It’s not “Human Reason vs. God’s Word”!

Perhaps you have heard the origins debate as being about “human reason” on the one hand, and “the Bible” on the other. Many evolutionists like to frame the debate this way. It creates a “heads I win: tails you lose” type of situation. By contrasting the Bible with “reason”, they are implying that the Bible is unreasonable. They may use some other terminology. Whether framed as “Rationality vs. faith” or “science vs. religion,” the implication of framing the debate this way is that the Bible is anti-reason, anti-science, anti-rational.

But nothing could be further from the truth! The Bible is very pro-reason, pro-science, pro-rational. In fact, the biblical God is the basis for these things (see The Ultimate Proof of Creation). God made our minds and He wants us to use them. We are supposed to think in a way that is consistent with the character of God – that’s what rationality is.

And so it is really a shame that many Christians also frame the debate this way. Yes, I have seen “reason” contrasted with “God’s Word” coming from Christian literature. Perhaps by “reason” they mean “secular philosophy.” (If so, then that is what they should say!) But secular philosophy is not biblical, whereas human reason is. The Bible tells us to reason (Isaiah 1:18) and gives us examples of it (Acts 17:2, 18:4). Perhaps by “human reason,” they mean “secular reasoning.” But this is very misleading. Not all humans are secularists! Are not Christians also human? Even Jesus is human (and God as well), so there is nothing wrong with that. By allowing the debate to be framed in such a way, such Christians have inadvertently accepted the standards of the secularist. And what happens when we allow the critics to determine the parameters of the debate in such a way? The answer is: we lose the debate.

A debate is supposed to show that one position is more rational than another. So if you allow your opponent to define his position as the “rational” position in contrast to yours, then you have pretty well lost at the outset. The Bible tells us that we are not supposed to engage in a debate using the critic’s foolish standard (Proverbs 26:4). Do not allow the secularist to define his position as “human reason” and yours as “faith” or some equivalent term. The fact of the matter is both creationists and evolutionists have a type of faith, and both use some degree of reasoning.

What then is the difference? The difference is our starting point – the standard upon which we build our reasoning. The Christian should take the Word of God has his or her ultimate standard. We are supposed to reason from the truths given to us in the Scriptures. God’s Word is like a solid rock; and reasoning that rests upon that rock will stand. What is the alternative structure on which non-Christians attempt to build their thinking? There is none. God’s Word is the only ultimate standard by which can truly know anything about anything. Yes, we can learn new truths about things outside the Bible, mathematical truths, facts about ducks, or quasars. But the only reason we can know these things is because our mind and our senses have been designed by God to interface with the universe in a way that is truthful. If our mind and senses were just the result of chance mutations that conveyed survival value, there would be no reason to think we could ever know the truth about anything!

So when people reason from an ultimate standard that is not God’s Word, they are really simply basing their thinking on an arbitrary opinion. But there is no reason to trust an arbitrary opinion. The Bible refers to such people as being like a “fool” who builds his house on the sand (Matthew 7:24-27). Since the house does not have a true and proper foundation, it is destroyed by the first storm that comes along. Likewise, those who reason from a secular opinion rather than God’s Word will find their philosophy is easily destroyed by rational analysis.

1,213 Responses to It’s not “Human Reason vs. God’s Word”!

  1. Chris H says:

    The critic sent me a very long post, and I was wondering how someone would go about dealing with all of the emotional language, and the different other things that I am encountering here. I would be laughing, except that it is sad. I am trying to do a line by line breakdown of it, and any direction at all in certain parts would be GREATLY appreciated and helpful. I have not read through it all yet, and so I am fairly certain there are a number of decent sized rabbit trails here. If someone can help me identify them, and how to respond to the bigger parts of the argument (since I am still very new and trying to swim in deep waters) I would really appreciate it.

    (“>” Is the critic quoting me.)

    ok. this is not how i intended to write this post. i started on monday to really go in-depth into all this stuff, from the very foundations. but i literally can’t force myself to sit down and write it. i can barely force myself through this. you won’t listen anyway, so this whole conversation seems to me to be a waste of time. coupled with your gish gallop-esque responses and terrible formatting, i’m not even sure what we’re really discussing at this point. so i’m going to go through and reply to things that i feel need addressing.

    i’ll start with the oldest stuff, even though it’s also the most irrelevant stuff.

    >I would like you to start by telling me what your worldview is. Are you an atheist? An agnostic? Do you believe that truth is something that is subjective to an observer? Or do you believe that all knowledge is found through observation?

    i am now referring to myself as universally skeptic. that’s because the technical term i’d use, ignostic, is irrelevant to this discussion. what universally skeptic means is that i examine claims on an individual basis before i consider them to be accurate or inaccurate. prior to that examination, i withhold judgment on them.

    as for the nature of truth, i don’t know the answer. we have good reason to think that reality is objective. people can’t walk through walls. repeated observations in controlled environments yield predictable results. we’ve sent humans off-planet, for god’s sake. so to that question i answer, “reality is probably objective, and therefore truth is also probably objective.”

    to answer your question regarding knowledge, i’m going to have to rabbit-trail into definitions, because i suspect if i answer it without doing so, you’re going to object in a particular manner which would not really apply.

    there are two kinds of mentalities about knowledge. one, which tends to occur in the religious-minded more often, is a form of certainty. it is this knowledge which enables you, other christians, muslims, jews, hindus, pantheists, primitive tribes, mormons, jehovah’s witnesses, and ancient greeks, hebrews, egyptians, romans, norse people, and every other religious person who subscribes to the idea of a deity to say they “know” their god exists. this knowledge has the same connotation when someone reports that they have been abducted by aliens, or seen elvis presley walking around, or claims that the U.S. government is responsible for 9/11. these people have absolute confidence in their understanding. they “know” they are correct. they have evidence to support their claims (and they will direct you to it, if they are currently living). this is not the kind of knowledge i subscribe to. it’s pretty useless, to be honest.

    for me, knowledge is probability. it’s not certain, it’s not absolute or impossible to contradict. it’s just more likely or less likely. the more likely something is, the more likely i am to say i have knowledge regarding that subject. will the sun rise tomorrow? i don’t *know.* but i do understand the arrangement of our solar system, and i understand that the sun has a projected 5 billion years of life left in it, so with the exception of some unforeseen complication, i’d say it’s most likely going to rise again come tomorrow morning. could i be wrong? oh, absolutely. if i am, you won’t be around to tell me so, but that’s beside the point. i acknowledge that with living comes a certain uncertainty. we don’t have all information, and we (probably) never will. but some things are more likely than others. the sun is *less likely* to transform into a billiard table than it is to continue in its happy nuclear fusion as it has been for the past 5 billion years. this lets me say with some confidence but not absolute certainty that we will still have sunlight tomorrow morning.

    so to answer your question, literally every aspect of a person’s conscious experience is an observation, whether it is indirect or direct. this leads to the conclusion that all information must pass through some form of observation before any person can possess it. thus, all knowledge (and here i am not referring to “certainty”, i am referring to “probability”) is derived from observation in some way or another.


    Critic: now we get to the good stuff. i’m going to step on your toes here, because i am going to correct things that you definitely got wrong. i have not done this up till now; instead i was being snarky. i’d apologize, but i’m not sorry.

    >Alright, so let us start by defining our terms. Evolution, the belief that all life descended from a common ancestor.

    this is not the definition of evolution. the theory of evolution implies common descent, but evolution is not described by anyone of relevance as “the belief that all life descended from a common ancestor.”

    first of all, that isn’t even necessarily true. i don’t really want to go into detail because it’s irrelevant, but it’s possible that multiple simple lifeforms came into being around the same period of time, and their compositions were such that they were able to reproduce together. this would imply that all life did not come from one common ancestor, but instead multiple “first” common ancestors.

    second of all, evolution is described as “any change in the allele relative frequencies of alleles in a population.” this is the working definition of evolution, simplified. simplified even further is “genetic change over time,” as i have already said and you have argued is beside the point. if you specifically have a problem with common descent, we’ll see how you feel about that by the end of this writing. but you’re going to refer to it as common descent from now on, then.

    so evolution is defined.

    >Adaptation (or Genetic Mutation) The ongoing and continual process by which a species of animal becomes a different species within a kind.

    a specific adaption is “a trait with a current functional role in the life history of an organism that is maintained and evolved by means of natural selection.” adaption also refers to the process responsible for that adaption. we’re not breaking new ground here.

    genetic mutation is not the same as adaption. a mutation is an imperfection that occurs in the copying process of an organism’s DNA. mutation leads to adaption, but is not synonymous with adaption. i don’t know with certainty that this will be important later, but definitions do tend to be important.

    >However, I would like to nail one thing down. Evidence does not speak for itself (that is the fallacy of Reification)

    ok. i want you to understand that i am reading these AiG and creation.com posts along with you. i want you to know that i see the words you’re saying and i understand the concepts you’re proposing, and i know them in greater detail than you think i do.

    when someone says the words “the evidence speaks for itself” they are not committing the fallacy of reification. stars exist billions of light-years away from earth. light takes billions of years to travel (at maximum speed in a vacuum) from distant stars to earth. the current light we observe from the most distant stars *must* be billions of years old, based on that information. unless you start adding assumptions, that is the only conclusion available based on the evidence. calling that phrase the fallacy of reification is really just a red herring. the phrase is not what is important. the speaker is communicating the idea that the conclusion easily follows from understanding the evidence, nothing more.

    yes, you say, but that’s because you presuppose that god doesn’t exist and the universe is uniform and billions of years old.

    well, no. i don’t have to presuppose that god does not exist to conclude that the universe is billions of years old. in fact, the majority of theists (and the majority of christians, for that matter) agree that the universe is billions of years old, and they presuppose that god *does* exist. further, i could easily follow that up by saying, “you’re interpreting the evidence wrong because of your presuppositions! in reality, light doesn’t exist at all, and what we think we perceive as light is really the illusion caused by sound waves that are so loud they can’t be perceived as sound! it’s your worldview’s presuppositions that prevent you from understanding the real truth!” and we’d go around in circles all day.

    but without even presupposing anything (except that i exist and my senses are sometimes accurate) i can examine the evidence and conclude that the light hitting my eyes from those distant stars is most likely billions of years old. in order for you to justify your belief, you have to, in addition to understanding the natural maximum speed at which light can travel, and that light in space originates from a light-projecting celestial body, have to assume that it is possible for light to be created “en route” at all, that a being exists which can accomplish that end, and that he did, in fact, accomplish that end.

    i could play the presuppositionalism game with you, and we could debate all day on it, but it would go nowhere fast. it’s impossible to move to any type of understanding using presuppositionalism as a basis. you believe you have understanding, and of course you would believe that, because you are presupposing it. it’s a trash argument.

    in fact, you don’t even believe it. you secretly, in your heart of hearts, know that your arguments are trash. that’s why you feel the need to confront me so strongly and assert how correct you are. you’re emotionally committed to what you believe and your emotions have overwhelmed your ability to see the world for what it really is. you already know that the correct conclusion is billions of years, in regards to starlight. you already know how ridiculous it is to assume that the almighty god would create a universe with an apparent age of billions of years. why on earth would he need or want to do something like that when it would lead to conversations like these and only confuse billions of people out of understanding the universe as it truly is? on top of that he controls nature absolutely and has no need to rely on apparent age to create a functioning ecosystem. just admit that you don’t really believe this stuff; admit it’s not really rational, and admit that you just want to believe it so you can go on in your emotional satisfaction rather than truly understanding reality for what it is. and don’t worry, even if you won’t admit that you crave this emotional satisfaction which you can only get inside your beliefs by belittling others and living a life that is a lie, i have already presupposed that you do this, and i cannot be wrong because i have the presuppositions to back it up. wow! this makes debate easy!

    >>Alright, let us start there. We can address the Christian conception of God at a later point. So then, with regard to all known religions (which would include Secular Humanism) where do you fall in relation to a belief in a “higher power”?

    i don’t know (read: probably) of any higher power. i don’t understand why everyone thinks we need one. “well then why is the universe so finely tuned for life?” it is? but if we leave earth’s atmosphere, we die instantly. we still haven’t found a planet that is suitable for our kind of life, though we are finding more and more that might be. how can anyone say the universe is finely tuned for life? or perhaps you mean that the earth is so finely tuned for life. it is? but most of the planet is actually inhospitable for humans in their natural habitat. most of the places on the planet we’ve inhabited are hospitable as the result of the development of technology to challenge our natural limitations. so how can anyone say earth is finely tuned for life? or perhaps you mean to say that the constants of the universe are so perfectly in tune as to be conductive for life? but how do you know the constants could be different at all? have you ever observed an instance of the constants changing or existing in a different state? has anyone ever observed this? fine tuning in this context seems to imply an argument from probability: the chances of the constants being so perfectly aligned for life are inconceivably small. but how can you make a probabilistic argument with a sample size of 1?

    i hope that that response is sufficient in this regard. if it’s not, you’ll have to present specific arguments for me to reject. i’m not going to debunk all of them without provocation (but i can).

    this is the DNA section, and we’re going to get a bit technical here. i did not even bother to try at this section before, but i’m going to do it now.

    >>Information can be defined scientifically as an encoded message with an expected action and an intended purpose.

    ok. a requirement for something to be “defined scientifically” (more accurate is to say, “considered scientific”) is that it is subject to competitive review by peers, and tested for confirmation or falsification. science is a method applied to a problem (phenomenon) in order to generate an answer (explanation). in the context of that information, how does your definition qualify?

    what tests were run to come to this conclusion? to what peers were these tests submitted? if this definition is verified, why is the only website in existence that refers to it a pro-creation, anti-evolution site that has no prestige among the rest of the scientific community? as it stands, this definition you have offered is an assertion, nothing more.

    in rereading what you wrote, i noticed that a formalized presentation of this discussion that you shot down you actually quoted your source as saying:

    >>1. There is no known law of nature, no known process, and no known sequence of events that can cause information to originate by itself in matter. (This is given as Theorem 28 in Dr. Werner Gitt’s book In The Beginning Was Information. P. 107)

    so your source himself presents the argument as i presented it. well that’s nice to know. it’s an argument from ignorance. that we do not possess knowledge of the specifc natural process by which DNA came into existence is ***not the same*** as the claim that DNA could not possibly come into being via some natural process. your argument here is bunk.

    let me point out that throughout history, many natural things were considered unexplained and thus unexplainable. newton, one of history’s smartest men, failed to fully uncover the naturalistic explanation for the movement of celestial bodies. he declared the problem unsolvable and attributed it to god. well, laplace came along shortly afterward and figured out the explanation, without invoking any supernatural causes. we can say the same about most every natural phenomenon thus far observed and explained. we can even look at evidence of this in the context of evolution: for more than a century after darwin proposed evolution, naysayers everywhere cited the human eye as the evolution-killer. there was no means by which the eye could have evolved without a supernatural influence, according to them. notice how no one uses that argument any more. (also, darwin himself offered a solution to this problem in his original publishing. he was quote-mined for his efforts.) during this time, naysayers also cited the flight of the bee as inexplicable given naturalism. the wings shouldn’t work, they said. when scientists figured it out, that “argument” went away as well.

    these and others are examples of the argument from ignorance: using the observation that currently incomplete knowledge cannot (using naturalism), account for a specific observed phenomenon to conclude that no possible naturalistic explanation exists for that phenomenon. it’s bunk. in the examples i cited and others i haven’t touched, this argument is shot down as more data is obtained. your DNA is argument from ignorance, and we have good reason to expect that it will be shot down just like all the others, given time and data.

    >>No one reading this exchange would conclude that it was generated by a random sequence of typos that gradually accumulated over time.

    this is not a proper representation of evolution. evolution is not random typos that accumulate over time. evolution is random typos (read: mutations) that are constantly (read: every generation) tested for their proficiency at transferring genes into the next generation. genes that are more suitable for this purpose are more likely to be passed on, and genes that are less suitable for this purpose are less likely to be passed on. given enough time, this leads to more genes becoming more proficient at passing on their information to the next generation.

    >But the information in DNA makes sense in the light of Biblical Creation. It was by the mind of God that the initial information was placed in the DNA of the original organisms on earth.

    now i am going to bring up something you may never have thought of before. who knows; anything is possible. it has to do with falsifiability.

    genetics is a relatively new field of science, compared to biology, chemistry, physics. the discovery that led the way to our current understanding of genetics occurred in the late 1800s, but Watson and Crick (perhaps you know of them) identified the structure of DNA in the 1950s.

    prior to the identification of DNA, our current understanding of how information is transferred from generation to generation was basically nonexistant. when darwin proposed the theory of evolution to explain the diverse life on earth, he had no knowledge of modern genetics. he did not know that genes are passed on during reproduction. he did not understand meiosis. you know, the things we learn in high school now. no one did, ya dig? it hadn’t been discovered yet. this kind of ignorance is the same kind of ignorance that was prevalent when people believed the earth is the center of the universe. no one’s fault; they just lacked the relevant data.

    well, darwin based his “tree of life” on what we now refer to as the phenotype of an organism; that is, its physical characteristics. bone structure, outer covering, method of reproduction, etc. really, the phenotype was enough to make a fairly accurate tree of life. he observed that the more closely related a an organism is to another, the more physical characteristics it shares. he observed that an incredibly large number of organism have characteristics in common (all observed organisms, actually). but any given organism has more in common with some organisms than with others. for example, we have more in common with a monkey than we do with a fish. better example; i bear a physical resemblance to my cousins. i also bear a physical resemblance to my sisters. i resemble my sisters much more than i resemble my cousins. but i resemble my father most of all. he extrapolated based on this type of observation and hypothesized that since all organisms have common physical traits, all organisms must be related (common descent).

    now, as with any hypothesis, he took that explanation and determined what consequences we would expect to observe were his hypothesis to be accurate. he also determined what we would *not* expect to see, that if we did see we would understand was inaccurate. this is the source of the famous quote “fossil rabbits in the pre-cambrian” by j.s. haldane when asked what evidence would falsify evolution. i could go into greater detail here, but it’s not relevant to the point i’m making.

    when darwin proposed evolution, he knew it hinged on some method of “data transfer” from one generation to the next. he knew that if such a method were not discovered, his hypothesis would be falsified. in other words, a century before the discovery of DNA was made, darwin predicted that such a mechanism must exist, or his hypothesis was wrong. he also knew the transfer of data must be imperfect, or variety would not occur between generations. the discovery of DNA was arguably the most important discovery in the history of science. it has already helped us make countless scientific and medical advances by improving our understanding of disease and helping us to combat it in turn, by helping us understand heredity and how it works, by improving our ability to produce food (which we need because our population size is increasing due to our advances in the field of medicine), by helping us to live longer, and by helping us to live more comfortably. and we are still in the infant stages of understanding genetics (comparatively).

    and darwin predicted that such a mechanism must exist. nearly a century before it was discovered. this was a HUGE validation of evolution the theory. HUGE. and there was no reason to expect it unless evolution was accurate. god is not confined to such a mechanism. there’s no reason to expect DNA should exist given the claim that god is responsible for life, other than “that’s how god wanted to do it.” but evolution the theory hinged on it. and as a result, its discovery lent huge credence to the theory (which was already pretty well established at the time). the discovery of DNA helped us to understand that the genotype leads to (is responsible for) the phenotype. i hope this helps you understand how DNA is evidence that evolution is accurate, not inaccurate.

    but since it probably isn’t very compelling to you, i’m going to throw in a freebie. the theory of evolution doesn’t stop predicting things there. (in fact, evolution predicts quite a lot, and turns out to be right on almost everything. where it is incorrect we change it to reflect our new understanding. this ability to account for and adjust to flaws or incompleteness in our data is a strength of science in general, though for those who reject theories like evolution it is often viewed as a weakness.) the discovery of DNA validated (did not falsify) darwin’s tree of life (mostly. some adjustments were made.) and in light of this new discovery, new predictions were made.

    long before we had mapped a genome, we had already concluded that humans and chimpanzees are very closely related. we now know that the chimpanzee’s genome is something like 96% identical to our own. it’s the closest living organism, to my knowledge. don’t quote me on that, look it up because i am citing that from my own memory, and i am not known for my reliable memory. the discovery of DNA allowed us to predict (successfully) that humans and chimpanzees would have a largely similar genome structure.

    but even more than that! another thing you probably already know is that humans have 23 chromosomes. it’s a number unique to humans. (every organism has its own number.) the rest of the primates (the great apes, at any rate) have 24 chromosomes. since we already know that humans are most closely related to primates (we are primates), we expected to find 24 chromosomes in humans as well. but we did not find that. in light of that information, evolution allowed us to predict that something must have happened to one of the human chromosomes to change the humber from 24 to 23. but more specifically, a pair of chromosomes must have fused with another pair, because to lose a pair entirely would mean the death of the species.

    so (remember, this is before we sequenced the genome and could see its actual structure), evolution made the prediction [fallacy of reification ] that there would be a pair of chromosomes 2x as long as the rest of the human chromosomes, and that it would be joined together at a telomere rather than the centromere that normally joins a pair of chromatids. and guess what? we found exactly that prediction in our genome. it’s human chromosome #2.

    now, i know what’s going to happen next. you’re going to reiterate what AiG (this is seriously such an elegant acronym) or creation.com has to say on this matter. but if i may predict, i think you’re going to miss the point i was making here in doing so. you see, i wasn’t trying to demonstrate common ancestry in this history lesson, nor was i attempting to undermine your discussion on DNA as information from a mind (i did that above).

    the point i am making here is one about prediction and falsification: there is no reason to expect either of these occurrences given divine design. in fact, divine design cannot predict anything. it can only claim in retrospect that any discovery does not make its worldview incoherent. what tests could a person run to determine whether something was divinely designed? just one example; we discovered that the human eye has a glaring defect (blind spot), and that’s just the way god intended it, even though some species of octopus have eyes that function similarly but without the blind spot. in fact, these discoveries only lead to questions. why would the designer design us with a genome that is nearly identical to a monkey’s if he did not want us to conclude that we were related to monkeys? why would human DNA have a fusion of two chromosomes at all? what point did that have?

    you can ad hoc (used informally here to mean explain after the fact) a rationalization to fit your worldview easily. you necessarily believe other world religions must do this as discoveries contradict their worldviews. but science does not do this. the markings of a great theory include things like the prediction of the existence of DNA (to be clear, he predicted a mechanism, not DNA specifically) a century before the technology and necessary information were available to discover it, and the prediction of both the similar genetic structures and fusion of a chromosome in a genome that had yet to be examined in detail. prophecies are regarded very highly in the religious world. but scientific predictions occur, are tested, and turn out to be true all the time. especially in areas related to evolution (and quantum mechanics). and these predictions and validations are recorded, peer reviewed, tested, and available to the common public to examine in whatever detail they like.

    do these things *conclusively* establish common descent? of course not. i am not claiming that they do. instead, what i am saying is that common descent is the most likely explanation given the evidence available. could it still be incorrect? absolutely. could we still have gotten everything wrong in regards to evolution? absolutely. but it’s definitely not the incoherent “theory” you make it out to be. in fact, it’s one of the, if not the, strongest theories in science, which makes some of the most specific predictions (you can find x species in this layer of rock in this specific geologic area) that should not be possible given that evolution is false.

    >>God does this in a very consistent and mathematical way, which we refer to as “laws of nature.”

    this is falsified. you cannot claim simultaneously that god upholds everything in a systematic, mathematical way at the same time claiming that he violates his own upholding to heal sick people who would otherwise continue to be sick, to stop a STAR from moving in the sky (which makes a lot more sense if you believe the star is what is moving, not the earth. like the writer of joshua did.), who raises the dead to life, who transmutes the substance of an entire flowing body of water with a source and a destination into blood without deteriorating the substance of either source or destination, who commands absolute darkness over an area of earth where light would normally shine, while allowing a place nearby access to the light, who rains fire down from heaven, or fells walls because they are marched around. you cannot claim systematic uniformity at the same time you claim miraculous divine suspension. it is incoherent.

    >>In other words, it is information that did not exist anywhere, as a “used car” that is being called “new to you car” is still a used car, and is not a Brand-New car.

    you are, then, asking for us to observe a mutation today that expresses a genotype not seen anywhere else the world today, correct? as in, a difference between new information to a species (not acceptable) vs. information unique to all life (acceptable)? is this correct?

    >>If the brain and sensory organs are merely the result of mindless mutations that were not eliminated because they improved survival value, how does this lead to the conclusion that the brain is truthful?

    well, the brain isn’t truthful, for one. in fact, the brain is very busy tricking you, all the time. just one example (there are many): memories. when the brain stores a memory, it does not store every conscious observation made (let alone the subconscious ones). instead, it stores information in little snippets that serve as an anchor to that event. when you recall that event in your memory, the brain is taking that snippet and essentially reimagining the event in a way you would view coherent (it won’t reimagine that aliens were in the movie theater next to you. maybe you don’t go to movies. oops.). despite this process, the conscious portion of the brain is entirely unaware and subject to the subconscious imagination. there is no check that allows the conscious brain to realize the subconscious brain may have made a mistake outside of some objective check (such as a video recording) to falsify the memory recalled.

    the brain is not known for its accuracy. smirk.

    >>I know that the universe is upheld in a uniform and consistent manner because God tells us that He does so in Genesis 8:22 and Hebrews 1:3.

    there are quite a few missing premises here.

    you have yet to demonstrate that
    1. a god is necessary for a coherent worldview.
    2. a god exists.
    3. the god that exists is the christian god.
    4. the god that exists left his message in the bible. (not the same as 3)
    5. the bible today is the same message as the bible that god intended.
    6. the message in the bible was intended to reveal truth and not to mislead.

    i’d like to see you demonstrate 3 without using 4,5, and 6. and good luck with 1 and 2. because those are my favorite ones. if you’re going to argue those, you’re going to have a bad time.

    >>I argue for uniformity by a standard outside of uniformity, the critic has responded by abandoning logic and has tacitly admitted that he is unable to account for such things.

    it seems that you argue uniformity by an outside standard if viewed superficially. but let’s actually check this out. you’ve claimed that logic and reason are consistent with god’s nature. which means that you assume they exist (there is no logical connection between being a deity and possessing a logical nature, nor is there some universal principle which dictates that any deity which creates must create in a manner consistent with the logical aspect of its nature, if it has such a nature) when you assert that god exists. that’s a lot of assumptions that are left unfounded.

    >>So simple, and yet you have provided no rational basis for your assumption that your assumptions are rational, or true in any way.

    do you know what an assumption is? it’s an assumption. you don’t support assumptions, you assume them.

    >>If the brain and sensory organs are merely the result of mindless mutations that were not eliminated because they improved survival value, how does this lead to the conclusion that the brain is truthful?

    well, the brain isn’t truthful, for one. in fact, the brain is very busy tricking you, all the time. just one example (there are many): memories. when the brain stores a memory, it does not store every conscious observation made (let alone the subconscious ones). instead, it stores information in little snippets that serve as an anchor to that event. when you recall that event in your memory, the brain is taking that snippet and essentially reimagining the event in a way you would view coherent (it won’t reimagine that aliens were in the movie theater next to you. maybe you don’t go to movies. oops.). despite this process, the conscious portion of the brain is entirely unaware and subject to the subconscious imagination. there is no check that allows the conscious brain to realize the subconscious brain may have made a mistake outside of some objective check (such as a video recording) to falsify the memory recalled.

    the brain is not known for its accuracy. smirk.

    >>I know that the universe is upheld in a uniform and consistent manner because God tells us that He does so in Genesis 8:22 and Hebrews 1:3.

    there are quite a few missing premises here.

    you have yet to demonstrate that
    1. a god is necessary for a coherent worldview.
    2. a god exists.
    3. the god that exists is the christian god.
    4. the god that exists left his message in the bible. (not the same as 3)
    5. the bible today is the same message as the bible that god intended.
    6. the message in the bible was intended to reveal truth and not to mislead.

    i’d like to see you demonstrate 3 without using 4,5, and 6. and good luck with 1 and 2. because those are my favorite ones. if you’re going to argue those, you’re going to have a bad time.

    >>I argue for uniformity by a standard outside of uniformity, the critic has responded by abandoning logic and has tacitly admitted that he is unable to account for such things.

    it seems that you argue uniformity by an outside standard if viewed superficially. but let’s actually check this out. you’ve claimed that logic and reason are consistent with god’s nature. which means that you assume they exist (there is no logical connection between being a deity and possessing a logical nature, nor is there some universal principle which dictates that any deity which creates must create in a manner consistent with the logical aspect of its nature, if it has such a nature) when you assert that god exists. that’s a lot of assumptions that are left unfounded.

    >>So simple, and yet you have provided no rational basis for your assumption that your assumptions are rational, or true in any way.

    do you know what an assumption is? it’s an assumption. you don’t support assumptions, you assume them.


    >>A “beneficial” mutation is one that leads to an increased likelihood of survival in a particular environment. There are beneficial mutations. But they always involve a loss of genetic information or are neutral.

    >>>this is a falsifiable claim. as a result, it has been falsified. i’ll flesh this out later.

