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Jesus Rode A Dinosaur: Conference looks at what churches tell teens about science

Liz Heinecke, right, demonstrates a science experiment for attendees during the Jesus Rode A Dinosaur conference on May 8, 2018, in Minneapolis. RNS photo by Emily McFarlan Miller

Liz Heinecke, right, demonstrates a science experiment for attendees during the Jesus Rode A Dinosaur conference on May 8, 2018, in Minneapolis. RNS photo by Emily McFarlan Miller

EDINA, Minn. (RNS) — Growing up a conservative Southern Baptist, Mike McHargue loved science.

He would drive his youth pastor and Sunday School teachers “insane,” he said, with difficult questions in his quest to reconcile his faith with science.

Eventually, his youth pastor handed him a book, said McHargue, whose questions led him to embrace atheism before he returned to a more progressive Christianity.

But what he needed, said McHargue —  host of “The Liturgists” and “Ask Science Mike,” podcasts — weren’t necessarily answers but a listening ear and an ability to assume a less defensive crouch: “I needed someone to help me lower my guard.”


RELATED: ‘Science Mike’ McHargue: ‘Christians aren’t stupid, and atheists aren’t evil’


Getting comfortable with questions was a theme shared by many speakers at “Jesus Rode a Dinosaur and Other Silly Tales,” a youth ministry conference aimed at talking to teenagers about science held earlier this month at Colonial Church of Edina outside Minneapolis.

About 200 people attended the conference, the capstone of a four-year Templeton Foundation grant for Science for Youth Ministry, administered by Luther Seminary in St. Paul, Minn., to get Christian youth leaders to take science more seriously.

It started with a hunch — that youth pastors in America weren’t ready to talk about faith and science with the students in their churches, said the Rev. Tony Jones of Science for Youth Ministry. Focus groups and a nationwide survey of students and youth leaders from a number of Christian denominations — evangelical, mainline and Catholic — back that up: Science raises some big issues for students, he said, “and youth pastors aren’t great at talking about it.

“They’ll talk about the Bible, they’ll talk about sex, they’ll talk about eating disorders, but they won’t talk about science, even though kids are learning about it in school and carrying $700 computers in their pockets,” said Jones, who teaches theology at Fuller Theological Seminary and United Theological Seminary of the Twin Cities.

More than half (56 percent) of youth surveyed by Science for Youth Ministry said they “have a lot of questions” about God and science.

Meanwhile, the survey of 761 youth leaders, conducted online and in person in 2014, showed 32 percent don’t address science at all in youth group, and just over half teach one to three lessons about it over the course of a year. Nearly 82 percent said when they do talk about science, they have to prepare their own lessons; about 7 percent said they were satisfied or very satisfied with the resources that have been published.

The youth surveys were sent home with and administered to more than 1,400 students by the youth leaders who took part in Science for Youth Ministry’s focus groups.

It’s important for youth pastors to be able to talk about science, Jones said, because the students are — at school, at the kitchen table, online. If they’re hearing about it everywhere except at church, they’ll get the message those two things don’t go together.

The grant also supported the work of the Science for Youth Ministry team, which included creating a video curriculum for youth groups, speaking at conferences, teaching classes and writing books on subjects related to religion and science.

What Science for Youth Ministry did not want to do was rehash the debate over the theory of evolution and creationism, a belief that the seven days of creation in Genesis are a literal account — which is where the discussion about Christianity and science too often defaults, according to Jones. Even the most conservative of speakers at the conference believed evolution was in no way opposed to Scripture, he said.

Topics at Jesus Rode a Dinosaur included climate change and the environment, technology, astrophysics and helping teens pursue scientific careers.

Several speakers also explained how they view the relationship between science and religion: They’re not enemies or strangers or even friends, according to Paul Wallace, who teaches physics and astronomy at Agnes Scott College in Decatur, Ga. That assumes they’re equals.

Instead, Wallace said, faith is large enough to “completely contain” science.

“Science simply does not stand on its own. It requires, it demands us to do what human beings always do, which is to interpret those facts and to put them into a larger context,” he said.

Krista Tippett, host of the popular NPR show “On Being,” shared her experience of growing up Southern Baptist and attending youth group three times a week. In a conversation with Jones, she spoke about millennials looking for mentors who are “walking with them in wisdom rather than telling them what to do” and asking questions they don’t always feel they have permission to ask in church settings.

Addressing technology, Tippett acknowledged computers are better at finding answers than humans are. What makes humans unique, she said, is the ability to ask good questions, and Christianity has not stressed the quality of its questions.

“If God is God and made us the way we are — the askers of questions — God can’t be scared of your questions, whatever they are,” she said.

That was the theme, too, of a workshop about using the scientific method as a tool for faith formation led by public theologian and life and leadership coach Rozella Haydee White: “Our God is big enough to hold the curiosity, to hold the questions, to hold the critique, to hold the anger. Our God is big enough for all of that,” she said.

White encouraged participants to start from a place of asking questions to engage their own faith and the faith of their students, to construct a hypothesis and to test it, mimicking the steps of the scientific method.

After that workshop, Melissa Ackermann, the youth ministry coordinator at First Lutheran Church, an Evangelical Lutheran Church in America congregation in Lake City, Minn., said, “I’m really imagining this shifting my whole ministry and how I deal with high schoolers in particular.”

With a background in science, Ackermann said, she realized her default is to rush to answer students’ questions.

And Douglas Kersten, who works in student ministry at Community Fellowship Church in Lancaster, Pa., said students definitely have questions about science. Kersten has been at the church since October, but in that time, it has solicited anonymous questions from students, and a lot of them “tended toward a science-faith conflict,” he said.

What’s at stake in those conversations, said podcaster McHargue, is Thanksgiving.

“Faith transitions, of which 44 percent of Americans will go through at least one in their life, are tearing families apart and, along with it, dialogue, discourse, civic institutions,” he said.

“Unless we can have informed, civil conversations about faith and science, we can’t hold society together anymore.”

(This story was written as part of a grant supported by the Templeton Foundation.)

A DNA strand next to the title of the series.

About the author

Emily McFarlan Miller

Emily McFarlan Miller is a national reporter for RNS based in Chicago. She covers evangelical and mainline Protestant Christianity.

153 Comments

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  • “What Science for Youth Ministry did not want to do was rehash the debate over the theory of evolution and creationism, a belief that the seven days of creation in Genesis are a literal account…” You either believe Christ, or you believe man.

  • Didn’t Jesus ride a dinosaur into Jerusalem on Palm Sunday? I think a T-Rex would be big and strong enough to push the rock out from in front of the tomb too….don’t tell Ken Ham.

  • Neither did. But if you have to lie about well established science to support your religious belief, it speaks badly of your faith.

    Creationism isn’t a real concept. It is just a mode of discussion requiring one to lie about their personal faith in an effort to cajole people into belief. It cheapens religious belief.

  • Did you read the Scientific American article you referenced?

    It explains that one line of dinosaurs began shrinking over 200 million years ago and from this line of dinosaurs birds evolved.

    How does this relate to your claim of the simultaneous existence of dinosaurs and Jesus?

  • Instead, Wallace said, faith is large enough to “completely contain” science.

    This is just religion trying to ride the coattails of science.
    Science produces real results — airplanes, X-rays, television, computers, etc.
    Religion can’t even agree how many gods exist, or whether eating bacon or practicing polygamy is moral.

  • True, the Scientific American article doesn’t explicitly say that Jesus and dinosaurs lived at the same time, so I replaced that article with an article that tells the truth that the secular, anti-Trump media don’t want you to know.

    #MABA: Make Apatosaurus Brontosaurus Again

  • Is it true that Trump traces his ancestry back to Jesus and Mary Magdalene? Is that what the “secular anti-Trump media” don’t want us to know.

  • Interesting response. THIS kind of comment — deliberate, pointed ridicule — is why so many of those Youth Pastors are way too scared and weak to discuss science-&-religion in any robust manner.

