our points.

 

Worse, many evolutionists also claim to be the more knowledgeable ones, and make a similar assessment of creationists (but when I have questioned those who claim this, it has so far always come out that it is really they that were much more ignorant, but that they did not have a moral foundation to be intellectually honest in their assessments, unlike Christians who are commanded never to deceive).

 

Anywho, the statement appears to be clearly false from theories that are already out there, especially theistic evolution. If God wanted to use evolution, why must he be limited to long ages?

 

Also, a common mistake that often comes up at this point is to equivocate on “evolution.”

 

In Darwin's time, there had been a popular unbiblical philosophy set up that “species” did not change; that they were created in the same forms as they are now. I blame this basically on our brains getting stupider over time since the Fall, quite frankly (to put it in simplistic terms ). It's plain as day that we do change over time, and the Bible describes many biological changes. Look at the reference to Esau's birth for example. Clearly, he was different from his parents and brother. And besides, faces alone debunk this.

 

IF the Bible is true, then people in the past were likely smarter, before accumulating genetic copying errors (mutations) corrupted our abilities. This would have been obvious to them, in fact we know that humans made use of genetic principles long before they understood them in (for example) breeding dogs. Some people who hadn't really thought it through or looked into it came up with the “species” claim and it spread, largely because people were still not well educated in logic (I believe that with enough careful focused study, and a strong logical education, among other boons, even we can be “smart” enough to find truth, but without these things we humans can be very gullible). Clearly this was not actually biblical.

 

Darwin did a classic “react to the opposite extreme.” He made a false dichotomy assumption, that it's either no change or massive amounts of change.

 

Worse, he failed to realize that the changes we do observe are what I call “downvolution”; they degrade information or lose it, through both natural selection and mutation, so that the creatures who are left have a smaller pool of information and thus less potential to adapt again to further changes. This has been well known among creationists, but evolutionists still seem to have largely not gotten the memo.

 

The biblical term that was used was “kind” (min). Creationists now classify the originally created kinds as baramins (created kinds), and there may also be larger groups of baramins and subgroups, etc. Each of the two original “kindparents” as I call them would have the maximum possible variety in genetic coding. For example, for one of the smallest segments of code, there could be four varieties. A dominant and recessive in the female, and a different dominant and different recessive in the male.

 

Their offspring could thus gain up to sixteen different combinations. Depending on how the surrounding code handled these, this could thus allow up to sixteen varieties just for this one “variable”. It's possible that many code functions rely on multiple variables to greatly extend the range of variety possible, all without new information ever needing to be made.

 

Now, some of these would be better adapted to some environments, post-Fall, others others.

 

To take an example I heard about in a video from creation.com, flies. We would expect that the original fly kind (or a particular type if there were multiple fly baramins) would have a variety of variable settings that code for traits that help them survive in warm versus cooler climates.

 

Now, flies in a more moderate climate we would expect to have a wider variety of variable settings. But flies that move to a very warm climate like a rainforest should not end up that way. In both of them, the variety of genetics should manifest in a variety of flies. Often some dominants will fall out but recessives will remain unexpressed. But in the warmer climate, those with the traits for cooler weather should die out.

 

Thus in those warmer climates, the survivors have less adaptive potential for the future. This is a one-off survival mechanism God foreknew would be needed due to the Fall. Now some scientists wanted to see if you could take warm-climate flies and put them in colder climates and see if they “evolve” to fit the colder. But they all died. This is exactly what we should all expect, yet the evolutionists were described as surprised by this.

 

Even the scientists are often held in ignorance of basic scientific knowledge among evolutionists as this shows, which I think is because that knowledge supports the Bible, so evolutionary education controllers have an ulterior motive in holding it back (though loosely) from the public; of not being strongly motivated to make sure people know it.

 

Anyways, change of this sort is what we universally see; “downvolution”. Media proponents usually equivocate and call this evidence of evolution, but it is the opposite direction of what atheistic evolution needs which would be “upvolution.” Downvolution is just what we should expect in a post-Fall created world as described in the Bible.

 

(Even the genetic principles of information and coding themselves demonstrate design.)

 

Ayways, I do not believe that short ages would be a death knell for atheistic evolution of some kind. I think they have a strong emotional, rebellious reason to -want- – even desperately, against all logic – to disbelieve in God. I think we're all pretty familiar with the reasons given commonly by biblical creationists. Even if they admitted that the evidence soundly debunks an old Earth, they would still imagine by blind faith (as they do now even with long ages) that everything could somehow come into finite existence without the infinite, beyond-time God of the Bible.

 

“It is undisputed, as the above shows, that some folks believe that the Bible teaches that 'nothing is more than a few thousand years old'.”

 

This statement, exactly as you worded it here, may be true, but it is not what “mainstream creationists” (biblical creationists) believe. The Bible gives us the definite age of the Earth. It does not necessarily give us the age of stars (from the time-dilated perspective of the stars themselves), or other extraterrestrial things. Let's not stray from accuracy with sweeping generalizations.

 

The theory I do lean towards, time dilation, probably something like Humphreys' White Hole theory, -could- be accurately described this way, though; that from Earth's relativistic reference frame everything created is no older than roughly six thousand years as would be measured by a physical clock on Earth from the first moment on.

 

“The relevant question, when it comes to the fundamental...”

 

A comment about semantics here, since this is my area of expertise, it's always a red flag when someone uses code phrases like “fundamental” to describe other viewpoints. As I have put it in an old origins essay draft:

 

“This is one of the more amusing arguments in some ways, but in other ways the most disturbing. Essentially, this is meant as an insult, attaching an assumed negative connotation to the word "fundamentalist"... A Fundamentalist is someone who adheres strictly to "fundamentals", in other words....

