From NCSE

Many Christians do not believe that Scripture supports the Young Earth Creationist position. This moderated forum is for good natured scholarly debate.

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Re: From NCSE

Postby jon_12091 » Thu Apr 07, 2011 11:37 am

marcsurtees wrote:Hi Michael,
In the hope of by-passing the attempt to close down debate on this thread, I thought I should at least ask the question one more time.
Would you care to tell us why you think the fossils from the Torridonian sandstone or any other Torridonian fossils, show that the rock could not have deposited by water?

You are aware that referring to sedimentary rocks as 'terrestrial' does not preclude water as the agent of transport and deposition, and nor does defining a paleoenvironment as 'desert'?

(Though based on paleolatitude the Torridonian could have recieved anything from 300-1200 mm/year precipitation and the generally accepted definition of desert is a place where evaporation exceeds precipitation (a diabolical uniformitarian assumption when applied to deserts we've acutally never seen of course))
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Re: From NCSE

Postby cathy » Thu Apr 07, 2011 12:44 pm

I know sweet fa about geology (apart from year 8 'the rock cycle' which most of us hate because all the rocks in the rock cupboard look like-rocks. Albeit stripy rocks and rocks with bits and some fantastic fossils) but I do notice that your question has changed Marc. Initially you state Pre cambrian is an assemblage of aquatic fossils than you change it to why the fossils could not have been deposited by water. The two are different. Michael is an expert, you are not. He suggests you go learn some geology. I suggest you answer some of our questions before accusing anyone else. You haven't answered any of mine yet-like where is the POSITIVE evidence FOR your beliefs.

I don't know if this is the right thread but can I ask another question of you Marc? Please feel free to ignore if it's too personal. When and why did you become a creationist? Please don't give the boring stock creationist answer that the evidence led you there because clearly we both know that is untrue. There is NO positive evidence and nobody without an existing biblical agenda would twist what we have so illogically-so it's fairly clear that it's an interpretation of the bible that leads people to reject science rather than an honest interpretation of science. If that wasn't the case there would be the odd atheist or two believing the earth was 6000 years old or that everything appeared complete at a single point in time. Did it come from your early church experiences or did you join a creationist church later? I only ask cos I know some of our creationists have certainly been gently bullied into it by their churches. Given free choice they wouldn't think about it at all and would prefer to accept evolution but their church makes out it's important so they succumb. They aren't comfortable with it at all.
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Re: From NCSE

Postby a_haworthroberts » Thu Apr 07, 2011 12:48 pm

marcsurtees wrote:
a_haworthroberts wrote:Interesting. This site suggests laid down by rivers, rather than by some sort of abnormal flood. Marc originally suggested that most Torridonian fossils are aquatic anyway (though Michael suggested that many may have been terrestrial).


No, I suggested that pre-cambrian fossils are aquatic.
To which Michael responded with torridonian sandstones... with the implication that there are terrestrial creatures there).
Which is why I referred you to the web site with refers to deposition by water.


Perhaps I am unintentionally confused? I was assuming that fossils found in Torridonian sandstone would be Pre-Cambrian.
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Re: From NCSE

Postby a_haworthroberts » Thu Apr 07, 2011 1:15 pm

Perhaps I am speaking out of turn, but I think that Michael has been as evasive as Marc on this thread (though Marc may have been evasive on past threads that I did not see).

I too would be interested to know a little more about the collection of Torridonian fossils - especially as some are said, if I understand correctly, to be terrestrial (deposited by a river in flood?) but Roger seemingly implied that at this early point in time most creatures would have been aquatic (eg algae?). Michael said "Keep focussed on this creationist nutter. He wont answer questions" yet today his reply was "Marc
If you knew just a little geology you would not ask that question. You have made it crystal clear that you know nothing about Precambrian geology.
Yet you have the gall to speak about the fossil record and your nonsense/dishonest view of it as you seek to con deluded Christians by appealing to youyr doctorate in some aspect of biology. I suggest you go and learn some geology."
Jon has since addressed the deposition question. But I for one am still confused about the Torridonian fossils and whether they are aquatic or terrestrial or both (and whether they are also Pre-Cambrian as I have been assuming though Marc appeared to make some sort of distinction).
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Re: From NCSE

Postby Peter Henderson » Thu Apr 07, 2011 1:50 pm

When and why did you become a creationist?


