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Atheist Community of Austin
Science and Scripture

There are several reasons I find the observed conflict between fear and love to be evidence for God and not just for the way the universe exists. First, the Scripture describes it this way - I understand to the skeptic that one could simply argue they were good observers of their world and wrote what they observed. What I find compelling is the counter "science" or "wisdom" of the day truths the scripture contains. For instance:

The most scientifically advanced culture of its era was the ancient Egyptian culture. The Hebrew slaves, most primitive in their understanding, as slaves often are kept, nevertheless codified a dietary plan which is scientifically superior to that of the Egyptians. Mummies from ancient Egypt have been found to contain trichinosis, a parasitic infection from eating pork. Somehow, the Hebrews knew to avoid this from their diet. How? Lucky guess or inspired guide? Not just the avoidance of pork, but even in the preparation of the meats they did eat they codified a preparation system that markedly reduced the fat and blood from the animal leaving just lean meat. This in the culture of animal sacrifices in which blood was often drunk. As you know, it wasn't until the 20th century that science documented such preparation to be superior for health. How could they get this right? Certainly not from following culture of their day, so lucky guess, divine guide? The prophecies of Scripture such as Daniel's metal man describing the progression of kingdoms, Babylon, Persia, Greece, Rome and then no further kingdom. Now I realize some try and suggest Daniel was not written during the Babylonian time period and suggest it was during the late Greek period and that it wasn't a hard guess to figure out Rome was ascending. While I don't believe that to be true, even if it was - what did the prophecy predict after Rome? What would be the most likely human prediction for a human being who lived in a culture with one empire following another, wouldn't it most likely be to predict another empire after Rome? But what was predicted was clay and iron, never mixing, despite intermarriage to attempt it. And what has been the history of Europe? After Rome not another empire despite multiple attempts. Lucky guess or inspired guide? Then I consider the love versus selfishness conflict. Modern science says survival of the fittest, me first, kill or be killed, is the engine that drives survival and eventual adaptation. Scripture says the survival of the fittest is the "law of sin and death" and is an infection that is destroying creation. I find scripture's description to be accurate and find the scientific community confused on this point. So, the love, versus fear, in nature is a perfect evidence of what scripture describes as the war between two antagonistic principles. I find this compelling.

Champe said, "There are several reasons I find the observed conflict between fear and love to be evidence for God and not just for the way the universe exists. First, the Scripture describes it this way - I understand to the skeptic that one could simply argue they were good observers of their world and wrote what they observed. What I find compelling is the counter "science" or "wisdom" of the day truths the scripture contains."

There was never any evidence of the authenticity of the Gospels or who wrote them. The majority of people rejected Christianity and for that reason it was necessary to intimidate the population in order to force a state institutionalized religion on humanity. If Christianity had been true it would have been obvious to most people; there would have never been any reason to commit genocide and burn other books in order to spread the truth. Instilling a perpetual fear in people was how this barbaric religion got sway over its victims until science and rational thinking dispelled these myths, which has taken away the ability to persuade with fear. However, even though there are many people who suffer psychological damage from being terrorized all their lives with stories of hell, the devil and the sadistic suffering of nonbelievers in the afterlife, many of preachers are still involved in the same sort of coercion. One of the primary reasons to rid the earth of these barbaric teachings is the terrorizing of the human race that is without a doubt one of its biggest crimes.

The Old Testament is not the beginning of what became the Jewish religion it goes back much farther than that. The Jewish religion has its roots in Ugarit. There were many flood stories not just one. The worldwide flood described in Genesis is a combination of flood stories that came from Sumeria, Ugarit and Mesopotamian flood narratives. Noah was told to make a distinction between clean and unclean animals (Gen. 7:1-9). We are not told why Noah was to make the distinction; the only evidence we have in Genesis is that the clean animals were used for sacrifice (Gen. 8:20). After the flood, God said, "Everything that lives and moves will be food for you. Just as I gave you the green plants, I now give you everything" (Gen. 9:3). This indicates that humans did not eat any meat before the flood. For Noah, the distinction between clean and unclean animals was for sacrifices, not for food; the passage says nothing about clean and unclean in reference to eating meat. The implication is, and the traditional Jewish interpretation is, that Noah could eat any kind of meat he wanted, just as he could eat any kind of green plant he wanted. (Some plants are poisonous, of course, but God did not describe which one's are.

The most complete version of the Epic of Gilgamesh (with the same flood story) known today is preserved on 12 clay tablets from the library of Assyrian king Ashurbanipal (685-627 BCE) long before the OT was written.

