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JSF16

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A science professor begins his school year with a lecture to the students, 'Let me explain the problem science has with religion.'  The atheist professor of philosophy pauses before his class and then asks one of his new students to stand.



'You're a Christian, aren't you, son?'



'Yes sir,' the student says.



'So you believe in God?'



'Absolutely.'



'Is God good?'



'Sure! God's good.'



'Is God all-powerful?  Can God do anything?'



'Yes.'



'Are you good or evil?'



'The Bible says I'm evil.'



The professor grins knowingly.  'Aha! The Bible!' He considers for a moment. 'Here's one for you.  Let's say there's a sick person over here and you can cure him.  You can do it.  Would you help him?  Would you try?'



'Yes sir, I would.'



'So you're good...!'



'I wouldn't say that.'



'But why not say that?  You'd help a sick and maimed person if you could.  Most of us would if we could.  But God doesn't.'



The student does not answer, so the professor continues.  'He doesn't, does he?   My brother was a Christian who died of cancer, even though he prayed to Jesus to heal him.  How is this Jesus good?  Hmmm?   Can you answer that one?'



The student remains silent.



'No, you can't, can you?' the professor says.  He takes a sip of water from a glass on his desk to give the student time to relax.



'Let's start again, young fella.  Is God good?'



'Er...yes,' the student says.



'Is Satan good?'



The student doesn't hesitate on this one. 'No.'



'Then where does Satan come from?'



The student falters.  'From God'



'That's right.  God made Satan, didn't he?  Tell me, son.  Is there evil in this world?'



'Yes, sir.'



'Evil's everywhere, isn't it?  And God did make everything, correct?'



'Yes.'



'So who created evil?'  The professor continued, 'If God created everything, then God created evil, since evil exists, and according to the principle that our works define who we are, then God is evil.'



Again, the student has no answer.  'Is there sickness?  Immorality?  Hatred?  Ugliness?  All these terrible things, do they exist in this world?'



The student squirms on his feet. 'Yes.'



'So who created them?'



The student does not answer again, so the professor repeats his question.  'Who created them?  ' There is still no answer.  Suddenly the lecturer breaks away to pace in front of the classroom.  The class is mesmerized.  'Tell  me,' he continues onto another student.  'Do you believe in Jesus Christ,  son?'



The student's voice betrays him and cracks. 'Yes, professor, I do.'



The old man stops pacing.  'Science says you have five senses you use to identify and observe the world around you.  Have you ever seen Jesus?'



'No sir. I've never seen Him.'



'Then tell us if you've ever heard your Jesus?'



'No, sir, I have not.'



'Have you ever felt your Jesus, tasted your Jesus or smelt your Jesus?



'Have you ever had any sensory perception of Jesus Christ, or God for that matter?'



'No, sir, I'm afraid I haven't.'



'Yet you still believe in him?'



'Yes.'



'According to the rules of empirical, testable, demonstrable protocol, science says your God doesn't exist.  What do you say to that, son?'



'Nothing,' the student replies.  'I only have my faith.'



'Yes, faith,' the professor repeats.  'And that is the problem science has with God.  There is no evidence, only faith.'



The student stands quietly for a moment, before asking a question of His own.  'Professor, is there such thing as heat?'



'Yes,' the professor replies. 'There's heat.'



'And is there such a thing as cold?'



'Yes, son, there's cold too.'



'No sir, there isn't.'



The professor turns to face the student, obviously interested.  The room suddenly becomes very quiet.  The student begins to explain.  'You can have lots of heat, even more heat, super-heat, mega-heat, unlimited heat, white heat, a little heat or no heat, but we don't have anything called 'cold'.  We can hit up to 458 degrees below zero, which is no heat, but we can't go any further after that.  There is no such thing as cold; otherwise we would be able to go colder than the lowest -458 degrees.'



'Every body or object is susceptible to study when it has or transmits energy, and heat is what makes a body or matter have or transmit energy.  Absolute zero (-458 F) is the total absence of heat.  You see, sir, cold is only a word we use to describe the absence of heat.  We cannot measure cold. Heat we can measure in thermal units because heat is energy.  Cold is not the opposite of heat, sir, just the absence of it.'



Silence across the room.  A pen drops somewhere in the classroom, sounding like a hammer.



'What about darkness, professor. Is there such a thing as darkness?'



'Yes,' the professor replies without hesitation. 'What is night if it isn't darkness?'



'You're wrong again, sir.  Darkness is not something; it is the absence of something.  You can have low light, normal light, bright light, flashing light, but if you have no light constantly you have nothing and it's called darkness, isn't it?  That's the meaning we use to define the word.'



