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Amused Muse

Inspiring dissent and debate and the love of dissonance

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Location: Surreality, Have Fun Will Travel, Past Midnight before a Workday

Master's Degree holder, telecommuting from the hot tub, proud Darwinian Dawkobot, and pirate librarian belly-dancer bohemian secret agent scribe on a mission to rescue bloggers from the wholesome clutches of the pious backstabbing girl fridays of the world.



Thursday, September 21, 2006

Open Thread

A commentary in three acts!

Okay, friends, hash it out--just no shouting, please, or too much name-calling, 'cause I'm not moderating you guys. I'm as maternal as a stone, and not much of a baby-sitter, but I've hosted some great dusk-to-dawn arguments in my day.

And anybody else out there--jump in!

49 Comments:

Blogger JanieBelle said...

C'mon People! Amuse the Muse, here!

Ok, I'll start.

Hmmm... let's pick something to talk about that won't knot anyone's thong TOO much...

That leaves out religion and politics.

How 'bout sex? Everyone can agree that sex is good, right?

"What's your favorite sexual position?"

How's that?

September 22, 2006 6:22 AM  
Blogger Corporal Kate said...

All of the above.

September 22, 2006 6:23 AM  
Blogger Kristine said...

I prefer IDiots to be on their backs.

(Well, I think that we’ve chased CE away; you were right about having to de-fun fun for fundies, Dan.)

Okay, I’ll start off the thread with this, the Richard Dawkins Foundation for Reason & Science.

The Idiots at UD make fun of Dawkins a lot, impuning his masculinity and such. [eye-roll] I’m not going to comment too much on this, but I have shown Dawkins’ photo to a co-worker, when I was bragging to her about my chance to see Root of All Evil? for my birthday. I admit that the compliment “whoof” was used, and my co-worker got all giddy (“He’s cute!”). She just turned fifty, so we’re both going through a mid-life crisis, I guess.

For the record, I think Lalla Ward is one of the most beautiful women in the world. I worship her.

September 22, 2006 10:18 AM  
Anonymous ConcernedEngineer said...

Continuing from "The West is Doomed"...

First of all, I have no problem with the sheep metaphor. It is very biblical. It is the reality of the situation.

Psalm 23
"The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want. He makes me lie down in green pastures; he leads be beside quiet waters; he restores my soul. He guides me in the paths of righteousness for his name's sake. Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I fear no evil, for you are with me. Your rod and staff, they comfort me. You prepare a table for me in the presence of my enemies. You annoint my head with oil, my cup overflows. Surely goodness and love will follow me all the days of my life, and I will dwell in the house of the Lord forver."


I'll also say Janiebelle, for all our differences, and for all that was said in your blog, I don't hate you. I pray that God would open your eyes and draw you to Himself.

He is Sovereign over your life and your salvation. He is bigger than you. If He so chooses, He will save you. You won't be able to resist Him if He decides to draw you to Himself.

On the other hand, you won't be able or willing to accept Him if He decides not to soften your heart.

You are totally dependent on Him - for your next breath and for your eternal salvation. He is in total control. If He calls you, He will justify you. If He justifies you, He will sanctify you. If He sanctifies you, He will glorify you. If He is for you, then no one can be against you.

Not even your own self.

That is also why He laughs at you. It is not a malicious laugh. It is the laughter of one of supreme confidence hearing and seeing someone like you live and act and think as if you are not totally and completely dependent on Him. The irony amuses Him. That's why He laughs.

Its like a little calico kitten defying the most majestic and powerful lion. The lion is amused by the irony.

Kristine,

Thanks for hosting. And thanks for being friendly. And by the way, I have no problem with cyber hugs and kisses - as long as it is completely non-sexual. In real life, I have no problems with hugs. Kisses - well - usually that is for family and close family friends - on the cheek.

So, I'm certainly fine with it.

More seiously...

Kristine,

You are saying that if a husband submits to a woman and agrees to her wishes to make a big decision, and if it turns out to be the wrong decision, then you think that the husband has a right to blame her for it?

Seriously, what kind of man does that? That's not a man. A grown human male is not necessarily a man. A man who would deflect responsibility like that onto his wife and then blame her for making the wrong decision is a weasel. Not a man.

See, a marriage is not two atomistic individuals in cohabitation. In a marriage, God takes two dissimilar human persons (a man and a woman) and unites them, and they become one. They are united together in a holy covenant. They belong to each other. They possess each other. I am my beloved's and she is mine. Their is mutual ownership, and it is beautiful.

So then, if a husband decides to submit to his wife and the wife makes a big decision - with the husband's full support and blessing and submission - then the husband has no right to blame the wife if the decision was the wrong decision. They acted together as one; so they share the blame as one.

By not having this attitude, then husbands and wives start undermining and disrespecting each other. They neglect the vows that they have made. They become separated in mind, in heart, and in spirit. By deflecting responsibility and then blaming the woman when the wrong decision is made, the husband is not only a weasel, but he is causing division and bitterness to come into the marriage.

So, it is perfectly reasonable and often wise for the husband to submit to the judgment and wisdom of the wife, and let her make decisions, but if he does that, then he must support her 100%. If it turns out to go wrong, then he has no right to complain about it.

Furthermore, especially for really big and important decisions (and even in more minor decisions), if the wife wants to go one direction and the husband wants to go the other direction, and they can't agree, and he can't agree to submit to her, because he knows she is wrong, then it would be immoral to give up his own good judgment and authority.

Have you ever seen 13 days? During the Cuban Missile Crisis, JFK had a bunch of "experts" telling him that it was his responsibility to order a military strike against the Russians who had nuclear missiles in Cuba. In the movie, JFK said, "There is something immoral about abandoning your own judgment." As you know, JFK did not go along with everyone who was calling for a military strike. And due to his good judgment, the United States and Russia were both saved from a nuclear war. If he, as the Commnader-in-Chief had abandoned his judgment at that moment, then it might be appropriate to blame the people who gave him bad advice, but it would be just as appropriate to blame the Commander-in-Chief for not being man enough to stand up for his convictions.

Again, this kind of situation rarely comes up in a marriage. That's why husbands are not to play the "wives, submit to your husbands" verse as a trump card. That's why husbands must go out of their way to love and honor and support and respect and protect their wives. But in that occasional moment where a decision needs to be made and neither are in agreement and time is of the essence, then, and only then, is it appropriate for a husband to make a decision that his wife is against. And then the wife of noble character will recognize that God has established authority the way He has, and so she will submit to her husband and pray that God gives Him wisdom and show full support for Him - the same way that JFK's advisors submitted to JFK's decision not to order a military strike. It is simply a matter of recognizing and submitting to the proper authorities.

And let us pray that the authorities are wise.

Otherwise, what is a couple to do when they come to a situation where a decision needs to be made and the two are in absolute disagreement? Get divorced? Become bitter against one another? Make the woman the final authority of the home?

None of these options are acceptable.

I certainly would advise all people who intend to marry to discuss these kinds of things together well before they ever marry. In a time where about 50% of marriages end in divorce, talking these things through and wrestling with these ideas before marriage is the wise thing to do.

Fools rush in.

Of course, if any authority gives an order that is blatantly immoral and anti-Biblical, then it is not only the right, but the duty, of the one under the authority to respectfully disobey that immoral command.

So if a parent commands his child to do drugs, the child has the right and the obligation to refuse the parent's command. If a military officer commands a soldier to torture a suspect terrorist, then that soldier has the duty and obligation to respectfully disobey that command. And if a husband makes some kind of decision that would cause anyone in the family to do something immoral, then the wife has the right and the obligation to respectfully disobey her husband.

