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Hip and Thigh: Smiting Theological Philistines with a Great Slaughter. Judges 15:8

Monday, November 21, 2011

Vintage Hip and Thigh

Squirrel asked in the comments of my last post whether or not the atheist I responded to ever got back to me.  I remember he did, and of course he was none too happy with me for my snarky response to him, but I forgot that I did write a follow-up post answering his claims.  I though I would digitally re-master it and post it as well.

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12 Angry Statements

angry

The other day I posted an article describing how I have incurred the rage of an angry and bitter anti-Christian. My antagonist initially emailed me to present 12 dogmatic statements he claims I cannot answer IF I affirm the inerrancy of God's Word.
My original response was a spoof played off the fact that all of his objections have been soundly answered by better men than myself. If he doesn't like the responses to his statements others have already provided, then he will certainly not accept mine.

That being stated, in order to prevent my emailer from gloating, I will respond to these statements to demonstrate how easily answered they are.
His original comments will be in Arial Bold.

To believe your bible in any translation(or original manuscripts) is inerrant & god breathed, here is what you must believe.
#1.A snake can talk(remember the snake was cursed to crawl on it's belly & eat dust.
#2.A donkey can talk.
#9.You have to believe god made the sun stand still when it already stands still or believe god stopped the rotation of the earth which anyone should know would be a disaster in many ways for earth.
#10.You have to believe Lot's wife turned into a pillar of salt which is unbelievable.

I took these set of statements out of sequence because they generally deal with miraculous interventions and extraordinary acts of providence by God. Biblio-skeptics tend to ignore the fact that the Bible presupposes the existence of God who has directly intervened in human history past.

Because the writers of the Bible treat their writing as an historical record of God's divine dealings with humanity, particularly God's redeemed people, I would only expect to read about extraordinary acts of God. In fact, if the Bible claimed to be a book recording the revelation of the divine, sovereign creator, yet contained no miraculous works by that creator in order to establish His divinity, then wouldn't it raise suspicion in the minds of its critics? Yet, my antagonist would just as easily hammer that point as a means of mockery.

The Bible claims to be a supernatural book with its source in the mind of our Creator. I expect it to tell of supernatural events. Why is that hard to believe unless you are unwilling to submit to the Creator who produced those supernatural events?

Looking at each point in turn.

#1 - First, the Bible says it was a serpent. The text is unclear as to what sort of animal that was. The idea of a snake is from the modern day and my antagonist is reading the concept of a modern day python back on to the text. Second, the serpent was satanically controlled. Third, it was cursed AFTER it talked, not before. And fourth, this was an unique, one time event never to be repeated.

#2 - Similar points apply with Balaam's donkey as with the snake. The Angel of the LORD was present when the donkey talked, even giving it the ability to rebuke Balaam.

#9 - Again, similar points apply as with #1 and #2. This was a one time event of extraordinary providence. If our Creator can create His world, He certainly can protect it from disaster when He reveals Himself in a miraculous, cosmological display, so as to deliver His people and bring a crushing blow against their enemies.

#10 -  There were supernatural events that took place in the historical past which show forth God's character as revealed in judgment, wrath, and even mercy. Additionally, the description being recorded here may be a metaphorical description explaining how Lot's wife was merely destroyed in the judgment of Sodom and Gomorrah because she tarried behind Lot. The text is not clear how far behind she may had been. Because she refused to take seriously the warnings of judgment delivered by the angels, she was overcome in the cities' destruction.

#3.That man was so stupid back then that he actually thought he could build a tower to heaven.

Nothing in the text suggests they were building a physical tower into heaven. The text says the people acted as one in rebellion to what God had commanded when he told humanity after the flood to spread over the earth. Instead, they worked together to build a great city with a tower with its top in the heavens. Basically a grand skyscraper probably constructed for the worship of false gods. There is nothing stupid about this given the fact the similar relics of ancient societies still exist today like the pyramids.

#4.You have to believe against any logical thinking that all those animals,incl,snakes & all different kinds of insects and enough food to feed all of them(different kinds of food)for almost one year would fit on an ark that size,which is impossible.
#5.You have to believe there was food for them to eat when they came off the ark even though the whole earth was supposedly covered in water.

The subject of the ark's dynamics and physical feasibility to accomplish what it did according to the biblical record of Genesis 6-8 is vast. There have been countless studies done and papers/books written demonstrating that the ark could carry all the animal kinds (not the entire species we see today), as well as enough food to feed them for a year. This statement is made from a position of scholarly ignorance by a person who is a anti-Christian bigot.

Interestingly, the T-bloggers recently wrote a lengthy critique of an anti-creationist book written by a similar religious bigot who mocks the historical record of the ark. There are also additional citations in response to like-minded critics in the footnotes.
Answers in Genesis also lists a plethora of articles detailing the physical reality of Noah's global flood and the feasibility of the ark.

Before moving on, I should note that my emailing antagonist told me in writing that he dismisses anything posted at AiG's website. "They're mind-controlled" so he claims and thus are unreliable. That's how an atheist/biblio-skeptic shores up his ignorance, by automatically poisoning anything his critics and opponents write. So much for free thinking and doing your homework and all.

#6.You have to believe in a flat earth because these supposedly inspired by god people said so back then.

Nothing in the biblical record suggest the earth is flat. This is anti-biblical urban myth.

#7.You have to believe the earth is 6 to 10,000 years old despite overwhelming proof it is much,much older,even if not 4.5 billion years old.

And what exactly is that overwhelming proof? The variety of radioactive dating methods are wildly inconsistent with each other when tested on just one sample. Moreover, dating methods are subject to speculative interpretations, interpretations that are driven by particular presuppositions, in this case naturalistic uniformitarianism. 

Again, AiG has a list of technical articles dealing with this issue, but remember, most skeptics refuse to interact with the data and information, but instead choose to attack ad hominem straw men versions of their critics whom they do not respect.

#8.You have to believe all those heavenly bodies out there that they are still finding were created in one literal day(morning & evening)that is despite the fact that even now they are finding suns,stars just now begining [sic] to form.

Usually the person who makes statements invoking the authority of modern day evolutionary cosmology are generally ignorant of the problems inherent to modern day evolutionary cosmology. He is also blissfully unaware of the in-fighting that exists between the proponents of various theories and models that are dreamed up to help explain away those problems.

For example, note the contradiction in his original statement. In #7 he speaks about the earth being 4.5 billion years old. The so-called billions of light years (a "light year" being a measure of distance, not time, by the way) are considered one of the reasons we believe in an old universe. However, in #8, my emailer suggests one solar day is way too short a time for suns and stars to form, especially now that we are finding stars just beginning to form. OK, how exactly would we see their light if they are just now beginning to form?

Discover magazine did an article on the youthful galaxies located by the Galex telescope that are 2 to 4 billion light years from earth, but began forming just 1 billion light years ago according to the telescope observations. In the March 2006 issue, a thoughtful reader wrote a letter to the editor expressing curiosity as to how we could even see their light? He writes,

"If the youthful galaxies located by the Galex telescope are 2 billion to 4 billion light-years from Earth but started forming less than 1 billion years ago, how can they be observed at all?"

