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Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Atheism Dialog 2010

DIALOG WITH ATHEISTS
By Russell Earl Kelly, PHD

Note: My part of this material has been greatly edited. The dialog appeared on Bernie Dehler’s Atheism Forum in 2010. See http://www.meetup.com/sciligion/messages/boards/thread/8961233

1. Atheism’s god
2. Isaiah 52-53; 4-1-10
3. Bible Versions, 4-2-10
4. The Servant of Isaiah; 4-5-10
5. Creation and Morality; 4-10-10
6. The Meaning of Life; 4-17-10
7. Morality; 4-18-10
8. Missing Links; 4-20-10A
9. Animals Love; 4-20-10B
10. In Whose Image; 4-20-10C
11. Happiness; 4-20-10C
12. Morality; 4-20-10D
13. Morality; 4-23-10
14. Can You Feel Jesus; 5-2-10
15. Science and Theology; 5-3-10
16. Disunity Among Christians; 5-3-10
17. Evolution Biology Book; 5-3-10
18. Complexity in Creation; 5-30-10
19. Atheists Explain Morality; 6-1-10
20. Self Sacrifice; 6-1-10
21. The Goal of DNA; 6-2-10
22. DNA Proves Evolution, Kelly and Dehler; 6-2-10
23. False DNA Proves Evolution; Kelly-Dehler; 6-3-10


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1. Atheism’s god

Once upon a long long time ago, something as small as a BB, exactly like the Christian God, had already eternally existed. Although it had no intelligence and laws to guide it, it must be the same as a “god” because it always existed. It was the eternal amoral unintelligent god of those who reject the concept of an eternal intelligent moral God. Therefore real atheism does not really exist as long as they believe in an eternal unintelligent amoral existence of something.

Eventually, for no reason or purpose whatsoever, this BB-god superheated, then exploded, and was changed into helium-gas. This now-helium-gas-god still had no intelligence or laws guiding it.

With no laws guiding it, the helium-gas-god kept superheating and exploding until fusion produced heavier elements. Somehow this non-intelligence began obeying the laws of fusion which must have also existed eternally since it had no intelligence.

Finally, after less than 20 billion years of following extremely complex pre-existing laws which appeared accidentally, the fused elements accidentally joined themselves into extremely complex proteins, DNA, RNA and intelligent life itself.

Therefore, the eternal unintelligent amoral god of those who do not believe in an eternal intelligent moral God created life as we know it today.

Is that not exactly how atheism explains the origins of life? If not, please correct me.

Most of us explain intelligence by believing in an Intelligent Creator God.

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2. Isaiah 52-53

Note: My remarks have been greatly expanded.

TOPIC: The topic was Isaiah 52 and 53. Conservative Christians quote these O.T. passages as evidence of a God who foresees the future. Liberals and atheists claim they only describe either national Israel or a contemporary prophet and not the Messiah.

Babinski: There is nothing about scourging or crucifixion in the description of the Suffering Servant, nor any mention of the sins of the world, only of the sufferings of Israel.

Kelly: You admit too much. Even if it is only a reference to the sins of Israel, the suffering servant is an innocent sin-offering substitute for Israel. You cannot be a substitute for yourself.

Isa 52:14 “His visage was so marred more than any man”. “Appearance was so marred, beyond human semblance” RSV.

While the text does not say HOW the Suffering Servant was marred, scourging fits the description as well as your own speculation of disease. Like it or not, it is still a good description of what happened to Jesus.

Babinski: If you were to ask several translators what Isa. 52:14 means in context it implies his face was ugly due to disease.

Kelly: Do you realize what you are saying when you use the word “imply”? To which “translators” are you referring? None of the major legitimate translations contain the word “disease.” Look at 53:5 – “wounded, bruised, stripes”; does not sound like a disease to me. You want to hold me to an exact literal translation but you want me to accept your loose interpretation.

Babinski: You can compare translations and commentaries. But don't just read Evangelical ones, try Jewish ones and Cambridge and Oxford and Anchor Bible commentaries as well.

Kelly: The RSV is the standard translation for Liberals. The Jewish, Cambridge, Oxford and Anchor comments are liberal and PREJUDICED. They do not assume that an Omniscient God can know the future and they go to great extremes to cover up any prophecy. I see no need for them to even worship a God who is so feeble. They should disband and spend their money on better things.

Babinski: According to The Bible in Basic English: "As peoples were surprised at him, And his face was not beautiful, so as to be desired: his face was so changed by disease as to be unlike that of a man, and his form was no longer that of the sons of men."

Kelly: You are basing your argument on a very loose paraphrase and not on a true translation of the Hebrew. I reject the Basic English just as I reject Evangelical paraphrases. They do not even pretend to be honest to the Hebrew and Greek.

Babinski: A few verses after that The Amplified Bible, chapter 53:3-4 describes this servant: "3 He was despised and rejected and forsaken by men, a Man of sorrows and pains, and acquainted with grief and sickness …

Kelly: Thanks for reminding me how dishonest the Amplified and paraphrase Bibles are. Read the same text in the NAS, RSV, NIV and KJV. The Amplified has added the words “and sickness.”

Babinski: 4 Surely He has borne our griefs (sicknesses, weaknesses, and distresses) and carried our sorrows and pains [of punishment], yet we [ignorantly] considered Him stricken, smitten, and afflicted by God [as if with leprosy]." The brackets are from the Amplified Bible translation itself.

Kelly: Again the words “sickness” and “as if by leprosy” are not found in legitimate translations such as the NAS and RSV. The Amplified system gives every possible interpretation of a word rather than considering context. You resort to questionable translations in order to argue against God’s ability to know and prophesy the future. Why do you stop at 53:4 and omit 53:5? This kind of omission is not acceptable.

Babinski: In brief, the servant cannot refer to Jesus because the subject of Isaiah 53, was sick, was buried with the wicked (plural) and had children and long life.

Kelly: Amazing! These conclusions are reached after only allowing your own chosen loose paraphrases and ignoring the Hebrew and much more reliable liberal texts such as the RSV.

Mt 8:17 says Jesus bare our sickness as he was healing them during his daily ministry. There is no mention that such healing marred him. (1) It is only your interpretation using a bad translation which says that the servant of Isaiah was sick. Why do you ignore honest attempts to translate the Bible and instead use admitted paraphrase and attempts to re-word the Bible? (2) Do you realize that Jesus was buried among the wicked because, for the most part, the rich wicked rulers were the only ones who could afford expensive above-ground sepulchers?

Babinski: Jesus does not fit any of these. Also read the previous chapters in Isaiah that refer to The Servant, and notice they are referring to the people of Israel, though a single individual prophet might also be in view perhaps Jeremiah.

Kelly: “They are referring to the people of Israel” differs from “though a single individual prophet might also be in view, perhaps Jeremiah” You have left the door open wide for my argument.

Isaiah 52 and 53 cannot possibly refer to the “people of Israel” because: (1) In 53:3 the general population “despised him.” (2) In 53:4 he bears the sins of the people who considered him “smitten of God.” (3) In 53:5 he was punished for the people.

Isaiah 53 cannot possible refer to Jeremiah the prophet because: (1) The “we” of 53:6 included the speaker and (2) The LORD has laid on him the iniquity of “us” all (also RSV).

Isaiah 53:8 cannot refer to either the nation of Israel or the prophet Jeremiah.

Isa 53:8 … for he was cut off out of the land of the living: for the transgression of my people was he stricken.
Isa 53:8 … he was cut off out of the land of the living, stricken for the transgression of my people? RSV

When the writer includes himself, he uses “we.” When speaking of Messiah, he uses “he” here.

Isa 53:9 And he made his grave with the wicked, and with the rich in his death; because he had done no violence, neither was any deceit in his mouth.

The Messiah died and was buried among the rich (53:9). And, unlike, Israel or any of its prophets, Messiah was innocent and sinless (no deceit).

Isa 53:10a Yet it pleased the LORD to bruise him; he hath put him to grief: when thou shalt make his soul an offering for sin …

In 53:10a God Himself made the suffering servant a sin offering. You cannot possibly say that this is either the people in general or a prophet. Be honest to the text.

Isa 53:10b … he shall see his seed, he shall prolong his days, and the pleasure of the LORD shall prosper in his hand.

In 53:10b “prolong his days” follows being “cut off out of the land of the living” in 53:8; being buried in a “grave” in 53:9 and being “made a sin offering” in 53:10a. None of these terms can apply to the nation or to a prophet.

Babinski: But it's a human figure, described in human fashion with no divine overtones.

Kelly: You ignore my arguments completely and pawn them off as “human figures.” How would you appreciate it if I treated your arguments in such a manner?

“No divine overture”??? Your opinion ignores the text. In 53:1 “the LORD revealed.” In 53:4 “smitten of God.” In 53:6 “the LORD laid on him the iniquity of us all.” In 53:10 “it pleased the LORD to bruise him.”

Babinski: … Reading everything as a metaphor for Jesus is just not playing fair with the original text.

Kelly: You have ignored all the arguments AGAINST interpreting the texts as either Israel itself or a prophet. I am waiting for a verse by verse rebuttal.

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3. Liberal Bible Versions; 4-2-10

Babinski: Hi Russell, Do you believe in all honesty that Oxford, Cambridge, as well as the incredibly detailed Anchor Bible series (based on the original languages, including parallels of phrases and ideas from nearby cultures), are all gravely “prejudiced” because they do not attempt to harmonize and fill in the blanks as you do?

Kelly: No. We begin from different assumptions. Oxford, Cambridge and Anchor begin with the assumption that God is not capable to preserving his communication with mankind; they look for ways to explain prophecy; and they look for ways to explain miracles. They look at the Bible as mythology and treat it as any book.

On the other hand, I begin with the assumption that God is omnipotent and omniscient and fully capable of preserving his communication with mankind with truth.

When it comes to your own atheist viewpoint, you conveniently disagree with BOTH liberal and conservative Christian views (and even liberals and conservative Jewish views) and use their views to counter mine. In reality an atheist does not agree with either but you pretend to agree with the weaker position if it strengthens your own. Then you plan to devour the last one standing -- divide and conquer.

