06 October 2014

Guest Post: Apparent Contradictions, Part 1, by Berend de Boer

For this post, I invited Berend de Boer to have the floor to discuss contradictions that he thinks I should remove from the Skeptic's Annotated Bible. Berend created a website called "The Skeptic's Annotated Bible answered", where he has went through the entire SAB with his comments, alongside mine, explaining his stance on the relevant verses.

Here's an example page from his website, and here's a link to the preface of his website.

It took him 7 years to complete, so it's pretty clear that although he's a believer, he does really know his Bible. So let's hear what he has to say. So far he's given me 5 explanations of contradictions. I'm going to post them one at a time so we can examine them here at the blog.

A note about the comments for this post: I usually allow just about any comment to be published on this blog, but for this post I'm going to delete any comment that is more name-calling than substance. 

Guest Post: On stating apparent contradictions properly

Apparent contradictions


In a court room we often hear the claim that two witnesses contradict one another. But a claim does not an argument make. Everyone recognises that such claims come from a source with a bias: the lawyer for one of the parties. The claim needs to be proven.

Every Bible scholar will recognise that there are apparent contradictions in the Bible. But do they ever rise to a true contradiction? One party believes that the Bible is a book written by fallible humans, copied with errors over the ages, and yes of course, things have gone wrong here and there. Another party even believes that there was intention to deceive, the Bible can't be trusted. And then there's the party to which I belong which believes that although humans were used to write the Bible, they were moved by the holy Spirit, and that God has preserved his Word uncorrupted throughout the ages. And the latter party is at odds with the first two.

In this article I want to advocate for an approach to raise the discussion above a ‘he said’, ‘she said.’ It's an approach I've used when I wrote a full reply to all issues raised by the author of the Skeptic's Annotated Bible, and occasionally have spelled out in detail. My challenge to the author of the SAB is to rewrite all suitable contradictions as a syllogism.

The earliest form of the syllogism comes from Aristotle, and its most famous example is as follows:
  1. All men are mortal. [major premise]
  2. Socrates is a man. [minor premise]
  3. Therefore Socrates is mortal. [conclusion]
In addition I will use Euler circles (think Venn diagrams) for those who are more visually oriented. The syllogism expressed as an Euler circle:
This diagram shows the set of mortals, men are a subset of this, and Socrates is a subset of men. It clearly shows that yes indeed, Socrates is a mortal.

Did Moses marry a Canaanite women?


Let's apply this approach to some contradictions. The first one is Numbers 12:1. The relevant portion of the verse:

And Miriam and Aaron spake against Moses because of the Ethiopian woman whom he had married.
Mr Wells comments:
Miriam and Aaron (Moses' brother and sister) criticize Moses for marrying an Ethiopian woman and thus breaking the law of God ... But God makes it clear that his rules don't apply to his favorites, and he strikes Miriam with leprosy.
Let's rewrite this as a syllogism:
  1. God forbade to marry a daughter of the Canaanites.
  2. The Ethiopian woman was the daughter of an inhabitant of Canaan.
  3. Moses married her, therefore he broke God's law.
Instead of using a syllogism to highlight the logic, we can use an equivalent Euler circle:
The argument is that Moses' wife was an Ethopian woman, and an Ethopian woman was a Canaanite, which was in the class of women God had forbidden to marry.

Back to the syllogism: if the major and the minor premises hold (the first two clauses), then the conclusion is unassailable: Moses broke God's law. But that however is not the case, the minor premise is false: Ethiopia happens to be quite outside Canaan. It's like saying: the Native American woman was the daughter of an inhabitant of Russia.

The correct Euler circle demonstrates this clearly:
The two categories of women don't overlap. So there is no contradiction.

Conclusion


I challenge Mr. Wells to give his contradictions as a syllogism. If Mr. Wells gives his contradictions as a syllogism, the correct conclusion then depends on the application of logic, and he can argue if his premises are correct.

I have given three examples of this: one where his minor premise was incorrect, one where his conclusion did not follow, and one where his major premise was incorrect.

I'm certain that in almost every instant it is clear that either his logic or his premises are incorrect. There may be remaining cases where it is very hard to argue either way, due to the distance of time, but regardless it will not be impossible to show that a reasonable defence is possible.

Berend de Boer has an M.Sc in software engineering, and currently lives in Auckland, New Zealand. He is interested in applying more logic and computation to apologetics and theology. A few years ago he completed giving a response to all issues raised by the Sceptics Annotated Bible.

107 comments:

Steve Wells said...

Thanks Berend for your response to the SAB's contradictions. I hope our discussions here will be useful to both believers and skeptics. And I encourage everyone to respond to Berend's challenge here. But please do it respectfully.

The first contradiction that you address is called "Will God destroy those that intermarry?" at the SAB. I notice that in your response you neither state the contradiction's question nor answer it. Instead you rephrase the question as "Did Moses marry a Canaanite women?" and then respond to that question -- an entirely different question that the contradiction doesn't ask. Why is that?

Or maybe I'm mistaken here. Is there a contradiction at the SAB entitled "Did Moses marry a Canaanite women?"

Berend de Boer said...

Thanks for asking me to post here Steve. I very specifically addressed just the question you posted in Numbers 12:1: "But God makes it clear that his rules don't apply to his favorites."

Your intermarry question is a similar thing: there is not a single command in the Bible against intermarriage dot. There is a very specific case, I demonstrate that clearly in the 2nd and 3rd circles. This very specific case is daughters of the Canaanites.

I.e. what we are lacking is the major premise: God has forbidden (the Jews I presume) to marry someone else than a Jew.

You need to be able to quote a Bible verse for that.

Steve Wells said...

Oh, so you are responding to my comments at the SAB, not to the contradictions. I didn't know that.

You say that "there is not a single command in the Bible against intermarriage." Really? How about these:

Abraham made his servant swear to God that he wouldn't let his son marry a Canaanite. (Sounds like a command against intermarriage to me.)

"Abraham said unto his eldest servant … Put, I pray thee, thy hand under my thigh: And I will make thee swear by the LORD, the God of heaven, and the God of the earth, that thou shalt not take a wife unto my son of the daughters of the Canaanites … The LORD God of heaven ... shall send his angel before thee, and thou shalt take a wife unto my son from thence ... And the servant put his hand under the thigh of Abraham his master, and sware." Genesis 24:2-9

God’s distaste for intermarriage is also made clear in Ezra and Nehemiah, where the Israelites mingled their holy seed with strange women, causing Nehemiah to pluck off the hair of the offending Israelites.

"They ... entered into a curse, and into an oath ... that we would not give our daughters unto the people of the land, not take their daughters for our sons." Nehemiah 10:29-30

"And I contended with them, and cursed them, and smote certain of them, and plucked off their hair, and made them swear by God, saying, Ye shall not give your daughters unto their sons, nor take their daughters unto your sons, or for yourselves." Nehemiah 13:25

And caused Ezra to rent his garment, pluck off his beard, at sit down astonished.

"For they have taken of their daughters for themselves, and for their sons: so that the holy seed have mingled themselves with the people of those lands … And when I heard this thing, I rent my garment and my mantle, and plucked off the hair of my head and of my beard, and sat down astonished." Ezra 9:2-3

"We have trespassed against our God, and have taken strange wives of the people of the land … Now therefore let us make a covenant with our God to put away all the wives, and such as are born of them, according to the counsel of my lord, and of those that tremble at the commandment of our God; and let it be done according to the law." Ezra 10:2-3

"And Ezra the priest stood up, and said unto them, Ye have transgressed, and have taken strange wives. Now therefore ... separate yourselves … from the strange wives. Then all the congregation answered and said with a loud voice, As thou hast said, so must we do." Ezra 10:10-12

As further evidence of God’s hatred of intermarriage (as if any more were required), Phinehas stopped God’s plague by impaling an interfaith couple, apparently while they were having sex in their tent.

"One of the children of Israel came and brought unto his brethren a Midianitish woman in the sight of Moses … And when Phinehas ... saw it, he rose up from among the congregation, and took a javelin in his hand … And he went after the man of Israel into the tent, and thrust both of them through, the man of Israel, and the woman through her belly. So the plague was stayed from the children of Israel. And those that died in the plague were twenty and four thousand." 23,000, if you're foolish enough to believe Paul.)

Are you sure we're reading the same bible, Berend?

Berend de Boer said...

I hope we can see the difference between Canaanite and other races?

Please note the word DOT. You claim that the Bible has commands against intermarriage DOT. No, there are specifics mentioned. It's not intermarriage in general, what is forbidden was intermarriage with the daughters of Canaan.

I would have taught my circles had made this distinction very clear.

And the verses you quote can't make that more clear either.

Not sure why I fail to explain this.

Steve Wells said...

OK Berend. I give up. What is the significance of your DOT?

Dutch Open Telescope perhaps?

Berend de Boer said...

What I mean with DOT is that nothing follows after "God forbids intermarriage."

You claim that the Bible says that.

It does not. It says "God forbids to intermarry Canaanites."

I.e. take the verse you quote, Nehemiah 10:30: "we would not give our daughters unto the people of the land."

It's not: "we would not give our daughters unto other people."

It's: "we would not give our daughters unto the people OF THE LAND."

Those were descendants of Canaan, and serving false gods (Nehemiah 13:23).

And to bring us back to Numbers 12:1, the topic of my post: you very specifically need to come up with a command, known to Moses, valid at that time, that specifically says that he could not marry a non Jew.

You can't.

Berend de Boer said...

Let me add: what I mean with the word DOT is dot, that little . after the end of a sentence. The full stop. The end. The this sentence is complete sign.

Steve Wells said...

OK, so when the bible talks about "strange women," you think it is only referring to Canaanites?

Here are some examples:

"But king Solomon loved many strange women, together with the daughter of Pharaoh, women of the Moabites, Ammonites, Edomites, Zidonians, and Hittites: Of the nations concerning which the LORD said unto the children of Israel, Ye shall not go in to them, neither shall they come in unto you: for surely they will turn away your heart after their gods: Solomon clave unto these in love." 1 Kings 11:1-2

"The mouth of strange women is a deep pit: he that is abhorred of the LORD shall fall therein." Proverbs 22:14

"Thine eyes shall behold strange women, and thine heart shall utter perverse things." Proverbs 23:33

God is OK with marrying anyone but Canaanites. Muslims, Buddhists, Mormons, Hindus, scientologists, wiccans, atheists, etc. You can marry any of them. But not those strange Canaanites.

Is that what you're saying, Berend?

Berend de Boer said...

I think we do better if we focus on the point addressed in my topic, else I'm afraid we keep jumping to new topics. The question is: did Moses break the law of God as you claim.

So specifically which law are we referring to here?