 

[Being a] "fundamentalist" inherently means you believe in the "foundation", "basis", "primary source", "original source". Fundamentalists believe in the things, in other words, that it is essential to believe in.... It's amusing in that evolutionists seem to forget that if being "fundamentalist" is a weakness, Evolution is similarly weak, because it dogmatically insists on several "fundamentals"... I believe God's Word, Foundation and All, because that is the only logical choice in the end.”

 

I would add that to self-identify as a non-fundamentalist should by the same reasoning be called a Superficialist. But I actually want all the truth, whether superficial or fundamentalist. I'm a Whole-ist, if you will (normal spelling is Holist, not to be confused with Holyist though I suppose I'm that too). Objectivist, in other words. I want to be impartial (as God commands me to be), logical, etc.

 

“The relevant question, when it comes to the fundamental "young-earth, creation-science" position on that point is whether or not the real world evidence really does support that interpretation or if that interpretation is subject to falsification based on the real world evidence.”

 

Again, remember the key here is in whether your definition of “support” is logical or not. Keep in mind what I said about patch theory; to quote from a CP post of mine:

 

“The problem... as I see it is that it is possible to make anything seem to argue for any idea if you only add what I call "patches." The key to me is thus to find the explanations that require the least or zero patches to explain the evidence; that is how "evidence for" has to be defined if it is to have any meaning at all.

 

And what I find is that the Bible requires no patches; it already predicts and fits with everything we find. All other worldviews, especially evolution, require patches to explain away discrepancies with what is found. (Although to be fair the Bible doesn't explain all details, and reality IS complex, so complexity, whether under evolution or otherwise, is not necessarily a patch. Basically a patch as I see it is an extra explanation that has little to no support itself except that the idea it's intended to "rescue" doesn't fit the evidence without it. I can give examples if you like.)”

 

One great example is how evolution's long ages don't quite match the way stars orbit nearby galaxies, so they invent the conveniently undetectable dark matter to explain the discrepancy away. The Oort cloud is another; there are countless tinier ones, especially the conveniently unobserved biological upvolution they imagine.

 

“I've developed a simple, logically valid argument (i.e., "Goliath of GRAS") proposing that the real world interpretation of the text commonly associated with the "young-earth, creation-science" (i.e., "nothing is more than a few thousand years old) movement is subject to falsification with reference to the real world evidence.”

 

Since you're making such a point of this being valid (and elsewhere you claimed sound [Edit: I was mistaken; you said valid and concise, not valid and sound... Of course, we need sound arguments to reach true conclusions]), as a logician I think it's important to take a time out to make sure what this means is clear to all readers (especially since our secular schools do not usually teach logic as every-year required courses as they should...).

 

I describe logic as the study of reliable and unreliable ways of thinking.

 

The benefit of logic is that when we have a valid structure, and we plug in some ideas that are known (true), we can in some ways extrapolate to learn new related truths as conclusions. These can also be plugged into more reliable ways of thinking and reach even more conclusions, etc.

 

The two major ways thinking goes wrong is when the structure is bad, or when the ideas being plugged in are false.

 

Validity is basically about the structure of a way of thinking, not about its content or ideas. We can test the validity or not of a structure by applying a variety of ideas into it, especially ones where we already know the correct conclusions. If true ideas can be plugged into a structure, and they would produce a conclusion that we already know is false by other means (especially direct observation), then we call that structure unreliable. We call it a fallacy; fallacious.

 

If that occurs, we do not necessarily know that all conclusions reached by the fallacy are false. It is possible that an idea could be true for other reasons that haven't yet been considered. However, if the only support anyone can find for an idea is fallacious, it is highly likely to be false.

 

Soundness by contrast is twofold. In order for reasoning to be sound, it must first be valid, and not invalid/fallacious. Secondly, only ideas that are already known to be true are plugged into it.

 

When a truly sound argument is used (and arguments can be falsely claimed to be valid or sound), its conclusion is true.

 

BTW, in my observation evolution is always propped up by fallacious thinking.

 

Another important clarification since I can't just assume you are using the semantic meanings of your words that I would hope you are; you said:

 

“...subject to falsification with reference to the real world evidence.”

 

It's vital to keep in mind that evolutionary scientists rely on many unfounded assumptions when they interpret the actual present reality. I'll hope you understand this though. Keep in mind also what I've said about patch theory.

 

I do not believe that any evidence can logically contradict the Bible, until the Bible can first be shown to be explained away by some other means. Based on my reasoning mainly of the impossibility of merely finite existence, which I think demands that the infinite, beyond-time God exists, and would prove that his words are his words with prophecy. And it is crystal clear to me that he has indeed done this with the Bible.

 

Thus, no matter how emotionally persuasive an opposing argument may seem at first, I believe all arguments against the Bible must be false. (Not by assuming it true though.)

 

So I think it is correct to say that IF the Bible was false, and these concerns could somehow be eradicated (I can't see how), then we should be able to find “evidence for” (after a thorough investigation leading to the proving type of finding, not the tentative opinions type of “consensus science") an opposing explanation. This has never happened, nor do I believe it is possible for the simple reason that the Bible is true. (Which is why I'm convinced of it.)

 

But there could be an incorrect semantic meaning of what you say, especially with your vague phrase “with reference to”, which is commonly used by old-earthers of all stripes, which is to equivocate the tentative opinions of scientists – however popular – with proven fact. Tentative, massively popular, even “claimed fact” (as evolution often is deceptively called, without giving logical support for the claim) interpretations of the evidence cannot objectively “falsify” the Bible if the Bible is true.

