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evolution circular reasoning?

this message is for don baker. don: This is jonathan the person you argued with 1 year ago. I would like for you to read this article that i have posted below. That i think is a strong argument why evolution makes no sense. Tell me what you think.

http://www.pathlights.com/ce_encyclopedia/Encyclopedia/12fos11.htm

Suppose that today evolution were proven false. Would it make any god claims true or add any credibility to such claims? The answer is "no". It doesn't matter how many horses there are in the race. For your horse to win, it has to at least leave the starting gate. What evidence is there for the existence of a god? None. Your horse loses. It doesn't matter what the other horses do.

thanks for reading it. i never said my god was real because evolution doesn't exist. now in your post you never stated an argument to disprove this article. if you have an argument on why this article is not correct please tell me.

Here's your answer:

http://talkorigins.org/indexcc/CC/CC310.html

what i understood by the article you linked in your last post was that radio metric dating is the min way you figure out how old a fossil is. but radio metric dating is also another controversial topic. and it may not be very reliable. i will show you this article to prove that it can be controversial.

http://www.answersingenesis.org/articles/am/v4/n3/radiometric-dating

now maybe i missed something else in that last article. if i did please warn me.

Jonathan,

Controversy can be manufactured. In the 70s, when it was becoming clear that smoking was a direct cause of cancer and other ills, the tobacco companies launched a disinformation campaign to try to muddy the waters so that people would keep smoking. They manufactured controversy. We've seen this same sort of thing with vaccine denialism, and global warming denialism. The same thing is going on with evolution denialism. The main players are Answers in Genesis, the Institute for Creation Research, and most notably the Discovery Institute. They are all in the business of misrepresenting facts, casting doubt, and trying to create a controversy. DI has even tried to get classrooms to "teach the controversy" because they've gotten beaten back on so many of their other fronts.

There's a good book on manufacturing controversy from Michael Specter titled "Denialism: How Irrational Thinking Hinders Scientific Progress, Harms the Planet, and Threatens Our Lives".

Nearly all of the "arguments" from these pro-Christian groups have been around decades or longer. The field is called "apologetics.: Claims have all been answered over and over again. These groups are not interested in the answers. They are interested in advancing their agenda. A great resource is the Index to Creationist Claims from Talk Origins (http://www.talkorigins.org/indexcc/list.html). There, you can find every single claim and answers to each one. For radiometric dating, there are a number of claims. If you're interested in learning you can explore these on your own. If you're interested in learning more about evolution, I recommend reading Jerry Coyne's "Why Evolution is True" or Richard Dawkins "The Greatest Show on Earth". These are both excellent books written by experts in the field.

Now that I've given you some resources, perhaps you can answer a question for me. Let's assume, for the sake of argument, that Christianity is true. Why then, would promoters of Christianity have any need for misrepresenting other people's work, ignoring facts, outright lies, unsupported claims, logical fallacies, or emotional manipulation? I have never felt the need to use any of these bogus strategies in my arguments. First, I don't need them. If I have the truth on my side, the truth is more valuable. Second, if I use them, it casts doubt on my own reputation. These things have no value, except to manipulate the gullible. So why do Christians use these tactics? In fact I have yet to hear an argument for god (or against evolution) that didn't use these tactics? Have you? It seems to me that Christians can't possibly believe in their god and the "ten commandments" because they are constantly bearing false witness. If promoters of Christianity obviously don't believe what they're promoting, then why should anyone? From my perspective, Christianity is indistinguishable from a con game. Perhaps you can explain to me why a pile of lies points the way to the truth or how the "truth" of Christianity benefits from such garbage?

don

everything you said was pure opinion. i don't believe christians use any of the tactics you stated. the fact is that i do use science and reliable evidence like i just did in my last posts. and unless you are saying that i use those tactics you stated in your paragraph (which i haven't) then you have no reason to say that. maybe you are talking to uneducated christians, but all of the christians that i talk to that know about apologetics use facts and nothing else. now if you have a question that is not Rhetorical i would be happy to answer it.