Champe said, "For instance: The most scientifically advanced culture of its era was the ancient Egyptian culture. The Hebrew slaves, most primitive in their understanding, as slaves often are kept, nevertheless codified a dietary plan which is scientifically superior to that of the Egyptians. Mummies from ancient Egypt have been found to contain trichinosis, a parasitic infection from eating pork. Somehow, the Hebrews knew to avoid this from their diet. How? Lucky guess or inspired guide?"

As far as Jewish slaves in Egypt goes there were never any Jewish slaves in Egypt or any Jewish mass exodus, and there is plenty of scientific evidence to back that up.

As for trichinosis - and all the rest of it - Marvin Harris has pointed out in his work entitled: Cows, Pigs, Wars and Witches: The Riddles of Culture (1989), pigs can not carry anthrax while cattle and sheep can. Cattle, pigs and sheep can carry Tapeworms. Although pigs can carry Trichinosis, it's seldom fatal (unlike anthrax), and most humans recover completely with a good immune system. The solution for the problem of parasites should have been the way the food was cooked. The clean animals are just as likely to have parasites as the unclean animals.

As for scientifically superior goes - Leviticus 11:20 "All winged insects that go upon all fours are an abomination to you." Leviticus 11: 6 "And the hare, because it chews the cud but does not part the hoof, is unclean to you." There are no insects with four legs - all insects have six legs, not four - and hares do not chew a cud. Clean and unclean animals are listed in Lev. 11 and Deut. 14 God does not say that camels have more parasites than cows, or that fish-eating herons are more hazardous to us than fish-eating ducks. Honeybees are unclean but honey can be eaten. Today we know that honey contains botulism and there should be precautions about giving it to an infant or foods that contain honey that may be processed, but may not be pasteurized, and so may still contain botulism spores in them and should not be given to infants.

Deut. 14 begin (verse 2) and end (verse 21) with a similar setting apart. If the Israelites found something dead, they were not allowed to eat it, but a gentile could eat it. "Do not eat anything you find already dead. You may give it to an alien living in any of your towns, and he may eat it, or you may sell it to a foreigner. But you are a people holy to the Lord your God." Of course clean and unclean originated with sacrifices. It involved many things not just meat. The rules about uncleanness separated the Israelite nation from gentile nations. That is all this was ever about it is not rocket science. The regulations God gave the ancient Israelites were various laws about cleanness and uncleanness. These laws were not concerned with simple hygiene, but ceremonial status. People who were unclean were not allowed to participate in religious ceremonies. If God had been giving these laws for health purposes why didn't He indicate which mushrooms are dangerous, and which herbs increase our chances for cancer. He would need to tell us about the more dangerous health hazards.

There were various devices for holding an ethnic-religious group together even though it might be fragmentized into scattered communities. Laws of purity, especially those pertaining to diet, kept different groups apart. Each normally respected the other's rules, but the fact that each group had different taboos kept them from breaking bread together and mingling socially. They could do business with each other in the marketplace, but they could not fraternize in each other's homes. Above all, laws of purity were deterrents to intermarriage, the major factor that breaks up religious communities and encourages homogenization.

Champe said, "Not just the avoidance of pork, but even in the preparation of the meats they did eat they codified a preparation system that markedly reduced the fat and blood from the animal leaving just lean meat. This in the culture of animal sacrifices in which blood was often drunk. As you know, it wasn't until the 20th century that science documented such preparation to be superior for health. How could they get this right? Certainly not from following culture of their day, so lucky guess, divine guide?"

Kashrut is the Jewish law that the animal is stunned before being slaughtered. The reason is to prevent the animals you eat from suffering unnecessarily, either in their lives or in their slaughter. Causing pain to one of God's living creatures is a sin; therefore to eat it would also be a sin. It has nothing to do with health because being a vegetarian is by far the healthiest and cleanest choice.

However, there is a contradiction on kashrut from Jesus, who had a very different attitude from the Jews in Matthew 15: Jesus called the crowd to him and said, "Listen and understand. What goes into a man's mouth does not make him unclean, but what comes out of his mouth, that is what makes him unclean."

Champe said, " The prophecies of Scripture such as Daniel's metal man describing the progression of kingdoms, Babylon, Persia, Greece, Rome and then no further kingdom. Now I realize some try and suggest Daniel was not written during the Babylonian time period and suggest it was during the late Greek period and that it wasn't a hard guess to figure out Rome was ascending. While I don't believe that to be true, even if it was - what did the prophecy predict after Rome? What would be the most likely human prediction for a human being who lived in a culture with one empire following another, wouldn't it most likely be to predict another empire after Rome? But what was predicted was clay and iron, never mixing, despite intermarriage to attempt it. And what has been the history of Europe? After Rome not another empire despite multiple attempts. Lucky guess or inspired guide?"

