Creationist questions evolution

Discussion in 'Religion' started by Jan Ardena, Nov 10, 2018.

  1. James R Just this guy, you know? Staff Member

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    Do you have any evidence of intelligent design that you'd like to present for examination?

    Interesting. I haven't come across that idea before. Can you explain briefly? It's off-topic for this thread, technically.
     
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  3. James R Just this guy, you know? Staff Member

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    Alex:

    I don't know that proof of a god is very important to these people. Jan Ardena, for example, is quite comfortable simply asserting that "God Is", and has explicitly stated that he doesn't care about evidence. (Although, in apparent contradiction, he also insists that he has evidence for his God, even though he can't or won't produce any of it for examination.)

    What is clear from this thread is that Jan believes that evolution is a threat to his religion, and indeed to theism in general. Theism and evolution are incompatible, he has told us. You can't be a theist and accept established science, he says. Rather, you have to make a choice between your faith and reality-based belief.

    From other encounters with Creationists*, I know that most Creationists hold the same kind of view. The Christian fundamentalist ones hold that evolution goes against the sacred text of the bible, and to accept evolution is therefore to reject God's teachings, which would be a sin. Therefore, one must be careful never to learn anything about evolution. Indeed, one must actively try to suppress the teaching of evolution as far as one is able. It's a holy duty.

    It's an understandable self-protection mechanism. If you really, honestly, believe that your place in the afterlife is threatened by accepting certain scientific facts, then of course you're going to get that science as far away from yourself as possible, and fight it where you see it. Evolution is "atheist science", which is a sin against God. Or something like that.

    These people are messed up. Not always their own fault, but still.

    This, of course, is true.

    One thing worth noticing is that Creationists never put forward any positive evidence for Creation. Instead, they spend all their time trying to produce arguments against evolution. The Discovery Institute, a supposed Creationist think tank, has never produced a single piece of evidence or a coherent theory of Creation in all of its years of existence, despite funding that would be the envy of many a biologist. Funny, that.

    It's understandable that Creationists do so poorly at trying to refute evolution, given that they are unwilling to learn anything about it for reasons given above. What is more puzzling, as you say, is that these religious people who come to a science forum to argue about evolution apparently have nothing to show us about their gods. Ask them directly for evidence and they run away and hide.

    Another good question, especially given that they typically tell us that their religions imposes strict moral requirements on them, including the requirement to act honorably and to tell the truth.

    I think it smacks of a deep insecurity about their own beliefs, underneath it all.

    On the other hand, some brands of religion regard unbelievers as "fair game" (literally, in the case of Scientology) for telling lies and acting disreputably. Since unbelievers are the "out group", anything goes with them. God will save the Righteous and punish the Sinners. Who could be more unrighteous than a non-believer? A lie is a mere nothing in comparison; it's a justifiable response to defend the faith.

    One is always free to pick and choose, and to interpret freely when things get difficult in one's preferred scriptures.

    Not all religions have the fear of eternal punishment and the like. They are all concerned with death and what happens after it to a greater or lesser extent, though.

    I think for some there is a fear of being alone, and God can fill that gap. For others, religion might be tied up with a sense of justice, if not in this life then in the next. But this is really just scratching the surface.

    Personally I think the con artists are the worst of the lot when it comes to religion. Those people typically do not hold the beliefs they espouse and preach about to their congregations. In some cases, they hold no genuine belief about their God. They are only out to aggrandise themselves at the expense of their followers.

    Next in line are the hypocrites who preach to others something they don't really believe in themselves. They give all the appearance of deep faith, but in private they doubt that any of it is true.

    Of course. There are many many reasonable, thoughtful people who are religious. There are many honest seekers after truth. The frauds and the hypocrites do these good people a disservice when they put themselves up as representatives of the faith.

    Certainly Jan is dishonest in a number of ways. That comes out regularly. He does not engage in good faith in discussions here, that much is clear. Possibly he has doubt gnawing at him. Or, it might be something else. Either way, the most interesting thing from my point of view is to observe the behaviour and speculate about the underlying motivations and psychological factors in play. Jan hasn't posted anything interesting in terms of content for over a year now.

