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Posted by Andy™ on October 27, 2000 16:26:06 UTC

sorry about how long this is. I hope you read it all, though.

I may be wrong (I have not read the Bible), but didn't God directly intervene with Moses and the 7 Deadly Plagues?

Actually, if you look closely at the plagues, they were all natural occurrences, with the possible exceptions or the death of the first born and the blood turned to water. The locusts, flies, gnats, hail and fire, frogs, darkening of the sky etc. are all perfectly explainable. So, yes you're right, God has intervened rarely. I spoke too broadly. My point was, his intervention is not for his own amusement, apparently.

I'm sure I've heard of other instances in the past, but it's 2 am and none come to mind. My point - God was the reason for a lot of things in the past. Humans have moved explanations of our world away from God(s) and toward science.

No, God (or gods) was not the reason for all things in the past, God was the purpose people associated with occurrences, because their technology was insufficient to explain the phenomena. Same thing you said, just with a little clarification. Just because the people of the time had insufficient means to explain events and therefore logically applied them to a superior being, however does not trump the possibility of a superior being or that beings possible intervention. The fact that we now can explain most occurrences via scientific means simply shows humanities growth in knowledge. No application or non-application of events to a deity proves or disproves that deities existence.

Our ancestors were perfectly happy with their explanation/interpretation of God and worldly phenomena. You are also perfectly happy with your explanation/interpretation.

And you are wrong. I am very dissatisfied with my explanation/interpretation and most others developed in this world. I believe we should continue to study and clarify.

But, my friend, it is exactly that - an explanation (not even based on hard proven science or scientific data) and an interpretation (one that has probably evolved as you aged).

Actually most of my reasoning I use recently has been developed recently. Your statement that my explanations aren't based on scientific data is intriguing to me. Especially since in my previous post I categorically stated that most events are explained scientifically to some degree of accuracy, but some events are unexplainable via physical means (such as the two plagues you mentioned) I consider myself to be quite scientific. I don't create opinions to follow based solely on theology. I trust scientific analysis more often than not, but again, there are events that cannot be explained scientifically. How is that admission so far away from scientific data? As soon as you figure out how all water in a region can turn to blood, or some unknown can fly through a city killing only males born first who are in no way related to each other, you let me know.

Sure God doesn't govern our lives now… but he did in the past, again I'm sorry I can't back this up with evidence, but I hope some other people on this forum can.

God has never governed our lives, now or in the past. As for other gods, according to legend, they could (and did) control people's actions quite often. God has intervened (rarely) and he has given guidelines with which we can live our lives if we so choose, but he hasn't governed our lives directly. I'd recommend you read some of the bible. Most atheists agree that it is a stimulating book.

What made God suddenly so distant?

Nothing.

Maybe, using your ideas about 6 days being 15.75 billion years, his pizza's ready (and has been for 2000 or so earth-years) and he has to go get it out of the oven…

Are you familiar with relativity? Don't be ashamed if you're not, it's an extremely complex theory that most people (including me) haven't a full grasp on. Simply put, time is relative to position and velocity.

That is, if you were on a planet much much larger than this one, and you were going much much faster, three years could pass here, and only three minutes pass there. It's quite incredible, and some say unbelievable, but ever accurate test performed on it show it to be a law.

Things that seem to defy scientific explanation are very interesting to me. I've yet to find one that actually does, though. Care to share some? And the one that are frauds - doesn't the fact that they're frauds mean they really are explainable scientifically by default?

Yes, the events that are shown to be frauds are explainable scientifically. I thought I implied that, but I must not have been clear, I apologize. I'd love to share a personal instance of a "miracle" in my own life. I believe, though, that I've already posted it elsewhere recently on this forum. If I have, I'd rather hunt it up and refer you to it than retype the whole thing. I'll get back to you on that one, alright?

By the way, I'd be careful about listening to people's stories of their miracles. many people don't even try to explain odd instances by physical means as I do. Many are just searching for a miracle. When they tell their story, the spin on it is to make it sound supernatural. You must break the story down to its basic elements and evaluate it.