 

Yes, I understand you mean to be talking about one interpretation, not the Bible itself per se (as you worded the previous quote anyways), but this argument has already been soundly debunked by creationists for a long time; we believe the objective, rules of language, hermeneutically accurate interpretations of the Bible. The idea that this cannot be found should logically make nonsense of all speech and text, which we humans obviously do not believe in.

 

To put it more bluntly, the whole point of the all-knowing God communicating truths to us that would be difficult for us to prove on our own power (since he's Love) is for us to understand those ideas.

 

It's nonsensical to suppose that he wouldn't ensure his words made sense according to the standard rules of language at the time he gave them (almost all of which we still know with incredible certainty, especially for Greek). Such compromises IMO speak to a subconscious doubt that this God really is infinite, beyond-time, and therefore all-knowing, which probably simply results from the people holding those compromised views not having taken the time to thoroughly think through these matters.

 

“Here it is, the "Goliath of GRAS":

Major premise:

If God's word (the text) says everything began over a period of six days, is interpreted by some to mean it was six 24-hour days occurring a few thousand years ago, and there is empirical evidence that some thing is actually much older than a few thousand years, then the interpretation of the text by  some is wrong.”

 

Again, the question is not whether it can be interpreted that way – Patch Theory should be the judge here as well. Old-Earth interpretations may be valid, but the problem I have with them is that they rely on what for now we can only call patches. Especially since Genesis 1 goes way out of its way to explicitly, in historical terminology (not metaphors, similes, etc.) and repeatedly confirm that the creation event took six days.

 

I can quibble a bit here, in that it does not explicitly say “twenty-four hours,” which I think is the old-earther's strongest case. The common “as a thousand years” argument BTW I think is soundly debunked since that was a simile (short answer). But in the case of Day 1, when everything was a giant sphere of water, and maybe to some extent on Day 2, the time the revolution took might not have been twenty-four hours.

 

But I can't see how this would logically help the evolutionists' case or those OECs who suppose the fossils to be part of the long ages of creation (instead of the Flood which already explains them; they remove the Flood for no apparent logical reason). No living beings were made yet at the time, and the Earth's days would be roughly 24 hours clearly by the time beings started to be made. It -is- possible that some deep rocks might legitimately be older than six thousand years, however, by this reasoning (I think; I'm not aware that mainstream creationists agree with me on that or have considered it though; I may be wrong on it).

 

More likely, I think that if we could somehow prove that the Earth was older (which seems impossible since “we weren't there”; this is origins science which must not be confused with present-day operational science, in lieu of a time machine anyhow), it would mean the Bible must be false. I don't see how it's reasonable to think God would deceive his people with language that by their rules meant nearly the opposite of what it seemed to mean. If he could do that on that issue, then how could we rely on anything else from the Bible? How could we know that all the rest of our interpretations aren't wrong either, and the truth is something vastly different?

 

Now, it's clear you're trying to put this into a formal if-then logical syntax. I often notice this sort of thing among those who are less educated in logic; they think that the way to show your argument reliable is to appear logical. I hope this is not your intent here; giving the benefit of the doubt, I will presume not. But generally I think it's wiser to use plain English, logically so, rather than confuse lay people with apparently formal structures. This is especially so because in order to have a truly valid argument (whether sound or not), origins simply cannot be condensed into just one or even anything like a small series of formal syllogisms.

 

Origins is a subject that literally encompasses everything in known existence, and much beyond what is known for sure. To imagine that it can be boiled down to just one syllogism is very unrealistic.

 

There is a huge problem with your “major premise” (the first idea, quoted above) in terms of validity as well. In order for your argument to be valid, in this case, there would have to be a fully valid string of preliminary syllogisms leading up to a valid conclusion – your first premise; the “if-then” statement. And in this case the big problem is the “empirical evidence that” part, which is another way to say “support for” or “evidence for.”

 

But this fails to understand the vital difference between origins science, which deals with the unobserveable past, and operational science which deals with repeatable observations in the present. It is fallacious to suppose that we could ever, for sure, have empirical proof (a note on this term in a moment; there's a second mistake here) that an interpretation of the past is wrong. It is always possible that some unknown factor has been missed (this is what forming patches actually relies on, which evolutionists use all the time, so they do not consistently apply the sort of thinking I urge when I talk about Patch Theory).

 

However, a major point made by Answers in Genesis is that there is a vast difference between direct observation in the present by a witness (when the past was the present), as we obviously believe God witnessed for every moment when he was creating, and any interpretation of the past by humans who were not there. A witness account is far more reliable.

 

And since, as I've said, God has firmly established his credibility as the author (by inspirational guidance) of the Bible (as well as some direct quotes from Jesus, and of God by prophets etc.), then it seems clear (unless we somehow get time machines) that we will never be able to empirically disprove God's Word. Even if it is false, it will always be more rational (as I understand it) to accept what it says. Some of that “just in case” for salvation reasoning I mentioned above comes into play here. But it seems clear it must be true. (Thus we need not fear thorough research.)

 

Now IF we could prove (that interpretation of) the Bible wrong, that would be a different matter. But because of the distinctions between a direct witness who has proven his authority, and of origins versus observational science, it seems that this is impossible. Thus the reasoning that led to the first premise is fallacious, and the entire argument is fallacious as a result.

 

The second mistake is that you made an equivocation fallacy between “evidence” and proof. Evidence means an apparent indication. Since sometimes patches do turn out to be true, we know that apparent indicators are not the same thing as proof. Only with proof do we know for sure whether something is right or wrong. Yet you leaped from uncertain evidence to certainty with a definitive end to your if-then premise:

 

“then the interpretation of the text by some is wrong.”

 

At best you could only validly say that the interpretation would appear to be wrong (but might be right anyways).

