September 29, 2020

Riffs: 02:09:09: Cormac Murphy-O’Connor on Darwin and Faith

Cardinal Cormac Murphy O’Connor has an opinion piece in the Times that affirms the Roman Catholic position: faith and science have no problems, and evolution and Christianity are compatible.

This week we will be celebrating the 200th anniversary of the birth of Charles Darwin, one of Britain’s most extraordinary scientists. His theory of evolution, one of the greatest discoveries of all time, gives us a way of understanding the connectedness of all life and the uniqueness of human life within it. Together with other branches of scientific exploration, evolution begins to unfold and illuminate the interplay of forces that make our universe such an extraordinary dynamic reality. In this sense, science is itself a journey of learning and exploration. This I find exciting and humbling.

Towards the end of his life Darwin wrote: “It seems to me absurd to doubt that a man may be an ardent Theist and an evolutionist.” The science opens me not only to puzzles and to questions about the world I live in; it leads me to marvel at its complexity. Here, I find science is a good friend to my faith. It also calls me to a journey of learning and understanding. One of the things that mars our culture is the fracture between faith and science. It impoverishes our inquiry into the realities that make up our life and world. This is a false opposition.

Apart from whatever I may think, it will do all evangelicals good to read what a Cardinal of the Roman Church has to say on an issue that, frankly, drives evangelicals nuts.

I’ve never quite figured out how the Catholic position on science is so progressive, but when it comes to Marian dogmas and how Mary’s house wound up in Italy, Catholics sound like Baptist fundamentalists protesting that the Creation Museum is too liberal, but I don’t have to understand hard things. I just like everyone to see that you don’t have to keep hitting yourself in the head over these issues of faith and science.

I’d also like to know if there are any creationist evangelicals who have converted to the RCC and embraced this view of science, evolution and origins.

Comments

  1. Patrick Lynch says

    “How do you know you are not just having biochemical events going on in your brain that causes you to think the way you do?”

    Ever change your mind?

    Did you have to ask yourself which changed first, your brain chemistry or your opinion?

    No, because it doesn’t matter.

  2. Patrick Lynch says

    “But how do you know that the way you have always seen the seasons come in the PAST will be the way the seasons will come in the FUTURE?”

    You don’t know. But you don’t need to know the future for the future to become the present. If something about this summer made it not summer, we wouldn’t throw out our experiences with past summers and consider that Providence has made fools of us, we’d do what we always do when something changes – look for the cause, and keep on living.

    How do you know evil spirits aren’t hiding your keys when you lose them? They could have all kinds of nefarious plans that involve keeping you home. OTHER SIDE OF THE MOON? No, you assume spirits didn’t take them because that’s not a parsimonious explanation that takes into account your first-order knowledge of a) how forgetful you are, b) what you were doing that day, c) other hands in the house who might want to borrow your car.

    The problem of bootstrapping the Bible as “authority” is unhistorical – the Jews didn’t (and today don’t) treat the Bible that way, and they wrote it. They reverence it and study it and devote themselves to it without forcing it to fit hamstrung philosophical propositions like your “moon” thing.

    Actually, that moon thing is quite an impossible thought experiment, when you think about it. Have you ever tried to catalog all the things you DO actually know? Forget drawing a circle around them – you couldn’t even begin to get a handle on the dimensions of your own knowledge. You know more than you can recall, and you can brainstorm new knowledge faster than you can catalogue it. Aren’t you glad you’re not much smarter than you are? It’d be even harder! So the analogy is just not apt.

  3. Patrick Lynch says

    “Which kind of love are we talking about here? There is a love which is a feeling, and there is a love — the important one from a Christian standpoint — which is a commitment irrespective of feeling. Our language unfortunately conflates the two”

    As I described it, I consider the Christian standpoint (all that Greek agape, eros, philia, etc., and really, all our reflections on love, and everything else) as social innovations that allows us to turn our physical experience of love into something social: in this case a subtle normative game of describing and categorizing typologies of that feeling based on the object its centered on (dad, boyfriend, grandma, hometown, Jesus, etc.). I think love, including specifically Christian love, talked about, is a piece of social theory we go back and forth within – a dialectic. But the experience of love is not a dialectic – it’s the sensation that the dialectic is meant to evaluate.

