Monday, May 12, 2014

SCIENCE, CLIMATE CHANGE


One in three Americans doesn't believe in evolution, according to new survey results from the Pew Research Center.

The results, released Monday in report on views about human evolution, show that 33 percent of Americans think "humans and other living things have existed in their present form since the beginning of time."

Huff Post 311213








  • Anyone been really helped by homeopathic treatments? 
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Hilarious sketch from the fourth episode of series three of 'That Mitchell and W...See more
  • Heather Rogerson Medical doctors have an interest in disproving natropathy because it is a threat to their medicine. On the otherhand there are doctors and nurses who see the limitations of western medicine and who use alternative medicines such as natropathy.
14 hours ago · Like · 2
  • Sir-Graeme Eggins Question: What is the difference between gods and homeopathy?

    Answer: You can see, feel and smell homeopathy.

    Observation: Both float lots of people's boats.
14 hours ago · Like · 1
  • Johnathan Geoffrey Hughes Heather: Don't flatter natropathy or homeopathy. They're not medicine, and they're no threat to real medicine with proven impacts. In fact they are a danger to the people who believe such treatments will actually cure their illnesses, especially if those illnesses are serious. Doctors oppose them entirely for the benefit of the patient.
13 hours ago · Unlike · 1
  • Evan Hadkins A friend of ours was going to have part of her liver removed. She decided to seek second (and third opinions). She tried homoeopathy and was restored to health. She wasn't a believer in it then and still isn't now. But she was healed by it.
13 hours ago · Like · 1
  • Johnathan Geoffrey Hughes Evan: Of course, some people would be. One important misconception is that if it does nothing it should never work. However, if it REALLY does nothing, we should expect a few people to be apparently cured, simply as an effect of a random distribution (noting that they'd also be cured if they HADN'T taken the placebo).

    That said, seeing homeopathy as a valid treatment because the occasional person gets better is exactly the same as seeing buying a lottery ticket as a valid job because every week someone wins!
13 hours ago · Unlike · 3
Oddly, I gave my chooks Bach Rescue Remedy, on someone's recommendation, after they migrated north to the city and one died en route in the cardboard box. They wouldn't lay, wouldn't lay, wouldn't lay.... I tried rescue remedy in their water and the next morning they squeezed out these rubbery crushed looking dinosaur eggs, poor girls.... No placebo effect with a chook.
  • Rowland Croucher Dr Yonggi Cho and I were co-speakers at a conference. He said: 70% of all *unexplained* healings have a psychosomatic element to them; the other 30% have a miraculous faith element...
I heard a wonderful definition of placebo at the Ideas Festival in Adelaide. This doctor called it harnessing "the body's own ability to heal itself."
  • Johnathan Geoffrey Hughes But yes, separately there's been some fascinating research lately which suggests that placebo effects seem to be getting stronger!!!

    They have their limits, however. They seem to do little or nothing to help a person heal cancer or heart disease. But placebos are GREAT as pain relief, which is one thing that makes testing new analgesics a really difficult job!!! 
13 hours ago · Unlike · 2
Well, semantically it could be. But I feel placebo directs/suggests to the body to heal itself far more subtly than, say, cutting out a tumour. There is a difference.

I must say homeopathy is not something I have paid much attention to though the chook experience interested me. But maybe Deborah Farrell this thread would fit in with your research? Cx
  • Evan Hadkins Placebo and spontaneous remission apply to all therapy (including surgery).
  • Evan Hadkins My friend was scheduled to have part of her liver removed. Something happened. 'Spontaneous remission' is a label not an explanation.
13 hours ago · Unlike · 2
  • Johnathan Geoffrey Hughes And there's no way the homeopathy helped her. Sorry to pour cold water on it, but it's biologically inactive.
  • Evan Hadkins If placebo doesn't work for serious things Johnathan you need another explanation for my friends experience. There are few things more important than liver removal.
  • Evan Hadkins Johnathan if you want to run an empiricist line you are meant to be open to data. It is pretty clear you aren't.
13 hours ago · Unlike · 4
  • Evan Hadkins No, if 'it happens' is an explanation there is nothing to explain about anything.
  • Evan Hadkins Her liver healing was decidedly not expected by the doctors involved.
  • Evan Hadkins See above, if 'it happens' is an explanation then there surely is nothing to explain - here or anywhere.
  • Johnathan Geoffrey Hughes Not her personally. But if you took, say, 100,000 people with the same condition, you'd expect maybe one or two to get better.

    You CAN'T predict it will be her, so the doctor WOULD be surprised. But if you zoom out, it's a perfectly logical event.
  • Johnathan Geoffrey Hughes (I don't know the actual cancer in question; the spontaneous remission rate will be different for different cancers. But there is always some).
12 hours ago · Unlike · 1
  • Heather Rogerson Not all medical doctors are opposed to homeopathy nor are all christian doctors opposed to natropathy-we need to be careful making assumptions. Jonathan you cannot say homeopathy didnt help someone-who gives you the right to say it doesn't ever work.
12 hours ago · Like · 1
  • Thomas Mark Wilson There are so many things that go on in a human body. Your immune system is one of them and probably the most important. Its your immune system that goes haywire and allows cancer cells to divide unhindered in the body, then sometimes it rights itself and cancers are cured. Sometimes this can be assisted through medical science either by cancer therapies and surgery, this is researched regulated and funded by us through our taxes and payments within the medical system. If homoeopathy was exposed to the science and medical system as it is sometimes, it would not stand up to scrutiny and rightly so. Yes there are some people who try these things and are seemingly cured and as far as medical science is concerned it would be put down to your immune system righting itself. Because your immune system is affected by you emotional standing and by this I mean taking a positive attitude, people often use paramedical therapies to assist in this. The tragedy sometimes in choosing these therapies is that its unregulated and often very expensive and if the statistics of the outcomes is way poorer than what is offered by medical science.

    I know there will be many people with anecdotal evidence about miracles and healings by alternative; so called "medicines" and for that matter religious and alternative ceremonies. This often affects peoples wellbeing and can be some help but when it comes down to it a faith in medical science can perform this to. At least medical science is reasonably honest about outcomes, unlike alternative therapies that can offer the world and deliver next to nothing.
  • Lyn Kelly My brother recommended Traumeel tablets recently. A few years ago he was totally incapacitated by back pain for wks. Nothing else helped. Traumeel did. It s an anti-inflammatory.
  • Lyn Kelly The mind certainly is very powerful. So is God n so are the elements He has provided to help us - just as He provides skilled hands for surgery. He is sooooo good. 
Everyone has their own brand of science denial. Christians have Young Earth Creationism. Right-wing conservatives have climate science denial. Left-wing hippies have homeopathy.
· Unlike · 3
  • Rebecca Doble Maybe the question is 'what is it about western medicine that makes people turn to complementary therapies?'
11 hours ago · Like · 2
Because evidence-based medicine:
- doesn't have all the answers
- doesn't promise more than it can deliver
- has an actual effect, and therefor side-effects
- is often provided in sterile uncomfortable environments and/or by overworked practitioners with little time to engage with their patients on a personal level
11 hours ago · Edited · Unlike · 
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Climate Change: Ensuring our safety is the first duty of government
Notes from an article by former Supreme Court of Victoria Judge David Harper AM
The climate has changed, is changing, and will continue to change. Humankind is by default moving the globe towards four degrees of increased warming. Such a change will destroy civilization, and with it everything that is precious in life. The most vulnerable will, of course, suffer most quickly and most deeply, but none will escape the natural disasters and the human descent into tribal conflict which will likely follow. Yet despite - or perhaps because of - the extent of impending catastrophe, we seem incapable of acknowledging it, let alone taking concrete steps to meet it.
First, we must accept that both the science and the economics are settled... Scientific study after scientific study has proved beyond all reasonable doubt that not only is the earth's temperature rising, but also that these alterations are almost certainly the result of human activities. That is the conclusion reached in a joint report entitled 'Climate Change - Evidence and Causes', published 26 February 2014 by the Royal Society (of the UK) and the National Academy of Sciences (US). Each of these professional bodies is of world renown. Their view, and that of the IPCC, is endorsed by such an overwhelming majority of relevant scientific opinion that climate change deniers occupy a space in which knowledge is turned upside down. Were the issue to be determined by a jury after rigorously fought litigation, any verdict to the contrary would be overturned as being perverse.
There is a comparable majority of economic opinion for the conclusion that a carbon price is the best way to move all the relevant markets at once, thereby cutting emissions for the cheapest possible price. In a survey of 35 leading Australian economists, 33 agreed.
Direct action... would be beneficial to the extent that it resulted in the closure of coal-fired electricity generators. Otherwise it falls short... by every measure of both cost and benefit. No listed company would have a carbon cost greater than 5% of pre-tax earnings.
Those in public office hold their positions on trust for the people they serve. Climate change presents a real and present danger. It may not involve invading armies, but it is no less real. The policy (of the present Australian government) must be scrapped.
And there is much that we individuals can do. And if we can do, we must. Individuals can aim to reduce society's carbon footprint by cutting a minimum one tonne of carbon dioxide from their daily lives. We can direct our consumption to products that use less energy to produce.
Australia should lift its target for cutting emissions from 5% below 2000 levels by 2020 to 19%. Making that steeper now will avoid a much steeper cut later. Adopting tougher motor vehicle emission standards of the kind already in place elsewhere would cut running costs as well as emissions... Another suggestion is to buy extra emissions reductions from other countries. They are going cheaply at the moment.
Each generation has an unfair advantage over those which follow. The unfairness of our position is far greater than that of any predecessor. We have an unavoidable moral duty to our children and their heirs to leave them a planet on which civilization thrives; not one on which a decent human existence is impossible. 
On 1 December 1862, Abraham Lincoln urged Congress (re the emancipation of slaves): 'Fellow citizens, we cannot escape history. We of this Congress and this administration will be remember in spite of ourselves. No personal significance or insignificance can spare one or another of us. The fiery trial through which we pass will light us down, in honour or dishonour, to the latest generation. We - even we here - hold the power and bear the responsibility... We shall nobly save, or meanly lose, the last best hope of earth.' 
Our politicians cannot escape history. They must not be allowed to relinquish the obligation of trust by which they are bound. We have all the powers with which citizens of a democracy are endowed. We must ensure that each member of parliament allocates primary importance to the reality of climate change and to the adoption of policies which will minimize its impact. It can be done. Action now may be costly and difficult, but action later will be doubly so.

The Melbourne Anglican, May 2014, p. 19

~~

Katharine Hayhoe is a climatologist, and an evangelical Christian. She and her pastor-husband have authored the defining book for the planet-loving believer, 'A Climate for Change: Global Warming Facts for Faith-Based Decisions.'

Time, May 12, 2014, p. 46

~~

Gravitational waves were first described by Albert Einstein, who 100 years ago envisioned all space-time as a sort of cosmic fabric that could be warped and jiggled the way a trampoline can be set shaking by a dropped bowling ball. It was an elegant theory, but no one in the past century had been able to prove it. The inflationary universe was theorized in the 1980s by physicists who calculated that in the first billionth of a trillionth of a quadrillionth of a second after the Big Bang the universe expanded so rapidly, it actually exceeded the speed of light.'

Time March 31, 2014, p. 31 

~~

Letter to The Age April 3, 2014:
Hard to adapt
The Prime Minister says Australia is ''a land of droughts [sic] and flooding rains''. ''Always has been, always will be.'' In other words, don't worry, it's always like this and it's not going to change.
About 500,000 years ago, most of northern Australia was swathed in rainforest, and most of the rest in temperate and cool-temperate forests. That began to change about 300,000 years ago as the Australian continental plate continued to move northward. Since then, the northern, central and south-central parts of the continent have continued to become drier, albeit with several periods of glaciation in the south and on the highest ranges.
Those changes were all relatively slow, over periods of a thousand to many thousands of years. Human-induced global warming is happening much faster: at least 10 and up to 1000 times faster than any natural change. It does not give ecosystems - or humans - time to adjust.
The Abbott government is waving the almost completely useless ''direct action'' policy at us, and trying to tell us that there's really ''nuthink'' to worry about. We should be demanding a hell of a lot more from the government we elected to look after this country.
Douglas Mackenzie, Deakin, NSW

~~

Notes from LNL Phillip Adams and Philosopher Simon Critchley  . 

SC- Dawkins, Hitchens - *only* science can explain things ('scientism'), absolute knowledge of everything: but literature and art also contribute to the human imagination.

TOE - very boring

Otherwise C P Snow - land in one of two cultures... 

Original Sin. Freud (unconscious desire - all over the place vs. - in another form.  Something flawed/fallen - story of the Fall, garden of Eden etc.

Pascal - humans are the weakest reed in nature, even though a thinking reed. 

But we can love - counter-movement to sin, frailty. Give what you do not have...

Arthur Koestler - reptilian brain

John Gray - humans are killing apes. Fundamentally human beings are nasty. Without civilization we'll eat each other.

Peter Singer - evol. terms, altruism as fundamental to the human being as violence. 

