POLL: Evolution vs. Creation by God

Discussion in 'Religion and Spirituality' started by studentofthemarkets, Oct 24, 2021.

Evolution, Creation, God?

  1. I am an atheist and believe the theory of evolution.

    5 vote(s)
  2. I am agnostic and believe the theory of evolution.

    3 vote(s)
  3. I believe the theory of evolution but the process was guided by aliens or other powers.

    1 vote(s)
  4. I believe God created using macro evolution: bacteria became an elephant.

    1 vote(s)
  5. I believe God specially created according to families/kinds.

    5 vote(s)
  6. Other-I believe something not represented on this poll.

    6 vote(s)
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    #181     Jun 3, 2022
  2. Creationists don't argue that some evolution does occur within species, but this type of evolution is simply the re-arrangement of already existing genetic material. For living organisms to progress over time to a better state goes against the Law of Entropy, and also goes against what is currently observed, as John Sanford, PhD has shown. https://www.geneticentropy.org/whats-genetic-entropy

    The excerpt below is from another article that discusses how macroevolution (evolution bringing about the introduction of new genetic material on the level of producing new species) goes against the Law of Entropy.

    Although the second law is really all about probability, materialists avoid the issue of probability by saying that evolution does not technically violate the above statements of the second law because the Earth receives energy from the sun, so it is not an isolated system. But in BIO-Complexity3 and again in a 2017 Physics Essays article6 I pointed out that the basic principle underlying the second law doesapply to open systems. You just have to take into account what is crossing the boundary of an open system in deciding what is extremely improbable and what is not. In both I generalized the second statement cited above5 to:

    If an increase in order is extremely improbable when a system is isolated, it is still extremely improbable when the system is open, unless something is entering which makes it not extremely improbable.

    Then6 I illustrated this tautology by showing that the entropy associated with any diffusing component X (if X is heat this is just thermal entropy) can decrease in an open system, but no faster than it is exported through the boundary. Since this “X-entropy” measures disorder in the distribution of X, we can say that the “X-order” (the negative of X-entropy) can increase in an open system, but no faster than X-order is imported through the boundary. I had first published this analysis in my reply “Can ANYTHING Happen in an Open System?”7 to critics of the Mathematical Intelligencer article and again in an Appendix to a 2005 John Wiley text, The Numerical Solution of Ordinary and Partial Differential Equations8 and again in Biological Information: New Perspectives9.

    Everyone agrees that, in an isolated system, natural forces will never reorganize scrap metal into digital computers, because this is extremely improbable. If the system is open, it is still extremely improbable that computers will appear, unless something is entering the system from outside that makes the appearance of computers not extremely improbable. For example, computers.

    3. Application to Our Open System
    Now let’s consider just one specific event that has occurred on Earth that seems to be extremely improbable: “From a rocky, lifeless planet, there arose over time spaceships capable of flying to the moon and back safely.” This is certainly macroscopically describable, but is it extremely improbable from the microscopic point of view? A materialist would have to argue that it only seems extremely improbable, but it really isn’t. He could argue that a few billion years ago a simple self-replicator formed by natural chemical processes, and that over millions of years natural selection was able to organize the duplication errors made by these self-replicators into intelligent, conscious, humans, who were able to build rockets that could reach the moon and return safely.

    I would counter that we with all our advanced technology are still not close to designing any “simple” self-replicator: that is still pure science fiction. When you add technology to such a machine, to bring it closer to the goal of reproduction, you only move the goal posts, as now you have a more complicated machine to reproduce. So how could we believe that such a machine could have arisen by pure chance? And suppose we did somehow manage to design, say, a fleet of cars with fully automated car building factories inside, able to produce new cars, and not just normal new cars, but new cars with fully automated car-building factories inside them. Who could seriously believe that if we left these cars alone for a long time, the accumulation of duplication errors made as they reproduced themselves would result in anything other than devolution, and eventually could even be organized by selective forces into more advanced automobile models? (Maybe after a few billion years, even into intelligent, conscious cars??) So we really have no idea how living things are able to pass their complex structures on to their descendants without significant degradation, generation after generation, much less how they evolve even more complex structures.

