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      06-29-2015, 10:55 PM   #177
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Doc Oc View Post
Great post and I agree with your points but would add that from what you stated you have faith based on certain things that have happened in your life. Lots of people feel the same way. I would never try to discount those things but it raises a question.

Why would god pick and chose? Why answer your prayers and not the millions of others who pray for such things as food, parents, shelter, safety, health, etc. If he's intervening in your life, why not other peoples lives who could probably use him more than you?

I've read stories of women who have been kept as prisoners in men's houses for decades as sex slaves, forced to do horrible things. Why is god helping you out and not them? I know that's dark, but for anyone who thinks they've felt the hand of god in their life, do you not wonder why you were so lucky when so many others were not?
Basically, I concur with your overall points.

You've almost answered your question. Quite simply, people of faith are disinclined to accept that they have simply beat the odds. They believe that in order to have done so, there must be a "something" causing it to have happened other than simply probability and circumstance. That's no less so now than it was 5K years ago. Then as now, unlikely is not the same as impossible, and not understanding that to be the case is no less typical among the average man.

One must remember that probably theory didn't come about until the Renaissance and Enlightenment era where as the art of magic (which is little other than a practical application of science that doesn't require one actually be able to identify and prove the principles of physics, chemistry and biology that make it possible) has existed since at least 2700 B.C.E.

Even now some 500 years after the birth of probability theor, most people, and most Americans in particular it seems (http://www.ritholtz.com/blog/2014/08...probabilities/), don't have a strong understanding of the subject matter. Quite simply, there are many, many everyday/basic situations wherein the probabilistic reality and what most folks think is that reality aren't the same. (http://www.agenarisk.com/resources/p...obability.html) Accordingly, people were no less prone thousands of years ago than they are today to faulty logic, and particularly faulty logic based on the probabilities of events having occurred and their probable or plausible cause(s).

Take the following very simple example.
One in a thousand people has a prevalence for a particular heart disease. There is a test to detect this disease. The test is 100% accurate for people who have the disease and is 95% accurate for those who don't. If a randomly selected person tests positive what is the probability that the person actually has the disease?

The solution doesn't even call for challenging math.

Let A be the event 'person has the disease' let B be the event 'positive test'. We wish to calculate the probability of A given B, which is written p(A|B).





Now, we know the following: p(A)=0.001 p(not A)=0.999 p(B| not A) = 0.05 p(B|A) = 1

Hence:





Which is equal to 0.01963 or ~2%.
Now for as much fun as it is to explore real life illustrations of Bayes Theorum, the matter of the probabilities BMWMsport presented is perhaps more precisely (although your layman's description of it isn't off) evaluated in light of the frequentist versus subjective ways of expressing uncertainty. (A very good discussion of the central concepts is here: http://www.agenarisk.com/resources/p...q_v_subj.shtml .) Upon fully grasping the difference between the two, one can see why it is that I keep coming back to the point about the circularity of the arguments/examples BMWMsport has offered.

There's nothing wrong with subjective explanations of uncertainty/certainty, but it's unavoidable that they rely upon the set of knowledge/information one has available. Ideally, that knowledge includes one or more unambiguous facts. In the case of the arguments in support of the assertion "God exists," (the one assertion upon which literally everything else pertaining to God-related "truths" rests) no such facts exist, except if one declares the Bible (and/or books like it) to be accurate tellings of facts/events and the cause of those events.

In the case of people who've prayed to a god, the set of knowledge available to them, for example and among other things, may be that they prayed and their prayers were "answered;" thus the god to whom they prayed exists. Among folks who've never had a prayer answered but who nonetheless accept God's existence on the basis of what they've read, they are basing their belief the fact that someone else claimed a god answered their prayers, or re: the prophesies, a god made the prophesies come true. (Or in other words, they accept the claims that someone else has made about the events and their causes.)

Who's to say, for example, that someone didn't portend that Zeus would make one or more prophecies come true, or that Zeus didn't answer someone's prayers? Odds are quite good that someone did at one time or other predict Zeus would do "this or that" and the event came to pass. The same could be said of folks having prayed to Zeus for a given outcome.

