Shock news: NI has more fundies than anywhere else in UK..!

NORTHERN Ireland has the UK’s highest proportion of creationists (25%) and believers in Intelligent Design (16%), a survey by Theos (pdf here) suggests. Hardly unsurprising to learn that we’ve more fundamentalists here than anywhere in Great Britain. While the overall results are somewhat confused and demonstrate a lack of public knowledge on the issues, Theos Director Phil Woolley said: “There are two lessons in particular that we can learn from Darwin. The first is that belief in God and evolution are compatible. Secondly, in a time when debates about evolution and religious belief can be aggressive and polarised, Charles Darwin remains an example of how to disagree without being disagreeable.” The subject was discussed on Talkback earlier.

  • blinding

    If thats a surprise to you, then you must be surprised by daylight every morning!!

  • 6 County Prod

    BG
    Define your term, ‘fundamentalist’.

  • Buile Suibhne

    A Fundamentalist: someone who will never let reason get in the way of their prejudice and wishes to force their beliefs on you.

  • joeCanuck

    Good definition, B S

  • yer fundaments r showing billy

    Sounds like a subjective definition to me. fundawhatsit ?

    We also have the lowest rates of divorce, crime & abortion.

  • Greenflag

    Pity the survey did’nt have a breakdown between NI’s RC’s and Prods to see which sectarian group wins first place in the UK ‘Thickos’ Championship Creationist and Non Evolutionist League :(?

    As for God and evolution being compatible ? If you want to believe in an invisible being who ‘intelligently’ creates and destroys what he or she creates in apparently random mass exterminations of life forms every few hundred million years then that’s your prerogative . I prefer to believe in a steak medium rare au jus with abaked potatoe. At least I can see it and eat it .

    There isn’t any GOD -never was and never will be . Bill Maher’s ‘movie ‘ Religulous should be compulsory viewing for the Ayatollahs of Iran as well as the Sandwich Board Disciples of Fundamentalist Belfast not that it would do any good 🙁

    For those with an IQ in three figures you might enjoy reading Steve Jones ‘Darwin’s Ghost ‘ which is an update in modern style of the Origin of the Species ‘ Jones is Professor of Genetics at University Colleg London and has been called Britain’s Carl Sagan 😉

  • Um, any statistical analysis of 60 respondents from a 2,060 sample is of dubious statistical significance (i.e. dodgy!). Instead, if you got the 25% result from 2,000 respondents from Northern Ireland itself, then I might have paid attention.

    This news article is without merit.

  • pauljames

    Nice work Theos.

    “Opinion on what books Darwin wrote (Question 3)”

    The Theory of Relativity-12%
    The Naked Ape-7%
    A Brief History of Time-5%
    The God Delusion-3%
    The Selfish Gene-3%

    and my personal favourite
    The Naked Chef-1%

    Opinion polls, you gotta love them!

  • Doctor Who

    Flat earthers and creationists are of course wackos, I do however have more time for them than the so called mainstram who pick and choose which bits of the bullshit they wish to believe.

    I mean what makes them think the resurection or the virgin birth is more credible than the Garden of Eden or Noah´s flood.

  • Big Maggie

    I listened to Talkback yesterday with incredulity. I couldn’t believe that grown men (and they’re always men for some reason) were arguing about the dimensions of Noah’s Ark!

    Somebody phoned in to ask whether Noah had two polar bears and if so where did he pick them up. Some other chap claimed that it was easy cos the earth was one big happy landmass in Noah’s time. I love it. Didn’t we stop believing in fairytales when we were wee ones?

    Funny how no one mentioned microbes or germs. Aren’t they animals too?

    The microbes came by two by two haroo, haroo…

  • Sam

    Not that he cares, but the Almighty surely deserves our thanks for arranging to deny celebrity atheist Bill Maher, the Iron Man Nightlife Decathlete, an Academy Award nomination for his anti-religion documentary. But Maher got his licks in anyway, saying on last week’s Oscar telecast: “I know, it’s a touchy subject. But someday, we all have to confront the notion that our silly gods cost the world too greatly.”

    Too right! Our silly gods have plainly taken a lot out of humanity’s hide, as a quick tour of the popular pantheon will attest.

    The God of Money has been a particularly effective smiter of our hopes and dreams. His cultic devotees performed their rituals in the towering cathedrals of Wall Street, his evangelists carried the Go$pel to the masses through the media, and his Prophet, Alan Greenspan, commanded the devotion of the princes in the capital city and beyond. We believed the Oracle of the Federal Reserve had unlocked the secret of permanent prosperity by sacralizing the market, a mystery religion whose miracles were not to be questioned by mere mortals.

    When the Prophet finally admitted last October that he had found “a flaw in the model” – that markets are made up of humans, who suffer from a flawed nature – the time to save ourselves from the consequences of idol worship had long passed. Greenspan the Once-Great: Look on his works, ye Mighty, and despair.

    The God of Hedonism, in whose service the priapic Maher qualifies as a snake-handling holy roller, has exacted a painful tribute as well. How has Hedonism’s first commandment – “If it feels good, do it” – worked out for us?

    Marriage and the traditional family are disintegrating, for one. According to a 2007 study by the nonpartisan Pew Research Center, four in 10 babies born in America today are to single mothers. Younger adults cohabitate and have children outside of wedlock, says Pew, “at rates unprecedented in U.S. history.” Social historian Barbara Dafoe Whitehead has lamented that at the current rate, fewer than half of America’s children born today will spend their entire childhood in an intact two-parent home.

    The deleterious effects on children from weak, broken or unformed families have been copiously documented. One can’t look forward to enduring an economic depression with so much social capital depleted.

    Habits of thrift and prudent self-denial, dull though they may be, built this nation’s middle-class wealth. But over the past 40 years or so, we dropped that boring old virtue. Why deny yourself anything? A big house, a great vacation, a new car – such were the ephemeral blessings bestowed upon communicants of the Church of Consumerism. This is how America went from a nation of savers to a country crippled by debt. Hedonism is a demanding and jealous god.

    And let’s not forget the God of Progress, whose cult is indigenous to our shining city on the hill. America was born out of the Enlightenment, which took as an article of its secular faith the idea that humankind was moving irreversibly toward a brighter future, under the guidance of reason. Modernity’s notions of progress required weakening or outright decoupling society from the bonds of religion and tradition. To the progressive – and in the historical sense, almost all Americans are progressive – the past has no binding claims on the present.

    But what happens to the progressive society when a storm blows up and strains at its foundations? That society may find that it’s “like a fool who built his house on sand.”

    One of the “silly gods” denounced by Maher said that, and his words were recorded in a silly book upon which Western civilization was built. That book has a lot to say about the God of Money, none of it good. For what does it profit a man to gain the whole world but lose his soul? And: You cannot serve both God and Money.