Dictionary.com says:
mir·a·cle (m r -k l) n.
1. An event that appears inexplicable by the laws of nature and so is held to be supernatural in origin or an act of God: "Miracles are spontaneous, they cannot be summoned, but come of themselves" (Katherine Anne Porter).
2. One that excites admiring awe. See Synonyms at wonder.
If you mean that life is a "miracle" by definition (1), then I urge you to read the latest research on the creation of life and go here http://www.rtforum.org/lt/lt64.html. If you assert that life is a "miracle" by definition (2), I wholeheartedly agree! J Also, if you are too lazy to go to the local library (like I am) a simple internet search can do wonders.


I'm much more strict with the definition of miracle than either of those two. My definition of miracle is an instance that is unexplainable. That's why I roll my eyes when people say a birth is a miracle. I suppose by definition 2, it is. By my personal definition, miracles rarely occur, and if you get one in your lifetime, you are very fortunate. I'll be visiting that site anyway, though. Thanks for the reference.

You spoke of matter forming after the big bang… This issue has nothing to do with the formation of planets.

I totally agree. You apparently misread what I posted. Again, I apologize. I often have a style of wording things that is hard to follow, as you may have already noticed. What I said was, that the odds of matter forming after the big bang are astronomical, and then, as a separate subject, I said the odds of planets forming are also quite extreme, and then as a subhead to that, I said the odds of a planet forming in the perfect area for life to occur are equally extreme.

I'd recommend you read "Rare Earth." It's a relatively new book (probably published during this year, I can't remember.) that explores the specifics of earth and how our "neighborhood" of the galaxy is probably quite devoid of life. The odds of winning the lottery are nearly a billion to one, if memory serves. Don't hold me to that one, because it's been a while since I worked the math. I know the odds of winning just the new york state lottery are nearly half a million to one.

Planets are created in the solar nebulas of protostars and very young stars. As for your statement that planets forming around stars are very rare, visit any extrasolar planet web site or read any recent extrasolar planet book or article or other text and you will learn that extrasolar planets around main sequence stars (especially stable, long-lived, average stars that provide suitable "life zones" for planets to form in - like our sun, for example) are way more common than you think.

Actually, recent data shows I believe that we have discovered 12 extrasolar planets. None of which have the specifications required for life. I wouldn't doubt, however that there are many more extrasolar planets. After all, there are billions of galaxies in the universe.

I just visited the first site address you gave me.

With the few lines I've read so far, I agree. This site not only fights against theistic evolution, but atheistic evolution as well! I can't remember if I mentioned the Cambrian explosion in my previous post... If I did, that's the layer of rocks that fossils began to appear in. And I mean a LOT of fossils. Before that layer, nuthin. jack squat. Diddly.

All forms of evolution that leave a superior power out require spontaneous generation of SOME SORT. They all require that life (organic) comes from non-life (inorganic) naturally in some way shape or form. Yet another thing that is currently unexplainable, and highly improbable. As for God programming evolution, I don't see how that would be needed.

As an undergraduate astronomy student, I would be very interesting if you can explain how CBR is the cosmic "clock" and how much faster the "ticks" were after the big bang (as opposed to before?). Then explain how you can fit 15 billion years into a 24-hour earth day. Don't worry about getting technical; I can grasp the difficult language and mathematical formulas better than most.

All riiiiggghhhhtt!! An astronomer!! I love you guys! Don't worry about me getting technical, because you may have been taught the formulae, but I've not, and I haven't taken the time to learn. Okie dokie. I'm going to use "laymen's speak" for this.

The CBR is simply (I know you know this, but I must say it anyway) the fingerprint of the big bang. It is roughly the same in the whole universe (it varies a little here and there) and it is at a uniform (roughly) temperature. Quite frankly, I borrowed most of my personal theory from a book written by a guy with a Ph.D in physics, so he explained it much better than I. In the wavelengths of the CBR, if I remember correctly, the distance from the peak of one "wave" to the peak of another "wave" is one second. Thereby therefore therehow, since the waves would have been much much much closer together right after the big bang than they are now, the "seconds" passed "faster." I believe the number was something like a million million times faster, I'm not quite sure. I left the book in my car ;).

