Speculation On Origin Hinders Science

Back in the 1990’s, Dave McKay of NASA’s Johnson Space Center came out and said, he discovered a meteorite that landed on Earth from Mars which contained something that once lived. The meteorite called Allan Hills 84001 because it was discovered in 1984, in the Allan Hills of Antarctica. The claims by Dave McKay became a subject of controversy as other scientists examined the meteorite and a wealth of scientific papers concluded that non-biological processes could account for what they observed on the rock.

McKay had major hurdles to overcome, even if they discovered bacteria how are going to prove it was from Mars and not Earth? Also, questions arise like, how could organic chemicals have resisted vaporization for 38 million years in a total vacuum and then going through the Earth’s atmosphere? What’s the difference between alien bacteria, and earth’s bacteria? Not long after the published hyped story about the meteorite, the Clinton administration in turn, produced government funding targeted for “Astrobiology” and it’s been a waste a money ever since! Can one tell me what major discovery has improved science with more funding in “Astrobiology?”  

Recently in science daily, we read headlines that go like this…“Untangling Life’s Origins,” an indication it’s a huge mess, so they proposed a big bang for the protein! Well, it is believed among many evolutionists (despite all its problems) that the big band worked in space why not have it work in nature? Despite that idea which is not scientific, complexities of biological functions concerning molecules remain poorly understood among scientists! Shouldn’t evolutionists be waiting on that first before throwing out proposals about origins?

In another article, in space.com, we read…

“Could life have evolved on Mars Before Earth?”

“The discovery that ancient Mars could have supported microbes raises the tantalizing possibility that life may have evolved on the Red Planet before it took root on Earth. New observations by NASA’s Curiosity rover suggest that microbial life could have survived on Mars in the distant past, when the Red Planet was a warmer and wetter place, scientists announced…” 

But where is the microbial? None was discovered! Rather, the story was hyped for a reason and that reason is funding. It is not enough to just explore another planet, they have to come up with some sort of imaginary stories for marketing purposes. Scientists have their own bias, while some argue that science itself is supposed to be based on observations, that are repeated, and demonstrated. These stories about what Curiosity is finding on the plant hinders science!

Evolutionists spend a great deal of time creating study after study then coming up with conclusions that cannot be observed nor verified.  Here is a proposal, get rid of the funding for origins that create nothing more than stories, and shift that funding to where research needs it like studying complexities of biological functions concerning molecules which remain poorly understood! How about using that funding for finding better treatments for cancer? Surely we can find better use for that funding besides using it for hyped up stories about origins!

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66 thoughts on “Speculation On Origin Hinders Science

  1. Michael, ‘evolutionists’ do not exists. Biologists do.

    Maybe you should stop using silly words like that ?

    And it seems you want to introduce censorship in science funding ??? I think you are way off in even proposing that.

  2. Biologists who are evolutionists exist. Michael is not asking for censorship but performance based funding. He stated as much in the last three sentences. Or perhaps it is that he is incorrect and you can provide us with tangible societal benefits to astrobiology?

  3. Biologists don’t use the word ‘evolutionist’. Only creationists do.

    Michael advocates pulling funding for ‘origins’ research. I’d call that censorship. All topics warrant funding, if the science is good.

  4. That’s because there is a conflation between biology and evolution. While all topics ideally should be funded (if it is good science as you stated), the reality is that certain aspects get more funding (e.g. military research, cancer research). Thus Michael is being pragmatic while you are being idealistic. He is not calling for censorship because he stated: “get rid of the funding for origins that create nothing more than stories“. If you want to call it censorship, then you should provide the tangible societal benefits of astrobiology.

  5. There is no conflation between biology and evolution, just like there is no conflation between physics and gravity.

  6. That may be an obvious (and I would argue, convenient) analogy to you. My point is though, that you are sidestepping the claim that Michael wants censorship.

  7. Welcome back, Michael! We hoped that your two-week course in Remedial Science would be profitable. But apparently not….

    McKay had major hurdles to overcome, even if they discovered bacteria how are going to prove it was from Mars and not Earth? Also, questions arise like, how could organic chemicals have resisted vaporization for 38 million years in a total vacuum and then going through the Earth’s atmosphere? What’s the difference between alien bacteria, and earth’s bacteria? Not long after the published hyped story about the meteorite, the Clinton administration in turn, produced government funding targeted for “Astrobiology” and it’s been a waste a money ever since! Can one tell me what major discovery has improved science with more funding in “Astrobiology?”

    It is precisely speculation on questions such as this by which science advances.

    In Michael’s example, research in astrobiology has already produced techniques for protecting future astronauts against radiation for long-term exploration (Ames Research Center). One of the major advances from astrobiology is a new branch of chemistry: It turns out that chemical reactions occur very differently in space than they do on earth. This “space chemistry” effect was completely unanticipated until uncovered by astrobiologists; it has applications in the synthesis of complex drug molecules and other exotic compounds that cannot be produced by conventional chemistry in an earth-like environment.