  4. Patrick Lynch says

    “You can’t depend upon the past to prove the uniformity of nature because that would be assuming that the future will be like the past.”

    Here’s a thought-experiment for you:

    I tell you I will have ten dollars every time you ask me, no matter when, no matter what. You, being not so good with the finances, need $10. I give you ten dollars today. You spend it and ask again the next day, but I give you nothing. You ask again the day after, and I give you seven. I don’t see you for a week, but then you hit me up for $15 and I give you a $20 and tell you to keep the change. Next time, though, I suggest that you should get a job, and give you some change. You never see me again.

    Did I run out of money to give you?

    Answer: doesn’t matter.

    When you, homeless grifter, figure out that correlation doesn’t equal causation, you’ll realize that I said I always make sure I have ten dollars on me no matter what because that’s my prerogative, and surmise that this is possible because of some outside efficient cause, i.e. I have a job. So no, your experience with me does not give you any real insight into the contents of my wallet or even the scope of my generosity, but that doesn’t stop you from complaining if you’re hungry.

    Having all the answers in the Bible or none of the answers doesn’t change anything about how we do things. We keep asking (from the land, from the sky, from each other) and we take what we get, and we learn the routines, and we’re grateful when we get something good and we complain (to whoever will listen) when what we get sucks.

    The end.

  5. Headless Unicorn Guy says

    There is no counter to a presuppositionalist argument that they will accept because they’ve already declared victory. It would be more productive to argue theology and logic with my three year old nephew. — K Bryan

    “Presuppositionalist” is quite a mouthful of a word, but from this it sounds analogous to Conspiracy Theory Kool-Aid. There is literally no counter to a Conspiracy argument that a Conspiracy Theory Fanboy will accept, either:

    1) Any evidence against The Conspiracy IS OBVIOUSLY Disinformation planted by The Conspiracy.
    2) Any lack of evidence for The Conspiracy is PROOF The Conspiracy is so Vast and Powerful THEY Can Suppress Anything and Everything.
    3) If the Conspiracy Theory doesn’t fit the facts, Invent a Bigger Conspiracy. Reality must always bend the knee to Ideology.

    Are these “presuppositionalists” like that?

    How do you know evil spirits aren’t hiding your keys when you lose them? They could have all kinds of nefarious plans that involve keeping you home. — Patrick Lynch

    Uh, Pat, I’ve heard horror stories about Spiritual Warfare types who are like that FOR REAL. Satan is hiding under every bed with a Whoopee Cushion specifically for them. Instead of replacing a burned-out lightbulb, they’ll pull out their KJV and loudly Rebuke the Demon of Burned-Out-Lightbulbs.

    My writing partner knows one of these poster children for Carl Sagan’s Demon-Haunted World, and I ran into a few myself when D&D met The Satanic Panic back in the Eighties. Like the abovementioned Conspiracy fanboys, they’re in it for the warmfeelies and ego-boo of being So Important Satan And All His Demons Have It In For Them Personally.

  6. >The hardcore–nothing can be proven to exist but
    >matter–evolutionist has forfeited his right to:

    >A. use immaterial logic.
    >B. use his immaterial mind.
    >C. say it was wrong when he got beat up a school since law is immaterial.
    >D. receive or give immaterial love.

    Do you actually know any atheists/agnostics? This sort of thinking treats them as less than human.

    These points are so weird I just don’t know what to say.

  7. @Headless Unicorn Guy – ““Presuppositionalist” is quite a mouthful of a word, but from this it sounds analogous to Conspiracy Theory Kool-Aid. There is literally no counter to a Conspiracy argument that a Conspiracy Theory Fanboy will accept, either:”

    Basically yes, but the presuppositionalists would of course argue. 🙂 The wikipedia page on presuppositional apologetics gives a good overview:

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

  8. Sam,

    I’m not arguing that people don’t have a mind. However, if we assume, for argument’s sake, that only “matter” exists in accordance with “seeing is believing” type thinking, then:

    1. The mind does not exist.
    2. Logic does not exist.
    3. Love does not exist.
    4. Law does not exist.

    If we assume, for argument’s sake, that the only things we can know for sure exist is what can be seen, then:

    1. We can’t be sure the mind exists.
    2. We can’t be sure logic exists.
    3. We can’t be sure love exists.
    4. We can’t be sure law exists.