Cathy: It's doesn't usually come from looking at the evidence from science. Usually, it's another outside influense. In the case of Monty White for example, it was his wife (not a geologist but a nurse, as far as I remember) who managed to persude him that if you can't trust the bible on this (i.e. the young Earth nonsense) it can't be trusted on anything else i.e. the resurection etc. So that was it for Monty White. Virtually all science is ditched in favour of this nonsense. Like you, I wouldn't mind knowing how a well educated person like Marc came to this decision.


As for myself Cathy, It was the influence of a very enthusiastic geology teacher during O=Level (I did O-level geology) 40 years ago that has given me a reasonabal grounding in geology. Enough knowledge at least to see through the YEC nonsense fort what it is.

For example, when I look around me here in NI (even out my bedroom window) I see a landscape not as a result of a global flood, but one that was formed due to a variaty of conditions and environments.

There's a bit here about my old geology teacher from 40 years ago, Herbie Black:

http://www.habitas.org.uk/es2k/breaking ... news7.html

Brian Black then provided a fascinating account of his uncle Herbert, from a family perspective. Instead of the driving (and drinking) force remembered by many Society members, Brian gave us an insight into a still more eccentric character - someone apparently capable of 'selling the family silver' to pay for his legendary summer-long trips to the Alps with his wife Pauline. Brian also seemed somewhat daunted by the prospect of receiving back the residue of Herbie's vast collection of 35mm colour slides, now that the Ulster Museum has completed its selection and cataloguing of some 16,000 images.


The early success of the Belfast Geologists' Society was due mainly to the work of a remarkable individual - Herbert S Black. 'Herbie' was a schoolmaster by profession and it is no exaggeration to say that the Society was his whole life. For nearly four decades he ran the Society almost single-handedly. Herbie was not only a wonderful organiser but also a character in every sense. Anyone who ever met Herbie - whether a member of the Society or one of his pupils at Belfast Model or Annadale - acquired a fund of Herbie anecdotes
.

I have no doubt that if Marc had learned geology under Herbie, he might not have been a YEC today.
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Re: From NCSE

Postby Roger Stanyard » Thu Apr 07, 2011 2:07 pm

a_haworthroberts wrote:Perhaps I am speaking out of turn, but I think that Michael has been as evasive as Marc on this thread (though Marc may have been evasive on past threads that I did not see).

I too would be interested to know a little more about the collection of Torridonian fossils - especially as some are said, if I understand correctly, to be terrestrial (deposited by a river in flood?) but Roger seemingly implied that at this early point in time most creatures would have been aquatic (eg algae?). Michael said "Keep focussed on this creationist nutter. He wont answer questions" yet today his reply was "Marc
If you knew just a little geology you would not ask that question. You have made it crystal clear that you know nothing about Precambrian geology.
Yet you have the gall to speak about the fossil record and your nonsense/dishonest view of it as you seek to con deluded Christians by appealing to youyr doctorate in some aspect of biology. I suggest you go and learn some geology."
Jon has since addressed the deposition question. But I for one am still confused about the Torridonian fossils and whether they are aquatic or terrestrial or both (and whether they are also Pre-Cambrian as I have been assuming though Marc appeared to make some sort of distinction).


