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Re: Continue the debate in here

Post by bennett_david on Sun Oct 05, 2008 6:12 pm

http://www.request.org.uk/issues/evidence/evidence01.htm
1. God in Creation
1.1 Just Right For Us (The 'Anthropic Principle')


The first kind of evidence we are considering is the evidence in the natural world. Who is not amazed when they look up at the stars? The Bible says:

'The heavens tell of the glory of God. The skies display his marvellous craftsmanship' 1

God has created a universe that carries His 'signature'. We can see this signature in the wonderful order of creation.

We might think that the evidence in creation is not so persuasive these days. Perhaps we are all here because of the Big Bang, or a long process of blind chance? But in recent years scientists have been surprised to discover many unexpected ways that the universe is 'just right' for us to live in. For example, if the forces inside the nucleus of atoms were slightly different, either there would be no hydrogen atoms at all or else the universe would be nothing but hydrogen atoms. Either way, you and I would not be here. If the electromagnetic forces inside atoms were just a tiny fraction different, the various kinds of atoms needed for life could not exist, and our lives would be impossible. If the speed of light was either slightly more, or slightly less than it is ... well - you get the idea. One author lists more than twenty such remarkable 'coincidences' in the way the universe is made. The chance of all these things being 'just right' for us is much less than the chance of the same person winning the lottery not just once, but ten times in a row.

Scientists call this the 'anthropic principle', and they are struggling to know what to make of this. An article in New Scientist magazine says,

'The Universe we live in seems to be a very unlikely place. Random processes and statistical fluctuations could easily have made it quite inhospitable to life.'

This article goes on to ask, 'Are we just lucky? Or is there some deep significance to the fact that we live in a universe just right for us?'

With all that scientists are discovering, surely it would take more faith to be an atheist than to believe that the universe was designed by a powerful, wise, and loving God?

Of course, scientists have tried to come up with other explanations of the anthropic principle. For example, they say that any universe that we can observe has to be the way this one is, otherwise we could not be here to observe it. Alternatively, they talk about many parallel universes, in which we just happen to live in the one where human life is possible. However, these kinds of explanations are pure speculation - there isn't any evidence for them, and in the nature of things, there never can be. Some of them sound more like science fiction than reality.

The Bible says:

'From the time the world was created, people have seen the earth and the sky and all that God made. They can clearly see His invisible qualities - His eternal power and divine nature. So they have no excuse whatsoever for not knowing God.' 2

This is as true today as it ever has been - in some ways, with the discovery of the anthropic principle, it is more true now than ever before. So the first kind of evidence that we have is the creation itself - a universe that carries God's signature - a universe 'just right' for us to live in.

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Re: Continue the debate in here

Post by bennett_david on Sun Oct 05, 2008 6:14 pm

http://www.request.org.uk/issues/evidence/evidence02.htm
1.2 'Irreducible Complexity'

The theory of Evolution was first widely popularised and given a plausible mechanism in Charles Darwin's 'Origin of Species' (1859). We can think of evolution as the mechanism by which all the different forms of life arose from non-living matter, by natural processes.

Over the past hundred and forty years, it has often been argued that evolution can explain the origins of life, including human life, without resorting to belief in a designer or creator. Thus the theory of evolution (which is supposedly a scientific theory capable of being proved or disproved by evidence) has often been co-opted as an argument against faith in God.

Michael Behe is professor of Biochemistry at Leigh University in the USA. His recent book, 'Darwin's Black Box' challenges received orthodoxy about evolution at the biochemical level. Behe uses 'black box' as a term for something that looks simple from the outside, but its inner workings - how it does what it does - are mysterious or unknown.

Behe says that in Darwin's day, the cell was a black box. The technology just did not exist then to answer questions about how life worked at the biochemical level.

He says that for more than a hundred years, the academic establishment has overwhelmingly accepted Darwin's proposal that life can be explained in terms of natural selection working on random variations, even though the basic mechanisms of life were a black box. However, in recent years, scientists have come to understand much more about how life works at the biochemical level, and the result is a challenge to Darwin's theory.

In the past, Behe says, scientists assumed that the biochemical basis of life was very simple. But the more they have discovered, the more complicated it proves to be. The result of discoveries in biochemistry since the 1950s is to show that life is based on complicated molecular machines. Behe says that for Darwin's theory of evolution to be true, it has to be able to account for the molecular structure of life - and the purpose of his book is to show that the theory can't do this.

Behe has identified a number of biochemical systems that he says are 'irreducibly complex'. An irreducibly complex system is one made of well matched interacting parts that all contribute to the basic function. Take any one of them away, and the whole system stops working. A mouse-trap is an example of an irreducibly complex system - if you take any single part away, the trap doesn't work, and the mouse escapes. Behe says that such irreducibly complex biochemical systems could not be formed by a series of small changes, because the intermediate systems wouldn't work.

In his book, Behe gives a number of examples worked out in detail, including the mechanism of blood clotting, cellular transport mechanisms, antibody defence against disease, and the cilium - a whip-like structure that some cells use to swim with.

How could such complex biochemical systems have been produced gradually? What are the intermediate stages by which they might have developed and how could they have moved from one stage to another? According to Behe, there are no answers. There is, he says, 'an eerie silence' in the scientific literature about how such biochemical machines developed. There are no academic papers showing how such complex biochemical systems could have evolved by a series of small random changes.

Behe's argument is that the existence of irreducibly complex systems is evidence for design in nature. The result of massive efforts by biochemists to investigate life at the molecular level is a loud, clear, piercing cry of 'design!' He goes on to say that the conclusion of intelligent design flows naturally from the data itself, and not from what he calls 'sacred books or sectarian beliefs.'

It is important to note that the argument from irreducible complexity is not the same as an argument that evolution does not happen. (Of course, Christians remain deeply divided between a literal 'Creationist' understanding of Genesis and a metaphorical 'theistic evolution' understanding.) Rather, this is an argument that whether or not evolution happens, intelligent design is needed to account for the way we are made. The irreducible complexity argument is an argument against the kind of un-directed, random evolution that has so often been used to rule out belief in a designer and creator.

It is also important to understand that, whereas the anthropic principle is widely recognised by cosmologists and physicists, the argument from irreducible complexity is largely the work of one man, and has not found wide acceptance by biologists and biochemists.

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Re: Continue the debate in here

Post by bennett_david on Sun Oct 05, 2008 6:16 pm

http://www.request.org.uk/issues/evidence/evidence03.htm
1.3 Human Nature

Another remarkable piece of evidence comes from human nature itself. Many people today believe that we are just animals - humans are not really any different from hamsters. However, think for a moment about some of the ways we are different from other animals: our ability to communicate using language, our ability to think in the abstract, our sense of right and wrong, our creativity, our awareness of a spiritual dimension to life, our hopes for something beyond our ordinary experience. According to the Bible, God made us, and He made us to be like Him, as personalities. All these unique human characteristics are reflections of God's own nature - and very difficult to account for in other ways.
http://www.request.org.uk/issues/evidence/evidence04.htm
1.4 What do the Arguments from Nature Prove?

What do these arguments from the anthropic principle, irreducible complexity, and human nature prove? They are certainly not enough to prove that the Christian message is true. However, what they can do is to show that, in the current state of scientific knowledge, there is nothing unreasonable about Christian faith, and that the naturalistic arguments which are often brought to bear against such faith are out-dated and may be based on little more than scientific ignorance or prejudice.

Of course, we should use such arguments from creation with care. In particular, we should not marry the Christian faith too closely to any single scientific theory. (After all, look what happened to people who believed the Earth was flat!)

In years to come, astronomers and biochemists may discover some natural scientific explanation for why the universe has to be the way it is, or for why human nature is as it is - but meanwhile, current scientific developments are certainly interesting from a Christian point of view, and tend to support such belief rather than to oppose it.

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Re: Continue the debate in here

Post by bennett_david on Sun Oct 05, 2008 6:18 pm

http://www.request.org.uk/issues/evidence/evidence05.htm
2. Evidence in History
2.1 Introduction

However, more important than the evidence in creation, there is the evidence in history - in the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus of Nazareth. People today may say that Jesus was just a mythical figure, or that we do not really know anything about Him. So it is important that we understand how reliable the historical evidence is.

Clearly, something unusual happened in western Asia about two thousand years ago. How else are we to account for the origin and explosive growth of the new religious movement called Christianity - a movement that, in less than four centuries had grown from its obscure origins to become the official religion of the Roman empire? How else are we to account for the origins of the documents that today we call the New Testament?
http://www.request.org.uk/issues/evidence/evidence06.htm
2.2 Evidence Outside the New Testament

The impression is sometimes given that the only evidence we have for the origins of Christianity comes from the New Testament itself, and secondary Christian sources (and, by implication, this evidence is not to be trusted because it is biased in favour of the Christian message). It is true that there aren't many references to Christian origins outside of the New Testament and the Church. This should not surprise us - the documents available to us today must only be a tiny fraction of all those written at the time, and a fairly random selection at that. R T France cites the case of Tacitus, the Roman historian, for which we only have two manuscripts, covering only half of what he is believed to have written. Not only that, but the earliest stages of the Christian movement were obscure and 'low profile'. They took place in an unimportant province on the Eastern edge of the Roman Empire.

However, there are at least half a dozen non-Christian (i.e. Roman or Jewish) sources that refer to Christian origins. These are sufficient to provide some confirmation of the historical picture that is painted by the New Testament.
http://www.request.org.uk/issues/evidence/evidence07.htm
2.2.i Tacitus

Tacitus was a Roman historian. His 'Annals', written soon after 115 AD, mention the emperor Nero's persecution of the Christians in Rome in AD 64. This was the year of the great fire that damaged Rome. There were suspicions that the emperor himself had started the fire. This is what Tacitus says (Annals 15:44):

'To dispel the rumour, Nero substituted as culprits, and treated with the most extreme punishments, some people, popularly known as Christians, whose disgraceful activities were notorious. The originator of that name, Christus, had been executed when Tiberius was emperor, by order of the procurator Pontius Pilatus. But the deadly cult, though checked for a time, was now breaking out again not only in Judea, the birthplace of this evil, but even throughout Rome, where all the nasty and disgusting ideas from all over the world pour in and find a ready following.'

Notice the following points from Tacitus:

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Christ was executed while Tiberius was emperor (14-37 AD)
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He was executed by order of Pontius Pilate (procurator from 26-36 AD)
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His movement had its origins in Judea
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There were Christian believers at Rome by AD 64 - enough to be a scapegoat for the emperor Nero.

This comes from an unsympathetic pagan writer.

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Re: Continue the debate in here

Post by bennett_david on Sun Oct 05, 2008 6:21 pm

http://www.request.org.uk/issues/evidence/evidence08.htm
2.2.ii Pliny the Younger

Pliny was the governor of the Roman province of Bithynia, in present-day Turkey. In about 112 AD, he wrote (in Epistles X.96) to the emperor Trajan, asking for advice on how to deal with the Christians in his province, because he was executing so many of them. Pliny wrote:

'They were in the habit of meeting before dawn on a fixed day. They would recite in alternate verse a hymn to Christ as to a God, and would bind themselves by a solemn oath, not to do any criminal act, but rather that they would not commit any fraud, theft or adultery, nor betray any trust nor refuse to restore a deposit on demand. This done, they would disperse, and then they would meet again later to eat together (but the food was quite ordinary and harmless.)

Notice from what Pliny says that:

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By the beginning of the second century, there was a Christian community in Bithynia large enough to come to the attention of the Roman governor.
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They worshipped Christ as a God
http://www.request.org.uk/issues/evidence/evidence09.htm
2.2.iii Suetonius

Suetonius was a Roman historian and an official under the emperor Hadrian. In his 'Life of Claudius', he says (25:4) 'As the Jews were making constant disturbances at the instigation of Chrestus [= Christ?], he [Claudius] expelled them from Rome.' This expulsion took place in AD 49, and is identified with the event described by Luke in Acts 18:2

In his 'Lives of the Caesars', Suetonius says (26:2) of the fire of Rome in AD 64, that 'Punishment by Nero was inflicted on the Christians, a class of men given to a new and mischievous superstition.'

Although Suetonius does not provide direct historical evidence for Christ, he does provide evidence for the existence of a significant Christian community in the capital of the empire by the 60's AD (i.e. just after the end of the book of Acts). He also provides possible evidence for the existence of a Christian community there as early as AD 49.
http://www.request.org.uk/issues/evidence/evidence10.htm
2.2.iv The Babylonian Talmud

The Talmuds were Rabbinic commentaries on the Jewish scriptures. The Babylonian Talmud was probably completed around the 6th century. The Talmuds are long and complicated, and it is difficult to make sense of some of what they say. Of course, the Jews were not overly sympathetic to the heretical new religion that Jesus founded. The Babylonian Talmud says:

'On the eve of Passover they hanged Yeshu* [= Jesus]. And an announcer went out in front of him for forty days, saying: 'He is going to be stoned, because he practised sorcery and enticed and led Israel astray. Anyone who knows anything in his favour, let him come and plead in his behalf.' But not having found anything in his favour, they hanged him on the eve of Passover.'

* One version of this text actually says 'Yeshu the Nazarene.'