Jonathan,

Your latest interactions with me have been very reasonable. You have yet to respond to most of what I've sent you, however. I wasn't accusing you, but I was asking for your perspective.

I guess the point about falsehoods was lost on you. Both articles you sent me suffer from the problems I described. I have yet to hear an apologetic that doesn't suffer from falsehoods, logical fallacies, or emotional manipulation. I was just curious whether you'd heard any.

don

the fact is that i don't need to prove there is a god, i just need to disprove anything that goes against god. thats why i go against evolution because it goes against god. if i can disprove evolution then that makes my argument to there is a god more reliable. thats why i posted those 2 articles, those 2 articles are based on facts.

Listen to what I hear from you: "I don't need to prove there are fairies. I'm certain there are because I really want to believe. I just need to deny any evidence that goes against my (unsupported) belief." Do you see how silly you sound?

Your reasoning is faulty. If there were NO evidence for evolution today, it wouldn't make your god more likely. The time to believe something is when there is sufficient evidence to merit that belief. But you have an even more serious problem, there is a lot of evidence for evolution, an old earth and even older universe, and no evidence anywhere that there is a god of any sort. You have to play all sorts of mind games to pretend that your unsupported beliefs are supported. I see this all the time in Christians and I think it's really sad.

The two articles you posted misrepresented the facts. They are fine examples of deception. I gave you pointers to much better information that directly addresses those articles. But don't take my word for it, even though I've never lied to you and I make no money off selling you atheism (in contrast to the authors of those articles and every minister). Really check it out for yourself. Read books by experts in biology and physics. Go visit a university where they're not hocking religion and see what you learn from someone who has no stake in the argument.

If you're interested in learning, I think you'll do what I recommend. If you're not interested in learning, then why are you posting to this forum? Don't you think we've heard these tired arguments before, examined them, and rejected them based on their merits?

don

there is no physical evidence of god. he did not leave his footprints some where and we can say that is god. the way i know there is a god is because of 3 reasons jesus, the bible, and evolution or any other false teachings not making sense. jesus clearly existed (if you dont believe that then you are just as hard headed as the christians youve been talking about) but we cannot find his body even though we have found budha and muhhamad, there are many other reasons. i believe in the bible because i think there are many reasons why its truth. i think evolution and everything else is not logical because it gives no explanation towards how the universe happened. you expect me to believe that we just popped out of know where? that is ridiculous! and what makes the article you post correct and what makes mine incorrect? just because you said it? well all christian apologetics use those analogies and i find it hard to believe all of them are lying.

Jonathan,

Once again, you didn't address most of my post. Will assume you agree with it.

I'm glad you admit there is no physical evidence of a god. Don't you find it amazing that supposedly the most powerful force in the universe is undetectable? If he's hiding, then he's intentionally deceptive and therefore untrustworthy.

Let's look at your three reasons. A person named Jesus may have existed, but the the only "evidence" that he did anything supernatural was in the New Testament. If he was just a man, why should anyone care? That dispenses with your first reason.

The Bible. I don't know why anyone would think the Bible is evidence for anything. Many of the major stories have been proven false. The creation story is just silly, there was no Moses or exodus from Egypt, no flood, no tower of Babel, no destruction of Sodom, no walking on water, raising the dead, talking snakes, talking donkeys. We've discussed how Jesus' claim of praying in his name to get whatever you want was a lie. No evidence of a resurrection, no evidence of life after death, no evidence of gods, demons, angels, etc. Jesus is given three different paternal ancestries in the Bible. The nativity story is well known to have been made up. Most of Jesus interesting attributes seem to have been copied from earlier myths such as Attis and Mithra. And gee, that claim about Jesus returning in the lifetime of the disciples sure was false. Beyond that, the Bible is a genocide manual loaded with atrocities and completely ridiculous stories like the golden hemorrhoid story. Why would anyone who has their head on straight believe anything in this collection of mostly nasty ancient fables?