Any husband who lords his authority over his wife is despicable.

September 22, 2006 10:49 AM  
Blogger Kristine said...

Hey, well, welcome back! And I don’t know if cyber hugs and kisses can be anything other than platonic. (I do think you agonize over this stuff a little much.)

I thought you were going to jump on me for saying that I “worship” Dawkins’ wife. Figure of speech. Some women get more lovely as they age—Lalla Ward, Catherine Deneuve, Fanny Ardant, Sophia Loren. They are ideals to me. (I really hope that I get to meet Ward too when I go on the cruise with Paul Kurtz and Dawkins to the Galapagos next year. She’s an atheist as well, everyone!)

They acted together as one; so they share the blame as one.

Okay, I see what you’re saying here: they both agreed, so they both made a boneheaded decision. Granted. (Although I don’t see it as him “submitting” to her, unless she’s forcing him to tag along as she goes shopping.) But still, women are individuals, and should be held responsible for their actions. I don’t like this “gallant” infantilization of women.

Again, this kind of situation rarely comes up in a marriage.

I disagree. Power issues come up in relationships all the time. Look, we just simply disagree totally on relationships. We could go around and around forever. I don’t believe in benevolent dictatorship or lordship or whatever—from husbands, wives, or gods.

That is also why He laughs at you.

Why doesn’t he come down here, then, and face me like a man? (Oh—right. He allegedly did, and I missed it all.) By the way, how do you know that “He’s laughing”? Do you have some evidence for that?

September 22, 2006 11:57 AM  
Anonymous ConcernedEngineer said...

On evidence...
Getting a revelation from God is evidence. However, to someone who has not received revelation, explaining revelation to them is like explaining the color blue to someone who has been blind from birth.

Scripture does say that "God mocks proud mockers, but gives grace to the humble." And I'm pretty sure there are places in Scripture where God laughs at people. I can't think of any right off the top of my head.

Philosophically though, it makes sense - per the Lion/calico metaphor.

"Power issues come up in relationships all the time."

This is true. Which is why both must lay down their pride and joyfully serve one another.

Essentially, this refusal to recognize and submit to authority is a power issue. You don't recognize and submit to anyone's lordship because you will not to do so.

See... people see Christians contending for authority and call it a hypocritical power grab. And, in many cases, they are right. But then in other cases, Christians contend for authority, because they have a strong sense that they have been given a mandate to establish justice and to take proper care of churches/communities/nations. In truth, these people are not power hungry. They would rather just stay at home in peace with their families. Who needs all the crap that you have to put up with from all the mean-spirited critics? Yet, out of a heart of servanthood and responsibility, some of them contend for that position of authority - only because they know that if they don't get it, then someone ambitious, reckless, irresponsible, and unjust person will get it.

In a rare moment, I quote Howard Dean, "Politics are too important to be left to politicians."

He's absolutely right - although hypocritical - for making that statement.

The problem is that we look on the outward appearance. We don't see the heart. So, when we see someone contending for power and authority, we don't know what their motivations are. Are they seeking to serve their fellow man, or are they seeking to lord their power and authority over their fellow man? It is hard to discern, and so I appreciate everyone's hesitancy to buy into my argument.

But I think, on the whole, in this nation, there is a prejudice against white Christian men. If you are a woman or a minority, then it is almost assumed that you should be better and given greater benefits than the dreaded white Christian man. The affirmative action crowd is really promoting reverse discrimination.

Promotion should be based on performance - not color or gender.

And I have digressed. But I suppose this will get a few responses.

September 22, 2006 12:20 PM  
Anonymous ConcernedEngineer said...

By the way, tonight Rosh Hashanah begins.

L'shanah tovah, everyone!

Shalom.

September 22, 2006 12:23 PM  
Blogger Dan said...

Oh, great, now he's pretending to be Jewish, too.

Pompous ass.

September 22, 2006 12:45 PM  
Blogger Kristine said...

Getting a revelation from God is evidence.

Nope, nope, nope. It's not testable; it's not repeatable. And religious believers contradict each other all over the place.

This is different from scientists, who disagree on points within a coherent theoretical framework.

September 22, 2006 1:08 PM  
Blogger Kristine said...

BTW, I have really bad timing. Afer much agonizing over an intelligent question to ask, I finally e-mailed Dawkins on a couple of things in Extended Phenotype just as he was gearing up for this book tour/foundation stuff. Crappy timing, Kristine. (I also asked the question that one of the commentors requested that I do.)

And nobody's even jumped on the fact that I managed to scrape up $$ to go to the Galapagos next year! [beams proudly] And then, maybe I'll declare personal bankruptcy (just kidding).

September 22, 2006 1:12 PM  
Anonymous ConcernedEngineer said...

I am not pretending to be Jewish. I am a Gentile celebrating a Jewish holiday for Christian reasons.

September 22, 2006 1:28 PM  
Anonymous ConcernedEngineer said...

"It's not testable; it's not repeatable."

Neither is macroevolution.

Seriously, think about how little Darwin knew about microbiology.

September 22, 2006 1:42 PM  
Blogger Dan said...

I am not pretending to be Jewish. I am a Gentile celebrating a Jewish holiday for Christian reasons.

In short, you're pretending to be Jewish. FFS, at least be honest with yourself about it, because you're sure as hell not fooling me.

"It's not testable; it's not repeatable."

Neither is macroevolution.


A stock creationist lie, of course.

See this, this, and this.

Seriously, think about how little Darwin knew about microbiology.

I'm sure this will come as a complete shock to you, but Charles Darwin has been dead for 124 years. So unless you can demonstrate that there have been no advances in microbiology in that timespan, I fail to see why you think that what Darwin did or didn't know is even remotely relevant.

September 22, 2006 2:13 PM  
Anonymous ConcernedEngineer said...

You fail to see how someone so ignorant of the field of microbiology could be doubted when he makes claims about evolution?

Well, if you want to see why I object to that, then check out the debate that Marco and I had on my blog.

Irreducible complexity plays a part. The gaps in the fossil record plays apart. (In the debate with Marco, he presented the gaps - a lack of evidence - as evidence of the feasibility of evolution). It seems like a lack of evidence should most often not be allowed to be considered evidence in the scientific community. The 2nd Law of Thermodynamics plays a part. The factory-like nature of the cell plays a part. The information contained in DNA plays a part.

If I had the capacity to live for hundreds and thousands of years, and I observed a pile of car parts in a junkyard for that time, I doubt very much that the parts would assemble themselves and form a car. Probably, the parts would decompose and rust. Probably the entropy of that junkyard would increase.

How are you so sure that an Intelligent Creator didn't put you together? You don't even need to deny evolution to admit that possibility. Is it possible that God may have used the process of evolution to arrange all the particles and atoms and molecules? Is this some kind of vendetta against God?

And dan, by the way. I have nothing against you. So, there's no need to be combative.

Also...
Are you saying that macroevolution is repeatable and testable?

September 22, 2006 2:25 PM  
Anonymous ConcernedEngineer said...

As for the reasons why I would celebrate Jewish Holidays...
Do you have any idea why I would do that? Furthermore, do you have any objection to me doing that? Are you some kind of "orthodox" Jew who finds it offensive that a Gentile who believes in Yeshua would celebrate Rosh Hashanah? What is it about me celebrating Rosh Hashanah that makes you angry?

September 22, 2006 2:28 PM  
Anonymous ConcernedEngineer said...

As for macroevolution...

As I use the word, it is not at the species level. That is worth pointing out. I am fully aware that species have evolved and that viruses keep mutating. I am denying the full implications of Darwin's ideas; not all of his ideas.