Regardless of why believers are unwilling to simply say it was luck/circumstance, or even something not yet known/understood, the fact remains that their belief rests upon a subject assessment of certainty, not a fequentist, or as you I think put it a "materialist," measure of certainty.

All the best.
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      06-30-2015, 12:19 AM   #178
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I am just amazed at how many dont quite get evolution. Dont expect a cow from a pig, or a rat from a croc. Just doesnt happen!
Its small steps, takes over million of years. One small genetic change that proves to better for survival of an individual, gets passed on to generations. If the mutation was truly useful it will live on, while others will perish.
The blue eyes is one such example. It has no practical application, but the other sex may find it attractive, helping pass that genetic mutation on.

you can find traces of evolution in all living organisms today.

Also, who is to say humans are the pinnacle of evolution? Our larger minds may have resulted in us getting to the top of the food chain, and it could very well be our cause of extinction. Our complex brains, could very well render this planet inhospitable, and we may never figure out a way to get to some other place. In the end a microscopic bacteria might be the only thing that survives. So I as you again - who do you think wins this race?

The theory of evolution is a well established fact. Its just referred to as a 'theory'. How do we know this because science allows for peer review, which religion does not. When was the list time you read a religious book was edited?!

There may well be a god, but its not he god we read about. The god of today seems like a much diminished entity from the god of 10 years ago. Science may not know where the universe began, but it also does not make any false claims about what weekday, or what sea it came out off.
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      06-30-2015, 12:39 AM   #179
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ritzzzzzwik View Post
...

There may well be a god, but its not he god we read about. The god of today seems like a much diminished entity from the god of 10 years ago. Science may not know where the universe began, but it also does not make any false claims about what weekday, or what sea it came out off.
That is exactly one of the "problems" that creationists see with evolution. Personally, I don't think God is any less than he was 10 or 100 or 1000 years ago. In my mind, he is the cause of everything, including evolution, whether it be the micro version or the macro version, and regardless of which form actually happened.

I don't disagree with the stuff in your post that I deleted, but essentially what you did in that post by concluding it as you did was poorly make the case that evolutionary and the Big Bang theories diminish the greatness of God. If you honestly believe that those theories diminish God, so be it. I don't have an issue with your believing that. But if you are going to assert that as a result of advancements in our scientific understanding of the natural world, two being evolution and Big Bang theories, God is less than He was in years gone by, you'll need to put forth a stronger case than you have for the vast majority of people accept the principle of theistic evolution and that concept doesn't remotely assert that God is any less great. It's only creationists who say that theistic evolution diminishes God, and they say that based, in part, on their belief that the Bible tells only of factual events and that those events happened exactly as described in that document.

All the best.
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      06-30-2015, 01:02 AM   #180
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tony20009 View Post
That is exactly one of the "problems" that creationists see with evolution. Personally, I don't think God is any less than he was 10 or 100 or 1000 years ago. In my mind, he is the cause of everything, including evolution, whether it be the micro version or the macro version, and regardless of which form actually happened.

I don't disagree with the stuff in your post that I deleted, but essentially what you did in that post by concluding it as you did was poorly make the case that evolutionary and the Big Bang theories diminish the greatness of God. If you honestly believe that those theories diminish God, so be it. I don't have an issue with your believing that. But if you are going to assert that as a result of advancements in our scientific understanding of the natural world, two being evolution and Big Bang theories, God is less than He was in years gone by, you'll need to put forth a stronger case than you have for the vast majority of people accept the principle of theistic evolution and that concept doesn't remotely assert that God is any less great. It's only creationists who say that theistic evolution diminishes God, and they say that based, in part, on their belief that the Bible tells only of factual events and that those events happened exactly as described in that document.

All the best.
But dont the vast majorities of world population subscribe to the creationist ideology (not just Christian)?

I havent read all your posts, but to me -god to you is the variable X that no one can put a finger on. The starting point of it all. But you must realize thats not the god the world believes in. Most people believe in a personal god.

As far as explaining my statement is concerned- well there are far more eloquent and better read scholars on the subject of evolution, and Big Bang. People are most welcome to read those papers/watch videos/podcasts.