Three "false teachings". It seems that you lack any sort of objective criteria for deciding what's false. Maybe you should just admit that you like some stories (the ones that end with you having a perpetual orgasm) and the others you label as "false".

In short, your belief is not on a sound foundation.

As far as how the universe happened, isn't is more honest to say "I don't know" when you don't know something, rather than make up a story? We don't know everything. That's not evidence for a god--that's just a gap that the marketers of Christianity are hoping to fill. Again, the time to believe something is when there is sufficient evidence.

What makes the article I posted correct because it is based on our established scientific knowledge, which has been and can be validated by anyone who cares to conduct the same experiments. This evidence has been collected in published form and vetted by the repeatable experiments, the peer review process, and the fact that the claims made have been tested and not falsified by experiments that have been created to do so. The papers from the Discovery Institute, Institute for Creation Research, and Answers in Genesis are an island of bullshit that can claim none of the above. Their work cannot pass the tests I gave. The only people promoting that work (or buying into it) are people who have STARTED with the conclusion that they want there to be a god and they are sabotaging the facts to pretend to reach that conclusion. Science works the other way around. Conclusions come only from established facts and they follow the evidence where it leads. There's nobody selling perpetual orgasms. No con games.

If you don't think this works, tell me how many diseases have your apologist heroes cured? How many jet airplanes have they built? How many computers, phones, or toasters? None. Christian apologetics is only in the business of marketing fantasies.

Again, I've told you that if you don't trust me, read or consult the experts.

If you don't believe me that apologetics is based on lies, choose the very best one you can find and send it. I guarantee I'll find lies, logical fallacies, or emotional manipulation. If I do, then will you admit that your faith is based on a false premise? Show me the courage of your convictions and take my bet (and live with the consequences). If you don't take my bet, then please understand that I will consider it an admission that I am correct.

don

in jesus's time there were many people that claimed to be the messiah but ended up not having a whole book written about them. jesus was the only person to actually be considered god out of all of these hundreds of people. you say all of his story's are fake but do you that 99.6% of all the historic information in the new testament is true. jesus was a real man and died but we still havent found his bones!

the bible is the oldest book in the world and they found scrolls written by people of that time. scientist have proven there was a flood. read this article below.

http://science.howstuffworks.com/great-flood.htm/printable

Jonathan,

This is all a great example of the type of apologetic bullshit I've been talking about. Could it be that Christians are all just making it up, or they can't tell real evidence from crap.

You might want to read up on the history of how the Bible was written. Read some Bart Ehrman or Robert Price. You'll learn about all of the stuff written about Jesus that even the marketers of Jesus thought were too silly to put in. Read Frank Zindler's "The Jesus the Jews Never Knew" to learn how not a single Jewish contemporary source mentioned the guy. He must have been real important.

I've mentioned several times how the Jesus character was likely based on earlier mythology. You have yet to even acknowledge my saying this. I remember a year ago or so trying to get you to read about this, but I'm wondering whether you have any interest in the truth.

As for "99.6% of the historic information in the new testament is true" quote. Gee. Where do I start? I'm pretty sure you pulled that number out of your ass. I call bullshit. It also seem that you could make the same claim about most fiction. Spiderman was set in New York. There is a New York, therefore Spiderman must really exist and have super powers. Your statement seems to be a desperate attempt to say something impressive that is completely irrelevant to the question of whether Jesus was supernatural.

"Jesus was a real man": What evidence do you have? "Haven't found his bones": an empty box is stronger evidence that he never existed. Have you ever lined up the Gospel stories and tried to reconcile them? Dan Barker issued a challenge for someone to align all of them and make a single consistent narrative. It's a pretty famous challenge at this point. No Christian, even with God's help has been able to do it. Do you know why? They are versions of a lie, not versions of the truth.

The Bible is not the oldest book in the world. Check your facts. Many of the old testament mythology is based on the Ugarit. Gilgamesh from Sumeria is considered one of the first stories and the Bible's flood story is largely borrowed from it.