    ----
    * When I write "Creationists", I generally mean Young Earth Creationists. I am aware that there are other types of Creationist belief, but this is the type we see most regularly on sciforums.
     
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  5. Write4U Valued Senior Member

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    Their theory hasn't changed in 2500 years, its called the OT. Of course it doesn't qualify as a theory, precisely because it hasn't produced any evidence other than that it is a great money raiser.
    If only science was treated so generously...

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  7. Write4U Valued Senior Member

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    Heaven on earth.....

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  8. Jan Ardena OM!!! Valued Senior Member

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    I read lots of account of what is regarded as evolutionary science, by some.
    Yours is simply just another account.

    Nobody has to assume anything.
    If you assume it, you do so because it is a scientific fact, therefore undeniable. Or, it is a belief.
    The onus is on you to show it is a fact, and the factual component must be the same as the factual component that allows everybody to accept what is termed ‘micro evolution ‘.

    A dog/wolf, is always a dog/wolf.
    What did the dog/wolf evolve from, that was previously not a dog/wolf?
    Help me to understand in a real way, what appears to you, to be knowledge.
    If it is true, I won’t be able to deny it, anymore I can deny I am responding to your post.

    That is not evidence that one can, at some point, produce the other. I don’t see how any length of time changes that. Unless it is simply a convenient way of not having to give proof, evidence, or even a solid explanation. You fail in all three endeav

    I haven’t been given any answer.
    If you think I have, but have not responded to it in a way you like, then you need to explain it again.

    I don’t.
    I simply understand that they are the same kind of creature, but they vary in shape, size, colour, and so on.

    I get the step. I get how you could come to believe this is true.
    But you don’t know whether or not it is true, so you accept and believe it

    I have done.
    It appears to be vague and speculative.
    I’m thinking maybe I don’t have the intellectual capacity to completely track with these explanations, maybe you could simplify it for me, and other little theists.

    All I want is actual evidence that this does occur. Not vague stuff. For example you cannot show that occurs via the fossil record, unless you’re prepared to accept that

    This is where ‘The Emporers New Clothes’ comes in. There does not appear to be any evidence.

    Now I’ve no reason to deny macro evolution, if it naturally occurs. If it does occur, I may as well accept it, because it would be true. Just like I have to accept microevolution.

    Connecting lines from one drawing to the next, to show that there are common ancestral links, highlights only the idea of e

    Not according to all, involved in those fields.
    Yet every single scientists accepts microevolution. You need that kind of consensus.

    It seems I have no reason to accept that, and every reason to think that thousands of generations ago, my ancestors would be as human as I am.

    Jan.
     
    Last edited: Jan 5, 2019
  9. Write4U Valued Senior Member

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    https://www.livescience.com/50928-wolf-genome-dog-ancient-ancestor.html
     
  10. Gawdzilla Sama Valued Senior Member

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    I see Jan had resorted to the stubborn child tactic.
     
  11. James R Just this guy, you know? Staff Member

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    Jan Ardena:

    Can you list three of the sources you have consulted? I hope you've done more than read a few creationist web pages.

    Sure. I certainly don't have the time or the energy or the inclination to teach you basic biology from scratch on a discussion forum. If you have an honest interest in the topic, you need to do some leg work yourself. Despite your protestations, the basic errors you keep throwing up, along with the Creationist talking points, all strongly point to a mere thoughtless regurgitation of said talking points, so far.

    Besides, I find that every time I give you a detailed explanation of anything to do with evolution, you ignore it, and act as if I never gave it to you. It's not just my explanations, either. It's a consistent, visible pattern with you, here.

    Then why do you?

    There's no real distinction between "micro-evolution" and "macro-evolution". Both terms tend to be used mainly by Creationists, I find. Basically, what you call macro-evolution is usually the result of a long-enough string of micro-evolutions. The reason you think there's a distinction is because of your assumption that there are fixed "kinds" that are essentially immune to evolution.

    No. Just because we call a particular wolf/dog ancestor a "dawn wolf" or an "ancient Siberian wolf", that doesn't mean that species belonged to the wolf "kind" - your idea of the fixed, unchangeable, archetypal wolf. These animals were different species. They were neither dogs nor wolves. Modern dogs and wolves descended from them.