    Evolution and its historical claims are an unavoidable part of any rational S & R discussion. But evolutionists specialize in the Ridicule Factor, to prevent any serious discussion of the “Historical Claims of Evolution” versus the “Historical Claims of Christianity.”

    The idea is to cut off the rational dialogue, lest some kids realize there are rational reasons to doubt the religion of Evolution.

  • What is wrong with ridiculing young earth creationism, Noah’s Ark and Ken Ham?…Same as ridiculing the flat earthers and tin-foil hat wearing idiots !!

    There is no rational dialog with them and laughing at them can lead people to investigate real scientific progress instead. A win-win situation (but a loss for Ken Ham and other knuckle draggers) — so let keep laughing at them !!

  • …there ARE rational reasons to doubt the religion of Evolution.

    I find it bizarre that you would call evolution a “religion” as some kind of insult while trying to defend the rationality of your own religion. Evolution isn’t a religion, it’s part of science, though it might look like a religion to people who don’t understand it.

  • Indeed that is what you evolutionists MUST do — you must continue the laughter and ridicule tactic.

    Because if you evolutionists fail to do that tactic, if you do like “Bill Nye The Science Guy” and do a straight-forward., factual,, rational debate against Ken Ham in front of 3 Million online folks, Ham is seriously going to DEFLATE your primordial balloon, just like he did to Nye.

    Ham was able to hold his own and at least do a DRAW with Nye. (And yes, many Christians were impressed, and sent donations.)

    Later, the evolutionist “500.Women Scientists” group. would cite the Ham-Nye debate as one of the auxiliary reasons why they were NOT happy with Nye, declaring, “Nye doesn’t speak for us.”

  • So your holy book and god’s word cannot stand up to a bit of ridicule? Or are you proposing that those Big Science Bullies are shadowing every single youth minister to make sure they can ridicule them in Sunday school class in front of the kids?
    You religionists sure are a persecuted lot– in a totally impossible, very difficult to believe sort of a way.
    Personally, I think who needs to shadow every youth pastor is an officer of the law. Googling “youth pastor sex offender” yield 248,000 hits in 1/2 seconds. The listings include Indianapolis, Charlevoix County MI, St. Louis, Denver, Tuscaloosa, Witchita, Memphis, Clayton MO, West Dundee IL, Bellingham WA, Tuscon, Rockville…
    And an adticle in no less a source than CHRISTIANITY TODAY on how to spot one in your church.

  • I think you meant to write “it’s part science” rather than “it’s part of science”.

  • “So your holy book and god’s word cannot stand up to a bit of ridicule?”

    Are you speaking as an expert on the “holy book” and “god’s word”, or as an expert on being the target of ridicule?

    “Personally, I think who needs to shadow every youth pastor is an officer of the law. Googling “youth pastor sex offender” yield 248,000 hits in 1/2 seconds.”

    Of course 247,999 of them referenced that phrase in your various posts.

  • It would seem to prove it.

    Or were there no birds in the first century in Palestine?

  • I believe you’re think of Bill Clinton and Mary, and Marie, and Sally, and …. all at the same time.

  • I have questions about questions, actually:

    (1) How in the world could “getting comfortable with questions” end up as “a theme [for] speakers”?

    (2) Are you sure “more than half (56 percent) of youth surveyed … said they ‘have a lot of questions’ about God AND science”? Isn’t it rather that they have much more of an issue with God & Jesus, and much less of an issue with science?

    (3) It’s really not “questions they don’t always feel they have permission to ask in church settings”, is it now? It’s just their doubts about God & Jesus that they’re too chicken to express, isn’t it?

    (4) For “Krista Tippett [of] NPR” to say, “Christianity has not stressed the quality of its questions … [adding that] ‘God can’t be scared of your questions, whatever they are'”, what does that say about her intimate knowledge of the God & Jesus of Christianity who, actually, CAN “be scared of your questions”? (Recall the Tower of Babel, then think Babylon the Great!)

  • I think you meant to write “I’d like you to think I know a lot more about evolution than I do.”

  • The lame-stream media don’t want you to know that Trump’s grandfather was Friedrich Trump, an immigrant to North America from Kallstadt, Germany, who made a small fortune when he established a saloon/restaurant/brothel in the wilds of British Columbia. Stormy Daniels would have been proud.

    #MAGA: Make Avenatti Great Again

  • No floydlee the problem is fundamental (pun intended). I was OK at first at my mom dragging me to the Jehovah’s Witnesses meetings. The appeal was social and emotional but as I pursued science in junior and senior high school and studied the bible I was severely disappointed and later abandoned religion (science was just one factor). College was frowned upon by JWs and I am example of why. They treat secular knowledge and science as an enemy. I suspect fundamentalists are not too different from them.

  • Birds may be related to dinosaurs but they are not the same species.
    You are a descendant of the ancestors of bonobos and chimpanzees, but you are not of their species.
    You could say that a descendant of dinosaurs existed at the time of Jesus, But that’s just obvious

  • Friedrich was a pimp, as you point out. He was also a draft dodger. It is really great that Donald had a Values Guy like Friedrich to model himself after.

  • What “it” follows the scientific method?

    The supposed and unprovable chemical origin of life?

    The inability to demonstrate that “….changes in individual characters, such as the relative frequency of genes for light and dark wing color in moths adapting to industrial pollution, simply be multiplied over time to account for the origin of moths and butterflies within insects, the origin of insects from primitive arthropods, or the origin of arthropods from among primitive multicellular organisms?”

    The inability to provide from DNA a grand tree of life where all organisms are clearly related?

    The inability to explain from the fossil record the abrupt appearance of entirely new kingdoms and phylum and a general lack intermediate fossils?

    The complete inability to demonstrate rising cellular complexity through random mutations and undirected processes?

    The fact that random mutations cause harm to organisms and do not build complexity?

    It is a great theory.

    Perhaps 30-60% has been derived using the scientific method.

    The rest is theory, guesswork, and unproven hypotheses.

  • Bob Harrison to Agni Ashwin:

    “How does this relate to your claim of the simultaneous existence of dinosaurs and Jesus?”

    Me:

    “It would seem to prove it.”

    “Or were there no birds in the first century in Palestine?”

    Questions?

  • I’m sure Bill Nye does not care if you laugh at him, nor do I or other scientists care…

    But, I tell you what — if God, Jesus, Holy-Spirit , Ken Ham, etc. let me know that they can’t handle a bit of jibing…I will ease up on them….maybe poke a bit of fun at the Muslims and Hindus for a while…Deal?

  • The supposed and unprovable chemical origin of life?

    OK, this shows you don’t even know what “evolution” means.
    You’re referring to abiogenesis.

    The rest is theory, guesswork, and unproven hypotheses.

    “Theory” is as good as it gets in science. You obviously don’t know how science works.
    And hypotheses are the life-blood of science. They are proposals, which is why they have a different name from “theories”. It’s expected that branches of science will have many theories and hypotheses; you’re acting like that’s bad.

    General relativity and quantum mechanics haven’t been unified; this doesn’t mean they aren’t part of science.

  • You do understand, don’t you, that without a chemical origin of life, the entire theory lacks a foundation?

    Of course not.

    No, theory, guesswork, and unproven hypotheses are not only not as good as it gets in science, it isn’t science.

    Science begins when you take that and construct experiments, rejecting bad theories, disproving erroneous hypotheses, and creating build blocks of knowledge.

    That general relativity and quantum mechanics haven’t been unified has literally nothing to do with the discussion.

  • You do understand, don’t you, that without a chemical origin of life, the entire theory lacks a foundation?

    Orbital mechanics can describe the orbits of planets without explaining how the planets formed.

    You are adding your own requirements.

    Science begins when you take that and construct experiments, rejecting bad theories, disproving erroneous hypotheses, and creating build blocks of knowledge.

    And you end up with — -THEORIES.