    Nor will you find in the Bible’s pages a brief for the God of Hedonism. “I did not withhold my heart from any pleasure,” mourned the writer of Ecclesiastes, “and behold all was vanity and striving after wind.” In the New Testament, St. James warns rather more darkly, “You have lived luxuriously on the earth and led a life of wanton pleasure; you have fattened your hearts in a day of slaughter.”

    That harshes my mellow. Truth to tell, we’d all rather party with Bill Maher than St. James. (Then again, St. James wouldn’t drink all your beer and hit on your girlfriend.) But if we’re honest with ourselves, we have to confess that for a long time, we’ve had rather too much Bill Maher and not enough St. James.

    So, yes, let’s confront our silly gods, the golden calves whose worship has brought us to this day of reckoning. It was the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob who said, “Thou shalt have no other gods before me.”

    Sound advice. We should try that sometime.

    http://www.dallasnews.com/sharedcontent/dws/dn/opinion/viewpoints/stories/DN-dreher_0301edi.State.Edition1.219086c.html

  • Sam

    I see Mad Maggie and the gang are on here with their straw men and non sequiter arguments. We are all meant to collapse in front of their collective paralysing wisdom. The oracles have spoken and fidelism has been exposed by the geniuses of postmodernism after they have read “Introduction to Immanuel Kant.” They may have surrendered their reasoning, but let not the rest of us be so fast or so stupid as to imbibe the limitations of their rationalism.

    Christianity is propositional truth revealed by God, propositions that have been written in the 66 books that we call the Bible. Revelation is the starting point of Christianity, its axiom. The axiom, the first principle, of Christianity is this: “The Bible alone is the Word of God.” However, even empiricism or evidentialism begins with axioms. That beginning, by definition, is just that, a beginning. Nothing comes before it. It is an axiom, a first principle. That means that those who start with sensation rather than revelation, in a misguided effort to avoid axioms, have not avoided axioms at all: They have merely traded the Christian axiom for a secular axiom. They have exchanged infallible propositional revelation, their birthright as humans, for fallible sense experience. All empiricists, let me emphasize, since it sounds paradoxical to those accustomed to thinking otherwise, are presuppositionalists: They presuppose the reliability of sensation. They do not presuppose the reliability of revelation. That is something they attempt to prove. Such an attempt is doomed.

    As both approaches are ultimately predicated on a fidelistic worldview, as a consequence there are no neutral areas. As one evangelical put it, “For every critic – the sceptic just as much as the evangelical – establishing limits is a mater of faith, either in one’s own internal competence, or in another’s (Christ’s) external authority .” Those who hold to non-Biblical presuppositions have constructed it upon some set of non-negotiable assumptions and therefore must embrace an authority other than the Bible by faith. These competing worldviews need to be truth-tested and the only objective standard for this is Scripture alone. Our presuppositions establish the boundaries of what we must alone consider to be possible. These biblical truth presuppositions finalise the limits of what creationists will accept as evidence and the ultimate standard by which they test other views.

  • Sam

    I see Mad Maggie and the gang are on here with their straw men and non sequiter arguments. We are all meant to collapse in front of their collective paralysing wisdom. The oracles have spoken and fidelism has been exposed by the geniuses of postmodernism after they have read “Introduction to Immanuel Kant.” They may have surrendered their reasoning, but let not the rest of us be so fast or so stupid as to imbibe the limitations of their rationalism.

    Christianity is propositional truth revealed by God, propositions that have been written in the 66 books that we call the Bible. Revelation is the starting point of Christianity, its axiom. The axiom, the first principle, of Christianity is this: “The Bible alone is the Word of God.” However, even empiricism or evidentialism begins with axioms. That beginning, by definition, is just that, a beginning. Nothing comes before it. It is an axiom, a first principle. That means that those who start with sensation rather than revelation, in a misguided effort to avoid axioms, have not avoided axioms at all: They have merely traded the Christian axiom for a secular axiom. They have exchanged infallible propositional revelation, their birthright as humans, for fallible sense experience. All empiricists, let me emphasize, since it sounds paradoxical to those accustomed to thinking otherwise, are presuppositionalists: They presuppose the reliability of sensation. They do not presuppose the reliability of revelation. That is something they attempt to prove. Such an attempt is doomed.

    As both approaches are ultimately predicated on a fidelistic worldview, as a consequence there are no neutral areas. As one evangelical put it, “For every critic – the sceptic just as much as the evangelical – establishing limits is a mater of faith, either in one’s own internal competence, or in another’s (Christ’s) external authority .” Those who hold to non-Biblical presuppositions have constructed it upon some set of non-negotiable assumptions and therefore must embrace an authority other than the Bible by faith. These competing worldviews need to be truth-tested and the only objective standard for this is Scripture alone. Our presuppositions establish the boundaries of what we must alone consider to be possible. These biblical truth presuppositions finalise the limits of what creationists will accept as evidence and the ultimate standard by which they test other views.

  • Rory Carr

    In a clever little limerick in the Competition results in the latest edition of The Spectator Aleanna Blake contrives to have Darwin reconcile his theory with Genesis:

    First Genesis bugged him and then
    He found he could still say Amen
    When his origin line
    Verified the divine
    God made animals first and then men.

  • Greenflag

    Sam ,

    ‘You cannot serve both God and Money’

    LOL . Then obviously the televangelists and mega churches and the Popes of Rome and the private jet owning , luxurious mansion residents of born again ‘religion haven’t heard the news . ON a recent visit to the USA I was accosted by a group of ‘idiots’ proferring false 20 dollar bills on which the visage of Jesus Christ had replaced Lincoln’s .’ Their christian ‘message was very simple -give us your money and God will make you ‘rich ‘ . The ‘secular ‘ message is qualitatively different but the end result can be similar 🙁 Give us your money and sometimes you’ll get earthly goods in return but if you are not careful and lack of regulation allows and even if it does’nt some of us will steal what you have saved and rob your investments blindfold until somebody is found guilty and sent to prison and until somebody (usually a banker , lawyer , politician or ‘man of religion’ comes up with a new scam .

  • Greenflag

    Sam ,

    ‘Habits of thrift and prudent self-denial, dull though they may be, built this nation’s middle-class wealth. ‘

    World War 2 helped much more as did Roosevelts ‘New Deal’ . The Great Depression which followed on from the so called ‘gilded age ‘ of the 1920’s was also a spur to thrift . In Britains case the ‘imperial ‘ middle ‘ class grew it’s numbers and influence from the Industrial Revolution which ‘accumulated’ much of it’s initial start capital from slavery , the sugar trade, trade supremacy and the conquest and absorbtion of much the world’s agricultural output and labour into the British Empire’s domain.

    ‘They have merely traded the Christian axiom for a secular axiom.’