The Ugaritic alphabet is among the oldest that has been discovered; the transliteration (the practice of transcribing a word or text) has proven that the culture and religion of Israel in its earliest period come from Ugarit. Texts (which were discovered at Ugarit) were written in one of four languages: Sumerian, Akkadian, Hurritic and Ugaritic. The tablets were found in the royal palace, the house of the High Priest, and some private houses of evidently leading citizens. One of the most famous of the lesser deities at Ugarit was Dan'il. There is little doubt that this figure corresponds to the Biblical Daniel (while predating him by several centuries.) Most scholars agree that the Canonical prophet was the Ugarit Dan'il. The text was first called the epic of Daniel. This Ugaritic Daniel is not a Jewish prophet, or a follower of a monotheistic God, but a polytheist worshipper of Baal.

The ancient Canaanite city-state of Ugarit is the culture and religion of the Hebrews in their earliest period. The destruction of Ugarit can be accurately dated to around 1200 BC, which means that these tablets, and the ideas they convey, were around earlier than most of the books of the Hebrew Bible. The Ugaritic literature demonstrates the Hebrews and the Canaanites of Ugarit shared a common literary heritage and a common linguistic lineage. They are related languages and literatures. Much of the Old Testament can be found in Ugarit texts long before the OT was written.

Champe said, " Then I consider the love versus selfishness conflict. Modern science says survival of the fittest, me first, kill or be killed, is the engine that drives survival and eventual adaptation. Scripture says the survival of the fittest is the "law of sin and death" and is an infection that is destroying creation. I find scripture's description to be accurate and find the scientific community confused on this point. So, the love, versus fear, in nature is a perfect evidence of what scripture describes as the war between two antagonistic principles. I find this compelling."

If one sees only what they want to see I'm sure they could come to the same conclusions that you have. I think you need to take off the rose colored glasses. It is God who ordered people to kill their own children to prove that they loved God. To say nothing of what God supposedly did to his only begotten son. What ignoramus believes that a superior being made up these sadistic little self-aggrandizing stories?

It is the Scripture that teaches Creation as a completed event, which is wrong. The universe and life in the universe evolved and is still evolving. The economist Herbert Spencer coined the phrase "survival of the fittest" in 1864, and it had nothing to do with evolution. Its use to describe evolution is not accurate. A species ability to survive actually depends on many factors and it isn't always the fittest that survive. Being the "fittest" is not all that helped man survive intelligence is a bigger factor. Traits that help an organism to survive develop and are passed on. Natural selection refers more to inherited traits which make an individual more or less likely to be able to survive and mate, passing on its traits to another generation. For example having a particular gene mutation in order so survive a deadly virus could become the factor in determining both the "fittest" along with those naturally selected.

Evolution is stronger today than it was when it first started because of DNA. If evolution was an erroneous theory DNA would have falsified it, but instead DNA is confirming evolution. Evolution operates by 'natural selection' traits that help an organism survive to reproductive age, and that help it to produce offspring that do the same, will be in evidence in those succeeding generations. Traits that did not do this will disappear with the organisms that died before they could pass them on. Creationist (Intelligent Design) have not shown that they have a theory that can account for any of the data evolution accounts for, and they have not provided any reason for believing that their theory (intelligent designer) even has the potential to produce anything useful to science.

There are all sorts of findings and experiments that could have falsified evolution in the 200 years since Darwin published his theory, not one has.

[There was never any evidence of the authenticity of the Gospels or who wrote them.]

Where do you get your information? Believe as you must, but over 6,000 copies or part of copies in three different languages of the authenticity of the gospels. 95% to 97% of the New Testament could be translated from the writings of the church father's alone. You're going to tell me that after 2,000 years of antiquity, being that the gospels have never been modified, you are more of an authority about the real historicity and authenticity? I'm laughing at you.

I won't argue about the story of Noah, but only to say this. Jesus was first known as "rabbi." Jesus taught from the Torah. If the story were not true, surely He would have corrected it? More so, while you question the authenticity of the story by providing parallels and perhaps older documentation, you ignore that what the stories provide is confirmation of a great flood.

Give me your scientific evidence to "back up" there was no evidence of an Exodus or Jewish slaves.