There are of course, some differences here from what the Gospels describe. (Note: When this kind of discrepancy arises, scholars seem to have a remarkable tendency to believe that it is the other document that is right, and the Gospels that are wrong, rather than vice versa - even though the documentary evidence for the Gospel account may be much stronger.) Notice that:

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Yeshu the Nazarene is described as someone who engaged in sorcery. This is a typical way that Jewish writers accounted for the miracles of Jesus.
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He was put to death.
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His death took place at the Passover
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His death was by 'hanging' - which was often used by Jews to describe crucifixion (see Luke 23:39 and Galatians 3:13).

There are various other passages in the Talmuds that refer (or may refer) to Jesus. 3

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Re: Continue the debate in here

Post by bennett_david on Sun Oct 05, 2008 6:22 pm

http://www.request.org.uk/issues/evidence/evidence11.htm
2.2.v Josephus

Josephus was a Jewish historian. He wrote around the end of the first century, and his two most significant works were 'Jewish War' and 'Antiquities of the Jews'. Josephus lived through the Roman destruction of Jerusalem in AD 70, and his 'Jewish War' was largely based on his first-hand experiences. It focuses on the period AD 66 to 73. 'Antiquities of the Jews' covers the whole of history up to AD66. Out of twenty books, six cover the period from the reign of Herod the Great to AD 66 - i.e. the period when Jesus lived. Josephus mentions John the Baptist once, and Jesus twice.

In book 18 of the Antiquities, 63-64, the text of Josephus as we have it today says:

'About this time there lived Jesus, a wise man, if indeed it is lawful to call him a man, for he was a performer of wonderful deeds, a teacher of such men as are happy to accept the truth. He won over many of the Jews and many of the Gentiles. He was the Christ, and when Pilate, at the suggestion of the leading men among us, had condemned him to the cross, those who had loved him at the first did not forsake him; for he appeared to them alive again on the third day, as the prophets of God had foretold these and ten thousand other wonders about him. And the tribe of Christians, so named from him, are not extinct to this day.'

In fact, this text is a bit too much of a good thing for our purposes. It seems unlikely that a Jew such as Josephus would have written some of the things in this passage. Most scholars today agree that it has been altered by early Christians seeking to 'improve' it. It seems more likely that Josephus originally wrote something like this:

'About this time there lived Jesus, a wise man, for he was a performer of wonderful deeds, a teacher of such men as are happy to accept the truth. He won over many of the Jews and many of the Gentiles. When Pilate, at the suggestion of the leading men among us, had condemned him to the cross, those who had loved him at the first did not forsake him; and the tribe of Christians, so named from him, are not extinct to this day.'

Even without the possible additions, notice what this passage tells us about Jesus:

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A real historical person
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A teacher
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A wonder-worker
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Gathered a band of followers, who continued to follow him after his death

However, there is a second reference to Jesus in the works of Josephus. In Antiquities 20.200, he describes how, in AD 62, the high Priest Ananus was deposed because he had illegally 'convened the Sanhedrin [the highest Jewish religious court / governing body] and brought before them the brother of Jesus the so-called Christ, who was called James, and some other men, whom he accused of having broken the law, and handed them over to be stoned.'

Notice the following points from this quotation from Josephus:

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Jesus had a brother called James
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James was executed by the Jewish leaders in AD 62
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There were claims that Jesus was the Messiah (i.e. the Christ)

There is one other important point to notice in this quotation. Most scholars do not doubt the authenticity of this second reference to Jesus. Yet this passage refers to Jesus as the 'so-called Christ'. This brief comment appears to link back to Josephus' earlier reference to Jesus, and may even show that what he originally wrote there included some such comment as 'Jesus the so-called Christ.' Most of the books listed at the end of this section include some discussion of these passages from Josephus.
http://www.request.org.uk/issues/evidence/evidence12.htm
2.3 The Reliability of the New Testament Documents

How sure can we be that what we read is what the original authors wrote? It's a common claim that the New Testament documents (a) were based on oral traditions that were intrinsically unreliable, and (b) were hand-copied (not printed), so errors would have crept in. As a result, they have been corrupted in transmission, so they are unreliable.
The key questions are:

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How many different copies do we have?
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How close in time are the copies we do have to the originals?
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How much variation is there between these copies?
http://www.request.org.uk/issues/evidence/evidence13.htm
2.3.i How Many Copies?

There are over 5,600 Greek manuscripts of part or all of the New Testament. There are also 10,000 Latin Vulgate manuscripts, and 9,300 other Latin versions - about 25,000 hand-copied manuscripts in total.

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Re: Continue the debate in here

Post by bennett_david on Sun Oct 05, 2008 6:25 pm

http://www.request.org.uk/issues/evidence/evidence14.htm
2.3.ii How Close in Time?

Not only do we have a lot of manuscript copies of the New Testament documents, but they go back very close in time to the original writers. There are many manuscripts from within four centuries of when the books were first written. (Four centuries may sound like a lot, but it is small compared to the gap for most other ancient manuscripts - see the next section.) One of the most important of these is the Codex [=book form, rather than scroll or parchment] Siniaticus. The British Government bought this from the Government of the Soviet Union in 1933, for the then-huge sum of £100,000. It is now found in the British Museum. We have some manuscripts dating back to the second century, and we have fragments of manuscripts dating back to only thirty years or so after the documents were originally written.

In 'The New Evidence that Demands a Verdict', Josh McDowell cites for comparison Homer's 'Iliad'. There are 643 manuscript copies of the Iliad, and the earliest dates back only to the thirteenth century. Yet scholars do not doubt that we have essentially what Homer wrote.

Or consider the 'Gallic Wars', written about the same time as the New Testament. The 'Gallic Wars' was written in the first century BC, by Julius Caesar. Our earliest copy of it dates from one thousand years later, and there are only about ten copies altogether. But historians don't doubt that it's authentic.

By comparison, the earliest manuscripts of parts of the New Testament date from only twenty-five years after they were written.

In fact, the New Testament documents were the most copied, and most widely circulated, of any ancient documents. No other ancient document comes anywhere near this number of copies.
http://www.request.org.uk/issues/evidence/evidence15.htm
2.3.iii How Much Variation?

There are many variations between different 'families' of manuscripts of the New Testament. This is what we would expect of hand-copied documents. However, the differences between the manuscripts are small and insignificant, and do not in any way affect any significant matter of historical fact or major Christian belief.
http://www.request.org.uk/issues/evidence/evidence16.htm
2.3.iv Conclusions

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There are far more copies of the New Testament documents than of any other comparable ancient document.
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The manuscripts go back closer in time to the originals than for any other ancient documents.
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The manuscripts are consistent - there aren't any major or significant changes.

We can be very confident that what we read in our Bible today is what the original authors wrote. F F Bruce says in 'Are the New Testament Documents Reliable?' that the evidence for the New Testament documents is much greater than the evidence for many writings of classical authors whose authenticity no-one questions.

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Re: Continue the debate in here

Post by bennett_david on Sun Oct 05, 2008 6:26 pm

Liam, here are the questions I’m still waiting for you to answer:

Can you explain and prove how single celled organisms became multi celled?

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Why are we here?
What’s our purpose in life?
Where did we come from?
What are the origins of life?
What happens after we die?
How can our problem of sin be solved?

So what was the creature before it became a mouse?

And what is your evidence that an asteroid/comet killed the dinosaurs? One issue with this is if dinosaurs where all killed by a asteroid/comet, then why are there still crocodiles and lizards living today? Also why did any animals survive? As for Noah’s flood, animals where kept alive on the ark.

Can you show me a species of fish that has evolved into another species of fish?

Is there no room in your life for the possibility that God might exist? I’m beginning to think that you don’t believe in supernatural or miraculous occurrences. Is this assumption correct?

You ask where the water came from. I ask well if God was able to create the whole universe, then wouldn’t it have been easy for God to have just made it rain? I believe God caused it to rain.

Ok then; in your own words describe to me how you think the origin of life occurred.

What happens when you feel guilty about something? How do you deal with guilt? Do you ever get bored? I’m beginning to think you’re a humanist. Am I correct?

Have you proof that the shark was a hermaphrodite?

It is impossible that life on Earth came from nothing unless God was involved. Until scientists generate new life (in lab conditions) from absolutely nothing will they be able to prove that life originated without God being responsible. So where is the empirical evidence that life came from nothing without God being responsible?

Liam, from what you and scientists can observe nowadays, how do you know that God was not responsible for the creation of animals?

One of the issues with life on Earth is the fact that a number of things need to be present for life to occur. For example humans can’t live unless there is water to drink, food to eat and oxygen to breathe. The flagellum alone demonstrates the interaction of many finely-tuned systems. And without that interaction the flagellum could not function properly. So how can the flagellum function properly if one of those finely-tuned systems is missing?

From an evolutionary point of view, how can an unicellular or small multicellular organism propel itself if the flagellum hasn’t evolved?

If there was an oxygen–less atmosphere with the primeval soup, how could life originate or survive?

If parents are needed to seed new life, then without God creating the first life on Earth, how could the first life have come into existence? This is another reason why God must have been responsible for the creation of life on this Earth. Unless of course you can show me a creature that came into existence even though it never had any parents. Can you do that?

Is the sheer complexity found in life on Earth (for example the flagellum) not circumstantial evidence that life was designed and created by God? I believe it is circumstantial evidence that life was designed and created by God.

Liam, how do you explain the oldest living organism on the Earth; The Bristlecone Pine?

http://creationwiki.org/Bristlecone_pine

It is less than 5000 years old. If the Biblical global flood did not take place then surely there should be other living organisms that are older than the Bristlecone Pine. Unless of course there was a global flood that wiped out all life (apart from what went on the Ark) and the Bristlecone Pine just happens to be the oldest living organism since the flood.

Liam, what are your views on Dawkins calling himself a cultural Christian?

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk_politics/7136682.stm

Liam, what about Christian revivals? A Christian revival is a time when God is clearly at work in the lives of humans on Earth. An example of this was the revivals in Wales:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/wales/religion/sites/timeline/pages/religion_in_wales_13.shtml

These are real events that actually took place. Now if God was fake, not true and did not exist, then can you provide an explanation for events during a Christian revival? If Christianity was all a lie then I would expect there to be a lot less people who have had their lives transformed by Jesus.

Answer this question honestly: Is there any science that goes against evolution that you actually take seriously and consider not to be pseudoscience?

Also, did you watch the video I provided the link for (about our created Universe)?

http://www.nwcreation.net/media/Our_Created_Universe_high.wmv

In that video Spike Psarris mentions scientific issues and then quotes from evolutionists to prove that these issues he mentioned where not made up and where actually issues that evolutionists where trying to deal with. So how is that video pseudoscience? Could only be pseudoscience if Spike Psarris mentioned issues and he was making up the issues. But these issues where real scientific issues.

http://www.vision.net.au/~apaterson/science/darwin_critique1.htm
I quote:
IRREDUCIBLE COMPLEXITY is defined as the base level of complexity below which a system no longer functions. Thus an irreducibly complex system is one comprising several unique interacting components that contribute to the basic function of the 'system' and wherein the removal of just one component renders the whole system no longer functional. An irreducibly complex system cannot 'evolve' by slight, single step successive modifications to a precursor system, because any precursor to an irreducibly complex system that is missing a part, is by definition non-functional and as such would have no purpose and presumably could not be the subject of 'natural selection'.
The human eye is an example of irreducible complexity. If one part of a human eye is missing then it cannot function as effectively. So Liam, can you show me a creature that if it missed one part could still function as effectively? If a human only had one lung instead of two lungs, yes that human might still be able to function, but nowhere as effectively. The flagellum is another example of irreducible complexity.

Certain creatures need lots of things to be present for them to function fully and without all those things being present they couldn’t function properly. Is that not a problem for the theory of evolution?

Liam, can you explain how a woodpecker (Bird with strong claws and a stiff tail adapted for climbing and a hard chisel-like bill for boring into wood for insects.) evolved? Here is a video about just how complicated a woodpecker actually is:

http://www.godtube.com/view_video.php?viewkey=817b7893bcdeed13799b

Liam you have to answer this question; if you think there is no proof for the existence of God, then why are there any intelligent people that believe in the existence of God? All intelligent people who believe in God can’t all be deluded.

Liam, how do you know that atheism is true (or probably true)? How do you know that the criteria you use for deciding this question is the correct criteria?

What about Charles Hodge and his anti-slavery views in later life?

In regard to evolution (these questions are from the book In Six Days: Why Fifty Scientists Choose to Believe in Creation):

How can really complicated organs develop by an unplanned process?

How did evolution from simple to complex counter the tendency towards randomness that is so prevalent in nature?

Is there any mechanism that would explain the origin of complexity?

Can one really identify the evolutionary relationships of organisms?

Are evolutionary changes gradual or sudden?

Is natural selection important to the evolutionary process?

How does complexity evolve without the advantage of foresight?

In terms of the fossil evidence, how does the evolutionary scenario deal with the great scarcity of intermediate forms and the lack of geologic time for the major evolutionary changes postulated?

Can you give examples of changes in organisms that have occurred by the addition of new information?

Is there available a scientifically observable process in nature which on a long-term basis is tending to carry its products upward to higher and higher levels of complexity?

Considering that DNA carries precise information regarding most aspects of plant life, how did the original DNA come to process these intricate instructions?

