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Creationists defend Darwin film

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William Crawley | 13:24 UK time, Sunday, 21 June 2009

ImageThumbNailer.aspx.jpegOn today's Sunday Sequence, the CEO of Creation Ministries UK responded to claims by one of the world's leading authorities on evolution that he was duped into appearing in an anti-Darwinian film.

Professor Peter Bowler, the author of a biography of Charles Darwin and many other books on the history of evolution, said he was interviewed for the The Voyage That Shook The World without realising that the film was being made by a Creationist group.

Professor Bowler, who has spent most of his academic career at Queen's University, Belfast, researching Darwinism, says he is unhappy to be appearing in what he regards as an "anti-Darwinian" film which offers an historically distorted portrait of Darwin. He claims that the film's narrative implies that Darwin's theory led him towards racism, whereas recent historical work by James Moore and Adrian Desmond shows that Darwin's scientific work was partly motivated by the naturalist's passionate opposition to racism.

Professor Bowler says he, along with his colleagues Sandra Herbert and Janet Browne, only discovered that they had inadvertently contributed to a Creationist film a month before the film's release. Peter Bowler also raised concerns about how the editing of his own interview could leave viewers with a false impression of his own perspective on Darwin.

Phil Bell, CEO of Creation Ministries UK, acknoweged that his organisation established a "front company" called Fathom Media, because they were concerned that experts such as Peter Bowler would not agree to take part in the film if they realised it was an "overtly Creationist" production. "At the end of the day," he said, "[when] people see 'Creationist', instantly the shutters go up and that would have shut us off from talking to the sort of experts, such as Professor Bowler, that we wanted to get to."

I asked Phil Bell if this method of securing an interview was "deceptive". He said: "Well, it could be called deceptive. But I think, at the end of the day, I would say that more people are concerned about how we've made a documentary, that's a world-class documentary, clearly with wonderful footage, with excellent interviews, and balanced open discussion."

Phil Bell also denied that his organisation had broken the ninth commandment by "bearing false witness" against Professor Bowler and his colleagues. "Nobody was told any lies," he said.

Watch the film trailer, below, which includes a short clip from Peter Bowler's interview.

The Voyage That Shook The World has already been screened in various churches in Britain. On Thursday 18 June, it was also screened in the Octagon Theatre at the University of Ulster in Coleraine. This was not an official University event, nor was it an event organised by the University's Chaplaincy. A spokesperson for the University of Ulster has told Sunday Sequence that various groups, including religious organisations, are free to rent its facilities, and that no endorsement of any events should be construed from the university's willingness to accommodate those events.

Update: Creation Ministries International has published an online "clarification" in response to this story.

Comments

Page 1 of 4

  • Comment number 1.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 2.

    I raised this point about the trailer several months ago on the Panda's thumb. It transpired then that none of the scientists/historians were aware they were appearing on a YEC film along with creationists such as Cornelius Hunter and Suart Burgess.

    Still, I have a sense of déjà vu William:

    http://www.stephenjaygould.org/ctrl/news/file007.html

    What the tape shows
    Cut from previous interview with an Israeli biophysicist to interviewer in an obviously different room from the one in which RD has previously been shown.

    Interviewer: "Professor Dawkins, can you give an example of a genetic mutation, or an evolutionary process, which can be seen to increase the information in the genome?"

    Cut to RD, who looks around the room, [shot holds for 11 seconds]

    Cut back to interviewer, while RD begins speaking off camera

    RD: "There's a popular misunderstanding of evolution [cut back to RD] that says that fish turned into reptiles and reptiles turned into mammals and that somehow we ought to be able to look around the world today and look at our ancestors and see the intermediate species (Dawkins goes on to explain)."


  • Comment number 3.

    so-called christian ministries should not engage in deceit in order to put across their message, whatever that message is.

  • Comment number 4.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 5.

    A Frog turns into a prince... we call this a fairy tale.

    An ape turns into a human being.... we call this good science.

    If macro evolution isn't a fairy tale for grown-ups.... Then I'm a glorified baboon!



  • Comment number 6.

    The fact that they have to lie to get people to appear says a lot. If they had the strength of their convictions surely they would not need to stoop to such a level?
    Sacha Baron Cohen uses the same sort of tactic in his various guises ( Borat/Ali G/Bruno ) and is only marginally funnier than creationism.......;-)

  • Comment number 7.

    Notashamed116, tell me if you are ashamed at the use of deception by your fellow creationists?

  • Comment number 8.

    Notashamed116, you should not be ashamed of being a "glorified baboon", for that is assuredly what you are, apart from the "glorified", and a marginal deviance of phylogenetic trajectory. Except, most baboons I have run across have considerably less arrogance and ignorance than your average creationist blowhard. The most pathetic and contemptible thing about creationists is indeed their lying and fraud, but a close second is their absolute refusal to engage constructively with the scientific evidence, or to examine their own prejudices. "Depart from me, ye cursed - I never knew you." Eternal damnation is too good for 'em. Be thankful *that* is a fairy tale.

    -H

  • Comment number 9.

    Notashamed116 your argument from incredulity is tenuous at best, just because you can't accept a claim because it is improbable does not make it fallacious. Evidence for the evolution of the vertebrate eye is numerous, right down to the molecular level. Add this to the fact that you have lifted your statement word for word (copy and paste is great right?) from the Creation Science Evangelism website http://www.drdino.com/read-article.php?id=33&c=17 run by the already disgraced and imprisoned Kent Hovind.

    For shame, for shame, and let us not even get started on the Glorified Baboon nonsense.

    To truly accept and understand the validity of Theory of Evolution has taken me the best part of my Adult life; I have studied it, researched and published in the field. Even then I would say I only know a fraction of the sum of knowledge we have. However from my limited pool of knowledge I can state that there are literally thousands of examples of "textbook" evolution, for every spurious or erroneous claim made by creation "scientists".

    I would love the opportunity to demonstrate the validity of evolution to church groups. I really don't see there being a huge amount of conflict between having a religious life at the same time accepting the most up to date theories in science. The problem as I see it, is that some people would rather not know.

  • Comment number 10.

    Having said that if you really want to do some research on Animals Eyes, the Land and Nilsson book is a good place to get started.

    You can find a preview here on google books,

    http://books.google.co.uk/books?id=aAZ_YfVoCywC&dq=animal+eyes&printsec=frontcover&source=bl&ots=Hj-1vkT1gt&sig=Tqk6COsW350FGe80EJIytiD3sUY&hl=en&ei=HI4-SpW1G8S7jAeD_cj8Dw&sa=X&oi=book_result&ct=result&resnum=10

    Enjoy your reading Notashamed116!

  • Comment number 11.

    Geneboy, *reading*? Aren't you being a little optimistic? ;-)

  • Comment number 12.

    Chuckle,

    Good point though, feel free to disengage brain and watch this then..

    http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/evolution/library/01/1/quicktime/l_011_01.html

  • Comment number 13.

    "This is done in spite of the fact that the alternative (creation or intelligent design) more adequately explains the observation."

    Translation:

    This is done in spite of the fact that the alternative (MAGIC or MAGIC) more adequately explains the observation.

    Calling MAGIC by another name doesn't make it any less childish and idiotic.

  • Comment number 14.

    would love the opportunity to demonstrate the validity of evolution to church groups. I really don't see there being a huge amount of conflict between having a religious life at the same time accepting the most up to date theories in science. The problem as I see it, is that some people would rather not know.

    Well said Geneboy. You are quite correct, most of them just don't want to know, even the Presbyterian Church in Ireland which appears to be becoming increasingly young Earth creationist. One of the two screenings of CMI's film in NI was in Orangefield Presbyterian church yesterday evening, which surprised me as I always thought the minister there was quite sensible and sane and not in anyway extreme (who knows, maybe he was duped as well). The other venue by the way was the Ulster University campus in Coleraine, again, quite surprising that they managed to gain access to this establishment without anyone batting an eyelid.

    Well done on spotting on the Hovind crap.

  • Comment number 15.

    It is certainly arguable that CMI were - at best - unwise not to be completely open about who was behind the film, though - as Philip Bell pointed out - participants were made aware that it would be a documentary containing a variety of opinions about Darwin's observations and the conclusions he drew from them.

    Having seen the film (it seemed clear from Will's interview today that he has not yet done so), I can honestly say that it does not come across as an anti-Darwin polemic, but rather as an encouragement to examine his conclusions in the light of more recent evidence, and also to give thoughtful consideration to the worldview which inevitably arises from his thinking. (ie how come his 'Voyage....shook the world'?)

    Seems to me that is well worth cool-headed evaluation.

  • Comment number 16.

    "an encouragement to examine his conclusions in the light of more recent evidence"

    pastorphilip, in light of more recent evidence, the basic facts of evolution have become the strongest facts of science. Also, it's becoming obvious that all religions, including your Christian death cult, are idiotic fantasy.

  • Comment number 17.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 18.

    Its not so much that Creation Ministries lied; its just that they smuggled the Bibles in the bread delivery. 'Man does not live by bread alone, but by ...'

  • Comment number 19.

    in the light of more recent evidence

    I'm all ears pastor philip. What is the "more recent evidence". Perhaps you could elaborate for us what this is (or more likely, what are the YEC claims made by CMI in the film) ?

    Have CMI "more recent evidence" on the age of the Earth for example i.e. some peer reviewed research that shows the Earth/Universe is only a mere 6,000 years old, rather than 4.55/13.7 billion years respectively.

  • Comment number 20.

    There is something really fishy about that documentaries website. The fake media company website www.fathom-media.com, www.thevoyage.tv and www.about-evolution.info were registered by a company called Domains by proxy in Scottsdale, Arizona. On their "Digging deeper" page Creation is listed with this http://www.creation.com/ and Evolution is supposedly represented here http://www.about-evolution.info/.

    Is it just me, or does anyone else think they intentionally registered that .info site for the purposes of making their case look stronger than it is, to the layman?

    Could just be a coincidence I guess. I really do want to see how evolution is represented though, because if it's an hour and a half of "Consider all theories, by the way here is Intelligent Design, wink wink" then I won't be a happy hypsilophodon.

  • Comment number 21.

    And then there are the lies which are unashamedly repeated ad nauseam; like Haeckel's faked embryo illustrations in school textbooks. See Message 121. http://www.bbc.co.uk/dna/mbni/F2125955?thread=5580305&skip=120&show=20

  • Comment number 22.