I#m out of my depth on this but long understood that terrestrial life didn't appear until the Silurian period, The most recent Torridonian strata appear to be Cambrian rather than pre-Cambrian. However, it all looks to e an over-simplification and there is some evidence of terrestrial life in the Cambrian, presumably through trace fossils. Unfortunately somebody with more expertise needs to edify us all.
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Re: From NCSE

Postby a_haworthroberts » Thu Apr 07, 2011 2:35 pm

If this discussion had occurred two years' ago, I could also have asked the tutor of my Open University 'Exploring Science' course. The (former) Rev'd Philip Gulvin - also a geologist by academic background (though I found geology one of the more interesting parts of the course, I also struggled with it somewhat).
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Re: From NCSE

Postby cathy » Thu Apr 07, 2011 2:59 pm

Peter wrote: I have no doubt that if Marc had learned geology under Herbie, he might not have been a YEC today.
I'm not so sure Peter. Anyone that learns and understands any science (and Marc is well qualified in biology) has no excuse whatsoever for becoming a YEC. That is why I asked Marc (though I know he won't answer).

My friend from whom I got my first inkling that there were such things as creationists was a ex catholic who'd moved on to pentacostal/evangelical sects. She was (and still is) very committed to it. She became a victim of it's relatively mild YEC propaganda machine. She was uncomfortable and unhappy with it even though she has no scientific background-as you know, even without science it's difficult to avoid facts like dinosaurs dying out 65 million years ago if you have kids. She was particularly upset after seeing fossils at chedder gorge because she knew the explanations there were correct and thought that had disproved God. Because at that time I still considered myself christian (though becoming very disillusioned with the sorts of halfwitted nonsense she was being exposed to and the AiG book I'd been lent and angry that I'd inadvertently exposed my daughter to it) and because I knew her circumstances and the comfort she got from religion, I put her right about YECism being dishonest garbage and told her in no uncertain terms that it was not a requirement of being a christian and lots of christians accepted evolution. She jumped on my confused, garbled take on it (which was just what both our kids were learning at the time in a RC primary school-god caused big bang 13.5 billion years ago rest is in the science books) which I think was more measure of how uncomfortable and unhappy she was with the YEC stuff she was hearing than my explanations. That was just before I found bcse.

She is still keen to hear of the existence of people like you and the others who believe in God without being YEC, I think without that she'd have drifted away by now. Anyway we talked a lot about it and she started telling people at her church it was poss to accept evolution and it didn't matter how you thought God did it. A lot of people apparently were very happy to hear that and were in agreement. Next thing we know is AiG are coming to do a talk (I knew before her because of bcse creation watch-she made me write to her pastor to tell him they were liars, she tried to stop them coming and failed, she didn't go to church that day). The whole issue is now apparently not spoken of as AiG went down a storm with some, was agreed with by a lot of others but disgusted and upset a significant minority. It is an Elim Pentacostal church so there is no way evolution will be sanctioned but they're avoiding pushing the YEC stuff now because customers are customers after all, bringing in the dosh for a new building. I don't know much more because we have a tacit agreement not to discuss religion anymore because I would tell her exactly what I think of her pastor and church. I suspect they won't let it lie for long though, they may just be rethinking their strategies.

Thats why I'm genuinely curious as to the motivations and backgrounds of people like Marc. I can't understand where he is coming from or why? The halfwits from my friends church that tried to sell it big time to me have bought it because they know no better. The ones that aren't stupid but aren't scientifically literate enought to argue, have been bullied, albeit gently, into accepting (or going into denial) something that makes them very uncomfortable in order to stay in the group. I really can't understand the rationale behind someone like Marc being a creationist when he must know how wrong it is.
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Re: From NCSE

Postby cathy » Thu Apr 07, 2011 3:19 pm

Ashley wrote: (though Marc may have been evasive on past threads that I did not see).

I don't know anything about geology, but on every thread where I've had any inkling of whats going on Marc has been evasive, dishonest and disingenous. Which is why after months of being as polite and nice to him as poss whilst disagreeing, trying to be reasonable with him and trying to see some redeeming qualities in him (because everyone has some good in them don't they?) I've resorted to being honest in my opinions of him-which are the above. If you go onto the Edinburgh Creation Group you'll see some horrendous lies. If you go onto you tube you'll see people pointing out his lies. If you go onto his website you'll see links to creationist groups that lie and lie again, plus stuff about the evils of education and how to frighten your child be using examples from nature to illustrate how scary the devil is (on material intended for quite young kids). From that I've learnt-if Marc says it, the wisest course is to assume it's untrue until proven otherwise.