I'm happy to move on to other and later books, but I like to settle point by point. Let's stick with the Torah for the moment.

Steve Wells said...

Okay Berend, we'll stick to the Torah. But since you said, "there is not a single command in the Bible against intermarriage dot", I thought I'd address your claim.

Still, I wonder if you think God has changed his mind about intermarriage after the Torah was written. Was intermarriage acceptable at the time of Moses, but unacceptable after?

I've already mentioned that Abraham made his servant swear not to let Isaac marry a Canaanite. (Gen 24:2-9) And Isaac told Jacob not to marry a Canaanite. (Gen 28:1)

In Gen 34:14, the sons of Jacob said that they could no allow their sister to marry an uncircumcised man (i.e., a non-Jew).

In Exodus 34:11-15, God forbid intermarriage with Amorites, Canaanites, Hittites, Perizzites, Hivites, and Jebusites.

After the people "commit whoredom with the daughters of Moab," God and Moses have them all killed and hung up in front of the Lord. (Num 25:1-5)

When one of the Israelite men brings home a foreign woman, "Phinehas (Aaron's grandson) sees them and throws a spear "through the man .. and the woman through her belly." This act pleases God so much that "the plague was stayed from the children of Israel." But not before 24,000 had died. (Num 25:6-9)

Referring to Hittites, Girgashites, Amorites, Canaanites, Perizzites, Hivites, and Jebusites, God commanded, "Neither shalt thou make marriages with them; thy daughter thou shalt not give unto his son, nor his daughter shalt thou take unto thy son." (Dt 7:1-3)

And then, of course, both Miriam and Aaron knew that Moses broke God's law against intermarriage, and they said so in Numbers 12:1. But God made it clear that his laws don't apply to Moses by temporarily giving Miriam leprosy. (Aaron wasn't punished for it because he was one of God's favorites, too.)

I've probably left out a few, but that should keep you busy for a while.

Berend de Boer said...

You wrote: "both Miriam and Aaron knew that Moses broke God's law against intermarriage".

I refer you to my article. Because you have failed the task. There was no law against intermarriage. There was a law against intermarriage with the Canaanite (as you specified: Exodus 34:11-15, Dt 7:1-3).

Perhaps it is not immediately clear to you that the statement "Amorites, Canaanites, Hittites, Perizzites, Hivites, and Jebusites" refers to the inhabitants of Canaan. That's immediately clear from the prefix "I drive out before thee".

And my apologies if I confuse you by saying Canaanites, I use that as a short-hand for "the inhabitants of Canaan at the time of Abraham and after." It's very common to use this word. Perhaps I should more be using the longer description. But this is the sense of the word as given in Genesis 24:3 for example.

Please specify where God states a law that at Moses time the Israelites could not marry someone who was not an inhabitant of Canaan (as per the groups listed in Exodus 34.11).

PS: very briefly, else we keep jumping the subject: a statement of Jacob's sons is not a law, that was a lame excuse for their violent actions.

Unknown said...

I don't know why Berend needs all those words and diagrams in his post. I found it confusing (and haven't digested the following discussion). The Venn diagrams or whatever don't help. Seems to me a simple dispute here whether the woman Moses married was a Canaanite -- assuming the premise that only marriage to Canaanite women was forbidden. Nothing to do with syllogisms and the rest of it, as the later discussion seems to show: the dispute is over the nature and extent of the prohibition. If that can be decided, then the conclusion is easy, seems to me. But maybe not, since "inhabitants of Canaan" which Berend seems to really mean, could include anyone, including an Ethiopian woman if she happened to have inhabited Canaan. But syllogisms and Venn diagrams won't help decide that issue. It's still a tie on substance, and Berend takes a penalty point for obfuscation (Canaanite being unclear, etc.) in the course of claiming clarity by way of teaching us basic logic (which was never the issue). Maybe 2 penalty points. PS. "Period" would be better than "DOT".

Steve Wells said...

In Numbers 25, God told Moses to hang people on trees for "committing whoredom with the daughters of Moab," and then killed 24,000 (or was it 23,000?) in a plague for the same offense. If it wasn't for Phinehas's double murder of the interracial couple, God would have killed them all.

And Moabites were not Canaanites. So it seems that it wasn't just Canaanites that Israelites weren't supposed to marry; it was any non-Israelite.

joe z said...

Steve, in asking "Will God destroy those that intermarry?" you seem to have missed the simple point of God’s command altogether. You can see this in a verse that you actually supplied.

Of the nations concerning which the Lord said unto the children of Israel, “You shall not go in to them, neither shall they come in unto you: for surely they will turn away your heart after their gods: Solomon clave unto these in love." 1 Kings 11:1-2

Notice “for surely they will turn away your heart after their gods”? And which is exactly what happened to Solomon.

So God does not hate intermarriage as such, but the marriage of godly people to ungodly people, of believers to unbelievers, of good people to unrepentant sinners (especially such as the Hittites, Girgashites, Amorites, Canaanites, Perizzites, Hivites, Jebusites, etc. were. Deuteronomy 7:1), and that would lead them astray and end up dragging them down to hell with them.

Hence: "Neither shalt thou make marriages with them; thy daughter thou shalt not give unto his son, nor his daughter shalt thou take unto thy son." Deuteronomy 7:3

We can get some idea of how this works when we see a good kid that leaves home and gets tangled up with a bad crowd and it ends in disaster (Do not be deceived: evil company corrupts good habits. 1 Corinthians 15:33)

As it says in 2 Corinthians 6:14-18,

Do not be unequally yoked together with unbelievers. For what fellowship has righteousness with lawlessness? And what communion has light with darkness? And what accord has Christ with Belial? Or what part has a believer with an unbeliever? And what agreement has the temple of God with idols? For you are the temple of the living God. As God has said:

“I will dwell in them and walk among them. I will be their God, and they shall be My people” [Leviticus 26:12]

Therefore, “Come out from among them and be separate, says the Lord.
Do not touch what is unclean, and I will receive you. [Isaiah 52:11]
I will be a Father to you, and you shall be my sons and daughters, says the Lord Almighty.”

Steve Wells said...

Sure, Joe. I get it.

That's why God told Moses to kill people and hang them on trees, slaughtered 24,000 people for "committing whoredom with the daughters of Moab," and stopped the plague when Phinehas impaled the interracial couple (Numbers 25). God hates everyone who doesn't believe in him -- and that is everyone except for the people of Israel (not just Canaanites).

Berend de Boer said...

Steve, Numbers 25 clearly talks about punishment for a particular sin. Marriage is not committing whoredom. That chapter has absolutely nothing to do with marriage.

Do you concede the case that there was no specific command for Moses that forbade him to marry an Ethiopian?

Steve Wells said...

No, Berend. I don't concede anything.

To the God of the Bible, marrying a Moabite is committing whoredom.

Do you concede that the God of the Bible is a monster?

Berend de Boer said...

joe z, you need to distinguish between the case of marrying an unbeliever, and the very specific commands God gave to the Israelites not to marry the inhabitants of Canaan (Deut. 7:1-3).

This is not the same case, and Steve is correct in pointing out there is an absolute command forbidding the Israelites to marry these seven groups of people.

Berend de Boer said...

Steve, in Numbers 25 the Israelites were not marrying the Moabites. They had an orgy. To quote the beginning:

:And Israel abode in Shittim, and the people began to commit whoredom with the daughters of Moab. And they called the people unto the sacrifices of their gods: and the people did eat, and bowed down to their gods. And Israel joined himself unto Baalpeor."

And the plague may well have been very infectious STD.

It seems to me you have to concede.

Steve Wells said...

So you think God would have approved of marriages between Israelites and Moabites? He just didn't like them having sex. Is that what you're saying, Berend? That's why God told Moses to hang people on trees; that's why he killed 24,000 people; that's why he rewarded Phinehas for his double murder of the interracial couple.

The God of the Torah hates interracial sex and marriage. He made that clear to anyone who reads it. (Unless they're trying to avoid contradictions, that is.)

Berend de Boer said...

You're not addressing the question Steve. The question is: was there a specific command for Moses not to marry an Ethiopian.

Steve Wells said...

Well, I guess I agree with Miriam and Aaron on that, and disagree with you. Maybe God needs to give me leprosy or something.

How many people does God have to kill to get his point across to you, Berend? How many bodies need to hang on trees, how many people need to die in plagues, how many interracial couples need to be murdered by God's heroes before you get God's point?

Berend de Boer said...

Still no answer to the question.

You realise Moses first wife was not a Jew either? He was married Zipporah, a Kenite?

Berend de Boer said...

Unknown, thanks for your comments. I agree with you that the discussion is not that hard really. But somehow it seems to be. My attempt is to force people to use formal logic.

Berend de Boer said...

One more thing. You wrote: "I guess I agree with Miriam and Aaron," and I see you mentioning the word "interracial" a lot.

You realise that perhaps the reason Miriam objected was that Moses married a dark-skinned woman?

If you say you agree with Miriam, you seem to say you agree that Moses should not have married a black woman.

Steve Wells said...

I should have used the word interfaith, rather than interracial.

Why do you think God objected to marriages between Israelites and Canaantites, Berend? Was it because of race or religion?

Stephen said...

Unknown suggested: "Period" would be better than "DOT".

I agree, but then I would be unclean until the even. ;-)

I'm sorry to admit that I'm not terribly interested in the existence or non-existence of contradictions in the bible. I happen to think that Steve's arguments are better, and the others are simply made up (fabricated) to support the opposing point of view.

Until we have convincing evidence for the existence of this particular deity, the issue of contradictions in the bible is just a distraction.

If, as is claimed, there are no contradictions in the bible, is that supposed to mean there are no *errors* in the bible? I would say not.

Steve Weeks

Berend de Boer said...

Stephen, what would be "convincing evidence"?

Steve Wells said...

I agree with you, Stephen. I don't care much about contradictions. They are the least of the bible's problems.

But hardcore believers focus exclusively on contradictions. They aren't bothered by the immoral behavior of their murderous God. When God killed 24,000 people in a plague for having sex with Moabite women in Numbers 25, that's just alright with them. But when Paul says only 23,000 were killed -- now that's a problem, because the bible must not contradict itself.

If God murdered 23 or 24 thousand people in a plague and only stopped when some religious fanatic impaled an interfaith couple while they were having sex, then the contradiction doesn't matter. God is a murderous monster who should be rejected by all.

joe z said...

Berend,

"joe z, you need to distinguish between the case of marrying an unbeliever, and the very specific commands God gave to the Israelites not to marry the inhabitants of Canaan (Deut. 7:1-3)."

There is nothing to distinguish, since at the end of the day it is the same result, i.e. being led astray by bad company, drifting away from God and ending up in a bad place, as happened to Solomon. It is that simple, as pointed out in 2 Corinthians 6:14-18 in which Paul quotes the Old Testament scriptures.

joe z said...