Westcott and HOrt, the English theologians who used modern criticism determined before they began that they would destroy the Textus Receptus and nothing would change their minds. Truth and honesty were the first casualties.

Babinski: Do you accept the prima facia and contextual meaning of words and passages in the OT, or reject them whenever they conflict with what you already believe concerning conservative Christian doctrines and dogmas?

Kelly: This is a strange question coming from an atheist who does not accept the prima facia claim of the Bible that God exists and that a personal God had at least something to do with the writing of the Bible.

One of the basic definitions of prima facia is “literal,” or “face value.” I understand the “we” of Isaiah 53:4 literally as the nation Israel. I understand “wounded, bruised, stripes, for our iniquities, for our chastisement” of 53:5 literally. I understand the “we” of 53:6 literally to refer to both the nation and the sinner-prophet, and the “him” to refer to another – the Messiah. I understand “he was cut off out of the land of the living” in 53:8 and “grave” as a reference to death of “him” in 53:6. I understand “the LORD has laid on him the iniquity of us all” in 53:6 and “for the transgression of my people” in 53:8 as a literal reference to vicarious sacrifice of one other than the nation or the prophet (a sin offering must be sinless). And I understand literally that “his soul an offering for sin” means a sinless sacrifice which does not describe either the nation or a prophet. Now, please tell me how YOU explain those verses to refer to either the nation or a prophet if you dare.

Like any reasonable person, I would reject that which does not make literal sense. On the other hand, as an atheist, you reject all of it because you do not think that God had a hand in any of the Bible.

I believe in an Omnipotent and Omniscient God. That means that I believe God can preserve anything He chooses to preserve for His creation in order to clearly communicate with it.

Babinski: Are you an inerrantist?

Kelly: If God exists at all, then He must be omnipotent and omniscient. I believe that God is not inept and that He can clearly communicate with me. Do you believe in God? What are your God’s attributes? Do you think that God is capable of communicating truth? If not, then your approach to the Bible is just as biased as my own.

Babinski: You ignore the lack of precision in the “prophecies” and fill in the blanks with your own imagination.

Kelly: You do not believe in any kind of prophecy. My demonstration of the facts from Isaiah 53:4-10 is not a “filling in the blanks.” I eagerly await your response to see how ignore the obvious conclusions. You ignore the speaker of the texts in Isaiah.

As you suggested, I have just completed a very slow word-by-word reading of Isaiah 48-52 and do not agree with your conclusions. We agree that: (1) Yes, very often “my servant” is the nation. (2) And yes, often “my servant” is the prophet. However, (3) at the most critical times “my servant” is either Messiah speaking or can only refer to Messiah.

Babinski: Why not simply admit questions, indeterminacy?

Kelly: I run from no question. Ask Bernie. I do not deny anybody the right to question. I object to you pawning my arguments off to the conclusions of others without discussing the context or sincerely trying to rebut my arguments point-by-point.

Babinski: Jews have their own reading and interpretation which is closer to the prima facia meanings and contexts of their own Scriptures.

Kelly: Yet their own Scriptures portray them as NOT understanding. God had to send prophets because the Levites and priests refused to obey God. Jesus was a Jew and came to the Jews quoting Jewish Scriptures. The Bible says that many Pharisees and priests accepted His message. Judaism is very diverse and accommodates both the extreme left and the extreme right even in Jesus’ day as seen in the Pharisees, Herodians, Sadducees and Qumran community.

Do I assume that the Jews best know how to interpret their own tradition and Scriptures which condemn them for not listening to God. No. Every prophet in the Jews’ own Holy Word CONDEMNED them for not understanding it and for NOT obeying God. Yet you expect me to believe that today they finally understand it correctly. What a twist! They are still rejecting what their own holy prophets have written.

Babinski: For instance, there is no agreement throughout the Hebrew Bible as to the necessity of a blood sacrifice. Jewish scholars know this.

Kelly: Then WHY did they bother even building the Temple? Even today they “sacrifice” a chicken at Passover. I am sure you can find a few liberal Jews who agree with you but your whole argument seems absurd to me in light of the Temple.

And why do liberal Christians who wrote the Anchor, Cambridge and Oxford articles you love even bother to teach a New Testament theology? They seem to deny that the Old Testament spoke of Christ.

Babinski: In the OT sometimes a LIVE goat is prescribed, a scape-goat (a LIVE one, not a dead one) carries away the sins of the people into the desert. Analogous to the scape goat the OT also prescribed a LIVE bird be sent away to carry away leprosy and mildew (the ancient Babylonians did something similar with birds).

Kelly: This is not new to me. See my articles on “Exposing Seventhday Adventism.com” about the scapegoat. In both instances a blood sacrifice preceded the live goat and life bird symbolically carrying the sins away never to be seen again. Your two aberrations do not change the RULE that a sacrifice was needed.

Babinski: Sometimes in the OT grain is used as a sacrifice instead of bleeding animals.

Kelly: Only for the very very poorest of the land and it was NOT the general rule (Lev 5:11-13). This only covered minor sins of ignorance and accidental sins. A blood sacrifice was still required from everybody at Passover. Your crevice search to make a point shows how futile the argument really is.

Babinski: Sometimes in the OT sacrifices themselves are frowned upon and a repentant heart is what’s required.

Kelly: What is your point? Are you attempting to show that the Bible contradicts itself, or are you trying to point out that God is loving and merciful and provides a means of restoration to fellowship for everybody? Yes, God did from upon all sacrifices when the ritual replaced what it symbolized. God does not want any sacrifice at all if the heart is not right.

Babinski: Even in the NT Jesus taught people to pray and expect that God would forgive them as they forgave others. Pretty simple message.

Kelly: What you and most Christians do not realize is that there never was a sacrifice required for willful deliberate high-handed presumptuous sins (Heb 10:26). One was at the mercy of God, the judges, and/or the ones offended. The sacrificial system only dealt with sins of ignorance, omission, and accident. Read the entire book of Leviticus. The synagogues arose when the Jews were in exile and had no Temple system in place. Passover was the one glaring exception and sins were not confessed over the Passover sacrifice.

Jesus lived and died under the full jurisdiction of the Law. Jesus would never assume that a Jewish follower would not follow up his/her confession of minor sins with a trip to the Temple. He even suggested trips to the Temple for sacrifice on many occasions.

Whatever your point is (and you seem to introduce them indirectly), the sacrificial system was in full effect during Isaiah’s time. This was true during what liberal calls “first Isaiah,” and, if “2nd or 3rd Isaiah” were written much later (for arguments’ sake) the later writer still believed in the sacrificial system. The idea from Genesis 4, 22 and Exodus 12 that God would supply the substitute sacrifice was still a basic Hebrew doctrine.

ISAIAH 7 AND 9

Babinski: Speaking of Isaiah, why not examine the "virgin conception" prophecy? It is part of a few “naming of children prophecies” that come right after chapter 7 in Isa.

Kelly: Go right ahead. Why not examine them? While some argue that “almah” in Isaiah 7:14 does not limit itself to a physical virgin, the Greek word in Matthew 1:23, parthenos, does. I am na├»ve enough that a personal Omnipotent Omniscient God is capable of inspiring the correct Greek word in the New Testament. Do you think that Hebrew has a word which God could have used in Isaiah 7:14 which only means a physical virgin? If so, what is it?

That can be easily explained by a Greek word “apo-teles-matic.” Many Old Testament prophecies have a two or three-fold fulfillment. The first was in the context of the people who first heard it. Even the O.T. prophets often used the name “David” to refer to the Messiah as the son of David.

We are discussing Isaiah 53 and I would prefer you address all of the arguments I have given in 53:4-10 to prove that the “servant” there could not possibly be the same as the nation itself.

You cannot be a substitute for yourself.

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4. The Servant of Isaiah

You urged me to go back and read Isaiah chapters 48 to 53 and I did –three times. It seems that you prefer to read other scholars rather than the texts themselves. We are not discussing other scholars. Rather we are discussing the Bible.

1. “Servant” is sometimes the prophet. I grant you that.
2. However, as a prophet “servant” is actually the mouthpiece for Messiah. This is very common in the Old Testament. You will not grant me that.
3. “Servant” is often national Israel. I grant you that.
4. “Servant” is MOST OFTEN “righteous Israel” – I will grant you that.
5. However, as “righteous Israel” “servant” is often the Messiah speaking. You will not grant that.
6. At very key texts it is clear to me that Messiah cannot possibly be either Israel or righteous Israel. Try this experiment. At every controversial text replace the word “servant” with “Israel” and then with “Isaiah” to see if it fits. Where neither fits, insert the word “Messiah” and you will see where I am going with this line of argument.
7. You seem unwilling to discuss these texts which refute your arguments. For example:

In chapter 48 all: God the Rock and Deliver is speaking to Israel personified.

In chapter 49:1 God the Rock and Deliverer is speaking to Israel personified.

Isaiah 49:3 “And said unto me, Thou art my servant, O Israel, in whom I will be glorified.”

In chapter 49:3 The SERVANT is Righteous Israel personified. However, this cannot be separated from 49:5-6.

Isa 49:4 Then I said, I have laboured in vain, I have spent my strength for nought, and in vain: yet surely my judgment is with the LORD, and my work with my God.

In 49:4 Israel personified replies to God. This is not the prophet speaking for himself. He is speaking for another.

49:5 And now, saith the LORD that formed me from the womb to be his servant, to bring Jacob again to him, Though Israel be not gathered, yet shall I be glorious in the eyes of the LORD, and my God shall be my strength.

**In chapter 49:5 The SERVANT here cannot be the nation Israel because the “servant’s” calling is to “bring Jacob [Israel] again to him.” It is extremely difficult to imagine the prophet speaking about himself and boasting about his own “glory” even though his message failed!

Isaiah 49:6 “And he said, It is a light thing that thou shouldest be my servant to raise up the tribes of Jacob, and to restore the preserved of Israel: I will also give thee for a light to the Gentiles, that thou mayest be my salvation unto the end of the earth.”


***49:6 is extremely strong in support of the servant being Messiah. The purpose of the servant is to “to rise up the tribes of Jacob, and to restore the preserved of Israel.” The SERVANT is to be a “light to the Gentiles” and God’s “salvation to the end of the earth.” This cannot possibly refer to either a normal prophet or to Israel itself.