I suspect that without YECism and outside of his YEC role, he is a pleasant, honest person. I'd quite happily consult him on what telescope to buy or what my 13 year old should do now shes decided she wants to join the RAF. But when it comes to science and religion no way. Which I think is really, really sad and a real indictment of the way creationism makes people have to behave.
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Re: From NCSE

Postby Roger Stanyard » Thu Apr 07, 2011 3:36 pm

cathy wrote:
Peter wrote: I have no doubt that if Marc had learned geology under Herbie, he might not have been a YEC today.
I'm not so sure Peter. Anyone that learns and understands any science (and Marc is well qualified in biology) has no excuse whatsoever for becoming a YEC. That is why I asked Marc (though I know he won't answer).


You know my opinion on this, Cathy. Creationism/fundamentalism is an ideology or world-view, if you like. An all encompassing viewpoint. History is littered with ideological failures - people who think they have the answer to evrything. Ideologies never stand the test of time.

The majority of people simply do not have worldviews 9although many are open to them). We take some of our ideas and understanding from one direction, some from another. It's piecemeal and pragmatic but seems to me to reflect the simple home truth that virtually all of our understanding of everything comes from other people, especially in fields outside of our vocations. Even within our vocations our knowledge and understanding largely comes from others. Indeed, much of our understanding comes from admitting we don't know and separating out the plausible from the BS or plain wrong.

I'll also comment on Monty White formerly of AiG. He comes from an ideologically driven family. His parents were, by all accounts, driven by hardline Marxism.
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Re: From NCSE

Postby marcsurtees » Thu Apr 07, 2011 3:41 pm

cathy wrote:... but I do notice that your question has changed Marc. Initially you state Pre cambrian is an assemblage of aquatic fossils than you change it to why the fossils could not have been deposited by water. The two are different. Michael is an expert, you are not. He suggests you go learn some geology.
I was just rephrasing it.... but to avoid confusion and distraction I am happy with my happy to stick with my original statement and ask why this is wrong based on the Torridonian fossils, of which Michael does not speak...
I am ready to listen...

cathy wrote:I suggest you answer some of our questions before accusing anyone else. You haven't answered any of mine yet-like where is the POSITIVE evidence FOR your beliefs.
Actually I have answered that one a number of times. But to repeat and add some other bits... here goes again.
The known facts of chemistry, biology, genetics that show discontinuity in the natural world.
The appearence of design such as, optimal function in biological systems, modularity (re-use of design features in different kinds of animal)
Beauty in nature.
All of these support the hypothesis of creative activity, and give some indication of the nature of the designer.

cathy wrote:When and why did you become a creationist?

I became a creationist when I became a Christian. It is fundamental to Christian belief that there is a creator.
I never rejected science, (I chose a scientific career in biology and clinical research) but I did reject the idea of common descent, and a billion year old earth, because the evidence was not compelling enough.
So I remained a creationist because there was no good scientific reason to doubt that God did it the way He said He did it.

cathy wrote:There is NO positive evidence and nobody without an existing biblical agenda would twist what we have so illogically-so it's fairly clear that it's an interpretation of the bible that leads people to reject science rather than an honest interpretation of science. If that wasn't the case there would be the odd atheist or two believing the earth was 6000 years old or that everything appeared complete at a single point in time.
I take it that you are familiar with the case of Antony Flew's conversion from athiesm to deism, on the basis of the scientific evidence?
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Re: From NCSE

Postby Brian Jordan » Thu Apr 07, 2011 4:32 pm

marcsurtees wrote:Beauty in nature.
All of these support the hypothesis of creative activity, and give some indication of the nature of the designer.
I think we've been here before: cue versions of
All things bright and beautiful,
The little spirochaete...
Then move on to the eye-devouring worm etc. etc. ad nauseam.
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Re: From NCSE

Postby Michael » Thu Apr 07, 2011 4:53 pm

Ashley (and Marc)

I was not so much evasive as leading Marc on from his silly flud geology. To say I have a lot of Torridonian fossils is palin false cos there are so few - and they wont be terrestial as on dry land.