    And it is precisely Michael’s proposed foreclosure of certain research that would doom science from making many major advances. As Einstein once said, “If we knew what it was we were doing, it wouldn’t be called research.” Lack of funding is the same as a ban. What happened to research on gun violence after Congress prohibited any funding for it a couple years ago? More recently, Congress has withdrawn all funding for research in the social sciences at NIH. All of the social sciences.

    Michael’s real concern, of course, is not the research itself. It is the fear that new understandings will further crumble his religious belief system. That scientists may actually find out how life began. That astronomical research such as the recent Planck results will further confirm a mulch-billion year age of the universe. That life forms may be found in space. That natural laws can account for the creation of the universe.

    A BaNtu proverb says, “It is bad not to know; it is worse not to wish to know.” True, there are not enough resources to fund everything. However, decisions on what gets funded have been usurped by politicians, lobbyists, and others who have not the slightest knowledge of science, and who wish to push their own agenda. Michael proposes switching funding to cancer research. What he does not realize is direct cancer research can produce only incremental improvements—a new drug here, a new positron-beam treatment there. The major advances will most likely come from research that is unrelated to cancer at all.

    Such as astrobiology.

  8. Tell me if I understand you correctly: you are saying that astrobiology is more likely to advance cancer research than direct cancer research.

  9. No Chazing, I am not sidestepping anything. I’m dealing with one point at a time. FIrst: your claim of a conflation between biology and evolution, which there isn’t, of course.

    I see that Olorin has already taken up the censorship one (he calls it a ban). But we can come back to that later. One point at a time.

  10. One thing at a time? Are you for real, Dr. van Kampen?
    Anyway, “Nothing in Biology Makes Sense Except in the Light of Evolution” – does this not indicate a conflation to some individuals?

  11. I am for real, “Chazing”. Why should I not be ?

    Evolution is part of biology, just like gravity is part of physics.
    In physics one does not talk about ‘gravitationists’, and in biology one does not talk about ‘evolutionists’.

  12. Evolution is a postulate, worldview or way of interpreting the data (just like creationism, ID, theistic evolution, panspermia, deistic evolution, etc). Gravity is part of physics and can be repeatably tested. There are no anti-gravitation advocates that I know of. There are many anti-evolutionists with PhDs in STEM disciplines. Here you are using gravity as a scientific subset of physics to conflate evolution as a subset of biology. You are thus proving my point by conflating an interpretation (evolution) with repeatable science (biology). People think that evolution is part of biology hence conflation. It isn’t because there are no repeatable experiments which can show its main claim; namely that X (e.g fish) can become Y (e.g. bird) through the natural accumulation of mutations over time. I would love to be shown examples of (macro)evolution in action, could you assist?

  13. Evolution, like gravity, is a theory and an observational fact. People are sloppy sometimes: one ought to say ‘theory of evolution’ when the (well-proven !) theory is meant (it is far, far more than a postulate, of course), and ‘evolution’ when the observed facts are meant. Often people just say ‘evolution’, and one needs to look at the context whether the theory is meant or the facts.

    I’m not going to list all the facts of evolution here: plenty of books on that. If you want to ignore all these, then that is your decision.

  14. There are no facts of evolution, there is the interpretation of the evidence using an evolutionary framework. I did not ask for all of the facts, you can list some that resonate particularly with you. I don’t see how asking for an example is ignorance on my part. Rather, I am giving you opportunity to convert the ‘gentle readers’ who might otherwise not stumble upon such information or understand how it supports evolution. Surely a peer-reviewed PhD scientist actively engaged in the study of evolution can find some time to provide at least one example of macro-evolution repeatable in a lab setting. Just give the ones which you carried out yourself to scientifically confirm evolution.

  15. I’m not a biologist – I’m an astronomer.

    However, I have read quite a lot on biological evolution. A good textbook is that of Stearns & Hoekstra, for example. But there are many, many more. I guess you can read ?

  16. Books and websites are nice but they don’t get to the core of what convinced a person to view evolution as scientific. So what repeatable experimental evidence convinced you as a cosmologist that evolution was scientific?

  17. Evolution is a postulate, worldview or way of interpreting the data (just like creationism, ID, theistic evolution, panspermia, deistic evolution, etc).

    Crap.

    Creationism is a theory and can be tested. Produce some biological and astronomical evidence that the universe was created in six days. ID is a theory and can be tested. Produce physical evidence of the existence of the requisite intelligence and the mechanisms by which it acted. Panspermia is a theory and can be tested. Offer some physical evidence of life forms in outer space. (Theistic ans deistic evolution cannot be tested, because they are inherently incapable of making any predictions that can be tested.)

    There are no anti-gravitation advocates that I know of.

    Did you not receive the invitation to the conference at Notre Dame in November 2010? Plenty of people who deny gravity. A former colleague of mine spent decades trying to show mathematically that gravitation is an illusion. He had a PhD in physics.

    I would love to be shown examples of (macro)evolution in action, could you assist?

    Sure. Let me know when you can reserve a million years in your schedule for the demo.

    Then I’ll let you know when I can spare six days for a demo of special creation..

