Politics, God and Religion vs. Science


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Social climber
An Oil Field
Dec 22, 2012 - 10:46pm PT
'jus preachin?
Bruce Kay

Gym climber
Dec 22, 2012 - 11:23pm PT
Base - thanks for digging up that volcanic gas ejecta stuff. We were talking about that earlier and I had forgotten what was relevant.

Did you see what I posted on the fracking thread?

Hebrews 1:3
Dec 23, 2012 - 01:00pm PT
The Super Alpha and Omega Topo of Life...

photo not found
Missing photo ID#280099

Revelation 1:8 “I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End,” says the Lord, “who is and who was and who is to come, the Almighty.”

Revelation 22:12 “And behold, I am coming quickly, and My reward is with Me, to give to every one according to his work. 13 I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End, the First and the Last.”

14 Blessed are those who do His commandments, that they may have the right to the tree of life, and may enter through the gates into the city. 15 But outside are dogs and sorcerers and sexually immoral and murderers and idolaters, and whoever loves and practices a lie.

16 “I, Jesus, have sent My angel to testify to you these things in the churches. I am the Root and the Offspring of David, the Bright and Morning Star.”

17 And the Spirit and the bride say, “Come!” And let him who hears say, “Come!” And let him who thirsts come. Whoever desires, let him take the water of life freely.

Social climber
An Oil Field
Dec 23, 2012 - 06:26pm PT
The more religious folks need to get over the fact that the Earth isn't 6000 years old. It's not. The Bible isn't a science textbook. When it was written, the known world was a 1000 mile radius from Jerusalem, if that.

They didn't know that the Earth orbited the Sun. I don't believe that there are any biblical claims otherwise, but that is what led to Galileo dying while under a life sentence for saying otherwise. The Catholic Church assumed otherwise and Galileo got in big trouble for pointing the first telescope towards the planets and stars.

They didn't know that the planets are any different from stars and they didn't know that the Sun was a star.

They didn't know that the Earth was round.

They didn't know that the atmosphere was quite thin.

They didn't know:







They didn't know enough about the natural, physical, world, to fill a small cup. Yes they knew a lot about spiritual and religious matters, but they knew basically nothing about the physical world.

Because of this, the Bible has proven to be very poorly written book in terms of physical knowledge of the natural universe. That is a fact. An unfortunate fact for biblical literalists.

There are many claims in the old testament that simply did not happen. We know this with an extremely high level of certainty. Yes, it would all be much nicer and cleaner if the universe and all that we know about it happened to fit the old testament fables, but hey, they don't. To claim otherwise you must shut your eyes to reality. Nothing fits the young earth created in 6 days model. NOTHING.

If you can get over that, fine.

Simply adjust your view a little. Not much. There is still an infinite amount of thought that you can have about spiritual or supernatural belief.

It is just the way that the universe is. Even 150 years ago, much of the most basic facts about the physical universe was unknown. All you have to do is admit that a telescope works, a microscope works, mathematics works, physics works, chemistry works, biology works. In only 100 years, the data regarding 1900's era problems is now understood.

Even the ancients knew about breeding animals for improved traits. They didn't know about Mendel-era simple genetics, and nobody knew about DNA until quite recently, but the old farts understood some basic genetics.

Christians are quite happy to use science to convict murderers and send them to be executed on that scientific knowledge. They are quite happy to use radioactive elements to create devices of unbelievable destruction. It is great when it is convenient and they don't want to know the details.

They don't believe in evolution, but the same DNA that is used to convict and execute people is fine. They don't believe that the half life of Plutonium 239 has a half life of 24,000 years, but are quite willing to vote for a strong defense using all of this technology. Technology that actually conflicts with old testament tales if you want to understand radioactive materials and how the work.

They are all quite willing to use gasoline, which is discovered by geologists and is known to come from processes involving millions to a couple of million years old. If you walked into any geoscience division of any oil company and tried to find oil and gas based on the 6000 year old model, you will fail. Period. That is why preachers aren't a part of the exploration division of petroleum companies. They would probably be great to have lunch with, or take care of your kids, but they would get fired. Period.