Considering there is no such thing as a simple cell, is it really credible that random processes could have constructed a reality, the smallest element of which – a functional gene or protein – is complex beyond our own creative capacities, a reality which is the very antithesis of chance, which excels in every sense anything produced by the intelligence of man?

Where does new information come from?

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Who or what provided the material for the big bang?

Why did it not implode rather that explode?

How could it coagulate into stars and how could these generate planets?

How could life appear spontaneously?

How could one kind of living creature change into another when the fossil record shows no evidence of such changes?

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Re: Continue the debate in here

Post by bennett_david on Sun Oct 05, 2008 7:34 pm

Liam, I see you also haven’t dealt with the following:
If there were crops outside the garden, then it was just as pleasant a place than the garden itself.
Actually inside of the garden would have been better than outside. Inside of the garden God had provided more than enough food for them to eat but outside of the garden Adam had to start working for his food by planting and growing crops. So life was better inside the garden. Also inside of the garden Adam and Eve had close connection with God, but after the fall communication between God and humans was more difficult because of man’s sins. So all in all, life was much better inside the garden than outside.
This begs the question of why were the animals created in the first place? Also it assumes that there were animals OUTSIDE the garden, were there? If animals were created, not for human consumption, then it is a sin to eat any animal! Do you agree?
I believe they were created to showcase God’s creative power. Also God had work for Adam to do in the Garden of Eden. He was to name all the animals. Adam could never have done that if animals were not created. Also God is an omniscient and omnipotent God, therefore it would not have been difficult for God to know that after the fall animals would be required for food, clothes and for sacrifice in sin offerings. Straight after the fall, God killed animals to provide clothes for Adam and Eve:
Genesis 3:21 Unto Adam also and to his wife did the LORD God make coats of skins, and clothed them.
Animals where only killed and eaten after the fall. Another mark of the fall. There was no need to eat animals before the fall and eating animals after the fall is not sinful. There where certain animals that Jews could not eat but those food laws no longer apply today.
Is that an assumption or have you any evidence to back it up?
Well there’s a lot of frozen water on Earth:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Polar_ice_cap
Earth
Earth's north pole is covered by floating pack ice (sea ice) over the Arctic Ocean, the Arctic ice pack. Portions of the ice that don't melt seasonally can get very thick, up to 3–4 meters thick over large areas, with ridges up to 20 meters thick. One-year ice is usually about a meter thick. The area covered by sea ice ranges between 9 and 12 million km². In addition, the Greenland ice sheet covers about 1.71 million km² and contains about 2.6 million km³ of ice.
The land mass of the Earth's south pole, in Antarctica, is covered by the Antarctic ice sheet. It covers an area of almost 14 million km² and contains 25-30 million km³ of ice. Around 70% of the fresh water on the Earth is held in this ice sheet. In addition, the West Antarctic Ice Sheet covers 3.2 million km² and the Ross Ice Shelf covers 0.5 million km². See Climate of Antarctica.
We could assume that if all the frozen water at the north and south poles melted that most of the places on Earth where humans live would be flooded.
Again, you make the ASSUMPTION that life only exists on this planet. Out of the countless galaxies in the universe, there may well be life on other planets.
Well it’s not likely there’s life on another planet seeing as so many factors are required on Earth for there to be life here. Anyhow if there was life somewhere in one of the galaxies and they were as advanced as we are then I would expect them to be broadcasting into space and sending messages like humans are doing here.
It also begs the question, that if the universe is so fine tuned for life, why is life so rare (as we know it)?
Life is so rare because of the sheer complexity required for life. So many factors are required for there to be life that when there’s life it is very rare.
Fine tuning itself has to be defined. How fine is fine?
Perfect before the fall.
The anthropic principal says nothing about motives or methods, which is how design is defined. The scarcity of life and multi-billion-year delay in it appearing argue against life being a motive.
Multi-billion-year delay? We can’t be sure the Earth is that old seeing as dating methods aren’t always accurate. Anyhow an Earth billions of years old would contradict what Genesis says about creation. God wanted to design and create the Earth, humans and animals. God’s desire to create us is His motive for doing so.
Nature is but a name for an effect whose cause is God.

-- William Cowper
If God can do anything, he could create life in a universe whose conditions do not allow for it.
That not a valid statement. If there’s life then there are conditions to allow for it. If there is no life then the conditions to allow for life are not all there. Anyhow God did create life where the conditions did not allow for it. Look at the rest of the planets in our solar system where there’s no life, yet there is life on our planet.
How often do you share your resources with the third world?
I could give money to charity. Or leave out clothes I no longer need for a charity to pick up.
It doesn't! And how do you know it wasn't Allah, Thor, Krishna or Zeus?
How do I know God is true? Because He revealed Himself in a real living human being called Jesus and Jesus is still alive today.
For whatever reason God chose to make man as he is--limited and suffering and subject to sorrows and death--He had the honesty and courage to take His own medicine. Whatever game He is playing with His creation, He has kept His own rules and played fair. He can exact nothing from man that He has not exacted from Himself. He has Himself gone through the whole of human experience, from the trivial irritations of family life and the cramping restrictions of hard work and lack of money to the worst horrors of pain and humiliation, defeat, despair, and death. When He was a man, He played the man. He was born in poverty and died in disgrace and thought it was well worthwhile.
... Dorothy L. Sayers, Christian Letters to a Post-Christian World [1969]
No you don't! If you did then you should be able to give me an overview of the process? Can you? (In your own words)
Evolution is a theory where the strongest survive through natural selection.
This shows how you know NOTHING about evolution. Every fossil is a transitional fossil! And drastic changes do not happen over one generation. If you knew what evolution was you would know that natural selection occurs in the DNA.
So where are the fossils showing every stage of evolution of one creature to another? In most cases we see fossils for one creature and fossils for another different creature and the scientists just announce one evolved into the other. For example, if a horse evolved into a giraffe then I would expect there to be horses will a neck a bit longer, horses with a neck much longer and horses with a neck as long as a giraffe. Fossils showing the animal at each stage of evolving.

Liam, you might want to watch these videos:

The Way Of The Master : Evolution (Part 1 of 3):
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rHTN8Re1izg

The Way Of The Master : Evolution (Part 2 of 3):
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EGh48yt4flI

The Way Of The Master : Evolution (Part 3 of 3):
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ohCDWDsUefk
You said that it was the parents fault, and that THEY should have brought her to the doctor, but you claim that God is her Father, making God her parent.
Her earthly parents should have taken her to see a doctor. It was their fault.
True. But you do realise that the very earliest manuscripts of the bible, are completely different from the bible you read and use as the word of God. This makes the stories that YOU used UNRELIABLE!
Can you provide an example for that? Any errors there might be are due to errors in translating the Bible not errors in the original texts.

The Bible is very reliable. Take for example the Old Testament prophecy (contained in the book of Micah) about the destruction of Samaria:
MICAH 1:6 6 Therefore I will make Samaria as an heap of the field, and as plantings of a vineyard: and I will pour down the stones thereof into the valley, and I will discover the foundations thereof.
The prophecy was from 730BC and details four specific predictions; Samaria’s ruins would become a heap of rubble, the stones used to construct Samaria would be pushed into a valley, Samaria’s foundations would be laid bare and Samaria would eventually become a place where vineyards would be planted.
Even though the prophecy was from 730BC, it didn’t begin to be fulfilled until 1265AD, almost 2000 years later. Samaria was totally destroyed in A.D. 1265 when Muslims defeated the Crusaders who were defending the city, and it has never been rebuilt. Arabs living in the vicinity cleared much of the ruins in order to use the site for agricultural purposes, and in so doing, they dug up its foundations and dumped them into a valley nearby. Today, grapevines can be seen growing on this ancient site, just as prophesied by Micah over 2700 years ago.
http://www.searchgodsword.org/dic/ebd/view.cgi?number=T3202
This city, after passing through various vicissitudes, was given by the emperor Augustus to Herod the Great, who rebuilt it, and called it Sebaste (Gr. form of Augustus) in honour of the emperor. In the New Testament the only mention of it is in Acts 8:5-14, where it is recorded that Philip went down to the city of Samaria and preached there.
Herod rebuilt Samaria and called it Sebaste:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Herod_the_Great
27 BC — An assassination attempt on Herod was foiled. To honor Augustus, Herod rebuilt Samaria and renamed it Sebaste.
The full name for the city was Cæsarea Sebaste:
http://www.jewishencyclopedia.com/view.jsp?artid=10&letter=C
the full name of the city was therefore "Cæsarea Sebaste" ("Ant." xvi. 5, § 1; Ammianus Marcellinus, xiv. 8 ).
It is on the outskirts of the ancient port city Caesarea Maritima:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Caesarea
Caesarea (Hebrew: קיסריה‎, Qesarya ) is a town in Israel on the outskirts of Caesarea Maritima, the ancient port city.
Caesarea Maritima was destroyed in 1265:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Caesarea_Maritima
The bishops did not govern: Saladin retook the city in 1187; it was recaptured by the Crusaders in 1191, and finally lost by them in 1265 this time to the Mamluks, who ensured that there would be no more battling over the site— where the harbor has silted in anyway— by razing the fortifications - in line with their practice in other formerly-Crusader coastal cities.
http://www.jewishvirtuallibrary.org/jsource/vie/Caesarea.html
In 1265, Caesarea fell to Baybars, the Mamluk sultan of Egypt, who destroyed the city, which remained in ruins until 1884. In 1884, a small fishing village was established on the remains at Caesarea by Muslim refugees from Bosnia. The city was abandoned by its inhabitants during the War of Independence (1948).
The fulfilment of this prophecy is one example of just how reliable the Bible is.
Also the stories of the bible (the important and miriculous ones) have no historical evidence whatsoever!
There are eye witness accounts. If Jesus never rose from the dead then the tomb with the body still in it should be available for the whole world to see. So where is the tomb with the body still in it?

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Re: Continue the debate in here

Post by bennett_david on Sun Oct 05, 2008 7:34 pm

In regard to the miracles of Jesus:
Christ’s healing of the paralytic was just one of numerous miracles he performed during his earthly ministry. Although sceptics typically dismiss the Gospel miracle narratives out of hand as myth or legend, there are good reasons to conclude that these accounts, at least in general, reflect historical fact. Non-Christian sources dated as early as the first century refer to Jesus’ reputation for performing miracles-although sometimes these sources denigrate Jesus’ miracles as sorcery. Although the apostle Paul does not discuss any specific miracles of Jesus, there are traces in his writings of an awareness that Jesus performed them (Rom. 15:18-19; 1 Cor. 4:20; 13:2; cf. 2 Cor. 12:12; 2 Thess 2:9). Furthermore, all of the Gospels, and all of the source materials that biblical scholars think the Gospels incorporated, attest to Jesus’ miracles. Minimally, historians can say with full confidence that the belief that Jesus performed miracles originates from his own lifetime and is not the product of later myth or legend. Internally, the Gospels exhibit remarkable restraint in their miracle narratives, lacking many of the elements common to legendary tall tales. In his cautious and thorough study of the historicity of the Gospel accounts of Jesus’ miracles, Graham Twelftree concludes that “there is hardly any aspect of the life of the historical Jesus which is so well attested as that he conducted unparalleled wonders.”
- Putting Jesus in His Place: The Case for the Deity of Christ by by Darrell L. Bock (Foreword), Robert M., Jr. Bowman (Author), J. Ed Komoszewski (Author)
http://www.amazon.co.uk/Putting-Jesus-His-Place-Christ/dp/0825429838/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1207493982&sr=1-1
A quote about the fig tree that you might find interesting (taken from the same book):
When he was in Jerusalem, Jesus saw a fruitless fig tree and cursed it, causing it to wither. When the disciples asked him how that had happened, Jesus told them that if they had faith and no doubts, they could even tell a mountain to go jump into the sea and it would obey. The traditional understanding of this passage is that Jesus was speaking hyperbolically about the performance of extraordinary miracles. Whatever type of event Jesus means here, he says it will happen in response to prayer: “And all things you ask in prayer, believing, you will receive” (Matt. 21:18-22 NASB, likewise Mark 11:12-14, 20-24).
A similar qualification applies to Jesus’ promise that those who believe in him will do the works that he did and even greater works (John 14:12). Jesus immediately explains, “I will do whatever you ask in my name, so that the Father may be glorified in the Son. If in my name you ask me for anything, I will do it” (John 14:13-14). Jesus is the actual miracle worker; the disciples are merely the “petitioners of numinous power” (PNP), asking Jesus in his name to perform the miracles in order to glorify the Father in the Son.
As a matter of record, the apostles do not seem to have performed any “nature miracles” after Christ’s ascension, such as walking on water. When the ship taking Paul to Rome encountered heavy seas, no miracle prevented its shipwreck, although God providentially protected Paul and his shipmates from death (Acts 27:14-44). The miracles the apostles performed appear to have consisted primarily of healings, exorcisms, and a couple of judgement miracles, inflicting blindness and death. The miracles that the Gospels report Jesus as performing go beyond anything reported of the apostles.
Jesus met far too many people on this Earth for the existence of Jesus to be a myth. 5000 people fed, 12 disciples, 10 lepers, Pilate, John the Baptist and Herod. Jesus met all these people. In regard to the existence of Jesus, did Herod or Pilate ever come out and tell the world that Jesus never existed and that He was a fake and a myth? By the way, there where coins issued by Herod and Pilate. This proves that Herod and Pilate both existed.
Exodus 12:29-30:- And it came to pass, that at midnight the LORD smote all the firstborn in the land of Egypt, from the firstborn of Pharaoh that sat on his throne unto the firstborn of the captive that was in the dungeon; and all the firstborn of cattle. And Pharaoh rose up in the night, he, and all his servants, and all the Egyptians; and there was a great cry in Egypt; for there was not a house where there was not one dead.

