Well there’s been a lot said regarding the last article. The debate has been well mannered, well as well mannered as internet debates get!
I want to quote directly from the comments section of the article in question; naturally I can’t cover everything in there so it’s worth having a scan through them if you get a chance.
I initially wrote:
“The obvious question to follow is 'How exactly did we get here?'. A puzzling question indeed answered by Darwin in his famous book 'Of the Origins of the Spieces'. I won't go into detail for fear of sending you to sleep and wanting to get to my point, but he believed small genetic mutations which happen every generation of a specicies led to how we developed from small microbes in to full fledged humans. Far fetched? What's even more far fetched is the serious amount of evidence that backs this up (galapagos!).”
“Actually, let's tell the truth. You made this dogmatic assertion as a matter of pure Darwinian faith. Darwin never answered the question, "how exactly did we get here?" in his book or otherwise. Neither have his advocates and true blue followers through today. Darwin,et al, was utterly unable to explain the complex machinery of the cell.”
My response to this is simple. Re-read the initial statement, more important pay close attention to the phrase “from small microbes in to full fledged humans”.
You are right in the sense that we don’t know how life is formed from inanimate objects, in essence how life itself started. It does tell us however how we are able to get from the earliest traceable evidence of life to how we are now. What ignited the spark is, as of yet, a mystery. That is not to say that it is a creator (nor does it say that it isn’t either!).
It should actually be said that there are many theories about how life started, it’s not like there’s this cosmic black hole that we have sod all clue about, which every ID’ist or Creationist would have you believe. Take a good look at the chemical properties of carbon. It loves to buddy up so to speak with other elements, forming chains of atoms. It is believed for example as one of the many theories that these carbon strings are how life begins. Sure it’s not been proven, and given the amount of time life had to form in a pool of this stuff, it’s unlikely to be reproduced in a laboratory any time soon. That doesn’t exclude evolution as fact.
Want evidence of Macro Evolution? Whales with pelvic bones and snakes with leg bones spring to mind almost immediately. There’s evidence there, even in your own body. For example look at the heart, you can see during the hearts fetal development stage it goes from looking like a tube (a fish!), the next phase it actually resembles that of a frog (having two chambers form) and in the third stage it gains a third chamber ala reptiles before finally obtaining its fourth chamber finalizing the development phase.
I initially wrote:
“The earth is around 4.5 Billion years old”
“Where is the proof of this assertion?”
The proof comes from rocks being dated using the following techniques; Carbon isotope analysis, oxygen isotope analysis, potassium-argon dating (I believe the half life of potassium is 1 and half billion years or something so I don’t think it’s quite as accurate), Relative Rock Dating. I can’t give you an accurate number of the different types of techniques other than that which is available off the internet as I am no geologist.
I initially wrote:
“2)Christianity also said that the Earth was the center of the universe. That the sun revolved around the earth. So when some bloke from tuscani said otherwise, they were quite unpleased! Even after proving that the observation of the planets and the sun suggested that Galleo (yes i'm talking about Galileo here, re the guy from tuscani not Pope Leo I) was right, they had the audacity to turn around and go 'No no no wait you misunderstand us! It may _LOOK_ like the earth orbits the sun, and maths may dictate it, but it in fact doesn't! They just appear that way!'. Yes because that's a help approach in a reasonable discussion. We now know of course that earth isn't the center of the universe and that we do revolve around the sun.”
“Yes, the earth is at the center of the universe only not the "geographical" center. First point---The earth is carefully designed as the only center of life.
Actually, thanks to observing the gravitational pull a planet has on a star (yes it works both ways), we’ve been able to identify a slight ‘jerk’ of a star. From this jerk were able to determine the size and distance of planets from the star. We’ve already detected one planet within the optimal distance of a star for what our known requirements for life. There are several interesting articles on it, I would certainly recommend looking them up before making a claim that the Earth is the only ‘center of life’.
Then there is of course the argument that how do we know that life hasn’t existed in harsher climates, or different environments. There are some scientists that are beginning to speculate that life (on a molecular level) exists on comments and asteroids (and maybe even that it was one of these that brought life to planet Earth).
Second, the very placement of the earth in the universe gives us the best possible view of it as if the Great Designer wanted to help us discover His Handiwork. Our Creator God designed our surroundings for us to discover information about them especially concerning supporting human life. Earth is perfectly positioned to allow us to map the structure of our galaxy even though we are inside it.
Our ‘Creator’ positioned us so wonderfully in the universe than in approximately 150 Million years another galaxy is going to slam right into us. Yeah, nice one God! I’m sorry, but I cannot even attribute a reasonable answer to this, it’s just so ridiculous.