    >>You are assuming firstly that it is a false claim, (which begs the question, as that is what you are attempting to prove) and secondly that it has been proven to be so. If that were the case, I would submit that he would have done so by now. As such he has simply made another arbitrary statement without a reason for his claim.

    first, i cannot believe you responded to this and the others that end in “i’ll flesh this out later” as if they were an argument from my position. do you not understand the phrase “i’ll flesh this out later”? it means that i’m not done addressing this point. that you felt the need to comment on points i was clearly not done addressing is evidence of what i stated earlier: you need to prove me wrong because you need to assert dominance here; the validation you claim to have is in actuality lacking from your worldview. and deep down you know this, so you want to strike down someone you view as less informed so you can feel the validation you lack.

    oops. presupposing.

    so i’m going to demonstrate my claim now.

    first, a primer on mutations.

    a mutation (relevant to this discussion) is an imperfection (a mistake in copying) that occurs during the synthesis phase of reproduction. because mutations alter the genotype, they can alter the phenotype (remember, the genotype causes the phenotype), but an altered genotype does not necessarily mean an altered phenotype that is perceptible to a superficial observation.

    there are three possible mutation types:

    1. benefical – something that aids an organism’s ability to pass on its genes
    2. neutral – something that does not add to or detract from an organism’s ability to pass on its genes
    3. harmful – something that hinders an organism’s ability to pass on its genes

    part of the misunderstanding of mutations comes from misunderstanding evolution. so i’ll say this again: evolution is not in the business of creating complexity from less complexity (read: it is not simple to complex). evolution is not the development of humans (read: evolution is not particles to people). evolution is first and foremost any change in the relative allele frequency of a population. a mutation is a specific change to the allele frequency of an allele during reproduction. natural selection is one (probably the main) method by which those mutations which occur are tested for their ability to aid or inhibit an organism’s reproductive likelihood.

    there is nothing in the definition of a beneficial mutation that requires that mutation to “add” genetic information. in fact, we have a term for when a mutation adds genetic information. that term is “duplication.” in this event (which is a neutral mutation), a portion or entire gene is duplicated an extra time so that two copies exist where there should be only one copy. this extra copy is redundant.

    now, in the event that the duplication above occurs, an organism has a redundant gene which does not serve a unique function in the organism’s genome. this frees mutation up to alter that gene without changing the organism’s essential function. this is not a guaranteed thing; mutations do not congregate at gene duplications. but in the event that a duplication occurs (and they do), if a mutation occurs in either copy of those genes, it does not hinder that organism’s ability to function.

    one way that a beneficial mutation might occur is in the scenario above. if an animal relies on camouflage to survive, and one gene responsible for its skin/fur color gets duplicated, that organism will pass on that duplicated gene to its offspring. in one of its offspring (or descendants), a mutation might occur which helps that organism’s fur/skin blend even better into the environment. this mutation might be an addition to the duplicated gene so it is altered in length. it might be a deletion which shortens the length. it might just be a transcription error which results in a G instead of a C. it is classified as beneficial because the mutation makes it and all of its offspring more likely to survive and pass on genes to the next generation, not because of any change in its length. if being pursued by a predator which can be fooled by effective camouflage, over time, the population will change to reflect that mutation because that offspring and all of its offspring are more likely to survive than the offspring of an organism without that mutation and without camouflage as effective.

    this is beneficial mutation.

    now, i predict yet another occurrence of AiG argumentation, so here we go.

    >But are there such things as beneficial mutations? In short, no, but let me explain. While I have yet to see evidence of a truly beneficial mutation, I have seen evidence of mutations with beneficial outcomes in restricted environments. Mutations are context dependent, meaning their environment determines whether the outcome of the mutation is beneficial. One well-known example is antibiotic resistance in bacteria. In an environment where antibiotics are present, mutations in the bacterial DNA that alter the target of the antibiotic allow the bacteria to survive (the bacteria are faced with a “live or die” situation). However, these same mutations come at the cost of altering a protein or system that is important for the normal functioning of the bacteria (such as nutrient acquisition). If the antibiotics are removed, typically the antibiotic resistant bacteria do not fare as well as the normal (or wild-type) bacteria whose proteins and systems are not affected by mutations[.] (http://www.answersingenesis.org/articles/2008/04/25/feedback-beneficial-mutations)

    this seems to be quite conclusive, especially to the uninformed. let me remind you, though, that if this kind of argument were truly compelling, there would not be a 97% consensus among scientists on the validity of evolution. science is built upon peer review and cross-checking data. if what she claims is true (and in an obscure way, it is), there would be more than 3% of the experts who dissent with the majority. that’s always what happens when a theory is overturned; dissent and eventually the majority position shifts to the theory that is the replacement. well, you’ve had 150 straight years of dissent, 150 years’ opportunity to present this information before a jury of scientific peers, and despite this opportunity and despite the rapid paradigm shifts that can occur in science these days, no shift has occurred. if anything, *theists* are shifting to the side of evolution. (granted, DNA was discovered in the 1950s, so you have that handicap.)

    and anyway, i think she’s missing the point of a beneficial mutation. first of all, mutations do not necessarily disrupt the normal function of an organism’s phenotype (as i already explained above). second, as she herself states, mutations are dependent on context to determine whether they benefit, harm, or do nothing for the organism. obviously, removing an organism from an environment that makes a specific mutation beneficial will change the status of that mutation. that’s like putting a monkey in a cage he has no hope of climbing and saying “well those limbs he uses for climbing are useless!” it’s kind of a given, that. this is not a criticism of mutations, it’s simply a restatement of how they work. this is not novel information, this is not something that would surprise a biologist if you confronted them. *that’s what the theory of evolution describes will occur.*

    but if you phrase it right, it’s pretty compelling, to those who don’t understand.

    here, by the way, is a list with sources of mutation and evolution observed. i only wanted one example to cite, but this is better. gish gallop all the way!

    http://phylointelligence.com/observed.html

    >>>seriously, you have no idea what you’re talking about.

    >>Arbitrary claim, because you have not shown this to be true. What it appears by this exchange is that I do know what I am talking about, and you are attempting to bait and switch in order to argue for Common Descent.

    this might look to the uninformed viewer that i am incorrect and displaying my own ignorance. but really, all it shows is that i am not defending myself. to the informed viewer, you very clearly do not know what you are talking about.

    i agree that to this point in the conversation, your rhetoric has been superior to my own. and rhetoric very often sways opinion, regardless of the content of the speaker. this makes you look persuasive, or at least knowledgeable. but to those of us who are not uninformed, but are educated, your rhetoric is nothing more than rhetoric, and it is not the least bit compelling.

    >>You still have provided no evidence as for why you believe that natural laws have been uniform under your naturalistic worldview and will continue to be so in the future.

    how many times should i throw a ball up and catch it before i can see that gravity is pretty consistent? how many times do we have to catch a cold before we understand germs lead to illness? how many times should i blink and open my eyes before i determine my body is functioning? how many times must the earth revolve around the sun before we understand that the earth is revolving around the sun? how many times must we measure the precise speed at which a jet reaches sonic boom before we understand we can break the sound barrier moving at 340.29 meters per second? how many times must we observe light moving in a vacuum to understand that it is moving at a constant speed?

    when has anyone observed these things misbehaving? there is no particular reason they *shouldn’t* misbehave. if they did misbehave, we would be in a bad spot. but they don’t, and haven’t for all of observable history. unless the bible is true, in which case they are disrupted whenever god needs to prove a point.

    so we have ample evidence to suggest that up to this point in time, the universe at the macro level has behaved consistently. given that data, it is safe to conclude that the universe will likely continue to behave in that manner.

    >>You still have provided no evidence for how you believe in the natural laws according to your worldview without assuming uniformity. I have. God upholds the universe in a predictable manner

    >>>P1. there exists apparent uniformity in the universe.
    >>>P2. Occam’s razor states that in a choice between two competing theories with equal support, the simpler explanation is more likely to be accurate.
    >>>P3: it is simplest to explain uniformity by understanding the universe to be uniform.
    >>>C: it is likely true than the universe is uniform.

    >>P1. We can see apparent uniformity in the universe
    >>P2. Ockham’s Razor says do not multiply causes beyond necessity
    >>P3. It is *likely* true that the universe is uniform.

    >>Notice a key shift in the way you just explained yourself, Nathan. Before you were saying that the universe *is* uniform, now you are saying that it is possible it is not?

    so now you’re telling me that you don’t understand the scientific method. do you recognize that built into science is the asterisk *”subject to any future data obtained.” ? everyone who is honest with himself acknowledges that he might be wrong in is understanding of how the universe works. i certainly know this.

    OF COURSE we might be wrong. science is not about absolutes. it never has been, and unless we somehow obtain all possible knowledge, it likely never will be. but i do not claim science is about absolutes; it is about probability. the more observation supports a theory, the more predictions and the more accuracy to those predictions a theory can provide, the more likely they are to be true. that’s all that science is. stop wasting my time trying to convince me of something that i already know (that i might be wrong).

    but then you say, “but science is BUILT on the assumption that the universe is uniform? if it isn’t, all of science falls apart! justify the assumption!” damn straight! science IS built on the uniformity of the universe. that means, biology, chemistry, and physics are all founded by the principle of uniformity that governs their reliability. without that uniformity, they would not be effective fields of study.

    so if the universe isn’t uniform, tell me, what is happening to a carbon atom that bonds to a hydrogen atom, in reality? why is it that that hydrogen atom consistently gives up its one electron to the carbon atom, which takes it, in any observed and unaltered observation (given that the carbon atom has free bonding sites). why is it that every single molecule of water ever observed is polar covalent (given that it is made of two normal atoms of hydrogen and one normal atom of oxygen)? why is it that every time you release the gas pedal on a flat road, you gradually lose speed (given that cruise control is not engaged)? why is it that every morning we wake up to increased sunlight, and every nighttime we are subject to decreased sunlight (given that we are not located at the poles)? why it that every sample of air taken under controlled conditions demonstrates the same chemical composition? why is it that computer screens work consistently, and when they fail they fail consistently as well? why is it that we have the ability to send information using electrons over pieces of conductive cable? why does flipping on a light switch generate light energy every time (given that the bulb is still functioning)? why is it that every human born cannot breathe under water? why is it that sounds above a certain decibel level damage our hearing receptors in predictable ways? why is it that looking at a light source bright enough overwhelms our visual organs in a predictable way? why is it that every time i try to fly, i remain anchored to the ground? why is it that people cannot walk through walls or rocks? why is it that i can hear my own thoughts consistently but no one else’s with just as much consistency? why does every human have the same number of chromosomes, and when there is an anomaly, there is an increasingly predictable cause?

    P1: the universe is either uniform or non-uniform.
    P2: given a non-uniform universe, physics, chemistry, biology, and other areas of scientific study would likely not function with any coherency and consistency.
    P3: physics, chemistry, biology, and other areas of scientific study function with incredible coherency and consistency.
    C: the universe is most likely uniform.

    have a field trip.

  2. Mosely says:

    Dr. Lisle, (or perhaps anyone)

    How would you describe the immaterial nature of the mind in relation to immaterial concepts like the Laws of Logic and Uniformity? I know that concepts are immaterial, and that the only thing that can produce an immaterial object is another immaterial object, but I am having a hard time separating the mind from the brain. It is a really difficult concept for me to grasp. How would you explain this to me?

    • Mosely says:

      I was having a conversation with an atheist about how the laws of logic are transcendent and immaterial concepts, and I believe I was able to prove the transcendent nature of the Laws of Logic and Uniformity, as well as the basic reliability of the senses, but I didn’t (at the time) and still don’t know how to respond to his question about how I could demonstrate the immaterial nature of the mind.

  3. Mosely says:

    Here is my explanation:
    Laws of Logic, Uniformity, and Reasoning are all conceptions that are transcendent in nature.
    Conceptions have no physical properties, and we know that all conceptions come from a mental source, *as they are not physical in nature, thus they must come from something non material (and a mind is non material.
    IF the source must therefore be non material, then it must come from a mind, as that is the only thing capable of creating non physical conceptions.*

    What do we know that possesses a mind? Humans. However, the Laws of Logic, Uniformity, and Reasoning are all transcendent in nature, and humans by definition are not. We are capable of change, and frequently do so in many different ways. However, the Laws of Logic, Uniformity, and Reasoning are all unchangeable, and are obeyed consistently and universally throughout the universe. If these concepts came from a human mind, then there is no good reason to believe that these conceptions would not change, as the mind that created them is changeable in nature, we frequently exercise the ability to “change our minds” as it were.

    If the Laws of Logic are Transcendent and unchanging, Uniformity is Transcendent and Unchanging, and Reasoning is Transcendent and unchanging, (as these are the preconditions of intelligibility, they must be.) Then the mental source that inspired these concepts in a universal and unchanging way must also poses the same qualities of being Transcendent, Universal, and Unchanging. Humans are none of those things, therefore there must be a Mental, Transcendent, Universal, and Unchanging source for the conceptions of Laws of Logic, Uniformity, and Reasoning.

    ———————————
    as they are not physical in nature, thus they must come from something non material (and a mind is non material.
    IF the source must therefore be non material, then it must come from a mind, as that is the only thing capable of creating non physical conceptions.

    That clause right there. Did I simply explain it wrong? I suppose I can retract part of my statement and admit I explained poorly, it would not detract too greatly from my argument that conceptions are immaterial, and that the mind that the conceptions of Laws of Logic and Uniformity come from must be immaterial, right? I simply should not have said all minds are immaterial?

    • Dr. Lisle says:

      Hi Mosely,

      The way I normally put it is that we Christians can have immaterial things existing in our worldview, because God is immaterial. And we can have concepts existing before human beings existed, because the mind of God existed before people. We have a worldview where there is a connection between physical things and non-material things, because God (who is non-material) upholds the physical universe by His power. But how would any of these things make sense apart from the Christian worldview?

      I’m not sure I would argue that immaterial things only come from immaterial things. That might be true, but it’s not obvious to me, and I don’t know how to prove it. Instead I would focus on the fact that the Christian worldview can make sense of material things and immaterial things and the connection between them.

      It seems to me that the mind has a material aspect and a non-material aspect. The brain is the material aspect of the mind. The non-material aspect of the mind might be called the soul or spirit. I don’t pretend to understand the details of how the material and immaterial aspects of the mind work together. But I do have a worldview that allows for the material and immaterial to work together. Non-believers don’t. I hope this helps.

      • Jason K says:

        If the immaterial interact with the physical world…

        [Dr. Lisle: But how can that be in the secular worldview? How can the physical world “know” about immaterial laws and why is it compelled to obey them?]

        …then the effects of those immaterial objects can be measured and verified – that is how you can make sense of immaterial objects without any particular world view.

        [Dr. Lisle: This presupposes cause-and-effect and induction. Of course I believe in cause-and-effect and induction because these are part of the Christian worldview. My point is that such reasoning is not “without any particular worldview.” Jason K is relying on the Christian worldview in his reasoning. That’s a good thing of course. I just wish he would admit it.]

        While doing so one should ask whether a measurement taken _must_ be attributed to an immaterial cause.

        [Dr. Lisle: Just to be clear, there is a difference between causality and justification. My argument has never been about the former, only the latter. The Christian worldview provides rational justification (good reasons) for laws of logic and their properties, induction, and so on. Other worldviews just aren’t quite up to the challenge.]

        Extending the mind analogy, how can anyone say if it is one or the other unless they understand how the mind works?

        [Dr. Lisle: We do know some things about the mind which allows us to draw certain conclusions. A person may have only a very limited knowledge of the details of how a car works, and yet he can still drive it.]

        The same criticisms applied to non-believers invoking a material only explanation for something not understood is at least equally flawed as a believer invoking an immaterial explanation for the same phenomenon.

        [Dr. Lisle: this confuses explanation with justification. Big difference. We often have justification without explanation. For example, there are some medicines that are very useful, but the details of how they work are not known. The explanation isn’t there. But we do have justification for believing that they work: when people take these meds, they get better.]

        [So, I’m not asking the unbeliever to explain in precise details how the mind works, or to list all of the laws of nature. That would be unrealistic and unfair. But I am asking the unbeliever to give reasons for what he believes to be true. And that’s very fair. If the unbeliever accepts that laws of logic exist and are universal, unchanging, and exception-less, he ought to be able to give a reason for this. If he can’t, then he really ought to relinquish such a belief.]

  4. Chris C says:

    Dr. Lisle,

    There is something you said in your book about logical fallacies that is confusing to me. You said:

    //”1. Without laws of logic, we could not make an argument. 2. We can make an argument. 3. Therefore, there must be laws of logic. -This argument is perfectly reasonable, and valid. But it is subtly circular. This argument is using a law of logic called modus tollens to prove that there are laws of logic. So, we have tacitly assumed what we are trying to prove. But it is absolutely unavoidable in this case. We must use laws of logic to prove anything-even the existence of laws of logic. However, the above argument is not arbitrary. We do have a good reason for assuming laws of logic, since without them we couldn’t prove anything. And perhaps most significantly, anyone attempting to disprove the existence of laws of logic would have to first assume that laws of logic do exist in order to make the argument.”//

    ….and then you said:

    //”It is always necessary to presuppose the preconditions of intelligibility. These include laws of logic and induction. However, the evolutionist assumes these arbitrarily-without rational justification-and has thus begged the question.”//

    I thought you said it wasn’t arbitrary to believe in laws of logic because we have a good reason for assuming them, since without them we couldn’t prove anything.

    • Chris H says:

      I think that what he is getting at (And I could be wrong in my understanding) Is that the evolutionist does not have a valid reason for believing in such immaterial and universal concepts in his worldview, because concepts are contingent upon a mind, and as the laws of logic are transcendent and unchanging, universally obeyed, it makes sense that they could not have come from a human mind (which is the naturalist explanation) because a human is changeable, and and frequently does exercise the ability to “change their mind” as it were. Thus, if the mind that came up with the laws of logic is a changeable mind, we would expect to see the laws of logic change as well, because their source is changeable.

      This is the opposite of what we see in the laws of logic, however. Thus the evolutionist has no good reason to assume the laws of logic, because to do so they must deny their naturalistic worldview in that regard and admit there is no naturalist explanation for them.

      (Again, I could be wrong in my understanding of how Dr. Lisle explains it. But that is my 2 cents on a sleepy Saturday morning.)

      • Chris C says:

        Thanks! Yea, I understand the difficulty of a materialist accounting for something that’s imaterial. But Dr. Lisle said, “it’s not arbitrary to assume laws of logic, since without them we couldn’t prove anything.” So there he is saying it’s not arbitrary. Then he says it is arbitrary. Is he saying the former doesn’t apply to evolutionists? Why is it that they can’t say “I assume them because without them we couldn’t prove anything” thereby making it non arbitrary?

        • Micah says:

          I think the problem for the evolutionist is that he can’t answer the why question. The evolutionist can most certainly prove that the laws of logic exist without being arbitrary. His belief in laws of logic becomes arbitrary because he cannot provide a rational justification for why laws of logic are the way they are(i.e. unchanging). The Christian has a good reason, God is unchanging. The evolutionist has no such support to back up his claim. So yes, the evolutionist can assume the laws of logic just like the rest of us, but he cant rationally justify why they are the way they are in his professed worldview, so that makes it arbitrary.
          Dr. Lisle can correct me if im wrong on this, but that is my take on it.

    • Dr. Lisle says:

      Hi Chris, and others,

      A worldview is an integrated network of presuppositions, and these presuppositions must go together. That’s where non-believers get into trouble. A philosophically astute person could indeed argue that laws of logic must exist because without them we couldn’t make an argument – and we can make arguments. But if that person also argues that everything that exists is matter and energy, then his presuppositions contradict each other, since laws of logic are not comprised of matter or energy. We grant that laws of logic exist – the question is: how can his worldview make sense of them?

      The larger problem lies in the fact that the unbeliever cannot justify the properties of the preconditions of intelligibility – such as the fact that laws of logic are universal, unchanging, and exception-less. How does the unbeliever know that laws of logic will continue to work tomorrow? He cannot say, “because then we wouldn’t be able to make an argument tomorrow – and we know that we can make arguments tomorrow” because he really doesn’t know that he can make arguments tomorrow since he hasn’t experienced tomorrow. Unbelievers do assume that laws of logic are universal, exception-less, and unchanging, and yet such properties are completely arbitrary in their worldview. If I could travel backward in time, I would have made that point clearer in my book. Thanks for allowing me to clarify.

      • Josef says:

        Could always eventually do an “updated & revised” or 2nd edition… 😀

      • Josef says:

        “If I could travel backward in time, I would have made that point clearer in my book.”

        Btw, interesting thought, if you could travel back in time, would you still want to write your book? If you could travel back in time, then you could conceivably become older than your parents… 😉

  5. Dr. Lisle says:

    Hello 我の國,

    > If he is omniscient, then he knows exactly what is going to happen at any given moment.

    Correct. This includes all knowledge of the future.

    > If an event must happen for God to be omniscient, then it means he cannot change the event,

    Change the event from what? I think you will find that question difficult to answer, yet without it your argument isn’t complete. I suspect you are confusing the actual future with hypotheticals.

    > If God cannot change an event he knows is going to happen, then he must not be omnipotent.

    That doesn’t follow logically. God’s omnipotence means that He can do anything that He wants to do. He doesn’t want to “change” the future from what it will be, because He has planned and caused the future to be exactly what He wants it to be. God controls the ultimate course of history, and He knows exactly what it will be. There is no contradiction.

    > Uniformity of nature: Nothing in the bible is uniform.

    That’s just not true. God created the cycles of nature in Genesis 1, and He made the heavenly luminaries to help us in tracking those cycles (Genesis 1:14-19). God has promised that such cycles of nature will continue in the future as they were in the past as long as the Earth remains (Genesis 8:22). Of course, we observe such uniformity in nature – confirming the Bible. Secularists have absolutely no basis for uniformity in nature.

    > Some parts describe God as having a body, while others say he is complete spirit.

    In His essential nature, God is a spirit (John 4:24). But since God has the power of creation, it is not a problem for Him to take on physical human nature in addition to His divine nature (Colossians 2:9, Philippians 2:6-8). He can make a body for Himself (Hebrews 10:5).

    > Some phrases imply multiple gods, while others insist on only one.

    No, the Bible is clear that there is only one God (Isaiah 45:14,18,21,22; 46:9). The Bible does acknowledge that there are false gods made up by people (Isaiah 46:5-7, 44:17). Perhaps the reason you were confused is because the biblical God is triune, meaning He is three persons, yet one God. This may be counterintuitive to us, but it is non-contradictory. A contradiction is “A” and “not-A” at the same time and in the same sense. God is one in essence, but three in persons – two different senses.

    > God himself has been known to change his mind at least once (when he caused the Flood, it was because he repented of creating Mankind).

    No, you committed the hermeneutical error of the “unwarranted expansion of an expanded semantic field.” This is when a person takes a word with multiple possible meanings, and picks one that does not fit the context. In this case the word is “repent.” “Repent” can mean to change your mind in some contexts. But it can also refer to an emotion – a sense of sorrow or grieving. It is this latter meaning that is used in Genesis 6:6, as is obvious from the context: “[God] was grieved in His heart.” God never changed his mind about creating mankind, but He does feel sorrow at our extreme wickedness. You should also keep in mind the accommodation principle; God often uses anthropomorphic language to help us get the basics of an idea, since we cannot fully understand the infinite mind of God.

    By the way, the fact that you are looking for logical consistency, and assuming that contradictions are always false, is a very good sign. It shows that you really do know the biblical God in your heart-of-hearts, because without Him there would be no reason to assume that truth is always self-consistent.

    > 3) Morality: There is no moral absolute in the bible.

    That’s going to be pretty hard to defend, considering that the biblical God is the only rational basis for objective moral absolutes. God is morally perfect, and everything God does is morally commendable (Leviticus 11:44, Deuteronomy 32:4). Apart from God, who decides what “right” is? And why should that be binding on others?

    > There are times when it’s wrong to kill, and times when it’s okay.

    That’s correct. But it doesn’t prove your point. God is sovereign, and is therefore allowed to specify the circumstances under which it is appropriate to take a life (self-defense as one example). However, murder – the taking of a human life outside the narrow scope of God’s permission – is absolutely wrong for all people at all times. It is absolute and objective.

    > Prostitution is considered a sin, yet one of the prophets is commanded to marry a prostitute!

    There is no law against marrying a prostitute. So there is no contradiction here.

    > Lying is condoned by Joseph towards the Pharaoh.

    Scripture reference please? I don’t think this is so.

    > Speaking of Pharaoh, even though he wanted to let the Israelites leave Egypt, God messed with his mind to prevent him from letting them go-just so God could punish him for not letting them go!

    No, Pharaoh did not want to let the Israelites go. He acted wickedly, and even admitted to such in moments of honesty (Exodus 9:27). Did God “mess with his mind?” Not really. The text does say that God hardened Pharaoh’s heart (e.g. Exodus 10:1), however the text also says that Pharaoh hardened his own heart (Exodus 9:34-35). God allowed Pharaoh to sin because that’s what Pharaoh wanted to do.
    So God did not punish Pharaoh for something that he was forced to do contrary to his will. (But from a secular standpoint, why would that have been wrong?)

    From a secular point of view, there is no such thing as objective morality. If the universe were simply molecules in motion with no Creator, and people were simply chemical accidents, then anything that one chemical accident does to another would be morally irrelevant.

    > And yet, the biblical God is not self consistent.

    God is indeed self-consistent. But if He weren’t, then there would be no reason why truth would have to be self-consistent. The law of non-contradiction stems from God’s self-consistent nature.

    > At one point, only animal sacrifices could appease him. At another, only a human sacrifice.

    No, not true. God was never appeased by animal sacrifices, and the Bible specifically teaches this in both the Old Testament and the New Testament (Hebrews 10:6,8, Isaiah 1:11, Hosea 8:13). Rather, God is pleased with obedience (1 Samuel 15:22). The animal sacrifices of the Old Testament were not man’s gift to God; rather, they were God’s gift to man. They were instituted to teach people the doctrine of substitutionary atonement by visible symbols (Hebrews 10:1-10). They helped the Jews to understand and look forward to the coming Messiah who would pay the penalty for sin (Galatians 3:23-25, Hebrews 10:1, 9:9,24).

    > In one part of the Bible, each individual is responsible for his/her own sin,

    That’s true for the entire Bible. God holds people accountable for their own sins (Ezekiel 18:20). There is only one exception – one person in all of history who was held accountable for the sin of others, and He did so willingly.

    > in another, two people are responsible for the sin of the entire planet, and each living person today must be punished for it!

    Adam and Eve were the only two people at the time. We are descended from them and have inherited their sin nature. In other words, we want to sin. And God often allows us to. But if we repent and ask God to forgive us, He will. That’s very generous considering God is under no obligation to have mercy on us. There is no inconsistency here.

    > The Bible itself tells us that all knowledge depends upon God

    That’s right. Apart from God’s revelation, we couldn’t know anything.

    > In other words, the Bible is the Word of God because it says it is?

    No, that would be an arbitrary circular argument. It is relevant, however, that the Bible claims to be the Word of God. Usually, when a book includes the name of its author, we accept it as true unless there is a compelling reason to the contrary. The Bible does claim to be the Word of God, and it demonstrates this claim by providing the only worldview that makes knowledge possible.

    You are insisting that truth must be self-consistent and cannot have contradictions. You seem to believe in objective morality too. And you are right on both accounts. But apart from the Bible, those things wouldn’t make any sense. In a chance, accidental, material universe, why would there be universal invariant laws of logic that govern correct reasoning? Why would there be a moral code that binds all people, but not animals? So your objections to the Bible allegedly not being self-consistent, and not having objective morality, actually confirm that the Bible is true.

    I hope this helps answer your questions.

    • 我の國 says:

      first of all the standard of the christian god says he doesn’t contradict himself, and that he doesn’t go below that standard,and that if he does he cant be god that’s why i insisted for the sake of the argument that truth must be self-consistent and cannot have contradictions. Also the fact is that truth cant have contradictions is that is is observed by people that it cant have contradictions
      “If an event must happen for God to be omniscient, then it means he cannot change the event,Change the event from what? I think you will find that question difficult to answer, yet without it your argument isn’t complete. I suspect you are confusing the actual future with hypotheticals. ”
      I meant that if God change event “蛇” to event “狼” than he would not be omniscient since he would be wrong about what event would happen

      • Dr. Lisle says:

        Hi 我の國,

        You are confusing hypotheticals with realities, when you ask if God can change (a future) event A to event B. Let’s say event “A” is that it rains next Thursday, and event “B” is that it does not rain next Thursday (at the same time in the same location). Can God cause rain next Thursday? Yes. Can God cause it to not rain next Thursday? Yes. Can God “change” the actual future from one to the other? No, because if He changed actual future A to actual future B, then A was never the actual future. Clear?

        You are considering hypothetical futures, rather than the actual future, because there can be only one actual future, and it is exactly what God has planned it to be. He wouldn’t change it because that would mean that He was mistaken in knowing what He wanted to occur. Effectively, you are asking if God contradicts Himself. And the answer is: no. That’s why truth is always self-consistent.

        Apart from God, why would truth always be self-consistent?

  6. 我の國 says:

    “That’s going to be pretty hard to defend, considering that the biblical God is the only rational basis for objective moral absolutes. God is morally perfect, and everything God does is morally commendable (Leviticus 11:44, Deuteronomy 32:4). Apart from God, who decides what “right” is? And why should that be binding on others?”
    I refer you to the Old Testament, specifically Numbers 31. Was it morally right for God’s followers to wipe out a civilization, kill its male children and take its female virgins as sex slaves (I know it doesn’t say that specifically, but come on, did God expect them to hook virgin girls up to plows and make the work the fields?) If so, is it morally right for us to do the same in today’s world? If the answer is no, then morality is subjective (it was right for them but not for us).

    If there is such a thing as objective morality, what are the criteria for determining what is objectively moral, since we’ve seen that the Bible contains widely conflicting moral instructions?

    • Dr. Lisle says:

      Hi 我の國,

      >> “That’s going to be pretty hard to defend, considering that the biblical God is the only rational basis for objective moral absolutes. God is morally perfect, and everything God does is morally commendable (Leviticus 11:44, Deuteronomy 32:4). Apart from God, who decides what “right” is? And why should that be binding on others?”

