People criticise Christians for saying atheism is a religion, set of dogmas or a belief. Atheism is indeed a belief. Saying it isn’t is mere denial of the obvious reality. If I do not know whether a cat in a box is alive or dead, it is not a question of it being both, it is a question of which of these alternatives you believe. One will prove to be correct, but up to that point, both believe. The one who says the cat is dead is not able to say he has fact on his side in view of the absence of evidence of life. The cat is in the box.
If God means, as He tells us He does, to save a people based on their choice in faith and love, then forcing them into faith by parading himself means that the criteria would not work and we would be forced back onto works salvation. In such a case we would need to be good, and there obviously is a problem with being good. I can’t do it and neither can you. That’s why the whole world from Creation onwards contains a structure whereby we may in good conscience believe that the Creator came into Creation to take the punishment so that we could be forgiven based on belief, and so does the Bible. The Bible contains things which invite you to either dismiss it in scorn or to try to see things through the eyes of God. We are told truth in a way that the proud will find it only too easy to reject, while at the same time they readily absorb the lies of the world, from abiogenesis through to the idea that Satan is not controlling politics. The faithful on the other hand find it easy to believe God’s word, and are ultra skeptical about the lies of the world.
So both are belief systems. One is a belief system whose proponents know or ought to know is a belief system, the other is a belief system many of whose proponents think is honest science.
Uncle Davey’s Fragmentia – 1st Dectave – More bright ideas from your favorite virtual uncle!
The idea of Fragmentia is to make, over time, a digest of the best fragments of the posts I have made to Usenet, whether ideas, soundbites, jokes and witticisms, observations, coinages, or even some typical Usenet “flames”. The criterion for inclusion is that the extracts work without a lot of context setting, and also that either the use of language or the idea has some originality about it. All work is mine unless otherwise stated, and, with few exceptions, originally written for Usenet in the month given below each fragment. Where of interest, I have also given the person addressed. To see the original content, use Google’s Usenet archive searching on the most unusual phrase in the section and limiting it to the stated month. Some of these comments were answered – even on occasion very competently, and looking up the thread will show you what my opponents said.
The items are not especially sorted by topic, they are mixed together. There are up to ten fragments per page, and the rules of the game are that only spelling mistakes are corrected, no new thoughts are added.
As ever, with my productions, the right of reply exists in the comment section. The fragments are not sorted, so a certain amount of disjointedness is part of the fun, but as you sequentially peruse each “Dectave of Uncle Dave”, you’ll soon start to pick up the threads. They will be gathered into a “Fragmentia” section on this blog – they used to be a section on the previous site (now incorporated here) www.usenetposts.com. I’ll be adding to these from time to time, they go back basically to the end of 2003, although some things of mine are earlier, but in the main the earlier writings were reiterated and better written in the post 2003 writing.
“I would like to know how these Creation-rejectors are so sure that so-called ‘pseudogenes’ don’t have a perfectly viable raison d’etre which they simply don’t know about.
They are so ready to say “science is in its infancy” when it suits them, but if they think they’ve found a trap for us, then they are oh so certain that certain genes are redundant, that they are mistakes, that they would have been created out. Well why didn’t they evolve out? What we don’t use gets lost, right?
So what about the fact that only a small percentage of the human brain gets used? Why did the rest evolve, if it doesn’t get used? Is the size of the human brain a pseudogene? Or is it a place to hang those parts of the soul that don’t get needed until the resurrection body?
Creation rejectors think they know a lot of things, but when it all boils down to it, there’s nothing they can say that proves the non-existence of God that they so long to achieve.”
“You’re making distinctions that don’t exist in the Hebrew. This is not dividing the Word, it’s multiplying it, subtracting it and adding to it, and taking it to the n’th power, where n = nonsense.”
(December 2003, addressed to Robert Sowle)
“Bacteria aren’t the products of evolution, they’re the products of devolution.
Most of the bacteria that attack humans are human cells or organelles of human cells that have gone wrong.