    Rubbish . They haven’t traded anything . Many of the world’s greatest ‘secularists’ are ‘religious ‘ or dressed in the paraphernalia of religion. Ever see a thin priest or Bishop or a televangelist, Presbyterian Moderator or Anglican Lord without a crust ? There are many decent priests and ministers in all faiths but religion provides a great ‘cover ‘ for theft , corruption , exploitation , discrimination and malfeasance of any and all crimes against people even children . Not at all dissimilar from ‘business’ or ‘bad’ capitalism which uses the cover of ‘it’s just business’ to exploit where it can and steal when it’s possible. Religion is just a business whose CEO is an invisible being and who’s consumers a sold a mess of pottage based on folklore and a good line in salesmanship aided by modern mass communications !

    ‘Those who hold to non-Biblical presuppositions have constructed it upon some set of non-negotiable assumptions and therefore must embrace an authority other than the Bible by faith.’

    More nonsense . The authority that at least some secularists hold to is not based on faith but on observation , evidence ,and the combined knowledge accrued over hundreds of years of scientific research and experimentation . Nobody has proved there is a God but scientists have found a cure for ‘measles’ .

    ‘These competing worldviews need to be truth-tested and the only objective standard for this is Scripture alone’

    More rubbish . Scripture is based on books written several thousand years ago and who’s writers would have known nothing of modern scientific research or methodology . The writers attempt to understand and explain the world was a product of their times. There is no competing world view except in your imagination .The world ‘works ‘ on the basis of established geological , physical , material and biological truths and realities which were unknown in Biblical times . Evolution is part of that reality no matter how many ‘idiots’ still adhere to ‘creationist’ gobbledegook !

    ‘These biblical truth presuppositions finalise the limits of what creationists will accept as evidence and the ultimate standard by which they test other views.’

    Their problem. Denying the truths of science on the basis of ‘faith’ in Biblical revelation and so called scriptural truth is in the end a confession of ignorance based on historical lore and traditional modes of ‘thinking ‘ . It works well with people who prefer others to do their thinking for them . From captive southern rednecks in the USA to nutty Mormons to Northern Ireland’s mega church wackos and born again eejits there is a market for ignorance with which to ‘confront ‘ the world .

    Galileo when summoned to explain his assertion that the Earth moved around the Sun and not vice versa, argued that the church had no choice but to agree with the discoveries of science .Galileo made the point that ‘it would be a terrible detriment if people found themselves convinced by proof of something that was a sin to believe in’!

    Today’s creationists and anti evolutionists are in that terrible ‘detriment ‘ . Problem being they are having a lot more difficulty than their cohorts in Galileo’s time . Reason being that science has made enormous progress in it’s understanding of the world in terms of it’s geology , biology and place in the universe . And we no longer see ‘man ‘ as some kind of special creation but merely the ‘lucky’ survivor of probably upwards of 20 different ‘hominoids ‘ that struggled to survive over the past 4 million or so years .

    As for the present crisis of Mammon. Mammon is just another false God that got out of control in the past decade or so not for the first or last time in history . What’s needed as British Prime Minister Brown sagely states is for the world political community to confront the shadow banking sector and restore confidence to financial institutions world wide . They should have done this 10 years but alas there are still those ‘sovereignists’ out there who still choose to believe that countries can best regulate themselves in this respect . Globalisation allied to modern technolgy has or should have convinced us all that that is no longer a credible stand .

  • Greagoir O’ Frainclin

    So very good of you Sam to share with us what you believe.

    However, not everyone, including myself would agree with what you particularly believe.

  • Big Maggie

    “I see Mad Maggie and the gang are on here with their straw men and non sequiter arguments.”

    Simple Sam, what non sequitur arguments might those be?

    Is a microbe NOT an animal? If so, did Noah bring two of the little chaps with him?

    Seem like reasonable questions to me. Also, your “word of God” the Bible suggests that God gave Adam dominion over all the animals. If so, how do you explain germs that can kill us?

  • Big Maggie

    “The God of Hedonism, in whose service the priapic Maher qualifies as a snake-handling holy roller”

    That’s another thing, Simple Sam: I seem to recall Bill Maher’s sole allusion to a penis in Religulous was when he joking asked the “cured” gay if he had a boner when he hugged him.

    Perhaps we watched two different movies. Er, you DID watch Religulous didn’t you?

  • Big Maggie

    joking = jokingly

  • Devil Eire

    Generate your own “Sam” posts by randomly selecting excerpts from the following web sites:

    http://www.vincentcheung.com/2005/07/14/an-introduction-to-gordon-h-clark/

    http://tinyurl.com/b698ze

    Great time-wasting fun for the whole Slugger family.

  • Big Maggie

    Devil Eire (lovely nick BTW!)

    You believe “Sam” doesn’t actually exist?

    Perhaps his posts are the result of that infinite number of monkeys randomly typing.

  • Devil Eire

    I mean that the posts from “Sam” above are just bits of screed from various evangelical websites, loosely strung together. Don’t feed the troll.

    That said, this gem stands out:

    “These biblical truth presuppositions finalise the limits of what creationists will accept as evidence and the ultimate standard by which they test other views.”

    It’s not a bug, it’s a feature!

  • Danny O’Connor

    Where is the “missing link”? It is of course missing,therefore it’s existence cannot be proved.
    The possibility of DNA evolving from nothing is if I remember correctly is something like ten to the power of sixty one (well outside normal scientific possibilities)which is more atoms than there are in the entire universe.
    I believe that God created man in His own image,and, I don’t care if people think I’m mad.

  • Dave

    Danny, atheists are mostly mouthy shites. I think it’s cute that they call theists unintelligent or mad while they attempt to use logic to refute a belief that is based on faith. That’s pretty fucking stupid, isn’t it?

  • Big Maggie

    Dave:

    I have a friend who believes he’s Jesus Christ. Should I use logic to refute his faith-based belief? Serious question now.

  • Big Maggie

    Danny:

    “Where is the “missing link”?”

    We, us and I and the rest, ARE the missing link. Why do you think we have a vestigial tail?

  • Big Maggie

    us = you

  • skullion

    Big Maggie

    Correct me if i’m wrong but although we’re aware of all the animals going on two by two i don’t think there’s confirmation of them coming OFF two by two.I was just wondering what the ratio of ants to anteaters might have been?

  • Big Maggie

    Skullion:

    “i don’t think there’s confirmation of them coming OFF two by two”

    There was confirmation in the Book of Fred, which followed Genesis but lost to mankind since millennia.

    It clearly stated that all the animals did indeed come off two by two—that’s why all the animals could survive.

    The exception was the unicorn, the male having found himself impotent having worn too-tight underpants throughout the voyage.

