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+Joseph Bonaventura III, thanks for your well thought out response. I merely asked the question to demonstrate how utterly pointless it is to "prove" that there is or isn't a God. I myself am an Atheist, not because I dislike god (how can I dislike something that doesn't exist), but because rationally, and scientifically, what sparked the creation of the universe (big bang) is yet to be understood. What is understood however is that the universe is and has been expanding from something almost infinitely small for roughly 14 billion years now. But, because the scientific community doesn't understand something, it doesn't mean that this is evidence of a higher being, it just means that we are still learning about the nature of the universe. To quote Neil deGrasse Tyson: "If that's how you want to invoke your evidence for god, then god is an ever-receding pocket of scientific ignorance."
 
The other problem is that even if you prove the existence of God - which pointing out the gaps in current scientific knowledge does not do - you still have not tied that god into any particular religious belief. It could be the Christian God, or Allah, or Vishnu and Brahma. It could be a super-powered child who either continues to torment his creation or has left us alone as an abandoned toy. The universe might have sprung from the death of an all-encompassing being, who is therefore no longer around for us to worship. Literally anything is on the table - so the false dichotomy that by proving atheism false you are therefore proving your own faith to be true is just one more logical fallacy.
 
Joseph:
1) Yes, I was "trained in sciences", I went to school as you did.
2) "I think that science has always been wrong" <--- You must not understand science and the scientific method or you choose to ignore its findings because it contradicts the bible: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Scientific_method.
3) You don't have to "believe" in science for it to work. I don't have to believe that gravity works in order for me to fall back to earth when I jump in the air.
4) I agree that you should live "a very clean life and have good moral values", I also strive to be a good human being. I don't agree that you haven't lost anything. One thing you have lost is your sense of curiosity, you are so content in the answer that "god did it" that you no longer have curiosity to learn how it happened.
 
+Joseph Bonaventura III - I'm curious about your assertion that "...the bible has never changed nor christianity". Are you familiar with the various gospels and other texts that were occasionally included in "The Bible" up until the Council of Rome? How about the changes in Christianity regarding polygamy, conversion by force, and slavery?

The way science changes is in response to new evidence. That is a strength, not a weakness. The way religion changes is grudgingly, and without ever admitting error. That is a weakness, not a strength.
 
Joseph, I'm glad to hear that you aren't abandoning science entirely and are using it as a tool in investigating the historical accuracy of the bible. What then do you do when you find out that scientifically, certain accounts as documented in the bible are either:
A) Impossible: Reviving the dead (especially after being dead for 3 days), People turning into Salt, Water becoming blood or wine, Virgin birth
B) Inaccurate: Earth is NOT flat. Earth is NOT the center of the universe. There is NO evidence of a great flood.
 
Joseph, by "doing your research", I'm assuming that you mean you copied/pasted your answers from one of many websites available which attempt to contort the words in the bible in an attempt to stand up to scientific scrutiny: http://www.christiananswers.net/q-eden/edn-c015.html

Words such as: “language of appearance", "obvious comparison", "can also mean", "This suggests", "The implication of", "This is an allusion to" are all examples of how anyone can distort the bible to make it support their cause. "What you see depends on what you are looking for". Obviously, you aren't looking for the truth, because if you were you wouldn't let yourself be brainwashed by the delusion that is religion. Instead, you are looking for ways to justify a god that doesn't exist because you've spent so much of your life worshiping it that to go back on it now would be embarrassing. If you were born elsewhere, I'm pretty sure that you would just be worshiping their version of god right?

You didn't answer my questions about how you reconcile the impossible feats which are rife in the bible. Let me guess, "God is all powerful and can just do it"?

It is actually quite sad to see that so many people actually believe an outdated book with parables written by charlatans, a mass delusion indeed.
 
Fascinating, +Joseph Bonaventura III. Apparently you decide who to converse with based on which arguments you have a "cut-and-paste" response ready for. I guess you don't have one for slavery, forced conversions, and polygamy.

Meanwhile, you criticize us for citing individual verses, for not reading widely enough - and then you have the gall to argue with +Carlos Tarango by taking individual verses from widely varied parts of the Bible and citing them as "proof" that these ancient herdsmen understood science as well or better than we do today. I mean, really..."In this day" and "In this night" three verses later mean that they understood a spherical Earth with light on one side? All those unconnected references to circles not only mean that they had seen the circular horizon...but that they also correctly interpreted that to mean a spherical Earth, hundreds of years before the Greeks, and they failed to say so specifically enough to be unquestionable?

I can't wait to see what you pull out next. Numerology should provide all sorts of cool vagueness for you to mine for meaning.
 
Joseph, your own sentence pretty much summarized every religion out there: "and there you have it sorry but part of our belief is that Jesus is God so therefore we do not question God but that God will question us". But in fact, Jesus was a MAN. And you aren't questioning the writings of man that was around over 2000 years ago. Can you imagine if all of the scientist, engineers, astronomers, astrophysicist, doctors, anthropologist etc.. had the same mind frame as you? We would not question why the earth appears to rotate, we would just say "god does it" and leave it be. We would not question why we have deseases, we would just say "the devil does it" and let that be.

When you are sick, do you pray? Is that the only thing you do? Or do you also take medicine? This is an example of you not having faith that god will heal you. BECAUSE THERE ISN'T A GOD (I can write in caps too).

Ok, lets "stay on topic"... what was the topic again? Oh yeah, you are praying for us so that you can heal our ADHD. But then you prescribe some tea instead.. The faith is weak with this one :p
 
+Joseph Bonaventura III - you said earlier that Christianity and the Bible don't change. But now you admit that polygamy does, indeed, appear in the "early years of the Bible." And yet modern Christianity opposes it. Is this not change?

I do object, mildly, to your use of others' words to argue. If you cannot put it into your own words, you don't truly understand it - you are simply parroting. But more important is that when a topic comes up that you don't have something already prepared for you, you simply don't have an answer. This shows that you are not thinking for yourself - you are providing nothing but mindless repetition.

You claim we need to read your Bible, and yet you appear to not know what is in it, yourself. See Daniel 3:28-29 for Nebuchadnezzar threatening war against anyone who speaks against the God of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego. Or Esther 8:17, which tells of many converting to Judaism out of fear of the Jews. The historical record of Christians demanding conversion at the point of a sword is even worse - but they certainly were NOT working without scriptural support.

You claim that I "don't have what it takes to argue" with you. Thus far, you haven't argued at all. You are doing nothing but presenting the arguments of others, then retreating in confusion when one of us dares to point out the flaws. It seems that you are the one who doesn't have what it takes - the capability for independent thought.
 
+Presbyterian Church Online, thanks for chiming in.

According to the SI Vault (http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/vault/article/magazine/MAG1140414/index.htm), Bo Jackson's Hip injury diagnoses was as follows:


1) a small fracture in the back of the hip socket
2) a loss of blood supply to the head of the femur—interpreted by some as avascular necrosis—which can weaken that portion of the bone
3) a loss of cartilage in the joint.

Which of the three did you have? Because it is not evident from your symptoms: "i had to ice them like two to three times a week"
It is your "testimony" that a figure which resembles an artist renditions of what a man named Jesus looked like, went into your dream (not unlike Freddy Krueger) and touched your knee, which somehow had the effect of curing one or all three of the above symptoms. Do I have that right?

AND..
1) You were a skeptic
2) You didn't pray
3) The only reason you went to this retreat was so that you could "get that much needed material for my comic show"

By that logic, ALL I have to do is keep doing what I am doing and all that ails me will be cured.
 
Joseph, here is were we differ. I did not come here to "light a fire". I actually think that in depth philosophical discussion about theology are very interesting. The fact that you consider that a basic understanding of Physics 101 is equivalent to lighting a fire in your theories is proof that your theories can't withstand critical and rational inquiries.

I will leave you to your theories, and thank you for partaking and hope you have a good day, life and afterlife. "'To argue with a person who has renounced the use of reason is like administering medicine to the dead.' - Thomas Paine.
 
+Presbyterian Church Online - I try to not criticize people for spelling and grammar. But I am sincerely having difficulty in following your posts. So forgive me if I misunderstand, please.

Actually, my textbooks in high school did indeed mention "godly wars." They were called the Crusades - you may have heard of them. However, those are not really my point - those could, I suppose, have been started by people misinterpreting and misusing the Scriptures. I don't really believe that, but certainly a lot of religious people who are desperate to avoid the conflict between their modern beliefs and their religion's history like to make such claims.

My point is that conversion by force has a Biblical basis. And yet, that is no longer an accepted part of Christianity. That means Christianity changed. That's all I'm saying - so your knee-jerk invocation of the USSR really has nothing to do with the point at hand.
 
Read or watch, your choice. Let me know if after being "enlightened" you still think that a historical farmer's almanac interspersed with parables (bible) is still the greatest book ever written?:

God's Sun

[PART I:
THE GREATEST STORY EVER TOLD]

This is the sun. As far back as 10 thousand B.C.E., history is abundant with carvings and writings reflecting peoples respect and adoration for this object. And it is simple to understand why as every morning the sun would rise, bringing vision, warmth, and security, saving man from the cold, blind, predator-filled darkness of night. Without it, the cultures understood, the crops would not grow, and life on the planet would not survive. These realities made the sun the most adorned object of all time. Likewise, they were also very aware of the stars. The tracking of the stars allowed them to recognize and anticipate events which occurred over long periods of time, such as eclipses and full moons. They in turn catalogued celestial groups into what we know today as constellations.

This is the cross of the Zodiac, one of the oldest conceptual images in human history. It reflects the sun as it figuratively passes through the 12 major constellations over the course of a year. It also reflects the 12 months of the year, the 4 seasons, and the solstices and equinoxes. The term Zodiac relates to the fact that constellations were anthropomorphized, or personified, as figures, or animals.

In other words, the early civilizations did not just follow the sun and stars, they personified them with elaborate myths involving their movements and relationships. The sun, with its life-giving and -saving qualities was personified as a representative of the unseen creator or god. It was known as "God's Sun," the light of the world, the savior of human kind. Likewise, the 12 constellations represented places of travel for God's Sun and were identified by names, usually representing elements of nature that happened during that period of time. For example, Aquarius, the water bearer, who brings the Spring rains.

This is Horus. He is the Sun God of Egypt of around 3000 BC. He is the sun, anthropomorphized, and his life is a series of allegorical myths involving the sun's movement in the sky. From the ancient hieroglyphics in Egypt, we know much about this solar messiah. For instance, Horus, being the sun, or the light, had an enemy known as Set and Set was the personification of the darkness or night. And metaphorically speaking, every morning Horus would win the battle against Set- while in the evening, Set would conquer Horus and send him into the underworld
It is important to note that "dark vs. light" or "good vs. evil" is one of the most ubiquitous mythological dualities ever known and is still expressed on many levels to this day.

Broadly speaking, the story of Horus is as follows: Horus was born on December 25th of the virgin Isis-Meri. His birth was accompanied by a star in the east, which in turn, three kings followed to locate and adorn the new-born savior. At the age of 12, he was a prodigal child teacher, and at the age of 30 he was baptized by a figure known as Anup and thus began his ministry. Horus had 12 disciples he traveled about with, performing miracles such as healing the sick and walking on water. Horus was known by many gestural names such as The Truth, The Light, God's Annointed Son, The Good Shepherd, The Lamb of God, and many others. After being betrayed by Typhon, Horus was crucified, buried for 3 days, and thus, resurrected.

These attributes of Horus, whether original or not, seem to permeate in many cultures of the world, for many other gods are found to have the same general mythological structure.

Attis, of Phyrigia, born of the virgin Nana on December 25th, crucified, placed in a tomb and after 3 days, was resurrected.