49:7-26 SERVANT is righteous Israel. However righteous Israel is personified as Jesus in the NT.

50 all: God rebukes SINFUL Israel.

51:1-8 God is speaking to Righteous Israel.

***5l:9-10 The “Arm of the Lord” is NOT national Israel. It is God, the I Am, who dried up the sea and ransomed sinful national Israel. This is crucial for understanding 53:l.

52:12 God is speaking to national Israel.

52:13 MY SERVANT is either Righteous Israel or the Messiah.

52:14 “Visage-appearance was marred more than any man” is a far better description of Jesus than it is national Israel.

53:1 The “arm of the Lord” (from 51:9-10) is NOT national Israel.

53:2 The “he” and “him” refer to the “arm of the Lord” from 53:1 and not to a prophet or national Israel. Explain this. 49:9-10

53:3 The “we” is either “all of the prophets” (which is unlikely) or the “nation Israel” decribing one who will die as a sin offering for the sins of the nation in following verses.

****53:4-8 cannot possibly refer to the nation Israel because the person is suffering as a SUBSTITUE for national Israel. He is the SERVANT 53:11.

****53:5 cannot possibly refer to a sick diseased person because Hebrew Law forbade even such animals from being sin offerings. And it cannot be national Israel because you cannot substitute for yourself. He is the SERVANT in 53:11.

• But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed.

****53:6 The nation Israel is “we” and “us all.” It takes a lot of faith to believe that the text is referring to an ordinary but very sick and abused person. He is the SERVANT in 53:11.

53:6 All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way; and the LORD hath laid on him the iniquity of us all.

****53:7 There is no OT prophet or person who meets this description. Modern Hebrews, liberals and atheists have invented an imaginary sick person to explain this prophecy. He is the SERVANT of 53:11.

7 He was oppressed, and he was afflicted, yet he opened not his mouth: he is brought as a lamb to the slaughter, and as a sheep before her shearers is dumb, so he openeth not his mouth.

***53:8 teaches SUBSTITUTIONARY ATONEMENT. Again there is no historical prophet or person who fits this description other than Jesus. Again the nation Israel cannot be a substitute for itself. He is the SURVANT in 53:11.

***53:10 The most important qualification for a sin offering is spotlessness—sinlessness. This is definitely NOT a description of the nation Israel. He is the SERVANT in 53:11.

Yet it pleased the LORD to bruise him; he hath put him to grief: when thou shalt make his soul an offering for sin, he shall see his seed, he shall prolong his days, and the pleasure of the LORD shall prosper in his hand.

**** Isa 53:11 MY RIGHTEOUS SERVANT cannot possibly refer to national Israel because he bears their inquities.

****This text, Isa 53:11, must be speaking of the same person in the preceding verses and it cannot possibly refer the nation of Israel.

11 He shall see of the travail of his soul, and shall be satisfied: by his knowledge shall my righteous servant justify many; for he shall bear their iniquities.

****53:12 No prophet teaches that the nation Israel will die as a payment for its own sins and that such payment will constitute a sin offering. The prophets were primarily sent to rebuke Israel if its sins.

Therefore will I divide him a portion with the great, and he shall divide the spoil with the strong; because he hath poured out his soul unto death: and he was numbered with the transgressors; and he bare the sin of many, and made intercession for the transgressors.

Can anybody on this forum stop talking about what others say and discuss the texts themselves in context? I am not impressed with any of your arguments. Explain the servant of Isaiah 49:5-6; 51:9-10 and 53:4-12. Explain IN CONTEXT how the nation Israel is the suffering servant as Jews teach.

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5. Creation and Morality

Note: They refused to continue the discussion of Isaiah 50-53 or refute any of my objections.

I started a new discussion by asking “What is the meaning of life?:” Bernie Deshler replied with a confusing “heavily atheistic.”

Note: Bernie and I have been and still are friends. He was a Christian until a few years ago and is now an atheist.

Atheistic Creation

1-- Theists began with a “moral God.” Simple to define morality.
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1-- A-theists must begin with an a-moral “something” eternal.

2—Your eternal a-moral “something” (for no reason) superheated, exploded, and produced hydrogen gas. A theory literally based on hot air – sounds funny to me.

3-- At some point your “amoral hydrogen-something” kept on superheating many times resulting in atomic fusion into heavier elements. There must have been some kind of “law” of fusion in existence which forced or (shall we say” “caused” this to happen.

4—After eons something “living” by sheer chance emerged from your now “amoral soup of elements” and eventually mindlessly evolved into what you dare call sentient moral beings. Your presupposition must be that, given enough time, anything can happen. This worked fine when the universe was said to have infinite age. However, now even atheists agree that the universe is only 17 to 13 billion years old and that is not a lot of time to explain how the complexity of life happens. Your explanation is “great leaps forward” of mutation with no apparent reason.

Sorry, but your explanation of how life began takes more faith to believe than to believe in a preexisting eternal moral God. The “mistakes” you find in the Bible are nothing compared to the mistake I find in your theory.

Morality

What a-moral force keeps you from cheating on your wife or keeps your wife from cheating on you? Oh, but it is not “cheating” or even “sin” –so nothing is wrong with it. Your logic can only lead to moral chaos.

If you expect to convince me of becoming a moral atheist you must first prove to me where and when in the evolutionary accident morality originated.

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6. The Meaning of Life

Note: One of my complaints with those who dialog with me is that their replies are long, rambling, and say very little. Unfortuntely, I did not save most of their replies. A lost reply said that Christian missionaries serve “for the greater hope of gaining heaven.” This is my reply.

First, Christian missionaries do not serve “for the greater hope of gaining heaven” unless they do not understand that salvation is not obtained by one’s own good works. The statement does not describe true Christianity.

Second, what is happiness to an atheist? Is it a chemical reaction caused by eons of evolution? If that is true, then happiness is genetic. How do secular humanists explain the exisence of “happiness” and “love”?

Third, are animals “happy” when they are well-fed, safe and “contented” with food, safety and shelter?

Fourth, is human “happiness” different from animal “contentment”? If so, is it proof of the existence of a soul and a Creator God?

Fifth, your example of a secular humanist is selfish and self-serving rather than self-less-ness and the desire to serve others. How does evoution explain the desire to help others in order to gratify self? Is this found outside of humans? If not, does it prove the existence of a Creator?

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7. Morality; 4-18-10

Marie said: “Natural selection is not the most positive way to go about it, but it gets the job done.”

Russ: Natural selection is unguided accidental chance because your understanding of “nature” has no intelligence behind it. That means that there is nothing either “positive” or “negative” behind what happens and that murder and rape are just as much part of “nature” as couples paring up and getting married. Without an intelligent creator, there can be no moral standard. Murder can be neither right or wrong, moral nor immoral.

Marie said “Greed is about hoarding resources, which keep you alive long enough to reproduce.”

Russ: Insects, birds and animals would call this “survival” –not greed. It is not “right” or “wrong” for them. I suppose you think we should stop calling humans “greedy” for the same reason. You have no basis for calling anything “right” or “wrong”, “good” or “bad.” Rather than being “immoral” you are “a-moral.”

Marie: Paranoia is also about keeping you alive long enough to reproduce …

Russ: Nice. Your mindless evolution-creator god has made some aggressive, others greedy, others, lusty and others paranoid in order to achieve the same purpose of survival. Like I said before, after eons of trial and error, instead of one of these achieving more success and replacing the others, we still have all four. One would think that, after eons, only the most successful would still survive.

Marie said: Fortunately, these are counterbalanced by another trait we have passed on.

Russ: I’m sorry, but you are not in a place to use the word “fortunately.” You must stick with “accidentally.” “Fortune” implies something “good” happening instead of something “bad” and natural selection has no conscience to do distinguish between and define “good” and “bad.” Everything must have the same value (better non-value).

Marie said: Groups whose members value morality or practice unselfish altruism are more likely to survive and thrive, passing on the genetic traits that encourage ethical behavior such as empathy, fairness and generosity.

Russ: You are destroying your own argument for natural selection. Because I begin with the assumption of a moral God, I can use words like “morality,” “selflessness (altruism),” “ethical,” “empathy,” “fairness” and “generosity.” You cannot use those terms without imbuing natural selection (unintelligent dirt) with morality to pass along.

Marie said: Brain scans have shown this genetic legacy in humans, and it's probably present in other mammals as well.

Russ: That, my friend, does not in any way prove that it got there because of mindless amoral natural selection. Your arguments are making my convictions stronger.

What gives you the “right” (or “wrong”) to discipline your children? Could it be that what YOUR amoral evolved mind calls “disobedience” and “wrong actions” are only natural selection evolving into its next phase into better sentient human beings?

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8. Missing Links; 4-20-10

Bernie asked: Russ- do you accept or deny that humans biologically evolved from animals?

Russ: I totally deny it. I am using your own line of evolutionary logic to dispute your conclusions.

I believe that God created each and every genus, kind, or species and then allowed them to have very widespread changes within each kind. I call this speciation.

Horses are always horses or zebras; dogs are dogs; cats are cats; Neandertal man was an amoral biped and not a homo sapien.

Evolution from one major species to another has never been proven because it is not provable. Do you have any scientific proof that one major species had evolved into another major species. There is no such thing as a “missing link” – there are tens of thousands of missing links between all major species and you very well know it.

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9. Animals love; 4-20-10

Bernie to Russ: Did you also notice that animals have everything to a lesser degree? They are also self-aware, show love, altruism, etc.

Russ: Animals do not sit and meditate about who and what they are and why they are here. Animals do not seek a higher intelligence and have worship rituals. Animals do not have guilty feelings when they do wrong. But YOU, Bernie Dehler, have been made in the image of God.

Bernie: (but they can't live forever according to Christian theology- that's only for humans). The difference is we have a more complex brain so we are smarter.

Russ: You are much smarter than your arguments sound. Again the “difference” is that “homo sapiens” have been created in the image of God. They have a “soul” which yearns to know if there is more to life then a few years. Unlike animals, humans seek for a meaning in life. Why? Is this where evolution has brought you? – to seek after something other than self and a few years?