So, modern Jews, Christians, and Muslims have the same creation story, because all three religions trace back to the sons of Abraham. All other religions have differing origin stories of their own.

Get over it. Those who wrote the old testament just didn't know any of this at the time, and it is reflected in their writings.

There are all kinds of odd rules in the Old Testament that are basically ignored today. What cloth to wear on this day, what fruit is OK, etc.

I do go along with the Pork thing. If you have ever actually seen pig sh#t, which is as sticky as tar and as foul as Deuce's painters pants in 1986, and that pigs roll around in their fecies, I admit that they are a filthy animal. So that is common sense, no matter how good bacon tastes.

There is also the matter of the numerous gospels which were not included in the Bible. Who decided that? Some of them are really weird, so I assume that what was included was done so by a committee of men, no matter what claim that it isn't.

I am not saying that you should all become atheists. I am not cruel like that. Be happy and live the life of whatever faith you want as long as it doesn't hurt people. Science does not really have anything to say about faith. It is supernatural, meaning that it can't be observed by physical means. It doesn't mean that we can't find Heaven in a telescope, therefore it doesn't exist, it just means that a few details regarding literal faith at some part diverges from the discoveries of the study of the natural universe.

Richard Dawkins is on his own crusade to destroy religion, and that is not a part of the main stream scientific menu. He has stepped out of his work as a biologist and become involved in spiritual matters. In that respect, I don't really like his newer books. I went to a talk of his once, and he spent 75% of it on making fun of religion. The tiny part of science discussed was pitiful. I thought it was a total waste of my time.

I have very devout Christian friends. One of my old climbing buddies is a politically right wing pastor, but he is still a good guy and we share stories of the old days. I had a long phone discussion with him a couple of days ago.

There is no point to go bursting spiritual balloons, unless they are dangerous, like Jim Jones, or if a President believes it is time for Armageddon and starts a nuclear war to nudge things along.

Also, by now it is very obvious that science is limited to the physical world. Religoun is devoted to the spiritual world, and I make no claims that it is all baloney, mainly because I don't care.

I only care when religion invades the classroom. Notably omitting evolution from biology classes in secondary schools. I now see people home school their kids to avoid this very kind of thing. They only know the fundamentalist version of the old testament.

Political leaders are as ignorant and biased against science as home schooled kids. They don't understand that the fossil record is a blatant example of evolution, even if the causes of adaptation and speciation are argued in scientific circles. We know it happened that way. When we snip a gene from a bacteria and splice it into insect resistant corn, we can see natural selection at work on a small time scale. Most species have far quicker reproduction rates than humans, so it is possible to study natural selection and evolution in progress with drug resistant bacteria and insect resistant adaptation to the BT corn.

If you want to live with blinders on, fine. If you want to ease up a little and accept a little basic science, you can get over parts of the old testament.

What frightens me is the super religious political leaders, such as Rick Santorum or Michelle Bachmann, and others who would be quite happy to take a black pen and ignore huge areas of human knowledge. I think that those people are irrational and dangerous to this country's position as a leader in science and technology and medicine. Other countries have no problem with this, and in half a generation will turn the country from a leader in research to a theocracy similar to the Islamic Republic of Iran.

What's next? Weekly executions in the local football stadium? Stonings of women who were raped while the rapist goes free? That list goes on and on.

I am optimistic. I get zero influence from the young earthers. It is never discussed in a geoscience division of an oil company, EVER.

That said, I know some really good geologists who are very active Christians. They just don't have a problem with the old testament's claims here and there.

The simple attacks on some parts of science on this thread and outside of it, in the real world, are kind of sad. The Catholics have accepted many modern scientific discoveries.

Just a theory. That is what really makes them look like children. They don't understand that some theories are extremely succesful.

But hey. If you can build a better bomb, help execute somebody, find the oil and copper deposits, discover amazing objects in the Universe, science is A-OK. This is a magnificent contradiction in doctrine.