    4. Conclusions
    Materialists have developed creative ways to argue that what has happened on Earth does not violate the more general statements of the second law, as found in physics texts, primarily the “compensation” argument, which says that “entropy” can decrease in an open system as long as the decrease is compensated by equal or greater increases outside. Since in this context “entropy” is just used as a synonym for “disorder,” the compensation argument, as I paraphrased it in Physics Essays6, essentially says that extremely improbable things can happen in an open system as long as things are happening outside which, if reversed, would be even more improbable. (The two American Journal of Physics articles discussed in Physics Essays6 actually make this argument quite explicitly, complete with probability estimates.) The compensation argument is not valid even when applied just to thermal entropy, as the decrease in an open system is limited not by increases outside, but by the amount exported through the boundary, as I have shown6-9. Or asthe video “Why Evolution Is Different”brings out, since tornados derive their energy from the sun, the compensation argument could equally well be used to argue that a tornado running backward, turning rubble into houses and cars, would not violate the second law either.

    But there is really only one way to argue that what has happened on Earth does not violate the fundamental principle underlying the second law — the principle that justifies every application and every statement of this law. And that is to say that it only seems impossibly improbable, but it really is not, that, under the right conditions, the influx of stellar energy into a planet could cause atoms there to rearrange themselves into nuclear power plants and digital computers and encyclopedias and science texts, and spaceships that could travel to other planets and back safely.

    This is, of course, what materialists have to believe, because they insist that nothing but unintelligent forces could be at work in our universe. But surely a reasonable person of science should be allowed to doubt this, and argue that it really is impossibly improbable that unintelligent forces alone could have produced our civilization.
    #182     Jun 3, 2022
  3. Overnight


    OMG, enough of that guy. The bottom line is that the universe exists because there is an infinite matter-of-facts where it cannot exist.

    The universe exists because there can never be nothing, so there must be something. And the universe we exist in is it.

    This is WAY deeper thought than any of these scientists can ever go, because they are bounded by mathematical laws. Poor rubes, I feel bad for them.
    #183     Jun 3, 2022
  4. Here is a good point: Why do tornadoes destroy houses instead of building them? If macroevolution really does happen, then we should see order coming out of chaos, elegant homes arising along the paths tornados take instead of the ruined remains that are actually observed:

    Or as the video “Why Evolution Is Different”brings out, since tornados derive their energy from the sun, the compensation argument could equally well be used to argue that a tornado running backward, turning rubble into houses and cars, would not violate the second law either.

    #184     Jun 3, 2022
  5. Overnight


    OMG! Student, you are really bad with science. Please stop. You are trying to equate entropy with God? That's not how science works, man.

    Have some chill.

    #185     Jun 4, 2022
  6. I NEVER, EVER equated entropy with God!

    LOL. How'd you come up with that one? Tornados aren't God....Entropy is not God.....

    #186     Jun 4, 2022
  7. Beautiful!
    #187     Jun 4, 2022
  8. Tornadoes, not tornados.
    #188     Jun 4, 2022
  9. Truth or Lie?

    31 Now it was the day of Preparation, and the next day was to be a special Sabbath. Because the Jewish leaders did not want the bodies left on the crosses during the Sabbath, they asked Pilate to have the legs broken and the bodies taken down.32 The soldiers therefore came and broke the legs of the first man who had been crucified with Jesus, and then those of the other.33 But when they came to Jesus and found that he was already dead, they did not break his legs.34 Instead, one of the soldiers pierced Jesus’ side with a spear, bringing a sudden flow of blood and water.35 The man who saw it has given testimony, and his testimony is true. He knows that he tells the truth, and he testifies so that you also may believe.36 These things happened so that the scripture would be fulfilled: “Not one of his bones will be broken,”37 and, as another scripture says, “They will look on the one they have pierced.”
    John 19:31-37 NIV​