    I am a Sunday School “Christian” [I’m sure the hardcore evolutionists will love that description].

    THEREFORE

    I believe that not only matter exists but that which is unseen as well:

    1. I believe the mind exists and so therefore I may use it.
    2. I believe logic exists and so therefore I may use it.
    3. I believe love exists and so therefore I may give and receive it.
    4. I believe law exists and so therefore I may appeal to it.

    The hardcore evolutionist–the one who believes that the only things that exist is that which is material or who believes the only things we can be “sure” exist is that which is material–may not do what I may do because of his worldview.

    It’s intellectual suicide.

    Pull out! Pull out! You’ve got work to do! Benji [yes, I’m talking to myself] 🙂

    Benji

  9. >I’m not arguing that people don’t have a mind.
    >However, if we assume, for argument’s sake, that
    >only “matter” exists in accordance with “seeing is
    >believing” type thinking, then:

    >1. The mind does not exist.
    >2. Logic does not exist.
    >3. Love does not exist.
    >4. Law does not exist.

    You’re describing a worldview that doesn’t actually exist. If you can find an atheist/agnostic that agrees with that line of reasoning, I’ll buy a hat just so I can eat it. 🙂

  10. Are there not athiests/agnostics who argue that because they cannot “see” God, then they reject the certainty of His existence?

    If so, then they are going to have to go ALL the way if they are going to be consistent [even if they might not want to admit where their worldview leads them].

    1. No certainty of the existence of the mind
    2. No certainty of the existence of logic
    3. No certainty of the existence of love
    4. No certainty of the existence of law

    1-4 is where their thinking leads.

  11. @Benji – “That’s why PRESUPPOSING the total truthfulness of the Bible (which is from the God who knows all things) is the only way you or anybody else can prove anything at all.”

    As I noted in an earlier post, this is trivally false. Two examples off the top of my head:

    1) Analytic propositions.

    2) The fact that first person reports of conscious mental states are incorrigible.

  12. >Are there not athiests/agnostics who argue that
    >because they cannot “see” God, then they reject the
    >certainty of His existence?

    >If so, then they are going to have to go ALL the
    >way if they are going to be consistent [even if
    >they might not want to admit where their worldview
    >leads them].

    No, there really aren’t many that would state their argument in those terms. Rejections of God are, in my experience, universally more complex than “I don’t see him, therefore he doesn’t exist.” That sort of logic is trivially shown to be lacking (you can’t see wind, either, but everyone believes it exists); people just don’t think that simplistically.

    And those that do would not find your “if so…” to be at all compelling. I’m just picturing the looks I would get from the people I know if I tried that line of reasoning on them…

  13. Patrick Lynch says

    Benji, this is a false paradox.

    “If we assume, for argument’s sake, that the only things we can know for sure exist is what can be seen, then:

    1. We can’t be sure the mind exists.
    2. We can’t be sure logic exists.
    3. We can’t be sure love exists.
    4. We can’t be sure law exists.”

    Read more:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Multi-valued_logic

  14. Patrick Lynch says

    Hey Benji, you don’t live too far from me. Southeastern Seminary is like 15 or 20 minutes away from my house, dude!

  15. As a fellow presuppositionalist, all I can say is, Benji rocks!

    Headless Unicorn Guy (from here on know as HUG!): “Are these “presuppositionalists” like that?”

    I prefer to say it as, “your assumptions will determine the outcome”. That is, if you assume you can know truth without God, you will find that you have no need for God.

  16. I find the idea that one can only know the truth if one starts with some particular assumptions quite depressing. Especially when coupled with the idea that if one starts with the wrong assumptions, one might never be the wiser.

  17. “As I described it, I consider the Christian standpoint (all that Greek agape, eros, philia, etc., and really, all our reflections on love, and everything else) as social innovations that allows us to turn our physical experience of love into something social…”
    Do you see the power claim you make here?

    “I think love, including specifically Christian love, talked about, is a piece of social theory we go back and forth within – a dialectic. But the experience of love is not a dialectic – it’s the sensation that the dialectic is meant to evaluate.”
    Talked about, a dialectic. But done? And done absent the motivating sensation? What if that is possible?