Somebody brought up eugenics and the goals of the Nazis to create an improved race. This shows how knowledge can be used for destructive purposes. Most of the scientists who built the first atomic bomb signed a petition asking for it to not actually be used. Harry Truman decided otherwise, and Truman was one of the rare Presidents who didn't attend college.

Religion is fine in my book, as long as it is a theocratic and spiritual study. The study of theology is very interesting simply from a sociologic perspective.

But hey. Get over that 6000 year old Earth. Nothing shows that in the geologic record, and there is no conspiracy saying otherwise. We know about the life spans of stars. We can measure the cosmic microwave background radiation and understand the creation of the universe.

There is basically nothing in the study of the universe that fits the 6000 year model. Period.

And yep. This craziness is associated with a particular form of religion. Fundamentalist religion. They find a comfortable home in the far right political movements, and when we get even a hint of a theocracy we are toast.

Hebrews 1:3
Dec 23, 2012 - 06:49pm PT
That's like throwing out the baby (Jesus), and keeping the bath water!

Matthew 16:26 What good will it be for someone to gain the whole world, yet forfeit their soul? Or what can anyone give in exchange for their soul?

Social climber
An Oil Field
Dec 23, 2012 - 07:10pm PT
How? I went to great pains NOT to say that. I believe in religious freedom. I also agree in freedom FROM religion.

The world has its share of theocracies. Look at them. Look at the witch trials, who killed a ton of people in the old world. They happened on a small scale in Salem, MA, but they still happened, and the court and sentencer was the church.

So it kind of goes both ways.
High Fructose Corn Spirit

Gym climber
-A race of corn eaters
Dec 23, 2012 - 07:34pm PT
I went to great pains NOT to say that. I believe...

You are the shade under which the Go-Bs take refuge.

The predicaments we are in concern a lot more than the age of our planet - the claim that the earth is 6,000 years old is just the tip of the iceberg.

Solutions, if they come at all, will probably have to await another age or era.

Hebrews 1:3
Dec 23, 2012 - 07:37pm PT
I believe in religious freedom. I also agree in freedom FROM religion.

So it kind of goes both ways?

Matthew 12:30 “Whoever is not with me is against me, and whoever does not gather with me scatters. 31 And so I tell you, every kind of sin and slander can be forgiven, but blasphemy against the Spirit will not be forgiven. 32 Anyone who speaks a word against the Son of Man will be forgiven, but anyone who speaks against the Holy Spirit will not be forgiven, either in this age or in the age to come.

Jesus does make us choose!

Social climber
An Oil Field
Dec 23, 2012 - 07:39pm PT
Yeah HFCS,

I have a problem being mean. Go-B seems like a good guy. Just doing his job on saving souls.

I think it is interesting that BlueBlocker joined this discussion and went for weeks asking short questions with a nice thought on the signature. He seemed like he was OK for an intelligent discussion.

Then look above. He just exploded.
High Fructose Corn Spirit

Gym climber
-A race of corn eaters
Dec 23, 2012 - 08:04pm PT
Meanness has nothing to do with it.

I've said it before, for the heck of it, I'll say it again...

It should be go-B's responsiblity to acquire something of a science edu. It's just a basic modern standard that makes sense - or it should make sense - to which he ought to hold himself. After all, he's a citizen of modern civilization, and he's enjoyed the fruits of science to no end. And with these fruits (or else the freedoms these fruits provide) ought to come responsibilities.

Come responsibilities.

The filling in the blanks and connecting the dots are really this simple.

Hebrews 1:3
Dec 23, 2012 - 08:14pm PT
I know how to balance my check book and not spent what I don't have!
I know to use what God gives us through science!
I also know that MY sins are forgiven through what Jesus did on the cross, thank you very much!

Social climber
An Oil Field
Dec 23, 2012 - 08:17pm PT
Nope. They don't want to know. That's why they are always trying to get intelligent design into the classroom. That's why they are so offended that they home school their kids.