I think I shewed that Marc should not comment on geology as he doesn't know any - yet gives lectures on the fossil record.

He is a typical absurd YEC orf no scienitfic value whatever and probably would deserve Kroto's silly epithets

I lose pateince with YEC nonsense
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Re: From NCSE

Postby Roger Stanyard » Thu Apr 07, 2011 5:02 pm

marcsurtees wrote:I became a creationist when I became a Christian. It is fundamental to Christian belief that there is a creator.


Personal opinion masquerading as fact - again.
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Re: From NCSE

Postby cathy » Thu Apr 07, 2011 5:20 pm

Marc wrote: Actually I have answered that one a number of times. But to repeat and add some other bits... here goes again.
The known facts of chemistry, biology, genetics that show discontinuity in the natural world.
The appearence of design such as, optimal function in biological systems, modularity (re-use of design features in different kinds of animal)
Beauty in nature.
All of these support the hypothesis of creative activity, and give some indication of the nature of the designer.
Aaahrgh Marc we've been through all of these before-I'm not one of your believe anything creationist converts nor do I have the memory of a goldfish with early onset dementia? None of that is evidence is it!!!!! When you open Jerry Coynes book about evolution it is full of evidence-fossil evidence, genetic evidence, dating evidence. If he operated like you he would say the evidence for evolution is er evolution.

Those are just meaningless creationist phrases. Appearance of design=God of gaps argument. So where is the evidence that the appearance of design means a designer when it has been shown ad nauseum that apparent design can be due to evolution. As an argument it just doesn't work As a weak analogy you'll find that actual designed objects in the material,manufactured world have evolved from simpler designs/technologies and have been improving slowly since the simple wheel. Clever designers are now trying to factor in the ability for automatic upgrades into their design-so so far looks more like design argument supports evolution. Plus all the other evidence for evolution that I really can't be bothered to list again.

Beauty in nature-see Brians comment, plus I'm sure a really clever designer would have come up with a better engineering system and materials for the earths structure. One that would prevent things like the Japanese earthquakes. What known facts of chemistry, biology, genetics show discontinuity? Where is you're peer reveiwed evidence, in a recognised journal that provides proof for that? How is that positive evidence for a 6000 year old earth. How does it explain away the other evidence.

Thats not evidence marc, yet again I'll point out that they are just random, meaningless creationist phrases NOT evidence. They do not support the hypothesis of creative activity in the light of what we know. However assuming you wish to test that hypothesis-how are you going to do it scientifically??? And not the old theres lots of work going on unless you can tell us what it is and how it makes sense.

Marc wrote: became a creationist when I became a Christian. It is fundamental to Christian belief that there is a creator.
I never rejected science, (I chose a scientific career in biology and clinical research) but I did reject the idea of common descent, and a billion year old earth, because the evidence was not compelling enough.
So I remained a creationist because there was no good scientific reason to doubt that God did it the way He said He did it.

Not really a good answer given I'd already said
Please don't give the boring stock creationist answer that the evidence led you there because clearly we both know that is untrue. There is NO positive evidence and nobody without an existing biblical agenda would twist what we have so illogically-so it's fairly clear that it's an interpretation of the bible that leads people to reject science rather than an honest interpretation of science.

And I don't believe God said how he did it. However the bible does say don't tell lies.

If you really didn't want to answer or didn't know the answer I'd have much preferred you to honestly say so rather than coming out with the stock platitudinous, meaningless creationist twaddle. Why a creationist christian rather than a sane one for example? Why not say something that does not involve parroting the old creationist cliches even if it's just 'I'm not going to tell you you nosy c@@'.
Last edited by cathy on Thu Apr 07, 2011 6:09 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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