Your science is also bad. Contrary to the boasts that DNA is proving evolution, being a biochemist, I can tell you that your claim bogus - in fact, just the opposite is happening as we speak in many a geneticist's lab. In addition, your claim of a vegetarian diet the most healthy would be laughed at by most biochemists without the diet being supplemented. Finally, evolution is not creation. To evolve is not to create. And being we live in a finite universe, can you give me the physical constructs that created the first seconds of the universe?

Tex Taylor said, "Where do you get your information?"

Not out of a box of crackerjacks. Where did you get your so-called information?

Tex Taylor said, "Believe as you must, but over 6,000 copies or part of copies in three different languages of the authenticity of the gospels. 95% to 97% of the New Testament could be translated from the writings of the church father's alone."

The Gospels are not a historical records or eyewitness accounts. The names given to these reports are only titles; they were not the stories of actual disciples or eyewitnesses. The Gospels were all written well after the events. By their own admission the church fathers were liars. The authors, in order to give them authority, forged the texts in the Old and New Testament. Bishop Esebius "It may be lawful and fitting to use falsehood as a medicine, and for the benefit of those who want to be deceived." Ignatius Loyola "We should always be disposed to believe that which may appear to us to be white is really black, if the hierarchy of the church so decides." Martin Luther, "What harm would it do if a man told a good strong lie for the sake of the good and for the Christian church. A lie out of necessity, a useful lie, a helpful lie, such lies would not be against God, he would accept them." Testimonium Flavianum - a forgery claimed to be written by the historian Josephus who was an orthodox Jew supposedly claiming that Jesus was the messiah. It was absent from copies of the works of Josephus and did not appear in Origen's third century version of Josephus or in Origen's Contra Clesum. Origen said Josephus "was not believing in Jesus as the Christ," and Origen did not quote the forged paragraph in Testimonium Flavianum because the forged paragraph had not been written

Tex Taylor said, "You're going to tell me that after 2,000 years of antiquity, being that the gospels have never been modified, you are more of an authority about the real historicity and authenticity? I'm laughing at you."

The gospels are not 2000 years old. There were many Jesuses in the ancient world not just one, and many gospels. Most biblical scholars know the Gospels are only the rehashing of myths. There were never 12 disciples. A real historical figure has plenty of evidence. There is no evidence that the mythical figure Jesus ever existed. There are no contemporary writings. There was no city of Nazareth in the 1st century AD. Philo of Alexandria was an eyewitness and historian in the first half of the first century AD, but Philo never wrote a word about Jesus or Christianity. Most everyone knows this but a laughing unenlightened hyena.

Tex Taylor said, "I won't argue about the story of Noah, but only to say this. Jesus was first known as "rabbi." Jesus taught from the Torah.

The idea that the scribes were making meticulous copies of the Old Testament is a fallacy perpetuated by evangelical apologists. Nobody knows what was originally written, we only have copies that were copied from other copies today. The first five books of the Old Testament called the Pentateuch, Tanakh or Torah were written by at least four authors and were based on older oral myths. A fifth author compiled the work of the previous authors into Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers and Deuteronomy. This theory called the Documentary Hypothesis is the most widely accepted view within the Biblical scholarship community. Throughout the New Testament Jesus contradicts the Torah and states that its commandments are no longer applicable.

Tex Taylor said, "If the story were not true, surely He would have corrected it?

Someone who never existed couldn't correct something that never existed.

Tex Taylor said, "More so, while you question the authenticity of the story by providing parallels and perhaps older documentation, you ignore that what the stories provide is confirmation of a great flood."

There was never a worldwide flood. What these ancient myths provide is proof that the Jews copied them from other ancient Sumerian myths and the Romans copied from the Jews. The Old Testament was copied from older myths and Moses never existed.

Tex Taylor said, "Give me your scientific evidence to "back up" there was no evidence of an Exodus or Jewish slaves."

Sargon and Krisha narratives are far older than the Exodus account in the Old Testament. The Jews copied it from the Sumerians, and the Romans copied from the Jews. The story goes that two million people wandered in the desert for forty years. Nothing has ever been unearthed in the Sinai Peninsula supporting the biblical account of Exodus.

Tex Taylor said, "Your science is also bad. Contrary to the boasts that DNA is proving evolution, being a biochemist, I can tell you that your claim bogus - in fact, just the opposite is happening as we speak in many a geneticist's lab."