So, until scientists can create an experiment - and fully document it - where ape-like creatures evolve into human-like creatures - or something on a similar scale - then I think it is safe to say that macroevolution (as I am using the word, which is not at the species level) is not repeatable or testable.

Also, if macroevolution did occur, it seems to me that their shouldn't be such distinctions between all the different kinds of creatures we have. It seems to me like the differences between the kinds would be much more "analog." As it is, the distinctions between humans and chimpanzees seem extremely "digital."

If evolution happened - then there ought to be all kinds of creatures in between humans and chimpanzees. But, similar as we are with each other, there are extremely distinct differences between us.

Almost like our Designer used some of the same ideas when He made both of us - but that He made us much more intelligent and with a spirit and soul and with much more value. Certainly, He made us distinct from chimpanzees - "each according to their kinds."

Or does that make me a racist - or a "speciesist"?

September 22, 2006 2:41 PM  
Blogger Dan said...

You fail to see how someone so ignorant of the field of microbiology could be doubted when he makes claims about evolution?

It obviously doesn't stop you, so why should it stop Darwin? At least you have the advantage of NOT BEING DEAD.

Dan, the fact that you clearly don't have the slightest fucking clue what you're talking about doesn't give you free license to just make shit up as you go along.

So, until scientists can create an experiment - and fully document it - where ape-like creatures evolve into human-like creatures - or something on a similar scale - then I think it is safe to say that macroevolution (as I am using the word, which is not at the species level) is not repeatable or testable.

I see. You've redefine biological jargon to whatever you want it to mean, then you've declare that because it means what it actually means instead of what you want it to mean, so the whole thing is a sham.

And even when you rig the system, you're still lying out of your asshole. THE FOSSIL RECORD IS THE TEST FOR MACROEVOLUTION.

September 22, 2006 3:29 PM  
Blogger Kristine said...

Seriously, think about how little Darwin knew about microbiology.

Think how little Newton knew about the impossibility of "action at a distance" (which was the intelligent design of its day). Think how little Mendel knew about chromosomes! Think how little Einstein knew about modern quantum mechanics!

So what? It's been over a century since Darwin. He knew nothing about the mechanics of heredity, which was something Mendel discovered almost at the same time. They never knew each other. (Why didn't God bring them together, until of waiting until the 1930s for the great fusion of evolutionary theory with genetics?)

"each according to their kinds." Or does that make me a racist - or a "speciesist"?

It makes you a speciesist, yes. I think that's a label that creationists wear proudly, unfortunately.

Something to think about: forget the fact that the chimpanzee is our closest relative. We are the chimpanzees' closest relative as well, not the other apes. Of all of the primates, the closest species that the chimp has for a relative is Homo sapiens sapiens. Chimps and us are closer than certain different species of birds!

September 22, 2006 3:33 PM  
Blogger Kristine said...

You fail to see how someone so ignorant of the field of microbiology could be doubted when he makes claims about evolution?

ConcernedEngineer, people are not responsible for not knowing the future! Darwin admitted that he knew of no mechanism for heredity. Because there was none known at the time! Everyone else was ignorant about microbiology, too! The field didn't exist yet!

Chromosomes and DNA were not even discovered until this century. Do you condemn everyone else in the Bible for their similar ignorance about a subject that was discovered by an obscure little Austrian monk (Mendel) a few years after Darwin published his On the Origin of Species by Natural Selection?

Darwin's contribution was natural selection, not genetics. Mendel's contribution was genetics. He was ignorant of natural selection. Science is a self-correcting and dynamic mechanism of knowledge, not revelation handed down from on high. Of course Darwin was wrong about some things! So was Stephen Jay Gould. That's how it works.

That's how it's supposed to work.

Do you condemn Jesus for not having a palm pilot? At least the powers that you ascribe to him should have let him have one.

September 22, 2006 3:42 PM  
Blogger Dan said...

As for the reasons why I would celebrate Jewish Holidays...

Do you have any idea why I would do that?


Your motives for pretending to be Jewish are not my concern. But if your understanding of Judaism is anywhere near as benighted and ill-conceived as your understanding of evolution in particular and science in general, I think I have pretty good reason to be insulted by your clueless and paternalistic co-optation of my heritage.

I gather that it's a trendy thing for faux-Zionist evangelicals to do, these days, pretending to be Jewish, as if you're somehow going to trick God into ending the world sooner.

Frankly, I think He's just as fed up with you people as I am. Evangelicals are like that skeevy, creepy guy who lives only for hitting on pretty women in bars. I'm there trying to have an intelligent conversation with her, she's doing her best to ignore the skeevy guy, and all he's doing is staring at her tits and refusing to take the hint.

September 22, 2006 3:56 PM  
Blogger Dan said...

Do you condemn Jesus for not having a palm pilot? At least the powers that you ascribe to him should have let him have one.

I don't know about you, Kristine, but I'd pay good money for a "water-into-wine" software patch for my mobile phone.

September 22, 2006 3:58 PM  
Blogger Kristine said...

but I'd pay good money for a "water-into-wine" software patch for my mobile phone.

That would rock!

Myself, I would give people "eyes to see, and ears to hear" the facts about evolution. ;-)

I suppose that if someone had the ability to heal people, the neo-cons and the HMOs would take him/her out.

So that just leaves the Song of Solomon, then, in the OT. Eh, Janie and Kate?

September 22, 2006 4:27 PM  
Blogger JanieBelle said...

OOO we LOVE the Song of Solomon. One of the few passages in bubba's book that at least has literary merit.

It's all about doin' the deed. It's about love and lust and touching and feeling from inside and outside.

Now if it just had a DVD version, maybe starring someone reeeeaaaallllly HOT.

Like Kristine.

September 22, 2006 7:52 PM  
Blogger JanieBelle said...

Oh, and Dan. Let me know if you find that water-to-wine software patch. But only if it's a good year for red.

September 22, 2006 7:53 PM  
Blogger JanieBelle said...

"First of all, I have no problem with the sheep metaphor. It is very biblical. It is the reality of the situation. "

Amen, brother. You're a sheep, no doubt about it. 'Course it's not really something to be proud of. It's sorta like proclaiming on national TV that you're ignorant and grinning from ear to ear about it.

"I'll also say Janiebelle, for all our differences, and for all that was said in your blog, I don't hate you."

No, you just want me to burn forever in hell because you love me. That is so damned sweet of you. Thanks.

"On the other hand, you won't be able or willing to accept Him if He decides not to soften your heart."

So you're saying that I'm going to hell and it's god's fault. Well I don't know which, but one of you is a sadistic peckerhead.

"You are totally dependent on Him"

No, I'm dependent on no one. You, however, are apparently dependent on some really good mushrooms.

"If He so chooses, He will save you. You won't be able to resist Him if He decides to draw you to Himself."

Damn. A Calvanist. How did I miss that? I wasn't aware they were still around. I thought even the most looney fundies had given up the tulip quite some time back. So again, you're asserting that I'm going to hell where I will be tortured and tormented with unspeakable suffering for all time and beyond, AND IT'S ALL GOD'S FAULT.

Nice god you got there.

"Seriously, what kind of man does that? That's not a man."

What would you know of it? You can't cope with a woman who stands up to you, which is why you keep slinging all that submission horseshit. Masculinity is not your best talking point.

"Thanks for hosting. And thanks for being friendly. And by the way, I have no problem with cyber hugs and kisses - as long as it is completely non-sexual."

What is it with fundyism and sexual repression? Seriously, dude. Get laid once in a while.

"That is also why He laughs at you. It is not a malicious laugh. It is the laughter of one of supreme confidence hearing and seeing someone like you live and act and think as if you are not totally and completely dependent on Him. The irony amuses Him. That's why He laughs."