 

Thus the reasoning leading up to this first premise is invalid on at least two counts.

 

It also has the already mentioned major problem of misleading implications of a Straw Man, although you did not explicitly state this (but some reading what you said will likely emotionally walk away thinking it), pretending that the Bible's objective meaning (as we believe anyways) says that everything is only a few thousand years old, from that thing's own relativistic time-frame, or “time-zone”, or whatever. And besides, the Bible does not as far as I know explicitly state the age of some other created things God made, such as “heaven” (some people theorize there is a different concept of time in heaven in fact, although I think I disagree).

 

Also, this gets a bit technical, but time need not be limited to a straight linear path in God. This is probably not relevant here, but is God really wanted to make one object older than the universe he later created and put it in, he could. It could also experience its own age in a “sideways time” or the like. This does apply in a sense to prophecies; time goes beyond the linear limitation we live with in these cases, and to measure the age of a prophecy in such a linear way would be obviously irrational.

 

Plus, even if the time dilation explanation of distant starlight in general is not true, we do know for a fact that time dilation actually occurs to a lesser extent in the real world now. If it is true that we are roughly near the center of a physically spheroid universe of galaxies, then there is some time dilation, according to Einstein's discoveries. The effect of this would be that time “slows down” for those in reference frames closer to the center, which would include us. Thus, time “goes faster” for those in reference frames farther out.

 

At the farthest reaches of the universe, even if they were created simultaneously with Earth and not majorly time-dilated themselves to get distant starlight here, or if the timezone method was used, etc. (it gets more complicated than I'm summing up here) – meaning, if the Earth's original age and the distant stars' age was less than a year at the end of the creation week... Even if all that is the case, then the current age of the most distant stars should be more than six thousand years, maybe much more (not enough to explain distant starlight, though).

 

Your premise also appears to assume that we mean it had to be exactly twenty-four hours long. Earth may have rotated at a slightly different rate in the past. But this one is probably a mere nitpick; just FYI.

 

Another note is that your differentiating between “[i]f God's word (the text) says” and “[if it] is interpreted by some to mean” appears at best confusing and unnecessary. It implies that we can somehow know what it says, and yet also interpret it in a way that might be not what it says. (Of course, I've seen OECs often doing something like this, but it seems clearly contradictory to me.)

 

This is because to say that the text says something affirms that we can know the proper interpretation, that is not wrong.

 

Yet to say “is interpreted by some” and to lead this to the if-then that if evidence contradicts it, ”the interpretation of the text by some is wrong” would deny that same affirmation. This could be resolved by clarifying that in the first case you mean “days” in the unspecific meaning sense; I'd advise simply putting that word in quotes, plus later clarifying of course that “days” could mean something besides 24-hour, etc.

 

Another important note comes in the terms “much” and “a few.” This is very inexact language. How much more would be too much, for example? Also, the length is six thousand years or so. “A few” calls to mind three or four. It's important to be exact. Also some have said it may be much more due to generations skipped in the genealogies. I disagree, but it's a plausible theory, and thus the “much” could come into serious consideration.

 

“Minor premise:

God's word (the text) says everything began over a period of six days, is interpreted by some to mean it was six 24-hour days occurring a few thousand years ago, and there is empirical  evidence that some thing is  actually much older than a few thousand years.”

 

This is actually three ideas in a list (which is technically acceptable in logical syllogisms as long as they're kept clear). The third is especially where you appear to go wrong.

 

 

1) God's word says everything began over six days. See above for why this is false, namely the hasty generalization of “everything”, and the clarification of reference frames. God's word does, however, say that Earth and humankind are roughly six thousand years old.

 

2) Is interpreted by some as 6 24-hour days a few thousand years ago. Again, see above. Certainly it is very likely that some do interpret it exactly as 24-hour days but this is not a technically correct mainstream position (though it is often summarized that way), and the contrasting problem with the “few.” You're alternatively being too exact and not exact enough.

 

What is correct is to say that mainstream biblical creationists including me (believing what God's word says; see especially their writings on the Hebrew word yom when used with a number and the phrase evening and morning) believe it was six roughly 24-hour days (explicitly six revolutions of Earth), roughly six thousand years ago (as of 2000 AD).

 

3) There is no empirical evidence in my experience that the Earth is much older than six thousand years. See my clarifications above about extraterrestrial bodies though.

 

“You are welcome to try your hand at impeaching the validity of the argument, or simply accept it for what it is...”

 

Sadly, you have just demonstrated once again to me that evolutionists are poorly educated in logic. And worse, you are appealing (hopefully unintentionally) to the public's widespread poor education in this too from secular-controlled education. I have no doubt many “products of the public schools” would be convinced by this.

 

I have noticed that it is in Christian (usually homeschool) curricula that logic and critical thinking are consistently taught. I was first educated in public school until my parents got fed up with the poor quality of education and I switched to homeschooling. It was then that I had the wonderful experience of learning logic, something that was not even mentioned in public school, and decided to become a logician. (After that I began my years of in-depth research into origins and salvation and eventually concluded the Bible was true, and accepted Christ. ^_^)

 

If evolutionists were really so confident their view was correct, they would have no reason to fear teaching the public to be logical. If the public was as well educated in logic as I want them to be (required course, indeed the top priority course as it has a direct and foundational value to all other courses, especially math and science), everybody could easily spot the fallacies in what you said.

 

They were not hard at all to spot (no offense ); all you need to do is look at each component and ask how it could be false, and compare it to your memory bank of basic knowledge (and preferably far more than basic if you wish to be credible on origins; your library of in-depth knowledge of various opposing viewpoints from years of careful research).