Human beings - basically decent. Humans put themselves at risk for others.

England - State is benign but the people are mean. NY: people all right, state is evil...  

Oscar Wilde: When I think of religion - I'd like to found an order for those who cannot believe... everything to be true must become a religion. 
Those who have no transcendant faith - also have a faith too...

Kierkegaard: his xty is very austere, very moral - at odds with the Xn church. Wonders whether there are any Xns at all. 

Gaia hypothesis - formulated by the scientist James Lovelock. Centrepiece for much of the environmental movement. Religion of doom. John Gray attacking the vapid optimism of liberalism. We've entered the anthropocene - contaminated environment, nothing left...  
Anthropocene - While much of the environmental change occurring on Earth is suspected to be a direct consequence of the Industrial RevolutionWilliam Ruddiman has argued that the proposed Anthropocene began approximately 8,000 years ago with the development of farming and sedentary cultures. At this point, humans were dispersed across all of the continents (except Antarctica), and the Neolithic Revolution was ongoing. During this period, humans developed agriculture and animal husbandry to supplement or replace hunter-gatherer subsistence. Such innovations were followed by a wave of extinctions, beginning with large mammals and land birds. This wave was driven by both the direct activity of humans (e.g. hunting) and the indirect consequences of land-use change for agriculture.

Crutzen proposed the Industrial Revolution as the start of Anthropocene.[10] Although it is apparent that the Industrial Revolution ushered in an unprecedented global human impact on the planet

Hopefully the Anthropocene may transition to an epoch of human stewardship over the environment, a "post carbon world".

~~

A CHAOS OF DELIGHT
SCIENCE, RELIGION AND MYTH AND THE SHAPING OF WESTERN THOUGHT
Author(s): Geoffrey P. Dobson  
ISBN: 1845530195
ISBN-13: 9781845530198
Publication Date: 31 May 2005
DESCRIPTION:
Humans throughout history have sought ways of understanding their place within the world. Religion, science and myth have been at the forefront of this quest for meaning. A Chaos of Delight examines how various cultures – from the early Sumerians, Egyptians and Greeks to contemporary Western society – have looked at the same phenomena and devised totally different world views. The rise of modern science is examined, alongside questions of evolution and the origins of life. This comprehensive volume is an essential read for students and scholars interested in the history of ideas and the role of religion, science and myth in the development of Western thought.


REVIEWS:
"A remarkable panorama of the human understanding of the natural and metaphysical world from the first civilizations to the present day." – John Baines,University of Oxford

"Breathtaking in its daring, the book explores the two ways which humanity has used to seek meaning and make sense of the world, namely religion and science. The result is a highly erudite summary of belief systems from early Sumerian to the monotheistic religions; and an eminently accessible history of science, particularly of the last 500 years." – Sir Gustav Nossal

"It is definitely useful for teachers and students wanting to make a quick introductory acquaintance with decisive developments in modern science and a brief overview of mythopoetic and religious systems of thought in the West." – Studies in Religion/Sciences Religieuses

~~

New age nonsense
Date
November 12, 2013
sam de brito
superstition353
Now that's a relief.
"When people stop believing in God, they don't believe in nothing, they believe in everything," wrote English author GK Chesterton.
It's a rather apt description of many God-sneering Australians who've turned their back on organised religion but embraced the kooky catch-all of "spirituality".
Aside from "pull my finger", the line guaranteed to get me exiting a conversation is "I'm really spiritual". The speaker often thinks this marks them as open-minded or non-conformist but to my ear signifies someone willing to believe endless varieties of horseshit.
Astrology, animal allies, auras, aromatherapy, astral travel, Ayurvedic healing - that's just the nonsense I could think of beginning with the letter A - there's truly no irrationality that won't find gullible adherents expressing an eerily similar certainty to that of many church-going faithful.
As any scientist will tell you, certainty is the enemy of reason. Some of science's greatest "truths" are at best provisional, destined to be found wrong when future discoveries lead to new "facts". For all its advances, science still can't answer enduring questions such as "the meaning of life", "what happens when we die?" and "what is a human soul?".
What it can reliably tell us, however, is that a vial of water, a coffee grounds enema or crystal pressed to your forehead will not cure headaches, let alone cancer. This is why a knowledge of science is indispensable for scattering silly fantasy and its sillier disciples. 
The Chesterton quote above comes from a recent article by T. Michael Ellis in the Journal of the Rationalist Society of Australia, a century-old organisation whose mission is to "support reason against prejudice, science against superstition, evidence against blind faith".
A former member of the association, Ellis believes Australians are increasingly scientifically illiterate and thus lack the education to spot hokum.
"Children leave school not knowing a single thing about science. I'd hazard a guess only one person in about 10,000 in this country would know precisely why there are seasons*," writes Ellis.
"And yet this is 450 years after Galileo, and 2200 years after Erastosthenes! This is simply not acceptable in a first world country ... [and] leads to a much wider problem than religion, namely widespread superstition."
Superstition is "belief entertained regardless of reason or knowledge", and it multiplies. Once you believe the planet Pluto can influence your love life and finances, it's easier to accept fluoridated drinking water harms you, immunisation causes autism, sugar is a poison or anthropogenic climate change is not happening.
You don't have to be an idiot to entertain any of these fashionable delusions, however, you do need to be scientifically ignorant. Precious few credible scientists still argue against man-made climate change or affirm such bull's wool as iridology, homeopathy, reflexology or meridian therapy.
Worryingly, there are millions of Aussies who do.
"Education used to be centred on the three Rs, but today we live in the scientific age. We should be concentrating on RRRS," writes Ellis, suggesting General Science should be compulsory for all students up to Year 10.
"For those not specialising in one of the sciences (such as biology, geology, chemistry or physics), General Science should still be compulsory until Year 11 (and must be passed).
"When society is scientifically literate, religion and superstition wither away," writes Ellis.
The weed, he argues, is scientific ignorance, the roots of which die when exposed to reason and logic and take with them a host of nutty falsehoods best left in fairytales and magic shows.
*Earth experiences seasons because it is tilted on its axis by 23.5 degrees.

~~

Science vs the Bible: Reasons Why This Debate Will Never Be Settled

by PETER HAN
Thursday | Apr 3 2014

Adam and Eve display at the Creation Museum (Petersburg, KY)                          Image: Adam Lederer / flickr

On March 17 (2014), scientists announced new findings consistent with the Big Bang Theory. Gravitational waves dating back to instants after the universe came into being, 13.7 billion years ago, were detected by telescope.

Regardless of mounting empirical evidence calling into question the account of creation described in the Bible’s book of Genesis, those who are firmly in the Creationism camp are unlikely to be swayed.

That this is the case was underscored by the recent televised debate between pro-Creationism Ken Ham and pro-Evolution Bill Nye. The event received a surprising amount of attention from the mainstream media. Viewer reactions have been mixed. Many bemoan the fact that we are even having this debate in 2014. Others predictably heap laurels onto their preferred “champions of truth.”

The bow-tied Bill Nye, the Science Guy, is familiar to television-viewing audiences, but Ken Ham may be a new name. Ham is a biblical literalist who heads both the Creation Museum and Answers in Genesis (AiG), the leading voice of “young Earth” creationism. Their debate was strange, more spectacular than intellectual.

The most noteworthy aspect of this event was Ham’s provocative philosophy of science, which was not surprising since creationism calls into question our ability to make knowledge claims:
  1. How do I know something is true?
  2. How certain are my observations?
  3. How credible are the claims of others?
AiG argues that only observation–a firsthand eyewitness account–is credible. Thus, what Ham calls “historical science” is not to be trusted since this method starts from effect and works backwards to a theorized original cause. Since no one could have witnessed the Big Bang, this theory qualifies as “historical science” and cannot be trusted.

Ham is absolutely correct that no human being was present during the Big Bang. But, using his own verification standard, no human eyes witnessed the (literal) six days of creation either. “Ah,” he might say, “but we do have a record of observed history–the Bible! Therefore, it is more reasonable to accept AiG’s account of the universe’s origin.”

David Hume, the 18th century Scottish philosopher, likewise questioned science’s findings. Hume’s major contribution to the philosophy of science is the problem of induction, particularly the predictive value of observational data. He wrote: “Although the sun arose every single morning of my life, I cannot assume that it will necessarily do so tomorrow.” Why not? Because “if we proceed not upon some fact, present to the memory or senses, our reasonings would be merely hypothetical.” A very disquieting view but logically sound.

The problem of establishing an uncontestable link between cause and effect, in Hume’s view, relates to the credibility of past events. Both prediction and historical accounts require a certain degree of trust.


Hume’s insistence that we cannot definitively prove causal relationships notwithstanding, practically speaking, most of us cannot live comfortably without trust, even if we recognize that some cause-event-connections and witnesses are more trustworthy than others.

Skeptics endure doubt-filled lives since there are many claims about the nature of reality that we cannot test and confirm for ourselves. And, even if we could, who has the time, money, and patience to verify every claim? Doubt, then! 

For the atheist, winning the evolution-creationism debate means exposing the logical fallacies and bad science of creationism’s meaning-conferring stories. But the victory rings a hollow note, since disabling the “How did we come into being?” question leaves no possibility of asking the more important question “Why are we here?”

The skeptic’s life is always an option, but not everyone who holds fast to AiG’s creation narratives is foolish. Most people prefer a life with meaning, however implausible the meaning-conferring story. Some will themselves to believe the unbelievable because doing so is conducive to a meaningful life.

Could it be that Ham knows that what he professes to believe is ridiculous and that his Creation Museum is a mockery of intelligent life in 2014? Perhaps. But in the end, is he worse off than the resolute evolutionist who accepts a short existence in a universe with no creator, no purpose?

There was no real winner in the Nye-Ham debate because the debate focused on the wrong topic. The debate is not between scientific fact and religious faith. The real question is whether it is wrong for reasonable people in the age of science to believe a myth, which grounds their lives in meaning. On this, the science of Nye and the skepticism of Hume may say, “It is wrong,” but the scientist and skeptic are incapable of providing meaningful reasons as to why one should prefer a meaningless world.

References and Further Reading:

Urry, Meg. “How the Big Bang discovery came about.” CNN, March 30, 2014, Opinion.http://edition.cnn.com/2014/03/29/opinion/urry-big-bang-findings/.

Amos, Jonathan. “Cosmic inflation: ‘Spectacular’ discovery hailed.” BBC News, March 17, 2014, Sci/Environment. http://www.bbc.com/news/science-environment-26605974.

Bill Nye vs. Ken Ham debate: http://debatelive.org.

Anderson, Nate. “Ham on Nye: The high cost of “winning” an evolution/creation debate.” Ars Technica, February 7, 2014. http://arstechnica.com/science/2014/02/ham-on-nye-the-high-cost-of-winning-an-evolutioncreation-debate.

Hume, David. An Enquiry Concerning Human Understanding. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2008.

Linker, Damon. “What Bill Nye and Ken Ham Both Get Wrong.” TheWeek.com, February 10, 2014. http://theweek.com/article/index/256153/what-bill-nye-and-ken-ham-both-get-wrong.

Schulson, Michael. “The Bill Nye-Ken Ham Debate was a Nightmare for Science.”TheDailyBeast.com, February 5, 2014. http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2014/02/05/the-bill-nye-ken-ham-debate-was-a-nightmare-for-science.html.

Image Credit: Adam Lederer / flickr
trustworthy than others.

Skeptics endure doubt-filled lives since there are many claims about the nature of reality that we cannot test and confirm for ourselves. And, even if we could, who has the time, money, and patience to verify every claim? Doubt, then! 

For the atheist, winning the evolution-creationism debate means exposing the logical fallacies and bad science of creationism’s meaning-conferring stories. But the victory rings a hollow note, since disabling the “How did we come into being?” question leaves no possibility of asking the more important question “Why are we here?”

The skeptic’s life is always an option, but not everyone who holds fast to AiG’s creation narratives is foolish. Most people prefer a life with meaning, however implausible the meaning-conferring story. Some will themselves to believe the unbelievable because doing so is conducive to a meaningful life.

Could it be that Ham knows that what he professes to believe is ridiculous and that his Creation Museum is a mockery of intelligent life in 2014? Perhaps. But in the end, is he worse off than the resolute evolutionist who accepts a short existence in a universe with no creator, no purpose?

There was no real winner in the Nye-Ham debate because the debate focused on the wrong topic. The debate is not between scientific fact and religious faith. The real question is whether it is wrong for reasonable people in the age of science to believe a myth, which grounds their lives in meaning. On this, the science of Nye and the skepticism of Hume may say, “It is wrong,” but the scientist and skeptic are incapable of providing meaningful reasons as to why one should prefer a meaningless world.

References and Further Reading:

Urry, Meg. “How the Big Bang discovery came about.” CNN, March 30, 2014, Opinion.http://edition.cnn.com/2014/03/29/opinion/urry-big-bang-findings/.