Berend, you said,

"This is not the same case, and Steve is correct in pointing out there is an absolute command forbidding the Israelites to marry these seven groups of people."

For the very reason I pointed out in my first post. They were evil, and would, and did lead Israel astray. The Scriptures tell us nothing else than this.

joe z said...

Steve, you say,

“That's why God told Moses to kill people and hang them on trees, slaughtered 24,000 people for "committing whoredom with the daughters of Moab,"

They provoked God to His face by following the criminal behavior of Moab. They knew the punishment before they decided to provoke God, so in essence they actually killed themselves. And it is better that 24000 be killed than the whole lot be infected and lost.

You said,

“and stopped the plague when Phinehas impaled the interracial couple (Numbers 25).”

He did a good job in getting between the people and God’s wrath.

And there is no such thing as “interracial” since there is only one human race.

You said,

“God hates everyone who doesn't believe in him -- and that is everyone except for the people of Israel (not just Canaanites).”

Well what are you going to do with “for God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son”? (John 3:16)

And God killed the people of Israel too when they provoked Him to His face. Scripture is very clear on this.

joe z said...

Steve, you said,

"...that's why he rewarded Phinehas for his double murder of the interracial couple."

That was actually an execution for a crime, not murder.

You said,

"God is a murderous monster who should be rejected by all."

Again, what are you going to do with "for God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son..."? John 3:16

You said,

"Until we have convincing evidence for the existence of this particular deity, the issue of contradictions in the bible is just a distraction."

Since 'evolution' (everything made itself from nothing) is not true, then there has to be an intelligent, all knowing, all powerful first cause. The God of the Bible, His word, is the only one that fits this description. So the evidence is all around in the things which are made - the physical world.

joe z said...

Correction:

Stephen, you said,

"Until we have convincing evidence..."

joe z said...

And Steve, you cannot logically call God a murderer, because a murderer takes a life that does belong to him, but God owns everything in the first place since He is the Creator, so He is not taking anything that does not belong to Him. If He gives life as He pleases, then He can, by the same token, take it again as He pleases.

joe z said...

And as far as you calling God a monster, that is an understandable sentiment for sinner to have in light of the vast gulf between our sinful corrupted nature and God's holy righteousness which cannot abide sin/crime and which can only demand death as a result (Genesis 2:17). So of course in this regard God will always be a monstrous and merciless Judge, until we realize that He has provided a way to escape death through Himself taking our place and defeating sin and death on it's own turf, on our behalf, as he did on the Cross.

Fritz Schmidt said...

joe z said...

"Since 'evolution' (everything made itself from nothing)"

I am not aware that evolution makes this claim. Can you quote your source?

Fritz Schmidt said...

Have I got this right?

God created the universe about 13 billion years ago. About 13 billion years later he telepathically transmits his rule book to his favourite people with such handy gems as "Jews must marry Jews", "no marrying the daughters of Canaan", "no bonking Moabites". Initally he takes a big role in enforcing these rules, after all he has had over 13 billion years to mull them over, so they must be clock on, and in the process ends up slaughtering his creation willy-nilly. Fortunately, a short time later the penny drops, and he realises he has made a complete pig's breakfast of the whole thing, so he sends his son to negate the rules (or some of them depending on your viewpoint).

Can't you see how completely and utterly potty all this is?

joe z said...

Fritz, you say,

"I am not aware that evolution makes this claim. Can you quote your source?"

Logically that’s the only claim it can make. The ‘miracle’ of the big bang, and the totally unscientific and unproven notion that life arose from non-living materials etc.

You say,

“Have I got this right? God created the universe about 13 billion years ago.”

No, the Bible says God created the universe about 6000 years ago. There are no billions or even millions of years in the Bible.

You say,

“About 13 billion years later he telepathically transmits his rule book to his favourite people with such handy gems as "Jews must marry Jews", "no marrying the daughters of Canaan", "no bonking Moabites".

See my previous comments above.

You say,

“Initally he takes a big role in enforcing these rules, after all he has had over 13 billion years to mull them over, so they must be clock on, and in the process ends up slaughtering his creation willy-nilly.”

Again, its 6000, years not 13 billion. And there is nothing “willy-nilly” about the Flood.

You say,

“Fortunately, a short time later the penny drops, and he realises he has made a complete pig's breakfast of the whole thing, so he sends his son to negate the rules (or some of them depending on your viewpoint).”

The pig’s breakfast was made by man, not God. It is no good trying to blame God all the time when it is man that is rotten and evil. A good God made everything good, and warned man not to commit sin/crime. But sin they did.

Then the LORD saw that the wickedness of man was great on the earth, and that every intent of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually. Genesis 6:5 (to do evil, one must have it in mind first. And since they were thinking only evil, then they could do only evil, some of which, as we see from the Scriptures, resembled a horror movie)

You say,

“Can't you see how completely and utterly potty all this is?”

Says the evolutionist who believes in the miracle of the big bang, and the totally unscientific and unproven notion that life arose all by itself from non-living materials etc.

But all I can see is your total ignorance of the biblical story, which goes as follows:

This old original creation still has the original curse (Genesis 3:17) from Adam’s sin (which was inherited by all of Adams descendants) remaining on it. The old corrupted creation will run its course until it is destroyed (2Peter 3:10) and replaced by the new heavens and new earth (Revelation 21:1-3; Isaiah 65:7; 66:22; 2Peter 3:13) in which there will be no more sin, corruption, suffering and death (Isaiah 11:6-9; 65:25 Revelation 21:4) and no more curse (Revelation 22:3), but only eternal life. Our residence in this new universe would not be possible without Christ’s sacrifice, which covers all of human history (…of the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world. Revelation 13:8)

The plan of redemption begins in Genesis (the Seed [Christ] in 3:15) and runs all the way to Christ on the cross, who was the Creator (John 1:1-3) in the flesh (God was manifested in the flesh. 1Timothy 3:16).

From beginning to end, from Genesis to Revelation, that, in a nutshell, is the Bibles’ account of man’s history and future.

Berend de Boer said...

Fritz Schmidt: "Have I got this right? ... Can't you see how completely and utterly potty all this is?"

I agree that what you posted is utterly potty. But that's not what happened. To know that something happened, you need an eyewitness. We have one in the Bible.

There have been many claims over the years. In NT times many believed the earth had always existed. That was the preference of evolutionists as well, until most believed there was a beginning. The age of the cosmos has varied considerably as well, and no doubt will very much in the future too.

Who will you believe? Claims of scientists, most of which we have no way of verifying, and for most of us we have take on faith as the supposed scientific details are out of our grasp?

Steve Wells said...

Okay Berend. Although I'm not entirely convinced by your argument, I have changed the comment for Numbers 12:1. I think the focus should be on this verse's injustice, cruelty, and misogyny, rather than the contradiction involving the Bible's prohibition of intermarriage.

Michael Brandon said...

Whether or not Moses' wife was a Canaanite or not misses the point. Scripture must be taken as one book, not individual verses.

There are many that were foreigners that were integrated into Israel:

Rahab was counted as an Israelite
Ruth. Let your God be my God

And they were both noted as in the family tree of Jesus. God was emphasising that it is neither Jew nor Gentile, but one who believes or does not believe in him.

Joseph married an Egyptian priests daughter, but he remained loyal to God, likely that she was a believer as well.


Ex 18. Jethro, priest of Midian acknowledges the God of Israel as being the true God, and Moses accepts his wisdom about leadership of the land.

The rule about intermarriage was not about intermarriage so much as it was against inter-religion.

Where people from outside of Israel joined with Israel and said your God will be my God, such marriage was acceptable ie Rahab, Ruth... 

33 “ ‘When a foreigner resides among you in your land, do not mistreat them. [34] 34 The foreigner residing among you must be treated as your native- born. Love them as yourself, for you were foreigners in Egypt. I am the Lord your God.

The same laws of not worshipping other God's applied to foreigners

And of those same Midianites, the unmarried women were allowed to live and were given as wife's to the Israelites. Num 31.
“Have you allowed all the women to live?” he asked them. [16] 16 “They were the ones who followed Balaam’s advice and enticed the Israelites to be unfaithful to the Lord in the Peor incident, so that a plague struck the Lord ’s people.18 but save for yourselves every girl who has never slept with a man.

There was not one law for Moses and another for the masses. The true point of the leprosy of Miriam was not the intermarriage, but of her being jealous of God's relationship with Moses. She tried to be a stickler for the letter of the law to put herself one up on Moses. She did not see the spirit of the law.

Jesus too had the Pharisees up on their observance of the letter of the law.

Bottom line: many non-Israelis were taken as wives and it was allowed. But they had to become one with Israel and worship the one true God, not their own god's... Moses married a fellow believer and was not unequally yoked. 

Michael B

joe z said...

Michael, you said,

“Bottom line: many non-Israelis were taken as wives and it was allowed. But they had to become one with Israel and worship the one true God, not their own god's... Moses married a fellow believer and was not unequally yoked.”

You have hit the nail on the head. As you point out, it is not according to the flesh that we are God’s people, but according to the worship of God in spirit.

The Jewish bloodline for example cannot be pure or special, since, from the beginning, they are gentile on the mothers’ side anyway.

Isaac was forty years old when he took Rebekah as wife, the daughter of Bethuel the Syrian… Genesis 25:20

Isaac was Jacob’s/Israel’s father. (“Your name shall no longer be called Jacob but Israel” Genesis 32:28)

Rather than a physical blood line, the Jew’s unique position is simply due to having been chosen as a people that would uphold God’s word and take it to all parts of the world for the benefit of others:

…Chiefly because to them were committed the oracles [word] of God. Romans 3:2

As you say, it is not according to the flesh but the spirit of worship towards the God of the Bible that counts.

For you are all sons of God through Christ Jesus. There is neither Jew nor Greek (Gentile), there is neither slave nor free, there is neither male nor female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus. And if you are Christ’s, then you are Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise. Galatians 3:26, 28, 29.

This promise to Abraham (Genesis 15:5-6) existed before the nation of Israel.

As you point out, God’s prohibition against Israel getting involved with the surrounding pagan tribes was not because they were called Hittites, Girgashites, Amorites, Canaanites, Perizzites, Hivites, Jebusites, etc. but because they were evil, and would have led Israel away from God.

And there being no different ‘races’ since all people can interbreed and must therefore be genetically compatible and all of the same race.

He has made from one blood every nation of men to dwell on all the face of the earth, and has determined their pre-appointed times and the boundaries of their habitation… Acts 17:26.

joe z said...

Steve, you said,

"I have changed the comment for Numbers 12:1. I think the focus should be on this verse's injustice, cruelty, and misogyny, rather than the contradiction involving the Bible's prohibition of intermarriage."

