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Offline Wade  
#16 Posted : Friday, March 21, 2014 7:58:25 AM(UTC)
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Originally Posted by: Rockmolder Go to Quoted Post
The arcticle states that there's no way for us to know exactly what happened some 13.8 billion years ago. Nowhere does it say that there was no God involved, no divine intervention or whatever you're looking for, so why this had to be turned into a religious threat, yet again, is beyond me.

"The good thing about science is that it's true, whether or not you believe in it" - Neil Degrasse Tyson. God has no place in science, until there's definite proof that he has. Science is fact based, religion is far from it. And that's not a knock on religion or religious people by any means.


With due repect to Mister Tyson, no.

The universe is true. Science (when done well) is only a particularly rigorous approach to interpretation of the nature of the universe. It is a human construct. Unless one believes that humans can "know" truth, that is all it can be.

Any scientist who insists on a priori "proof" of God misunderstands the reality of the inductive method that science is. Science can persuade, can provide better (or worse) reasons for believing in a proposition, but it cannot prove that proposition. At best, it can disprove a proposition. (And while I am open to "scientific" proof that God does not exist, I'm not going to hold my breath waiting. I don't have that kind of hubristic pride in the scientific method.)

If a "scientist" demands proof of God before admitting that God might play a role in the story, he is selectively practicing the rules (and ignoring the liimitations) of his own method. See, e.g., Karl Popper.

Mr. Tyson may feel it an appropriate division of labor to not bother about God as an explanation, but his justification is not grounded in truth but in his belief about the relative power of inductive methods of "science" and inductive methods of "religion", in the same way that I might believe that the inductive methods of "economics" and "history" are superior to the inductive methods of "political science" or "literary criticism."
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Offline Zero2Cool  
#17 Posted : Friday, March 21, 2014 8:44:08 AM(UTC)
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The Bibles was written about 100 or years after the death of Christ, right? Why did it take so long?

Random thought. A little experiment I always found interesting. Get a line of 10 people together. Write down two sentences. Tell the person on one end the two sentences and then tell them to pass it to the next person. It's quite amazing how those two sentences get transformed from one end to the other.

I can't help but think of this when thinking about the Bible and it's many variations. And how can each variation and each God and each religion be the "right" one? I do think religion can be a great thing.

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Offline texaspackerbacker  
#18 Posted : Friday, March 21, 2014 9:11:07 AM(UTC)
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Originally Posted by: Zero2Cool Go to Quoted Post
The Bibles was written about 100 or years after the death of Christ, right? Why did it take so long?

Random thought. A little experiment I always found interesting. Get a line of 10 people together. Write down two sentences. Tell the person on one end the two sentences and then tell them to pass it to the next person. It's quite amazing how those two sentences get transformed from one end to the other.

I can't help but think of this when thinking about the Bible and it's many variations. And how can each variation and each God and each religion be the "right" one? I do think religion can be a great thing.


The early part of the Old Testament is attributed to Moses - written approximately 4,000 years ago, I think. Most of the rest was written by the prophets, etc. whose name the books are titled, and was written over various periods B.C. The Old Testament was already compiled long before the time of Christ on scrolls in the temple for anybody to read. The New Testament mostly has the author's names attached to the books, and was written within 100 years of Christ because the authors were all dead by then. It may have been compiled by the early church a hundred or so years later. None of this is relevant, really, if you believe it was inspired by God.

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Offline DoddPower  
#19 Posted : Friday, March 21, 2014 9:14:47 AM(UTC)
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Originally Posted by: Wade Go to Quoted Post
With due repect to Mister Tyson, no.

The universe is true. Science (when done well) is only a particularly rigorous approach to interpretation of the nature of the universe. It is a human construct. Unless one believes that humans can "know" truth, that is all it can be.

Any scientist who insists on a priori "proof" of God misunderstands the reality of the inductive method that science is. Science can persuade, can provide better (or worse) reasons for believing in a proposition, but it cannot prove that proposition. At best, it can disprove a proposition. (And while I am open to "scientific" proof that God does not exist, I'm not going to hold my breath waiting. I don't have that kind of hubristic pride in the scientific method.)