    You question was answered previously. If you want to push further back in time to earlier ancestor species, you can do the research yourself. My field of expertise is not evolutionary biology, so I don't have the relevant information at my fingertips. You're as capable of looking it up as I am, if you're interested.

    But you've had these discussions before on this forum, have you not? We've talked about the evolution of whales and horses, haven't we? We've also talked about human evolution from earlier hominids. What new information do you require that hasn't already been presented to you? You've been pointed in directions where you could find out more for yourself, if you were truly interested. Didn't you investigate anything beyond what you saw here?

    If you want to delve into one of these areas, I'd be happy to help you as best I can to answer your questions regarding any research you uncover, on the proviso that it has a legitimate scientific source and isn't a Creationist distortion. Mind you, as I already said, my time is limited. I'm not going to do literature searches on your behalf.

    Dogs and ducks? Of course there's no such evidence, because neither of these animals is descended from the other. Rather, both have a common ancestor.
     
  12. James R Just this guy, you know? Staff Member

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    (continued...)

    Look, let me give you a simple example, by analogy. Let's imagine we can represent the genetic sequence of an animal by a sequence of 8 bits, like this: 10111000. Let's also assume that two animals can breed with one another if they both have a "1" as the first digit in their "genetic code". Let's also assume that, one time in a thousand, a copying error occurs when animals reproduce, changing just one bit of the genetic code, at random. We won't introduce gene mixing through sexual reproduction. We assume instead, for simplicity, that these animals produce clones most of the time. A direct family tree of descendents might start like this:

    10111000
    10111000
    10111000
    ....[repeat about 1000 times]
    10111010 10111000

    A thousand "generations" before anything unusual happens here, then suddenly we have two different types of offspring, one of which is subtly different from its "parent". Of course, in reality we would not be dealing with a single family tree, but rather many individual trees of individual animals all of the same species. If we had 1000 such animals to start with, then we'd only have to wait one generation to expect to see the first example of offspring with a "modified" genetic code.

    Following the family trees onwards through the generation we have:
    10111010 10111000
    10111010 10111000
    [repeat about 1000 times]
    10111010 10111000 10111001

    Hey, look! Another bit of genetic drift occurred on one the "branches". But something is wrong! While the code 10111010 produced viable, healthy-enough animals, the code 10111001 produces an animal with fatal abnormalities. That animal does not survive to reproduce (or cannot produce viable offspring), so it disappears from the gene pool after a single generation. We continue for a few more 1000 generations, until...

    10111010 10111000
    10110010 10011000

    By chance, both genetic "lines" happened to mutate at about the same time. Note that, at this point, the "original" animal species represented by 10111000 no longer exists. From here on, only its descendents are around to continue the line, and none of them is identical to the original ancestor.

    10110010 10011000
    10110010 10011000
    00110010 10011000

    Now the two lines of descent represent animals that are no longer able to interbreed. (This is not entirely relevant in our "cloning" example, but I hope you can make the small conceptual transition to apply this to animals that need sex to reproduce.)

    By definition, the two "types" of animal represented by "00110010" and "10011000" are two separate species at this point in the example. If these were sexually-reproducing animals, their genetic lines would be forever separate from this point forward.

    Now, apply what we've just seen. In this kind of example (ignoring the complexities of sexual reproduction as far as possible), the "original" animal "10111000" might be some kind of mammal. Maybe its mammalian characteristics are determined by that "1" in the fourth position in the genetic code. Its distant decendents "00110010" and "10011000" might be a duck and dog, respectively. The duck can't breed with the dog, but it shares a common ancestor with it: the unnamed mammalian ancestor species. Both dog and the duck share some genetic traits (like the mammalian traits determined by bit 4 of the genetic code), but in other ways they are quite different (the duck has feathers, determined by the bit 7 of the genetic code, say, while the dog does not). Note that the original mammal ancestor didn't have feathers, under this scheme. It turns out that, were there any of the original species left alive, those animals could still breed with dogs, but not with ducks, but that's just a particular accident of this line of evolution, and also a feature of the vastly over-simplified genetics.