In other words, it should have taken the light from these 1-billion-year-old galaxies 2 to 4 billion years to reach us. The editors at Discover responded thus:

Your question cuts right to one of the trickiest problems in cosmology: how to refer to the timing of events when there are many different ways to describe them. The conventional solution is to describe everything from the way we perceive it. In this case, that means that when we say that the galaxies started forming less than a billion years ago, we mean that the galaxies AS WE SEE THEM TODAY appear to have started forming less than a billion years ago. Put another way, when their light started heading toward Earth 2 billion to 4 billion years ago, these objects were less than a billion years old. That convention may seem confusing, but the alternatives are even more puzzling. For instance, it would be more comprehensive to say that these galaxies, located 2 billion to 4 billion light-years from Earth, appear to have begun forming less than 3 billion to 5 billion years ago, and then their light spent 2 billion to 4 billion years traveling toward us. More comprehensive, yes, but even harder to follow!

In other words, its a mystery that doesn't fit into the prescribe view of evolutionary cosmologists.

For my antagonist emailer, its easy for him to make fun of a biblical description of creation than deal with real problems of cosmology.

#11.You have to believe Lot had intercourse with 2 of his daughters on 2 different nights and knew it not.

This comment is strange. The text clearly states he was drunk out of his mind and unaware of what happened. Why is that hard to believe? Such things happen in Las Vegas all the time between total strangers.

#12.You have to believe Jesus was concieved [sic] without human intercourse this despite the fact that at least 20 other dying & resurrecting savior sun gods had this claimed of them long,long before the supposed time of Jesus,you claim them a myth but the same tale about Jesus true.

This is a woefully ignorant exaggeration of historical fact. In all of my private email interchanges with my antagonist, he always returned to cut-and-pasted articles from non-scholarly, atheistic websites that try desperately to tie Jesus to some ancient myth. Mithra is the favorite these days.

J.P. Holding of Tektonics has done some extensive research debunking these claims, even interacting with the world's literary experts on these various myths who also deny the connection between the alleged myth and the historical Jesus.

By the way, just like he rejects AiG out of hand, my emailing antagonist also rejects J.P. Holding because, a) "J.P." still goes by the alias he gave himself for security reasons when he worked with hardcore criminals in the state penitentiary where he was employed, and b) he was too mean and direct with my emailer when he was hassling him. Once again, such self-imposed blindness only reveals a heart angry at the God of scripture and who truly doesn't care for the truth.

So there you have it. I responded to each one of his charges and none of them disprove the inerrancy of the Bible. All we have are baseless charges just like they were asked decades ago, but have once again been proven wrong.

Labels: ,

35 Comments:

Blogger Bernd said...

In your response, I think that you may have made the original emailer's point for him. The emailer said, "to believe your bible in any translation(or original manuscripts) is inerrant & god breathed, here is what you must believe." This statement is followed by list of fantastic, supernatural and miraculous events.

Your response was that:

Yes, you believe that a donkey miraculously talked.

Yes, you believe that a whole series of miracles occurred as part of a global flood.

Yes, you believe that a human body was miraculously produced in the absence of sexual intercourse.

Yes, you believe that there were supernatural events that took place in the historical past.

So, yes, your belief that the Bible is inerrant is dependent on a belief that certain fantastic, supernatural and miraculous actually occurred. Well, this seems to be the point that “Mr. Atheist” was trying to make.

By the way, I read Woodmorappe’s book on the “feasibility” of the Noah’s Ark story, and even Woodmorappe acknowledges on the front cover of the edition that I own that this would have required miracles. So, what’s the point of a “feasibility study”? Once you’ve invoked a single miracle, you’ve admitted that the ark story is NOT “feasible”.

Now, you can “save” the story with appeal to miracles, but at that point, a discussion of “feasibility” becomes pointless. Again, inerrancy can only be maintained by a belief in of fantastic, supernatural and miraculous events. I certainly have no objection if you wish to believe thusly, but I think that Mr. Atheist may have had a point.

9:54 AM, November 21, 2011  
Blogger Fred Butler said...

Bernd writes,

... This statement is followed by list of fantastic, supernatural and miraculous events.

Inerrancy has to do with the reliability of the manuscripts, their transmission and preservation, not necessarily the stories contained in them.

Be that as it may, however, seeing that the Bible is a divinely revealed history book that tells of God's activities as He has revealed Himself to His people specifically, it is only certain that IT will contain the record of supernatural events. Like I stated, if the Bible was stripped of such events, Mr. Atheist would use their absence as proof of the Bible's lack of supernaturalness.

What Mr. Atheist has failed to do is demonstrate, given the Bible's testimony of it's divine quality, HOW those events he mentions are a) related to the doctrine of inerrancy, but b) why it is "stupid" to believe the testimony of such things, and I would add c) show that he has even the slight familiarity with Christians response to such responses in the past. I mean, I am not the first person to ever deal with these subjects, right?

Bernd writes,
So, yes, your belief that the Bible is inerrant is dependent on a belief that certain fantastic, supernatural and miraculous actually occurred.

All philosophical systems that shape a person's worldview, including atheism, have specific faith commitments to certain fantastic, even "supernatural and miraculous events." Cosmological evolution and abiogenesis being two of the greatest "faith" commitments Darwinians have to grapple with.

Bernd writes,
I read Woodmorappe’s book on the “feasibility” of the Noah’s Ark story, and even Woodmorappe acknowledges on the front cover of the edition that I own that this would have required miracles.

Does he mean to say that the physical ark was miraculous, or the events surrounding the story, i.e., global flood and the destruction of the antedeluvian world? I would see a difference.

4:40 PM, November 21, 2011  
Blogger Magister Stevenson said...

Quick Latin note: Aves Iratus should say Aves Iratae. The noun is both feminine and plural, so the adjective has to match.
Please continue

5:52 PM, November 21, 2011  
Blogger Fred Butler said...

Ahh. The angry bird illustration. I had no idea what you were referring to and kept thinking, "where did I use Latin?"

7:41 PM, November 21, 2011  
Blogger Bernd said...

“Inerrancy has to do with the reliability of the manuscripts, their transmission and preservation, not necessarily the stories contained in them.”

But if the stories are about things that didn’t actually happen, wouldn’t that make the manuscript errant? It’s all interconnected. If the events didn’t happen, the Bible isn’t inerrant, so you have to believe that the events happened.

Again, I believe that this was Mr. Atheist’s point. Do you think that Mr. Atheist was making a different point? If so, what do you think he was trying to say?

To put it another way, you must reject any attempt to test or disprove the hypothesis that these events occurred, because if it’s shown in some way that these events didn’t happen, inerrancy is out the window. No evidence can be accepted as disproving the hypothesis that the various supernatural events really happened. Isn’t this correct? Is there something here that I’m misunderstanding?


“Be that as it may, however, seeing that the Bible is a divinely revealed history book that tells of God's activities as He has revealed Himself to His people specifically, it is only certain that IT will contain the record of supernatural events.”

Ok, if the Bible is divinely revealed history book, then it will describe supernatural events. This doesn’t change the fact that you still have to believe that the particular and specific miraculous and supernatural events occurred in order to preserve inerrancy.