  • skullion

    Of course there was also the Bala bala bird which in fact was Noah’s first choice to go looking for dry land.Unfortunately the bala bala bird could neither fly nor swim and promptly threw itself of the Ark to a watery grave.Obviously i’ve just made all that up but if its good enough for the bible…

  • Big Maggie

    Skullion:

    The bala bala bird, LOL.

    BTW did you see Religulous? Son of Sam doesn’t seem to have. Imagine: criticizing something you haven’t read or seen. Almost like … no, let’s not go there

  • skullion

    Big Maggie

    Sorry haven’t seen Religulous and what’s more i don’t think i want to lest i be smitten, no wait smoten, no smote, whatever; cast into the bowels of hell for all eternity.However one thing about the fundies i do seem to agree with is the amount of time the earth has existed.I scoff at the notion of 5000 years when in fact it’s barely over a hundred years old.What else can explain ‘No Pope Here’riveted into the hull of Noah’s submarine?

  • Sam

    It seems my little post hit a nerve – cue the ad hominen attacks and questioning of sanity and logic of anyone who disagrees with the rationalist fanatics.

    The existence of God is something that has exercised the greatest of minds for thosuands of years. The puerile arguments of Mad Maggie and the crazy gang shows just how limited their reading and thinking is. To come on here and claim to have solved the whole debate with an argument based on the question of microbes and Noah’s Ark shows the hubris of these overgrown pub philosophers.

    Greenflag – You clearly have not understood basic philosophical and logic principles. The scientific method is a tautological, circular axiom. When you grasp the limitations of the scientific method and especially the questions IT CANNOT ANSWER such as the origin of matter, time, laws of nature, freewill, morality, determinism, even the origin of diseases such as measles then we may get somewhere in this discussion.

    Danny – dont be too despondent. We have heard these idiotic arguments for hundreds of years. Just because some redneck believes in Theism does not mean ergo it must be wrong. Most people (including rednecks)believe the moon is not made of cheese but it does not follow that this view must be in error. More sophisticated thinkers than Mad Maggie’s drinking pals such as Thomas Paine, Immanuel Kant et al have sought to overthrow the prevailing wisdom of billions of theists over the last 6,000 years and have failed. Perhaps we are all genetically determined to think the way we do as evolution tells us – but they still argue with us using their “rational minds” that they claim came from a irrational unguided source. Kind of ironic…

  • Theist

    Gordon Clark has a good analysis of the presuppositions of both secular and theistic thinkers:

    In geometry there are axioms and theorems. One of the early theorems is, “An exterior angle of a triangle is greater than either opposite interior angle.” A later one is the famous Pythagorean theorem: the sum of the squares of the other two sides of a right triangle equals the square of its hypotenuse. How theological all this sounds! These two theorems and all others are deduced logically from a certain set of axioms. But the axioms are never deduced. They are assumed without proof.

    There is a definite reason why not everything can be deduced. If one tried to prove the axioms of geometry, one must refer back to prior propositions. If these too must be deduced, there must be previous propositions, and so on back ad infinitum. From which it follows: If everything must be demonstrated, nothing can be demonstrated, for there would be no starting point. If you cannot start, then you surely cannot finish.

    Every system of theology or philosophy must have a starting point. Logical Positivists started with the unproved assumption that a sentence can have no meaning unless it can be tested by sensation. To speak without referring to something that can be touched, seen, smelled, and especially measured, is to speak nonsense. But they never deduce this principle. It is their non-demonstrable axiom. Worse, it is self-contradictory, for it has not been seen, smelled, or measured; therefore it is self-condemned as nonsense.

    If the axioms of other secularists are not nonsense, they are nonetheless axioms. Every system must start somewhere, and it cannot have started before it starts. A naturalist might amend the Logical Positivist’s principle and make it say that all knowledge is derived from sensation. This is not nonsense, but it is still an empirically unverifiable axiom. If it is not self-contradictory, it is at least without empirical justification. Other arguments against empiricism need not be given here: The point is that no system can deduce its axioms.

    The inference is this: No one can consistently object to Christianity’s being based on a non-demonstrable axiom. If the secularists exercise their privilege of basing their theorems on axioms, then so can Christians. If the former refuse to accept our axioms, then they can have no logical objection to our rejecting theirs. Accordingly, we reject the very basis of atheism, Logical Positivism, and, in general, empiricism. Our axiom shall be, God has spoken. More completely, God has spoken in the Bible. More precisely, what the Bible says, God has spoken.

  • skullion

    Sam let’s cut to the chase.Where’s the proof?And please no long winded theological bullshit just a short succint answer showing evidence of the existence of God.

  • Big Maggie

    “…cue the ad hominen attacks and questioning of sanity…”

    You mean this one?

    “I see Mad Maggie…”
    Posted by Sam on Mar 03, 2009 @ 10:39 AM

    May I then conclude that you don’t know the meaning of “ad hominem” or the “questioning of sanity”?

    Either you’re ignorant or a hypocrite. Which is it?

  • Doctor Who

    Sam

    “The existence of God is something that has exercised the greatest of minds for thosuands of years. The puerile arguments of Mad Maggie and the crazy gang shows just how limited their reading and thinking is. To come on here and claim to have solved the whole debate with an argument based on the question of microbes and Noah’s Ark shows the hubris of these overgrown pub philosophers.”

    Although I do totally disagree with creationism, I do have sympathy with your point. I certainly would rather have a conversation about the origins of the universe with you than Mad Maggie, who has watched a very average movie and now thinks she´s Richard Dawkins.

    The Bill Maher movie Religulous, is not a documentary, it very much conforms to the current trend of taking interesting subjest matter and have a celebrity play it for laughs. Immitating but not as good as the recent Morgan Spurlock films.

    The shocking editing of footage in Religulous should annoy all atheists, as it was embarrassing and contrived to suit the rather inadequate Maher.

    Strangley I sat with a friend recently to watch this, and he seemed to think it was a triumph for Catholicism. He stated that Catholicism is a “progressive religion which now adopts aspects of Darwinism and doesn´t dispel the big bang theory”. The problem of course being that the Virgin Birth and The Resuurection are not open for discussion.

    These two aspects are of course ignored by the likes of Mad Maggie, to favour shouting on about Noahs Ark, which they see as an easier target. Why?

    I feel that atheism should go after the big churches, and as long as the creationists nad flat earthers stay out of the classroom, they should be left alone.

  • Big Maggie

    Doctor Who’s Your Daddy:

    You presume to know my mind. Are you God? I’ll introduce you to that friend of mine who thinks he’s Jesus, let you slug it out together.

    What gives you the idea that my viewing of movies with a religious subject-matter ends with Religulous?

    “The problem of course being that the Virgin Birth and The Resuurection are not open for discussion.”

    Aren’t they? You have the floor….

    “These two aspects are of course ignored by the likes of Mad Maggie, to favour shouting on about Noahs Ark, which they see as an easier target. Why?”