  • The theory of evolution doesn’t yet include the origin of life. Unlike theologians, scientists understand that there is much we don’t know yet and maybe never will. When a hypothesis about the origin of life turns out to be irrefutable it can be added to the theory of evolution.

  • It seems you are saying that if there were birds in the first century. and birds are decedents of dinosaurs then there were still dinosaurs in the first century.

    Or you are saying that since birds are descended from dinosaurs, they are dinosaurs.

    Neither of these statements is true or logical.

  • So, “Progressive creationism”…

    Apparently Creationists are going all upscale, snobby and elitist on us !!

  • Sorry Brian, but your Evolution IS a religion, and it’s easy to point out.

    Why? Because evo’s have become so prideful and sure of Evolution’s invincibility, they freely confirm the religious aspect by themselves.

    Want a free sample? Sure you do. Evolutionist Richard Lewontin:

    It is not that the methods and institutions of science somehow compel us accept a material explanation of the phenomenal world, but, on the contrary, that we are forced by our a priori adherence to material causes to create an apparatus of investigation and a set of concepts that produce material explanations, no matter how counter-intuitive, no matter how mystifying to the uninitiated. Moreover, that materialism is absolute, so we cannot allow a Divine Foot in the door.

    And now you see the truth. Evolutionists do NOT follow the scientific evidence wherever it leads. (Can’t risk causing people to doubt evolution and turn back to God the Creator.) So the evolutionists put on their “religion of materialism” sunglasses even BEFORE looking at the evidence. Evolution becomes the way they express their religion of materialism. Thus Evolution is truly a religion. Or maybe … a cult.

  • Many have said that evolution (not just science, but specifically evolution!) played a part in their abandonment of Christianity (and I even saw an example of this happening in real time, in another forum years ago. The guy actually said he lost his Christian faith,)

    There’s something really corrosive and coral-snake poisonous, not with the scientific method (science is kewl), but with the theory of evolution (which entails a bunch of historical claims and assumptions, not just one).

    “The Universal Acid.” — Evolutionist Daniel Dennett, speaking of evolution’s effect on the various religions of the world.

    PS…So what did you think of the JW creationist textbook? I know it has a few mistakes in it, but was there any parts you were okay with?

  • I’m sure the “theistic evolutionists” that you atheists rely on so heavily for your political alliances at the ballot box, REALLY appreciate your ridicule of “their holy book and god’s word.”

    But that’s okay. They are scared of you evolutionists and atheists, and your ability to negatively impact their science careers with media and academic (and economic!) pressure if you collectively choose to turn up the heat.

    So they are careful, like wee little church mice, not to oppose you in the media. Scared to create a Rift in the alliance. And me? Not scared. But then again, I am a Bible-believing creationist.

  • Sorry, if it was a religion, US courts wouldn’t allow it to be taught in public schools. See e.g. Peloza v. Capistrano School District and Freiler v. Tangipahoa Parish Board of Education. It’s not a religion, even if you think it is.

  • A theistic evolutionist would not have any need for a literal bible, but could still believe in jesus. Your inadequacies do not define other christians.

  • ““Science simply does not stand on its own. It requires, it demands us to do what human beings always do, which is to interpret those facts and to put them into a larger context,” he said.”

    But it doesn’t mean putting them into an irrational, superstition-based context.

    – – – – – – –

    ““If God is God and made us the way we are — the askers of questions — God can’t be scared of your questions, whatever they are,” she said.”

    This would be true if there was any evidence or rational need for ““If God is God and made us the way we are”

    There isn’t – it’s simply another sales technique to try to shut down rational thought and direct the conversation into the vendors preferred trajectory.

    – – – – – – – –

    IMO science and religious belief cannot coexist.

    1 –
    Science is a process without preconceived limits – it starts with a question (a “what if”, a hypothesis) collects, collates and examines evidence, tests the conclusion and invites criticism.
    Religious belief assumes limits (the existence of god(s)) etc. and demands that any question is answered in a manner compatible with those limits – and if it can’t chickens out with some version of “you’ll find out when your dead”.

    2 –
    Religious belief is essentially self-centred. I appreciate that many believers do good works but the basic, first-principle, sales message of religion is “You have a soul, that soul will continue when your body dies, you will either go the Heaven or Hell” (Nonsense of course but powerful nonsense). The primary appeal is not “join us and be a nice person”. Religions reinforce this by claiming that we are specially made, and that the universe is somehow ordered to provide us with a place we can suffer before dying – that is – under the fictional spirit world humanity is the primary, (and only “soulled”) life-form.
    Science accepts the evidence that we are not “special” – just the latest in a series of top predators who have evolved to occupy a niche which happened for reasons we are close to understanding through deduction and understanding of the world – without reference to god(s).

    So
    Religion is self-centred and defines limits within which questions may be addressed whilst
    Science regards humanity as just another species and is prepared (sometimes reluctantly) to consider all possible evidence/logic based possibilities (including, were they to exist, those supporting superstitious belief).

  • No, what the science tells us that birds ARE dinosaurs.

    Specifically they ARE saurischian dinosaurs in the theropod group, Maniraptora to be exact.

    Read the article.

  • When you say it is a theory, you are absolutely correct.

    When you say it is missing evidence for its basal component, the chemical origin of life, you are also correct.

  • Apparently your science background is not in biology.

    Theories are not facts. Theories are working models, mind constructs.

    The chemical origin of life in this instance is fundamental to the theory that everything can be explained by ordinary physical laws operating randomly.

    If the foundation for the theory is missing, and the various pieces I provided are missing, the key components of the theory are missing which explain the MECHANISM by which the entire theory is supposed to work – ordinary physical laws operating randomly.

    That would be equivalent to calculating the the orbits of planets without having derived the physical laws which moving objects follows, the properties of gravity, and the mass of any of the planets or the sun.

  • Most evolutionists don’t give a rat’s heine about creationists. And cherry picking from the handful of outspoken scientists is deceitful. Your depiction of it as a religion or cult or not based on the scientific method is nonsense.

  • Do you understand that a scientific theory is irrefutable? The origin of live is not part of evolutionary theory. It won’t be until a hypothesis is determined to also be irrefutable.

  • A theory is refutable until proven.

    The key component of the theory of Darwinian evolution is progress through random events according to natural/physical laws, commencing with the origin of life itself.

    Some parts of that theory appear consistent with the scientifically confirmed data, in other places there are gaps and conflicts, for example:

    https://disqus.com/home/discussion/religionnews/jesus_rode_a_dinosaur_conference_looks_at_what_churches_tell_teens_about_science/#comment-3907295934

    An analogy might be with Newtonian physics, which can explain the structure of much of the visible universe with high accuracy.

    However scientists have known since the early twentieth century that it is a less accurate description of the physical world than relativity theory and quantum physics.

    But since corrections required for objects larger than atoms moving significantly slower than light are negligible, and it is mathematically simple, it provides a standard for calculating the motions of machine parts, fluids, and bullets to spacecraft, planets, and galaxies.

    Except, of course, that Darwinian evolution is less explanatory than Newtownian physics, as noted.

  • You are an honest guy, but your first sentence is Patently untrue, totally so, by every media story you can find since 1990.

    Evolutionists constantly monitor non-Darwinists of any flavor, for any activity that might promote or allow public doubts about Evolution.

    Evolutionists understand that a LOT of people are interested in this conflict, as proven by Ham and Nye’s battle. So they seriously know they ain’t really won yet. Hence the monitoring.

  • On another issue, there’s not nearly enough space here to quote ALL the evolutionists who are openly showing that Evolution is a religion. It’s amazing. I’d love to post them all.

    I chose Richard Lewontin because he clearly gave The Big Picture, with no sugar-coating at all. He’s honest.

  • Theories are not facts.

    I never said they were. Can you read?

    The chemical origin of life in this instance is fundamental to the theory that everything can be explained by ordinary physical laws operating randomly.

    Evolution isn’t about the origin of life. I see you can’t even learn that much.