Amos, Jonathan. “Cosmic inflation: ‘Spectacular’ discovery hailed.” BBC News, March 17, 2014, Sci/Environment. http://www.bbc.com/news/science-environment-26605974.

Bill Nye vs. Ken Ham debate: http://debatelive.org.

Anderson, Nate. “Ham on Nye: The high cost of “winning” an evolution/creation debate.” Ars Technica, February 7, 2014. http://arstechnica.com/science/2014/02/ham-on-nye-the-high-cost-of-winning-an-evolutioncreation-debate.

Hume, David. An Enquiry Concerning Human Understanding. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2008.

Linker, Damon. “What Bill Nye and Ken Ham Both Get Wrong.” TheWeek.com, February 10, 2014. http://theweek.com/article/index/256153/what-bill-nye-and-ken-ham-both-get-wrong.

Schulson, Michael. “The Bill Nye-Ken Ham Debate was a Nightmare for Science.”TheDailyBeast.com, February 5, 2014. http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2014/02/05/the-bill-nye-ken-ham-debate-was-a-nightmare-for-science.html.

Image Credit: Adam Lederer / flickr

To read previous issues of Sightings, visit: http://divinity.uchicago.edu/sightings-archive.

Author, Peter Han, is a Ph.D. Candidate in Religious Ethics at the University of Chicago Divinity School. He is teaching at Elgin Community College while completing his dissertation in the metaethics of artificial intelligence. Although he likes computers, he likes people, too.
.
 even if we recognize that some cause-event-connections and witnesses are more trustworthy than others.

Skeptics endure doubt-filled lives since there are many claims about the nature of reality that we cannot test and confirm for ourselves. And, even if we could, who has the time, money, and patience to verify every claim? Doubt, then! 

For the atheist, winning the evolution-creationism debate means exposing the logical fallacies and bad science of creationism’s meaning-conferring stories. But the victory rings a hollow note, since disabling the “How did we come into being?” question leaves no possibility of asking the more important question “Why are we here?”

The skeptic’s life is always an option, but not everyone who holds fast to AiG’s creation narratives is foolish. Most people prefer a life with meaning, however implausible the meaning-conferring story. Some will themselves to believe the unbelievable because doing so is conducive to a meaningful life.

Could it be that Ham knows that what he professes to believe is ridiculous and that his Creation Museum is a mockery of intelligent life in 2014? Perhaps. But in the end, is he worse off than the resolute evolutionist who accepts a short existence in a universe with no creator, no purpose?

There was no real winner in the Nye-Ham debate because the debate focused on the wrong topic. The debate is not between scientific fact and religious faith. The real question is whether it is wrong for reasonable people in the age of science to believe a myth, which grounds their lives in meaning. On this, the science of Nye and the skepticism of Hume may say, “It is wrong,” but the scientist and skeptic are incapable of providing meaningful reasons as to why one should prefer a meaningless world.

References and Further Reading:

Urry, Meg. “How the Big Bang discovery came about.” CNN, March 30, 2014, Opinion.http://edition.cnn.com/2014/03/29/opinion/urry-big-bang-findings/.

Amos, Jonathan. “Cosmic inflation: ‘Spectacular’ discovery hailed.” BBC News, March 17, 2014, Sci/Environment. http://www.bbc.com/news/science-environment-26605974.

Bill Nye vs. Ken Ham debate: http://debatelive.org.

Anderson, Nate. “Ham on Nye: The high cost of “winning” an evolution/creation debate.” Ars Technica, February 7, 2014. http://arstechnica.com/science/2014/02/ham-on-nye-the-high-cost-of-winning-an-evolutioncreation-debate.

Hume, David. An Enquiry Concerning Human Understanding. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2008.

Linker, Damon. “What Bill Nye and Ken Ham Both Get Wrong.” TheWeek.com, February 10, 2014. http://theweek.com/article/index/256153/what-bill-nye-and-ken-ham-both-get-wrong.

Schulson, Michael. “The Bill Nye-Ken Ham Debate was a Nightmare for Science.”TheDailyBeast.com, February 5, 2014. http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2014/02/05/the-bill-nye-ken-ham-debate-was-a-nightmare-for-science.html.

Image Credit: Adam Lederer / flickr


To read previous issues of Sightings, visit: http://divinity.uchicago.edu/sightings-archive.

Author, Peter Han, is a Ph.D. Candidate in Religious Ethics at the University of Chicago Divinity School. He is teaching at Elgin Community College while completing his dissertation in the metaethics of artificial intelligence. Although he likes computers, he likes people, too.

~~

Gravitational waves were first described by Albert Einstein, who 100 years ago envisioned all space-time as a sort of cosmic fabric that could be warped and jiggled the way a trampoline can be set shaking by a dropped bowling ball. It was an elegant theory, but no one in the past century had been able to prove it. The inflationary universe was theorized in the 1980s by physicists who calculated that in the first billionth of a trillionth of a quadrillionth of a second after the Big Bang the universe expanded so rapidly, it actually exceeded the speed of light.'

Time March 31, 2014, p. 31 

~~

Letter to The Age April 3, 2014:
Hard to adapt
The Prime Minister says Australia is ''a land of droughts [sic] and flooding rains''. ''Always has been, always will be.'' In other words, don't worry, it's always like this and it's not going to change.
About 500,000 years ago, most of northern Australia was swathed in rainforest, and most of the rest in temperate and cool-temperate forests. That began to change about 300,000 years ago as the Australian continental plate continued to move northward. Since then, the northern, central and south-central parts of the continent have continued to become drier, albeit with several periods of glaciation in the south and on the highest ranges.
Those changes were all relatively slow, over periods of a thousand to many thousands of years. Human-induced global warming is happening much faster: at least 10 and up to 1000 times faster than any natural change. It does not give ecosystems - or humans - time to adjust.
The Abbott government is waving the almost completely useless ''direct action'' policy at us, and trying to tell us that there's really ''nuthink'' to worry about. We should be demanding a hell of a lot more from the government we elected to look after this country.
Douglas Mackenzie, Deakin, NSW

~~


~~

Augustine: God made time and therefore stood outside it

Occam's Razor (the simplest explanation is usually best): mother universes giving birth to baby universes, indefinite expansion and contraction, and the idea that all universes that logically can exist must exist. The ultimate origin of the universe might simply be beyond scientific endeavour (though of course within the realm of theology).

Ultimate question  - why is there something rather than nothing...? Gingrich, Polkinghorne etc. scientific theory is not a replacement for theology; both the gardener and the astronomer praise God in their own ways. Gingrich: 'I think my belief makes me no less a scientist'. 

~~


~~

Stephen Hawking and Leonard Mlodinow, The Grand Design : the fundamental question of reality is why the laws of nature are what they are and are not otherwise. Avoid the truly fundamental question: why are there laws of nature at all?

Einstein's religious attitude: 'A knowledge of the existence of something we cannot penetrate, of the manifestations of the profoundest reason and the most radiant beauty, which are only accessible to our reason in their most elementary forms - it is this knowledge and this emotion that constitute the truly religious attitude; in this sense, and in this alone, I am a deeply religious man'. His response to the laws of nature: ... 'there is revealed such a superior Reason that everything significant which has arisen out of human thought and arrangement, is, in comparison with it, the merest empty reflection.'

The question of the origin of he laws of nature is not about religion per se, or even science per se. It involves a fundamental principle or 'building block' of our reality. This question of the existence of a superior Reason manifest in the laws of nature has not been addressed by the new scientific atheism - in spite of the fact that two of the greatest thinkers, Plato and Aristotle, both attempted to account for the rationality, intelligence, and complexity of the world, albeit in very different ways, through the forms/ideas and prime mover/final causality respectively.

Edgar Andrews, emeritus professor of materials at the University of London, reasserts the possibility of a biblical God: 'The scientists' dream is to develop a "theory of everything" - a scientific theory tat will encompass all the workings of the physical universe in a single self-consistent formulation. Fair enough, but there is more to the universe than matter, energy, space and time. Most of us believe in the real existence of non-material entities such as friendship, love, beauty, poetry, truth, faith, justice and so on - the things that actually make human life worth living. A true "theory of everything", therefore, must embrace both the material and non-material aspects of the universe, and my contention is that we already possess such a theory, namely, the hypothesis of God...

'Far from explaining everything, science actually "explains" nothing. What science does is describe the world and its phenomenology in terms of its own specialised concepts and models - which provide immensely valuable insights but become increasingly non-intuitive as we dig ever deeper into the nature of physical reality... When we say science "explains" something we usually mean that there exists a scientific *description* of the phenomenon in question.'

McKenna: 'Science investigates what *exists*; it tests and verifies. The origin of the building blocks of life, of the laws of nature that support them and the intelligence that underpins them is an issue that science cannot address because it does not have the methodology, techniques and tools to do so. To answer these questions... we must go behind scientific determinism into the realms of theology and philosophy...'

- 'Heart of Reality Ignored by Scientific Atheists', by Mary Frances McKenna, The Melbourne Anglican, March 2014, pp. 20, 22.

~~

There is a high proportion of believers working in scientific fields, including the controversial ones (genetics, biology, cosmology etc.)

Science and faith are able to inform and enrich each other, as writer Stephen Jay Gould was fond of saying. 70

Paul Davies' "Goldilocks" premise - that the laws of the universe are extraordinarily fine-tuned to make it "just right" for our existence.

Lawrence Krauss - in his recent book Atom - there is an infinite number of universes popping in and out of existence 71

Sam Harris: 'The seeming unreason of religion gets up Harris's nose. He thinks that understanding should be based on evidence. He compares religious belief to belief in the reality of cartoon characters, Santa's reindeer or the gods of Olympus. He writes that religious belief "allows otherwise normal human beings to reap the fruits of madness and consider them holy." 72

Major problem: Harris places faith in opposition to reason. Describes religious belief in terms that are similar to what is called God-of-the-gaps...

Evidence - the writers of the four gospels were at great pains to prove there were many witnesses to the things Jesus did, including rising from the dead (and there has been no proof yet that he did not). 

Earth is not the centre of the universe. For medieval peoples - a matter of theology, not astronomy. 73

Abortion: a 30-cell embryo cannot have the same worth as a more developed human, but sloganeering about the sanctity of life ignores such rational thinking. 

Why-can't-we-all-get-along Utopian naivete along the lines of John Lennon's "Imagine" 74

Ignoring what Jesus said - statements that don't make much sense if he didn't believe he was Divine. Further we get from Jesus, the more blurry things get. To focus on Jesus as God is the best way we can do what God wants, which is to all get along. 75

~~

Time Jan 13, 2014.

Amer longest war will end in 2014, when the last of the US combat troops who stormed into Afghanistan in 2001 will withdraw by Dec. 31. Relief in US, disaster in Afghanistan. 12 year war left 2161 Americans dead more than 19,500 wounded. 20-21.

Soon there will be as many mobile-phones in the world as there are people, the UN predicts. 24

NAm will be overtaken by Asia as the continent with the most millionaires by the end of 2014. 28

Our galaxy has 300 billion stars; in the past 15 years astronomers have discovered more than 4200 potential exoplanets - planets orbiting distant stars. 30

Research indicates that a powerful El Niño from 1789 to 1793 devastated crop yields in Europe, which in turn helped spark the French Revolution. The three warmest years on record, 1998, 2005, and 2010 were El Niño years. 'In fact 2013 was unusual because it was so hot despite the fact that there was no El Niño - a sign of just how much global warming has increased. 33

For the first time Air Force stealth drones will be able to spend up to 24 hours behind enemy lines without being detected... In September, NASA will conduct an unmanned test flight of Orion, a craft designed to take humanity into deep space. 35

~~

One in three Americans doesn't believe in evolution, according to new
survey results from the Pew Research Center.

The results, released Monday in report on views about human evolution,
show that 33 percent of Americans think "humans and other living
things have existed in their present form since the beginning of
time."

Like ·  · Share · Stop Notifications · Promote

Elizabeth Mcalpine, Angelina Brelih, Jenny Sims and 9 others like this.
Jason Turner I think that's almost ludicrous. There is a lot of
evidence to prove that Evolution is truth, even if it is in line with
God....... I guess these people don't believe in dinosaurs either,
despite the fact that they use oil in their cars daily.
Yesterday at 08:42 · Unlike · 4
Lindsay Cullen Actually 1 in 3 is a lot better than I would have
guessed. It's a weird place...
Yesterday at 08:43 via mobile · Unlike · 2
Abbie McPhie It's the drop I find strange. How do you un-'believe' in
it?http://www.slate.com/.../republicans_reject_evolution...
Republican Acceptance of Evolution Plummets
www.slate.com
A poll released today by the Pew Research Center reveals that
acceptance of evol...See more
Yesterday at 08:46 · Unlike · 2 · Remove Preview
Heidi Denman Oh, stop. We are not all weird. any more than you Aussies
are all weird. And I struggle to believe this is accurate. Seriously.
Yesterday at 09:02 · Unlike · 2
Evan Hadkins Good grief
Yesterday at 09:10 · Unlike · 1
Evan Hadkins A lot depends on how the question is asked. But I don't
find the figures hard to believe.
Yesterday at 09:11 · Unlike · 2
Murray Hogg Heidi Denman: We all know you're perfectly normal. It's
your 313 million fellow Americans we're generalizing about!
Yesterday at 09:19 · Unlike · 4
Wayne Logan · Friends with Terry Goessling and 1 other
When soundly based scientific principles are consistently applied
instead of blind faith (in evolution), circular reasoning and
prejudice against any questioning of the entrenched paradigm, evidence
for evolution appears scant indeed. For research and careful,
thoughtful discussion by young earth creation believing scientists and
other educated and reasonable persons, I encourage folks to take time
to read many interesting articles on creation.com
23 hours ago via mobile · Like · 3
Heidi Denman God bless ya, Murray Hogg.