      >I refer you to the Old Testament, specifically Numbers 31. Was it morally right for God’s followers to wipe out a civilization, …

      It is morally right for God to punish the wicked. The strange thing about your question is that it makes no sense apart from the Christian worldview. In an evolutionary universe, there is no “right” or “wrong”, there’s just what “is.” I notice that you didn’t answer my questions. I’ll repeat them: Apart from God, who decides what “right” is? And why should that be binding on others?

      > kill its male children and take its female virgins as sex slaves (I know it doesn’t say that specifically, but come on, did God expect them to hook virgin girls up to plows and make the work the fields?)

      No, God forbids sex outside the scope of marriage. But the Israelites were allowed to marry the women of a defeated city, but had to treat them respectfully (Deuteronomy 21:10-14). Also, when the women were spared, so were the children (Deuteronomy 20:14). Of course, if people were just chemical accidents, then why be concerned about their “rights?” Mud puddles don’t have rights.

      > If so, is it morally right for us to do the same in today’s world? If the answer is no, then morality is subjective (it was right for them but not for us).

      If we had a Christian nation today (which we don’t), God might choose to use that nation to judge wicked nations just as He did in the Old Testament. We don’t have that today, but the moral code is still the same.

      > If there is such a thing as objective morality, what are the criteria for determining what is objectively moral, since we’ve seen that the Bible contains widely conflicting moral instructions?

      This is the fallacy of the complex question and the fallacy of the straw-man argument. The Bible does not have conflicting moral instructions – we’ve seen that you have misrepresented what the text states. The Bible is the ultimate standard for objective morality. Apart from the Christian worldview as defined in the Scriptures, there is no logical basis for objective morality.

      > also, should we go to a Muslim nation and pressure them to educate their girls as well as their boys?

      No, we should go to a Muslim nation and preach the Gospel and defend the Christian faith. When God changes a person’s heart, that person will naturally want to obey God’s laws.

      > Is our moral outrage at girls being denied schooling just our opinion or is it objective? Does it apply to Muslims who don’t agree?

      If evolution were true, then moral outrage is just an opinion – the result of chemical reactions in the brain that conveyed some sort of survival value in the past. But there would be no objective justification for moral outrage since morality is meaningless in an evolutionary universe. However, Christians can be rightly outraged when people are treated unfairly, because we recognize that those people are made in the image of God, and should be treated with dignity and respect. Yes, this applies to Muslims who don’t agree. God determines moral laws just as He determines laws of nature. If a Muslim doesn’t believe in gravity, gravity continues to exist despite his unbelief. Likewise, if a Muslim doesn’t believe in the moral code set forth in the Bible, it continues to be binding on him anyway.

      • 我の國 says:

        “No, God forbids sex outside the scope of marriage. But the Israelites were allowed to marry the women of a defeated city, but had to treat them respectfully (Deuteronomy 21:10-14). Also, when the women were spared, so were the children (Deuteronomy 20:14). Of course, if people were just chemical accidents, then why be concerned about their “rights?” Mud puddles don’t have rights.”
        Than what about slavery if its not okay today than its still moral relativism (it was right for them but not for us).

        • 我の國 says:

          “if people were just chemical accidents, then why be concerned about their “rights?” Mud puddles don’t have rights.”

          because they hav become sentient beings who could think

          • Dr. Lisle says:

            That’s a non-sequitor. It doesn’t follow logically. What is the logical reason in your view that thinking beings have rights? Why would that be the case in a chance universe? When you are unconscious, and not really thinking, do you cease to have rights? Having “rights” is a moral truth. But how can you have morality in a chance universe apart from God?

        • 我の國 says:

          “Also, when the women were spared, so were the children (Deuteronomy 20:14).”

          not true “Now kill all the boys. And kill every woman who has slept with a man, but save for yourselves every girl who has never slept with a man.”Numbers 17-18

          • Dr. Lisle says:

            Moses permitted young girls to be spared in one instance since they apparently were innocent of the sin that the others had committed. But if evolution is true, why not kill off the weak to make way for the strong?

            How can you make sense of morality in an evolutionary universe?

            • 我の國 says:

              first of all what was the sin that 3 year old boys commited?

              [The Bible doesn’t say. But it does say that we are all sinners (Romans 3:23) and that this is so from the point of conception (Psalm 51:5). To think that you are “innocent” by virtue of not committing any of the “really important” sins like murder is to grossly underestimate the holiness and sovereignty of God.]

              As well in Deuteronomy its said that ALL of the children should be spared as well the woman.

              [You do err, not knowing the Scriptures nor the power of God. God used Israel to bring His judgment on some wicked nations. Those nations that were the most wicked were judged most harshly, since God is a just God. For these nations, God commanded the Israelites to destroy them completely (Deuteronomy 20:16-28). However, for other nations, God permitted the Israelites to spare the women, the children, and the animals (Deuteronomy 20:13-14).]

              second of all you are confusing social Darwinism with evolution its like confusing the type of Christianity you believe with that of the KKK.

              [That’s the fallacy of false analogy. Social Darwinism is the logical application of evolutionary principles to society. However, the KKK is not the logical application of Christian principles to society, quite the opposite.]

              And as well where does it say in the bible of this “special instance” if it is not mentioned than you should have no reason to believe it!

              [It is mentioned. Deuteronomy 20 gives the law in terms of what the Israelites were supposed to do. Numbers 31 is a specific instance of what the Israelites actually did. Don’t confuse these.]

              oh come on You know the virgin girls where going to be taken as sex slaves!

              [Why? Because that’s what you would do? Don’t project your wicked desires on God. God forbids rape (Deuteronomy 22:25).]

            • 我の國 says:

              also “How can you make sense of morality in an evolutionary universe?
              Reply”
              is often argued that in a godless world, we would not have any basis for morality. Morality is principles with the distinction between right and wrong or good and bad behavior or character. However, for many others, religion is the problem. Their rejection of religion, far from being motivated for escaping moral accountability as some claim, reflexes a conviction that its only through abandoning certain wide-spread religious ideas that progress towards a truly just, consistent morality is possible.

              [Dr. Lisle: I understand that some people believe that way. But I haven’t seen any of them offer a self-consistent logical justification for morality.]

              What do we base for morality? We know it is not power, the one with the gun might have means to impose their wishes, but this tells us nothing about their principles. we know it is not majority preference, if the spectacle of human sacrifices is the preferred entertainment of the majority, this does not make human sacrifice right. We know it is not tradition, the fact that a practice may have endured for many generations tells us nothing about its virtue. Although what is written in law may actually reflect what a society may deem right or wrong, we know law does not determine morality. Laws can be unjust.

              [Very well said. I agree completely.]

              When asking this question, it can be useful to consider how we go about accessing moral problems.

              [My question was basically, how can you have an objective moral code at all in a chance universe? And who decides what it is? Most of your reply here takes for granted that there is an objective moral code, and then you seem to argue that what is morally just is that which is logically true. This is called the “naturalistic fallacy” – pointing out that the universe is a particular way, and then arbitrarily assuming that it therefore should be that way.]

              Society 1 – Children are branded witches and blamed for famines and floods. They are ostracized by their parents, starved, tortured, and killed. What can we say about this? Well, we know that these disasters are not due to magic but natural processes.

              [Well, from a Christian standpoint, yes, we know that God upholds the universe in a logical and consistent way which we call “laws of nature.” But apart from the Christian worldview, I don’t see how you can know that such disasters are not caused by children or witches, or whatever. But I’ll let that one slide, because the important issue comes next.]

              So even before having to consider the moral dimension, we can reject this behavior outright as resulting from a false view of how nature works.

              [You might reject it as logically fallacious, but why in your worldview would that make it morally wrong? Why is it morally wrong to be illogical (in your worldview?) In the Christian worldview, it is indeed morally wrong to be illogical, because we are supposed to think in a way that is consistent with the nature of God (Isaiah 55:7-8, 2 Corinthians 10:5). But in an evolutionary universe, why would that be the case? The idea that people should behave according to a true view of nature rather than a false view of nature is a moral claim, and one for which you have not yet given a reason. That moral claim is justified in the Christian worldview, but I don’t see how it could be justified apart from the Christian worldview. It seems that you are borrowing from the Christian worldview in order to support your own.]

              What makes it a moral matter is what kind of harm it involves. For things that cause no harm, moral condemnation simply is not appropriate.

              [That’s a moral claim. But you haven’t (yet) established any basis for morality in your worldview. In other words, how do you know that only things that cause harm are potentially morally wrong? And how can you determine what is “harm” without already having a standard of morality? In the Christian worldview, yes, it is wrong to harm other people without sufficient cause because people are made in the image of God and have intrinsic value. But if people are chemical accidents, I don’t understand why you think it would be potentially immoral to cause them “harm” or how you can objectively measure what “harm” means. Is it wrong to “harm” a mud puddle? If not, then why would it be wrong to harm people in an evolutionary universe, since both mud puddles and people would simply conglomerations of chemicals produced by the mindless processes of nature acting over time?]

              For example, homosexuality is often misidentified as a moral issue, but gay relationships involve no intrinsic harm any more than mixed ones. Indeed, when classing harmless things as immoral results in persecution.

              [But why would that be wrong? Why is it wrong to persecute a bag of chemicals? You seem to be assuming that human beings have some intrinsic value, but how would that be the case in an evolutionary universe?]

              We’ve reasoned to condemn the misclassification.

              [Why? Why should “misclassification” be morally wrong? If I choose to classify bats as birds, I might be scientifically wrong; but am I morally wrong? Should I be punished? If so, why?]

              Are the parents in this society morally blameworthy if they are genuinely ignorant of their wrongdoing?

              [What do you mean by “wrongdoing”? You keep using moral terms, but you haven’t explained how morality would even be possible in your worldview. What is your standard for classifying a particular behavior as morally wrong? That’s the question I’m asking you to answer on your worldview.]

              We do not call well-fed cats who kill mice, or small children who crayon on expensive wall paper immoral, because we do not attribute them with the capacity to grasp reasons for not doing so. People who harm children as witches may have their capacity for reason undermined by false teachings and so be less blameworthy than knowing abusers.

              [You are assuming a Christian standard. Those who act against God’s law in ignorance receive less punishment than those who act against God’s law with full knowledge (Luke 12:47-48). But how could anything be wrong apart from God’s law, and who decides? Why on your worldview is killing children as witches any more wrong than killing mice, since both are merely the results of billions of years of chemical reactions?]

              In a very important sense, moral responsibility can be said to operate within limits of education. this is why education, especially in science, is crucial to moral progress.

              [Why in your worldview would that be so? Science is a procedure to help us understand what is. But morality is about what should be. How do you make the connection between these two without appealing to God? That’s what I want to know.]

              Among other things, it helps eliminate our vulnerability to superstition-based abuse.

              [Who decides what is “abuse” in your worldview? Abuse is a mis-use of a person, yes? But this implies that people have a proper use – a purpose. But in a chance universe, why should people have a purpose, and who decides what the purpose should be?]

              Knowing better leaves us no excuse for not doing better.

              [Knowing what is morally right and not doing it may indeed be inexcusable. But you haven’t yet established how you know what is morally right on your worldview, or how right and wrong can even exist in your worldview.]

              Once the justification for harmful practices is shown as false, there is literally no reason for it to continue.

              [Are you talking about logical justification or moral justification? They are different. The former deals with what is; the latter deals with what should be. I suspect that you are confusing these two. This is the naturalistic fallacy.]

              This first scenario is about dehumanization, when the witch-finder convinces a parent that her child is evil (even demonic). This is a potent way of eroding empathy – an adaptive pro-social trait (lacking in psychopaths) which keeps us sensitive to others’ suffering. During WWII, Jews were seen as vermin by their persecutors. Some paint the non-religious as degenerate or hell-fodder. Dehumanizing people is a known method for diminishing compassion and the guilt felt when abusing them. We learn much from history and the present-day about the horrors it can enable.

              [In the evolutionist view, people are just animals. So why do you give them special status? It seems that you are borrowing from the Christian worldview. You recognize that people are distinct from other organisms because we are made in God’s image and have a higher value to Him than animals. From a Christian perspective, what Hitler did was despicable, and morally atrocious. But from an evolutionary perspective, why would the extermination of Jews be any different than the extermination of rats? I know you believe that the former is wrong, but I don’t understand how you can defend that from an evolutionary perspective.]

              Society 2 – The single lawmaker tells everyone “All who harm you will be punished but you won’t be punished for harming others.” Persons A and B harm each other simultaneously, they each quote the first part of the law, demanding the others punishment. The other quotes the second part, demanding immunity from punishment. According to the law, A and B must be both punished AND immune from punishment. This is the kind of absurdity that results from egocentric system where only one’s own suffering, desires, etc. matter.

              [But from an evolutionary perspective, why should the other person’s suffering, desires, etc. matter to me? Why not be egocentric? Why should I care about others in cases where it doesn’t benefit my survival? In the Christian worldview yes, we should be concerned about others since they too are made in God’s image. But why in a chance universe?]

              If suffering is bad in principle …

              [In an evolutionary universe, suffering is just chemistry in the brain of a chemical accident. So why would it be “bad” in principle? You keep making moral claims, but you haven’t provided a basis for them on your worldview.]

              …then claiming it is wrong for others to hurt you while you hurt others would be appealing to the same notion of justice that requires you to recognize your own wrong-doing.

              [You keep using moral words like “wrong-doing” without providing a rational reason for why such actions should be considered wrong. “Justice” is also a moral concept, but in a chance universe, what one chemical accident does to another chemical accident is morally irrelevant.]

              This is not only why this reduces suffering, it is also rationally consistent to have basic prohibitions against causing needless harm to other humans, and by extension other life forms that we know have the capacity to experience suffering.

              [Why? On the Christian worldview, yes, we shouldn’t cause needless suffering because people have intrinsic value to God, and their well-being matters to Him. But in an evolutionary universe, suffering is just brain chemistry. Why would it be wrong to induce a particular chemical reaction in the brain that you interpret as “suffering?”]

              Besides, part of morality’s essence is adopting a plural view, recognizing our impact on others and adjusting our conduct in response.

              [Why should we be concerned about others if they are simply bags of chemicals that evolved by chance? Should I be equally concerned about the chemistry taking place in the detergent in my washing machine?]

              Of course sometimes causing harm is rationally premised. For example, we risk painful medical procedures if there is a compensating benefit to our health. And sometimes we have sufficient justification to harm others when acting in self-defense or to prevent greater suffering.

              [In the Christian worldview, God gives specific situations where it is appropriate to harm someone – such as in self-defense. But in an evolutionary universe, why worry about the brain chemistry of a chemical accident? You keep borrowing on the Christian worldview to support your own.]

              Society 3 – Only males are allowed to learn to read and write. Is this just? Well, we know there is no valid basis for making literacy dependent on gender. We know the real reason institutions and individuals who restricted basic education throughout history is to keep others subservient. As noted earlier, more education decreases vulnerability to abuse. Forbidding female literacy is itself a mark of bad education and the unjust exercise of authority.

              [In the Christian worldview, men and women are both made in God’s image (Gen 1:27), and therefore both should be treated fairly and impartially under the law (Galatians 3:28, Romans 2:11). But in an evolutionary universe, why would it be morally wrong for one gender to dominate another? You say it would be an “unjust exercise of authority.” But “unjust” is a moral concept. You are trying to justify morality by appealing to morality. That is to say, you’ve begged the question. Who decides what is the “just exercise of authority” in a chance universe?]

              But what if most of the women agreed with this rule, is it then acceptable? If an eight-year-old consents to an adult’s sexual advances, are the advances acceptable? Of course not.

              [Why on your worldview would that be wrong? You simply state that it is, but you don’t give a reason. In the Christian worldview, sex is not permitted outside the scope of marriage as defined according to God’s law. And God holds us accountable for our actions. So we have a good reason for morality, but in a chance universe, why would you?]

              This is why we do not only talk about consent, but capacity for informed consent. People kept purposely uneducated can reasonably be said to have diminished capacity for informed consent. The rule is oppressive in its construction, even if the women agree with it. Indeed, when people who have been made subservient elaborate in their own oppression, this is normally cause for greater concern, not less. Those who defend their abusers are the most comprehensively enslaved.

              [In an evolutionary universe, all of the above is just chemistry and is morally irrelevant.]

              Society 4 – ALL criminals are executed. Assessing this law, we can see it’s flawed, but not only because disproportionate punishment is unjust.

              [Again, you are borrowing on a Christian worldview. Why in an evolutionary universe should (a moral word) criminals be punished at all? Why should their punishment be proportional to the crime? And how would you decide what is a crime? Is killing a person a crime? How about killing a gerbil, or killing a carrot? The Christian worldview provides rational answers to all these questions, but I don’t see how an evolutionary worldview ever could.]

              Under this rule those who commit minor crime (sch as littering) having nothing to lose but all to gain by killing witnesses (even suspecting witnesses). Murder can’t increase the consequences for them. They can only inflate the chances of evading execution. In this way, execution for all crime actually encourages minor crimes to escalate. This gives us a reason to tailor punishment in the severity of the offense, especially in the category in the case of serious crime.

              [Yes, however, this presupposes that a society should try to reduce things like murder. Again, you are appealing to morality in an attempt to justify morality. The reasoning is circular.]

              For example, while rape is a horrific form of abuse, …

              [In a chance universe, why would that be? “Abuse” implies that there is a proper and objective use for a person. But in a chance universe where people are simply the outworking of the laws of nature acting on chemicals, how can people have a definite objective “use” and who decides what it should be?]

              …punishing murder more severely will tend to deter rapists from also killing their victims. As before with indiscriminate execution, the rapist loses nothing, but might gain, by also committing murder.

              [This all presupposes the Christian principles that rape and murder are morally wrong, and that we should try to minimize such things in society. But you have yet to prove this on your own worldview. You continue to borrow from Christianity, while simultaneously denying the truth of Christianity.]

              Society 5 – The leader declares smiling on a Tuesday is immoral. This causes no identifiable harm, …

              [“Harm” according to what standard? The leader declares the smiling on Tuesdays is in fact harm in and of itself. How could you objectively argue against that without appealing to Christianity?]

              …so there are no valid grounds for declaring it immoral.

              [This presupposes that “harm” is (1) objectively defined, and (2) that it is morally wrong. But you have yet to demonstrate either of those principles in the evolutionary worldview.]

              Nor can it be made immoral by making it a law and then saying it is immoral to break the law. If this was how our morality works any arbitrary behavior can be made immoral.

              [Yes. I agree. If a mere human being is the standard of morality, then morality would be subjective and arbitrary.]

              We do not base morality on revelation based on authority.

              [The problem is that there is no alternative. If you can get away with something, then there is no rational objective reason to say that it is morally wrong, apart from God’s decree. Morality based on revelation from God is the only way to have an objective, non-arbitrary moral code.]

              That would render us merely obedient. Moral behavior is doing what is right, not what we are told (unless what we are told is also right).

              [What do you mean by “right”? You still haven’t defined this term on your own worldview in a self-consistent way. You say, moral behavior is doing what is right – and that’s true, but it’s circular. You are attempting to define one moral concept using another. How do you account for the existence of a moral code at all in an evolutionary universe?]

              [You say “unless what we are told is also right” – but that is exactly the Christian claim. “Right” is that which aligns with God’s will as expressed in His law. What God has told us to do is necessarily right by definition, and we have a logical reason to obey God: He will hold us accountable for our actions. Any alternative leads to absurdity.]

              This is why when asking “why is X immoral”, appealing to scripture or a divine figure gets us nowhere.

              [You state this, but you provide no good reason. You have already said that “Moral behavior is doing what is right, not what we are told (unless what we are told is also right).” This means that revelation from God can indeed be a basis for morality if “what we are told is also right.” Since according to the Christian system, “right” is that which aligns with the will of God, and “what we are told” in Scripture also aligns with God’s will, then indeed it satisfies your condition of “what we are told is also right.” Revelation from God does indeed form a rational basis for morality. However, I have not seen any other definition or defense of morality that can do this. All other worldview cannot make the logical connection between what is and what should be.]

              There must be valid independent reasons to define what is moral, right or wrong, good or bad.

              [No, in logic we don’t need more than one reason to believe in something, as long as we have one good reason. And we have a very good reason to take God’s revelation as the standard for “right”, since God is sovereign over the entire universe and holds us accountable for our behavior. We have a good reason for why we should behave in a particular way.]

              If intuition tells us what is immoral, we may ask what triggers the intuition? There must be valid reasons. Once we are dealing with valid reasons we’re having a conversation that has no need to refer to scripture or authority (divine or otherwise). Valid reasons are available to us all.

              [The problem is: you haven’t given any valid reasons why people should behave in a particular way. And really, that’s the only question I want you to answer. I have given you a very valid reason why we should take God’s law as the standard for correct behavior: (1) This is the standard by which God will judge us, and (2) any alternative is arbitrary.]

              Society 6 – Feeding someone chocolate and making green paint are prohibited. The people of this society have a genetic intolerance to chocolate that causes them agonizing death. They also live in a remote island where green paint can only be made with a rare substance needed for a life-saving medicine. Differing biology or practical circumstances can explain why some populations live by different rules.

              [Yes, it does explain why people do live by different rules. But it does not explain why people should live by different rules. Do you see the distinction? This is a crucial point and I believe you’ve missed it: there is a difference between what is and what should be. I don’t see how you can make the leap from what is to what should be without appealing to Christianity.]

              Also, different cultures may deal effectively with the same issue despite approaches. However, this does not commit us to saying that cultures are equally valid. Because some cultural differences are justified it does not mean that all cultural differences are justified (as noted earlier, branding children as witches is categorically wrong and is to be rejected as the result of bad education not ‘respected as a cultural truth’). The fact that some cultures have cruel practices does not mean morality is therefore arbitrary and all opinions are equal. It simply reflects the fact that just as moral development takes time to develop in the individual it also takes time to develop in societies with different societies developing at different rates. Some societies still believe in magic. Some have largely outgrown their belief in magic but not animal cruelty, racism, sexism, or homophobia. Some societies have largely outgrown all of these and are focused on advances in other areas effecting the well-being of the planet.

              [Again, what is the case and what should be the case are two different things. You keep offering explanations for what is, but I’m asking you to justify what should be from your point of view.]

              Reviewing these scenarios, it should be noted there is nothing arbitrary about the arguments given for improving education, graduating criminal punishment, prohibiting needless harm, and recognizing relevant difference. It is though such measures, as well as cultivating attitudes of cooperation and compromise (despite competing interests), that we are able to coexist with minimal suffering.

              [It is arbitrary unless you provide a good reason why coexisting and minimal suffering are morally commendable. In the Christian worldview they are, but how could that be the case in a mindless, accidental universe?]

              The worry that a without religion or god we’ve no basis for which to discuss morality, is without foundation.

              [Quite the opposite, as we’ve seen. Apart from God, morality is reduced to subjective, arbitrary opinions. Apart from God, there is no reason why I shouldn’t behave in a particular way if I can get away with it.]

              Plain empathy can trigger natural help responses to others distress and crate natural aversion to causing others harm.

              [Naturalistic fallacy. That might explain why we DO have empathy, but not why we SHOULD.]

              Likewise, the simple experience of living alongside others is a simple feedback about how our actions affect each other and how we might have to affect our conduct in response. The human brain contains “mirror neurons”; which mimic the activity of other parts of the brain or of other brains. This provides a literal biological foundation for empathy: individuals with mirror neurons, including humans and other primates, can actually feel what others feel.(Source:Thomas S. May, “Terms of Empathy: Your Pain in My Pain——If You Play Fair Game,” Brain Work 16 (May—June 2006): 3)

              [Naturalistic fallacy. This might account for why we do behave a certain way, but not why we should behave a certain way.]

              The two prerequisites for reliable moral assessment are 1) reason and 2) accurate and relevant information. Sound reasoning won’t lead to valid assessments if we are operating under flawed information, nor with sound information if our reasoning is flawed. Without sound reasoning and information, we can’ determine how the universe works, how different life forms suffer or flourish, where responsibility lies, or would the short or long term consequences of actions are on an inter-personal or global scale. And these are considerations on which moral judgments depends.

              [That definition leads to absurd results. A person says, “I really enjoy killing people for sport.” Does he have (1) a reason? Yes, it makes him happy. Does he have accurate and relevant information? Yes, he knows that the action of killing someone causes him to experience feelings of happiness. He is quite correct about the cause-and-effect relationship here. Is he acting morally? Why or why not?]

              Some often declare the territory of religion, moral development is actually something to which the scientific approach contributes far more and far more reliably due to is emphasis on reason, logic and evidence (the tools that help us discern what is true or false) on without which one cannot even formulate a valid argument. To make informed moral choices, and therefore moral progress, religion need science, but science does not need religion.

              [I suspect you may have an incorrect definition of science and/or religion. But I agree that we should use logic and reason when assessing the morality of a situation. The problem is: there doesn’t seem to be a logical reason on your worldview to have any sort of morality at all. Nor can your worldview justify science either; but that is a matter for another time.]

              Indeed, findings in neurological science are pulling back the curtain in religious moral thought. In a revealing study by Nicholas Eply (Eply, N. et al 2009, “Proceedings of the National Academy of Science, 106), Christian volunteers were asked to report their own views, the views of their deity, and the views of others on a range of controversial issues (such as legal euthanasia) while having their brain activity scanned. Results show that thinking about divine views activated the same brain regions as thinking about their own views, indicating that when believing themselves to be consulting the divine moral compass, theists may instead be doing is doing what the rest of us do: searching their own conscience. An idea further supported by the finding that manipulating the subjects beliefs consistently influence their views about divine beliefs. As Eply put it, “Intuiting God’s beliefs…may serve as an echo chamber to validate and justify one’s own beliefs.”

              [That’s interesting. And it is perfectly consistent with Christianity. God says that He has written His laws on our hearts (Jeremiah 31:33, Romans 2:14-15). We instinctively know right and wrong to some extent because God has hardwired us to know them. So even atheists know God’s law, and unwittingly rely on it (perhaps inconsistently) even though they may verbally deny it. This is why you are (mostly) right about moral considerations, even though you haven’t been able to provide us with a reason for them on your own professed worldview.]

              Some claim that without Gods, we are just animals. We are animals, but animals uniquely capable in appreciating reasons to do some things and not others, capable of rationally assessing the consequences and justifications of our actions and beliefs.

              [I partially agree. Only humans have morality. But what worldview can make sense of this? What worldview claims that human beings are distinct from other creatures in that we know God and His laws, and are held accountable for breaking them? I do think that some animals have a limited ability to assess the consequences of their actions. Dogs can be trained with punishment and reward. They can learn not to go on the carpet because it has consequences of punishment. But that isn’t morality in the Christian system.]

              Whereas certain religions traditionally use moral language to divide, control and frighten people to obedience, there is a more appropriate and principled function for morality: to ease the challenges of coexistence.

              [Unfortunately, in an evolutionary universe, there is no rational reason why we should attempt “to ease the challenges of coexistence.”]

              In a world of finite resources, each of us with different interests and desires, societies in which individuals coordinate different talents and develop effective ways to promote flourishing and harmonious living and minimizing conflict and needless suffering, will tend to be happier, more peaceful and more productive than those who don’t.

              [So? In a Christian worldview, happiness and peace are morally commendable because they stem from the nature of God (Psalm 29:11) – our foundation for morality. But in a naturalistic universe, happiness is just one group of chemical reactions in the brain. And peace is contrary to the driving force of evolution – the struggle for existence.]

              Because we live in continuous changing world with new kinds of moral problems being generated all the time there is much harmful ignorance yet to overcome, there is an ongoing need to develop and redefine our moral understanding.

              [I humbly suggest studying the Scriptures is the key to moral progress. Reasoning from God’s Word will help refine our sense of morality, bringing it into alignment with God. Any alternative to this cannot justify the existence or nature of moral laws, nor give objective reasons why people should behave in a particular way.]

              Our collective moral progress depends upon the extent to which we are able and -crucially- willing to examine our behavior and most cherished beliefs and ten share our moral insights through education so that future generations can avoid repeating our harmful and foolish mistakes.

              [God actually gives us the solution in the Scriptures. Isaiah 55:7-8 states, “Let the wicked forsake his way And the unrighteous man his thoughts; And let him return to the LORD, And He will have compassion on him, And to our God, For He will abundantly pardon. ‘For My thoughts are not your thoughts, Nor are your ways My ways,’ declares the LORD.” Scripture alone provides us with the only logically defensible foundation for objective moral standards.]

              [I very much enjoyed reading your message. Thank you for posting.]

        • Dr. Lisle says:

          我の國,

          You just haven’t done your homework on this issue. I have written an extended series on the God’s Law on this very blog – including a discussion of slavery. You’ll have to read up on these issues if you want to converse intelligently on the topic.

          You still haven’t answered my questions. How would anything be “right” or “wrong” in a chance universe? And who decides?

          • 我の國 says:

            but is slavery still right today? is it still moral?

            [Again, I’ve already written extensively on this topic on this very website. (I’m not going to rewrite what I’ve already written just because you’re too intellectually lazy to look it up.) What was morally right in the Old Testament is morally right in the New Testament. Unfortunately many people mischaracterize what the Bible teaches, and then try to swat down a straw-man position.]

            One can argue that if God does not exist, an objectively provable existence of objective morality does not exist, and an objective need for objective morality to exist does not exist. Hence, the atheistic situation is no longer problematic.

            [I agree that objective morality cannot exist apart from God. But the atheistic situation is still in trouble, because atheists do in fact believe in objective morality. A few of them might deny this, but if someone were to pull a gun on them and ask for a good reason not to pull the trigger if the person could get away with murder, the atheist will very quickly become a believer in objective morality.]

            Your argument boils down to “objective morals exist, therefore god exists”. Thus, the proposed definition of “moral” must simultaneously OMIT god (so the argument isn’t circular, god being the conclusion) and REQUIRE god (in order to reach the conclusion at all). This is logically impossible.