  18. “I prefer to say it as, “your assumptions will determine the outcome”. That is, if you assume you can know truth without God, you will find that you have no need for God.”

    If God equivalent to your own assumptions about God?

  19. joel hunter says

    The confusion multiplies, Benji!

    However, if we assume, for argument’s sake, that only “matter” exists in accordance with “seeing is believing” type thinking, then:

    This is incoherent. The proposition “only ‘matter’ exists” is not in accordance with “seeing is believing” type thinking. “Seeing is believing” type thinking takes concrete things as its data. The concept ‘matter’ is not a concrete thing, so a “seeing is believing” type thinking would disallow the abstraction “matter.”

    Given your litany of things this person is not permitted to justifiably believe, you cannot be describing a physicalist. A physicalist would reject the “pure materialism” you seem to be describing with the proposition “only matter exists” because that position is too restrictive. The physicalist admits the existence of the strong nuclear force, gravity, and other forces which aren’t obviously material (in the ordinary “seeing-is-believing” sense of the word).

    But perhaps you are describing an eliminative materialist (EM), which seems the better target given your attention to issues related to the philosophy of mind. This is the thesis that commonly acknowledged mental states do not exist. Now there are plenty of good arguments against the crude(r) schemas of EM. Yours is not a good one. K Bryan has already pointed out a relevant example: the first person experience of feeling pain. The EM proponent treats these mental data like the perceptions of outer objects such as trees and people. The sensory datum, however, is primordial and therefore certain. My immediate experience of pain is not the product of a conceptual framework, or “worldview.” The indubitability of the felt pain is not due to the fact that I’ve properly objectified it by an act of reflection. The felt pain is indubitable because it is lived through, not because it is observed.

    But K Bryan’s example shows that the presuppositionalist (insofar as you are exemplifying one) is hoist with his own petard.

    You are exchanging one form of eliminativism (EM) for another: we can call it eliminative biblicism (EB). You approach a definition of EB here:

    I am able to be certain that logic is valid because I am depending upon the word of God…

    You then say:

    In other words, I believe Cornelius Van Til was right when he said that the proof that the Bible is true is that if the Bible were not true, you could not prove anything at all.

    This will do quite well to show the failure of presuppositionalism (hereafter EB) as a serious philosophical doctrine.

    First, it succumbs to the same objection raised against EM, namely, the indubitability of one’s inner perceptions. I suddenly burst out laughing. My experiencing of mirth needs no further proof that I am in fact living through it. The assertion that the Bible is true has no bearing whatsoever on the matter. Now it is true that I can also objectify it, and by such an act of reflection change my regard toward the experiential datum from an inner perception to an inner observation. This results in a qualitatively different mental state, and subject to categorial interpretation, which categories perhaps the Bible might provide the complete and consistent set. But, irony of ironies, this move exposes the presupposition at the heart of presuppositionalism, which we now turn to, and which I think is the cause of its self-referentiality and abstruse claims.

    EB presupposes the Kantian (and later positivist philosophies of mind) doctrine (in kind, not in name) that the data of inner perception are to be categorially interpreted (like the data of outer sense perception). Unlike Kant and others, however, you and Van Til assert that the sensory datum is subsumed under a conceptualization derivable from the Bible. Nevertheless, EB and EM agree in their presupposed doctrine that mental states are only as good as the conceptual frameworks in which they are expressed, as Churchland puts it. But as K Bryan and I have already pointed out, one’s first person experiencing of pain or mirth in their immediate qualitative character is not subject to refutation by challenging their worldview because it is not an observational judgment. EM and EB conflate or eliminate the phenomenological difference between these mental states and those that are products of conceptualization. The flood geologist who sees the rock strata as a global flood deposition and the Grand Canyon as laid down by Noahic Flood run-off is interpreting the visual data according to a false theory, he is applying a flawed conceptual framework. But my feeling of mirth involves no comparable application of a conceptual framework.

  20. joel hunter says

    As a side note, I now see a family resemblance between presuppositionalism and objectivism (the philosophical system propounded by Ayn Rand). Both trade heavily in axioms that are not self-evident. Both contend with substantive philosophical questions by employing conceptual arcana and by terminological fiat. EB rigs its system by legislating presuppositions as properly basic and exhaustive for rational thought and reasonable discourse. Both EB and objectivism engage in a kind of analysis that secludes them from meaningful interaction with other views.