  18. The denizens of this blog may be interested in a news item in the 15 February issue of Science (p. 744). Origin-of-life researchers at Georgia Institute of Technology have discovered RNA-like molecules that can spontaneously assemble themselves into gene-length chains in water. This had previously bee thought difficult or even impossible, and was a major roadblock to the”RNA world” hypothesis.

    Even if this was not the actual method in forming life, this research has produced an inexpensive way to produce these molecules for drug research and other purposes. It is a practical application arising from OOL research.

  19. Creationism is not a theory, it is a hypothesis based on innate knowledge of the divine and evidence from intricate design (intent, form and function). Much of the lines of evidence for evolution are extrapolatory (see previous posts and links), why then must ID produce physical evidence? Since you want millions of years for evolution to be seen, it cannot be practically tested thus it is not science as it fails the repeatability criteria. Evolution is thus also a hypothesis and many times, quite a good one IMO. I didn’t know about the anti-gravitationalists but that would not necessarily invalidate what I have stated. We may update science and find some other force or cumulative forces which produce gravitational like effects and have more explanatory power while being experimentally repeatable.

  20. Creationism is not a theory, it is a hypothesis based on innate knowledge of the divine and evidence from intricate design (intent, form and function).

    Horse puckey. Creationism is a theory[1] about how our universe developed, just as the Big Bang is. Creationism does not spring from any “innate knowledge.” It springs from the record of a sacred document,[2] and its adherents attempt to adduce physical evidence for it.

    Since you want millions of years for evolution to be seen, it cannot be practically tested thus it is not science as it fails the repeatability criteria

    There is a huge difference between that and no possible test at all, as is the case with theistic evolution. Besides, we need not wait millions of years for the mechanisms of evolution to be observed. They occur in the present, but to lesser extent. Speciation can take place in only a few years, and has been observed many times. Adaptation by selection is observed. Mutations have been observed. Lenski’s experiments are a classic in the observation of evolutionary processes.

    Evolution is thus also a hypothesis and many times, quite a good one IMO.

    This seems to contradict what you said previously—that evolution is a worldview, not a theory, viz:

    Evolution is a postulate, worldview or way of interpreting the data (just like creationism, ID, theistic evolution, panspermia, deistic evolution, etc). [April 7, 2013 at 12:02 pm]

    We may update science and find some other force or cumulative forces which produce gravitational like effects and have more explanatory power while being experimentally repeatable.

    Just as we may find other mechanisms of evolution—such as epigenetic inheritance, genetic drift, or ecological feedback—that have greater explanatory power than selection alone.

    “Experimentally repeatable” is not relevant in this context. We “observe” the mechanisms of evolution in nature, and make predictions based upon these observations. This is how any theory is verified. Occasionally, this may occur in a lab, such as Lenski and others have done; but the process is the same in either case.

    ==================

    [1] I use “theory” and “hypothesis” interchangeably here. The only real difference is that a hypothesis usually is not as well confirmed by the evidence as a theory is. For the present purpose, however, amount of evidence is not relevant.

    [2] Other civilizations have similar theories springing from other sacred narratives. Altho, AFAIK, no one else makes any serious effort to find physical evidence for them.

    ===================

    PN: Do you have any experience with small embedded controllers? I’m trying to decide between Basic Stamp, Arduino, and Raspberry Pi for a couple of hobbyist applications.

  21. Olorin, the Raspberry Pi is very nice, especially with the Gertboard added to it. Great fun ! I have two already, but too little time to play with them.

    For smaller projects an ATMEL microprocessor usually works fine, and is very cheap. And can be programmed in C, if that’s your cup of tea.

  22. Theory and hypothesis cannot be used interchangeably as they are separated by evidential backing. There are no repeatable tests which can show macro-evolution or special creation thus they are at best, hypotheses. Anthropology has consistently found people groups with innate beliefs in a supernatural creator. I have not heard of any atheistic group being found. Thus, creationism is ‘innate knowledge’. Many of these groups do not have sacred documents (e.g. indigenous Americans). Early creationist scientists did not try to adduce evidence for the bible, they simply interpreted data through a creationist/catastrophist framework.

    Theistic evolution can be tested as it is a combination of creationism and evolutionism. If creationism and evolutionism are theories as you posit, then you are contradicting yourself by asserting that theistic evolution cannot be tested. Even the YECs accept micro-evolution oscillations so would that make them evolutionists as well? You need to show how the sum of micro = macro and this has not been done in the lab, thus it is not science. Speciation is problematic because it is as bounded as micro-evolution. Speciation into another very separate species (i.e. fish to birds) has not been observed. Again, you are assuming that cumulative micro = macro. You need to show it for it to be science. Until then, you are stuck with a hypothesis.