 

For example, when you claimed that if there was empirical evidence that something was much older than a few thousand years, then that interpretation of the text is wrong, I asked myself whether this “if-then” claim really had no alternatives. I argued that the interpretation of what the text means to say could be correct while the text itself is wrong (not actually inspired by God; manmade).

 

I also asked, “Can there really be empirical evidence confirming this interpretation absolutely wrong?” which highlighted a number of equivocal fallacies and the basic assumption that the actual evidence has been interpreted correctly by scientists. (Which anybody who follows science knows is an unreliable assumption.) More to the point, the related question, “Is there actually any empirical proof against it?” I could know from my own research that there was not, but this should not be necessary for you to realize that your argument may not be sound (at least) since you did not support the idea that there was empirical proof against it.

 

Anybody can apply these logical tests to arguments. You should not need someone else to come in and point them out to you. You should be so adept at logic because you were taught it year after year that this should be easy to you.

 

(I may have made errors myself of course, which I hope if so someone can point out. So there's nothing wrong with needing an error pointed out, and this is especially why I admit up front that I do have strong emotional reasons to want the Bible true, which possibly has tainted my judgement. My point is, it is very telling that the secular-controlled schools suppress knowledge of logic.)

 

I beg you to spend a lot of time reading the vast numbers of articles on sites like answeringenesis.org and creation.com that debunk these and many more points, repeatedly and in great detail. It is plain to me that you have not done this at time of writing this argument. No doubt you know some of it, but a proper analysis requires thorough research. I believe that when considered all together, creationists like these have soundly debunked evolution and shown the Bible to be trustworthy. ^_^

 

“It is further proposed that the only disputed aspect of the above argument, in the context of the popular "young-earth, creation-science" movement, is the 'evidence of age'.”

 

This is clearly false for many reasons explained above. You may have accurately depicted a rare misunderstanding of biblical creationism but you did not correctly state the mainstream, biblically accurate position as exemplified by Answers in Genesis and the like or by all biblical creationists.

 

“In order to deal with that issue, a formal, in writing, for the record discussion is proposed with the following suggested propositions:

Proposition #1:

The empirical evidence shows that the Earth has been in existence longer than one hundred thousand (100,000) years.

Affirm: Todd S. Greene

Deny: ???”

 

Are you trying to set up a vote system here? Truth is not determined by vote... (Except when it is.) And you can include, obviously, everybody adhering to the mainstream (self-described biblical) creationist position, including me. In fact with Earth specifically there is vast evidence that it is young.

 

Also, why do you put the arbitrary number of 100,000 years? Why not 200,000 years? I do not take a stand on some arbitrary number like that. I take a stand on the Earth being roughly (with possible clarification of Days 1-2) 6,000 years old. You've already moved the goalposts far afield, as it were. And your original wording semantically seemed to go the other way! How do you get from “a few thousand” to one hundred thousand? That's a lot more than a few!

 

So even if you were to add my name here, as you perhaps will, it would appear to imply by opposition that I might agree with an age of 90,000 years for example, even though I do not. It would be better for you to keep the number at the one accepted by mainstream creationists, since that is what you were earlier arguing against (by your wording anyways).

 

More to the point, instead of distracting people with this formalistic format, why not just in Plain English give the actual evidences that you believe prove the Earth to be older? (Or if you don't think it quite proven, clarify that, etc.) Hopefully you will farther down, but this really belongs near the beginning as you are saying that your argument rests most strongly on it. You may plausibly disagree with this, but just consider it constructive criticism from a experienced logician you can evaluate for yourself.

 

“Proposition #2:

The empirical evidence shows that the Universe has been in existence longer than one hundred thousand (100,000) years.”

 

Again, we need clarifications here. What do you mean by the universe? I've seen, for example, some OECs equivocate by saying that under the time dilation theory, the “universe” is old, so it would be wrong to focus on the Earth's own age (even though this is obviously what the Bible rightly did, since, well, we are here, not out there).

 

Presuming that Humphreys' time dilation theory is exactly correct, just for sake of discussion, then this would be a Hasty Generalization Fallacy, yet to just simply deny it could make us appear to be using the same fallacy, since in reality some parts, including the Earth and nearby things, would be younger while most stars would be older. (Everything about that many lightyears away and beyond.) From their own reference frame, that is.

 

It is even possible under the time dilation theory to accurately state that the entire universe had not been in existence longer than roughly six-thousand years from Earth's reference frame. This frame makes no comment about how much time goes by in other frames; its meaning would basically be that the moment of origin of both Earth and the rest were parallel in time, and that since then six-thousand years or so went by on Earth. As opposed to the time zone theory which would state that the entire universe was made long ago while Earth did not yet exist to have a reference frame (indeed time and space itself might not have).

 

It's also possible that all of these are wrong and the whole universe is roughly six-thousand years old (probably somewhat older far away as mentioned above, from the faraway reference frames, due simply to present-day dilation in a materially spheroid universe), and that God used some yet-to-be-discovered natural or “miraculous” means to get the light here. I sometimes lean towards something like this but haven't yet researched it fully to withholding judgement. (One that seems nearly plausible at the moment is Dr. Jason Lisle's recent theory that light travels faster coming inward towards Earth than outward, which is technically possible by Einstein's discoveries, but I think probably unlikely. I also often wonder if some way to temporarily make some of the light go faster via time dilation but not the stars themselves might work, but I can't see how.)

 

“Proposition #3:

The empirical evidence shows that the Earth is less than one hundred thousand (100,000) years old[.]”

 

Here you run into a serious problem.

 

In your mirroring first proposition, affirmation requires (logically anyways ) the assumption that “clocks” that we discover must be implicitly trusted with the same assumptions that evolutionists use to get out the old ages they want.

