Have you Read the Bible

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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Postby Brian Jordan » Wed Oct 11, 2006 10:46 am

Oeditor wrote:I'll try to dig it out, but it will be a while.

Found much sooner than I thought - sorting really does work, must do more of it :-)

Right, the book is "Fabulous Science - Fact and Fiction in the History of Scienctific Discovery" by John Waller.
I hadn't recalled it quite correctly. Pasteur was in dispute with Pouchet, who had claimed spontaneous generation in flasks sealed with mercury. Pasteur showed that the source of infection was in fact the mercury.

However, later inspection of Pasteurs notebooks showed that he had done the same experiments and 90% of the flasks showed infection. That sounds reasonable enough, but Waller claims that this was done fully two years before Pasteur realised that the mercury might be contaminated. He ignored his own findings - which appeared to support Pouchet's spontaneous generation. Pasteur stuck with his idea of bacterial contamination and kept up his merciless attacks on Pouchet. All the time claiming to be impartial and not favouring his own preconception.

So it wasn't his experiments that were dodgy, his treatment of his results was.

A fascinating - if at times uncomfortable - book.

Brian
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Postby Michael » Wed Oct 11, 2006 11:39 am

Louis wrote:Have I read the bible. Yup I've read a few versions of it.

And the qu'ran.

And the hadith.

And the bhagavad ghita.

And the torah.

And the talmud.

And the book of mormon.

And the guru granth sahib.

And the iliad.

And......

This is getting boring. A lot of us have read a lot of mythology, so what?

The rise of creationism is little to do with the bible, it's everything to do with the political ambitions of certain literalist sects and their dogmatic approach to religion. The bible is a document from which they cherry pick things to reinforce their pre-existing prejudices. A copy of mein kampf, the mr men go to the seaside, Jamie cooks cajun, or the dangerous book for boys would all suffice given the creationists' ignorant quote mining of the book they worship.

This isn't a scriptural debate, this isn't a scientific debate. It's a political reaction to the enlightenment by dark ages religious bigots. Modern theology handwaved biblical literalism away ages ago. Science has had greater success in explaining the natural world's working than any other human enterprise. The fluidity of species, evolution by natural selection, the old age of the earth and the universe etc were all uncovered by the application of the scientific method (in most cases) beyond the lifespan of the grandparents of anyone still living. There is no scientific debate and the theological debate is meaningless waffle. Ok so it might be USEFUL meaningless waffle when it comes to countering creationists, but it's a double edged sword because we play on their turf, it aids them in playing the "conflicting religions" lie.

We have to remember that creationists are not scientists, or more accurately they are not approaching this issue as scientists. They are scurrying around trying to find ANYTHING real or imagined that supports their very tenuous faith.

Louis

P.S. Of course Darwin read the bible, he was a hair's breadth away from studying divinity and becoming an ordained country parson.


So where do we go from here? Clearly you can't have meaningful dialogue with anyone who believes in God so why bother.

I have read lots of mythology too - Fictitious books on the history of science eg Andrew White The Warfare of science and Relgion, Dawkins on religion etc.

The danger is that by protesting too much you will let creationists win by alienating everyone else

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Postby Ian Lowe » Wed Oct 11, 2006 12:10 pm

Michael wrote:So where do we go from here? Clearly you can't have meaningful dialogue with anyone who believes in God so why bother.

I have read lots of mythology too - Fictitious books on the history of science eg Andrew White The Warfare of science and Relgion, Dawkins on religion etc.

The danger is that by protesting too much you will let creationists win by alienating everyone else

Michael


Louis said "The rise of creationism is little to do with the bible, it's everything to do with the political ambitions of certain literalist sects and their dogmatic approach to religion. The bible is a document from which they cherry pick things to reinforce their pre-existing prejudices", so he's clearly not trying to slur every believer.

Everyone needs to be careful to not use throwaway language that's actually hurtful (like calling the bible "mythology") - on the other hand, we all need slightly thicker skins!

Louis - this area of the forums is set aside for discussion of a scriptural/theological nature. There are many christians who do not see a conflict between their beliefs and modern science - please be careful in your posts.

Michael - whilst everything settles down, and the forum rules become well established, let's be a little less sensitive: new forum members who post something in the wrong place, or cross the lines in terms of what's okay will be told about the forum rules, let's not make things worse by jumping on them.

Ian.
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Postby Louis » Wed Oct 11, 2006 2:16 pm

Ian and Michael,

Apologies if I did the wrong thing in the wrong place, but I really am not and was not, having a pop at religious people or religion. The fact that reason is fundamentally anathema to faith exists regardless of whether or not some people deny it or don't like it.

To clarify that somewhat:

I do NOT mean that people cannot be both reasonable and religious. I do NOT mean that people cannot be both rational and religious. I am certainly NOT trying in anyway to alienate people at all. I am also more than will to set aside the philosophical wrangle between faith and reason in favour of focus on the real problem facing us (creationism), in fact I've advocated this very strongly here and elsewhere.

Like Ian said, this isn't helped by religious people (or the Chamberlain school of atheists) getting their backs up the minute an open atheist has the temerity to speak. Whether or not some people like it, the bible is a series of highly edited books about a Jewish sect's mythology. That doesn't demean it in any way, although I do understand that some people might take it in a perjorative sense. Mythology doesn't mean that the whole thing is a work of fiction, there is undoubtably some historically accurate material in the bible, just as there is in the iliad. I'll try to modify my language to take account of unknown sensitivities.

Genuine apologies if I unwittingly caused offense or confusion.