If a "scientist" demands proof of God before admitting that God might play a role in the story, he is selectively practicing the rules (and ignoring the liimitations) of his own method. See, e.g., Karl Popper.

Mr. Tyson may feel it an appropriate division of labor to not bother about God as an explanation, but his justification is not grounded in truth but in his belief about the relative power of inductive methods of "science" and inductive methods of "religion", in the same way that I might believe that the inductive methods of "economics" and "history" are superior to the inductive methods of "political science" or "literary criticism."



Science is about as "true" as it gets. Is it perfect? Absolutely not. But it's as good as we currently have because it's repeatable. As an earth scientist, I accept many "truths" about the natural world, because many experiments have been completed and repeated over and over again, and the same or similar results have been achieved. Therefore, it's essentially a "truth," at least until it can be disproved. I can try to grow a plant in an isolated soil medium but add no water, and it will not grow. I add water (while controlling for other variables such as nutrients, diseases, pests, etc.), and it likely grows. Therefore, it's safe to accept as an "absolute truth" that plants need water. The same is true for fertilizer studies, or any other true scientific study (which all "science" is definitely not). These are obviously very simplistic examples, but the same logic applies to any other good science that produces repeatable results using the scientific method.

The only "absolute" truth that can exist on humans level of perception is that which is consistently repeatable. That's what "good science" offers. Anything else is just faith, which is fine, but requires just that: faith. Repeatable science doesn't require faith at all, because it's simple enough to "prove" it. Any good scientist understands that we don't know it all. In fact, we only know a fraction of what there is to know, and even less about the why. However, we do have a body of results that are reproduceable, and they are the closets thing to absolute truth that we have . . . other than, you know, faith based religions and thoughts. The body of science knowledge increases daily and builds off of itself. Hypotheses are disproven, others are reaffirmed. That working body of knowledge is perceived as truth because it's the best we have at this time. As soon as we have or know better, we adjust accordingly (as more or better "facts" are available).

As for the evolution vs. creationist debate, I've never understood that. When I first learned about evolution, I couldn't help but think about how it makes the creationist viewpoint even more amazing and beautiful. They are not mutually exclusive, imo.

Edited by user Friday, March 21, 2014 9:44:57 AM(UTC)  | Reason: Not specified

Offline texaspackerbacker  
#20 Posted : Friday, March 21, 2014 9:19:37 AM(UTC)
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Originally Posted by: Rockmolder Go to Quoted Post
The arcticle states that there's no way for us to know exactly what happened some 13.8 billion years ago. Nowhere does it say that there was no God involved, no divine intervention or whatever you're looking for, so why this had to be turned into a religious threat, yet again, is beyond me.

"The good thing about science is that it's true, whether or not you believe in it" - Neil Degrasse Tyson. God has no place in science, until there's definite proof that he has. Science is fact based, religion is far from it. And that's not a knock on religion or religious people by any means.


So are you saying if it's called science, it is automatically true? Most of what I would have said, Wade already said eloquently. As for science being "fact based", yeah, if it is proveable or measureable. If it is THEORY - like the Big Bang THEORY, Darwin's THEORY of evolution, or Hutton's uniformitarian THEORY of geology, then it is faith-based, just like most of religion.

To some of us, the Big Bang Theory is NOT a "threat" or controversy or whatever, as the first verse of the Bible, as I have said, tells us who and what, but not when and how - "In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth".

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Offline DoddPower  
#21 Posted : Friday, March 21, 2014 9:41:50 AM(UTC)
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Originally Posted by: texaspackerbacker Go to Quoted Post
So are you saying if it's called science, it is automatically true? Most of what I would have said, Wade already said eloquently. As for science being "fact based", yeah, if it is proveable or measureable. If it is THEORY - like the Big Bang THEORY, Darwin's THEORY of evolution, or Hutton's uniformitarian THEORY of geology, then it is faith-based, just like most of religion.