  • The statement “evolution isn’t about the origin of life” is an evasion.

    Darwinian evolution posits that everything can be explained by ordinary physical laws operating randomly and natural selection, commencing with the chemical origin of life.

    https://disqus.com/home/discussion/religionnews/jesus_rode_a_dinosaur_conference_looks_at_what_churches_tell_teens_about_science/#comment-3907295934

    If component pieces necessary to the theory of Darwinian evolution are missing, then alternative theories which fit the existing data – progressive creationism for example – are equally possible.

  • The statement “evolution isn’t about the origin of life” is an evasion.

    No, it really isn’t. They are different fields.

  • Really?

    The origin of life is not in the field of biology and not part of Darwinian theory?

    What field is it in?

  • Theories are hypothesis that have been subjected to refutation to the point where scientists knowledgeable in the field consider them factual. They are then considered a theory until new evidence is found which may overturn them. This rarely happens.

    The hypotheses which led to the theory of Evolution as stated by Darwin States that all life forms have a common ancestor. The variety of life forms were created by natural selection.

    You are obviously confused about natural selection. The copying process for each generation is very, but not perfectly exact. The occasional changes are usually minor but random. However this randomness is removed by natural selection. Only if the change effectively produces more offspring in following generations does it become a normal part of that species. Evolutionary change is not random.

    The foundation of this theory is the understanding that natural selection could mindlessly create complex life forms constantly improving their adaptability to their environment. This is not affected by the fact that we don/t know how life started. This will still be true when we do.

  • Before you declare victory by definition, let’s look at these word and its ordinary English meaning.

    You: “Theories are hypothesis that have been subjected to refutation to the point where scientists knowledgeable in the field consider them factual.”

    https://en.oxforddictionaries.com/definition/theory

    theory – noun

    1A supposition or a system of ideas intended to explain something, especially one based on general principles independent of the thing to be explained.

    ‘Darwin’s theory of evolution’

    1.1 A set of principles on which the practice of an activity is based.

    ‘a theory of education’

    mass noun ‘music theory’

    1.2 An idea used to account for a situation or justify a course of action.

    ‘my theory would be that the place has been seriously mismanaged’

    1.3 Mathematics A collection of propositions to illustrate the principles of a subject.

    It is also worth pointing out that your personal idiosyncratic definition does not render a theory “irrefutable” as you claimed.

    Now, to your next claim:

    “You are obviously confused about natural selection. The copying process for each generation is very, but not perfectly exact. The occasional changes are usually minor but random. However this randomness is removed by natural selection.”

    https://disqus.com/home/discussion/religionnews/jesus_rode_a_dinosaur_conference_looks_at_what_churches_tell_teens_about_science/#comment-3907966648

    “Darwinian evolution posits that everything can be explained by ordinary physical laws operating randomly and natural selection, commencing with the chemical origin of life.”

    Any other issues?

  • I guess we could then say that, as far as we know, the only dinosaurs alive in the first century CE were birds.

  • Get off your high DINOSAURS y’all rode in on, Mike McHargue, Liz Heinecke, Tony Jones, Paul Wallace, Krista Tippett, Rozella Haydee White, Melissa Ackermann, Douglas Kersten, and Templeton Foundation!

    (According to Scott M. Stolz, “What does the phrase ‘and the [dinosaur] you rode in on’ mean? What is its origin?”, Quora, April 14, 2018: “Centuries ago, typically only the wealthy or their servants (knights, messengers, etc.) could afford [dinosaurs], while the commoners usually did not. And often times the wealthy, especially royalty, thought they were better than the commoners, and the commoners often viewed them as arrogant and entitled. So telling someone to ‘get off their high [dinosaur]’ would be a way of saying ‘if you think you’re better than me, get off your [dinosaur], down to my level, and let’s see how much better you really are.’ The implication is in a ‘fair fight’ the noble isn’t actually better than the commoner. So that leads us to the phrase ‘and the [dinosaur] you road in on,’ presumably following some instructions on what the person should do to himself.”)

  • We, or a least I am, talking about scientific theory. Google that and you get this from Wikipedia.

    “A scientific theory is a well-substantiated explanation of some aspect of the natural world, based on a body of facts that have been repeatedly confirmed through observation and experiment. Such fact-supported theories are not “guesses” but reliable accounts of the real world.”

    Although the genetic changes are somewhat random, natural selection is not. It always selects the forms that are most effective for the reproduction of species. Although genetic changes are random, natural selection filters the random changes to improve the species. The randomness means we can’t know the future results of evolution, but natural selection assures that the best variations will succeed. This is why complex functional design is possible without a designer.

    I don’t know the source of your quote that speaks of the chemical origin of life. The theory of evolution begins with the first functional life form that can reproduce. It does not, at least yet, explain its origin, Creationists posit their hypothesis that since it hasn’t been explained yet, it must have been a creator or god that caused this. Since we don’t know, this is a possible but improbable hypothesis. Its up to the creationists to develop that theory.

  • The origin of life is not in the field of biology and not part of Darwinian theory?

    You can’t read.

    I’ve been saying —>EVOLUTION<— is not about abiogenesis.

    You're just trying to move the goalposts now — yes, abiogenesis is in "the field of biology", and no, it isn't part of Darwinian theory, since he didn't advance one.

  • The sentence from Wikipedia “Such fact-supported theories are not ‘guesses’ but reliable accounts of the real world” follows an erroneous definition, to wit:

    “A scientific theory is a well-substantiated explanation of some aspect of the natural world, based on a body of facts that have been repeatedly confirmed through observation and experiment.”

    If they have been repeatedly confirmed through experiments and observation, they are not theories anymore, by the general definition of the word “theory”.

    They are facts.

    Yes, as far as we have been able to observe, genetic changes are random (not somewhat). What we have been unable to observe is the rise of new species, more complexity, the rise of new genetic code, and so on.

    And it is not for lack of trying.

    Your theory of evolution may begin with the first functional life form that can reproduce – that is certainly most convenient, but if you can’t explain where that first functional life form complete with genetic code and complexity came from, you’ve just opened the door to creationism, which I was under the impression was your target.

    Darwin had the same problem. When he published “The Origin of Species” he consciously avoided discussing the origin of life. However, other texts written by Darwin, and of the correspondence he exchanged with friends and colleagues demonstrate that he took for granted the natural emergence of the first life forms, noting “the intimate relation of Life with laws of chemical combination, & the universality of latter render spontaneous generation not improbable”.

    So, the basic building block of the Darwinian theory is still missing.

    If you want to beat creationists up, it is up to YOU, not to them, to find it.

  • You’re going to need something more robust than “you can’t read” to prop up your sinking ship of Darwinian theory as science.

    As I just wrote to Bob Harrison:

    “Your theory of evolution may begin with the first functional life form that can reproduce, but if you can’t explain where that first functional life form complete with genetic code and complexity came from, you’ve just opened the door to creationism, which I was under the impression was your target.

    Darwin had the same problem. When he published “The Origin of Species” he consciously avoided discussing the origin of life. However, other texts written by Darwin, and of the correspondence he exchanged with friends and colleagues demonstrate that he took for granted the natural emergence of the first life forms, noting “the intimate relation of Life with laws of chemical combination, & the universality of latter render spontaneous generation not improbable”.

    So, the basic building block of the Darwinian theory is still missing.”

    You may have a religious-like faith in Darwinian evolution, but incontrovertible science it is not.

  • You really can’t read. I’ve been saying evolution isn’t the same as abiogenesis. It isn’t.

    “Your theory of evolution may begin with the first functional life form that can reproduce, but if you can’t explain where that first functional life form complete with genetic code and complexity came from, you’ve just opened the door to creationism, which I was under the impression was your target.

    Evolution doesn’t care about creationism. Do you really think scientific theories are formed to counter religious myths?

  • Well, you’ve clearly run out of things to say as you repeat yourself with “You really can’t read” for the – what? – fifth time.