Krishna, of India, born of the virgin Devaki with a star in the east signaling his coming, performed miracles with his disciples, and upon his death was resurrected.

Dionysus of Greece, born of a virgin on December 25th, was a traveling teacher who performed miracles such as turning water into wine, he was referred to as the "King of Kings," "God's Only Begotten Son," "The Alpha and Omega," and many others, and upon his death, he was resurrected.

Mithra, of Persia, born of a virgin on December 25th, he had 12 disciples and performed miracles, and upon his death was buried for 3 days and thus resurrected, he was also referred to as "The Truth," "The Light," and many others. Interestingly, the sacred day of worship of Mithra was Sunday.

The fact of the matter is there are numerous saviors, from different periods, from all over the world, which subscribe to these general characteristics. The question remains: why these attributes, why the virgin birth on December 25th, why dead for three days and the inevitable resurrection, why 12 disciples or followers? To find out, let's examine the most recent of the solar messiahs.

Jesus Christ was born of the virgin Mary on December 25th in Bethlehem, his birth was announced by a star in the east, which three kings or magi followed to locate and adorn the new savior. He was a child teacher at 12, at the age of 30 he was baptized by John the Baptist, and thus began his ministry. Jesus had 12 disciples which he traveled about with performing miracles such as healing the sick, walking on water, raising the dead, he was also known as the "King of Kings," the "Son of God," the "Light of the World," the "Alpha and Omega," the "Lamb of God," and many others. After being betrayed by his disciple Judas and sold for 30 pieces of silver, he was crucified, placed in a tomb and after 3 days was resurrected and ascended into Heaven.

[Born of a virgin
Born on Dec. 25
Star in the East]

First of all, the birth sequence is completely astrological. The star in the east is Sirius, the brightest star in the night sky, which, on December 24, aligns with the 3 brightest stars in Orion's Belt. These 3 bright stars are called today what they were called in ancient times: The Three Kings. The Three Kings and the brightest star, Sirius, all point to the place of the sunrise on December 25th. This is why the Three Kings "follow" the star in the east, in order to locate the sunrise — the birth of the sun.

The Virgin Mary is the constellation Virgo, also known as Virgo the Virgin. Virgo in Latin means virgin. The ancient glyph for Virgo is the altered "m". This is why Mary along with other virgin mothers, such as Adonis's mother Myrra, or Buddha's mother Maya begin with an M. Virgo is also referred to as the House of Bread, and the representation of Virgo is a virgin holding a sheaf of wheat. This House of Bread and its symbol of wheat represents August and September, the time of harvest. In turn, Bethlehem, in fact, literally translates to "house of bread". Bethlehem is thus a reference to the constellation Virgo, a place in the sky, not on Earth.

There is another very interesting phenomenon that occurs around December 25th, or the winter solstice. From the summer solstice to the winter solstice, the days become shorter and colder. From the perspective of the northern hemisphere, the sun appears to move south and get smaller and more scarce. The shortening of the days and the expiration of the crops when approaching the winter solstice symbolized the process of death to the ancients. It was the death of the Sun. By December 22nd, the Sun's demise was fully realized, for the Sun, having moved south continually for 6 months, makes it to it's lowest point in the sky. Here a curious thing occurs: the Sun stops moving south, at least perceivably, for 3 days. During this 3 day pause, the Sun resides in the vicinity of the Southern Cross, or Crux, constellation. And after this time on December 25th, the Sun moves 1 degree, this time north, foreshadowing longer days, warmth, and Spring. And thus it was said: the Sun died on the cross, was dead for 3 days, only to be resurrected or born again. This is why Jesus and numerous other Sun Gods share the crucifixion, 3-day death, and resurrection concept. It is the Sun's transition period before it shifts its direction back into the Northern Hemisphere, bringing Spring, and thus salvation.

However, they did not celebrate the resurrection of the Sun until the spring equinox, or Easter. This is because at the spring equinox, the Sun officially overpowers the evil darkness, as daytime thereafter becomes longer in duration than night, and the revitalizing conditions of spring emerge.

Now, probably the most obvious of all the astrological symbolism around Jesus regards the 12 disciples. They are simply the 12 constellations of the Zodiac, which Jesus, being the Sun, travels about with.

[Jesus in Zodiac - 11th century a.d.]

In fact, the number 12 is replete throughout the Bible. This text has more to do with astrology than anything else.

Coming back to the cross of the Zodiac, the figurative life of the Sun, this was not just an artistic expression or tool to track the Sun's movements. It was also a Pagan spiritual symbol, the shorthand of which looked like this. This is not a symbol of Christianity. It is a Pagan adaptation of the cross of the Zodiac. This is why Jesus in early occult art is always shown with his head on the cross, for Jesus is the Sun, the Sun of God, the Light of the World, the Risen Savior, who will "come again," as it does every morning, the Glory of God who defends against the works of darkness, as he is "born again" every morning, and can be seen "coming in the clouds," "up in Heaven," with his "Crown of Thorns," or, sun rays.

Now, of the many astrological-astronomical metaphors in the Bible, one of the most important has to do with the ages. Throughout the scripture there are numerous references to the "Age." In order to understand this, we need to be familiar with the phenomenon known as the precession of the equinoxes. The ancient Egyptians along with cultures long before them recognized that approximately every 2150 years the sunrise on the morning of the spring equinox would occur at a different sign of the Zodiac. This has to do with a slow angular wobble that the Earth maintains as it rotates on it's axis. It is called a precession because the constellations go backwards, rather than through the normal yearly cycle. The amount of time that it takes for the precession to go through all 12 signs is roughly 25,765 years. This is also called the "Great Year," and ancient societies were very aware of this. They referred to each 2150 year period as an "age." From 4300 b.c. to 2150 b.c., it was the Age of Taurus, the Bull. From 2150 b.c. to 1 a.d., it was the Age of Aries, the Ram, and from 1 a.d. to 2150 a.d. it is the Age of Pisces, the age we are still in to this day, and in and around 2150, we will enter the new age: the Age of Aquarius.

Now, the Bible reflects, broadly speaking, a symbolic movement through 3 ages, while foreshadowing a 4th. In the Old Testament when Moses comes down Mount Sinai with the 10 Commandments, he is very upset to see his people worshiping a golden bull calf. In fact, he shattered the stone tablets and instructed his people to kill each other in order to purify themselves. Most Biblical scholars would attribute this anger to the fact that the Israelites were worshiping a false idol, or something to that effect. The reality is that the golden bull is Taurus the Bull, and Moses represents the new Age of Aries the Ram. This is why Jews even today still blow the Ram's horn. Moses represents the new Age of Aries, and upon the new age, everyone must shed the old age. Other deities mark these transitions as well, a pre-Christian god who kills the bull, in the same symbology.

Now Jesus is the figure who ushers in the age following Aries, the Age of Pisces the Two Fish. Fish symbolism is very abundant in the New Testament, as Jesus is known as the Great Fisherman, he feeds 5000 people with bread and "2 fish." When he begins his ministry walking along Galilei, he befriends 2 fisherman, who follow him. The Pope's Miter or hat is incontrovertibly a fish-head, representing Pisces. And I think we've all seen the Jesus-fish on the backs of people's cars. Little do they know what it actually means. It is a Pagan astrological symbolism for the Sun's Kingdom during the Age of Pisces. Also, Jesus' assumed birth date is essentially the start of this age.

At Luke 22:10 when Jesus is asked by his disciples where the next passover will be after he is gone, Jesus replied: "Behold, when ye are entered into the city, there shall a man meet you bearing a pitcher of water… follow him into the house where he entereth in." This scripture is by far one of the most revealing of all the astrological references. The man bearing a pitcher of water is Aquarius, the water-bearer, who is always pictured as a man pouring out a pitcher of water. He represents the age after Pisces, and when the Sun (God's Sun) leaves the Age of Pisces (Jesus), it will go into the House of Aquarius, as Aquarius follows Pisces in the precession of the equinoxes. Also Jesus is saying is that after the Age of Pisces will come the Age of Aquarius.

Now, we have all heard about the end times and the end of the world. Apart from the cartoonish depictions in the Book of Revelation, the main source of this idea comes from Matthew 28:20, where Jesus says "I will be with you even to the end of the world." However, in King James Version, "world" is a mistranslation, among many mistranslations. The actual word being used is "aeon", which means "age." "I will be with you even to the end of the age." Which is true, as Jesus' Solar Piscean personification will end when the Sun enters the Age of Aquarius. The entire concept of end times and the end of the world is a misinterpreted astrological allegory. Let's tell that to the approximately 100 million people in America who believe the end of the world is coming.

Furthermore, the character of Jesus, a literary and astrological hybrid, is most explicitly a plagiarization of the Egyptian Sun-god Horus. For example, inscribed about 3500 years, on the walls of the Temple of Luxor in Egypt are images of the enunciation, the immaculate conception, the birth, and the adoration of Horus. The images begin with Thaw announcing to the virgin Isis that she will conceive Horus, then Nef the holy ghost impregnating the virgin, and then the virgin birth and the adoration. This is exactly the story of Jesus' miracle conception. In fact, the literary similarities between Horus and Jesus are staggering.

And the plagiarism is continuous. The story of Noah and Noah's Ark is taken directly from tradition. The concept of a Great Flood is ubiquitous throughout the ancient world, with over 200 different cited claims in different periods and times. However, one need look no further for a pre-Christian source than the Epic of Gilgamesh, written in 2600 b.c. This story talks of a Great Flood commanded by God, an Ark with saved animals upon it, and even the release and return of a dove, all held in common with the biblical story, among many other similarities.

And then there is the plagiarized story of Moses. Upon Moses' birth, it is said that he was placed in a reed basket and set adrift in a river in order to avoid infanticide. He was later rescued by a daughter of royalty and raised by her as a Prince. This baby in a basket story was lifted directly from the myth of Sargon of Akkad of around 2250 b.c. Sargon was born, placed in a reed basket in order to avoid infanticide, and set adrift in a river. He was in turn rescued and raised by Akki, a royal mid-wife.

Furthermore, Moses is known as the Law Giver, the giver of the Ten Commandments, the Mosaic Law. However, the idea of a Law being passed from God to a prophet on a mountain is also a very old motif. Moses is just a law giver in a long line of law givers in mythological history. In India, Manou was the great law giver. In Crete, Minos ascended Mount Dicta, where Zeus gave him the sacred laws. While in Egypt there was Mises, who carried stone tablets and upon them the laws of god were written.

And as far as the Ten Commandments, they are taken outright from Spell 125 of the Egyptian Book of the Dead. What the Book of the Dead phrased "I have not stolen" became "Thou shall not steal," "I have not killed" became "Thou shall not kill," "I have not told lies" became "Thou shall not bare false witness" and so forth. In fact, the Egyptian religion is likely the primary foundational basis for the Judeo-Christian theology. Baptism, afterlife, final judgment, virgin birth and resurrection, crucifixion, the ark of the covenant, circumcision, saviors, holy communion, the great flood, Easter, Christmas, Passover, and many many more, are all attributes of Egyptian ideas, long created in Christianity and Judaism.

Justin Martyr, one of the first Christian historians and defenders, wrote: "When we say that he, Jesus Christ, our teacher, was produced without sexual union, was crucified and died, and rose again, and ascended into Heaven, we propound nothing different from what you believe regarding those who you esteem Sons of Jupiter." In a different writing, Justin Martyr said "He was born of a virgin, accept this in common with what you believe of Perseus." It's obvious that Justin and other early Christians knew how similar Christianity was to the Pagan religions. However, Justin had a solution. As far as he was concerned, the Devil did it. The Devil had the foresight to come before Christ, and create these characteristics in the Pagan world.