Was this accidental or premeditated?
Neither. God was punishing the Egyptians for their sin. Do you think sin does not deserve punishment? Anyhow Liam, what right do you have to judge what God should or should not do?
I see you avoided this completly!
I showed you the example of Peter escaping from prison. That was an example of answered prayer by God.

What about this:

Leviticus 26:21-22:- And if ye walk contrary unto me, and will not hearken unto me; I will bring seven times more plagues upon you according to your sins. I will also send wild beasts among you, which shall rob you of your children, and destroy your cattle, and make you few in number; and your high ways shall be desolate
Humans cannot sin and then expect God to just ignore what we do. God gives humans freedom and freewill but there are consequences to our actions.
In an age of web and cyberspace, of Mars missions and genetics, however, I still find it easy to believe in the New Testament world of spirits and miracles. – Rob Frost
Liam, you might find this article interesting:

http://christiananswers.net/evangelism/responses/comfort-suffering.html

Ultimate confidence in the goodness of life cannot rest upon confidence in the goodness of man. If that is where it rests, it is an optimism which will suffer ultimate disillusionment. Romanticism will be transmuted into cynicism, as it has always been in the world's history. The faith of a Christian is something quite different from this optimism. It is trust in God, in a good God who created a good world, though the world is not now good; in a good God, powerful and good enough finally to destroy the evil that men do and redeem them of their sins. This kind of faith is not optimism. It does not, in fact, arise until optimism breaks down and men cease to trust in themselves that they are righteous.
... Reinhold Niebuhr (1892-1971), Beyond Tragedy [1938]

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Re: Continue the debate in here

Post by bennett_david on Thu Oct 30, 2008 9:07 pm

Liam, I'm still waiting for you to answer my questions.

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Re: Continue the debate in here

Post by bennett_david on Thu Oct 30, 2008 9:08 pm

Liam, here are the questions I’m still waiting for you to answer:

Can you explain and prove how single celled organisms became multi celled?

----

Why are we here?
What’s our purpose in life?
Where did we come from?
What are the origins of life?
What happens after we die?
How can our problem of sin be solved?

So what was the creature before it became a mouse?

And what is your evidence that an asteroid/comet killed the dinosaurs? One issue with this is if dinosaurs where all killed by a asteroid/comet, then why are there still crocodiles and lizards living today? Also why did any animals survive? As for Noah’s flood, animals where kept alive on the ark.

Can you show me a species of fish that has evolved into another species of fish?

Is there no room in your life for the possibility that God might exist? I’m beginning to think that you don’t believe in supernatural or miraculous occurrences. Is this assumption correct?

You ask where the water came from. I ask well if God was able to create the whole universe, then wouldn’t it have been easy for God to have just made it rain? I believe God caused it to rain.

Ok then; in your own words describe to me how you think the origin of life occurred.

What happens when you feel guilty about something? How do you deal with guilt? Do you ever get bored? I’m beginning to think you’re a humanist. Am I correct?

Have you proof that the shark was a hermaphrodite?

It is impossible that life on Earth came from nothing unless God was involved. Until scientists generate new life (in lab conditions) from absolutely nothing will they be able to prove that life originated without God being responsible. So where is the empirical evidence that life came from nothing without God being responsible?

Liam, from what you and scientists can observe nowadays, how do you know that God was not responsible for the creation of animals?

One of the issues with life on Earth is the fact that a number of things need to be present for life to occur. For example humans can’t live unless there is water to drink, food to eat and oxygen to breathe. The flagellum alone demonstrates the interaction of many finely-tuned systems. And without that interaction the flagellum could not function properly. So how can the flagellum function properly if one of those finely-tuned systems is missing?

From an evolutionary point of view, how can an unicellular or small multicellular organism propel itself if the flagellum hasn’t evolved?

If there was an oxygen–less atmosphere with the primeval soup, how could life originate or survive?

If parents are needed to seed new life, then without God creating the first life on Earth, how could the first life have come into existence? This is another reason why God must have been responsible for the creation of life on this Earth. Unless of course you can show me a creature that came into existence even though it never had any parents. Can you do that?

Is the sheer complexity found in life on Earth (for example the flagellum) not circumstantial evidence that life was designed and created by God? I believe it is circumstantial evidence that life was designed and created by God.

Liam, how do you explain the oldest living organism on the Earth; The Bristlecone Pine?

http://creationwiki.org/Bristlecone_pine

It is less than 5000 years old. If the Biblical global flood did not take place then surely there should be other living organisms that are older than the Bristlecone Pine. Unless of course there was a global flood that wiped out all life (apart from what went on the Ark) and the Bristlecone Pine just happens to be the oldest living organism since the flood.

Liam, what are your views on Dawkins calling himself a cultural Christian?

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk_politics/7136682.stm

Liam, what about Christian revivals? A Christian revival is a time when God is clearly at work in the lives of humans on Earth. An example of this was the revivals in Wales:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/wales/religion/sites/timeline/pages/religion_in_wales_13.shtml

These are real events that actually took place. Now if God was fake, not true and did not exist, then can you provide an explanation for events during a Christian revival? If Christianity was all a lie then I would expect there to be a lot less people who have had their lives transformed by Jesus.

Answer this question honestly: Is there any science that goes against evolution that you actually take seriously and consider not to be pseudoscience?

Also, did you watch the video I provided the link for (about our created Universe)?

http://www.nwcreation.net/media/Our_Created_Universe_high.wmv

In that video Spike Psarris mentions scientific issues and then quotes from evolutionists to prove that these issues he mentioned where not made up and where actually issues that evolutionists where trying to deal with. So how is that video pseudoscience? Could only be pseudoscience if Spike Psarris mentioned issues and he was making up the issues. But these issues where real scientific issues.

http://www.vision.net.au/~apaterson/science/darwin_critique1.htm
I quote:
IRREDUCIBLE COMPLEXITY is defined as the base level of complexity below which a system no longer functions. Thus an irreducibly complex system is one comprising several unique interacting components that contribute to the basic function of the 'system' and wherein the removal of just one component renders the whole system no longer functional. An irreducibly complex system cannot 'evolve' by slight, single step successive modifications to a precursor system, because any precursor to an irreducibly complex system that is missing a part, is by definition non-functional and as such would have no purpose and presumably could not be the subject of 'natural selection'.
The human eye is an example of irreducible complexity. If one part of a human eye is missing then it cannot function as effectively. So Liam, can you show me a creature that if it missed one part could still function as effectively? If a human only had one lung instead of two lungs, yes that human might still be able to function, but nowhere as effectively. The flagellum is another example of irreducible complexity.

Certain creatures need lots of things to be present for them to function fully and without all those things being present they couldn’t function properly. Is that not a problem for the theory of evolution?

Liam, can you explain how a woodpecker (Bird with strong claws and a stiff tail adapted for climbing and a hard chisel-like bill for boring into wood for insects.) evolved? Here is a video about just how complicated a woodpecker actually is:

http://www.godtube.com/view_video.php?viewkey=817b7893bcdeed13799b

Liam you have to answer this question; if you think there is no proof for the existence of God, then why are there any intelligent people that believe in the existence of God? All intelligent people who believe in God can’t all be deluded.

Liam, how do you know that atheism is true (or probably true)? How do you know that the criteria you use for deciding this question is the correct criteria?

What about Charles Hodge and his anti-slavery views in later life?

In regard to evolution (these questions are from the book In Six Days: Why Fifty Scientists Choose to Believe in Creation):

How can really complicated organs develop by an unplanned process?

How did evolution from simple to complex counter the tendency towards randomness that is so prevalent in nature?

Is there any mechanism that would explain the origin of complexity?

Can one really identify the evolutionary relationships of organisms?

Are evolutionary changes gradual or sudden?

Is natural selection important to the evolutionary process?

How does complexity evolve without the advantage of foresight?

In terms of the fossil evidence, how does the evolutionary scenario deal with the great scarcity of intermediate forms and the lack of geologic time for the major evolutionary changes postulated?

Can you give examples of changes in organisms that have occurred by the addition of new information?

Is there available a scientifically observable process in nature which on a long-term basis is tending to carry its products upward to higher and higher levels of complexity?

Considering that DNA carries precise information regarding most aspects of plant life, how did the original DNA come to process these intricate instructions?

Considering there is no such thing as a simple cell, is it really credible that random processes could have constructed a reality, the smallest element of which – a functional gene or protein – is complex beyond our own creative capacities, a reality which is the very antithesis of chance, which excels in every sense anything produced by the intelligence of man?

Where does new information come from?

----

Who or what provided the material for the big bang?

Why did it not implode rather that explode?

How could it coagulate into stars and how could these generate planets?

How could life appear spontaneously?

How could one kind of living creature change into another when the fossil record shows no evidence of such changes?

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Re: Continue the debate in here

Post by bennett_david on Thu Oct 30, 2008 9:08 pm

Liam, I see you also haven’t dealt with the following:
If there were crops outside the garden, then it was just as pleasant a place than the garden itself.
Actually inside of the garden would have been better than outside. Inside of the garden God had provided more than enough food for them to eat but outside of the garden Adam had to start working for his food by planting and growing crops. So life was better inside the garden. Also inside of the garden Adam and Eve had close connection with God, but after the fall communication between God and humans was more difficult because of man’s sins. So all in all, life was much better inside the garden than outside.
This begs the question of why were the animals created in the first place? Also it assumes that there were animals OUTSIDE the garden, were there? If animals were created, not for human consumption, then it is a sin to eat any animal! Do you agree?
I believe they were created to showcase God’s creative power. Also God had work for Adam to do in the Garden of Eden. He was to name all the animals. Adam could never have done that if animals were not created. Also God is an omniscient and omnipotent God, therefore it would not have been difficult for God to know that after the fall animals would be required for food, clothes and for sacrifice in sin offerings. Straight after the fall, God killed animals to provide clothes for Adam and Eve:
Genesis 3:21 Unto Adam also and to his wife did the LORD God make coats of skins, and clothed them.
Animals where only killed and eaten after the fall. Another mark of the fall. There was no need to eat animals before the fall and eating animals after the fall is not sinful. There where certain animals that Jews could not eat but those food laws no longer apply today.
Is that an assumption or have you any evidence to back it up?
Well there’s a lot of frozen water on Earth:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Polar_ice_cap
Earth
Earth's north pole is covered by floating pack ice (sea ice) over the Arctic Ocean, the Arctic ice pack. Portions of the ice that don't melt seasonally can get very thick, up to 3–4 meters thick over large areas, with ridges up to 20 meters thick. One-year ice is usually about a meter thick. The area covered by sea ice ranges between 9 and 12 million km². In addition, the Greenland ice sheet covers about 1.71 million km² and contains about 2.6 million km³ of ice.
The land mass of the Earth's south pole, in Antarctica, is covered by the Antarctic ice sheet. It covers an area of almost 14 million km² and contains 25-30 million km³ of ice. Around 70% of the fresh water on the Earth is held in this ice sheet. In addition, the West Antarctic Ice Sheet covers 3.2 million km² and the Ross Ice Shelf covers 0.5 million km². See Climate of Antarctica.
We could assume that if all the frozen water at the north and south poles melted that most of the places on Earth where humans live would be flooded.
Again, you make the ASSUMPTION that life only exists on this planet. Out of the countless galaxies in the universe, there may well be life on other planets.
Well it’s not likely there’s life on another planet seeing as so many factors are required on Earth for there to be life here. Anyhow if there was life somewhere in one of the galaxies and they were as advanced as we are then I would expect them to be broadcasting into space and sending messages like humans are doing here.
It also begs the question, that if the universe is so fine tuned for life, why is life so rare (as we know it)?
Life is so rare because of the sheer complexity required for life. So many factors are required for there to be life that when there’s life it is very rare.
Fine tuning itself has to be defined. How fine is fine?
Perfect before the fall.
The anthropic principal says nothing about motives or methods, which is how design is defined. The scarcity of life and multi-billion-year delay in it appearing argue against life being a motive.
Multi-billion-year delay? We can’t be sure the Earth is that old seeing as dating methods aren’t always accurate. Anyhow an Earth billions of years old would contradict what Genesis says about creation. God wanted to design and create the Earth, humans and animals. God’s desire to create us is His motive for doing so.
Nature is but a name for an effect whose cause is God.