    In reading this passage this morning, I was impressed by the word choices that Jesus' disciple John, who wrote this passage from the Gospel of John, used to declare that he did see these things happen to Jesus when He was on the cross, and he is telling us the truth about seeing them. This book of John was the last of the four gospels to be written. It was also embraced by those Christians in John's day and immediately after as genuinely written by John, as shown in the two articles below:

    August 8, 2020 by Erik Manning

    In my last post, I went over a ton of internal clues in the Gospel of John that support the argument that John, the Son of Zebedee, is the author of the Gospel of John. I noted in my intro that just about every bit of evidence we have from the writings of the early church tells us that John wrote it. But just so you know that I’m not pulling a “dude, trust me” type of argument, let’s examine the external evidence for John’s authorship.

    Before we dive in, it’s important to point out that there’s no recorded challenge to the traditional authorship of the Gospels until around the early 5th-century by Faustus the Manichean. Augustine clapped back at Faustus for his double standards. He wrote:

    “Why does no one doubt the genuineness of the books attributed to Hippocrates? Because there is a succession of testimonies to the books from the time of Hippocrates to the present day, which makes it unreasonable either now or hereafter to have any doubt on the subject. How do we know the authorship of the works of Plato, Aristotle, Cicero, Varro, and other similar writers, but by the unbroken chain of evidence?”

    Against Faustus 33.6
    So let’s look at this unbroken chain of evidence. What does it say about the authorship of the Gospel of John?

    We’ll start with Justin Martyr, who was writing from Rome in around 150 AD.

    “In the memoirs [=Gospels], which I say have been composed by the apostles and those who followed them”… Dialogue with Trypho, 103.8.

    Some skeptical scholars have suggested that Justin doesn’t know the Gospel of John. This strikes me as a silly notion. For starters, Justin implies that there were multiple Gospels. He says that apostles (plural) wrote them, so that would indicate at least two. Also, in Justin’s writings, he quotes John 3:3. See 1 Apology 61:4: “For Christ also said, ‘Except ye be born again, ye shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven.’

    Justin also had a student by the name of Tatian. Just a generation later, Tatian wrote a harmony of the Gospels titled The Diatessaron. In Latin, Diatessaron quite literally means ‘made of four ingredients’. His harmony begins with: “In the beginning was the Word“, quoting John 1:1.

    Next up, we have Irenaeus of Lyon, which is in modern-day France. In around 180 AD, Irenaeus wrote:

    “Then [after the publication of the Gospels of Matthew, Mark, and Luke] John, the disciple of the Lord, who had even rested on his breast, himself also gave forth the Gospel, while he was living at Ephesus in Asia.” (Cited in Eusebius, Church History 5:8, compare Irenaeus, Against Heresies 3.1.1.)

    Irenaeus was a pupil of Polycarp, and Polycarp learned from John himself when he was a youth and John was an elderly man. Irenaeus writes: “I can even describe the place where the blessed Polycarp used to sit and discourse — his going out, too, and his coming in — his general mode of life and personal appearance, together with the discourses which he delivered to the people; also how he would speak of his familiar intercourse with John, and with the rest of those who had seen the Lord; and how he would call their words to remembrance.” (Fragments from the Lost Writings of Irenaeus, Chapter 2)

    Wow. That’s just one link in the chain of testimony between Irenaeus and the Apostle John.

    Next, we have the Muratorian Canon. The Muratorian Fragment is the oldest list of New Testament books we have discovered. The original document is dated to the late 2nd century and lists 22 of the 27 books that were later included in the New Testament. It’s dated to around 180 AD. Here’s what it says about John’s Gospel:

    “The fourth of the Gospels is that of John, [one] of the disciples. To his fellow disciples and bishops, who had been urging him [to write], he said, “Fast with me today for three days, and what will be revealed to each one let us tell it to one another.” On the same night, it was revealed to Andrew, [one] of the apostles, that John should write down all things in his own name while all of them should review it.” (Muratorian Canon of Rome, nos. 9–16)

    Near the same time, here’s Clement of Alexandria, who was also writing around 180 AD. Regarding John’s Gospel, Clement says:

    “Of all those who had been with the Lord only Matthew and John left us their recollections (hypomnēmata), and tradition says that they took to writing perforce…. John, it is said, used all the time a message which was not written down, and at last took to writing for the following cause. The three gospels which had been written down before were distributed to all including himself; it is said he welcomed them and testified to their truth but said that there was only lacking to the narrative the account of what was done by Christ at first and at the beginning of the preaching…. They say accordingly that John was asked to relate in his own gospel the period passed over in silence by the former evangelists.” (Cited in Eusebius, Church History, 3.24.1-13)

    So Clement tells us that John specifically went out of his way to give us information that was not already adequately told Synoptics.