“What Mr. Atheist has failed to do is demonstrate, given the Bible's testimony of it's divine quality, HOW those events he mentions are a) related to the doctrine of inerrancy, but b) why it is "stupid" to believe the testimony of such things, and I would add c) show that he has even the slight familiarity with Christians response to such responses in the past.

a) It seems obvious how the events are related to inerrancy, so this much WAS demonstrated. To restate, if the events didn’t happen, then the Bible is not inerrant. Therefore, to sustain a belief in inerrancy, you must also sustain a belief that the miraculous and supernatural events happened. You can’t have one without the other.

b) Is it stupid to believe the testimony of such things? That’s a very interesting question. Personally, I can’t believe the testimony anymore, but I understand how one can come to believe the testimony if one begins with an absolute and untestable belief in inerrancy.

c) I have no idea about Mr. Atheist’s familiarity with the “Christian response”. Personally, I’ve observed a variety of Christian responses to the types of questions raised by Mr. Atheist.


"All philosophical systems that shape a person's worldview, including atheism, have specific faith commitments to certain fantastic, even "supernatural and miraculous events." Cosmological evolution and abiogenesis being two of the greatest "faith" commitments Darwinians have to grapple with.”

Well, I think that we may have different ideas about the definition of the words like “supernatural”, “miraculous” and “faith”. For example, I’m not sure how abiogenesis would have be a “supernatural” event. At this point in time, we just don’t know either way. Regardless, this is simply a “you, too” argument and does nothing to counter Mr. Atheist’s point.


“Does he mean to say that the physical ark was miraculous, or the events surrounding the story, i.e., global flood and the destruction of the antedeluvian world? I would see a difference.”

As far as I know, it’s not possible to build a wooden boat of the size of the ark, so the physical ark would require a miracle. Regardless, I don’t see a "difference". I don't see why it matters if it’s the physical ark that’s miraculous or some other event that’s tied to the ark that’s miraculous. It’s all of a piece, and miracles are required. One must believe in miracles and the story isn't "feasible" (using Woodmorappe's definition of feasible).

6:57 AM, November 22, 2011  
Blogger MagisterE said...

Sorry, should have made that clear. Latin is the log in my eye.
Enjoyed the article, though. You have become a regular stop for me.
Pax tecum,
Enoch

8:23 AM, November 22, 2011  
Blogger Fred Butler said...

Bernd writes,
But if the stories are about things that didn’t actually happen, wouldn’t that make the manuscript errant? It’s all interconnected. If the events didn’t happen, the Bible isn’t inerrant, so you have to believe that the events happened.

A while after I posted my remarks about inerrancy, I knew I would need to return to clarify what I mean. You are certainly correct about the truthfulness of the stories contained in the Bible. There is a problem if they are errant. But the larger focus of inerrancy is the textual integrity of the message as it is transmitted. The Bible could very well record lies or "errors" and the quality of that record is inerrant.

At any rate, I don't believe the Bible records "errors" and "mistakes" in the fashion Mr. Atheist claims, which I am sure is his point as you ask. In my response to Him, given the nature of what the Bible claims for itself, I merely pointed out that he didn't show how those stories were errant. He certainly complained they fell outside his sphere of experience, but he didn't show that they were in error. They are only in error as to what he thinks is "truth."

Continuing,
To put it another way, you must reject any attempt to test or disprove the hypothesis that these events occurred, because if it’s shown in some way that these events didn’t happen, inerrancy is out the window. No evidence can be accepted as disproving the hypothesis that the various supernatural events really happened. Isn’t this correct? Is there something here that I’m misunderstanding?

The Biblical record is an historical document recording these events. The criteria you set forth here is rather extreme for any historical document, let alone the Bible. If we scrutinized all historical documents in such a fashion as you suggest, no one could be certain about any events in ancient history, not just alleged supernatural ones. Such things leads to radical skepticism.

Continuing,
Ok, if the Bible is divinely revealed history book, then it will describe supernatural events. This doesn’t change the fact that you still have to believe that the particular and specific miraculous and supernatural events occurred in order to preserve inerrancy.

Like I noted, I would agree in part with what you are saying here. But whether one believes in the miraculous, supernatural events has really no bearing on whether they actually occurred and the accuracy of their record has been relayed to us intact. It would make no difference how certain those events were, Mr. Atheist would still reject them because he isn't looking to be convinced they are genuine. He rejects them because he hates God and Christians.

Jumping down a bit,
... I’m not sure how abiogenesis would have be a “supernatural” event. At this point in time, we just don’t know either way. Regardless, this is simply a “you, too” argument and does nothing to counter Mr. Atheist’s point.

Certainly it does. It reveals fundamental flaws in the manner in which Mr. Atheist evaluates whether something is "true." By default, he accepts Darwinian evolution as "true" while he has to accept, without question, many significant components to the Darwinian mythos that would be "miraculous." Such as complex, intelligent life evolving from non-life. A universe spring into existence against all laws of physics. Appealing to a "science of the gaps" argument only shows were Mr. Atheist's faith commitments truly are.


As far as I know, it’s not possible to build a wooden boat of the size of the ark, so the physical ark would require a miracle.

Seeing that no one has ever built a wooden boat the size of the ark and attempted to float it on the ocean, it is kind of presumptuous to say it is "not possible."

9:12 AM, November 22, 2011  
Blogger Bernd said...

“You are certainly correct about the truthfulness of the stories contained in the Bible. There is a problem if they are errant.”

Ok, it looks like we’ve cleared up the main points here. This takes care of most of what I was trying to address.


“The Bible could very well record lies or "errors" and the quality of that record is inerrant.“

I don’t follow what you are saying here? Could you give an example? I assume that you are not talking about stories about possible historical events.


“The Biblical record is an historical document recording these events. The criteria you set forth here is rather extreme for any historical document, let alone the Bible. If we scrutinized all historical documents in such a fashion as you suggest, no one could be certain about any events in ancient history, not just alleged supernatural ones. Such things leads to radical skepticism.”

Well, first, I think that there is a significant difference between claims in historical documents that require miracles and supernatural events and claims that don’t. For example, the Iliad makes claims about battles between Greeks and Trojans and also claims about the supernatural involvement of gods in these battles. I would guess that you are much more inclined to accept the claims about battles between humans as opposed to claims about gods. At least one can test the claims about battles by doing a little archeology, but claims about gods are essentially untestable. I would guess that it would take far more evidence or extraordinary evidence to convince you that the claim about gods are true as opposed to what you would require before you would accept the claims about battles. I assume that you do accept part of the document as reflecting actual history, but you reject other parts as fantastical and false. Perhaps the Bible is also part accurate history and part fantastical and false.

I think that it’s accurate to say that we can’t be absolutely, totally, 100% certain about anything in the historical record. However, I don’t think that this leads to “radical skepticism”, after all, there are many levels of confidence that fall between absolute certain and radical skepticism. It’s possible to do hypothesis testing with at least some parts of the historical record, and by this testing, we can have either more confidence or less confidence in the historical record. For example, the Book of Mormon makes claims about the history of North America that can be tested in a variety of ways, and as a result of this testing, we can reject the claims and hypotheses presented in the document. As another example, we have historical documents that say that there was a battle at Gettysburg in 1863, and we can test this claim by literally doing a little digging around. In this case, our digging is likely to increase our confidence in the historical record. Why can't we do the same with the Bible?

10:45 AM, November 22, 2011  
Blogger Bernd said...

“By default, he accepts Darwinian evolution as "true" while he has to accept, without question, many significant components to the Darwinian mythos that would be "miraculous."

One doesn't have to accept anything in science "without question". All conclusions are subject to disproof. There are no absolute truths in scientific theories.

I guess this comes down to how you define “miraculous”. Since we don’t actually know how life on Earth began, I think that it would be pre-mature to conclude that it would require something supernatural or miraculous.