To some of us, the Big Bang Theory is NOT a "threat" or controversy or whatever, as the first verse of the Bible, as I have said, tells us who and what, but not when and how - "In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth".



Or the THEORY of gravity!

I really don't think a lot of people understand what a scientific theory really means.
Offline texaspackerbacker  
#22 Posted : Friday, March 21, 2014 9:57:16 AM(UTC)
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Originally Posted by: DoddPower Go to Quoted Post
Or the THEORY of gravity!

I really don't think a lot of people understand what a scientific theory really means.


Did you EVER hear it called that? Seriously?

What, pray tell, does a scientific theory really mean?

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Offline Wade  
#23 Posted : Friday, March 21, 2014 10:39:06 AM(UTC)
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Ok, I'll bite.

How is what we "know" about the Big Bang repeatable? Oh, I have no doubt that there are a number of people that can repeat this or that mathematical calculation/"proof". But we're nowhere near the repeatability of Newton's apple or Tycho Brahe's collection of empirical evidence.

What we have is a sample size of one: this universe that exists and exhibits a variety of characteristics consistent with a Big Bang story. Every other universe posited is....I believe ... a construction of logic and higher maths and wonderful storytelling. ISTM anyone that claims the superiority of a method that draws cosmic conclusions from an unrepeatable (by man) sample size of one should not be casting stones at those who would draw similar cosmic conclusions from an unrepeatable (by man) sample of one God. If anything, the opposite, for at least the God believer admits his is a giant leap of faith.

As for science being "as good as it gets" in the human search for truth, I can't really quibble there. (Not all would agree that "economists" and "historians" are scientists, of course.) But on the other hand, I also believe that we exaggerate how good that "as good as it gets" truly is.

Take for example the question of life on other planets. Suppose someone picks a star at random from tonight's sky. What do we know about life on the planets, asteroids, space stations, or whatnot orbiting that star? (Or, if that little light that we first think is a star but actually turns out to be a galaxy or an entire cluster of galaxies, what do we know about life in that galaxy or cluster?) Scientists (and non-scientists) have speculated. They have techniques for measuring the intensity of that star, or the likelihood that it is "like" Sol, or that it is a galaxy receding from us at a particular pace, etc. But as far as actual scientific evidence of "what it takes to get (sentient) life on a planet, we have, again, a sample size of exactly one.

Fortunately, science isn't just about repeatability. Its about asking questions in a particular way, with a particular kind of modesty, the kind of modesty that recognizes that even after several hundred years of Enlightenment, what we don't know dwarfs what we do.

If science was no more than what can be repeated in a college laboratory, it would be a very small subject.

I consider myself a scientist. But I absolutely hate the word "fact". Fact is a word of certainty. And I think a true scientist always remembers that the accuracy of what we "know" is still probabilistic. That no matter how many times we "repeat" a "controlled" experiment, we cannot prove that the uncontrolled universe has, is, or will behave in the same way.

Facts are what God (or, if you want to reject God, the universe) knows. In our imprecision we scientific types may talk about finding and using facts, but what we are really doing is arguing that our methods of conjecture are better than the alternative.

I have no problem with an organic chemist saying her methods of making conjectures are better than my historian's methods of making conjectures. I do have a problem with anyone, economist or chemist or anyone else, claiming that they are dealing only in "facts" whereas I and mine are "merely conjectures".

Tell me you have a way of making better conjectures about the role of the Divine, and I'll listen. I might accuse you of hubris, but I'll listen. But tell me that you are dealing only in fact and that only I in my damned insistence of a possible Divine role, and I will not only accuse you of hubris, but I will say that you neither understand my method nor the limitations of your own.

IMO we'd all be better off if we removed "fact" from our vocabulary along with similarly useless terms like "objective" and perhaps even "truth" (in the sense of something that we can actually achieve). They are the kind of words that Orwell railed against almost 70 years ago, tired words that suggest precision and accuracy when in fact they reflect exactly the opposite in actuality. Leave them to politicians, CEOS, movie producers, and other sophomoric thinkers.