I have no problem having a meaningful dialogue with someone who believes in a god, a series of gods, or any number of excitingly undemonstrated notions. The only time I DO have a problem with any such people is when theystart claiming that they can PROVE on the basis of logic/reason/empirical evidence that their specific god is real or has really done something. The problem isn't an emotional one, it's an intellectual one.

Doesn't the bible itself say that the devil can quote scripture to suit his need? That's what creationists are doing (in fact that's what every religious person is doing, but that's a digression we need not make for the sake of this issue). They are picking the bits of the bible they believe to be true and insisting that they ARE true. That's why I said it doesn't matter which book they're using, it's their attitude to reality, knowledge and scholarship that's the problem, their specific religion is incidental. One need look no further than the USSR and marxism for a blinding example of a "book cult" without a deity, it just happens that many/most of the "book cults" we have are religious or spiritual.

I am exceedingly happy to stand shoulder to shoulder with people of all faiths and none and say very loudly "On many things we disagree, but on this one thing we are in total agreement". In fact, I'd be very grateful if religious people could find it in them to accept one or more vigourous atheists helping them in ridding their ranks of creationists. Personally I think that the christians around the world who are not creationists are being done a great disservice by accidental/unintentional association with their creationist wing. Were I a christian, I'd be bloody desperate to distance myself from creationists, and I'd be doing so very loudly indeed.

Cheers

Louis
"Science is a way of trying not to fool yourself. The first principle is that you must not fool yourself, and you are the easiest person to fool."

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Postby Louis » Wed Oct 11, 2006 2:21 pm

P.S. Michael: Dawkins' writings on religion are mythological? Hardly! I think I know what you mean (i.e. that they are false), but obviously I disagree. I think Dawkins is often touted as the "Architypical Evil Religion Hating Atheist" when in reality he's anything but. Crikey, Dawkins is a moderate compared to the atheist lunatic fringe (yuck, silly people)! I have yet to find any critique of Dawkins that wasn't almost entirely based on a misunderstanding, or uncharitable interpretation, of his words. He's probably one of religion's best friends in a certain light. He wants equal treatment for all religions, and firmly believes they are an interesting, essential and useful are of study, to name one example.
"Science is a way of trying not to fool yourself. The first principle is that you must not fool yourself, and you are the easiest person to fool."

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Have you Read the Bible

Postby Anonymous » Wed Oct 11, 2006 6:44 pm

Louis, I understand what both you and Michael are saying. For the
record, Ian is an atheist and I am Christian, but that makes no
difference per say to the way in which he and I moderate.

The forums are set up with specific themes in mind. The Scripture forum
is perfectly fine for discussing theistic evolution, for the belief of
the majority of Christians that there is no conflict between evolution
and Christianity, and even for discussing the archaeology of the Bible.
However, the secular forum is the appropriate forum if you wish to state
that the Bible is mythology, and if Michael wishes to respond to that
particular claim (with the provisio that neither Christians and atheists
take offence and the language and arguments are conducted professionally).

The same sort of message goes for Michael, when he reads these messages.
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Have you Read the Bible

Postby Timothy Chase » Wed Oct 11, 2006 7:57 pm

[Knock, knock.]

Cup of sugar?

When people wish to discuss the pros and cons of religion, the
relationship between religion and mythology, or the relative strengths
of religious or secular positions, I would always consider the Free
For All. Despite its name, we still manage to keep it polite of
course, but it gives those who do not wish to participate in that sort
of a discussion a place where they can withdraw from it and talk about
something else if they want to - whatever their position.

Well now, I believe should get going. Things to do - you know!

On 11/10/06, mikeybrass <mike@antiquityofman.com> wrote:
Louis, I understand what both you and Michael are saying. For the
record, Ian is an atheist and I am Christian, but that makes no
difference per say to the way in which he and I moderate.

The forums are set up with specific themes in mind. The Scripture forum
is perfectly fine for discussing theistic evolution, for the belief of
the majority of Christians that there is no conflict between evolution
and Christianity, and even for discussing the archaeology of the Bible.
However, the secular forum is the appropriate forum if you wish to state
that the Bible is mythology, and if Michael wishes to respond to that
particular claim (with the provisio that neither Christians and atheists
take offence and the language and arguments are conducted professionally).

The same sort of message goes for Michael, when he reads these messages.

--
British Centre for Science Education
Helping to Keep Science Scientific
BCSE - http://bcseweb.org.uk
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Postby Michael » Tue Oct 24, 2006 9:50 pm

Michael wrote:Let's consider this list

Here are a few guys whom I reckon did read it:
Newton, First three days of Genesis were longer than 24 hrs, rejected Trinity
Kepler,
Faraday, Accepted old earth geology but not evolution
Maxwell,Old earth geology
Pasteur
, Joule,Old earth geology
Boyle,
Pascal,
William Thompson (Lord Kelvin), Old earth geology
Lister,
Babbage,Old earth geology
Simpson,
Linnaeus, local flood
Stokes,Old earth geology evolution
Morse,
Davy, J.J.Old earth geology
Thomson, Old earth geology
Mendel,
Henry,
RayleighOld earth geology
, Ramsay, Old earth geology
Herschel,Old earth geology
Marconi (though maybe not as a devout Catholic!),
Steno,
Francis Bacon, gay
Agassiz, Old earth geology, unitarian and racist
Dalton,
Riemann,
Maury,Old earth geology
Fleming...Old earth geology
and evolution but not for humans
...........
So what are you saying then ? Most christians reject Young Earth nonsense

Michael


Nick

Can't you admit to your errors?

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