Kinda like how we all laugh at you at UDoJ, you mean?
"Furthermore, especially for really big and important decisions (and even in more minor decisions), if the wife wants to go one direction and the husband wants to go the other direction, and they can't agree, and he can't agree to submit to her, because he knows she is wrong, then it would be immoral to give up his own good judgment and authority."

Yeah, that pussy ought to beat her like a dog and tell her to shut the fuck up, right? She's just an idjit and can't think rationally anyway.

Bitch. Make me a sandwich.

"Again, this kind of situation rarely comes up in a marriage. "

ORLY????

"Otherwise, what is a couple to do when they come to a situation where a decision needs to be made and the two are in absolute disagreement? Get divorced? Become bitter against one another? Make the woman the final authority of the home?"

OH GOD FORFUCKINGBID!!! A BITCH in charge! How 'bout mutual respect and co-operation?

By the way, does your wife know that you think of her as a pet? I doubt it, or if she had any self respect at all she'd take your computer and bounce it off your head.

And then she'd throw your sorry ass out.

"And if a husband makes some kind of decision that would cause anyone in the family to do something immoral, then the wife has the right and the obligation to respectfully disobey her husband."

Does "Go Fuck Yourself, Asshole" count as respectful disobedience?

"On evidence...
Getting a revelation from God is evidence."


Ummmm.... no. A revelation from god is (leaving the issue of psychological disorders aside) faith. And faith is by definition not evidence in the scientific sense.

Go crack a dictionary.

After you finish the history book.

"However, to someone who has not received revelation, explaining revelation to them is like explaining the color blue to someone who has been blind from birth."

However, to someone who has never smoked crack...

"See... people see Christians contending for authority and call it a hypocritical power grab."

Yep. You can stop right there.

"But I think, on the whole, in this nation, there is a prejudice against white Christian men."

I KNEW IT! It was only a matter of time before the racism came out.

No, CE, there is no predjudice against white Christian men. I myself, however am bigotted against stupid theocrats. NOW you can start with the whiney martyr complex.

"You fail to see how someone so ignorant of the field of microbiology could be doubted when he makes claims about evolution?"

Well Kate and I fail to see how someone so ignorant of the field of microbiology, logic, religion, morality, archaeology, humor, reading comprehension, literature, sex, and history (someone such as yourself, perhaps) can make claims about anything at all.

Just so y'know.

And yet you continue.

"Irreducible complexity plays a part."

Let's ask Mike Behe about what he thinks about irreducible complexity. Oh wait, we already did. In court. Under oath. In Dover, this past December.

The gaps in the fossil record plays apart.

HAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!!

Yes, every single time we find another transitional fossil, that's two more gaps for god to hide in!

Oh my Intelligent Designer! Can you find any more thoroughly debunked and discredited notions to cut and paste? Holy crap, dude, you need to head on over to Uncommonly Dense. They'll fawn all over you there!

"Almost like our Designer used some of the same ideas when He made both of us ...blah blah blah..."

Just answer me this one question about your "Intelligent" Designer.

How is it that not only did he produce the most poorly engineered design conceivable, but he had all of eternity past to practice, and still put the playpen next to the toilet? If he worked for Dell, he'd be fired on day one! His design couldn't be much worse!

Ok, I actually have stuff to do, and pointing out each and every one of CE's idiocies would take a week.

Kisses

September 22, 2006 8:43 PM  
Blogger JanieBelle said...

I kill me.

September 22, 2006 8:44 PM  
Blogger Kristine said...

Let me just sum it up this way:

"Marriage is a great institution, but I'm not ready for an institution."
— Mae West

Another woman that I worship.

September 22, 2006 9:54 PM  
Blogger MarcoConley said...

CE,

1. The second law of thermodynamics really doesn't enter into it. Seriously. Trying to use that particular piece of science to prove life can't evolve is like trying to prove that a vacuum cleaner can't possibly work. It's just plain not true. If I plug my vacuum cleaner into the socket, it can do some amazing things that seem to deny physics unless I realize "Wait a minute-- there's a power source here-- this vacuum cleaner isn't a closed system". If I unplug the vacuum cleaner, then maybe the laws of thermodynamics have something relevant to say about the feasibility of vaccuum cleaners. If I turn off the sun, then maybe there's a way that thermodynamics can say something about the feasibility of life.

Seriously, though-- look that one up. It's a total red-herring. If evolution was impossible on earth, then refrigerators would be impossible on Earth. But.... I have a refrigerator. It's refrigerating as we speak.

What your trying to get at when you say the "2nd law" actually has nothing to do with the second law, but is more properly known as the Teleological argument, (or "Argument from Design" or even just the "Watchmaker argument").

But, if we teach you nothing else, please let us teach you that much-- life and refrigerators do NOT violate the laws of physics. I promise.

Put another way-- every even remotely sane person agrees that evolution is happening NOW all around us. Christian types call if microevolution. Now, if the second law of thermodynamics somehow made life and refrigerators and evolution impossible, then even evolution, even microevolution, shouldn't be happening all around us.

Lol. Seriously-- take the "2nd law of thermodynamic disproves evolution" off the desktop of your mind and drag it to the recycle bin. The watchmaker argument is a useful argument-- I believed it when I was young, and 300 years ago, I would have believed it all my life. But the "argument based on the 2nd law of refrigeration" is just silliness that betrays a misunderstanding about what the law is saying.

I know what you're getting at, of course, and the watchmaker argument is very compelling. I still remember the day I first actually believed in evolution. I was in seventh grade, and I programmed my computer to run a simulation of evolution. (I was a weird kid, devoid of a social life. This may give me +1 to literacy, but only at the cost of major deficits to mental health).

Anyway, I sat right there and watched it as it did made a bunch of random programs, picked the best one, and made a bunch more variations on that program, picked, the best, and repeated a few thousand times. 8 minutes later, it solve the problem. A problem I myself hadn't been able to solve.

It works. Evolution works.

It works for computer programs.
It works for viruses.
It works for fruit flies.
It works for everything.
-
Is it how we got here? That's partially a matter of faith, but I will say this-- EVERY SINGLE FOSSIL, every single carbon dating, every single shred of historical evidence we've ever found all perfectly agree with what we would expect if evolution WERE true.

Also, if macroevolution did occur, it seems to me that their shouldn't be such distinctions between all the different kinds of creatures we have.

Why do you have that intuition? You know that more than 99% of the species that have ever lived have gone extinct.

If I ask you to draw a tree on a blackboard, you will start with one trunk, and then create branches. Those branches will branch, and those branches will branch, and so on, until you have a huge picture of a tree with lots and lots of branches.

if I then proceed to randomly erase 99% of what you've drawn, we will be left with dots of chalk. They won't form any clear pattern to the naked eye. A person who walks into the room who didn't see the tree there will say "That doesn't look like a tree-- a tree has connected branches-- this is just a bunch of random dots on a chalk board".

So, you've mentioned this a couple of times, and I don't exactly understand what motivates this intuition that the "distinctness" of different species somehow disproves them. Is it that you think if evolution were true, there shouldn't be species at all-- instead just one continuous group of animals, with no clear 'species' lines you could draw between them (like we see with race) . Or is it that you accepts that speciations should occur, but are surprised that so many species die out?

--
Are you saying that macroevolution is repeatable and testable?

Well, of course, up to the species level, it's testable, repeatable, and indeed, repeating all around us, all the time.

Macroevolution as you define it?