The pursuit of truth is a noble human endeavor. To claim the knowledge of truth is the act of a fool.
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Offline Wade  
#24 Posted : Friday, March 21, 2014 10:49:50 AM(UTC)
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Originally Posted by: texaspackerbacker Go to Quoted Post
Did you EVER hear it called that? Seriously?

What, pray tell, does a scientific theory really mean?



Actually, it is a theory. (Several theories, in fact.) A theory that most scientists (and non-scientists, for that matter), believe in. A theory that when we drop an apple, it will fall to the ground, based on our observation of hundreds of years of apples and other objects falling to the ground.

It is a theory because no one has yet "proven" that when I drop another apple tomorrow, it, too, will fall to the ground rather than morph into a feather and float away, rise toward Mars, or hover like a hummingbird. We're sure to five million and seven significant digits that it will fall, but we can't eliminate that possible variation in digit number five million and eight.

If gravity were truly a truth universally acknowledged, there would be no need for scientists who continue to study it.

The "theory" part is, IMO, the huge part of what makes science so incredibly valuable. Theory isn't just "opinion," it is opinion that is reasoned in a particular way.

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Offline Zero2Cool  
#25 Posted : Friday, March 21, 2014 11:01:50 AM(UTC)
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A read you may enjoy.

Does the Big Bang breakthrough offer proof of God?
http://religion.blogs.cn...-proof-of-god/?hpt=hp_t4

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Offline Wade  
#26 Posted : Friday, March 21, 2014 12:00:43 PM(UTC)
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Originally Posted by: Zero2Cool Go to Quoted Post
The Bibles was written about 100 or years after the death of Christ, right? Why did it take so long?

Random thought. A little experiment I always found interesting. Get a line of 10 people together. Write down two sentences. Tell the person on one end the two sentences and then tell them to pass it to the next person. It's quite amazing how those two sentences get transformed from one end to the other.

I can't help but think of this when thinking about the Bible and it's many variations. And how can each variation and each God and each religion be the "right" one? I do think religion can be a great thing.


It didn't take 100 years to write. It took zero time to write. John 1.

What took 100 years is the human transcription. Human beings are slow in figuring things out.

As your experiment results point out.

Big Grin
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Offline DoddPower  
#27 Posted : Friday, March 21, 2014 1:19:21 PM(UTC)
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Originally Posted by: Wade Go to Quoted Post
Ok, I'll bite.

How is what we "know" about the Big Bang repeatable? Oh, I have no doubt that there are a number of people that can repeat this or that mathematical calculation/"proof". But we're nowhere near the repeatability of Newton's apple or Tycho Brahe's collection of empirical evidence.

What we have is a sample size of one: this universe that exists and exhibits a variety of characteristics consistent with a Big Bang story. Every other universe posited is....I believe ... a construction of logic and higher maths and wonderful storytelling. ISTM anyone that claims the superiority of a method that draws cosmic conclusions from an unrepeatable (by man) sample size of one should not be casting stones at those who would draw similar cosmic conclusions from an unrepeatable (by man) sample of one God. If anything, the opposite, for at least the God believer admits his is a giant leap of faith.


Matters of the universe are a completely different matter, entirely. That's why there is much more uncertainty involved. I'm not very convinced of anything when it comes to many aspects of this subject. Many of the measurements and observations are indirect, and the methods can't be as good as things we can replicate here on earth. It's very much a work in progress. But I at least like to take in the best information available. Without evoking some type of faith, it's very difficult to explain things. I at least prefer to hear as many differing hypotheses as are available, and I can form my own opinion from that.

Originally Posted by: Wade Go to Quoted Post
As for science being "as good as it gets" in the human search for truth, I can't really quibble there. (Not all would agree that "economists" and "historians" are scientists, of course.) But on the other hand, I also believe that we exaggerate how good that "as good as it gets" truly is.