Well then you agree with God, because He was ticked off about it too, as we see a bit further on in Numbers 12:9-10.

Fritz Schmidt said...

joe z said...

"Logically that’s the only claim it can make. The ‘miracle’ of the big bang, and the totally unscientific and unproven notion that life arose from non-living materials etc."

The big bang isn't part of evolutionary theory and doesn't explain how life started.

"its 6000, years not 13 billion."

Even the JWs who banged on my door last month accepted the world was a tad older than Archbishop James Ussher's calculation!

joe z said...

And Steve, in regard to "I think the focus should be on this verse's injustice, cruelty, and misogyny...",

Not everything that is in the Bible is condoned by the Bible, but is necessarily included in order to be able to relate the story. There is no story about life and history that would even be realistic or valid if it did not include things, both good and bad (as in real life), that relate to the events being described.

Fritz Schmidt said...

Berend de Boer said...

"To know that something happened, you need an eyewitness. We have one in the Bible."

Last month using DNA evidence they worked out who Jack The Ripper was, no eyewitness needed. Detectives can work what happened with a high degree of certainty by examining the evidence.

"Who will you believe? Claims of scientists, most of which we have no way of verifying, and for most of us we have take on faith as the supposed scientific details are out of our grasp?"

Scientists like detectives come up with evidence. When there is an overwhelming mass of evidence pointing one way, then we can be pretty sure of the conclusions we draw. Faith is believing something when there is no evidence, or in the face of evidence. Naturally if our friend Joe Z wanted to he could look at mass of the evidence that the world is older than 6000 years.

joe z said...

Fritz, you say,

“The big bang isn't part of evolutionary theory…”

Then why did evolutionists invent it, and try to defend it?

You say,

“…and doesn't explain how life started.”

That’s right. To try to explain how life started evolutionists have invented the nonsensical, unproven, totally unscientific notion of ‘abiogenesis’ or life arising spontaneously, and for no reason, from non-living materials. But the experiment to get life from non-life has never been done once, let alone repeated. And yet they keep harping on about ‘abiogenesis’ because it is all they have.

You say,

“Even the JWs who banged on my door last month accepted the world was a tad older than Archbishop James Ussher's calculation!”

The Jehovah’s Witnesses are wrong on many things e.g. Christ’s divinity, and they believe that God was once a man who evolved into God, etc. They believe in things that are not in God’s word.

There is nothing in the Bible that tells us that the universe is billions of years old. There are only thousands of years.

joe z said...

Fritz, you say,

"Faith is believing something when there is no evidence, or in the face of evidence."

No, reasonable faith is believing because there is enough evidence to support the belief.

But since there is no evidence (only story telling) for billions of years, then you yourself are practicing a blind faith.

You say,

"Naturally if our friend Joe Z wanted to he could look at mass of the evidence that the world is older than 6000 years."

I think you will find that all the evidence, which those on both sides of the argument have, fits the Biblical account far better than it does the evolutionary one.
Have a read of the book 'Evolution's Achilles' Heels' and you will see what I mean.

Fritz Schmidt said...

joe z said...

"The Jehovah’s Witnesses are wrong on many things"

Humans have believed in thousands of different gods and hundred of different holy texts. What conclusion can we draw? I think it is fair to conclude (1) Humans are deeply superstitious, and will belief in just about anything (2) Most, if not all these gods/texts/beliefs are mumbo jumbo. I am sure you agree.

You say the JWs are wrong. What makes you so sure that your chosen brand of superstition is the correct one?

joe z said...

Fritz, you say,

“Humans have believed in thousands of different gods and hundred of different holy texts.”

That is very true. As the God of the Bible says “You shall have no other gods before Me” Exodus 20:3

You say,

“What conclusion can we draw? I think it is fair to conclude (1) Humans are deeply superstitious, and will belief in just about anything”

Also true. Some will even believe that everything made itself from nothing, for no reason at all, and that there is no evidence for a higher intelligent first cause that would logically be necessary for the source of all the almost endless quantities of information required for life to exist. They believe that this information, which itself non-physical and non-living and has no will of its own, accidently and randomly (from chaos to order, which goes against the Second Law of Thermodynamics/everything tends toward chaos) integrated itself into physical materials, for no reason, to bring about the origin of first life. There is no evidence that this ever happened yet they cling to this belief in blind faith. Crazy.

You say,

“(2) Most, if not all these gods/texts/beliefs are mumbo jumbo. I am sure you agree.”

Very true, as we have seen often enough. All except one of course, since at the end of the day there can only be one actual true story about the origin of life. And I don’t think the old rehashed pagan idea of spontaneous generation aka ‘abiogenesis’ and a gradual increase in complexity over alleged eons of time aka ‘evolution’ really cuts it.

You say,

“You say the JWs are wrong. What makes you so sure that your chosen brand of superstition is the correct one?”

Because the biblical account is the most plausible, accurate and realistic account, since it fits most if not all the physical evidence, what we observe about life and the human condition. The Bible most accurately correlates what we observe and experience about life and the nature of the Creator who speaks to us through His written word.

But when Christian sects like the JWs come up with notions and ideas that we cannot find anywhere in the Bible, and that undermine important aspects of the narrative as a whole, then we have to say something about it.

(Correction on my earlier comment: It is not the JWs but the Mormon’s who believe that God was once a man who evolved into God. All these heretics look the same after a while)

Victor said...

joe z, if you have no facts to present in support of your endless claims, then please be quiet.

Stephen said...

Berend de Boer said...

"Stephen, what would be 'convincing evidence'?"

Easy! Matthew 7:7-8, Mark 11:23-24 and Luke 11:9-10 all ask, in slightly different ways, "If you ask god for something in sincerity, your request will be granted."

I'd like you (and any other true believers reading this) to pray sincerely for me to become a believer.

This is a small thing for your god. I don't expect it to happen, so I can't sincerely pray for it. But surely *you* can ask this since it's not for yourself, and it's a win-win for god.

There are only three explanations that I can think of if I don't become a true believer:
1) The bible lies in at least those three verses,
2) I am powerful enough to resist god's efforts to make me believe,
3) God doesn't exist.

My money is on number 3. However, if god works in such mysterious ways that his plan calls for me roasting in hell for eternity, then he's a major asshole who doesn't deserve to be worshiped.

If I wake up and find myself accepting Jesus as my savior, I will come on this site and proselytize until my fingers fall off.

Knock yourself out.
Steve Weeks

joe z said...

"joe z, if you have no facts to present in support of your endless claims, then please be quiet"

Says Victor who has presented no facts.

Fritz Schmidt said...

joe z said...

"Because the biblical account is the most plausible"

I don't think you are being honest Joe. Have you really examined the other thousands of gods/holy books?

"But when Christian sects like the JWs come up with notions and ideas"

There are approximately 41,000 Christian denominations. You clearly don't agree with the JWs or Mormons and presumably you will have some issues with most of those denominations. Why are you sure you have chosen the right brand of superstition? Statistically the chances that you have got it right are rather small. The probability is only 0.00002 assuming 1 of those 41,000 is correct.

Berend de Boer said...

Fritz Schmidt: Even the JWs who banged on my door last month accepted the world was a tad older than Archbishop James Ussher's calculation!

The JW don't believe many clear statements in the Bible, so doesn't surprise me.

Berend de Boer said...

Fritz Schmidt: Last month using DNA evidence they worked out who Jack The Ripper was, no eyewitness needed. Detectives can work what happened with a high degree of certainty by examining the evidence.

Well, no need for courts any more then!

How many Jack The Rippers have been claimed by scientists over the years? Must be dozens by now.

And I would be very afraid if you think that detectives are enough to convict somebody. One day it may be your turn. Please watch this video at your leisure: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6wXkI4t7nuc

Fritz: Scientists like detectives come up with evidence. When there is an overwhelming mass of evidence pointing one way, then we can be pretty sure of the conclusions we draw.

Recently scientists claimed they found evidence for gravity waives of the big bang. Do you know how that story ended?

I'm not sure how you get your science news, but there's a big discrepancy between claims in the MSM, and what actually is accepted as true.

I suggest you subscribe to the Creation magazine: http://creation.com/creation-magazine

That way you get news from both sides. Try that for a year. As you clearly believe your side is correct, that shouldn't hurt your case, only confirm that the other side is simply stupid, and has no arguments.

Berend de Boer said...

Stephen Weeks: I'd like you (and any other true believers reading this) to pray sincerely for me to become a believer.

I address the wider point (will God grant every request?) here: http://www.berenddeboer.net/sab/mt/7.html#v7

On your specific point, I will remember you in my prayers, as no doubt other Christians reading this will do.

But God will never force someone to believe. But for all believers it is true what is said in Psalm 110:3: "Thy people shall be willing in the day of thy power".

Stephen said...

Berend: You asked what I would consider acceptable evidence. That's it.

How convenient that "god doesn't answer every prayer". Of course it's "logically impossible" for god to answer competing prayers. But that is not evidence for the efficacy of *any* prayers; yet it's consistent with *no* prayer being effective. By the way, your use of "logic" in this context made my irony meter explode.

So it sounds like this is simply an example of god's will if he won't answer this particular prayer. This confirms my opinion that god is a bit of a dick. Of course, he can't be a dick if he doesn't exist, so it's no skin off my nose.

While we're at it, perhaps you will be good enough to explain something that is not exactly a contradiction, but seems to be an example of industrial strength meanness and stupidity. Mark 11:13-14 and 11:20-21, as well as Matthew 21:19-20, describe Jesus cursing (and destroying) a fig tree for not having figs when "the time of figs was not yet". Wouldn't it have made more sense, and equally instructive, for him to ask for the fig tree to produce the desired figs out of season? I'm confident that you'll have some rationalization for this odd behavior. Don't let me down.
Steve Weeks

Fritz Schmidt said...

Berend de Boer said...

"Well, no need for courts any more then!"
"you think that detectives are enough to convict somebody."

I didn't say that. Naturally there needs to be supporting evidence and has to be peer-reviewed.

"Recently scientists claimed they found evidence for gravity waives of the big bang. Do you know how that story ended?"

Presumably your point is that evidence was found to the contrary. The beauty of science is that over time it corrects itself, unlike the fundamentalist's position. No matter how many tons of mutually supporting evidence we give our friend Joe Z, the world will always be 6000 years old and Noah really did walk with the dinosaurs.

"I suggest you subscribe to the Creation magazine"

I get a visit from the JWs every couple of months and they bring me a creation magazine called Watchtower.

joe z said...

Fritz, you say,

You say:

“I don't think you are being honest Joe. Have you really examined the other thousands of gods/holy books?’