-- William Cowper
If God can do anything, he could create life in a universe whose conditions do not allow for it.
That not a valid statement. If there’s life then there are conditions to allow for it. If there is no life then the conditions to allow for life are not all there. Anyhow God did create life where the conditions did not allow for it. Look at the rest of the planets in our solar system where there’s no life, yet there is life on our planet.
How often do you share your resources with the third world?
I could give money to charity. Or leave out clothes I no longer need for a charity to pick up.
It doesn't! And how do you know it wasn't Allah, Thor, Krishna or Zeus?
How do I know God is true? Because He revealed Himself in a real living human being called Jesus and Jesus is still alive today.
For whatever reason God chose to make man as he is--limited and suffering and subject to sorrows and death--He had the honesty and courage to take His own medicine. Whatever game He is playing with His creation, He has kept His own rules and played fair. He can exact nothing from man that He has not exacted from Himself. He has Himself gone through the whole of human experience, from the trivial irritations of family life and the cramping restrictions of hard work and lack of money to the worst horrors of pain and humiliation, defeat, despair, and death. When He was a man, He played the man. He was born in poverty and died in disgrace and thought it was well worthwhile.
... Dorothy L. Sayers, Christian Letters to a Post-Christian World [1969]
No you don't! If you did then you should be able to give me an overview of the process? Can you? (In your own words)
Evolution is a theory where the strongest survive through natural selection.
This shows how you know NOTHING about evolution. Every fossil is a transitional fossil! And drastic changes do not happen over one generation. If you knew what evolution was you would know that natural selection occurs in the DNA.
So where are the fossils showing every stage of evolution of one creature to another? In most cases we see fossils for one creature and fossils for another different creature and the scientists just announce one evolved into the other. For example, if a horse evolved into a giraffe then I would expect there to be horses will a neck a bit longer, horses with a neck much longer and horses with a neck as long as a giraffe. Fossils showing the animal at each stage of evolving.

Liam, you might want to watch these videos:

The Way Of The Master : Evolution (Part 1 of 3):
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rHTN8Re1izg

The Way Of The Master : Evolution (Part 2 of 3):
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EGh48yt4flI

The Way Of The Master : Evolution (Part 3 of 3):
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ohCDWDsUefk
You said that it was the parents fault, and that THEY should have brought her to the doctor, but you claim that God is her Father, making God her parent.
Her earthly parents should have taken her to see a doctor. It was their fault.
True. But you do realise that the very earliest manuscripts of the bible, are completely different from the bible you read and use as the word of God. This makes the stories that YOU used UNRELIABLE!
Can you provide an example for that? Any errors there might be are due to errors in translating the Bible not errors in the original texts.

The Bible is very reliable. Take for example the Old Testament prophecy (contained in the book of Micah) about the destruction of Samaria:
MICAH 1:6 6 Therefore I will make Samaria as an heap of the field, and as plantings of a vineyard: and I will pour down the stones thereof into the valley, and I will discover the foundations thereof.
The prophecy was from 730BC and details four specific predictions; Samaria’s ruins would become a heap of rubble, the stones used to construct Samaria would be pushed into a valley, Samaria’s foundations would be laid bare and Samaria would eventually become a place where vineyards would be planted.
Even though the prophecy was from 730BC, it didn’t begin to be fulfilled until 1265AD, almost 2000 years later. Samaria was totally destroyed in A.D. 1265 when Muslims defeated the Crusaders who were defending the city, and it has never been rebuilt. Arabs living in the vicinity cleared much of the ruins in order to use the site for agricultural purposes, and in so doing, they dug up its foundations and dumped them into a valley nearby. Today, grapevines can be seen growing on this ancient site, just as prophesied by Micah over 2700 years ago.
http://www.searchgodsword.org/dic/ebd/view.cgi?number=T3202
This city, after passing through various vicissitudes, was given by the emperor Augustus to Herod the Great, who rebuilt it, and called it Sebaste (Gr. form of Augustus) in honour of the emperor. In the New Testament the only mention of it is in Acts 8:5-14, where it is recorded that Philip went down to the city of Samaria and preached there.
Herod rebuilt Samaria and called it Sebaste:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Herod_the_Great
27 BC — An assassination attempt on Herod was foiled. To honor Augustus, Herod rebuilt Samaria and renamed it Sebaste.
The full name for the city was Cæsarea Sebaste:
http://www.jewishencyclopedia.com/view.jsp?artid=10&letter=C
the full name of the city was therefore "Cæsarea Sebaste" ("Ant." xvi. 5, § 1; Ammianus Marcellinus, xiv. 8 ).
It is on the outskirts of the ancient port city Caesarea Maritima:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Caesarea
Caesarea (Hebrew: קיסריה‎, Qesarya ) is a town in Israel on the outskirts of Caesarea Maritima, the ancient port city.
Caesarea Maritima was destroyed in 1265:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Caesarea_Maritima
The bishops did not govern: Saladin retook the city in 1187; it was recaptured by the Crusaders in 1191, and finally lost by them in 1265 this time to the Mamluks, who ensured that there would be no more battling over the site— where the harbor has silted in anyway— by razing the fortifications - in line with their practice in other formerly-Crusader coastal cities.
http://www.jewishvirtuallibrary.org/jsource/vie/Caesarea.html
In 1265, Caesarea fell to Baybars, the Mamluk sultan of Egypt, who destroyed the city, which remained in ruins until 1884. In 1884, a small fishing village was established on the remains at Caesarea by Muslim refugees from Bosnia. The city was abandoned by its inhabitants during the War of Independence (1948).
The fulfilment of this prophecy is one example of just how reliable the Bible is.
Also the stories of the bible (the important and miriculous ones) have no historical evidence whatsoever!
There are eye witness accounts. If Jesus never rose from the dead then the tomb with the body still in it should be available for the whole world to see. So where is the tomb with the body still in it?

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Re: Continue the debate in here

Post by bennett_david on Thu Oct 30, 2008 9:09 pm

In regard to the miracles of Jesus:
Christ’s healing of the paralytic was just one of numerous miracles he performed during his earthly ministry. Although sceptics typically dismiss the Gospel miracle narratives out of hand as myth or legend, there are good reasons to conclude that these accounts, at least in general, reflect historical fact. Non-Christian sources dated as early as the first century refer to Jesus’ reputation for performing miracles-although sometimes these sources denigrate Jesus’ miracles as sorcery. Although the apostle Paul does not discuss any specific miracles of Jesus, there are traces in his writings of an awareness that Jesus performed them (Rom. 15:18-19; 1 Cor. 4:20; 13:2; cf. 2 Cor. 12:12; 2 Thess 2:9). Furthermore, all of the Gospels, and all of the source materials that biblical scholars think the Gospels incorporated, attest to Jesus’ miracles. Minimally, historians can say with full confidence that the belief that Jesus performed miracles originates from his own lifetime and is not the product of later myth or legend. Internally, the Gospels exhibit remarkable restraint in their miracle narratives, lacking many of the elements common to legendary tall tales. In his cautious and thorough study of the historicity of the Gospel accounts of Jesus’ miracles, Graham Twelftree concludes that “there is hardly any aspect of the life of the historical Jesus which is so well attested as that he conducted unparalleled wonders.”
- Putting Jesus in His Place: The Case for the Deity of Christ by by Darrell L. Bock (Foreword), Robert M., Jr. Bowman (Author), J. Ed Komoszewski (Author)
http://www.amazon.co.uk/Putting-Jesus-His-Place-Christ/dp/0825429838/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1207493982&sr=1-1
A quote about the fig tree that you might find interesting (taken from the same book):
When he was in Jerusalem, Jesus saw a fruitless fig tree and cursed it, causing it to wither. When the disciples asked him how that had happened, Jesus told them that if they had faith and no doubts, they could even tell a mountain to go jump into the sea and it would obey. The traditional understanding of this passage is that Jesus was speaking hyperbolically about the performance of extraordinary miracles. Whatever type of event Jesus means here, he says it will happen in response to prayer: “And all things you ask in prayer, believing, you will receive” (Matt. 21:18-22 NASB, likewise Mark 11:12-14, 20-24).
A similar qualification applies to Jesus’ promise that those who believe in him will do the works that he did and even greater works (John 14:12). Jesus immediately explains, “I will do whatever you ask in my name, so that the Father may be glorified in the Son. If in my name you ask me for anything, I will do it” (John 14:13-14). Jesus is the actual miracle worker; the disciples are merely the “petitioners of numinous power” (PNP), asking Jesus in his name to perform the miracles in order to glorify the Father in the Son.
As a matter of record, the apostles do not seem to have performed any “nature miracles” after Christ’s ascension, such as walking on water. When the ship taking Paul to Rome encountered heavy seas, no miracle prevented its shipwreck, although God providentially protected Paul and his shipmates from death (Acts 27:14-44). The miracles the apostles performed appear to have consisted primarily of healings, exorcisms, and a couple of judgement miracles, inflicting blindness and death. The miracles that the Gospels report Jesus as performing go beyond anything reported of the apostles.
Jesus met far too many people on this Earth for the existence of Jesus to be a myth. 5000 people fed, 12 disciples, 10 lepers, Pilate, John the Baptist and Herod. Jesus met all these people. In regard to the existence of Jesus, did Herod or Pilate ever come out and tell the world that Jesus never existed and that He was a fake and a myth? By the way, there where coins issued by Herod and Pilate. This proves that Herod and Pilate both existed.
Exodus 12:29-30:- And it came to pass, that at midnight the LORD smote all the firstborn in the land of Egypt, from the firstborn of Pharaoh that sat on his throne unto the firstborn of the captive that was in the dungeon; and all the firstborn of cattle. And Pharaoh rose up in the night, he, and all his servants, and all the Egyptians; and there was a great cry in Egypt; for there was not a house where there was not one dead.

Was this accidental or premeditated?
Neither. God was punishing the Egyptians for their sin. Do you think sin does not deserve punishment? Anyhow Liam, what right do you have to judge what God should or should not do?
I see you avoided this completly!
I showed you the example of Peter escaping from prison. That was an example of answered prayer by God.

What about this:

Leviticus 26:21-22:- And if ye walk contrary unto me, and will not hearken unto me; I will bring seven times more plagues upon you according to your sins. I will also send wild beasts among you, which shall rob you of your children, and destroy your cattle, and make you few in number; and your high ways shall be desolate
Humans cannot sin and then expect God to just ignore what we do. God gives humans freedom and freewill but there are consequences to our actions.
In an age of web and cyberspace, of Mars missions and genetics, however, I still find it easy to believe in the New Testament world of spirits and miracles. – Rob Frost
Liam, you might find this article interesting:

http://christiananswers.net/evangelism/responses/comfort-suffering.html

Ultimate confidence in the goodness of life cannot rest upon confidence in the goodness of man. If that is where it rests, it is an optimism which will suffer ultimate disillusionment. Romanticism will be transmuted into cynicism, as it has always been in the world's history. The faith of a Christian is something quite different from this optimism. It is trust in God, in a good God who created a good world, though the world is not now good; in a good God, powerful and good enough finally to destroy the evil that men do and redeem them of their sins. This kind of faith is not optimism. It does not, in fact, arise until optimism breaks down and men cease to trust in themselves that they are righteous.
... Reinhold Niebuhr (1892-1971), Beyond Tragedy [1938]

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Re: Continue the debate in here

Post by bennett_david on Sat Nov 01, 2008 2:47 pm

http://www.icr.org/article/4159/
Complex Plant Systems: Rooted in God's Genius
by Frank Sherwin, M.A.*

There are at least a half-million species of plants in the world. Although they do not contain living souls,1 plants nevertheless display incredible design features and complex interactions with other plants and insects. Plants have immune systems that seem to be every bit as biochemically complex as those in vertebrates. Botanists have discovered that a plant can distinguish a nematode (tiny parasitic roundworm) from a virus, actively resist a penetrating mold, and produce odors to defend itself against a feeding caterpillar.2 Indeed, the Creator has designed plants with chemical detectors that are precise enough to discern between a beetle and a caterpillar.

Plant resistance is a whole new field (so to speak) of botany that has bloomed in recent decades. Fascinating discoveries include proteins produced by plants that are toxic to invading microbes, and toxic soap-like compounds called saponins that are designed to resist plant pathogens such as various fungi. Other effective anti-fungal chemicals include cysteine-rich peptides called defensins, which are found in people as well as plants. This fact does not necessarily indicate that plants and people came from a common ancestor. On the contrary, if they had the same Designer, we would expect that He might have provided them both with effective fungistats.

Far from being inert entities that merely provide us with food and aesthetic value, plants can actively respond to their environments by adjusting their looks and growth--and even their behavior, from defensive to aggressive. For instance, plants can wage chemical warfare against other plants. In 2003, researchers from Colorado State University found that the roots of the spotted knapweed produce a natural herbicide called catechin that causes nearby plants to self-destruct. When these plants die due to a specific series of biochemical reactions caused by the catechin, the spotted knapweed takes over their territory.3

In fact, plants even seem to have a sophisticated social life! One study showed that a wildflower called a sea rocket was less competitive with those of the same species, but more aggressive with others. The authors state, "Our results demonstrate that plants can discriminate kin in competitive interactions and indicate that the root interactions may provide the cue for kin recognition."4

How do neo-Darwinists respond to such clear evidence of design? A decade ago, in a chapter titled "The New Darwinism," retired Australian evolutionary scientist S. A. Barnett wrote:

The transformations revealed by modern biology are, however, not directed by any overriding agency. Biologists can no longer present organisms as the product of an intelligent designer.5

This pronouncement is not based on empirical science, but upon the author's naturalistic worldview. He credits natural selection of mutations as "the only credible explanation."6 But natural selection is not the powerful mechanism that its supporters envision. One reason to doubt the neo-Darwinian story is that 80 percent of mutations are so slight that they are invisible to selection.7 Also, realistic ratios of beneficial to deleterious mutations hover around 1:1 million.8 Therefore, the deleterious ones relentlessly accumulate, cannot be selected "out," and eventually lead to fatal data corruption.