 

Yet, we know of many “clocks” that give maximum ages far younger. Research this on the sites I mentioned. I've listed some in CP posts. By the same assumptions, these clocks contradict old ages.

 

It's also vital to understand the differences between maximum ages by these dating methods and minimum.

 

A good example of a maximum age is a radiometric decay rate in a sample, assuming it began as all parent element and no daughter, assuming heat did not affect it at all, or at best assuming various patches kept the heat from affecting it significantly. Using these assumptions, as well as some others (magnetic field, etc.) we can show that a rock could not be older than its maximum.

 

Evolutionists have many like this that they point to in order to claim the Earth is millions to billions of years old.

 

But they miss the key concept of the maximum, and in fact equivocally confuse it for a minumum. Witness the way these 'clocks' are usually treated, without any further analysis, even by scientists. If you can send a rock to a lab, and get out “a date” that is millions of years old (or older than six thousand; note my clarification on Day 1-2), then this is held up as proof that the Earth is actually that old at the youngest.

 

But heat, the presence of daughter elements in the beginning, and various other factors can change this. And when the exact same methods are used on rock that is known to have formed volcanically within just thousands to hundreds of years, they also give obviously erroneous old ages. (It especially seems implausible to me that there could not have been much more daughter elements originally than is commonly assumed.)

 

Evolutionists use these other factors to explain those away, but do not consistently apply them to rocks of previously unknown ages. They just blindly hope that by sheer luck the unknown rocks are all millions of years old and the known ones are the only ones that give these erroneous dates.

 

In other words, they assume millions/billions of years to argue millions/billions of years, and thus fall prey to the fallacy of circular reasoning.

 

Furthermore, by many objective methods, especially radiocarbon, we arrive at maximum ages far younger than these pretended minimums.

 

When you have one clock that gives a vast maximum, but known young minimums (in the case of rocks with otherwise known ages), and another clock that gives a young maximum, the logical thing to do is to throw out the older ages and begin at least with the young maximum. In fact the vast majority of clocks give young maximums.

 

I believe that if we could accurately calibrate all of these clocks they would come out to biblical ages. Recently in the case of radiocarbon creationists have been able to do this to a roughly five-thousand years for what are believed to be Flood rocks. Some others already fit, especially lunar recession. Further research is warranted.

 

Your fourth proposition mirrors the second and my response should be easily inferred.

 

“Typically, those desiring to see my "Goliath of GRAS" defeated have themselves retreated into the UNscientific position popularized by Dr. Fox and summarized as follows:

I've got my interpretation of the text regarding the real world and that trumps any real world evidence to the contrary.”

 

As of writing this I have yet to read his position as far as I recall (a link would be nice?). I cannot trust that you have accurately summarized his views; this appears to be what I sometimes call Mocking Tone Fallacy.

 

 

Does he actually word it this way? If so, what does he mean by “my” interpretation, and “trumps”? These are key here. Nor could I trust that your statement about what is typical is accurate, especially having witnessed you inaccurately summarize other views.

 

This basic argument has been used as a Straw Man against AiG before. The apparent implication is that AiG's stand on the Bible means that they refuse to consider or research opposing evidence; I have seen some critics actually claim this.

 

The opposite is the case.

 

Biblical creationists, including AiG, are amazingly more knowledgeable about “both” (and all) sides on origins. It is the evolutionists who tend to be very ignorant of what creationists actually think. In fact, this argument has been used as an excuse by many evolutionists to justify not spending much time researching the other side, because they falsely claim the other side has admitted they do not research the evolutionists' side, therefore cannot have good arguments. In reality, this is a smokescreen to disguise (IMO) evolutionists' own ignorance.

 

And since this is the case I have concluded the biblical creationists are correct, not the evolutionists. A similar contrast exists with OECs, and again, I conclude the biblical position is correct.

 

 

As for "unscientific", I have pointed out before that it is evolutionists who are unscientific. Especially atheistic, secularistic varieties as science requires God in order to function. lso they often cling most stubbornly to what they want to believe when it has been disproven. The more evidence has been brought to light contradicting it, the more they have relied on just claiming it to be fact (instead of just theory, and before that instead of just hypothesis). I have before referred to their approach as the antiscientific method.

 

 

“Dr. Fox's position effectively concedes that 'young-earth, creation-science' cannot stand up to scrutiny as being 'science' and that the real world evidence falsifies 'young-earth, creation-science'.

That is a good thing to know.”

 

It's highly unlikely that he conceded such a thing. Are you not putting ideas into his head? (Or nearly words into his mouth?) Now I understand that you may simply be struggling to understand a difficult aspect of technical logic or at least a position that requires a lot of thought to understand. And maybe this person would agree with your summary; I would like to hear it from the actual person.

 

Anywho, since you alleged something similar with AiG and I've spent years reading their site, I can guesstimate that your confusion is probably stemming from their way of pointing out the importance of “presuppositions” in the origins debate. The main reason, as I understand it, that they make this point is that evolutionists are usually kept ignorant of logic and that evolution's conclusions are reached by assuming some of the ideas that are fed into the thinking (the premises).

 

AiG correctly points out that in order to do any logic at all, ultimately we must adopt some “presuppositions” which are premises we cannot totally prove, especially that logic will always work. Usually they are not this clear but several times they have made that point. This is technically correct, and even I, with my philosophy on how to seek truth am using presuppositions. Without at least some presuppositions humans simply could not intellectually function.

