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Macroevolution is true

Human evolution is true

Scriptures are not inspired

Theism not believable

It's not about the evidence

World Views In Collision

 

Why Care?

 

 

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World Views in Collision 3

16. Josephus is an example of extra-Biblical historicity of Jesus

 

When the Testimonium Flavianum is removed from Antiquities, parts 2 and 4 then flow smoothly. As a minimum, all scholars have admitted that the TF was forged ("interpolated"). Perhaps it was forged in two stages. The first was inserted without the blatant Christian references and then later someone determined that it was not strongly supportive enough of Christianity and the more blatant writings were inserted, the ones  everyone admits were forged. Unfortunately, this need to show Christianity in a good light at all costs is a pattern seen on multiple occasions. The beginnings and ending of Ecclesiastes have been added, the ending of Mark added and then not removed when it became obvious it was a forged story, the story of the woman at the well inserted, Judges 18:30, etc. Indeed, even Luther thought the ends justify the means, "What harm would it do, if a man told a good strong lie for the sake of the good and for the Christian church... a lie out of necessity, a useful lie, a helpful lie, such as lies would not be against God, he would accept them". And of course there is Eusebius whom many feel forged the TF, "... it will be necessary sometimes to use falsehood as a remedy for the benefit of those who require such a mode of treatment".  "Mode" as in demand adequate and minimal evidence for incredible Christian claims??

 

Josephus and Christianity, this site

 

 

17. The genocide of Joshua was justified.

 

No. If true it meant hundreds or thousands of infants and the unborn being being stabbed or hacked to death. In some of the stories all the animals were slaughtered also. Many apologists state that it was in part a justified police action. First, it's probably mythology as modern archeological studies have demonstrated that these stories did not happen as written and much of it is "hyperbole". Scientific understandings of this period indicate that the Hebrews never left Egypt in a giant exodus as their mythology is written but rather probably emerged from the Canaanites.  Remember, there was no Exodus to begin with. Second, much research has shown that the Canaaites were not "so evil" that the entire race needed to undergo genocidal "cleansing". Same with the Flood myth - an entire human race was SO evil that God was justified in drowning them all, including all the infants and unborn? And God had foreknowlege when He created everything that He would be later on killing infants and the unborn with a Flood?

 

http://canaanitepath.com/canaanfaq.htm

 

 

18. There are no vestigial structures.

 

There are many. Whale and snake pelveses, the recurrent laryngeal nerve, the numerous human ear muscles, human male nipples and breast cancer, human lanugo womb hair, the plantaris muscle, kiwi NZ birds, flightless beetles with useless wings under their fused elytra, and dandelion flowers to name a few.

 

Vestigial Structures, this site

 

 

19. Man is basically evil and needs a savior.

 

Humankind is neither good nor bad. We are a mixture of wonder and selfish cruelty. It's just what one would expect that natural selection would produce. Nature is amoral. You can't derive morals from "natural theology". There are now 7 billion people living today; all but a few are in hell undergoing an eternity of torture for not believing in the Son? We know humans evolved about 200,000 years ago and God waits 198,000 years to send a way for salvation? And then sends the "Way" to a small, rural, illterate part of the globe where the "message" won't reach out to the rest of the world for centuries (so those who never hear the gospel in Asia, Africa and the Americas). Yes, it says in the Bible that even those who don't hear the gospel are without excuse - but is that not refering to deism and not the theistic message of Christ? So, if one just acknowleges God you've got the pass to Heaven without needing Jesus?

 

 

20. Evolutionary theory is unproven.

 

Of course. This reveals a fundamental misunderstanding of what theory means. Science rarely proves anything; it can disprove however. Proofs are generally for mathematics and philosophy.

 

Theory - a set of principles formulated to explain a group of facts or phenomena, especially one that has stood repeated testing and is widely accepted that it can be used to make predictions.

 

Fact - verified information or knowledge about an occurrence that exists or an event that has occurred.  Knowlege or information based on real occurrences. As Coyne and Gould have said, "an assertion for which there is so much evidence that it would be perverse to deny it".

 

Denying evolutionary theory is equivalent to denying cell theory or the theory of gravity.

 

 

21. Humans came off an ark and then colonized the world.

 

No. We know that modern humans evolved in Africa and then left east Africa to colonize the globe about 65,000 years ago due to changing climate and following herds of game animals. We have the DNA evidence in terms of SNP genetic markers. We know what routes they took. They did not come off an ark in the Middle East a few thousand years ago. We know from linquistic studies how langauge has evolved; it was not due to God scattering people at a tower so they could not climb into the sky (= heaven). The oldest prmitive languages are in Africa along with the oldest genetic markers along with the earliest human fossils. There is a reason all the scientific evidence from independent fields of study agree.

 

 

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/science/nature/2975862.stm

 

http://biologos.org/uploads/projects/alexander_white_paper.pdf

 

http://blogs.discovermagazine.com/loom/2011/11/14/neanderthal-neuroscience/

 

 

22. Morals come only from God. If one does not believe in God, your moral compass is absent or broken, and you have no standards. An atheist can't be trusted.

 

No. Science has shown that moral behavior, such as altruism, is seen in many other animals. It is a gradation, as is consciousness with many animals possessing some levels of what we would call moral behavior. Dolphins, primates, dogs, elephants and even a study in December, 2011 showed that rats demonstrate moral behavior. You don't need God to be moral. Moral behavior evolved in social settings as it underwent natural selection to help a social species like ours. In addition, humans do have standards, although they are provisional. Shermer has written about transcendental empiricism which easily explains how humans can have basic morals across all societies (a standard that transcends the individual). The most content, least crime, best standard of living is found in the developed countries that are the most secular and have the highest penetration of atheism. This is evidence that disproves a theistic assertion that one must have God ultimately to be moral.

 

 

23. Atheism is a world view.

 

It is not; it is an observation that there appears to be no sound evidence for a God, or to expand this more - the supernatural. It is a statement of what is not, not of what is nor the values a person stands for in their life. A world view is an individual's cognitive orientation and atheism does not do that although it certainly is a foundational piece of certain world views. For example, beginning with atheism, one can adopt a 'who cares' attitude and just live for yourself and the present. Conversly, most atheists come to the conclusion that they have one life to live, one earth to inhabit and that it it best to contribute towards the wellbeing of the planet and others while living their lives according to values, character and compassion.  This positive aspect with atheism as a foundational but insufficient tenet of a world view is often termed secular humanism and includes evolution, atheism, and naturalism. Why adopt secular humanism? Because we have been wired by evolution to inhabit stable and productive family and societal relationships and that is done best from support rather than creed and dishonelsty, which would lead to a breakdown of those relationships, and chaos.

 

 

24. Death is unnatural and came into the world at the "Fall".

 

No. Death is very natural and even important for life. Look at the beginnings of our universe. As the first stars formed, many erupted at the ends of their lives into huge cataclysmic blasts that formed the elements beyond hydrogen and helium. We are all made of stardust; every atom a result of a violent star's death explosion. We, and all life on this planet, would not be here without the death of stars. In terms of natural selection and evolution, out of the variety of organisms natural selection chooses which are most fit and they then pass on their genes into the next generation. Until recently the average human lifespan was probably about 25 years and this matches size comparisons with other animals (larger animals tend to live longer; before the development of modern medicine, surgery and public health humans rarely lived very long). As individuals die, the species evolves and changes to meet the changes in the environment. Earthly immortality (as in life before the 'Fall') is against the very nature of the universe and life itself.

 

 

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