I was simply put of by the lack of understanding of basic principles of evolution- that an individual does not evolve, a species evolves!

My variable X or your God may well be the same thing. No doubt a great force/entity, to set such massive chain of events into motion. But I cant see why he/she/it must be a loving/caring god, a personal god. Why must his teaching be in a book, that tells you whats good, whats evil, and whats the path to heaven.

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      06-30-2015, 01:02 AM   #181
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Very interesting
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      06-30-2015, 06:51 AM   #182
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ritzzzzzwik View Post
But dont the vast majorities of world population subscribe to the creationist ideology (not just Christian)?

I havent read all your posts, but to me -god to you is the variable X that no one can put a finger on. The starting point of it all. But you must realize thats not the god the world believes in. Most people believe in a personal god.

As far as explaining my statement is concerned- well there are far more eloquent and better read scholars on the subject of evolution, and Big Bang. People are most welcome to read those papers/watch videos/podcasts.

I was simply put of by the lack of understanding of basic principles of evolution- that an individual does not evolve, a species evolves!

My variable X or your God may well be the same thing. No doubt a great force/entity, to set such massive chain of events into motion. But I cant see why he/she/it must be a loving/caring god, a personal god. Why must his teaching be in a book, that tells you whats good, whats evil, and whats the path to heaven.
Red:
No. (http://www.ipsos-na.com/news-polls/p...e.aspx?id=5217)

All the best.
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      06-30-2015, 09:10 AM   #183
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IMO you can't reduce God to a test tube in a laboratory, and that's why science (what is observable, testable, repeatable) will never prove/disprove God or the Bible. This is why we turn to other methods to try to prove things.
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      06-30-2015, 01:37 PM   #184
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ritzzzzzwik View Post
But dont the vast majorities of world population subscribe to the creationist ideology (not just Christian)?
tony responded to this as well but I'll say a few words.

A lot of creationist religions come from the religions of Abraham (such as Christianity) which come from the middle east. As such the creationist ideas generally center around places with large concentrations of such religions.

Other religions such as Buddhism don't necessarily recognize a creator or a start. Buddhists know there was a start to the current world, but what we know today is part of a circle with bits and parts being recycled over and over. So there will be lives, things and worlds that come before and afterward - no true start or end. Core Buddhist beliefs does not recognize higher powers such as a God or others. One doctrine agreed upon by all branches of modern Buddhism is that "this world is not created and ruled by a God." The Buddha himself rejected metaphysical speculation as a matter of principle, and his teachings focused entirely on the practical ways to end suffering. But neither does it discount the existence of such. And so Buddhism often fits together with other beliefs. In Japan for instance, Buddhism goes hand in hand with Shinto beliefs. Often the temples and shrines share the the same spaces.
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      06-30-2015, 02:27 PM   #185
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 1smokehouse View Post
Absolutely! Very understandable question, if not one of the most difficult ones to answer. However, to even attempt it, I am only going to consider the intent of our asking God for anything, because it appears he thinks that's a big deal. Of course, I cannot speak for or presume the motives of others, even those that have been in worse conditions than myself, nor assume there are millions of people that will not have their prayers answered. The only thing I can assume is that there are unanswered prayers in everyone's life.

I know it may seem like a canned answer, but for me it revolves around sincerity and time. Sometimes a lot of time! For me it was 9 years. God doesn't always answer immediately. Sometimes we just give up before the answer comes. I know I did. But he showed up anyway. How much sincerity? I really don't know...

One thing I know is that I am no special than anyone else, that's for sure!
But you are very special, think of all the other things that could have happened in order for you to NOT be you today.
" scientists calculate the probability of your existing as you, today, at about one in 400 trillion (41014)."

think of all the potential brothers, sisters, cousins, friends, strangers that could have been, and did't pan out and each person here is truly special.
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      06-30-2015, 08:45 PM   #186
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To clarify when I say 'creation', I am not just referring to life on earth (plants, animals, etc.); instead I am talking about the creation of the universe, and its subjects.