 

Where I think AiG gets needlessly confusing is when they often seem to imply, or leave room for opponents to infer (as you apparently have) that they pick their own presuppositions – the Bible essentially – in the same arbitrary, emotional way that evolutionists pick their atheistic or secularistic presuppositions. AiG has a strong criticism in shining the light on this method of blind assumptions that evolutionists make, but I do often fear that the criticism gets weakened when they immediately seem to justify it by saying they do the same thing.

 

However, whenever someone actually questions them on this, they debunk your interpretation of their strategy, by clarifying that they believe only the Bible makes sense of the world, which is how we can know it is reliable and why using it for our presuppositions is more logical than what atheists or secularists do. Also that witnesses are more reliable, etc.; see above.

 

Where I differ is that I think a less confusing way to phrase this would be to simply say that the Bible is nearly proven, if not so, based on thorough research, logic, etc. thus what it says (determined objectively) is trustworthy. I consider it clearly true, and thus put my faith in Jesus since that is what it objectively says to do. And I likewise think that this is what everybody should do.

 

Considering all that – especially that it's only from what the Bible says that we know of the way to eternal perfect life – if it could be logically shown that the Bible's objective meaning was actually false, that would not at all be a good thing to know as you claim! The fact that you say so tells me that you must have some emotional reason not to want salvation, that I simply cannot identify with, and I greatly fear it's been imposed deceptively onto you, to the risk of your own eternal soul.

 

Now if you are saying, as I'm still not clear but suspect based on your wording, that you do accept Christ but want the Bible to seem more palatable to those who buy into long-age claims of evolutionary scientists or the like, then okay, but you cause the dangerous side effect of believing the Bible's apparent objective meaning is unreliable, making the words ultimately meaningless and open to any interpretation. This does throw everything about Christ into doubt in my opinion.

 

That would be very bad news. But instead we have infinitely good news because the Bible has been conclusively shown trustworthy, and thus we can have eternal perfect life through Jesus. ^_^

 

 

By the way, Goliath might not be the wisest analogy to use. I'm glad you did though as it got me thinking of the five stones David collected before taking him on, and how I keep summarizing my views of truthseeking with four main components, yet also including Patch Theory... really I do have five main components. Logic, open mind, all-inclusive research, imagining possibilities, and avoiding patches.

 

And it is with those five that quite frankly this “Goliath” has gone down. Really, this is one of the weaker of the typical arguments used to oppose biblical creationism; you just made it seem different by its style of presentation, as if you thought that by phrasing things in formal syllogisms makes it more logical than otherwise.


When you boil this down to the plain English, what you're saying is what countless others have claimed and biblical creationists like those at answersingenesis.org, creation.com, and others, have debunked time and time again – that there is conclusive proof or strong evidence that Earth is older than the Bible plainly says.

Origins Feedback

Posted by bonesiii on June 20, 2012 at 10:35 PM Comments comments (1)

This entry serves as an open comment opportunity on either my original origins essay, or the new [unfinished for now] The Infinite Cause origins essay. :) You can also email me at bonesiii@gmail.com.

Emotion in Debates

Posted by bonesiii on June 18, 2012 at 11:05 PM Comments comments (0)

So often I have encountered in origins debates and other discussions of the deeper issues of life a philosophy, always implied-only (so far :P) that if you can reach a certain emotion because of something someone else said, that disproves what they've said.


For example, someone who was debating me once said, "I have read a few of the AiG [Answer in Genesis; a biblical creationist organization] "answers" to the talk.origins [an evolutionist site] refutations of creationist arguments, and each time I had to suppress a giggle." ^


Many other times in debates things along this line have been given, sometimes as apparent end-alls to discussion. You get the sense that the worst thing that can happen to an idea is to get laughed at.



In other instances, if someone says something that comes across as insulting, offensive, angering, or even lesser shades of this, which in my experience is almost impossible to avoid in origins debates, that too can act as a "disproof of the idea" being put forth, even if a different wording would not have carried that emotional connotation but would have carried the same idea.


Furthermore, despite my recognizing this, I continue to laugh at, raise my eyebrows at, shake my head at, etc. various views from people I disagree with. Even though I have trained myself to continue to consider the idea fairly afterwards, I still naturally laugh at things that are funny, get annoyed at things that are annoying, etc. And I always fear that this might come across via what I say to others despite my best attempts to self-censor, and that this will emotionally drive them away.


Surely there must be a better way!


And in many trivial issues, when people are properly trained in how to discuss different ideas, I find that eagerness to continue the discussion and calm analytical approaches are not at all opposed, but are usually both easy for people to do. It seems to be on the "big" debates that most people get so emotional (although I have encountered many exceptions).


I think this happens mainly because some issues we want to believe, whereas in others what we want is an intellectually stimulating discussion, without really wanting to believe one particular answer or avoid one, etc. Whether "big" or "little", the dividing line we naturally fall into is whether we want something to be true or whether we don't care so much either way.


With origins, the simple answer is that evolutionists want to believe we evolved, atheists want to believe there's no God, theists want to believe in God, and biblical believers want the Bible to be true.


There are undoubtedly exceptions, but I think this is what's going on with most of us if we are honest. As a biblical believer myself, I can honestly say that yes, I absolutely WANT to believe the Bible is true, and that has motivated me to seek out reason that it can be, or even must be, true. I do think I have found objective proof, but it is true at the same time that I wanted to find it.


And during the time in my life when I did not believe, could not believe even when I wanted to, in some ways I didn't want it to be true. And that, I think, was why I did not believe at the time.


What I've come to realize is, the natural emotional reactions we have to wildly different opinions of ours (as we see them :P) are okay, and that having these reactions does not have to cut off our ability to continue the discussion or analysis in our own heads.