Well, it's DEFINITELY testable. There have been hundreds of thousands of tests on the fossil record. If any one of them could disprove that evolution occured in earth's history. Every time we find a mammal fossil and carbon date it, it BETTER come back at some time after the first mammal evolved. Find me a single chimp skeleton that predates the first proto-mammals, and there you go-- evolution is disproved. So, it's VERY testable.

Are those tests repeatable? Sure. We do thousands of them. Difference scientists with different labs using different techniques can all date the same fossils, and they always get the same age. We can repeat those tests over and over and over. And we do.
--

After all these hundreds of thousands of tests-- any one of which could disprove evolution, have all come back and agreed with evolution-- the idea that "evolution is just plain nonsense" simply IS NOT a sane option anymore.

That doesn't mean you have to accept that it's true. As I've said before, maybe God just created the Earth in such a way to make it LOOK like it had evolved. That's possible. Some 19th century christians held that fossils had been created by satan to trick humans into believing god doesn't exist. that's possible too.

But please, accept that evolution isn't some atheistic conspiracy. We look at it with very honest eyes, and all the evidence, every last shred, points to evolution being the answer.

It passes the computer tests.
The fossil records are exactly what they should be if evolution were true.
The carbon dating is exactly what it should be.
Life around is clearly evolving at a rapid pace, with new species being created all the time and old ones dying out.

For anyone who hasn't had a personal revelation from God telling them 100% that evolution is wrong-- evolution is absolutely the best explanation for how we all got here.

It's honestly the best explainations-- for christians, hindus, buddhists, muslims, and jews. It's not an ahteistic conspiracy, any more than the earth revolving around the sun is. I promise.
--

See, I have real hope for you on this evolution thing, CE. If you're an Old Earth, there's no reason you can't be an evolutionist too. The two actually go very much hand-in-hand.

Is it possible that God may have used the process of evolution to arrange all the particles and atoms and molecules?

No only could he, but if a God created us, that IS how he did it. I'd bet my life on it.

Besides-- doesn't that SEEM like a more godly way of doing things? I mean, from the fact that the sky isn't opening up every other day and bushes aren't burning on neighborhood street, we already know that God isn't into being needlessly magical.

When I hear "God sculpted some dudes out of dirt and breathed life into them"-- if I take it as literal thing that physically happened, I'm not that impressed. I could do that! Sculpt me some dudes, us my magic Yahweh powers to put the magic breath into them. Hey, if I was born with magic powers, I could pull all that off. Big deal.

But when I hear that the very laws of physics which govern the motion of subatomic particles just HAPPEN to be such that without any supernatural intervention, life will naturally assemble itself and evolve into intelligent creatures, what can I say-- I'm impressed! I couldn't pull that one off. I dare say, wouldn't EVEN have occured to me, if I didn't happen to be living in a universe where that's the case. So, if there's a God, I only have the very idea for evolution in the first place because I happen to be cheating off God's homework-- if I didn't happen to be living in a world that LOOKS like it evolved, I can tell you-- I would NEVER have occured to me that the "create life through evolution" thing is possible. It just SEEMS god-like.

I guess I'm just a geek. Magic breath and men made out of dirt? I'm not impressed. Does God have x-ray vision too? Is he faster than a speeding bullet? (yawn)

But if you tell me god figured out how to write the laws of physics such that they inexorably lead to evolution-- NOW I'm sitting up in my seat, I'm impressed, and you've got my attention.

----

How are you so sure that an Intelligent Creator didn't put you together?

Well, unlike all the GODLESS ATHEISTS in the room, I'm just an agnostic. What's the difference? Well, as Stephen Colbert recently observed,"An agnostic is just an atheist without balls". LOL.

But, I justify my agnosticism by quoting one of the people who had one of the largest influences on me growing up-- Willy Wonka. (As portrayed by Gene Wilder, not to be confused with the different character of the same name in the Dahl book or the Johnny Depp movie.) And no, I'm really not kidding about the level of impact Mr. Wonka has had on my spiritual life.

Anyway, at a critical juncture in the movie, one of the characters exclaims "I doubt if any of us will get out of here alive!" to which Wonka replies "Oh, you should never, never doubt what nobody is sure about".

If you stop to think about it, it makes a lot of sense.

And if you think about it more, it doesn't make any sense.

But, if you stop midway through thinking, it makes perfect sense, and so, that is "Why I am not an atheist"-- (with nods to Betrand Russell).

September 23, 2006 6:24 AM  
Blogger Corporal Kate said...

Oh, I love Mae West. So sassy.

But Katherine Hepburn is my personal fav. (which is where my name comes from, by the way)

African Queen, The Lion in Winter, Guess Who's Coming to Dinner (the GOOD version), and On Golden Pond are some of my favorite movies.

And she did Shakespeare on stage, man I'd kill to have seen her. I can only imagine the thrill of that.

And she loved and made love to people regardless of their gender.

Kate had some really great things to say, too.

"I never realized until lately that women were supposed to be the inferior sex."

"Marriage is a series of desperate arguments people feel passionately about."

"If you obey all the rules, you miss all the fun."

"Love has nothing to do with what you are expecting to get — only what you are expecting to give — which is everything. What you will receive in return varies. But it really has no connection with what you give. You give because you love and cannot help giving."

"Life is hard. After all, it kills you."

"I'm an atheist and that's it. I believe there's nothing we can know except that we should be kind to each other and do what we can for other people."

Katherine the Great, both on screen and off, was an amazing woman.

September 23, 2006 6:37 AM  
Blogger Corporal Kate said...

Actually, Marco, you've got it all wrong. God created us from dirt and breathed life into us, and he's just tricking us with the fossils. And the physics. In fact, not only is the earth not billions of years old, it's not even thousands of years old. That's all part of the trick to see how many people he can send to Hell. The truth is, he created us last Tuesday at 4:23 AM.

All your memories are part of the trick.

You're going to Hell, you heathen.

See ya' there.

"Come out Virginia,
Don't make me wait.
You Catholic girls start much too late.
I'd rather laugh with the sinners
than cry with the saints,
The sinners are much more fun." Billy Joel

September 23, 2006 6:53 AM  
Anonymous ConcernedEngineer said...

Janiebelle,

I never once wished hell upon you.
I warned you several times about the reality of hell.

Big difference.

Marco,

I have not said that evolution is an atheist conspiracy theory.

I have said that I have problems with science being defined as "applied naturalism." In a sense, there's nothing wrong with that definition. I am a big fan of scientists using the scientific method. But what I am not a fan of is scientists starting with a presupposed philosophical commitment that does not allow for supernatural intervention.

That doesn't mean that I think that evolution is an "atheist conspiracy theory."

It does mean that when scientists are left between forming a hypothesis that says, "We are the result of chance" versus "we are the result of a Supernatural Being who designed us" since science is defined as applied naturalism, scientists will assert that the first is more probable than the second. They do so because the hypothesis that says "We are the result of a Supernatural Being designing us" is not repeatable or testable.

But philosophically, why should that mean that it couldn't have happened that way?

And furthermore, after all our discussion about evolution, I would have thought that you already knew all that about me. I thought you already knew that I don't believe that evolution is an "atheist conspiracy theory."

And you also know about my 2nd law of thermo argument. We have discussed that, but you are acting as if we had not. You know better. My point on the second law argument is not that evolution is impossible, but left to pure chance (without an Intelligence at least guiding the process or at least having set the process in motion in a particular way), is not likely. Left to chance, systems will most likely tend to greater entropy, not less.

Although the entropy of closed systems does decrease all the time.