A single freshman biology course.

A single freshman astronomy course.

A single freshman geology course.

Those easy classes will help you to at least understand science. I tell ya, HFCS, it isn't just Christians, it is everybody. Journalists talking about anything technical drives me batty. They never get it right.

That is why a majority of Americans don't know squat about squat. We are becoming a nation of dunces. Most other nations will pay tuition on engineering and certain science college. It is vital to keep them competitive in this tech driven world. We are falling way behind.

Go-B can balance his checkbook: Grade school arithmetic.

I guess he knows how to use an IPhone. I also bet that he doesn't realize that the GPS feature relies heavily on relativity.

Hebrews 1:3
Dec 23, 2012 - 08:29pm PT
Go-B can balance his checkbook: Grade school arithmetic.

That's why I trim trees! lol

Social climber
joshua tree
Dec 23, 2012 - 08:39pm PT
Base, Thanks for the 1000 words!

i can remember the Mt StHelans eruption like it was yesterday. i was glued
to the TV for days. All the trees that got mowed down in the same direction
The HUGE plume rising with no wind. I think it was the second or third day
on the front page of the newspaper. they had a full page pic of the mountain and plume with aiplanes flying through it. The main story was that
scientist where flying through taking samples.They estimated that the pollutants from that one eruption was 60,000 times that of mankind.i'm very
sure about the number,(because we talked alot about it), but i may be wrong about the pollutant? Sorry if i am.. orelse the scientist were wrong?

Anyway, you gotta have more faith to believe in evolution than i do to believe in God. Seriously! theres nothing even close to "Proof". Did you read what i posted above? Isn't that more truth than what you know about
Taking God out of the class room is the WORST thing this country ever did!
Teaching children about God and creation, and an eternal plan constructed
on morales of Goodness and Love. Whats wrong with that?
Compared to teaching them we're here by "happenstance" to procreate, and only the strong survive,so you gotta be stronger and bettr than your nieghbor and when we're dead we're done. What good does that instill in a young mind? Then when they turn 12 you want to hand them condoms. Or allow them to get an abortion without notifying thier parents. THIS seems pretty anti-evolution doesn't it? Hypocritical to the Max!! Seems like the true
evolutionist would want everyone pregnant.

Sincerely Base, You and i will never know exactly the age of the earth.
just like nobody before us. You know why? cause it DOESN'T matter! What difference would it make in your life? Just IF, GOD created our bodys.
Dont you think He could create the earth in "6 days"? Which would be harder? i know this arguement isn't going to sway you. And i'm not here to
argue! But i really honestly want you to know MY most vivid Truth is
my personal spiritual relationship with Jesus Christ. And it wasn't brought
about because i've spent my life being a good person.. i spent most of it being bad. i suffered greatly and was driven to my knees. from reading
the Bible and learning about Jesus. He picked me up, and wrapped His arms around me and calls me Brother! His mercy is so sweet! i diserve NOTHING,
yet He daily guides my life and answers my prayers.Today i am Happier,
more content,and have more understanding in life than in my prior 48yrs
of life all added up! This is what He did for me. But He'll meet each person at thier needs. Please dont stumble on the first book,or even
the old testament. Read the new testament and ask Jesus to answer your
questions. He WILL

Dec 23, 2012 - 08:59pm PT
Today i am Happier,
more content,and have more understanding in life than in my prior 48yrs
of life all added up!

This is good. This is something religion can do for some people. No one can take this away.

go-B is an example to us all. He sticks with his position (whatever that is) without attacking people who disagree with him. I admire his easy-going manner. If religion is a part of who he is then good for religion.

Religion is not bad unless it gets help from people trying to force it on other people.
Donald Thompson

Trad climber
Los Angeles,CA
Dec 23, 2012 - 10:29pm PT
This is good. This is something religion can do for some people. No one can take this away.

I agree with this wholeheartedly. And the other elements in your post MHz .