    The question, of course, is not that you’re saying “evolution isn’t the same as abiogenesis”, which may be true, but it is not responsive to the question.

    Abiogenesis proposes that the first life-forms generated were very
    simple and through a gradual process became increasingly complex.

    https://www.britannica.com/science/abiogenesis

    But that is not the question at hand. The question at hand is the origin of life, which Darwin himself recognized was the building block without which his theory could as well be interpreted as what we now call progressive creationism, which he rejected.

    That isn’t even considering the multiple other gaps and indemonstrable assumptions which mar Darwinian theory.

    So, if you respond with another variation on “you can’t read”, you can’t read.

  • I repeat that because you really can’t read – “evolution isn’t the same as abiogenesis”.

    The question at hand is the origin of life

    No, it isn’t. You’ve been trying (and failing) to say evolution isn’t science.

  • Yes, I can. Evolution isn’t abiogenesis. Evolution follows the scientific method. You’ve made many amateur mistakes in even trying to describe evolution. You’re ignorant, and you refuse to learn.

  • When scientists use the word theory their meaning is as I posted above from Wikipedia. It is not considered a fact because scientists understand that its possible new knowledge could possibly refute it.

    “What we have been unable to observe is the rise of new species, more complexity, the rise of new genetic code, and so on.”

    Evidence and explanations for all of this exists.

    As I have said knowing the origin of life is not a foundation of the theory of evolution. Your right the door for creationism is open. It is the problem for creationists to open it. This hypothesis is too improbable for scientists. They cannot operate on faith which enables you to pretend to know what you don’t.

  • Unless you’re able to establish your bona-fides to speak for all scientists and science, your first paragraph is simply your personal impression.

    “Evidence and explanations for all of this exists.”

    Provide some.

    Yes, the door for creationism is open, as is the door to pure Darwinian evolution.

    Those who believe in pure Darwinian evolution are operating on faith just as surely as those who reject it.

  • You can’t read, you’re ignorant, and refuse to learn.

    See how easy being non-responsive is?

  • There some science supporting some aspects of the beliefs of those who hold the Darwinian theory of evolution.

    It is possible that some day all data required to fill in the gaps will be acquired, all the unanswered questions will be answered, and the fundamental building block on which to build it will be bound, and then it will move from theory to knowledge.

  • “theory, guesswork, and unproven hypotheses”
    __________

    Perfect description of “faith”

  • Darwinian theory of evolution.

    There you go again — it’s just “evolution”, it’s past Darwin.

    It is possible that some day all data required to fill in the gaps will be acquired

    You seem to think a segment of science isn’t science unless it answers every possible question. That leaves nothing. Physics isn’t science, right?

  • You could easily obtain the evidence for my statements by Googling. Like most fundamentalists you will filter what doesn’t support your faith with alternative facts.

  • I don’t research for people who won’t take the time to defend their own positions.

    Since you won’t, one can only conclude you are operating on faith just as surely as those you oppose.

    That makes your last statement preposterous.

  • Are you aware of any theory of evolution under discussion but the Darwinian theory? You’re fancying a bit of Lamarckism, are you?

    Science means “knowledge”.

    An unproven theory is not knowledge no matter how much you wish it were.

  • Since you lack faith AND knowledge, you’re in a unique position to comment on the lack of either or both.

  • Are you aware of any theory of evolution under discussion but the Darwinian theory?

    Yes, the modern one, which is not the same as Darwin’s. He didn’t know about e.g. DNA.

    An unproven theory is not knowledge no matter how much you wish it were.

    And once again, you show your total ignorance of science. Theories are never “proven”.

  • I hate to point this out, but so far you’ve shown near total ignorance of science and, btw, the English language:

    https://en.oxforddictionaries.com/definition/theory

    noun

    1A supposition or a system of ideas intended to explain something, especially one based on general principles independent of the thing to be explained.

    ‘Darwin’s theory of evolution’

    1.1 A set of principles on which the practice of an activity is based.

    ‘a theory of education’

    mass noun ‘music theory’

    1.2 An idea used to account for a situation or justify a course of action.

    ‘my theory would be that the place has been seriously mismanaged’

    1.3 Mathematics A collection of propositions to illustrate the principles of a subject.

    The theory moves from theory to knowledge (fact) when proven.

    Please don’t get into working in the field of medicine for the good of mankind.

    Because I am in a bit of a hurry with more important things to attend to:

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Evolution#Darwinian_revolution

    Thank you for the tap dance performance and enjoy whatever you do next with someone else.

  • I hate to point this out, but so far you’ve shown near total ignorance of science

    Says the clown who thinks theories can be proven, that evolution hasn’t changed since Darwin, and that evolution is the same as abiogenesis.

    But since you can’t point out any specific gaffs on my part, you just copy & paste dictionary definitions. Yes, there ARE proofs in formal systems like mathematics — but not in scientific theories like evolution.

  • Yes, theories can be proven. Until they’re proven, they are provisional.

    https://www.space.com/37018-solar-eclipse-proved-einstein-relativity-right.html

    I did not say that evolution hasn’t changed since Darwin.

    And did not say that abiogenesis is the same as evolution.

    You’ve left the few gaps I pointed alone because you can’t answer them.

    That leaves you and the progressive creationists in the same place as far as both proof and faith go.

    And apparently you’re too much attached to scientism to recognize it.

  • Yes, theories can be proven.

    No, they aren’t proven; they are always provisional. That particular observation supports Einstein’s relativity, but it doesn’t PROVE it.

    I did not say that evolution hasn’t changed since Darwin.

    You keep dragging in “Darwin” when I’ve only been referring to “evolution”.

    And did not say that abiogenesis is the same as evolution.

    You keep dragging in abiogenesis when I’ve only been referring to evolution.

  • Yes, they are proven.

    No, they aren’t.

    It’s why experiments are performed.

    But they NEVER PROVE THEORIES.

    As to gaps:

    Oh, I see you were referring to more of your ignorance.

  • Well, you’ve certainly made it clear you have nothing to contribute to an intelligent discussion and know absolutely nothing about theory, experiment, hypothesis testing, the English language, or biology.

    Please do keep on truckin’, but not with me.

  • Look, you obviously don’t know much of anything about science. You think theories can be proven, you think any bit of missing knowledge makes evolution not-science (but somehow won’t apply this to any other scientific field, all of which have missing bits of information), and you can’t even get terminology right.

  • Oh be quiet, Tailwagsthedog, SPEAK FOR YOURSELF. This Conflict Theory of yours is so out of touch with reality in America, United Kingdom & India.

    (1) According to Elaine Howard Ecklund and Jerry Z.Park (cf. “Conflict Between Religion and Science Among Academic Scientists?”, Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion, 48 (2) 2009: 276–92), the majority of natural & social scientists in American universities do not perceive conflict between science and religion. Only 37% do.

    (2) And according to the same Elaine Ecklund (cf. “Religious Communities, Science, Scientists, and Perceptions: A Comprehensive Survey”, Elaine Ecklund Blog, Rice University, February 16, 2014), 3 out of 4 scientists throughout the U.S. – that’s 75% of the entire scientific population! – see no conflict in terms of science & religion.

    (3) According to Amy McCaig (cf. “Indian scientists significantly more religious than UK scientists”, Rice University News, September 24, 2014), only 38% of all the scientists in the U.K. perceive conflict between science and religion, while in India only 18% of them do.

  • Oh, the irony from Bobby-Jo, our resident snowflake of many accounts.

    Note that the gun supporter, deluded Christian nutcase, bigot, and NRA shill presenting himself in this thread as “Bob Arnzen” variously and dishonestly uses a variety of names on RNS such as Bob Arnzen, José Carioca, and others. However, there is actually no real Bob Arnzen, and there is no real José Carioca.

    It is recommended that you refer to him and reply to him stating his name as “Bobosé”, “Bobby-Jo”, or just “snowflake”.

    The José Carioca account for this present post is used as a parody of “Bob Arnzen”.