Bernie: We have a choice, be an optimist or pessimist. There is much to experience in life with a positive attitude

Russ: No you don’t. Using your own doctrine, you are the product of amoral unintelligent soup and you are only what your genetic makeup allows you to be. In your world it is neither right nor wrong to be an optimist or a pessimist, a murderer or a protector, a loving father or a child-abuser. If your genes allow you to be positive, you will be positive. If your genes allow you to be negative, you will be negative. That is your genetic world and you have no control over it.

Bernie: Some people think it is ironic how some Christians cling to every second of life as possible, yet they are supposed to believe in a coming eternal paradise. I guess it shows they don't really believe it."

Russ: I know the feeling. I am ready to die and not afraid of dying, but I strive to leave something positive of me behind. The answer for me is that I want to accomplish more before I go ahead to meet my departed loved ones. On the other hand, for you everything is final. No future, no seeing your lost loved ones, no hope –just turning back to dirt. It would seem even selfish to shed a tear.

My friend, Bernie -- YOU love. You KNOW that you love. You know deep down inside that it is RIGHT (beyond genetics) to be faithful to your wife. You know deep down inside that it is WRONG (beyond genetics) to murder, steal and lie. That, my dear friend, is the “image of God” within you screaming for attention. You are not really an atheist because you love, care for others and are a really GOOD person. You are more than the sum of your genes and you know I am right.

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10. Made in Whose Image; 4-20-10

Russ said: "Animals do not sit and meditate about who and what they are and why they are here. Animals do not seek a higher intelligence and have worship rituals. But YOU, Bernie Dehler, have been made in the image of God.

Bernie: We do that because of the advanced cognitive abilities we have.

Russ: So you admit that it is our “advanced cognitive abilities” which make us different from animals and make us curious enough to seek a Creator. Therefore the most advanced evolved amoral creature finally reached the point in evolution where he/she realized that there must be more to life than chewing on a bone and playing fetch.

Bernie: We don't chew on bones like puppies do because we don't have their kind of teeth.

Russ: Really? Is that the only reason? I wondered why I don’t feel the urge to chew on bones. It is simply because I don’t have the right kind of teeth. Wow! Some logic. A dog can sleep all day and do absolutely nothing. Most humans cannot. We want to make something out of our lives and contribute to the lives of others n a non selfish way. Evolution cannot explain that.

Bernie: The other animals don't contemplate deeply like we do because they don't have our complex brains.

Russ: Again, according to your own amoral evolution doctrine,
the more “complex” we become, the more we realize that there must be more to the meaning of life. Perhaps the next step in human evolution is to reject secular humanism. What guided the lower forms to evolve more complex brains? – perhaps they were bored with chewing on bones and sleeping, or perhaps they wanted to have meaning in life which transcended death itself.

Bernie: But they do have enough brain power to make social rules, show altruism, show intelligence, and show love. And you must think it is all pointless for them too.

Russ: But they have not reached the peak of evolution which humans have reached; they are not at the place where they reach beyond life and death as we know it and desire to worship something greater and more awesome than themselves.

Therefore the more evolved one becomes, the more one realizes that there really is a difference between good and bad, right and wrong (which amoral evolution cannot explain). Complex intelligence suddenly decides that it is time to seek a Creator because life has no meaning otherwise. God is love.

Bernie: I just recognize that our lot is the same as the animals, even though we have the creativity to invent god(s).

Russ: How sad and depressing. With your genius mind with computers, you have just lowered yourself to the same level as mere animals. Why not just move into a doghouse and wait for them to come into heat. Forget about love and marriage.

Listen to yourself. “We have the creativity.” Secular Humanism makes MAN God! And when man fails, man sees himself as a failure and seeks for meaning in a Creator God other than himself. You are making my argument stronger.

Bernie: … esp. to comfort us in the face of the psychological terror of contemplating non-existence, because our survival instinct is very strong.

Russ: Personally, as a Christian, I have no “psychological terror of contemplating non-existence.” God put that seeking into you. You have no cure for psychological terror because MAN is evil and devours his own kind. You fear contemplating non-existence because you see no logic in existence. Survival makes no sense if you are only the result of eons of amoral mindless accidents so you seek sense elsewhere in a Creator God.

Bernie: It is god who is made in the image of man. Jehovah is the tribal god of the Israelites. The newer manifestation of the Jesus god is for everyone."

Russ: Really? You have bought into the whole pie of liberal humanism. The universal god of both Hebrews and Gentiles in the Old Testament was either known as El-o-him(multi-dimensional God) or El-El-yon (Most High God). God appeared to Israel as its unique covenant Protector as Yah-weh; that is true. However, in the New Testament God again revealed Himself as El El-yon, Most High God of all nations. I discovered and revealed that in my book.

If God were a figment of our own imagination, and if man made God in his own image, then I ask you: “Why would man invent a God who has a higher moral standard than himself that he cannot possibly achieve?” “Would you make a ‘god’ in your own image who tells you to do something which is far more moral than you desire to be?” I would not. I would set moral standards which are attainable so I could exalt myself when they are reached.

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11. Happiness; 4-20-10

To Marie

Yes, much of our disposition is genetic. I agree. So also is some predisposition to murder, rape, steal, be a homosexual, depression and most other traits we have. However, since acquired abilities do not become genes, why do we even bother to “correct” the bad traits?

My question to you is “Whatever happened to ‘survival of the fittest’?” I thought that evolution’s goal is to cull out body parts and characteristics which are inferior and harmful to the species.

After eons of trial-and-error and rejection of what is not the “best” we still have murder, rape, lust, greed and paranoia along with happiness. Your evolution-god has failed. How much more time does your evolution-god need before it gets rid of negative genes?

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12. Morality; 4-20-10

Russ: What a-moral force keeps you from cheating on your wife or keeps your wife from cheating on you?

Bernie: How about the principle of 'do unto others as you would have them do unto you' (the saying from Jesus which Jesus copied from others before him).

Russ: Why? Why not kill and rob them if you think you can get away with it? If you are a-moral and nothing in and of itself is right or wrong, then “do unto others BEFORE they do it unto you” should be preferable.

Bernie: In the grand scheme (cosmic scale over eons of time) of things I do think life is meaningless, because I believe there is no god(s).

Russ: Then society could not trust you to (1) be a spouse, (2) be an honest banker, (3) be a Boy Scout leader, (4) guard something or (5) be a politician. You have no moral reason to be honest.

Bernie: However, since we find ourselves here, we can develop good rules for society (to enable thriving), and enjoy life."

Russ: “Good”? What is “good” to an atheist? To a vigilante “good” is taking what you want to enable thriving so you can enjoy life to the exclusion of others.

Do you ever look at yourself in the mirror and ask “Who am I? Why am I here? Why am I different from animals? Why did I evolve to become self-aware?” If things go wrong and your lose your family, house and job, what is keeping you from suicide?
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Russ: Theists began with a “moral God.” Simple to find morality.

Bernie: Not simple at all for the theist. Theists also argue over gay rights, abortion, slavery, women rights, euthanasia, racial issues, etc. Being a theist doesn't really seem to help. The only theists who think it is simple also think that other theists are wrong and misguided.

Russ: At least we can engage each other from a perspective of what is morally right and wrong. Amoral atheists merely throw up their hands and say “Who cares? It just happened that way.”

Bernie: On the surface, being a theist helps tremendously. With a little digging, I think we find it doesn't help at all. All answers are superficial."

Russ: Theists argue about what a moral God would do. Amoral atheists have no motivation to even care who wins or loses an argument over morality.

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13. Morality; 4-23-10

Russ said: "You love and protect your families but cannot figure out why."

Bernie: I think I know why. But I also don't see a logical need to believe in God in order to love and protect my family. How does it follow to think that you need to believe in God in order to love others?

Russ: Then stop beating around the bush and tell us why. You are not giving me your logic; all you say is “I think I know why.” I say that you need to believe in God in order to love BECAUSE mindless amoral dirt cannot produce love, intellect or morality.
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Russ said: "Mindless Amoral Eternal (MAE-god) soup which produced life cannot possibly produce any meaning."

Bernie: That is true.

Ruse: You said “That is true” and then you proceeded to show that it is NOT true. Are you listening to yourself? Again, you are not explaining your logic –how you reach your conclusions.

Bernie: But humans have the brain power to observe the world and have consciousness, so we can make meaning for our lives while we exist. We are not mindless soup.

Russ: How can no-intelligence create intelligence? The most simple life forms are really extremely complicated combinations of extremely assembled elements. And not even the most “simple” life-sustaining and reproducing life form can be produced in a laboratory.

First you say that life has no meaning. Second, you say that mindless amoral eternal matter produced life. And now you say that we can make meaning for our lives because of advanced brain power. I see you contradicting yourself when you flow from one to another –from no meaning to meaning, from no morality to morality, from no intelligence to intelligence. It is like saying “it cannot possibly happen, but it does. Just believe it.” Oh, but that means “have faith in the ability of nothing to produce intelligent meaning in life.

Again, why is it that the advanced brain power of humans seeks after a Creator god?

Russ said: "Until you acknowledge the existence of an Eternal Moral and Personal God, you only have your pity parties."

Bernie: I don't see how acknowledging the existence of mythical creatures solves any problems.

Russ: Oh, so God is a myth but your mindless amoral eternal God is real. Nice. Acknowledging the existence of an eternal moral God saves you the trouble of seeing yourself as a god who will ultimately fail you with no real answers about the meaning of life.

Eccl 12:8, 14

8 Vanity of vanities, saith the preacher; all is vanity.

14 For God shall bring every work into judgment, with every secret thing, whether it be good, or whether it be evil.

Bernie: Russ- did you see my presentation, as the file links were given above? I know you have a scholar's mind, but your last post looked mostly flippant."

Russ: I saw one paragraph. Send me the link to the whole presentation and I will evaluate it.

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14. Can You Feel Jesus; 5-2-10

Question from Atheist Bernie Dehler: Can you really feel Jesus in your heart?

1. Yes, our spirit is able to detect the Spirit of God within.

Rom 8:16 The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit , that we are the children of God:

2. It is the Spirit of God within believers which reveals spiritual things via the spirit within man.

1 Cor 2:11 For what man knoweth the things of a man, save the spirit of man which is in him? even so the things of God knoweth no man, but the Spirit of God.

