If the topic of evolution has never come up in your witnessing encounters, it undoubtedly will at some point.  Christians need not be intimidated by it.  Instead, here are some questions you can ask to help an evolutionist think through these issues while gently (yet effectively) exposing the irrationality of the theory itself.

1)  Where did the space for the universe come from?

2)  Where did matter come from?

3)  How does a strictly material, constantly changing universe give us immaterial, universal, unchanging laws (such as laws of logic, science, and morality)?

4)  How did matter get so perfectly organized?

5)  Where did the energy come from to do all the organizing?

6)   When, where, why, and how did randomness become non-random?

7)  When, where, why, and how did life arise from non-living matter?

8)  When, where, why, and how did life learn to reproduce itself?

9)  Why would natural selection favor sexual reproduction over cell division, which is more efficient and less costly genetically?

10)  With what did the first cell capable of sexual reproduction reproduce?

11)  Why would any plant or animal want to reproduce more of its kind since this would only make more mouths to feed and, thereby, decrease the chances of survival?

12)  Which of the following evolved first and how long did it work without the others?: 


(a) The digestive system, the food to be digested, the appetite, the ability to find and eat the food, the digestive juices, or the body’s resistance to its own digestive juices (stomach, intestines, etc.)?

(b) The drive to reproduce or the ability to reproduce?

(c)  The lungs, the mucous lining to protect them, the throat, or the perfect mixture of gases to be breathed into the lungs?

(d)  The termite or the Trichonympha symbiotes that live in its intestines and actually digest the cellulose?

(e)  The plants or the insects that live on and pollinate them?

(f)  The bones or the ligaments, tendons, blood supply, and muscles to move the bones?

(g)  The nervous system, repair system, or hormone system?

(h)  The immune system or the need for it?

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Comments
  1. paul the slave says:

    Reblogged this on paul the slave.

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  2. agnophilo says:

    “If the topic of evolution has never come up in your witnessing encounters, it undoubtedly will at some point. Christians need not be intimidated by it. Instead, here are some questions you can ask to help an evolutionist think through these issues while gently (yet effectively) exposing the irrationality of the theory itself.”

    Actually all you are doing is highlighting your own ignorance and hoping the other person will be as ignorant as you.

    “1) Where did the space for the universe come from? 2) Where did matter come from?”

    I combined the two because the answer is the same – I don’t know and neither do you, and this has nothing to do with darwinian evolution.

    “3) How does a strictly material, constantly changing universe give us immaterial, universal, unchanging laws (such as laws of logic, science, and morality)?”

    The universe isn’t necessarily “strictly material”, material is just all that we can empirically observe and know to exist objectively. And the “laws” of logic, science and morality are all three very different abstract concepts. Laws of logic and physics are deduced from observation and are tentative, “laws” of physics are only constant and unchanging in principle, and many have been shown to not actually be universal or constant, such as newton’s “laws” of motion which break down at high speeds or the “law” of non-contradiction which ceases to apply in a universe where time, size, and velocity are relative. These “laws” are man-made symbolic representations of the world, and they are no more immutable than we are. If you mean why does the universe have the most basic known properties that it has, see the answer to questions 1 and 2.

    “4) How did matter get so perfectly organized?”

    It didn’t. If you drop the word “perfect” (bodies that get cancer and planets with fault lines that cause massive disasters that kill millions of people are hardly “perfectly” organized), and just ask how did matter get organized then my response is that the question is too vague – ask a more specific question and I can help you, but I am not going to spend an hour describing dozens of atomic, biological, chemical, geological etc processes that produce different things. How a mountain forms and how a snowflake form are two very different things that require different answers.

    “5) Where did the energy come from to do all the organizing?”

    See the answer to questions 1-3.

    “6) When, where, why, and how did randomness become non-random?”

    I don’t know that it ever was non-random, or that anything even is non-random. We call things random when we lack the ability to predict them. In principle with enough data and enough smarts anything is predictable and non-random.

    “7) When, where, why, and how did life arise from non-living matter?”

    Plants turn non-living matter into living matter every day, non-living matter and living matter are the same thing – the iron in your blood and the iron in the steel of a golf club are identical. If you mean how exactly did life begin, we don’t know since the earliest life would not contain the fortified cell structures that are hard enough to fossilize and leave remnants, so the fossil record goes cold around 3.4 billion years ago. And the earliest fossil life is in the oceans to answer the where question..

    “8) When, where, why, and how did life learn to reproduce itself?”

    Learning in the sense of mental activity evolved several billion years later, the first life would’ve simply been a chemical process. A germ doesn’t need to learn to reproduce, and is incapable of learning anything.

    “9) Why would natural selection favor sexual reproduction over cell division, which is more efficient and less costly genetically?”

    Sexual reproduction allows an individual to gain successful genes from many lineages maximizing it’s chance of survival and allowing a population to adapt to many selective pressures simultaneously. The mathematical speed of evolution is greatly enhanced by sexual reproduction which is evident in many evolution simulation programs you can download free to experiment virtually with the math of natural selection and virtually “evolve” things (including in some cases virtual functional machines).

    “10) With what did the first cell capable of sexual reproduction reproduce?”

    Other cells presumably.

    “11) Why would any plant or animal want to reproduce more of its kind since this would only make more mouths to feed and, thereby, decrease the chances of survival?”

    As opposed to what, just dying out? I somehow think natural selection would favor starvation over automatic extinction. And natural selection is not a conscious process of species thinking about what they want or deciding what is best. As a science nerd who knows about this stuff it is always depressing to read rants like this posted by people who are bashing science and who, halfway through their rant betray the fact that they literally have no idea what the science they’re opposed to is about at all. Natural selection is the process of genes getting passed on at different rates because the genes themselves are useful or harmful, no thought or logic or “hmm, this would be a good idea” required.

    “12) Which of the following evolved first and how long did it work without the others?:
    (a) The digestive system, the food to be digested, the appetite, the ability to find and eat the food, the digestive juices, or the body’s resistance to its own digestive juices (stomach, intestines, etc.)?”

    The food to be digested obviously, since predation is one organism eating another organism the organism must first exist before predation is an option. As for the rest, any organ system does not begin in it’s most tricked out, complex state any more than the first computer had a DVD drive. And just as my computer needs a hard drive to function but the earliest computers didn’t need a hard drive to function modern configurations of organs can become irreducibly complex by gradual modification the same way technologies do. As for the stomach resisting it’s stomach juices it doesn’t, your stomach lining digests itself perpetually.

    “(b) The drive to reproduce or the ability to reproduce?”

    Sex drive is a behavioral mental characteristic of higher animals which would not have been present in early microbial lifeforms which lacked brains just like bacteria do. Early life would’ve reproduced by chemical reactions just like mindless microbes do today.

    “(c) The lungs, the mucous lining to protect them, the throat, or the perfect mixture of gases to be breathed into the lungs?”

    There is no “perfect” mixture of gases, the atmosphere is not consistent anywhere on the earth’s surface. And the answer is the throat, followed by the lungs and then the various add-ons to them.

    “(d) The termite or the Trichonympha symbiotes that live in its intestines and actually digest the cellulose?”

    The termite – it would logically have had the ability to digest it’s own food and later lost it as a result of the effectiveness of the symbiotic relationship, the same way humans btw have largely lost the ability to digest food since the trillions of bacteria in our intestines do such a good job of it.

    “(e) The plants or the insects that live on and pollinate them?”

    Plants pre-date insects by many millions of years and flowering plants evolved several hundred million years after the first insects.

    “(f) The bones or the ligaments, tendons, blood supply, and muscles to move the bones?”