  • No one convinced me or even tried – I followed the evidence and it led me to my present position. You and JWs are just totally wrong. Genesis is mythology so everything crumbles.

  • I always speak for myself.

    I’m not sure you understand my points.

    I’m saying that religion and the scientific process are irreconcilable – and giving reasons why that is so.

    You presumably think that you are countering my point by picking three limited areas (mainly within two countries with v. high rates of claimed religious belief) and stating that there is a perception of a lack of conflict between science and religion. Your “counter” fails since it doesn’t address the argument – simply substituting perception for reason.

    Perception within situations where religious conformity is important is likely to be skewed and, in any case, perception has little to do with reality – consider the historic perception that the sun orbits the earth.

    If you wish to argue against my opinion you need to make a case why I’m wrong –
    argue that religion is not about one’s “soul” and “afterlife” (or that science is) and argue that religion does not accord humanity a position and importance within the universe that science refutes (or, again that science so argues).

    Then we have a discussion – what we now have is a reasoned opinion and an irrelevant response.

  • Nope, you got it right. All I’m fact-finding here is that 75% of all American scientists, 62% British & 82% Indians DISAGREE WITH YOU.

  • OK – I misunderstood your post.

    I suspect that similar enquiries made with Scandinavian scientists – or with scientists actively researching in cosmology, biology, genetics, physics and neuroscience (for example) would return a very different result.

    Not all scientists are knowledgeable about specialities other than their own – a fallacy often implied by proponents of religion. One wonders if they would employ a world-renowned soprano to teach their kids to play drums, saxophone and the Hammond organ – after all they’re all musicians aren’t they.

  • Gravity is a fact.

    We know about gravity based on data and facts.

    The Theory of Gravity is the explanation that accounts for all the facts and data without being contradicted by any facts or data. The Theory of Gravity is tweaked to account for new information that comes to light. The updated Theory must account for all the existing facts and data plus the new information.

    Thus Gravity is fact. And the Theory of Gravity is a theory supported by facts.

    Evolution likewise is a fact. And the Theory of Evolution is a theory supported by facts.

    If you wish to replace the Theory of Evolution, the replacement theory must coherently explain all the facts and data currently explained by the Theory of Evolution. Address all the evidence from multiple scientific fields, including DNA and genetics, paleontology, embrylogy, geo diversity, comparative anatomy and more.

  • As interesting and tempting as it may be to try winning by definition, it proves nothing.

    Here are three words you’re using, and one necessary to the discussion, and their standard meanings in English:

    Theory

    https://en.oxforddictionaries.com/definition/theory

    noun

    1A supposition or a system of ideas intended to explain something, especially one based on general principles independent of the thing to be explained.

    ‘Darwin’s theory of evolution’

    1.1 A set of principles on which the practice of an activity is based.

    ‘a theory of education’

    mass noun ‘music theory’

    1.2 An idea used to account for a situation or justify a course of action.

    ‘my theory would be that the place has been seriously mismanaged’

    1.3 Mathematics A collection of propositions to illustrate the principles of a subject.

    Hypothesis

    https://en.oxforddictionaries.com/definition/hypothesis

    noun

    1A supposition or proposed explanation made on the basis of limited evidence as a starting point for further investigation.

    ‘his ‘steady state’ hypothesis of the origin of the universe’

    1.1 Philosophy A proposition made as a basis for reasoning, without any assumption of its truth.

    with clause ‘the hypothesis that every event has a cause’

    Fact

    https://en.oxforddictionaries.com/definition/fact

    noun

    1A thing that is known or proved to be true.

    ‘the most commonly known fact about hedgehogs is that they have fleas’

    ‘he ignores some historical and economic facts’

    mass noun ‘a body of fact’

    1.1 facts Information used as evidence or as part of a report or news article.

    ‘even the most inventive journalism peters out without facts, and in this case there were no facts’

    1.2the fact that Used to refer to a particular situation under discussion.

    ‘despite the fact that I’m so tired, sleep is elusive’

    1.3 Law mass noun The truth about events as opposed to interpretation.

    ‘there was a question of fact as to whether they had received the letter’

    Science

    https://en.oxforddictionaries.com/definition/science

    noun

    mass noun

    1 The intellectual and practical activity encompassing the systematic study of the structure and behaviour of the physical and natural world through observation and experiment.

    ‘the world of science and technology’

    1.1 A particular area of science.

    ‘veterinary science’

    count noun ‘the agricultural sciences’

    1.2 A systematically organized body of knowledge on a particular subject.

    ‘the science of criminology’

    1.3 archaic Knowledge of any kind.

    ‘his rare science and his practical skill’

    So let’s restate your post using standard definitions:

    That a force which we call gravity exists is a fact.

    Based on observation we know that gravity, or gravitation, is a natural phenomenon by which all things with mass are brought toward (or gravitate toward) one another, including objects ranging from electrons and atoms, to planets, stars, and galaxies.

    The earliest theories of gravity arose classical mechanics, consisting of the physical concepts employed by and the mathematical methods invented by Isaac Newton and Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz and others in the 17th century to describe the motion of bodies under the influence of a system of forces.

    Gravity appears to be more accurately described by the general theory of relativity (proposed by Albert Einstein based on a mathematical model in 1915) which describes gravity not as a force, but as a consequence of the curvature of space-time caused by the uneven distribution of mass.

    Because a theory is a supposition (a belief held without proof or certain knowledge) or a system of ideas, it is not a fact per se.

    For example, we know that gravity is more accurately described by the general theory of relativity because we have performed experiments which show that it acts as Einstein predicted rather than as Newton surmised.

    Additional experiments may demonstrate characteristics of gravity which are explained by neither Newton’s model nor Einstein’s, at which case it is back to drawing boards.

    The Theory of Evolution is also a a supposition (a belief held without proof or certain knowledge). Certain necessary components of it have been confirmed by hypothesis testing (the scientific method) while some necessary components, such as increasing complexity as the result of random mutation and natural selection, have not.

    Alternative theories, such as progressive creationism, fit the existing data as well.

    Trying to palm off a theory as fact, or as science per se, is an example of the logical fallacy of begging the question.

  • Historical claims like what? That the rocks in the ground that look exactly like bones used to be bones? That those bones came from animals? What a tremendous leap of logic that is.

  • Scopes, the science teacher of the famous Scopes evolution trial, was a practicing Catholic But then again, to “Christians” Catholics are not Christians.

  • Of course one has never, ever hear a fundamentalist preacher ridicule others, on evolution and other topics. That never happens.

  • THere is no such “demand” except to th0se who already are believers in a god. Believers”demand” support for their beliefs to counter their doubts and the doubts of thoughtful believers. There is nothing more to this claim.

  • It was a matter of great honor and religious faith to be a “draft dodger” in Germany at that time.

  • One thing is for sure — If Genesis is mythology, then the Gospels DO crumble.

    Genesis false? Then Gospels false. Creation false? Then Cross false. (See Rom. 5:12-17).

    Evolution IS incompatible with Christianity. Thankfully, Evolution (unlike Design), is already bankrupt in terms of scientific evidence.

    (To save time and effort, I usually focus on us HUMANS to prove that Evolution is dead-meato.)

    Each of us, is a scientific refutation of Evolution.

  • I do my homework on this topic. You do not.

    Whatever your favorite religion is, just do the homework.

  • “a matter of great honor and religious faith”

    Exactly. This would also explain why he was a pimp.

  • Give it a rest, dipshit. We all know you’re a racist ass. You don’t need to keep proving that point in conversations that have absolutely nothing to do with Islam. Go find some Mosque bombings to touch yourself to and leave the rest of us alone.

  • I’m not racist. I hate Muslims no matter what color they are. In Indonesia the Asian Muslims are considering beheading as the next punishment for homosexual acts. In Saudi Arabia Arab Muslims imprison and then execute for homosexual acts. In Chechnya white Muslims put gays in the new Auschwitz. In the Sudan black Muslims throw gays, alive, into fires. So..I’m Islamophobic. You have to learn the correct definition of “racist.”.