“Seeing that no one has ever built a wooden boat the size of the ark and attempted to float it on the ocean, it is kind of presumptuous to say it is "not possible."

That’s right, no one has ever managed to build a wooden boat the size of the ark. Why not? Even in even the 18th and 19th centuries, at the height of wooden ship building, no one did this. Maybe that’s because it couldn’t be done. And yet we’re to believe that is was done in the Bronze Age? How do you build a boat during the Bronze Age to size that’s never been duplicated WITHOUT a miracle? Obviously, the physical ark itself requires a miracle.

I don’t know if saying this is presumptuous or not, but I’m pretty sure that a well-trained engineer would tell you that it can’t be done. Engineers are pretty good at determining the strength of materials and the feasibility of designs. if you trust them enough to drive over their bridges, you should probably trust them on this matter, too.

You know, I’ve always wondered why young earthers have never tried to build an ark. Surely they could raise enough money to build an ark and silence the critics. However, I suspect that if they tried, they wouldn’t like the results of the experiment.


“He rejects them because he hates God and Christians.”

I must say I find it tiresome when skepticism is viewed as “hating God”.

10:49 AM, November 22, 2011  
Blogger The Squirrel said...

"#11.You have to believe Lot had intercourse with 2 of his daughters on 2 different nights and knew it not."

"This comment is strange. The text clearly states he was drunk out of his mind and unaware of what happened. Why is that hard to believe? Such things happen in Las Vegas all the time between total strangers."

It's been four days, and this still cracks me up!

Squirrel

1:05 PM, November 22, 2011  
Blogger The Squirrel said...

That should have been "two days"

Don't know why I typed "four"

Planning ahead, maybe?

Squirrel

5:31 PM, November 22, 2011  
Blogger Fred Butler said...

I wrote,
“The Bible could very well record lies or "errors" and the quality of that record is inerrant.“

Bernd asks,
I don’t follow what you are saying here? Could you give an example? I assume that you are not talking about stories about possible historical events.

I am following from the distinction I made between the revealed contents and the quality of the manuscripts containing that content. In this instance, I am speaking to the quality of the manuscripts containing the content.

Continuing,
I assume that you do accept part of the document as reflecting actual history, but you reject other parts as fantastical and false. Perhaps the Bible is also part accurate history and part fantastical and false.

I accept the inerrancy of the Bible because it is a divinely revealed document tied directly to the character of the sovereign creator who inspired it. God has demonstrated himself time after time to be faithful, truthful, and trustworthy. The documents He reveals then contain truthful and trustworthy information. The documents you mention from the Greek annals do not necessarily claim to contain genuine history. They are more like Harry Potter novels written around historical events but told in a fantastic fashion. Scripture does not do this, but always reminds readers as God reveals Himself in later Revelation, to look back on what has certainly happened in history past. Passover is a good example of this.

... Why can't we do the same with the Bible?

Biblical archaeology does this all the time. Rather than finding the Bible in error, archaeologists, who are for the most part not friendly to the Bible, are constantly authenticating its history.

6:06 AM, November 23, 2011  
Blogger Fred Butler said...

Bernd
One doesn't have to accept anything in science "without question". All conclusions are subject to disproof. There are no absolute truths in scientific theories.

Hmmm. I happen to have encountered many Darwinians who would disagree with this assessment. They equate "theory" with provable fact.

Continuing,
I guess this comes down to how you define “miraculous”. Since we don’t actually know how life on Earth began, I think that it would be pre-mature to conclude that it would require something supernatural or miraculous.

Aliens maybe? Of course, that only pushes the problem back another step, because intelligent beings spreading their seed across the galaxy had to come from somewhere, too if we are going to maintain the evolutionary mythos.

Continuing,
That’s right, no one has ever managed to build a wooden boat the size of the ark. Why not?

Well, actually, the ancient mariners were quite the master ship builders, and they built massively large wooden ships, some even rivaling what was the ark. See here,

http://creation.com/the-large-ships-of-antiquity

Continuing,
I don’t know if saying this is presumptuous or not, but I’m pretty sure that a well-trained engineer would tell you that it can’t be done.

What about the well-trained engineers who say it can be done? The men who lend their talents to such groups like AiG are not well-trained engineers? This objection is like what I heard from the 911 truthers: A plane couldn't take down those buildings, well-trained engineers and demolition experts know better.

You know, I’ve always wondered why young earthers have never tried to build an ark. Surely they could raise enough money to build an ark and silence the critics. However, I suspect that if they tried, they wouldn’t like the results of the experiment.

Are you serious? http://arkencounter.com/

Lastly,
I must say I find it tiresome when skepticism is viewed as “hating God”.

I must say this last comment is really the heart of our disagreement. It is more than just "skepticism." Listen to Joe Nickell and Michael Shermer, and other similar "skeptic debunkers," and they are not just testing myths to see if they could be true. They are trying to hunt down God and destroy Him.

6:08 AM, November 23, 2011  
Blogger Bernd said...

“I am following from the distinction I made between the revealed contents and the quality of the manuscripts containing that content. In this instance, I am speaking to the quality of the manuscripts containing the content.”

Ah, so you’re talking about the equivalent of typos. Clear enough.


“I accept the inerrancy of the Bible because it is a divinely revealed document….”

How do you know it’s divinely revealed? If you are wrong, how could you tell? How can this be tested? What would accept as evidence against the hypothesis that the Bible is a divinely revealed document?


“The documents you mention from the Greek annals do not necessarily claim to contain genuine history. They are more like Harry Potter novels written around historical events but told in a fantastic fashion.”

Would the ancient Greek readers of the Iliad have viewed the Iliad in this manner? Does it say in the Iliad that “these are historical events but told in a fantastic fashion?” I know that this is how you chose to view the Iliad today, but what was the intent of those who created these accounts? Did they believe that the Greek gods were real, just as the Bible writers believed that the Bible god was real?


“Biblical archaeology does this all the time. Rather than finding the Bible in error, archaeologists, who are for the most part not friendly to the Bible, are constantly authenticating its history.”

I’m afraid that you are WAY off base here. ANE archeology has not been kind at all to the Old Testament. Not at ALL. Main stream archeologists now have very serious doubts about the accuracy of much of the OT.

And when we test the OT using geology, the results are absolutely devastating to the OT. Geology is so devastating that one is force to fall back on the dodge that you can’t test history because you weren’t there.


“Hmmm. I happen to have encountered many Darwinians who would disagree with this assessment. They equate "theory" with provable fact.”

In science, “fact” does not equal “absolute truth”. Whether you use the term theory or fact, it’s all still subject to disproof.


“Aliens maybe?”

Um, no, I was actually thinking of biochemical reactions.


“Well, actually, the ancient mariners were quite the master ship builders…”

I believe that the key phrase here is found in the footnotes. “Of course, we can never be 100% certain of the accuracy of any ancient document.” Exactly. When it comes to numbers and sizes, ancient authors exaggerated. This is well understood by historians. I would also note that authors of this article repeatedly note that “We are not given the dimensions of this ship”. How about some archeological evidence to support these dimensions?

By the way, did you note the size of the crews required to man these ships? Those crews were a tad bigger than eight people. And how many people do you suppose would be required to build such ships in the first place? Think it through. Stick to miracles.

8:16 AM, November 23, 2011  
Blogger Bernd said...