    Evolution is a good hypothesis at times but it will remain a worldview, a way of interpretation, until repeatability is available. Of course, the same goes for creationism or any other worldview. Macro-evolution needs lab evidence for something beside micro-evolution. Explanatory power and predictive ability are great but they do not form the bedrock of repeatability for the sake of falsification. Fossil rabbits are red herrings as they assume the conclusion until contradictory evidence is found. Rather, evolution needs to be repeatable in a lab for others to independently verify the data. Alternatively, simulations can be initially used. Dawkin’s Weasel however, is too simplistic and is evidence for a form of creationism but after all, he is an ID panspermian.

    I have left the world of electrical engineering so I can’t help with ucontroller considerations. Sorry.

  23. Evolution is a good hypothesis at times but it will remain a worldview, a way of interpretation, until repeatability is available.

    Sigh. The sun will remain a worldview, a way of interpretation, until we can preform repeatable experiments on suns in the laboratory. Earth’s mantle and core will remain a worldview, until we can drag them into the lab to perform repeatable experiments on them. Expansion of the universe will remain a worldview, until we can create a universe in the lab and compare its history to our universe.

    Evolution is a theory, not a worldview. It proposes mechanisms and offers predictive tests to establish it.[1] It admits of experiments and physical evidence. A worldview is “An all-inclusive world-view or outlook. A somewhat poetic term to indicate either an articulated system of philosophy or a more or less unconscious attitude toward life and the world “ (Hunter Mead, Types and Problems of Philosophy, 3d Ed. 1964 (Holt)). By its nature, a worldview offers no predictions or tests, and is not subject to experiment or observation.[2]

    Your confusion probably arises from the use of “evolution” by some as a proxy for “naturalism.” The latter is a worldview, a belief that natural law can account for all physical phenomena. This usage arose soon after Darwin published. The belief had been that Newton, Lagrange, and others had reduced the heavens to natural law, and that Boyle, Lavoisier, et al. had explained the elements in terms of natural processes. But life remained mysterious until Darwin proposed his theory of evolution. This was the last major area in which supernatural action had been required. So “evolution” and “Darwinism” became associated with naturalism—a philosophical position that was not fully tenable until Darwin removed the last major barrier.

    Another source of confusion may be that evolution has become a paradigm for biology, just as the heat engine was for 19thC mechanics, or computers for the Information Age. As Kuhn explained, scientists always attempt to fit new findings into the current paradigm. That is, new biological discoveries tend to be interpreted in terms of evolutionary principles. In the same way that new discoveries in astronomy are interpreted in terms of gravitation. This interpretation, as you say, does not make gravitation a worldview.

    Evolution is not a worldview. It is a set of scientific facts and theories that historically popularized naturalism—which is a worldview.

    ===============

    [1] There is no qualitative difference between a theory and a hypothesis. There is a continuum of evidence by which a hypothesis is well-enough established that scientists start to call it a theory. And these two ranges may overlap to a considerable extent.

    [2] Alvin Plantinga put it this way: “Natural selection rewards adaptive behavior and penalizes maladaptive behavior, but it cares not a whit what you believe.” (“Naturalism vs. Evolution: A Religion/Science Conflict?” (2007))

  24. The sun is not a mechanism. The earth’s internal constituents are determined by indirect methods. We are not certain of its exact mineral composition for instance. The expansion of the universe is also an extrapolation and thus a hypothesis even if it has predictive ability and wide explanatory scope. Any form of knowledge is a worldview as the human mind assumes many things and proceeds from there. We cannot for instance, devise tests with our minds to test if our minds are pantheistic dreams or otherwise. Thus, it matters not if there are mechanisms or predictions for evolution. You are confusing a worldview (interpretational lens) with the effects of a worldview (experimentation, prediction, explanatory scope). The effects can be tested and will be interpreted according to the worldview of the tester. Thus, evolution is the worldview that interprets Lenski’s experimental data as evidence for the worldview of evolutionism. Lenski’s tests are also interpreted as confirmation for creationism by those whose worldview is creationism.

    Worldviews can offer predictions and tests. It can also be subject to experimentation and observation. A man who thinks he is psychic can predict future events which can be tested according to the details of said prediction. If he believes he can fly without any aid, he can be experimented upon and observed for verification. Plantinga’s quote does nothing to aid your view.

    Science and all forms of knowledge are worldviews because they proceed out of our innate interpretative lens. Some worldviews are hypotheses (educated guesses which may have some theoretical and experimental backing), others are theories (hypotheses which have been tested and shown to have very wide explanatory power with independent repeatible experimental confirmation). There are no facts in science or reality. Even a well established theory can be modified/updated/dumped when a better alternative is found. And I will repeat, repeatible experimentation => possible theory. No repeatible experimentation => possible hypothesis. It is obvious where macro-evolution falls.

  25. Dr. van Kampen, I would love to hear your answer to the following question:

    What repeatable experimental evidence convinced YOU as a cosmologist that evolution was scientific?

  26. I take it you mean biological evolution ?

    The best experimental evidence is surely the Lenski experiments. But obviously science is not just experiments: that is only part of science. Opening your eyes and looking around is a more important part. That’s what I do mostly anyway, as I can’t experiment with stars and universes, but I can open my eyes and use my brains.

    As for evolution, it is mostly observational evidence, of course. Which is perfectly fine.