Trad climber
Portland, Oregon
Dec 24, 2012 - 02:42am PT
I already posted repeatable proof of evolution last month:

Repeatable evolutionary adaptation has been a documented reality for a couple of years now:


Lenski can repeat the ecoli adaptation to citric acid by pulling a previous generation of the strain from the freezer and replaying the adaptation. It's a rock-solid proof of evolutionary adaptation.

And if god created our bodies, don't you think it was a bit odd to make us a composite organism which is only on tenth human?
High Fructose Corn Spirit

Gym climber
-A race of corn eaters
Dec 24, 2012 - 07:09am PT
Speaking of good examples...

MHz's post (not to mention Go-B's, others) is a good example, I think, how each of us brings different playbooks (of understanding, agenda, strategy, etc.) and attitudes to these trials of life. Another is the current gun policy debate that is under way everywhere, even here on this site. It would be fun to live a thousand years just to see how some of these things sorted out.

-Especially after a choice symphony of darwinian, malthusian, hobbesian pressures has been orchestrated many times over the course of generations under the dictates of Mother Nature.

What fugues and spectacles to come, I can only imagine.

Social climber
An Oil Field
Dec 24, 2012 - 08:04am PT
HFCS makes a good point. If you look at what was not understood only 100 years ago, and try to imagine what will be understood 100 years from now, it is amazing to contemplate.

Many theories will probably end up heavily modified or tossed out for good.

DNA and materials science are going to really be fascinating.

On the other hand, there will be great famines and disease. Our population growth is out of control, and in 100 years it will be impossible to feed everyone. Natural resources will become scarce. The rich will wall themselves off from the poor mobs, and everyone will live in Canada or Siberia because the low latitudes will either be desert or extremely hot tropics.

BB, I really would enjoy taking you around for a few weeks. I would just show you things. Religion doesn't bug me because most of my friends are practicing Christians. The Earth is a fascinating place, and I can show you river deltas 12,000 feet beneath a wheat field, or ancient talus fields in the roots of a 250 million year old mountain range. I can dig up some 3-D seismic showing Morrowan river channels, 350 million years old. We know with great confidence the age of rocks. There is still haggling over the exact relationships of some rocks, but the big picture is done. Plate tectonics is a tremendous theory. It explains soooo much.

I had a writer tag along with me for a month once. He tagged along with me pretty much all day every day. He thought it was pretty cool. I gave him a basic geology class for free. It did include a fair amount of advanced stuff.

Social climber
An Oil Field
Dec 24, 2012 - 08:07am PT
Do I need to drag out and post the pretty colored maps of the Ordovician impact feature in NW Oklahoma again? I can post a few simple maps. It is uber cool. It is buried under 9000 feet of rock.

Unless you are a petroleum geologist, except in very rare instances, you won't know jack about the subsurface. Other geologists don't even know how oil accumulates, just as I have forgotten the only class I took on ore deposits. Ammon's gal Kait is a mining geologist. Geology is a vast topic. The planet is a big topic.

Anyway, what a subsurface geologist knows, and the tools that he uses, are really only understood well by petroleum geologists...as a broad rule. The rock record is absolutely amazing. Even a grain of sand can tell a tremendous story if you pull out all of the lab methods, but the stratigraphy of rocks tells a story that you would not believe. It is an amazing story, and the basics aren't too difficult to understand.

That is what I do. My bag is stratigraphy and depositional environments. Right now I am working a Pennsylvanian delta sequence that extends for hundreds of miles. It only outcrops in a few places up on the uplifts. There are many rock units that don't outcrop anywhere at all. They are totally buried.

I also just looked at two properties in a Devonian shale gas play. They are a little too deep and thermally overmature.

It ain't rocket science, but it is close. The amount of money spent on economic geology, particularly petroleum geology, is massive. A good sized company might have a billion dollar geoscience division.

A billion dollars. A few hundred people. Looking at the subsurface geology of the entire world. So we know a lot. In 100 years we will know far more.

What caused all of those mass extinctions? There are new theories popping up and others are being modified by new information, but there is so much that we don't know about the planet's history.
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