    We started off with the mammal ancestor and ended up with ducks and dogs here. One question you might consider is: at which step in the process did "macro-evolution" occur? Or was it all really "micro-evolution" accumulated over a long period of time? I think the answer is obvious. Don't you?
     
    Last edited: Jan 5, 2019
  13. James R Just this guy, you know? Staff Member

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    (continued...)

    Consider a previous example you were given in this thread - that of chromosome 2 of human DNA and the two chromosome 2s in chimpanzees. Each chromosome has literally billions of separate genetic "letters" in its sequence. Yet we find that the chimp chromosomes and the human chromosomes are the same to a very high degree. That is, exactly the same repetitions of the same millions of letters of code appear in both chimpanzees and human beings.

    My question to you is: how do you account for this startling level of similarity? I see three possible answers. One is that human beings and chimps share a common ancestor, not too long ago in terms of generations. Another possibility is that it is an astoundingly improbable coincidence - so improbable that we would never expect to observe such a thing even comparing the DNA of billions of separate species. The third possibility is that God deliberately put the same genes in human beings as he did in chimps, and arranged things just so that they would look exactly as we would expect them to look if Darwin's theory of evolution was correct. That is, God set out to deceive us into drawing the obvious conclusion that chimps and humans are related.

    What do you think, Jan? Which explanation do you prefer? I think your God has some explaining to do, don't you?

    How much would they have to vary in shape, size, colour and so on before you would be willing to call them different "kinds"? You must be able to draw a line somewhere, otherwise how can you possibly tell one "kind" from another, in any systematic way?

    Go back to my example with the genetic sequences, above. Are we dealing with one "kind" there, or three, or more? What's your criteria for classifying those sequences by "kind"? Would you have it that each individual sequence is it's own "kind" perhaps? If so, then why is your father (who has a different genetic sequence to you) the same "kind" as you? If, in my example, you think at some point one "kind" changed into another, where did that happen?

    Nothing in biology makes sense unless it is true. If you throw out evolution, you're left floundering around with a bunch of groundless ad hoc explanations for the diversity of life, or else you have to resort to God of the Gaps. Unless you have a viable scientific alternative to the the theory of evolution, that is, and none of you Creationists have ever attempted to put any such thing forward.*

    I'm betting you didn't look at any of the primary literature (i.e. the peer-reviewed papers published by real scientists). If you did, please provide links to what you looked at, and we can discuss with direct reference to what you read.

    Which parts were you struggling with? You'll probably need to refer me to the sources you consulted so I can help.

    Well, for example, Write4U just gave you a link about genetic studies of Siberian huskies and Siberian wolves. Why not look at that?

    I think it most likely appears that way to you because you only read the grade-school summaries of the scientific findings. If you want to trace through the detailed evidence from fossils or genetic studies, there's really no alternative but to read the primary scientific literature.

    It's like going to library and getting a kids' book to learn how to build the space shuttle. The kids' book won't be useless. It will probably tell you some interesting facts about the shuttle. It might have some nice diagrams giving you an idea of what's inside the rocket boosters. But you won't come away with any idea about how to go about building a working rocket engine by reading that. If you want to know the details, you'll need to read enough of the relevant adult literature at a minimum. Probably, you'll also need some specialist education by qualified teachers, too.

    Like I said, the Creationists have been feeding you a lie. There's no meaningful difference between macro-evolution and micro-evolution. Macro-evolution equals micro-evolution plus time. It's no more complicated than that. If you really understand micro-evolution and accept it, then a belief in macro-evolution ought to follow automatically.

    Your sentences keep cutting off half way through.

    In my over-simplified example above, I could effective list every step in the evolutionary line of descent. In reality, that isn't possible. You're dealing not with individual animals, but with species of animals made up of many individuals in each generation. If you're looking at fossils, you will never find an animal in a particular line of descent from every generation. What you find, generally, are pieces of animals that can be organised according to the date that they lived, and by morphology. In the end, what you are faced with is the same three possible explanations for the fossil record: evolution happened as advertised by Darwin, or it's all an astoundingly improbable coincidence, or God is the Great Deceiver.