Evolution has been proven to the extent that anything can be proven. All scientific evidence for 200 years including DNA supports evolution. A biochemist is not necessarily an evolutionary biologist. The only biochemists I know about that dispute evolution are creationists. They have raised arguments such as irreducible complexity or evolution violates the second law of thermodynamics? All of the arguments I know about have been thoroughly debunked, and all that is left are opinions based on nothing. Real scientists do try to falsify theories all the time. If a real scientist finds a real problem with evolution it will be front-page news; nobody has. Evolution is a fact and a theory. The mapping of the human genome supports Darwin's theory of evolution. DNA supports evolution.

Tex Taylor said, "In addition, your claim of a vegetarian diet the most healthy would be laughed at by most biochemists without the diet being supplemented.

That is totally false. Humans were originally herbivores. Humans were plant eaters. For most of human history we lived off of a vegetarian diet. There is no nutritional substitute required for a good vegetarian diet. There is nothing that humans need nutritionally in meat that cannot be found in other types of foods.

Tex Taylor said, "Finally, evolution is not creation. To evolve is not to create. And being we live in a finite universe, can you give me the physical constructs that created the first seconds of the universe?"

Creation is fake evolution is real science. Time and space came into existence at the big bang. There was no time before time. Einstein's theory of relativity made the question of what happened before the big bang meaningless.

survival of the fittest does not describe the practices of individuals in a species. altruism happens in social animals because in spite of the risks to an altruistic individual, the group gains some reproductive advantage.

if you remember that science is not only interested in describing the behavior of humans it is harder to make the kind of mistakes you are making. the qualities that describe the fittest hydra are not the same as describe the fittest crocodile. me first, kill or be killed might be a decent strategy for a shark, but for a pack of wolves it wouldn't be. you might take this a bit further and say the phrase survival of the fittest is less descriptive of species than it is of genes. so that the fittest genes reproduce successfully whereas species may die out to the benefit of some gene they help to reproduce more effectively.

tragicslip,

(In your first post) tragicslip said, "What I find compelling is the counter "science" or "wisdom" of the day truths the scripture contains."

Anyone who can read will find that I debunked all of these so-called truths.

(Now) tragicslip said, "survival of the fittest does not describe the practices of individuals in a species."

(But in your first post) tragicslip said, "Then I consider the love versus selfishness conflict. Modern science says survival of the fittest, me first, kill or be killed, is the engine that drives survival and eventual adaptation."

Evolution is not about competition between individuals for the "survival of the fittest." "Survival of the fittest" was a term Herbert Spencer thought described natural selection, and as I explained, that is incorrect. That is not modern science or even not so modern science. I debunked that statement, because "Survival of the fittest" does not describe adaptation or natural selection. Darwin's "Origin of Species" explains the theory of evolution by natural selection. Evolution refers to the cumulative changes in a population or species through time. Natural selection works by giving individuals who are better adapted to environmental conditions an advantage over those that are not as well adapted. Those that are not well adapted and do not pass on their genes will cease to exist. In a biological sense, evolutionary fitness refers to the ability to survive and reproduce in a particular environment, and to pass on genes to the next generation. That is what I told you the first time you used the term "survival of the fittest" as a description of evolution, which was wrong. Darwin believed it was possible that all life is descended from an original species from ancient times, and DNA evidence supports this.

(Now) tragicslip said, "altruism happens in social animals because in spite of the risks to an altruistic individual, the group gains some reproductive advantage."

Well, altruism had nothing to do with what you were calling modern science. Darwin reasoned that cooperation and/or altruism between individuals could be an adaptive strategy in many environments as individual reproductive success increases through the safety and support of the group. Studies on all kinds of animals show that competition represent important but secondary features of daily social interaction. The amount of social aggression is statistically insignificant; affiliation is the major governing principle of sociality. Darwin observed that the communities that included the greatest number of sympathetic (or cooperative) members would be the most successful and have the greatest number of offspring. There are tests that have proven that all kinds of animals display (cooperative) or altruistic behavior even to strangers; most likely because they have learned that cooperation is better for them. (Now) tragicslip said, "if you remember that science is not only interested in describing the behavior of humans it is harder to make the kind of mistakes you are making."

You are the one making the same mistakes although you are changing what was actually being discussed. The theory of evolution is about how life evolved as organisms randomly mutate. The ones with traits best adapted to their environment survive and reproduce their successful mutations. All life forms, including humans, evolved from earlier species of life on our planet, the DNA code is the same for all living things. The same struggle to survival involved all forms of life on this planet. Man evolved just like other organic bodies evolved, by no special creation, but by the forces of nature, which move always in the same direction, and work to the same end. Man is not a special creation according to the theory of evolution, which is indisputable. Each organism started out at the same point, in a single cell. These cells are of the same chemical composition, approximately of the same size, and appear to be in all respects identical.