            [That’s a bifurcation fallacy since neither of your claims is true. A circular argument incorporates the conclusion (in this case: God exists) arbitrarily into one of the premises. It’s not circular to incorporate a term or definition or concept that’s in the conclusion into a premise. In fact it is necessary in categorical logic to avoid a fallacy. For example:

            “All bachelors are unmarried men. Unmarried men exist. Therefore, bachelors exist.” The argument is perfectly sound and non-circular, even though the first premise is true by construction. Likewise, I could argue “Objective morality is that which corresponds to the will of God. Objective morality exists. Therefore God exists.” That would be valid, though it’s not exactly my argument.]

            [My argument, succinctly stated, is that: (1) There is an objective moral standard: we have a good, objective reason to behave in a particular way, even if we won’t get caught in this lifetime. (2) Apart from God, there is no objective reason to behave in a particular way if we won’t get caught in this lifetime. (3) Therefore, God. It is valid and non-circular. So you’ll have to refute either premise (1) or premise (2) to defeat the argument.]

            Another way to look at it is, regardless of whether or not the premises have/require god or omit god, the argument is doomed to fail. If the premises have god in the sense of a being then the argument is circular, if the premises have god as a concept or omit god then the argument is invalid:

            If the premises have god (the being) then the argument becomes circular because god the being, what the argument is trying to prove, is assumed as a premise.

            If the premises have only the concept of god and not the being god, then the argument becomes an invalid argument of false equivocation.

            [If that were true, then it would be impossible to prove the existence of anything! For you would have to first bring up the thing as real – which you claim is circular, or you would have to introduce the concept – which you claim can never by valid reasoning establish existence. But of course, we can prove the existence of things. E.g. (1) The existence of information in words requires an author. (2) This sentence has information in words. (3) Therefore, there exists an author. The first premise brings in only the concept of an author, and the concept of information. The reality of the author is not assumed in the first premise, nor in the second. Yet it is validly proved in the conclusion.]

            The premises have god in the sense of a mere concept, and the conclusion has god in the sense of an actual being. The two are not equivocal. For example the mere concept of a dragon is not equal to a real dragon. So no matter what the premises prove about the concept of god, it would not necessarily follow from those premises that there is an actual god. In other words, it is possible for the premises to prove something about the concept of god and thus be true but it can still be false that god as an actual being exists.

            [Nope. The premises bring in the concept of the actual God – not the concept of the concept of God. By the way, all arguments are conceptual. If I make an argument that tigers exist, there are not actual tigers to be found within the argument. The argument deals with the concept of tiger, and argues that the referent must exist, for whatever reason.]

            If the premises have nothing to do with god, then the argument has no validity because god is not a valid inference from the premises.

            [The premises do have something to do with God, but they don’t explicitly or arbitrarily assume His existence. The existence of an objective moral code is only possible if God exists. That’s a purely hypothetical premise: (1) If m then G. (2) A moral code does exist (m). Therefore, God exists (G). You can refute it by coming up with another worldview that makes sense of an objective moral code apart from God, thereby refuting premise 1. Or alternatively, you can argue that there is no objective morality in order to refute premise 2. But that would leave you in an awkward position.]

            • Josef says:

              我の國,

              I really think you should take Dr. Lisle up on his advice to study the topic more. You’re essentially asking the same thing over and over just in a different way. And what really stood out to me is this:

              [The] argument boils down to “objective morals exist, therefore god exists”.

              Actually no, it is not that God is the conclusion, but rather God is presupposed! This is the very definition of a presupposition—something that must be assumed true before it can be proven to be true. Just as I don’t see that 1+1=2 therefore I know math is true, but rather I presuppose math is true before I can prove it to be true. Or take laws of logic, they must be presupposed to be true before you can demonstrate that they are.

              Seriously, take the time to study this topic. If you haven’t already read, The Ultimate Proof of Creation then that would be a good place to start.

  7. 我の國 says:

    also, should we go to a Muslim nation and pressure them to educate their girls as well as their boys? Is our moral outrage at girls being denied schooling just our opinion or is it objective? Does it apply to Muslims who don’t agree?

    • Josef says:

      “first of all the standard of the christian god says he doesn’t contradict himself, and that he doesn’t go below that standard,and that if he does he cant be god that’s why i insisted for the sake of the argument that truth must be self-consistent and cannot have contradictions.”

      Absolutely. Contradictions are always false because all knowledge is in God and God cannot deny Himself. Also, since God’s nature is unchanging, the truth that contradictions are always false is unchanging.

      I think we would all agree that contradictions cannot be true. But why couldn’t contradictions be true if the biblical God did not exist? In a random chance universe, why would the law of non-contradiction always hold up? For the Christian such an unchanging law is not a problem to accept, as Christians already believe in God who is unchanging and self-consistent. But in a random chance universe, you really don’t have any good justification for believing that contradictions are always false.

      “Also the fact is that truth cant have contradictions is that is is observed by people that it cant have contradictions”

      I would certainly agree that no contradiction has ever been true. But that does not mean all contradictions are false, right? Is it possible that there could be a contradiction that hasn’t been discovered yet that isn’t false? When you come across a contradiction that you didn’t know about previously, why do you assume it is false?

      “I meant that if God change event “蛇” to event “狼” than he would not be omniscient since he would be wrong about what event would happen”

      Dr. Lisle has already answered this question. What you’re asking in disguise is, “Can God change His mind?” You’re essentially saying that while God knows about event A, what if He changes His mind about it and makes event B happen instead? However, this is nothing but a hypothetical. And it is pretty silly to think you’ve refuted a position based on a hypothetical. And even the way you worded your question does not necessarily invalidate God’s omniscience any way. If God changed event A into event B, then it would be logically possible that God always knew event B would happen and that He would cause event A to change into event B. Therefore, God always knew event B would happen and He always knew that He would directly intervene to make event A into event B. So this wouldn’t even invalidate His omniscience.

      “I refer you to the Old Testament, specifically Numbers 31. Was it morally right for God’s followers to wipe out a civilization, kill its male children and take its female virgins as sex slaves (I know it doesn’t say that specifically, but come on, did God expect them to hook virgin girls up to plows and make the work the fields?) If so, is it morally right for us to do the same in today’s world? If the answer is no, then morality is subjective (it was right for them but not for us).”

      Again, Dr. Lisle has already answered this question as well. When you ask if one of God’s actions is morally correct, you’re attempting to use a moral standard outside of God Himself. But on what rational & objective standard are you using to gauge this? Mere opinion? I think you’ll find that outside of the biblical God, any standard you can come up with will be subjective and arbitrary.

      Also, as Dr. Lisle has pointed out, God is morally perfect and whenever God decides to do something, there is a reason for it that is perfectly consistent with His moral nature. If God says to kill someone, then it would actually be immoral not to kill that person, because God is the ultimate standard for good. And unlike people, God knows all things including the hearts of the people and what the consequences of the action versus the inaction are. Furthermore, you seem to be focusing on the action instead of why the action was so.

      “If there is such a thing as objective morality, what are the criteria for determining what is objectively moral, since we’ve seen that the Bible contains widely conflicting moral instructions?”

      Actually you have not pointed out any “widely conflicting moral instructions” in the Bible. What it seems that you have done instead (to me it seems) is focused on the commands or actions in the Bible without trying to uderstand the why. And besides, in a non-biblical world view, what would be wrong with having “conflicting moral instructions”?

      >“also, should we go to a Muslim nation and pressure them to educate their girls as well as their boys? Is our moral outrage at girls being denied schooling just our opinion or is it objective? Does it apply to Muslims who don’t agree?”

      Actually why don’t you tell us? Is it wrong that girls are denied an education? Why do you feel it is such an injustice that girls are denied a privilege that the boys get? I would argue that feelings of injustice do not comport in a non-biblical worldview.

      • 我の國 says:

        “But that does not mean all contradictions are false, right? Is it possible that there could be a contradiction that hasn’t been discovered yet that isn’t false?”

        what about paradoxes (a lot) but not all paradoxes are invalid

        • Josef says:

          “what about paradoxes (a lot) but not all paradoxes are invalid”

          It’s a little hard to answer without a specific example. But a lot of paradoxes are paradoxes because crucial information is missing, i.e. we have incomplete knowledge.

          Btw, if you stop and think about it, a refutation of the law of non-contradiction would lead to absurdity.

  8. Micah says:

    Hi Ashley,

    >On your first response, human/hominid and dinosaur fossils have never been found buried alongside each other (the latter lived in the sorts of habitats that humans live in, at a warmer time in pre-history – though of course YECs insist this happened less than 5,000 years ago, when the climate was similar to today).

    Well, first: The fossil record is far from complete and in fact, most of the fossils we do have are marine animals and plants, which would be expected in a flood scenario. Since the fossil record is not complete there is still plenty of room for us to find dinosaur and human fossils buried together.
    Second: Its not like fossilization is a common occurrence; most things just die and then rot. Chances are that most of the pre-flood people simply died and were not fossilized.
    Third: We find fossils of animals/trees in layers were no humans are, but we know we lived with them…because we live with them today! The Ginko tree supposedly lived 240 million years ago, but is not found in the same layers as dinosaurs. But these tree’s still exist today. In other words, just fossils are buried together does not mean they weren’t around at the same time.
    Also, we don’t really know what the pre-flood climate was like so we shouldn’t assume it was similar to todays.

    >“The floodwaters would have naturally fossilized the things in lower ecological locations first and then fossilized more as the floodwaters rose.”
    >>Unless you are referring there to plants/trees only, that is a somewhat different notion to the ‘head for the hills’ idea dogmatically asserted by eg Answers in Genesis. They need something like this, because species which are recent in Earth history, and live in low-lying/coastal locations are not consistently found buried deep in the geologic record – thus YECs have to claim that they fled inland/uphill.

    Again though, we shouldn’t assume that because animals live in certain areas today that they lived in the same places before the flood. The pre-flood world was probably very different from today’s world.

    >“Because the order in the fossil record is not the result of millions of years of layers being laid down.”
    >But what I was attacking was the ‘head for the hills’ idea, as I made clear at the time as my link showed.

    Okay, I think I may have misread that when I answered. I guess my question would be then, how do you know they lived in the same general locality? Keep in mind the pre-flood world was most likely very different from what it is now.

    >“Of course some degree of randomization is allowed…”.
    >>But there is not enough randomization for the Bible-inspired explanation – viz the flood record is ‘explained’ by a catastrophic worldwide flood as described in Genesis – to be scientifically plausible as well as a faith position. It is a fact that literally nothing that you could remotely call a mammal has ever been found in Devonian rock or in any older stratum – the words of Dawkins on page 100 of his book.

    We would not expect that in the Devonian rock layer. Its as absurd as thinking I am going to find a cow at the bottom of the ocean today. Those were the first layers that were laid down by the flood, it could have happened before the waters even got up to mammals. We don’t expect randomization to that extent.

    >“randomization makes no sense in the evolutionary view which says that there should be a much more specific order in which creatures show up (i.e. creatures that lived millions of years after another should not appear in the layers before it that are much older)”.
    >You are showing ignorance there. We do not see a random record of fossil burial and the old Earth and evolutionary scenario DOES make sense. As some evangelical Christians do admit.

    I didn’t say that we do see random fossil record, I was just making the point that if we ever did see that degree of randomization it wouldn’t make sense in the evolutionary framework but it wouldn’t hurt the creation model at all.

    >“Yes, and this is supported by the fact that there are fossilized footprints of animals in layers lower than where their bodies are found.”
    >>All this may show is that there have been various local floods, or landslides and so forth, in Earth’s long history.

    You showed how it could fit in another scenario, that’s fine. It fits with the fleeing the flood waters scenario too.

    >We find ape-like fossils, and bird fossils buried in higher rock layers in any given place but don’t only/mostly find them at higher altitude/further inland locations – as ‘head for the hills’ would require to be the case.

    Further inland by todays standard though. Like I said before, the pre-flood world was probably very different and more likely than not did not have nearly as much surface water. So what we think may be close to the shore today may have been very far from the shore before the flood.

    >Creatures which YECs say were buried first by the Flood should still be at the top of the geologic record,

    Forgive me if I’m wrong, but don’t we find marine fossils high above sea level? Marine creatures are what creationists say were buried first, and we do still find them high up the geological record.

    >because creatures buried later should be found (again at shallow depth) in different locations ie far inland or at altitude.

    But isn’t this what we find? Monkeys are buried in higher layers than marine animals for example. If I do not understand you properly, that’s not my intention. You may need to explain a little more.

    >Yet the species which science says are very old and perhaps extinct (which YECs claim were buried first by the flood) are found at DEPTH, often with more recent fossils found higher up in the same location or in rocks of more recent age at other similar locations.

    Okay, I’m assuming when you say ‘depth’ you mean farther down on the geological layers/column? If not then you’re going to have to explain that.
    In the flood scenario we would expect to find the creatures that were buried first at a lower depth/level.

    >I doubt that Jason will correct you as that would probably mean agreeing with me.

    Not necessarily, I could be misrepresenting the actual position that creationists hold. Flood geology is not my strong suit so that could very well be the case.

    >“Even fossilized ammonites are found in the Himalaya Mountains”.
    >What is now these mountains was once below the ocean.

    Creationists agree on that point.

    >(How would a big flood transport marine shells so far inland to the Himalaya, and at shallow depth/high altitude, as I think most shells do not float but sink?)

    Well, it wasn’t just a big flood, it was a global flood. So how far inland it was isn’t really an issue since all continents were covered. Also, creationists hold to the idea that there were no high mountains before the flood, so the altitude of what is now the Himalayas would have been much lower.

    >“Still there is an order to the rock layers, it is not an order that describes which animals evolved before which though, it is an order that describes the burial order of the flood.”
    >>You have not demonstrated that, and at times have tried to pretend that the record of fossil burial is ‘random’.

    I never said that fossil record was random; In fact I said the opposite. I did say that a certain degree of randomization would be perfectly fine in a flood model. But I hardly called the record itself random.

    >There is order and a flood catastrophe does not account for it.

    Well, perhaps you have just not explained it well enough. Because I still don’t see any problems for the flood model.

    >“Also it’s a straw man to say creationists complain about science. We love science, so you’re claim is unfounded.”
    >>YECs are anti-science.

    Anti-evolution maybe, not science. But then, evolutionists love to equate the term science and evolution.

    >But they have stolen the word ‘science’ from real scientists

    No true Scotsman fallacy. Also, as you demonstrate in this post later, the evolutionist has no basis for morality. So why should you care if we ‘steal’ anything? That’s a biblical principle that has no grounding in evolution.

    >in order to falsely claim that their apologetics arguments are ‘scientific’.

    I’ve never seen a creationist claim that apologetics is a ‘scientific’ argument. Even if they did, that’s on them, not me.

    >Science must proceed by assuming naturalism (not ruling out God as God could make ‘natural’ things happen)

    Naturalism assumes no God, so you are just wrong on that point I’m afraid. God by definition must be supernatural, that is, He must be above His creation. A god who is natural is not God. A naturalistic world necessarily excludes God, because He is not natural. Also science can proceed perfectly fine without naturalism. God upholds the universe in a consistent way, its true. But this doesn’t mean he hasn’t done supernatural things in the past, the creation event is one such thing!

    >but YECs oppose naturalism and also claim that the book of Genesis is ‘infallible scientific and historical truth’(even after this laudable idea has been proven wrong by real scientific investigation – which fact other less dogmatic Christians eg at Biologos have accepted).

    Yes, you say that a lot, but I have yet to see these facts.

    >“You did not provide a reason for why lying would be wrong in an evolutionary worldview, and sorry, but I don’t think you can.”
    >>So what if I can’t? YECs need to understand that this does not invalidate the (mainstream) science that their critics put forward.

    This is an important point so it shouldn’t be missed. Its not just lying the evolutionary worldview cant account for. Its morality at all. There is no basis for morality whatsoever, and yet evolutionists behave as if there is, a complete contradiction within their worldview. This is what the Bible means when it says people have the law written on their hearts. No matter what they do, they will always have that moral conscious; even though they cant make any sense of it. Here you basically admitted that you have no reason to be moral in an evolutionary worldview, which is good that you are starting to understand that. But, are you really okay with that? I wouldn’t be.
    Its not just morality evolution struggles to explain though, laws of logic are similar. They make no sense in an evolutionary worldview. Why should the material world be compelled to obey immaterial laws? Why should said laws be constant and unchanging? These laws are the basis for science, so it’s important to have a reason for why they are the way they are. But evolution can provide no such reason.

    >YECs add things to scripture eg a fossil record or a ‘rapid’ ice age that are not there. But in the case of evolution/millions of years they refuse to do the same.

    We don’t add anything to scripture. A rapid ice age and the fossil record do not contradict the Bible, its what would be expected. Evolution/millions of years on the other hand, plainly contradict the Bible. For example, if evolution were true then that means death is something God used to get humans were they are today. But if that’s true then how could God also say that death is the ‘last enemy’, if that is what He used. It’s for reasons like this, and others, that we cannot accept evolution as a viable explanation. It clearly contradicts the Bible. As it turns out, molecules to man evolution has no scientific ground either. Further confirming the Bible.

    Thanks for taking the time to read,
    Micah

    • Micah says:

      Hmm…sorry, this was suppose to be at the bottom. Wonder how it got up here.

    • ashley haworth-roberts says:

      I’ve only just spotted Micah’s reply (and Jason’s belated annotations of my posts ‘behind my back’).

      “most of the fossils we do have are marine animals and plants, which would be expected in a flood scenario”. A flood scenario would kill ie drown land animals (which is what the Bible suggests too).

      “Again though, we shouldn’t assume that because animals live in certain areas today that they lived in the same places before the flood.” Why shouldn’t we? Because it weakens your argument?

      “Keep in mind the pre-flood world was most likely very different from what it is now.” In what way?

      “We would not expect that in the Devonian rock layer. Its as absurd as thinking I am going to find a cow at the bottom of the ocean today. Those were the first layers that were laid down by the flood, it could have happened before the waters even got up to mammals. We don’t expect randomization to that extent.” That’s utter rubbish. Mammals are fossilised in shallow rock layers whether in places near the ocean or far from it. Yet they should be in deeper rock layers too if all animals were created in a single week around 6,000 years ago.

      “I was just making the point that if we ever did see that degree of randomization it wouldn’t make sense in the evolutionary framework but it wouldn’t hurt the creation model at all”. Hypothetical.

      “Forgive me if I’m wrong, but don’t we find marine fossils high above sea level? Marine creatures are what creationists say were buried first, and we do still find them high up the geological record.” The Bible doesn’t say that marine creatures were killed in the flood. And high above sea level is not necessarily the same as high in the geological record.

      “Monkeys are buried in higher layers than marine animals for example.” I fear you are being serious. Are there any marine monkeys? *(From memory, I thought my preceding post(s) explained why a head for the hills scenario would mean burial further inland rather than closer to the surface for any creatures killed later on.)

      “Okay, I’m assuming when you say ‘depth’ you mean farther down on the geological layers/column? If not then you’re going to have to explain that.” Yes.

      “In the flood scenario we would expect to find the creatures that were buried first at a lower depth/level.” At lower altitude or closer to oceans and lakes.

      “Creationists agree on that point.” But the Himalaya only became mountains after being below the ocean. They were not temporarily covered by a raised ocean.

      “creationists hold to the idea that there were no high mountains before the flood, so the altitude of what is now the Himalayas would have been much lower.” Yes, I’m aware of this YEC fantasy regarding how they assume Earth was 5,000 years ago. There is no supporting evidence.

      “Anti-evolution maybe, not science. But then, evolutionists love to equate the term science and evolution.” Being dogmatically anti-evolution, after 150 years of failed attempts to disprove the theory, is – I suggest – an anti-scientific position.

      “Naturalism assumes no God, so you are just wrong on that point I’m afraid.” Am I? There are practising scientists who are also theistic evolutionists, and they – unlike ‘creation sciences’ – are happy to operate on naturalism in their science work but are also believers in God and in miracles (they believe the universe was fine-tuned for life and there IS evidence that that might be so – but this is an honest argument for God but YECs use dishonest or evidence-free arguments too).

      “I have yet to see these facts”. They are available online. But I am assuming you don’t look at websites such as Biologos?

      “A rapid ice age and the fossil record do not contradict the Bible, its what would be expected”. No it is not. Take a look at Genesis 8 and 9.

      • Aaron says:

        If I may be allowed to butt in,
        ” A flood scenario would kill ie drown land animals (which is what the Bible suggests too).”
        (My guess) Yes, but since the earth’s surface is covered with far more water than land, and the Flood affected the oceans and the land globally, this is a major reason why there is more marine life in the fossil record than terrestrial life. There was simply more marine life around, and the movement of sediment and disruption of crust took place in marine life’s “home”.
        “Why shouldn’t we? {assume that animals lived in the same places pre-Flood as they do now} Because it weakens your argument?” Because (also in response to your next question) there are many variables to consider that would have resulted from the Flood. Climate change, separation of continents, finding abundant food sources, reaching and establishing in an area before other animals do, new mountain barriers as well as other geographic change, etc. were all factors. Areas where animals once thrived may have been less accessible or need-meeting at the time of post-Flood settlement.
        “Yet they should be in deeper rock layers too if all animals were created in a single week around 6,000 years ago.”
        Micah answered your question, but you rejected it. If the Flood has already caused fossilization and creation of fossil layers before it gets to mammals, it can only form more layers, not insert a mammal into lower layers. If you’re suggesting mixture of, say, mammals and reptiles, it has already been stated that the variables of mass, swimming ability and duration of floating carcasses, the buoyancy properties of water, etc. account for the separation.
        (Jumping down)
        “Being dogmatically anti-evolution, after 150 years of failed attempts to disprove the theory, is – I suggest – an anti-scientific position.” Being dogmatically pro-evolution after more than 150 years (even to the ancient Greeks on a less modern level) of failed attempts to prove the theory, is – I suggest – a failure-to-accept-that-evolution-cannot-be-proved-by-evidence-or-philosophy position.
        “Naturalism assumes no God, so you are just wrong on that point I’m afraid.” (Micah)
        ” Am I?” (Ashley)
        I believe by naturalism, Micah means extreme naturalism or following naturalism to its ultimate destination. It is perfectly fine to look for natural answers, but it must be remembered that nature was supernaturally created.
        “No it is not. Take a look at Genesis 8 and 9.”(in reference to ice age and fossil record)
        Could you please be specific as to what in these two chapters prohibits an ice age and fossil record? By skimming and memory, I recall Genesis 8 and 9 to be silent on these things, so your argument is an argument from silence. A rapid ice age and fossil record fit with the Bible, but the Bible nowhere prohibits the possibility of these things.

        • ashley haworth-roberts says:

          Aaron

          We do know that sea levels have been much higher than today at various points in the past. But not high enough to cover all land (even if mountains were supposedly lower ‘pre=flood’).

          [Dr. Lisle: actually, even the highest mountain in the world today (Mt. Everest) was once under water, as evidenced by the fact that it has marine fossils near the peak. We believe that such large mountains did not exist before the flood, having been pushed up by the tectonic activity of the flood. Without such topology, the earth would be completely covered with water to a depth of 1.6 miles. So contrary to Ashley’s assertion, science confirms that there is plenty of water on Earth for a global flood.]

          “Micah answered your question, but you rejected it. If the Flood has already caused fossilization and creation of fossil layers before it gets to mammals, it can only form more layers, not insert a mammal into lower layers.” Yes – more layers in a DIFFERENT place that was flooded later (though SOME floating dead animals might end up in rather different locations to where they actually died including areas flooded earlier or later). Not, on the balance of probability, ‘higher layers’ in the place already flooded.

          [Dr. Lisle: Ashley is apparently unfamiliar with creation flood models. The flood was not a tranquil event with waters gradually rising inland as Ashley seems to think. Rather the flood involved massive, global tectonics, and some areas were lifted and submerged multiple times. In general, animals that live in higher ecological zones tend to be found higher in the geologic column, which is what creationists expect.]

          “Being dogmatically pro-evolution after more than 150 years (even to the ancient Greeks on a less modern level) of failed attempts to prove the theory, is – I suggest – a failure-to-accept-that-evolution-cannot-be-proved-by-evidence-or-philosophy position.” Lack of disproof means that the theory still stands. And more evidence for it has built up.

          [Dr. Lisle: Aaron did not say that there is lack of disproof, rather that all attempts to prove evolution have failed. Ashley mentions evidence for evolution, but doesn’t provide any. I wonder why. He has posted many times, and in all of those we don’t see any evidence for evolution. If there really were such evidence, why not give us a few examples?]

          I was referring to Genesis 8: 21-22, and Genesis 9: 8-17. I would not read these (or hear God) and ‘expect’ him then to send a ‘rapid ice age’. This is eisegesis by YECs trying to make the Bible ‘explain’ real events in Earth history (within a tight 6,000 year timescale – as GeoChristian has suggested http://geochristian.wordpress.com/2013/04/09/the-pleistocene-is-not-in-the-bible/).

          [Dr. Lisle: Actually, it is the secularists that cannot make sense of an ice age. Some people have the impression that if the earth were cooler, this would make an ice age, but it doesn’t. It would simply make a cold earth. To have an ice age we need greater precipitation and cooler summers so that more ice is created and has less time to melt. These are precisely the conditions that would have existed after the worldwide flood. The ice age was not “rapid” except in contrast to the inflated secular view. It started and stopped in a gradual fashion over hundreds of years. Of course, Ashley would have known all of this if he had bothered to read the relevant literature.]

          [Moreover, nothing in Genesis 8 or 9 precludes the possibility of an ice age. God only promises that the cycles of nature such as seasons and day and night would continue and that there would never again be a global flood. And during the ice age, the seasons continued along with the day and night cycle, and there was no global flood. God never promised that earth’s current level of glaciation (about 10%) would be exactly the same throughout history. Ashley’s argument is again nothing but a straw-man fallacy.]

          I do admit that God did not say “I’m not going to send an ice age”. He DID refer to a ‘covenant’ after the flood.

          [Dr. Lisle: God’s covenant was to never send another global flood (a promise that He has kept). He did not promise that other environmental conditions would stay exactly the same throughout history.]

          Ashley
          PS Jason has annotated most of my posts. Apparently all I do is undefined ‘commit logical fallacies’.

          [Dr. Lisle: The fallacies Ashley commits are perfectly well-defined and listed in any logic textbook. I have even provided the name of many of them, and even examples in some cases. He could easily look them up if he wanted further clarification. But of course, that would involve actually reading something and learning. If Ashley wants to become rational, he will have to study up a bit on logic.]

          • ashley haworth-roberts says:

            Commit ‘undefined logical fallacies’ even.

            • ashley haworth-roberts says:

              Commit undefined ‘logical fallacies’.

              • Chris H says:

                He never said “undefined”. You were committing “Ad Hominem” Which means, “To the person” Which is not a logical form of argumentation because it appeal to emotion rather than logic. You can attack a person all you want, but if you do not attack the argument you still are at a loss.

                • ashley haworth-roberts says:

                  Chris H

                  I am not sure what your problem is. I quickly CORRECTED my typo so as to make clear that I wasn’t implying that Jason used the word ‘undefined’.

                  [Dr. Lisle: Actually, all of the fallacies that Ashley committed are perfectly well defined, and can be found in any textbook on logic. Ashley could greatly benefit from a class or book on logic.]

                  • Chris H says:

                    Ashley, when I quoted you as saying “undefined” I was quoting your second post. And as Dr. Lisle noted, most of the fallacies can be looked up in any textbook on the subject.

          • Aaron says:

            “We do know that sea levels have been much higher than today at various points in the past. But not high enough to cover all land (even if mountains were supposedly lower ‘pre=flood’).”

            Although it is just one model, under Dr. Baumgardner’s Catastrophic Plate Tectonics, the ocean would have risen a few thousand feet (3,000 if I recall correctly). There is evidence based on the sea floor and colder, more dense structures around Earth’s core, that support Baumgardner’s model. If mountains were just high hills before the Flood, they certainly would have been sufficiently covered.

            “Yes – more layers in a DIFFERENT place that was flooded later (though SOME floating dead animals might end up in rather different locations to where they actually died including areas flooded earlier or later). Not, on the balance of probability, ‘higher layers’ in the place already flooded.”

            Sorry. Could you please explain further? I’m having a hard time understanding exactly what you mean here.

            “Lack of disproof means that the theory still stands.”

            Although evolution cannot logically stand and requires many convoluted rescuing devices for C-14 in diamonds, comets, blue stars, etc.

            “I was referring to Genesis 8: 21-22, and Genesis 9: 8-17. I would not read these (or hear God) and ‘expect’ him then to send a ‘rapid ice age’. This is eisegesis by YECs trying to make the Bible ‘explain’ real events in Earth history (within a tight 6,000 year timescale – as GeoChristian has suggested http://geochristian.wordpress.com/2013/04/09/the-pleistocene-is-not-in-the-bible/).”

            Like the fossil record, a rapid ice age is not explicitly stated in the Bible, but it would be expected as a result of the tectonic, volcanic, and climate activity of the Flood.

            “I do admit that God did not say “I’m not going to send an ice age”. He DID refer to a ‘covenant’ after the flood.”

            God made a covenant that He would never again destroy the Earth with water. An ice age would not destroy life on Earth and is not applicable to the covenant.

            • ashley haworth-roberts says:

              Aaron

              The only YEC idea I know of for the Biblical flood, if it happened, accounting for the well-sorted fossil record in geologic layers is ‘head for the hills’. Thus mammals and birds should be found at shallow depth well away from coasts/at higher altitude.