I certainly have, and they don’t hold a candle the original Scriptures which are found in the Bible. None of them do. In fact they often crudely plagiarize these original Scriptures. To understand how original these Scriptures are, read the ‘Authenticity of the Book of..." series by Bill Cooper (Genesis, Esther, Daniel, the New Testament) and you will soon see how original, historically accurate and genuine they are despite what all the critics and 'scholars' have tried to tell us over the years.

You say:

“There are approximately 41,000 Christian denominations. You clearly don't agree with the JWs or Mormons and presumably you will have some issues with most of those denominations. Why are you sure you have chosen the right brand of superstition? Statistically the chances that you have got it right are rather small. The probability is only 0.00002 assuming 1 of those 41,000 is correct.”

Not all of them distort the gospel message, but others go against the original Scriptures in regard to its main message of redemption through Christ alone. The bible itself being the original and highest authority to which all believers should refer, not denominations. The Scriptures were around long before any denomination. But if you stick with the original Scriptures you cannot go wrong.

And I could also ask you why are you so sure that you have chosen the right brand of superstition in the old pagan belief that everything made itself from nothing? How does something that does not exist bring itself into existence?

You said:

“Statistically the chances that you have got it right are rather small. The probability is only 0.00002 assuming 1 of those 41,000 is correct.”

Statistically, and as science itself has proven, that is not anywhere near as low as life having come into existence on its own, for no reason, as the ‘evolution’ asserts.

You say:

“No matter how many tons of mutually supporting evidence we give our friend Joe Z, the world will always be 6000 years old and Noah really did walk with the dinosaurs.”

But you haven’t given me any “mutually supporting evidence”. You haven’t given me one ounce let alone tons.

joe z said...

Stephen, you say:

“There are only three explanations that I can think of if I don't become a true believer:
1) The bible lies in at least those three verses,
2) I am powerful enough to resist god's efforts to make me believe,
3) God doesn't exist.
My money is on number 3.”

You will lose your money. If I was you I would bet on number 2

For since the creation of the world his invisible attributes are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even His eternal power and Godhead, so that they are without excuse. Romans 1:20

You said;

“If I wake up and find myself accepting Jesus as my savior, I will come on this site and proselytize until my fingers fall off.’

But what will your friends think?

You say:

“While we're at it, perhaps you will be good enough to explain something that is not exactly a contradiction, but seems to be an example of industrial strength meanness and stupidity. Mark 11:13-14 and 11:20-21, as well as Matthew 21:19-20, describe Jesus cursing (and destroying) a fig tree for not having figs when "the time of figs was not yet". Wouldn't it have made more sense, and equally instructive, for him to ask for the fig tree to produce the desired figs out of season? I'm confident that you'll have some rationalization for this odd behavior. Don't let me down.”

When you say “instructive” what instruction do you think it was that He was trying to deliver?

joe z said...

Stephen, you say,

“I'd like you (and any other true believers reading this) to pray sincerely for me to become a believer. This is a small thing for your god. I don't expect it to happen, so I can't sincerely pray for it. But surely *you* can ask this since it's not for yourself…”

Fair enough. But you do understand of course that to become a believer means that when we pray that God opens your eyes to the truth (“And you shall know the truth and the truth shall make you free” John 8:32), that you also have to accept it and stop running away, otherwise, logically you cannot be a believer.

“I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.” John 14:6

You said:

“…and it's a win-win for god.”

I am not sure why you think it would be a “win-win” for God if you believed, since He does not actually need any of us anyway. He would like us to be part of His plan, but if we reject Him it makes no difference to Him in the end. It’s really a win-win for you, since it is you that will have gained eternal life.

Fritz Schmidt said...

joe z said...

"And I could also ask you why are you so sure that you have chosen the right brand of superstition in the old pagan belief that everything made itself from nothing?"

I did not say that. Indeed I have not read enough about the subject to comment meaningfully on how life started. But even if the mechanics are not clear at the moment we can't just jump to the conclusion that a particular god did it. There could be another explanation. Furthermore your "God did it" theory has got one major problem, it doesn't answer the question about how this god arose.

"as the ‘evolution’ asserts."

You said this before. This is not my understanding of what evolution is or implies.

"But you haven’t given me any “mutually supporting evidence”"

I suspect you have been presented with the evidence many times. I realise the fundamentalist position is any evidence that shows the world is older than 6000 years must be false. If you really have got evidence for 6000 years why don't you write a paper, get it peer-reviewed and published? You would be eligible for a major scientific prize and financial reward. By the way the Achilles Heel book/film you referred above has been rubbished along with the PhD holders involved in writing it, they certainly won't be getting a nice fat cheque!

You do realise that a good proportion of the 41,000 Christian denominations think your views on the age of the Earth are barking mad don't you? The Pope included. Don't you find it strange that Bible followers interprete the good book in so many different ways, but they all are convinced they have got it right? Something can't be right, can it?

Berend de Boer said...

Fritz Schmidt: I get a visit from the JWs every couple of months and they bring me a creation magazine called Watchtower

I don't think the JW believe the earth was created 6,000 years ago.

They believe very little of what the Bible says.

Berend de Boer said...

Stephen: I'd like you (and any other true believers reading this) to pray sincerely for me to become a believer. ... So it sounds like this is simply an example of god's will if he won't answer this particular prayer.

Have combined your previous and subsequent answer as I realised I should have said more.

You talk about being "saved". From what? If you are perfect, you don't need to be saved. And this thing about being saved is not Biblical language. Why do you need saving?

What is Biblical is Acts 17:30: And the times of this ignorance God winked at (overlooked); but now commandeth all men every where to repent.

So God commands all men, including you, to repent of their sins. That's the main thing.

But secondly, the Bible provides no link between someone praying for someone, and being saved from their sins. So I won't pray for that. What does the Bible say? In Romans 10:17 we read: So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.

In order to know God we need to use the means he has ordained: come to his house, and hear his Word.

If you want to be saved, that's what you need to do. If you say: I want to be saved some other way, that's saying to a doctor who provides you with medicine when you're sick: I won't take this medicine, I want to be healed by eating chocolate. You need to follow the directions.

And finally, you should reconsider. What does it mean to be a Christian?

1. You will be hated by the world, John 15:18: If the world hate you, ye know that it hated me before it hated you..

2. People don't want to know you anymore, Luke 6:22: Blessed are ye, when men shall hate you, and when they shall separate you from their company, and shall reproach you, and cast out your name as evil, for the Son of man's sake..

3. Even your family will despise you: Luke 12:51,53: Suppose ye that I am come to give peace on earth? I tell you, Nay; but rather division: ... The father shall be divided against the son, and the son against the father; the mother against the daughter, and the daughter against the mother; the mother in law against her daughter in law, and the daughter in law against her mother in law.

Is this really something you want to go through with? As per Luke 14:28: For which of you, intending to build a tower, sitteth not down first, and counteth the cost, whether he have sufficient to finish it?

Berend de Boer said...

Stephen: While we're at it, perhaps you will be good enough to explain something that is not exactly a contradiction, but seems to be an example of industrial strength meanness and stupidity.

Let's say I can't explain this. Completely stumped. What does that mean?

If scientists cannot explain why we live in a world which has a moon which is just such a size and at just such a distance that solar eclipses are possible, does it mean science is false? All nonsense?

joe z said...

Stephen you say,

“While we're at it, perhaps you will be good enough to explain something that is not exactly a contradiction, but seems to be an example of industrial strength meanness and stupidity. Mark 11:13-14 and 11:20-21, as well as Matthew 21:19-20, describe Jesus cursing (and destroying) a fig tree for not having figs when "the time of figs was not yet. Wouldn't it have made more sense, and equally instructive, for him to ask for the fig tree to produce the desired figs out of season? I'm confident that you'll have some rationalization for this odd behavior. Don't let me down.”

Why would Jesus ask for the fig tree to produce fruit when obviously the Holy Spirit’s (by whom Jesus was being led. Matthew 3:16; 4:1) intention was to demonstrate God’s power to the disciples by means of a curse? His power is demonstrated in both blessing and curse. This power to curse or to bless was also given to His disciples. As Jesus says in Matthew 21:21-22,

“Assuredly, I say to you, if you have faith and do not doubt, you will not only do what was done to the fig tree… and whatever things you ask in prayer, believing, you will receive.” (in accordance with God’s will obviously. James 4:3)

As for Jesus not being aware at the time that figs were out of season (in Mark but not Matthew) we can only say that it was simply in regard to that particular tree, since to go to a tree expecting figs means that He would have only recently gotten figs from another tree, or eaten some that had been purchased. As most people know, not all trees of the same kinds begin to bear fruit at exactly the same time (and some do not bear any at all).

joe z said...

Fritz, you say, (in response to my comment: "And I could also ask you why are you so sure that you have chosen the right brand of superstition in the old pagan belief that everything made itself from nothing?")

“I did not say that. Indeed I have not read enough about the subject to comment meaningfully on how life started.”

Well you need to start reading about it because you really should not base your world view on something that is, like evolution, logically and scientifically impossible.

You say:

“But even if the mechanics are not clear at the moment we can't just jump to the conclusion that a particular god did it.”

But jumping to conclusions is precisely how evolution was invented. It is full of unsubstantiated assumptions that masquerade as scientific fact. At the end of the day, it is a dusty old pagan idea that was given a new coat of paint by Darwin who basically turned it into a Victorian era sideshow.

You say:

“There could be another explanation.”

Otherwise known as blind faith.

You say:

“Furthermore your "God did it" theory…”

But since no evolutionist knows how life began then your own belief is propped up by “evolution did it”.

You say:

“…has got one major problem, it doesn't answer the question about how this god arose.”

God never “arose” or evolved (the idea of something evolving from nothing is a purely ignorant pagan notion). He has always existed and is himself the creator of the material universe/time and space. The Creator is the “High and Lofty One who inhabits eternity” (Isaiah 57:15) so He has always existed. Eternity has authority over time, since any amount of space and time is swallowed up by eternity.

You say:

“This is not my understanding of what evolution is or implies.”

What is your understanding of it?

You say:

“I suspect you have been presented with the evidence many times.”

Of course, but the evidence does not stack up.

You say:

“I realise the fundamentalist position is any evidence that shows the world is older than 6000 years must be false.”

There is no evidence. And the ‘evidence’ that is presented is not actually evidence that the world is as old as they claim. Read chapter 6 (radiometric dating) of ‘Evolution’s Achilles Heels’ or watch the DVD of the same title and you will soon see what becomes of the so called ‘evidence’ for long ages of the universe.

joe z said...

Fritz, you say:

“If you really have got evidence for 6000 years why don't you write a paper, get it peer-reviewed and published?”