'In reality, darkness isn't.  If it were, you would be able to make darkness darker, wouldn't you?'



The professor begins to smile at the student in front of him.  This will be a good semester.  'So what point are you making, young man?'



'Yes, professor.  My point is, your philosophical premise is flawed to start with, and so your conclusion must also be flawed.'



The professor's face cannot hide his surprise this time.  'Flawed?  Can you explain how?'



'You are working on the premise of duality,' the student explains.  'You argue that there is life and then there's death; a good God and a bad God.  You are viewing the concept of God as something finite, something we can measure.  Sir, science can't even explain a thought.'



'It uses electricity and magnetism, but has never seen, much less fully understood either one.  To view death as the opposite of life is to be ignorant of the fact that death cannot exist as a substantive thing.  Death is not the opposite of life, just the absence of it.'



'Now tell me, professor.  Do you teach your students that they evolved from a monkey?'



'If you are referring to the natural evolutionary process, young man, yes, of course I do.'



'Have you ever observed evolution with your own eyes, sir?'



The professor begins to shake his head, still smiling, as he realizes where the argument is going.  A very good semester, indeed.



'Since no one has ever observed the process of evolution at work and cannot even prove that this process is an on-going endeavour, are you not teaching your opinion, sir?  Are you now not a scientist, but a preacher?'  The class is in uproar.  The student remains silent until the commotion has subsided.



'To continue the point you were making earlier to the other student, let me give you an example of what I mean.'



The student looks around the room.  'Is there anyone in the class who has ever seen the professor's brain?'  The class breaks out into laughter.



'Is there anyone here who has ever heard the professor's brain, felt the professor's brain, touched or smelt the professor's brain?  No one appears to  have done so.  So, according to the established rules of empirical, stable, demonstrable protocol, science says that you have no brain, with all due respect, sir.'



'So if science says you have no brain, how can we trust your lectures, sir?'



Now the room is silent.  The professor just stares at the student, his face unreadable.



Finally, after what seems an eternity, the old man answers.  'I guess you'll have to take them on faith.'



'Now, you accept that there is faith, and, in fact, faith exists with life,' the student continues.  'Now, sir, is there such a thing as evil?'



Now uncertain, the professor responds, 'Of course, there is.  We see it everyday.  It is in the daily example of man's inhumanity to man.  It is in the  multitude of crime and violence everywhere in the world.  These manifestations are nothing else but evil.'



To this the student replied, 'Evil does not exist sir, or at least it does not exist unto itself.  Evil is simply the absence of God.  It is just like darkness and cold, a word that man has created to describe the absence of God.  God did not create evil.  Evil is the result of what happens when man does not have God's love present in his heart.  It's like the cold that comes when there is no heat or the darkness that comes when there is no light.'



The professor sat down.




-------
Everyone says expect the unexpected, but since now everyone expects the unexpected, the unexpected is now the expected and the expected is the unexpected. So if you are expecting the unexpected, you are actually expecting the expected, so if you start expecting the expected, you will be expecting the unexpected. So everyone should start expecting the expected again and the expected will be expected and the unexpected will be unexpected again, then we can start expecting the unexpected again.
 


Posts: 103 | Posted: 10:01 AM on September 5, 2008 | IP
ArcanaKnight

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There is no way that this is a true story; it seems more likely that this was probably made up by theists to portray them in the role of a victim and to perpetuate the idea of ignorant, oppressive atheists.

First of all  I have trouble believing that a science professor would lecture against religion while in class, especially in the way that this one supposedly did.  Also, science doesn't usually have a problem with religion, it is usually the other way around.  There are many scientists that are also devout religious people, and it doesn't interfere with their jobs at all.  The only time I could see science having a problem with religion is when religious people try to pass off their opinion as fact when there is little or no evidence to support such claims.  
 


Posts: 41 | Posted: 12:00 PM on September 5, 2008 | IP
orion

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That's an amusing story.  Thank you for sharing it.  I'm sure it's a favorite among Creationists.

However, the story has weaknesses to it.  Science does not try to prove or disprove the existence of God.  Science endeavors to try to explain and understand the processes that occur in the natural world/universe around us.  That has no bearing on God.

Indeed, if there was a supernatural enity present that is not bound by natural laws, and that could do anything and who is interacting with us, then the scientific method would not work.  Science wouldn't work because there would be no guarantee of getting consistent experimental results and measurements - empirical data.