              [Dr. Lisle: This is another obvious straw-man fallacy. Ashley has misrepresented what creationists teach. He could really benefit from reading the literature on this topic. In any case, mammals and birds lived around coastal areas too, and so there is no reason to think that they would magically disappear in such regions rather than fossilize. Moreover, what are coastal regions today were not necessarily coastal regions before the flood. Finally, not all fossils are found in all areas. Rather, the geologic column is constructed based on the statistical trend of certain index fossils to be found above or below certain other index fossils in a given region. A given part of the world will generally have only a portion of the geologic column. So, for a given region, animals that lived higher and/or are more mobile tend to be found higher in the column than creatures that liver lower – exactly what creationists expect.]

              But as far as I know they are found buried near to coasts/at lower altitude too (and above fossils of ancient creatures and organisms). Thus head for the hills makes little sense – though some creatures killed at higher altitude could float and end up being buried, if this happened quickly enough given how deep the oceans would have been during a Biblical flood, in layers at lower altitude.

              So mammals not being found buried in the lowest rock layers in a given place (whether at high or at low altitude) is not ‘explained’ by a violent flood any better than by science viz that they were not around in earlier periods of Earth history.

              [Dr. Lisle: If by “lowest” Ashley means “at the bottom of the fossil-bearing geologic column”, then his straw-man argument amounts to: “Creationists believe that mammals live at the bottom of the ocean.” Since the lowest part of the geologic column corresponds to the lowest ecological zones (ocean), we would not expect to find mammals there. If evolution were true, and the lowest fossil-bearing layers in the geologic column represented earliest times, then we ought to see primitive, undeveloped organisms that have just started to evolve with little diversification, and little resemblance to modern organisms. Is this what we find? No. All phyla exist in the Cambrian layer, and the fossils are of well-designed highly complex organisms, many of which are still alive today (having “forgotten” to evolve, apparently) including claims, starfish, mollusks, and segmented worms.]

              “Although evolution cannot logically stand ..”. It can and it does: http://toddcwood.blogspot.co.uk/2009/09/truth-about-evolution.html

              [Dr. Lisle: Then why hasn’t Ashley listed any evidence? We’ve seen lots of fallacies, lots of name-calling, lots of straw-man arguments. If there is all this evidence out there, why doesn’t Ashley list any?]

              “it would be expected as a result of the tectonic, volcanic, and climate activity of the Flood”. Such volcanic activity is also definitely NOT referred to in Genesis. Nor is the catastrophic plate tectonics invented by certain YECs as a rescue device.

              [Dr. Lisle: Ashley seems to be complaining that the Bible wasn’t written with modern scientific terminology in mind. But that would have made it difficult, if not impossible, to understand in ancient times. The Bible does indeed speak of violent tectonic activity during the flood year (e.g. Genesis 7:11, Psalm 104:8). The ideas leading up to modern plate tectonics were motivated by a belief in the global flood, e.g. Antonio Snider-Pellegrini. It’s a creationist concept. It was the secularists that were resistant to the idea.]

              • Aaron says:

                Ashley,

                “though some creatures killed at higher altitude could float and end up being buried, if this happened quickly enough given how deep the oceans would have been during a Biblical flood, in layers at lower altitude.”

                To my knowledge, this is essentially what happened. The violent movement of the Flood waters could easily have carried animals a good distance before burying them.

                “It can and it does”

                If evolution stands logically, why have you still not been able to account (within evolution) for even the reliability of your senses or the constancy of laws to perform scientific study.

                “Such volcanic activity is also definitely NOT referred to in Genesis. Nor is the catastrophic plate tectonics invented by certain YECs as a rescue device.”

                I never said volcanic activity is mentioned in the Flood passages of Genesis and I never said catastrophic plate tectonics are explicitly mentioned either. I said that volcanic activity would be expected as a result of the Flood if the Flood occurred similarly to predicted by Baumgardner’s model (which is based on “the fountains of the great deep” being broken up). Also, I wouldn’t say Baumgardner’s model can be defined as a rescuing device, as it was not developed to explain away complications to a theory. It is a suggested mechanism and course-mapping of the Flood, just as natural selection was Darwin’s proposed mechanism for evolution, not a rescuing device. (Ironically though, the phenomenon Darwin was trying to explain was false, but the mechanism with which he attempted to explain it was not.)

                • ashley haworth-roberts says:

                  “To my knowledge, this is essentially what happened.” It wouldn’t work. I said ‘some’ creatures. Others would be buried where they died or might float first to a higher altitude before becoming buried.

                  “If evolution stands logically, why have you still not been able to account (within evolution) for even the reliability of your senses or the constancy of laws to perform scientific study.” I do not claim to be a fount of all knowledge regarding the theory of evolution. But there is no reason to insist that if evolution ‘were’ true the universe ‘would’ be chaos and devoid of scientific laws and our existence and perceptions would be illusory.

                  Note the comments by YEC Todd Wood (though he certainly hasn’t embraced evolution in 2009 or since): http://toddcwood.blogspot.co.uk/2009/09/truth-about-evolution.html

                  “I never said volcanic activity is mentioned in the Flood passages of Genesis”. I don’t think I said that you did. My point is that it is odd that it isn’t in the Bible if God inspired Genesis and if YECs are correct in their hypotheses (excluding CPT which is total nonsense – see my review of Jonathan Sarfati’s 2010 book at Amazon.com).

                  • Aaron says:

                    “I do not claim to be a fount of all knowledge regarding the theory of evolution. But there is no reason to insist that if evolution ‘were’ true the universe ‘would’ be chaos and devoid of scientific laws and our existence and perceptions would be illusory.”
                    Let me rephrase then. If evolution stands logically, why has NO ONE been able to account (within evolution THAT REJECTS THE BIBLICAL GOD) for even the reliability of your senses or the constancy of laws to perform scientific study?
                    (Bold type used to highlight rephrasement, not tone.)
                    I read the post in the link you posted, but evolution, not standing logically and being faced with so many evidential problems, is NOT a strong theory (at the molecules-to-man level, which is where it actually becomes evolution instead of genetic diversification within kinds).
                    For your last point, it has been stated multiple times on this blog that just because the Bible does not mention something dies not mean it is false. The Bible mentions many people’s birth, and then skips to their adulthood. Does this mean they didn’t go through adolescence? Of course not.

                    • ashley haworth-roberts says:

                      Aaron

                      As I have just mentioned to Micah my time is not unlimited to deal with all the questions I keep getting here. Sorry about that.

                      I have already commented further about this query regarding so-called ‘evolutionary worldview’, last night (I forget to whom). All this talk of ‘worldview’ does not affect scientific facts.

                      [Dr. Lisle: Actually, it does. Apart from the Christian worldview, science would be rationally unjustified. There would be no “scientific facts.”]

                      Evolutionists don’t bang on about ‘worldview’ because they have evidence to back up their claims.

                      [Dr. Lisle: Then why hasn’t Ashley mentioned any evidence that supports evolution? This also shows that Ashley doesn’t understand what a worldview is. All people have an underlying network of presuppositions that tells them what the evidence means. Without such, evidence would be meaningless. Evolutionists generally have not thought through their own worldview, which is why they often do not see its internal inconsistency (e.g. it would make science impossible).]

                      Christian Peter Enns underlines that HERE: http://www.abpnews.com/ministry/congregations/item/8417-can-christianity-and-evolution-co-exist#.UXMxthFwbIU
                      “Six-day creationists, meanwhile, have a very tight and narrow worldview that is constantly being undermined by scientific discoveries, Enns said. “The difference here is that Ken Ham has no facts on his side, and the anti-Christian, pro-evolutionary atheists do,” he said.”

                      [Dr. Lisle: Peter, like Ashley, doesn’t list any facts that supposedly support his belief. Evolutionists make lots of bold claims. But unlike creationists, they just cannot back up their claims with science and logic.]

                • Chris H says:

                  “Evolutionists don’t bang on about ‘worldview’ because they have evidence to back up their claims.”

                  Then why have you not provided any evidence? I am an outside observer here (by an large) and I have not seen you submit anything to rationally explain yourself. Secondly, the reason evolutionists don’t “bang on” worldviews is because a worldview is an unconscious thing. Very few people take the time to consider their worldview, and even fewer people think about the consequences of their worldview. Dr. Lisle and the rest are correct, you have not provided ANY (meant for emphasis, not tone) evidence to support why your evolutionary worldview can account for the properties of the laws of logic, or account for the reliability of the senses/uniformity in nature. I would be very interested if you could, please.

                  Secondly, the other reason evolutionists do not bring up their worldview is because it is IMPLIED (emphasis added). The implication comes in the fact that evidence cannot speak for itself, it MUST (emphasis added) be interpreted in light of one’s preexisting beliefs about the world. So if someone believes in evolution, they will see it everywhere (that is not to say that it is actually there, but that they see it there) and the creationist sees creation everywhere. The evidence is the same, but human beings provide the interpretation of said evidence. That is why there are so many competing worldviews, because there are so many within the scope of humanity.

                  Evidence cannot explain itself to us, it cannot talk or speak or communicate with us. It must be interpreted. And since it is impossible to interpret evidence in an worldview absent way, it stands that all people see evidence differently.

                  • ashley haworth-roberts says:

                    “Then why have you not provided any evidence”. Because Jason’s blog post was not discussing evidence. (I did link to my review of Jonathan Sarfati’s book though.)

                    • Chris H says:

                      That isn’t providing evidence against the arguments submitted by Dr. Lisle, though. Dr. Sarfati is not Dr. Lisle.

                    • ashley haworth-roberts says:

                      I contested Sarfati’s EVIDENCE. You were talking about evidence.

  9. Mat Hunt says:

    The thing with science is that it can be tested, so in the terms of the article, man’s word CAN be tested and can be found to be completely wrong or what happens.

    [Dr. Lisle: In a creation-based worldview, we can have some degree of confidence in the scientific method, and trust that our observations are generally reliable. So, yes, the testable nature of science makes sense in a Genesis-based worldview. But how could we rely on such things in a chance universe?]

    The thing with creationist is they tend to use this word “interpretation”, which really has no place in science.

    [Dr. Lisle: Actually, the opposite is true. Interpretation is the key to almost all disagreements within the scientific community. When two scientists disagree about some aspect of the universe, usually both of them are aware of the evidence – the data. They disagree on what it means. Without interpretation, we couldn’t learn anything about the universe. There would be raw data, but no one could say what those data mean without drawing an interpretive conclusion.]

    What does have a place of the data is data analysis which is a set of mathematical techniques to provide a set of (hopefully unique) conclusions which can then be used to make models of the physical world. You see the difference?

    [Dr. Lisle: Data analysis is a type of interpretation. When you analyze data, you are trying to understand what it means within your worldview. “What new thing can I learn about the universe from these observations?” Make sense?]

    • ashley haworth-roberts says:

      Mat

      This thread may be of interest to you (referring to how many of my posts above have been belatedly ‘edited’ by Mr Lisle).
      http://forums.bcseweb.org.uk/viewtopic.php?f=1&t=3237

      [Dr. Lisle: Actually, I haven’t ‘edited’ any of Ashley’s comments. Some of his libelous claims were removed because such unethical behavior is not permitted on my blog. But I have graciously permitted all of his other comments to stand as is. I have merely replied to them, exposing Ashley’s false claims and poor reasoning. Why is Ashley upset? I’m not rudely posting false claims and making character assassinations on his blog.]

      Ashley

      • Chris H says:

        Edited for abusive ad hominem you mean? I’m sorry, but any blog editor would ban those sorts of activities immediately, it actually is a sign of Dr. Lisle’s patience that he simple chooses to edit out the abusive remarks rather than simply ban the IP.

      • ashley haworth-roberts says:

        I suggest you READ my thread at the BCSE website, Jason (I don’t have a blog of my own by the way). It should answer your questions.

        [Dr. Lisle: Can I expect the same type of arguments there that you use here? (Logical fallacies, ad hominem attacks, straw man arguments, evading the question, arbitrary claims, etc.)? If you really can answer my questions, I’d encourage you to post them here for all to see.]

        I have also refuted there some of your many ‘behind my back’ criticisms of me made here.

        [Dr. Lisle: “Behind the back” criticisms? All my responses are public and I’ve allowed you to reply. It’s not like I’m posting my replies on another website that you don’t know about. In any case, you haven’t been able to refute my claims here. So I don’t have any reason to think you’ll suddenly start being rational on another website.]

        I dispute that in the instances concerned you exposed any ‘false claims’ or ‘poor reasoning’ on my part.

        [Dr. Lisle: Of course you do. But you haven’t been able to offer any logical rebuttal. Ashley, a debate is not a shouting match. It’s not about who can yell the loudest, or come up with the most offensive insults. Indeed, from a rational perspective, that approach is a sure way to lose a debate. A debate is supposed to decide who has the best logical reasons for their position. I have provided reasons for the reliability of science, the reliability of senses, human rationality, moral absolutes, and so on. My position makes sense of these things. But so far, you haven’t been able to justify such things on your own worldview, yet you continue to believe in them – which is irrational. Ironically, you have demonstrated that my position is true.]

        In two or three instances you did either misquote or misrepresent me – either accidentally because you were rushing or else deliberately.

        [For example?…]

        Also – although you knew that I am new here – you failed to inform me by mean of a new (brief) post that you had not only shortened some of my posts but also had tried to tell your followers WHAT they should think about my posts and WHAT my words ‘really’ meant or showed.

        [Dr. Lisle: I haven’t “shortened” any of your posts, though I did cut three of your attempted character assassinations since these are unethical and not permitted on my site. Actually, I probably would have allowed even those if they had been attacks on me, but I expect my guests to treat other guests respectfully; and the way you responded to Micah was very despicable, particularly in light of the gracious way he has treated you. But, otherwise, I have not edited your posts in any way. Indeed, I want people to see your arguments, because they prove my point.]

        [Regarding telling people “what” they should think, isn’t that really what you are doing? You seem to want to persuade people that they should not believe in a literal Genesis , but so far you haven’t provided any cogent reasons as to why. Perhaps you are upset that I have pointed out the errors in your reasoning. But the Bible indicates that Christians are supposed to do that (2 Corinthians 10:5). Rest assured that if you continue to make bad arguments, you can continue to expect me to expose them as such. And by rejecting the biblical worldview, you have given up any moral right to criticize anyone about anything, since there is no basis for morality in a chance universe, as you have tacitly admitted.]

        • ashley haworth-roberts says:

          I see that Jason is online at the moment. He has just inserted a comment under my post at 5.58 pm.

          I look forward to seeing whether and how he responds to my post above, timed at 6.08 pm.

          I reject his insinuation, made within my post at 8.34 pm on 19 April that I am not being rational ie Jason alleged of me “he is not used to dealing with rational arguments”.

          [Dr. Lisle: Logical fallacies are mistakes in reasoning; they are irrational by definition. Ashley has committed many logical fallacies, including but not limited to: The No True Scotsman fallacy, faulty appeal to authority, appeal to majority, ad hominem, the question-begging epithet, begging the question, reification, irrelevant thesis, and bifurcation. These are discussed in any textbook on logic.]

          I also sense from his comments there that he is trying to get rid of me.

          [Dr. Lisle: On the contrary Ashley, you are very welcome to post here. I have always said that evolutionists just don’t think rationally when it comes to worldview issues. They believe things on blind faith (“That’s just the way it is”) and cannot give good reasons, and commit all sorts of logical fallacies. Your posts have demonstrated my point masterfully, better than I ever could. Thank you, and please continue posting.]

          Yet if I am simply being ‘irrational’ here then nobody would take me seriously, so I would not present any ‘problems’.

          [Dr. Lisle: I suspect that not too many people are taking Ashley all that seriously. But it is very enjoyable to see how those who reject Christianity just can’t form a coherent worldview. And it’s a good chance to sharpen our apologetic skills. I’ve been saying for years that the biblical worldview is the only one that can make sense of logic, science, morality, human rationality, human dignity and freedom, and so on. Such things are rationally unjustified in any other worldview. But some people might think, “Really? Can evolutionists really not account for such things?” That’s why I like it when evolutionists post on here. It confirms my point. Ashley’s posts have been very faith affirming.]

          • Chris H says:

            Hey, Ashley. I called your bluff and went to that link you posted to me. Perhaps I didn’t see where you were talking to Jason, but to my knowledge there are not any posts on that page relating to the discussions here. Perhaps if you could point me (an outside observer) to them, that would be most helpful.

            This is the link you gave me in the above post, correct? (http://forums.bcseweb.org.uk/viewtopic.php?f=1&t=3201)

            No posts by you since March 1.
            “by a_haworthroberts » Fri Mar 01, 2013 3:44 pm”

            “11 posts • Page 1 of 1”

          • ashley haworth-roberts says:

            “On the contrary Ashley, you are very welcome to post here.”
            I am pleased to hear it.
            “Thank you, and please continue posting.” I will post as and when people makes fresh posts addressed to me.
            If my posts ‘affirm’ to you your faith that does not bother me in the least. Of course my posts are not solely for you.

          • ashley haworth-roberts says:

            “I suspect that not too many people are taking Ashley all that seriously”.
            And I suggest that you are behaving rather like a cult leader who tells his followers what they already think or what they should think if they don’t already think.

            [Dr. Lisle: And what is Ashley doing? Is he not telling us what we should think in regards to evolution? Irony.]

            “Don’t pay any attention to Ashley’s posts because they are arbitrary and full of logical fallacies!”

            [Dr. Lisle: Actually, I’m saying “please do pay attention to Ashley’s posts, and notice all the logical fallacies and lack of reasons! See, he confirms what I’ve been saying for years. Evolutionists do not have good reasons for what they believe. They just don’t think rationally when it comes to origins.”]

            • Chris H says:

              “And I suggest that you are behaving rather like a cult leader who tells his followers what they already think or what they should think if they don’t already think.”

              Abusive Ad Hominem Fallacy/Character Assassination.

              • ashley haworth-roberts says:

                So it’s OK for Jason to do that – but NOT for me. Just as I thought. Arrogant.

                • Chris H says:

                  Please explain how Dr. Lisle has been committing character assassinations? I want to see examples of what you consider to be him assassinating your character on this forum.

                • Chris H says:

                  I have seen plenty of examples of your posts committing ad hominem (I usually get to them before Dr. Lisle cuts them out.) But very little of Dr. Lisle committing them. If I have missed something, please show me and explain it to me.

        • ashley haworth-roberts says:

          PLEASE SHUT UP AND READ MY BCSE THREAD, JASON.

          [Dr. Lisle: Ashley always has such a courteous and respectful way of responding. And always so insightful too. If only we all could be so gracious and articulate. 🙂 ]

          I HAVE ALREADY POSTED MY REBUTTALS HERE AND TOLD YOU THAT I HAD DONE SO. I SUGGEST THAT YOU STOP ATTACKING ME AND READ THEM.

          [Dr. Lisle: I wasn’t aware that responding to fallacious arguments was “attacking” a person. It’s not as if I’m name-calling, or attacking Ashley’s character.]

          I am not ‘shouting’, I am using capital letters for emphasis and in the hope that people will see why I am annoyed with your endless repetition of accusations that I have ALREADY dealt with here.

          [Dr. Lisle: what accusations? I’ve merely asked Ashley to defend rationally his position, by stating his reasons for believing in universal, invariant laws of logic, laws of morality, the basic reliability of senses and so on – the preconditions for science and knowledge. Rational people are supposed to have good reasons for that they believe.]

          • Chris H says:

            You haven’t, though. You have not shown how your worldview accounts for the Laws of Logic, Uniformity, and Basic Reliability of the Senses (among others) upon which the foundation of science itself is laid. If you cannot account for the foundation of science, then why should we (anyone) trust your interpretations of evidence that you claim are based on science?

            • ashley haworth-roberts says:

              Please shut up, Chris. I was referring to something different in Jason’s post.

              [Dr. Lisle: Again, we see Ashley’s gracious, well-thought-out response.]

              • Chris H says:

                You were referring to this

                “Such things are rationally unjustified in any other worldview. But some people might think, “Really? Can evolutionists really not account for such things?” That’s why I like it when evolutionists post on here. It confirms my point. Ashley’s posts have been very faith affirming.]”
                By Dr. Lisle, Correct?

                Even if not, my response is still relevant because you have not provided any logical reason for why the laws of logic, uniformity, reliability of the senses, and others are the way that they are.

                • ashley haworth-roberts says:

                  I was referring to ALL of Jason’s evasiveness in his belated comments on my post at 6.08 pm on 20 April. Including his sarcastic comments and queries on points that I have ALREADY answered – initially at the BCSE thread and then here TOO (including where I showed that he misquoted me).

                  • Chris H says:

                    I already noted the fact that you posted your annotations (belatedly).

                    I just refreshed myself by looking at his posts on the 6:08 April 20, 2013 post. Pardon, but what do you define “evasiveness” to be?

                  • Chris H says:

                    Ashley, if you are going to make a claim, back it up with evidence because that is your job in a debate. Otherwise you are simply being inconsistent, arbitrary, and overall irrational.

                  • Chris H says:

                    Goodnight to you as well!

  10. ashley haworth-roberts says:

    All

    Jason Lisle has belatedly annotated most of my posts here, and tried very hard indeed to rubbish my words and arguments. See the text in square brackets.

    [Dr. Lisle: Actually, I merely responded to Ashley’s false claims, and pointed out errors in his reasoning. Ashley’s arguments were already “rubbish.” I just explained why.]

    For simplicity, the full details and brief refutations can both be found here (a community forum which is open to all):
    http://forums.bcseweb.org.uk/viewtopic.php?f=1&t=3237&p=45424#p45424

    [Apparently, Ashley prefers to simply state false claims, use bad arguments, and then takes offense when people point out the errors in his reasoning. He is not used to dealing with rational arguments. That being the case, he may want to stick to posting on evolutionist forums, where his fallacious reasoning will go unchallenged.]

    I would encourage everyone to take a quick look.

    • Bob says:

      Ashley, it appears that you may have missed this note in the first section he responded to [editor’s note: To make these posts easier to read, I’ll interject my comments here, rather than copy and repost Ashley’s entire message and then add comments as I normally do. …].
      [Editor’s note: I will interject my comments in square brackets.]
      etc.
      So I would take this not as an affront to yourself but rather as a result of the formatting of webpage getting tight after a few replies.
      It is hard
      to read
      text when
      it is
      contained
      in a very
      small
      column.
      And as indicated this appears to be a new concept he has just now started (so I would imagine there would be some bugs to work out – like the indication on the right.) However if you think about it, if you had not checked back recently
      (as many do) you might have missed more than the last 10 replies and you would have to scan the entire contents anyways, and he did make it a different color and with brackets to stand out. Possibly in the future he can make a new post to let us know which ones had his responses added if he keeps up this new technique.
      I would treat his responses (belatedly annotated= his replies) to your comments as just that, responses. He seemed to have some decent comments that should be addressed.

      • ashley haworth-roberts says:

        Bob

        Thanks.

        So why didn’t Mr Lisle a brief post telling me he had done this? (There are nearly 250 posts to search through here, and I relied on the ‘new posts’ list for any responses to me – but noticed Jason’s negative annotations by ‘chance’.)

        Ashley

        • Bob says:

          Ashley,
          objectively it appeared that he was just answering your claims, but there was some sarcasm in there that could be taken as negative. He did point those times out though as sarcasm. From reading the posts here and your BCSE blog, it appears that you seem to address many people negatively if they do not agree with your position.
          Again, that is just what I see from the plain reading.
          Bob

          • ashley haworth-roberts says:

            Bob

            Your reply totally ignores what I wrote at 9.16 pm on 19 April.

            Instead of addressing me and my posts directly, Jason instead inserted comments within my posts trying to tell people like you WHAT my posts ‘really’ meant or showed and WHAT (negative) impressions his followers ‘should’ form of me.

            [Dr. Lisle: Actually, I simply responded to Ashley’s claims, pointing out errors in reasoning.]

            If you have any comments on this:
            http://forums.bcseweb.org.uk/viewtopic.php?f=1&t=3237&p=45452#p45452
            then you are free either to make them here or to come over to the BCSE community forum.

            If YECs post at the BCSE community forum, they do not get censored or their posts edited and criticised without them even being informed of this by means of a new post.

            • Chris H says:

              Seems like a really upright and upstanding community you have going there.

              “Ashley you are the epitome of the statement triumph of hope over experience. There are no honest or decent creationists. They have been quote mining and misrepresenting people all their lives – you really didn’t think you’d be the exception and be reported honestly?

              There is something inherent in the ideology of creationism, (probably the need to lie to everyone including themselves, and the fact that an absence of facts means all they can do is seek to blacken detractors names before the supporters can think) that means they have to be morally bankrupt.

              I must admit, like you, I keep trying to see the best in them (Marc disappointed so many times) but it simply isn’t there. There is no nice side to any of them.”

              (Quote pulled from the link you posted)

              Yep. Seems like objective people to me.

              “There are no honest or decent creationists.”

              Pretty sure that is an example of the following:

              1) In my opinion and experience, I have been misquoted and found that there are (absolutely) no honest or decent creationists.
              2) Because my experience has lead me to believe thatcreationists are dishonest and indecent, all creationists (even those beyond my experience) are dishonest and indecent.
              C: All creationists are dishonest and indecent.

              ” You are showing ignorance there.”

              Quote from you relating to Micah. Character assassinating Ad Hominem. (Check 1 for Jason Lisle.)

              ” YECs are anti-science.
              So far, you have not proven this.

              But they have stolen the word ‘science’ from real scientists in order to falsely claim that their apologetics arguments are ‘scientific’.

              No True Scotsman Fallacy.

              Science must proceed by assuming naturalism

              Unfortunately, that is a circular argument, because through naturalism, NO ONE (emphasis added) has been able to account for the properties of the laws of logic, the basic reliability of the senses, and uniformity in nature. So if Naturalism is where we must start, it must be able to account for such things.

              (not ruling out God as God could make ‘natural’ things happen)

              Doesn’t that explicitly contradict what you stated earlier?

              but YECs oppose naturalism and also claim that the book of Genesis is ‘infallible scientific and historical truth’

              Let me put this simply. I completely agree with this quote above. We do reject naturalism and naturalistic explanations, because they cannot account for such things as the laws of logic, basic reliability of the senses, and uniformity in nature. (among others)

              (even after this laudable idea has been proven wrong by real scientific investigation

              No True Scotsman Fallacy.

              – which fact other less dogmatic Christians eg at Biologos have accepted).”

              But Biologos have no reason within their worldview to consistently claim an explanation for the laws of logic, uniformity, or the basic reliability of the senses. Because in rejecting a literal Genesis, the reject the foundation for those things. (Genesis 8:22) (Hebrews 1:3) If they reject a literal Genesis, then they reject God’s power and promise to sustain all things in a predictable manner. Thus, they are being inconsistent in their reasoning.

              • ashley haworth-roberts says:

                Chris

                I don’t find this post (at 9.33 pm) very clear. Are you asking me a question? Or just expatiating on the subject of logic.

            • Chris H says:

              “There is something inherent in the ideology of creationism, (probably the need to lie to everyone including themselves, ”

              We do not lie, in fact in a biblical creationist worldview lying is taken very seriously, as God commands us not to lie, but to speak the truth in love. (Ephesians 4:15)

              Secondly, in an atheistic and naturalistic worldview, why is it wrong to lie if it helps me survive and get ahead of others?

              “There is no nice side to any of them.”

              In my experience, there is no nice side to any of the creationists that I have not come into contact with. Therefore, ALL creationists do not have a nice side to them.

              Here is the problem, has he met ALL of them? (His statement implies that he has) if not, he is simply making a conjectural statement based on rhetoric and appeal to emotion.

              Secondly, in an atheistic and naturalistic worldview, why is it wrong to be mean to others if it helps me to survive and live longer than others?

              “to lie to everyone including themselves, and the fact that an absence of facts means all they can do is seek to blacken detractors names before the supporters can think)”

              Actually, as this poster has shown, it is he that seeks to blacken the names of every creationist by casting his own personal experience onto everyone in the group. This is fallacious, and irrational. Secondly, I would suggest (and you have not been able to prove otherwise) that there is a viable interpretation for the evidence from a naturalistic perspective. (since you have not provided any here.)

              • ashley haworth-roberts says:

                Chris H

                “We do not lie”.

                That is untrue!
                http://www.abpnews.com/ministry/congregations/item/8417-can-christianity-and-evolution-co-exist#.UXSyqhFwbIU
                “The difference here is that Ken Ham has no facts on his side, and the anti-Christian, pro-evolutionary atheists do,” he said” (referring to Peter Enns – a Christian).

                If you disagree with Cathy I suggest you go to the BCSE community forum and say why.

                • Chris H says:

                  “There is something inherent in the ideology of creationism, (probably the need to lie to everyone including themselves, ”

                  We do not lie, in fact in a biblical creationist worldview lying is taken very seriously, as God commands us not to lie, but to speak the truth in love. (Ephesians 4:15)

                  Perhaps I could phrase myself better for you. The actions of one to not necessarily and absolutely reflect the actions of the whole. We take lying seriously because we are commanded to speak the truth in love. Ephesians 4:15

                  In a consistent biblical creationist worldview, we DO take lying very seriously. (and the claim being presented by the quotation that I posted above my response indicated ALL creationists. That is an absolute statement that reflects on an entire group, which one cannot make with absolute certainty.)

                  Secondly, You did not answer my question :
                  in an atheistic and naturalistic worldview, why is it wrong to lie if it helps me survive and get ahead of others?

                  • ashley haworth-roberts says:

                    “Secondly, You did not answer my question :
                    in an atheistic and naturalistic worldview, why is it wrong to lie if it helps me survive and get ahead of others?”

