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Old 07-04-2004, 08:59 AM   #1
Canar
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Default Digging Up Old Arguments

Spacetiger, I remember (or I might be mis-remembering, too) back during that enlightening religion debate we had that there were many astrophysical circumstances that hinted at creation. Well, I finally found a reference, browsing through a rather devout Christian friend's Slashdot posts. http://www.reasons.org/index.shtmlHere's a site</a> that focuses on that stuff and some other things as well.

I'd be interested in anyone's perspective on this.

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Old 07-04-2004, 10:09 AM   #2
Mr. Saturn
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Default Re: Digging Up Old Arguments

> I'd be interested in anyone's perspective on this.
>

<a href=http://ebonmusings.org/>Here's my first, and only contribution to this thread.</a> <img src=smilies/retard.gif>

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Old 07-04-2004, 11:17 AM   #3
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Default Re: Digging Up Old Arguments

Hmmm....could you be more specific about which part of the site you want to talk about? That's a lot of material.

My general view on the issue is that literalism (i.e. the several thousand year old universe) is absurd, but that "creation" is fully compatible with the current scientific understanding. I don't remember the exact issue we were confronting in our argument, so you might have to clarify.

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Old 07-04-2004, 06:00 PM   #4
Canar
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Default Re: Digging Up Old Arguments

> Hmmm....could you be more specific about which part of the
> site you want to talk about? That's a lot of material.

I apologize. The stuff that related to our previous discussion were the various chance events that allowed for life on earth. http://www.reasons.org/resources/apo...608.shtml?mainHere</a> is one of the major points, without giving probabilities. It gives a linguistic explanation of some critical parameters for life to exist (some of it is inevitably linked to life as we know it, though).

http://www.reasons.org/resources/apo...505.shtml?mainHere</a> is a link to the probabilities of various parameters of Earth's location/set up that point at creation rather than chance occurrance.

http://www.reasons.org/resources/apo...n_the_universeHere</a> is the subtopic these two come from, with even more data. I've picked two of the highly specific listings, but there are even more.

> My general view on the issue is that literalism (i.e. the
> several thousand year old universe) is absurd, but that
> "creation" is fully compatible with the current scientific
> understanding. I don't remember the exact issue we were
> confronting in our argument, so you might have to clarify.

Don't get me wrong here; I have no desire to get back into the argument. I just finally found a link that backed up one of my points. It's "creation evidence" aimed at a more scientific audience (with a lot of the arguments being directed through astrophysics), and I was wondering what you thought of it.

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Old 07-04-2004, 10:01 PM   #5
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Default Re: Digging Up Old Arguments

> Here is a link to the probabilities of various parameters of
> Earth's location/set up that point at creation rather than
> chance occurrance.

Ok, I see the general point being made here. These arguments are problematic for many reasons:

The first problem is entirely logical. Imagine that you're walking around outside and you see something startling (maybe a license plate with your name and part of your SS or a cloud shaped like Dick Clark). Then imagine that you go home and calculate the probability of this event occurring. Chances are that you'll find that the probability of seeing that particular event in your lifetime is small. Does this mean that it's a miracle?

No, because you have a selection bias: you wouldn't be asking the question if the event hadn't occurred. This reasoning applies even more strongly to calculations about the probability of life because, in the absense of life, we wouldn't even be around to ask the question. If their science were done correctly, then this probability would instead be an indication of how likely we are to find life elsewhere. In other words, if I pick a random star out of a hat, their number would be the probability that the star contained life...

...but not really. The numbers they give there are not only extremely crude estimates, but also based on highly dubious reasoning. For example, in the first one they talk about certain types of galaxy clusters being inappropriate for life because they would "disrupt the solar orbit." What they fail to realize is that this doesn't matter. If the sun were suddenly flung out of the galaxy, it would have no noticable impact on life or the formation of life (except in the unlikely event that life was brought here from another star). In fact, nearby stars are more of an impediment to life than anything else.

Venturing even further into the absurd, I see that they give probabilities for the decay rates of particles. In other words, they claim that in any conceivable universe, there is an 5% chance that the dark matter decay rates fall within the range necessary for life. Not only is this crude, but it's complete bullshit. There's no way to put probabilities on that sort of thing.

Even the http://www.activemind.com/Mysterious..._equation.htmlDrake Equation</a>, an equation for calculating the probability of intelligent life only within our galaxy, gives numbers that could be greater than 1 with our current scientific understanding. If scientists believed that the probability of finding life around other stars were as low as that website claims, then they wouldn't be investing so much money and effort into things like the http://planetquest.jpl.nasa.gov/TPF/tpf_index.htmlTerrestrial Planet Finder</a>.

Basically, I think we are unlikely to find evidence for religion or creation within the realm of science, but then we may never be able to refute such things either. Religious questions are best left to the philosophers and theologians. <img src=smilies/thumb.gif>

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Old 07-05-2004, 02:33 AM   #6
The 9th Sage
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Default Re: Digging Up Old Arguments

> My general view on the issue is that literalism (i.e. the
> several thousand year old universe) is absurd, but that
> "creation" is fully compatible with the current scientific
> understanding.

*makes his probably only appearance in Backroom* That sounds a lot like the http://www.law.umkc.edu/faculty/proj...pes/evolut.htmScopes Monkey Trial</a>. It basically says that, that creationism could feasibly mesh with all our scientific knowledge....evolution even.

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Old 07-06-2004, 08:28 PM   #7
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Default Re: Digging Up Old Arguments

> Here's my first, and only contribution to this thread.

Thank you. Various sources had started to shake me and make me start thinking that maybe evolution isn't really as solid as it looked. I needed that site to reset my mind back to where I was.

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