OK, lets get this thing rolling then!
First of all, the points raised by your friend are very much unlike anything I would have ever said - as I first read it, I actually thought they were doubts of some sort you were raising yourself - I found myself arguing against those points in much the same way you did. So good work there.
That being said though, there are far more important concerns...
(1) If the world was created as is, and all that is here is the result of God's hand and perfect and finished in its present form,
(2) then man should not be able to "create" or change any living things.
I agree with your basic answer, that it is stated nowhere that man can't change things. This seems like a simple assumption on behalf of your friend. Of course, this whole point does rest very much on the belief that the Bible is true - which of course I do not hold.
question 3 is much in the same vain...
(4) The main problem with creationism is the arguement that the world was created in 6 literal days and was presented as it exists now. The assumption that God only had 6 days, that the literal form is the way it was. It doesnt allow for God , an infinite being, to see millions of years as a blink of an eye. It only allows for the fully formed world to exist with no time passing.
This question makes it quite obvious that the person asking is a theist, trying to deal with a different view of his own theism. This question really has very little to do with creationism vs evolution, and everything to do with how one Christian belief system chooses to interpret a passage in the bible, vs another christian system.
Have no doubt at all that this 'problem' is most certainly not
the 'main problem' with creationism
5 is straight forward enough - yeah, God could do anything - its part of the definition of God. (a problem in itself, but a problem nonetheless still easy to work around)
6 is an interesting one:
(6) Would God create fossils to trick humans into not believing in him? Were they put there by Lucifer? Couldnt be, Lucifers fall was AFTER God made humans.
6. The fossils are there because of events that have occured before now, not because they were placed there as some kind of trick on God's behalf.. The theories that have been developed concerning the 'interpretation of the fossils' don't stem from God, WE are the ones who have come up with the conclusions that circulate today (mostly in reletively recent times). The 'young earth creationists' state that 'evolutionary biology' (and other fields of study) have basically misinterpreted the facts and does not in anyway deny that science is a 'tool' that can be used to reveal the truth. Also the bible can shed light on many things, but as it was not written for only one generation - is open to misinterpretation the same as anything else......
There is a lot of YEC (Young Earth Creationist) (dis)information out on the internet about the problems with the fossil record, and about how it is being interpretted incorrectly, and a range of other complaints. The problem is that half of it is outright BS, and the other half is grossly misinformed.
Before I really get into this, it is important to realise that 'Scientists' are not the enemy. They are individuals, like me, like friends I have at Uni, and just like YOU, who have chosen to investigate the world around them. Nearly every scientist I know got into Science because they love to discover stuff - they are curious. As such, it is worth pointing out that there is no 'hidden agenda' of science, or scientists. Scientists DO NOT go out into the field thinking "here we go, today I will find something that disproves Gods existence" or anything like that. There is no "goal" behind the pursuit of science - it is a blind groping forwards through the pile of information made available for us by our universe.
So whenever you read anything which implies Scientists are presenting data just to make creationism look bad, or they are trying to destroy religion - it is almost guaranteed to be BS. The reason this occurs, is because creationism has already been thoroughly destroyed by the scientific evidence, and so hardcore creationists (rightfully) feel threatened by science; thus they attempt to discredit it and make it look like it is operating out of some agenda. The only agenda being pushed in this 'debate', is the one where the Bible must be true at all costs.
With that out of the way, the fossil record is one of the major pieces of the puzzle which continue to support evolutionary theory, and refute creationism. No doubt there is room within palaeontology for discussion, disagreement and error...but one of those possible errors is NOT a variation from "Dinosaurs existed 60 MILLION years ago" vs "Dinosaurs Existed 5000 years ago". There is SH*T LOADS of evidence for one of those claims, AND ZERO evidence for the other. Zero. None. Not a bit of evidence. Just lots of claims. and lots of claims. More claims than you would expect for something with no evidence for it.
Not to mention the fact that whenever palaeontologists find a layer of fossils, that layer has always been internally consistent with creatures from ONE era of biological history - ie: A rabbit fossil has never been found in a fossil strata from the Palaeolithic era. Creatures known to have only evolved in recent (millions of) years, do NOT ever show up in fossilised strata from earlier than their time (so Kent Hovind's moronic claims that "The Flood" created all of the fossils, does not sit well with the evidence.)
Anyway, the fossil discussion is an interesting one, and something I expect we will spend more time on
Also, my thinking at this moment is that I do dismiss all other religions (non judai-christian) unless they can put up a more convincing arguement, which I have yet not heard (this may be a case of my own ignorance?).
If you were born in Rome 1000 years ago, I bet you would think they put forth the most convincing argument too
I find Atheism is quite logical - what I want to discover more about the belief is: Is it because of ignorance and some combination of not wishing to believe in a God or brainwashing - OR IS IT THE OPPOSITE WAY AROUND???
Atheism is the default stance. By Atheism I mean "No belief in God". There are two practical versions of Atheism that are necessary to quickly spell out, the softer version where one has no belief, and the stronger version where one "believes" there is no God. The softer version is the default stance, because we are technically all born without any beliefs. The stronger version is a decision we have to reach. I personally believe that God does not exist. I have reached this belief through years of introspection combined with accumulated material evidence, and philosophical argument. I base my belief on those reasons - but I am willing to accept that I may be wrong with my belief, and continue to research and seek counter evidences against my belief.
Soft Atheism though, requires no evidence of any sort. It is what you are, until you choose to believe otherwise. Every form of theism, deism and strong atheism itself all require evidences, because they make belief claims about our universe. Soft Atheism makes no claim at all, and so requires no evidence.
Shane: You have the following quote on your Facebook profile that I find both amusing and witty - "I contend that we are both atheists, I just believe in one less god than you do. When you understand why you dismiss all other possible gods, then you will know why I dismiss yours."
- Steven Roberts
- Would you say that this basically summarises your personal point of view at this time?
Just a quick yes or no, UNLESS you wish to elaborate on your view at the start of this exploration!
In light of what I just wrote above, no it isn't. I am a strong atheist, so I have reasons and evidences behind my belief. This quote is really an argument for soft atheism - basically reminding theists that they dismiss a million other Gods out of hand without reason, but believe in their own socially handed down God without ever really having any good reason to do so.
Also, if you do not want to watch those videos, that is fine too, because it is probably better for us to just discuss the topic cleanly (rather than referring to the videos). I have a few points I can raise along the way to continue the discussion along tangents (particularly the fundamental logic of Evolutionary theory, which I love to death.). So, watch them if you want, but if you don't want, then don't stress about it.