Peer reviewed by whom? Other willfully ignorant and/or blind evolutionists? Are you going to keep trusting those people? There have been more than enough good papers written that have shown what is actually true. If you are serious then you might like to visit creation.com where you can search out any topic that you like. That way you can see a fair representation of both sides of the argument and be able to make up your own mind once you have all the information.

You say,

“You would be eligible for a major scientific prize and financial reward. By the way the Achilles Heel book/film you referred above has been rubbished along with the PhD holders involved in writing it, they certainly won't be getting a nice fat cheque!”

Of course they would rubbish it. That goes without saying because it directly attacks and blasphemes their sacred belief in evolution (without billions of years there is no evolution, which means there is a Creator to which they are accountable). But why don’t you read it for yourself instead of just trusting their opinion (why be their puppet)? If you do that then there might be one less ignorant person on the planet.

You say:

“You do realise that a good proportion of the 41,000 Christian denominations think your views on the age of the Earth are barking mad don't you?”

They certainly do. But that is starting to change and more and more people are beginning to see the truth.

You say:

“The Pope included. Don't you find it strange that Bible followers interprete the good book in so many different ways, but they all are convinced they have got it right? Something can't be right, can it?”

You don’t know much about the history of the Papacy if you look to the pope as an example. And, as history shows, just because many people believe in something does not automatically make it true (look what happened in Nazi Germany, the Soviet Union and many cases in history). As far as interpretation goes, many also do not adhere to the basic rule of letting ‘Scripture interpret Scripture’ but would rather, out of fear of ridicule, let secular science have authority over God’s word. But as I said before, there are no billions or millions of years anywhere in the Bible, for the age of the universe. There is no evolution in the Bible. As Jesus, who is himself the Creator (John 1:1-3; Colossians 1:16), says:

Have you not read that He who made them at the beginning ‘made them male and female [Genesis 1:27; 5:2]’ Matthew 19:4

Nothing evolved. So in effect, the Bible followers you speak of are letting a pagan idea like evolution have authority over the Creator’s word. So why should anyone respect their interpretation of the Bible in regard to the age of the universe?

Stephen said...

Let’s see… I’ve got conversations going with both Berend and Joe.

Joe thinks I should bet on number 2. That means I am capable of resisting god’s efforts to make me a believer. So much for omnipotence.

What will my friends think if I become religious? I wouldn’t care, since I would be overcome with love for Jesus. But some of my friends, knowing how I feel about religion, would consider it a miracle and become believers themselves.

I think if god were to actually “open my eyes to the truth”, I wouldn’t have any problem accepting it. That’s my point.

Berend wonders why I need saving if I am perfect. Well, like all real humans, I’m not perfect. But I don’t need “saving”. I’ll take responsibility for my own actions, thank you. You can call them “sins”, but they are mine. I deny being born with passed-down left-overs of “original sin”. We know from current knowledge of the human genome that there was never a single “Adam” or “Eve”, so the whole basis of Christ’s “sacrifice” to save us from this imaginary congenital sin crumbles into dust.

Even if the (dual) creation story in Genesis were true, I have no respect for a creator who basically set up his creations to fail.

John and Luke certainly don’t paint a very attractive picture of what it means to be a christian. I know lots of christians (“some of my best friends are…”) and no one hates them. I certainly do not. And not many of them hate me. My son and daughter both love and are loved by me and my wife.

Science doesn’t have a good explanation for everything. It doesn’t have to. What it does is look for answers to questions based on evidence. When better evidence becomes available, as it sometimes does, science adapts to accommodate it. It would be nonsense if it remained the same in the face of better evidence. Contrast that with religion.

Joe wins the prize for the most creative made-up explanation of Jesus and the fig tree. Jesus wanted to demonstrate a curse; he *could* have demonstrated a blessing, but somehow he felt a curse was needed here. That’s poetic license, I guess. (Actually, if you recall, the good book said “the time of figs was not yet”, so… kudos for making up that drivel about some trees being different kinds of figs.) Personally, I’m glad the writer of that tale made it a curse, because it stands in stark contrast to some of the more humane sayings and actions attributed to Jesus, and makes it easier to reject as bat-shit craziness.

Fritz Schmidt said...

joe z said...

"Read chapter 6 (radiometric dating)"

Let me guess: it says isotypes have variable half-lives, so radiometric dating is invalid? I imagine they omit the fact that different radioctive clocks can be used to validate each other.

"God never “arose” or evolved. He has always existed and is himself the creator of the material universe/time and space. The Creator is the “High and Lofty One who inhabits eternity” (Isaiah 57:15) so He has always existed"

God has always existed because Isiah says he "inhabits eternity"? We really are going to need a bit more on the evidence front if we are going to win that Nobel Prize.

"Peer reviewed by whom? Other willfully ignorant and/or blind evolutionists? Are you going to keep trusting those people?"

Evolution is a fact so it is hardly surprising most scientists accept it. If you really had the science to disprove it you would become a very rich man. Just think of of the impact on the pharmaceutical industry alone!

“You do realise that a good proportion of the 41,000 Christian denominations think your views on the age of the Earth are barking mad don't you?” >>>>> "They certainly do."

Do you have the statistics? Would it be fair to say that "most" Christians think you are a nutjob, or would "nearly every" be more accurate?

joe z said...

Stephen, you said:

“Joe thinks I should bet on number 2. That means I am capable of resisting god’s efforts to make me a believer. So much for omnipotence.”

Even though God is omnipotent He does not force anyone to believe, but he invites us to believe the truth. If He did force everyone to believe then there would be no need for a hell.

You said:

“What will my friends think if I become religious? I wouldn’t care, since I would be overcome with love for Jesus. But some of my friends, knowing how I feel about religion, would consider it a miracle and become believers themselves.”

Good answer. I nearly fell off my chair.

You say:

“I think if god were to actually “open my eyes to the truth”, I wouldn’t have any problem accepting it. That’s my point.”

Excuse me while I get back on my chair.

You said:

“Berend wonders why I need saving if I am perfect. Well, like all real humans, I’m not perfect. But I don’t need “saving”. I’ll take responsibility for my own actions, thank you…”

If you take responsibility for everything bad that have done you will end up in hell. That’s why you need saving so you don’t end up there. If you are going to keep your sins then that is the outcome. But if your sins are blotted out then you can be accepted by God and stand in His presence.


You said:

“You can call them “sins”, but they are mine. I deny being born with passed-down left-overs of “original sin”.

You weren’t born with “passed down leftovers” you inherited a sinful nature which can only sin. Sinners can only beget sinners. We are sinners so we behave according to what our natures are. Even the best saint is still, to a certain degree a sinner, but grace works in him continually to get him over the line. But if we don’t believe then God’s grace cannot be established in us in the first place.

You said:

“We know from current knowledge of the human genome that there was never a single “Adam” or “Eve” so the whole basis of Christ’s “sacrifice” to save us from this imaginary congenital sin crumbles into dust.”

Actually quite the opposite is true (creation.com/noah-and-genetics). The human genome points back to an original, fully formed pair, and which validates the necessity for Christ’s sacrifice.

joe z said...

Stephen, you said:

“Even if the (dual) creation story in Genesis were true, I have no respect for a creator who basically set up his creations to fail.”

There is no “dual” creation story. One part gives an overview and another simply gives more detail. It is still the one creation story.

And why would the Creator set up His own creation to fail? Wouldn’t that go against His righteous holy nature and make Him look bad? And why would he set up His creation to fail and get Himself to hang on a cross to save it again? Rather, a good God created a very good creation (Genesis 1:31) and warned man not to sin. But sin they did which resulted in a cursed, fallen world.

Many ask: Why would an all-powerful, knowing and loving Creator allow man’s fall into sin and death?

•The ability to willingly resist temptation, to prevent taking the wrong option and avoiding catastrophe was built in and was more than capable of resisting any attempt at being led astray.

•If he had made man so that there was no possibility of this occurring then man’s love and obedience to his Creator would not come from genuine willingness but would just be robotic. God does not make robots or puppets in his own image. He does not force anyone into a relationship with him. It has to be willingly and from the heart.

He originally gave man the power of contrary choice, but since man’s fall this no longer exists except at a superficial or mundane level. Since man is now driven by his own sinful nature, he has no choice but to act according to what he is; a sinner; a slave to his own nature; a slave to sin. The true freedom that man had before the fall was destroyed when he abused the power of contrary choice. Before the fall he the choice. He was free and he was free to choose. But at the fall that choice died. He was no longer free and he was no longer free to choose because he had made the wrong choice in sinning against God, and thereby became a slave to sin and death (“and you will surely die” genesis 2:15). It was having the choice to do something foolish and lethal (like driving off a cliff), but then, against all logic, actually doing it.

Against the benevolent Creator’s command/good counsel, Adam’s arrogant wrong choice in following Satan’s foolish (“…I will make myself like the Most High.” Isaiah 14:14) example and counsel of deceit (“…and you will be like God…” Genesis 3:5) cost him and his descendants’ true freedom.

The only escape from this slavery to sin and death has been provided by the second Adam, Christ.

And so it is written, “The first Adam became a living being [Genesis 2:7].” The last Adam became a life giving spirit…. The first man was of the earth, made of dust; the second Man is the Lord from heaven. 1Corinthians 15:45, 47

For since by man came death, by man also came the resurrection of the dead. For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ all shall be made alive…The last enemy that will be destroyed is death. 1Corinthians 15:21-22, 26

Therefore, as through one man’s offence judgment came to all men, resulting in condemnation, even so through one Man’s righteous act the free gift came to all men, resulting in justification of life. For as by one man’s disobedience many were made sinners, so also by one Man’s obedience many will be made righteous. Romans 5:18-19

This act by Christ is celebrated every year at Christmas where people give gifts as a symbolic gesture and remembrance of the free gift of life given by Christ.

joe z said...

Stephen you said:

“John and Luke certainly don’t paint a very attractive picture of what it means to be a christian. I know lots of christians (“some of my best friends are…”) and no one hates them. I certainly do not. And not many of them hate me. My son and daughter both love and are loved by me and my wife.”

That is because you live in a relatively strong Christian country.

You said:

“Science doesn’t have a good explanation for everything. It doesn’t have to. What it does is look for answers to questions based on evidence. When better evidence becomes available, as it sometimes does, science adapts to accommodate it. It would be nonsense if it remained the same in the face of better evidence.”

That sounds pretty noble, but the reality is far different. When evolutionists cannot find any evidence to support their world view they resort to all kinds of story-telling to try to keep the hypothesis alive.

You said:

“Joe wins the prize for the most creative made-up explanation of Jesus and the fig tree.”

What’s the prize?

You said:

“Jesus wanted to demonstrate a curse; he *could* have demonstrated a blessing”

But He didn’t, as the narrative points out. It’s no good reading a narrative and saying someone should have done this or done that. The narrative says what it says and there is nothing anyone can do about it.