“What about the well-trained engineers who say it can be done? The men who lend their talents to such groups like AiG are not well-trained engineers? This objection is like what I heard from the 911 truthers: A plane couldn't take down those buildings, well-trained engineers and demolition experts know better.”

You are seriously comparing any engineer who says the Ark couldn’t have been sea-worthy to a “truther”? Seriously? Is this how you respond to anyone who questions your assertions? With insults?

I’d like to see your “well-trained engineers” publish their calculations in a journal peer-reviewed by other engineers. Until then, I think that the term “truther” may more accurately be applied to the AiG crowd, because these engineers MUST believe MUST believe that Noah built an ark while other engineers are free to examine the issue more critically.

There are plenty of Christian engineers out there besides your AiG engineers, so I’m sure that we could find some engineers who “don’t hate God” to do the analysis. I would seriously like to see this done. If you can find engineers who are not obligated to believe in Noah’s Ark to agree that the Ark could be built, then ok, the Ark could be built. There are still plenty of other miracles required in the flood story.


“Are you serious? http://arkencounter.com/”

Oh, right, I forgot about good old Ken Ham. So they ARE raising the money to build an ark. Excellent. Now, when they are done, all they will have to do is put it in the OCEAN during a MASSIVE storm. But that’s not what’s going to happen, is it? If I recall my geography correctly, Kentucky is a long way from the sea.

Let’s be honest, the Ark Encounter is about making money. It is not an experiment to test the hypothesis that Noah actually build an ark.



“They are trying to hunt down God and destroy Him.”

Are you sure that Shermer is really “trying to hunt down God and destroy Him”. Maybe Shermer just really thinks that the Christian god doesn’t exist or that certain events described in the Bible really didn't happen. If so, how else would you expect him to act?

In any event, it appears that you are generalizing from the actions of a few to draw conclusions about those you don't know. Should you jump conclusions about anyone who expresses skepticism? Doesn’t seem quite fair now, does it? Should I draw conclusions about Christians based on the actions of, oh, say, Pat Robertson or some other randomly chosen Christians?

8:20 AM, November 23, 2011  
Blogger Robert said...

Bernd,

I am an engineer and I don't work for AiG. Even before salvation, I never believed in evolution/darwinism because it doesn't make sense on so many levels. Whereas it makes a lot of sense that there is a Creator Who understands everything at a level that I can not even comprehend. That is because of all the things I have observed in the world...engineering, science, math - everything works too well for it all to have just happened.

The fact that you think some biochemical reactions just happened somehow on their own and poof everything appeared shows just how credible your thoughts are on the matter of creation.

Let me ask you a question...how did everything become so orderly here? Why can we reason? What basis do we have for reason? Where does that come from? Why are we able to perform calculations to build things that actually work?

Everything in the world points to the fact that there is a Creator and He knows all and has unlimited power. And then He actually took the time to tell us about Himself, even though we are just the work of His hands. Now you may deny Him because you don't want to be accountable to the one true, holy God, but that doesn't do anything to get you beyond the fact that everything is ordered in such a fashion to point you to the Creator.

And if that wasn't enough, He laid out many prophecies in His Word that have been fulfilled centuries after the time that His prophets decreed them. Once again, you can try to deny or suprress this evidence in order to avoid accountability, but just remember that once you die, you actually have to face your Creator. And either you can bear the punishment for your sins, or you can put your faith in Jesus Christ and repent of your sins so that His perfect life may be imputed to you and your sins imputed to His atoning death on the cross. I pray that the latter may be true...

9:13 AM, November 23, 2011  
Blogger Bernd said...

"I am an engineer and I don't work for AiG."

Good. Do you think that Noah built a 450-foot long ark? I'm trying to find an engineer who is not committed to young earth creationism and who cannot be accused of "hating God." This way, maybe we can get a fair assessment as to the likelihood that an ark could be built without a miracle.


"The fact that you think some biochemical reactions just happened somehow on their own and poof everything appeared shows just how credible your thoughts are on the matter of creation."

Oh, I don't know if this happened or not, but I think it's premature to rule out the possibility. I know some folks who work in this field. Let's wait and see what they come up with. Until then, I'm something of an agnostic on the subject of where the first cells came from.

By the way, evolution isn't about "poofing". But as long as we're on the subject, have you ever seen God "poof" an organism into existence?


"Why can we reason?"

Can dogs reason? I'm not being flippant. There's a point to this question.


"Everything in the world points to the fact that there is a Creator and He knows all and has unlimited power. And then He actually took the time to tell us about Himself".

A creator? Maybe.

A creator that flooded the Earth around 4500 years ago? I don't think so. So, if this is what you think that the creator told some guy named Moses, then you've lost me, because everything in the world points to the conclusion that it didn't happen. Could be that there's a creator, but if so, I doubt if us humans have heard from her.


"Once you die, you actually have to face your Creator."

And doesn't it strike you as odd that an entity capable of creating universes and reasoning biololgical organisms and all of the the other amazing things attributed to this entity would care so much about whether or not said reasoning organisms can make the right guesses about the nature of said creating entity? Why would an entity with such power chose to torture imperfect creatures for all eternity when said imperfect creatures guess wrong about the creator? After all, we're only human.

When I use the reasoning power that you say that the creator gave me, this simply doesn't make any sense to me.

11:48 AM, November 23, 2011  
Blogger Ron (aka RealityCheck) said...

Brace yourself Robert you’re about to enter bazaaroland where the Ark is too complicated for Noah to build without a miracle but something as complicated as a cell could have just happened.

ROFL

2:41 AM, November 24, 2011  
Blogger Ron (aka RealityCheck) said...

”Can dogs reason?"

Not with an atheist… no one can.

3:06 AM, November 24, 2011  
Blogger Fred Butler said...

Bernd, you don't go by the alias "David" do you? Your profile is conveniently unavailable. At any rate,

Bernd asks,
You are seriously comparing any engineer who says the Ark couldn’t have been sea-worthy to a “truther”? Seriously? Is this how you respond to anyone who questions your assertions? With insults?

There is nothing insulting about that. My comparison centers around the dogmatic certainty they offer. Just like Truthers who claim skyscrapers could never collapse under such conditions, the same ark denying engineers are going to be dogmatically certain about something they can never test.

I’d like to see your “well-trained engineers” publish their calculations in a journal peer-reviewed by other engineers. Until then, I think that the term “truther” may more accurately be applied to the AiG crowd, because these engineers MUST believe MUST believe that Noah built an ark while other engineers are free to examine the issue more critically.

There are well-trained engineers who have published calculations. I shouldn't have to do this search for you. You are making the claim there are none, but without seriously considering what is available. The Navy, for example, actually did research on the feasibility of the ark. I want to say it was a NOVA documentary, which is not favorable to anything biblical.

Ironically, your very own objection is biased: For example, you assume creationists are NOT well-trained or have published in peer review journals. You also assume that non-creationist engineers are unbiased and are objective. This may be a revelation to you, but there isn't an unbiased, uncritical person anywhere on the planet. A non-AIG engineer writing critically against the feasibility of the ark certainly has a bias. You are being naive not understand this reality.

Oh, right, I forgot about good old Ken Ham. So they ARE raising the money to build an ark. Excellent... Let’s be honest, the Ark Encounter is about making money. It is not an experiment to test the hypothesis that Noah actually build an ark.