  • And your debates re. Christianity and things from thousands of years ago are what means nothing. It’s just a comfortable place for your bored self to spout b.s., whereas Islamic atrocities are being carried out right now, in 2008, and getting worse.

  • You don’t know anything about me, but I know that you’ve chosen fear as your favorite religion.

  • “Apparently your science background is not in biology.”

    Well mine is Bob, and Brian is 100% correct. The Theory of Evolution by Natural Selection covers everything from the first cell to all life that has ever existed on Earth, past and present. It does not cover how that life came to be in the first place. It doesn’t matter if the first cell on Earth arose from the primordial soup or arrived as a germ on an alien probe, the theory of evolution by natural selection covers everything afterwards, explaining the current diversity of life on Earth and everything we see in the fossil record.

    How that first cell came to exist is covered by other scientific hypotheses. These hypotheses are not as well defined or as well supported as evolution by natural selection. Of course, considering how well supported the theory of evolution by natural selection is, that’s analogous to saying something isn’t as tall as Mount Everest. Regardless, you aren’t discussing the theory of evolution by natural selection when you talk about abiogenesis. Intellectually lazy people lump them together and call it all “evolution”, but nothing you say on any hypotheses of abiogenesis has any bearing on the theory of evolution by natural selection. Continuing to lump them together only betrays your ignorance.

  • I had already stated that “The Theory of Evolution by Natural Selection covers everything from the first cell to all life that has ever existed on Earth, past and present.”

    As a result, if it does not:

    “…. cover how that life came to be in the first place.”

    it is an incomplete theory, and certainly leaves the door open to progressive creationism.

    “How that first cell came to exist is covered by other scientific hypotheses.”

    E.g., suppositions, guesses, theories – unproven.

    “Of course, considering how well supported the theory of evolution by natural selection is, that’s analogous to saying something isn’t as tall as Mount Everest.”

    Really?

    Why is it that what can observe results in variations on theme, never a new theme?

    We have a bird. We see its beak gets longer, its color darker, its legs shorter.

    We never see something else happen.

    We have to, or prove that it happens, to move more of the Theory of Evolution over to the fact column.

    “Regardless, you aren’t discussing the theory of evolution by natural selection when you talk about abiogenesis. Intellectually lazy people lump them together and call it all “evolution”, but nothing you say on any hypotheses of abiogenesis has any bearing on the theory of evolution by natural selection.”

    Nor did I say it did, per se.

    Continuing your predecessor’s faulty argument attacking what I did not say only betrays your ignorance.

  • “it is an incomplete theory, and certainly leaves the door open to progressive creationism.”

    If you want to look at it that way. It’s a theory that explains something specific, the diversity of life on Earth and how it came about. You could just as easily say the same about the theory of gravity, atomic theory, or germ theory. It doesn’t make any of those theories less valid. It just means there are limits to what they actually explain.

    “Why is it that what can observe results in variations on a theme, never a new theme? We have a bird. We see its beak gets longer, its color darker, its legs shorter. We never see something else happen.”

    Sure we do. It just happens so slowly it can only be seen in the fossil record. We’ve found fossils showing a clear progression from fish to amphibians to reptiles to birds.

    “We never see a drosophila became a repile, a bird, a spider, another species of fruit fly, not matter how many billions and billions of them we’ve irradiated and bred for how many generations.”

    Actually, we have see speciation occur. Multiple times. In the lab and in the wild. We haven’t seen 100 million years of evolution occur within the lifetime of an individual scientist, which seems to be what you expect to happen, but we’ve seen new species emerge.

  • “It’s a theory that explains something specific, the diversity of life on Earth and how it came about.”

    It is a theory to explain something, parts of which have been substantiated.

    “Sure we do. It just happens so slowly it can only be seen in the fossil record. We’ve found fossils showing a clear progression from fish to amphibians to reptiles to birds.”

    Actually we don’t.

    We see discrete jumps, breaks, in the fossil record.

    If it were occurring as the theory posits, we’d be seeing intermediate progression.

    We see a fish. We see an amphibian. We see a reptile. We see a bird. We don’t see a fishbian.

    “Actually, we have see speciation occur.”

    Fill us in with details.

    “We haven’t seen 100 million years of evolution occur within the lifetime of an individual scientist, which seems to be what you expect to happen, but we’ve seen new species emerge.”

    Yes, yes, we know. We can’t see it but if wait around 100 million years we would.

    Of course there is essentially nothing in the fossil record showing these intermediate forms, and we have never seen increasing complexity as the result of random mutations.

  • “If it were occurring as the theory posits, we’d be seeing intermediate progression. We see a fish. We see an amphibian. We see a reptile. We see a bird. We don’t see a fishbian.”

    We absolutely see that. There are multiple intermediate fossils between fish and amphibians. There was Eusthenopteron, a lobed-fined fish with bones in the fins corresponding to radius, ulna, humerus, and other bones. There’s Panderichthys, which had digits in its fins but still didn’t have proper legs. Then Tiktaalik, which had more developed limbs but still wouldn’t have been able to move around long out of water. Acanthostega came next but was poorly adapted to walk on land so it probably only did so for short periods. Then Ichthyostega, with even more developed limbs and greater capacity for movement on land. And this list is still glossing over other intermediates.

    These intermediates are all predicted by evolution. These forms were predicted well before they were actually found. You, like most creationists, seriously underestimate the number of transitional fossils there are out there. They are abundant.

  • Actually we don’t see it.

    Eusthenopteron was a fish, not an amphibian, in fact a sarcopterygian ( lobe-finned fish) related to the coelacanths, which are still here with us.

    Yes, some of ambitious artists in the employ of advocates of evolution drew it emerging onto land, however paleontologists now widely agree that it was a strictly aquatic animal. So those drawings went into the trash with the reptilian cold-blooded dinosaurs and other artifacts of overly-ambitious evolution theorists.

    We see amphibians, we see fish. The distinctions between the kingdoms are clear.

    While the artwork tries to portray these as progressions:

    https://thumbs-prod.si-cdn.com/HuiLxuigtPFl_o6FRVg8pVFcL4g=/800×600/filters:no_upscale%28%29/https://public-media.smithsonianmag.com/filer/consequences-of-evolution-631.jpg

    each of these is a distinct species.

    We can imagine that there were progressions, but imagining is not proof. Adding millions or billions of years doesn’t constitute a proof.

    We also do not see increased complexity.

    We see variations on a theme.

    Progressive creationism fits the data just as well as evolutionary theory.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Progressive_creationism

  • Progressive creationism? Wow that’s a whole new level of stupid. It’s about as logical as claiming the universe was created last week and that all evidence to the contrary was planted there by someone. I mean, that’s essentially what you are saying, just on a different time scale. Either way, you’re arguing in favor of a deity who made either an absurd number of fossils or an absurd number of lifeforms for no reason.

  • What’s a whole new level of stupid is reading you presenting unproven suppositions as facts and carping at something you’re not even familiar with (e.g. progressive creationism does NOT claim the universe was created last week).

    Basically you have a religion-like faith that all these pesky little holes in the theory are properly covered up by a Carl Sagan-like “millions and millions of years” despite the fact that in my own lifetime theory-changing new discoveries have happened dozens of times.

    There is a difference between a fact and an attitude, and you’re sort on the former and replete with the second.

  • Please, progressive creationism isn’t even remotely scientific. It’s a bigger joke than intelligent design. That’s the real religion here. You don’t even know what evidence is, let alone how scientific theories are tested. And unless you’re two centuries old, you haven’t seen anything worth calling a Theory change. Given how far behind the times your thinking is, I suppose I should preclude that possiblity.

  • You are correct.

    Creationism of any kind is not scientific.

    That does not mean it is not true or a fact.

    It simply means that hypothesis testing is not possible.