    The last early church father we’ll look at is Tertullian of Carthage, which is in modern-day Tunisia, who was writing around 207 AD. Tertullian wrote:

    “We lay it down as our first position, that the evangelical Testament has apostles for its authors…. Of the apostles, therefore, John and Matthew first instill faith into us; whilst of apostolic men, Luke and Mark renew it afterwards.” (Against Marcion 4.2)

    Basilides was an early Christian Gnostic religious teacher in Alexandria, Egypt who taught from 117 to 138 AD. He directly quotes John 1:9 and John 2:4. (You can see the discussion and quotations in Hippolytus, Refutation of All Heresies, Book 7) John’s Gospel, as you know, makes a big deal about Jesus being God-in-the-flesh. This would normally be a big problem for a Gnostic heretic, but Basilides wants to be considered a Christian much like some modern-day heretics do today, so he can’t help himself. The book was undeniable to the church and so he quotes it.

    We’ve looked at six ancient sources. Let’s summarize what they have to say. When we put all their statements together, the testimony of the early church fathers presented here is unanimous: the apostle John, an eyewitness, and disciple of Jesus wrote a Gospel. The most significant early eyewitness is Irenaeus, who was a disciple of Polycarp, himself a follower of John.

    Irenaeus not only names the author of the Gospel as the “disciple” who lay on Jesus’s breast at the Last Supper; he elsewhere explicitly states that the author is “John…the apostle.” (See Irenaeus, Against Heresies, 1.9.2) On related lines, Justin Martyr, Clement of Alexandria, and Tertullian all acknowledge that the Gospel was written by one of Jesus’ apostles.

    There’s no existing rival tradition of authorship for the fourth gospel that we know of. While there was some uncertainty about the authorship of other Johannine works like 2nd and 3rd John and Revelation that even the early church historian Eusebius acknowledges, there was no debate about who wrote John in the early church. (Eusebius, Ecclesiastical History 3.24.17) And this evidence is early and geographically varied, coming from multiple parts of the Roman empire. These include modern-day France, Egypt, Tunisia, and Rome.

    Put this external evidence together with all the internal evidence, and it becomes clear that the Apostle John wrote the Gospel of John.
    An excerpt from https://isjesusalive.com/polycarp-early-use-of-new-testament/

    March 19, 2019 by Erik Manning

    The reason why Polycarp is important as he’s a bridge to the original apostles themselves. According to his student Irenaeus (try spelling that name without looking it up), Polycarp was a student of the apostle John, and he knew other apostles, although they go unnamed.

    Here’s Irenaeus: “But Polycarp also was not only instructed by apostles, and conversed with many who had seen Christ, but was also, by apostles in Asia, appointed bishop of the Church in Smyrna, whom I also saw in my early youth, for he tarried [on earth] a very long time, and, when a very old man, gloriously and most nobly suffering martyrdom, departed this life, having always taught the things which he had learned from the apostles, and which the Church has handed down, and which alone are true.”Against Heresies (Book III, 3.4)

    And also:

    “For I have a more vivid recollection of what occurred at that time than of recent events (inasmuch as the experiences of childhood, keeping pace with the growth of the soul, become incorporated with it); so that I can even describe the place where the blessed Polycarp used to sit and discourse — his going out, too, and his coming in — his general mode of life and personal appearance, together with the discourses which he delivered to the people; also how he would speak of his familiar intercourse with John, and with the rest of those who had seen the Lord; and how he would call their words to remembrance.”Fragments from the Lost Writings of Irenaeus, Chapter 2

    So if Polycarp is a direct link to the eyewitnesses of Jesus, we can look at his writings and see if anything he says contradicts the New Testament documents. Does he respect the accounts, or does he play fast and loose with them? Does he quote any non-canonical sources outside of the New Testament? These are the things that would undermine our confidence that the New Testament writings are genuine and trustworthy.