  21. Brian (“If God equivalent to your own assumptions about God?” – I assume “If God” should be “Is God”)

    Not at all. But you must be open to the idea that truth is a quantity defined apart from oneself. That is, that you must find revelation.

  22. Patrick Lynch says

    “Talked about, a dialectic. But done? And done absent the motivating sensation? What if that is possible?”

    Done, it’s an action so described. Actions can be “loving”, as in, related causationally to the dialectic, but love of itself is not an action, not a thing done – you can say it is, but you’re waxing poetic. Nothing wrong with that (dialectics are neat), but we’re easily lead to putting the cart before the house and find ourselves trying to “live” the dialectic rather than to own our actions.

    Needless to say, actions don’t have to be loving. An action done that we consider Good, however, without the experience of love behind it, is actually something Paul warns us to be on guard against.

    3 If I gave everything I have to the poor and even sacrificed my body, I could boast about it; but if I didn’t love others, I would have gained nothing.

    1 Corinthians 13:3 (NLT)

    For instance, “I did it because I love her” is a proposition that can adumbrate the most beautiful of abhorrent act. Same for “The Bible is the truest thing”. Same with “Allahu Ackbar”. So goes it.

  23. Patrick Lynch says

    “Uh, Pat, I’ve heard horror stories about Spiritual Warfare types who are like that FOR REAL. Satan is hiding under every bed with a Whoopee Cushion specifically for them. Instead of replacing a burned-out lightbulb, they’ll pull out their KJV and loudly Rebuke the Demon of Burned-Out-Lightbulbs.”

    That’s THE BEST EVER. I want to move to that town immediately.

  24. Patrick,

    I graduated, but if you are ever in the Kinston, NC area please look me up. Maybe we could do lunch or something. Let me know if you are a coffee guy 🙂

    Daniel Smith,

    You said “I’m just picturing the looks I would get from the people I know if I tried that line of reasoning on them…”

    Admittedly this is similar to the “I’m sure that will fly with him” comment I said. However, I think maybe what I was getting at was if one is wishing to “fit in” with the intelligentsia of today, then I think a Dalmatian approach would not get one very far.

    Anyway, if folks roll their eyes, engage in name calling, or go majoritarian/elitist on you [or me], that does not mean they have proven anything.

    I would encourage you [and others] to listen to the debate between Bahnsen and Stein-even if you have to pay for it.

    God Bless you all in this comment stream,

    Benji

  25. Patrick Lynch says

    “Do you see the power claim you make here?”

    I don’t mean to imply that I don’t share the dialectic or prioritize accordingly (I’m Catholic, we’re all in the same boat here) – but in sketching it out this way, I’m going out of my way to deliberately acknowledge the way dialectics interconnect with learning, action, cognition and socialization, and thereby try to plot the various ideas flying back and forth in this conversation accordingly, and help us see ourselves in terms of our meta-cognitive and social priorities.

  26. “Needless to say, actions don’t have to be loving. An action done that we consider Good, however, without the experience of love behind it, is actually something Paul warns us to be on guard against.

    3 If I gave everything I have to the poor and even sacrificed my body, I could boast about it; but if I didn’t love others, I would have gained nothing.”

    But what does Paul subsequently say? If I am patient or kind, is that an experience, an act, an attribute? Something else?

    And what of the description of God’s love: “For God loved the world like this: he gave his only begotten Son…”? But then: “God is love.” Does this reflect God’s experiences? His acts? His attributes? Something else?

  27. Patrick Lynch says

    “But what does Paul subsequently say? If I am patient or kind, is that an experience, an act, an attribute? Something else?”

    Note the grammar – I think Paul isn’t saying that love is being patient, or being kind, as if these were co-adjectives for something. He’s saying that when you experience love, you are patient, you are kind, you celebrate truth, etc.

    Whereas patience, kindness, etc. pay back the virtuous who practice them, the experience of love is its own reward and patience, kind acts, etc. are some natural fruit of feeling love for something.