    “Shouting”? I merely posed a question. Going to do some shopping now. Perhaps you’ll have an answer on my return.

  • Greenflag

    Sam

    ‘Greenflag – You clearly have not understood basic philosophical and logic principles.’

    Right -I’ll leave you to count the number of angels on the point of a pin . It was an exercise much indulged in during the Middle Ages . Let me know when you finish counting. But do understand that verifiable ‘proof ‘ will be expected re your count . ‘I believe there are 4,567,878, 456, 230 will not be accepted without ‘proof’.

    ‘When you grasp the limitations of the scientific method and especially the questions IT CANNOT ANSWER such as the origin of matter, time, laws of nature, freewill, morality, determinism, even the origin of diseases such as measles then we may get somewhere in this discussion.’

    The scientific method is not perfect but it’s done a better job of explaining the nature and origin of matter and mankind than either Bible , Koran or Talmud /Torah. I choose to believe in Gravity rather than Intelligent falling and in numbers and observations rather than so called ‘miracles ‘

    One of religion’s main functions was to provide an ‘explanation’ of the origin of the world and some ‘understanding ‘ of how it ‘works’. Similar themes run through most religions . Not long after the ‘development ‘ of religion some old geezer because of a longer than average life span was hailed as the ‘wise one ‘ and became soothsayer , shaman , priest , druid etc . As man became a ‘settled ‘ species said geezers quickly grasped that being the tribe’s ‘religiouser ‘ paid well and provided comforts and a lifestyle not available to your average Flintstone . From then on as society became more economically complex and sociologically ‘aware ‘ and hierarchical in structure, ‘religion’ developed alongside in tandem . We all know at least in the West the struggle in for power /supremacy between the State /King and Church and it’s legacy even unto this day . As science has developed in recent centuries ‘religious ‘ explanations are no longer seen as adequate to explain modern geologic , biological or human events .

    The Black Death did not arise as a result of an offended God – Aids arose not because of ‘punishment ‘from God but due to a virus ‘evolving ‘ into areas beyond it’s former scope . Evolution is occuring within mankind and within the animal kingdoms even now, as we adapt to a changing ‘environment ‘ both natural , physical and economic . Some of us adapt and move on and some do not . Evolution doesn’t care who wins or loses in the struggle for life -neither does any non existent God .

    Look around you at what’s happening in the world . Be grateful you have a life and be grateful to all your ancestors for doing the necessary to grant you that life at a very specific point in time . And enjoy it while you can -do good and help your fellow man /woman . Not because it will get you into ‘heaven ‘ but because it makes life for everybody a little more human and better for all of us everywhere on this little rock at the edge of only one of billions of galaxies and universes yet unknown .

    As to the unanswered questions . There will always be unanswered questions . 500 years ago people chose or more exactly it was chosen for them to believe in a flat earth . 500 years from now as many people will believe in a God as today believe in a flat earth .

  • Greenflag

    Doctor Who ,

    ‘ He stated that Catholicism is a “progressive religion which now adopts aspects of Darwinism and doesn´t dispel the big bang theory”. The problem of course being that the Virgin Birth and The Resuurection are not open for discussion’

    Catholicism is just a little more up to date in some aspects of it’s ‘belief ‘system than some of the nuttier fundie groups who deny not just the obvious but the ‘bl**ding obvious 🙁 Your friend may be unaware of the Catholic Church’s unprogressive stances on birth control , contraception , and abortion and back in Noel Browne’s day the RC Church was vehemently against ‘socialised medical care ‘ in Ireland .

    Being a huge organisation although dwindling and because of it’s long survival it’s not surprising that the RC Church can live or co exist with disparate views both within and without it’s organisation . Islam, Judaism , Buddhism and other major religions have survived for similar reasons and mainly due to the societal grip they have on people and their deep integration into peoples historical and social /ethnic traditions .

    As for Bill Maher’s documentary I agree that in parts it was overkill but your Catholic friend must have missed the ‘attitude’ of the elderly American Catholic cleric at the Vatican who was answering Maher’s questions with what I perceived with almost Father Dougal like barbs 😉

    I sensed that this individual had little if no remaining faith but was too embarassed to admit as much . After all when you are touching 80 who wants to admit that you have spent your whole life not only believing in something that is not and never was true but you have been ‘convincing ‘ others to believe in untruth also ? You have to have some sympathy for the man and indeed the many priests , ministers , rectors , preachers , rabbis etc etc who have lost their faith but still go through the motions because they are either too old or too enmeshed within their local society to do otherwise .

  • Sam

    Greenflag

    “The scientific method is not perfect but it’s done a better job of explaining the nature and origin of matter and mankind than either Bible , Koran or Talmud /Torah. I choose to believe in Gravity rather than Intelligent falling and in numbers and observations rather than so called ‘miracles ‘”

    Really – how can a method that is set up on the same fidelistic presuppositions provide “better” evidence than the Bible on the origins of the Universe? Please carefully think what exactly has been PROVEN by science as to the origins of time, space, matter before jumping in again. All of us here would like something more than your belief that this is so before throwing away centuries of traditional understanding.

    “One of religion’s main functions was to provide an ‘explanation’ of the origin of the world and some ‘understanding ‘ of how it ‘works’. Similar themes run through most religions . Not long after the ‘development ‘ of religion some old geezer because of a longer than average life span was hailed as the ‘wise one ‘ and became soothsayer , shaman , priest , druid etc . As man became a ‘settled ‘ species said geezers quickly grasped that being the tribe’s ‘religiouser ‘ paid well and provided comforts and a lifestyle not available to your average Flintstone . From then on as society became more economically complex and sociologically ‘aware ‘ and hierarchical in structure, ‘religion’ developed alongside in tandem . We all know at least in the West the struggle in for power /supremacy between the State /King and Church and it’s legacy even unto this day . As science has developed in recent centuries ‘religious ‘ explanations are no longer seen as adequate to explain modern geologic , biological or human events.”

    I don’t know if it is just me, but the first thing that jumps out from your postings is how free they are from deductive logic and any evidential proof. You simply recycle Enlightenment arguments about common links between all religions and cultures. These kind of arguments have a way of being self-refuting as I could equally argue they delineate evidence of the truth of a Creator as the facts seem common in unrelated language and culturally distinct ethnic groups. What amazes me is how you glibly throw out outdated allegations without thinking through their implications.