    Presumably, professor Peter Bowler was paid for his appearance in this film. If he did not read or understand his contract or didn't consider that his views might not be used in a way that would please him when taken in the full context of the work before he signed it, that is his problem. I wouldn't want to take his course now given that he can so easily be duped, nor would I accept his teachings on the basis of his word alone for that matter given his vulnerability in that regard. While Darwin may have had a questioning mind, apparently Bowler doesn't, his has more of a mercenary bent.

    If Professor Bowler feels his statements were edited in such a way as to misrepresent his views and thereby discredit his professional reputation, I think he'd have a good case for a lawsuit. Short of that, he should just be grateful for the added income he obtained and perhaps spend it on something that would take his mind off his frustration. Perhaps he won't be so free to accept money for his words in the future. By this foolish action, he's already cheapened their value.

  • Comment number 23.

    Pastorphilip

    "Having seen the film ...I can honestly say that it does not come across as an anti-Darwin polemic, but rather as an encouragement to examine his conclusions in the light of more recent evidence, and also to give thoughtful consideration to the worldview which inevitably arises from his thinking. (ie how come his 'Voyage....shook the world'?)

    Seems to me that is well worth cool-headed evaluation."

    That seems like an odd statement coming from you given what you have said in the past. If you truly believe that the bible is the true and literal word of god and that god created the universe and man in six days then there is no room for thoughtful consideration or cool headed evaluation. That would imply doubt. If there is no doubt, there is nothing to consider and no amount of scientific evidence or theoretical proof is sufficient to negate the word of god. Do you think your own faith is being tested or in doubt? Your words here seem to suggest it.

  • Comment number 24.

    The producers intention for this documentary was to create a film that would be attractive to secular broadcasters and NOT an "anti-Darwin creationist polemic", thus the production company Fathom Media was set-up to produce and market the film. Which by the way, is standard practice in television land.

    Clearly, as broadcasters would not be keen on a creationist diatribe, it would be important to gather and represent views from those who are possibly antagonistic to a creationist perspective, thus it seems entirely appropriate that the production company be separated from the parent organization (CMI). (Comments to this blog demonstrate an abundance of a-priori prejudice against creationists!)

    In listening to the programme yesterday, it seems somewhat ironic for a BBC presenter to criticize the manner in which consent for interviews were obtained. Isn't that what investigative documentary making is all about???

    Besides, all participants were told that there would be a balanced, but 'critical examination' of Darwin's life, work and the various influences on his thinking; canvassing a wide-spectrum of views from scientists and scholars. There were specific references to the fact that creationists would be interviewed.

    As to why a historian like Prof. Bowler is so upset about having his views presented in a documentary by creationists, perhaps says something about his own prejudices. Where is his willingness as a scholar to inform us about Darwin, regardless of who is making the doco?

    Professor Bowler would indeed be justified in complaining if the producers mislead him about the purpose, approach and content of the doco, and delivered a product that is substantially different from what he was told. Such a shame Mr Crawley didn't ask him about that! Another great question would have been, "If the BBC had produced the exact same documentary, would Prof. Bowler still be upset?". However Mr. Crawley seemed to be intent on sensationalizing a perceived fiction that creationists lied. Where were the hard questions for Prof. Bowler? Interesting that he wasn't given the opportunity to comment on the documentary as a whole - perhaps he didn't want to go there...

    If some of you can actually put to aside your blatant bias and are brave enough to see the film, you will also see that Prof. Bowler makes many other insightful comments apart from his 'Darwin was a racist' section. Yet he seems to be silent on how that material was used. BTW, why is that 'evos' are so defensive about Darwin's views on race? Has anyone actually looked up a dictionary definition of racism lately? Seems to pretty accurately describe Darwin's views on so-called 'savages'...

    It would be great to have an informed debate on the relative merits (or otherwise) of the actual film, rather than ill-informed rants about the sub-human status of creationists!!! Wishful thinking, perhaps...

  • Comment number 25.

    For the attention of notashamed. We believe in an invisible man. We call him god.

  • Comment number 26.

    Lets be honest here, does anyone posting really understand both astro physics and biology? If you do, congratulations and can I meet you to have a conversation or 7.

    The fact of the matter is that almost every scientific idea is a theory, even when it has been proved over and over again, it remains a theory because science dictates that even 1 exception can disprove the theory .

    Religion is different. Because no matter what the religion is, the followers and their version of god (I'm intentionally using lower-case for god) insist that without proof, or testing and frequently even with an availability of a myriad exceptions, that they are right. (Gospel Truth)

    In fact many religious people get annoyed or even violent should anyone even question them or their beliefs, let alone try to find proof that god exists or not(the crusades, the spanish inquisition, the grand schism, the Nazi's or numerous other religion inspired wars/massacres for example).

    Darwinism perfectly explains why some "lower" species have better eyes or ears or hearts. Simply they needed them to survive. Ergo, Survival of the fittest. In fact, humans are a great example themselves. We still have an appendix, which our ancestors needed because of what they used to eat, but because our diet has changed is no longer a necessity and is nothing less than a ticking time-bomb for many.

    Not every previous species led to man. In the same way that not every previous species led to beaver or pig. Notashamed116, your argument is nonsensical, your understanding is limited and your god does not exist.

    Also the most convincing argument that god does not exist actually comes from the bible. In genesis, I believe, it states that god made us in his own image and that we were masters of all the land and all the animals.

    If that really is true and we are the pinnacle of god's creation, and assuming he is omnipotent (the bibles perception not mine) then he's a cowboy builder or a weekend DIY man rather than a professional because there is no way that humanity could be be pinnacle of creation.

  • Comment number 27.

    JMK1973 wrote:
    "In fact many religious people get annoyed or even violent should anyone even question them or their beliefs"

    Classic! You just forgot to add "insulting" along with annoyed and violent... More evidence that Evolution IS a religion! :-)

    You have also unwittingly aligned Nazism (with it's adherence to Darwinian Evolution) to other so-called religious extremism. How apt!

    However if you are going to cite the old canards of pseudo-christianity and "other religion inspired wars", perhaps you should be fair and also cite the horrendous and deadly impact of atheistic belief systems in the 20th Century. Other religious wars pale by comparison...

    Also, have you read Genesis? It tells you very clearly what happened to the "pinnacle of God's creation". A "very good Creation" cursed by the selfish impulse of the first human couple. Mock if you wish, but it makes sense of the world that I see around me. You can see how potentially great it could be, but its been largely screwed up by us. After all who doesn't want to be his/her own little god? Me, me, me...it's all very attractive (in our mind!). Not so great for the world around us unfortunately.

  • Comment number 28.

    JMK1973, I worry that you are reinforcing an incorrect understanding of the word "theory" in our non-scientific brethren. "Theory" has (>=)two meanings, one colloquial: "I have this theory that Mrs Bloggs shot JR", and one which reflects our scientific understanding of something.

    Evolutionary theory is not the former; it is a corpus of detailed factual and procedural knowledge that allows us to explain what we observe in the natural world, vis a vis biology. The FACT of evolution is that species have evolved and continue to evolve - no-one disputes that apart from a few wackos (we call them "creationists"). The THEORY of evolution is our understanding of how that process takes place (natural selection is a major component, but also genetic drift, sexual selection, etc), rates, modes, developmental morphology etc.

    It is one of the great success stories of science, if not THE greatest.

    This silly documentary will follow the catastrophic (from the point of view of its funders and producers) "Expelled" into the trash.

  • Comment number 29.

    Thanks korotiotio for your idea, I appreciate it

    Bi Weekly Payments

  • Comment number 30.

    korotiotio, is there any chance of you giving us an example or two to back up this statement?

    "perhaps you should be fair and also cite the horrendous and deadly impact of atheistic belief systems in the 20th Century. Other religious wars pale by comparison..."

    Because on it's own it seems pretty ridiculous. Is that the sound of straws being clutched I hear?

  • Comment number 31.

    H

    Who *did* shoot JR? Never actually got around to working that out.

    What happened to this blog, BTW? What on earth possessed someone to put up a thread on evolution with fundies roaming the blog?
    No offence to Pastor P. He's integrity in spades, and knows where to draw the line. He just says what he believes. But some of the arguments here...I dunno.

    GV

  • Comment number 32.

    Presumably, professor Peter Bowler was paid for his appearance in this film. If he did not read or understand his contract or didn't consider that his views might not be used in a way that would please him when taken in the full context of the work before he signed it, that is his problem. I wouldn't want to take his course now given that he can so easily be duped, nor would I accept his teachings on the basis of his word alone for that matter given his vulnerability in that regard. While Darwin may have had a questioning mind, apparently Bowler doesn't, his has more of a mercenary bent.

    Marcus: It would make not one iota difference.

    In 1997, YECs under the front name of Keziah productions (a front for AiG) tricked their way into the home of Richard Dawkins. When Dawkins realised this he asked them to leave. It didn't matter. The YECs still heavily edited the footage and used it any in order to portray Professor Dawkins as stupid and not knowing what he was talking about. This is no different. See my link in post 2 for more.

    Oh, and by the way, in Australia there's actually a law against this type of thing. Had CMI filmed this in Queensland they almost certainly would have faced proscecution. The UK laws do seem somewhat lax in this area.

    does anyone posting really understand both astro physics

    Astro physicists do admit that the more we find out obout modern cosmology, the less we understand. However, that does not point in anyway to a 6000 year old Earth/Universe. All the eveidence that we have before us reveals a Universe 13.7 billion years old, not 6,000 as the makers of this film believe. Do not forget that JMK 1973 that modern cosmology is really in it's infancy, les that 100 years old.

    The fact of the matter is that almost every scientific idea is a theory, even when it has been proved over and over again, it remains a theory because science dictates that even 1 exception can disprove the theory .

    The fact is JMK1973 that gravity is still only a theory. I think the problem is that when you were at school you either weren't taught, or didn't learn what a theory actually is. You seem to be confused between theory and hypothesis. I suggest you have a look at this excellent video from a University lecturer who explains the difference very well.
    http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/ni/2009/06/creationists_defend_darwin_fil.html




  • Comment number 33.

    Gosh, don't quite know what went wrong there. Here's the correct link to the video. As I say, it explains the difference very well JMK1973:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jdWMcMW54fA

    Oh, and by the way pastorphilip, i'm still waiting on that "new evidence" from the film that you talked about earlier.