    On the other hand, your scientific theory has a number of serious gaps in it, which you paper over with “millions and millions of years” or by claiming that the necessaries for it – such as the origin of life – are “outside the theory”.

    Apparently, then, you belief it on faith.

    That makes you and the progressive creationist even.

  • Evolution is testable and has been proven time and time again. Just because you wouldn’t understand the evidence if it bit you on the rear doesn’t change that fact. Pretend there are gaps all you want, but the fact is you literally don’t have the scientific understanding to tell what a fact is.

  • Parts of it are testable.

    Increasing complexity, for example, is not testable and has never been demonstrated.

    The gaps are real, not pretend.

    I certainly have both logical and scientific knowledge to point out that you’re operating on faith for about 80% of what you’re trying to portray as fact.

  • A hypothesis that can not be tested can not just be declared true. It cannot also be declared false. This leaves you with faith, you can pretend you know it is true. This is the same problem as stating that the existence of God is a true fact.

  • You must have forgotten that I explained to you that when talking about science you must use the scientific definition of theory. This is also true of the definitions of hypothesis and science. Your entire entry above is just trash.

  • That has even less substance than your prior posts about evolution, a subject you clearly are spectacularly ignorant of.

  • I thought Ridicule was your middle name and those marks all over you were from folks touching you with 10 foot poles.

  • As I pointed out to you, the word “theory” has a perfectly good English definition.

    However, your supposed “scientific definition of theory”, as you state it, equates a supposition with a fact.

    Checking a couple of standard texts that appears to be contrary to the scientific definition, as I have pointed out, which makes your comments to which I am respond just trash.

  • The beginning of Genesis contains two different creation stories. The first one says that the world was created in six days; the second one talks about the day of creation. The first one says the animals were created before the humans; the second one says that the man was created first, then the animals and then the woman.

    These two stories can be interpreted in many ways. However, taking them literally is not credible, even for many Christians.

  • I can’t tell whether you are really unable to understand, or this is just a game you are playing. I’m still going to respond as your “trash” may confuse others.

    The definition of English words can vary depending on which field they are being used in. Disciplines such as philosophy, theology, psychiatry, medicine, sociology and science etc. have specific meanings for certain words within these fields.

    In science the words theory and hypothesis are used in describing the scientific method and are used in that sense in science.

    This description of the scientific method is from the physics department at the University of California, Riverside:

    The scientific method is the best way yet discovered for winnowing the truth from lies and delusion. The simple version looks something like this:

    1. Observe some aspect of the universe.
    2. Invent a tentative description, called a hypothesis, that is consistent with what you have observed.
    3. Use the hypothesis to make predictions.
    4. Test those predictions by experiments or further observations and modify the hypothesis in the light of your results.
    5. Repeat steps 3 and 4 until there are no discrepancies between theory and experiment and/or observation.
    When consistency is obtained the hypothesis becomes a theory and provides a coherent set of propositions which explain a class of phenomena. A theory is then a framework within which observations are explained and predictions are made.

    There are many types of “pseudo-scientific” theories which wrap themselves in a mantle of apparent experimental evidence but that, when examined closely, are nothing but statements of faith. The argument [*], cited by some creationists, that science is just another kind of faith is a philosophic stance which ignores the trans-cultural nature of science. Science’s theory of gravity explains why both creationists and scientists don’t float off the earth. All you have to do is jump to verify this theory – no leap of faith required.

    These excerpts are taken from this page:

    http://physics.ucr.edu/~wudka/Physics7/Notes_www/node6.html

  • No theory of any kind can “trump” a fact, not is it anything but a supposition until proven.

    Among the theories we’ve had in my own lifetime are:

    – dinosaurs were cold-blooded

    – we were heading for an ice age

    Until is is proven it is “scientific” – a hypothesis to be proven by the scientific method.

    After it is proven it becomes a fact – science.

    As an advocate of scientism you cannot tell the difference.

    Nor does the fact that is not scientific make it untrue.

    Philosophy, for example, precedes science and is a basic method of gaining knowledge.

    Btw, gravity explains why we don’t float off the earth independent of any theories about gravity.

  • Bob, as I have repeatedly tried to explain to you, A theory is defined in science as a hypothesis that has been exhaustively and successfully tested. We never know if it is a fact as it could at anytime be retested and fail.

    What you are calling theories in your lifetime were scientific hypothesis.

    Two hypothesis that are now theories are Evolution and Human induced Global Warming. The religious can deny them, but can only back this denial with the power of their God.

    Since you like to use the general dictionary definitions of hypothesis and theory, you need to read what I, and scientists, call them as the meaning we intend. You are not authorized to redefine these terms for science.

    “The Only Thing I Know For Sure Is That I Know Nothing At All, For Sure”
    ― Socrates

    That is true both for philosophy and science. Only religion, falsely in my opinion, claims it knows the truth.

    With the scientific method we learn about reality through observation and experiment. Since the Christian Creator God is all powerful, those who accept him can only learn from scripture or revelation. Both are undeniable and so testing is futile. If that is where you are coming from you have no need for the scientific method.

  • Bob, as I have repeatedly tried to explain to you,

    “a theory is defined in science as a hypothesis that has been exhaustively and successfully tested”

    “the United States is a secular country”

    “various things approved by the SCOTUS are violations of the so called ‘separation of church and state’”

    and on and on, ad infinitum, ad nauseum.

    “Two hypothesis that are now theories are Evolution and Human induced Global Warming.”

    Working theories based on unproven suppositions.

    Oddly science relies on unproven assumptions which are made a priori to beginning any science. For example, we assume that there is an actual reality outside ourselves were are observing.

    What you appear to be espousing is “scientism”:

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Scientism

    which is an ideology of science.

    1- The improper usage of science or scientific claims (a) where science might not apply, (b) such as when the topic is perceived as beyond the scope of scientific inquiry, and in contexts where there is insufficient empirical evidence to justify a scientific conclusion. It includes an excessive deference to the claims of scientists or an uncritical eagerness to accept any result described as scientific.

    2 – “The belief that the methods of natural science, or the categories and things recognized in natural science, form the only proper elements in any philosophical or other inquiry”, or that “science, and only science, describes the world as it is in itself, independent of perspective” with a concomitant “elimination of the psychological [and spiritual] dimensions of experience”.

    Tom Sorell provides this definition: “Scientism is a matter of putting too high a value on natural science in comparison with other branches of learning or culture.” Philosophers such as Alexander Rosenberg have also adopted “scientism” as a name for the view that science is the only reliable source of knowledge.

    At the hard science level – experimentally proven real data – what you call Evolutionary Theory is reasonably solid at the microevolutionary level. But progressive creationism accepts that.

    It’s the big unprovens that make your faith exactly the same as the faith of a Breton housewife in Divine Providence.

    But if it makes happy, like believe there is a plot to undermine the First Amendment makes you happy, be happy.

  • I was trying to help you understand the meaning of key words in science. I understand that philosophies like scientism and positivism exist. They may describe phenomenon that are true. One example that I disagree with is in neuroscience. Many posit that consciousness is purely a function of the brain. Without the scientific method those “truths” can not or have not been tested. In otherwords they are untested suppositions. Evolution and Global Warming due to human activity are not “Working theories based on unproven suppositions”. They are theories tested by the scientific method to describe reality as well as possible. Despite many attempts by competent scientists to overturn them they are still the best explanations of our present reality.

    You are obviously not qualified to critique science. Enjoy you fantasy-land.

  • No, Bob, you’re not trying help me understand anything at all.

    You have quasi-reality in which the First Amendment includes words that are not in it, in which science is whatever you happen to believe, in which military-type weapons are bad unless you happen to own them, and on and on.

    I have no problem if is your substitute for a, or actual, religion, but your belief in these things does not make them facts, speaking of course of fantasy lands.

  • Says the Christian homophobe who thinks that gay couples don’t deserve the same marriage rights as straight couples. How unscientific of you.

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