(Now) tragicslip said, "the qualities that describe the fittest hydra are not the same as describe the fittest crocodile. me first, kill or be killed might be a decent strategy for a shark, but for a pack of wolves it wouldn't be."

The term "survival of the fittest" suggesting that natural selection operate purely through aggressive competition is not Darwin's theory of evolution. It was Herbert Spencer's who coined the term "survival of the fittest" because he either didn't understand the theory of evolution or natural selection or he didn't want to. Darwin's theory is that nature weeds out the unfit. What you are now introducing into the discussion has nothing to do with your claims about science vs. the scriptures. If any living thing cannot adapt to its environment nature weeds it out. That is evolution what you are talking about is not evolution.

When plants moved from water to land they changed their way of life in order to adapt and survive. This is the same process that all life had to go through in order to survive. You do not understand that evolution is about the ability to adapt in order to survive in a certain environment. All of the animals' existence depended on the land plants that evolved. Biological changes had to occur in order for plants to survive and become diverse. Plants could not grow very big until they evolved root systems and veins to absorb and use water and nutrients. These plants changed Earth's landscape dramatically. It took millions of years of evolution for plants to produce seeds that made it possible to reproduce without water.

(Now) tragicslip said, "you might take this a bit further and say the phrase survival of the fittest is less descriptive of species than it is of genes. so that the fittest genes reproduce successfully whereas species may die out to the benefit of some gene they help to reproduce more effectively."

(In your first post) tragicslip said, "Then I consider the love versus selfishness conflict. Modern science says survival of the fittest, me first, kill or be killed, is the engine that drives survival and eventual adaptation. Scripture says the survival of the fittest is the "law of sin and death" and is an infection that is destroying creation. I find scripture's description to be accurate and find the scientific community confused on this point."

So, that is what you claimed, and you never mentioned genes. However, the species that passes genes to their offspring that help them to survive will not die out. Darwin's theory of evolution is that natural selection works by giving individuals who are better adapted to environmental conditions an advantage over those that are not as well adapted. Those that are not well adapted and do not pass on their genes will cease to exist. Darwin described a "struggle for existence," which evokes a race against the elements rather than between individuals. The struggle to survive is with nature not with other living things. I explain that to you because Herbert Spencer "survival of the fittest" guy didn't understand that. He clearly didn't understand natural selection. Evolution is not a random process. The genetic variation on which natural selection acts may occur randomly, but natural selection itself is not random at all. The survival and reproductive success of an individual is directly related to the ways its inherited traits function in the context of its local environment. Whether or not an individual survives and reproduces depends on whether it has genes that produce traits that are well adapted to its environment.

Genes are the portions of an organism's DNA that carry the code responsible for building that organism in a very specific way. Genes are passed from parent to offspring. From generation to generation, well-understood molecular mechanisms reshuffle, duplicate, and alter genes in a way that produces genetic variation. This variation is the raw material for evolution. In a world where each individual must struggle to survive, those with the best characteristics will be more likely to survive, and those desirable traits will be passed to their offspring. These advantageous characteristics are inherited by following generations, becoming dominant among the population through time. This is natural selection not adaptation. Natural selection makes changes in a population that eventually led to new species. These observations have been demonstrated in biology, and fossils demonstrate the truth of these observations.

(In your first post) tragicslip said, "I find scripture's description to be accurate and find the scientific community confused on this point. So, the love, versus fear, in nature is a perfect evidence of what scripture describes as the war between two antagonistic principles. I find this compelling."

The truthfulness that you were speaking of in your first post was the scriptures not science. You were not attributing a thing to natural law, but the outcome of supernatural design. The scripture doctrine that teaches the creation of the universe, the "special creation" of man and then all of the animals created in six days by God, which is false.

No doubt you couldn't dispute that the claims you made about how scientific the scriptures were on health issues was wrong, so I guess you think you can get around this difficulty by cutting out all of the references that you made to the scripture's accuracy over science. You are not the one representing science, and you can't get out of it by saying someone else is making mistakes. Evolution clearly demonstrates that there was no "special creation" of man.

Biological evolution refers to the cumulative changes that occur in a population over time. These changes are produced at the genetic level as organisms' genes mutate and/or recombine in different ways during reproduction and are passed on to future generations. Sometimes, individuals inherit new characteristics that give them a survival and reproductive advantage in their local environments; these characteristics tend to increase in frequency in the population, while those that are disadvantageous decrease in frequency. This process of differential survival and reproduction is known as natural selection. Non-genetic changes that occur during an organism's life span cannot be passed on to the next generation and are not examples of evolution.