To date, and to my knowledge, this has not occurred.  The scientific method works very well.  A supernatural entity (God) has not yet been detected.  That doesn't mean God doesn't exits.  But that isn't the purpose of science - to either prove or disprove God.  That decision is left up to the individual to decide.

As for evolution, it is a well know fact that it has occurred, and is occurring today.  The evidence for it is immense.  Evolution is mainly contested by those who find it to conflict with their religious beliefs.  Creationists try to wave it away, but their arguments lack validity.  

You have only to look it up yourself.  I can even recommend a good general book describing the fossil record as providing compelling evidence, complete with examples of transitional fossils at every major stage over the course of the past 500 million years and beyond.

Evolution: What the Fossils Say and Why it Matters - by Donald Prothero.  Dr Prothero is a professor of Geology and Paleontology at Occidental College.

Science clashes with religion when known facts and reason are not in agreement with a literal interpetation of scripture.  It is not Science that is out of step.  It is those who insist on a contradictory literal interpetation of the Bible, Koran, Talmud, etc. who are fooling themselves.      
 


Posts: 1460 | Posted: 12:09 PM on September 5, 2008 | IP
orion

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As an example of the contradiction found in a literal interpetation of the Bible with current knowledge let's take a look at references in the Bible to a geocentric Earth.

Ecclesiastes 1:5:

The sun also ariseth, and the sun goeth down, and hasteth to his place where he arose


Hmmm, sounds like the sun is going around the earth to me.

Here's my favorite:

Joshua 10: 12–13, where the Sun and Moon are said to stop in the sky:[7]

Then spake Joshua to the LORD in the day when the LORD delivered up the Amorites before the children of Israel, and he said in the sight of Israel, Sun, stand thou still upon Gibeon; and thou, Moon, in the valley of Ajalon. And the sun stood still, and the moon stayed, until the people had avenged themselves upon their enemies. Is not this written in the book of Jasher? So the sun stood still in the midst of heaven, and hasted not to go down about a whole day.


Well, the Bible got the moon right - it does revolve around the earth.


[/b]
In Psalm 104: 5 (according to King James Version numbering) this verse is found:

[God] (w)ho laid the foundations of the Earth, that it should not be removed for ever.


A stationary earth!


Chronicles 16:30

Fear before him, all the earth: the world also shall be stable, that it be not moved. [b]

Again, the earth is held stationary.  

There are some other examples, but I think these will do.  I won't even mention the contradictions between the various chapters in Genesis.

Now, if you take a literal interpetation of the Bible, then the Earth is indeed the center of the universe.  No reasonable person would claim that to be true today.  

The Biblical cosmology was proven wrong long ago, but not without resistance from Christians, and not without violence.  Italian philosopher Giordano Bruno was put to death at the stake in 1600, in part, because of his belief in a heliocentric solar system.  But a geocentric notion of the earth stood no chance of surviving the onslaught of new astronomical discoveries.

The same clash and resistance is being repeated by Creationists to Evolution.  They're (Creationists) waging a losing argument and debate.  
 


Posts: 1460 | Posted: 1:13 PM on September 5, 2008 | IP
Obvious_child

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Once again, Creationists show they have no education.

1) Evolution does not argue man came from monkeys.

2) Hot and cold are subjective terms. What is actually measured is the movement of molecules. The argument given implies that God is not omnipresent. That is contradictory to mainstream belief.

3) Darkness is an subjective term. Even in complete darkness as we see it, there is still light in other spectrums. Infrared for example.

4) Electricity and Magnetism have been observed. Lighting anyone? Maglevs anyone?

5) Evolution has been observed numerous times

Perhaps when you have actual facts you could make a decent argument. Passing off spam e-mails as arguments is piss poor but entirely predictable for creationists.
 


Posts: 136 | Posted: 8:56 PM on September 5, 2008 | IP
Reason4All

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Well, at least thanks for not ending this story with "That students name was Albert Einstein" as some versions of this story goes...

Interesting enough, there is not a single source of this story to be found anywhere except for religious ones.

Look, lets say the story is true. The event took place, exactly as it is described in the story. That still doesn´t prove anything except that there is a stupid "science" or "philosophy" teacher out there who should be fired for imposing his views on his students, for not understanding the most simple basics of science, for making ridiculous claims and assumptions and for not knowing the most fundamental aspects of neither science or religion.

When asking "Is science compatible with religion" you´re premise is wrong from the start. That´s like asking "Is science compatible with plumbing?" Because science is not a thing, it´s a verb, it´s a method, it´s a way of looking at natural explanations for all phenomenon.