    Those tree-like diagrams you see showing evolutionary relationships ought not be misinterpreted, either. They generally do not represent descent of one fossil from another. That can almost never be established, for obvious reasons. Rather, they represent degrees of relatedness, based on morphology and the geological timeline.

    Studies of DNA can do better than the fossils, although many types of life are known only through fossils and we have no DNA for them. But DNA cladograms similarly do not show descent, but again show degrees of relatedness, in this case indicated by degree of equivalence of the genetic code. Descent is inferred because there's no other explanation that isn't ludicrously improbable and/or unscientific. And, of course, because it's the simplest, logical explanation of the observations.

    Again, the Creationists are lying to you. Proper biologists all accept evolution. It's only the Creationist fringe who question the basics. The most prominent Creationists tend to be either unqualified in science and/or biology, or else regarded as irretrievably off with the fairies by their former colleagues in science. When a trained biologist starts taking Creationism seriously, he (it's almost always a "he") typically drops off the scientific radar and thereafter only publishes in the Creationist propaganda rags.

    In light of my example above, perhaps you like to explain why animal "00110010" would say he has every reason to think that thousands of generations ago his ancestors would be as duck-like as himself.

    ------
    * There is, of course, the muddle called "intelligent design", but we all know that this is merely a smoke-screen for special Creation by God. At best, stripped of its Creationist stigma, ID is little more than the suggestion that Darwinian evolution-as-usual has been mysteriously tweaked now and then by some kind of advanced being, although there is no actual evidence in support of such a hypothesis.
     
    Last edited: Jan 5, 2019
  14. davewhite04 Valued Senior Member

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    No. I'm using common sense. The building blocks of life DNA, science has no theory last time I checked, maybe asteroid or abio-genesis if that's still around. for how life arose. It looks like machine code to me. Like I say, I would only give this answer if a nuclear missile was held up my nostril.

    Adam and Eve have to of existed because Luke wrote that Jesus' bloodline or Joseph's went all the way back to Adam. So if Adam didn't exist, Jesus would either of not existed or was a fraud. This means that everything in Genesis is probably meant to be taking literally. Imagine arguing from that position!
     
  15. Beer w/Straw Transcendental Ignorance! Valued Senior Member

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    But the divine powers were a genetic mutation?

    Next X-Men movie should have Jesus.
     
  16. James R Just this guy, you know? Staff Member

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    I'm interested in whether Creationists think that the concept of "relatedness" is applicable to biological species at all.

    For example, let's say we put a shark, a dog and cat side by side. Would it make any sense at all to the Creationist to make a statement like "the dog is more closely related to the cat than the dog is to the shark"? I think it couldn't make any sense.

    A creationist might notice that the dog and the cat both possess four feet, fur, whiskers, warm blood, whereas the shark lacks all those things. But that could only be put down to God's whim in creating these animals, not to any idea of "relatedness". If dogs and cats are related, it's only in the sense that God created them in such a way that they appear similar in some respects.

    The Creationist could, I guess, create categories of animals based on his own ideas of when one thing is "like" another. But those categories would be largely arbitrary. The shark has a black fin, and the cat has a black tail, so they go together in the "animals that have black parts" category, I guess. Maybe, on closer examination, the creationist will decide that the cat and dog seem to have more things in common than the dog and the shark, but nothing follows from that observation. By classifying all animals, the creationist could start to draw conclusions about God's whims, perhaps. God must like beetles a lot, he might conclude, because God made so damn many of them.

    The creationist's observations of the animal kingdom have no useful predictive value. If he was to find a new furry mammal, there would be no reason for him to suspect that it to have a backbone, for example. He'd need to check it to find out. After all, God could as easily choose to create cats with or without backbones, if he wanted to. If a dog has a backbone, what's the relevance of that to cats? Nothing. If both have backbones, it's just God's will that that's the way it is. There's no discernable pattern to an animal kingdom that is created in a single more-or-less simultaneous act of special creation.

    Tree of life? The Creationist has no use for such an invention. Why test human medicines on mice? The creationist can give no good answer as to why he would expect the medicines to have similar effects in the two species.

    If no species share common ancestors, then no species are biologically related in any direct sense. The Creationist might as well just stick a label like "fish" on whatever has fins and scales and be done with it.