3. True born again believers actually KNOW that they have been saved.

1 John 5:13 These things have I written unto you that believe on the name of the Son of God; that ye may know that ye have eternal life, and that ye may believe on the name of the Son of God.

4. Atheists and God haters have rejected God’s revelations of Himself through the things He created.

Rom 1:19-22

19 Because that which may be known of God is manifest in them; for God hath shewed it unto them.

20 For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse:

21 Because that, when they knew God, they glorified him not as God, neither were thankful; but became vain in their imaginations, and their foolish heart was darkened.

22 Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools.
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Just because we cannot literally reach out and touch something does not make it unreal. I cannot touch the sun but I know it is real because I feel its heat. A blind man cannot even see the sun, but the world is still real around him. Love, hate, fear, joy, and contentment are just as real as tangible things.

God is Spirit but He makes Himself known to those who truly seek Him and to many who are not truly seeking Him. While there have been many Christians who have become atheists, there are also many atheists who have become Christians.

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15. Science and Theology Change; 5-3-10

Bernie: Yes- science constantly changes, or upgrades, as we learn more.

Russ: Yes, science changes more than theology: geocentric Earth, flat earth, horse-hairs to worms, eat salt tablets to prevent heat stroke.

Bernie: That is positive, compared to theology that doesn't change.

Russ: FactS cannot change. God’s character cannot and does not change. He is full of mercy but must punish sin.

Bernie: Old theology says that Adam is the reason why people died; his disobedience brought death into the world.

Russ: Old theology teaches that Adam sinned and died both physically and spiritually because of his sin. Science says there is no reason why mankind cannot physically live forever but has not figured it out yet.

Bernie: Now old earthers like yourself need to re-work theology because you now know the earth is very old and there was much death way before Adam appeared.

Russ: Evolutionists rework that theory much more than Intelligent Designers. Death before Adam was not the result of sin. Even Scofield taught that eons of death preceded a new creatdion in Genesis One. Neanderthal was not punished because of his sin.

Bernie: In science, we follow the facts. Change is positive.

Russ: Intelligent Design follows the facts and has a working model. On the other hand you have thousands of missing links between species and do no even attempt to explain them.

Bernie: Some science changes are very big, like the change from a geocentric view of the cosmos to a heliocentric view. But we'll never go back to a geocentric view.

Russ: It took the Church centuries to settle the Trinity doctrine and I doubt it will ever go back to the Arian view of JWs and Mormons.

Bernie: We now know more than the ancients because of our technology. They were wrong because they didn't have the data.

Russ: Christians know much more about the Patriarchs because of archaeology which has proven much of the data to be true.

Bernie: About evolution: we know it happened because of the DNA record when doing genomic studies (re: pseudogenes, fused chromosome #2, and other data-points).

Russ: No. You know that speciation (evolution within species) happened. Common genetics merely proves a common designer. You still have absolutely no clue how species changed from (1) self duplication to (2) sexes (an improvement?) to (3) soft shelled eggs in the ocean to (4) hard shelled eggs on land to (5) live birth to (6) whales giving birth tail first.

Bernie: How exactly did evolution happen? There are always new mechanisms being discovered, as to HOW it happened. But we can be SURE it happened without knowing HOW because of the data.

Russ: Sounds like faith to me. A whole lot of faith in an unproven theory. I hope you do not start all over from nothing every time you decide to upgrade a computer chip. You are not smarter than God.

Bernie: It is like looking at DNA at a murder crime scene. You can see a dead body, a murder victim, and study the DNA and see the DNA of the attacker on the victim due to a fight. How exactly did they fight, and how exactly was the victim killed, and was the attacker killed (since the attacker isn't there)? We can't know. But we CAN KNOW who the attacker is because we have his DNA.

Russ: And if the DNA shows that the attacker was an animal or Neanderthal, you would not prosecute them in court. But you would prosecute a Homo Sapien because the DNA proved that he was responsible for his crime.

Bernie: So then, THAT evolution happened is a fact, HOW it happened (exactly) is still being uncovered."

Russ: Where is the evidence that evolution crossed from one species into another? I only see speciation within a species. My recent studies of evolution show me that you cannot even prove that ancient erect Homo evolved from one into another (although they probably did). Your evidence is sadly lacking in every corner of the lab.

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16. Disunity Among Christians; 5-3-10

Tad: Russell, just remember that there is no full unity in Christendom even on what should be the very basics of the faith. "Faith alone" being one of them. Scripture teaches no such thing, so be careful in mixing your personal (albeit modern) views of the faith with orthodoxy."

Russ: First, why are you so quick to point out the errors of Theism and so unwilling to answer any of my “how” questions about your faith during the past month? You know everything about that which you disagree and little about what you want to defend. “The DNA proves it” proves nothing other than a common designer. Is that all you have to offer?

Second, you are nuts to tell me that Scripture knows nothing bout faith alone. The Scripture I get this from is first century Bible if you want to call that modern.

Third, I can gather Baptists, Catholics, JWs, Methodists, Mormons, Presbyterians and SDAs. They will all agree: (1) that there is an Eternal Pre-existing personal moral God, (2) that we are all sinners, (3) that sin has somehow separated us from God, (4) that we must seek God’s will for our lives and (5) that we should strive to live a moral life. Those are the basic I was talking about. Why do we believe this? By faith.

On the other hand atheists also agree that there was a mindless “eternal pre-existing immoral something” about the size of a BB which superheated and exploded. Therefore, we both begin with FAITH in something.

Other than agreeing that (1) a mindless BB-sized-something exploded, do all atheists believe (2) that they commit moral indecencies, (3) that they should seek ways to stop committing moral mistakes and (4) that they must commit themselves to being better citizens?

Therefore, your point proves nothing. Just because we do not agree on every point proves no more than my arguing that atheists do not agree on every point. I do not use that argument to prove that atheism is wrong.

Your existence is finite and infinitely unjust with no recompense for the most gruesome of crimes and sin (which really do not even exist in your theology).

Eccl 12:14 For God shall bring every work into judgment, with every secret thing, whether it be good, or whether it be evil.

Truly, without an after life judgment, “Vanity of vanity; all is vanity.” You have absolutely no reason to murder, steal, cheat on your spouse, or abuse any neighbor or child. There is no right or wrong, good or bad. Life has no meaning and you cannot truly care about anybody else than yourself without admitting the existence of a moral God.

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17. Biology Book; 5-2-10

I have just read about 6 different atheist evolutionists. They all agree on evolution but seriously disagree about when man suddenly received his advanced brain. What is the difference? You agree on evolution. We agree on salvation by grace through faith. You disagree on many points of evolution. We disagree on many points of theology.

You cannot criticize us without criticizing your own “religion.” I just bought a college textbook on Biology, Sixth Edition, by Raven Johnson. The Preface, page xxii, reads “In addition to the extensive revisions of the ecology, evolution and botany sections … we have thoroughly revised the rest of the text as well.”

Don’t you dare tell me what a “settled” science you have. I paid only $2.00 for this textbook because it had to be revised again!!!

Therefore, atheists do not have your act together either.

You asked “Is God giving positive signs to Mormons, even though Mormon theology is heresy?”

Yes, God has Mormon believers who sincerely worship Him to the best of their ability just as he has believers in other denominations.

How about atheists? Do you all agree on child discipline? Homesexuality? The death sentence? Why not? You have had millions of evolutionary years to cull out the wrong and disagreeable group thoughts? Your “god” is much more feeble than is ours.

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18. Complexity in Creation; 5-30-10

Atheist: It most certainly can be both (moral and genetic). It's all in how you perceive it. Is the flower red, or is the flower reflecting all wavelengths except the red ones? Now you have the eyes of a butterfly and can see colors in the ultraviolet range. What color is the flower now? What color is the flower in a room with no sunlight, no wavelengths to reflect? If you are color-blind and cannot distinguish red from green, is the apple still red? You, sir, are DNA-blind. You cannot see in the "ultraviolet range" of possibilities.

Russ: What is the purpose of the above discussion? What are you trying to prove with it?

For me at least the ability to distinguish colors is a blessing from God. Many birds, insects and animals cannot distinguish colors. How does evolution teach that colors benefit mankind and allow us to survive better? Why evolve the ability to see colors at all? How is the ability to distinguish colors a step up in the evolutionary scale?

If our ability to see colors has no tangible benefit for mankind to ascend the evolutionary scale, then its key function must be for our happiness and pleasure rather than survival – and that flies in the face of atheism.

Why does a mother hen sit on her chicks and die in a fire to protect THEIR future and not her own? Why does a soldier fall on a grenade to protect the future of others and not his own?

Your arguments are all about the HOW and not about the WHY because you see absolutely no REASON behind what happens other than blind mutant chance. In your philosophy you are only the result of a million mutant chances with nothing moral behind them. You could just as easily be a mass murderer but there is sill nothing “immoral” about that because a mass murderer is merely doing what his/her genetic code commanded.

Good “morality” as the image of God within his creation, whether man or animal. Bad “morality” as the result of SIN. You excuse all bad morality and I do not. You see the “possibility” (no – reality!) that the most immoral criminal is not guilty because he/she is merely scratching an urge from DNA. I see the “possibility” (yes –possibility) that anybody can change through the power of God changing a person’s inner being through conversion. My possibility is your impossibility unless a chance mutant gene changes you from the inside out.

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19. Atheists Explain Morality; 6-1-10

http://www.facebook.com/note.php?note_id=395917791851

Bernie’s Referred Article:

Tom Flynn: Secular humanism propounds a rational ethics based on human experience. It is consequentialist: ethical choices are judged by their results.

Russ: “Consequence” simply means “result.” A consequentialist is a person who basis his future actions on the results of his past actions. There is no intelligence involved. The successful repetition of one action over another action determines what is best for survival and/or pleasure. It is not a matter of what is “moral” or “immoral”; rather it is a matter of pure chance eventually leading to the beneficial change as in all evolutionary processes and mutations which survive.

In other words, if you get away with it, then keep on doing it. If you murder, cheat, steal or lie a million times, the DNA which pre-programmed you to do those things will be preserved.

