Wednesday, August 24, 2005

A Request for JC Masterpiece Regarding Evolution

JC Masterpiece has been commenting on my blog recently, and I've been doing the same on his. He does not believe in evolution, but I think it is simply because he has been taught only one side of the story, not because he is close-minded. His posts and comments show an interest in learning. I think that if he realized how extensive the evidence for evolution is, he'd change his mind.

Anyway, I came across an online discussion started by a Christian who believed in Creationism until a debate with an evolutionist led him to start doing more rigorous research. Although he remains a devoted Christian, he now believes in evolution. Even more importantly, he learned how to do good research.

I believe JC Masterpiece might find it helpful, and if he doesn't mind, I'd like him to read the discussion and then respond to it here.

The discussion.


JC Masterpiece said...

I posted my response on my blog

Laura said...

Also remember that religion and evolution aren't at odds unless the religious interpretation is of a literal nature. Those who take the Bible allegorically, for example, can reconcile the two very easilly.

I always question the literalists however, since who's translation is the literal one? New Catholic? King James? Gideon? And isn't a literal interpretation of a book historically shown to be edited, mis-translated and re-translated a little contradictory?

JC Masterpiece said...

JA, i appologize. I realized that i basically hijacked your post to my site. I will try to remember not to do that in the future. I just know that it can be annoying to read someones post go to the comments have have someone elses discertation there. So when i am realizing that i'm posting a really long comment, i tend to want to not take over their comments and thus transfer it to my site to help keep their blog clean. In this case, i hijacked the entire post. So again i appologize.

You bring up and interesting point laura. One that i have been meaning to touch on about evolution and creation being at odds. As for the translating of the Bible i believe you are mixing up the concepts of literal translation of the text of the Bible and literal translation of the events of the Bible. Those are two very different concepts.

Laura said...

JC- to a point yes the translation of the text and events is separate, unless the translation of the text mis-interprets the event. For example, some scholars believe that the Greek translation is where we got the crucified through the hands concept, when the original language may have said forearm or wrist. Giving a whole new meaning to the stigmata. There's also problems resolving which stories or events were left completely out of the Bible - for we know of the Dead Sea scrolls, and of Popes and Kings removing whole sections of the Gospels.

Allegorically, it's a great story. Literally, it's full of holes.

Jewish Atheist said...

No problem, JC.

As for holes in the bible here's one for you:

"Compare the following accounts of what Mary M reported to the apostles after discovering the empty tomb:

John 20:
1. The first day of the week cometh Mary Magdalene early, when it was yet dark, unto the sepulchre, and seeth the stone taken away from the sepulchre.
2. Then she runneth, and cometh to Simon Peter, and to the other disciple, whom Jesus loved, and saith unto them, They have taken away the Lord out of the sepulchre, and we know not where they have laid him.

Luke 24:
1. Now upon the first day of the week, very early in the morning, they came unto the sepulchre, bringing the spices which they had prepared, and certain others with them.
2. And they found the stone rolled away from the sepulchre.
3. And they entered in, and found not the body of the Lord Jesus.
4. And it came to pass, as they were much perplexed thereabout, behold, two men stood by them in shining garments:
5. And as they were afraid, and bowed down their faces to the earth, they said unto them, Why seek ye the living among the dead?
6. He is not here, but is risen: remember how he spake unto you when he was yet in Galilee,
7. Saying, The Son of man must be delivered into the hands of sinful men, and be crucified, and the third day rise again.
8. And they remembered his words,
9. And returned from the sepulchre, and told all these things unto the eleven, and to all the rest.
10. It was Mary Magdalene, and Joanna, and Mary the mother of James, and other women that were with them, which told these things unto the apostles.

So according to John, after discovering the empty tomb, Mary M reported back with the upsetting news that Jesus' body had been taken (John 20:1-2). But according to Luke, Mary M and the others reported back with the joyous news that Jesus had risen (Luke 24:6-10)."


JC Masterpiece said...

Actually, in the greek the word for hand refers to the hand and forearm. They were seen as all one piece.

It would not be possible for a person to be crucified through the hand itself as it would not be able to hold the body. When crucified the individual would have had the nails driven through the wrists (which to the greeks was the hands) for the bones to have been able to support the body.

Also, the New Testament was cannonized by the early Catholic/Christian church which set up certain rules for cannon and decided on which books would be a part of the New Testament. Some were rejected because they were not written by the apostles or Paul, some were rejected because they were downright fake, others because they were undenyably incompatible with the scriptures. Ultimately the decision was set in stone so-to-speak. Kings have come along and tried to remove and replace books of the Bible, but still it remains.

But then this is an entirely different topic altogether, so i will stop here.

JC Masterpiece said...

Wow JA, that is one long source. I got through Sean's first arguments, Jason's first rebuttals, and Sean's rebuttal to Jason't first rebuttal before i just gave up. You would think that they could have quoted each other and organized the quotes a little better to actually make it readable. Talk about confusing. Anyways, it seemed that Jason had things pretty well in hand at the point i left it as Sean's rebuttal seemed more about character defamation in the beginning than actual argument. He made some interesting arguments a little later on, but it seemed that they were pretty minor, something about "Did the disciples actually go to Galilee or not?". In essence it was not anywhere near as important to the argument as the rest. Needless to say, both sides definitely had some flaws and appeared to be getting caught up in some anger issues (i've never done that before [wink wink]. I definitely didn't fully aggree with everything that Jason had to say, but i did actually come up with some of the same rebuttals as he did to Sean's first argument. One thing i wanted to note that Jason didn't however, is that when John's gospel was written (by the apostle John) the other gospels were supposed to have already been in circulation. Thus when he reports only Mary M, the group of women had already be set in previous gospels. Thus he didn't need to mention more than the one he thought was important. Also, where, anywhere in the gospels, does it list every person that was part of the group? It's rediculous to assume that a gospel writer will purposefully write a list of every person present. Anyways, i didn't finish the article (can you blame me?) due to the loads of hot air that were being blown across the post and the lack of actual argument. The most important stuff seems to appear in the initial argument by Sean and Jason's first rebuttal. I agree with most of it, still some glaring flaws that Jason hadn't resolved, but overall that covered most of the important stuff. Sorry this is so long, but i made it as short as possible and due to the nature of the subject and such it should be much longer.

Sadie Lou said...

What kind of evolution are we talking about here? I believe in microevolution which is the evolution within a species. I do not, however, believe in macroevolution, which is to say that a species can evolve into a different species. So what evolution theory are we discussing? Cromagnum (sp?) Man?

Jewish Atheist said...

It's an artificial distinction. Macroevolution is just microevolution which continues until the descendants are so different that they can no longer produce viable offspring with the original species.

Suppose, for example, a group of 20 humans were to go to Mars and start having children. Assume they have enough technology to live there indefinitely. Also assume that there is a nuclear war on Earth which sets us back thousands of years in technology and kills off most humans here. Nobody goes to Mars again for a hundred million years.

When the two groups finally meet again, they might have evolved so much due to different environments and just plain genetic drift that they could no longer successfully mate. There would then be two species of human.

That's sort of what happened with the animals that ended up in Ausralia versus the ones in Europe/Asia, except more so.

Laura said...

I guess it depends on where you see the starting point. If you believe that the species were created, and then evolved from there (which is what I think Sadie is saying) vs. you believe everything came from the primordial ooze. By definition, the latter implies 'macro' evolution because everything came from the same starting point. Evolution is evolution, but the sticky issue is where each person believes the starting point was.

Jewish Atheist said...

We have observed some speciation happen right before our eyes: