Original YT playout date: 27 December 2008
Bob Vieira joins me this evening and I open the mike to him to say whatever he likes to the viewers of this channel. We kick off with a little recounting of the story of the Elephant Man before launching on a ful discussion of the Gospel of salvation by faith. As the Pope has made discussion of homosexuality topical again with his recent comparison to the rainforests, we also discuss what is the chance for a homosexual to be a true believer.
Feel free to join in the debate by adding your comments below. Remember this is a discussion of theological principals and not an attempt to type-cast any individual or make them feel personally got at. Therefore lets try to keep the below comments free of personal remarks, but to focus on substantive arguments.
Read the rest of this entry
Original playout date: 2 March 2008
This is actually the Eighth Hulirant. I haven’t been counting them over to this blog but you can see the earlier ones by looking at the side bar with the detailed navigation – and find “Hulirants”. They are all being collected there.
Read the rest of this entry
Playout date: 10 June 2007
This is a discussion about Evangelism and how nothing can be achieved without the Grace of God, that our job is merely to speak the truth and trust God to bring the ones He wants into His kingdom.
Read the rest of this entry
I received today a comment on the video http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wiYRheI9aQM from Rebbe Piper. He has seven uploads on his channel including his beautiful performance of the song “Sandals” and some pieces by another person relating to the need to understand Hebrew in order to get a perspective on biblical teleology. Since I have not seen everything that Rebbe Piper has posted a you tube, neither have I have any conversations with him at length on what he believes, I don’t want to come to this debate making any assumptions as to where he is coming from ideologically. There seems to be a lot about Judaism in what he’s posted up, and clearly also, he seems to be interested in Jesus Christ. Whether or not he is a messianic Jewish believer is not 100% clear to me. From what I’ve seen from him, it seems most likely, but I don’t want to jump to conclusions, and hopefully in the course of this debate he will be more forthcoming on what he does think on a variety of matters. My apologies if he has made this clear, and I simply haven’t watched or read that far yet.
In any event, I will simply for the purposes of this post just addressed the words that he says in his quote below
Perhaps a reading of the early church fathers would serve to educate the ignorant: Church Canon XXXVII: “It is not lawful to receive portions sent from the feasts off Jews or heretics, nor to feast together with them.” Masons have no problem with Jewish fellowship in Lodges, apparently some of the Church does. How odd, in the model prayer, Jesus ended it not with his own name, but rather..for thine is the kingdom and the power, and the glory forever and ever RebbePiper 18 hours ago
Since there is an awful lot to talk about just in answering what he says here, I thought it was pointless to start to discuss it on you tube, where there is barely any space for debate at all because of the limit of characters on each comment. So I obtained Rebbe Piper’s permission to take this discussion here, and in hand. I hope that he will read what I have to say now about his comment above. Read the rest of this entry
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.”
One of my strange habits is that I don’t tend to walk around with the book I’m reading – I would be more likely to go somewhere with my goldlist book and my podcast player – but I do read a lot. I obviously read a lot on-screen, as does everyone in the internet, but this reading is a bit like the finger buffets where people are bringing you little bits of food all the time, and for people like me who need to control their intake it’s a nightmare, as you soon lose count. Whereas on the other hand sitting down to a plate meal where you can see what there is, that’s a bit like reading books. And I do a lot of that as well. Books … and plate meals also, as you can readily imagine.
Instead of taking the book with me, though, I have different books all parked in different places. I have one in one toilet, one in another toilet, one in the car to read when waiting for my wife to go into some shop, some at the Prague flat, some at the office, etc. Right now at my Prague flat I am reading the third book of Mr Germy Claxon, who is gradually becoming in the third book a bit boring and repetitive, which is something I’ll obviously have to watch out for if I intend to do any amount of writing. And also I’m reading Professor Richard Dawkins’ latest offering, “The Greatest Show on Earth”.
Some people may rub their hands in glee at the idea of a creationist finally reading Dawkins and getting some sense put in his head. Sorry to disappoint you, but I’ve read a good deal of the “best” evolutionists’ literature, including Dennett, Dawkins, Darwin himself, and the talk.origins FAQ finger buffet, to the degree that it is becoming, a bit like Germy Claxon himself, a bit predictable and repetitive.
Dawkins claims that in his new book (by the way he even gives this as his ‘raison d’etre’ for the book, like anybody ever needed an excuse to make a load of money) that he would put together the proof for evolution and finally put to bed the idea that there is any scientific doubt about it.
OK, so I started reading it in the hope that he will be successful. If he could prove it, it would change my worldview radically, of course, but I like to think I’m not so stupid as to go against something which is proven by what I understand to be scientific empiricism. Colour me disappointed then, but not in the least surprised, as I advance through the pages of this sizeable tome, to be confronted with, instead of any proof (and remember just one objective proof-in-total will do) a very long argument based more on rhetoric than on objective logic, which he calls “a softening up” procedure. He describes once again the ideas of evolutionists intertwining them with observations from Nature, some of them very well observed and well written, but all of which have more than one way of interpreting them, and he ignores the interpretations that a Creationist might give and links them in instead to his developing argument. This is a fine, readable work of interpreting a bunch of Natural History observations so that they fit one framework. It still doesn’t contain one single proof. If it did, it wouldn’t need to be so long and involved. Effectively, like so much other popular science literature, it is an exercise in making you think that they know things about how we got here which remain their faith-based mere conjecture.