I suppose the logic is that, sooner or later, the actions will NOT benefit the individual or the group and will be rejected and replaced with a respect for life and the property of others, honesty because they better provide for the propagation of the species and a better lifestyle. The ends justifies the means.

While there is a certain logic in this, its sheer logic can lead people like C. S. Lewis to decide that there must really be a moral God after all. He interpreted the existence of conscience within mankind as an innate knowledge of right and wrong, good and evil which could only come from God.

Is it just a coincidence that both atheism and theism have reached the same moral absolutes about fundamental issues of right and wrong? Atheists say that the choice (of what later became right verses wrong) was guided by “results” and theists say that the choice was guided by an innate conscience from God.

Tom: Secular humanist ethics appeals to science, reason, and experience to justify its ethical principles.

Russ: Therefore there is no moral component to it. It is simply a numbers game with some “experiences” or “results” providing better reproduction of the species.

The problem I see here is that those atheists who are not interested in the survival of the species and are motivated purely by self-interests see no moral sin in doing what pleases themselves. This is exactly what is described in the Bible in Romans 1:23-32.

Tom: Observers can evaluate the real-world consequences of moral decisions and intersubjectively affirm their conclusions.

Russ: They are still not “moral” decisions and you still have no legitimate authority to use that word. Call them “result guided actions” because that is all that they logically are. Even though the results may have been repeated successfully a trillion times, they may still lead to disaster and destruction of the species. If Hitler had mass produced the nuclear bomb first, we may all be living in the Third Reich now. If our planet continues to follow the current trend, we may all be either atheists or Muslims within a few centuries. Does that make it right?

Using your logic, it is OK to have sex with an animal as long as it is not harming the animal, self or society. Well, it may not appear to be harming anybody else, so do it. Could this be the source of AIDs? Who cares what the conscience tells us?

Tom: Millennia of human experience have given rise to a core of “common moral decencies” shared by almost all.


Russ: Why don’t you just say what you mean without wrapping it up in clever phrases? “Experience leads to morality.” Is that what you want to say? If so, then you are “nuts.” Do you actually think that our societies are becoming more and more moral because of evolution? What evidence do you have for this great conclusion?

Atheistic evolution and/or speciation have failed. Millennia of human evolution has NOT erased and replaced in our society those who are predisposed to adultery, rape, murder, theft and similar crimes. Rather than being pushed to the remotest outer limits where recessive genes are supposed to eventually disappear, their gene-pool is alive and thriving. Yet evolution is supposed to cull out such bad genetics because they are not dominant and are harmful.

Tom: Human happiness and social justice are the larger goals of secular humanist ethics.

Russ: Who are you to make this determination? You are merely mimicking what your genes predispose you to say. How do you know that DNA itself has a goal of happiness and social justice? Have you asked it? Do you have an evidence that DNA is evolving towards that goal? Cannot the human species survive and reproduce without being happy? Is there any evidence that DNA which produces social “justice” is slowly replacing DNA which does not? What is “justice” anyway? Is that not a moral term? Do you have any right to use it?

If what you say is true, then atheistic humanists would be the most moral of all citizens. And those countries which espouse social humanism would be far better places to live in. Perhaps you prefer Russia, Cuba, Angola or Laos.

Tom: Quoting Owen Flanagan: “These conditions include freedom from want and fear, freedom of conscience, freedom to inquire, freedom to self-govern, and so on.”

Russ: What you call “goals of social humanist ethics” are only that very thing. They are not goals of atheistic evolution because amoral atheistic evolution, by its very nature, can have no goals. It is blind chance and nothing else. These “goals” are only the opinions of men and women who are atheists and are striving to justify decent behavior.

What is “freedom of conscience”? Does it mean that, by observing atheistic mo-res agreed upon by their social group, they can sleep without a guilty conscience? Where did they get that conscience from? Is it the product of the highest form of evolution?

When you sin, when you go against your conscience, that guilt you sense is the ‘image of God’ within you telling you that you are a sinner. You cannot blame it on genetics.

Tom: Secular humanism takes upon itself the Enlightenment project of emancipating individuals from illicit controls of every type: the political control of repressive regimes; the ecclesiastical control of organized religion; even the social controls of societal and family expectations, conventional morality, and the tyranny of the village.

Russ: You are all over the spectrum. First, “secular humanist ethics” cannot exist with and from an individual because that would merely be his own opinion. Therefore “secular humanist ethics” must refer to the humanist-group consensus concerning its own definition of what is moral or immoral, right or wrong, and good and evil. Therefore it is your own consensus opinion and not that of the rest of the world in general.

Second, you say that they “emancipate individuals from illicit controls of every type.” “Illicit” means “contrary to accepted morality.” You are really twisting your words here. You cannot really mean “illicit” because amoral godless atheism has not claim to a definition of moral values – only following the most favorable consequences. You cannot mean “of every type” because you are exalting the definition of morality agreed to by the atheistic community.

“Including … social controls of societal and family expectations, conventional morality, and the tyranny of the village.” Again, you cannot mean the expectations of the society of amoral atheistic humanists. “Conventional morality”? Yes, that is what you oppose. You want to make god in your own image. “The village” – do you mean group mentality? That is all you have. Individuals cannot speak for the group; only the group can speak for the group and its individuals. I find very little logic in your statement. It might sound good from a podium, but it makes no sense when carefully scrutinized.

Look at what secular humanism has done to Europe. They have the most government, the highest taxes, the smallest houses and cars and the least freedom.

Tom: Atheism and freethought trace their roots to ancient Greek philosophy, with its emphasis on rational inquiry and curiosity about the workings of nature.

Russ: Whether true or false, your admission harms your argument. The Greeks worshipped gods made in the image of men just as secular humanists do today. They had no moral basis in a personal moral God. They were so rational that they thought the stars depicted god fighting each other across the heavens every night. They moral standards approved of orgies. And, they were not atheists.

After centuries of humanist wisdom, you still cannot tell us whether the chicken or the egg came first.

……………………………………….

20. Self Sacrifice; 6-1-10

Marie: “Why does a mother hen or a soldier give their life to protect another? Because it feels really good. It feels satisfying and rewarding. That's WHY.”
…………………………….
Russ: Incredible. You are destroying your own logic. If a random accidental mutant DNA produced a few rare individuals who resist their basic DNA of self-protection, that mutant DNA strand would be removing itself in the “sacrifice.” Another mutant DNA would have to evolve to replace it.
…………………………..
“I could tell you HOW we know that, scientifically; how we know what is going on in the brain when someone behaves selflessly. I could tell you how science believes chickens and humans developed that sort of feeling from that sort of behavior over the eons. But the bottom line is, it feels good. (WHY does it feel good? That's all a HOW is, really. Every answer to a WHY brings up another question.”
…………………………..
Russ: The “feeling” is self-destructive and very short-lived. The doer cannot tell his/her generation how great the feeling was. You said that a HOW is really only a WHY which feels good. So that is WHY people rape and steal –because it FEELS GOOD. No accountability. No justice. No repayment. No sin. No morality. If it feels good, do it. And you actually think you are convincing me to become an atheist!
…………………………..
“Hang around a 3 year old for 5 minutes to see that in action!!)”
…………………………
Kelly: So a 3 year old pitches a temper tantrum because it feels good – even thought the consequences might NOT feel so good. No. They pitch a temper tantrum because they are selfish and greedy and want attention. What does that have to do with our question? Three year olds do not sacrifice their lives for others because it feels good.
……………………………
“Evolution actually does provide reasons for why animals behave in morally acceptable ways. The survival of the social unit increases the chances for survival of the species. The social unit provides protection, and increases the opportunities for getting food. There are many benefits for getting along and not making enemies.”
………………………………………
Kelly: This is also the justification for criminal gang mentality. Adherence to the rules of the social unit increases the opportunities for survival of the gang’s goals.
…………………………..
Marie: “Russell, you seem to be certain that I excuse immoral behavior. I don't believe I've ever said anything to you to indicate that is true. You stereotype me, based what you believe is atheist logic. I hang out with a lot of atheist friends, and none of us excuse immoral behavior. None of us go around with big anger issues, or cheat on our spouses, or go on killing sprees. We work hard for a living, we pay our taxes. We are very much like you. The only thing that is different about us is that we don't pray. When we need help, we turn to each other. Our faith is in our fellow man.”
………………………………………….
Kelly: Believe me, I mean nothing personal and am not accusing you of immoral behavior. I am simply trying to sort out the logic you use.

Atheists explain im-moral behavior in the same identical way that they explain moral behavior – both are the result of blind mutant genetics. Is that true or not? That is my logic. Do you agree or not? If not, then tell me what is wrong with my conclusion. This is important.

Although I do not think you deserve me using the terms “moral” or “immoral” to describe you, I will for argument’s sake. From your own provided documents, “consequence-determined choices” better fits you.

How can I, or why should I, condemn your apparent moral behavior? As a DNA preprogrammed “moral” atheist you have surrounded yourself with like-minded friends for the betterment of all. You have weighed the consequences of choices and have decided which are best for you personally to follow.

However you cannot deny that there are also DNA preprogrammed “immoral” atheists who have surrounded themselves with like-minded anti-society friends for the same reason.
………………………
Marie: “My husband is bipolar. He engaged in immoral behaviors for many years. He stopped drinking because I would not marry him unless he did. Then after we married, he saw doctors, got medication and counseling, and now is one of the most moral people I know. He did that without any conversion, without any god. He did it because he wanted to be a good person.”
……………………………..
Kelly: Since you are an admitted atheist, then I disagree with you using the word “immoral” because unintelligent and unguided accidental mutant evolution knows no boundaries of good and bad, moral or immoral. What you probably should say is that your husband once engaged in activity which was contrary to the rules and mores agreed upon by the village-society of secular humanists. And those rules were determined by observation and reaction to consequences-results of behavior.

Your husband is bi-polar and I have an inherited disease called cone-dystrophy. I do not deny that either mutant genes or damaged genes from disease or drugs caused both. Both are physical imperfections. He has been helped with drugs and counseling. There is no cure for my disease.

Your husband used his brain power and weighed what he thought would be the results of not seeking help verses losing you and your love. He wanted the result of his actions to be interaction with you, therefore he sought help.