All religions (well pretty much all) have some explanation of how the wold came into being. And given that over 80% of the worlds population is aligned with one faith or another ( ref: http://www.pewforum.org/2014/04/04/g...ous-diversity/), and have subscribed, or do subscribe to that ideology.

The statistics that Tony provides are great, and do provide an insight into what the population in those 23 countries feel about religion and god, and the answers it may provide to life and our beginning. But the the fact of the world remains that in most of the west (more or less anything thats not Europe/America, even includes some of America-read continent, not country) Women's Rights, Gay and Lesbian Rights are still nowhere to be found. All of this has deep rooted base in religious beliefs, and the explanation it offers for what has a higher priority, whats natural, or how it all came to be. When all one needs to do is observe the world around, and thats what science does- Observing and Quantifying observations. Its not just test tubes and labs.

For all readers, I have nothing against god. Religion on the other hand is a different story. Like some have commented, 'why not both'. Surely god may ultimately explain the beginning, and evolution the progress. Also Darwin wrote the 'Origin of Species', not how the world was created. On a scale of 1-10 I am a 9 on atheism, and you can never be a 10. If you are then you are an evangelist.
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      06-30-2015, 09:04 PM   #187
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bmwmsport View Post
IMO you can't reduce God to a test tube in a laboratory, and that's why science (what is observable, testable, repeatable) will never prove/disprove God or the Bible. This is why we turn to other methods to try to prove things.
I agree. However, that is a very convenient aspect of religion. By the time you know whether or not to call bullshit, its too late. No one will ever be able to disprove the existence of a god....but they can and already have shown that he doesn't need to exist for us to be here.
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      07-02-2015, 11:05 AM   #188
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FYI...

Based on a somewhat recent study, the statistical odds that all live evolved differently than indicated by evolution (including macro and micro evolution) is 1 in 10 to the 2,680th power, or 1 followed by 2,680 zeros. By the same researcher's evaluation, the odds that creationism is how humans came to exist is 1 in 10 to the 6,000th power. (http://news.nationalgeographic.com/n...ngle-ancestor/)

Now that doesn't say a thing about whether God exists or not. It merely speaks to the statistical likelihood of one or the other approaches to how life came to be what we see today happened.

I'm not suggesting what one should or shouldn't believe. I shared that information only to say that if one is wagering on the two competing approaches, the odds don't remotely favor the Bible's account of history. That said, long shot horses sometimes win races, and long shot dice and card combinations, etc. do occur.

There's no question about it, we theists are betting on the long shot. As a theist, that I'm doing so doesn't bother me any more than that I might deliberately choose to bet on the long shot in the Kentucky Derby. In both situaitons, I'm well aware that I'm doing so. What would tick me off is being advised/asked to wager on the long shot and not being made aware that I'm doing so, or worse, being told that I'm not betting on the long shot.

All the best.
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      07-02-2015, 12:22 PM   #189
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tony20009 View Post
FYI...

Based on a somewhat recent study, the statistical odds that all live evolved differently than indicated by evolution (including macro and micro evolution) is 1 in 10 to the 2,680th power, or 1 followed by 2,680 zeros. By the same researcher's evaluation, the odds that creationism is how humans came to exist is 1 in 10 to the 6,000th power. (http://news.nationalgeographic.com/n...ngle-ancestor/)
In the latter odds (humans came to exist), they're assuming no God created us, not creationism is how humans came to exist. That's the statistics of humans just popping up out of the blue, which isn't creationism at all.
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      07-02-2015, 12:50 PM   #190
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      07-02-2015, 01:30 PM   #191
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bmwmsport View Post
In the latter odds (humans came to exist), they're assuming no God created us, not creationism is how humans came to exist. That's the statistics of humans just popping up out of the blue, which isn't creationism at all.
The statement I paraphrased is as follows:
The statistical analysis showed that the independent origin of humans is "an absolutely horrible hypothesis," Theobald said, adding that the probability that humans were created separately from everything else is 1 in 10 to the 6,000th power.
I see nothing indicating that Dr. Theobald made any assumption regarding whether the "independent origin of humans" was effected by a god or anything else. Independently created simply means that the existence of humans occurred without the benefit of their having evolved from some other Earthling in contrast with not having evolved from some other Earthling.