Take for example the question of life on other planets. Suppose someone picks a star at random from tonight's sky. What do we know about life on the planets, asteroids, space stations, or whatnot orbiting that star? (Or, if that little light that we first think is a star but actually turns out to be a galaxy or an entire cluster of galaxies, what do we know about life in that galaxy or cluster?) Scientists (and non-scientists) have speculated. They have techniques for measuring the intensity of that star, or the likelihood that it is "like" Sol, or that it is a galaxy receding from us at a particular pace, etc. But as far as actual scientific evidence of "what it takes to get (sentient) life on a planet, we have, again, a sample size of exactly one.


Again, see my earlier post. It wouldn't be hard to convince me that the level of uncertainty of the study of the universe is quite high. It's a relatively indirect science, at least at this point. That's still true to an extent on the planet earth, but certainly not in all cases.

Originally Posted by: Wade Go to Quoted Post
Fortunately, science isn't just about repeatability. Its about asking questions in a particular way, with a particular kind of modesty, the kind of modesty that recognizes that even after several hundred years of Enlightenment, what we don't know dwarfs what we do.

If science was no more than what can be repeated in a college laboratory, it would be a very small subject.


It's not only about what can be repeated in a laboratory . . . at all. That's just one small aspect, and often the most useless in terms of predicting "real life." Every study I have been a part of in the natural sciences has had a lab component, a greenhouse component, and--most importantly--multiple replicated field trials in several different locations, blocked accordingly, and properly designed to answer the questions that are being sought (and the level of uncertainly quantified). Experiments in the laboratory are very controlled, but experiments on the face of the earth are much more difficult to control (obviously the universe is even more difficult). The issue then becomes correlating what happened in the lab (and the greenhouse in my case) to what occurred in the field. Again, the lab results just show the results of a perfectly controlled scenario, which has a very limited use of predicting what actually will occur in "normal" conditions. Those type of results are mostly just useful in helping understand what should have happened in the field, and explaining the variables that altered the expected results.

I think it mostly is about repeatability. If results can't be repeated, or similar conclusions derived from some type of analysis, then it cannot be considered any type of "fact" or "truth." At that point, it can likely be attributed to natural variability of the nature of reality. However, embedded in that repeatability is all of the appropriate questions you speak of. I've never worked with a scientist that isn't well-aware that there is much more unknown than known. That's what drives most of us to keep going. To chip away at the metaphorical ice block in an attempt to learn more, and derive better solutions to what ever problem or scenario exists.

Originally Posted by: Wade Go to Quoted Post
I consider myself a scientist. But I absolutely hate the word "fact". Fact is a word of certainty. And I think a true scientist always remembers that the accuracy of what we "know" is still probabilistic. That no matter how many times we "repeat" a "controlled" experiment, we cannot prove that the uncontrolled universe has, is, or will behave in the same way.

IMO we'd all be better off if we removed "fact" from our vocabulary along with similarly useless terms like "objective" and perhaps even "truth" (in the sense of something that we can actually achieve). They are the kind of words that Orwell railed against almost 70 years ago, tired words that suggest precision and accuracy when in fact they reflect exactly the opposite in actuality. Leave them to politicians, CEOS, movie producers, and other sophomoric thinkers.


At this point, it's a matter of semantics. What you or any scientist may consider a "fact" is just a relative term. As I said, most scientists understand that humans can't really perceive absolute truth (at least outside of the context of some type of faith or perceived intuition). However, I can plant a crop and expose it to certain conditions, and get a similar result almost every time (if not every time). I can cut off oxygen to my blood stream, and my organs will stop functioning. I can drop an apple and it will hit the ground every time, at least on this planet. For practical purposes, that's close enough to call those silly examples "facts." If one wanted to call them something else, such as: "most commonly observed phenomenon", I'd be OK with that, but that seems kind of silly. In terms of the planet earth, if something is almost certain to happen each time a circumstance occurs, I consider it a fact. But as I said earlier, I'm well aware that could change at some point when new knowledge or technology becomes available. That's just part of the scientific process, and frankly rhetorical.