There is in the talk origins FAQ somewhere a discussion about a bacterium that evolved under scientific conditions from some woman’s cells, and they rattle this out as proof of speciation sometimes. What it does prove is that human cells give rise to bacteria, which of course is devolution, the exact reverse of evolution. Hardly surprising not much of this is done and they don’t like to emphasise it.
So with bacteria it’s a bit like cancer only they move around with a life of their own. they can of course go on to speciate of their own accord, usually getting weaker, not stronger, and then the next devolution from a higher animal cell creates the next new disease, unknown before, as with the HIV retrovirus.
Probably this bacterium able to metabolise nylon, if it came from another bacterium not able to, was a devolution, or a falling away from, the other. It is probably a more basic organism than the parent organism. Weaker, not stronger.
These are devolved, not evolved, organisms. God never made them, as such, they were part of the human body, and other animal and plant bodies.
Same with viruses. They could not have been a part of the evolutionary chain as they need higher organism to survive on. They are rogue parts of DNA of higher organisms, that’s how they are able to control the DNA of higher organisms.
Nematodes didn’t evolve, they devolved from insects, that’s how they know how to control the consciousness of their host insect and make it seek water. Such a mechanism could never have evolved by trial and error. Had the host not gone to water, that would have been the end of the line for that attempt. If it didn’t need water, why make the host go there?
And all this devolving of life, which causes disease, decay and death, didn’t start until after the Fall of Man.”
(December 2003, addressed to H. R. Gr?mm)
“Is there a coffee so strong it will wake you out of this slumber?”
(December 2003, addressed to Robert Sowle)
“There are some 30,000 species. Had evolution been true, over 100 times that number could have evolved in the time they say is available.
The number of Biblical kinds involved here is probably closer to 3,000. They all started out as freshwater kinds and some became saltwater after the flood.”
(December 2003, addressed to David Jensen)
“Mammals are a group of living creatures where there is body hair and the mother suckles the young with milk.
The building blocks God, as the prime Engineer, saw fit to use on them and on us are similar enough to allow a technical name in common, but the created purpose of mankind is one thing and of animals it is another.
Have you ever pondered the oddity that we alone are an intelligent species? I could not be having this conversation with an orang-utan or a sperm whale, however skilled the translator.
Why didn’t evolution manage that for any other species?”
“I thought your website and your work was great, but I have to say I disagree with you about subjecting Usenet to the same laws as the rest of society. These people need somewhere to go to let off steam. Better here than daub it on our fences.
Some people do have opinions which are not respectable and are antisocial, and most forums are not available to them. Nevertheless they want to give expression to their ideas, regardless of the quality, the same as anyone else does.
Sometimes the product of those expressions is quite disturbing, but that is the true face of your fellow man and neighbour on this planet. May as well be informed about it. You’re never gonna be able to regulate and control it out of existence.”
(December 2003, addressed to artist Amanda Angelika Berry)
“You may well be a nicer person than we are, but have you been forgiven your sins because of the Blood Jesus shed for you on Calvary?
It’s not about being nice, it’s about being forgiven.
That’s how we see Christianity, anyway. See John 3.16”
(December 2003, addressed to self-confessed witch “Jason Harvestdancer”)
“All I can tell you is that my wife keeps silent in Church, although she does sometimes laugh if there’s a joke in the sermon.
If I asked her to speak publicly in the Church she would consider that ‘spousal abuse’ and not the reverse.
But then, she is a well-balanced woman, not like some women, trying to be men.
I honestly pity the men they marry, few will be spared mental illness at some stage in their lives.
Does that make me an ultraconservative?”
“There was no time as we know it prior to Creation, and as Christ is an uncreated being, He also exists outside of constraints of time and space.”
I was asked by Frank J, on talk.origins:
Assuming for the sake of argument, that “the world” was created, and life too, *how many years ago* do you think that the first life on Earth was created? And do you think our species was created in a “biological continuum” or did it require its own origin-of-life event? If the latter, how many years ago was it?
I personally think that human kind has been around for 70 generations before Christ and is now coming up to 70 generations after Christ, at which point it will end.
I think this is a version of events with about one adherent at the present time.