Let’s face it, recently we had the 200th Anniversary of Darwin’s opus “On The Origin Of Species”, which led the press to dredge up such interesting facts on the incomplete success of evolutionist ideas as that most people on Earth still believe in some form of Creator, and where are the ideas of Creationism held most strongly? In the world’s most advanced country and most powerful economy, the United States. This is not a result of people being sheltered in Bedouin huts from the progress of science – this is a result of “science falsely so-called”, as the scripture identifies certain thinking, being unable to furnish adequate proofs to convince even the more sophisticated populations that it is anything more than an alternative system built on as much faith and wishful thinking in the final analysis as our religious one is.
And it has always been my view that in the end it depends on what you wish to believe. If you wish to believe that there isn’t a God, if you wish there were no God, then naturally you will allow yourself to be persuaded by these long books which in the end all go around in circles and prove nothing. If you wish to believe there is a God, then you can read anything that the humanist press have got to throw at you and you’ll find it quite faith-confirmatory to see that the thing the atheists believe has unanswered questions that you could drive a truck through.
Let’s be clear – people who think that they can “prove” evolution are as misguided as people who think they can “prove” creationism, so-called creation scientists, who are, basically, Christians and Muslims who need some kind of empirical prop when they ought to know better. God patently hasn’t ordered this world so that either side can find true proofs of their convictions. He has clearly ordered this world to give you the possibility to believe what you choose, even in the face of a convincing alternative. In so many areas we have a problem with freedom of will. We want to be good but the flesh stops us, we want to do this and do that but we have to contend with the world, the flesh and the devil, but at least in one area we should, every one of us, consider ourselves free, and that is to select whether we choose to believe in God as Creator and Redeemer, or some faceless algorithm that sees no sins and offers no redemption. You make that choice in your heart and mind, regardless of whether you are “good enough” to believe it. Forget about that. All God wants is for you to choose to believe Him, the main recurrent theme of the Bible, and especially the Gospels. He is perfectly able to do the rest, and did do it, on Calvary.
In some cases Richard Dawkins argues very well for things which I as a Creationist believe in and he actually strengthened my arguments, rather than destroyed it. So much for the Evolutionists thinking that we only don’t believe their guff because we won’t read it, we want to be sheltered from it, and we do read it, we are too stupid to understand it. He shows, for example, in an early part of the book how fast selection can lead to speciation, and it turns out this is a good deal quicker than science has in the past believed. The origin of the silver fox is a great illustration drawn by Dawkins for this point. This is a great argument in favour of my view that an awful lot of speciation has indeed taken place since the Flood, only without additional genes being added – these speciations have basically been attenuations of the genetic variation that was intrinsic to created animals in the first place. This is why we have many more species today, despite extinctions, than could possibly have fitted into the Ark, and yet the Ark account given in the first Book of Moses is, in my view, authoritative history.
If both systems, creationism and evolution, in the end boil down to what you believe, and not proof, then of the two I prefer the one which predicts a world in which you need to take things on faith, namely the Christian model, rather than the one which anticipates that we will find answers to everything by science, which is the so-called “rationalist” model which favours evolution. What we actually see, ie, that neither side knows the answer and can only believe, is consistent with much Christian philosophy, but undermines the premises of rationalism entirely, which is based on the idea that we only accept empirical proof, making the presumption that things which we are to accept and understand are susceptible to such empirical proof. Religious texts tell us straight that they are not susceptible, and that, in the words of Christ, we may not “put the Lord our God to the test”. Empiricism is entirely about testing, by its very definition. Therefore Christ dismisses empiricism, which should embolden any Christian to question the rationalists’ approach to science, in which they seem to promise that sight proofs will be forthcoming. Christ made this world, and He did not make a world that was going to answer empiricists’ questions. He made a world in which every single scientific discovery actually raises more questions that it answers: questions whose answers we will fully know in the promised resurrected eternity.
There is too much bluff and show in “the Greatest Show on Earth”. In fact, that’s pretty much a summary of what it is. It certainly contains fascinating facts, beautiful writing, great photography and images, but in the end it is true that Evolutionism is the greatest show on earth. It is a show, and not reality. So thank you for admitting it.
Rounding off for aesthetics’ (please note – not “atheistics”) sake with the same analogy I came in on, I will say that Dawkin’s book is a large plate of tasty food, but it is comfort food. It is not a balanced diet. You need protein, carbohydrates, fats, roughage, vitamins, minerals and water all in balance. To get a proper world view you need to use your faculties, you faculties for both rational an logical thought and onference from objective observation on the one hand, and your capacity for faith in what is revealed that you cannot have proven, on the other. That is a balance that Dawkins seems to have lost. I’m not getting my mental five-a-day from his latest book, just a re-hash of the same old arguments claiming to be what they’re not. It is a plate of philosophical bubble and squeak, with the odd reheated bit of sausage turning up in it – but a far cry from the greatest meal on Earth. There’s another Book that lays claim to that, and it tells us far more about the Origin than modern science can.