    On the flipside, if Polycarp shows that he values the NT texts and uses them frequently, then they pass a test of “early use”.

    • Matthew (4 times)
    • Mark (once)
    • Luke (once)
    • Acts (twice)
    • Romans (once)
    • 1st Corinthians (4 times)
    • 2nd Corinthians (4 times)
    • Galatians (3 times)
    • Ephesians (4 times)
    • Philippians (3 times)
    • 1st Thessalonians (once)
    • 2nd Thessalonians (once)
    • 1st Timothy (3 times)
    • 2nd Timothy (3 times)
    • Hebrews (twice)
    • 1st Peter (9 times)
    • 1st John (once)
    • 3rd John (once)
    Whoa. That’s 17 out of the 27 books in the New Testament way before any church councils in the 300s.

    Let me address quickly that some skeptics have cried foul over the church’s claim that Polycarp knew John. After all, he doesn’t quote from John’s Gospel. But the writer of 1st and 3rd John clearly is the writer of the Gospel of John. Moreover, Polycarp might have written other letters, we just have one of them. We don’t want to make an argument from silence.

    If you read Polycarp’s letter, he’s firing out quotes from the New Testament like machine-gun bullets. You probably got the gist of that looking at the list above. You just can’t get through more than a few sentences before he starts plainly drawing from the Gospels or Epistles. He quotes from our New Testament 47 times. Out of those times, the meaning of the text may be paraphrased but is never substantially changed.

    Polycarp mentions Paul’s martyrdom. He cites Paul’s letters and calls them Scripture. (12:2) He says that he knows that the Philippians are already well-versed in the Scriptures as he continues to quote Paul. (12:1) This is extraordinary because it shows us that in the early first century the Gospels and Epistles were already treated as the Word of God. This is also interesting because if no one knew who had written these works as some critics allege, then why would the Christians accept them as authentic?

    Repeatedly Polycarp quotes from Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount from Matthew and Luke. He also says that:

    • Jesus came in the flesh
    • Jesus was a servant to all
    • Jesus died on the cross
    • Jesus bore our sin
    • Jesus was raised from the dead
    • Jesus was glorified
    • Jesus is our High Priest
    • Christians are saved by grace through faith
    • Jesus will judge the living and the dead
    (You can see specifically what verses Polycarp quotes right here.) Polycarp refuted the Gnostic notion that the incarnation, death, and resurrection of Jesus were all imaginary episodes of essentially ethical or mythical significance. These were historical happenings.

    Notably, Polycarp quotes zero heretics, zero gospels outside of our New Testament and contradicts zero teachings of Jesus or the apostles that we find in our Bible.

    Everything he says is consistent with the New Testament records. His followers attest to him knowing the apostles and being a student of John himself. Not one to mince words, this disciple of the apostles says that anyone who perverts these teachings is the “first-born of Satan”. (7:3) And he died rather than deny the truths that he dearly held.

    #189     Jun 5, 2022

  10. Loved with everlasting love,
    Led by grace that love to know;
    Spirit, breathing from above,
    Thou hast taught me it is so.
    Oh, this full and perfect peace!
    Oh, this transport all divine!
    In a love which cannot cease,
    I am His, and He is mine.
    This hymn is from the 1800's and the words are mostly based on Scriptures. The music may seem outdated to some, but truths that are based on Scripture will last forever.

    Poor Mickey can make fun all he wants, but he is missing out on a genuine relationship with God, which many have had, in an unbroken chain, since creation.

    The LORD appeared to us in the past, saying: “I have loved you with an everlasting love; I have drawn you with unfailing kindness.
    Jeremiah 31:3​
    #190     Jun 9, 2022
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