    “The Black Death did not arise as a result of an offended God – Aids arose not because of ‘punishment ‘from God but due to a virus ‘evolving ‘ into areas beyond it’s former scope . Evolution is occuring within mankind and within the animal kingdoms even now, as we adapt to a changing ‘environment ‘ both natural , physical and economic . Some of us adapt and move on and some do not . Evolution doesn’t care who wins or loses in the struggle for life -neither does any non existent God.Look around you at what’s happening in the world . Be grateful you have a life and be grateful to all your ancestors for doing the necessary to grant you that life at a very specific point in time . And enjoy it while you can -do good and help your fellow man /woman . Not because it will get you into ‘heaven ‘ but because it makes life for everybody a little more human and better for all of us everywhere on this little rock at the edge of only one of billions of galaxies and universes yet unknown.”

    Sorry, but again stories from the Greenflag Study Bible based upon your subjective thoughts about life, morality, and the origins of the universe are not particularly persuasive. Why should I be interested in helping my fellow man when my only existence is the here and now? How does it help me in my evolutionary struggle to sacrifice to help others or even my children? Why are you even arguing with me using rational arguments from a 3 pound piece of chemical matter that you cannot even demonstrate is rational and that you maintain is evolving after “rising” my a genetic mutation by “Mr Chance?”

    Skullion

    There is no way I can prove or disprove the existence of God. It is a presuppositional commitment just as you clearly have to your agnosticism. What I can demonstrate is evidences that suggest the existence of God is more probable than not. I am willing to do so if you are willing to approach the issue with an objective mind.

    Answer this question and I will take you seriously – please outline your presuppositional objective framework of evidential proof that is needed to show the existence of design. You can phone a friend!

    No atheist, agnostic has ever taken me up on this challenge because they know where the evidence will take them to and they don’t want to accept the conclusion. That is why Mad Maggie and her gang ramble on about Noah, microbes etc rather than dealing with the basic questions in these debates.

  • Greenflag

    Theist,
    &
    Danny O’Connor

    The Case for Evolution .

    The evidence for evolution is overwhelming . Bones , fossils , teeth , fossilised footprints , complete specimens that have been entrapped in resins , tar pits , preserved mummies in hot sand etc . Blood tests indicating relationship to other primates -the molecular basis of all life including man, the double helix DNA , DNA replication , protein synthesis , the Genetic Code , DNA hybridisation, primate similarities , amino acid sequences, hemoglobin beta chain , immunological studies , somatic cell division , mitosis , sexual reproduction, meiosis . In short man evolved alongside all the other mammals . Man’s hominoid antecedents include Homo Habilis , Ergaster , Erectus and all the way back to Australopithecus Africanus with related cousins in Neanderthal man and others .

    Creation:

    Holy sites , places where miracles are supposed to have happened , examination of ancient writings and comparing the findings with modern science . No solid evidence found to substantiate the stories of creation or that would support the beliefs of ANY religion or cult . The Museums (another on the way in North Antrim ?) are controlled by religious organisations who put on display what they want you to see .
    The last recording of the Bible using Hebrew square script occurred in 70 AD . Most of the Old Testament was probably written by one of three men generations after the events were ‘alleged’ to have occurred .

    Attempting to translate word by word from the ancient Hebrew to ancient Greek-Latin is ridiculous -which is why there are so many ‘contradictions ‘ as between the Old and New Testament .

    The existence of a ‘human soul’ is something that that any believer has to accept based on the words of a priest /minister . Many religions have their ‘plot’ based on the person coming back to life at some point in the future but only IF that person has complied during life with the ‘whims ‘ of those guiding ‘religious ‘ thought and presumably has also donated sufficient funding to keep said priests /ministers in the lifestyle to which they feel they deserve .

    There are regrettably many groups (including many in all religions ) who do not want to see the truth placed in the open . Anybody or anything that threatens their power will be opposed . In the past they did this by excommunication , execution and burning of heretics of opposing denominations and none . Aztec priests sacrificed thousands of young virgins to appease the Sun God and ate their limbs afterwards as a delicacy .Nowadays this is no longer acceptable so there are attempts to distort the truth which is exactly what most of these ‘creationist and fundamentalist ‘groups do to try and maintain their control over ‘members /i.e suckers ‘

    Concealing , distorting or ignoring the scientifically established facts is the only weapon they have left in the West . In the Islamic world they still of course wield enormous political and societal power 🙁

    America’s intervention in the region has probably increased the power of the ignorant Ayatollahs in that part of the world . Alas in Northern Ireland the local ‘ayatollahs ‘ are still in business preying on the fearful in return for the standard or better than standard ‘contribution ‘ to the upkeep of the local shamans 🙁

  • Greenflag

    Sam,

    ‘but again stories from the Greenflag Study Bible based upon your subjective thoughts about life, morality, and the origins of the universe are not particularly persuasive.’

    Of course not -because they are not subjective . They are the result of several centuries of scientific research , discovery , observation , proven facts etc etc by such great ‘minds’s as Charles Darwin , and latterly Richard Dawkins , Stephen Gould , Ian Tattersall, Richard Fortey etc etc . Go to your local library and you can choose between hundreds if not thousands of tomes on science , evolution and the universe.

    ‘Why should I be interested in helping my fellow man when my only existence is the here and now? ‘

    Why ? Because that’s how you got to be here . No man is an island and the human species would not have evolved to it’s present cultural , economic and sociological state if our ancestors had not helped each other from the beginning . We are social animals as well as ‘economic ‘ and political animals .

    ‘How does it help me in my evolutionary struggle ‘

    You are just one individual in a link going back at least 3.8 billion years . Once born you have stopped ‘evolving ‘ . If you have been born with some mutation which favours your survival in the present environment then your progeny or some of them may share an evolutionary advantage . But at the level of an individual you cannot know this and over the short span of a human life it won’t matter anyway . As I said evolution does’nt care.

  • Greenflag

    continued from above ,

    Likewise if your mutation was disadvantageous as some are then your DNA contribution to the next generations might be non existent ? Most mutations are insignificant . Now and again one does make a significant impact and is quickly replicated within a population because of it’s favourable impact on survival .

    It’s the luck of the draw and always subject to local environmental and physical constraints

  • penfold

    “…please outline your presuppositional objective framework of evidential proof that is needed to show the existence of design. You can phone a friend!”