Discard or disregard the first post because I put the wrong name tragicslip instead of Champe on the "first post" that I was referring to. Although, the name Champe is on the first post as everyone can see. It should have said Champe on my post instead of tragicslip who wrote the first post. Here is the post with the correction.

tragicslip,

(In the first post) Champe, "What I find compelling is the counter "science" or "wisdom" of the day truths the scripture contains."

Anyone that can read will find that I debunked all of those so-called truths.

(Now) tragicslip said, "survival of the fittest does not describe the practices of individuals in a species."

(But in the first post) Champe said, "Then I consider the love versus selfishness conflict. Modern science says survival of the fittest, me first, kill or be killed, is the engine that drives survival and eventual adaptation."

Evolution is not about competition between individuals for the "survival of the fittest." "Survival of the fittest" was a term Herbert Spencer thought described natural selection, and as I explained, that is incorrect. That is not modern science or even not so modern science. I debunked that statement, because "Survival of the fittest" does not describe adaptation or natural selection. Darwin's "Origin of Species" explains the theory of evolution by natural selection. Evolution refers to the cumulative changes in a population or species through time. Natural selection works by giving individuals who are better adapted to environmental conditions an advantage over those that are not as well adapted. Those that are not well adapted and do not pass on their genes will cease to exist. In a biological sense, evolutionary fitness refers to the ability to survive and reproduce in a particular environment, and to pass on genes to the next generation. That is what I told Champe the first time he used the term "survival of the fittest" as a description of evolution, which was wrong. Darwin believed it was possible that all life is descended from an original species from ancient times, and DNA evidence supports this.

(Now) tragicslip said, "altruism happens in social animals because in spite of the risks to an altruistic individual, the group gains some reproductive advantage."

Well, altruism had nothing to do with what Champe was calling modern science. Darwin reasoned that cooperation and/or altruism between individuals could be an adaptive strategy in many environments as individual reproductive success increases through the safety and support of the group. Studies on all kinds of animals show that competition represent important but secondary features of daily social interaction. The amount of social aggression is statistically insignificant; affiliation is the major governing principle of sociality. Darwin observed that the communities that included the greatest number of sympathetic (or cooperative) members would be the most successful and have the greatest number of offspring. There are tests that have proven that all kinds of animals display (cooperative) or altruistic behavior even to strangers; most likely because they have learned that cooperation is better for them. (Now) tragicslip said, "if you remember that science is not only interested in describing the behavior of humans it is harder to make the kind of mistakes you are making."

You are making the same mistake as Champe although you are changing what was actually being discussed. The theory of evolution is about how life evolved as organisms randomly mutate. The ones with traits best adapted to their environment survive and reproduce their successful mutations. All life forms, including humans, evolved from earlier species of life on our planet, the DNA code is the same for all living things. The same struggle to survival involved all forms of life on this planet. Man evolved just like other organic bodies evolved, by no special creation, but by the forces of nature, which move always in the same direction, and work to the same end. Man is not a special creation according to the theory of evolution, which is indisputable. Each organism started out at the same point, in a single cell. These cells are of the same chemical composition, approximately of the same size, and appear to be in all respects identical.

(Now) tragicslip said, "the qualities that describe the fittest hydra are not the same as describe the fittest crocodile. me first, kill or be killed might be a decent strategy for a shark, but for a pack of wolves it wouldn't be."

The term "survival of the fittest" suggesting that natural selection operate purely through aggressive competition is not Darwin's theory of evolution. It was Herbert Spencer's who coined the term "survival of the fittest" because he either didn't understand the theory of evolution or natural selection or he didn't want to. Darwin's theory is that nature weeds out the unfit. What you are now introducing into the discussion has nothing to do with Champe's claims about science vs. the scriptures. If any living thing cannot adapt to its environment nature weeds it out. That is evolution what you and Champe are talking about is not evolution.

When plants moved from water to land they changed their way of life in order to adapt and survive. This is the same process that all life had to go through in order to survive. You do not understand that evolution is about the ability of all living things to adapt in order to survive in a certain environment. All of the animals' existence depended on the land plants that evolved. Biological changes had to occur in order for plants to survive and become diverse. Plants could not grow very big until they evolved root systems and veins to absorb and use water and nutrients. These plants changed Earth's landscape dramatically. It took millions of years of evolution for plants to produce seeds that made it possible to reproduce without water.