    Any experimental evidence for creationism, by the way ? My turn …

  27. Lenski’s experiment started in 1998. What was the strongest evidence for biological macro-evolution around the time that it became scientific (in 1860 say)? And please explain how Lenski and the previous experiment (circa 1860) indicate macro-evolution in your view.

    Experimentation is what separates the hard from the soft sciences (e.g. medicine vs sociology). While you can open your eyes and use your brain, you still operate under a worldview be it cultural, political, religious or evolutionary. These would cloud/skew your results despite the actual hard data. Your brain can only interpret data if it has prior conditioning or precedent. If your precedent is biased, then your interpretation will most likely be biased (and possibly incorrect). Since you can’t experiment with stars and universes directly, then your interpretation of the data is extrapolatory and should be categorized as provisional, not hard science.

    Any experimental evidence for creationism, by the way ? My turn …

    Non sequitur. Previous posts have explained this point, see comments in posts #7844 and #7850. Lenski’s data is also mentioned in #7855 as possible evidence for creationism. An evolutionary explanation does not necessarily preclude a creationist interpretation for the same data. If you think that Lenski’s particular experiments preclude creationism, please indicate in detail why you think so.

  28. Eelco,

    Lenski experiments only modified pre-existing functions, and there were quite a number of cells that were eliminated like in the central metabolism, as well as the cell wall genes which means what? Loss of function! Also, that same sort of experiment was conducted on fruit flies which researchers said became resistant to change after so many generations produced in the lab. All you have Eelco is faith in evolution that somehow typo’s produce engineering work, that somehow fruit flies become another species…

  29. Michael, evolution is not the same as abiogenesis: of course there were per-existing functions. That’s what evolution acts on. You surely did understand that much ?

    And no, I do not ‘believe’ in evolution: I do not believe. That is not what science is about. The theory of evolution is well-tested and works very well, so far.

  30. Any form of knowledge is a worldview as the human mind assumes many things and proceeds from there.

    Congratulations. You just won the argument by redefining “worldview.”

    However, yours is not a definition that philosophers or scientists would accept.[1] Reread the definition of “worldview.” It’s called a worldview because it is a perspective on the entire world–life, the universe, and everything. Wikipedia puts it this way. A worldview is—

    the fundamental cognitive orientation of an individual or society encompassing the entirety of the individual or society’s knowledge and point-of-view, including natural philosophy; fundamental, existential, and normative postulates; or themes, values, emotions, and ethics.

    Evolution is not a worldview. It encompasses only certain aspects of biology, and not “the entirety of the individual or society’s knowledge.” It does not guide anyone’s life, According to your definition, gravitation would be a worldview, because it guides the interpretation of astronomical data; quantum mechanics would be a worldview, because it interprets data according to the wave function; seismology would be a worldview because it organizes data according to a particular model of the earth. Repeatability or amount of evidence—or even the ability to be tested—have no relevance to a worldview.

    You have converted “worldview” into a Humpty Dumpty word that means whatever you say it means. This makes your argument a load of dingo kidneys.

    =============

    [1] Remember that a theory is valid if objective evidence (i.e., objective standard) supports it, but a definition is valid only if the relevant audience (i.e., subjective standard) accepts it.

  31. Our unquestioned axioms (worldview) will skew all forms of knowledge. Thus that skewed knowledge ultimately becomes part of our worldview even though that knowledge or data itself is free from bias. It seems that we are arguing a cladistic problem. When I say that evolution is a worldview, this does not mean that evolution is not part of a larger worldview. For our purposes (i.e. OOL studies like astro-biology), evolution is the worldview for the majority of interpretations. So while you seem to be looking at a macro-clade worldview, all of the subsets are also worldviews when applied to their limited areas (such as macro-evolution).

    So yes, gravitation and seismology as presently analyzed and defined would be worldviews because they are not free from interpretative bias. The worldview would first analyze and then incorporate these into its worldview causing the INTERPRETATION to become a (sub)worldview as well. Again, the original data itself is not a worldview.

    Gravitation and seismology are (parts of) worldviews, but are hardly questioned and have supported repeatable experimental data within their applicability bandwidth. Macro-evolution does not have repeatable experimental data within its applicability bandwidth. Repeatability has large relevance to a worldview. If my worldview postulate is that my religion is the best at positive changing lives but it can be shown that another is better at positive life change [quantity and quality], then my worldview would be incorrect. If my worldview postulate is that successive accumulated micro-evolution events when selected leads to macro-evolution but all I can show is micro-evolution occurs a la Lenski [which no creationist disputes in the first place], then macro-evolution is incorrect.

  32. You have painted yourself into a corner. I hope it’s comfortable. You may be trapped there for a long time…..

  33. Thanks, it’s quite comfortable. I would have hoped for a better reply but perhaps in the “long time” I am supposedly “trapped” in “a corner”, your response would evolve into something more substantive.

  34. Well, you redefined the terms and then declared victory. When challenged, you defined them even farther from how everyone else defines them.

    Desperate, Chaz, desperate.