Few people would use either of those words to describe me, let alone the both!
23 hours ago via mobile · Unlike · 1
Leanne McGinney Rowland, crazy, isn't it?
23 hours ago · Unlike · 1
Trevor Sanders I didn't believe in evolution until I discovered what
was happening in the back of my fridge.
23 hours ago · Unlike · 6
Evelyn Dania Cooke I'm a young earth creationist, but I do believe in
Natural Selection.
Of course there is a lot of variation within any species, but one
species cannot suddenly turn into another.
23 hours ago · Like · 2
Grahame Charles Gould I actually thought it was higher. And what
evidence is there? It makes much more sense to believe that God
created.
23 hours ago via mobile · Like
Bev Tindall Wayne can you give proof that evolution isn't true since
there is plenty of scientific evidence to show otherwise.
23 hours ago · Like
Bev Tindall Creationist science has been shown to be pseudo science.
23 hours ago · Like · 2
Tom McCool Actually you are being generous, Rowland. 6 in 10 Americans
accept evolution. Which means 40% do not.
23 hours ago via mobile · Like
Tom McCool And I'm looking at the same Pew study.
23 hours ago via mobile · Like
Evelyn Dania Cooke Shown by whom, Bev? Idiots like Ian Plimer from
Australian Sceptics?
Evolution is a pseudo science. It's a *just so* story, and every time
it is shown not to work the evolutionists just write a new chapter.
22 hours ago · Like
Bev Tindall Evelyn fyi http://www.talkorigins.org/faqs/comdesc/. This
has 25+ proven scientific evidences for evolution along with
citations. Creationism was definitively proven to be pseudo-science in
the Dover Trial See
http://www.pandasthumb.org/.../2005/12/waterloo_in_dov.html Ian Plimer
is professor emeritus of earth sciences at the University of Melbourne
and professor of mining geology at the University of Adelaide. However
there are a number of creationists whose only doctoral degrees are
either honorary or of suspicious origin.
Seehttp://www.talkorigins.org/faqs/credentials.html
29+ Evidences for Macroevolution: The Scientific Case for Common Descent
www.talkorigins.org
This article directly addresses the scientific evidences in favor of
macroevolut...See more
22 hours ago · Like · 1 · Remove Preview
Bev Tindall Every time creationism is shown to be false creationists
write a new chapter.
22 hours ago · Like · 1
Joel Rothman · Friends with Alan Austin and 33 others
Yep, Ian Plimer is an idiot. I read his book attacking creationism and
it is the worst book on the topic I have ever read. His book attacking
climate science is just as stupid, though better footnoted.

However, there are some very good books out there demonstating that
evolution is true and Young Earth Creationism is embarrassing
nonsense, and I say that having been a Young Earth Creationist. I
especially recommend Why Evolution Is True by Jerry Coyne.

Wayne and Evelyn, how many books have you read arguing for evolution?
22 hours ago · Unlike · 2
Evelyn Dania Cooke I used to be a huge fan of Darwin's On Origin of
Species until I looked at the arguments for the other side, but many
people are more comfortable with evolution because it pushes God out
of the picture, makes the Bible fallible, and frees them up to commit
whatever sins they want.
Did you see that charming video of Plimer running around with a bare
electric wire trying to force Duane Gish to touch it during a debate.
Plimer was ranting "You believe in the theory of electricity, so why
can't you believe in the theory of evolution?"
How can you take seriously a man who thinks that something which can
be demonstrated is comparable with something that can't be?
22 hours ago · Like
Kylie Chenoweth Theistic evolution anyone? Even then I struggle with
the mostly 'animal' parent holding the now 'made in the image of God
has a spirit, spectacularly falls but now has the possibility to go to
heaven' human infant.
22 hours ago · Edited · Like · 2
Evelyn Dania Cooke Joel, I have read books attacking young earth
creationism, and to be honest they have all misrepresented our case.
They will accuse us of saying God did it. The Bible says so. End of story.
When actually our scientists (and they are scientists - not just
theologians) will examine the exact same evidence as the evolutionists
and draw an alternative conclusion.
The writers of these books are usually pushing theistic evolution, in
other words, a god of the gaps who nudges things along whenever there
is a problem with evolution, such as how did sexual reproduction,
necessary for the whole thing to work, ever get off the ground? No way
could two fully integrated systems happen by random changes.
22 hours ago · Like · 1
Paul Cannon · Friends with John Clapton and 15 others
The state of America in general, least of all religious and
educational issues are of deep concern as that society struggles to
function
22 hours ago via mobile · Like · 1
Joel Rothman · Friends with Alan Austin and 33 others
Which ones have you read Evelyn?
22 hours ago via mobile · Like
Graeme S Eggins It wouldn't matter a toss if 100% of Americans doesn't
believe in evolution cos there was a time when 100% of the whole
world's population believed a kn snake talked.
22 hours ago via mobile · Like · 1
Grahame Charles Gould Evolution doesn't need God. Theistic evolution
is an oxymoron (and the true god of the gaps). It's more like
pantheism than the biblical God.
22 hours ago via mobile · Like · 1
Grahame Charles Gould Exactly, Graeme. You either believe God or you don't.
22 hours ago via mobile · Like
Murray Hogg Evelyn wrote: "...they have all misrepresented our case.
They will accuse us of saying God did it. The Bible says so. End of
story."

Graeme Gould wrote: "You either believe God or you don't."

I think you two should sort out your story, then get back to us.
21 hours ago · Like · 2
Grahame Charles Gould Get my name right and you might have a chance.

And stop misrepresenting us.

Evelyn isn't saying that "the Bible says it" isn't true. She's saying
that's not all we say. And I didn't!
21 hours ago via mobile · Like
Murray Hogg Curiously, I actually did put an "h" in there --dunno
where it went. Sorry.

As for the substantial point: I know Evelyn isn't saying that --but
you're the one appealing to "God said it" with not a word about the
science.

Now, if you'd written "either you believe the science or you don't"
then I think Evelyn and yourself would be on the same page.

Can I suggest you take it up with her?

As I say, get back to us when you get your story straight.
21 hours ago · Like
Evelyn Dania Cooke I meant that the theistic evolutionists represent
our case for young earth creationism, not our belief in the inerrancy
of scripture, Murray.
There is no contradiction between what I said and what Grahame Charles
Gould said.
But our belief in a young earth created by God in 6 days go deeper
than simply our trust in God's Word.
There are so many things in evolution that are just impossible, no
matter how many billions of years you give it.
Darwin's On Origin of Species is a misnomer. He doesn't give the
origins of anything. He's already got critters sexually reproducing
while avoiding the issue of how the original pond scums became two
sexes both with the necessary to make babies.
So ours is not a blind faith.

Joel, can't remember. too long ago. I think one was by James Sire though.
21 hours ago · Like · 1
Murray Hogg Darwin doesn't "avoid" the issue of abiogenesis as it's
not the question he's trying to answer. That's why his book is "on the
origin of SPECIES" not "on the origin of LIFE."

As for the origin of life, you may be aware of a very oft repeated
citation from the Origin:

"There is grandeur in this view of life, with its several powers,
having been originally breathed into a few forms or into one; and
that, whilst this planet has gone cycling on according to the fixed
law of gravity, from so simple a beginning endless forms most
beautiful and most wonderful have been, and are being, evolved."

So Darwin's isn't even trying to explain how life got started --that
it did is something he pretty much just assumes-- he's trying to
explain how once it started it gave rise to the present diversity.
21 hours ago · Edited · Like · 1
Peter Blackwell 33% would be Republican evangelicals.
21 hours ago · Like · 2
Joel Rothman · Friends with Alan Austin and 33 others
OK then, what are some of the arguments for evolution that you are
familiar with Evelyn and Wayne?
21 hours ago via mobile · Like
Grahame Charles Gould Yes, without God. Evolution is based on assuming atheism.

(Although Darwin dipped his cap to appease the religious (probably
mostly his wife) - maybe a wedge strategy thing. But at best it was
deism.)
21 hours ago via mobile · Like · 1
Evelyn Dania Cooke Murray, I know Darwin paid lip service to the
creator, but many of his followers take his theory to be all the proof
they need that God isn't necessary.
21 hours ago · Like
Evelyn Dania Cooke And he's still wrong. Variation occurs within a
species, but one kind cannot turn into another.
21 hours ago · Like
Grahame Charles Gould Murray you clearly have no interest in a
sensible conversation.

I start with God as Evelyn does. But neither of us stops there.

I can't help u if u want to make science god.
21 hours ago via mobile · Like
Murray Hogg //Murray you clearly have no interest in a sensible conversation//

Grahame: So far all you've done is throw out a bunch of facile
one-liners: "theistic evolution is an oxymoron," "either you believe
God or you don't," "evolution assumes atheism," and "u want to make
science God."

I'm not seeing anything worthy of sensible engagement.
21 hours ago · Like · 1
Murray Hogg //I know Darwin paid lip service to the creator//

Evelyn: You miss my point. It doesn't matter whether Darwin believed
that God created the first forms --the point is that "On the Origin of
Species" doesn't seek to deal with that question.

As for whether one species can turn into another --that's not a claim
of the sort one can actually make from a scientific perspective. You
can argue (probably not successfully) that there's no evidence for
inter-species transitions, but even if there were ZERO evidence for
such transitions, it doesn't amount to evidence that the transitions
are impossible.

So "one kind cannot turn into another" just isn't a claim that I find
the least compelling. It's certainly not a "scientific" claim.
21 hours ago · Edited · Like
Graeme S Eggins One thing's for sure: One's belief in how we got here
makes not one iota of difference with regard to where we end up.
21 hours ago via mobile · Like · 1
Grahame Charles Gould The best arguments for evolution only show
variation within a kind and none can prove the sort of information
gain needed to go from the simplest life to the variation today. So
it's equivocation. (Oh and find far more at creation.com)

Too many think natural selection and Darwinian evolution are the same,
including Darwin himself. But natural selection is an information
culling mechanism. So they added mutations. But random changes are
never going to produce anything even close.

The far more rational belief is intelligent design, specifically
biblical creationism.

Is there enough science for you, Murray?
21 hours ago via mobile · Like
Graeme S Eggins Dear Mr Grahame Charles Gould, you are wasting your
breath cos none of it far can MATTERS! Now git out of here and spell
your first name proper! lol
21 hours ago via mobile · Like
Grahame Charles Gould Yes, sure you don't, Murray. Because you're not
even trying. You're stuck in a loop.
21 hours ago via mobile · Like
Murray Hogg Grahame: Stuck in a loop? What in goodness name are you
talking about?
21 hours ago · Like
Grahame Charles Gould And so far you've been equally facile. I'm happy
to engage with this in more depth if you'd like, but don't be a
hypocrite. And show me how I'm wrong. It's true that God isn't needed
in evolution.
21 hours ago via mobile · Like
Grahame Charles Gould loop = you are assuming your conclusion.
20 hours ago via mobile · Like
Joel Rothman · Friends with Alan Austin and 33 others
I'm still interested in an answer from the confident
anti-evolutionists, What arguments for evolution are you familiar
with?

(Or what books have you read that argue for evolution?)
20 hours ago via mobile · Like · 1
Murray Hogg Grahame: Yes, I know what "stuck in a loop means" --what I
don't get is how that applies to anything I've said.
20 hours ago · Like · 1
Grahame Charles Gould Lenski's bacteria is one example, Joel.
20 hours ago via mobile · Like
Ian Paul Wragg · 20 mutual friends
"evolution assumes atheism,"

I am sure that Christians who work in the Biological fields will want
to disagree.

Simon Conway-Morris who is the Professor Evolutionary Palaeobiology at
Cambridge University (no mug institution) and a Christian who
staunchly defends Evolutionary Science.

And the Catholic Biologist, Kenneth Miller, from the prestigious Brown
University in the USA would also disagree. He co wrote a standard
college text book on Biology and defended the teaching of Evolution
against the I.D. crowd in the Dover Trial.
http://www.millerandlevine.com/km/evol/

Dr. Francis Collins, a physician-geneticist who directed the Human
Genome Project in the USA also fully supports Evolution and is also a
devout Christian.