(Now) tragicslip said, "you might take this a bit further and say the phrase survival of the fittest is less descriptive of species than it is of genes. so that the fittest genes reproduce successfully whereas species may die out to the benefit of some gene they help to reproduce more effectively."

(In the first post) Champe said, "Then I consider the love versus selfishness conflict. Modern science says survival of the fittest, me first, kill or be killed, is the engine that drives survival and eventual adaptation. Scripture says the survival of the fittest is the "law of sin and death" and is an infection that is destroying creation. I find scripture's description to be accurate and find the scientific community confused on this point."

So, that is what was claimed, and he never mentioned genes. However, the species that passes genes to their offspring that help them to survive will not die out. Darwin's theory of evolution is that natural selection works by giving individuals who are better adapted to environmental conditions an advantage over those that are not as well adapted. Those that are not well adapted and do not pass on their genes will cease to exist. Darwin described a "struggle for existence," which evokes a race against the elements rather than between individuals. The struggle to survive is with nature not with other living things. I explain that to you because Herbert Spencer "survival of the fittest" guy didn't understand that. He clearly didn't understand natural selection. Evolution is not a random process. The genetic variation on which natural selection acts may occur randomly, but natural selection itself is not random at all. The survival and reproductive success of an individual is directly related to the ways its inherited traits function in the context of its local environment. Whether or not an individual survives and reproduces depends on whether it has genes that produce traits that are well adapted to its environment.

Genes are the portions of an organism's DNA that carry the code responsible for building that organism in a very specific way. Genes are passed from parent to offspring. From generation to generation, well-understood molecular mechanisms reshuffle, duplicate, and alter genes in a way that produces genetic variation. This variation is the raw material for evolution. In a world where each individual must struggle to survive, those with the best characteristics will be more likely to survive, and those desirable traits will be passed to their offspring. These advantageous characteristics are inherited by following generations, becoming dominant among the population through time. This is natural selection not adaptation. Natural selection makes changes in a population that eventually led to new species. These observations have been demonstrated in biology, and fossils demonstrate the truth of these observations.

(In the first post) Champe said, "I find scripture's description to be accurate and find the scientific community confused on this point. So, the love, versus fear, in nature is a perfect evidence of what scripture describes as the war between two antagonistic principles. I find this compelling."

The truthfulness that he was speaking of in his first post was the scriptures not science. Champe was not attributing a thing to natural law, but the outcome of supernatural design. The scripture doctrine that teaches the creation of the universe, the "special creation" of man and then all of the animals created in six days by God, which is false.

No doubt Champe couldn't dispute the claims that he made about how scientific the scriptures were on health issues was wrong, so nobody can get around this difficulty by cutting out all of the references that he made to the scripture's accuracy over science. Champe was not presenting science. Evolution clearly demonstrates that there was no "special creation" of man.

Biological evolution refers to the cumulative changes that occur in a population over time. These changes are produced at the genetic level as organisms' genes mutate and/or recombine in different ways during reproduction and are passed on to future generations. Sometimes, individuals inherit new characteristics that give them a survival and reproductive advantage in their local environments; these characteristics tend to increase in frequency in the population, while those that are disadvantageous decrease in frequency. This process of differential survival and reproduction is known as natural selection. Non-genetic changes that occur during an organism's life span cannot be passed on to the next generation and are not examples of evolution.

Linda, if you mean that when i talk about "survival of the fittest" i am not using the term to describe what Herbert Spencer was describing you are correct. i am confused when you say: "You are making the same mistake as Champe although you are changing what was actually being discussed."

i am certainly trying to suggest that the genes passed on through reproduction might be considered selfish. if we are going to call a gene selfish we must do so only to explain how an individual, or even a species may behave at great risk to itself and yet still contribute to the reproductive success of that gene. genes are not actually selfish. they have no feelings. the selection of traits has everything to do with how adaptive they are to the environment.

i hate the term "survival of the fittest" because it always leads to a misunderstanding of the theory of evolution (perhaps because as Linda suggests it springs from a misunderstanding of that theory). i thank you Linda for taking me to task, because i certainly was not providing a clear understanding of evolution with my contribution.

tangent: i heard just yesterday the notion of "survival of the fittest" misapplied to describe how society should function. instead, thanks to social welfare programs, useless and unfit people are propped up. i wanted to explain that because changes in the environment can be unpredictable, what is useless and unfit today may be an advantage tomorrow. while this may not justify every social welfare program, it certainly suggests the value of genetic diversity.

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From the officers:

The audio and video from Steve Bratteng's July 13th lecture are now available.