    Bones first emerge in the fossil record in the cambrian period, before which there were plenty of animals that could move around and thus had muscles, blood etc. Though if by blood supply you mean a heart pumping blood our four chambered heart evolved from the three chambered heart of the reptile which evolved from the two chambered heart of the fish, which evolved from simpler species like crustaceans, some of which have hearts and others do not. The first heart was most likely simply an accidental by-product of musculature, every time a fish wagged it’s tail it pumped a little blood – this mimics the lymph system in humans today which circulates all the non-blood fluid in your body by your muscles pressing on different parts of the body and forcing fluid from one region to the other – this is why a doctor gives you a shot near the butt, aka the gliteus maximus – the largest and most often used muscle in the human body. Short of injecting it in to a vein it’s the most effective way to circulate it through the body.

    “(g) The nervous system, repair system, or hormone system?”

    I’m not sure what you mean by “repair” system but I suspect the answer is the nervous system, though I could be wrong. I don’t know a lot about the evolution of hormones.

    “(h) The immune system or the need for it?”

    Well the first virus would necessarily pre-date the first immune system since natural selection is reactive, not pro-active.

    And yes, I also know which came first, the chicken or the egg.

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    • paul the slave says:

      All talk and nothing new, eh? The fool has said in his heart, ‘There is no God’. You are one of the biggest fools I have come across for some time.

      Mike, when this bloke visits my site to willfully start an argument, I just trash it. He doesn’t want answers and doesn’t want to change. Don’t waste your time with him/her. This judged fool has his reward…

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      • scmike2 says:

        Easy there, Paul! 🙂
        I appreciate the warning, but I also welcome these types of discussions and the opportunity to engage atheists/evolutionists in order to (hopefully gently) point out their folly by exposing the irrationality of their worldview. Remember our admonition in 2 Timothy 2:24. I rest in the fact that, if agnophilo is not open to honest debate, that will become obvious soon enough and there will be a permanent, public record of it for all to see. I am pleased with that.

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        • paul the slave says:

          I am all for responding to commenters as you are and enjoy it so, but when someone like this person goes from on blog to another trying his/her best to start arguments with Christians…well that’s when I draw the line. You are bantering with a fool and we all know what the Bible says about that.

          Stick to preaching the Gospel with him and you’ll see the gloves come off. He’s only trying to make you look foolish.

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          • scmike2 says:

            I appreciate the Brotherly concern, Paul! I posted a response to his arguments here and look forward to the exposure of our respective worldviews for all to see. Thanks in advance for your prayers! : )

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      • agnophilo says:

        “All talk and nothIng new” describes your comment (which contains literally no content besides personal insults), not my comment which is completely civil and contains a wealth of information which no doubt would be new to you if you could be bothered to read it.

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        • scmike2 says:

          Hey Mark,

          I have addressed Paul regarding his comments already. However, I would hardly call your comments ‘completely civil’, especially given your insulting opening remarks and your ungracious mischaracterization of my initial post as ‘a rant’. I forgive you though, as admittedly the bulk of your responses came from ‘off the top of your head’. ;-D
          Nonetheless, I am eager to see how you might respond to my challenges to your position. Talk to you soon.

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          • agnophilo says:

            I don’t want to trust a long reply to my phone so I will reply to your maIn comment later at home on my laptop but I wanted to say that I meant neither of those things as insults – I rant all the time in blogs and as for ignorance as someone once said we are all ignorant, just on different subjects. To say that you are ignorant of the answers to questions you consider unanswerable seems a reasonable conclusion and was not meant as a personal insult.

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            • scmike2 says:

              Mark,

              I am happy to give you the benefit of the doubt on your comments. Regarding your forthcoming response, if you don’t mind, I think it would be beneficial if you focused on point #8 to begin with. If you are going to make knowledge claims about the unobserved and unobservable past, I’m sure you’d agree that it is important that you not only posit the claims, but that you provide a logical justification for them which tells HOW you know that they are true. What I would like to know is: how is it possible for you as an atheist to know anything for certain with only your limited senses and experience of the universe to go on? As a Christian, I can account for my ability to know things with certainty based on the fact that God (who knows everything) has revealed some things to mankind such that we can be certain of them (such as the fact that He exists and the Bible is true). You may not like my justification, and no doubt disagree with it, but posit yours and I will be happy to discuss and compare the means by which we arrive at truth in our respective worldviews. Thanks in advance for your response! : )

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              • agnophilo says:

                “Mark, I am happy to give you the benefit of the doubt on your comments. Regarding your forthcoming response, if you don’t mind, I think it would be beneficial if you focused on point #8 to begin with. If you are going to make knowledge claims about the unobserved and unobservable past, I’m sure you’d agree that it is important that you not only posit the claims, but that you provide a logical justification for them which tells HOW you know that they are true.”

                We can actually observe the past in many instances, either indirectly through the fossil record, DNA and other artifacts, or directly in the case of time dilation (the light from distant objects having traveled for thousands, millions or billions of years to get to us so we literally are witnessing events in the remote past).

                “What I would like to know is: how is it possible for you as an atheist to know anything for certain with only your limited senses and experience of the universe to go on?”

                It isn’t. There is no “for certain”, what we call certainty is, realistically speaking, just a high degree of probability. But to suppose that we know something 100% rather than 99.99999999999 etc percent is to suppose ourselves infallible, which is just stupid. I “know” the earth is round in the sense that I can demonstrate it, but I have to admit I could be wrong.

                “As a Christian, I can account for my ability to know things with certainty based on the fact that God (who knows everything) has revealed some things to mankind such that we can be certain of them (such as the fact that He exists and the Bible is true). You may not like my justification, and no doubt disagree with it, but posit yours and I will be happy to discuss and compare the means by which we arrive at truth in our respective worldviews. Thanks in advance for your response! : )”

                You can’t “know” one thing by assuming another. You may be able to cajole yourself into a feeling of certainty that way, but knowledge is what you can prove, not what you’re sure of. You “know” what you know in the sense that a muslim person “knows” there is no god but allah and mohammad is his prophet. You consider it a fact but to call things a fact that you can’t demonstrate debauches the distinction between fact and opinion and makes terms like fact meaningless.

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                • scmike2 says:

                  I asked: “What I would like to know is: how is it possible for you as an atheist to know anything for certain with only your limited senses and experience of the universe to go on?”

                  You responded: “”It isn’t. There is no “for certain”,””

                  Um, are you certain that there is no ‘for certain’? If yes, you refute yourself. If no, you are forced to admit that certainty is indeed possible. Either way you are refuted.

                  You said: “”what we call certainty is, realistically speaking, just a high degree of probability.””

                  Are you certain of that, or could it be false?

                  You said: “”But to suppose that we know something 100% rather than 99.99999999999 etc percent is to suppose ourselves infallible, which is just stupid.””

                  But since you have admitted that you can’t be certain of anything, you could be wrong about that—right? ; )

                  You said: “”I “know” the earth is round in the sense that I can demonstrate it, but I have to admit I could be wrong.””

                  Then you don’t ‘know’ it, you only ‘believe’ it—big difference. Knowledge is certain by definition (as it is ‘justified true belief’). You can’t know something that could be false, as something cannot be both true and not-true at the same time and in the same way. If you dispute this, the floor is yours—tell me one thing you know to be true which could also be false.

                  I said: “As a Christian, I can account for my ability to know things with certainty based on the fact that God (who knows everything) has revealed some things to mankind such that we can be certain of them (such as the fact that He exists and the Bible is true).

                  You said: “”You can’t “know” one thing by assuming another.””

                  But you can’t be certain of that, which means it could be completely false and the opposite could be true for all you know. See what atheism leads to, Mark?

                  You said: “”You may be able to cajole yourself into a feeling of certainty that way, but knowledge is what you can prove, not what you’re sure of.””