So, if you ever claim that you´re against science, remember that it is because of the scientific method that you´re even breathing, that you´re writing on this forum, that you can go to the doctor and get help, that people are cured from diseases, and so forth. Science has absolutely nothing to do with God or faith. Period.

All the best

(Edited by Reason4All 9/6/2008 at 06:56 AM).


-------
If your faith blinds you from the truth, it´s not the truth that needs to adapt!
 


Posts: 35 | Posted: 06:54 AM on September 6, 2008 | IP
Obvious_child

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Quote from Reason4All at 06:54 AM on September 6, 2008 : Science has absolutely nothing to do with God or faith. Period.


I wouldn't go that far. Science has a way of freeing us from beliefs that have prevented our progression. Many of these beliefs are religious. We no longer do rain dances to please the Gods to shower us with rain. We no longer praise Gaia for her bounty. We don't fear Zeus for lightning.


 


Posts: 136 | Posted: 7:37 PM on September 6, 2008 | IP
JSF16

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Okay, You must learn this. The bible is not a science book. It is a book that shows, the way, the writers did not think it would be used as a science book 2000 years in to the future. The astronomers did not have the equipment we have today. They could not have known that the earth orbited the sun.

Creationists show they have no education.

You think every creationist on planet earth has no education? If you ask me, that's a sign of no education.


-------
Everyone says expect the unexpected, but since now everyone expects the unexpected, the unexpected is now the expected and the expected is the unexpected. So if you are expecting the unexpected, you are actually expecting the expected, so if you start expecting the expected, you will be expecting the unexpected. So everyone should start expecting the expected again and the expected will be expected and the unexpected will be unexpected again, then we can start expecting the unexpected again.
 


Posts: 103 | Posted: 8:16 PM on September 6, 2008 | IP
Obvious_child

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Quote from JSF16 at 8:16 PM on September 6, 2008 :
Okay, You must learn this. The bible is not a science book. It is a book that shows, the way, the writers did not think it would be used as a science book 2000 years in to the future. The astronomers did not have the equipment we have today. They could not have known that the earth orbited the sun.


So why are you relying upon it as a science book when modern science contridicts a literal interpretation of it?

You think every creationist on planet earth has no education? If you ask me, that's a sign of no education.


Says the one who posted e-mail spam that consists of massive ignorant statements.


 


Posts: 136 | Posted: 11:55 PM on September 6, 2008 | IP
orion

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Okay, You must learn this. The bible is not a science book. It is a book that shows, the way, the writers did not think it would be used as a science book 2000 years in to the future. The astronomers did not have the equipment we have today. They could not have known that the earth orbited the sun.

OK - I'm not a biblical scholar.  My knowledge of the Bible is incomplete.  I do know that for millions of people it is a source of inspiration and comfort.  So I don't want to bash it.  The Bible is a great book.

What is it that makes you believe in Creationism?  
 


Posts: 1460 | Posted: 02:07 AM on September 7, 2008 | IP
Reason4All

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Quote from Obvious_child at 7:37 PM on September 6, 2008 :
Quote from Reason4All at 06:54 AM on September 6, 2008 : Science has absolutely nothing to do with God or faith. Period.


I wouldn't go that far. Science has a way of freeing us from beliefs that have prevented our progression. Many of these beliefs are religious. We no longer do rain dances to please the Gods to shower us with rain. We no longer praise Gaia for her bounty. We don't fear Zeus for lightning.





First law of science is that it can only deal with phenomenons in time and space. When scientist found out what causes rain for example, it was not do disprove the existence of a god, but to understand the natural phenomena. That resulted in that people stopped believing in unnatural explanations of what caused rain. But science in itself does, by definition, not deal with the supernatural since there is no way to measure them. Science can for example never disprove the existence of God or a unicorn since none of these are in the realms of time and space. But if someone, like creationists, make a claim on something natural and offer a supernatural explanation, science can be used to disprove the explanation. Again, science has nothing to do with God or faith, but if the understanding of the natural phenomena can lead to an abandonment of supernatural belief, then so be it, it´s only a positive result from science.

All the best


-------
If your faith blinds you from the truth, it´s not the truth that needs to adapt!
 


Posts: 35 | Posted: 3:08 PM on September 8, 2008 | IP
JSF16

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Quote from orion at 02:07 AM on September 7, 2008 :
Okay, You must learn this. The bible is not a science book. It is a book that shows, the way, the writers did not think it would be used as a science book 2000 years in to the future. The astronomers did not have the equipment we have today. They could not have known that the earth orbited the sun.

