Author Topic: 5 Questions for Creationists  (Read 7699 times)

Offline Sci Fi Fan

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5 Questions for Creationists
« on: November 16, 2013, 02:51:00 PM »
By “creationist” I am referring to those who prescribe to a religious creation story; specifically, my question is targeted towards Christian creationists.

1.   If God created humans and animals within a decently small timespan, why don’t we ever find homo sapiens fossils from the same era as Australopithecus?  We can see with hominid fossils that they come from different eras, and it just happens that as the dates approach the present, they become more and more similar to us.  It seems quite mightily convenient for Evolutionary Theory that we find a similar trend throughout every fossil hierarchy.  It doesn’t seem to fit with the Creationist stance that God created the animals at around the same time – why would they happen to exist in distinct eras with clear progressions from one set of fossils to the next?


2.   I’d asked earlier how creationists explain vestigial organs.  More specifically, why it happens that these vestigial organs happen to have had a purpose in earlier species Evolution predicts were ancestors.  Why would a Creator give animals vestigial organs in such a manner that so conveniently lines up with Evolutionary theory?  Is this Creator actively deceiving us?  And even in organs that do serve a purpose, I’m sure any first year medical student could list numerous organs just in the human body that could be made orders of magnitude more efficient. 

Indeed, many of our physical and mental traits seem uniquely adapted for survival in a hunter gatherer society, which makes absolutely no sense if you prescribe to Genesis, or any creator that would recognize we would eventually become agricultural and industrial.  Evolution not only explains but expects such imperfections, as natural selection is a slow, blind process, the nonrandom selection of random mutations.  But creationist theory has to perform mental gymnastics that reduce to “god works in mysterious ways”, or rather “occam’s razor can go fuck itself.”


3.   Why don’t Biblical creation stories mention Neanderthals and other sentient hominids?  You’d think this would be a pretty major point, that there were once other intelligent beings, presumably also with souls.  What happened to them? 


4.   Where are Creationism’s testable predictions?  It isn’t falsifiable – it is based on no observations and is not applicable to any other field.  Evolutionary Theory can be used to explain numerous phenomena in biology, biochemistry, psychology, neuroscience and animal science, while creationism is entirely self contained in that it makes no predictions and no observations.


5.   Building off of the last question, if, as with most creationists, your primary justification is some variant of the first cause argument, how do you extrapolate this to anything specific in your mythology?  How do you know God created Eve out of Adam’s rib, or that he created the plants before the stars?  Where does any of this come from?

I would invite any civil/rational responses.  Thank you.

Offline TboneAgain

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Re: 5 Questions for Creationists
« Reply #1 on: November 16, 2013, 03:39:38 PM »
By “creationist” I am referring to those who prescribe to a religious creation story; specifically, my question is targeted towards Christian creationists.

1.   If God created humans and animals within a decently small timespan, why don’t we ever find homo sapiens fossils from the same era as Australopithecus?  We can see with hominid fossils that they come from different eras, and it just happens that as the dates approach the present, they become more and more similar to us.  It seems quite mightily convenient for Evolutionary Theory that we find a similar trend throughout every fossil hierarchy.  It doesn’t seem to fit with the Creationist stance that God created the animals at around the same time – why would they happen to exist in distinct eras with clear progressions from one set of fossils to the next?


2.   I’d asked earlier how creationists explain vestigial organs.  More specifically, why it happens that these vestigial organs happen to have had a purpose in earlier species Evolution predicts were ancestors.  Why would a Creator give animals vestigial organs in such a manner that so conveniently lines up with Evolutionary theory?  Is this Creator actively deceiving us?  And even in organs that do serve a purpose, I’m sure any first year medical student could list numerous organs just in the human body that could be made orders of magnitude more efficient. 

Indeed, many of our physical and mental traits seem uniquely adapted for survival in a hunter gatherer society, which makes absolutely no sense if you prescribe to Genesis, or any creator that would recognize we would eventually become agricultural and industrial.  Evolution not only explains but expects such imperfections, as natural selection is a slow, blind process, the nonrandom selection of random mutations.  But creationist theory has to perform mental gymnastics that reduce to “god works in mysterious ways”, or rather “occam’s razor can go fuck itself.”


3.   Why don’t Biblical creation stories mention Neanderthals and other sentient hominids?  You’d think this would be a pretty major point, that there were once other intelligent beings, presumably also with souls.  What happened to them? 


4.   Where are Creationism’s testable predictions?  It isn’t falsifiable – it is based on no observations and is not applicable to any other field.  Evolutionary Theory can be used to explain numerous phenomena in biology, biochemistry, psychology, neuroscience and animal science, while creationism is entirely self contained in that it makes no predictions and no observations.