And Dennis Venema, Associate Professor of Biology at Trinity Western
University has a good series on the basics of Evolution at the
Biologos web page. I would suggest that it would be far more helpful
to Christians in understanding Evolution than the Anti-Science pages
of the likes of Creation.com

http://biologos.org/.../evolution-basics-a-new...
Ken Miller's Evolution Page
www.millerandlevine.com
"The Flagellum Unspun - The Collapse of Irreducible
Complexity."Scientific studi...See more
20 hours ago · Edited · Like · 3 · Remove Preview
Murray Hogg // And show me how I'm wrong. It's true that God isn't
needed in evolution.//

I see no reason to claim that because a process is "natural" therefore
God is excluded.

There is, actually, a pretty extensive body of work on this given the
question of how God is involved in natural processes is of major
philosophical and theological interest.

Personally, I take the view that God works "seamlessly" in the natural
order such that to speak of something being "natural" is really just
to speak of the normal mode of divine operation --so "he upholds all
things by the word of his power" (Heb. 1:3)

In respect of evolution, I don't then see why an assumption or a
conclusion of atheism is merited. The evolution of (say) humans from
apes no more excludes God than does the development of a child from
egg and sperm.

Here the question becomes: is God needed in the development of the embryo?

If one answers "no" then I don't see how one can object to saying God
is not needed in evolution.

But if one answers "yes" then the obvious challenge is to show where
God was involved.

I would submit that pretty much nobody can show how God is involved in
the development of the embryo, but this doesn't stop any Christian
from claiming that God _is_ involved. That claim is, at the end of the
day, a statement of faith which isn't negated by the fact that science
can explain embryonic development in "natural" terms.

And if we can explain embryonic development in natural terms AND still
claim that God is involved, then I see no reason why the same can't
apply for evolution.

So, yes, some folk like Richard Dawkins claim that evolution doesn't
need God. I don't share their confidence.
20 hours ago · Unlike · 4
Grahame Charles Gould Ian, I agree with this article that Miller's God
is "completely indistinguishable from a nonexistent God".
http://creation.com/review-finding-darwins-god-by-kenneth...
Review: Finding Darwin's God by Kenneth Miller
creation.com
Creation or evolution? It makes a big difference! Over 8,500
trustworthy articles. Evidence for biblical creation.
20 hours ago via mobile · Like · Remove Preview
Murray Hogg //I agree with this article that Miller's God is
"completely indistinguishable from a nonexistent God"//

The irony here is that just a few posts ago you accused Theistic
Evolution of being "the true god of the gaps" --now you're arguing, in
effect, that because a theistic evolutionist (Miller) doesn't actually
posit any gaps in natural processes his God is "completely
indistinguishable from a nonexistent God."

What I'd want to point out is that the authors of that article have
missed the blatantly obvious: it's precisely the fact that Miller
(and, indeed, all Theistic Evolutionists --hence the "theistic"
qualification) think God is always present that the process of
evolution is gapless.

The problem here is, to be blunt, that Creationists think that God is
only present when something miraculous happens. Only on that
assumption does it make sense to argue that Miller's God is
"nonexistent" in the ordinary processes of nature.
20 hours ago · Unlike · 2
Joel Rothman · Friends with Alan Austin and 33 others
What is the Lenski bacteria argument Grahame?
20 hours ago via mobile · Like
Ian Paul Wragg · 20 mutual friends
Grahame Charles Gould said "Ian, I agree with this article that
Miller's God is "completely indistinguishable from a nonexistent
God"".

And Charles that does not surprise me since you got your information
from a biased anti-scientific web page. I have read numerous articles
by Miller as well as his video presentations and I would suggest that
he has been misrepresented by the Anti-Scientific Creation.com.

Murray Hogg is on the money here: "What I'd want to point out is that
the authors of that article have missed the blatantly obvious: it's
precisely the fact that Miller (and, indeed, all Theistic
Evolutionists --hence the "theistic" qualification) think God is
"always present" that the process of evolution is gapless.

Emphasis on "always present" in Murray Hogg's quote is mine.
20 hours ago · Edited · Unlike · 1
Ian Paul Wragg · 20 mutual friends
Admit it. The real reason that Christians reject Evolutionary Science
is not because they have a "Scientific problem" with it. The real
reason that they reject it is because they have a "Theological
problem" with Evolution.
20 hours ago · Like · 3
Murray Hogg //Emphasis on "always present" in Murray Hogg's quote is mine.//

Emphasise it as much as you like, Ian, you won't even come close to
emphasizing it enough!

What gets me is that if I explain how a computer works without
invoking God, no problem!

If I explain how training a dog works without invoking God, no problem!

If I explain the orbit of the planets without invoking God, no problem!

But if I even suggest explaining the development of life on earth
without invoking God, suddenly I'm an atheist!

I submit that this conversation can't even get off the ground until
people across the board have a better grasp of what we're talking
about when we speak of "natural processes."

For mine, if we take "natural processes" to mean something like "what
happens when God is pervasively present and acting according to his
eternal nature" then we're onto a pretty decent first approximation.
19 hours ago · Like · 4
Bev Tindall Creation science hasn't proved the earth is only 6,000
years old or that God created man as he is today or that God created
everything. Creationists ignore science because it doesn't line up
with their dogma. They would rather trust a book with no evidence than
real evidence that is different from what they choose to believe. It's
called cognitive dissonance.
19 hours ago · Like
Grahame Charles Gould Ian, try reading some articles on creation.com.
There are massive scientific problems with evolution.
18 hours ago via mobile · Like
Grahame Charles Gould Bev, the point is the past can't be proved scientifically.
18 hours ago via mobile · Like
Grahame Charles Gould And there are piles of evidence for the bible.
18 hours ago via mobile · Like
Bev Tindall There massive problems with creationism. Creationism
cannot be proved. Its onlly a theological belief.
18 hours ago · Like
Bev Tindall The Bible can't be proved. No, there isn't piles of
evidence for the bible.
18 hours ago · Like
Bev Tindall Grahame -"the past can't be proved scientifically." Yes it
can. Just look at geology.
18 hours ago · Like
Grahame Charles Gould Murray Hogg, Well, of course I agree that
"natural" does not mean God doesn't exist. But the point of evolution
(and uniformitarian I am before it) is to do away with God.
seehttp://creation.com/charles-lyell-free-science-from-moses

They wish to do away with the supernatural and explain everything by
nature. And Dawkins isn't the only one. Most do it without thinking.

God says "The heavens declare the glory of God" but if evolution is
true, why do so many get further from God? Shouldn't the study of
creation lead people to God? Ah but they have deliberately excluded
that possibility. The old "it's not scientific". But it's word games.

The problem is that God's word is ignored. God never claimed that
embryo to adult is supernatural.

Plus we can test it in the present.

Whereas evolution does defy major aspects of God's word.

And can't be proven.

And doesn't fit what we do know and can test.

I hope that explains some reasons why one can say "no" to evolution.

And I note Hebrews says "upholds". I think this is a major point to
understand. The verse doesn't prove it but it makes the best sense of
scripture and our world that God created supernaturally but upholds
naturally.

The thinking of Dawkins is like an ant coming across a car or computer
and trying to explain its existence without reference to a designer.
That because we can explain how it operates that we can say it was
made the same way. It's counterintuitive to think that way. But the
bible tells us to expect that the natural man will suppress the truth
in unrighteousness because the god of this world has blinded the minds
of those who do not believe.

But it's disappointing when Christians think that way.
Charles Lyell free science from Moses
creation.com
Charles Lyell secretly schemed to free science from Moses
18 hours ago via mobile · Like · Remove Preview
Bev Tindall The main evidence for the bible is that some of the places
existed and some of the people existed but not evidence that actual
events occurred.
18 hours ago · Edited · Like
Bev Tindall Grahame - If the evidence doesn't line up with a fallible
bible, you dismiss it. Not a very good idea. Better to have what is
true not what you want to be true. Anyway Genesis was never to be
taken literally with regard to creation.
18 hours ago · Like
Murray Hogg //But the point of evolution (and uniformitarian I am
before it) is to do away with God.//

This is simple to claim, but I just reject it.

Now, given that you keep coming back to the idea that somehow
evolution is "anti-god" or "atheistic" or whatever, I suppose you
think it's actually a strong argument.

But I just point you back to what I already said: we routinely speak
of "natural processes" without thinking it entails atheism. I see no
reason why seeking natural explanations for the origins of life leads
us one step away from the God of Christian faith.

As for Lyell wanting to eliminate God (as per the claim of Catchpoole
and Walker in the linked article) I'll say two things:

First, and most important, even if he did it matters not one iota.
What matters is not the motives of the person doing the research, what
matters is what the evidence says. And, I'm sorry to say, whatever
weaknesses evolution might have pale into insignificance against the
problems faced by "biblical creationism" (in scare quotes because in
my opinion it's not "biblical" in any way, sense or form).

Second, and less importantly, I just think Catchpoole and Walker are
wrong in their reading of Lyell. When he speaks of "freeing science
from Moses" he's not saying anything any more revolutionary than did
Galileo when he wanted to base his understanding of the universe on
science. And here "science" isn't code for some great anti-God
conspiracy. It means learning about the created order by actually
looking at the created order rather than basing one's opinion on one's
reading of a religious text --whether fallible or not.

And now that reading a religious text has come up, let me say that
what's really, really important here is that your entire position
simply assumes that your reading of scripture is correct.

That's why you can make claims like this:

//God never claimed that embryo to adult is supernatural.//

Because, of course, what you're trying to get at is that God said the
origins of life were supernatural.

But, you could only get that from Genesis and if you got it from
Genesis then, simply put, you're just assuming that I'm going to
follow the jump from "I read Genesis as saying..." to "God said..."
--you see? I don't automatically assume any person's reading of the
Bible reveals the divine will, so I don't accept the claim that "God
said (whatever)" in respects of creation.

So here's the bottom line: I REJECT your claim that your position is
actually "biblical." It's no more biblical than (say) reading Psalm 23
and arguing that the God of the Bible looks after sheep for a living.
It's an utterly simplistic reading of Scripture and convinces only
people who want to believe it.

// But the bible tells us to expect that the natural man will suppress
the truth in unrighteousness because the god of this world has blinded
the minds of those who do not believe.//

So, basically, you're condemning even fellow Christians as "natural"
and "blinded" on the basis that they don't agree with your reading of
Genesis or your view on the science?

Nice.
17 hours ago · Edited · Unlike · 2
Evan Hadkins "If Jesus didn't rise from the dead we are of all people
most to be pitied . . . ". Paul was open to falsification. Evolution
is readily observed in bugs.
17 hours ago · Unlike · 3
Evan Hadkins And if you read Paul's letters he had modes of
interpretation other than the literal.
17 hours ago · Unlike · 2
Grahame Charles Gould Murray, if the bible is as much open to
interpretation on origins as you say, then it's meaningless on
everything. God said He made everything in six days. Jesus said "But
from the beginning of the creation God made them male and female.".

If that means billions of years then language is meaningless.

And that's only two examples.
17 hours ago via mobile · Like
Grahame Charles Gould And condemning? stop being so sensitive. it's
the thinking I'm condemning.

And you're being a hypocrite again. I could take offence at the
implications in your condemnation of biblical creationism (and I don't
expect you to accept that term) but let's have a logical not emotional
debate.
17 hours ago via mobile · Like
Evan Hadkins You would need to make some logical points Grahame not
just insist on literalism (which the NT doesn't).
17 hours ago · Unlike · 2
Alan Cruickshank A lot of people are uncomfortable with evolution
because it is presented to them as "the aimless blade of science" that
"smashed the pearly gates". Instinctive belief in a world beyond the
material runs against this. But I believe most people on *both* sides
of this divide are where they are for social rather than rational (or
spiritual) reasons. Declaration: I'm a rural baptist and a published
plant geneticist with an aversion to head-butting.
17 hours ago via mobile · Like
Murray Hogg // if the bible is as much open to interpretation on
origins as you say, then it's meaningless on everything.//

Again, a claim I reject.

What you're doing, essentially, is to "flatten" out scripture --as
though my claim that the meaning of Genesis is not immediately obvious
somehow has some relevance to (say) how I read the Gospels or the
letters of Paul.

But to say that I don't think it obvious that a several thousand year
old middle eastern text of unknown origin (i.e. Genesis 1-3) might
need to be read other than literally, doesn't bind me to saying
anything about more recent Hellenistic/Jewish texts (i.e. the gospels)
which were written within living memory of the person whose life they
recount.

I mean, really? The claim that our reading of Genesis ought to be more
nuanced than simply buying into a literalistic reading leads you to
conclude that the Gospels are meaningless?

Again, all you've got, at the end of the day, is the very argument
which Evelyn said creationists don't use: "The bible says..." As it's
the point you keep coming back to, I think it's pretty clear that "God
did it. The Bible says so. End of story." really IS the end of the
story --so much for allegations of "misrepresentation."