I actually know Ken, along with a number of the degreed professionals and educators associated with AiG. You are woefully mistaken if you think Ken and AiG are a bunch of bunko artists looking to scam people out of their money. Talk about the insults and ad hominem. Geesh.

Are you sure that Shermer is really “trying to hunt down God and destroy Him”.

Yes. I know his extended family, who attends my church. He is very much on a mission to destroy God. By the way, he is not a trained expert in any of the subjects he writes on. He is a philosopher.

Should I draw conclusions about Christians based on the actions of, oh, say, Pat Robertson or some other randomly chosen Christians?

It depends. However, skepticism has its reasons. Skeptics have turned their debunking into a business and a mission. It's not to discover the truth, but it is an attempt to discredit faith.

9:49 AM, November 24, 2011  
Blogger Fred Butler said...

I don't have time this weekend to mess with this. I am under the suspicion that you are my notorious nit-picky atheist from last year and I don't have the patience to answer every objection, especially when it's been dealt with on previous occasions. I'll zero in on a few.

I wrote.
“Biblical archaeology does this all the time. Rather than finding the Bible in error, archaeologists, who are for the most part not friendly to the Bible, are constantly authenticating its history.”

I’m afraid that you are WAY off base here. ANE archeology has not been kind at all to the Old Testament. Not at ALL. Main stream archeologists now have very serious doubts about the accuracy of much of the OT.

Oh really? And your expertise in the literature and research is...? I would imagine it would be a waste of time to recommend sources that would contradict your assertion here, because you will find some means to dismiss them, but I'll just summarize and say, you don't know what you're talking about.

And when we test the OT using geology, the results are absolutely devastating to the OT. Geology is so devastating that one is force to fall back on the dodge that you can’t test history because you weren’t there.

Again, your expertise in making this assertion of devastation is...? You genuinely know what you're talking about or you are dependent upon other authorities? That's fine, because I am, too, but we need to recognize our sources and the commitment we place in them.

Um, no, I was actually thinking of biochemical reactions.

Self-organizing, replicating biochemical reactions that produce complex genetic information? Just happened? You need to stick to "miracles."

11:20 AM, November 24, 2011  
Blogger Bernd said...

Ron,

“Not with an atheist… no one can.”

So we choose insult over argument. Brilliant.


Fred,

“Self-organizing, replicating biochemical reactions that produce complex genetic information? Just happened? You need to stick to "miracles."

No, it doesn’t “just happen”. If it happens, it’s because of the way the natural world happens to work. “Self-organizing biochemical reactions” happen all of the time. What makes the scientific study of abiogenesis different is that it’s testable. As you would say, you don’t know what you’re talking about.


“Just like Truthers who claim skyscrapers could never collapse under such conditions, the same ark denying engineers are going to be dogmatically certain about something they can never test. “

Nothing insulting about comparing people to Truthers? Hmm, I’m not so sure.

Who’s offering dogmatic certainty? How much clearer can I be? This is something that can really, truly, actually be tested. Of course, it can be tested. Build an ark. Write a peer-review paper with a testable model. Engineers are very, very good at creating and testing models based on strength of material, etc. For crying out loud, they build skyscrapers based on these models.

If it turns out that an ark can be built, I have no problem acknowledging it. Just SHOW me. That’s all I ask. Science is about disproof, so disprove the hypothesis that an ark cannot be built. If an ark can built, then so be it. Until then, based on the actual and well-documented experiences of ship builders over the last several centuries, I think that skepticism is warranted for several reasons already given. Remember, we’re talking about a handful of Bronze Age tribesmen from an area without a history or technology for building massive ships. My skepticism is based on evidence and reason, not dogma. This isn’t “trutherism”.

As I said, even if an ark can be built, this doesn’t change the fact that even Woodmorappe acknowledges that the flood story requires miracles. What’s the big deal about acknowledging that miracles are required? I don’t understand. You shouldn’t have any problem with miracles. Why so adamant that Noah could build and ark without miracles? I’m genuinely confused here.


“There are well-trained engineers who have published calculations. I shouldn't have to do this search for you. You are making the claim there are none, but without seriously considering what is available. “

I’m talking about something that is peer-reviewed in an engineering journal. Why is this too much to ask? If the calculations are solid, then the article would be publishable. Engineers are not “Darwinists” and there are plenty of Christians editing engineering journals. So, where’s that paper?


“Ironically, your very own objection is biased: For example, you assume creationists are NOT well-trained or have published in peer review journals. “

Is this bias? Where is the peer-reviewed article in an engineering journal? Is it bias if this article doesn’t exist? Or is it just stating the facts? I didn't not say that creationists are not well-trained or that they have not published in peer reviewed journals. I'm saying that they have not published calculations specifically about the ark in peer-reviewed engineering journals.


“This may be a revelation to you, but there isn't an unbiased, uncritical person anywhere on the planet.”

Really, I’m shocked, shocked to learn this.

So, now you have to turn to an argument that leads to the conclusion that we can’t draw conclusions about anything. You have a bias, I have a bias, so all we have in the end are our opinions. I reject your conclusion because you’re biased. You reject my opinions because I’m biased. What’s the point? This is not very helpful, and I don’t understand why YEC folks always go for the “no one is unbiased” argument.

8:33 AM, November 25, 2011  
Blogger Sir Aaron said...

I always get a kick out of these atheist responses.

The Noah's ark one always confounds me. Somebody in the Netherlands already built one. Second, I believe that God could have told Noah to build a rubber life raft and (a) he would have built it despite not having invented rubber and (b) it would have withstood the storms and (c) it would have carried any amount of animals God deemed fit. Personally, I think that building an ark was done for the benefit of Noah and as judgment to the people living around him. God could have preserved Noah and all the animals in 100 different ways, including making a boat magically appear.

BTW, didn't a guy in the Netherlands actually build an ark? Doesn't it sit on a dutch river?

9:01 AM, November 25, 2011  
Blogger Bernd said...

(I may have made a mistake in submitting the second part of my answer. Here it is again, to the best of my ability to reconstruct it. If the original Part 2 made it through, then this can be deleted.)


“I actually know Ken, along with a number of the degreed professionals and educators associated with AiG. You are woefully mistaken if you think Ken and AiG are a bunch of bunko artists looking to scam people out of their money. Talk about the insults and ad hominem. Geesh.”

Actually, I don’t think that Ham is bunko artist, because I think that he really believes this nonsense. Regardless, isn’t it accurate to say that Ken Ham wants to make money?

Is Ken Ham going to put his ark in the ocean? No. Is this an experimental test of the Noah’s Ark hypothesis? No, it is not. So, Ham’s Ark Encounter is not relevant to the question of the feasibility of the ark.


“It depends. However, skepticism has its reasons. Skeptics have turned their debunking into a business and a mission. It's not to discover the truth, but it is an attempt to discredit faith.”

Again, my objection is to the tiresome generalizations. Do you think that all skeptics “hate God”? Do you think that anyone who asks question is out to “discredit the faith”? You don’t know me very well.


“I'll just summarize and say, you don't know what you're talking about. “

I think that I’ve done far more reading than you realize. I don’t think that I’m that far off base when I say that it is the consensus of practicing ANE archeologists that much of the early history of the OT is contradicted by the archeological evidence.

But hey, give me some sources, and I’ll look into it. I’ve changed my mind many times in my life. Do you have anything that is published in peer-reviewed, mainstream journal?