If anyone reads through my blog about this debate, you will see that I have not propped up the 2nd Law as a "The 2nd law is true, therefore evolution can't be true" argument.

dan,
It all makes more sense to me now. You are Jewish, you think you know more than you do, and you can't stand the idea of Gentiles who believe in Messiah Yeshua celebrating the Jewish holidays and asserting that all the Jewish holidays have double meanings. You are highly offended by the truth that the Jewish holidays are prophetic pictures pointing to Messiah Yeshua.

In short, by not recognizing the Messiah, you are not a truly orthodox Jew.

Quite a coincidence that the Messiah - the Lamb of God - was slain for the sins of the world on the Passover - huh?

Romans 2:28-29 - "A man is not a Jew if he is only one outwardly, nor is circumcision merely outward and physical. No, a man is a Jew if he is one inwardly; and circumcision is circumcision of the heart, by the Spirit, not by the written code. Such a man's praise is not from men, but from God."

And by the way, it was by faith and not by works, that Abraham was credited with righteousness.

Evangelicals are like that skeevy, creepy guy who lives only for hitting on pretty women in bars. I'm there trying to have an intelligent conversation with her, she's doing her best to ignore the skeevy guy, and all he's doing is staring at her tits and refusing to take the hint.

Where does someone even begin to respond to such a slanderous, hate-filled, inaccurate, sweeping generalization? You are an evil person, and you will be subject to the wrath of God if you do not repent and humbly come to Yeshua by faith.

I am not wishing wrath upon you. I am warning you that it is coming.

All the Jewish holidays, all the law, and all the prophets point clearly to the Messiah. Yeshua is YHWH.

The interesting thing about the world situation is that Israel's best friends are all the evangelical Christians who insist that Israel has the right to exist and the right to defend herself. That Jews are offended by the gospel and by Gentile Christians celebrating Jewish holidays is quite ironic.

Of course, many Jews in America have sold out their own people and their own land. Many Jews have forsaken Judaism. For many Jews, being Jewish is just about being born into a family to parents who were born into a Jewish family themselves.

I have no idea if that is the case for you, but the point remains that true orthodox Jews recognize the real Messiah for who He is.

L'shanah tovah!

Shalom.

September 23, 2006 9:47 AM  
Blogger JanieBelle said...

Well you may not have explicitly said you wish for me to be tortured forever, but you sounded happy about it to me.

In any event,

So what you're saying is that only Jews who agree with you are REAL Jews, right? No one has the right to call themselves Jewish without your prior written consent?

Surely you have to see how thoroughly pompous and asinine that idea is.

I believe that you have demonstrated that you are as knowledgable about religion as you are about science.

Which is to say, stone ignorant.

I would suggest you pick either religion or science (one at a time is more than enough to handle) and actually do some studying. Should you choose religion, I would further suggest that you begin with Zoroastrianism, which was the first monotheistic religion and is the mother of Judaism, about which you know so very little.

Then, after you have a handle on the beginnings of your religion, you might consider moving on to Judaism and Christianity, if only to be able to compare the new-fangled plagiarized versions of Zoroastrianism to the original.

I believe it would prove enlightening for you to understand how your religion is just a bastardized version of Judaism, which in turn is a bastardized version of Zoroastrianism.

Perhaps then you would be reluctant to swallow whatever preacher Bob tells you on Sunday, and with a lot of hard work and effort, you may one day become a productive member of society.

Good luck, may the force be with you.

September 23, 2006 2:25 PM  
Blogger MarcoConley said...

I have problems with science being defined as "applied naturalism."

But you're the only one who defines it that way! You seem to think that the "God exists" possibility is ruled out before the scientists even look-- it's not! Before we had the evidence we do now, lots of scientists did accept the a creation event.

It's not that people start off by saying "God doesn't exist. Now, knowing that, what are our other options for how life got here?" In fact, it was just the opposite-- scientists started off believing in a literal biblical creation event, and they only vacated that position in the face of overwhelming evidence.

If you think science simply couldn't accept something as magical as a god, you're wrong-- relativity and quantum mechanics are very weird and magical. But, there's overwhelming evidence for them, and the results test after test after test can't be explained unless they are true. Whereas God, if he exists, seems quite determined not to be caught on camera giving us conclusive proof of his existence.

I just can't stress this enough-- evolution IS religiously neutral. It has nothing to say about God-- no more than the Earth revolving around the sun. Some people think it's a religious thing-- but it's REALLY not.
--

I mean, once you accept that Genesis isn't literally true-- that there were't seven literal days--- then I don't see what the big deal is about evolution at all.

September 23, 2006 4:49 PM  
Anonymous ConcernedEngineer said...

Janiebelle,

I may indeed someday study Zoroastrianism - if for no other reason - just to learn more about what people in this world have believed in. The idea of an old non-Jewish monotheistic religion is very interesting.

Some people point to the various similarities that Christianity has with different elements of Greek mythology and then say, "See! Christianity just 'stole' ideas from the Greeks and invented Christianity." But I turn the argument on its head. That other people in the world had ideas that were similar to Christian ideas actually supports the notion that other people were getting glimpses and pieces of God's revelation to man. The Greeks didn't get everything wrong - even if they did get a lot wrong.

And so I suspect that the same might be true with various other religious ideas of the ancient world.

Marco,
The point that I'm making about science is that for no particular reason, many in the scientific world adamently oppose the hypothesis of intelligent design because intelligent design suggests that the supernatural world exists and somehow influenced the natural world. I'm simply saying that such an assertion or bias is not "scientific" but due to naturalistic philosophical commitments.

That is not the same as saying, "Evolution is an atheist conspiracy theory."

September 23, 2006 6:43 PM  
Anonymous JV said...

Mr. Conley:

You've posted some good stuff - probably better than I could do - which is why I am surprised to see you referring to "carbon dating" of the fossil record. Perhaps you are using that as a short-hand description? If not, you can find good information on the dating processes more commonly used for fossils at "http://www.talkreason.org/articles/orr.cfm".

I would recommend that the Concerned Engineer study that site also, or read Kenneth Miller's "Finding Darwin's God", but I have a feeling I would be wasting my time.

But hey, as a friend of mine likes to say, "Whatever gets you through the night!"

September 23, 2006 6:53 PM  
Blogger MarcoConley said...

CE,

Many in the scientific world adamently oppose the hypothesis of intelligent design because intelligent design suggests that the supernatural world exists and somehow influenced the natural world.

Well, the problem, in my eyes, with intelligent design is that intelligent design won't admit it's not science. The science doesn't show any evidence of intelligent design (though of course, it doesn't show any evidence of a LACK of intelligent design either).

This makes most supporters of Intelligent Design sort of like Holocaust Revisionists. The history DOESN'T say the holocause never happened. All the historical evidence says the hologcaust DID happen. Similarly-- all the science suggests that evolution DID happen. So, when someone shows up, and says "Listen up, Children-- science doesn't really say evolution happened-- science actually says it didn't happen at all".

So, as regards schools-- if any person manages to graduate high school in the US without somehow hearing about the idea that a lot of people in the world believe a god named Yahweh created the world-- then obviously, the social studies classes aren't doing their job. But if you try to teach them that the Buddhists believe a god names Yahweh created the world-- you're just lying!

--

JV, thanks for pointing me to that link. The "No Free Lunch" is quite a name-- I'm always a little skeptical when supposed scientific things have way too catchy names. You also have to watch out whenever someone talks about "energy" without also using the terms joules, calories, or kilowatt-hours.



And you're correct that I'm using 'carbondating' in the same way that people use the term 'dna fingerprint'-- literal carbon and literal fingers may not be involved.

September 23, 2006 7:41 PM  
Anonymous ConcernedEngineer said...

Janiebelle,

God takes no pleasure in the death of the wicked. He is not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.
Though I have not shed any tears for you, I have just now prayed once again for you, that God would draw you to Himself. That He would reveal Himself to you and save you. I do not desire for you to be damned. I believe that if you do not turn to Christ, you will be.