    Please see the following conversation shamelessly stolen from here http://www.carm.org/apologetics/apologetics/presuppositional-apologetics

    Some bloke called Sam (no relation to anyone on Slugger): I am a Christian/Jew/Muslim/(Insert Monotheist Religion here). Prove to me there is no God.
    Paul: I do not think I can do that, because of your presuppositions.
    Sam: Why not?
    Paul: Because your presuppositions will not allow you to examine without bias the evidence that I present to you for the Big Bang/Evolution/Dinosaurs etc.
    Sam: That is because there is no evidence for the Big Bang/Evolution/Dinosaurs etc..
    Paul: See? There you go. You just confirmed what I was stating.
    Sam: How so?
    Paul: Your presupposition is that there is no evidence for the Big Bang/Evolution/Dinosaurs etc.; therefore, no matter what I might present to you to show evidence for the Big Bang/Evolution/Dinosaurs etc, you must interpret it in a manner consistent with your presupposition: namely, that there is no evidence for the Big Bang/Evolution/Dinosaurs etc. If I built a £5Billion underground machine to recreate the conditions moments after The Big Bang, you’d say it was a special effect. If I had thousands of Dinosaur fossils backed up by scientific understanding of geology, you’d say it was mass-hysteria. If I had scientific papers based on hundreds of years of research explaining and detailing evolution, you’d say they were forged, dated incorrectly, or not scientific papers. So, I cannot prove anything to you since your presupposition won’t allow it. It is limited.
    Sam: It is not limited.
    Paul: Yes it is. Your presupposition cannot allow you to rightly determine evidence for the Big Bang/Evolution/Dinosaurs etc. — providing that there were factual proofs for the Big Bang/Evolution/Dinosaurs etc. Don’t you see? If I DID have incontrovertible proof, your presupposition would force you to interpret the facts consistently with your presupposition and you would not be able to see the proof.
    Sam: I see your point, but I am open to being persuaded, if you can.
    Paul: Then, I must ask you, what kind of evidence would you accept that would prove evidence for the Big Bang/Evolution/Dinosaurs etc? I must see what your presuppositions are and work either with them or against them.

    You may pray to God.

    It works both ways Sam

  • Greenflag

    Dave ,

    ‘Danny, atheists are mostly mouthy shites’

    I don’t know of any atheists who stand up in a pulpit in church, chapel , mosque, synagogue or bethel and who for 52 Sundays or Saturdays a year preach unproven fantasy to millions of poor sods who hand over their hard earned cash to keep the preachers in clover 🙁

    ‘ I think it’s cute that they call theists unintelligent or mad ‘

    Uninformed rather than unintelligent or mad, while perhaps not ‘cute ‘ is more descriptive of how most atheists view most theists – . Some of course would be viewed as ‘mad ‘ like those who strap bombs to their bodies while hoping to savour the benefits of the next life by destroying their own and many others in this life . It takes a powerful drug to dupe people into that kind of ‘faith’ .

    ‘while they attempt to use logic to refute a belief that is based on faith.’

    So it’s ‘fucking’ sensible then to refute hard facts and established scientific discoveries and knowledge accrued over several centuries – because of the credo of a 1700 year old series of books written by a few people who lived centuries after the events. ?

    jayzuz wept -no disrespect intended 🙁

  • Big Maggie

    Simple Sam:

    “Mad Maggie and her gang ramble on about Noah, microbes etc rather than dealing with the basic questions in these debates.”

    Rambling? Once again you demonstrate either your complete ignorance or hypocrisy—or both. It’s quite obvious to anyone comparing the word-count in our posts that it’s YOU who’s doing the rambling.

    I posed a couple of very basic questions, both of which you’ve dodged. Here they are again:

    1. Is a microbe NOT an animal? If so, did Noah bring two of the little chaps with him?

    2. Your “word of God” the Bible suggests that God gave Adam dominion over all the animals. If so, how do you explain germs that can kill us?

    When you cease your ramblings perhaps you can deign us with answers. But do please keep them as succinct as you can.

  • Big Maggie

    Gee, it’s gone awfully quiet around here. Have we silenced the fundies with our irrefutable logic?

    One thing is sure: they don’t like a challenge. They prefer insults to good old-fashioned debate.

  • New Yorker

    A question for evolutionists: How did the earliest humans survive in an environment of stronger and faster animals? Where humans the fittest, and if so, why?

    A question for materialists: Creation means something came from nothing. Do not ‘big bang’ theories posit something from nothing?

    A question for empiricists: A first principle of logic is that the same thing cannot ‘x’ and ‘not x’ simultaneously. Can you identify that principle from your sense knowledge, your experience of the natural world? And if not, then how do you know it?

  • Big Maggie

    New Yorker:

    “A question for evolutionists: How did the earliest humans survive in an environment of stronger and faster animals? Where humans the fittest, and if so, why?”

    Presumably the same way as humans survive today in an environment of stronger and faster animals. Our brains are better developed, i.e. fitter for survival.

    “Creation means something came from nothing. Do not ‘big bang’ theories posit something from nothing?”

    No.

    “A first principle of logic is that the same thing cannot ‘x’ and ‘not x’ simultaneously. Can you identify that principle from your sense knowledge, your experience of the natural world?”

    Yes of course. Red is red, orange is orange. Orange is not red, although mixing red and yellow pigments will give you orange.

  • science not propaganda

    “The evidence for evolution is overwhelming . Bones , fossils , teeth , fossilised footprints , complete specimens that have been entrapped in resins , tar pits , preserved mummies in hot sand etc . Blood tests indicating relationship to other primates -the molecular basis of all life including man, the double helix DNA , DNA replication , protein synthesis , the Genetic Code , DNA hybridisation, primate similarities , amino acid sequences, hemoglobin beta chain , immunological studies , somatic cell division , mitosis , sexual reproduction, meiosis . In short man evolved alongside all the other mammals . Man’s hominoid antecedents include Homo Habilis , Ergaster , Erectus and all the way back to Australopithecus Africanus with related cousins in Neanderthal man and others”

    Greenflag how is any of this evidence of macroevolution?

    there is not one shred of evidence for macroevolution. not one.

    for microevolution there is literally millions of examples of how species adapt to best fit their environment. Dogs, cats, birds, plants, bacteria, humans… it is beyond question that microevolution takes place. And it is a process that has no bearing on the existence of God.

    For people like Dawkins (and yourself) the problem lies in that you cannot provide a single (or collective) piece of evidence to provide proof that man evolved from a single celled organism.

    It takes faith to believe natural selection is a sufficient process to provide for macroevolution. To believe it does, you need to assume that organisms can add info to their genetic makeup. There is NO evidence that this can occur.

    Even if it does occur, where did all the necessary info come from? there would have to have been significant numbers of early lifeforms, each with a different set of info. And if this was the case then how could there be so few common ancestors? the fossil record certainly does not back this up.

    Microevolution on the other hand is not about the addition of info but in fact the loss of info. An organism undergoing microevolution does not gain the info to survive in that environment. It already has that info in its makeup. In other words speciation. Take Darwins Finches for example – in this case the beaks changed shape over time but the original finch had the necessary info for each type of beak to begin with. The first offspring had the ability to have any beak shape. However, over time as each finch adapted best to their environment they lost this diversity.

    Evolution actually means species become less able to cope with changes to the environment. Evolution is a detrimental process to overall ability of a species to survive.

    microevolution is science
    macroevolution is an illogical faith.

    Until Dawkins and co. can prove the addition of information, they are merely practising a humanist religion.

  • Big Maggie

    SNP:

    “Until Dawkins and co. can prove the addition of information, they are merely practising a humanist religion.”