Did you read an accompanying link that was in the article that led you to your statement above?

All the best.
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      07-02-2015, 02:26 PM   #192
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tony20009 View Post
The statement I paraphrased is as follows:
The statistical analysis showed that the independent origin of humans is "an absolutely horrible hypothesis," Theobald said, adding that the probability that humans were created separately from everything else is 1 in 10 to the 6,000th power.
I see nothing indicating that Dr. Theobald made any assumption regarding whether the "independent origin of humans" was effected by a god or anything else. Independently created simply means that the existence of humans occurred without the benefit of their having evolved from some other Earthling in contrast with not having evolved from some other Earthling.

Did you read an accompanying link that was in the article that led you to your statement above?

All the best.
I did read the article.

You answered your own question. "Independent origin of humans." Independent of what? Independent of everything, including God.
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      07-03-2015, 04:48 PM   #193
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      07-03-2015, 08:16 PM   #194
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bmwmsport View Post
I did read the article.

You answered your own question. "Independent origin of humans." Independent of what? Independent of everything, including God.
Are you really going to tell us that what you've written above is the context with which you believe the researchers made the statement I quoted from them?

All the best.
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      07-06-2015, 09:29 AM   #195
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tony20009 View Post
Are you really going to tell us that what you've written above is the context with which you believe the researchers made the statement I quoted from them?

All the best.
Yes, because that's the context it's coming from.
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      07-13-2015, 06:09 PM   #196
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bmwmsport View Post
Yes, because that's the context it's coming from.
Actually, no, it's not. The short of it is that the phrase "independent origin" in that article and sentence of it means "having no biological ancestors other than humans."

The speaker/writer is a biochemist whose analysis was germane to his field of study, biochemistry. As such, what "independent origin" refers to contextually is not "independence from everything," for "everything" is not what a biochemist examines. Biochemists study and write about biochemical processes and events. Accordingly, the statement in which the phrase "independent origin" appears speaks of and in the context of the odds of human life arising abiologically from a set of amino acids that combined into macromolecules (http://javeriana.edu.co/Facultades/C...omoleculas.pdf) that bond together to form cells and come alive, voila, as the complex organism called a human and having no biological ancestors other than humans and, at the most, basic formative organic molecules, rather than as something not at all human and that only over millions of years continues to evolve, ending up as a human.

Now you can sit there as say I'm wrong. I can't stop you from doing so. and I don't actually want to for seeing you do so reaffirms that you've got very good creative reading skills, ones on par with and not dissimilar from most great novelists' creative writing skills.

All the best.
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      07-13-2015, 06:21 PM   #197
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tony20009 View Post
Now you can sit there as say I'm wrong. I can't stop you from doing so. and I don't actually want to for seeing you do so reaffirms that you've got very good creative reading skills, ones on par with and not dissimilar from most great novelists' creative writing skills.

All the best.
I really think he can twist anything to fit his frame of mind. It doesn't matter what anyone else says. As you said, he's very creative.
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      07-13-2015, 08:16 PM   #198
tony20009
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Has anyone here looked into the recent "no boundary" models of the universe's origin? I've only just begun to read about it, but if I get what I've been reading, it seems the idea obviates the need for the universe having begun with a singularity, or more surprisingly, a beginning or for that matter an end!

That's quite shocking and more than just "a little thing" around which to "wrap one's head." At least it's not easy for me to wrap my head around it.

That said, for those who are interested in exploring the current state of "something from nothing" theories, here are some links that are a good start:
The reason I shared the info/links above is that I've long subscribed to the "something cannot come from nothing" view of things' existence/creation. Even so, upon learning that perhaps that view, and/or what constitutes "nothing" and "something," may not be as "plain as day" as it seems, I chose to explore the matter further. No, I'm not "sold" on the no-boundary ideas, but I'm not ready to discard them either. I'm not of a mind that what I and eons of men before me have thought to be "the way things are" must be right. In fact, I don't mind if we are wrong because what really have I lost if I find I, like many people, have been mistaken? Nothing that I can tell.


All the best.
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