5.   Building off of the last question, if, as with most creationists, your primary justification is some variant of the first cause argument, how do you extrapolate this to anything specific in your mythology?  How do you know God created Eve out of Adam’s rib, or that he created the plants before the stars?  Where does any of this come from?

I would invite any civil/rational responses.  Thank you.

I don't care to answer your inquiries by the numbers. Sorry if that perturbs you. (Oops! THAT was a lie!)

There's lots of room for varying theories. I'm not sure why you have to be so militantly on one side.

Evolution is a fact. My appendix is all the proof I need. But the question is: does evolution account for humankind?

And I have to say NO.

As closely as we have been identified with the great apes, they can't talk, they can't reason, they can't drive a car. They can't write a book. They can't build anything. They can't construct a society. The list of what they can't do is endless.

Your point about vestigial organs is just silliness. Many other species have what might be termed "vestigial organs." So what?

Your ridiculous questions about "Neanderthals" and such are just that -- ridiculous. You seem to assume, for example, that the Bible has to be a history book. The Holy Bible has been criticized in lots of ways, and modified a few times, but you might be the first guy to come along that asserts that it should be an account of history. It ain't. But you knew that already.

Your blather makes me tired.

Think of it this way. If what you believe to be so is so, how did you come by the ability to post your last post? Honestly, what are the chances you would have morphed out of the mud and become an accomplished typist and shared with us all your liberal/progressive wisdom without some sort of guidance?

What separates us from the critters is consciousness. It's the thing that makes a lot of other words possible -- sorry, tardy, silly, foolish, embarrassed, happy. This is just a shirt-cuff list, but if you take away consciousness, they all go away. They disappear like they were never there.

Please explain to me how the finest aspects of humanity evolved from the mud. Seriously, I'd love to see what you come up with.
The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people. -- Tenth Amendment to the US Constitution

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Offline Sci Fi Fan

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Re: 5 Questions for Creationists
« Reply #2 on: November 16, 2013, 04:24:53 PM »
There's lots of room for varying theories. I'm not sure why you have to be so militantly on one side.

Why appeal to the golden mean here?  I am "militantly" on the side that Julius Caesar existed, that 911 was not an inside job, that the Earth is round, and I don't feel the need to give credence to opposing viewpoints when there is no evidence to support them, as though science had to be politically correct.

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Evolution is a fact. My appendix is all the proof I need. But the question is: does evolution account for humankind?

And I have to say NO.

Special pleading.  Humans are animals of exceptional intelligence and emotional acuity; we still have many "animalistic" emotions and phenotypes.  Feel free to otherwise dispute why we have so many vestigial organs and instinctive behaviors that make no sense in modern society.  Evolution has an explanation; does your evolution-creation hybrid?

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As closely as we have been identified with the great apes, they can't talk, they can't reason, they can't drive a car. They can't write a book. They can't build anything. They can't construct a society. The list of what they can't do is endless.

Yes, because they aren't as intelligent as we are.  You think this means evolution cannot explain us?  Some apes can learn basic sign language, while dogs cannot; does this mean evolution cannot explain apes?  Dogs can understand human emotions, while insects cannot; does this mean evolution cannot explain dogs?  What makes you think the jump to us is necessarily greater than the jump from bacteria to fish, which you seem to have no trouble accepting?  Is your answer going to be another subjective praising of our consciousness and self awareness?  Are you aware that both attributes are analogue, not discrete?     

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Your point about vestigial organs is just silliness. Many other species have what might be termed "vestigial organs." So what?

So, as you yourself agreed with, vestigial organs support Evolutionary Theory.

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Your ridiculous questions about "Neanderthals" and such are just that -- ridiculous. You seem to assume, for example, that the Bible has to be a history book. The Holy Bible has been criticized in lots of ways, and modified a few times, but you might be the first guy to come along that asserts that it should be an account of history. It ain't. But you knew that already.

Genesis includes lots of historical information that is less relevant than the existence of other intelligent hominids, which would fundamentally change the nature and extent of God's relationship with us.  Technically not mentioning neanderthals doesn't contradict their existence; but it's clear that whoever wrote the book would have included such a groundbreaking detail if he knew of it.

That's like reading a centuries old textbook about medicine and disease and happening to forget to mention bacteria and viruses; you would conclude that the authors were ignorant about germ theory, not some mental gymnastics that they don't really have to mention it.

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Your blather makes me tired.

I love how you respond to a perfectly civil set of questions with a smug, rude, arrogant reply (beyond its logical incoherency and fallacious arguments).

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Think of it this way. If what you believe to be so is so, how did you come by the ability to post your last post?

Evolution by natural selection.  Supported by scientific data, and not your gut feeling argument from personal incredibility.  It's clear that you don't realize we have a pretty complete fossil record of the evolution of early hominids from Australopithecus to homo sapiens - if you think humans were created rather than evolved, feel free to explain homo habilis, homo erectus, homo ergaster, etc, and why they happen to exist in eras that chronologically approach our time as the fossils begin to more closely resemble that of homo sapiens.  Huh.