Philosophical discussions are fine, but in terms of practical reality--engineering, agriculture, manufacturing, health care, etc.--people need answers to solve the issues they have. At that point, repeatable results are all that's really necessary, at least until some type of better repeatable results are available. Outside of that context, I completely agree that there are almost no "absolute truths" to the human perception. The only way I could see that being true is if some type of faith or belief is present in an individual. I think most scientist would agree that there are few to no "absolute truths," at least in the observable world. Although I suppose scientific laws would have something to say about that. But as far as I'm concerned, it's all about repeatable results, which goes hand in hand with scientific theories and laws. Again, I guess it's mostly semantics. Many ways to describe the same thing.

Edited by user Friday, March 21, 2014 2:24:58 PM(UTC)  | Reason: Not specified

Offline texaspackerbacker  
#28 Posted : Friday, March 21, 2014 1:55:11 PM(UTC)
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Originally Posted by: Wade Go to Quoted Post
Actually, it is a theory. (Several theories, in fact.) A theory that most scientists (and non-scientists, for that matter), believe in. A theory that when we drop an apple, it will fall to the ground, based on our observation of hundreds of years of apples and other objects falling to the ground.

It is a theory because no one has yet "proven" that when I drop another apple tomorrow, it, too, will fall to the ground rather than morph into a feather and float away, rise toward Mars, or hover like a hummingbird. We're sure to five million and seven significant digits that it will fall, but we can't eliminate that possible variation in digit number five million and eight.

If gravity were truly a truth universally acknowledged, there would be no need for scientists who continue to study it.

The "theory" part is, IMO, the huge part of what makes science so incredibly valuable. Theory isn't just "opinion," it is opinion that is reasoned in a particular way.



Science isn't really my field, but I was not aware anybody was "studying" gravity - except maybe ways to overcome it. Rather than proveable versus theoretical, I suppose the distinction should be between observable and not observable.

I still say, I've NEVER heard it called the THEORY of Gravity.

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Offline DakotaT  
#29 Posted : Friday, March 21, 2014 2:53:32 PM(UTC)
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Originally Posted by: Wade Go to Quoted Post
It didn't take 100 years to write. It took zero time to write. John 1.

What took 100 years is the human transcription. Human beings are slow in figuring things out.

As your experiment results point out.

Big Grin


The New Testament was written at the Council of Nicea, where a bunch of "reputable" men muddled pagan traditions with the teachings of Christ to form what we've all had shoved down our throat all of our lives. The Old Testament is just a bunch of dessert stories with centuries of embellishments added in. The New Testament refutes much of the awful Old Testament, but a bunch of asstards still think Leviticus is relevant today.

You all can believe in the resurrection all you want to, I call bullshit! I call bullshit on purgatory, and I call bullshit on "miracles" performed by Christ. What I do believe in is the Messiah has yet to come. So out of all the BS, I think the Jews have things about right, except for their horrible money mongering, which has caused them the "lie in the bed they made".

I also believe in Armageddon and I wish it would hurry the fuck up already.
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Offline Cheesey  
#30 Posted : Friday, March 21, 2014 7:31:39 PM(UTC)
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Dakota....I'd hate to be you if this "asstard" is
right and there is a heaven and hell.

I only hope to someday be as all knowing as
you seem to be.

I can't help but wonder what happened to you
that has soured you so much when it comes
to discussions involving God.

Evolution is a story, 100% made up in mans
imagination. That makes me wonder why
it's so easy for some to believe, while the
thought that everything you see was made
by intelligent design seems so hard
to believe.
Where is the so called "scientific proof" of
evolution that I hear about so often?
It doesn't exist.
Yet I'm blasted for believing in God by faith
by the very people that put their faith in
a theory made up by a man less the 200 years
ago.
Let's check all the science books written in the
last 150 years and see how many so called
"Facts" that were written have been proved
false. Then look at the Bible and see what
has been proven false.
If you choose to believe in evolution, you
have that right. God gave us free will.
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thanks Post received 1 applause.
Wade on 3/22/2014(UTC)
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