                  Unfortunately for you, though, this is just another unjustified (i.e. baseless) claim on your part which could be false for all you know (as you have conceded). This means that you have have zero foundation for truth in your worldview and, as a consequence, no means of ‘proving’ anything since you are forced to admit that anything you claim to have ‘proven’ today could turn out to be completely false tommorrow. Such is the hopelessness of of a worldview without God.

                  You said: “”You “know” what you know in the sense that a muslim person “knows” there is no god but allah and mohammad is his prophet.””

                  Again, you are confusing knowledge with belief. What people claim to be true has nothing to do with what actually is true. The fact is, God has revealed Himself to all mankind such that we can know for certain who He is. That some people choose to suppress this truth (via false religion, atheism, etc.) in order to avoid accountability to Him is perfectly consistent with Scripture (Romans 1: 18-23). Also consistent with Scripture is the fact that those who do so will ultimately be reduced to vain and foolish reasoning (i.e. absurdity), which is being demonstrated as we speak.

                  You said: “”You consider it a fact but to call things a fact that you can’t demonstrate debauches the distinction between fact and opinion and makes terms like fact meaningless.””

                  Actually, certainty is a necessary precondition for any ‘facts’, Mark. However, only one of us has presented a logical justification for the certainty of knowledge in their worldview. If you are intellectually honest, you would admit that it is possible that an omnipotent, omniscient God could reveal some things to humans such that we could know them for certain to be true. On the other hand, you have zero justification for the certainty of knowledge in your worldview (as you have admitted) and, in fact, have gone to the absurd, self-refuting lengths of even denying the possibility of it. As such, all of your knowledge claims about evolution (or anything else for that matter) are reduced to nothing more than opinions which could be false for all you know. This is the very epitome of rendering the term ‘fact’ meaningless. Perhaps I should hold off on addressing the claims you have made in your other response until we clear this up? I’m sure you’d agree that it would be a colossal waste of time to continue fielding knowledge claims from someone who has admitted that they can’t really know anything, no?

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    • scmike2 says:

      Hey agnophilo,

      Thank you for your in/depth responses! Regarding your comments:

      You said: Actually all you are doing is highlighting your own ignorance and hoping the other person will be as ignorant as you.

      I hate to jump to conclusions so early in this discussion, but declaring oneself to be intellectually superior is usually a sure sign that the opposite is true. Let’s see if that’s the case:

      You said: 1) I don’t know and neither do you, and this has nothing to do with darwinian evolution.

      First of all, how do you know that I don’t know the answer to this question? This sounds like an unjustified assumption on your part. Besides, the question has everything to do with darwinian evolution, because if there is no matter to evolve in the first place, there can be no evolution. If you have no justification for the very existence of matter, life, etc., then your whole foundation for evolution rests upon blind faith. Of course, I don’t have to remind you that believing in things with no rational reason for doing so is but one form of irrationality.

      You said: 3) The universe isn’t necessarily “strictly material”, material is just all that we can empirically observe and know to exist objectively.

      Then what is your justification for the existence of abstract, immaterial entities/ concepts if they cannot be observed or known to exist objectively? Blind faith, perhaps?

      These “laws” are man-made symbolic representations of the world, and they are no more immutable than we are.

      If it is your position that the laws of logic are man-made, then could the universe have both existed and not existed at the same time and in the same way before men were present to create the law of non-contradiction?

      You said: 4) ask a more specific question and I can help you, but I am not going to spend an hour describing dozens of atomic, biological, chemical, geological etc processes that produce different things

      No problem. More specifically, why and how do molecules presently know how to behave the same as they have in the past with regards to the formation of matter, etc.? What compels them to do so in such a consistent, basically uniform fashion?

      You said: 5) See the answer to questions 1-3.

      There is no answer to this question in 1-3. Simply stating that matter and physical laws exist is a far cry from accounting for the existence of the energy needed to create and sustain these processes. I trust that you can see that, no?

      You said: 6) I don’t know that it ever was non-random, or that anything even is non-random. We call things random when we lack the ability to predict them.

      A couple of things regarding this: 1) Why are things not random? (2) ‘Predicting’ things assumes a certain basic uniformity of nature (i.e non-randomness). What is your basis for assuming that the future will in any way resemble the past in a random chance, accidental universe? I should remind you that atheistic philosopher David Hume was reduced to utter skepticism regarding this. You see, as a Christian, I can rationally proceed with the expectation that nature will remain basically uniform due to God’s promises is His Word to sustain His creation in a fashion such that mankind can subdue it and have dominion over it. This would not be possible absent a basic general uniformity in nature. As such, the Christian worldview provides a logical basis for a belief in the principle of induction (which is the very basis of all science), while atheism/ evolution does not.

      You said: 7) Plants turn non-living matter into living matter every day, non-living matter and living matter are the same thing – the iron in your blood and the iron in the steel of a golf club are identical.

      Um, your answer to the question about where life came from is that ‘non-living matter and living matter are the same thing’? Do you also believe that rational and irrational responses are equally valid, too? You’re making me think so. 😉

      You said: 8) Learning in the sense of mental activity evolved several billion years later, the first life would’ve simply been a chemical process.

      How do you know this for certain? Where have you observed it? If you are honest, you would admit that you believe these things absent any verifiable justification (i.e. blind faith), as you have admitted in your responses to # 1-2.

      You said: 9) Sexual reproduction allows an individual to gain successful genes from many lineages maximizing it’s chance of survival and allowing a population to adapt to many selective pressures simultaneously.

      A few questions: 1) How do you know what ‘successful’ genes are without knowing the proper goal of evolution? (2) How do you know that surviving and adapting is what we SHOULD be doing instead of not-surviving and not-adapting? (3) Is survival of the individual or survival of the group the ideal and how do you know this?

      The mathematical speed of evolution is greatly enhanced by sexual reproduction which is evident in many evolution simulation programs you can download free to experiment virtually with the math of natural selection and virtually “evolve” things (including in some cases virtual functional machines).

      I’m not a big fan of sci-fi, but if I was, that definitely sounds like the ultimate experience! Surely you can see the irony though, in advocating a computer program DESIGNED by someone to try and promote the idea that you yourself are the product of a mindless, random-chance process, no (unless, of course, you are now going to argue that the computer program also evolved over billions of years)?

      You said: 10) Other cells presumably.

      And those other cells just happened to be capable of sexual reproduction at exactly the same time and place? Riiiiiiight! One thing is for sure, agnophilo, you certainly have no shortage of (blind) faith in evolution. Again, though, this makes your position an irrational one, as there is no logical justification for the things you are assuming here.

      You said: 11) As opposed to what, just dying out? I somehow think natural selection would favor starvation over automatic extinction.

      Why? What is the basis for that assumption?

      As a science nerd who knows about this stuff it is always depressing to read rants like this posted by people who are bashing science and who, halfway through their rant betray the fact that they literally have no idea what the science they’re opposed to is about at all.

      I appreciate your desire to learn and your quest to obtain knowledge, agnophilo, as this is what we are commanded by God to do. However, what you’re doing isn’t demonstrating that you ‘know about this stuff’, but rather you’re only ‘making unjustified and unjustifiable assertions about it’. You are telling me about your faith based beliefs, but not what you know and how you claim to know it for certain (which is what I am really interested in). You seem to be confusing the two.

      Also, not that I agree with you about my post being a rant, but so what if it was? If there is ultimately no meaning to life and our thoughts are just the products of the (random) chemical reactions in our evolved brains, then why bother to take the time and try and ‘correct’ anyone else’s thinking whatsoever, since people necessarily think the way their brains tell them to? If your position were true, you don’t believe in evolution because it’s true, but because that’s just what the reaction of the chemicals in your brain tell you to think. Your very arguments here betray your professed position and demonstrate that you don’t live in accordance with your professed beliefs. This type of internal inconsistency is also but another form of irrationality. Why trust such an absurd position?