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Honestly, what are the chances you would have morphed out of the mud and become an accomplished typist and shared with us all your liberal/progressive wisdom without some sort of guidance?

You're not properly grasping the mathematics here.  The odds of life appearing are very small; that's why out of quintillions of planets only at least one has been confirmed to have taken that leap.  The odds of intelligent life appearing are small enough that only one species out of hundreds of millions is currently definitely sentient.  Your question is akin to proclaiming that you cannot possibly win the lottery by chance.

And yet again, the fossil record and DNA analysis make it clear that our intelligent gradually developed over millions of years - where's the absurdity in that?  And you somehow find it less absurd to postulate, in true God of the Gaps fashion, a divine creator - whose own intelligence is even more difficult to explain.

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What separates us from the critters is consciousness. It's the thing that makes a lot of other words possible -- sorry, tardy, silly, foolish, embarrassed, happy. This is just a shirt-cuff list, but if you take away consciousness, they all go away. They disappear like they were never there.

Actually, studies have shown that animals can also feel such emotions, to a lesser degree of course.  It's not a unique development - ours is just much broader.

Quote

Please explain to me how the finest aspects of humanity evolved from the mud. Seriously, I'd love to see what you come up with.

Unlike you, I'm basing my evidence on fossil records, radiocarbon dating and genetics, not an emotional, wishy-washy "we're so special your theory doesn't seem right to me".  Your earlier miscalculation of statistics demonstrates that you don't have a very good understanding of math, let alone Evolutionary Theory.  You don't even bother attacking the hard evidence; fossils, genetics, radiocarbon dating, beyond intuitive judgments in a very counter-intuitive field.
« Last Edit: November 16, 2013, 04:34:28 PM by Sci Fi Fan »

Offline taxed

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Re: 5 Questions for Creationists
« Reply #3 on: November 16, 2013, 10:25:12 PM »
By “creationist” I am referring to those who prescribe to a religious creation story; specifically, my question is targeted towards Christian creationists.

1.   If God created humans and animals within a decently small timespan, why don’t we ever find homo sapiens fossils from the same era as Australopithecus?  We can see with hominid fossils that they come from different eras, and it just happens that as the dates approach the present, they become more and more similar to us.  It seems quite mightily convenient for Evolutionary Theory that we find a similar trend throughout every fossil hierarchy.  It doesn’t seem to fit with the Creationist stance that God created the animals at around the same time – why would they happen to exist in distinct eras with clear progressions from one set of fossils to the next?


2.   I’d asked earlier how creationists explain vestigial organs.  More specifically, why it happens that these vestigial organs happen to have had a purpose in earlier species Evolution predicts were ancestors.  Why would a Creator give animals vestigial organs in such a manner that so conveniently lines up with Evolutionary theory?  Is this Creator actively deceiving us?  And even in organs that do serve a purpose, I’m sure any first year medical student could list numerous organs just in the human body that could be made orders of magnitude more efficient. 

Indeed, many of our physical and mental traits seem uniquely adapted for survival in a hunter gatherer society, which makes absolutely no sense if you prescribe to Genesis, or any creator that would recognize we would eventually become agricultural and industrial.  Evolution not only explains but expects such imperfections, as natural selection is a slow, blind process, the nonrandom selection of random mutations.  But creationist theory has to perform mental gymnastics that reduce to “god works in mysterious ways”, or rather “occam’s razor can go fuck itself.”


3.   Why don’t Biblical creation stories mention Neanderthals and other sentient hominids?  You’d think this would be a pretty major point, that there were once other intelligent beings, presumably also with souls.  What happened to them? 


4.   Where are Creationism’s testable predictions?  It isn’t falsifiable – it is based on no observations and is not applicable to any other field.  Evolutionary Theory can be used to explain numerous phenomena in biology, biochemistry, psychology, neuroscience and animal science, while creationism is entirely self contained in that it makes no predictions and no observations.


5.   Building off of the last question, if, as with most creationists, your primary justification is some variant of the first cause argument, how do you extrapolate this to anything specific in your mythology?  How do you know God created Eve out of Adam’s rib, or that he created the plants before the stars?  Where does any of this come from?

I would invite any civil/rational responses.  Thank you.

Can a non-religious creationist, like myself, get in on this?

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Re: 5 Questions for Creationists
« Reply #4 on: November 17, 2013, 06:00:20 AM »
Can a non-religious creationist, like myself, get in on this?

Only if you promise to clean your boots when your done.
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Offline Sci Fi Fan

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Re: 5 Questions for Creationists
« Reply #5 on: November 17, 2013, 07:54:44 AM »
Can a non-religious creationist, like myself, get in on this?