Natural selection at most accounts for some members of a population surviving in greater numbers, but it leaves the less fortunate ones unfit for survival. This might lead to extinction of certain breeds, but not to the invention of a whole new organism, useful body part, or a single cell, much less the complex biochemical communication systems in plants. There is a more convincing explanation for the origin of plants, with their capacity for minor variations, but it would give glory and honor to the Creator, not to His creation.

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Re: Continue the debate in here

Post by bennett_david on Thu Dec 18, 2008 3:50 am

http://www.ucg.org/booklets/GE/evidenceinsight.htm
Evidence in Plain Sight

In recent centuries philosophers have tried to answer the major questions about mankind's existence and place in the universe. What approach have they taken?

Their fundamental premise has been that there is no God. Leaving no room for anything we cannot see, hear or feel, or measure through scientific methods, they have believed the answers could be found through human reason. Using man's ability to reason, with its natural prejudice against God (see "Man's Natural Hostility Toward God," page 24), they concluded that the universe came from nothing, life evolved from inert matter, and reason itself is our best guide to finding our way.

In his recent book A Quest for God, historian Paul Johnson observes: "The existence or non-existence of God is the most important question we humans are ever asked to answer. If God does exist, and if in consequence we are called to another life when this one ends, a momentous set of consequences follows, which should affect every day, every moment almost, of our earthly existence. Our life then becomes a mere preparation for eternity and must be conducted throughout with our future in view" (1996, p. 1, emphasis added).

Can we really understand the answers to the most important questions of life without at least being willing to examine the question of the existence of God, who is described in the Bible as having given us life and having created us in His own image? (Genesis 1:26-27). Human reason, however, automatically dismisses the idea of God as the Creator who has a purpose for man and the universe. With that utter disregard for God have come unforeseen—and tragic—consequences.

Can we find solid evidence of God's existence? If so, where do we look for it, and what is the nature of that evidence? What is our attitude toward the evidence, and how does that influence the way we live?

Evaluating the evidence

How does the evidence for God's existence measure up to the evidence presented against it? How any evidence is weighed and evaluated is critical to the validity of any conclusions we reach on this most important matter. We must look at arguments for and against God's existence without resorting to prejudiced premises or illogical conclusions.

Prejudice works both ways. Many people who believe in God's existence feel compelled to defend their point of view in irrational ways. They hurt their cause by doing so. In like manner, many who believe there is no God refuse to give the evidence of His existence a fair hearing. In both instances, shallow prejudice is the real enemy.

Richard Dawkins, professor of zoology at Oxford University and an aggressive proponent of the theory of evolution, wrote The Blind Watchmaker: Why the Evidence of Evolution Reveals a Universe Without Design. He sums up the atheistic view toward human origins and existence:

"Natural selection, the blind, unconscious, automatic process which Darwin discovered, and which we now know is the explanation for the existence and apparently purposeful form of all life, has no purpose in mind. It has no mind and no mind's eye. It does not plan for the future. It has no vision, nor foresight, no sight at all. If it can be said to play the role of watchmaker in nature, it is the blind watchmaker" (1986, p. 5, emphasis in original).

However, to avoid accepting uncomfortable evidence of God's existence, he reasons, "Biology is the study of complicated things that give the appearance of having been designed for a purpose" (Dawkins, p. 1, emphasis added).

While admitting that living things give the appearance of purposeful design, Professor Dawkins does not consider the obvious—that, if they appear to have been designed, maybe they were designed.

Denying or recognizing the obvious?

Professor Dawkins' backhanded acknowledgment that living organisms "overwhelmingly impress us with the appearance of design as if by a master watchmaker," as he put it (p. 21), is not dismissed so lightly by many other scientists. They see the overwhelming presence of intricate design in the universe as a powerful indicator of an intelligent Designer.

A growing trend among researchers in biology, physics, astronomy, botany, chemistry and other major disciplines is study and debate over the complexity and orderliness they find at every level throughout the universe. Writers and scientists use the term anthropic principle to describe what, from all observations and appearances, are a universe and planet finely tuned for life—human life in particular.

Paul Davies, professor of mathematical physics at Australia's University of Adelaide, summarizes the growing findings of scientists from many fields: "A long list of additional 'lucky accidents' and 'coincidences' has been compiled . . . Taken together, they provide impressive evidence that life as we know it depends very sensitively on the form of the laws of physics, and on some seemingly fortuitous accidents in the actual values that nature has chosen for various particle masses, force strengths, and so on . . .

"Suffice it to say that, if we could play God, and select values for these quantities at whim by twiddling a set of knobs, we would find that almost all knob settings would render the universe uninhabitable. In some cases it seems as if the different knobs have to be fine-tuned to enormous precision if the universe is to be such that life will flourish" (The Mind of God: The Scientific Basis for a Rational World, 1992, pp. 199-200, emphasis added).

A world of design and purpose

Is our complex universe really the work of a blind watchmaker, as some contend? Is that what we view about us every day? Is life on earth simply the product of chance, with no purpose and planning, no control or consequences?

Accumulating evidence to the contrary is leading more and more scientists to question assumptions popular in scientific circles for years. Although few are willing to admit compelling evidence of God's existence, many are admitting that everywhere they look they see evidence of a world that gives the appearance of intricate design down to the tiniest details (see "A Planet Perfect for Life").

The Bible acknowledges the obvious when it presents us with an explanation of life quite different from that espoused by Professor Dawkins. It presents the universe as the handiwork of a Creator.

"Whence arises all the order and beauty we see in the world?" asked Sir Isaac Newton. The question is natural, and it was asked by a believing scientist who recognized the necessity of a cause for every effect. Actions have consequences. An intricately crafted universe points to an intelligent Designer.

Albert Einstein also marveled at the order and harmony he and his fellow scientists observed throughout the universe. He noted that the religious feeling of the scientist "takes the form of a rapturous amazement at the harmony of natural law, which reveals an intelligence of such superiority that, compared with it, all the systematic thinking and acting of human beings is an utterly insignificant reflection" (The Quotable Einstein, Alice Calaprice, editor, 1996, p. 151).

Martin Rees, professor of astronomy at Cambridge University, and science writer John Gribbin, discussing how finely tuned scientists have found the universe to be, note that "the conditions in our Universe really do seem to be uniquely suitable for life forms like ourselves, and perhaps even for any form of organic complexity . . . Is the Universe tailor-made for man?" (Cosmic Coincidences: Dark Matter, Mankind, and Anthropic Cosmology, 1989, p. 269, emphasis in original).

Professor Davies expressed it this way: "Through my scientific work I have come to believe more and more strongly that the physical universe is put together with an ingenuity so astonishing that I cannot accept it merely as brute fact. There must, it seems to me, be a deeper level of explanation. Whether one wishes to call that deeper level 'God' is a matter of taste and definition . . . [I] believe that we human beings are built into the scheme of things in a very basic way" (The Mind of God: The Scientific Basis for a Rational World, p. 16).

No wonder British astrophysicist Sir Fred Hoyle says: "A common sense interpretation of the facts suggests that a superintellect has monkeyed with the physics, as well as with chemistry and biology, and that there are no blind forces worth speaking about in nature. The numbers one calculates from the facts seem to me so overwhelming as to put this conclusion almost beyond question" (Fred Heeren, Show Me God: What the Message From Space Is Telling Us About God, 1997, frontispiece, emphasis added).

The persistence of unbelief

Yet the belief stubbornly persists that God is not needed. Harvard University paleontologist Stephen Jay Gould summarizes his atheistic viewpoint: "No intervening spirit watches lovingly over the affairs [of mankind]. No vital forces propel evolutionary change. And whatever we think of God, his existence is not manifest in the products of nature" (Darwin's Legacy, Charles Hamrum, editor, 1983, pp. 6-7).

Supporters of evolution like to point out that acceptance of the idea of a divine Creator requires faith in someone or something we cannot see. Yet they are far from comfortable admitting that all who believe that life evolved from inert matter have faith in a theory that cannot be proven—and is founded on far more fragile evidence than that which supports the faith of believers in a Creator.

Evolutionists' faith assumes that our unimaginably complex universe created itself or somehow came to exist from nothing. They firmly believe in a chain of circumstances that defies not only logic, but also fundamental laws of physics and biology. (For a closer look at the creation-evolution controversy, be sure to request your free copy of the booklet Creation or Evolution: Does It Matter What You Believe?)

Evolution has become, in a real sense, another religion. The faith of its followers is rooted in an unsubstantiated belief that the incredible universe, including the world around us teeming with an intricate variety of life, is the result of blind, random chance. It can offer no rational explanation for where the matter came from that made possible the universe and the supposed evolution of life.

Sidestepping the issue of where matter and the universe originated, proponents of evolution begin with an existing universe operating according to harmonious and predictable laws. They recognize that those laws exist and function flawlessly. Yet they haven't the slightest idea of their origin. They choose to ignore the overwhelming evidence that a great intelligence is behind these orderly and harmonious laws.

Our universe works like a giant watch. The last 40 years of space exploration has shown the precision of the universe. It is because of this predictability that NASA can rely on split-second timing when launching men into space and sending spacecraft to explore planets so far away that it sometimes takes years to reach them even at speeds of thousands of miles per hour.

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Re: Continue the debate in here

Post by bennett_david on Thu Dec 18, 2008 3:51 am

Evidence of natural laws

Astonishingly precise physical laws govern the universe. As Einstein put it: "My religion consists of a humble admiration of the illimitable superior spirit who reveals himself in the slight details we are able to perceive with our frail and feeble minds. That deeply emotional conviction of the presence of a superior reasoning power, which is revealed in the incomprehensible universe, forms my idea of God" (The Quotable Einstein, p. 161).

Astronomers can predict with amazing precision when a comet will return to our sky. Scientists can send spacecraft to land on other planets or orbit bodies millions of miles away. The heavenly bodies move in a thoroughly predictable fashion.

On earth we can chart the position of stars and planets for any given day, month and year, forward or backward, with incredible accuracy. Calendars are useful because of the universe's immutable laws. We can rely on the timing and position of the heavenly bodies because of the laws that govern their relationship. In a sense, the story of mankind is a story of our discovery of more and more of the laws that govern the cosmos.

For example, we experience the effects of the law of gravity. Though gravity is something we can't see, we know it exists. We know that it functions consistently. It is one of the fundamental laws of the universe. Similar laws govern every aspect of the universe—laws of energy, motion, mass, matter and life itself.

What about evolution? Evolutionary theory holds that life arose from nonliving matter and over countless eons changed to form the astounding variety of life on earth.

That very concept is contrary to one of the most basic of all natural laws: the law of biogenesis. Throughout nature biogenesis is abundantly evident: Life can come only from existing life, just as your life was conceived by living parents. Evolutionists, of course, argue against this principle but can produce no concrete evidence to the contrary.

Evidence of a Grand Designer

Let's get to the crux of the matter: Why do we find so many dependable, predictable, finely tuned laws governing our existence? What is their origin? Did life arise by chance, or is something larger at work? There must be an explanation for the existence of everything. The number, precision and perfection of natural laws cannot be explained away as an accident. Such reasoning is irrational.

Common sense tells us that the existence of an unimaginably magnificent universe structured on and sustained by innumerable laws of physics requires the existence of a Creator of those laws, a Designer of those structures.

Some of the clearest evidence of God's existence is in the awesome presence of design in the universe. Australian scientist Paul Davies put it well in his book The Mind of God: The Scientific Basis for a Rational World:

"Human beings have always been awestruck by the subtlety, majesty, and intricate organization of the physical world. The march of the heavenly bodies across the sky, the rhythms of the seasons, the pattern of a snowflake, the myriads of living creatures so well adapted to their environment—all these things seem too well arranged to be a mindless accident. There is a natural tendency to attribute the elaborate order of the universe to the purposeful workings of a Deity" (p. 194).

Another writer who saw clear proof of creation all around him was King David. Looking into the heavens 3,000 years ago, he discerned that he was viewing the handiwork of the Creator and that we can discern much about Him by that handiwork: "The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of his hands. Day after day they pour forth speech; night after night they display knowledge. There is no speech or language where their voice is not heard. Their voice goes out into all the earth, their words to the ends of the world" (Psalm 19:1-4, New International Version).

The splendor of the night sky still moves us to wonder and awe. What are those tiny specks of light sparkling in the darkness of space? How did they get there? Why are they there? What lies beyond them in the unimaginable reaches of the universe? The grandeur of the shimmering heavens raises questions not just about the universe but about our part in it.

The same is true of the intricate patterns in all things on earth, not just the world we see around us but the unseen world we can explore only through microscopes.

A thousand years after King David expressed his awe at these marvels, the apostle Paul told Christians in Rome that "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 . . ." (Romans 1:20, NIV).

The writers of the Bible recognized in the creation much evidence of a great, all-wise Creator. They understood that the wonders we see around us shout the same message: Such astonishing design demands a Master Designer! Whether we are moved by the power of the sea, the grandeur of a mountain range, the delicate beauty of the first spring flowers or the birth of a child, as we look at the world around us we naturally conclude: This is the handiwork of a great Designer.