  35. I defined the terms as they made sense to me. I have not declared victory but simply stated my opinion. I gave reasons for my definitional boundaries and was expecting you to analyze and show how they were faulty. Rather, you pick on one sentence and run to town on it as you usually do. Is that not desperate?

  36. I defined the terms as they made sense to me.

    Well, here is the fact

    You have converted “worldview” into a Humpty Dumpty word that means whatever you say it means. This makes your argument a load of dingo kidneys.

    All you had to do was look it up.

  37. In science there are no “facts” but only interpretations of facts which are skewed by one’s worldview.

    You could have avoided a lot of your confusion by simply looking up the accepted usage of the term “fact” in science.

    Creationists are too mentally hobbled to spend a few minutes in research; instead they demand answers from others.

  38. It was at one time acceptable usage that a slave was not a human.

    It is a fact [as you want to use the term] that macro-evolution is unscientific and not repeatable in the lab like micro-evolution.

    It is also a fact [again, as you want to use the term], that you are a moderate Lutheran creationist despite your protestations to the contrary.

  39. It was at one time acceptable usage that a slave was not a human.

    That was Jesus’ usage. “And that slave who knew his master’s will and did not get ready or act in accord with his will, will receive many lashes.” (Luke 12:47),

    That was a long time ago. the U.S. Constitution had progressed to the point where a slave was 3/5 human (Article 1 Section 2 Clause 3). In 1864, the Thirteenth Amendment changed that to fully human.

    So, you see, usages change. “Silly” not longer is used to mean “blessed.” “Nice” no longer denotes “ignorant.” A “gay” is no longer “a lighthearted person.”

    Creationists cannot adapt to change. They fear that they could inadvertently evolve.

  40. You can’t even get historical theology correct. Jesus was not talking about chattel slaves nor were ANE slaves of the Hebrews discounted from humanity. You are blatantly showing your moderate Lutheran creationism (and atheistic-like biblical ignorance) by again carping on one sentence as if it represented the entirety of my argument. Pathetic Olorin.

  41. No Hebrew slaves were discounted from humanity, because such slavery could be only for a period of six years; they were in effect indentured, not enslaved. Non-Hebrew slaves, however, were a different matter entirely. They were chattel, and treated the same as Negro slaves were in the US.[1] If the latter were considered non-human, then these biblical slaves were as well.[2]

    ================

    [1] Some biblical slaves were withal held in high regard by their masters. A number of southern US slaves were also; some were well educated, some were given posts of high responsibility in their households, a few became trusted advisers to their masters. But they were still slaves.

    [2] Plantation owners encouraged Christianity among their slaves. They felt that the Bible’s acceptance of slavery would make them less rebellious against their own situation.

    ================

    BTW, what is so wrong about “moderate Lutheran creationism”? That just means I hold a different view of how God implemented the universe, and I don’t foam at the mouth like you and Michael do.

    And don’t denigrate “atheistic-like biblical ignorance”. Many atheists know more about the Bible than you know about science. A lot more. One of the best histories of first-century Christianity I’ve read was a three-part series in Free Inquiry, the atheist magazine.

  42. Non-Hebrew slaves, however, were a different matter entirely. They were chattel, and treated the same as Negro slaves were in the US.

    Kindly present a source for the ANE Hebrews raping, slaughtering, selling and legally regulating non-Hebrew slaves to the level of inanimate objects/possessions.

    Plantation owners encouraged Christianity among their slaves. They felt that the Bible’s acceptance of slavery would make them less rebellious against their own situation.

    And David Koresh quoted the Bible. Is he an ideal example of Christianity and/or biblical exegesis?

    BTW, what is so wrong about “moderate Lutheran creationism”? That just means I hold a different view of how God implemented the universe, and I don’t foam at the mouth like you and Michael do.

    Nothing, but you seem to think that your cladistic definition of ‘creationism’ excludes yourself which it does not. When you regularly disparage ‘creationists’ why do you not include yourself as well since you are also a creationist?

    I find the charge of ‘foam at the moth’ quite strange. Kindly define the term so I can analyze and reply to this charge.

    And don’t denigrate “atheistic-like biblical ignorance”. Many atheists know more about the Bible than you know about science. A lot more. One of the best histories of first-century Christianity I’ve read was a three-part series in Free Inquiry, the atheist magazine.

    Even if an atheist knows a lot of science, that does not mean that they know how to interpret the data correctly as per worldview. If they deny the foundation of logic (i.e. God), then what should they be called?

  43. Kindly present a source for the ANE Hebrews raping, slaughtering, selling and legally regulating non-Hebrew slaves to the level of inanimate objects/possessions.

    Sure. Since you are too lazy to look it up yourself. But remember that your original distinction was not animate/inanimate, but human/non-human. You are attempting to move the goalposts again.

    This source lists a number of references. Here’s another, pointing up the difference between Hebrew slaves and other slaves.