You say:

“…but somehow he felt a curse was needed here.”

As He points out in Matthew 21:21-22 “Assuredly, I say to you, if you have faith and do not doubt, you will not only do what was done to the fig tree… and whatever things you ask in prayer, believing, you will receive.” (in accordance with God’s will obviously. James 4:3)

You said:

“That’s poetic license, I guess.”

No, that is letting Scripture interpret Scripture, a basic rule which the skeptic would hardly ever practice.

You said:

“(Actually, if you recall, the good book said “the time of figs was not yet”, so… kudos for making up that drivel about some trees being different kinds of figs.)”

I didn’t say they were different kinds of figs, I said that “particular tree” as in that individual tree. And not all trees of the same kinds necessarily begin to bear fruit at the same time.

You said:

“Personally, I’m glad the writer of that tale made it a curse, because it stands in stark contrast to some of the more humane sayings and actions attributed to Jesus and makes it easier to reject as bat-shit craziness.”

It is not a “tale” it is a record of historical events. And as we see throughout the whole Bible God can curse or bless as He pleases. It is your interpretation of the narrative that is “bat-shit crazy” not the narrative itself.

joe z said...

Fritz, you said:

“Let me guess: it says isotypes have variable half-lives, so radiometric dating is invalid? I imagine they omit the fact that different radioctive clocks can be used to validate each other.”

It’s no good guessing; you have to read it for yourself. And they are not saying that radiometric dating is invalid as such, but they are saying that it cannot be used to measure the age of the earth since there was no one around to record the levels of elements in the rock when it was originally formed. And neither was anyone around to measure any variables in the rock’s history concerning these levels. The original levels have to be assumed (obviously in favor of the alleged long ages) which means that any age that they come up with cannot be taken as hard fact. So there is no one, evolutionist or creationist, or anyone on the planet that can measure the age of the earth using radiometric dating methods.

You also have the problem of the presence of carbon14 in diamonds which should not be there if the world is as old as the evolutionists try to tell us it is.

You said:

“God has always existed because Isiah says he "inhabits eternity"? We really are going to need a bit more on the evidence front if we are going to win that Nobel Prize.”

How about all the evidence that everything, including life, did not bring itself into existence? So there must be a Creator. And Isaiah wrote what God spoke.

You said:

“Evolution is a fact so it is hardly surprising most scientists accept it.”

It can’t be “a fact” if it is full of holes that just about anyone can see.

You said:

“If you really had the science to disprove it you would become a very rich man.”

As history shows, I don’t think becoming rich is somehow a measure of being in possession of the truth.

You say:

“Just think of of the impact on the pharmaceutical industry alone!”

How would it impact it? The pharmaceutical industry is about the here and now, not the history of the world.

You said:

“Do you have the statistics? Would it be fair to say that "most" Christians think you are a nutjob, or would "nearly every" be more accurate?”

That’s what I said. But that is neither here nor there since, at the end of the day, there is no one that can honestly and scientifically defend the alleged long ages of the universe. All they can do is engage in assumption and story-telling, as we have seen often enough.

Fritz Schmidt said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Fritz Schmidt said...

joe z said...

"And they are not saying that radiometric dating is invalid as such"

Well that is a start.
(1) What did they calculate the half-life of Uranium 238 to be?
(2) How did they explain that using different radioactive clocks you can validate the results?

"How about all the evidence that everything, including life, did not bring itself into existence? So there must be a Creator."

Our guest speaker will confirm this is not a logical conclusion. If we don't know how something happened, we can't just assume the answer. Perhaps you are right and it was one of the thousands of gods. There could be another explanation, perhaps one that we are at the moment not even aware of.

"How would it impact it? The pharmaceutical industry is about the here and now, not the history of the world."

Google: Influence of Evolutionary Theory on Medicine. If you use health care, you have probably already benefited!

"Would it be fair to say that "most" Christians think you are a nutjob, or would "nearly every" be more accurate?” >>>>> "That’s what I said."

Thank you for your honesty.

joe z said...

Fritz, you said, (in response to: "And they are not saying that radiometric dating is invalid as such")

“Well that is a start.”

But like I said, for the reasons given above, it cannot be used for dating the age of the earth. The technology involved might come in handy for something else, but not for measuring the age of the planet.

You said:

“(1) What did they calculate the half-life of Uranium 238 to be?”

Again it makes no difference because the original levels in the rocks are unknown. No one knows the original levels of the parent or daughter elements. It does not matter if Uranium-Lead, Potassium-Argon, Rubidium-Strontium etc. is used because no one knows what the original levels were. There was no one around to measure them, so there is no starting point from which to make an accurate measurement. If there is no starting point for the data then it has to be assumed. And in the evolutionist’s case the assumptions for the original unknowable levels will always be in favor of long ages. In other words they are just making it up to fit their long age’s hypothesis.

You said:

“(2) How did they explain that using different radioactive clocks you can validate the results?”

Why don’t you read it for yourself? How can you debate someone if you don’t even know their argument? And what can a clock do? It’s got nothing to with clocks. Nothing can help you if don’t have the original data as a starting point.

You said, (in response to: "How about all the evidence that everything, including life, did not bring itself into existence? So there must be a Creator.")

“Our guest speaker will confirm this is not a logical conclusion.”

It either made itself or it was made by someone. That is the only two choices that exist.

You said:

“If we don't know how something happened, we can't just assume the answer.”

But that is how evolution was invented, by means of a lot of assumptions, which it still heavily relies on to this day, as we have seen often enough.

You said:

“Perhaps you are right and it was one of the thousands of gods.”

The thousands of gods are themselves created so it could not have been them. The only thing they create is trouble. The devil might try to claim the credit by masquerading as God, but there can only be one actual Creator since there is only one kind of order, standard physical laws and moral absolutes.

You said:

“There could be another explanation, perhaps one that we are at the moment not even aware of.”

It either made itself, which, as we have seen, is logically and scientifically impossible, or it was made by someone, which is certainly possible.

joe z said...

Fritz you said:

“Google: Influence of Evolutionary Theory on Medicine. If you use health care, you have probably already benefited!”

On contrary it has, at times, actually held it back. How could a false foundation (e.g. evolution) be of any special benefit in developing medicine anyway? A true foundation might obviously be of more benefit. And why would a belief in a Creator who created orderly physical laws be worse than a false idea like evolution (creation.com/is-evolution-really-necessary-for-medical-advances) and (creation.com/science-creation-and-evolutionism-refutation-of-nas)? Some of the greatest scientists such as Newton and Faraday believed in the biblical Creator of the orderly physical universe (creation.com/scientists-of-the-past-who-believed-in-a-creator) and had that belief as their foundation.

And most of the articles under ‘Evolutionary Theory on Medicine’ make good use of equivocation/intellectual dishonesty in regard to the meaning of the word ‘evolution’ where they take ‘speciation’ and ‘adaptation’ (which creationists do not deny since that is how life was designed in order to be able to adapt and survive i.e. natural selection) to mean microbe-to-man evolution. But actual microbe-to-man evolution, which requires a vast increase in genetic information, has never been shown to occur. Mutations are caused by a loss of information, not a gain of information. The reality is that genetically everything is going downhill, not uphill as required by microbe-to-man evolution. Nature is not evolving, it is falling apart. That is the reality.

You said: (in response to: "Would it be fair to say that "most" Christians think you are a nutjob, or would "nearly every" be more accurate?” >>>>> "That’s what I said."

“Thank you for your honesty.”

Again, as I have said, and as shown by history, a lot of people believing in something does not automatically make it true. You yourself are only following the rest of the herd.

Stephen said...

Joe Z: "But that is how evolution was invented, by means of a lot of assumptions, which it still heavily relies on to this day, as we have seen often enough."

This statement reveals the depth of your willful denial (or ignorance) of evolution. If your mind is this closed to, or unable to absorb, the utterly simple fact that evolution has occurred, is occurring and will continue to occur, and the evidence for this, there's nothing more to be discussed. I recommend that you read Jerry Coyne's excellent book. "Why Evolution is True", though I suspect you wouldn't get much out of it.

Meanwhile, (surprise, surprise) I have not gone nuts for Jesus. But thanks for trying!
Steve Weeks

joe z said...

Stephen, you said: (in response to: "But that is how evolution was invented, by means of a lot of assumptions, which it still heavily relies on to this day, as we have seen often enough.")

“This statement reveals the depth of your willful denial (or ignorance) of evolution.”

You don’t seem to have bothered reading the rest of what I wrote which would have pointed out your statement as false. And most evolutionists themselves are actually guilty of willful denial (or ignorance) in regard to their own belief in evolution. They are willfully ignorant and/or in denial of the huge holes and gaps that actually exist in it.

You said:

“If your mind is this closed to, or unable to absorb, the utterly simple fact that evolution has occurred, is occurring and will continue to occur, and the evidence for this, there's nothing more to be discussed.”

When you say ‘evolution’ you wouldn't be confusing speciation and adaptation, (which we acknowledge as part of God’s built-in design for surviving changes in climate etc.) with the idea that microbes turned into men would you? You do realize that there is no actual evidence that a microbe ever turned into a man? It is just a story. Adaptation and speciation (from the original kinds) is not ‘evolution’ because it cannot turn a microbe into a man. End of story. Natural selection only gets rid of information when it gets rid of mutations, which are rarely if ever beneficial, and which are themselves caused by a loss of information. But even if there was a helpful mutation, it is still caused by a loss of genetic information. So even if can be shown that a mutation is beneficial, information has still been lost, which is going in the wrong direction for a microbe to turn into a man. It cannot and never has and never will add new and novel information of the kind that would be necessary to turn a cockroach into a cow. Even many evolutionists know this but they just won’t admit it in public.

You said:

“I recommend that you read Jerry Coyne's excellent book. "Why Evolution is True", though I suspect you wouldn't get much out of it.”

That’s probably because there is not much in it. He is not saying anything that has not already been thoroughly refuted. He is a bit of a story teller; very tall stories. I wouldn't go throwing away eternity on the strength of anything he has to say (creation.com/review-coyne-why-evolution-is-true).

“Meanwhile, (surprise, surprise) I have not gone nuts for Jesus. But thanks for trying!”

That’s alright. My pleasure.

Fritz Schmidt said...

joe z said...

"The technology involved might come in handy for something else"

Where are you happy for this technology to be used Joe?

"but not for measuring the age of the planet."

If you take a lump of Uranium 238 into the lab and measured its half-life what would the result be?

"Again it makes no difference because the original levels in the rocks are unknown.....Nothing can help you if don’t have the original data as a starting point."