What's amusing, actually, is that not only do you guys not know the
scientific arguments, you clearly don't even know your own position!
17 hours ago · Like
Murray Hogg PS: regarding "being so sensitive" --I'm not in the least.
Indeed, if one was to worry about everything that Young Earth
Creationists choose to condemn as "of the devil" or "an abomination to
God" or whatever, one wouldn't even get out of bed in the morning.

So don't mistake it as being a complaint, as I actually don't expect
anything else.

What I'm trying to draw attention to is the fact that one can't even
engage with Young Earth Creationism without bumping up against a wall
of self-righteous religious rhetoric. Basically, anybody who questions
YEC is just written off as some somebody seeking an excuse to evade
truth.

You can keep on calling me a hypocrite for pointing it out --but it's
water of a duck's back. Essentially par for the course whenever one
voices honest questions about faith in the presence of
fundamentalists.

I just wanted you to know that far from being "sensitive" about it, I
really don't give a tinker's cuss about your moral judgments.

I certainly see them, I just don't think they're worth the effort you
take to type them out because nobody is going to suddenly buy your
claims just because you reckon their immoral for failing to do so.
16 hours ago · Edited · Like · 2
Ian Paul Wragg · 20 mutual friends
Graham Charles Gould said "Ian, try reading some articles on
creation.com. There are massive scientific problems with evolution".

Only in the minds of Creationists and their I.D. puppets.
Professional biologists have debunked these imaginary problems time and again.

And you miss the point of the creation texts. The argument is not
"Divine Creation" as opposed to "Atheistic Evolution". The fear of
evolution is a post 19th century paranoia. That idea would never have
occurred to ancient Hebrews/Israelites, but is a modern imposition on
the text.

The argument of the Genesis creation text, is BROADLY speaking:

1) The God of Israel alone is responsible for the created order. NOT
any of the myriads of deities that were worshiped by Israels
neighbors.

2) All the elements of the cosmos are simply the work of the God of
Israel..i.e. Genesis presents a cosmogony that strips away any other
divine elements from being involved in the creative process and also
the the cosmos itself is devoid of divine elements. The Sun and the
Moon in Genesis are simply the greater and Lesser lights, not gods to
be feared and worshiped. The same can be said of the stars, the salt
waters and fresh waters and sky that were seen as supernatural beings
in the Ancient Near East.

If anything, the Genesis creation text is both an affirmation of YHWH
as the one true god and at the same time a polemic against the gods of
Israel's neighbors.
All of which is expressed through an ancient world view. Something
that we should expect from an ancient Hebrew text.

Genesis should no more be used today as a polemic against Evolution,
than the texts that speak of the immobility of the Earth (Psalms 93:1;
96:10; Isaiah 45:18; and 1 Chronicles 16:30) should be used against
the Copernican Revolution. In fact, those who want to reject Evolution
based on biblical texts and "Biblical Fidelity" should also reject our
current understanding of the solar system based on the above texts.
16 hours ago · Edited · Like · 1
Grahame Charles Gould And again you misrepresent.

"The bible says" is not the end but the beginning.

Your "nuanced" sounds like "ignore".

Why should I "nuance" those verses, Murray?

And your claims about self- righteousness and ignoring the facts could
be thrown back at you. Either it's wrong for both or neither.
16 hours ago via mobile · Like
Murray Hogg You should "nuance" those verses because the sort of
literature we're talking about (Ancient Near Eastern creation myth)
requires it.

I guess you COULD throw claims about self-righteousness back at me
--but best wait until I actually start throwing around the moral
judgments.
16 hours ago · Edited · Like
Murray Hogg //Graham Charles Gould said "Ian, try reading some
articles on creation.com. There are massive scientific problems with
evolution".

Only in the minds of Creationists and their I.D. puppets.//

Ian: to be a bit fair, I actually think there are short-comings in
evolutionary theory. The problem that YEC faces is that the problems
for evolution are more in the area of "gaps" whereas YEC suffers from
what amounts to terminal cognitive dissonance.

Take, for instance, the fossil record.

I think creationists are quite correct to point out that we lack a
comprehensive fossil record (although I hasten to add, I think it's
less lacking than most YECs suppose). It surely would be nice to have
an absolutely unbroken chain of specimens evidencing the evolution of
even one single species.

That said, you'd be utterly delusional to think that the fossil record
can be reconciled with "biblical" creation. There is simply no way in
blazes that one can take all the fossil specimens that have ever been
discovered and fit them into a framework that says the earth is only
7000 years old with everything having been created in its present
form.

As I say, as far as evolution is concerned the fossil record presents
"gaps" whereas as far as YEC is concerned the evidence isn't even
remotely compatible with the theory. Which is perhaps why YECs spend
so much time on critiques of evolution whilst avoiding any effort at
actually trying to construct any sort of coherent theoretical
framework. Critique is easy but constructing a coherent account is
exceedingly difficult.

So, personally, I tend to be sympathetic to some of the criticisms of
evolution put forward by YECs. But just because I see some merit in
those criticisms it doesn't follow that I regard YEC as even remotely
credible.
16 hours ago · Edited · Like · 2
Grahame Charles Gould Murray, you need to spend far more time on
creation.com to accurately critique yec.

I strongly dispute the view that we are only picking at the gaps.
16 hours ago via mobile · Like
Ian Paul Wragg · 20 mutual friends
Murray said: " You should "nuance" those verses because the sort of
literature we're talking about (Ancient Near Eastern creation myth)
requires it."

And that is part of the problem here Murray. People are trying to read
the text to answer modern scientific questions instead of the
questions that were posed to/ by ancient Israel.
I see no attempt by creationists to actually try and understand the
text on its own grounds within its ancient culture and worldview.
I just see anachronistic readings of the text solely for the purpose
of mounting an argument against Evolution. Talk about missing the
point!
15 hours ago · Edited · Like · 5
Murray Hogg //Murray, you need to spend far more time on creation.com
to accurately critique yec.//

I'm not interested in critiquing YEC any more than I'm interested in
critiquing guys like Richard Dawkins who claim one can't be a
scientist and a believer.

And, to be quite blunt, I've already read enough mindless YEC drivel
to last me a life time.

Sooner or later one has to move on from "evolution is wrong because
it's atheism" and start dealing with reality --and I think theistic
evolution does that quite adequately even though I acknowledge that it
doesn't answer every question one might want to put to it.
16 hours ago · Edited · Like · 1
Murray Hogg Ian: Couldn't have said it better!
16 hours ago · Like
Geoff Leslie thanks guys. that was a mostly civil argument. I enjoyed
it. No one convinced anyone but both sides of the argument were
well-put and respectful (mostly). Bystanders then get to weigh up the
arguments and think about them.
16 hours ago · Like · 3
Trevor Sanders This very debate is just one of the reasons people are
laughing at Christianity. Lighten up people. Good science will reveal
God. Happy New Year to you all and thanks to Rowland and his followers
for a very entertaining and edifying year.
16 hours ago · Like
Ian Paul Wragg · 20 mutual friends
That's right Trev. But it is only one of the reasons.
15 hours ago · Like · 1
Grahame Charles Gould As I said earlier, your "nuance" sounds like
"ignore". You seem to have missed that.

Why should I ignore the verses I mentioned? Exactly how should they be
"nuanced"?

And why call it myth? Does God lie? When does the myth stop?

And even if you do classify the first chapters as creation myth, I
didn't even quote those chapters. Was Jesus lying?

And my argument is not just that "evolution is wrong because it's
atheism". It's wrong on every level.
15 hours ago via mobile · Like
Grahame Charles Gould "mindless yec drivel"

both sides do that mate
15 hours ago via mobile · Like
Murray Hogg //As I said earlier, your "nuance" sounds like "ignore".//

Except I don't "ignore" Genesis, I advocate instead reading it as the
sort of literature it actually is. And, believe me, back when the
Genesis account was written they weren't interested in e...See More
about an hour ago · Edited · Like · 3
Murray Hogg //"mindless yec drivel"

both sides do that mate//...See More
15 hours ago · Like
Grahame Charles Gould You haven't told me how I *should* understand
those verses.
15 hours ago via mobile · Like
Alf Hickey This is really sad, such an unscientific and mythological idea.
15 hours ago via mobile · Like
Murray Hogg //You haven't told me how I *should* understand those verses.//

Which verses? If you mean the creation account in general then you
should understand them in essentially the same way that all cultures
understand their creation myths: as aetiologies or,...See More
15 hours ago · Edited · Like
Alf Hickey Trevor you are right. But good science doesnt come from the
"scientific community."
15 hours ago via mobile · Like
Bev Tindall Grahame- the bible isn't a scientific textbook. You have
done nothing to disprove evolution or prove creationism.
15 hours ago · Like
Bev Tindall What we know about the earth/universe today wasn't known
to the writers of genesis. To believe the bible knows more about it is
to be highly ignorant to say the least.
15 hours ago · Like
Grahame Charles Gould Bev,

1. For the second time, neither side can "prove".
2. Of course, it's not a science textbook. It doesn't change.
15 hours ago via mobile · Like
Alf Hickey Creationism is just science. It wont produce the right
results either.

Science is evolutionary. It will never fully reveal truth as its
methodology is still just human opinion as much as any informed blind
faith soothsayer....See More
15 hours ago via mobile · Like
Grahame Charles Gould Murray,

Again.

God said He created heaven and earth and all that is in them in six
days. Exodus 20.11

Jesus said that God made them male and female at the beginning of
creation. as quoted earlier.

Mar 10:6 But from the beginning of the creation God made them male and female.
15 hours ago via mobile · Like
Murray Hogg //It will never fully reveal truth as its methodology is
still just human opinion as much as any informed blind faith
soothsayer//

Well, there's probably a bit of wriggle room between claiming science
fully reveals the truth and claiming that it's in the same category as
a blind faith soothsayer.

So whilst I agree that science is evolutionary and that it doesn't
deliver us the entire truth, I'm more likely to give my local GP a
shot rather than a soothsayer next time I have a medical complaint
--and that despite the fact that I know my GP isn't 100% correct 100%
percent of the time.
15 hours ago · Edited · Like · 1
Murray Hogg Grahame,

Again.

You're confusing your reading of the text with divine proclamation.

So, to clarify...

The bible says "He created heaven and earth and all that is in them in six days"

And YOU choose to read that as a literal (historical) account.

But, as I've explained, on at least two grounds we know it's not to be
taken as such: First, we know that Ancient Near Eastern cultures
didn't write "history" or "science" as we understand it --so you've
simply gotten the genre wrong. Second, the background evidence (i.e.
the science) shows that it didn't happen this way.

So on the basis of both textual and scientific evidence I have no
reason to agree that the text intends to narrate history, hence no
reason to accept your reading of the text as history is legitimate,
hence no reason to accept your claim that "God said it happened in six
days."

And, as I already pointed out, I don't regard Jesus practice of citing
the creation story as anything like evidence for the claim that the
story must be "history" --basically, that's the problem with the way
people appeal to mythology: you can never tell if they intend the
story to be taken as "history" because the point has nothing to do
with history in the first place. Why do you think such stories contain
such obviously non historical elements as, for instance, a talking
snake in the Genesis account? For most people that right there would
be a clue that we're dealing with something other than a historical
record.
15 hours ago · Edited · Like
Grahame Charles Gould But God DID say it happened in six days. I'm
still trying to see how I should understand it.

Where does the history start? Is any of it real?
15 hours ago via mobile · Like
Grahame Charles Gould What about the obviously non historical element
of a man rising from the dead?
15 hours ago via mobile · Like
Ian Paul Wragg · 20 mutual friends
Murray Hogg said.:"In that vein Genesis should be understood as a
story which tells us that everything owes its existence to the God of
Israel, that there is only one God, that humans ought to stand in a
particular relationship to that God, to one anot...See More
15 hours ago · Like
Bev Tindall Grahame " But God DID say it happened in six days." No,
God did not say it the writer did.
15 hours ago · Like
Murray Hogg The history starts when it starts --all I know is that the
creation account isn't history --it doesn't read like history, it
wasn't written by a culture which wrote history, and there's little to
no evidence to support the claim that it should be taken...See More
15 hours ago · Like
Ian Paul Wragg · 20 mutual friends
Alf Hickey said "Trevor you are right. But good science doesnt come
from the "scientific community."

Where does it come from then Alf?
15 hours ago · Like
Bev Tindall Grahame " neither side can "prove". for the second time
science has proven evolution.
15 hours ago · Like
Murray Hogg //What about the obviously non historical element of a man
rising from the dead?//

That might be obviously non-historical to you, but not to me.
15 hours ago · Like
Alf Hickey GPs and dentists are useless and mine is one of the best in
Victoria. He says the medical profession and health system in Oz is
stuffed. Bad claim Murray.
If you have an issue it should be fixed immediately by local expert,
no complications, quick no w...See More
14 hours ago via mobile · Like
Murray Hogg //GPs and dentists are useless and mine is one of the best
in Victoria. He says the medical profession and health system in Oz is
stuffed. Bad claim Murray.
If you have an issue it should be fixed immediately by local expert,
no complications, quick no waiting list.//

Both my GP and my dentist fix my problems just fine pretty much first
time every time. What more can I say?
14 hours ago · Edited · Like
Grahame Charles Gould http://creation.mobi/oxford-hebraist-james-barr-genesis...