Scientists have not proven there was a flood. Sorry. The article doesn't even say that. Read it again. It's talking about the fact that there are lots of flood myths. Some creationists have run with that. That's what they do. There is no evidence of a global flood as depicted in the Bible. Most of what Creationists do is to try to make the claim that the existence of some flood somewhere is evidence of THE flood of the Bible. The Biblical flood story is false, therefore the Bible is false. If you look at the "evidence" Noah's ark has been "discovered" a number of times. Too bad they're not the same discovery. Both cases are the work of marketers who want to promote themselves, sell a book, or convince themselves that they're going to get a perpetual orgasm. They don't care if they lie to do it. Reminds me of that guy, Ravi Zacharais and his lies.

The article is pretty lame. It rambles but does not come out and say the obvious: there was no global flood. The fact that so many mythologies have flood stories is interesting and does need explanation. Could it be that primitive people had no clue where rain came from and they worried about whether the rain would ever stop once it got started? The commonality is human fear. Humans fear death, so most mythologies have something that explains death. Most of them have stories about spooky things that lurk in the night. Again, it's because humans are storytelling animals and we all have common fears. There are stories across mythologies that explain day and night and the seasons. Resurrection mythologies are common, too. They often involve a reborn savior. (Apologists will never mention this because it encourages people not to believe their bullshit.) None of these mean the stories are true. If you're interested in reading about the commonalities of mythologies, read some Joseph Campbell.

I suspect you'll never read the books I recommend because your religion values your ignorance. They've taught you that rejecting learning and facts is a virtue that will enable you to get your perpetual orgasm. As an ignorant person, you're easier to manipulate and control. You're useful to them.

Interesting article Jonathan.

I'm not Don, but there's a few things I'd like to point out.

"we will find that circular reasoning is also used in regard to other evolutionary "proofs,' such as the origin of life, genetics, and mutations"

I could probably stop here. First off, 'the origin of life' is not a proof of evolution, because evolutionary theory is intended to explain the evolution of life /after its emergence/. Theories dealing with the origin of life are termed 'abiogenetic' or alternatively 'autogenetic' theories (meaning 'without-life-creating' and 'self-creating', if my non-existent Greek is correct). Such theories are /related/ to evolutionary theory, yet this doesn't change the fact that evolutionary theory isn't intended to account for the emergence of life but rather for the changes that occur to living forms following that emergence.

Second, genetics isn't a 'proof' of evolutionary theory. Genetics is the science that deals with heredity, the transmission of genes from parents to their offspring. As such genetics assumes evolutionary theory - but then so does all biology in general.

Third, mutations. Ah, mutations. Mutations are not a 'proof' of evolutionary theory, any more than genetics. Mutations are a /fact/ for which evolutionary theory accounts. This, along with the fossil record, speciation (as observed both in the wild and as reproduced in labs), genetic inheritance and shared genetic traces amongst existent species (did you know that we share 67% of our genetic code with chickens? 39% with Fruitflies? 11% with /yeast/?), amongst other things. Stating that mutations are intended as a proof of evolution is like saying that the fact that things fall down is a 'proof' of gravitational theory. It isn't. Gravitational theory is intended to explain and account for the phenomena that (again amongst other things) things fall down. The theories used to account for this fact are then used to make predictions, which are tested in order to determine the accuracy of the theory. If the predictions fail, thus disproving a certain theory of gravitation, this wouldn't stop things falling down - any more than disproving evolutionary theory would disappear the facts for which that theory seeks to account.

"The charge that the construction of the geologic scale involves circularity has a certain amount of validity."