      Natural selection is the process of genes getting passed on at different rates because the genes themselves are useful or harmful, no thought or logic or “hmm, this would be a good idea” required.

      Again, though, how do you know what genes are ‘useful’ or ‘harmful’ without knowing the PROPER function of natural selection?

      You said: 12a) The food to be digested obviously, since predation is one organism eating another organism the organism must first exist before predation is an option. As for the rest, any organ system does not begin in it’s most tricked out, complex state

      That’s the point. Why would natural selection favor the formation of a digestive system to be used for food that the organism currently couldn’t eat anyway? What good would a partially formed/ nonfunctional digestive system be to an organism while it was evolving and what function would it serve once formed, without an appetite for the food to be eaten? After all, what benefit is there to having an appetite if there is no fully functioning digestive system present? What good is a fully functioning digestive system without an appetite?

      (b) Sex drive is a behavioral mental characteristic of higher animals which would not have been present in early microbial lifeforms which lacked brains just like bacteria do. Early life would’ve reproduced by chemical reactions just like mindless microbes do today.

      I’m not asking about ASEXUAL reproduction in ‘early’ life, I’m asking which evolved first, the drive to reproduce sexually or the ability to do so. Hopefully you can see that neither one is of any benefit without the other, which is the point here. Well?

      (c) And the answer is the throat, followed by the lungs and then the various add-ons to them.

      And of what benefit would a throat be absent the connecting lungs with which inhale and to exhale the air through it? Why would a creature need lungs if it did not currently have the capability to breathe air, as partially formed, nonfunctional lungs would be of no value to it (i.e. spare parts). Unless of course you want to argue that evolution/natural selection somehow knew that these would be needed in the future and then proceeded to manufacture them for the benefit of the creature (which, of course, is absurd as you have admitted earlier). Well?

      (d) The termite – it would logically have had the ability to digest it’s own food and later lost it as a result of the effectiveness of the symbiotic relationship, the same way humans btw have largely lost the ability to digest food since the trillions of bacteria in our intestines do such a good job of it.

      Logically huh? What is your logical justification for assuming that termites have ever had the ability to digest cellulose absent the Trichonympha symbiotes? Where and when have you observed this or do you just accept it on blind faith?

      (e) Plants pre-date insects by many millions of years and flowering plants evolved several hundred million years after the first insects.

      So how did the insects that depend on the flowering plants for food survive over the ‘several hundred million years’ that their food source was evolving? If you’re going to argue that they ate something else and then evolved to eat the nectar from the flowering plants afterwards, please provide justification for this and tell how you know it for certain.

      (f) Bones first emerge in the fossil record in the cambrian period….etc.

      The point is that a partially formed, non-functional skeletal system would be of no survival value to any creature and the necessary parts would have all had to evolve at the same time and place in order to have a functioning system. Without any one of the parts I listed above, the system is incomplete and is of no use or value.

      (g) I’m not sure what you mean by “repair” system but I suspect the answer is the nervous system, though I could be wrong. I don’t know a lot about the evolution of hormones.

      Again, the point is that absent any one of the three, the system does not function and is of no use or benefit to the creature. You would therefore be arguing that natural selection favored unneeded spare parts in creatures and then somehow took those spare (i.e. useless) parts and made them into something useful rather than eliminating them. This is in direct contradiction to evolutionary theory and the supposed function of natural selection producing creatures that are ‘more fit’ for survival via the elimination of those attributes which are detrimental/not useful to the creature. Again, this internal inconsistency reveals the irrationality of the position you are arguing for.

      (g) Well the first virus would necessarily pre-date the first immune system since natural selection is reactive, not pro-active.

      And so how did infected organisms survive for the millions of years it took to evolve an immune system? Of what use would an immune system be to those organisms which were not affected/ infected. Hopefully you can see the logical binds that your worldview leads to by now, no?

      You said: And yes, I also know which came first, the chicken or the egg.

      As do I (Genesis 1:20-22). Take care!

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      • agnophilo says:

        “Hey agnophilo, Thank you for your in/depth responses!”

        Likewise.

        “Regarding your comments:
        You said: ‘Actually all you are doing is highlighting your own ignorance and hoping the other person will be as ignorant as you.’ I hate to jump to conclusions so early in this discussion, but declaring oneself to be intellectually superior is usually a sure sign that the opposite is true. Let’s see if that’s the case:”

        I was not trying to say anything about myself in that statement, I was just saying that you were declaring your own ignorance (asking questions which you believed there to be no answer to but which there actually is) which is by definition ignorant of those answers and hoping the other person couldn’t answer them, which to be fair most people couldn’t. I don’t take any pride in being able to answer them, I just can.

        “First of all, how do you know that I don’t know the answer to this question? This sounds like an unjustified assumption on your part.”

        This is just arguing for the sake of arguing. How do I know you haven’t figured out how the universe began? Because I didn’t read about it in the front page headline of every newspaper in the world yesterday. The same way I can be reasonably sure you can’t cure cancer. Though religions often pretend they can do that too.

        “Besides, the question has everything to do with darwinian evolution, because if there is no matter to evolve in the first place, there can be no evolution. If you have no justification for the very existence of matter, life, etc., then your whole foundation for evolution rests upon blind faith.”

        First of all we know that matter exists regardless of whether we know where it came from (or if it even came from anywhere), and no more need “blind faith” in it’s existence to accept evolution than we do to accept that we’re using a computer to communicate right now. Faith is belief without evidence, not belief with evidence. Whether life evolved or the holocaust happened or any other event too place is not dependent on explaining where matter came from, any more than whether the civil war happened or not is dependent on abiogenesis. These are very different ideas which, while one logically would take place before the other, are not logically continent on each other and are based on entirely separate avenues of evidence. The american civil war took place (and we can prove it) whether life arose by abiogenesis or was created by jehovah or flew out of a giant space monkey’s rear end. And evolution is no different.

        “Of course, I don’t have to remind you that believing in things with no rational reason for doing so is but one form of irrationality.”

        Believing them based on centuries of tests and evidence is the exact opposite of that.

        “You said: 3) The universe isn’t necessarily “strictly material”, material is just all that we can empirically observe and know to exist objectively. – Then what is your justification for the existence of abstract, immaterial entities/ concepts if they cannot be observed or known to exist objectively? Blind faith, perhaps?”

        Abstract concepts are by definition subjective and do not, as I said, “exist objectively”. A unicorn “exists” as a concept in the mind in an entirely different sense than a table exists outside of the mind regardless of whether we know about it or believe it exists or call it a table. And again how is blind faith applicable to anything I’ve said?

        “These “laws” are man-made symbolic representations of the world, and they are no more immutable than we are. – If it is your position that the laws of logic are man-made, then could the universe have both existed and not existed at the same time and in the same way before men were present to create the law of non-contradiction?”

        You are confusing the properties of the universe with the “laws” we invented to try to describe them. And as far as the universe “existing” that is an “if a tree falls in the forest and no one hears it fall” type of question that is getting kind of far from the topic of conversation.

        “You said: 4) ask a more specific question and I can help you, but I am not going to spend an hour describing dozens of atomic, biological, chemical, geological etc processes that produce different things – No problem. More specifically, why and how do molecules presently know how to behave the same as they have in the past with regards to the formation of matter, etc.? What compels them to do so in such a consistent, basically uniform fashion?”

        This is not a more specific question, it’s a different question. You asked me how did matter get “perfectly organized” and now you’re asking where did the properties of matter come from. And I’ve already answered this question several times.

        “You said: 5) See the answer to questions 1-3. – There is no answer to this question in 1-3.”

        Yes, there is – I don’t know, and neither do you.

        “Simply stating that matter and physical laws exist is a far cry from accounting for the existence of the energy needed to create and sustain these processes. I trust that you can see that, no?”