    The primacy of love and the worthlessness of temporary goods seems to me to be the theme of the letter, as next Paul says “Prophecy and speaking in unknown languages and special knowledge will become useless. But love will last forever!”

    It seems to me that the feeling of love is the branch that nourishes the fruit of love, not the obligations we enjoin ourselves to “because” of love.

    “Does this reflect God’s experiences? His acts? His attributes? Something else?”

    Something else – our experience with God through Jesus. We would certainly think differently of God if Jesus came with violence and revolution, like some thought He would. But no, we learned through Jesus what God was like, because He loved the world and died from it, for love. He kept his covenant of love with us (Deut 7:8, etc.), God is love, love is an experience of God, I suppose.

  28. Sorry, the link above is too old to be free now.

    However, it looks like you can listen to the whole debate for under 5 bucks here.

    http://www.cmfnow.com/index.asp?PageAction=VIEWCATS&Category=234

  29. Patrick Lynch says

    I just read a transcript of the debate – I don’t see what you find so compelling about it…

  30. Glad you read it. I wish the audio was free [Bahnsen was a good speaker for one thing], but I guess we can’t have everything we want in life. 🙂

    I think the debate is a good intro into presuppositionalism, but Bahnsen’s book “Alway’s Read” would probably go into more detail.

    Anyway, glad you read a transcript.

    Benji

  31. Patrick Lynch says

    I should probably post that here for anybody else who wants it:

    http://www.bellevuechristian.org/faculty/dribera/htdocs/PDFs/Apol_Bahnsen_Stein_Debate_Transcript.pdf

    For anybody interested in Benji’s argument about the Bible being necessary to underwrite reason, that’s evidently the source?

  32. I skimmed it. Seems to me the atheist makes way more sense, and was more polite on top of it. The Christian sounds like he’s playing word games. Sorry. To each his own, I guess.

  33. Patrick Lynch says

    That was my take on it, too. The Christian guy didn’t seem to have a thorough understanding of the real objections the and suppositions that the atheist’s position entailed.

  34. Daniel and Patrick,

    Well guys, of course Bahnsen’s argument is not dependent upon your approval or disapproval, but I am glad you checked it out.

    I wish both of you lived close enough so that I could invite you over for some good “Cracker Barrel” coffee I have now. 🙂

    God Bless,

    Benji

  35. Benji

    You said “Let’s take another idea. How do you know that the seasons will come in the future the way they have come in the past?

    Well, you might say that you know that the seasons will come in the future the way they have come in the past because that is the way you have always seen them to come.

    But how do you know that the way you have always seen the seasons come in the PAST will be the way the seasons will come in the FUTURE?

    Remember, there might be something on the other side of the moon…

    However, if you depend upon what God says in Genesis about the seasons, then you can know for certain that the seasons will come in the future the way they have come in the past since God does know what is on the other side of the moon.

    Here’s the thing. I don’t know if the seasons will come in the future the way they came in the past. We may have another ice age. Or maybe global warming is real. We know that some parts of the planet that are very cold were once tropical.

    Trouble is, if the way seasons come does change, as they have in the past, and I have literally interpreted the Bible to say “God always makes the seasons come the same way”, I have set myself up to say the Bible is wrong, and reject God.

    It seems too literal reading can sometimes lead us into a trap. Help me out here.

  36. stephen,

    I wish I had more time to put into this. I have actually copied some earlier stuff I have written before on the internet and pasted it here. Accordingly, I have tried to find something I have written before to respond to you but could not find it.

    However, let me try to respond a bit to your comment. If you look over in the “shipwreck” story of Paul in the book of Acts, you will find that Paul makes two statements to the rest of the people on the water vehicle that might be taken to be a contradiction if folks did not take it right.

    One statement is from a divine perspective.

    The other statement is from a human perspective.

    The divine perspective expresses the absolute certainty that the men will not perish.

    The human perspective expresses the idea that “if” the men do not do _________________, they will perish.

    These statements do not contradict since God would most certainly spare their lives [since He does not lie], but He would do it THROUGH their action.

    If we assume, for argument’s sake, that global warming is true, then the Lord might choose to keep the seasons regular THROUGH the actions of humans who seek to change their habits towards the environment.

    Anyway, I hope you see where I am going.