I'm not an expert, but I'd be willing to bet the farm that the whole sentence above hinges on the word 'certain'. A bit of research later, I wish I'd had a farm to bet. (I note that the article linked doesn't cite any articles later than 1979, which makes me think that a reliance on out-of-date data is central to the argument - this was useful: http://www.talkorigins.org/faqs/dating.html#Circularity )

Geological analysis has the appearance of circularity because, like all scientific endeavour, each new enquiry is a test of the predictions of the currently-prevailing theory. This is how science works. If, say, a rock is found whose position and fossil content challenges the previously-held assumptions about geological theory; this doesn't mean that the theory is wrong, but that the theory requires revision. This is not a circular process but one of /refinement/; it is why science may be held up in contrast to dogma, which admits of no refinement in the face of evidence, but only in the elaborate 'debunking' of that evidence (as if the world was a witness capable of perjury - it requires an unholy arrogance to take that position, to my mind). For example, such 'debunkings' include claiming that the scientific method used in the analysis of that evidence is somehow circular, rather than constantly being revised in the light of new evidence.

(As said, I'm not an expert, or even a scientist - if anyone out there is and wants to correct/refine what I've said, please do.)

But this is all besides the point.

Technically, of course, it is possible that evolutionary theory could be disproved - it is, after all, a requirement of science that it be so - but this theory is the foundation of the entire science of biology. As such, it is one of the most consistently tested theories in science (even leaving aside the extra scrutiny it receives because of its perceived controversy). Abandoning evolutionary theory would essential require a wholesale revision of an entire field of knowledge and technology. This is far from likely. Again, I'd be willing to bet the farm, and then some.

But even if that were possible - hell, let's assume for the moment that it is. This would still leave the /facts of evolution/ right there, out /there/ in the world. Speciation, genetic inheritance, the fossil record (the fossil record, for the love of... It's there, it's all set in stone), extinction past and present, and so on. I've already said it, but it's a good way to end: evolution is a fact for which the theory of evolution accounts. 'Disproving' evolution won't make those facts disappear any more than disproving current theories of gravity will make things float.

Shaun Said: Geological analysis has the appearance of circularity because, like all scientific endeavour, each new enquiry is a test of the predictions of the currently-prevailing theory.

Shaun Also Said: For example, such 'debunkings' include claiming that the scientific method used in the analysis of that evidence is somehow circular, rather than constantly being revised in the light of new evidence.

Chuck Says: Shaun, I suggest that you should stop trying to argue that the scientific analysis of the geologic and fossil evidence does not contain "circular reasoning". It does contain circular reasoning. Jonathan Forte and the authors at Pathlights have defined for us a problem: "circularity in evolutionary theory" and offered a solution: "the Genesis story is more scientific than Darwinian evolution".

When the rocks and minerals present in the earth contain fossils, the "commonly understood" age of the fossil is compared with the scientifically derived age of the rock. This helps to verify or to call into question both the mineral age and the age of the fossil.

This is circular reasoning, and it helps to prevent mistakes in dating layers in the earth, and it also helps to increase precision in determining the exact date.

Let's see what the Pathlights "scientific" article has to say:

"This evolutionary fraud is simple enough: Evolutionists date the fossils by the rocks they are in, and they date the rocks by the fossils that are in them!"

The Pathlights authors ignore the enormous amount of interdisciplinary scientific work that goes into dating rocks and dating fossils.

The Pathlights author's fraud is simple enough: he is lying when he claims to understand science. He's lying when he claims to have studied science.

"Creation Science" is based upon lies, fraud, superstition, sleazy politics, etc. These folks pretend that they are curious and sincere seekers after the truth, but they are deceivers who are pushing a poisonous political agenda.

I will not bother to cite the science that describes rock and fossil dating. You, or anyone else can study this. The Creationists don't want to. Such a study would harm their self-certainty.

As the superstition content of various world religions continues to be debunked by science, claims by religious folks become more strident and absurd. This, they believe, is necessary to preserve the sacred assertions of their religions.

Examine the rest of the Pathlights website. These people are quacks, liars, and con artists.

Our society teaches us all that to call a person or a group of people "liars" is not polite. Religious fanatics capitalize upon this social custom to promote their ancient superstitions by lying and lying and lying.

I prefer to call a spade a spade.

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