    Exodus 21 requires compensation to the owner if someone kills his (non-Hebrew)slave, but not—or lesser—for non-lethal injuries. The distinction arises because the slave’s death was a destruction of the master’s property; injury was only damage to it. This points up that a (non-Hebrew) slave was in fact chattel. Slaves could be inherited, just like any other chattel of the owner.

    As to human or non-human, I am placing the dividing line according to whether a slave enjoyed the basic rights afforded freemen in their society. I place Hebrew slaves on the human side because their servitude was limited and they had a choice—even servitude for debt could be rejected by the debtor. This is actually more similar to enlistment in the armed forces, which is (usually :-) voluntary and limited in time. Non-Hebrew slaves I place in the non-human category because they were basically no more than property. True, some laws regulated their treatment; but modern societies have laws about cruelty to animals, which are not considered human.

  44. Did you read the listed articles? I do not see where the non-Hebrew slaves were raped, slaughtered or legally regulated to the level of objects. They were sold but under very different conditions than those in US chattel slavery as you have asserted. Anyways:

    “Slave labor was used in domestic service and thus made for a close relationship between master and servant in everyday life. In spite of the legal status, the slave’ position was in practice closer to that of a filius-familias than to that of a mere chattel.” [OT:HLBT:114ff]

    “The treatment of chattel slaves indicates that these slaves are considered human beings…” [OT:DictOT5, s.v. “Slavery”]

    “The slave’s personal dignity is also evident in the prescriptions concerning personal injury (Ex 21.20-27)., since the punishments for mistreatment are meant to restrain the abuse of slaves…Clearly, the personal rights of slaves override their master’s property rights over them.” [OT:DictOT5, s.v. “Slavery”]

    Although Hebrew servants are mis-called ‘property’ in one verse (Ex 21.21), Israel’s notion of ‘property’ in the law was severely restricted to economic output only–NOT ‘ownership of a disposable good’.

    …. ‘you CAN make them slaves for life’ (implying that it was not automatic.).

    “Although slaves were viewed as the property of heads of households, the latter were not free to brutalize or abuse even non-Israelite members of the household. On the contrary, explicit prohibitions of the oppression/exploitation of slaves appear repeatedly in the Mosaic legislation. In two most remarkable texts, Leviticus 19:34 and Deuteronomy 10:19, Yahweh charges all Israelites to love (‘aheb) aliens (gerim) who reside in their midst, that is, the foreign members of their households, like they do themselves and to treat these outsiders with the same respect they show their ethnic countrymen….” [HI:MFBW:60]

    http://christianthinktank.com/qnoslave.html

    You don’t seem to understand that you can’t take a book that was written in ancient times, cultures and languages and employ simplistic modern equivalence with words like ‘slave’ and ‘property.’

    Also, please define “foam at the mouth”

  45. You don’t seem to understand that you can’t take a book that was written in ancient times, cultures and languages and employ simplistic modern equivalence with words like ‘slave’ and ‘property.’

    I do understand. That’s why, unlike yourself, I look up some sources before I start foaming at the mouth.

    Also, please define “foam at the mouth”

    Why? That’s what dictionaries are for. Get off your duff and look it up yourself.

    .

    Chazing,l I’m really getting tired of doing all your work for you. Surely you can lift a finger now and then.

  46. I do understand. That’s why, unlike yourself, I look up some sources before I start foaming at the mouth.

    Which sources would that be? None of those listed state that non-Hebrew slaves were regularly raped. Many of the sources make the point that ANE slavery was different from modern slavery but I doubt you even read those articles. Instead you are a googling scholar like an Internet atheist. You also dismiss every quote from Miller who has a scholarly article on ANE slavery. Why not engage with them?

    Chazing,l I’m really getting tired of doing all your work for you. Surely you can lift a finger now and then.

    I was giving you the benefit of the doubt but that was a waste. Won’t do it again then. When someone asks for a source, it is not because they are lazy or don’t know how to use a search engine. It is that they want to see the quality of the sources and arguments that the person can muster. Unfortunately, you have failed as the 6 above quotes indicate.

    “foam at the mouth”: 1. to be uncontrollably excited 2. to be uncontrollably angry. If I was foaming at the mouth, I would be issuing fatwas on your head. If Michael was foaming at the mouth, you would not be able to post comments. Pathetic.

    I have the itching feeling you are an atheist wolf in Lutheran clothing. As they say, if it walks like a duck and quacks like a duck …

  47. Of course ANE slavery had different connotations than US slavery. For example, no ancient household could support a large number of slaves nor separate labor camps, so, as an economic convenience, they were more integrated; while US plantations were often huge, and operated as impersonal factories, with the slaves living apart and managed by hired overseers.

    But the core fact remains that ANE (non-Hebrew) slaves did not possess basic human rights, and were therefore considered non-human.

    I have the itching feeling you are an atheist wolf in Lutheran clothing. As they say, if it walks like a duck and quacks like a duck …

    A humorous mélange of metaphors there!

    I agree. If it walks like a duck and quacks like a duck, then it must be a wolf.