“You genuinely know what you're talking about or you are dependent upon other authorities? That's fine, because I am, too, but we need to recognize our sources and the commitment we place in them. “

Again, I think I’ve done far more reading than you realize.

So now we get to the “authorities” argument. Ad hominem, anyone? All you can do is question “authorities”? No doubt the next step is to talk about the bias of authorities, so it’s back to “my bias, your bias”, and no one can know anything.

Look, I understand that you believe what you believe, and there is nothing that I can say to change it. But the vast, vast majority of Christian geologists think that the geological evidence contradicts the global flood hypothesis. Perhaps you should ask the question…why do they think this? Why have the vast, vast majority of CHRISTIAN geologists come to the conclusion that geology is devastating to a literal OT and the flood myth?

Here’s my bottom line. I grew up in a Baptist church believing that Noah’s Ark was a true story. I had no reason to question it at the time, and there was no benefit to questioning it later. Certainty feels better than doubt. Asking questions did not make me a popular person within the church or within my family.

But as time passed, I couldn’t ignore the physical realities of the physical world around me. Eventually, the more I learned, the more the flood story fell apart. It just didn’t make sense. Too many things that I could see around me didn’t fit the story. All of it stopped making sense. The flood story didn’t make sense, eternal damnation didn’t make sense, the Trinity didn’t make sense. None of it made sense. I would much prefer to not have doubt. As I said, certainty feels better than doubt. But the world is what it is.

9:28 AM, November 25, 2011  
Blogger Bernd said...

"Somebody in the Netherlands already built one."

According to the New York Times:

"The ark is built on 25 steel barges drawn together to form a basin. A heavy steel frame keeps it rigid."

http://www.nytimes.com/2011/05/30/world/europe/30ark.html

The magic word is "steel".


"Second, I believe that God could have told Noah to build a rubber life raft and (a) he would have built it despite not having invented rubber and (b) it would have withstood the storms and (c) it would have carried any amount of animals God deemed fit."

Yes, so the feasibility of the ark is irrelevant. Again, somewhere in the Noah story, you're going to need miracles, and that shouldn't be a big deal for a fundamentalist Christian. So, why complain about "bias" and "dogmatic engineers"? Your argument for why you think Noah's Flood occurred isn't based on feasibility. Why fuss when someone says that the ark wasn't feasible?

You don't need no stinkin' feasibility. When the skeptic says the flood story isn't feasilbe, just shrug and say "miracle". This takes care of any problem with the infeasibility of the story. From the way people react with someone says the ark isn't feasible, one might get the impression that you all are embarrassed about the need for miracles or maybe you have your own doubts about the story itself.

10:20 AM, November 25, 2011  
Blogger Ron (aka RealityCheck) said...

Bernd, (David), whoever,

So we choose insult over argument. Brilliant.

I don’t know if I would go as far as to say “Brilliant” but once it becomes obvious that a person is only arguing for the sake of arguing, than it does seem like a better choice.

Sir Aaron,

”…atheist responses…The Noah's ark one always confounds me”

That’s because you have this nasty habit of trying to make sense of things, when their goal is just the opposite. Read these two verses and call me in the morning:

Proverbs 9:10 and Romans 1:21
;-)

2:05 PM, November 25, 2011  
Blogger Bernd said...

"I don’t know if I would go as far as to say “Brilliant” but once it becomes obvious that a person is only arguing for the sake of arguing, than it does seem like a better choice."

Only arguing for the sake of arguing? Not at all. Yes, to some extent, argument is an intellectual exercise and I enjoy the game. But I am also very definitely arguing to make a point or I'm arguing because I think that you may be mistaken about something. You know, it's the SWOTI problem.

For example, in the case of this post, I'm arguing that Mr. Atheist had a point when he said that innerracy requires belief in fantastical, miraculous and superntural things. This is not arguing for the sake of arguing. This is point that goes to the heart of the original post, and think that this point has now been clearly made.

However, if you have no argument yourself, then I understand why you might need to fall back on insult.

Tell me, how is insult consistent with the commandant to love?


"That’s because you have this nasty habit of trying to make sense of things, when their goal is just the opposite."

Oh, nonsense. The whole point of science is to make sense of the world. Doesn’t always succeed, but that IS the goal of the exercise.


With respect to your Bible verses, well, what else would you expect an allegedly sacred scripture to say? It’s standard stuff for religious and theological thinking. If you question the faith, you must be “foolish” or your heart must be “darkened”. Never question, never doubt. This is just a form of human-invented mind control.

You have to remember that HUMANS wrote the Bible, so the key to understanding the Bible is that it's a HUMAN creation. Look at the Bible that way, and suddenly, it makes a whole lot more sense.

Why would an entity capable of creating universes have the human flaw of needing others to glorify or worship or fear it? For crying out loud, if you could create universes, why would you care about a the attitude of a single species on a single planet?

However, if you think about how humans behave, this makes more sense. WE want others to fear, glorify and worship US. So, we assume that the same is true of gods, and we attribute these human traits to our gods. See? Now it makes sense.

8:18 AM, November 26, 2011  
Blogger Sir Aaron said...

@Bernd:

Yeah, did you read the entire story? The guy said it would have been easier to build an all wood ark but couldn't due to government safety standards. So it does seem possible to build one, doesn't it.

But you are right. I don't need a feasability study. For all I know, the ark could very well have had the buoyancy of an anchor. Nor would I argue that a worldwide flood isn't feasible. Of course it isn't feasible without God's hand. Just like healing a blind man with spit and dirt isn't feasible.

But my answers to the skeptic (and to you) would be a tad bit different than Fred's. My answer to "you have to believe X" is always, "Yes, that is what I believe." But Fred is right. Christianity has been around for over 2,000 years and before that, Judiasm for a lot longer. So the objections are not exactly original, are they?

8:31 AM, November 26, 2011  
Blogger Sir Aaron said...

Ron:

You always crack me up. I hope we have the good pleasure of meeting sometime. We'd have a good time.

You're right, of course.

8:33 AM, November 26, 2011  
Blogger Ron (aka RealityCheck) said...

”Tell me, how is insult consistent with the commandant to love?”

Careful Bernd, (David), whoever,… if you keep making moral judgments someone might just ask you to provide an objective basis for them?

9:56 PM, November 26, 2011  
Blogger Ron (aka RealityCheck) said...

Sir Aaron,

”I hope we have the good pleasure of meeting sometime.”

Yeah, and maybe we can bring “Bernd” along so we’ll have someone to keep us entertained. lol

10:01 PM, November 26, 2011  
Blogger Bernd said...

Sir Aaron,

“Yeah, did you read the entire story? The guy said it would have been easier to build an all wood ark but couldn't due to government safety standards. So it does seem possible to build one, doesn't it.”

Yes, I read the entire story, but do you see the implications of the safety standards? I understand that not every single safety standard may be absolutely needed to ensure. However, the reason we have safety standards is because, generally speaking, NOT following the safety standards creates an UNsafe product, in this case, it might create a boat that would sink. The standards exist to prevent people from creating hazardous products or outcomes. I’m quite sure that it’s “easy” to build and UNsafe ark, but that’s not exactly a demonstration of feasibility, is it?


“But you are right. I don't need a feasibility study. “

So, we are largely in agreement then. Nothing about the ark and flood story needs to be feasible. You believe this fantastic story, because you believe that the Bible is the inerrant word of God. Good enough, I understand, and that seems to settle the matter.