Sure.  As long as you don't attack every one of my arguments for not properly representing your belief system, when it was obviously not directed at you.

Offline TboneAgain

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Re: 5 Questions for Creationists
« Reply #6 on: November 17, 2013, 11:15:59 AM »
Sure.  As long as you don't attack every one of my arguments for not properly representing your belief system, when it was obviously not directed at you.

Don't worry, taxed. He'll never attack your belief systems or attempt to shred your logic. He'll treat you really nice, the way he treats me.
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Offline Sci Fi Fan

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Re: 5 Questions for Creationists
« Reply #7 on: November 17, 2013, 11:23:36 AM »
Don't worry, taxed. He'll never attack your belief systems or attempt to shred your logic. He'll treat you really nice, the way he treats me.

Funny that you think it's somehow unethical to "shred your logic". 

I tremble in anticipation at your response.  It must be brilliant, since you think you know something 99% of actual biologists, zoologists and geneticists do not.  You know, those with thousands of hours of experience logged into study and research, compared to you, with your rebuttal being comprised of proclamations of your "gut feeling", warping of basic statistics and a lack of understanding of the scientific method?

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Re: 5 Questions for Creationists
« Reply #8 on: November 23, 2013, 10:56:32 PM »
Sure.  As long as you don't attack every one of my arguments for not properly representing your belief system, when it was obviously not directed at you.

What is my belief system, since you know it already? 

Offline Sci Fi Fan

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Re: 5 Questions for Creationists
« Reply #9 on: November 24, 2013, 07:57:18 AM »
What is my belief system, since you know it already?

I do not know.  All I'm warning you is that I fine-tailored my arguments to address orthodox Christian creationism, not whatever your belief system is.

Now, I would genuinely be interested in seeing what rebuttal you have in store that 99% of biologists, zoologists and geneticists have missed.  Or why the 72 Nobel prize winners who signed a petition to teach evolution in schools were mistaken.  Of course I can't base my position on arguments from authority, so again, whenever it's convenient for you, fire away.

Offline grace_note

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Re: 5 Questions for Creationists
« Reply #10 on: December 13, 2013, 08:57:16 AM »
I just have to take a moment to commend you on your response to TBone. Was a bit mean and aggressive,  but your points were spot on. It seems like most of the support for creationism is just fuzzy, feel good stuff. "Evolution just doesn't feel right..."

As good as it would make me feel to believe that the entire universe was created just for us, by an omnipotent supreme ruler of the universe whose image we're made in, I'm content accepting where the evidence leads, and I don't have to believe that my life is the most important thing in the universe in order to be happy and care about my life and the lives of others.

Offline supsalemgr

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Re: 5 Questions for Creationists
« Reply #11 on: December 13, 2013, 10:12:19 AM »
I just have to take a moment to commend you on your response to TBone. Was a bit mean and aggressive,  but your points were spot on. It seems like most of the support for creationism is just fuzzy, feel good stuff. "Evolution just doesn't feel right..."

As good as it would make me feel to believe that the entire universe was created just for us, by an omnipotent supreme ruler of the universe whose image we're made in, I'm content accepting where the evidence leads, and I don't have to believe that my life is the most important thing in the universe in order to be happy and care about my life and the lives of others.

Welcome to the board. However, please use the quote function when responding to a post.
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Offline Craig1974

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Re: 5 Questions for Creationists
« Reply #12 on: December 15, 2013, 05:47:20 AM »
I'm sure there are plenty of articles here that can attempt to quell your curiosity: http://www.apologeticspress.org/APContent.aspx?category=9

Offline Egg

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Re: 5 Questions for Creationists
« Reply #13 on: December 18, 2013, 10:21:26 AM »
I have always doubted claims by fundamentalists that they really believe the Creation story is a scientific description of how the universe and humans came into being.  I suspect that they see it as an allegory of how the universe was made - based on some reality ("Let there be light" sure sounds like the Big Bang to me) - but mostly designed to instruct us about our basic nature and to present a picture of our ideal self which should strive to return to.   

But then politics and the culture wars happen.  Atheists and anti-Judeo Christians attack the Creation story to attack all the contents in the Bible, and believers dig in around the Creation story as a bulwark against these attacks. 

So declarations of beliefs in Creationism - as well as those atrocious Darwin fish on cars - become cultural markers in ones membership in the culture wars.

Offline Sci Fi Fan

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Re: 5 Questions for Creationists
« Reply #14 on: July 28, 2014, 09:41:24 PM »
I have always doubted claims by fundamentalists that they really believe the Creation story is a scientific description of how the universe and humans came into being.

I've lived near fundamentalists.  Trust me; they actually believe in it.  The talking snake, and everything.

 

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