Having said that, all three of us still have spiritual needs to be fulfilled through conversion. God has still placed into all of us a conscience which alerts us to wrong actions and seeks for a meaning in life beyond ourselves.

A very wise prophet once wrote that “all of our righteousness is as filthy rags.” Although a very moral man, he realized that his morality fell far short of the goodness of God. I am happy for you and for your husband that you lives have changed for the better, but you still know deep within your conscience that you fall short and improvement is still needed. That is part of our nature, who we really are and why we are here. You may have not needed God or a conversion in your own opinion, but there is still much more to life than death and God can fill that void.

……………………………………

21. The Goal of DNA; 6-2-10

Marie: “The goal of DNA is procreation, survival of the species in general and of the genes (NOT the individual organism, but the genes!). If my genes are passed on, I've done my job.”
……………………………………
Kelly: Therefore, if you never procreate and invent an earth-improving product, you have failed if you do not reproduce your genes through childbearing.

Actually, if there is no God and no intelligent force behind creation, then DNA has no goal at all. That which atheistic DNA produces is always only the result of random chance. Although it is incredibly un-intelligent to make such a statement about something as complex and interdependent as DNA, this must be true of DNA without the influence of a designer.

First, your idea of DNA does care whether a species survives or not. Second, if you DIE childless saving friends by falling on a grenade or rescuing them, your DNA ends! They self-preservation and self-propagating philosophy contradicts itself if there is a “feel good” self-sacrificing aspect which cancels it out.
……………………………………
Marie: “THAT is the best case self-preservation of the DNA and as a parent I am driven like a crazy person to help my kids reach reproductive adulthood at all costs.”
……………………………………….
Kelly: Listen to yourself here. I sense you are a good loving mother, but you sound like you will urge your children to have sex and reproduce at the earliest possible moment in life which is immoral. They can be successful and contribute to society whether they reproduce or not.

What if your child carries a bi-polar gene? Would you still insist on reproduction rather than adoption?
…………………………………
Marie: “If I can't pass on my genes, but my sister or my brother or my uncle does, then at least part of my genes carry on as well. If no one in my family survives to pass on their genes, but a group of humans does, then the species carries on, and the genes are happy.”
…………………………………………
Kelly: Happy genes. Sounds like a Mother Goose fairy tale to me. This is becoming silly. You may as well write a song to the tune of Happy Days. Genes are not sentient beings and cannot express emotions, especially your concept of atheistic genes.
………………………………………..
Marie: “Altruism is an argument in favor of evolution, not against it.
………………………………………..
Kelly: First you say that you are “driven like a crazy person” to make sure your children reproduce. That, my friend, means that you think genes are very selfish and driven to reproduce at all cost. Now you say the opposite – that “altruism (selfishness) is an argument in favor of evolution.” Make up your mind.

The Bible is the most altruistic book one can find. “While we were yet sinners, Christ died for us” (Rom 5:8). “For God so loved the world that He gave …” (Jn 3:16). The “greatest” is urged to “serve.” Evolution is “survival” of the fittest – not selfish denial of the fittest. Evolution does not sacrifice itself in order that the less fit should survive.

……………………………………
Marie: “A 3 year old does not pitch a temper tantrum because it feels good. They do it as a means of testing boundaries, as in how much can I get Dad to break the rules if I cry and yell? And yes, sometimes that does backfire, and sometimes it succeeds in stretching the boundaries.”
…………………………………………….
Kelly: Again, this has nothing to do with the current discussion of self-sacrifice. I do not understand how and why you somehow connect the two discussions.

Let that 3 year old achieve his/her goal and you will be raising a very selfish domineering brat who does not respect you or others.

On the other hand, why even bother? If the child’s preprogrammed DNA determines how it is going to act, then it is merely following its program and should not be disciplined. That is the result of atheistic logic (not necessarily your own).
………………………………………………
Marie: “So it's like gambling. A win when you gamble does indeed light up the same part of the brain as an altruistic act does. The part scientists call the reward, or pleasure center.”
…………………………………………
Kelly: Aha, so this is why you connect the child’s temper tantrum with a soldier falling on a grenade. The huge difference is that the child survives to remember the pleasure of the win. And how does the dead solider pass on the pleasurable experience of dying?

Also, what did this pleasure center in the brain evolve from? The thrill of the kill perhaps?

I agree that temper tantrums test the boundaries of the parents. The child wants to see how much he/she can get away with before being disciplined. But that is far being the same as self-sacrifice; we both know it is closer to selfishness. Does self-sacrifice and selfishness light up the same part of the brain? Does you test prove that both emotions are of equal value or merely that the same part of the brain handles both?
………………………………………………
Marie: “So, there it is, the mechanics of altruism. The HOW (Sorry! I couldn't help myself!) In that sense, your behavior comes from the genes you got from your parents, AND your environment as well.”
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Kelly: Not impressed. Different neuro-specialists might interpret the results differently. I turn on my front porch light when I hear friends knocking and when I suspect something dangerous approaching.

Your logic is, since my behavior comes from my genes, then I am not responsible for my actions! And I can justify anything I do and not call it sin. What you call antisocial “genes” we call “the sin nature.”
………………………………………….
Marie: “Genes can be turned on and off. For instance, identical twins raised in separate homes have identical genes. But the way one was raised may trigger a gene to be switched on, while the way the other was raised may cause a gene to stay off. This determines what proteins (amino acids) are produced and released into the blood stream. And this can alter behavior.”
………………………………………………
Kelly: Yes, yes, yes. We are more than the sum of our parts and genes. We have free will and can choose to overcome adversity of be different from our twin with the same genes. We are not mere blind automatons and salves to our genes. We still have part of the image of God’s morality within our consciousness.

So, you can actually CHANGE WHO YOU ARE and are not captive to your genes. You can actually THINK yourself into a better or worse person. Sounds like freedom of the will to me –today you will choose whom you will serve—the inner nature or the image of God.
……………………………………
Marie: “This is a somewhat plastic system, since changes in environment can change the expression of certain genes (on or off). In some cases I believe a strong will can achieve the same! Biofeedback works with other systems of the body, such as raising temperature or increasing circulation.”
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Kelly: You are actually describing one set of preprogrammed DNA sequences overriding another set of preprogrammed DNA sequences –none of which actually cause the genes to MUTATE to be passed on. You sound more and more like a theist.
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Marie: “Another fact to consider is that much adult criminal behavior is rooted in mental illness.”
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Kelly: Defective dominant genes. Who are you to say that they should be the NORM and YOU are the abnormal? After all, according to your theory, both they and you came up through the same ranks of evolution. Aren’t you playing God to say that their behavior is wrong? Does not a “criminal” with those genes have the same right as you do to say his are the norm? If there is no moral god guiding any of this, then his behavior is not right or wrong – it just exists as a result of mindless evolution.
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Marie: “Dear Russell, I am not foolish enough at age 58 to think I can convert you to atheism. I would not want to. Your faith is important to you, and I'm happy for you that you have it! (However, if you tell me I can't have a desperately needed abortion, or can't marry the woman I deeply love as a soul mate and sexual partner because I am a woman myself, then we have a problem in our definition of morals.”
………………………………….
Kelly: I am merely trying to use your own logic against your arguments. In my opinion you have no consistent working definition of “morals.” For instance, you picked out abortion and gay marriage. I then ask you “Why did you leave out murder, rape, sex with animals and marriage to animals?” Do you see my argument? You have “moral” boundaries but you do not want to attribute the existence of morality to anything but blind mindless chance.

Yes, we do have a serious difference of opinion on the very definition of morals. I do not think that you have defended even the right to use that. The writer of Bernie’s article called it “consequentialistic”; you simply follow the “result” which has, over time, provided the best opportunity to live longer and happier. That, my dear, is a poor definition of right and wrong.
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Marie: “Finally, you speak to the hunger for knowledge, or at least that's what I call it. You call it seeking for a meaning in life beyond ourselves. I see the need to grow and stretch and explore in all creatures.”
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Kelly: The need? Or the actual exploring? I do creatures other than man “exploring”; they are simply trying to find ways to survive.

Since our discussions began I have purchased a college textbook which uses evolution as its foundation, Biology, Raven Johnson, McGraw Hill. I am not in this discussion to play. I am here to learn and to help others discover a loving God.
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Marie: “Myself, I wanted to know what was going to happen when I die. I believe I have figured it out, and I am thrilled with the idea that I will go back someday to where I came from. Ashes to ashes, dust to dust. Elementary particles swirling in a nebula. Stardust. My thinking self will die when I do, and I'm perfectly happy to let it go.”
…………………………………………
Kelly: Regardless of how you try to portray it as something transcendental, your description of death is ugly. You will simply be mud clinging to somebody’s shoes and dirtying the floors of somebody’s house. In your theology, the life spark which was you will cease to exist. You will never know how much of what you did really achieved in life and you will not care. You view of death is stark pessimism with no hope.

On the other hand, I am happy knowing that my books are impacting millions for good change. I hope to see my children achieve something good before I die. I expect to spend eternity with God asking questions and learning. I sleep well and do not fear death. For me there is no death – only a new beginning; only a change from one kind of life into another. I wish I could convince you of that kind of change to come.

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22. DNA Proves Evolution; 6-2-10

Bernie: “There are many gaps in evolution.”

Russ: O. K. I have an open mind. Now show me one major evolutionary change from one major species into another that has no gaps. In my opinion evolution is nothing but gaps.

Bernie: However, there is also evidence that evolution (of man from animal) actually happened, by studying the DNA.

Russ: Produce the evidence. What animal without any doubt evolved from a species other than that of the monkey into the monkey? Then show me the evidence without any doubt of the missing link between monkey and man. And why don’t we use monkeys for organ transplants rather than pigs if they are so much closer to us?

Bernie: Pseudogenes.

Russ: False genes; false genetics. Of course, the real genetics cannot prove it beyond a doubt, so the false genetics will.

I did my homework on pseudogenes. They are non-functional; the real functioning gene they may have begun to copy was copied correctly and functions correctly. They are false starts, abortions in the gene pool which have no function whatsoever. Their presence affects absolutely nothing and that is probably why there is no rush to flush them from the gene pool. They can be left in without harm.

Bernie: There are many evangelical scientists who fully accept biological evolution of man from animal because of the evidence in our genes.