    I wish I had more time to put into Joel Hunter’s comments. He has been respectful and I appreciate that.

    God Bless,

    Benji

  37. Internet Elias says

    The RC position on interaction of faith/science, for me, is not acceptable since it can’t explain the presence of the spirit man within the physical shell. Man’s knowledge at present is limited concerning all the mysteries of God. There still is just so much we don’t know. And if part, even a minute part, of scripture is in error, I would have to suspect any part of it to possibly be in error. And..to day…I have found no error or contradiction in scripture. So I have faith that all of scripture is accurate and that its intent to show man as heirs of the Kingdom of God helps me easily separate man’s origins from that of apes. While apes are inately intelligent animals, I do not believe that have a soul. If they did…there would be ape preachers.

  38. Ky boy but not now says

    “And..to day…I have found no error or contradiction in scripture.”

    What about the math error in 1 Kings 7:23 ?

  39. Headless Unicorn Guy says

    What about the math error in 1 Kings 7:23 ? — Ky boy but not now

    Oh, yeah, the “Pi = 3” one. As if nobody heard of rounding off.

    Has anybody heard of anybody trying some sort of “Christian Math” (as opposed to “Secular Humanist Math”) where Pi = 3? (There’s been enough crazies claiming a direct line to God, somebody has to have tried it by now.)

  40. Ky boy but not now says

    Headless Unicorn Guy

    “Oh, yeah, the “Pi = 3″ one. As if nobody heard of rounding off.”

    I was directing the post to:

    Internet Elias
    “And if part, even a minute part, of scripture is in error, I would have to suspect any part of it to possibly be in error. And..to day…I have found no error or contradiction in scripture.”

  41. Karl Kunker says

    Origins and pre-recorded history are all subject to premises based upon faith. Those who really believe in the veracity of their historical and religious documents normally can not be swayed other wise.

    The only way to sway someone away from their religious views on origins is to claim a better methodology in how one states they have arrived at the proof that their premises are true.

    Get enough people to talk long enough and with enough circular reasoning in their logic and the outcome can very well convince some people of something that was once though incredulous.

    Sometimes science does get it right. These are called laws and patterns.

    However, sometimes scientists take their premises and run to find proof and then create such a nested looped of interconnected circular reasoned logic that if you try to break any part of the nested loops open for examination, one of the other interconnected nested loops can usually be used to prevent any serious consideration of the original premises.

    Either one comes to God believing that he exists, or one uses the flawed reasoning of his own darkened mind to convince himself that he can never know for sure if God exists and thus starts himself on a road that will build interconnected nested loops of so called knowledge and facts that will enable him from having to reconsider if God really might exist.

    In the last 200 hundred years a profuse set of religious documents have been attempted to be turned into historical rhetoric. Millions and billions of years are bantered around as if by some mechanism man will be able to somehow fill in all of the gaps so that the proof for naturalistic evolution will somehow turn into a wonderful moasic.

    Fossil records do not verify anything other than what one expects them to mean.

    Scientific methodology can not be used to study any pre-recorded historical events unless one first assumes the possibility of some series of events that fits with one’s view or origins.

    I am a young-earth creationist, not simply because the Bible says so, but because my heart and mind tell me that this is even more possible and believable than what a dedicated naturalist will turn himself inside out trying to convince me about – otherwise.

    It only matter to a naturalist that he can convince you that God didn’t have to be directly involved in creation. All he really needs from you is the declaration that you don’t find his ideas offensive to your own. This enables him to build layer after layer of interconnected nested circular logical ideas into a nearly overwhelming worldview that will make you ineffective at even communicating what you believe to your friends, family and children.

    I can rebutt any naturalists logic using these simple ideas.

    Any view of origins starts with premises.

    Supposed evidence can be used in any number of ways to either credit your own beliefs and/or discredit others.

    No matter the amount of evidence presented to me, I have never allowed myself to be pushed to the point that I have had to view origins in anyother way that a series of faith based propositions.

    Some agnostic naturalists are can admit that their worldview is a religion, but the hard core atheistic one will never do so in a court of law. It is in the courts of law (and academia) that they beleive the preponderance of their nested loops of circular logical reasoning and peer reviewed journalism has proven their position correct and valid.

    I trust this has helped someone today.