Fundamentalist Christianity, fascinating. These people actually believe the World is 12,000 years old. I actually asked one of these guys: "Ok, dinosaur fossils?" He says: "Dinosaur fossils? God put those there to test our faith!" … "I think God put you here to test my faith dude!"

[Which way to the Ark?]

The Bible is nothing more than an astro-theological literary fold hybrid, just like nearly all religious myths before it. In fact, the aspect of transference, of one character's attributes to a new character, can be found within the book itself. In the Old Testament there's the story of Joseph. Joseph was a prototype for Jesus. Joseph was born of a miracle birth, Jesus was born of a miracle birth. Joseph was of 12 brothers, Jesus had 12 disciples. Joseph was sold for 20 pieces of silver, Jesus was sold for 30 pieces of silver. Brother "Judah" suggests the sale of Joseph, disciple "Judas" suggests the sale of Jesus. Joseph began his work at the age of 30, Jesus began his work at the age of 30. The parallels go on and on.

Furthermore, is there any non-Biblical historical evidence of any person, living with the name Jesus, the Son of Mary, who traveled about with 12 followers, healing people and the like? There are numerous historians who lived in and around the Mediterranean either during or soon after the assumed life of Jesus. How many of these historians document this figure? Not one. However, to be fair, that doesn’t mean defenders of the Historical Jesus haven’t claimed the contrary. Four historians are typically referenced to justify Jesus’s existence. Pliny the younger, Suetonius, Tacitus and the first three. Each one of their entries consists of only a few sentences at best and only refer to the Christus or the Christ, which in fact is not name but a title. It means the “Anointed one” The fourth source is Josephus and this source has been proven to be a forgery for hundreds of years. Sadly, it is still sited as truth.
You would think that a guy who rose from the dead and ascended into Heaven for all eyes to see and performed the wealth of miracles acclaimed to him would have made it into the historical record. It didn't because once the evidence is weighed, there are very high odds that the figure known as Jesus, did not even exist.

["The Christian religion is a parody on the worship of the sun, in which they put a man called Christ in the place of the sun, and pay him the adoration originally paid to the sun."]
We don't want to be unkind, but we want to be factual. We don't want to cause hurt feelings, but we want to be academically correct, in what we understand and know to be true. Christianity just is not based on the truth. We find that Christianity was in fact nothing more than a Roman story, developed politically.

The reality is, Jesus was the Solar Deity of the Gnostic Christian sect, and like all other Pagan gods, he was a mythical figure. It was the political establishment that sought to historize the Jesus figure for social control. By 325 a.d. in Rome, emperor Constantine convened the Council of Nicea. It was during this meeting that the politically motivated Christian Doctrines were established and thus began a long history of Christian bloodshed and spiritual fraud. And for the next 1600 years, the Vatican maintained a political stranglehold on all of Europe, leading to such joyous periods as the Dark Ages, along with enlightening events such as the Crusades, and the Inquisition.

Christianity, along with all other theistic belief systems, is the fraud of the age. It served to detach the species from the natural world, and likewise, each other. It supports blind submission to authority.

["Religion can never reform mankind because religion is slavery."]

It reduces human responsibility to the effect that "God" controls everything, and in turn awful crimes can be justified in the name of Divine Pursuit. And most importantly, it empowers those who know the truth but use the myth to manipulate and control societies. The religious myth is the most powerful device ever created, and serves as the psychological soil upon which other myths can flourish.
A myth is an idea that, while widely believed, is false. In a deeper sense, in the religious sense, a myth serves as an orienting and mobilizing story for people. The focus is not on the story's relation to reality, but on it's function. A story cannot function unless it is believed to be true in the community or the nation. It is not a matter of debate that some people have the bad taste to raise the question of the truth of the sacred story. The keepers of the faith won't enter into debate with them. They ignore them or denounce them as blasphemers.
 
Four Ways God Has Revealed Himself

Lecture notes by Charlie Campbell
Director of The Always Be Ready Apologetics Ministry



God has revealed Himself to mankind in a variety of ways. Here, in a concise manner, are four of the main ways:


1. CREATION

Psalm 19:1-4
"The heavens tell of the glory of God. The skies display His marvelous craftsmanship. Day after day they continue to speak; night after night they make Him known. They speak without a sound or a word; their voice is silent in the skies; yet their message has gone out to all the earth, and their words to all the world..."

Romans 1:20
"For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes, His eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly seen, being understood through what has been made, so that they are without excuse."

Have you ever stopped to think about this? Verse 20 says that God's invisible attributes, and divine nature, have been clearly seen (v.20)." The Bible says that man, by simply contemplating creation itself, can come to an understanding of certain aspects of God's personality or attributes! In fact, His attributes are clearly seen.

Q. What are some of the attributes of God that you think are clearly seen (apart from the Scriptural revelation) just by looking at creation? I think it is safe to conclude (even apart from the Scriptures) that God must be...

A. POWERFUL. When one considers the vast oceans, the majestic mountain peaks, the enormity of the earth and the incomprehensible size of the stars and the billions of galaxies, it is easy to discern that God must be incredibly powerful.

B. INTELLIGENT. When one examines the intricate design and harmony all around us or the irreducibly complex interior of a cell or the code embedded in the DNA, it is easy to conclude that God must be incredibly intelligent.

C. CREATIVE. Think of the millions of kinds of animals, and reptiles, bugs, fish. There are at least 10 million species of insects (The U.S. Natural Museum).

D. PERSONAL. If we can communicate, if we can hear and see, then surely our Creator who made the ear and the eye can hear and see also.

Psalm 94:8-9
"Understand, you senseless among the people; And you fools, when will you be wise? He who planted the ear, shall He not hear? He who formed the eye, shall He not see? (NKJV)

'Can't you discern' he says, 'that if you can hear and see, that the God who made you must also be able to do so?'

E. KIND and GRACIOUS

In Acts 14:17, Paul said that God....
did not leave Himself without witness, in that He did good and gave you rains from heaven and fruitful seasons, satisfying your hearts with food and gladness.

F. RIGHTEOUS. Our conscience (which is something that Paul brings up in Romans 2) and the convicting work of the Holy Spirit, reveals to us that God is righteous. My conscience tells me that God is right, and I am guilty when I've sinned against His laws. The Holy Spirit convicts of sin, and righteousness, and judgment.


Secondly, God has revealed Himself through and in man's

2. CONSCIENCE

Romans 2:14-15

For when Gentiles who do not have the Law do instinctively the things of the Law, these, not having the Law, are a law to themselves, 15 in that they show the work of the Law written in their hearts, their conscience bearing witness, and their thoughts alternately accusing or else defending them, (NASB)

God has programmed every individual to know that certain things are right and certain things are wrong regardless of whether the laws are put into legislation by human governments.

The existence of these moral laws points man to a Moral Lawgiver that transcends (or is over and above) human governments and man made laws.

Both testimony of creation and conscience fall under the heading of: General Revelation. General revelation refers to God's revelation that reaches all people, of all times, in every culture.

God has also revealed Himself to man through

3. CHRIST

The Bible teaches that Jesus was God incarnate (e.g., John 1:1, 5:18, 8:58).

Hebrews 1:1-2
God, who at various times and in various ways spoke in time past to the fathers by the prophets, has in these last days spoken to us by [What?] His Son, whom He has appointed heir of all things, through whom also He made the worlds;

John 1:18
The only begotten Son, who is in the bosom of the Father, He has declared Him. (or as the NIV says, made Him known.)

John 14:9
If you have seen me you have seen the Father.

God has also, fourthly, revealed Himself to man through

4. THE CANON OF SCRIPTURE

The word, canon means standard. By canon then I am referring to the standard collection of 66 books that make up the Bible, God's holy word. The Scriptures reveal to us that God exists, what He is like, what His will is for us, and even some of His dealings with people in the past.

John said, "But these are written that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that believing you may have life in His name" (John 20:31).

And the Bible not only claims to be the Word of God but it demonstrates itself to be the Word of God with its numerous fulfilled prophecies, amazing unity, and scientific accuracy and foresight (click here for more on these evidences).

http://www.alwaysbeready.com/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=135&Itemid=0
 
+Daniel Thomas Stillson can you give me the top five reasons why you believe in god? Just five please.
 
15 Questions for Evolutionists
Evolution: the naturalistic origin of life and its diversity

(The General Theory of Evolution, as defined by the evolutionist Kerkut, does include the origin of life.)
by Don Batten