Imagine if, in the origins debate or those like it, everybody involved was always eager to discuss that issue because they wanted the truth, and even though they could laugh at each other and with each other, think each other's ideas ridiculous, or feel offended at the different ideas, through all of this their mature awareness that those silly, hate-able ideas might be true would never waver.


Having tried this approach for many years now, I even find myself laughing less AT opposing ideas, and yet at the same time being able to laugh WITH my opponents at myself, and to feel a deep joy as I read opposing ideas, for knowing why they are wrong, or being able to hear a different perspective that almost always deepens my understanding.


And even better, I find myself now unable to feel offended with nearly anything that opponents can throw at me. Sometimes the insults of the less adept get my adrenaline up, but I never feel negative about it.


I do feel more and more sad, though, at those who I think are missing out on the eternal joy of life in heaven through Jesus.


And yet my joy at the thought that many will live grows as well. I find a stronger hope that people I used to scorn will find salvation. I find myself able to see past their fallacies and meanness, and see their strengths and weaknesses as they really are; to "read" them. And so far I always read someone of value, someone I desperately hope I'll be able to spend eternity with in the presence of the Almighty. ^_^


I find that I am free to be honest that bad ideas they have really are bad and I don't need to, in myself, shy away from that (although tact is always helpful), and ideas I once thought were bad are actually good, and ideas I have thought good are bad. The emotional value of these ideas gets strengthened even as my mind is more and more open to them, and they inspire me to think, imagine, and research even more.


This is what I believe is among the most lacking things from most who consider issues such as origins, existence of God, etc. and thus one of the things, once fixed, we can most benefit by. Think of how much unneccessary dross could be avoided in wasting our time responding to how things were said versus the ideas that were really behind them! Think how much we could focus on the meat of the issue.


So, that is my advice for this blog entry. Don't feel bad if you honestly find something funny or whatever, but also and most importantly, don't ever think your ability to have that emotional reaction means that the idea is false. It very well might be true!

Light Without Sun

Posted by bonesiii on June 18, 2012 at 4:15 PM Comments comments (0)

One of the strangest arguments against the Bible's I've heard is the idea that there couldn't have been light before the sun. This question was depicted as asked in the movie about the Scopes “monkey trial”, for example, and the actor playing the Christian had no strong answer for it.

 

How can this be, when we are surrounded by other means to produce light?

 

To begin with, the text itself seems to say that God was making light itself directly, with no need for an intermediary technology such as the sun. But even if you assume God used some physical production of light from matter, think of all the other sources of light possible!

 

Light bulbs.

Lightning.

Lightning bugs.

Glowworms.

Glowsticks.

Flourescent lights.

Flashlights.

LED lights.

Computer screens of various kinds.

FIRE!

The heated metal of an electric stovetop.

The little burst of light of static electricity at night.

Falling meteors (such as falling space junk, beyond just Day Four stuff).

Glow-in-the-dark plastic.

Wristwatch backlights.

Cellphone screens.

All manner of seep-sea bio luminescence.

The sparks of flint on metal.

Streetlights.

Car headlights.

Car taillights.

Heat lightning.

Light reflecting off of a mirror.

Light refracting around magnets, or even strong gravity.

Light from nuclear explosions.

Light from antimatter-matter explosions.

Light from particle accelerator impacts.

Holographic ninety-degree-angle light radiation.

Light from lava.

All the light nobody can survive to witness being emitted inside the molten mantle of Earth.

Light bouncing off all opaque non-shining material surfaces.

Light bouncing off of clouds from surface sources.

Light bouncing off of and refracted through water droplets, including rainbows, from surface sources.

 

We could also list many different ways light is made and affected in the Day Four creations of the sun, moon, stars, nebula, etc.

 

The originating nuclear reactions in the Sun's core – and all stars – that does NOT directly shine out.

That light being absorbed by plasma atoms above it and later re-emitted, long before shining outwardly.

Light shining from star plasma caught in magnetic loops in solar flares.

Light reflecting off of solar wind particles cast off by stars.

Light reflecting off of the moon and other opaque, non-shining surfaces such as nearby planets.

Light reflecting off of nebula.

Distant galaxies' collective light.

Light bent by gravity around heavy stars and galaxies.

Light emitted by matter descending in spirals into black holes.

Light reflecting off of comets.

Light reflecting in spectacular colors off comet tails.

Meteor burning of Day Four material.

Aurora light as solar wind impacts our magnetic field.

 

And even these lists are probably far, far too short. All kinda of different designs and methods of producing light, or bending light so that its direction of approach is changed, are well-known by everybody, including those making the “sunlight-only” argument against the Bible. All these are examples of light sources besides merely the eventually-re-emitted light from a star's surface (the end result of item #2 in the second list) which these individuals argue is the only possible source of light before Day Four.

 

Surely they are aware of these things. I think their mistake is probably in thinking that since the sun right now IS the source of light for day/night cycles, that somehow is the only method God could use. But since he is creating all these things directly in the beginning, he could use any other method, or simply create the photons of the light directly.

 

Other sources of light in the Bible include angels, by the way, and Jesus himself, and the Holy Spirit, apparently, are portrayed by direct witnesses in the Transfiguration and in Acts. And John describes light involved in his description of the Father in Revelation. For all we know, an especially bright angel, perhaps even the Angel of the Lord himself (Jesus) was floating there giving light.

 

The earliest verses of Genesis 1 even mention that the Holy Spirit was hovering over the waters, so perhaps he was producing the light in a fiery way similar to what the apostles witnessed in Acts.

 

So in the end, while we don't know exactly what method God used, there is no reason to demand that the sun only produced light, thus no reason to doubt God's statement that the Sun was not made until Day Four. God said he did it this way, so the one thing we can be sure of is that the sun was not the source of light in the first three Days.

 

 


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