I'm no better than anyone else for having turned to Christ. It is by grace that I have been saved, through faith, and this not of myself; it is a gift of God. Not by works, lest any man should boast.

Make no mistake. I have joy in Christ. And His joy is my strength.

But, I do not wish hell on anyone. My prayer and my heart's desire is for the salvation of the lost.

September 23, 2006 8:58 PM  
Blogger Kristine said...

Now come on, CE. Can’t you see the problem here? Isn’t it apparent that when you front-load the universe with purpose (“God”) it just ends in nihilism (“lost” souls frying in hell)? What the purpose of this so-called cosmic purpose? It’s a text without a context, and utterly meaningless. God creates people, give them contradictory commandments, saves some, and fries the rest. What’s the point? Is He bored or something, just passing the time, pulling wings off insects like a bully?

I can’t love somebody I don’t love. It’s as simple as that. And I bet that most believers don’t really love God, anyway—they’re just scared of Him (I wonder why!) and think that if they convince themselves that they love this God of theirs, they can trick their God into thinking that they love Him, too. No thanks.

What perplexes me forever about the salvation viewpoint is not so much its God-in-the-gaps argument as its human-in-the-gaps argument! God, supposedly benevolent and all, has to cough up evil from somewhere—actually, God would have to create evil, which would make Him evil, too. But no, the salvation-believers blame evil entirely on human beings, and to me that’s much more implausible than trying to imagine abiogenesis. I mean, you can’t imagine how carbon molecules could form a polymer, and yet two hicks in a garden can invent evil?

Of course, to me what they (mythologically) did was not evil, being that it’s a silly rule anyway (why put the damn tree there? I call entrapment!), and an abusive, top-down, antequated power relationship that we should jettison.

I have not seen religion taking away the fears and anxieties in the people close to me who have turned back to the church. Quite the opposite. They have become more paranoid, too, and more willing to imagine lurking threats. (I wish their pastors would stuff the God-talk and just tell them to turn off the fucking television!)

September 25, 2006 10:18 AM  
Blogger Kristine said...

But Katherine Hepburn is my personal fav.

Mine too. I just love her.

I didn't know she was an atheist.

September 25, 2006 3:05 PM  
Blogger Dan said...

It all makes more sense to me now. You are Jewish, you think you know more than you do, and you can't stand the idea of Gentiles who believe in Messiah Yeshua celebrating the Jewish holidays and asserting that all the Jewish holidays have double meanings. You are highly offended by the truth that the Jewish holidays are prophetic pictures pointing to Messiah Yeshua.

In short, by not recognizing the Messiah, you are not a truly orthodox Jew.


Have you ever actually met an orthodox Jew? Or anyone outside your Bible "study" group, for that matter? I think you'll find that there isn't a single Jew, orthodox or otherwise, anywhere on the planet who believes that Jesus was the Messiah. Not even one. BECAUSE THAT'S THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN JUDAISM AND CHRISTIANITY.

I have no idea if that is the case for you, but the point remains that true orthodox Jews recognize the real Messiah for who He is.

In which bizarre alternate universe?

You are an evil person, and you will be subject to the wrath of God if you do not repent and humbly come to Yeshua by faith.

I am not wishing wrath upon you. I am warning you that it is coming.


You know, that's exactly what Muslim fundamentalists say about people like you, except for the rather trivial detail of substituting Muhammed for Jesus. It's funny how you're exactly like them in every way.

I'm no better than anyone else for having turned to Christ.

No, you're not. That doesn't explain why you act like you are, though.

The point that I'm making about science is that for no particular reason, many in the scientific world adamently oppose the hypothesis of intelligent design because intelligent design suggests that the supernatural world exists and somehow influenced the natural world. I'm simply saying that such an assertion or bias is not "scientific" but due to naturalistic philosophical commitments.

The reason scientists reject ID is because ID isn't science, by definition. "GODDIDIT" isn't a scientific theory. It's not even an explanation. It's just a cop-out.

Science isn't furthered by sticking your fingers in your ears and going "LA LA LA I CAN'T HEAR YOU!!"

September 25, 2006 5:49 PM  
Anonymous ConcernedEngineer said...

I think you'll find that there isn't a single Jew, orthodox or otherwise, anywhere on the planet who believes that Jesus was the Messiah. Not even one. BECAUSE THAT'S THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN JUDAISM AND CHRISTIANITY.

This is such an ignorant statement.

I suppose the only way it retains any coherence whatsoever is by defining Judaism as descendents of the Jewish ancestors combined with a disbelief in Messiah Yeshua. I was unaware that Jews define themselves by disbelief.

The truth is that a truly orthodox Jew holds to the Torah. As it is, this Gentile knows a lot more about the Torah then most Jews do. This makes sense, since most Jews are only Jews because their parents are Jews. Its too bad more Jews don't think for themselves.

So, what happened to Jews? Why did they stop with the sacrifices? It is Yom Kippur today, and according to Leviticus, one goat needs to be sacrificed to provide atonement for the Jewish people, while another goat is to be the scapegoat. The high priest is to lay his hands on the head of that scapegoat and confess all of the sins of Israel, and then that scapegoat is to be taken away from the Jewish people. Sin is to be taken out of the camp.

Yet how many modern Jews are faithful toward all the sacrifices that God commanded as lasting ordinances?

The reason why this Gentile Christian is observing Yom Kippur today is because the ancient tradition previously described is a prophetic picture that pointed toward the Messiah Yeshua - the Lamb of God who provided atonement for the sins of all who would believe by His shed blood.

The reasons why many Jews do not continue with the commands to offer Levitical sacrifices are several - depending on which Jews you talk to. For some, it is simply inconvenient. For another, their rabbi said that it is not necessary. (And that rabbi spent considerable time studying the Talmud - a commentary about the Torah.) It might be well for common Jewish people to study the Torah for themselves - so that they can get back in touch with their own religion. But doing so might make them very uncomfortable, because such a study would reveal how all of the Jewish Holidays point toward the Messiah Yeshua.

By the way, the Messiah was a Jew. As were most of the disciples and the Apostle Paul. Yeshua came for the Jews and the Gentiles. In Messiah, there is neither Jew nor Gentile, circumcised or uncircumcised, slave or free, but Messiah is all and is in all (who believe).

The defining point of Judaism is not and has never been a disbelief in the Messiah Yeshua. The defining point of true orthodox Judaism is the exaltation of YHWH. The real orthodox Jews recognize Yeshua Messiah is YHWH. The rest aren't really orthodox in the truest sense of the word. Oh, they are still Jewish by birth. They are still part of the Jewish people. And that is great. But by failing to recognize the Messiah, when their own Scriptures point to that Messiah, they have missed the whole point.

On this day of Yom Kippur, I am praying for the Jewish people. I am praying that they would read their own Scriptures, and that YHWH would reveal Himself to them.

The rabbis of the 1st century who decided to take Judaism in a different direction after the destruction of the temple really screwed things up for the Jewish people. Judaism needs its own reformation. Jews are kinda like Catholics. Just as Martin Luther stood up and confronted the Catholic clergy and pointed out what Scripture actually teaches, I pray that some Jews would read the Torah and confront their own rabbis and their own communities with the truth of the Torah.

Meanwhile... the world is treating God with contempt by treating Israel with contempt. The nations will turn against Israel. They already are. And the irony is that Israel's best friends in the world are Christians who are proclaiming the gospel and pointing out how rich and meaningful and true and right the Torah is.

October 02, 2006 8:47 AM  
Anonymous ConcernedEngineer said...