Hebrew scholars disagree with you, Murray....See More
Oxford Hebrew scholar, Professor James Barr, on the meaning of Genesis
- CMI Mobile
creation.mobi
‘… probably, so far as I know, there is no professor of Hebrew or Old
Testament ...See more
14 hours ago via mobile · Like · 1 · Remove Preview
Murray Hogg //Hebrew scholars disagree with you, Murray.//

That's nice --you're expecting what?

I mean, what I'm saying isn't a linguistic argument, it's a literary
one. So the question isn't what scholars of Hebrew think, the question
is what scholars of literature think, more particularly what scholars
of ancient aetiology think.

And I think I'm rather on the right side of THAT opinion.
14 hours ago · Edited · Unlike · 1
Alf Hickey Murray I think thats wrong what you're saying about history
and science of near eastern culture.

Cooking a recipe did exist and such reproduceable method was obvious i
great endeavours. We shouldn't call it science as we think of it,
because todays sc...See More
14 hours ago via mobile · Like
Grahame Charles Gould that might be obviously non historical to you
===
I could say the same about the snake.
14 hours ago via mobile · Like
Murray Hogg //I could say the same about the snake.//

Feel free to do so --I simply have no problem with you going down the
path of suggesting elements of the Genesis story are non-historical.
Who knows? You might even end up getting my point about the entire
sto...See More
14 hours ago · Edited · Like
Grahame Charles Gould Yeah Professors of Hebrew and Old Testament at
world class universities don't know anything about literature.
14 hours ago via mobile · Like
Murray Hogg //Murray I think thats wrong what you're saying about
history and science of near eastern culture.

Cooking a recipe did exist and such reproduceable method was obvious i
great endeavours. We shouldn't call it science as we think of
it//...See More
14 hours ago · Like
Grahame Charles Gould Oh boy.

Why do you feel the snake is "obviously non historical"? The same
could be said of the resurrection. You don't agree. And I say the same
is true of the snake. Why is it "obviously non historical"?...See More
14 hours ago via mobile · Like
Murray Hogg //Why do you feel the snake is "obviously non historical"?//

A talking snake? Why don't I think this is historical? Goodness, do I
really need to explain this one?...See More
14 hours ago · Edited · Like · 2
Bev Tindall There is absolutely no proof that a snake can talk. Just
because the bible says it did doesn't make it so. Otherwise it makes
all religious books equal i.e. the koran , the tanakh etc.
14 hours ago · Like
Bev Tindall Also there is no proof of the resurrection outside of the
bible and the accounts contradict each other.
14 hours ago · Like
Murray Hogg And in respects of the resurrection...

I believe it happened because pretty much all the evidence supports
the idea --not that there's much evidence, but such as there is seems
to me to be on the "plus" side.

This is directly contrary to claims that we should read Genesis as
history as there there is pretty compelling evidence that we shouldn't
read it as history.

In short, I just don't think the two sets of texts (Genesis and the
Gospels) are so easily compared.

And although you haven't made this claim, I think it worth raising:
NOWHERE did I argue that the Genesis account must be non-historical
because of any problem with miracles. I fully agree that God COULD
have created the world in six days, my argument is that the evidence
is that he did not. Consequently, there's nothing to be gained by
trying to argue that I have some "naturalistic" bias which leads me to
reject creation which should also lead me to reject the resurrection.
That pony won't run.
14 hours ago · Like · 2
Alf Hickey The resurrection is related to the beginning because death
as we are told about it, both first and second has its origin here.
Jesus was resurrected from both.
The greatest evidence of resurrection is that Jesus is contactable today.
12 hours ago via mobile · Like
Alf Hickey You dont talk with animals Murray. Science is just now
rediscovering how to. Its just a little slow.
11 hours ago via mobile · Like
Peter Robert Green I went to a CS meeting many years ago in which the
speaker claimed that the creation must have taken place in a literal
144 hours, because the word, "yom" is never used in a non-literal way
in the Old Testament.

In fact, it is used in a not-necessaril...See More
10 hours ago · Like · 1
Evan Hadkins John H Walton's The Lost World of Genesis 1, is great.
10 hours ago · Like
Peter Robert Green The Genesis account keeps throwing in linguistic
clues to suggest that one shouldn't take it too literally -- basically
by using metaphors like the barnyard one in Genesis 1:2, or the
building ones in Genesis 1: 6, 2:7 and 2:22/23 ("rib"= literally,
"rafter" or "beam"). These can't be taken literally.
9 hours ago · Like · 1
Peter Ellis I demand a re-count! Or, I demand a definition of terms!
Was the Earth turning during this process? If not, and it was only
made to turn AFTER a certain amount of time had been used, then the
term 'day' is literally unreliable. If the Earth was turning...See
More
9 hours ago · Like · 2
Jill Crawford Oh dear . . .!!!! Hope you all have a great new year,
and do stop to smell the flowers, watch the butterflies and listen to
the birds!!
9 hours ago · Like · 1
David Bond Actually, Murray, what constitutes historical narrative in
a given language IS particularly relevant.
By the way: Do you have any Hebrew competence on what constitutes an
"article of eminence" in HEBREW LITERARY contexts? For eg. the Hebrew
definite...See More
8 hours ago via mobile · Edited · Like · 1
Peter Robert Green I hope you have a great new year, too, Jill. Batter
and eat the flowers, and cook the birds in clarified butter, if you
like. As long as you have fun.

It's getting a bit silly now.
8 hours ago · Edited · Like · 1
Murray Hogg //Actually, Murray, what constitutes historical narrative
in a given language IS particularly relevant.
By the way: Do you have any Hebrew competence on what constitutes an
"article of eminence" in HEBREW LITERARY contexts?//
...See More
about an hour ago · Edited · Like · 1
Murray Hogg //I went to a CS meeting many years ago in which the
speaker claimed that the creation must have taken place in a literal
144 hours, because the word, "yom" is never used in a non-literal way
in the Old Testament.//

Peter: Yeah, it's a line of argumen...See More
3 hours ago · Edited · Like
Murray Hogg Incidentally, can I just make one more point on Barr...

Despite what Barr was cited as saying regarding the Genesis creation
account, we have no reason to believe that he himself was a Young
Earth Creationist, to put it mildly. Here one should read ch...See
More
Stephen E. Jones: creation evolution articles: James Barr, letter of
23 April 1984 to David C.C....
members.iinet.net.au
Copy of entire letter from then Oxford Professor of Hebrew, James
Barr, dated 23...See more
about an hour ago · Edited · Like · 2 · Remove Preview
Peter Robert Green You are quite right, Murray, in viewing it as
literature and not merely focusing on linguistic issues; and ancient
Hebrews almost certainly took "yom" to be a literal 24 hour day.
However, while we are aware of how the Bible was read at various
points of history, we have to read it ourselves today with our own
understanding, and that does mean doing decent exegesis. I am
unconvinced that the CS people do that.

I say, "...almost certainly" because, as I pointed out, there are
literary clues to suggest that even an ancient Hebrew, if sufficiently
perceptive, may have understood the early chapters of Genesis as not
entirely literal.

While your Goose and the Golden Egg parallel usefully highlights many
of the differences between literal history and myth, I sometimes think
that the ANZAC myth (probably unfamiliar to northern hemisphere
arguers here) is more helpful in other ways, being about verifiably
real events, but reported in such a way as to promote a certain view
of Australians and New Zealanders and our societies -- a view which is
definitely open to challenge. For Americans, perhaps the story of
American victory in World War I plays a similar role.

A perceptive Australian or a perceptive American (there are many in
Australia) would pick up use of language which should make her
question the literal truth of these accounts at those points where
they drift into myth, but that shouldn't destroy the mythic importance
of those accounts in developing our Australian (or their American)
views of themselves.
7 minutes ago · Unlike · 2
Murray Hogg Peter Robert Green: Good point about the ANZAC legend
being a better analogy --I certainly see what you're getting at here
and I think you're right!

~~


~~

Abbie McPhie There are virtually no scientists who continue to accept that climate change isn't happening. If you hear about them, they're probably not scientists. I'm not in Australia, and you now won't see a scientist interviewed who doesn't accept that this is happening where I am. I don't think Russia is the best source of transparent news. Really what this boils down to is you either accept the scientific method, or you don't. If you do, the prevailing theory based on all the evidence we have available is that human activity is causing the climate to change in a way that is trending warmer on average, and what we haven't pinned down is what the impact of this has been or will be (though this is becoming clearer every day, and a fair description is 'bad'). Scientists who were previously sceptics now accept the weight of evidence, because this is how science works, which is why I much prefer it to pretty much any other public discourse.
I am v& � o e pb � b onsider my position.
Sadly, I find that the denier camp seems to be exclusively populated with two groups of people (often intermixed), those with a passionate, conservative political agenda, and those with a conservative evangelical religious mindset. Often the latter seem to posit that all scientists are evil and teach evolutionary theory.
I am more than happy to receive evidence that anything I’m saying here is wrong. I’m open to change. However I suspect that I will just get the typical tirades of those who don’t really understand why they believe what they do.


h� 7 o g pb � b lity’. The best preachers are ‘bilingual’, understanding the terminology of theology, but also communicating plainly in the language of the people.