        You are making assumptions about the universe.

        “You said: 6) I don’t know that it ever was non-random, or that anything even is non-random. We call things random when we lack the ability to predict them.
        – A couple of things regarding this: 1) Why are things not random?”

        As I explained the concept of randomness or non-randomness is one of human perspective, it does not describe the universe so much as it describes what we can and can’t predict. And again I have no idea. Anything that exists must have some kind of property and everything that exists, that we know of, is made of smaller things that are made of smaller things that are made of smaller things and so on, and ultimately some constituent of matter just is what it is for whatever reason and the properties we see flow from that fact.

        “(2) ‘Predicting’ things assumes a certain basic uniformity of nature (i.e non-randomness). What is your basis for assuming that the future will in any way resemble the past in a random chance, accidental universe? I should remind you that atheistic philosopher David Hume was reduced to utter skepticism regarding this.”

        This is like asking how do I know my house won’t be hit by a meteor tonight (and thus decide to sleep in my own bed). The answer is “I don’t”. However I have zero reason to suspect that this will happen and can, as a matter of practicality, only base my choices on information I actually possess. I cannot anticipate the unknowable so I am not going to act on random guesses.

        “You see, as a Christian, I can rationally proceed with the expectation that nature will remain basically uniform due to God’s promises is His Word to sustain His creation in a fashion such that mankind can subdue it and have dominion over it. This would not be possible absent a basic general uniformity in nature. As such, the Christian worldview provides a logical basis for a belief in the principle of induction (which is the very basis of all science), while atheism/ evolution does not.”

        This point of view contains numerous fallacies. One, just because the dogma of your religion claims something that does not make it true. A claim is not it’s own proof. Second, the people who wrote the scriptures a) didn’t know about the “laws” of physics as we understand them and were not talking about them, and b) even if they were they were capable of observing for themselves that the universe behaves in a consistent way with regular seasons and day/night cycles, weather patterns etc and were not saying something that they could not know by observation. This is not hidden knowledge that is in any way impressive or needed to be “revealed” to them by god. And thirdly, when you say that your religion, if it were true, would account for something in nature therefore it justifies your religion this is what is called abductive reasoning, and it is a logical fallacy. IF it were true that the CIA snuck into my house last night and stole my car keys as a part of a mind control experiment that would explain why I can’t find them the next morning – however the power of that idea to account for something that is true does not make the idea true. Nor does my unwillingness to explore alternate explanations or even my inability to conceive of an alternate explanation. We have been talking about why evolution isn’t valid but you don’t seem to know a lick about the science of evolution. You are attacking it from a purely philosophical position and using different forms of arguments from ignorance, abductive reasoning being one of them. In your mind (and it’s not just you this is common in apologetics and “paranormal” culture) you not understanding or knowing something justifies your religion’s claims. So you spend your time seeking out things you don’t understand, not to try to explain them, but to say “aha! See, this proves there must be a god, because how else would x occur/exist/be this way!” But your not knowing or understanding something proves nothing. By the way high school students perform evolution experiments and watch insects and bacteria evolve over a handful of generations. It’s as well observed and tested as anything in science and this line of inquiry drives you further from what we can see and test and deeper into a tangled web of hypotheticals.

        “You said: 7) Plants turn non-living matter into living matter every day, non-living matter and living matter are the same thing – the iron in your blood and the iron in the steel of a golf club are identical. – Um, your answer to the question about where life came from is that ‘non-living matter and living matter are the same thing’? Do you also believe that rational and irrational responses are equally valid, too? You’re making me think so. ;-)”

        So add chemistry to the list of topics you don’t know much about. There is no distinction whatsoever between “living” matter and “non-living” matter. The matter itself is identical and interchangeable. The only difference is whether or not it is in a functional arrangement.

        “You said: 8) Learning in the sense of mental activity evolved several billion years later, the first life would’ve simply been a chemical process. – How do you know this for certain? Where have you observed it? If you are honest, you would admit that you believe these things absent any verifiable justification (i.e. blind faith), as you have admitted in your responses to # 1-2.”

        I did no such thing, you are just misrepresenting my words. And I know roughly when brains evolved because the fossil record goes back billions of years and for most of that time there is no evidence of anything more complex than a microbe. The oldest fossilized brains ever discovered are about 300 million years old, about half as old as the oldest multi-cellular life.

        “You said: 9) Sexual reproduction allows an individual to gain successful genes from many lineages maximizing it’s chance of survival and allowing a population to adapt to many selective pressures simultaneously. – A few questions: 1) How do you know what ‘successful’ genes are without knowing the proper goal of evolution?”

        There is no goal of evolution, proper or otherwise. Species no more mean to evolve or plan on it than a rock plans to fall to the ground, it just does. Intention is not a part of nature as we currently understand it (and can demonstrate/test/prove), beyond human and animal intentions.

        “(2) How do you know that surviving and adapting is what we SHOULD be doing instead of not-surviving and not-adapting?”

        According to whom? I’m sure some people think we should go extinct and others think we should survive, grow and thrive. I happen to be one of the latter people.

        “(3) Is survival of the individual or survival of the group the ideal and how do you know this?”

        That is too vague a question to answer, and again you’re staying squarely in the realm of philosophy and not venturing into the realm of science at all.

        “I’m not a big fan of sci-fi, but if I was, that definitely sounds like the ultimate experience! Surely you can see the irony though, in advocating a computer program DESIGNED by someone to try and promote the idea that you yourself are the product of a mindless, random-chance process, no (unless, of course, you are now going to argue that the computer program also evolved over billions of years)?”

        You can perform the same simulation with a pen and paper and write out billions of calculations if you want or you can avail yourself of “designed” technology. That we can use something man-made to understand something not man-made is only ironic or profound to creationists. And as for the simulator programs in question I don’t mean simulation as in a video game or a video showing what something is supposed to look like according to whoever, I mean a computer program that makes random changes to a virtual system and applies non-random selection pressures to artificially evolve something it is not designed to produce. For instance this program which is free and you don’t have to download which produces random geometric shapes, each with it’s own virtual “genome” (a string of short numbers determining it’s dimensions) and then each “generation” removes the worst shapes and blends the best together randomly to produce the next generation, virtually evolving better and better 2-dimensional vehicles:

        http://boxcar2d.com/

        Note also the hall of fame area where they list the best vehicles ever produced – the ones that were “evolved” by randomized trial and error all outperform the ones that were designed by people.

        “You said: 10) Other cells presumably. – And those other cells just happened to be capable of sexual reproduction at exactly the same time and place? Riiiiiiight!”

        You are ignorant and obnoxious. Sexual reproduction is just exchanging DNA which bacteria do all the time. It isn’t just what mammals do with penises and ovaries, that is just a more refined version of it. A single celled organism with permeable cell walls can just as easily swap (or even steal) genes from it’s neighbors, not to mention that if one microbe has the ability to swap DNA all it has to do is reproduce and it has a microbe to swap DNA with.

        “One thing is for sure, agnophilo, you certainly have no shortage of (blind) faith in evolution. Again, though, this makes your position an irrational one, as there is no logical justification for the things you are assuming here.”

        Stop projecting onto other people. And stop asking question after question and rewarding my patience with you by putting words in my mouth just so you can mock your own sentiments.

        “You said: 11) As opposed to what, just dying out? I somehow think natural selection would favor starvation over automatic extinction. – Why? What is the basis for that assumption?”

        Natural selection is the preservation of genes that survive because they survive. By definition natural selection would favor anything but extinction.