How did life originate? Evolutionist Professor Paul Davies admitted, “Nobody knows how a mixture of lifeless chemicals spontaneously organized themselves into the first living cell.”1 Andrew Knoll, professor of biology, Harvard, said, “we don’t really know how life originated on this planet”.2 A minimal cell needs several hundred proteins. Even if every atom in the universe were an experiment with all the correct amino acids present for every possible molecular vibration in the supposed evolutionary age of the universe, not even one average-sized functional protein would form. So how did life with hundreds of proteins originate just by chemistry without intelligent design? See: creation.com/loopholes.
How did the DNA code originate? The code is a sophisticated language system with letters and words where the meaning of the words is unrelated to the chemical properties of the letters—just as the information on this page is not a product of the chemical properties of the ink (or pixels on a screen). What other coding system has existed without intelligent design? How did the DNA coding system arise without it being created? See: creation.com/code.
How could mutations—accidental copying mistakes (DNA ‘letters’ exchanged, deleted or added, genes duplicated, chromosome inversions, etc.)—create the huge volumes of information in the DNA of living things? How could such errors create 3 billion letters of DNA information to change a microbe into a microbiologist? There is information for how to make proteins but also for controlling their use—much like a cookbook contains the ingredients as well as the instructions for how and when to use them. One without the other is useless. See: creation.com/meta-information. Mutations are known for their destructive effects, including over 1,000 human diseases such as hemophilia. Rarely are they even helpful. But how can scrambling existing DNA information create a new biochemical pathway or nano-machines with many components, to make ‘goo-to-you’ evolution possible? E.g., How did a 32-component rotary motor like ATP synthase (which produces the energy currency, ATP, for all life), or robots like kinesin (a ‘postman’ delivering parcels inside cells) originate? See: creation.com/train.
Why is natural selection, a principle recognized by creationists, taught as ‘evolution’, as if it explains the origin of the diversity of life? By definition it is a selective process (selecting from already existing information), so is not a creative process. It might explain the survival of the fittest (why certain genes benefit creatures more in certain environments), but not the arrival of the fittest (where the genes and creatures came from in the first place). The death of individuals not adapted to an environment and the survival of those that are suited does not explain the origin of the traits that make an organism adapted to an environment. E.g., how do minor back-and-forth variations in finch beaks explain the origin of beaks or finches? How does natural selection explain goo-to-you evolution? See: creation.com/defining-terms.
How did new biochemical pathways, which involve multiple enzymes working together in sequence, originate? Every pathway and nano-machine requires multiple protein/enzyme components to work. How did lucky accidents create even one of the components, let alone 10 or 20 or 30 at the same time, often in a necessary programmed sequence. Evolutionary biochemist Franklin Harold wrote, “we must concede that there are presently no detailed Darwinian accounts of the evolution of any biochemical or cellular system, only a variety of wishful speculations.”3 See: creation.com/motor (includes animation).
Living things look like they were designed, so how do evolutionists know that they were not designed? Richard Dawkins wrote, “biology is the study of complicated things that have the appearance of having been designed with a purpose.”4 Francis Crick, the co-discoverer of the double helix structure of DNA, wrote, “Biologists must constantly keep in mind that what they see was not designed, but rather evolved.”5 The problem for evolutionists is that living things show too much design. Who objects when an archaeologist says that pottery points to human design? Yet if someone attributes the design in living things to a designer, that is not acceptable. Why should science be restricted to naturalistic causes rather than logical causes? See: creation.com/design_legit.
How did multi-cellular life originate? How did cells adapted to individual survival ‘learn’ to cooperate and specialize (including undergoing programmed cell death) to create complex plants and animals? See: creation.com/multicellularity.
How did sex originate? Asexual reproduction gives up to twice as much reproductive success (‘fitness’) for the same resources as sexual reproduction, so how could the latter ever gain enough advantage to be selected? And how could mere physics and chemistry invent the complementary apparatuses needed at the same time (non-intelligent processes cannot plan for future coordination of male and female organs). See: creation.com/evosex.
Why are the (expected) countless millions of transitional fossils missing? Darwin noted the problem and it still remains. The evolutionary family trees in textbooks are based on imagination, not fossil evidence. Famous Harvard paleontologist (and evolutionist), Stephen Jay Gould, wrote, “The extreme rarity of transitional forms in the fossil record persists as the trade secret of paleontology”.6 Other evolutionist fossil experts also acknowledge the problem. See: creation.com/pattquote.
How do ‘living fossils’ remain unchanged over supposed hundreds of millions of years, if evolution has changed worms into humans in the same time frame? Professor Gould wrote, “the maintenance of stability within species must be considered as a major evolutionary problem.”7 See: creation.com/werner.
How did blind chemistry create mind/ intelligence, meaning, altruism and morality? If everything evolved, and we invented God, as per evolutionary teaching, what purpose or meaning is there to human life? Should students be learning nihilism (life is meaningless) in science classes? See: creation.com/chesterton.
Why is evolutionary ‘just-so’ story-telling tolerated? Evolutionists often use flexible story-telling to ‘explain’ observations contrary to evolutionary theory. NAS(USA) member Dr Philip Skell wrote, “Darwinian explanations for such things are often too supple: Natural selection makes humans self-centered and aggressive—except when it makes them altruistic and peaceable. Or natural selection produces virile men who eagerly spread their seed—except when it prefers men who are faithful protectors and providers. When an explanation is so supple that it can explain any behavior, it is difficult to test it experimentally, much less use it as a catalyst for scientific discovery.”8 See: creation.com/sexstories.
Where are the scientific breakthroughs due to evolution? Dr Marc Kirschner, chair of the Department of Systems Biology, Harvard Medical School, stated: “In fact, over the last 100 years, almost all of biology has proceeded independent of evolution, except evolutionary biology itself. Molecular biology, biochemistry, physiology, have not taken evolution into account at all.”9 Dr Skell wrote, “It is our knowledge of how these organisms actually operate, not speculations about how they may have arisen millions of years ago, that is essential to doctors, veterinarians, farmers … .”10 Evolution actually hinders medical discovery.11 Then why do schools and universities teach evolution so dogmatically, stealing time from experimental biology that so benefits humankind? See: creation.com/science#relevance.
Science involves experimenting to figure out how things work; how they operate. Why is evolution, a theory about history, taught as if it is the same as this operational science? You cannot do experiments, or even observe what happened, in the past. Asked if evolution has been observed, Richard Dawkins said, “Evolution has been observed. It’s just that it hasn’t been observed while it’s happening.”12 See: creation.com/notscience#distinction.
Why is a fundamentally religious idea, a dogmatic belief system that fails to explain the evidence, taught in science classes? Karl Popper, famous philosopher of science, said “Darwinism is not a testable scientific theory, but a metaphysical [religious] research programme ….”13 Michael Ruse, evolutionist science philosopher admitted, “Evolution is a religion. This was true of evolution in the beginning, and it is true of evolution still today.”14 If “you can’t teach religion in science classes”, why is evolution taught? See: creation.com/evo-religious, creation.com/notscience.
 
+Daniel Thomas Stillson, please formulate your position in your own words. Or, at the least, provide a link or a quote but also provide commentary so as to not have your post lost in the noise of a copy/paste war. This also gives anyone interested a talking point (think dialogue, not data dump). Thank you
 
See I'm a skeptic as well, I have a hard time believing in self-creation self-design self-modification and self-molding.

We have "God-intelligent designer or Self-creation what you guys call big bang evolution




 
Excellent question. I "believe" in the principles of the Scientific Method which are as follows:


1) From observations of the natural world, determine the nature of the phenomenon that is interesting to you (i.e. ask a question or identify a problem).
2) Develop one or more hypotheses, or educated guesses, to explain this phenomenon. The hypotheses should be predictive - given a set of circumstances, the hypothesis should predict an outcome.
3) Devise experiments to test the hypotheses. - All valid scientific hypotheses must be testable.
4) Analyze the experimental results and determine to what degree do the results fit the predictions of the hypothesis.
5) Further modify and repeat the experiments.

When it comes to the origin's of humanity and every other living species (including plants), (1), a very astute Charles Darwin hypothesized that we all evolved to our current form by a gradual process which he coined "Natural Selection". He came up with 5 hypothesis in total (2):


i. Evolution: species come and go through time, while they exist they change.
ii. Common descent: organisms are descended from one, or several common ancestors and have diversified from this original stock
iii. Species multiply: the diversification of life involves populations of one species diverging until they become two separate species; this has probably occurred billions of times on earth!
iv. Gradualism: evolutionary change occurs through incremental small changes within populations; new species are not created suddenly.
v. Natural selection: evolutionary change occurs through variation between individuals; some variants give the individual an extra survival probability.

He performed copious experiments (3) on pigeons to demonstrate that variation occurs naturally and if like variations breed, eventually a new species will arise (4): http://www.christs.cam.ac.uk/darwin200/pages/index.php?page_id=c6

When it comes to the Origins of the cosmos, I "believe", what the scientific community consensus has observed as an expansion of the universe (or big bang). Science has yet to discover what makes up 96% of the mass in the universe. They theorize that is is comprised of dark matter and dark energy. There are experiments going on all over the world attempting to discover "theoretical" particles such as the Higgs Boson. Will finding the Higgs Boson answer all of the questions that science has? NO! It will spark another question and another... And that is the beauty of science. It never ceases to ask questions. And that is how it differs from religion. Religion is content with saying that "god did it". When they see a gap in the knowledge of our current understanding of how the world works or where we came from, they attempt to fill that gap with god (the god of the gaps theory). We are at the frontier of our understanding of all of the sciences; psychology, biology, astronomy, astrobiology etc.. Which means that this gap will continue to shrink.

So what argument (not theory) do theist offer for the creation of the universe? "god did it". They say that "atheism" can't explain how we got here. That is right, atheism isn't a hypothesis, its a rejection of belief in the existence of deities. They say that science cannot explain the origins of the universe because "the universe could not create itself". And who do they offer as a "creator"? god... but when confronted with their own argument "god could not create itself", they have no response. Which was why I asked my original question "who CREATED god?" You see, science does not purport to "know" how the big bang started, they are humble in their admission of their ignorance to anything that they don't know or can't verify via rigorous experimentation. But the key is, they keep asking questions. Something that religion apparently shuns and has historically persecuted...
 
The benefits from science are dramatic and widespread. By using scientific principles, man has pulled back the curtain of ignorance and advanced the quality of life for millions of people. With these achievements, science justifiably deserves a good reputation.
Taking a closer look, the essence of science is the scientific method where a hypothesis is tested by experiment. That is,

1) State the question
2) Form a hypothesis
3) Do experiments
4) Interpret data and draw conclusions
5) Revise theory (go back to step 2)

Instead of endless philosophical discussions to prove a point, experiment becomes the final arbitrator of truth - a successful approach. The issue becomes a bit sticky when discussing origins. How do we test the theory of evolution? We don't have the luxury of having a miniature universe with eons of time in the corner of a laboratory.

So this leaves both evolutionists and creationists in same the boat. No absolute way to objectivity test their assertions. No eyewitnesses... Both are left to propose a model and then compare it with nature for consistency.

Notice too, that good theories are falsifiable. Now consider the theory of evolution ... How can it be proved false? What fraction of the theory of evolution is open to invalidation, some small detail, or the entire principle? The approach seems to be, "look, you're here and there is no intelligent designer so evolution must be true!". Is this science or something else?
 
Two of the biggest weaknesses of evolutionary theory are:

1. There is no adequate explanation for the origin of life from dead chemicals. Even the simplest life form is tremendously complex.

2. The fossil record, our only documentation of whether evolution actually occurred in the past, lacks any transitional forms, and all types appear fully-formed when first present. The evidence that "pre-men" (ape-men) existed is dubious at best. So called pre-man fossils turn out to be those of apes, extinct apes, fully man, or historical frauds.

 
Life is often portrayed as spontaneously arising from some sort of "primordial soup". There it is ... quiet, tranquil, warm nutrients in a primitive sea, a lightning strike in the distance is imparting the energy of life ... soon life will be emerging to the shores... Hold it, not so fast here! To go from a barren lifeless planet to a one filled with living things, we would have to pass through a number of stages:

1. EARLY ATMOSPHERE -
For starters we need a favorable environment for life to evolve and be sustained.

2. SIMPLE ORGANIC MOLECULES -
We need a means of constructing the building blocks of life.

3. LARGE MACRO-MOLECULES (proteins, DNA, RNA, etc.) -
Some the simple molecules must be assembled into biologically useful large molecules.

4. BIOLOGICAL SYSTEMS -
Biological systems such as energy conversion must be constructed.

5. LIVING CELL -
And finally, all these molecules and systems must be assembled together to form a highly complex living cell.

When each of these steps are examined scientifically, we see that each has tremendous problems and requires large leaps of faith to believe that they ever happened. To explain the origin of life by non-supernatural means we must have a plausible explanation for each of these steps. An artist's conception of lighting striking a sea of organic soup and then jumping to self-replicating life is woefully inadequate. In fact, it is very misleading.
Although the origin of life by mechanistic means is routinely taken for granted by the popular press, it is, in reality still a mystery to evolutionary scientists.
 
Daniel, I will respond to your questions, sometimes with lofty quotes, but I will attempt to add commentary to make them applicable to your central point. :

1) "How do we test the theory of evolution? We don't have the luxury of having a miniature universe with eons of time in the corner of a laboratory."

That is correct, we don't have the ability to watch evolution unravel before our eyes . Same link from above: http://goo.gl/2wqod

"For thousands of years man had selected crops to improve yields and selected animals to provide food, clothing, company and to behave in a way that makes them easy to farm. Darwin would use the domestic animals and plants to show that variation does exist and it has the right characteristics to allow natural selection to act. If variation exists for artificial selection to work, there is no reason why natural selection can’t."

- His central theory is that variation exist, and NATURAL selection gives way to new breeds and eventually new species.

"‘the key is man’s power of accumulative selection: nature gives successive variations, man adds them up in certain directions useful to him’. He would show that variation is there, but that it is not controlled by the breeder. The breeder merely selects favoured traits from variation that is produced naturally. The key point here is that variation allows selection; it occurs naturally and ubiquitously and has the right characteristics that allow the selection of traits in a quasi-independent way from other traits."

"His studies of different pigeon breeds provided him with the evidence for meaningful variation that he needed, evidence enough to take up almost two full chapters of The Origin with enough spare to be a major focus of The Variation."

- He set out to prove that the traits, behaviors and characteristics can be "steered" towards whichever director the breeder sees fit. Just as "natural selection" does.