  • Comment number 34.

    "by your words you will be condemned."
    The BBC secretly/deceptively film in Iran, Zimbabwe and a host of other countries.
    Surely you won't claim that smuggling food to persecuted minority groups in a closed country is wrong, although that clearly involves deception. Surely you won't claim that hiding Jews from the Nazis was wrong either, although that also clearly involves deception.
    The Bible condemns the motive behind the action, that is how true judgment works - hence the distinction between manslaughter and murder..."For from within, out of men's hearts, come evil thoughts, sexual immorality, theft, murder, adultery"
    A recent BBC clip showing an interview with a heavy metal rock group in China not only contained content which would have been construed by the Chinese authorities as anti-government, but also endangered the musicians interviewed, who openly spoke their minds as they sat beside their table covered in empty beer bottles. This is an example of deception (on the part of the interviewer) that endangered others for selfish gain. CMI didn't produce this film to make money, but in order to reveal the truth to those indoctrinated by evolution.
    Regarding the Ninth commandment - it actually prohibits bearing false testimoney against ones neighbour. What that entails is giving false evidence against them or making baseless accusations.
    Perhaps Will should spend less time making baseless accusations and just watch the documentary for himself.

  • Comment number 35.

    Paulmcfarland, does the 9th commandment carry with it any obligation on the part of those who bear the false information and use it in testimony (as assuredly happened, for instance, in the Kitzmiller trial, when the creationists repeatedly lied under oath) to verify whether their testimony is true or not?

    It's a tricky one. For instance, you perhaps think that creationism is true. This is a false belief, but it is one that you (maybe) hold sincerely. However, you have not subjected this belief to proper scrutiny (how could you? If you did, you would know it to be complete rubbish), so should you be blamed before god when he is totting up your violations of C9?

    You claim that the ends justify the means (well, that's what I'm assuming by your use of the term "motive"), but the problem is that most theologians nowadays recognise that Genesis is NOT a literal description of how the universe began, and they acknowledge the truth of evolution and the seriously boggling antiquity of the universe.

    It is an interesting question. We know that creationists are *wrong* - how much can we hold them culpable for ignorance or intentional malice?


    BTW, Will, you mentioned that Peter Bowler is a leading authority on evolution - this is not correct (at least as far as I know! Correct me if I'm wrong) - he is a leading authority on *Darwin* and the history of evolutionary thought, but he is a historian, not a scientist. All round good guy, though - you've had him on the show before, and he's excellent. Just a minor quibble. :-)

  • Comment number 36.

    but in order to reveal the truth to those indoctrinated by evolution.

    That's not what they told Peter Bowler when they interviewed him, or what Philip Bell said to William Crawley on yesterday morning's Sunday Sequence.

  • Comment number 37.

    Still waiting on pastorphilip's new information.

  • Comment number 38.

    HenryDrummond - I'd be happy to:

    According to one estimate by Dr. R. J. Rummel, professor emeritus of political science at the University of Hawaii (the scholar who first coined the term democide - 'death by government'), communism caused the death of approximately 110,286,000 people between 1917 and 1987.(http://www.hawaii.edu/powerkills/COM.ART.HTM%29

    That's just communism (aka state-mandated atheism). Probably don't need to mention the Nazis...

    As for the Crusades, I wasn't there to count, but Brian Dunning in his blog, estimated 500,000. (http://skeptoid.com/episodes/4076%29

    I don't think the Spanish Inquisition really rates on that scale. But as Brian points out, it doesn't really matter what causes it - people like to kill people. Lot's of them. However some are acting consistently with their belief system, others aren't.

  • Comment number 39.

    Heliopolitan - 'ends justify the means' describes a situation where the end result is desirable and so sinful/criminal/immoral/unethical means are used to obtain that end result.
    However I just explained that the 'means' did not break the ninth commandment, so there is no problem before God. Or perhaps if it did break C9 you could explain how it did, giving reference to the ninth commandment? (Exodus 20)
    Do you believe the Bible?

  • Comment number 40.

    korotiotio, while there can be no doubt of the amount of people killed in the examples you have given your insistance on it being a product of atheism is what I have a problem with. While Stalin was an atheist, his reasons for the killing of so many people (43,000,000) were not for atheistic reasons. They were purely political reasons. While the example you provided me with says "In other words, communism was like a fanatical religion" it does not say it was religious, nor does it say that atheism was the reason for the millions of dead.

    While you probably don't need to mention the Nazi's I will, I will do so because while Hitler on some occassions mentioned he was an atheist, on other occassions to different audiences he actually played up his Catholic background. It could be said that he was playing up different sides to himself to suit his audience and gain favour with them. He ordered the deaths of so many million people there is no doubt about this but you cannot say that he did this because he was an atheist. He did this because of the need to exterminate what he saw as his enemies in war and the enimies of the state he wanted to create. There is no evidence that I am aware of that he sought to kill so many people just because he was an atheist. Is there any evidence of this, perhaps you can provide me with some. While you are at it can you provide any evidence prove or disprove that Hitler had so many people killed because of his Catholic background?

    I think that your eagerness to attribute the deaths of the millions in your examples to atheism is the downfall of your argument. Which is why in my first reply to you I mentioned the clutching of straws.

  • Comment number 41.

    JKLMNOP1793

    "For the attention of notashamed. We believe in an invisible man. We call him god."

    One day I sat upon the stair
    And saw a man who wasn't there
    He wasn't there again today
    O god I wish he'd go away

    "Lets be honest here, does anyone posting really understand both astro physics and biology? If you do, congratulations and can I meet you to have a conversation or 7."

    What makes you think I'd even consider wasting my time speaking with you?

    PJH

    "Marcus: It would make not one iota difference.

    In 1997, YECs under the front name of Keziah productions (a front for AiG) tricked their way into the home of Richard Dawkins. When Dawkins realised this he asked them to leave. It didn't matter. The YECs still heavily edited the footage and used it any in order to portray Professor Dawkins as stupid and not knowing what he was talking about. This is no different."

    Actually it is very different. First of all, in the current case, since this was known in advance to be used in a movie, Bowler had or should have insisted on a clearly written contract that specified his rights that he agreed to. He was a fool if he didn't. If he was too foolish to not hire a lawyer or not read it himself and understand it before he signed it, that's his problem. If the producers violated the contract, then there is a case for a lawsuit for breach of contract. In Dawkins case, you say the material was heavily edited thereby misrepresenting his views. Since this affects his professional reputation and his ability to earn money, under contract law in the US he'd have a case for a lawsuit. If these people did not leave when he told them to and presented material they obtained afterwards, they were also guilty of criminal tresspass and should have been prosecuted criminally and sued civilly. Did Dawkins do that? In either case, one thing they have in common, if you are a renowned scientist with a reputation to protect and an interview is requested of you, you'd better be careful of whom you talk to, what you say, under what circumstances, how it will be used, and have legally binding contracts to back up your rights. Not sure of the laws in NI but in the US they are quite specific.

    Kyoto

    "Also, have you read Genesis? It tells you very clearly what happened to the "pinnacle of God's creation". A "very good Creation" cursed by the selfish impulse of the first human couple. Mock if you wish, but it makes sense of the world that I see around me."

    Well, it points to just how incompetent the god who created the universe is. Within a couple of chapters the two people he created broke the one rule he laid down for them. The more we learn, the worse god looks. Stars exploding, galaxies crashing into each other. If people who drove cars were always crashing into things we'd take their driver's license away.

    It seems to me that as soon as a believer tries to debate scientific theories based on scientific observations and logic whether twisted, distorted, skewed, or otherwise in order to try to prove that they contradict their religion, he is proving he does not have faith becuase if you believe in god the way many say they do, then you take that belief on the strength of what it says in the bible or koran or whatever book they find that faith in alone. If that's not good enough for them, then their faith isn't unshakable.

    BTW, it seems to me that with the making of every frame or cell of this film, the producers have created another craven image, each one a violation of gods commandment.

  • Comment number 42.

    HenryDrummond
    Certainly Hitler played different sides to win support. The Catholic church was an influence that he could not ignore (and which shared his anti-Jewish sentiment). However Hitler actually set to work rewriting the Bible - removing all traces of Jewishness and replacing them with arianism. So it cannot be claimed by any means that he was a Christian - rather than modelling himself on Christ, he modelled Christ on himself. Just google 'Nazi Bible'.
    He may not have been an out and out atheist (I don't believe anyone truly is) however he certainly used evolution as the perfect opportunity in the removal of 'inferior races'. Regardless of what he professed to be, evolution was the perfect tool for his goal of extermination of the Jewish race.

  • Comment number 43.

    paulmcfarland

    Ok you may not believe that anyone is truly an out and out atheist, but you are imposing your Christian values onto other people (that's what one of my main problems with christians is) so how can you be objective enough to realise that there are true 'out and out' atheists?

    Also if Hitler set about to rework the bible surely this suggests he possessed a basic Christian faith in wanting to do this? It's a trait that a lot of Christians possess, although they usually dont rewrite the bible they just twist what is in it to suit their own bigotry.

    Also, he didnt use evolution to remove inferior races. How can one use a living process for such ends? What I think you meant is he used Darwins theory as a basis for his actions (sorry for being pedantic). Pardon my asking, but what of it? That does not prove that Darwin was wrong or evil. (Anyone can manipulate a theory or work for evil ends. People do it with the Bible daily.) Nor does it prove that the people he killed were done so out of some atheistic zeal.

  • Comment number 44.

    5. At 6:00pm on 21 Jun 2009, NotAshamed116

    "If macro evolution isn't a fairy tale for grown-ups.... Then I'm a glorified baboon"

    Another example of a complete misunderstanding of the scientific process, mixed with extreme narcissism, and the crowing of willful ignorance. The argument of personal incredulity doesn't win any Nobel prizes, and the fact that you are not ashamed of showing yourself as a dunderhead, portrays you as more of an ostrich than a baboon.

    The mendacity of these directors of creationist propaganda knows no bounds, as evidenced by the duplicity of the horrendous "expelled" travesty. If you need to dupe respected scientists to quote them out of context in these gutter documentaries, reveling in half-truths, pseudo-science and outright lies, then what kind of message does that send about your integrity.

  • Comment number 45.