Russ: Nice. You want me to believe the part about evolution and I want you to believe the part about a personal Creator God. Your selectiveness makes me ignore your statement because you ignore what they believe about God’s existence.

Bernie: Even man evolved from animal, or God designed it in such a way as to deceive us into thinking so (which would make God a liar and deceiver). The DNA evidence shows the footprints of travel between species.

Russ: Not so. The DNA evidence only proves a common design blueprint. The fact that a whale has five fingers on its fins does not prove than man evolved from whales or from a common ancestor. The fact that a child’s wagon and tricycle have different sets of wheels does not prove that thy do not have a common designer.

Bernie: There is more evidence in DNA besides just pseudogenes, too. But pseudogenes are enough to demonstrate it beyond a reasonable doubt."
……………………………………….
Kelly: Similar design does not prove that one design evolved into another. And different design does not prove that one design did not evolve into another through the mind of the designer. Dot matrix printers have been replaced by ink-jet printers. That does not prove that different people must have designed them. Two-barrel and four-barrel carburetors have been replaced by entirely different designs. That does not prove that they were not designed by the same person.

Common design merely proves that the designer used common sense, saved a lot of extra inventiveness and used the basic platform for creation which worked. That is also how DNA works by making copies of itself. Since pseudogenes do not affect the functioning of the remainder of the gene pool, there is no reason to begin all over from scratch unless you are upgrading from a lower life form into a higher life form. The existence of pseudogenes does not mean that the design is flawed; it is simply not absolutely perfect and man was not created absolutely perfect.

Weapons went from hands and teeth to clubs to spears to bows to bullets to lasers. Did any of those “evolve” into another or was a better model found? Of course not. But you want me to believe that it absolutely must be the case when species have similar genes.

When Windows went from 3.5, to 98 to Me to XP to Vista to 7, did the program designers start all over again or did they build on previous successes? You say that mindless evolution is enough to do this but God cannot!!! That is ultra stupid logic.

I have an evolutionary chart from Time, Aug 23, 1999, How Man Evolved, pages 54-55. It does not even have a common ancestor for great apes and chimpanzees. Great apes, chimpanzees and all erect forms supposedly evolved from a common (YET UNPROVEN) ancestor between 4 and 6 million years ago! Lots and lots of gaps.

Next the chart shows 14 different types of erect part-men: (1) Ardis, (2) Austras, (3) Afars, (4) Afris, (5) Aethis, (6) A. garnis, (7) A. bolsei, (8) A. robustus, (9) Homo Rudolf, (10) homo habillis, (11) Homo ergaster, (12) homo erectus, (13) homo antecessor, (14) homo Neanderthal and finally (15) homo sapien.

A. NONE are linked to each other.
B. NONE are linked to the common ancestor of 4-6 million years ago.
C. ALL appear and disappear suddenly.
D. NONE have exact homo sapien DNA.
E. Homo Sapien suddenly appears.
F. The chart shows homo sapien existing before Neanderthal and even you admit that Neanderthal is a DNA dead end.
G. There chart shows homo erectus and homo sapien existing at the same time but does not link them.

Lots of gaps. Lots and lots of gaps. What makes modern man different from ancient man is the existence (not of tools) but of worship relics.

Then there is the National Geographic, Apr 27, 2003, pages 14-15. Here the common ancestor of all life forms is the very elusive EOMALA with a “question mark” beside its name. Good link! Good proof! You guys are all nuts.

From yet another angle, if evolution is purely random mutations, then why is there so much consistency? Why do so many creatures have 2 eyes, 2 ears, 4 limbs, two lungs and similar anatomies? Why don’t we see the diversity among humans that we see among fish and insects? Where are the great multitudes of people with 3 eyes, 4 arms, 2 hearts, and redundant anatomies? Why does only the liver regenerate itself? If we have a common designer (like God) I would expect what we see today. However, without a common designer, I would expect to see much more diversity among humans.

……………………………………………….

22. DNA Proves Evolution; 6-2-10

Bernie: “There are many gaps in evolution.”

Russ: O. K. I have an open mind. Now show me one major evolutionary change from one major species into another that has no gaps. In my opinion evolution is nothing but gaps.

Bernie: However, there is also evidence that evolution (of man from animal) actually happened, by studying the DNA.

Russ: Produce the evidence. What animal without any doubt evolved from a species other than that of the monkey into the monkey? Then show me the evidence without any doubt of the missing link between monkey and man. And why don’t we use monkeys for organ transplants rather than pigs if they are so much closer to us?

Bernie: Pseudogenes.

Russ: False genes; false genetics. Of course, the real genetics cannot prove it beyond a doubt, so the false genetics will.

I did my homework on pseudogenes. They are non-functional; the real functioning gene they may have begun to copy was copied correctly and functions correctly. They are false starts, abortions in the gene pool which have no function whatsoever. Their presence affects absolutely nothing and that is probably why there is no rush to flush them from the gene pool. They can be left in without harm.

Bernie: There are many evangelical scientists who fully accept biological evolution of man from animal because of the evidence in our genes.

Russ: Nice. You want me to believe the part about evolution and I want you to believe the part about a personal Creator God. Your selectiveness makes me ignore your statement because you ignore what they believe about God’s existence.

Bernie: Even man evolved from animal, or God designed it in such a way as to deceive us into thinking so (which would make God a liar and deceiver). The DNA evidence shows the footprints of travel between species.

Russ: Not so. The DNA evidence only proves a common design blueprint. The fact that a whale has five fingers on its fins does not prove than man evolved from whales or from a common ancestor. The fact that a child’s wagon and tricycle have different sets of wheels does not prove that thy do not have a common designer.

Bernie: There is more evidence in DNA besides just pseudogenes, too. But pseudogenes are enough to demonstrate it beyond a reasonable doubt."
……………………………………….
Kelly: Similar design does not prove that one design evolved into another. And different design does not prove that one design did not evolve into another through the mind of the designer. Dot matrix printers have been replaced by ink-jet printers. That does not prove that different people must have designed them. Two-barrel and four-barrel carburetors have been replaced by entirely different designs. That does not prove that they were not designed by the same person.

Common design merely proves that the designer used common sense, saved a lot of extra inventiveness and used the basic platform for creation which worked. That is also how DNA works by making copies of itself. Since pseudogenes do not affect the functioning of the remainder of the gene pool, there is no reason to begin all over from scratch unless you are upgrading from a lower life form into a higher life form. The existence of pseudogenes does not mean that the design is flawed; it is simply not absolutely perfect and man was not created absolutely perfect.

Weapons went from hands and teeth to clubs to spears to bows to bullets to lasers. Did any of those “evolve” into another or was a better model found? Of course not. But you want me to believe that it absolutely must be the case when species have similar genes.

When Windows went from 3.5, to 98 to Me to XP to Vista to 7, did the program designers start all over again or did they build on previous successes? You say that mindless evolution is enough to do this but God cannot!!! That is ultra stupid logic.

I have an evolutionary chart from Time, Aug 23, 1999, How Man Evolved, pages 54-55. It does not even have a common ancestor for great apes and chimpanzees. Great apes, chimpanzees and all erect forms supposedly evolved from a common (YET UNPROVEN) ancestor between 4 and 6 million years ago! Lots and lots of gaps.

Next the chart shows 14 different types of erect part-men: (1) Ardis, (2) Austras, (3) Afars, (4) Afris, (5) Aethis, (6) A. garnis, (7) A. bolsei, (8) A. robustus, (9) Homo Rudolf, (10) homo habillis, (11) Homo ergaster, (12) homo erectus, (13) homo antecessor, (14) homo Neanderthal and finally (15) homo sapien.

A. NONE are linked to each other.
B. NONE are linked to the common ancestor of 4-6 million years ago.
C. ALL appear and disappear suddenly.
D. NONE have exact homo sapien DNA.
E. Homo Sapien suddenly appears.
F. The chart shows homo sapien existing before Neanderthal and even you admit that Neanderthal is a DNA dead end.
G. There chart shows homo erectus and homo sapien existing at the same time but does not link them.

Lots of gaps. Lots and lots of gaps. What makes modern man different from ancient man is the existence (not of tools) but of worship relics.

Then there is the National Geographic, Apr 27, 2003, pages 14-15. Here the common ancestor of all life forms is the very elusive EOMALA with a “question mark” beside its name. Good link! Good proof! You guys are all nuts.

From yet another angle, if evolution is purely random mutations, then why is there so much consistency? Why do so many creatures have 2 eyes, 2 ears, 4 limbs, two lungs and similar anatomies? Why don’t we see the diversity among humans that we see among fish and insects? Where are the great multitudes of people with 3 eyes, 4 arms, 2 hearts, and redundant anatomies? Why does only the liver regenerate itself? If we have a common designer (like God) I would expect what we see today. However, without a common designer, I would expect to see much more diversity among humans.

……………………………………….

23. False DNA Prove Evolution

Bernie: …”there are obvious copying errors recorded in DNA. You can't have copy errors without descent! And there's no reason for God to create man from scratch but include errors from lower forms of life. This is what makes it so obvious that man evolved from animal rather than being a separate creation from scratch.”

Russ: The underlined portion of your statement can only be valid if the pseudogene affected anything else – and it does not. Since it has absolutely no affect on the rest of the genes, there is no reason for God to begin again from scratch. It’s like a builder leaving some unused nails inside the frame of a wall. They affect nothing and it makes no sense to tear the wall down to remove them.

Your argument is based on the false assumption that God created Adam and Eve absolutely perfect in every way. Yet I do not read that in God’s Word. Instead Adam was created with the “propensity” to sin. Sooner or later he would have sinned. Why? Because it was never God’s design to create man perfect in every way. There was always room for growth and improvement. God deliberately did not create him as a robot. The fact that Christ was “the lamb slain from the foundation of the world” (Rev 13:8) implies that God knew that man would sin and made provision for it.

Bernie: …”there is a movement amongst the evangelical scholars to fully accept evolution … as God's chosen way to create."

Kelly: If you mean unlimited change within a species, I would agree. However, if you mean change from one species into another, I disagree.

My gut tells me that your conservative evangelists are really moderates or liberals masquerading as conservatives.

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