        “As a science nerd who knows about this stuff it is always depressing to read rants like this posted by people who are bashing science and who, halfway through their rant betray the fact that they literally have no idea what the science they’re opposed to is about at all. -I appreciate your desire to learn and your quest to obtain knowledge, agnophilo, as this is what we are commanded by God to do. However, what you’re doing isn’t demonstrating that you ‘know about this stuff’, but rather you’re only ‘making unjustified and unjustifiable assertions about it’. You are telling me about your faith based beliefs, but not what you know and how you claim to know it for certain (which is what I am really interested in). You seem to be confusing the two.”

        You haven’t asked me a single question about what I believe or why, or even about the evidence for evolution. All you’ve asked me is “how do you account for this thing that has nothing do do with evolution and isn’t even within ten miles of the subject of biology?” then as though you were going to regardless of my reply, you declare that I have blind faith and, in your mind, that makes blind faith okay.

        “Also, not that I agree with you about my post being a rant, but so what if it was? If there is ultimately no meaning to life and our thoughts are just the products of the (random) chemical reactions in our evolved brains, then why bother to take the time and try and ‘correct’ anyone else’s thinking whatsoever, since people necessarily think the way their brains tell them to? If your position were true, you don’t believe in evolution because it’s true, but because that’s just what the reaction of the chemicals in your brain tell you to think. Your very arguments here betray your professed position and demonstrate that you don’t live in accordance with your professed beliefs. This type of internal inconsistency is also but another form of irrationality. Why trust such an absurd position?”

        I’m tired of defending positions you’ve put in my mouth by over and over again having to explain that that is not what I think or believe. I think I’ll skip this one.

        “Again, though, how do you know what genes are ‘useful’ or ‘harmful’ without knowing the PROPER function of natural selection?”

        Natural selection doesn’t have a conscious goal or etiquette (and thus propriety or impropriety), it is just the fact that genes that help an organism survive or reproduce get passed on because they do so and genes that do not do not, because they do not. This process does not require a human being to stand around understanding why a gene is useful or not.

        “You said: 12a) The food to be digested obviously, since predation is one organism eating another organism the organism must first exist before predation is an option. As for the rest, any organ system does not begin in it’s most tricked out, complex state – That’s the point. Why would natural selection favor the formation of a digestive system to be used for food that the organism currently couldn’t eat anyway? What good would a partially formed/ nonfunctional digestive system be to an organism while it was evolving and what function would it serve once formed, without an appetite for the food to be eaten? After all, what benefit is there to having an appetite if there is no fully functioning digestive system present?”

        There are all kinds of digestive systems and members of a species usually can digest different things to different degrees. The first digestive system would not be anything like a mammalian digestive system other than perhaps being tubular, one thing all higher animals have in common, even microscopic ones. To give a hypothetical series of intermediates, a microbe could have a tube through the middle that it could use for something else, like propulsion through the water, and natural selection could favor any individuals that could also absorb nutrients in the water as they pass through, and eventually when it got good enough at this it could pass smaller organisms through and absorb nutrients from them as well, and natural selection would improve this ability until it could retain them inside and completely digest them. I haven’t looked into the evolution of the digestive system a whole lot but I’ve looked into the evolution of many other parts of our anatomy and the reason we know how so many things evolved is that those primitive forms usually still exist in nature to this day. We know how the heart evolved because there are still simpler and simpler and simpler hearts in nature, because not every species has the metabolism of a mammal and needs to circulate oxygen hyper-efficiently. And we know a lot about how the lungs evolved because there are still species for whom fully functional lungs are not useful, given their environment. Etc, etc, etc. I would not be in the least surprised if the same intermediate forms existed in nature for the digestive system.

        “What good is a fully functioning digestive system without an appetite?”

        Most species that digest food do so automatically with no thought or desire or pleasure, which are all functions of the brain, something most organisms on the planet lack.

        “(b) Sex drive is a behavioral mental characteristic of higher animals which would not have been present in early microbial lifeforms which lacked brains just like bacteria do. Early life would’ve reproduced by chemical reactions just like mindless microbes do today. – I’m not asking about ASEXUAL reproduction in ‘early’ life, I’m asking which evolved first, the drive to reproduce sexually or the ability to do so. Hopefully you can see that neither one is of any benefit without the other, which is the point here. Well?”

        Sexual reproduction is the exchange of DNA which occurs in many kinds of life. If you want a more complex explanation, here:

        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Evolution_of_sexual_reproduction#Origin_of_sexual_reproduction

        “(c) And the answer is the throat, followed by the lungs and then the various add-ons to them. – And of what benefit would a throat be absent the connecting lungs with which inhale and to exhale the air through it?”

        There are many species that have a throat and no lungs, and even your throat has more than one function. Think about it.

        “Why would a creature need lungs if it did not currently have the capability to breathe air, as partially formed, nonfunctional lungs would be of no value to it (i.e. spare parts).”

        There are many pseudo-lungs in nature, from fish like bettas that can gulp surface air in low-oxygen waters (there are areas of the ocean that have so little oxygen nothing can survive in them with just gills, and it would be useful for a species to venture into these waters for many reasons, from avoiding predators to seeking out sources of food), to mud-skippers that can survive off of water in their mouth for days out of the water, to species of fish that have empty sacs that retain air which they use as ballast tanks so they don’t have to burn calories to maintain their depth in the water. This is analogous to the use of the lungs in swimming, where someone in order to float will puff up their lungs. This functionality would be useful (and is, in some fish) with or without the additional ability to absorb oxygen from that air which various species have to different degrees.

        “Unless of course you want to argue that evolution/natural selection somehow knew that these would be needed in the future and then proceeded to manufacture them for the benefit of the creature (which, of course, is absurd as you have admitted earlier). Well?”

        No, that would be absurd. But just as natural selection did not know how useful ballast-type lungs could one day be we didn’t know when people started making telegraph lines that they could one day be used to send peoples’ voices (telephone) or images and data and computer software (internet). Nobody was thinking about those things when the telegraph was invented, but every advance in technology produces new possibilities, just as every change in an organism produces new possibilities.

        “(d) The termite – it would logically have had the ability to digest it’s own food and later lost it as a result of the effectiveness of the symbiotic relationship, the same way humans btw have largely lost the ability to digest food since the trillions of bacteria in our intestines do such a good job of it. – Logically huh? What is your logical justification for assuming that termites have ever had the ability to digest cellulose absent the Trichonympha symbiotes? Where and when have you observed this or do you just accept it on blind faith?”

        Just as a doctor has more than enough evidence that infections cause fevers and concluding that a patient with a fever likely has an infection is not “blind faith”, I have more than enough evidence that species often lose prior abilities because countless species (including humans) are riddled with non-functioning, broken and otherwise leftover body parts and genes.

        “(e) Plants pre-date insects by many millions of years and flowering plants evolved several hundred million years after the first insects. – So how did the insects that depend on the flowering plants for food survive over the ‘several hundred million years’ that their food source was evolving? If you’re going to argue that they ate something else and then evolved to eat the nectar from the flowering plants afterwards, please provide justification for this and tell how you know it for certain.”

        Species constantly adapt to changes in diet because the plants and animals in a given area are not uniform anywhere on the planet. Even humans have different abilities to tolerate or digest different substances, and cultures that have eaten a given type of food for thousands of years have a much higher ability to survive on that diet than cultures to whom that diet is relatively new. Refined sugars pose a much higher risk to african americans whose ancestors have eaten them for many centuries less than europeans the same way alcohol is many times as harmful and addictive to native americans as it was to the europeans who gave it to them. Similarly most humans right now can’t tolerate milk as adults but most europeans can. To quote wikipedia:

        “The frequency of lactose intolerance ranges from 5% in Northern European countries (England, Scotland, Ireland, Scandinavia, and Iceland) to 71% in Italy (Sicily) to more than 90% in most African and Asian countries.[6] This distribution is now thought to have been caused by recent natural selection favoring lactase-persistent individuals in cultures in which dairy products are available as a food source.[7]”

        So given the constantly changing nature of what individuals in every species on earth can and can’t digest and how well, it is not unreasonable to me that the same sort of changes that happen all the time also occurred in the past.