"Almost any anatomical feature is different between the breeds; beak size and shape, feather coloration, feather orientation, some have feather feet, some scaly feet, some webbed feet, some are very thin and tall, others fatter and larger, some have enlarged nasal skin appendages, some can expand their throats into a puff almost the size of their bodies, some have tail feathers which fan out like a peacock, almost all bones vary in dimension. Even behaviours change: some have odd coos, others have an odd flight pattern where they ‘tumble’ out of the sky. They even grow at different rates, and hatch at differing stages of development."

"Yet despite this mass of variation, all pigeon breeds are descended from one wild pigeon species; Columba livia, the rock pigeon, which lacks all these fancy characters."

- By experimenting with various breeds, Darwin showed just as much variation occurs within species as it does within breeds


2) "The approach seems to be, "look, you're here and there is no intelligent designer so evolution must be true!". Is this science or something else?"

- That is something else. Science does not offer evolution as a knee-jerk reaction to an "intelligent-designer" argument. Science observes the world around us and attempts to understand and document the nature of its origins and mechanisms.

- I will respond to your other two arguments later today as I must head off to work:
 
Constructing the Proteins and Nucleic Acids

Any plausible theory of the origin of life must include the formation of complicated macro-molecules like proteins, DNA and RNA. In addition, there are other necessary components of life such as lipids, carbohydrates, hormones, enzymes, etc. that must be formed and be utilized to produce life.
The syntheses of proteins from DNA is very complicated (see any biology textbook), and experiments to produce life in a test tube fall woefully short of creating life. There are a series of obstacles to the notion of life arising spontaneously from a sea of chemicals:

CHEMICAL ENVIRONMENT - Some of the necessary component chemicals react with one another is counter-productive ways. For example, phosphoric acid which would be necessary to form DNA would form an insoluble salt with calcium (calcium phosphate), sink to the bottom of a primordial sea, and be unavailable to make DNA. (Gish 1972, 23).

POLYMERIZATION - How are the polymers formed in proteins and nucleic acids? A basic problem is that monomers never become polymers unless energy is supplied - they don't spontaneously arise. Protein formation in the laboratory requires a number of deliberate steps by a chemist. Experiments with catalysts and heating of dry amino acids have not demonstrated anything close to realistic life macro-molecules. (Gish 1972, 17-23)

SEQUENCES - This detail is at the center of the origin of life problem. Assuming that there WAS a large supply of molecular building blocks, how do you get the specific sequences necessary in proteins and in DNA? Consider proteins: the sequence of amino acids determines the way the molecule will "fold up", which gives it physical properties. For a particular function, an exact sequence is required. What are the odds of this occurring by accident? The odds of forming a specific molecule with 100 amino acids is (1/20) ** 100 = 10e130 (the number 10 with 130 zeros following it) to 1. Forget it!

Along these lines, the famous astronomer Sir Fred Hoyle and Professor Chandra Wickramasinghe (both atheists) calculated the probability of life forming by chance in five billion years on earth. The answer is 10e40000 to 1 (a number so close to zero as to effectively be zero). They then considered the universe with 100 billion galaxies each with 100 billion stars and 20 billion years. Still no chance. Hoyle said the probability of life evolving anywhere in the universe is as likely as a tornado sweeping through a junkyard and assembling a Boeing 747!

OPTICAL ISOMERS - Amino acids are found in L-amino (left) or D-amino (right) types and are formed in equal proportions in synthesis experiments. Animals and people are made of almost exclusively L-animo types. How is this selection made? ... Still an open question.


 
Biological Systems

To go beyond proteins, DNA and RNA, and to assemble them into a working biological system is another mystery. We must go from disjointed molecules to complex interrelated systems that are capable of self-maintenance and self-replication.
One approach (Oparin's Coacervate Theory) is to try to construct coacervates (large blobs of colloidal particles) from molecules. Unfortunately, this merely holds together random molecules by electrostatic chemical bonds. (Gish 1972, 27).

Another scheme uses microspheres (Fox's Proteinoid Microsphere Theory) by the pyrocondensation of amino acids. But these are only random polymers of amino acids that are inherently unstable. There are no energy-utilizing systems, no replicating systems, etc. (Gish 1972, 30)

A biological system is more than a collection of molecules thrown together - these blobs have to be able to do something, they have to act as little machines with input and output related to some greater purpose in the cell. How a biological system could arise still remains in the realm of "science fiction".

 
The Living Cell

Now we cross the line from the molecular to the living. Whether bacteria, animals, plants or people, we all have cells.
Cells consist of many biological elements that are enclosed in a cell membrane that allows certain molecules to pass out of it and let others in. It must be able to perform many functions: self-replicate, maintain itself by the construction of new proteins, regulate it's functions, etc.

Cells are tremendously complex and more complicated than any machine man has ever built. Even the smallest bacterial cell has 100 proteins, DNA, RNA, and contains one hundred billion atoms.

The simplest cells are not more primitive than, or ancestral of, larger ones. This poses an immediate problem. How do you get all the complicated machinery to work at the same time? It either all works or nothing works. For example, the information to construct the apparatus to synthesize proteins is stored in the DNA. But the extraction of this information requires the apparatus to be in place already (Denton 1985, 269).

To explain the evolution of the cell requires imagining simpler "proto-cells". One such idea by Francis Crick (Denton 1985, 265) uses a proto-cell that is allowed to make mistakes in protein formation (termed "statistical proteins") to create new systems. This is challenged by the knowledge that even small errors cause devastating biological consequences.

In short, explaining the origin of life is a big problem for evolutionists. It is such a problem that mainstream scientific literature even considers the possibility of life dropping in from outer space, called the theory of "panspermia" (Scientific American, Feb 1992). But even this only moves to problem one step outward.
 
Fossil Record Overview - Missing Transitional Forms

A severe problem for evolutionists is the absence of transitional forms in the fossil record. By transitional forms, we mean intermediate forms of life appearing in the fossil record that are "in-between" existing types of organisms found today or in the past.
If slow, gradual evolution occurred, you would expect to observe a continuum of change in the fossil record. After all, if life took millions of years to arrive at its' present state of development, the earth should be filled with fossils that could be easily assembled into a number of series showing minor changes as species were evolving.

The opposite is true - no continuum! When fossils are examined they form records of existing and extinct organisms with clearly defined gaps, or missing transitional forms, consistent with a creationist's view of origins. Below are some of the gaps in the fossil record.

Consider...

The Cambrian explosion - At the bottom of the geological column in the so called Cambrian rocks are found highly complex creatures: trilobites, worms, sponges, jellyfish, etc., all without ancestors. It's as though you "turned the light on" in the fossil record. These are highly complex life forms appearing on the scene without forerunners. Trilobites for example, have compound lenses in their eyes that make use of Fermat's principle and Abbe's Sine Law. This is like entering the highway of life without an entrance ramp.

Insects - When found in the fossil record, they are already developed without ancestors. Dragonflies are dragonflies, cockroaches are cockroaches. Instead of an evolutionary tree, we have only the leaves without the trunk or branches. To compound this problem the question of flight arises... when did they develop the ability to fly? There are no fossil intermediates in the record.

Invertebrates and vertebrates - Transitional forms leading to vertebrates are absent even though the transition supposedly took millions of years. It is theorized that life passed through a stage where a creature possessed a simple rod-like notochord. This has not been found.

Fish to Amphibian - Fin to feet... Evolutionist glibly cite a Fish --> Amphibian --> Reptile --> Mammal progression in their theory, however there is a large gap in the fossil record between fish and amphibians. Among other differences, fish have small pelvic bones that are embedded in muscle and not connected to the backbone unlike tetrapod amphibians which have large pelvises that are firmly connected to the vertebral column. Without this anatomy, the amphibian could not walk. The morphological differences in this gap are obvious and profound.

Amphibian to Reptile -The skeletons of amphibians and reptiles are closely related which makes this an ambiguous case.

Mammals - Mammals just appear in the fossil record, again without transitional forms (Gish notes 32 such orders of mammals).
Marine Mammals - whales, dolphins, and sea cows also appear abruptly. It has been suggested that the ancestors of the dolphins are cattle, pigs, or buffaloes.

Also consider the enigma of flight - supposedly, insects, birds, mammals (bats), and reptiles, each evolved the ability to fly separately. In each of the four cases there are no series of transitional forms to support this assertion.

The primates - lemurs, monkeys, apes and man appear fully formed in the fossil record. The proverbial "missing link" between man and ape remains elusive and periodically changes with the thinking of the day.

And finally, dinosaurs. Again there is the absence of transitional series leading to these giants.

The most often cited "example" of a transitional form is the Archaeopteryx which has been touted as a reptile to bird transition. However, this creature is controversial and enveloped in dispute.

Sometimes evolutionists suggest that the transitional forms haven't been found because there has not been enough fossils unearthed to accurately portray life as it existed long ago. However, since Darwin's time there has been a hundred-fold increase in the number of fossils found and a systematic problem still remains. There are fewer candidates for transitional forms between major divisions of life than for minor divisions, the exact reverse of what is expected by evolutionary theory.

In summary, instead of getting a phylogenetic "tree" in the fossil record, you get vertical patterns indicative of creation, conflicting with the notions of gradual evolution and supporting the creationist position.



 
How Can All Those Scientists Be Wrong?

The idea that evolution may be false is a difficult idea for many people to accept, particularly when a lot of well-educated, smart people, and well-respected organizations say it is true. How can it be that so many people are so wrong?
Most people are taught in school, and from television shows and museums, that evolution explains our universe and all living things, and that evolution is a proven fact. They have not been told about the problems with the theory of evolution, nor have they been given the opportunity to study the concept of "special creation" as a legitimate alternative.
Much of the confusion around the concept of "evolution" is that this word is commonly used to describe two very different things:
Micro-evolution refers to the fact that living things have a built-in variability which allows them to adapt to small changes in the environment. When scientists say that evolution is a proven fact, they mean that micro-evolution is a proven fact. No creation scientist disputes this. Indeed, this ability to adapt would be expected as a part of "good design". Textbook examples of "evolution in action" almost always describe this type of small change, such as the "peppered moth" story, or the development of resistance to pesticides. What is happening in these cases is not the creation of something new, but merely the emphasis of an already existing trait.
Macro-evolution refers to the type of change which has created people from hydrogen gas. Evolutionists say that large scale change is possible because we have seen small scale change in action. However, the flaw in this reasoning is that living systems have limits beyond which no further change can take place.
Some other considerations include:
Much of day to day scientific activity ("practical science") does not directly depend upon evolutionary assumptions, and so progress is made.
Scientific fields of study have become very narrow. A scientist can believe that the evidence for evolution is found in "some other field", even if it is not obviously seen in his own.
Since scientists know that other scientists believe in evolution, they believe it also, even though they may not know much about the details themselves.
Scientists want to have an answer for everything, and so the "best" theory is the accepted theory, regardless of its absolute merits.
Non-naturalistic ideas (like special creation) are regarded as outside the scope of scientific study. Can we equate "what is true" only with "what can be seen and measured"? Is the physical dimension "all there is"? Many scientists have been taught to believe that religious and scientific beliefs are separate things which should be kept separate. However, many of the well-known scientists of the past (such as Louis Pasteur, Issac Newton, and Michael Faraday, among many others) operated with their religious and scientific ideas working together.
 
+Daniel Thomas Stillson
"nor have they been given the opportunity to study the concept of "special creation" as a legitimate alternative." Anyone has the opportunity to study whatever they please.