OK - I'm not a biblical scholar.  My knowledge of the Bible is incomplete.  I do know that for millions of people it is a source of inspiration and comfort.  So I don't want to bash it.  The Bible is a great book.

What is it that makes you believe in Creationism?  



Well, One reason is I've been brought up with it and after all this time, I'm too devote to switch.

Another one is at least it is more comforting then any other religion I know. Atheists say if you die, that's t. You are not aware of anything. The bible says if you are christian,  go  eternal paradise.

And I have found more evidence for creation then for evolution.


-------
Everyone says expect the unexpected, but since now everyone expects the unexpected, the unexpected is now the expected and the expected is the unexpected. So if you are expecting the unexpected, you are actually expecting the expected, so if you start expecting the expected, you will be expecting the unexpected. So everyone should start expecting the expected again and the expected will be expected and the unexpected will be unexpected again, then we can start expecting the unexpected again.
 


Posts: 103 | Posted: 8:08 PM on September 9, 2008 | IP
Demon38

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And I have found more evidence for creation then for evolution

What evidence?  It's not empirical, scientific evidence, because there is none for creation...
 


Posts: 1664 | Posted: 8:22 PM on September 9, 2008 | IP
Obvious_child

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Quote from JSF16 at 8:08 PM on September 9, 2008 :
Well, One reason is I've been brought up with it and after all this time, I'm too devote to switch.


Meaning you'll ignore all evidence that refutes your interpretation of Genesis. That's not very rational.

Another one is at least it is more comforting then any other religion I know. Atheists say if you die, that's t. You are not aware of anything. The bible says if you are christian,  go  eternal paradise.


There is more then one religion out there. Furthermore, only literal interpretations of Genesis reject evolution. And evolution is not atheistic. Try learn something factually before posting for a change.

And I have found more evidence for creation then for evolution.


Care to cite such alleged evidence?


 


Posts: 136 | Posted: 02:10 AM on September 10, 2008 | IP
Reason4All

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Dear JSF16,

I think you answered your own question when you wrote that you are brought up with a belief in Creationism and are by now too devoted to change. Unfortunately you have been indoctrinated to believe in something, and then the confirmation-bias kicks in, every evidence you are presented with your mind automatically interprets to suit your predisposed belief.

Scientists never work like that. They make a discovery (fact), they examine it and the conditions surrounding the discovery and come up with a thesis, they test and re-test the hypothesis hundreds of times in hundreds of different ways, then they publish their result in an objective scientific journal to be peer reviewed by objective colleagues from all over the world under meticulous and precise, sometimes scrutinizing examinations, and only when there is a consensus regarding the outcome of the thesis that derived from the discovery, one can claim a scientific discovery.

Wouldn´t you want such a meticulous and precise examinations to be the the basis on which the procedure that help save your loved is based upon? Of course you do, and none of these discoveries has ever done anything, in any scientific field, whether it is geology, paleontology, medicine, biology, astronomy, archeology and so forth, than to CONFIRM Evolution.  Not a single one.

And there has never been a creationist who has done a scientific discovery, much less than published it in a scientific journal to be peer-reviewed. So when creationists ask for fairness in school-classes so both are taught, they are not understanding fairness whatsoever, because none of them has ever put in the months and years of scientific study, hard work, and gone through the procedures during which their theory is acknowledged by other scientists. They don´t want to do that, yet they want their "theories" to have equal time as the scientific theories that must, by definition, fulfill these criteria.

No one wants to take your faith from you my friend, but when the evidence are so overwhelming, maybe you should re-examine your understanding and interpretation of your faith? Hope you do so!

All the best


-------
If your faith blinds you from the truth, it´s not the truth that needs to adapt!
 


Posts: 35 | Posted: 06:58 AM on September 10, 2008 | IP
ImaAtheistNow

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Quote from JSF16 at 10:01 AM on September 5, 2008 :
A science professor begins his school year with a lecture to the students, 'Let me explain the problem science has with religion.'  The atheist professor of philosophy pauses before his class and then asks one of his new students to stand.


Are there 2 different professors?

It starts off by saying "A science professor begins ..." and then says "The atheist professor of philosophy ...".

Philosophy is not science ... maybe the Creationist who fabricated this fable didn't know that.
 


Posts: 43 | Posted: 06:19 AM on October 5, 2008 | IP
ArcanaKnight

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That's just what happens with completely fictitious stories; some of the details get changed in the retelling.  I've heard different versions of this story, one with the prof teaching philosophy, and the other with him teaching science.
 


Posts: 41 | Posted: 06:36 AM on October 5, 2008 | IP
    
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