    Paul, Hitler was a Catholic, and did not just play up his background - he actively claimed to be doing the will of god and of Christ. He had no knowledge of Darwin, and Darwin is not mentioned *once* in Mein Kampf. Furthermore, Nazi eugenics owes nothing to an understanding of biological evolution, and more to the pseudoscience of "racial purity" that was coming from the world of animal breeding. Of course nowadays we know that human "races" are in fact extremely biologically close, and that the type of gratuitous racism we see in (for example) the bible is unfounded.

    No, I do not believe the bible, because the bible gets lots and lots of things wrong. From the very first chapter, in fact, right to the very last. It is a purely man-made creation - surely everyone knows this? Presumably you do *think* you believe the bible - would that be Genesis 1 or Genesis 2 that you believe? Did Jesus ride into Jerusalem on one donkey or two? Where in the OT is the prophecy that Jesus would come from Nazareth? These are just a couple of issues that you would need to clarify, because I don't think you really believe the bible at all.

    Atheism is not a creed or religion - it is simply non-belief in god. It is possible to be an atheist and a Christian, and many people are. Atheism is not responsible for Stalinism, just as Jesus the Nazarene was not responsible for the crusades. Atrocities happen when people give up their freedom of *thought* and convert it into the ghastly and destructive monstrosity that we call "belief". Occasionally I do describe myself as an atheistic Christian, but mostly a Freethinker or a Humanist.

  • Comment number 46.

    Heliopolitan, many good points, I often wondered about being labeled and was uncomfortable with atheist, not through shame of being one in an overtly religious country (actually I'm extremely proud of what I am). I like to be described as a Freethinker too. I dont see why I should be defined in relation to something I don't believe in.

  • Comment number 47.

    HenryDrummond

    Yeah sorry didn't explain well - 'theory as a basis' would have been better.

    You're absolutely right, anything can be twisted, one example of how the Bible has been twisted is the misuse of 'mark of cain' to refer to African black slaves centuries back (when clearly it means something else since Cain's descendants would have been wiped out in the flood).

    Where I believe the theory of evolution to be different is that applying it to day to day living (to not let scientific knowledge change our worldview would be foolish indeed) provides the foundation for a worldview that does not need to be twisted to be anti-human(anti-life for life's sake)...if you are an evolutionist and an atheist what is your view on old people, the disabled etc. Surely human life has no instrinsic or absolute value - only relative. What is the difference between weeding the garden and ethnic cleansing for example?

    Now don't get me wrong - I am not saying that because its logical application is immoral that it must be wrong/untrue. However I find it strange that things we know to be morally right by our conscience - such as 'killing is bad' are contradicted in nature. I would say that there are two possible conclusions:
    1.nature (and ourselves included) has to some extent become corrupted and so violates conscience (which is higher)
    2.our morals such as beliefs regarding the holocaust being evil are simply misguided and out of step with nature eg.ant behaviour etc. etc.

    Do you hold to either of these two points or do you propose something else?
    Please remember that I am not making arguments as to the truth or fiction of evolution, but rather questioning its implications on our society - as that is also a highly controversial topic.

  • Comment number 48.

    Getting back to the film,

    I watched it for the first time on Thursday and thought the production was of the highest quality excelling many of the well produced National Geographic/Discovery documentaries.
    I'm quite sure that those who have thus far dismissed the film as Creationist drivel have yet yo see it. Until a person watches the film I feel it would be unfair to flame it.
    The film is a extremely respectful summary of Darwin's life and re-enacts his early interest in nature. The visuals accompanying the Voyage of the Beagle are quite impressive depicting the landscapes and creatures that Darwin saw. Interestingly most of Darwin's dialogue in the film is his own writing.
    The film is very well balanced concerning interviewees who genuinely express problems with the current evolutionary explanation of speciation. This includes hybridisation among Galapagos Iguanas, rapid cyclical change of Finch beaks - (Darwin left the Galapagos before he could realise this cyclical change).
    The evidence for global catastrophism is demonstrated by Dr Emil Silvestru who shows polystrate fossils and uneroded shell beds 150m above sea level. These observations are inexplicable by the uniformatarian worldview which Darwin represented. Charles Lyell, the greatest exponent of uniformatarianism is mentioned as a strong influence on Darwin's thinking.

    The film is not the controversial minefield that some are insisting upon, before commenting in favour or in criticism I would advise all to watch the film and enjoy.

  • Comment number 49.

    Heliopolitan;

    "It is possible to be an atheist and a Christian"

    I don't see how. In the definition of the word "Christian" as I understand it, it is someone who believes that Jesus Christ was the son of god. Therefore if there is no god, Christ cannot be the son of god.

    "Atheism is not a creed or religion - it is simply non-belief in god."

    Atheism literally means without god. This means IMO a lack of belief in the existance of god. There are no atheist rituals or other trappings of what are termed religions. In a way, I find the term atheist unsatisfactory at least to describe myself. What I know is that there is no evidence to even suggest let alone prove at least to my satisfaction that a god or gods exist. That is what I know. What I believe is that god does not exist. They say you cannot prove a negative. I'm not so sure that is true. Should I take that logic as gospel on faith alone? It is not my habit to take anything on faith alone. I might as well be from Missouri, "The Show Me State."

  • Comment number 50.

    No I don't think I do subscribe to those points. Well certainly the way you have worded them. I will try to put my point across as best I can because I'm not sure what you mean by some of the things you have said. Are you saying that the logical application of the theory of evolution is immoral? By who's standards is it immoral? I don't believe it to be.

    How has nature become corrupted in relation to our conscience?

    To me evolution can explain why we find evil deeds such as the holocaust abhorrent. We see that human suffering is wrong and it pains us to see other people in pain, I think that is our natural reaction. Sure humans have been killing one another from the beginning of their time. I'm sure that the first person to take another life probably did so without regret but as we have evolved, lived & grew as a race in close proximitry to one another we have gained a better understanding of what it is to be human & people that have taken other lives are bound to feel some sort of regret and pain due to a better understanding of human kind that can only have come about because we have evolved together over a vast amount of time, unless you take the example of soldiers or people (fanatics) who believe that god is on their side in taking lives. What I mean is that our natural reaction is that of sympathy or regret for human suffering unless we have been conditioned in such a way (by army training, believe in a fundamentalist interpretation of a holy book)which results in the situation that others of our kind are rendered valueless as human beings and therefore can be killed legitimately. I dont think that we naturally feel empathy with other humans or regret if we cause suffering to other humans because of some god character who told us through a book that such acts were right or wrong. We feel this because our line has had countless millennia worth of experience in which we have evolved from cave dweller to supposed modern human. We understand the human emotions of others because we have them ourselves. I know that in a fit of rage that someone can take a life but I dont think that when they cool down that they naturally regret the action because of what 'god' said. They regret it because of the countless millennia worth of evolutionary experience that they have inside them that tells them it is wrong. Does that make sense? I'm not pretending to be any sort of expert. It's just what I believe to be the case

  • Comment number 51.

    Wow,

    I didn't fully realise how divisive this Creation.com/Fathom media/Creation Ministries International Bunch were. They have hashed together a critique of Blueprint by what can only best be described as a secondary school teacher, ouch.

    http://creation.com/once-upon-a-time-in-northern-ireland

    I hope you read or have seen this William. Seems to me that this bunch aren't half as impartial as they claim.

  • Comment number 52.

    Heliopolitan I don't see how the Bible is racist. It is against immorality and therefore opposed to immoral nations. However even the immoral nations of the Old Testament had opportunities for repentance. Jonah was sent to Ninevah in Assyria to preach to Israel's enemies - due to his sectarian prejudices he tried to run away instead.
    God also explicitly stated that he gave the Canaanites opportunity (hundres of years) to repent before the Israelites came in conquest and judgment.

    Regarding Genesis1/2 being different accounts, ch2 serves to elaborate on the earlier narrative. The 'Toledoth formula' ("these are the generations of") preceeds what some claim to be a different second version. The Toledoth was a common phrase found in ancient literature and connects the two accounts as part of the same narrative/version.

    Regarding the 2/1 donkeys, this claim to an error is made by those who don't hold to inerrancy (obvious point), who also believe in the Q source or that Mark was the original source and Matthew and Luke used Mark plus Q plus M and L sources. Either way - according to source criticism of those who take the 2/1 donkeys as an error, Matthew would have read Mark and perhaps even Luke. This contradicts the whole idea that he would have misinterpreted the prophecy, since according to the proponents of this 'error', Matthew would have read their interpretation of the prophecy.

    Regarding prophecy relating to Jesus being from Nazareth there is none. I presume you are referring to Matt2v23: and he went and lived in a town called Nazareth. So was fulfilled what was said through the prophets: "He will be called a Nazarene".. In Greek it is not always clear what should be in inverted commas, here is an example of a translation error. Perhaps better might be 'He shall be called a Nazarene so that what was said through the prophets might be fulfilled.' As Jesus fulfilled prophesies in Nazareth. If it was a purely made up prophecy why would Matthew have put it in? Or why would the early Greek speaking Church not have taken it out? There is obviously no real problem with this verse though some translations are clearly misleading.


    Yes I do truly believe the Bible as the inerrant word of God. Without it you are utterly lost. No naturalistic worldview provides you with any foundation for morality, meaning or purpose.

  • Comment number 53.

    Heliopolitan, MarcusAurelliusII, Abernethyt, Geneboy, HenryDrummond, peterJhenderson and all..

    Which of you have seen the film? Just that as far as I can see that noone who is criticising the film has actually seen it...

  • Comment number 54.

    Which of you have seen the film? Just that as far as I can see that noone who is criticising the film has actually seen it...

    pastorphilip claims the film presents new scientific evidence on Darwins ideas. Still waiting for the evidence from pastorphilip.

    On going to see the film Paul, why would I want to. ? CMI believe the Earth to be no more than 6,000 years old, 6/24hr. creation along with a global flood. This is neither supported by evidence or taught anywhere in science. Their is no debate within science about either the age of the Eartrh, biological evolution, or the fact that there wasn't a global flood.

  • Comment number 55.

    reply to 51: Geneboy, very interesting link. Did you realise that the article attacking Blueprint was written by Phil Bell, the Creation Ministries director who was interviewed with Peter Bowler on Sunday Sequence. Bell's article on Blueprint is so scientifically illiterate that Will and others would be best advised to simply ignore it (as they seem to have done) on the basis that life is too short to bother with unscientific nonsense. It's bad enough that young earthers persist in their views, which they are entitled to do, but when they assume a superior tone in dismissing modern science, they invite complete contempt.