                    I HAVE ANSWERED IT ELSEWHERE IN THIS DISCUSSION, CHRIS, AND AM TIRED OF REPEATING MYSELF TO PEOPLE WHO (IN YOUR CASE AT LEAST) PAY NO ATTENTION. Sorry.

                    Since YECs frequently say things which are utterly untrue (however much they may hope they are true) perhaps they too secretly believe in an evolutionary universe?

                    But if you don’t answer that I will not keep on banging that “you didn’t answer blah blah blah”.

                    • Chris H says:

                      I HAVE ANSWERED IT ELSEWHERE IN THIS DISCUSSION, CHRIS, AND AM TIRED OF REPEATING MYSELF TO PEOPLE WHO (IN YOUR CASE AT LEAST) PAY NO ATTENTION. Sorry.

                      “It just Is” Is NOT a logical and rational argument. We are not questioning you about IF they exist, but rather why they exist in the manner in which they do (why they have the properties that they have)
                      Which is something that you have not provided logical and rational evidence for. I have been reading ALL of your posts, and you have not provided any rational argument beyond “they just do” “it just is” and
                      “yawn”.

                • Chris H says:

                  “Since YECs frequently say things which are utterly untrue (however much they may hope they are true) perhaps they too secretly believe in an evolutionary universe?”

                  Reversal does not work, because as Dr. Lisle has explained we can consistently and logically account for the laws of logic, basic reliability of the senses, and uniformity. In an evolutionistic worldview, there is no reason (that you have given) for those things to exist in the manner in which they do, thus your attempt at a reversal was flawed.

            • Chris H says:

              Micah: “You did not provide a reason for why lying would be wrong in an evolutionary worldview, and sorry, but I don’t think you can.”

              Ashley: So what if I can’t? YECs need to understand that this does not invalidate the (mainstream) science that their critics put forward.”

              In other words, I do not know of a reason, I have not seen any reasons put forward by anyone, and thus I am going to ignore your questions. Secondly, it actually does invalidate the naturalistic worldview, because if it cannot explain such things through natural means, it is inconsistent within itself and should not be trusted. (As an inconsistent and incorrect worldview cannot and should not be relied upon to point to the truth.)

              “I forgot to point out that science/scientists knows/know that stars do NOT explode after less than 6,000 years of existence. They simply don’t.”

              Oh, so if they “simply don’t” Could you please provide some evidence for that? Scientists “know” (correct grammar) “science knows” (reification fallacy which ascribes concrete characteristics to immaterial concepts) Science cannot know anything. Scientists can “know” or “believe” something. But, the scientists ability to “know” anything relies on faith.

              • Chris H says:

                Also, the laws of logic, basic reliability of the senses, uniformity in nature, the laws of physics, and the laws of chemistry are foundational to our ability to actually do science. If evolution/naturalism/atheism cannot account for the BIG (emphasis mine) problems that these things present, then it is rational and logical to suggest that another worldview must be chosen.

              • ashley haworth-roberts says:

                Chris

                “it actually does invalidate the naturalistic worldview, because if it cannot explain such things through natural means”.

                I was not asked a question about natural means, I was asked a philosophical (and loaded) question viz “how on earth could x be true in an evolutionary universe?” (paraphrased).

                “Could you please provide some evidence for that?” Look it up, Chris. If you are willing to learn something, that is.

                • Chris H says:

                  That is not my job. In a debate it is your job to furnish the evidence for your cause and for yourself. I am not going to do your job for you, though I already have looked up the issue on my own independently from Dr. Lisle.

                  Secondly, you STILL have not provided any evidence and have simply evaded providing any by suggesting that I should be the one to do your job in this debate by looking up your evidence and supplying it for you.

                  • ashley haworth-roberts says:

                    I am not going to do your job for you either Chris.

                    If you want to remain in ignorance that is YOUR choice.

                    • Chris H says:

                      I am doing my job, you are the one who is under dereliction of duty (to use military terminology) because you have not in any way provided evidence and logical reasons for your position. That is your job, and if you are not or cannot/and cannot do that, then you have lost.

                    • ashley haworth-roberts says:

                      Now you are LYING Chris. You stamp your feet, I finally tell you to do your OWN work if you really want an answer to your question, and you declare ‘victory’.

                      I suggest you get REAL.

                    • Chris H says:

                      “Now you are LYING Chris.

                      Please, inform me how I am lying? Also, in an evolutionist worldview, why is it wrong to lie if it helps me survive longer and get ahead of other people? (improves my chances of surviving.)

                      You stamp your feet, I finally tell you to do your OWN work if you really want an answer to your question, and you declare ‘victory’.

                      In a debate, it is the opponents job to provide evidence for their position. When their opponent asks for evidence for their position, and they do not supply any, it generally means that the party who has not presented evidence (or refuses to present evidence) has lost the debate.

                      “I suggest you get REAL.”

                      Philosophical question. What is “real”?

    • ashley haworth-roberts says:

      I repeat, PLEASE would Jason’s blog followers take a look at my very detailed link, then consider Jason’s insertions in my post above, and make up YOUR OWN MIND. In particular, please check for YOURSELVES whether or not I am using rational arguments.

      [Dr. Lisle: Why is Ashley afraid to respond here? Is he concerned that people might point out his fallacies? If so, then better to stick to evolutionist forums, where fallacious arguments go unchallenged.]

      [I would encourage people to compare Ashley’s argument with the fallacies section of a text book on logic such as Copi And Cohen’s Introduction to Logic, or Morris Engle’s With Good Reason. See especially: the faulty appeal to authority, appeal to majority, begging the question, question begging epithet, bifurcation fallacy, straw-man fallacy, no True Scotsman Fallacy, ad homimen fallacy, and reification (or hypostatization) fallacy. See how many fallacies you can spot in Ashley’s arguments.]

      • ashley haworth-roberts says:

        Although it has not appeared next to it, my reply at 7.00 pm on 20 April was in response to Jason’ annotations of my post at 8.34 pm on 19 April.

      • Robert says:

        I have read here and read there and in my own mind I do not find that you are using rational arguments in several cases. Without looking at any of the particular arguments, Dr. Lisle, while still prone to the same human tenancies we all have, makes attempts to call out the reasons behind his responses. In many of your responses, you do not do this. So purely based on the outline of a rational argument should be, Dr Lisle appears to present the better case.

        As a particular case in point, it appears that you require all of your comments to be defended to your satisfaction (Causing may posters to reiterate their defense several times- but still not adding up to your satisfaction (meaning that evolution must be true, etc)) but you have chosen not to answer many of the comments they put forth to you.
        “It’s just that way” etc are not rational arguments. The main comment you seem to be trying to dodge/ haven’t rationally answered is their question on why there are morals and laws of logic, etc if evolution is true. I have seen some good arguments on both sides of the issue but I have never seen a rational response from the evolution camp on these questions (especially since it was referenced that YEC have bad morals, etc on the other blog site). I would love to see a rational response to those questions.

        I might also add that rationally, you are also doing a very similar “behind the back” commenting on the other blog site. IE I have not seen you post those sub-comments from that page on this page on the particular post, rather you are relying on the readers on this blog to periodically check back on that site to see what is new. So far you have given 2 different page links to track and that site does not have a key in the top right like this one does to quickly see if new posts were added.

        In addition you appear to be claiming a felony charge for something that appears in my own mind to be more of a formatting issue to avoid narrow reading. As Bob mentioned, Dr Lisle’s responses are hidden in plain view and appear to just be typical responses. I might add, that you could just hit reply and address his comments directly there.

        Finally, do you see the derogatory comments and generalities by you and other posters on the other site that are directed towards YEC’s as being acceptable? It just seems to leave a bad taste in the readers mouth.

        • ashley haworth-roberts says:

          Robert

          ““It’s just that way” etc are not rational arguments”. Yes, they are. You have not shown otherwise. Nor has Jason.

          [Dr. Lisle: Actually I have. Here for example: http://www.jasonlisle.com/2012/08/03/arbitrariness-and-inconsistency-the-opposites-of-rationality/%5D

          [“It’s just that way” is not a rational answer because it is arbitrary. To be arbitrary is to not have an objective reason for one’s position. To be arbitrary in a debate is to concede defeat because debates are supposed to be about which side has the better reasons. To admit that you don’t have a good reason is therefore to lose.]

          [“It’s just that way” It’s also reversible: I could equally well say, “Creation is true.” And when an evolutionist asks me to prove it I could say, “It’s just that way.” Now if Ashley wouldn’t accept that proof of creation, then to be fair he should be prepared to give a better response when we ask him to defend his position.]

          “I might also add that rationally, you are also doing a very similar “behind the back” commenting on the other blog site.” I ONLY started the NEW thread at the BCSE website (open to all) because of Jason’s attacks on my comments ‘behind my back’ (he has addressed most other people here directly, so his excuse for why he did something different in my case is not convincing). Please also see my post addressed to Jason at 6.08 pm on 20 April.

          [Dr Lisle: Actually this website is open to all as long as people behave themselves. Is it really so much to ask that Ashley behave himself when he is a guest on my blog? And I didn’t do anything at all “behind [Ashley’s] back.” My comments are posted here for all to see. Why is Ashley so upset that I have actually responded to his arguments?]

          “do you see the derogatory comments and generalities by you and other posters on the other site that are directed towards YEC’s as being acceptable?” I HAVE seen some comments by other people on the BCSE website that personally I would consider rude and borderline acceptable. In my own posts I only call people ‘liar’ or ‘coward’ etc of I perceive that such a term precisely describes their online behaviour (either at the BCSE site or on blogs and the like).

          [Dr. Lisle: If Ashley wants to engage in childish name-calling, (which is an abusive ad hominem fallacy), then yes, he should probably stick to external evolutionist sites where most commenters think that sort of behavior is the way to win. I don’t permit such unethical behavior here, though logical arguments are welcome.]

          Ashley

          • Micah says:

            >“It’s just that way” etc are not rational arguments”.
            >Yes, they are. You have not shown otherwise. Nor has Jason.

            Okay, I had to laugh our loud on that one. Ashley, i think you need to study logic a bit more. ‘It just is’, is an arbitrary claim. Or do you consider it logical when two kids quibble back and forth saying ‘Nuh uh’, ‘Uh huh’? Its exactly the same thing.

            • ashley haworth-roberts says:

              Even if you consider it ‘arbitrary’ that does NOT mean it isn’t rational or realistic. Even if Jason has decided “So when people reason from an ultimate standard that is not God’s Word, they are really simply basing their thinking on an arbitrary opinion”. Scientists – all those Jason and other YECs disagree with – reason based on EVIDENCE rather than the Bible, but that does not make them non-rational. Unless you of course can show that God is fooling us with false evidence.

              [Dr. Lisle: The ironic thing is that Ashley has now demonstrated the very thing he was arguing against early on: that when we don’t reason from God’s Word our thinking is ultimately arbitrary. Ashley reveals the arbitrariness of his position when he says “It’s just that way.” Furthermore, he believes we ought to reason from evidence, but this presupposes that our senses are reliable, that our mind is rational, and that the universe has underlying unity. But Ashley cannot give a good reason from his own worldview for why we should believe any of those things. His position is completely arbitrary. Thank you Ashley for proving my point.]

              • Micah says:

                Ashley,

                Your post makes little sense. Arbitrary literally means, ‘to not have a reason'(i.e. to be irrational). So its not that its just my opinion that its arbitrary, the laws of logic dictate that it is.
                Suppose we were in a classroom and there was writing on the chalkboard. You then proceed to ask me, ‘Why is there writing on the chalkboard?’. If i then answered you and stated, ‘Oh, there just is.’, have i answered your question? No, i havent. I simply pointed out the fact that there is indeed writing on the chalkboard.
                Likewise, your statements have been very much the same in regards to the laws of logic.
                When we ask you, ‘Why should there be invariant laws of logic from an evolutionary perspective?’, and you answer with ‘There just is.’. Thats not an answer.
                I hope your beginning to see this now.

                P.S.-Ill answer your other post tomorrow if i have some time. Stay tuned.

                • ashley haworth-roberts says:

                  Micah

                  “Your post makes little sense”.

                  I would agree that saying “there just is” in your blackboard example would make little sense (it would make sense but it would not tell the hearer anything they didn’t know) since it is clear that somebody wrote the words in chalk/felt tip pen.

                  But I was using the phrase with respect to an Earth and universe where there are predictable and scientific laws which Mankind has discovered. We do not know for certain whether a God put them there or whether they arose either of physical necessity or from ‘chance’ (I’m not referring to here to the particular laws we find or don’t find but to the fact that there ARE such laws). A person who doubts the Christian God or any other god and thinks the laws arose either from physical necessity or (possibly) from ‘chance’ (or both) is entitled to say something like “it’s just the way things are” – since nobody can prove (a) that God exists (b) that there are no scientific laws or (c) exactly why we have the scientific laws (though if a universe exists invariable mathematics must surely exist).

                  [Dr. Lisle: Actually Ashley, the proof that God exists is that there is no other worldview that can justify the existence and properties of such things as laws of nature, laws of logic, and moral absolutes. I’m asking how you know that laws of nature are invariant – that they will be the same tomorrow as they are today. I know that this is true because God has promised that the basic cycles of nature will continue to be as they were in the past (Genesis 8:22). This promised consistency allows us to rely on past experience as a good indicator of what is likely to happen in the future.]

                  [But since you reject a literal Genesis, and claim that such laws of nature might exist apart from God, I must ask how do you know they will be the same next week, or tomorrow, or two seconds from now? I know you believe this or you wouldn’t bother typing a reply (because you are assuming that typing will cause words to appear on the screen as it has in the past). But what is your reason for this on your own worldview? It won’t do to say that it’s always been that way, because this implicitly assumes such uniformity (see the Copi and Cohen quote above on begging the question). If you have no reason, then your position is reduced to fideism – “blind faith” which is arbitrary and therefore irrational.]

                  Jason wants to persuade people that scientific laws can ONLY exist if God exists and if Biblical creation is true. Many people have that belief.

                  [Actually Ashley, I’m asking you to account for laws of nature in a chance universe. Namely, (1) why should they exist (2) why would they be universal and invariant, and (3) how could we possibly know that they have such properties? The Christian worldview allows us to answer all of these questions in a meaningful way. But how can you account for such things on your worldview? If you can’t and yet you continue to believe in such things, then you are being inconsistent and arbitrary.]

                  You may also wish to read my reply to Robert just now – I quote part of it below:
                  “Whereas saying “it’s just the way things are” when you are asked why there are scientific, predictable laws which determine how the universe behaves (eg with eclipses) is rational in probably a stronger sense since nobody in their ‘right mind’ disputes that there are scientific and mathematical laws on Earth and in the wider universe which Mankind has slowly discovered”.

                  [Dr. Lisle: Actually, no one in their ‘right mind’ would dispute that God created the universe (Romans 1:18-20). In any case Ashley, I don’t think you have understood the argument. I’m not asking if laws of nature exist. I know we both agree that they do. I’m asking how you can make sense of universal, invariant laws of nature without a law-giver. How do you know on your own worldview that such laws really are universal and invariant? Can you answer that rationally (without begging the question)? If you cannot, then we will all have to agree that evolutionism is irrational, since it would render science foundationless.]

                  It is rational and probably self-evident to state that there is (to an extent) both order and scientific laws in the universe, but that we don’t know for certain exactly why and so in a sense “there just is”. That is, it seems virtually impossible that there wouldn’t be (particularly as humans with intelligent brains – sometimes – exist to observe these).

                  [Dr. Lisle: But in a chance universe, why would there be order? Why would you assume that human brains are intelligent – particularly if they are simply accidents of nature? Dirt is an accident of nature in your view; do you think it has intelligence? You see Ashley, all your beliefs about minds, laws of nature, morality, and such only make sense if Christianity is true. The fact that you continue to believe in such things demonstrates that you do know in your heart-of-hearts that God created the universe. The Bible teaches that anyone who denies this with their words is “suppressing the truth in unrighteousness” (Romans 1:18).]

                  Jason’s claim is that order and scientific laws would not exist if there was no Christian God and Biblical creation – therefore he probably wishes to say that suggesting “there just is” is an irrational answer because the only rational and correct answer is that “God created the order and the scientific laws” – and the non-Christian and perhaps even the theistic evolutionist is failing to acknowledge the ‘truth’ if they say “there just is” (because – according to him – if their worldview was true there would NOT be any scientific laws).

                  [Dr. Lisle: That’s not exactly my argument. I’m just asking you, Ashley, how it would make sense to have organized mathematical laws of nature that are universal and unchanging in a chance universe? And how could you know? They are simple questions, really.]

                  I hope this makes sense even if you feel unable to agree with it.

                  Mr Lisle wishes to portray any reasoning that does not start with SCRIPTURE as arbitrary. I basically disagree. I’m not saying scripture is proven false, but arguing that scientific reasoning (that which starts with the evidence not scripture) is also valid and not merely ‘arbitrary’ (because it starts with real evidence not ‘stories’) or ‘irrational’.

                  [Dr. Lisle: Ashley, you have demonstrated by your comments that any reasoning that does not embrace the Christian worldview is indeed arbitrary. Scientific reasoning presupposes an underlying orderliness to nature (otherwise observation and experimentation would be useless), that the human sensory organs reliably probe the universe and that the human mind is able to rationally interpret the information provided to it by the senses. Now these presuppositions make perfect since, given that God created the universe and upholds it in an orderly and consistent fashion; and God made our senses and our mind to be able to prove the universe and learn. So of course science is possible if creation is true. But how would any of these presuppositions be justified in a chance universe? And if such presuppositions are unjustified, then science would be arbitrary.]

                  Another short post addressed to ‘all’ (Jason and the others I have exchanged recent posts with) follows. I was already planning that one before I saw the overnight posts by Robert and yourself.

                  Although the post (which will appear first at the BCSE community forum) will be headed ‘Memo to self and other critics of Biblical creationist apologetics’ I hope that Biblical creationists will read it too.

                  • ashley haworth-roberts says:

                    “I’m not saying scripture is proven false…”. I am of the opinion that we have gained scientific knowledge which shows that the opening chapters of Genesis do not represent a literal and infallible complete history of the origins of the universe, this planet, life and humanity.

                    [Dr. Lisle: The problem with rejecting a literal Genesis on the basis of alleged scientific knowledge, is that scientific knowledge would be unjustified if Genesis were not true. The methods of science presuppose an underlying orderliness in nature, such that laws of nature do not arbitrarily change with time. And Genesis tells us that this is the case (e.g. Genesis 8:22). But if Genesis were not true, then there would be no reason to believe that laws of nature are invariant, and thus there would be no reason to have confident in science.]

                    The YEC position also seems to be that human reasoning ABOUT the Bible should be based ON the Bible and that ALL other considerations should be put to one side.

                    [Dr. Lisle: we can have some degree of confidence in our ability to reason, if indeed our minds were created by God who is the source of all knowledge. But if our brains were nothing but the accidental result of chemistry, why should we have any confidence in the brains reasoning?]

                    • ashley haworth-roberts says:

                      “But if Genesis were not true, then there would be no reason to believe that laws of nature are invariant, and thus there would be no reason to have confident in science.” Yes, there would. Especially if there was/is a God but Genesis is false or allegorical.

                      [Ashley, I’m encouraged by your response here – the “especially if there was/is a God” part. I think perhaps you are starting to see how the biblical God can make sense of consistent laws of nature. But the part you still need to explain is how we could know that such laws do not change with time – apart from God’s revelation in Genesis. How do you know that God will not change the way He upholds the universe in the near future? Without this crucial presupposition, science would be impossible. But I can’t see any way to justify this principle apart from a literal Genesis. Can you?]

                  • ashley haworth-roberts says:

                    “If you can’t and yet you continue to believe in such things, then you are being inconsistent and arbitrary.”

                    I don’t care about your opinions, Jason. Because that is what they are. I don’t care if I can’t answer your endlessly repeated rhetorical question(s) to your satisfaction.

                    [Dr. Lisle: thank you for admitting that your position is completely arbitrary – that you cannot provide logical reasons for your opinions on laws of nature, laws of logic, and moral laws.]

                    I care about facts.

                    [Facts are only meaningful in a Christian worldview. In a chance universe, your beliefs are just chemical reactions in the brain produced by unthinking natural laws which somehow came to be. There would be no reason to trust them any more than a magic 8 ball. So once again you have revealed your suppressed knowledge of God (Romans 1:18-20).]

                    • ashley haworth-roberts says:

                      I believe in science – the kind you despise I mean – and science is not arbitrary.

                      [Dr. Lisle: This is another straw-man fallacy. I don’t despise science; I love it! In fact, I love science so much that I got a Ph.D. in it. I agree with Ashley that science is not arbitrary. We have very good reasons to believe in laws of nature that are consistent over space and time – because God has promised to uphold the universe in a uniform way (Genesis 8:22). We have reason to trust in our sensory organs, because God made them (Proverbs 20:12). So science is not arbitrary because creation is true!]

              • ashley haworth-roberts says:

                I’ve proven nothing of the kind. I have written other posts today explaining why reasoning based on evidence – the practice of science but one rejected by YECs who start with scripture and then try to make the evidence fit with that – is rational (and not arbitrary in the sense of being based on whim or impulse).

                [Dr. Lisle: Reasoning using a brain that evolved by chance? How would that be rational exactly? Should we also rely on magic 8 balls to tell us the truth? How would science be reliable in a chance universe? Science presupposes an underlying orderliness to nature – laws that do not arbitrarily change with time or space. So how is it that we could know about such things apart from the Christian worldview? If we can’t know about such things, but believe them on mere whim or impulse, wouldn’t that be arbitrary?]

                I note that you CONTINUE not to respond to my post at 6.08 pm on 20 April.

                [Dr. Lisle: Don’t worry. I’ll get to it.]

                Please also see my post at 10.22 am on 21 April.

                • ashley haworth-roberts says:

                  “How would science be reliable in a chance universe?”

                  How wouldn’t it?

                  [Dr. Lisle: I have already answered this, but to summarize: there is no reason to assume that laws of nature would be uniform, that senses would be reliable, that the brain can be rational, (all things necessary for science) if we live in a chance universe. There would be no reason to think that science is any more reliable than a magic 8 ball, since both would simply be the inevitable outworking of mindless chemistry and physics.]

                  • ashley haworth-roberts says:

                    “there is no reason to assume that laws of nature would be uniform, that senses would be reliable, that the brain can be rational, (all things necessary for science) if we live in a chance universe.” Sorry, I disagree.

                    [Dr. Lisle: Then tell us your reason please.]

                    • ashley haworth-roberts says:

                      I have already told you. Even if the universe was not created by God, it still operates by scientific and mathematical laws. Your claim that a ‘godless’ universe ‘must’ be utter chaos with two plus two not equalling four is ridiculous nonsense.

                  • ashley haworth-roberts says:

                    “there is no reason to assume that laws of nature would be uniform, that senses would be reliable, that the brain can be rational, (all things necessary for science) if we live in a chance universe.”

                    There is no reason to assume the opposite either.

                • ashley haworth-roberts says:

                  “This is another straw-man fallacy. I don’t despise science; I love it!” (Jason, who is protesting too much.)

                  Obsessed with ‘fallacies’ much?

                  [Dr. Lisle: You’re the one that’s making them. Stop committing them, and I’ll stop pointing them out. Deal?]

                  I’ve already posted about all this – my post at 10.22 am today.

                  Jason lives ‘creation science’ – which calls swathes of real science a ‘lie’.

                  [Dr. Lisle: That’s (again) the No True Scotsman fallacy.]

                  • ashley haworth-roberts says:

                    Was that a Freudian slip? I of course meant that he “loves” ‘creation science’.

                  • ashley haworth-roberts says:

                    I thought it was the No Truthful Young Earth Creationist fallacy.

                  • ashley haworth-roberts says:

                    “You’re the one that’s making them. Stop committing them, and I’ll stop pointing them out. Deal?”

                    No deal – because I don’t care what you think about what I write here. But somebody might care to consider my arguments rather than reject them out of hand because they may contain what you consider ‘fallacies’.

                • ashley haworth-roberts says:

                  “But the part you still need to explain is how we could know that such laws do not change with time – apart from God’s revelation in Genesis”. And Genesis does NOT reveal that radioactive decay rates decelerated one million fold to today’s unchanging levels, as is taught by many YECs who reject ‘millions of years’ for reasons of dogma, at the end of ‘Noah’s Flood’.

                  [Dr. Lisle: Here Ashley commits the Red Herring fallacy. This is when a person cannot answer the question put to him, so he tries to change the subject.]

                  [Ashley has also repeated the argument from silence: e.g. the Bible doesn’t mention X, but you believe X, therefore… Well, he doesn’t actually state any conclusion. As I pointed out before, there are an infinite number of things that the Bible doesn’t mention. That doesn’t logically make it wrong on what it does mention. Actually, it is for scientific reasons that many of us believe that nuclear decay rates were faster in the past, and we can prove in the laboratory that radioactive decay rates can indeed be accelerated. Ashley seems not to know much about physics.]

                  • ashley haworth-roberts says:

                    “This is when a person cannot answer the question put to him, so he tries to change the subject.”

                    The question did not require an answer.

                    But I note that my observation has been conveniently ignored all we get is bluster which fails to address how one can derive the absurd pseudo-scientific ideas put about by YECs like Jason regarding eg radioactive decay rates from the c3,000 year old book of Genesis.

                    “we can prove in the laboratory that radioactive decay rates can indeed be accelerated”. Earth is not a laboratory.

                    “Ashley seems not to know much about physics.” I know enough to know that YECs spout pseudo-scientific garbage whenever they need a rescue device – and then pretend either that their dogma is ‘science’ or that they ‘found’ it in God’s Word. I have also found that YECs are unteachable Christians (unless the teacher is another YEC of course).

          • Robert says:

            Ashley,
            so then when YEC’s say “how do I know creation is true, well “It’s just the way things are.”” You accept that answer as a rational argument?

            just trying to figure out what you are actually saying.

            • ashley haworth-roberts says:

              Robert

              As far as I recall I was saying “it’s just the way things are” with respect to there being scientific laws which determine how the universe physically behaves. It is not mandatory to invoke God in order to account for this. Nobody can prove that a ‘godless’ or ‘evolutionary’ universe (if that is not what we actually have) would be utter chaos/devoid of scientific laws, or would fail even to exist.

            • Robert says:

              Ashley,
              thank you for that answer but that wasn’t the question. Would that be a rational argument?
              From what I have read, creationists and evolutionists both accept scientific laws (gravity, f=ma, etc) that describe how the universe physically behaves so that didn’t answer the question.

              • ashley haworth-roberts says:

                Robert

                Yes, but it would not mean that it was necessarily correct. Saying “it’s just the way things are that creation is true” (Biblical creation) is not agreed upon by all because science has an alternative series of natural explanations for what we call the creation. Whereas saying “it’s just the way things are” when you are asked why there are scientific, predictable laws which determine how the universe behaves (eg with eclipses) is rational in probably a stronger sense since nobody in their ‘right mind’ disputes that there are scientific and mathematical laws on Earth and in the wider universe which Mankind has slowly discovered.

                Well, those are my thoughts anyway.

                Christian apologists like Mr Lisle seek to claim that a ‘godless’ and/or ‘evolutionarily’ universe would be utter chaos and science would be impossible (assuming there were even any intelligent humans/extra-terrestrials capable of performing it). I’m not sure about that.

                Even non-Christian scientists do tend to admit that the universe either is ‘fine-tuned’ for life (in rare places) with respect to various physical constants or that it appears to have been ‘fine-tuned’ ie maybe it was a ‘fluke’ or somehow inevitable following the Big Bang (or whatever else started things off).

          • ashley haworth-roberts says:

            “It’s just that way” is not a rational answer because it is arbitrary.” Garbage, Jason.

            [Dr. Lisle: I must admit that I had to chuckle at Ashley’s response here. He attempts to defend his arbitrariness with another arbitrary claim. It certainly demonstrates my point: evolutionists just can’t provide any rational reasons for what they believe. If “it’s just that way” is a rational answer, then Creation is true. Why? “It’s just that way.”]

            Please read my posts dated 21 April.

            “And I didn’t do anything at all “behind [Ashley’s] back.”” Yes, you did. Your comments in square brackets weren’t even directly addressed to me – they were attempts to tell your followers what they should think of my words.

            [Dr. Lisle: Again, I’m just responding to Ashley’s claims, and pointing out errors in his reasoning. Why is he so upset at this? Sometimes my responses are addressed specifically to the individual, and sometimes to a general audience. The latter is what is normally used in a standard debate. Either is acceptable, so I’m not sure why Ashley is upset by this.]

            They made wrong assumptions. And you misquoted me at least once too – as I’ve shown at the BCSE community forum thread.

            [Dr. Lisle: Such as? Ashley, if I really did misquote you, let me know exactly where and I’ll fix it.]

            Your behaviour is unethical.

            [Is it unethical to point out when people make mistakes in reasoning, or to expose their false claims? Ashley is the one who is making all sorts of false claims, errors in reasoning, and character attacks, on my blog; and then he gets upset at me for pointing this out.]

            [Of course the really strange thing about Ashley’s claim is that it makes no sense in his worldview. Ashley apparently believes in evolution, but there is no basis for ethics in a chance universe. It’s just molecules in motion. What one bag of chemicals does to another bag of chemicals is ethically irrelevant. Ashley’s claim here reveals his suppressed knowledge of God (Romans 1:18-20).]

            • ashley haworth-roberts says:

              “Dr. Lisle: Such as? Ashley, if I really did misquote you, let me know exactly where and I’ll fix it.”

              READ MY POST AT 4.28 PM.

              Like I said your behaviour is unethical.