        “(f) Bones first emerge in the fossil record in the cambrian period….etc. -The point is that a partially formed, non-functional skeletal system would be of no survival value to any creature and the necessary parts would have all had to evolve at the same time and place in order to have a functioning system. Without any one of the parts I listed above, the system is incomplete and is of no use or value.”

        You do get that there are invertibrates, species that have bones that aren’t calcified and hard like ours, and species that have one bone in their entire body, right? The claim that a different or “diminished” skeletal system would be unsurvivable or useless flies in the face of the fact that every imaginable configuration of our skeleton already exists in some species in nature. Here is some quick info about the fossil record and the development of our anatomy:

        “(g) I’m not sure what you mean by “repair” system but I suspect the answer is the nervous system, though I could be wrong. I don’t know a lot about the evolution of hormones. – Again, the point is that absent any one of the three, the system does not function and is of no use or benefit to the creature. You would therefore be arguing that natural selection favored unneeded spare parts in creatures and then somehow took those spare (i.e. useless) parts and made them into something useful rather than eliminating them.”

        You are claiming that these mechanisms are useful to the point of being absolutely necessary (when they’re not, some species in some environments don’t possess them and survive just fine) and then at the same time claiming that a diminished version wouldn’t be even slightly useful. You seem to want to have it both ways. As the expression goes, in the land of the blind the one eyed man is king. In some environment a crappy, diminished version of something is very useful, the same way a 40 year old computer would not be very useful today (nor would it be able to compete with modern computers) but they were incredibly useful 40 years ago when they were the best around.

        “This is in direct contradiction to evolutionary theory and the supposed function of natural selection producing creatures that are ‘more fit’ for survival via the elimination of those attributes which are detrimental/not useful to the creature. Again, this internal inconsistency reveals the irrationality of the position you are arguing for.”

        Natural selection has been observed in nature, observed in the laboratory and factors into things like how we treat diseases and fight cancer. There is nothing “supposed” about it, and even most creationist sources (perhaps disingenuously) admit as much.

        “(g) Well the first virus would necessarily pre-date the first immune system since natural selection is reactive, not pro-active. – And so how did infected organisms survive for the millions of years it took to evolve an immune system?”

        Again the first immune system would not in any way resemble a modern immune system which has been evolving for billions of years. The first immune system would’ve been something like a change in the skin of an early proto-cell that allows it to be permiable to chemicals that are toxic to the first kind of virus to evolve or something simple, some minor chemical change of the makeup of the organism. The first computer was an abacus, not a server farm. By definition the earliest version would also be incredibly simple.

        “Of what use would an immune system be to those organisms which were not affected/ infected. Hopefully you can see the logical binds that your worldview leads to by now, no?”

        No, you just don’t have any knowledge of biology. Here’s how natural selection works in reality land, not the creationist bubble you hail from. Someone has cancer, which means one cell is broken and rapidly reproducing out of control which causes problems – so you give the person chemotherapy, ie toxic chemicals injected into the tumor to poison it’s cells. However much of the time several of the billions of cells in the tumor will, by random fluke chance, have some kind of tolerance or resistance to whatever you attack them with, and as the numbers of cells that don’t have a resistance to the therapy decrease, the number that do will increase, eventually producing a tumor that shrugs off the treatment. This is how cancer cells adapt to chemotherapy (and radiation btw). It is not hypothetical, it is not a maybe on a drawing board somewhere, it’s real actual biology that oncologists deal with every day. No planning ahead or thinking or knowledge or anything required on the side of the cancer cells, just blind chance. Or as we call it when engineers use it – trial and error. Just as the chance that 1 ticket will win the mega jackpot is incredibly small but yet someone always wins in the end, the odds that a particular mutation will be useful is very small, but in a large population there will always be useful mutations no matter what the environment throws at the species.

        “You said: And yes, I also know which came first, the chicken or the egg. – As do I (Genesis 1:20-22). Take care!”

        The difference is you “know” an anonymous story by an unknown author or authors from the iron age and I have actual fossils. The first eggs pre-date the first chickens (or birds) by several hundred million years.

        Like

        • scmike2 says:

          Mark,

          I went ahead and approved these comments for posting. As I mentioned above, I will address your claims here once you provide your logical justification for how you are able to know that any of what you have asserted above is true vs. completely false, according to your atheistic worldview. After all, I see no point in attempting to refute claims that you yourself have no logical justification for to begin with (by your own admission). Not looking too promising for you, though, if I may be blunt.

          Like

          • agnophilo says:

            I don’t have time to reply to your entire comment right now but your ability to pretend arbitrarily that you are exempt from the limitations of the human condition does not make it so, nor does your feigned superiority which allows you to disregard arumments against your various positions on a whim without so much as a counter argument that is in any way relevant to what is being discussed make every position you take automatically valid and (edited) superior.

            Like

            • scmike2 says:

              Not that I agree with your comments about me, Mark, but I definitely understand your frustration—an internally inconsistent position such as the one you are holding to can do that to a person. However, just because you don’t like having the basis for your knowledge claims challenged doesn’t mean that it shouldn’t be. What you may not realize is, once you adopted the woefully self-refuting position that you can’t know anything for certain, you conceded the debate here (as knowledge is a necessary precondition for the very concept of debate). If you would like to rethink your position on this and provide your logically coherent, rationally defensible justification for the certainty of knowledge in your worldview, I will be happy to compare and discuss our respective positions.

              As of now, I see no point in addressing faith based claims that you yourself don’t even know to be true to begin with (as you have admitted) and which could be completely false for all you know. We can discuss opinions some other time. Right now, I am only interested in what you know and HOW you claim to know it. If you can’t do any better than the argument ‘I am certain that I can’t know anything for certain’, then perhaps you should ask yourself why it is that you continue to hold to and dogmatically defend such a hopelessly irrational position. Could it be that you are indeed living in willful denial (i.e. suppression) of what you know to be true regarding God’s existence as sovereign Creator of the universe (Romans 1:18-23)? It CERTAINLY appears so. I strongly recommend repentance on your part. Take care.

              Like

              • agnophilo says:

                Last night allah gave me he superhuman ability to prove things absolutely just by feeling certain about them and he told me that christians are all poopey-heads that lack this ability. So you see this proves you wrong, debases your entire worldview and makes you, well, a poopey-head. I know it can be hard being a poopey-head and I just want you to know I pity and condescend to you.

                Like

                • scmike2 says:

                  Hey again, Mark! Glad to see you have abandoned atheism since we last spoke (I don’t blame you)! : D

                  Unfortunately, since you have admitted that you still can’t know things for certain but only ‘feel’ certain about them, you remain in the same irrational boat you were in before. Ironically, one of the proofs of the truth of Christianity is the absurd lengths that those who hold to opposing worldviews have to go to try to argue against it (i.e. contradicting themselves, adopting positions that they don’t really hold to, etc). I appreciate the demonstration(s) you have provided here. Keep it up! : )

                  Like

      • agnophilo says:

        https://christianammunition.com/2014/05/07/questions-for-the-evolutionist/#comment-46

        A link to the discussion if anyone wants to see my response or the rest of the comments.

        Like

  3. paul the slave says:

    Y’know, much has changed since we had a quaint little banter months ago. I would argue with your like and search and study trying to find out something I could say that would convince you of your folly. But no more “Mark”. I refuse to have any sort of intellectual discussion with you. We are taught in scripture to answer the critics with scripture. You are no different. You are lost and damned to an eternity to hell unless you are saved. You don’t believe in God? Then what you are telling me in fact, is this: you are a god yourself. You have been to every corner of the universe.