  • Comment number 56.

    I have not seen this "documentary", but likewise I have not criticised it either. Any comments I have made have been responses to posts in this thread, or critiques/observations of Creation Ministries International. I have seen many a debate, and documentary presented from the Young Earth Creation; Gap; Intelligent Design camp to know the salient points prior to seeing it frankly although I would be keen to view and take notes for a critique.

    As a scientist I would predict from prior observation that the majority of the documentary is presented as indisputable historical fact, interspersed with commentary that presents Evolutionary Biology as a field of science currently in crisis. I would also predict that said documentary leans heavily towards purporting "Intelligent Design" as a rival theory that is hotly debated in science circles.

    Intelligent Design is neither a theory, nor a science, and it certainly isn't debated among science circles at the moment. Add to this that the "Designer" is never regarded as an intelligence alien to us, but rather the familiar old god of the Bible, Yahweh and you have a very weak platform for subsequent inquiry i.e. Yahweh did it, Zeus did it, Allah did it. Please organise a showing somewhere in Belfast, as I would love to be proven wrong in this case.

  • Comment number 57.

    To Augustine,

    I didn't even know about that part of Sunday Sequence. Just popping on Iplayer now to have a listen. Cheers for the heads up.

  • Comment number 58.

    I find the different approaches to pastorphilip by two of our regular christians somewhat interesting. In post 19 peterjhenderson asks pastorphilip about what new evidence supposedly points towards creation. If that is meant to be a critical question, expecting no good answer whatsoever, then I'll go along with peterjhenderson. Given pastorphilips posts, I fully expect his claims to be utterly empty blurbs. Yet Graham credits him with integrity in spades in post 31. But despite peterjhendersons repeated reminders in posts 33, 37 and 54, we've not been presented with anything by pastorphilip to back up his claim. Which I thinks supports peterjhendersons approach over Grahams.

    Graham, what on FSMs green earth makes you say pastorphilip has integrity in spades? The empty claim of evidence is an admittedly small indication of the opposite (and he might still present some. Hah!), but isn't that already more than what speaks in his favour? We often disagree, but I wouldn't deny that you make an effort to make substantial posts. With pastorphilip, it's always short blurbs singing the praises of god, not even a hint of thinking having gone into it. The guy is plain dumb and quite possibly a little bit dishonest in speaking out for his faith. So is your compliment to him a matter of complementing a fellow christian for fellow christians sake?

    Maybe I'm far too negative. While I've followed the blog regularly the last few months, I haven't always done so. I may have missed something. Maybe you could list a few of pastorphilips posts that show some of his great integrity?

  • Comment number 59.


    I assume you mean integrity in substantiating claims, etc.? If so, I have to agree with PK... where is it? Where is the new evidence for creationism? Where is ANY evidence for creationism?


  • Comment number 60.

    Geneboy the showing in Belfast was on Saturday night so you missed it I'm afraid. A DVD will come out in a couple of months so you'll be able to see it then.

    peterJhenderson - I'm sure you are familiar with much of the Creationist material but still, the documentary is well worth a watch. If the interviewees claim they didn't catch on that it was a 'Creationist documentry' then it can hardly be too biased. Watch it when it comes out and decide for yourself.

  • Comment number 61.

    jpaulm #53

    "Heliopolitan, MarcusAurelliusII, Abernethyt, Geneboy, HenryDrummond, peterJhenderson and all..

    Which of you have seen the film? Just that as far as I can see that noone who is criticising the film has actually seen it..."

    Perhaps you can point out where I criticized the film. The only comment I made about it is that the producers had every right to dupe Bowler and if he's angry about it now, he has nobody but himself to blame. But this brings up another point, the propensity of those who believe in a doctrine to see anyone who does not agree with it as an enemy and lump them all together.

    PK;

    "With pastorphilip, it's always short blurbs singing the praises of god, not even a hint of thinking having gone into it."

    I think normally atheists simply deny the existance of god and leave it at that. I tried something different. Suspending disbelief and taking the bible at face value, I decided to see if within itself, it presented a coherent comprehensible story for creation as it proports to do. I relied on Pastorphilip because he presumably has some formal theological training and would have insight, understanding, and explanations laic contributors don't have. I quickly found starting from page one of the first chapter of the first book that not only was it filled with self contradictions and ambiguities but that pastorphilip was not able to resolve even a single one of them to my satisfaction. Some didn't have anything to do with theology at all, just the meaning of the words. Such as the difference between the meaning of the deep and the waters in Genesis 1 line 2 since in today's vernacular, the deep is taken to mean the oceans. I also asked him what it meant where it said the earth was formless. Clearly it didn't mean that there was no land because later the bible specifically calls the land "land." This was a real disappointment to me but I accept that at least here, there are no contributors who are definitively qualified to explain what the bible means. Debating its nuances here therefore from my perspective is pointless.

  • Comment number 62.

    Move along folks, there's noting to see here. Its just one more in a long list of examples of how these hypocrites think its OK to "lie for Jesus".

  • Comment number 63.

    I'm sure you are familiar with much of the Creationist material but still, the documentary is well worth a watch.

    Indeed I am Paul.

    The fact that this docu. comes from an organisation that believes the Earth/Universe is only 6,000 years old,6/24 hr creation, and a global flood would really cause me to doubt that it had any value at other than for propaganda purposes.


    If the interviewees claim they didn't catch on that it was a 'Creationist documentry' then it can hardly be too biased. Watch it when it comes out and decide for yourself.

    How can it not be "too bised" when Peter Bowler states that most of his interview about Darwin was edited out ? I would imagine that happened with the other unwillng participants in the film as well. Obviously CMI are only showing the material that portays the message that they (CMI) are trying to get across. Personally speaking, after hearing Peter Bowler on Sunday morning, I'd be wondering about all the bits that I didn't see.

  • Comment number 64.

    HenryDrummond
    Perhaps the last post that time will afford me. Regarding our discussion on evolved morality....

    I would say that conscience tells us that nature has become corrupted because we see things in nature that can shock us, or annoy us - the very things that might cause one to question the existence of a loving God. Things that we know are not the way they should be.
    To quote Tennyson:
    Who trusted God was love indeed
    And love Creation's final law
    Tho' Nature, red in tooth and claw
    With ravine, shriek'd against his creed

    We all think about this difficulty. The solution is either that nature (and our human nature included) has fallen below the standard which we know to be good and perfect (as in the Fall into sin). Or else (as in Freudianism) we simply suffer from a restrictive conscience (restricted by societal imposed morality such as Christian values) which imposes on our freedom, and that there is no such thing as absolute right or wrong, good or evil, and so things like the holocaust really shouldn't bother us.

    You suggest that we have perhaps evolved this attitude of care for our fellow man as a result of co-existence over the millenia. However I'm sure you can think of individuals who are very skilled at manipulating people to get what they want without returning the favour. The users and abusers tend to be some of the most successful in our cut throat world. I'd say experience would teach one to be more rather than less selfish. Life's experiences tends to harden people rather than soften them as they reach old age.

    What would posess someone to lay down his life for his friends, or more amazing still - his enemies? (Check out the film 'To End All Wars' - based on a true story from a Japanese POW camp)

    In conclusion - if good arises from experience ingrained throughout the millenia then it is of no more importance to the evolutionist than a tonsil or the appendix. Perhaps caring for one's neighbour is simply a vestigial organ? Or could it be that our conscience is a gift from God, used to convict us and draw us to himself, knowing that we need forgiveness...

    For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.

  • Comment number 65.

    MarcusAureliusII - "there are no contributors who are definitively qualified to explain what the bible means. Debating its nuances here therefore from my perspective is pointless."

    How bizarre that an "expert" is required to debate the meaning of the Bible, yet the accepted theories of Evolution can be fully debated and criticized by effective Layman. The so called "experts" reported in this thread found at Creation Ministries International and affiliates can hardly be regarded as reputable scientists, and indeed aren't. An expert on Caves who openly admits believe in a young earth, that has published only in extremely low impact journals; and a school teacher who has not actually studied and researched Evolutionary Biology.

    Perhaps you should reinvoke your disbelief. It is entirely acceptable in this day and age to be a theist, and accept the theory of evolution. If you choose otherwise, then you must accept that the bible is the inerrant word of a god and must live accordingly. For the latter it is clear that as William stated in the interview they have broken the ninth commandment on more than one occasion.

  • Comment number 66.

    Geneboy, I'm glad you've proclaimed yourself as an expert on the bible ready to answer some of the questions I posed to Pastorphilip in the past that he seemed to me to be unable to.

    Lets start with the self contradiction in the sequence of the creation of the animals and man. I'll post it again in case you have forgotten it or did not read it the first time.

    Genesis 1:24-1:27

    " 24 And God said, "Let the land produce living creatures according to their kinds: livestock, creatures that move along the ground, and wild animals, each according to its kind." And it was so. 25 God made the wild animals according to their kinds, the livestock according to their kinds, and all the creatures that move along the ground according to their kinds. And God saw that it was good.

    26 Then God said, "Let us make human beings in our image, in our likeness, so that they may rule over the fish in the sea and the birds in the sky, over the livestock and all the wild animals, [a] and over all the creatures that move along the ground."

    27 So God created human beings in his own image,
    in the image of God he created them;
    male and female he created them."

    But;

    Genesis 2:15-2:20

    "15 The LORD God took the man and put him in the Garden of Eden to work it and take care of it. 16 And the LORD God commanded the man, "You are free to eat from any tree in the garden; 17 but you must not eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, for when you eat of it you will certainly die."

    18 The LORD God said, "It is not good for the man to be alone. I will make a helper suitable for him."

    19 Now the LORD God had formed out of the ground all the wild animals and all the birds in the sky. He brought them to the man to see what he would name them; and whatever the man called each living creature, that was its name. 20 So the man gave names to all the livestock, the birds in the sky and all the wild animals."

    So, which came first, the chicken or the man and how do you account for the obvious discrepency since both can't be true? Finally an expert who can answer such a simple question since there are countless others far more difficult to follow.





  • Comment number 67.




    Christians blatantly lying for Jesus.

    Now there's a surprise.