              • Chris H says:

                Of course the really strange thing about Ashley’s claim is that it makes no sense in his worldview. Ashley apparently believes in evolution, but there is no basis for ethics in a chance universe. It’s just molecules in motion. What one bag of chemicals does to another bag of chemicals is ethically irrelevant. Ashley’s claim here reveals his suppressed knowledge of God (Romans 1:18-20).

                Quoting Dr. Lisle, which you ignored.

                • ashley haworth-roberts says:

                  “Of course the really strange thing about Ashley’s claim is that it makes no sense in his worldview.” Heard it all before. Yawn (and it is almost 5.00 am here).

                  • Chris H says:

                    “Yawn” Is not a valid and logical argument. You simply are proving that you have no response to Dr. Lisle and are instead choosing to ignore it and avoid it. If you really believe that you have evidence and a way of proving him wrong in what he is saying, I would suggest you start by actually saying it instead of saying “yawn” and “it just is” and avoiding the question or statements entirely.

      • ashley haworth-roberts says:

        “Why is Ashley afraid to respond here?”

        OK, Jason. I will also post my rebuttals from the BCSE website HERE. I am not afraid of you or of your more polite followers. (Though you hope they are too indoctrinated or too biased to see through your antics ie your clumsy attempts to discredit, behind my back, EVERYTHING I say.)

        I will not tell people here exactly what I think of your antics – that might get me banned, which I suggest is what you actually want (an excuse to ban me – because you regard my posts as ‘trouble’). Thus you are trying to make out that I have been behaving childishly – when the real problem is that you don’t like my arguments.

        Your presume to know what I think. You are WRONG.

  11. ashley haworth-roberts says:

    In one of his many annotations of my posts, Jason has written (against my post at 9.09 pm on 11 April):
    “People visiting this blog might think that Ashley is a fictional person that I made up to make the evolutionists look bad – by pretending to be an evolutionist and posting absurd arguments full of logical fallacies and demonstrably false claims, making it look like evolutionists have a problem with basic reading comprehension.”

    I cannot prove this but I strongly suspect that Jason is in a minority of one there.

  12. Micah says:

    Hi Ashley,

    > “most of the fossils we do have are marine animals and plants, which would be expected in a flood scenario”.
    >>A flood scenario would kill ie drown land animals (which is what the Bible suggests too).

    Yes. And we find land animals, buried higher up than marine animals. Marine animals would be buried first so it makes sense to find the land animals buried higher. I never suggested we find only marine fossils, just mostly marine fossils, which is true.

    >“Again though, we shouldn’t assume that because animals live in certain areas today that they lived in the same places before the flood.”
    >Why shouldn’t we? Because it weakens your argument?

    Because a worldwide flood would tend to change the land a bit, don’t you think? There could have been much more land for example than today. There was probably no high mountains (creationist believe the mountains were made during the flood). Organisms tend to adapt to their environment, so just because something is living in a specific spot today, does not mean that it didn’t live in a different spot pre-flood.

    > “We would not expect that in the Devonian rock layer. Its as absurd as thinking I am going to find a cow at the bottom of the ocean today. Those were the first layers that were laid down by the flood, it could have happened before the waters even got up to mammals. We don’t expect randomization to that extent.”
    >>That’s utter rubbish. Mammals are fossilised [sic] in shallow rock layers whether in places near the ocean or far from it. Yet they should be in deeper rock layers too if all animals were created in a single week around 6,000 years ago.

    This has already been answered; ecological location is not the only factor.

    > “Forgive me if I’m wrong, but don’t we find marine fossils high above sea level? Marine creatures are what creationists say were buried first, and we do still find them high up the geological record.”
    >The Bible doesn’t say that marine creatures were killed in the flood.

    It doesn’t say they weren’t killed either, the thing is that we have the fossils of marine creatures in the rock layers. So most of them would have been laid down during the flood.

    >And high above sea level is not necessarily the same as high in the geological record.

    We find marine fossils in virtually all the layers of the grand canyon. We also find them up high on mountains, so we know that mountain was at one time under water. The creationists and evolutionists only disagree on the timing there.

    >“Monkeys are buried in higher layers than marine animals for example.”
    >I fear you are being serious. Are there any marine monkeys? *(From memory, I thought my preceding post(s) explained why a head for the hills scenario would mean burial further inland rather than closer to the surface for any creatures killed later on.)

    Marine monkeys? What are you talking about? You said we should find creatures buried later (during the flood) in higher rock layers in different locations. That is what we find isn’t it? Or are there really cases where monkeys occupy a much lower position on the geological record?

    >“Creationists agree on that point.”
    >But the Himalaya only became mountains after being below the ocean. They were not temporarily covered by a raised ocean.

    They wouldn’t have been nearly as high before the flood its true, creationists believe tectonic activity during the flood formed most of the mountains.

    >“creationists hold to the idea that there were no high mountains before the flood, so the altitude of what is now the Himalayas would have been much lower.”
    >>Yes, I’m aware of this YEC fantasy regarding how they assume Earth was 5,000 years ago. There is no supporting evidence.

    The fact that plate tectonics colliding cause mountains to be formed is supporting evidence.

    > “Naturalism assumes no God, so you are just wrong on that point I’m afraid.”
    >> Am I? There are practising[sic] scientists who are also theistic evolutionists, and they – unlike ‘creation sciences’ – are happy to operate on naturalism in their science work but are also believers in God and in miracles

    Christians can be inconsistent. Naturalism by definition denies the supernatural. God by definition IS supernatural.

    >We do know that sea levels have been much higher than today at various points in the past. But not high enough to cover all land (even if mountains were supposedly lower ‘pre=flood’).

    Using uniformitarian assumptions that creationists reject maybe. Creationists know that sea levels have been much higher than today as well, and it was high enough to cover all the land (Genesis 7:19-20).

    >“Micah answered your question, but you rejected it. If the Flood has already caused fossilization and creation of fossil layers before it gets to mammals, it can only form more layers, not insert a mammal into lower layers.”
    >Yes – more layers in a DIFFERENT place that was flooded later

    I don’t see how it couldn’t keep forming new layers in the same place and in different places at the same time?

    >Jason has annotated most of my posts. Apparently all I do is undefined ‘commit logical fallacies’.

    He hardly undefined them; in fact he explained most of them. Also it’s not too hard to look up the ones you don’t understand.

    I noticed you completely ignored the most important point, which is this: Evolution cannot rationally justify the properties of the laws of logic. It cannot justify the preconditions for intelligibility it cannot even justify the basic reliability of our senses. In other words, evolution cannot even justify science itself; it’s therefore an irrational belief system that is anti-science.

    Thanks
    Micah

    • ashley haworth-roberts says:

      Micah

      “And we find land animals, buried higher up than marine animals”. Except in the case of those marine shells found high up in what is now (millions of years after the creatures lived) the Himalayan mountain range.

      “Because a worldwide flood would tend to change the land a bit, don’t you think? There could have been much more land for example than today. There was probably no high mountains (creationist believe the mountains were made during the flood). Organisms tend to adapt to their environment, so just because something is living in a specific spot today, does not mean that it didn’t live in a different spot pre-flood.” That is nothing more than speculation about what was really no more than one or several large local floods a few thousand years’ ago.

      “The creationists and evolutionists only disagree on the timing there.” TOTALLY UNTRUE. YECs are rejecting MUCH more of what science has revealed (if that’s reification I don’t care) than just timing. What is now the Himalayan mountain range was once under the sea and in a different place on the planet’s surface. India collided with Asia, and the marine tectonic plate (Indo-Australian) was subducted below the land plate (Eurasian). The mountains were formed by orogeny and that is how the marine shells ended up there. The waters and shells did not submerge the mountains (which YECs claim were previously lower than now), rather than seafloor and the shells became part of the mountains as the plates collided.

      “You said we should find creatures buried later (during the flood) in higher rock layers in different locations.” But I think we also find creatures which died later buried in higher rock layers in the SAME general location – showing that they lived and died much later on in time than the creatures found lower down.

      “The fact that plate tectonics colliding cause mountains to be formed is supporting evidence.” Except that this happened in the late Cretaceous period: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Himalayas

      “I don’t see how it couldn’t keep forming new layers in the same place and in different places at the same time?” So you are rejecting ‘head for the hills’? That means mammals and birds did not move inland but stayed where eg dinosaurs were. Thus they should all have been buried together (in a short space of time because the waters would have been rapidly rising and fossils would not form if eg mammals simply floated in water after death rather than sinking to the bottom and being covered by sediment) in the same place(s) in a random way. They weren’t.

      You and other YECs are basically trying to make science ‘explain’ a fictional event. But I expect Jason will be along with his insertions before long. 🙂

      Ashley

      • ashley haworth-roberts says:

        Sorry, a typo above. I meant to write: “rather the seafloor and the shells became part of the mountains as the plates collided”.

  13. Micah says:

    Hi Ashley,

    >“And we find land animals, buried higher up than marine animals”.
    >>Except in the case of those marine shells found high up in what is now (millions of years after the creatures lived) the Himalayan mountain range.

    And? The Himalayans weren’t that high when the flood happened. So there is no problem.

    >“Because a worldwide flood would tend to change the land a bit, don’t you think? There could have been much more land for example than today. There was probably no high mountains (creationist believe the mountains were made during the flood). Organisms tend to adapt to their environment, so just because something is living in a specific spot today, does not mean that it didn’t live in a different spot pre-flood.”
    >>That is nothing more than speculation about what was really no more than one or several large local floods a few thousand years’ ago.

    It is not speculation that floods change the landscape. Flashfloods can form connecting channels in rivers; just take a look at how much damage was done because of tsunami that happened in Japan a few years back. The Genesis Flood would have greatly changed the landscape, especially if there was a lot of plate tectonic activity.

    >“The creationists and evolutionists only disagree on the timing there.” >>TOTALLY UNTRUE. YECs are rejecting MUCH more of what science has revealed (if that’s reification I don’t care) than just timing. What is now the Himalayan mountain range was once under the sea and in a different place on the planet’s surface. India collided with Asia, and the marine tectonic plate (Indo-Australian) was subducted below the land plate (Eurasian).

    Yes, this happened during the flood, only much faster. There is evidence to back this up too. For example, the magnetic polarity fluctuates too much when we drill down into the oceans crust. This shouldn’t be the case in a gradual process like evolutionists say happened. But it does make perfect sense in the catastrophic flood model where magnetic reversals were rapid and not slow.

    >The mountains were formed by orogeny and that is how the marine shells ended up there.

    Yes.

    >The waters and shells did not submerge the mountains (which YECs claim were previously lower than now),

    Evolutionists believe the mountain was lower than it is now too. They just think it too a long time to get to its height.

    >rather than seafloor and the shells became part of the mountains as the plates collided.

    While it was submerged underwater by the Genesis Flood.
    Exactly. Evolutionists and Creationists agree for the most part on this. Evolutionists just think it took much longer. But 3D supercomputers have demonstrated that rapid plate tectonic movement is possible (J.R. Baumgardner, Numerical simulation of the large-scale tectonic changes accompanying the Flood).

    >“You said we should find creatures buried later (during the flood) in higher rock layers in different locations.”
    >But I think we also find creatures which died later buried in higher rock layers in the SAME general location – showing that they lived and died much later on in time than the creatures found lower down.

    No, it just shows that they are buried in a different layer.

    >“The fact that plate tectonics colliding cause mountains to be formed is supporting evidence.”
    >>Except that this happened in the late Cretaceous period: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Himalayas

    Plate tectonic activity does not need to take millions of years, as I showed above.
    >“I don’t see how it couldn’t keep forming new layers in the same place and in different places at the same time?”

    >> So you are rejecting ‘head for the hills’?

    How does this show I’m rejecting that? Of course some animals would have still tried to flee the waters. Its not like the flood suddenly appeared all over the earth at the exact same time. It took it a while before it covered the whole earth, still, just because it forms layers in one spot doesn’t mean it suddenly stops and moves on, it would keep forming layers there regardless.

    >That means mammals and birds did not move inland but stayed where eg dinosaurs were. Thus they should all have been buried together

    Not being buried together does not mean they didn’t live together as I have already demonstrated above. The Ginko tree is only fossilized in layers below dinosaurs and yet, we know they lived with the dinosaurs because they are still around today.

    Oh, and don’t think we didn’t notice that you still haven’t explained how the laws of logic, preconditions for intelligibility and the basic reliability of our senses would be possible in your worldview. But I have a feeling you are ignoring these questions because you know you cant answer them.

    Thanks for taking the time to read,

    Micah

    • ashley haworth-roberts says:

      Micah

      “And? The Himalayans weren’t that high when the flood happened. So there is no problem.” Yes, there IS. Among other thing, these mountains were the same height, approximately, 5,000 years’ ago as today. You have no evidence to the contrary.

      “Yes, this happened during the flood, only much faster. There is evidence to back this up too. For example, the magnetic polarity fluctuates too much when we drill down into the oceans crust. This shouldn’t be the case in a gradual process like evolutionists say happened. But it does make perfect sense in the catastrophic flood model where magnetic reversals were rapid and not slow.” That is not science. It is somebody’s misrepresentation of evidence.

      “While it was submerged underwater by the Genesis Flood.
      Exactly. Evolutionists and Creationists agree for the most part on this.”
      NO, THEY DO NOT. RE-READ MY POST.

      “No, it just shows that they are buried in a different layer.” Which the Genesis mythical worldwide flood CANNOT account for.

      “Plate tectonic activity does not need to take millions of years, as I showed above.” Yes, it does if you are talking about eg the separation of South America from Africa. Baumgardner has a model but he does not have evidence for any kind of CPT.

      “How does this show I’m rejecting that?” I suggest you re-read your previous words. I don’t have the time to keep explaining things over and over to around four different people. Sorry. The advocates of head for the hills claim ALL animals found high in the geologic column managed to flee, which is completely implausible.

      “Oh, and don’t think we didn’t notice that you still haven’t explained how the laws of logic, preconditions for intelligibility and the basic reliability of our senses would be possible in your worldview. But I have a feeling you are ignoring these questions because you know you cant answer them.”

      I have already commented further, last night (I forget to whom). All this talk of ‘worldview’ does not affect scientific facts. Evolutionists don’t bang on about ‘worldview’ because they have evidence to back up their claims. Christian Peter Enns underlines that HERE: http://www.abpnews.com/ministry/congregations/item/8417-can-christianity-and-evolution-co-exist#.UXMxthFwbIU
      “Six-day creationists, meanwhile, have a very tight and narrow worldview that is constantly being undermined by scientific discoveries, Enns said. “The difference here is that Ken Ham has no facts on his side, and the anti-Christian, pro-evolutionary atheists do,” he said.”

  14. ashley haworth-roberts says:

    MEMO TO SELF AND OTHER CRITICS OF BIBLICAL CREATIONIST APOLOGETICS (AND TO THE BIBLICAL CREATIONISTS IN THIS DISCUSSION)

    When a Biblical creationist apologist uses the word ‘science’ or ‘scientific’, or hears a critic using it, be aware that the apologist frequently means something different to what you might expect. He or she means Biblical or young Earth creationism. What everybody else would consider ‘science’ in a modern dictionary sense they would tend to dismiss as the misguided practice of ‘naturalism’ which they would say only is useful in making observations in laboratories or developing technology but which is utterly useless and a source of error if you try to extend the discipline into uncovering the truths about our origins (because we weren’t there – but God was and has already told us what ‘really’ happened in the Bible). For the apologist, what I call science (or real science) is mere naturalism and/or the ‘lie’ of evolutionism, and what I call Biblical creationist apologetics is ‘true’ science or ‘creation’ science.

    In his blog post Jason Lisle wrote: “when people reason from an ultimate standard that is not God’s Word, they are really simply basing their thinking on an arbitrary opinion”. I suggested that he was implying – and implying wrongly – that scientific reasoning (which starts with physical evidence) was merely ‘arbitrary’. I was slapped down by one or two of his followers and then by him for ‘misrepresenting’ him. I did not think I was. But of course, as I now realise, he was quietly redefining the word ‘scientific’ – to mean that the reasoning must start with scripture rather than with physical evidence when you are examining eg the history of the planet.

    This shifting of definitions is what allows these apologists to keep hold of some small shred of credibility whenever they proclaim “we love science” or vehemently reject the charge that they are ‘anti-science’.

  15. Micah says:

    Hi Ashley,

    “I would agree that saying “there just is” in your blackboard example would make little sense (it would make sense but it would not tell the hearer anything they didn’t know) since it is clear that somebody wrote the words in chalk/felt tip pen.”>

    Here’s the thing, with scientific laws you are arguing that nobody put them there. Using the chalkboard example that is akin to saying nobody put the writing on the chalkboard. If the person then asks, ‘Well, how did the writing get there? And why does it say what it does?’ The other person can either a) Answer the question or b) Not answer the question, and just state that the writing does indeed exist.

    The evolutionists cannot answer the question. Plain and simple, as you have already demonstrate over and over with your constant dodging of the question. They dont know why the laws of logic exist, or why they are unchanging. Therefore they have no reason to think that they will be unchanging. They have no reason to believe the laws of science will continue to operate tomorrow as they do today. They take it on blind faith that they will.

    “But I was using the phrase with respect to an Earth and universe where there are predictable and scientific laws which Mankind has discovered.”

    Yes, that’s all good and fine. But it doesn’t answer the question. Evolutionists can’t answer why, the biblical Christian can.

    “We do not know for certain whether a God put them there or whether they arose either of physical necessity or from ‘chance’”

    If they arose from chance, why should they be invariant and unchanging? What is the bridge between physical necessity and non-physical laws? How would the physical produce the non-physical?

    “A person who doubts the Christian God or any other god and thinks the laws arose either from physical necessity or (possibly) from ‘chance’ (or both) is entitled to say something like “it’s just the way things are””

    So just because they believe they arose from chance or from physical necessity they are allowed to be arbitrary? Please explain why that is true. Just because you believe something arose a certain way does not mean you don’t have to justify why they arose that way. You are just trying to escape the inevitable end that is evolutionary thinking: Arbitrariness.

    “since nobody can prove (a) that God exists (b) that there are no scientific laws or (c) exactly why we have the scientific laws”

    Nobody can prove it perhaps. Doesn’t mean nobody can explain it. The Christian can explain why we have scientific laws and why they behave the way they do. The evolutionist cannot, which is why he must resort to arbitrary claims like ‘It just is.’.

    “(though if a universe exists invariable mathematics must surely exist).”

    Why? If a universe pops into existence by chance, then why should mathematics be invariable? Why can’t they change? A chance universe necessarily means that anything is possible.

    “Jason wants to persuade people that scientific laws can ONLY exist if God exists and if Biblical creation is true. Many people have that belief.”

    This would be extremely easy for someone to refute too. All they would need to do is show how another worldview (e.g. evolution) can account/justify things like the laws of logic or the basic reliability of our senses. Instead you just keep saying you don’t have to account for them, which makes little sense, that’s akin to saying ‘I don’t have to provide a reason.’

    “Whereas saying “it’s just the way things are” when you are asked why there are scientific, predictable laws which determine how the universe behaves (eg with eclipses) is rational in probably a stronger sense since nobody in their ‘right mind’”

    How is it rational to not provide a reason? This makes no sense whatsoever. ‘Its rational to be irrational’ is essentially what your saying. The existence of the laws is not what is being disputed here. It’s why they are the way they are and not some other way that is being addressed.

    “It is rational and probably self-evident to state that there is (to an extent) both order and scientific laws in the universe,”

    You were doing fine up to this point, but then unfortunately…

    “but that we don’t know for certain exactly why and so in a sense “there just is”.

    This is important. You’ve just stated that ‘we don’t know for certain exactly why’, this is exactly the point. Evolutionists don’t know why the laws are the way they are, therefore they have no reason to think they should be that way. They have therefore destroyed any reason to do science or experimentation because the laws, as far as they know, could be completely different tomorrow.

    “Jason’s claim is that order and scientific laws would not exist if there was no Christian God and Biblical creation – therefore he probably wishes to say that suggesting “there just is” is an irrational answer”

    Saying ‘there just is’ IS and irrational answer. It’s not providing a reason, the very definition of arbitrary, a form of irrationality. You’re arguing with the laws of logic here.

    “because the only rational and correct answer is that “God created the order and the scientific laws””

    If you have another answer that is non-arbitrary I would love to hear it.

    “and the non-Christian and perhaps even the theistic evolutionist is failing to acknowledge the ‘truth’ if they say “there just is” (because – according to him – if their worldview was true there would NOT be any scientific laws).”

    Straw-man. There would be no reason to think the laws were unchanging and invariant. There is a difference.

    “I hope this makes sense even if you feel unable to agree with it.”

    Sorry, it makes very little sense. But then again, irrationality usually doesn’t.

    “Mr Lisle wishes to portray any reasoning that does not start with SCRIPTURE as arbitrary. I basically disagree.”

    And yet, you’re being arbitrary. As shown above, you even said so yourself: ‘we don’t know for certain exactly why’, i.e. arbitrary.

    “I’m not saying scripture is proven false, but arguing that scientific reasoning (that which starts with the evidence not scripture)”

    Nobody ‘starts with the evidence’; they start with their presuppositions.

    “is also valid and not merely ‘arbitrary’ (because it starts with real evidence not ‘stories’) or ‘irrational’.”

    If they want to remain un-arbitrary then they need to provide reasons and not just say ‘it just is.’

    “Although the post (which will appear first at the BCSE community forum) will be headed ‘Memo to self and other critics of Biblical creationist apologetics’ I hope that Biblical creationists will read it too.”

    If you post it here I will read it. Otherwise don’t count on it.

    Thanks,

    P.S.-I’m trying a new way of quoting people, we will see if it works. If it doesn’t, just ignore all the blockquotes.

    • Micah says:

      Okay, Jason. Please delete the one above. Ashley, i will repost this at the bottom without all the crazy quotes..

      Thanks.

      • Dr. Lisle says:

        I just fixed it. Use <blockquote> to start the quote section, and then </blockquote> to end it.

        • Robert says:

          Dr. Lisle,
          I understand the use of the in message responses by you to save space, cut down on post length, and make it easier to read in context, etc, but is there a way to add a “Recent Edits” section on the right or just send a quick reply to the responded section that says “Response by edit in the section above” so it is easier to follow along.

          Also, is it possible to change the reply offset from 8 characters to say 4 characters so that the last reply section on the right can be longer than 1 word per line. I guess another option could be to set the number of offset replies to 1 less.

          I think the edit responses you are doing make it easier to read and follow along, and I am greatly encouraged to see your patience in responding. Thank you.

          • Dr. Lisle says:

            Both good ideas. And no, I don’t know how to do them. If I figure it out, I’ll implement both. I can reduce the number of nested comments – it’s currently at 10. But, I’m not sure what would happen to existing comments though if they are 10 levels in. I’d suggest that when it gets too narrow to read, just reply with “answered below” and then do the detailed reply at the bottom.

  16. ashley haworth-roberts says:

    Dear All

    Jason has been telling people what I think again. He obviously must fear…

    [Dr. Lisle: “He obviously must fear” – Ashley is telling people what I think again. Interesting.]

    …either that his followers cannot form their own opinions of me or that they will form an opinion that he would prefer them not to form.

    [Dr. Lisle: That’s a bifurcation fallacy. In reality, I’m just responding to false claims (like the above claim) and pointing out fallacies. Ashley’s comments provide a wonderful opportunity for people to brush up on their fallacy-detection skills.]

    Unfortunately, in this latest example or projection (like the ones where he implied that I know little about either science or about young Earth creationist claims) – he was completely wrong again.

    [Ashley has amply demonstrated his ignorance of science and creationist claims. His posts about the flood are fantastic examples of this. I’ll give more details below. By the way, I’m not trying to be mean. But if Ashley is going to criticize others for allegedly not understanding science, then he really should learn something about it.]

    What am I referring to you may ask?

    Jason wrote earlier today (as an insert within one of my posts as usual – one timed at 7.00 pm on 20 April):
    ““Why is Ashley afraid to respond here?”

    This accusation refers to my rebuttals of some of his many attacks against my posts…

    [Dr. Lisle: Again, I’m just pointing out false claims and logical fallacies. Nothing more.]

    , which – for reasons of convenience and nothing else – I posted late on Friday at the new BCSE community forum thread alongside reproductions of my various posts here which Jason has ‘edited’.

    [Again, none of Ashley’s posts were ‘edited’, unless you count the removal of his unethical character attacks on another blog visitor – and that was clearly identified as such. All of Ashley’s other posts are left untouched. I’ve graciously allowed him to post his rhetoric on my website, even though I’m under no obligation to allow such – this is my blog after all.]

    It is self-evident that THIS thread has become rather unwieldy (even in an evolutionist worldview). How was I supposed to reply directly to Jason here when he did not actually make new posts directed at me but instead inserted negative ‘commentaries’ within my posts? (And often when I make a new post it appears way BELOW the post I was addressing.)

    [Dr. Lisle: It’s rather easy. Just copy the section you want to respond to, and post it along with your comments at the very bottom. You can use html code such as bold or italics to separate your words from the person you are replying to, or quotes (though apparently WordPress will not allow guests to use color codes.)]

    This again is the BCSE thread (THIS post will be added there):
    http://forums.bcseweb.org.uk/viewtopic.php?f=1&t=3237&start=15

    Below are the rebuttals, as taken from the BCSE thread (in the order in which they appear). If you need to see WHICH exact Lisle comment I am addressing you will need to refer to the other thread. Sorry, if this means looking at two websites for the complete picture. But my time to address all Jason’s false or irrelevant claims about me is NOT unlimited. And I am trying to keep this post as short and readable as possible.

    BRIEF COMMENTS ON LISLE’S CLAIMS
    – Scientists reason from ‘an ultimate standard’ that is not God’s Word. Thus Lisle DID imply that their reasoning is arbitrary. I did not misrepresent nor pretend to be quoting him;

    [Dr. Lisle: No. Only if evolution were true would science be arbitrary, because there would be no justification for the preconditions of intelligibility. But evolution isn’t true. Creation is, therefore science is not arbitrary. I really wish Ashley would stop misrepresenting me here. Ah well.]

    – “You’ll notice that we creationists have good reasons for our position. Evolutionists don’t. And that’s the point. Ashley continues to demonstrate this.” You would NEVER be satisfied, Jason;

    [Dr. Lisle: I’m perfectly satisfied that evolutionists don’t have good reasons for their beliefs. Ashley has demonstrated this repeatedly. I ask a simple question like why it is wrong to lie, and the answer I get is that it just is. Evolutionism is arbitrary.]

    – “Naturalism is incompatible with science, because science requires uniformity, and naturalism cannot justify uniformity.” What drivel. The theory of evolution, part of science, assumes both naturalism and – where the evidence observed today points to such – uniformity (and uniformitarianism);

    [Dr. Lisle: First, evolution isn’t really a theory, because a theory has some supporting evidence. Evolution is really an unsubstantiated conjecture. Is it “part of science” as Ashley claims? Being very generous to our critics, I suppose we could call evolution a ‘model’ in the scientific sense of a mental construct that attempts to explain some aspect of the universe, albeit a rather unhelpful one.]

    [I want to take some time on this one, because it is at the heart of the issue. Does science presuppose naturalism? Naturalism is the belief that nature is all that there is – everything that exists is matter (or energy) in motion. Ashley is correct that evolution is predicated on this assumption. But is science? Well no. Although the methods of science are not equipped perhaps to study supernatural phenomena, there is nothing about the scientific method that requires the non-existence of supernatural phenomena. Just as laws of mathematics are not equipped to address moral claims, yet they do not disprove the existence of morality.]

    [Does science require uniformity in nature? Yes! And not just “where the evidence observed today points to such” as Ashley stated. All scientific observations presuppose that the universe operates in a regular fashion, at least most of the time if not all of the time. Our visual observations presuppose that light (normally) travels in straight paths, as one example. Experimentation would be utterly useless if the universe had no uniformity; there would be no consistency, no patterns to uncover.]

    [Can we have confidence that such uniformity extends to unobserved, unexperienced, regions of the universe, and future times? Science requires this to be true in order to function. But is such a belief warranted? Do we have a good reason for it? If creation is true, then yes. God is sovereign over the entire universe, even unobserved regions, and He has promised to uphold the future universe like the past universe (e.g. Genesis 8:22). Therefore, we creationists have a logical basis for uniformity, and therefore we can have confidence in science. But if evolution were true, and Genesis is false or mere allegory, then what is the basis for assuming uniformity in unexperienced regions or future times? It does no good to say that we have uniformity in the past and in observed regions, because this would be utterly irrelevant to future times or unobserved regions unless we already had a good reason to believe in uniformity. Therefore, although scientific procedures may not be equipped to study the supernatural realm, they require the existence of the biblical God in order to be logically justified! Science would be meaningless in a chance universe.]

    [And what about uniformitarianism? This is the belief that rates and conditions are generally constant, such that Earth’s features have been generated (for the most part) at their present slow rates, presumably over long periods of time. Evolution does presuppose uniformitarianism. But there is nothing in science that requires it. The methods of science presuppose that laws of nature do not arbitrarily change, but they do allow conditions to change drastically. As one example, the rate at which Rhenium decays into Osmium can vary by a factor of billion depending on the ionization state of the atoms, but the laws of physics remain the same. We know that rates can vary by enormous amounts depending on the conditions. Yet evolutionists often assume constancy of rates, without any compelling reasons. This is arbitrary.]

    – “Evolution is not compatible with the notion of universal invariant laws of mathematics”. Unsupported, arbitrary assertion and part of Jason’s ‘rhetoric’.

    [Actually, I did provide reasons, and have even written an article on this: http://www.youroriginsmatter.com/conversations/view/evolutionary-math/95.
    Evolution requires change, but laws of mathematics do not change. They are opposites, and so I want to know how evolutionists can justify invariant laws in an ever-changing universe. How could anyone possibly know that anything is truly universal and invariant apart from God’s Word? However, I want to commend Ashley for pointing out what he thought was an unsupported arbitrary assertion – indeed if it had been, it would be perfectly rational to point it out and dismiss it as unwarranted.]