    You have investigated every planet, star and galaxy.

    You have turned over every stone, leaf and log.

    You have searched the depths of the ocean and have not found God.

    This statement of yours is what is called an absolute statement. You are saying you know everything and have been everywhere…

    “…to say categorically, “There is no God,” is to make an absolute statement. For the statement to be true, I must know for certain that there is no God in the entire universe. No human being has all knowledge. Therefore, none of us is able to truthfully make this assertion.”

    There are no such things as atheists. One cannot say, ‘I don’t believe in God”, rather the truth of the matter is, ‘I CHOOSE not to believe in God.’

    I find it funny and sad at the same time, that atheists who claim not to believe in God spend their entire life proving the non-existence of something they don’t believe exists.

    Your belief in evolution points to your desire to live your own life in rebellion and sin. You refuse to believe in God as it would cramp your lifestyle to do so. You have much knowledge and know many words. Your intellect shames my ignorance. But one thing I can say that you cannot. I am humble enough to admit that I cannot keep myself alive for a second. I serve the living God, and know He exists. To deny His existence is the same as a jar denying the existence of the potter who made him.

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    • agnophilo says:

      “Y’know, much has changed since we had a quaint little banter months ago.”

      I don’t recall this conversation.

      “I would argue with your like and search and study trying to find out something I could say that would convince you of your folly. But no more “Mark”. ”

      You don’t know me at all and your entire conception of me comes from your own prejudices about non-believers. You spend half of this blog telling me (like your friend here) what I think and how I feel, and going on to make insinuations about how I live my life and why, when I am a perfect stranger to you. You have decided that knowing one thing about me (that I don’t believe in the existence of a god) means you know everything else about me, just like knowing the color of someone’s skin means they know everything else about them. It is nothing but prejudice. You even have contempt for my first name and put it in quotation marks like it’s somehow suspect.

      “I refuse to have any sort of intellectual discussion with you.”

      You sure seem to want to talk at me all the same. You’re just not keen on listening.

      “We are taught in scripture to answer the critics with scripture.”

      Which is a ridiculous waste of time. It’s like a muslim person trying to convince you to accept their beliefs based on the authority of the koran. Unless you consider it an authority they are talking at you, not trying to relate to you and have a meaningful dialogue.

      “You are no different. You are lost and damned to an eternity to hell unless you are saved.”

      I don’t believe that you really believe that. If you looked at me and saw someone doomed to eternal torture I don’t think you would be cocky and condescending. Unless you’re a really, really terrible person. Which you could be, but I prefer to give you the benefit of the doubt and assume that like most believers you might worry that there might be a hell, but don’t act as if you are certain. If I thought you were about to be kidnapped by a serial killer who was going to torture you in his basement or something awful I don’t care how little I liked or respected you, I couldn’t bring myself to feel anything but concern.

      “You don’t believe in God? Then what you are telling me in fact, is this: you are a god yourself. You have been to every corner of the universe.”

      I don’t believe in bigfoot or the abominable snowman either, and I do not claim to know these things do not exist, I simply have no reason to believe they do. I do not believe, that is not the same as believing in a negative.

      “This statement of yours is what is called an absolute statement. You are saying you know everything and have been everywhere…”

      I made no such statement. This statement of yours is what is called a strawman argument. And an unoriginal one.

      ““…to say categorically, “There is no God,” is to make an absolute statement. For the statement to be true, I must know for certain that there is no God in the entire universe. No human being has all knowledge. Therefore, none of us is able to truthfully make this assertion.””

      I agree.

      “There are no such things as atheists. One cannot say, ‘I don’t believe in God”, rather the truth of the matter is, ‘I CHOOSE not to believe in God.’”

      Okay, have it your way. I choose not to believe in god. But I don’t stop there. I choose not to believe positively anything I don’t have positive evidence for, and that includes not just your god, but the gods of thousands of other religions. I choose to believe things only as justified by evidence, logical or empirical. And I have never heard an argument for the existence of any deity that held water or the validity of any dogmatic scripture that made any sense.

      “I find it funny and sad at the same time, that atheists who claim not to believe in God spend their entire life proving the non-existence of something they don’t believe exists.”

      Atheists have no beef with yahweh, we no more think about yahweh than you think about thor. The reason these beliefs keep coming up is that we live in a world where they are justified to abuse civil rights, persecute minorities, elect corrupt politicians and justify wars, just to name a few things. If wars were fought in the name of santa clause atheists would be going on tv arguing that santa clause didn’t exist.

      “Your belief in evolution points to your desire to live your own life in rebellion and sin. You refuse to believe in God as it would cramp your lifestyle to do so.”

      You know nothing about me or my lifestyle.

      “You have much knowledge and know many words. Your intellect shames my ignorance.”

      You also said I have nothing new to say and called me a fool. So which is it?

      “But one thing I can say that you cannot. I am humble enough to admit that I cannot keep myself alive for a second. I serve the living God, and know He exists. To deny His existence is the same as a jar denying the existence of the potter who made him.”

      I am even more humble than that, I don’t presume to be the point of the entire universe, or to think that there is any higher power looking out for me or making plans for my life, or waiting to send me to paradise the second I die. I think if there were a god-like entity it would have more important things to do.

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  4. paul the slave says:

    Well, Mike? Mark here is a fool. He chooses his path and likes his sin. He doesn’t want to change as is evidenced through his lengthy comments.

    Turn him to the Law, Mike…or you will just waste more of your precious time.

    Like

    • scmike2 says:

      Hey Paul! Indeed the Bible tells us that all those who deny the existence of God are ‘fools’, as they are ultimately suppressing that which they know to be true regarding the existence of God as sovereign Creator of the universe (and themselves, for that matter). When I deal with atheists/evolutionists, I prefer to utilize the answer/ don’t answer method outlined in Proverbs 26:4-5. That is, I never embrace the foolish presuppositions of the unbeliever, lest I become like him but, rather, I take his foolish assumptions to their logical (read: illogical) conclusion so that they can see how absurd their position really is. You see, the unbeliever is actually adopting the self-defeating position of both affirming and denying the existence of God at the same time. That is, they profess that He doesn’t exist and that the Bible isn’t true, but then contradict themselves by appealing to concepts (e.g. truth, knowledge, logic, morality, etc.) that could not exist if their position were true.

      As you can see, Mark has effectively been reduced to absurdity already by arguing the equivalent of ‘I am certain that I can’t know anything for certain’. Not to mention the fact that, in his last post, he has even gone to the absurd lengths of having to abandon his atheism in order to try to defend it, which only further confirms the falsity of his position. I feel that it is useful to expose these types of inconsistencies if for no other reason than to show the world exactly what atheism/evolution truly amounts to. Hopefully this will also help to pull down the intellectual stronghold that is hindering Mark from receiving the Gospel as well. Of course, that ultimately is out of my hands.

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      • paul the slave says:

        Yeah, I hear you Mike. I am unfortunately not on the same level as you are and I commend your efforts in trying to knock some sense into this unfortunate soul (my wife told me to behave 😉 ), but as we see time and again, atheists choose not to believe in God as they want to live life their way. Little do they know, God has them on a leash.

        Hopefully Mark does get saved, I wouldn’t want anyone going to hell, even if he is as irritating as Mark has been.

        Like

        • scmike2 says:

          Thanks for the kind words, Paul! I appreciate the gentle(r) spirit in which you framed your comments about Mark here (kudos to your wife : D).

          Indeed, it can be frustrating when engaging those who have had their minds blinded by satan’s deception, but I have found it helpful to remember that but by the grace of God, there go I. We each have our place on the battlefield, and I’m just honored to be of any use at all to our King in any capacity whatsoever, as I know you are as well. Your blog has been a blessing to me and I pray that the Lord continue to strengthen you in His service. God bless!

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