  • Comment number 68.

    Paulmcfarland, you are simply trotting out nonsense excuses, not explanations. The toledoth formulation does NOT harmonise these two utterly contradictory accounts in Genesis 1 & 2; they derive from different traditions entirely. The double donkey arose because the author of Matthew was *embellishing* (or, rather, correcting what he thought was an error) the story in Mark, while trying clumsily to weave in his little "fulfilled prophecies". The different accounts of the resurrection are likewise inharmonisable - the simple fact is that the bible is riddled with errors, and is no more a guide to morality than Reservoir Dogs.

    As for "immoral nations" - that concept simply drips with racism. The genocide of the Amalekites, for instance, ranks as one of the most hideous stories woven around these "chosen people" - the ludicrous space pixie you pretend to believe in (I don't think there really are *real* theists - just fibbers, projecting their own internal miseries onto a wider reality) comes out of the story as one of the nastiest, most evil gods of the Near East.

    But that's just an aside - you don't really believe the bible - you just think you do. The universe is billions of years old. Get over it. You are related to chimps. Get over it. Evolution WORKS. This is no longer up for debate.

  • Comment number 69.

    Im surprised that the UU permitted this film to be shown there. Maybe they didn't know about the deception?

  • Comment number 70.

    Heliopolitan, Regarding Gen1/2 the author simply wanted to give an account of the creation week first. After the week finishes the focus then moved to the pinacle of creation - man (which God described as 'very good' in ch1) and how God placed him in the garden, next the text gives the origin of woman, then Adam and Eve's relationship with God.
    The alternative would be to place all that information into day 6 and then after day seven return to the temptation in the garden - the way it is written is obviously the better choice - thematic (and also preserving literary symmetry) rather than strictly chronological. The arrangement of the themes stresses the significance of the creation week (which is referred to throughout scripture) as a work of God, with the creation (including man) being passive - man becomes active in the narrative in ch2. There is absolutely nothing to suggest discontinuity or compositions from other traditions other than any preconceptions you impose on the text (eg. that it must have been compiled from older sources or snippets from cereal boxes, rather than originally composed - because it is not an ancient piece, but rather a mish-mash of older myths).

    The accounts of the resurrection differ depending on whether the gospel writer used the hours/time from the Jewish day or the Roman day. The reference to '3 days and 3 nights' is a common expression which was used in other literature to simply refer to the period that extended over three days. Therefore Friday evening to Sunday morning could be called '3 days and 3 nights' whilst at the same time Sunday also can be called the 3rd day.

    I do believe in God and in Jesus - mankinds only hope. I believe you do too because you keep refering to standards of morality whilst making your judgments, which is logically inconsistent with the relativism of atheism. In short you have an authority problem with God, but through Christ you can know God as a father who loves you. Consider that truth Heliopolitan.

  • Comment number 71.

    "I do believe in God and in Jesus - mankinds only hope. I believe you do too because you keep refering to standards of morality whilst making your judgments, which is logically inconsistent with the relativism of atheism"

    What inane twaddle. Please. Your arrogance is beyond belief. The universe doesn't revolve around you, just the opposite, it is supremely indifferent to you. If humans, or even the earth, disappeared tomorrow, it would not make the slightest difference to the universe, as it has managed for most of its existence without the appearance of a bizarre African ape. As for the hijacking of morality by the empty headed for heavenly brownie points, what asinine nonsense. Try invoking an explanation without recourse to am anachronistic supernatural sky fairy, particularly the Abrahamic monster.

    Here is an interesting link that demolishes the tedious assertion from religious apologists that morality arose from religion..

    http://richarddawkins.net/article,1780,You-cant-be-moral-without-God,RichardDawkinsnet

  • Comment number 72.

    --Phil Bell also denied that his organisation had broken the ninth commandment by "bearing false witness" against Professor Bowler and his colleagues. "Nobody was told any lies," he said.--

    Christian ethics are indeed wondrously flexible. Jesus is the ultimate fixer.

    Hallelujah!

  • Comment number 73.


    Abernethyt

    the "link demolishes the tedious assertion from religious apologists that morality arose from religion.."

    Oh goody, I'll have a look tomorrow (or later today I mean) I never seen that done before!

    Demolished? Goodness, not even Heliopolitan has done that and his arguments are good, his arguments are very good.

    I'm all excited now, can't contain myself, maybe I'll have to stop being a Christian.

    Or here, to save me reading the web site you referenced why not put the demolition job up on here in your own words, that's what most of us do.

    :-)

  • Comment number 74.

    John Wright asks, 'Where is ANY evidence for creation?'

    The request that Christians, or 'creationists' as they are sometimes called, produce evidence for creation is similar to the request which evolutionists faced with the challenge to produce evidence that life originated through a fortuituous chemical synthesis of inanimate elements. No such evidence has been forthcoming, and all the intelligence and resources in the modern laboratory cannot as yet synthesize the simplest form of life. Consequently if an evolutionist is asked how life evolved, rather than admit that he does not know he scornfully responds that the questioner by asking such a question reveals his ignorance of how evolution works, and that the origin of life is not a question for evolutionists to answer. It was not always dismissed thus. Due to early optimism some, like Miller, rushed in, claiming that an answer would soon be found. Haeckel described the incredibly complex cell as a simple gelatinous glob. Obviously(but not to Haeckel) if he had been right, only a 'God did it' would have made any sense at this juncture. Now even such evolutionary zealots as Dawkins are prepared to grasp at aliens and panspermia as possible solutions to the origin of life on this planet; which of course does not answer the question, and is on the path of 'infinite regress'. So 'primitive life', created by means unknown, is the given on which the theory of evolution is built.
    Similarly, the request that Christians produce evidence for creation is a red herring. God at work for six days may be as difficult to substantiate as aliens or panspermia. However, if, from positions of faith, we let Christians start from 'perfect complex life',(the Biblical kinds; creatures running, swimming and flying, etc) and let evolutionists begin from 'primitive single cell life' we have a level playing field at kick-off. But the game from there is all uphill for evolutionists struggling to reach the goal of present specialization of life-forms, whereas for Christians it is downhill to generally smaller less complex specimens; a fall through extinction and specialized existence in ever more precarious niches; a development which should have been obvious to Darwin in his pigeon breeding experiments. The presentation of experimental evidence overwhelmingly favours the Christian game in both abundance and clarity of scores; evidence for a Fall abounds. At the other end of the playing field there is no experiment which I can cite which would illustrate the evolution thesis; a game of own-goals by such as Dr Larry Taylor, or Susumu OhNo.

  • Comment number 75.

    pmf

    "Heliopolitan, Regarding Gen1/2 the author simply wanted to give an account of the creation week first. After the week finishes the focus then moved to the pinacle of creation - man (which God described as 'very good' in ch1) and how God placed him in the garden, next the text gives the origin of woman, then Adam and Eve's relationship with God."

    NO! That is not how the second account, the one in Genesis 2 went. Before god created Eve according to it, he created the animals AFTER he created Adam. And we know this is the second account because the bible explains why he created the animals, to see what Adam would name them. This is in direct contradiction of Genesis 1's account which makes it clear that the animals were created BEFORE Adam was. If you want to interpret, infer, surmise, you can twist the words of the bible to mean anything you want them to say. If you take it literally at its word, then you have to explain the discrepency on its own terms by showing that the the two seemingly different accounts actually do not contradict each other. This would seem an imposibility since by every logical test, the two sequences of events are diametrically opposed to each other. Don't try to fluff some trash excuse off on me. I'm not some nodding dolt in some Sunday morning congregation who wants to believe and will overlook the illogic of it and pretend that it isn't there.

    redcarding;

    "The presentation of experimental evidence overwhelmingly favours the Christian game.."

    Actually exactly the opposite is true. This is surprising since science has only had about 150 years since the catalogueing of the periodic table of the elements and only slightly over 100 years since the discovery of radioactivity while Christianity has had over 2000 years and Judism over 5000 years to refine its explanations. The expectation that humans could synthesize living organism from inert matter in such a short time is unreasonable. What is most surprising is how far it has come in that time. It can synthesize all of the constituent elements found in living organisms, analyze them completely down to the last atom in their structure, knows much about the geological history of the earth going back billions of years, and trace the evolutionary path on both a macroscopic level and now to an increasing degree on a molecular level. It's only a matter of time before it can fit all of the pieces of the puzzle together and ultimately create living organisms from inert matter itself. Perhaps one day it might even create human beings from inert matter. What will Christians say and do when that day arrives? Fortunately for those around now, they may not live to see that day. Then again at the rate progress has been made, who knows.

  • Comment number 76.

    - to MarcusAureliusII

    Given that I'm an Evolutionary Biologist by trade, I can only state my opinion on the biblical account of creation. It must be errant, in that it is in itself contradictory and completely askew from the observed data collected over the last century. To state otherwise is to come from a divisive and indeed intellectually egregious standpoint.

    Regarding of Chickens and Men though, evolutionary biology can answer that question! A recent study published in PLoS Genetics revealed that chickens are derived primarily from Red Junglefowl, but at some point after domestication were interbred with grey junglefowl. The Junglefowl (Gallus gallus) a member of the Pheasant family has been catalogued many times now, with fossils dating back to the middle Miocene epoch (11-13 million years ago). The domestic chicken (Gallus gallus domesticus) is thought from recent evidence to have originated in Vietnam approximately 10,000 years ago. This is contrary to the theory accepted by Darwin that they originated in Asia approximately 5,000 years ago. Isn't science fun when it updates itself with new information? Anyhow I digress, getting back to of men and chucks. So we know that Junglefowl have been picked up as late as 11-13 million years ago, and we are fairly certain that archaic Homo sapiens arose approximately 250,000 to 400,000 years ago so it is clear form the scientific data that fowl came first (wild ones that is), chucks came later.

    Does that answer your question?

  • Comment number 77.



    I havent seen the film and cant comment on it.

    But I can confirm that I regularly hear and see the BBC launch controversial challenges to people on air that had nothing to do with the reason they were invited on air.

    And that is not even the investigate journalism side of what they do.

    BBc Spotlight and Panaram specialise in interviewing people using hidden cameras and agendas.

    Grow up W&T.

    Real men would challenge creationism head on in a stand up fight, not guerilla warfare.

    ad hominems are great fun but they dont say much about your ability to debate the actual issues.