If you are talking about schools, do you really want to open up the floodgates of allowing everyone's interpretation of how they think that the world came to be, and this this garbage to our children?? Queue the Flying Spaghetti Monster: http://www.venganza.org/about/ Or do you want to give them the facts, as we know them today, and let them come to their own conclusions. The facts are that the THEORY of Evolution (no one is saying that it is a FACT) is currently the most widely excepted theory for how we in our current form arrived to be where we are: http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/5/5c/Views_on_Evolution.svg

But, Why stop at allowing what the bible says to be taught?
http://roadtickle.com/5-interesting-theories-on-world-creation/

Lets teach what the Mayan's believed:
According to the Mayans, there were two people, Tepeu and Gucumatz. They would sit around and think about things and then those things would exist. They thought up the mountains, the earth, the oceans, the sky and the animals and once they did they appeared. They used clay to create people, which would fall apart when they got wet, so they made people at of wood. These people would cause trouble so the God created a flood and wiped them out. They were allowed to start over. This is how the Earth became what it is today.

Or the Scandinavians:
According the Scandinavians, there was an emptiness that needed to be filled. There were two Gods, Muspell and Niflhiem. Muspell was the leader of the fiery realm and Niflhiem was the leader of the icy realm. They would plat in this vast open space. Inside the space the air grew mild and once the ice started to melt, Ymir was created. He was an evil God. While Ymir slept, he sweated and brought to life two males and a female frost giant. More ice melted in the time passed and a cow was created. She had plenty of milk to feed Ymir. She would nourish herself by licking the ice blocks. After a few days of licking the ice, she revealed a man who had a son. The son married one of the frost giant’s daughters and they had three sons, who killed Ymir. The blood that flowed from Ymir drowned all the frost giants except for Berglimir and his wife. They took the flesh and bones of Ymir and then created the Earth. While walking along the Earth’s surface Odin, one of the sons of the frost giant, spotted two logs and gave them life, while one of the other brothers gave them brains and feelings and the other gave them hearing and sight. From this man and women all life is created.

Or the Chinese:
Chinese believe that in the beginning heaven and Earth were as one. The universe was a big black egg that carried a God, Pan-Gu, inside itself. Pan Gu awoke from a 18 thousand year nap and wanted out of the egg. He took his broad axe and smashed through. The light became the heavens and the heavier parts became the Earth. Pan-Gu stood in between with his head touching the heavens and his feet firmly planted on the Earth. All three would grow at a rate of ten feet per day. After 18 thousand years everything stopped growing. After his passing, he breathe became the wind and the clouds. His voice is the thunder and his eyes became the sun and moon. The mountains were formed from his body and limbs and the rivers and oceans are made of his blood. The fertile soil is from his muscles and the roads are his veins. The flowers and trees are from his skin and body hair, where the stars are from his beard and hair. Pearls and jade are made from his marrow and his sweat is the rain and dew.

Or the Australians:
In Australia they believe that the earth was plain and bare in the beginning. There was no light, life or death. The sun, moon, stars and eternal ancestors all slept beneath the Earth. When the ancestors arose, they would walk the earth in human form, animal form, plant form or a combination of the forms. There were two people that formed out of nothing and upon their walks across the Earth’s surface they would come upon some half finished plants, animals and humans. They would then carve heads, bodies and limbs from bundles of plants. This is how people were formed amongst the Earth’s surface. After the work of human creation was finished the ancestors went back to sleep. They either went back under the Earth or they stayed here in the form of plants and animals. They left sacred trails, which can be seen in the forms watering holes, rocks and trees.

Or the Apache Indians:
They believed that in the beginning there was nothing. Suddenly, there was a thin disk with a man inside. After awaking from his nap he looked up and light appeared, looking down he created a sea of light, to the east he created the streaks of dawn and to the west the colorful streaks of dusk. After creating all the light, he wiped his hands together and then thrust them in a downward motion. A girl on a cloud appeared. He asked her where she was going and she did not answer. She asked him where he was from and he said from the east. She asked where the earth was and he asked where the sky was. He sang four times, which is the lucky number to the Apache Indians that he was thinking of what to create next. He flung his hands wide open and then appeared the sun God. He then dropped his hands and then a small boy appeared. All four Gods where now present and they all shook hands, mixing their sweat together and then he sang about making the Earth again four times. After rubbing his hands together, a brown ball appeared. He kicked it and it expanded, the girl kicked it and it did the same, the sun God and the boy both took turns and the ball continued to expand. He then told the wind to go inside and blow it up. The Creator had created more Gods to look over things on Earth. He had created workers to help with the building of Earth. Once he seen work was done, then he disappeared leaving the works to create the world’s population.
 
Two comment on your other two arguments:

"Evolutionists say that large scale change is possible because we have seen small scale change in action. However, the flaw in this reasoning is that living systems have limits beyond which no further change can take place."

Your assertion that Micro & Macro evolution are different is incorrect. They are one in the same, just observable over different time scales. More than likely, you are claiming that there is no evidence of speciation (The formation of new and distinct species in the course of evolution.) The mere fact that you want to separate the two and claim that "creation scientists" agree with one but not the other is you coming to terms with the advancements in science and irrefutable evidence which it offers. The ever-shrinking God of the Gaps theory. Again, if science fails to provide 100% "proof" of their theories, it doesn't mean that you can automatically insert god into that pocket. Because, as time has and will continue to tell, that pocket will eventually get filled with proof and you will just move onto the next pocket. That is the difference, science in curious about how and why things happen, and they perform experiments to provide evidence for their theories, whereas creationists are content to say that "god did it" and base their entire life on that non-inquisitive nature for "fear" of punishment. 


Darwin's theory of natural selection is the only known mechanism that can lead to adaptations and is only one of multiple mechanisms of evolutionary change. Natural selection is a process that acts on the heritable characteristics of individuals that interact and reproduce to form lineages of biological populations. Genetic drift, gene flow, vicariance biogeography, and niche construction are examples of other evolutionary mechanisms.

Still need proof of "macroevolution"? Here are 20:

http://www.talkorigins.org/faqs/comdesc/section1.html#pred4

"Non-naturalistic ideas (like special creation) are regarded as outside the scope of scientific study. (1) Can we equate "what is true" only with "what can be seen and measured"? (2) Is the physical dimension "all there is"?" 

Now you are asking the right questions.
1) "Can we equate "what is true" only with "what can be seen and measured"?"
Yes, that is the only time we can substantiate or equate truth, with evidence. Until then, it is a theory and experiments must be done to prove a hypothesis. Science is a collective enterprise that evolves through the progress of experimentation and REJECTION OF OBSOLETE theories. By necessity, scientific ideas begin as speculation, because scientists lack foresight on correct solutions as they push the boundaries of knowledge and discovery. In the process, scientists gather facts, conduct experiments, analyze, probe, prod, scrutinize, communicate on, and raise questions about the natural world. Over time, methods are developed and improved to further scientific knowledge related to the theory.

2) Is the physical dimension "all there is"?"
Another good question. Different types of scientist (cosmologist, astrophysicists etc..) and mathematicians are still trying to wrap their heads and the tools of their trade around this mind-boggling theory: http://www.scientificamerican.com/article.cfm?id=does-the-multiverse-really-exist This is a very exciting time and we are just starting to scrape the surface of our understanding of the universe (or multi-universes). To stop and simply say that god did it, and to teach that in our schools would not only be stiffing to our quest for knowledge, but would actually be counter-productive. Please don't perpetuate the willful ignorance of creationism...

"Many scientists have been taught to believe that religious and scientific beliefs are separate things which should be kept separate. However, many of the well-known scientists of the past (such as Louis Pasteur, Isaac Newton, and Michael Faraday, among many others) operated with their religious and scientific ideas working together."

That’s great! It’s good to know that science has permeating into religion. 
That just means that they believed in A god and also happened to conduct scientific research. Tell me know how that proves there is a god? Fortunately, acceptance of the theory of evolution is very high: http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/5/5c/Views_on_Evolution.svg 

Unfortunately, Religion is a social phenomenon that has developed with the biological evolution of Homo sapiens — therefore religion should be considered as a part of our biological heritage, and its tenets subject to change and be reinterpreted when evidence to their inaccuracies are provided.
 
Do You Believe that Evolution is True?

If so, then provide an answer to the following questions. "Evolution" in this context is the idea that natural, undirected processes are sufficient to account for the existence of all natural things.
See this Conservapedia article for more information on the "theory of evolution" and what it teaches.

Something from nothing?
The "Big Bang", the most widely accepted theory of the beginning of the universe, states that everything developed from a small dense cloud of subatomic particles and radiation which exploded, forming hydrogen (and some helium) gas. Where did this energy/matter come from? How reasonable is it to assume it came into being from nothing? And even if it did come into being, what would cause it to explode?
We know from common experience that explosions are destructive and lead to disorder. How reasonable is it to assume that a "big bang" explosion produced the opposite effect - increasing "information", order and the formation of useful structures, such as stars and planets, and eventually people?

Physical laws an accident?
We know the universe is governed by several fundamental physical laws, such as electromagnetic forces, gravity, conservation of mass and energy, etc. The activities of our universe depend upon these principles like a computer program depends upon the existence of computer hardware with an instruction set. How reasonable is it to say that these great controlling principles developed by accident?
Order from disorder?
The Second Law of Thermodynamics may be the most verified law of science. It states that systems become more disordered over time, unless energy is supplied and directed to create order. Evolutionists says that the opposite has taken place - that order increased over time, without any directed energy. How can this be?
ASIDE: Evolutionists commonly object that the Second Law applies to closed, or isolated systems, and that the Earth is certainly not a closed system (it gets lots of raw energy from the Sun, for example). However, all systems, whether open or closed, tend to deteriorate. For example, living organisms are open systems but they all decay and die. Also, the universe in total is a closed system. To say that the chaos of the big bang has transformed itself into the human brain with its 120 trillion connections is a clear violation of the Second Law.

We should also point out that the availability of raw energy to a system is a necessary but far from sufficient condition for a local decrease in entropy to occur. Certainly the application of a blow torch to bicycle parts will not result in a bicycle being assembled - only the careful application of directed energy will, such as from the hands of a person following a plan. The presence of energy from the Sun does NOT solve the evolutionist's problem of how increasing order could occur on the Earth, contrary to the Second Law.

Information from Randomness?
Information theory states that "information" never arises out of randomness or chance events. Our human experience verifies this every day. How can the origin of the tremendous increase in information from simple organisms up to man be accounted for? Information is always introduced from the outside. It is impossible for natural processes to produce their own actual information, or meaning, which is what evolutionists claim has happened. Random typing might produce the string "dog", but it only means something to an intelligent observer who has applied a definition to this sequence of letters. The generation of information always requires intelligence, yet evolution claims that no intelligence was involved in the ultimate formation of a human being whose many systems contain vast amounts of information.
Life from dead chemicals?
Evolutionists claim that life formed from non-life (dead chemicals), so-called "abiogenesis", even though it is a biological law ("biogenesis") that life only comes from life. The probability of the simplest imaginable replicating system forming by itself from non-living chemicals has been calculated to be so very small as to be essentially zero - much less than one chance in the number of electron-sized particles that could fit in the entire visible universe! Given these odds, is it reasonable to believe that life formed itself?
Complex DNA and RNA by chance?
The continued existence (the reproduction) of a cell requires both DNA (the "plan") and RNA (the "copy mechanism"), both of which are tremendously complex. How reasonable is it to believe that these two co-dependent necessities came into existence by chance at exactly the same time?
Life is complex.
We know and appreciate the tremendous amount of intelligent design and planning that went into landing a man on the moon. Yet the complexity of this task pales in comparison to the complexity of even the simplest life form. How reasonable is it to believe that purely natural processes, with no designer, no intelligence, and no plan, produced a human being.
Where are the transitional fossils?
If evolution has taken place our museums should be overflowing with the skeletons of countless transitional forms. Yet after over one hundred years of intense searching only a small number of transitional candidates are touted as proof of evolution. If evolution has really taken place, where are the transitional forms? And why does the fossil record actually show all species first appearing fully formed, with most nearly identical to current instances of the species?
ASIDE: Most of the examples touted by evolutionists concentrate on just one feature of the anatomy, like a particular bone or the skull. A true transitional fossil should be intermediate in many if not all aspects. The next time someone shows you how this bone changed over time, ask them about the rest of the creature too!