    Brief comments on Lisle’s rather ridiculous claims:
    – “The circular nature of Ashley’s reasoning is easily exposed.” There wasn’t any;

    [Well, now we’re back to arbitrary claims I see. The context of this quote was where Ashley was trying to argue against the worldwide flood by pointing out that organisms that are considered to be older by evolutionists are found lower in the geologic column than those that are younger. But if the worldwide flood really happened, then these organisms were buried within the same year. By assuming the evolutionist’s assigned age, Ashley had already tacitly assumed that there was no worldwide flood. He then used this as evidence against the worldwide flood. This of course begs the question. Ashley’s reasoning is circular. By the way, how do evolutionists estimate which organisms are the older ones? They assume that those found in deeper layers are older. So it shouldn’t be surprising that they find ‘older’ fossils in lower layers, since lower layers are presumed to be the oldest. The reasoning is clearly circular.]

    – “This is another straw-man argument. Creationists would not expect rabbits, for example, to be found in the lowest geologic layers for this obvious reason: rabbits don’t live on the ocean floor”. NO, it was a QUESTION (not a denial) Jason. Calm down. If places on LAND have more than one fossil-containing rock layer, we would expect to see mammals in both upper and lower layers if Noah’s (recent) flood had happened – but we DON’T. Talk of rabbits not living on the ocean floor is simply MUDDYING THE WATERS (pun unintended);

    [No – this is a straw-man argument because this is not what creationists would expect. All fossils are found on land, even those of marine organisms. Ashley seems to be assuming that land levels have never changed, but neither creationists nor evolutionists believe that. We do not find terrestrial fossils in the lower parts of the geologic column, because the lower parts of the geologic column contain fossils only of ocean dwelling organisms.]

    – “Apes (note: not “ape-like creatures”, but rather “apes”) and birds are found only in the higher positions in the geologic column”. Yes – and THAT supports evolution and an old Earth, not the Bible. In addition, Jason has misunderstood me.

    [No – it confirms creation. Organisms that live in higher ecological zones, and are more mobile, would be buried higher in a worldwide flood – and this is exactly what we find.]

    My comment in question referred to higher ALTITUDE. Does he think I am stupid?;

    [I suspected that Ashley doesn’t understand the geologic column, and this confirms it. No, organisms in any portion of the geologic column can be found at virtually any altitude today. There are marine fossils on the highest mountain tops. And fossilized birds can be found at lower altitudes. Cambrian strata, as one example, are not found at the same altitudes throughout the world because of tectonic activity. The elevation of any particular piece of land today is not necessarily what it was before the flood.]

    – “Hardly. Lower areas are generally flooded before higher areas. It’s pretty hard to argue against that”. Are you being wilfully dishonest Jason? Or just incompetent? Re-read my words. I did NOT say “lower areas”;

    [Ashley was responding to the AiG claim that “Those things in habitats first to be overwhelmed would generally occupy lower positions in the geologic column.” That’s right, “lower positions.” Ashley responded, “that makes little sense.” In fact, it makes perfect sense that organisms buried first in the flood would be those in lower positions in the geologic column. Ashley’s objection makes no sense.]

    – “Ashley again misrepresents what Creationists teach”. I did NO such thing. I merely made a FACTUAL statement (but I note Jason’s implied admission that YECs teach falsehoods – I already knew this);

    [In context, this was in response to Ashley’s claim that “Surely what would matter more would be altitude (the same then as now).” But creationists do not teach that altitude (in the sense of elevation from sea level) of rocks has always been the same. By the way, neither do evolutionists. Ashley’s claim was simply false.]

    [Ashley made another false claim here in saying that I somehow admitted that “YECs teach falsehoods.” Where I did say or even remotely imply that? Of course, in an evolutionary universe, why shouldn’t they? Morality presupposes a creationist worldview.]

    – “Note that Ashley continues to expose his suppressed knowledge of God by having confidence in science, which only makes sense in a Christian worldview.” So why are YECs so ANTAGONISTIC towards science?

    [This is the fallacy of the complex question, since creationists are not antagonistic towards science. It’s also a red herring fallacy. Ashley was unable to rationally answer the argument put to him, so he changes the subject, and suggests that YECs are antagonistic toward science. However, I am not aware of a single biblical creationist who is against science. Most of the ones I know have a Ph.D. in science.]

    Comments on Lisle.
    – “he seems to think that creationists are against real science”. They frequently are;

    [Once again Ashley provides no evidence to back up his (false) claim.]

    – “I’m inclined to think that Ashley really doesn’t want to believe in creation for emotional reasons rather than legitimate logical reasons.” It’s BOTH, Jason;

    [We’ve seen Ashley’s emotional reaction. But we haven’t seen him put forward any logical reasons yet.]

    – “No one has ever rejected the claims of Christianity for logical reasons.” Jason is assuming that the science which YECs reject is ‘illogical’;

    [Actually, I’m not aware of any science that creationists reject. There are false claims that we reject, but not science. In any case, I have yet to hear or read a logical objection to Christianity.]

    – “I’m not convinced that Ashley has studied science properly at all, given his previous claims”. Since I know that I HAVE, as my friends and people on the BCSE site could confirm, this tells me that Jason is not interested in truth just in propaganda and stereotyping of his critics.

    [“is not interested in truth just in propaganda and stereotyping of his critics.” – oh the irony. Notice that Ashley appeals to his friends and people on the BCSE to indicate that he knows science, many of whom undoubtedly share his lack of education. I would be far more impressed if he actually got some education in science, say a Ph.D. in a branch of science from a major university. In any case, Ashley’s misunderstanding of the geologic column, of the nature of science, and so on amply demonstrate that he really hasn’t studied this subject very much. I’m not trying to be mean-spirited, it’s just pretty obvious to all of us who have studied science.]

    They look at evidence alone, assuming that what they see means something – they DON’T also look at religious texts like the YECs do.

    [In “assuming that what they see means something” they are not relying on evidence alone, but are relying on a worldview. In a chance universe, there would be no reason to think that evidence means anything. There would be no reason to rely on our senses, or our mind, or any physical evidence at all. Science presupposes a Christian worldview.]

    [Also, is it rational for a scientist to ignore recorded history when attempting to reconstruct a past event? Ashley admits that evolutionists don’t rely on “religious texts,” but if they reject the recorded history in the Bible and choose to rely on guesswork instead, then that’s really illogical.]

    They operate on naturalism

    [Well, that’s not “evidence alone” since naturalism is a belief that nature is all that there is. We’ve already seen that naturalism would make science unjustified and meaningless, so I won’t repeat the argument here.]

    (that is silent on the existence of God as God apparently does ‘natural’ things).

    [Actually, naturalism denies the existence of the biblical God. This is because naturalism is the belief that nature is all there is, but the biblical God is not part of nature; He is transcendent.]

    And they don’t always assume uniformitarianism.

    [That’s actually true. I have found that evolutionists assume uniformitarianism when it gives them the answers they want, and reject it otherwise. This of course is arbitrary (and inconsistent). All arguments for an old earth do assume uniformitarianism.]

    BRIEF COMMENTS ON LISLE
    – “People visiting this blog might think that Ashley is a fictional person that I made up to make the evolutionists look bad – by pretending to be an evolutionist and posting absurd arguments full of logical fallacies and demonstrably false claims, making it look like evolutionists have a problem with basic reading comprehension.” And your evidence for this claim is precisely WHAT, Jason? Kindly Put Up or Shut Up;

    [The evidence would be that Ashley commits almost every fallacy that I’ve written about in my book “Discerning Truth.” His fallacy of complex question, “why are YECs so ANTAGONISTIC towards science?” is almost verbatim from page 39. His reification fallacies involving what “science says” are from page 16. His equivocation with science and evolution is right from page 22. His attempt to justify uniformity by assuming it is right from page 30. Ashley’s multiple question-begging epithets could have been taken right from page 36. The ad hominem attacks could be right from page 50. Ashley’s faulty appeals to authority is almost verbatim from page 57. The straw-man attacks are nearly identical to those listed on pate 62. His No True Scotsman fallacies are right from page 78. It’s almost as if I took all those fallacies, and then posted them pretending to be an evolutionist, as if to show people, “yes evolutionists really do commit all sorts of errors in reasoning.” Trolling happens. I just wanted people to know that this is not the case here.]

    – “Why would anyone want to try to publish a science paper in a religious journal that is only peer-reviewed by evolutionists? Since evolution would render science foundationless, it makes no sense”. I suggest that you would TRY if you thought you had a disproof of evolution and something which would convert people to fundamentalist Christianity – but all you have is your apologetics;

    [Apologetics IS as disproof of evolution. But people are not always persuaded even by a perfectly good argument. Ashley has demonstrated this. He cannot refute the fact that only the Christian worldview can justify laws of logic, laws of morality, laws of nature, and their properties. Yet he continues to deny the Christian worldview. Why?]

    [The Bible gives us the answer. The Bible tells us that God has revealed himself inescapably to all people, such that there is no excuse for denying creation (Romans 1:19-20). But people do not want to accept a God who is rightly angry at them for their sin. So they suppress the truth in unrighteousness (Romans 1:18).]

    – “How does he know – on his worldview – that laws of mathematics are universal and unchanging?” The question is STUPID;

    [Ashley’s response is the fallacy of the question-begging epithet. Ashley does assume that laws of mathematics are universal and unchanging. But he cannot justify that belief on his own worldview. He cannot answer the question, so he arbitrarily dismisses it. Only the Christian worldview can make sense of such things. But Ashley would prefer to live in darkness rather than light (John 3:19).]

    – “It appears that he is indeed quite indoctrinated with evolutionism/naturalism.” Said the anti-science fundamentalist.

    [Another question-begging epithet fallacy. Also a straw-man argument. I have an earned doctorate in science, and my worldview can make sense of science.]

    Brief comment on Lisle’s false allegations.
    – “I can’t answer that question. It’s too hard. So I’m going to call it an ‘idiot question’ and hope that no one notices”. You are a LIAR, Jason. It WAS an idiot question.

    [Actually, Robert had won the debate by pointing out that Ashley’s position is self-contradictory. Ashley simultaneously indicated that we should go with what the majority of scientists believe, and we should not go with what the majority of scientists believe. Robert was graciously giving Ashley the opportunity to explain under what circumstances should we accept the opinions of the majority of scientists, and under what circumstances we should not. Ashley could not answer Robert’s question. Check it out above, beginning with Robert’s post, “Ashley, To clarify your position,…”]

    [Of course, Ashley also commits the abusive ad hominem fallacy. But for the sake of argument, why in his worldview would lying be wrong? Why would it be unacceptable for one bag of chemicals to mislead another bag of chemicals? Ashley hasn’t been able to provide a reason for this so far. But rational people have a reason for their beliefs.]

    I have already explained WHY on the BCSE site, and linked to the BCSE site on Jason’s site. On 13 April I wrote on the BCSE site that it appeared that Robert was being “deliberately obtuse”

    [Hardly. Robert’s question was profound because it exposed the self-contradictory nature of Ashley’s worldview. Namely, we are supposed to accept what the majority of scientists, except when we’re not supposed to do that. It was perfectly legitimate to ask, “when should we accept the scientific consensus, and when should we reject it?” Ashley cannot answer that simple question, so he merely engages in emotional rhetoric.]

    and added “The opinion that Earth was flat was pre-scientific – I cannot believe he is such an idiot not to realise that”;

    [{Sigh.} More abusive ad hominem fallacies.]

    – Jason’s talk of ‘character assassination’ is utter hypocrisy given his comments in square brackets.

    [Here Ashley commits the tu quoque fallacy. A character assassination would be like saying “Ashley is a LIAR and a bigot.” I don’t think I’ve said anything like that. I believe that Ashley is mistaken of course. But that’s not a character assassination.]

    JASON’S COMMENTS HERE ARE SOME OF HIS MOST UNPLEASANT
    – “I do allow guests to comment on my blog, but they must behave themselves and not act like a 2-year-old throwing a temper tantrum.” YECs are more interested in demonising their critics than in discussing science;

    [Irony. Ashley is the one engaging in abusive ad hominem attacks. The creationists who have responded to him on this site have been far better-behaved. Is it really too much to ask Ashley to behave himself when posting on this blog, and not to engage in childish name-calling?]

    – “Here Ashley reveals his ignorance of physics. In fact, scientists have proved that decay rates can be changed by a factor of a billion or more under certain circumstances, such as bound state beta decay. Moreover, we have compelling evidence that this has in fact been the case in the past. Ashley would have known this if he bothered to study what it is he argues against.” I am not as clever as you, Jason, but I HAVE studied science and I HAVE studied YEC claims – for years. See my review of Sarfati’s ‘The Greatest Hoax on Earth’ at Amazon.com. YECs have NO evidence whatsoever that radioactive decay rates could or did change ie accelerate vastly in the particular way they REQUIRE around 4,300 years or so ago WITHOUT rendering the Earth UNINHABITABLE. None;

    [Actually, there is abundant evidence that radioactive decay rates can change (like the fact that we’ve been able to speed up radioactive decay in the laboratory by a factor of a billion). And there is abundant evidence that this has happened in the past, such as the fact that we find abundant helium (the bi-product of alpha decay) in rock layers where the helium would have had plenty of time to escape if it had been there for billions of years. This shows that (1) lots of radioactive decay has happened and (2) it has happened in the geologically ‘recent’ past. Regarding habitability, it’s not a problem because most of the accelerated decay happened early in the creation week before life, or during the flood year when organisms would have been insulated from radioactivity by a mile of water. So Ashley’s claim is unwarranted. If Ashley (or others) would like to learn about the research that confirms this, I recommend the RATE books, volume I and II, or the layman-level summary: Thousands not Billions.]

    – “attacking real scientists (creation scientists like me)…”. The only people who think Jason is a ‘real scientist’ are other ‘creation scientists’ – those who reject SWATHES of science;

    [This again is the No True Scotsman fallacy. And Ashley’s claim is demonstrably false. As far as I know, all my professors at the University of Colorado are not biblical creationists, and yet I did very well in their classes, and they agreed that my scientific research was excellent, and that I had earned a Ph.D. in astrophysics. Ashley also repeats his false claim that creationists reject swathes of science. I’m not aware of any creationist who rejects science.]

    – “So we are left to wonder why Ashley thought this didn’t fit with Scripture”. I thought you were a clever astronomer/cosmologist, Jason. Stars do NOT go supernova after just 6,000 years of existence.

    [Sure they do. What made Ashley think otherwise? Can Ashley answer that without begging the question (assuming evolutionist assumptions in order to prove them)?]

    COMMENTS ON LISLE
    – “Can we expect the same level of argumentation there as Ashley has presented here? If so, then it may be a time-waster.” You are very good at the propaganda, Jason.

    [Now there’s an ironic claim if ever there was one. I’ve backed up my claims with rational reasons. Has Ashley?]

    But I am sorry to inform you that Micah DID read it. Others may have done so too.

    [That’s fine. I trust that anyone trained in logic will be able to evaluate Ashley’s claims for what they are.]

    Perhaps your followers are more open-minded than you?

    [If only we were all as open-minded as Ashley. 🙂 ]

    – “Again, Ashley provides no support for his claim”. My clearly expressed words were misunderstood (it happens). But – unlike you Jason – the person I addressed appears honest, and subsequently admitted that he had misread my words;

    [In context, this was a reference to Ashley’s claim that “[creationists] are deluded.” He didn’t provide any support for that claim. It was arbitrary, which is irrational.]

    – “He says “it just is”.” That WAS my answer, Jason. Deal with it;

    [Arbitrariness is not rational. If we allow arbitrariness in debates, then Creation is true. Why? It just is – deal with it. Ashley has amply demonstrated that he doesn’t have any good reasons for his position. He says it just is that way, and we’re apparently supposed to accept that response. To be arbitrary in a debate is to concede defeat.]

    – “We love science”. Creation science is not science.

    [{sigh} Another No True Scotsman fallacy.]

    COMMENT
    Lisle claims to ‘love’ science but all he has done is accuse me of fallacies and being arbitrary – BEHIND MY BACK.

    [Ashley commits lots of fallacies and is arbitrary. Why is he angry at me for pointing it out? And none of this was done “behind [Ashley’s] back.” It’s not like I’ve posted this on another website. It’s here for all to see, including Ashley.]

    I trust that Jason is satisfied that I have now been ‘upfront’ and overcome my ‘fear’ of posting my response on this website.

    [Yes Ashley. Thank you for posting.]

  17. ashley haworth-roberts says:

    In reply to Micah:

    “But if you really think it’s a bad analogy you should at least back up your claims by pointing out exactly what it is about it that is not ‘good’.” Humans produce writing on blackboards. Humans did not bring about the universe.

    YECs claim they can explain ‘why’ science is possible. And then they REJECT the evidence-based conclusions of what they term ‘historical science’ – ones which often are based on common sense uniformitarianism where processes don’t arbitrarily change over time. That looks like ingratitude towards the God they say they believe in.

    “I have a reason for why mathematics should be invariable. You don’t.” Bully for you. But it’s simple common sense.

    “I could see it being a possibility in an evolutionary universe.” Don’t you see that you have been brainwashed?

    “So evolutionists don’t have an outlook on life? They don’t believe things evolved over millions of years? They don’t think uniformitarianism is true? They do, and they believe those things before going to the evidence, like fossils. Which is why they come to the wrong conclusions.” Either give us a SPECIFIC example – or withdraw your ridiculous claim. Have you even studied science?

    Yet more YEC arrogance (I’m not being personal here).

    “mountains get taller each year. Look it up.” They also erode each year. Look it up.

    Hope you find this reply OK. I prefer a wide page when typing.

  18. ashley haworth-roberts says:

    “By rejecting the biblical worldview, you have given up any moral right to criticize anyone about anything…”.

    Your arguments are arrogant and despicable, Jason.

    [Dr. Lisle: That’s also a moral claim. But you haven’t shown how morality would make any sense on your worldview.]

    • Chris H says:

      Why is it “arrogant and despicable” to point out something that is logically true as Jason has shown above?

      Secondly, in an evolutionist worldview, why is it wrong for Jason to be arrogant and despicable if it helps him to survive and get ahead of others?

      Secondly, could you please define your definition of “truth” for me?
      (That is not a rhetorical question, I genuinely would like an answer.)

      • ashley haworth-roberts says:

        At 6.08 pm on 20 April I wrote, referring to Jason “although you knew that I am new here – you failed to inform me by mean of a new (brief) post that you had not only shortened some of my posts but also had tried to tell your followers WHAT they should think about my posts and WHAT my words ‘really’ meant or showed”.

        I note that in his very recent commentary on that post Jason has ignored this point about him choosing to attempt to trash my posts behind my back instead of to my face.

        • Chris H says:

          How has he done so to your back? He has done to you what he has done to other evolutionists on this blog by responding in line. This blog is open for all to see, and unlike yourself, he actually posted his annotations on your actual post for EVERYONE on THIS site to read. You, however, are the one who went behind his back and posted other annotations and comments that you had not posted here (until very recently).

          • ashley haworth-roberts says:

            Please note that if you continue to ask silly or dishonest questions, I will ignore them Chris.

            • Chris H says:

              How are my questions dishonest? How can a question be dishonest for that matter?

              How is asking you to define “truth” a dishonest question?

              • ashley haworth-roberts says:

                Get the dictionary out (or look the word up online).

                GOOD NIGHT, sleep tight.

                • Chris H says:

                  Merriam Webster. Dishonest:characterized by lack of truth, honesty, or trustworthiness : unfair, deceptive

                  How is my question, “What is your definition of ‘truth'” a dishonest question?

              • ashley haworth-roberts says:

                Chris

                “How is asking you to define “truth” a dishonest question?”

                I’ve lost track of which post of yours I was reacting to (it’s not shown immediately above my post). From memory, I think I was referring to you asking me questions that I have already answered in earlier posts (though of course there’s a lot to search through). Or it may be that you weren’t accepting answers that I gave.

                On looking more closely, it appears that my post was replying to yours at 10.50 pm on 21 April.

                Assuming that is the case I was objecting to you putting words into my mouth when you wrote: “Why is it “arrogant and despicable” to point out something that is logically true as Jason has shown above?”. The specific argument I called ‘arrogant’ and ‘despicable’ was “by rejecting the biblical worldview, you have given up any moral right to criticize anyone about anything”. I did NOT state or imply that I object to people pointing out any ‘logical truths’.

                Truth is the opposite of falsehood or fiction.

                • Chris H says:

                  “I did NOT state or imply that I object to people pointing out any ‘logical truths’.

                  Truth is the opposite of falsehood or fiction.”

                  Jason has been pointing out the errors in your reasoning, as have many others here. Please, can you explain to me how that it is “logical” to point out the errors in others reasoning?

            • Chris H says:

              “Please note that if you continue to ask silly or dishonest questions, I will ignore them Chris.”

              >>How are my questions dishonest? How can a question be dishonest for that matter?

              How is asking you to define “truth” a dishonest question?

              “Get the dictionary out (or look the word up online).

              GOOD NIGHT, sleep tight.”

              >> Merriam Webster. Dishonest:characterized by lack of truth, honesty, or trustworthiness : unfair, deceptive

              How is my question, “What is your definition of ‘truth’” a dishonest question?

              “I’ve lost track of which post of yours I was reacting to (it’s not shown immediately above my post). From memory, I think I was referring to you asking me questions that I have already answered in earlier posts (though of course there’s a lot to search through). Or it may be that you weren’t accepting answers that I gave.”

              (That is the context of the question that I was asking that you said was dishonest.

              You never gave any answer to my question, as I believe no one here has asked it. So my question still stands, and your assertion that it is a dishonest question falls because it is an arbitrary assertion. So please answer the question. What is your definition of truth, Ashley?

              • Chris H says:

                Secondly, could you please define your definition of “truth” for me?
                (That is not a rhetorical question, I genuinely would like an answer.)

                (That is the question that was “dishonest” as you put it.)

                • ashley haworth-roberts says:

                  You will not get one, beyond what I have already supplied.

                  You are a waste of my time, Chris.

                  • Chris H says:

                    “You are a waste of my time, Chris.”

                    Easily reversible. “You are a wast e of my time, Ashley.”

                    Here is the interesting thing, you have not provided anyone anywhere on this blog an answer to the question. “What is your define truth.” Specifically, I am meaning how do you believe truth operates. Nobody here on this forum has asked you, and since I am the first one I would like an answer. However, you insist you have given one when you have not, and you claim I am a waste of your time. If you are confident in your definition and application of truth, why then will you not respond?

          • ashley haworth-roberts says:

            “He has done to you what he has done to other evolutionists on this blog …”. Which does not make things any better.

            • Chris H says:

              Shows that:
              1) He was not singling you out.
              2) He was being consistent.
              3) He has not done so behind your back or in a dishonest way by discriminating against your posts in a particular manner.

          • ashley haworth-roberts says:

            “You, however, are the one who went behind his back and posted other annotations and comments that you had not posted here (until very recently).”

            [Editor: abusive ad hominem cut. Unwarranted character assassinations are not permitted on this blog. I don’t want to ban anyone. But if visitors cannot behave themselves, then they will not be allowed to post.]

            I explicitly informed Jason et al of the BCSE thread as soon as it existed, and I posted a link to it.

            You must believe in evolution! (Don’t tell Jason.)

            • ashley haworth-roberts says:

              Chris was untruthful, Jason.

              [Dr. Lisle: Not that I can see. What made you think he was untruthful?]

              Does that not matter to you?

              [It is very important that we do not lie, since this is contrary to the nature of God. But how in your worldview would it be wrong for one bag of chemicals to lie to another?]

            • Chris H says:

              “You must believe in evolution! (Don’t tell Jason.)”

              Wherever did you get that idea? Are you putting words into my mouth and telling me what I am thinking like you have been doing with Dr. Lisle?

      • ashley haworth-roberts says:

        Broke record, Chris. Heard it all before.

        • Chris H says:

          So you admit that you refuse to answer my question about how you define truth, and that you have no logical and rational reason for your worldview? (Which is what you are suggesting by simply giving an answer akin to “yawn”ing.)

      • Jason K says:

        It is despicable that you would suggest that an Atheist is a sociopath (doing anything to get ahead in life). You might honestly believe that but that is merely a reflection of your own motivations and fears – not mine.

        I rape as much as I want. I murder as much as I want. In all instances 0 times is enough for me. If you need God or threat of hell to do neither of those things then please continue believing for all our sake.

        • Chris H says:

          “It is despicable that you would suggest that an Atheist is a sociopath (doing anything to get ahead in life)”

          That is a straw-man argument.

          My exact words?

          “Secondly, in an evolutionist worldview, why is it wrong for Jason to be arrogant and despicable if it helps him to survive and get ahead of others?”

          I never stated that Atheists ARE sociopaths, or even HAVE TO BE sociopaths. (caps implies emphasis, not tone.)

          I was simply putting the question out there. In a naturalistic/atheistic worldview, why is it wrong for people to be arrogant or despicable?

          “You might honestly believe that but that is merely a reflection of your own motivations and fears – not mine.”

          Are you attempting to tell me what I am thinking?

          You are again attacking a straw-man, because I never suggested that atheists are that way, I asked why it would be wrong, there is a significant difference.

          “I rape as much as I want. I murder as much as I want. In all instances 0 times is enough for me.”

          Glad to hear it! But the question I am naturally going to ask is, why?

          “If you need God or threat of hell to do neither of those things then please continue believing for all our sake.”

          Hell is not a threat, it is the return address that these envelopes called our bodies are mailed with. (born with.) The Postmaster offers to change that return address free of charge, He will even pay the new shipping bill for you! People go to Hell because they do not accept the payment for that return address, it is as simple as that. There is no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus, and so the redeemed have no fear of hell, because we have been rescued from it, and that change of return address is permanent, Christ is unwilling for any of those He has been given to be lost.

          Secondly, I will ask the follow up question, in a naturalistic worldview/ universe, why would it be wrong to commit rape or murder another person? If humans are nothing more than chemical bags, what is wrong with one chemical bag reacting with another? One would not tell Potassium that it is wrong to react with water, would they?

          • Jason K says:

            Fair enough, I mistook your argument and so my statements were not relevant (so a red herring?). I am sorry.

            Okay let us take a look at piranha. They are carnivorous creatures known for the ability to strip the flesh off of just about anything. Why is it these fish don’t eat each other? Perhaps at one time they did but the populations of piranha that focus their competition outwards would out reproduce a population of cannibal piranhas and would win out in the long run. There is actually a fair amount of experiments dealing with the evolution and role of altruism in a population if you are willing to look.

            Lastly, and this is more of a naturalistic grand cosmos view mixed with “faith”, I tend to think the universe gravitates towards more complexity (we certainly see that with technology and economics). Acting against complexity, whether destroying human life or diminishing the capacity for complexity, is at odds with the universe and the general trend of evolution. Sure we kill animals (destruction of complexity) in order to eat so that we may carry on to other behaviors (creation of even greater complexity). But if an ecosystem destroys more complexity then it creates then that ecosystem is shrinking and is in danger of extinction. Evolution deals more with populations then it does with individuals, you will likely be ancestor to all humans in the distant future but paradoxically your genes have a small chance of existing in that future population.

            • Micah says:

              How we have morals and why we should have morals are two very different things.

              • Jason K says:

                Perhaps the “why” from a cosmological evolutionary standpoint is for the continuation and maximization of complexity.

                In a naturalistic viewpoint the “how” leads to understanding the “why”. I realize this may be unintuitive to those who think of morals as something completely known and absolute but let me borrow some insight from another culture. In Buddhism one is taught to study the consequences of their actions in order to know the impact and determine if a better (less destructive) path exists. We all know that it is bad to lie but we also know there are just reasons to do so (ie, to save a hidden room full of Jews from the Nazis). Therefor to properly understand the right action we have to observe the consequences. Understanding the mechanics of those consequences gives insight into “how” we have morals and valuing complexity outside yourself is the “why”. Buddhism goes to great lengths to teach that “self” is largely an illusion (no man is an island unto himself, he is not his own origin or his own destination) and so it logically follows that one would value complexity universally. We could argue that this viewpoint is merely one that gives an evolutionary advantage over those that do not, but I am sure extinction is a very good reason as to “why” to have morals.

                I am not sure if this response is very good for progressing the discussion as I think you are asking for something more when asking “why we should”. If you don’t find the above response satisfying then we can just ignore it for now. We can take an alternative approach. “Why we should” follow Gods morals ultimately depends on “how” God chose those morals. I presume God is logical and he likely based his picking on how those morals would shape society and encourage individual actions. If God was not logical in choosing morals then I would think it hard to justify “why we should”.

  19. Chris H says:

    “Ashley was unable to rationally answer the argument put to him, so he changes the subject, and suggests that YECs are antagonistic toward science. However, I am not aware of a single biblical creationist who is against science.”

    Changing definitions of words mid-argument is what Jonathan Sarfati calls EQUIVOCATION, Jason. What I call science is what YOU reject as science – your claimed science is NOT ‘my’ science (in case you hadn’t noticed).

    Equivocation is changing the definition of words mid-argument. This is true. But it is changing the definition of words within ones own argument. Dr. Lisle was actually being consistent within his argument in this case, and so it is not an example of equivocation. Just because you define science to be “secular” science and creationists as “religious” science, that actually means that you yourself are the one equivocating on the term because the term science does not mean the same thing inside your argument when you use it as applying to creationists as applying to secularists. Dr. Lisle on the other hand uses science the same way for both parties, he is simply criticizing the fantasy of common descent.

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