    There is no obligation on Christians to reject evolution and and mainstream view on earth chronology.

    But there are a host of hidden reasons why people would want to reject the bible and genesis as the plain word of God.

    most of them involve want to avoid moral challenges.

  • Comment number 78.

    OT, good to have you back old buddy. There is nothing in Genesis that represents a moral challenge, and plenty that is ahistorical nonsense. Let's be quite clear - Genesis is categorically NOT the work of a single author, but was redacted and edited and "fixed" many times in the course of its evolution.

    And what Markie said.

    Creationism is WRONG, and as a lie, is immoral. Get over it.

  • Comment number 79.

    Welcome back from me too OT. You left a few unanswered questions on the Christianity versus fundamentalism thread:

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/ni/2009/04/christianity_v_fundamentalism.html

    And romejellybean added some more comments for you to chew on.

  • Comment number 80.

    Orthodox-tradition - "BBc Spotlight and Panaram specialise in interviewing people using hidden cameras and agendas."

    Surely that's to get a scoop so to speak, in this case the scientists in question could hardly be accused of hiding anything or acting duplicitously. Likewise I doubt that investigative journalists are bound to the commandments, in the same fashion that a "Ministry" believing in an inerrant bible would?

    If Fathom Media/CMI/creation.com were really confident that they were producing a balanced representation, why be so underhand about acquiring source material? For every scientist that would refuse, surely there are ten in their place. Seems to me that "Real men" would challenge evolution, rather than resorting to Guerilla warfare or wedge strategies!

    Unfortunately for you, in this case the group in question do reject the idea that the Theory of Evolution is incompatible with the Bible so the point is moot I guess, but then most Young Earth Creationists do; which is the stance Creation Ministries International take.

  • Comment number 81.

    Geneboy, I think you missed my point completely. My point was that a document that proports to be the absolute truth seems to present two diametrically opposed, mutually exclusive explanations of the same series of events, ironically one right after the other and not in some obscure spot but right at the outset. Those who claim the document to be taken as the literal truth must explain how both accounts can be correct yet not contradict one another. Those who believe in it but say it is not to be taken literally, that it is meant to be interpreted as "symbolic" must explain why any one interpretation, their own for example, is any more valid than anyone elses since by their reasoning the words don't mean what their definitions would have them say.

    If you were to present a scientific paper with comparable flaws, you'd probably be laughed out of your profession by your colleagues yet hundreds of millions of people have believed this book over the centuries for one reason or another. My point here is not about the existance of god or the validity of evolution and the invalidity of creationism, that's a separate argument. It's about whether or not this story as it is presented in Genesis is coherent, cohesive, consistent. If it is not, then it is irrational to accept it. It is much like Orwell's concept of doublethink where you believe two contradictory thoughts to be equally valid at the same time (science has its own examples of doublethink, I don't let anyone off the hook for flawed logic.) Religion admits that it is irrational by insisting that we take its version of truth on faith alone, not on evidence. That was my other point above. Those who try to argue religion by using the techniques of observation and logical deduction the scientific method uses, even if theirs is flawed have demonstrated that faith alone is not sufficient for them either in their own beliefs or as sufficient to persuade others in the truth of their beliefs.

  • Comment number 82.

    Markie, was Geneboy arguing that point? I'm not sure that he was... It's pretty clear that biblical "inerrancy" is a fool's errand, and is not a point adopted by anyone with any credibility, or that has ever been convincingly defended by anyone with a cranium more capacious than that of a guppy. For example, Paulmcfarland's attempts above are those that he has read about, not those that he has sat down with, alongside the bible, and checked whether they are credible or mere twaddle. That's a bit sad.

    They are right in one thing, though - once one part of the bible has been shown to be wrong, the whole thing starts to fall apart - or at least what it says cannot be taken on faith. But taking *anything* on faith is anathema to the scientific approach, so this is why they hate scientists so much.

  • Comment number 83.

    Helio;

    "It's pretty clear that biblical "inerrancy" is a fool's errand, and is not a point adopted by anyone with any credibility, or that has ever been convincingly defended by anyone with a cranium more capacious than that of a guppy."

    While these arguments lack credibility to those who demand the rigorous endless process of weighing all observed evidence, constructing logical hypotheses, then testing those hypotheses, further observing, and critical evaluation that is the method of science, they have credibility with many of those who do not think critically or for themselves. When those who are persuasive with such easily challengable arguments are confronted with these self contradictions, their responses can be interestingly inventive. That is why I have pursued exchanges with Pastorphilip. I've wondered what a trained minister could come up with. So far he has proven less then creative in his ability to reconcile the irreconcilable even when restricted entirely to his own turf of biblical accounts. Lately he seems to be avoiding these exchanges or perhaps the opportunities just haven't arisen.

  • Comment number 84.

    Oh I'm definitely not arguing about biblical "inerrancy". In this specific case, I'm referring to Creation Ministries International's stance as seen here http://creation.com/about-us. How can a ministry with this mission statement produce a balanced documentary on the life of Darwin and evolutionary theory.

    I think there may also have been a little mix up a few post ago by myself. I was intending to reply to PMF rather than yourself, but by the time I realised I had cut and pasted the wrong name the post comment button had already been clicked. I was a little errant in that case.

    Having said that, I do believe that the cognitive processes that make us religious by nature can allow people to in effect hold "Double-think" in their head without going completely mad. If anything reputable Biologists who accept Evolution, that are also Christians must achieve this. Dr Andy Thomson has a fascinating lecture up on Youtube at the moment, which I believe is an incredibly concise synthesis of this.

    It can be found here, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1iMmvu9eMrg

    Apologies if you lot are already familiar with it, and I am in effect double posting.

  • Comment number 85.

    The last thing I want is another one hour lecture on Darwin 101. I'm not going to sit through it. Is there something new here in 25 words or less? How about in 100 words or less. Hearing yet another of those endless sermons being preached to the choir makes me sorry I learned to sing in the first place or at least didn't restrict my vocal efforts to the shower.

    BTW, don't think science isn't without its own doublething. I'm still trying to understand how an electron can have both positive and negative spin numbers at the same time. That's a recent assertion physicists seem adamant about and claim it will lead to building much faster computers. Seems to violate everything I learnd about quantum numbers when I went to school. Ever heard of it? Maybe I should re-activate my membership in AIP.

  • Comment number 86.

    The request that Christians, or 'creationists' as they are sometimes called

    Not all Christians are "creationists" and by that I assume you mean young Earth creationists ? By the early 20th century the church had largely made peace with science. Many Christian leaders of that time accepted geological time (e.g.Warfieild and Spurgeon) and biological evolution (Hodge and Lewis). Even William Jennings Bryan was an old Earth creationist, not a YEC. The modern young Earth creationist movement (not Christianity) was largrely revieved in the 1960's by Henry Morris and John C Whitcomb with the publication of the Genesis Flood, a rehash of George McCready Price's earlier "a new geology". Modern young earth creationism also has it's roots in the Seventh Day Adventist movement and Ellen G White.

    similar to the request which evolutionists faced with the challenge to produce evidence that life originated through a fortuituous chemical synthesis of inanimate elements. No such evidence has been forthcoming, and all the intelligence and resources in the modern laboratory cannot as yet synthesize the simplest form of life.

    No it isn't similar. This is abiogenesis, not evolution. This is something scientists don't know although they have a pretty good idea. In the same way that we don't know what happened before the big bang. We know that the big bang happened because of the clues left behind (the cosmic microwave background radiation for example) but we don't know how. That is not to say that the Earth/Universe is a mere 6,000 old because we don't know these things.

    Similarly, the request that Christians produce evidence for creation is a red herring. God at work for six days may be as difficult to substantiate

    No it isn't a red herring. Please point me to one peer reviewed science paper as a result of research that shows the Earth/Universe to be 6,000 years old, created in 6/24hr days, and a global flood ? Just one. The early geologists believed this and very quickly found out it wasn't true. More recently, Glenn Morton also believed it but very quickly found out it wasn't true when he wen't to work for the oil industry:

    http://home.entouch.net/dmd/gstory.htm

    "From your oil industry experience, did any fact that you were taught at ICR, which challenged current geological thinking, turn out in the long run to be true? ,"

    One man, Steve Robertson, who worked for Shell grew real silent on the phone, sighed and softly said 'No!' A very close friend that I had hired at Arco, after hearing the question, exclaimed, "Wait a minute. There has to be one!" But he could not name one. I can not name one. No one else could either. One man I could not reach, to ask that question, had a crisis of faith about two years after coming into the oil industry. I do not know what his spiritual state is now but he was in bad shape the last time I talked to him.





  • Comment number 87.

    Still waiting for the "new evidence" from pastorphilip buy the way.

  • Comment number 88.

    Seems to violate everything I learnd about quantum numbers when I went to school. Ever heard of it? Maybe I should re-activate my membership in AIP.

    Still doesn't mean the Earth/Universe are 6,000 years old Marcus.

  • Comment number 89.

    pJh

    "Similarly, the request that Christians produce evidence for creation is a red herring. God at work for six days may be as difficult to substantiate"

    That was another problem with Genesis, the impossibility of judging the time span of the first three days.

    Genesis 1:13-1:16;

    "13 And there was evening, and there was morningthe third day.

    14 And God said, "Let there be lights in the vault of the sky to separate the day from the night, and let them serve as signs to mark seasons and days and years, 15 and let them be lights in the vault of the sky to give light on the earth." And it was so. 16 God made two great lightsthe greater light to govern the day and the lesser light to govern the night."

    Since there was no sun for the first three days and since the term day is defined by a timespan of repetition of the sun appearing in the same place in the sky from one day to the next such as from sun-up to sun-up, there is no rational explanation of how the first three days occurred or were measured. The more you look at the stories in the bible, the more they fall apart, not merely from contradictory scientific evidence but by the weight of its own incoherence. It constantly raises questions that defy any logical explanation even in everyday non scientific terms.

    "Still doesn't mean the Earth/Universe are 6,000 years old Marcus."

    ???? where did you ever get the idea that I thought it was. I myself am older than 6000 years. How do you think I got to be this smart? If you've read my postings, you know I've been an atheist all of my life. I've never entertained the possibility that god exists. I never found any reason to.

  • Comment number 90.

    where did you ever get the idea that I thought it was.

    Just surmising Marcus.