Would earth support life at all if it were just a bit smaller or larger? No-- it wouldn't. That's one of the reasons why the earth didn't just happen by blind random chance but was made by Almighty God.”
The Earth didn’t happen by blind random chance. The universe has had countless efforts at creating planets within the optimum range of stars for life to be able to happen. It has also had countless efforts at creating life on these planets. The sheer vastness of the universe and time essentially throws out probability argument. If I dealt a deck of cards out on a table, playing it several million times over they’d never come out in the same order again, this doesn’t make me an all powerful, all seeing card dealer, does it?
I initially wrote:
“Even after proving that the observation of the planets and the sun suggested that Galleo (yes i'm talking about Galileo here, re the guy from tuscani not Pope Leo I) was right, they had the audacity to turn around and go 'No no no wait you misunderstand us! It may _LOOK_ like the earth orbits the sun, and maths may dictate it, but it infact doesn't! They just appear that way!'. Yes because that's a help approach in a reasonable discussion.”
“So recent science has shown Galileo was partly right is asserting the mobility of the earth and wrong in asserting the immobility of the sun. His opponents were right in asserting the mobility of the sun and wrong in asserting the immobility of the earth. Had the Catholic Chruch rushed to endorse Galileo's views and there were many in the Chruch in those days who were quite favorable to them---the Church would have embraced what modern science has disproved.”
I don’t think we’ll ever see the Church embrace much other than the bible, in terms of scripture and beliefs. What I would of liked to seen is the Church at some point say ‘Well we thought this was the case, but seeing as we’re now standing on top of 2 thousand years worth of knowledge (minus the knowledge we BURNT!) things aren’t quite that way.” Instead of “It’s in the bible, the people of 300 AD just knew better.” which is a stance many Christians still believe today.
Thanks for allowing me to bring my point right home. Lula then finished up with this:
“Last point, the CC has little to apologize for in its relations with science. Indeed, it can be argued that it was the metaphysical framework of medieval Catholicism that brought the first universities, and that made modern science possible in the first place. Stanley Jaki said, "science was still-born in every major culture Greek, Hindu, Chinese, --except the Christian west. As far as the teaching authority of the Chruch is concerned, it's striking how modern physics has played catch-up with Cathollic dogma. In 1215, the Fourth Lateran Council taught that the universe had a beginning in time, a scandal then, but which is now common modern cosmology.”
Well I could sit here and cite examples of the Inquisitions handy work, some of which relates to Galileo himself of course, but I’m going to take a leap of faith (heh) and assume you’re already aware he was placed under house arrest (actually he initially went to prison) and made to recant his ideas.
Its not my aim to perpetrate religion as the reason it took us 80,000 years to figure out we’re on a rotating piece of rock floating around in an endless vacuum of space. Indeed in the case of Galileo, the Pope was initially interested in his ideas and allowed for the publication of Dialogue Concerning the Two Chief World Systems.
I’m more concerned with religions recent attempt to wiggle its way into science by filling in the gaps (and by the way it’s the actual gaps that drive scientists to discover things in the first place) with GOD the Almighty Savior!
It’s this sheer incompetence, of declaring a philosophical idea (that there is a creator or a god etc.) as a scientific theory, that actually threatens our current scientific method which has brought us so much (not all of it good admittedly). We don’t need to be reassured that the night sky isn’t going to fall on top of us or that if we don’t sacrifice enough lambs we won’t get a rainy season.
Religion was created to fill the gap while we figured out where the rain came from in the first place, a means to reassure the general masses and eventually as a means to control them.
Religion has been abused by many people in the past as means to justify terrible things and let’s not forget as a means to control the masses which is still true in many parts of the world today, it was starting to lose control on issues that it should have nothing to do with (I.E in the court room), but as soon as we start to talk about introducing Sharia law into England for example, a notion welcomed by the Arch Bishop of Canterbury I start to worry. I worry that perhaps we’re seeing a resurgence of religion and we’ll be led down a dead end for another century or so before having to back track.
Although I think it’s only fair to say that religion can also be attributed to influencing great acts of kindness such as a volunteer services run by churches to help out in Disaster areas and Countries currently experiencing extreme harshness.
I’d like to think this wasn’t just because of religion, more so because people can do amazing things off their own back for the good of others.
Cheers for the contribution. I think that’s about as serious as I’m ever going to be in a blog EVER again. I promise to dedicate my next article to either beer, breasts or football.
Maasu / Scotteh