Creation reveals the Creator

Wrote theoretical physicist John Polkinghorne, president of Queens College, Cambridge, and a member of Britain's Royal Society: "The intellectual beauty of the order discovered by science is consistent with the physical world's having behind it the mind of the divine Creator . . . The finely tuned balance built into the laws determining the very physical fabric of the universe is consistent with its fruitful history being the expression of divine purpose" (Serious Talk: Science and Religion in Dialogue, 1995, p. viii).

Michael Behe, associate professor of biochemistry at Pennsylvania's Lehigh University, concluded from his intensive study of the cell, the basic building block of life, that such tremendous complexity can be explained only by the existence of an intelligent Designer:

"To a person who does not feel obliged to restrict his search to unintelligent causes, the straightforward conclusion is that many biochemical systems were designed. They were designed not by the laws of nature, not by chance and necessity; rather they were planned. The designer knew what the systems would look like when they were completed, then took steps to bring the systems about" (Darwin's Black Box: The Biochemical Challenge to Evolution, 1996, p. 193, emphasis in original).

His conclusion: "Life on earth at its most fundamental level, in its most critical components, is the product of intelligent design" (ibid.).

The precision of our universe is not the result of an accident. It is the product of a meticulous Creator and Lawgiver, the universe's Master Watchmaker.

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Re: Continue the debate in here

Post by Burns_William on Tue Dec 30, 2008 6:55 am

It's a wonder your 'Ctrl', 'C' & 'V' keys are not worn away!

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Re: Continue the debate in here

Post by bennett_david on Tue Dec 30, 2008 7:45 pm

It's a wonder your 'Ctrl', 'C' & 'V' keys are not worn away!
Liam, here are the questions I’m still waiting for you to answer:

Can you explain and prove how single celled organisms became multi celled?

----

Why are we here?
What’s our purpose in life?
Where did we come from?
What are the origins of life?
What happens after we die?
How can our problem of sin be solved?

So what was the creature before it became a mouse?

And what is your evidence that an asteroid/comet killed the dinosaurs? One issue with this is if dinosaurs where all killed by a asteroid/comet, then why are there still crocodiles and lizards living today? Also why did any animals survive? As for Noah’s flood, animals where kept alive on the ark.

Can you show me a species of fish that has evolved into another species of fish?

Is there no room in your life for the possibility that God might exist? I’m beginning to think that you don’t believe in supernatural or miraculous occurrences. Is this assumption correct?

You ask where the water came from. I ask well if God was able to create the whole universe, then wouldn’t it have been easy for God to have just made it rain? I believe God caused it to rain.

Ok then; in your own words describe to me how you think the origin of life occurred.

What happens when you feel guilty about something? How do you deal with guilt? Do you ever get bored? I’m beginning to think you’re a humanist. Am I correct?

Have you proof that the shark was a hermaphrodite?

It is impossible that life on Earth came from nothing unless God was involved. Until scientists generate new life (in lab conditions) from absolutely nothing will they be able to prove that life originated without God being responsible. So where is the empirical evidence that life came from nothing without God being responsible?

Liam, from what you and scientists can observe nowadays, how do you know that God was not responsible for the creation of animals?

One of the issues with life on Earth is the fact that a number of things need to be present for life to occur. For example humans can’t live unless there is water to drink, food to eat and oxygen to breathe. The flagellum alone demonstrates the interaction of many finely-tuned systems. And without that interaction the flagellum could not function properly. So how can the flagellum function properly if one of those finely-tuned systems is missing?

From an evolutionary point of view, how can an unicellular or small multicellular organism propel itself if the flagellum hasn’t evolved?

If there was an oxygen–less atmosphere with the primeval soup, how could life originate or survive?

If parents are needed to seed new life, then without God creating the first life on Earth, how could the first life have come into existence? This is another reason why God must have been responsible for the creation of life on this Earth. Unless of course you can show me a creature that came into existence even though it never had any parents. Can you do that?

Is the sheer complexity found in life on Earth (for example the flagellum) not circumstantial evidence that life was designed and created by God? I believe it is circumstantial evidence that life was designed and created by God.

Liam, how do you explain the oldest living organism on the Earth; The Bristlecone Pine?

http://creationwiki.org/Bristlecone_pine

It is less than 5000 years old. If the Biblical global flood did not take place then surely there should be other living organisms that are older than the Bristlecone Pine. Unless of course there was a global flood that wiped out all life (apart from what went on the Ark) and the Bristlecone Pine just happens to be the oldest living organism since the flood.

Liam, what are your views on Dawkins calling himself a cultural Christian?

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk_politics/7136682.stm

Liam, what about Christian revivals? A Christian revival is a time when God is clearly at work in the lives of humans on Earth. An example of this was the revivals in Wales:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/wales/religion/sites/timeline/pages/religion_in_wales_13.shtml

These are real events that actually took place. Now if God was fake, not true and did not exist, then can you provide an explanation for events during a Christian revival? If Christianity was all a lie then I would expect there to be a lot less people who have had their lives transformed by Jesus.

Answer this question honestly: Is there any science that goes against evolution that you actually take seriously and consider not to be pseudoscience?

Also, did you watch the video I provided the link for (about our created Universe)?

http://www.nwcreation.net/media/Our_Created_Universe_high.wmv

In that video Spike Psarris mentions scientific issues and then quotes from evolutionists to prove that these issues he mentioned where not made up and where actually issues that evolutionists where trying to deal with. So how is that video pseudoscience? Could only be pseudoscience if Spike Psarris mentioned issues and he was making up the issues. But these issues where real scientific issues.

http://www.vision.net.au/~apaterson/science/darwin_critique1.htm
I quote:
IRREDUCIBLE COMPLEXITY is defined as the base level of complexity below which a system no longer functions. Thus an irreducibly complex system is one comprising several unique interacting components that contribute to the basic function of the 'system' and wherein the removal of just one component renders the whole system no longer functional. An irreducibly complex system cannot 'evolve' by slight, single step successive modifications to a precursor system, because any precursor to an irreducibly complex system that is missing a part, is by definition non-functional and as such would have no purpose and presumably could not be the subject of 'natural selection'.
The human eye is an example of irreducible complexity. If one part of a human eye is missing then it cannot function as effectively. So Liam, can you show me a creature that if it missed one part could still function as effectively? If a human only had one lung instead of two lungs, yes that human might still be able to function, but nowhere as effectively. The flagellum is another example of irreducible complexity.

Certain creatures need lots of things to be present for them to function fully and without all those things being present they couldn’t function properly. Is that not a problem for the theory of evolution?

Liam, can you explain how a woodpecker (Bird with strong claws and a stiff tail adapted for climbing and a hard chisel-like bill for boring into wood for insects.) evolved? Here is a video about just how complicated a woodpecker actually is:

http://www.godtube.com/view_video.php?viewkey=817b7893bcdeed13799b

Liam you have to answer this question; if you think there is no proof for the existence of God, then why are there any intelligent people that believe in the existence of God? All intelligent people who believe in God can’t all be deluded.

Liam, how do you know that atheism is true (or probably true)? How do you know that the criteria you use for deciding this question is the correct criteria?

What about Charles Hodge and his anti-slavery views in later life?

In regard to evolution (these questions are from the book In Six Days: Why Fifty Scientists Choose to Believe in Creation):

How can really complicated organs develop by an unplanned process?

How did evolution from simple to complex counter the tendency towards randomness that is so prevalent in nature?

Is there any mechanism that would explain the origin of complexity?

Can one really identify the evolutionary relationships of organisms?

Are evolutionary changes gradual or sudden?

Is natural selection important to the evolutionary process?

How does complexity evolve without the advantage of foresight?

In terms of the fossil evidence, how does the evolutionary scenario deal with the great scarcity of intermediate forms and the lack of geologic time for the major evolutionary changes postulated?

Can you give examples of changes in organisms that have occurred by the addition of new information?

Is there available a scientifically observable process in nature which on a long-term basis is tending to carry its products upward to higher and higher levels of complexity?

Considering that DNA carries precise information regarding most aspects of plant life, how did the original DNA come to process these intricate instructions?

Considering there is no such thing as a simple cell, is it really credible that random processes could have constructed a reality, the smallest element of which – a functional gene or protein – is complex beyond our own creative capacities, a reality which is the very antithesis of chance, which excels in every sense anything produced by the intelligence of man?

Where does new information come from?

----

Who or what provided the material for the big bang?

Why did it not implode rather that explode?

How could it coagulate into stars and how could these generate planets?

How could life appear spontaneously?

How could one kind of living creature change into another when the fossil record shows no evidence of such changes?

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Re: Continue the debate in here

Post by bennett_david on Tue Dec 30, 2008 7:45 pm

Liam, I see you also haven’t dealt with the following:
If there were crops outside the garden, then it was just as pleasant a place than the garden itself.
Actually inside of the garden would have been better than outside. Inside of the garden God had provided more than enough food for them to eat but outside of the garden Adam had to start working for his food by planting and growing crops. So life was better inside the garden. Also inside of the garden Adam and Eve had close connection with God, but after the fall communication between God and humans was more difficult because of man’s sins. So all in all, life was much better inside the garden than outside.
This begs the question of why were the animals created in the first place? Also it assumes that there were animals OUTSIDE the garden, were there? If animals were created, not for human consumption, then it is a sin to eat any animal! Do you agree?
I believe they were created to showcase God’s creative power. Also God had work for Adam to do in the Garden of Eden. He was to name all the animals. Adam could never have done that if animals were not created. Also God is an omniscient and omnipotent God, therefore it would not have been difficult for God to know that after the fall animals would be required for food, clothes and for sacrifice in sin offerings. Straight after the fall, God killed animals to provide clothes for Adam and Eve:
Genesis 3:21 Unto Adam also and to his wife did the LORD God make coats of skins, and clothed them.
Animals where only killed and eaten after the fall. Another mark of the fall. There was no need to eat animals before the fall and eating animals after the fall is not sinful. There where certain animals that Jews could not eat but those food laws no longer apply today.
Is that an assumption or have you any evidence to back it up?
Well there’s a lot of frozen water on Earth:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Polar_ice_cap
Earth
Earth's north pole is covered by floating pack ice (sea ice) over the Arctic Ocean, the Arctic ice pack. Portions of the ice that don't melt seasonally can get very thick, up to 3–4 meters thick over large areas, with ridges up to 20 meters thick. One-year ice is usually about a meter thick. The area covered by sea ice ranges between 9 and 12 million km². In addition, the Greenland ice sheet covers about 1.71 million km² and contains about 2.6 million km³ of ice.
The land mass of the Earth's south pole, in Antarctica, is covered by the Antarctic ice sheet. It covers an area of almost 14 million km² and contains 25-30 million km³ of ice. Around 70% of the fresh water on the Earth is held in this ice sheet. In addition, the West Antarctic Ice Sheet covers 3.2 million km² and the Ross Ice Shelf covers 0.5 million km². See Climate of Antarctica.
We could assume that if all the frozen water at the north and south poles melted that most of the places on Earth where humans live would be flooded.
Again, you make the ASSUMPTION that life only exists on this planet. Out of the countless galaxies in the universe, there may well be life on other planets.
Well it’s not likely there’s life on another planet seeing as so many factors are required on Earth for there to be life here. Anyhow if there was life somewhere in one of the galaxies and they were as advanced as we are then I would expect them to be broadcasting into space and sending messages like humans are doing here.
It also begs the question, that if the universe is so fine tuned for life, why is life so rare (as we know it)?
Life is so rare because of the sheer complexity required for life. So many factors are required for there to be life that when there’s life it is very rare.
Fine tuning itself has to be defined. How fine is fine?
Perfect before the fall.
The anthropic principal says nothing about motives or methods, which is how design is defined. The scarcity of life and multi-billion-year delay in it appearing argue against life being a motive.
Multi-billion-year delay? We can’t be sure the Earth is that old seeing as dating methods aren’t always accurate. Anyhow an Earth billions of years old would contradict what Genesis says about creation. God wanted to design and create the Earth, humans and animals. God’s desire to create us is His motive for doing so.
Nature is but a name for an effect whose cause is God.

-- William Cowper
If God can do anything, he could create life in a universe whose conditions do not allow for it.
That not a valid statement. If there’s life then there are conditions to allow for it. If there is no life then the conditions to allow for life are not all there. Anyhow God did create life where the conditions did not allow for it. Look at the rest of the planets in our solar system where there’s no life, yet there is life on our planet.
How often do you share your resources with the third world?
I could give money to charity. Or leave out clothes I no longer need for a charity to pick up.
It doesn't! And how do you know it wasn't Allah, Thor, Krishna or Zeus?
How do I know God is true? Because He revealed Himself in a real living human being called Jesus and Jesus is still alive today.
For whatever reason God chose to make man as he is--limited and suffering and subject to sorrows and death--He had the honesty and courage to take His own medicine. Whatever game He is playing with His creation, He has kept His own rules and played fair. He can exact nothing from man that He has not exacted from Himself. He has Himself gone through the whole of human experience, from the trivial irritations of family life and the cramping restrictions of hard work and lack of money to the worst horrors of pain and humiliation, defeat, despair, and death. When He was a man, He played the man. He was born in poverty and died in disgrace and thought it was well worthwhile.
... Dorothy L. Sayers, Christian Letters to a Post-Christian World [1969]
No you don't! If you did then you should be able to give me an overview of the process? Can you? (In your own words)
Evolution is a theory where the strongest survive through natural selection.
This shows how you know NOTHING about evolution. Every fossil is a transitional fossil! And drastic changes do not happen over one generation. If you knew what evolution was you would know that natural selection occurs in the DNA.
So where are the fossils showing every stage of evolution of one creature to another? In most cases we see fossils for one creature and fossils for another different creature and the scientists just announce one evolved into the other. For example, if a horse evolved into a giraffe then I would expect there to be horses will a neck a bit longer, horses with a neck much longer and horses with a neck as long as a giraffe. Fossils showing the animal at each stage of evolving.