    YECs frequently highlight anomalies in science (such as the one you've just mentioned) that challenge current scientific thinking, in order to justify a young earth and 6/24hr creation.

  • Comment number 91.

    Andromeda galaxy. Look up on a dark night and you might see it if you know where to look.
    2 million light years away. We *know* this. We can *see* stars in it. We can see stars orbiting other stars. We can see from this that the speed of light has not changed over the last 2 million years (because that would shift the spectra and shift the orbits, and it hasn't) and we can see that one end of this enormous galaxy is performing the same way as the other end.

    There is only one possible explanation for this - the Andromeda Galaxy has been there for at least 2 million years. What we see happening NOW (and these are *events*, not just "light in transit") in the Andromeda Galaxy is a picture of events that were happening 2 million years ago.

    The same applies to other galaxies even further away.

    This is PROOF that the universe is millions (and billions) of years old. No possible come-back on that. A literal interpretation of Genesis 1 is disproven. Categorically. Deal with it, chappies.

  • Comment number 92.

    It'll not convince them I'm afraid Helio. This is what you are up against:

    http://creation.com/helium-evidence-for-a-young-world-continues-to-confound-critics

    Some pretty serious technical gobbledegook which they lap up, hook line and sinker, despite the fact that absolutely none of it is peer reviewed science. Which is why it doesn't appear in any school or university textbook but instead, exclusively on a YEC website.

  • Comment number 93.

    Don't confuse us with the facts, our minds are made up.

    pJh

    "YECs frequently highlight anomalies in science (such as the one you've just mentioned) that challenge current scientific thinking, in order to justify a young earth and 6/24hr creation."

    Just because Religion has NO right answers, that doesn't mean that everything people who call themselves scientists and agree to among themselves for the moment is something I will swallow hook, line, and sinker without question. They make their share of mistakes too including some very big one. And sometimes they won't even admit it was a mistake after they've been proven wrong. They can also be very arrogant. But there is no doubt about evolution. It makes complete sense, the evidence is sufficient, there are no other plausible explanations. Even if you occasionally find some part of it in error, you've merely put a tiny bullet hole through what is by now a huge tapestry. The overall picture doesn't change. The so called creationists have nothing.

    BTW, I'm not saying the physicists who say that an electron can have both +1/2 and -1/2 quantum spin numbers at the same time are necessarily wrong, it's that I just don't see how, especially in light of what I was taught about quantum mechanics many many years ago. Perhaps one day they'll have an explanation for it that is not so convoluted that even I will be able to understand it. That's happened before too.

  • Comment number 94.

    Helio: "This is PROOF that the universe is millions (and billions) of years old. No possible come-back on that. A literal interpretation of Genesis 1 is disproven. Categorically. Deal with it, chappies.'

    There is a comeback. But as it involves Einstein's Special Theory of Relativity, Israeli Physicist Carmeli's "New Physics" and black matter, it is beyond my ability to summarize here.

    However Dr John Hartnett, who is a research physicist at the University of Western Australia in Perth, has written a book called "Starlight, Time & the New Physics", which "deals with it" quite comprehensively.

    An interesting tit-bit from the book is that there is no 'red-shift' phenomena associated with stars that are less than 6000 light-years from earth implying that the stars beyond that are being seen (today) in the process of being created. And no, it's not a fairy tale...

    Also Carmeli's physics do indeed show that the earth COULD be very close to the centre of the universe. Which is why we only see 'red-shifted' stars travelling away from us...

    The Psalms tell us that God 'stretched out' the heavens like stretching out a massive piece of fabric. Which is exactly what astronomers & astro-physicists tell us today - that the universe is expanding away from us. They even speak of the "fabric of the universe". How interesting...

    BTW, gravitational time dilation (a consequence of Einstein's Theory of Special relativity) can be used to postulate that 'clocks' at the edge of an expanding universe are 'ticking over' millions of times faster than 'clocks' on earth. Thus providing a mechanism that could allow us to see 'distant' starlight that has been recently created. Don't ask me to explain it as I barely comprehend it - just as I barely comprehend photo-synthesis, cellular complexity and women. :-)

  • Comment number 95.

    Korotiotio - Psalm 104:2 "He stretches out the Heavens like a tent."

    With your 6000 thousand year stance you must be a YEC/ID supporter. How in the name of all that is good and holy can the stars be described as stretched out like a tent. Remember it has to be an inerrant teaching, no room for interpretation; if you are taking the literal 6 day, 6 thousand year approach you must be consistant.

    How many giant ball shaped tents have you been in, suspended in the free space within? Unless of course there is some theory at the moment of a Yurt shaped universe, is there? If we are talking about fabric, are there tent poles? or Guy ropes and pegs? Is so where are they?

    Find Gods tent pegs and you are onto a winner. I imagine he hammered 3 into the corners and improvised the missing one with a nearby stick.

  • Comment number 96.

    Oh dear, I thought korotiotios post on the other thread just there was bad, but post 94 in this thread takes the cake. Mixing rather ambitious physics with bible passages from Psalms, sigh. A mere statement like

    "Also Carmeli's physics do indeed show that the earth COULD be very close to the centre of the universe."

    is enough to know he's an ignorant science jargon blurter. korotiotio, there is no single point that can be said to be the centre of the universe. From every galaxy, you see other galaxies speeding away from you, one point would be no more valid than another as a choice to say 'Right there is the centre'. Having learned that your christianity makes you an anti-science creationist nutcase, I fully expect you to ignore anything presented to wise you up. But I'll waste some time anyway explaining it a bit further through a simple analogy.

    The analogy is to imagine the universe being on the surface of a balloon. Take a half-inflated balloon and use a marker to mark a number of points (say that those are the galaxies) on its surface. Then inflate the balloon further. All points increase in distance from the other points. But can you say which particular point is the centre? No. If you look at one point, you'd see all others moving away. You might think that one is the centre. But if you had picked another point, you'd see the same thing happening. Every other point is just a valid as a choice for being the centre. I.e. you can't say 'There is THE centre'.

    So that then puts your blabla about the earth being near the centre of the universe, relativity effects at the edge of the universe etc into perspective. It's hogwash from an ignorant creationist who is desperate to see science confirm his faith, when it does just the opposite.

  • Comment number 97.

    Korotiotio, you have a Problem. Part of that problem is that despite a little non-copernican moment a few months ago, where the *Milky Way* (and our local galaxies, including Andromeda Galaxy M31) was postulated as *possibly* sitting within a VAST cosmic void (it was in SciAm recently - I forget the issue), that hypothesis has been roundly squashed by the data, and has failed to garner any support at all.

    However, it does not help you - you CANNOT get the local group any younger than several million years by that method. So you still lose. Badly.

    Then there is time dilation. The problem with this notion is that if you shift either time or the speed of light, you cannot do that (even gods cannot do that) without distorting the fabric of the spacetime in which the galaxy sits, so you would see the effects in perturbations of galactic motion, stars' orbits, their spectra, the periods of cepheid variables, the characteristics of supernovae - all these in very precise computable terms.

    What you have said in post 94 is utter nonsense (PROVABLY so, I'm afraid - sorry!) - it *cannot* and *does not* rescue a universe that is only several thousand years old. I'll reiterate - even the stars that we can see (including groups such M31 and the magellanic clouds, which are our cosmic next-door neighbours, so to speak) completely disprove the idea of a recent creation. There are of course many other facts that disprove such a silly notion. You've cited Carmeli and Hartnett - their ideas don't even work. Anyone with a basic notion of astronomy can work this out.

    Look, here is the deal. Genesis is NOT history. It is not even metaphor. What it is is CONTEXT. It is the background creation and origins mythology which informed the Hebrew worldview. All cultures have these, and many cultures have several. Indeed, Genesis has several - there are different creation traditions (the redactor simply put both in, one after the other - there was no need for harmonisation; he wasn't writing history - just a vaguely chronological compendium of stories), different flood traditions, just as the early Christian communities each had their own tradition and their own "gospel" - it was only when they were all put together and silly people decided that they had to be literally true that the glaring contradictions appeared, and by then it was too late to fix them (although some tried).

    So, to repeat, just to drum it in: NOT history, NOT metaphor, but CONTEXT. Perhaps this might lead you to a deeper and more fulfilling understanding of the bible *and* science, but you can throw your creationist books in the trash. Keep your bible though. Ancient texts are interesting in their own right.

  • Comment number 98.

    Helio, given that I clearly have a sub-basic notion of astronomy perhaps you might like to enlighten us all on the work of Harnett & Carmeli and why it is their ideas don't work. Specifics would be nice.

    Like I said in my previous post I wasn't going to attempt to summarize their work as I could not possibly do justice to it.

    But you do seem to know, so please... I'm sure the respective authors are very keen to be corrected.

  • Comment number 99.

    Hello korotiotio,

    Helio doesn't need my help answering for him, but I think I would probably say the same as him here: the burden of work is yours. I can give more detailed info on why your ideas about 'the earth near the centre of the universe' are rubbish. Helio can explain bits of astronomy. If you want to put across a radically different idea, then it's up to you to show something in favour of your idea first. Until then, there is nothing to refute. If you say you can't do it, then that is fine too, no obligation whatsoever. But then don't expect your post to carry any weight.

    The 'shifting the burden of work' approach is classic creationist tactic. Don't do any work yourself ever, expect to have it right until others prove you wrong. It doesn't work that way in science. And it's rather too old an approach for some of us here to fall for it:

    http://www.sullivan-county.com/bush/tactics.htm

  • Comment number 100.

    BTW, gravitational time dilation (a consequence of Einstein's Theory of Special relativity) can be used to postulate that 'clocks' at the edge of an expanding universe are 'ticking over' millions of times faster than 'clocks' on earth. Thus providing a mechanism that could allow us to see 'distant' starlight that has been recently created. Don't ask me to explain it as I barely comprehend it - just as I barely comprehend photo-synthesis, cellular complexity and women. :-)

    No.

    Well, at least not to the factors that they propose. Add to the fact that Russell Humphreys has not one shred of evidence to back up his claims and you'll realise why astro-physicists don't take the idea even remotely seriously. There's an excellent series of videos on youtube by youtuber cdk007 on this very subject entitled "why YECs must deny gravity" dealing with their dilema. I'd urge you to have a look. You'll find them very entertaining if nothing else Marcus:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8bRvt0InhYk&feature=related

 

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