Many evolutionists still like to believe in the "scarcity" of the fossil record. Yet simple statistics will show that given you have found a number of fossil instances of a creature, the chances that you have missed every one of its imagined predecessors is very small. Consider the trilobites for example. These fossils are so common you can buy one for under $20, yet no fossils of a predecessor have been found!.

Could an intermediate even survive?
Evolution requires the transition from one kind to another to be gradual. And don't forget that "natural selection" is supposed to retain those individuals which have developed an advantage of some sort. How could an animal intermediate between one kind and another even survive (and why would it ever be selected for), when it would not be well-suited to either its old environment or its new environment? Can you even imagine a possible sequence of small changes which takes a creature from one kind to another, all the while keeping it not only alive, but improved?
ASIDE: Certainly a "light-sensitive spot" is better than no vision at all. But why would such a spot even develop? (evolutionists like to take this for granted). And even if it did develop, to believe that mutations of such a spot eventually brought about the tremendous complexities of the human eye strains all common sense and experience.

Reproduction without reproduction?
A main tenet of evolution is the idea that things develop by an (unguided) series of small changes, caused by mutations, which are "selected" for, keeping the "better" changes" over a very long period of time. How could the ability to reproduce evolve, without the ability to reproduce? Can you even imagine a theoretical scenario which would allow this to happen? And why would evolution produce two sexes, many times over? Asexual reproduction would seem to be more likely and efficient!
ASIDE: To relegate the question of reproduction to "abiogenesis" does NOT address the problem. To assume existing, reproducing life for the principles of evolution to work on is a HUGE assumption which is seldom focused on in popular discussions.

Plants without photosynthesis?
The process of photosynthesis in plants is very complex. How could the first plant survive unless it already possessed this remarkable capability?
How do you explain symbiotic relationships?
There are many examples of plants and animals which have a "symbiotic" relationship (they need each other to survive). How can evolution explain this?
It's no good unless it's complete.
We know from everyday experience that an item is not generally useful until it is complete, whether it be a car, a cake, or a computer program. Why would natural selection start to make an eye, or an ear, or a wing (or anything else) when this item would not benefit the animal until it was completed?
ASIDE: Note that even a "light-sensitive spot" or the simplest version of any feature is far from a "one-jump" change that is trivial to produce.

Explain metamorphosis!
How can evolution explain the metamorphosis of the butterfly? Once the caterpillar evolves into the "mass of jelly" (out of which the butterfly comes), wouldn't it appear to be "stuck"?
It should be easy to show evolution.
If evolution is the grand mechanism that has produced all natural things from a simple gas, surely this mechanism must be easily seen. It should be possible to prove its existence in a matter of weeks or days, if not hours. Yet scientists have been bombarding countless generations of fruit flies with radiation for several decades in order to show evolution in action and still have only produced ... more (deformed) fruit flies. How reasonable is it to believe that evolution is a fact when even the simplest of experiments has not been able to document it?
ASIDE: The artificial creation of a new species is far too small of a change to prove that true "macro-evolution" is possible. A higher-order change, where the information content of the organism has been increased should be showable and is not. Developing a new species changes the existing information, but does not add new information, such as would be needed for a new organ, for example.

Complex things require intelligent design folks!
People are intelligent. If a team of engineers were to one day design a robot which could cross all types of terrain, could dig large holes, could carry several times its weight, found its own energy sources, could make more robots like itself, and was only 1/8 of an inch tall, we would marvel at this achievement. All of our life's experiences lead us to know that such a robot could never come about by accident, or assemble itself by chance, even if all of the parts were available laying next to each other. And we are certain beyond doubt that a canister of hydrogen gas, no matter how long we left it there or what type of raw energy we might apply to it, would never result in such a robot being produced. But we already have such a "robot" - it is called an "ant", and we squash them because they are "nothing" compared to people. And God made them, and he made us. Can there be any other explanation?
 

The instructions for how to build, operate, and repair living cells represent a vast amount of information (estimated at 12 billion bits). Information is a mental, non-material concept. It can never arise from a natural process and is always the result of an intelligence. Just as a newspaper story transcends the ink on the paper, life's DNA itself (like the ink) is not the information, it is simply a physical representation or housing of the information (the story). Modifying the DNA via mutation can never produce new genetic information to drive upward evolution, just as spilling coffee on the newspaper, thereby modifying the distribution of the ink, will never improve the story.

 

Dead chemicals cannot become alive on their own. The cell is a miniature factory with many active processes, not a simple blob of "protoplasm" as believed in Darwin's day. Lightening striking a mud puddle or some "warm little pond" will never produce life. This is another view of the core issue of information as the simplest living cell requires a vast amount of information to be present. The "Law of Biogenesis" states that life comes only from prior life. Spontaneous generation has long been shown to be impossible (by Louis Pasteur in 1859). Numerous efforts to bring life from non-life (including the famous Miller-Urey experiment) have not succeeded. The probability of life forming from non-life has been likened to the probability of a tornado going through a junkyard and spontaneously assembling a working 747 airplane. The idea that life on earth may have been seeded from outer space just moves the problem elsewhere.

 
Daniel, first off, if you were to read back, I never once claimed nor has any reputable scientist claimed to KNOW how the universe nor how life was created. What we do claim is that there is evidence that the Big Bang Theory and the Theory of Evolution are the most scientifically sound theories out there. What we also admit is that:
1) WE DO NOT KNOW WHAT THE CATALYST FOR THE BIG BANG WAS
2) WE DO KNOW KNOW WHAT THE INITIAL CONDITIONS FOR LIFE TO ARISE WERE

There, now that should put about 90% of your arguments to rest.. phew..

Ok, now lets go over my 3 major points:

1) Finding gaps in scientific knowledge and inserting god into them IS NOT PROOF OF GOD!
2) Claiming that scientist assert that the universe and evolution arose from thin air is wrong, we don't! (see above). But then turning around and using the same argument to explain how god came about ("nobody created god, he has always been here") is mind-boggling...
3) Christianity, like dozens of other religions before it is a religion founded on the anthropomorphization of astrological signs/figures that were used to track the sun's location in the sky for the purpose of agricultural harvesting.
 
Daniel, why do you personally believe in the Christian god? And why do you think others should believe?
 
Design is apparent in the living world. Even Richard Dawkins in his anti-creation book The Blind Watchmaker admits "Biology is the study of complicated things that give the appearance of having been designed for a purpose." The amazing defense mechanism of the Bombardier Beetle is a classic example of design in nature, seemingly impossible to explain as the result of accumulating small beneficial changes over time, because if the mechanism doesn't work perfectly, "boom" - no more beetle! This is also another view of the core issue of information, as the design of living things is the result of processing the information in the DNA (following the blueprint) to produce a working organism.
 
The idea that "nothing works until everything works." The classic example is a mousetrap, which is irreducibly complex in that if one of its several pieces is missing or not in the right place, it will not function as a mousetrap and no mice will be caught. The systems, features, and processes of life are irreducibly complex. What good is a circulatory system without a heart? An eye without a brain to interpret the signals? What good is a half-formed wing? Doesn't matching male and female reproductive machinery need to exist at the same time, fully-functioning if any reproduction is to take place? Remember, natural selection has no foresight, and works to eliminate anything not providing an immediate benefit.
 
The Second Law of Thermodynamics refers to the universal tendency for things, on their own, to "mix" with their surrounding environment over time, becoming less ordered and eventually reaching a steady-state. A glass of hot water becomes room temperature, buildings decay into rubble, and the stars will eventually burn out leading to the "heat death" of the universe. However, the evolutionary scenario proposes that over time things, on their own, became more ordered and structured. Somehow the energy of a "Big Bang" structured itself into stars, galaxies, planets, and living things, contrary to the Second Law. It is sometimes said that the energy of the Sun was enough to overcome this tendency and allow for the formation of life on earth. However, application of energy alone is not enough to overcome this tendency; the energy must be channeled by a machine. A human must repair a building to keep it from decaying. Likewise, it is the machinery of photosynthesis which harnesses the energy of the Sun, allowing life to exist, and photosynthesis is itself a complex chemical process. The maturing of an acorn into a tree, or a zygote (the first cell resulting from fertilization) into a mature human being does not violate the Second Law as these processes are guided by the information already present in the acorn or zygote.

 
By definition, something must be eternal (as we have "something" today and something cannot come from "nothing", so there was never a time when there was "nothing"). Either the universe itself is eternal, or something/someone outside of and greater than the universe is eternal. We know that the universe is not eternal, it had a beginning (as evidenced by its expansion). Therefore, God (the something/someone outside of the universe) must exist and must have created the universe. Einstein showed that space and time are related. If there is no space there is no time. Before the universe was created there was no space and therefore no concept of time. This is hard for us to understand as we are space-time creatures, but it allows for God to be an eternal being, completely consistent with scientific laws. The question "who created God" is therefore an improper/invalid question, as it is a time-based question (concerning the point in time at which God came into existence) but God exists outside of time as the un-caused first cause.
 
Dozens of parameters are "just right" for life to exist on this planet. For example, if the Earth were just a little closer to the Sun it would be too hot and the ocean's water would boil away, much further and it would be covered continually in ice. Earth's circular orbit (to maintain a roughly constant temperature year-round), its rotation speed (to provide days and nights not too long or short), its tilt (to provide seasons), and the presence of the moon (to provide tides to cleanse the oceans) are just some of many other examples.

The presence of large amounts of water, with its amazing special properties, is also required. Water is a rare compound in that it is lighter in a solid state than in a liquid state. This allows ponds to freeze with the ice on the surface allowing the life beneath to survive. Otherwise bodies of water would freeze from the bottom up and become solid ice. Water is also the most universal "solvent" known, allowing for dissolving/mixing with the many different chemicals of life. In fact, our bodies are 75-85% comprised of water.
 
The fine-tuning of the physical constants that control the physics of the universe - the settings of the basic forces (strong nuclear force constant, weak nuclear force constant, gravitational force constant, and electromagnetic force constant) are on a knife's edge. A minor change in these or any of dozens of other universal parameters would make life impossible.
The "multiverse" idea that there may be many universes and ours "just happened" to have these proper values is outside of science and could never be proven. Even then we would have to ask "what was the cause of all these universes?"
 
The oldest fossils for any creature are already fully-formed and don't change much over time ("stasis"). The "Cambrian Explosion" in the "primordial strata" documents the geologically rapid appearance of most major groups of complex animals. There is no evidence of evolution from simpler forms. Birds are said to have evolved from reptiles but no fossil has ever been found having a "half-scale/half-wing". A reptile breathes using an "in and out" lung (like humans have), but a bird has a "flow-through" lung suitable for moving through the air. Can you even imagine how such a transition of the lung could have taken place? Abrupt appearance and stasis are consistent with the biblical concept of creation "according to its kind", and a world-wide flood that scoured the earth down to its basement rocks, depositing the "geologic column" and giving the appearance of a "Cambrian Explosion". Smarter, more mobile creatures would escape the flood waters longer, becoming buried in higher-level strata, leading to a burial order progressing from "simpler" forms to more complex/higher-level forms, which people now wrongly interpret as an evolutionary progression.
 
Daniel, again, this copy/paste war isn't a dialogue..
 