Liam, you might want to watch these videos:

The Way Of The Master : Evolution (Part 1 of 3):
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rHTN8Re1izg

The Way Of The Master : Evolution (Part 2 of 3):
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EGh48yt4flI

The Way Of The Master : Evolution (Part 3 of 3):
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ohCDWDsUefk
You said that it was the parents fault, and that THEY should have brought her to the doctor, but you claim that God is her Father, making God her parent.
Her earthly parents should have taken her to see a doctor. It was their fault.
True. But you do realise that the very earliest manuscripts of the bible, are completely different from the bible you read and use as the word of God. This makes the stories that YOU used UNRELIABLE!
Can you provide an example for that? Any errors there might be are due to errors in translating the Bible not errors in the original texts.

The Bible is very reliable. Take for example the Old Testament prophecy (contained in the book of Micah) about the destruction of Samaria:
MICAH 1:6 6 Therefore I will make Samaria as an heap of the field, and as plantings of a vineyard: and I will pour down the stones thereof into the valley, and I will discover the foundations thereof.
The prophecy was from 730BC and details four specific predictions; Samaria’s ruins would become a heap of rubble, the stones used to construct Samaria would be pushed into a valley, Samaria’s foundations would be laid bare and Samaria would eventually become a place where vineyards would be planted.
Even though the prophecy was from 730BC, it didn’t begin to be fulfilled until 1265AD, almost 2000 years later. Samaria was totally destroyed in A.D. 1265 when Muslims defeated the Crusaders who were defending the city, and it has never been rebuilt. Arabs living in the vicinity cleared much of the ruins in order to use the site for agricultural purposes, and in so doing, they dug up its foundations and dumped them into a valley nearby. Today, grapevines can be seen growing on this ancient site, just as prophesied by Micah over 2700 years ago.
http://www.searchgodsword.org/dic/ebd/view.cgi?number=T3202
This city, after passing through various vicissitudes, was given by the emperor Augustus to Herod the Great, who rebuilt it, and called it Sebaste (Gr. form of Augustus) in honour of the emperor. In the New Testament the only mention of it is in Acts 8:5-14, where it is recorded that Philip went down to the city of Samaria and preached there.
Herod rebuilt Samaria and called it Sebaste:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Herod_the_Great
27 BC — An assassination attempt on Herod was foiled. To honor Augustus, Herod rebuilt Samaria and renamed it Sebaste.
The full name for the city was Cæsarea Sebaste:
http://www.jewishencyclopedia.com/view.jsp?artid=10&letter=C
the full name of the city was therefore "Cæsarea Sebaste" ("Ant." xvi. 5, § 1; Ammianus Marcellinus, xiv. 8 ).
It is on the outskirts of the ancient port city Caesarea Maritima:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Caesarea
Caesarea (Hebrew: קיסריה‎, Qesarya ) is a town in Israel on the outskirts of Caesarea Maritima, the ancient port city.
Caesarea Maritima was destroyed in 1265:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Caesarea_Maritima
The bishops did not govern: Saladin retook the city in 1187; it was recaptured by the Crusaders in 1191, and finally lost by them in 1265 this time to the Mamluks, who ensured that there would be no more battling over the site— where the harbor has silted in anyway— by razing the fortifications - in line with their practice in other formerly-Crusader coastal cities.
http://www.jewishvirtuallibrary.org/jsource/vie/Caesarea.html
In 1265, Caesarea fell to Baybars, the Mamluk sultan of Egypt, who destroyed the city, which remained in ruins until 1884. In 1884, a small fishing village was established on the remains at Caesarea by Muslim refugees from Bosnia. The city was abandoned by its inhabitants during the War of Independence (1948).
The fulfilment of this prophecy is one example of just how reliable the Bible is.
Also the stories of the bible (the important and miriculous ones) have no historical evidence whatsoever!
There are eye witness accounts. If Jesus never rose from the dead then the tomb with the body still in it should be available for the whole world to see. So where is the tomb with the body still in it?

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Re: Continue the debate in here

Post by bennett_david on Tue Dec 30, 2008 7:46 pm

In regard to the miracles of Jesus:
Christ’s healing of the paralytic was just one of numerous miracles he performed during his earthly ministry. Although sceptics typically dismiss the Gospel miracle narratives out of hand as myth or legend, there are good reasons to conclude that these accounts, at least in general, reflect historical fact. Non-Christian sources dated as early as the first century refer to Jesus’ reputation for performing miracles-although sometimes these sources denigrate Jesus’ miracles as sorcery. Although the apostle Paul does not discuss any specific miracles of Jesus, there are traces in his writings of an awareness that Jesus performed them (Rom. 15:18-19; 1 Cor. 4:20; 13:2; cf. 2 Cor. 12:12; 2 Thess 2:9). Furthermore, all of the Gospels, and all of the source materials that biblical scholars think the Gospels incorporated, attest to Jesus’ miracles. Minimally, historians can say with full confidence that the belief that Jesus performed miracles originates from his own lifetime and is not the product of later myth or legend. Internally, the Gospels exhibit remarkable restraint in their miracle narratives, lacking many of the elements common to legendary tall tales. In his cautious and thorough study of the historicity of the Gospel accounts of Jesus’ miracles, Graham Twelftree concludes that “there is hardly any aspect of the life of the historical Jesus which is so well attested as that he conducted unparalleled wonders.”
- Putting Jesus in His Place: The Case for the Deity of Christ by by Darrell L. Bock (Foreword), Robert M., Jr. Bowman (Author), J. Ed Komoszewski (Author)
http://www.amazon.co.uk/Putting-Jesus-His-Place-Christ/dp/0825429838/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1207493982&sr=1-1
A quote about the fig tree that you might find interesting (taken from the same book):
When he was in Jerusalem, Jesus saw a fruitless fig tree and cursed it, causing it to wither. When the disciples asked him how that had happened, Jesus told them that if they had faith and no doubts, they could even tell a mountain to go jump into the sea and it would obey. The traditional understanding of this passage is that Jesus was speaking hyperbolically about the performance of extraordinary miracles. Whatever type of event Jesus means here, he says it will happen in response to prayer: “And all things you ask in prayer, believing, you will receive” (Matt. 21:18-22 NASB, likewise Mark 11:12-14, 20-24).
A similar qualification applies to Jesus’ promise that those who believe in him will do the works that he did and even greater works (John 14:12). Jesus immediately explains, “I will do whatever you ask in my name, so that the Father may be glorified in the Son. If in my name you ask me for anything, I will do it” (John 14:13-14). Jesus is the actual miracle worker; the disciples are merely the “petitioners of numinous power” (PNP), asking Jesus in his name to perform the miracles in order to glorify the Father in the Son.
As a matter of record, the apostles do not seem to have performed any “nature miracles” after Christ’s ascension, such as walking on water. When the ship taking Paul to Rome encountered heavy seas, no miracle prevented its shipwreck, although God providentially protected Paul and his shipmates from death (Acts 27:14-44). The miracles the apostles performed appear to have consisted primarily of healings, exorcisms, and a couple of judgement miracles, inflicting blindness and death. The miracles that the Gospels report Jesus as performing go beyond anything reported of the apostles.
Jesus met far too many people on this Earth for the existence of Jesus to be a myth. 5000 people fed, 12 disciples, 10 lepers, Pilate, John the Baptist and Herod. Jesus met all these people. In regard to the existence of Jesus, did Herod or Pilate ever come out and tell the world that Jesus never existed and that He was a fake and a myth? By the way, there where coins issued by Herod and Pilate. This proves that Herod and Pilate both existed.
Exodus 12:29-30:- And it came to pass, that at midnight the LORD smote all the firstborn in the land of Egypt, from the firstborn of Pharaoh that sat on his throne unto the firstborn of the captive that was in the dungeon; and all the firstborn of cattle. And Pharaoh rose up in the night, he, and all his servants, and all the Egyptians; and there was a great cry in Egypt; for there was not a house where there was not one dead.

Was this accidental or premeditated?
Neither. God was punishing the Egyptians for their sin. Do you think sin does not deserve punishment? Anyhow Liam, what right do you have to judge what God should or should not do?
I see you avoided this completly!
I showed you the example of Peter escaping from prison. That was an example of answered prayer by God.

What about this:

Leviticus 26:21-22:- And if ye walk contrary unto me, and will not hearken unto me; I will bring seven times more plagues upon you according to your sins. I will also send wild beasts among you, which shall rob you of your children, and destroy your cattle, and make you few in number; and your high ways shall be desolate
Humans cannot sin and then expect God to just ignore what we do. God gives humans freedom and freewill but there are consequences to our actions.
In an age of web and cyberspace, of Mars missions and genetics, however, I still find it easy to believe in the New Testament world of spirits and miracles. – Rob Frost
Liam, you might find this article interesting:

http://christiananswers.net/evangelism/responses/comfort-suffering.html

Ultimate confidence in the goodness of life cannot rest upon confidence in the goodness of man. If that is where it rests, it is an optimism which will suffer ultimate disillusionment. Romanticism will be transmuted into cynicism, as it has always been in the world's history. The faith of a Christian is something quite different from this optimism. It is trust in God, in a good God who created a good world, though the world is not now good; in a good God, powerful and good enough finally to destroy the evil that men do and redeem them of their sins. This kind of faith is not optimism. It does not, in fact, arise until optimism breaks down and men cease to trust in themselves that they are righteous.
... Reinhold Niebuhr (1892-1971), Beyond Tragedy [1938]

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Re: Continue the debate in here

Post by bennett_david on Wed Dec 31, 2008 2:48 pm

Man, made in the image of God, has a purpose - to be in relationship to God, who is there. Man forgets his purpose and thus he forgets who he is and what life means.

-- Francis Schaeffer

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Re: Continue the debate in here

Post by bennett_david on Tue Jul 07, 2009 1:44 am

What about answered prayer? When God answers prayers that proves He exists. If God is powerful enough to answer prayers, then we can conclude that He is also powerful enough to have been responsible for creation.

I can give examples of God answering prayer:

When Peter was put in prison the church prayed about the situation:

Acts 12:5 Peter therefore was kept in prison: but prayer was made without ceasing of the church unto God for him.

They were making big requests to God. And what happened? An angel of the Lord came and rescued Peter from prison:

ACTS 12
6 And when Herod would have brought him forth, the same night Peter was sleeping between two soldiers, bound with two chains: and the keepers before the door kept the prison.
7 And, behold, the angel of the Lord came upon him, and a light shined in the prison: and he smote Peter on the side, and raised him up, saying, Arise up quickly. And his chains fell off from his hands.
8 And the angel said unto him, Gird thyself, and bind on thy sandals. And so he did. And he saith unto him, Cast thy garment about thee, and follow me.
9 And he went out, and followed him; and wist not that it was true which was done by the angel; but thought he saw a vision.
10 When they were past the first and the second ward, they came unto the iron gate that leadeth unto the city; which opened to them of his own accord: and they went out, and passed on through one street; and forthwith the angel departed from him.

That is an example of answered prayer proving that God exists and that He does in fact answer prayer.

For a modern day example of this, read the story of Brother Yun in China. God helped him escape from prison.

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

I quote:

After many years in prison, he escaped from Zhengzhou Maximum Security prison from which it is reported that nobody had previously escaped[citation needed]. He described how he heard the voice of the Holy Spirit, telling him to simply walk out the heavily guarded prison gate. Risking being shot to death on the spot, he wrote later that he obeyed the voice, and walked straight through several prison doors that were somehow left open in front of many prison guards, across the prison yard and finally out of the main gate. Yun stated that it was as if he had become invisible to the guards who stared straight through him. Although many expressed doubts that such a thing could happen, some prison guards had apparently lost their jobs for this 'embarrassing mishap.' It is reported that the official investigation by the Chinese Government concluded that "Yun received no human help in his escape." It is claimed that these reports have been also confirmed by numerous prisoners who occupied the same prison cell as Yun. Apparently, he remains the only person to have escaped from this notorious maximum security prison.
---

When God answers these prayers that proves He exists and if He can answer prayers I have no problem in believing He could have been responsible for Creation.

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Re: Continue the debate in here

Post by Burns_William on Tue Jul 21, 2009 6:46 pm

You are wasting my time, and yours.

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Re: Continue the debate in here

Post by bennett_david on Thu Jul 23, 2009 1:49 am

You are wasting my time, and yours.
Why do you say that? My post about God answering prayer is quite reasonable. If He can do that then He must exist.

By the way, you should watch this video about MJ:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vOxSAnnoI3E

I think you might find that video interesting.

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