  48. Speaking like an atheist wolf trying to walk and quack like a Lutheran duck.

    Apparently you can’t read or comprehend but I shall try again for the sake of long-suffering:

    “Slave labor was used in domestic service and thus made for a close relationship between master and servant in everyday life. In spite of the legal status, the slave’ position was in practice closer to that of a filius-familias than to that of a mere chattel.” [OT:HLBT:114ff]

    “The treatment of chattel slaves indicates that these slaves are considered human beings…” [OT:DictOT5, s.v. “Slavery”]

    “The slave’s personal dignity is also evident in the prescriptions concerning personal injury (Ex 21.20-27)., since the punishments for mistreatment are meant to restrain the abuse of slaves…Clearly, the personal rights of slaves override their master’s property rights over them.” [OT:DictOT5, s.v. “Slavery”]

    Although Hebrew servants are mis-called ‘property’ in one verse (Ex 21.21), Israel’s notion of ‘property’ in the law was severely restricted to economic output only–NOT ‘ownership of a disposable good’.

    …. ‘you CAN make them slaves for life’ (implying that it was not automatic.).

    “Although slaves were viewed as the property of heads of households, the latter were not free to brutalize or abuse even non-Israelite members of the household. On the contrary, explicit prohibitions of the oppression/exploitation of slaves appear repeatedly in the Mosaic legislation. In two most remarkable texts, Leviticus 19:34 and Deuteronomy 10:19, Yahweh charges all Israelites to love (‘aheb) aliens (gerim) who reside in their midst, that is, the foreign members of their households, like they do themselves and to treat these outsiders with the same respect they show their ethnic countrymen….” [HI:MFBW:60]

    http://christianthinktank.com/qnoslave.html

    That you a supposed Lutheran had to go to a Free Thought blog for links which do not even support your thesis makes you …… pathetic.

  49. That you a supposed Lutheran had to go to a Free Thought blog for links which do not even support your thesis makes you …… pathetic.

    That you had to go to a biblical apologetics source for your whitewashed version of history thus makes you …. what?

  50. It makes me logical. If one wants to know about bible times and culture, it is the height of STUPIDITY to go to an atheist blog post by a writer by the name of “NonStampCollector” !!!

    The quotes are from the following SCHOLARLY sources:

    [OT:HLBT:114ff] Hebrew Law in Biblical Times, Eisenbrauns: 2001 (2nd ed) by Ze’ev Falk (PhD, Hebrew University in Jerusalem).

    [OT:DictOT5, s.v. “Slavery”] Dictionary of the Old Testament Pentateuch, IVP: 2003 by T. Desmond Alexander (PhD, senior lecturer in Biblical Studies, Union Theological College) and David W. Baker (PhD, professor of Old Testament & Semitic languages, Ashland Theological Seminary).

    [HI:MFBW:60] Marriage and Family in the Biblical World. IVP Academic: 2003 by Ken Campbell (PhD, retired associate professor of biblical studies, Belhaven College).

    And BTW, the post author [Glenn Miller] is working on a PhD in philosophy.

    So excuse me if four known PhD qualified lecturers in your warped view are deficient when compared to NonStampCollector [no known PhD, link aggregator]. Your research skills leave much to be desired.

    Gentle readers, note that Olorin [the Free Thought wolf in a Lutheran duck outfit] has not directly addressed the quotes but is trying as usual at mis-direction and focusing only on one issue.

    You’re getting even more pathetic with every post. I’m hoping you’re an atheist because if the typical Lutheran is like you, they won’t last long as a denomination.

  51. My sources are bissed toward ancient slavery as a dehumanizing institution. Yours, although more erudite, are obviously biased away from this view, at least among the Hebrews. But both are biased.

    The line is vague and ill-defined. None of the sources addressed the issue directly. That’s why I proposed a criterion. But you did not even acknowledge this criterion, much less argue it. I have not proven my case, but you haven’t either.

    The only thing that is for certain is that we are a long way from the subject of Michael’s post. Do you remember what it was? .

  52. I think I have made my case and dismissed your ‘non-human’ criterion. I do recall the original topic but I let you misdirect because it shows that either way, you are not quite as good as you think you are at defending your position(s). Call it Internet based charity for those who think they are ‘google scholars.’ Which is all good because frankly, I do love it when you quack like a good atheist wolf in Lutheran clothing.

  53. I think I have … dismissed your ‘non-human’ criterion.

    Dismissed it? You didn’t even acknowledge it, let alone argue it. Can you even remember what it was?

    I thought not.

  54. Not a duck. A crocoduck—the bane of creationists everywhere. Crocoducks don’t quack. Their hoot sounds very much like BWAHAHAHAHAHAAAAAAA. As in the song—

    Birds gotta fly,
    Fish gotta swim;
    Crocoducks hoot
    Whenever they can.
    Can’t stop hootin’ dat croc o’ mine.

    (Apologies, of course, to Oskar Hammerstein II)

  55. Your arguments do seem to elicit the response: BWAHAHAHAHAHAAAAAAA you silly Lutheran creationist duck so wanting to be an evolutionist that the inner wolf has already eaten your sense of the divine.

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