Anywho, the CBR is the only thing constant enough throughout the universe to use as a "clock." And, of course, since earth didn't even exist during the early days of creation, it follows to say that God used the CBR as his timetable, then "adapted" it into earth-time. (this goes back to my example of the big, fast planet vs. earth earlier in the post). Using the relative uniformity of the CBR, we can "rewind" it back to the big bang to see exactly how fast a second passed, by which we can see exactly how fast a "day" passed. Day one was longer than day two, of course because the universe cools quite a bit in 8 billion years, day two was longer than day three, and so on.

Anyway, If I totally mangled that, I'm sorry. I don't have my book with me, like I said.... plus my stomach's growling fiercely. :)

Yes, I agree that the days of using gods to explain rudimentary occurrences are past. Why are they past? Is it because science has evolved and grown to explain what we have traditionally attributed to God?

Yup. But like I said before, the fact that we missasociated instances with gods doesn't trump the possibility of God's existence.

If so, then what makes you think that science won't explain everything we can think of (the Big Bang, the beginning of life on earth, etc.)? Would God be valid then? Why? If everything is accounted for by science, God is just something we tack onto the end - an extra, unimportant factor.

Yes and no, maybe and no way. Science can not, and will not explain the "miraculous" (I hate that, I don't think it truly fits my definition, but my vocabulary is shrinking as I write.) chances linked to the big bang, nor will it explain the.... unlikely that's a better word, chances of life forming alone on this planet. Like I sez, humans ain't perfect, we attribute things to gods that we aught not, but there are certain things that are unexplainable scientifically.

I apologize for asking so many questions, but I think that if everybody answers these for themselves, they might think a little more, ask more questions, and find some answers.

I find that asking questions is the most effective way to converse/convince. Too many people get comfortable in their beliefs, we needs more questions!

How does being in God's image simply mean we have a soul? How do you know God has no body? Oh, yeah - it's your interpretation, right? Gotcha. I'll just file that one next to the 3 billion other interpretations, half of which contradict yours.

Mine makes sense. God's a spirit. Spirit's exist in a spiritual place (I'm not going hippy on you, stay with me) this is a physical place. We require a body, filled with organs and fluids to exist. This body is tuned to this physical place. God, being in a spiritual place, would have no use for such a body. The soul is the only part of a human that is different from the other critters of earth. Humanities striking similarities with other critters has been scientifically proven.

I don't think that any probability or statistic will change your mind that God doesn't exist. You might think that I have closed my mind to God - you think that I wouldn't even be able to recognize the "event," whatever that may be… But I like to fancy myself a very open-minded individual. From my humble experience and logic, it seems most likely (most probable, most statistically accurate) that God doesn't exist. But, then again, that's just my interpretation of the data (all we've ever learned through science).

Well, it's good to see that you may be fairly open-minded. Statistics, nor any other form of physical "evidence" won't convince me that God doesn't exist for the simple reason that our science is tuned to explore this universe, which is a physical place. Science and theory can tell us about things we can see, dissect, smell, etc. Whereas God can't be seen, diced and sliced, smelled (or smelt, as some like to say) because he's a spirit. So, science cannot prove or disprove God's existence, therefore I can't be scientifically convinced that he does or doesn't exist. HOWEVER, I think it is a mistake to attribute everything that we can't explain to God (or gods) simply because we can't explain it now. Some things are simply unexplainable because they violate physical laws (like my personal experience, which I'll post a follow-up to reference you to). Those instances, I'd say are accurately attributable to God.

I am assuming that each day of creation was the same length relative to your "CBR clock." If I am wrong, disregard this last paragraph.

Yous wrong, paragraph disregarded. Sorry, I wasn't clear. I hope this one has cleaned some of the mud out of the water.

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