You know, that's exactly what Muslim fundamentalists say about people like you, except for the rather trivial detail of substituting Muhammed for Jesus. It's funny how you're exactly like them in every way.

See, the elitist arrogant leftists in this country think they are so smart. I heard someone say the other day that the Christian right is like Osama bin Laden: They both proclaim to depend on divine revelation. Well, then I suppose you ought to throw in all the signers of the Declaration of Independence with me and Osama - since they implied that "the Laws of Nature and Nature's God" ought to be followed by governments, and that if not, governments must either be reformed, or the people have a duty to separate themselves from the said government or overthrow the said government.

Those lousy Founding Fathers! They really are hurting the cause of the far left fundamentalist secularists. How dare they include the clause, "the Laws of Nature and Nature's God"! That goes against the fundamental creeds of the religion of secularism! Too bad the ACLU wasn't there to eliminate that line from the document, huh?

The differences between Jesus and Mohammed are not at all trivial. Only those who are ignorant and arrogant would say otherwise.

But God is merciful. He will forgive such carnal talk if you simply confess your sins and ask for forgiveness. Otherwise, you will be punished for your slander.

May God have mercy on your soul. I mean that with the utmost of sincerity.

October 02, 2006 9:34 AM  
Anonymous ConcernedEngineer said...

"I can’t love somebody I don’t love."

You are right. We are incapable of loving the God that we hate and of believing in the God who we don't believe in. We are totally depraved. We can't do anything right on our own.

That's why repentance and faith are a gift. (Notice: A gift. They work together as one). Dead people can't will themselves to life. You can't make yourself be born again. Only God can do that.

He is bigger than you; He is Sovereign. Changing your heart is not beyond His power.

October 02, 2006 9:47 AM  
Anonymous ConcernedEngineer said...

One correction: I had said, "The differences between Jesus and Mohammed are not at all trivial. Only those who are ignorant and arrogant would say otherwise."

I suppose that by merely being ignorant or by merely being arrogant, one might make such an assertion. One need not be both ignorant and arrogant. However, in many cases, people who make such comparisons are both ignorant and arrogant.

October 02, 2006 9:58 AM  
Anonymous ConcernedEngineer said...

Kristine,

I'm sure you have already, but I would encourage you to check out the book of Ecclesiastes. There is some profound wisdom in that book.

The last verses of the book can only be understood in the context of the rest of the book, and the rest of the book can only be understood in context with the rest of the Bible. But here are the last verses of Ecclesiastes:

"Now all has been heard; here is the conclusion of the matter: Fear God and keep his commandments, for this is the whole duty of man. For God will bring every deed into judgment, including every hidden thing, whether it is good or evil."

By the way, it is my opinion (and unlike many other of my views, I am not dogmatic about this) that Solomon's tone in Ecclesiastes is not really a lament, but one of good humor. I didn't come up with that idea; I heard it a while back. I've thought about it some, and I think I agree with it. But the idea of recognizing that life is meaningless so we ought to enjoy it and make the most of it and find our joy in obedience to God - so that we don't waste the precious little time we have on this earth in silly sinful activities that lead to a life of regret - I think that is what Solomon was getting at when he wrote Ecclesiastes.

On evil...
This is a great mystery. All I can say is that men have willed to rebel against God, and that this is evil. God did not create robots to automatically obey his instructions. He created us to be in relationship with Him. But we are prideful and full of sexual lust and full of lust for power and Mammon. This is evil. We have devalued each others' personhood, and that is sin.

How a great and awesome a perfect and Sovereign and good and omnipotent God not only allowed, but also ordained for sin and evil to be in this world is beyond me. But I trust that in all things God works for the good of those who love Him, who have been called according to His purpose. And I also know that I am responsible for the evil that I commit and the evil that dwells within my heart. I can not blame God for my own sinful choices. Rather, I trust God to justify me - a wretched sinner.

God is just in condemning sinners to eternal hell for this reason:

The punishment must fit the crime. How bad is the crime? Well, God deserves the highest honor and respect, for the glory of God is inifinite in value. When we devalue the glory of God, we have missed the mark - not by a little bit, but we have willfully missed the mark by a metaphorical infinite distance. In order to preserve the worth of His own glory, the just punishment is eternal damnation.

But there is another way. The wisdom of God is that the Son of God would die on the cross to appease the wrath of God so that the justice of God might be displayed in the mercy of God. God, in His wisdom, has provided a way to satisfy His just wrath, while displaying mercy, and He didn't neglect, but fulfilled His justice in doing so. This is the greatest news in the world!

October 02, 2006 11:37 AM  
Blogger Kristine said...

Hmmm... Ecclesiastes. The book I was reading while the other kids were picking their boogies and flicking them.

"Afflict not thyself in thy own counsel" comes to mind, CE.

Show's over folks. Nothing more to see here.

October 02, 2006 5:39 PM  
Blogger MarcoConley said...

CE--

Ecclesiastes is not only my favorite book of the Bible, but it is also the only book which is almost entirely "true". The fairy tales of Genesis, the King Arthur stories of David-- it's keep a straight face while claiming these things are literally true.

Ecclesiastes, on the other hand, as a work of philosophy-- I can know that most of it is true without even a single archaeloigcal expedition, and without reading a single history book.

--

But CE-- surely you know it's just plain silly to think Solomon authored Ecclesiastes. He didn't. Solomon, if such a person actually lived, lived about 700 years before Ecclesiastes was composed.

Ecclesiastes was written around 250 BC. Just as we can easily tell between Modern American English and Old English. We're never going to mistake The Da Vinci Code for having been written during the time of Chaucer. Ecclesiastes is replete with loan words from Persian and other languages that prove it was written after 500 BC.

-
Also worth noting-- the first and last verses of Ecclesiastes are clearly written by a second, later author. Ecclesiastes is a philosophical treatise written by an atheist (or at least someone who utterly rejects an afterlife), with an brief introduction and a warning commentary added by a later author.
--

The "written by Solomon in good humor" theoy is a novel one, but I think the conclusive evidence is that is it was written at a much later time by an unnamed author who sincerely believed what he was writing.

October 03, 2006 4:42 AM  
Blogger MarcoConley said...

SO, I'm completely confused at which thread to post what where, but I thought ya'll wana know the exciting news!

CE-- last night , Stephen Colbert of The Colbert Report each night as a segment entitled "The Word" in which he delivers a Op-Ed speech accompanied by bullet points ala Bill Orally. Anyway, on last nights show, Colbert used your rant about "Science is a religion"! Complete with "Science should have to play by the same rules as the Christians" and the "We need to have a separation between Science and State"

It was really almost verbatim yours-- I've been trying to find a video clip or transcript, but no luck.

And even though I know they didn't get it FROM you, I still felt pretty cool when I heard it-- of all the viewers, I'm one of the few who realized that Colbert's word had been spoken outside of satire.

October 03, 2006 2:25 PM  
Anonymous ConcernedEngineer said...

Usually I'm pretty good about being able to predict people's responses to my posts. However, I could not predict how Dan would respond to my latest post about Messianic Judaism. I suspected hostility, yet hoped for a, "Hmmm... maybe I should reconsider these ideas." But if the hostile response came, I couldn't really pin down how it would come. I guess that is due to the truth that Dan does not have much of a response. I mean, as I have thought it through, what can Dan say except possibly, "I don't like you." Perhaps that is the reason why there has been no response.

On the other hand, he may have all kinds of other reasons, and I would not presume to know what thoughts my post caused him to think. But I am curious...

At the same time, I do not wish to make Dan angry or upset.

October 09, 2006 11:43 AM  

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