    How long are you prepared to give them?

  • Greenflag

    New Yorker ‘

    ‘How did the earliest humans survive in an environment of stronger and faster animals?’

    They ‘grew ‘ a bigger brain and learnt how to make tools and throw stones . Being able to climb back into a tree was a useful skill at appropriate times .

    ‘ Where humans the fittest, and if so, why? ‘

    In the sense of fitting their ‘environment ‘ we would’nt be here if they had not adapted . In the sense of physical fitness or physical strength even a modern chimpanzee is probably three to four times ‘stronger’ than your average homo sapiens but we make up for our weakness in our skills in contract negotiation;)

    ‘A question for materialists: Creation means something came from nothing. Do not ‘big bang’ theories posit something from nothing?’

    No they posit something i.e all matter from a singularity which was all matter condensed to a pin point . We do not know as yet whether this was a once off or just one in an eternal series of big bangs. There may be other universes and probably are.

    ‘A question for empiricists: A first principle of logic is that the same thing cannot ‘x’ and ‘not x’ simultaneously.’

    Have you never heard of ‘multi tasking ‘ a feat much practiced with some success by the female members of the species ? recent discoveries in the micro world and that of quantum mechanics are raising all kinds of events which are beyond man’s direct (in the natural sense) observation .

    Our logic is based on our human limitations. Presumably the God of ‘creationists ‘ works outside these limitations which begs the point of why he bothered to assume human form in the first place . It’s now accepted by most Biblical scholars that the works of Matthew , Mark , John and Luke all have major differences in their recollection and writings on the so called divinity of Jesus Christ

  • kensei

    New Yorker

    “A question for evolutionists: How did the earliest humans survive in an environment of stronger and faster animals? Where humans the fittest, and if so, why?”

    Aside formt he bigger brains, coopaerative huntuing and tools, an interesting theory recently is that humans are distance runners par excellence. Most animals sprint, but they can’t do it for long distances. So early humans could run them down. This would example our stubby toes, which are better adapted for running than longer monkey like ones.

  • Greenflag

    ‘there is not one shred of evidence for macroevolution. not one. ‘

    That’s right according to this writer there is at least 29

    http://www.talkorigins.org/faqs/comdesc

  • science not propaganda

    That’s right according to this writer they are NOT actual proofs.

    http://www.trueorigin.org/theobald1a.asp

    But this is not the point. I seen this list before and it’s nothing more than dodgy fossils and ill thought out interpertations of scientific observations. e.g. just because apes and humans share similar genetic info does not mean they have to have the same common ancestor.

    Why couldn’t a Creator give different species similar functions? If you are a human designer you don’t each of your creations a radically different design.

    Most cars have 4 wheels. A bike and a car both have wheels. An aeroplane has wheels.

    It is mere conjecture to believe in common ancestors. It is not science. That undermines one of your 29 proofs.

    The evidence is just not there but the biggest stumbling blocks for macroevolutionists are

    1. evidence of information addition
    2. the sheer complexity of biological organisms

  • science not propaganda

    Maggie,

    I’ll give them as long as they want.

    The problem is they do not have the evidence for macroevolution but they still parade around like it is scientific fact.

  • Driftwood

    Just a wee reminder that an interesting show on BBC2 tonight…

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b00j0c54

  • Big Maggie

    SNP

    “The problem is they do not have the evidence for macroevolution but they still parade around like it is scientific fact.”

    No, it’s a scientific theory, and that’s as good as a fact. If you can find evidence to refute it, the scientific community will take your evidence on board and learn from it.

  • Greenflag

    ‘there is not one shred of evidence for macroevolution. not one. ‘

    That’s right according to this writer there is at least 29 and more are being discovered all the time .

    http://www.talkorigins.org/faqs/comdesc

    ‘there would have to have been significant numbers of early lifeforms, each with a different set of info.’

    There were . The Burgess Shale deposits are an indication of the huge number of early lieforms some 500 to 600 million years ago . But despite their differences all life is made up of the same basic chemistry . All life is one. *rokaryotes are the earliest known life form and was a form of bacteria and was produced by the combination of conditions that existed on the earth at that time presumably .

    ‘ And if this was the case then how could there be so few common ancestors? ‘

    ????? You alone going back to only the time of Christ have at least 8 billion ancestors in the direct line .

    ‘ the fossil record certainly does not back this up. ‘

    Of the millions of hominoids who have lived and died since the emergence of australopithecus africanus enough fossils have been found to lay down the map of human evolution . Just look at what humans have done with dogs in a comparatively short period of time 20,000 years or so ? Compare and contrast a chihuahua with an Irish Wolfhound . The latter stands 3 feet at the shoulder the former 6 inches yet they both come origonally from the same ancestor ?

    The ‘Neanderthal ‘ genome research study is almost finished and scientists should be able to calculate from the findings just how far back both hominoids separated along their common ancestral tree .

  • Greenflag

    error above should read .

    Prokaryotes are the earliest known life form ‘Why couldn’t a Creator give different species similar functions?’

    Why would a creator decide to wipe out almost all his ‘creation’ every few hundred million years by causing random events to occur such as those in the Cambrian and later ‘mass exterminations ‘?

    You envisage your God God as the Versace or Yves St Laurent of life design ?

  • Big Maggie

    Greenflag:

    “You envisage your God God as the Versace or Yves St Laurent of life design ?”

    Hilarious! Yes, no matter how you look at it nature is terribly wasteful. This fact alone should vindicate Darwin’s theory on the survival of ONLY the fittest. I recall someone commenting on the “strength” of the evolutionary tree of the horse: so few branches needed to lead to “perfection”. Until someone else pointed out that so few horses meant the comparative failure of that line—that the insects are far more successful, that of about 2 million species of animals on the earth about 750,000 of those are insects.

    Makes you think. Odd how Noah never spoke about the insects.

    The beetles went in two by two, haroo, haroo….

  • New Yorker

    Maggie, Greenflag and Kensei

    Humans were fit to survive because of their brains and importantly because of concept formation and implementation, an ability of a different magnitude from animals. For example early humans had the idea of fire and made fires for warmth, cooking and protection.

    It is true that there is a long way to go on ‘big bang’ theory. But there could have been a mother of ‘big bangs’ from which some type of matter was produced from nothing. After all, everything seems to have a beginning and an end. It is reasonable to believe the universe is not eternal, and if it has an end it most likely had a beginning, ie, it was created eons ago.

    I don’t believe fundamental principles of logic are subject to change, that at some future time it is discovered that “x” and “non x” can exist at the same time. I happen to think rules of logic are structures of reality. The question remains, how do we know “x” and “not x” can not exist simultaneously? In a similar way we know axioms of geometry. We know many things that are not derived from our experience of nature. How do we know those things?