    Creationists, were they ever to attempt actual scientific research, would necessarily have to start from scratch with every "kind" of animal they discovered, because there'd be no basis to infer the traits of one kind based on the traits of any other kind.

    Life in the world of Creation Science must be hard. Maybe it's why they never publish any original research.
     
  17. davewhite04 Valued Senior Member

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    Well, some of us were born with the God gene, and some not. People who were not cannot believe in God, it's not their choice it just is.

    And then we get atheists who live in a completely different reality to theists hence they tend not to agree on anything so a discussion tends to end in a straight out argument.
     
  18. Write4U Valued Senior Member

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    Do trees have a life DNA code? Bacteria? They all have DNA (machine code) but are living things. Where is the life part in all of these? If DNA contained a divine code which imbues life to an organism, why have we not found such a code?

    If you want to use common sense, consider the difference between chemicals and bio-chemicals. There would be your biological life DNA (god) code. But it's not all the same!

    Of course biochemicals can be found everywhere in the universe from cosmic clouds to rock surfaces on otherwise barren planets.

    There was a time when earth's atmosphere did not have sufficient oxygen to fuel anything but the simplest forms of life. Fortunately, the extant cyanobacteria functioned by photosynthesis with oxygen as a by-product, infusion the biosphere with sufficient oxygen to spur an explosion of land based organisms, starting with the insects.

    But why do Cuttlefish and Octopi have blue blood? Because they don't use iron to carry oxygen in their blood like mammals. The use hemocyanin which is copper based.
    https://www.smithsonianmag.com/science-nature/ten-curious-facts-about-octopuses-7625828/

    This clearly shows an evolutionary process shifting the oxygen carrier in the blood from copper to iron as the oxygen content in earth's biosphere was enriched by millions of years of cyanobacterial activity. Pretty neat huh?
    Interestingly, all plants still use cyanobacteria in their photosynthesis.

    Do you think god made octopi or did they evolve from a 300 million years old sea-slug?
     
    Last edited: Jan 5, 2019
  19. sweetpea Valued Senior Member

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    So, your saying theists knowingly waste their time talking religion to atheists?

    Yes, but you imply theists know the ''discussion'' has no other outcome but ''straight out argument.'' Atheists have no ''God gene''.
    By the way, what scriptures mention this ''God gene''?
     
  20. Xelasnave.1947 Valued Senior Member

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    I wonder how far we need to go back to find a common ancestor for the theist and the atheist.

    It certainly looks as though the theist will be hunted to extinction as they feature on a number of predators preferred diet.

    Their numbers are dropping dramatically as many are becoming more occupied watching youtube funny cat videos and this higher mental stimulation seems to cause them to think clearer about their delusional beliefs.


    Many politicians seek them out and of course there are the various pastors, tellytubbyevangalists and preachers who gobble them up like dolphins destroying a "bait ball".

    Although I think I now understand them better from many hard hours spent observing them.

    They appear in general to have limited reading skills in so far as they invariably only own one book and it seems that they actually dont read this book but use it as if it is a magical authority in that they think by waving it around they become intelligent.

    Although ironically this book is probably their only hope to cure their mental limitations as by actually reading this book cover to cover many go on to be cured of all delusion, as having actually read their book some can understand that it is so full of errors that the beliefs they have formed are clearly based on nonsense.

    Their condition can only be seen as a mutation that presents with symptoms of delusion and inability to access marginally complex modern data.

    And these mutations no doubt can be traced back to times when theists worshipped the Sun and presumably long exposures to the Sun has caused problamatic mutation for it is at this point we find various humans claiming they were related to the Sun and therefore although human they were indeed gods.

    Happily most of these theists are decent humans and unfortunately are just victims of a evil group of predators who lie to them so as to take their money.

    Alex
     
  21. Write4U Valued Senior Member

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  22. billvon Valued Senior Member

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    Most theists I know have no problems talking to atheists. Plenty of scientists are theists.
     
  23. davewhite04 Valued Senior Member

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    Has this not been discovered?

    Have you ever thought of writing a paper? Maybe peer reviewed? Is that possible?
     

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