May I suggest three essential characteristics of authentic preaching:
1. GOOD PREACHING IS DRAMATIC
‘Baby Boomers’ – those born after World War II, between 1946 and 1964 – are the first adults to be raised on the mass media. Television, radio, rock music and computers have shaped the way they view reality. Yet George Gallup’s research says 99% of young Americans are ‘religious’ in some sense, and 40 per cent say they’re ‘born again’. But they don’t feel at home in the traditional church; it’s boring, quite frankly. They don’t like rigid structures, old-fashioned music, or the church’s conservative politics. One 33 year old pastor of a large church in Colorado said: ‘The church is the last standing barrier between our generation and Jesus.’
So preaching to baby-boomers and young people will have to be relevant and interesting – and dramatic. Study Tony Campolo’s ‘sermons’ for an example of superb communication to these groups.
One way to reach these generations is through stories. Parables, stories, are good preaching in any culture and to any age-group. They appeal to the imagination. More than half of the Bible – both Old and New Testaments – is narrative. Stories communicate images and pictures, to which hearers then attach their own feelings, emotions and experiences. Stories open windows to life. They help us get in touch with hope, compassion, love, the triumph of good over evil, light over darkness.
Try something different sometimes. How about a sermon preached from behind the congregation, or from the middle of a row, or with a child in your arms?
If preaching about the prodigal son, maybe interview the various people in the prodigal’s family (including a neighbour and the family’s pastor!). I heard of one re-enactment of this story which ended with the elder brother hitting his father: quite unforgettable! But don’t be ‘gimmicky’ for its own sake: always explain the reason for changes. Does the sermon always have to come ‘after half-time’? Can it be broken up sometimes, and interspersed with other worship-activities to reinforce the main points made?
2. GOOD PREACHING IS DIDACTIC
That is, it must have a teaching component. But good preaching is not simply imparting information. It aims at ‘transformation’.
How do we mature in our faith and life? How do we develop a sensitive Christian conscience, a strong desire to live obediently to the word of God, a love for Bible study and prayer, a dedicated commitment to ministries of evangelism, mercy and justice? A discussion of teaching must work backwards from these questions.
When asked ‘What or who were the formative influences in your life?’ most people name a parent or teacher. ‘I teach’ says US professor of the year 1983, Peter Beidler, ‘because I see people grow and change in front of my eyes. Being a teacher is being present at the creation, when the clay begins to breathe. Nothing is more exciting than being nearby when the breathing begins… I teach because, being around people who are beginning to breathe, I occasionally find myself catching my breath with them.’
Paul and Barnabas majored on teaching (Acts 11:26). The church at Antioch had a list of their teachers (Acts 13:1: does yours?). The religion of Israel was a teaching religion (see eg Exodus 18:20, Deuteronomy 6:1): the law of Moses was first a lesson, then a command. Jesus was a rabbi, a teacher (eg Mark 1:38), and commanded his followers to go into the world and teach all nations (Matthew 28:19-20). The early Christian churches took seriously the function of teaching (Acts 13:1, 1 Corinthians 12:28, Ephesians 4:11, 2 Timothy 1:11).
The purpose of Timothy’s teaching, Paul says, is to ‘arouse the love that comes from a pure heart, a clear conscience, and a genuine faith’ (1 Timothy 1:5). ‘Bible teaching’ is therefore much more than a ‘jug to mug’ approach: it’s meant to produce better-behaved rather than merely better-informed Christians. Christian leaders should be able, or apt to teach (1 Timothy 3:2).
If you could choose one verb to describe what the pastor/s do in your church, would it be ‘teaching’? In churches battling to survive, the leaders spend their time ‘oiling the church’s machinery’ or ‘keeping the people happy’ through routine visitation (so-called ‘maintenance’ ministries). But where the ‘pastor-teachers’ (Ephesians 4:11) take their teaching role seriously, they use many means to encourage their people to mature in the faith, serve others, and become ‘reproducers’. Pastoring and teaching go together: we don’t teach theory, we teach persons. The best teachers love those they instruct, model what they teach (‘truthing it in love’ as Paul puts it in Ephesians 4:15), are enthusiastic, hard-working and systematic in their preparation, and always assume their students will teach others (2 Timothy 2:2).
Preaching without teaching can be propaganda: by-passing people’s minds to get them to make a commitment they don’t fully understand. And teaching without persuasion can be dry, sterile dogma.
The teaching process will be ‘dialogical’, as John R W Stott put it (pp 60ff). It will be inductive and deductive, propositional and relational, doctrinal and life-centred, from the pulpit, in classes, in small groups, and one-to-one. Every church ought to have a bookstall (positioned where people will fall over it!); and an audio and video cassette library. Perhaps small-group studies can be related to the whole church’s theme for the week, where the sermon is followed up by discussion. (That’s better than the reverse order: experience shows too many will come with their exegetical – and critical – minds made up to truly hear the voice of the Lord in the preaching).
When we hear the Scripture read we are listening to the voice of the living God. We don’t listen to the Bible reading simply to learn something interesting. Our silent prayer is always ‘Beyond the sacred page I seek you, Lord. My Spirit yearns for you, O Living Word.’ The Bible readings should be somewhere near the preaching, to make clear the connection. I like the discipline of the lectionary; it ensures our readings and preaching range over the whole Bible. But don’t follow it slavishly: in biblically literate congregations there is merit in preaching consecutively through various books of the Bible, with rotating themes from Old Testament, Gospel, and Epistle, interspersed with ‘special days’ (Trinity Sunday, Pentecost, Advent, Christmas, Easter etc). The reading of scripture should be done well. In some churches the Bible reading is as exciting as if someone read a telephone directory! Train your readers. Introduce the reading with a sentence or two describing its background. Use drama, dance, mime, and audio-visuals to assist in ‘sitting where the readers first sat’. God wants his word understood; the scriptures were written in the common languages of their day, so use a translation closest to the language we speak (eg. the New Revised Standard Version). After Scripture is read, be silent to listen with the heart.
3. GOOD PREACHING IS PROPHETIC
This is hardest for pastors. This week I have been re-reading Reinhold Niebuhr’s ‘Leaves from the Notebooks of a Tamed Cynic’. If ever there was a twentieth century prophet par excellence it was Niebuhr. About prophets he writes that they’re likely to be itinerants (‘we preachers are afraid to tell the truth because we are economically dependent upon the people of the church’ p.74). And ‘the church does not seem to realize how unethical a conventionally respectable life may be’ (p.118). So it’s easier for pastors to preach about charity than justice. But it’s difficult for a pastor to be prophetic without being cynical (‘I don’t want anyone to be more cynical than I am’ p.158). If you have to choose between bitterness and blandness, choose the former; but ‘speaking the truth in love’ is always our aim…
To understand all this, let’s take a short excursion into the sociology of institutions. Max Weber used the term ‘prophetic’ in opposition to the terms ‘tradition’ and ‘institution’. All institutions, said sociologist Robert Merton, are inherently degenerative. In the church, only prophets can really ‘see’ it – which is why they’re sometimes called ‘seers’. Over time, a representative institution will see people inhabit, roughly one of four stances if they have to face institutional change. On the left, radicals want to change everything (they’re mostly driven by anger). On the right, traditionalists want to change nothing (they’re driven by fear). Next to the radicals, progressives want to change some things, and to the right of them are conservatives, who are prepared to change very little. Now if you’re going to lead this motley group, you have to be somewhere in the middle: if you’re too radical the traditionalists/conservatives (who have the power mostly) will throw you out. But if you’re not ‘with it’, you’ll be left behind in an irrelevant backwater. So pastors, for example, to survive, must appear to be not too radical and not too traditionalist.
But prophets are always radical. There’s the rub. Remember Woody Allen’s movie about Leonard Zelig? Filmed in documentary style, Zelig purportedly recounts the life and times of a ‘chameleon man’ who was so completely compliant than his physical appearance changed to accomodate his companions.
Talking to some Orthodox rabbis, he sprouts a beard and side curls. In a Chinese laundry his features become Asian. To psychiatrists he utters much psychobabble…
Good preaching has both heat and light: heat without light leaves us scorched and brittle; light may help us ‘see’ (and as Horace Bushnell once said, there can be no preaching worth the name if there is no thinking), but knowledge without faith won’t save anybody. W B Yeats in his poem ‘The Second Coming’ says ‘the best lack all conviction’ while ‘the worst are full of passionate intensity.’ We must search for the dividing line between enthusiasm and fanaticism…
Good preaching touches mind and heart and will: we learn, we love, and we change. It goes without saying that good preaching is not constantly negative, opposing anything and everything. We shepherds sometimes spend too much time mending fences rather than feeding sheep. There ought always to be a prophetic dimension to our preaching, calling us to repentance.
The ministry of prophets was very important in New Testament times. Paul regarded it highly, urging the Corinthians to seek this highly prized spiritual gift (1 Corinthians 14:1, 39). Paul wanted them all to speak in tongues, but even more to prophesy. Why? Because tongues helps the individual; prophecy helps the church. In the three lists of church ministries (Romans 12, 1 Corinthians 12 and Ephesians 4) only one ministry is mentioned in all of them – the prophetic.
Prophecy is a direct communication from God for a particular people at a particular time and place, for a particular purpose. Prophecy gives the church fresh insights into God’s truth (Ephesians 3), of guidance about the future (Acts 11:27ff), or encouragement (1 Corinthians 14:3; 1 Timothy 1:18), or inspiration or correction. It either edifies the church or brings it under judgment (‘God is in this place!’ – see 1 Corinthians 14:25). The biblical prophets combined judgment with hope. Their messages were sometimes very challenging: prophets ‘disturb the comfortable’ while pastors ‘comfort the disturbed’! Prophets ‘tell it like it is’.
Paul told the Thessalonians not to despise prophesyings (‘inspired messages’
1 Thessalonians 5:20-22) but ‘put all things to the test: keep what is good and avoid every kind of evil.’
Hans Kung has written: ‘[A church in which the prophets are not heard]
‘declines and becomes a spiritless organization; outwardly everything may seem all right, things run smoothly, according to plan and along ordered paths… but inwardly it will be a place where the Spirit can no longer blow when and where he wills.’ (The Church, London: Burns and Oates, 1968, p.433)
In true worship God speaks, we answer, God speaks again, we respond. ‘The Lord said to [Jeremiah]‘… ‘I answered…’ ‘But the Lord said to me…’ (Jeremiah 1:4-7). ‘I heard the Lord say, “Whom shall I send? Who will be our messenger?” I answered, “I will go! Send me!” So he told me to go…’ (Isaiah 6:8-9).
Over and over in the Bible God tells us he is not pleased with worship that’s just words or formulas, and does not lead to a changed life. Indeed if worship does not change us it is not true worship. As Jesus, God’s Word, was totally obedient to the will of his Father, so we must respond with our total selves (Romans 12:1,2).
Being ‘saved’ is more than ‘receiving Jesus as your personal Saviour’ (an expression, incidentally, that’s not in the Bible). Biblical salvation/wholeness includes justice and mercy as well (Matthew 23:23, Luke 11:42). ‘Take away from me the noise of your songs! …But let justice roll down like an ever-flowing stream.’ (Amos 5:24). ‘I cannot tolerate your… festivals. When you lift your hands in prayer, I will hide my eyes from you.
Though you offer countless prayers I will not listen… Cease to do evil and learn to do right. Pursue justice and champion the oppressed…’ (Isaiah 1:14ff. see also Mark 7:6-8).
To sum up: good preaching ‘exalts Christ’: our response is not ‘what great oratory!’ but ‘what a great Saviour!’ In a moving article in The Christian Century (August 24, 1994) Martin Copenhaver describes his last sermon to his congregation. He preached on the text ‘Who do people say that I am…? But who do you say that I am?’
‘The first question is as easy for us as it was for the Twelve. As Casey Stengel used to say, “You could look it up”. And you can answer a question like that without offending anyone… A scholar can answer that question historically or sociologically. A preacher can answer it with a sermon packed with quotes from Schillebeeckx and Crossan. It does not ask for commitment of any kind. But then comes the second question: “Who do you say that I am?” Only one word is different, but that one word makes all the difference. There is no escape into comfortable objectivity. This question demands not so much the insight of our minds as the allegience of our lives…’
Copenhaver mentioned a conference when evangelist Michael Green asked a the clergy: ‘When was the last time you told your congregation what Jesus means to you?’ The question haunted him. So he told his people, on the last day of his ministry with them.
‘At the conclusion of that sermon I stood at the door and shook hands with the congregation. One woman, a beloved saint of the church, came to the head of the line but was so overcome with emotion that she could not speak and went to the back of the line. I assumed that she simply did not know how to say goodbye. But when she finally reached me again, her voice cracked slightly as she asked, “Why didn’t you tell us this before?”‘
Well…?
Further Reading: Walter Brueggemann, Finally Comes the Poet: Daring Speech for Proclamation (Fortress Press, 1989); John Claypool, The Preaching Event, (Word Books, 1980); The Light Within You, (Word Books 1983); Fred B. Craddock, Preaching, (Abingdon 1985); Rowland Croucher, Your Church Can Come Alive (Melbourne: John Mark Ministries, 1996); Michael Duduit (ed.), Handbook of Contemporary Preaching, (Broadman 1992); Bill Hybels, Stuart Briscoe, Haddon Robinson, Mastering Contemporary Preaching (IVP, 1989); Reinhold Niebuhr, Leaves from the Notebooks of a Tamed Cynic, (Meridian, 1960); John R W Stott, Between Two Worlds: The Art of Preaching in the Twentieth Century, Michigan (Eerdmans, 1982); William Willimon, Richard Lischer eds., Concise Encyclopedia of Preaching (John Knox Press 1995).

lternatf � M d �( �>_ ess you are still living in the dark ages
  • Alan Harvey I once had a puncture on busy freeway and a good samaritan stoped and helped me change it so God must not have a problem with a puncture!
  • Andrew Park My physiotherapist used it on my shoulder yesterday and it was hardly noticeable in terms of any pain and quite effective in releasing a tight and sore deltoid muscle.
  • Wayne Botting A couple of thoughts. Regarding a degree in Chiropractic. Just because I have a degree in a particular field does not in any way imply that what I do is effective. Regarding 'Traditional Chinese Medicine' something which did not exist until after the Communist Revolution. Chairman Mao promoted this heavily because it meant that the government dod not need to invest heavily in modern. Medicine for the masses. He himself used only the best trained Medical practioners. He would not use traditional chinese medicine because to use his words it was quackery.
    Just saying.
5 May at 18:07 · Like · 1
  • Wayne Botting A thought on accupunture. A physiotherapist used it on my leg to cause a muscle to relax. However he did not use meridian points but inserted the needles into the muscle sheath he was trying to get to relax. Worked fine.
5 May at 18:20 · Like · 1
  • Wayne Botting Yes it is however it was considered alternative medicine even in China where it was not and is still not widely accepted. There are more acupuncture practitioners in Australia than in China.
  • Rose Kelada I back Acupuncture 100% in the right hands, like anything else , if u have a calling for it, it will work wonders ,but if u just do it as a job , it can b hit n miss, I had it done both way, n the difference was like night n day!!
  • Wayne Botting I guess thats the thing about this new "Traditional Chinese Medicine", 'In the right hands'. However when it comes modern scientific medicine it does not matter who is holding the bottle of penicillin. (Penicillin chosen as an example.)
5 May at 22:38 · Edited · Unlike · 1
  • Peter Robert Green On the question of a "Christian" view of acupuncture and similar alternative medicine issues, Ravynwolfe, first, I am suspicious of what someone might mean in suggesting a Christian view, which is likely to turn into a search for demons under the beds,...See More
  • Jilly Daines Chinese medicine looks to have worked well. I saw on my ward, a chinese male visitor, frequently squeeze the front muscle of his armpit. I asked if he was ok and he said he was reducing his enlarged thyroid gland and that it was working. Not a knife in site.
Bottom of Form

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Abbie McPhie There are virtually no scientists who continue to accept that climate change isn't happening. If you hear about them, they're probably not scientists. I'm not in Australia, and you now won't see a scientist interviewed who doesn't accept that this is happening where I am. I don't think Russia is the best source of transparent news. Really what this boils down to is you either accept the scientific method, or you don't. If you do, the prevailing theory based on all the evidence we have available is that human activity is causing the climate to change in a way that is trending warmer on average, and what we haven't pinned down is what the impact of this has been or will be (though this is becoming clearer every day, and a fair description is 'bad'). Scientists who were previously sceptics now accept the weight of evidence, because this is how science works, which is why I much prefer it to pretty much any other public discourse.

~~


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