A person is a unity of body + mind/soul, the mind/soul being the immaterial part of you that is the real inner you. Chemicals alone cannot explain self-awareness, creativity, reasoning, emotions of love and hate, sensations of pleasure and pain, possessing and remembering experiences, and free will. Reason itself cannot be relied upon if it is based only on blind neurological events.

 
Language is one of the main things that separates man from the animals. No animal is capable of achieving anything like human speech, and all attempts to teach chimpanzees to talk have failed. Evolutionists have no explanation for the origin of human language. However, the Bible does. It says that the first man, Adam, was created able to speak. The Bible also explains why we have different human languages, as God had to "confuse" the common language being used in Babel after the flood, in order to force people to spread out around the world as He wanted. This was only a "surface" confusion though, as all languages express the same underlying basic ideas and concepts, enabling other languages to be learned and understood.
 

Many creatures reproduce asexually. Why would animals abandon simpler asexual reproduction in favor of more costly and inefficient sexual reproduction? Sexual reproduction is a very complex process that is only useful if fully in place. For sexual reproduction to have evolved complimentary male and female sex organs, sperm and eggs, and all the associated machinery in tandem defies the imagination.

 

The Bible is true. The history of the Bible is true. The words of the Bible concerning our origins were given to men to write down, by God, who was the only living being present. We were not there! God said He created the universe. God said He created all living things. We know that life is much more than chemicals. God put His life into Adam and that life has been transferred from generation to generation all the way down to us!

 
sigh.. like talking to a wall. You don't answer my questions, you don't offer any commentary on items which you paste... I've stopped reading what you write because you don't understand how a dialogue works.
 
Daniel, can you tell me why you follow christianity? Can you tell me what your stance is on:
Abortion, Gay Rights, other religions?
 
You ask way I follow Christianity, because I know that God is real because He has revealed Himself to me in three ways: in creation, in His Word, and in His Son, Jesus Christ.

For me the most basic proof of God's existence is simply what He has made. "For since the creation of the world God's invisible qualities"his eternal power and divine nature"have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that men are without excuse" (Romans 1:20). "The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of his hands." (Psalm 19:1).

If I found a wristwatch in the middle of a field, I would not assume that it just "appeared" out of nowhere or that it had always existed. Based on the watch's design, I would assume it had a designer. But there is far greater design and precision in the world around us. Our measurement of time is not based on wristwatches, but on God's handiwork"the regular rotation of the earth (and the radioactive properties of the cesium-133 atom). The universe displays great design, and this argues for a Great Designer.

If I found an encoded message, I would seek out a cryptographer to help break the code. My assumption would be that there is an intelligent sender of the message, someone who created the code. How complex is the DNA "code" that we carry in every cell of our bodies? Does not the complexity and purpose of DNA argue for an Intelligent Writer of the code?

Not only has God made an intricate and finely tuned physical world; He has also instilled a sense of eternity in the heart of every person (Ecclesiastes 3:11). Mankind has an innate perception that there is more to life than meets the eye, that there is an existence higher than this earthly routine. Our sense of eternity manifests itself in at least two ways: law-making and worship.

Every civilization throughout history has valued certain moral laws, which are surprisingly similar from culture to culture. For example, the ideal of love is universally esteemed, while the act of lying is universally condemned. This common morality"this global understanding of right and wrong"points to a Supreme Moral Being who gave us such scruples.

In the same way, people all over the world, regardless of culture, have always cultivated a system of worship. The object of worship may vary, but the sense of a "higher power" is an undeniable part of being human. Our propensity to worship accords with the fact that God created us "in His own image" (Genesis 1:27).

God has also revealed Himself to us through His Word, the Bible. Throughout Scripture, the existence of God is treated as a self-evident fact (Genesis 1:1; Exodus 3:14). When Benjamin Franklin wrote his autobiography, he did not waste time trying to prove his own existence. Likewise, God does not spend much time proving His existence in His book. The life-changing nature of the Bible, its integrity, and the miracles which accompanied its writing should be enough to warrant a closer look.

The third way in which God revealed Himself is through His Son, Jesus Christ (John 14:6-11). "In the beginning was the Word: the Word was with God, and the Word was God. The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the One and Only, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth" (John 1:1,14; see also Colossians 2:9).

In Jesus' amazing life, He kept the entire Old Testament law perfectly and fulfilled the prophecies concerning the Messiah (Matthew 5:17). He performed countless acts of compassion and public miracles to authenticate His message and bear witness to His deity (John 21:24-25). Then, three days after His crucifixion, He rose from the dead, a fact affirmed by hundreds of eyewitnesses (1 Corinthians 15:6). The historical record abounds with "proof" of who Jesus is. As the Apostle Paul said, this thing "was not done in a corner" (Acts 26:26).

I realize that there will always be skeptics like you who have their own ideas concerning God and will read the evidence accordingly. And there will be some whom no amount of proof will convince (Psalm 14:1). It all comes down to faith (Hebrews 11:6).
 
Daniel, thanks for the reply:

Here is what I read from your post:

"people all over the world, regardless of culture, have always cultivated a system of worship. The object of worship may vary, but the sense of a "higher power" is an undeniable part of being human"

What is your point, just because everyone is following a religion, doesn't mean that what their religion teaches (beliefs) when it comes to how the universe and life came to be are "the truth".

I am human, I don't have a sense that a "higher power" is pulling the strings. I do agree that humans have anthropocentrism (the tendency for human beings to regard themselves as the central and most significant entities in the universe, or the assessment of reality through an exclusively human perspective.: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anthropocentrism).

We have evolved the ability of consciousness and self-awareness and the first thing we question is "WHY US"?

Some choose to explore their natural world with the tools which science affords. They are humble in admitting what they don't know and curious to continue to investigate where knowledge leads them.

Others choose to worship invisible "higher being(s)" in the sky, or all around us, or in us - they takes different forms (see above for expanded version):


Mayan's believed:
According to the Mayans, there were two people, Tepeu and Gucumatz. They would sit around and think about things and then those things would exist. They thought up the mountains, the earth, the oceans, the sky and the animals and once they did they appeared.

Or the Scandinavians:
According the Scandinavians, there was an emptiness that needed to be filled. There were two Gods, Muspell and Niflhiem.

Or the Chinese:
Chinese believe that in the beginning heaven and Earth were as one. The universe was a big black egg that carried a God, Pan-Gu, inside itself. Pan Gu awoke from a 18 thousand year nap and wanted out of the egg. He took his broad axe and smashed through.

Or the Australians:
When the ancestors arose, they would walk the earth in human form, animal form, plant form or a combination of the forms. There were two people that formed out of nothing and upon their walks across the Earth’s surface they would come upon some half finished plants, animals and humans. They would then carve heads, bodies and limbs from bundles of plants. This is how people were formed amongst the Earth’s surface. After the work of human creation was finished the ancestors went back to sleep.

Or the Apache Indians:
Suddenly, there was a thin disk with a man inside. After awaking from his nap he looked up and light appeared, looking down he created a sea of light, to the east he created the streaks of dawn and to the west the colorful streaks of dusk. After creating all the light, he wiped his hands together and then thrust them in a downward motion. A girl on a cloud appeared. He asked her where she was going and she did not answer. She asked him where he was from and he said from the east. She asked where the earth was and he asked where the sky was. He sang four times, which is the lucky number to the Apache Indians that he was thinking of what to create next. He flung his hands wide open and then appeared the sun God. He then dropped his hands and then a small boy appeared. All four Gods where now present and they all shook hands, mixing their sweat together and then he sang about making the Earth again four times. After rubbing his hands together, a brown ball appeared. He kicked it and it expanded, the girl kicked it and it did the same, the sun God and the boy both took turns and the ball continued to expand. He then told the wind to go inside and blow it up. The Creator had created more Gods to look over things on Earth. He had created workers to help with the building of Earth. Once he seen work was done, then he disappeared leaving the works to create the world’s population.

The people that believe in a higher beings choose to ignore evidence that contradicts their religion's view of how the universe was created or how life as we know it evolved. They vilify science because they fear that the structure that they base their existence on is crumbling. They adapt the science that does agree with vague interpretations of their religious documents and scrap that which doesn't. This is WILLFUL IGNORANCE at its finest... And when they are asked, HOW WAS GOD CREATED? They answer as such:

"the existence of God is treated as a self-evident fact.. God does not spend much time proving His existence in His book... It all comes down to faith" - amen
 
Joseph,

1) "so asking how God is created is ignorance "
the reason I ask is because you and every other creationist is soo hung up on saying that the big bang theory must not be possible because it is not possible to have something out of nothing.. right?

but then you go onto say:
"God was always there that's the answer ............" "just because we are created does not mean that God is created"

I think you need to go back to the drawing board on that one buddy...

2) " One thing I can say is Don't be afraid of God He won't hurt you"
I AGREE, how can something that doesn't exist hurt me?
BUT, what can hurt me is religion: http://i.imgur.com/mpQA0.jpg
 
Joseph (or Daniel), how has Christianity promised to reward you? Can you tell me what your stance is on:
Abortion, Gay Rights, other religions?
 


(Romans 1:20, Acts 14:17, Psalm 19:1-4)

Romans 1:19-20 says: "...that which is known about God is evident within them; for God made it evident to them. [How has God made it evident to them?] 20 For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes, His eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly seen, being understood through what has been made, so that they are without excuse."

Acts 14:17 says, "Nevertheless He did not leave Himself without witness, in that He did good, gave us rain from heaven and fruitful seasons, filling our hearts with food and gladness."

(Romans 2:14-15)

Romans 2:15 says: "[The Gentiles] show the work of the Law written in their hearts, their conscience bearing witness..."

God has inscribed evidence of His existence and His moral laws on the heart (or conscience) of every person. So all of mankind can know through an examination of creation and their own conscience that God exists and that they have failed to live up to His laws written in their hearts.

If a person will respond to the truth that God has revealed to them through creation or the convicting work of their conscience, God will give them additional light about Himself, in order that they can be saved.

Hebrews 11:6 says God, "is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him." Jesus said, "Seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you" (Matthew 7:7). God said, "And you will seek Me and find Me, when you search for Me with all your heart" (Jeremiah 29:13, also see Acts 10:35).

There are lots of ways that God can reveal Himself to a person. He may send them a missionary, allow a radio program to penetrate their part of the world, send them a Bible, a tract, an angel or give them a vision so that they can know the truth about Jesus.
 
Daniel, you are doing it again.. remember, a dialogue is not the same as a copy/paste war:
http://www.alwaysbeready.com/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=101&Itemid=0)
Please spend some time to add commentary to your post or to answer my questions in your own words

"For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes, His eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly seen, being understood through what has been made, so that they are without excuse" <--- WTF does that even mean???

"So all of mankind can know through an examination of creation and their own conscience that God exists and that they have failed to live up to His laws written in their hearts." <--- Or this? I have a law written in my heart and I am already failing? Geez, thats pretty harsh... What ever happened to innocent until proven guilty.
 
Joseph,

"here is a easy one Carlos like I said very early on prove that God does not exist .............. I afraid you cannot ??????? but give it a try ......."

Oh man.. that's a tough one.. Yeah, I guess you are right..

Oh wait, can you prove to me that The Flying Spaghetti Monster doesn't exist? http://www.venganza.org/about/

No? Oh, well, then by your logic, he must exist..
 
Science isn't truth. It's a statement of the best guess we can make at any particular moment as to how something works.

The quest to prove or disprove something that may or may not exist on a dimensional plane besides our own equates to a person born blind trying to prove or disprove rainbows.  The context simply doesn't exist in our limited experience.
 
+Joseph Bonaventura III Dur (דור) is the word for sphere (like a ball). Had the author of Job meant to write that, he wouldn't have used the word "chuwg". The word "chuwg" means "circle" (like a coin).
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