What puzzles me is why folks tend to bristle a bit when someone says that the Noah story isn’t feasible. Why should young earthers or literalist care if it’s feasible? What’s the point of even trying to demonstrate that any aspect of the story is feasible? I don’t get it. Why is there a need for a long drawn out response when Mr. Atheist says you must believe the following amazing things? Just embrace the fantastic!


“So the objections are not exactly original, are they?”

I’m pretty sure that I never claimed the objections were original. Neither the objections nor the reflexive answers are original.


Ron,

“Careful Bernd, (David), whoever,… if you keep making moral judgments someone might just ask you to provide an objective basis for them?”

I don’t think that you understood my point. My beliefs are actually irrelevant to the question.

The question is this. Given that YOU believe that God has given you a command to love, do YOU believe that YOUR behavior in these exchanges is consistent with that command? I have used the word “insult” to describe your behavior, but that’s just a convenient descriptive term. This term could carry moral judgment or it could merely describe an action or behavior. Again, call it what you wish, do you believe that your behavior is consistent with a command to love? Or could it be that the Bible itself is inconsistent in terms of how it tells us to behave?


“Yeah, and maybe we can bring “Bernd” along so we’ll have someone to keep us entertained. “

Well, I was hoping for more of something resembling a reasoned argument, but as Sir Michael Philip Jagger once said, you can’t always get what you want.

10:37 AM, November 27, 2011  
Blogger Ron (aka RealityCheck) said...

”My beliefs are actually irrelevant to the question”

Wrong! Your beliefs couldn’t be more relevant to the question(s) you ask, as it is those beliefs that lead to your questions. For example, you have blathered on about Noah’s Ark not being feasible for days now. You are so desperate on this matter that you are now grasping at straws over “safety standards” for another Ark being built. Is it honestly that hard for you to comprehend that a man, with the help of his three grown sons, their wives, his wife, maybe others helping, (hired and/or otherwise), could build such a thing in 70 +/- years (25,000 days!)? Seriously? And as I pointed out before, at the same time you struggle to believe this, you have no problem believing in the most fantastic story ever told, that something, without any guidance, came out of nothing, and given enough time, turned into everything. A story so ridiculous that one of the world’s most famous atheist, Richard Dawkins, is now on record for suggesting that maybe aliens are somehow involved. Have you ever heard of, “You strain out a gnat but swallow a camel”? Jesus said it describing the hypocrisy of the Pharisees. That’s you! You can’t (or more accurately, won’t) believe the Ark story, but everything out of nowhere, no problem.

So now what was your question? Do I believe that my behavior in dealing with your nonsense is consistent with the command to love? Yeah… I do. I think you need some tough love buddy. I think that someone needs to come along and tell you that while you’re patting yourself on the back asking all these silly questions, in reality, you’re making a fool out of yourself. Worse than that, the clock is tickin’ and you don’t know what breath will be your last. The good news is, we’ve all played the fool here and if you’re reading this, you still have time. Time to stop running away from the Savior, who died for all your (our) foolishness (sin) and get yourself in a position where you can ask Noah himself how he built that Ark. I’ll be praying for you.

1:07 AM, November 28, 2011  
Blogger Bernd said...

“You are so desperate on this matter that you are now grasping at straws over “safety standards”.

Did this Dutch fellow build and all-wood ark and put it into the ocean or not? Yes or no?

Grasping at straws? You clearly prefer making a lot of noise to reasoned response.

Why do we have safety standards? These are not random and arbitrary things. There are good engineering reasons for safety standards, but you prefer to ignore this. You ignore the reality that standards are put into place to prevent the construction of UNsafe vessels.


“Is it honestly that hard for you to comprehend that a man..."

We have a handful of people living a subsistence existence in a Bronze Age tribal society with no history of building large ships. Noah doesn't have 25,000 days free for ark building. Noah and his kin would have to work full time just to stay alive, let alone build a wooden ship that even modern technological societies have failed to duplicate. Yes, it is difficult to comprehend for this reason and for other reasons that I have given. You’ve mostly ignored the reasons that I have provided. All I get from you is ranting.

Is it really so hard for you to see why the ark story might be difficult to comprehend? If this is so feasible, then build the ark and put it to sea. This is easy to settle, and I’ve made it clear that there are ways in which I could be convinced that an ark is feasible. I’m not desperate. Build an ark, and you’ll convince me. You’ve chosen to ignore my willingness to accept feasibility if it can be demonstrated.

Why do desperate to proof feasibility? Have you no faith? Why not embrace the miracle?


“You have no problem believing in the most fantastic story ever told, that something, without any guidance, came out of nothing, and given enough time, turned into everything.”

More tu quoque.

You clearly have failed to read my comments. Check again for my comments about creators and abiogenesis. Note the use of the words “maybe” and “agnostic”. You repeatedly ignore my words.

I don’t know where “everything” came from. Neither do you. Substituting the word “God” for ignorance doesn't answer the question.


"Do I believe that my behavior in dealing with your nonsense is consistent with the command to love? Yeah… I do.”

Could you please define love? What are its traits, characteristics and defining properties? Are you obligated to love at all times? You can start with I Corinthians 13. Is love ever rude, insulting and demeaning? (I must also add that I find it difficult to reconcile love with killing babies, but I digress.)


“I think you need some tough love buddy.”

You are not providing “tough love”. You’re just cloaking your stomping around in the word “love”. Do it in the name of heaven, justify it in the end. In a different era, you’d be showing me love by insisting that I be imprisoned and possibly executed.

When you responded to my question …”Can dogs reason?" with “Not with an atheist, no one can”… I’m supposed to consider this “love”? Sorry, but I ain’t feelin’ it. Look, insult and sneering are often a part of exchanges such as this one, and that’s fine. I can sneer and insult, too. But let’s not call it love, ok? It degrades the meaning of the word.


“Worse than that, the clock is tickin’ and you don’t know what breath will be your last.”

Sigh. In the end, these discussions always devolve into this. Threats and fear. Believe like me or you’ll be tortured forever. No questioning and no doubts allowed. Very sad.

It’s sad that Christianity is ultimately about fear, fear and more fear. It’s about threats of torture and attempts to instill feelings of dread and horror. No love. No love at all.

None of these addresses the key question. Does it even make sense?

7:13 AM, November 30, 2011  
Blogger Sloan said...

I've read through these comments and I note the repeated attempts to imply that modern replicas are somehow demonstrative of the feasibility of Noah's Ark. Wikipedia has a nice compendium of the largest wooden ships ever constructed:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_world's_largest_wooden_ships

I find it interesting that the largest ships that are historically verified are no larger than about 100-115 meters (the Ark was at least 130 meters). The notes indicate that these ships, constructed in the late 18th/early 19th centuries, had to be reinforced with steel bands and other materials and technologies presumably unavailable in Noah's time...and they still suffered from structural and stability problems affecting their seaworthiness.

In order to conduct a thorough test of -- well, let's just call it the Ark Hypothesis -- modern efforts at building an Ark need to be conducted using Bronze Age materials and methods, and then the boat needs to be floated on the open ocean. None of the examples cited meet these conditions, so let's please just admit that the hypothesis remains untested. Ken Ham is not building a floatable Ark, and neither is the Dutch guy.

11:03 AM, November 30, 2011  

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