I think that in the Scripture it gives 14 generations from Christ to the captivity, 14 from the captivity back to David and 14 from David back to Abraham. This then stops, but shows the existience of a certain pattern which we can follow. It must be there for a reason. I discovered that working forwards from the beginning of Genesis there are 14 generations to Peleg, which name infers the division of the world, a reference I believe to the Babel event. The scripture does not hold, or claim to hold, a complete reference to all generations between Peleg and Abraham, and this is natural as there was no normal language at that time, so there are about 5 generations which have lost information – a very interesting period of earth’s history, by the way, about which there are probably more unanswered questions than any other – we have basically things like funnel beakers and cave paintings and that to go on.
Basically this means that Ussher probably assumed too literally that the generations between Peleg and Abraham were fully recorded in Genesis, but there simply isn’t enough time to get from a Babel scenario to the world as described in the time of Abraham in that space of tgime. In addition for this space of time there are divergent chronologoes in Chronicles and in Genesis, which for those who believe in inerrancy of Scripture ought to be a clue that the Bible is telling us that in that area it is not trying to give us a complete account.
14 generations between Adam and Peleg, 14 between Peleg and Abraham, 14 between Abraham and David, 14 between David and the captivity, and 14 between the Captivity and Christ. That’s seventy generations.
That’s a perfect number. And because Christ is the central figure of history, he comes in the middle of the generations.
The generation length, which I personally define as the age of a woman at the birth of her median surviving female child, can be placed at about 30 years. This means that 70 generations take around 2100 years. We live in the time where the 70th generation is being born, one of whom will be Antichrist, and maybe already is, and we also live in a time where the Gospel has been taken to every tribe, where the Jews have returned to Israel and where there is continual threat of war around Israel. We live in a time where we are being faced with monetary and political union and control to an unprecedented degree, and where the falling away from true religion has also been unprecedented. In short, almost all the prophecies that needed to be fulfilled before the Return of Christ in glory, and the garnering up and resurrection of those who accepted him in faith, be they alive or dead. The close of this creation and the unveiling of the new Creation outside of the restraints of the particular physical laws that have governed this one. We cannot die or suffer in it, we will know God and find bliss. We shall sing and fly like angels, dive like orcas and find wonder and beauty in every everlasting corner of it.
However the generations before Christ were not always 30 years. The chronologies show that before the Flood the aging process was much slower. It is possible that oxygen levels were lower and the free radicals responsible for aging less prominent – even now longevity is more seen in mountain populations as in the Caucuses, where oxygen is more scarce. The release of the waters and the process of their assuaging clearly changed the amount of oxygen available in the atmosphere. If you separate out hydrogen and oxygen as gases, instead of water vapour, then the hydrogen will wander off into space as it cannot be held by gravity. Hence during the assuaging of the Flood the amount of atmospheric oxygen increased strongly.
The first generations were therefore longer. The median child of a woman could have been hundreds of years. This means that we cannot say that these 70 generations lived only over 2100 years. They may have lived over 4900 years, which is the figure I get if I assume about 300 year generations until Noah’s generation (9th), and then that tapering down to Peleg’s. That gives 4900 BC and 2100 AD years for a total of 7000 years of creation.
So I think that life was created some 6900 years ago. Put in place looking mature and pre-existant, with Adam even having a navel, although he had no mother, and with radioactive isotopes in igneous rocks already partly decayed. This was no deception by God, as Adam knew perfectly well where he came from and always was able to hand down those facts through his generations, as did many people in the time when God communed more freely with man, but it was there to enable mankind in the latter generations (where overwhelmingly most of the human souls occur – especially in the last few generations in the modern era post Darwinism) to find an alternative to believe if they rejected God. It was made that way precisely so that we can believe whatever we choose. It was made that way precisely so that millions of human beings like you and me can have this debate, whether with each other or in the privacy of their own minds, and that some might be drawn to believe still in their creator and their redeemer, even when the world is dragging them to interpret the things God made in an atheist way, and that in the exercise of faith they may be separated ought, have their imperfections and iniquities forgiven and restored, and come to a knowledge of God in love and be enabled to join with him in a relationship of children to a father.
That’s what it’s all about. Be part of it. Believe, and be part of reality.