(1) Isochron dating does not assume that the initial level of the "daughter" is known.
(2) Some radiometric dating techniques make assumptions about original levels that are reasonable to make. These assumptions can also be tested.
(3) Radiometric dating is self-checking, i.e. you get correlating results using different isotopes/elements. If there was a problem with the science you wouldn't.

"Why don’t you read it for yourself?"

Because you have demonstrated that it is full of total tosh.

"The thousands of gods are themselves created so it could not have been them."

Couldn't have put it better myself. In fact you are nearly as much an atheist as the rest of us, welcome to the club Joe! We just need to wean you off talking snakes/donkeys etc and you will be a full member!

"Again, as I have said, and as shown by history, a lot of people believing in something does not automatically make it true."

Couldn't have put it better myself. And the hysterical thing is, they all think their interpretation of Bible God it the right one!

joe z said...

Fritz, you said:

“Where are you happy for this technology to be used Joe?”

Wherever they want. It just doesn't work in dating the earth, as I have already explained.

You said:

“If you take a lump of Uranium 238 into the lab and measured its half-life what would the result be?”

They say that it has a half-life of 4.468 billion years, but at the same time they also acknowledge that Carbon-14 has a half-life of 5730 years. So obviously the science is not set in stone (creation.com/the-way-it-really-is-little-known-facts-about-radiometric-dating). Also, when rocks of a known age (from recent volcanic activity) are tested, the dating methods used often give wildly different results, from the same piece of rock.

You said:

“(1) Isochron dating does not assume that the initial level of the "daughter" is known.”

But this method also gives different results from the same piece of rock, so how do we know which one is correct? If you don’t have an eye-witness to when the rock was formed then you have nothing. The assumptions behind isochron dating are also incorrect. (www.icr.org/article/u-th-pb-dating-koongarra-australia/).

You said:

“(2) Some radiometric dating techniques make assumptions about original levels that are reasonable to make. These assumptions can also be tested.”

The assumptions about the past that they must make, because there was no one was there in the past to measure anything, are:

1. The amount of daughter element present in the rock at the time it was formed is zero.

2. The rock has remained as a closed system since the time it was formed, which also means that (1) no parent element has been deposited in or removed from the rock since it was formed, and (2) that no daughter element has been deposited or removed from the rock since it was formed.

3. The rate of transformation (the half-life) has remained constant at today’s rate throughout the entire period.

There is no way of knowing these things without there being an eye-witness to the rock being formed and also its subsequent history.

You said:

“(3) Radiometric dating is self-checking, i.e. you get correlating results using different isotopes/elements. If there was a problem with the science you wouldn't.”

It cannot be self-checking if it does not know the original levels and subsequent history of the rock. There is a problem with the science because of all the assumptions that need to be made in regard to the history of the rock, as pointed out above.

You said: (in response to: "Why don’t you read it for yourself?")

“Because you have demonstrated that it is full of total tosh.”

So you are just going to take my word for it instead of reading it for yourself? And how can you debate someone if you don’t know all the details?

joe z said...

Fritz, you said: (in response to: "The thousands of gods are themselves created so it could not have been them.")

“Couldn't have put it better myself. In fact you are nearly as much an atheist as the rest of us, welcome to the club Joe! We just need to wean you off talking snakes/donkeys etc and you will be a full member!”

You seem to have missed the next line i.e. “The only thing they create is trouble. The devil might try to claim the credit by masquerading as God, but there can only be one actual Creator since there is only one kind of order, standard physical laws and moral absolutes.”

You said: (in response to: "Again, as I have said, and as shown by history, a lot of people believing in something does not automatically make it true.")

“Couldn't have put it better myself. And the hysterical thing is, they all think their interpretation of Bible God it the right one!”

And many evolutionists also think that their interpretation of different aspects of evolution is the right one too. They are always at odds and arguing about one thing or another (all trying to get their hands on the prize – prestige and riches).

But there can only be one correct interpretation of the Bible in regard to the age of the universe, and that is about 6000 years. A lot of people do not accept that. Far more people, including Bible believers, believe that it is far older (Billions of years). Overall there would be a far greater percentage of people who believe the universe is old. But as I have said, and as history shows, a lot of people believing in something does not automatically make it true.

Fritz Schmidt said...

joe z said...

"Wherever they want. It just doesn't work in dating the earth, as I have already explained."

But objects found in the earth that are over 6000 years old are ok for testing with you? Or just the ones less than 6000 years old?

"so how do we know which one is correct"

Meta analysis.

"There is no way of knowing these things without there being an eye-witness."

Science creates models (i.e. assumes certain things) about things we do not know, tests thses models and tries to disprove them. It makes predictions from the models, and then sees if these predictions are correct. If they are not, we reject the model. If the predictions are correct it increases our confidence that the model represents reality. Is creation.com happy with this method?

"It cannot be self-checking if it does not know the original levels and subsequent history of the rock."

Please explain why you get correlating results using different isotopes/elements.

"there can only be one actual Creator"

Why can't there be 2?

joe z said...

Fritz, you said:

“But objects found in the earth that are over 6000 years old are ok for testing with you? Or just the ones less than 6000 years old?”

How will you know that they are over 6000 years old since no one is able to measure it?

You said:

“Meta analysis.”

Any kind analysis is no good without an original true history of the rock to which it can be related. Since the original levels, starting point/foundation have to be assumed, then then it can never be known if the results are true. To do proper science you need all the historical data as a start or foundation for your study, otherwise it is just a big guessing game. Without the foundation you really have nothing that can be called an accurate result.

You said:

“Science creates models (i.e. assumes certain things) about things we do not know, tests thses models and tries to disprove them. It makes predictions from the models, and then sees if these predictions are correct. If they are not, we reject the model. If the predictions are correct it increases our confidence that the model represents reality. Is creation.com happy with this method?”

Very good. Which means that the evolutionary model must be rejected, since the main predictions that it makes in regard to natural selection, genetics and DNA, the origin of life, the fossil record, the geological record, radiometric dating and cosmology are, as many people are beginning to realize, very far from correct. The evolutionary model does not represent reality, by any stretch of the imagination.

You said:

“Please explain why you get correlating results using different isotopes/elements.”

All the correlating results still mean nothing without an original starting point or foundation. All the results are still not connected to any original real data from the rock’s history, because no one has the data, because no one was around to collect it. Trying date the earth by radiometric dating of rocks is like if you came across a bucket under a dripping tap that was ¾ full and you tried to work out by the rate of drips how long the bucket had been sitting there under the tap. For start you do not know how full the bucket was before the dripping tap began to fill it. It has to be assumed. You also don’t know if the tap had been running faster or slower before you first observed it, or if rain water might have contributed to its level, or the rate of evaporation, if any. That also has to be assumed. So you have no historical data. All you know is the rate of dripping from the time you began to observe it. So there is no way to tell from the contents of the bucket how long the bucket has been sitting there.

You say: (in response to: "there can only be one actual Creator"

“Why can't there be 2?”

Well who are they?

Fritz Schmidt said...

joe z said...

"Wherever they want. It just doesn't work in dating the earth, as I have already explained."

Are you happy for dating methods to be used anything found in the earth? When exactly may dating methods be used and not used?

"then then it can never be known if the results are true."

Do you reject meta analysis?

"Without the foundation you really have nothing that can be called an accurate result."

If a 1000 scientists say there is overwelming evidence for something, and 1 says there isn't, who do you tend to side with Joe?

"Very good."

Are you happy with scientists using models as described above?

"All the correlating results still mean nothing"

That's the problem they do mean something Joe. If the science was wrong we would be getting a mass of random points on the graph.

"Well who are they?"

I haven't found any evidence for 1 or 2. You insist one god has always existed, I just wondered why you are so sure that he didn't have a wife for example.

joe z said...

Fritz, you said:

“Are you happy for dating methods to be used anything found in the earth?”

As I have already said, they are not much use in dating anything if they give wildly different results for rocks that are of a known age, e.g. from recent volcanic activity. So they are completely useless for rocks for which there is no historical data at all.

You said:

“When exactly may dating methods be used and not used?”

There is not much point using them at all if you can never get the truth from them.

You said:

“Do you reject meta analysis?”

Like I said, ANY analysis is of no use in giving us the age of the earth because you don’t have any historical data on which to build a study that can be analyzed in the first place. And the evolutionary model has been tripped up by its own claim for billions of years because, relatively, on THAT time scale, you only have the historical data for the last couple seconds of the rock’s history. The evolutionist has painted himself into a corner with his alleged billions of years. His own deep time model has brought him unstuck because the alleged billions of years of geological history have never been witnessed and the necessary data recorded.

You said:

“If a 1000 scientists say there is overwelming evidence for something, and 1 says there isn't…”

If you are going to use that argument we could just as well say that Darwin was wrong because he was only one who believed in evolution against a 1000 that believed in the Bible.

You said:

“…who do you tend to side with Joe?”

Since I am interested in knowing the truth, then I tend to side with whoever is telling the truth. If the 1000 scientists are telling it wrong for whatever reason, i.e. ignorance, deceit (“overwhelming evidence”), etc. then I would go with the one telling the truth. And the evolutionary scientists are definitely not telling us the truth in regard to the fossil record, genetics and DNA, the origin of life, the geologic record, radiometric dating and cosmology. Of that we can be sure.

You say:

“Are you happy with scientists using models as described above?”

That’s what I said. And, as you said, if the model does not represent reality then it has to be rejected. And since the evolutionary model does not represent reality then it must be rejected.

You said: (in response to: "All the correlating results still mean nothing")

“That's the problem they do mean something Joe. If the science was wrong we would be getting a mass of random points on the graph.”

Or they could just be making up/fudging the results to fit their long age’s model (creation.com/assumptions-in-science).

joe z said...

Fritz, you said: (in response to: "Well who are they?" [2 gods])

“I haven't found any evidence for 1 or 2. You insist one god has always existed…”

What I actually said was that there is only one CREATOR, who is Christ (John 1:1-3; Colossians 1:17 etc.). There is of course also the Father and the Holy Spirit; but it is the Son/Christ who is Himself the Creator. The Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit together are known as the triune God or the Trinity.

The picture of the triune God of the Bible (rather than being one of mathematics, geometry or deep philosophy, etc.), is, as we see throughout scripture, really a very simple, straight-forward political and social one (as in close-knit ruling family). This is the only picture that the Bible gives us, and which can be seen in words and terms pertaining to God, e.g. King, power, glory, authority, kingdom, kingdom of heaven, kingdom of God, Father, Son, Prince, Helper and Comforter (the Holy Spirit), etc.

There is only ONE highest position/office of authority in heaven, and which has the title of ‘God’ attached to it (like the office of president, prime minister, king, etc.). So whoever occupies this highest office will have the title of ‘God’. If there is more than one Person (i.e. the Father, the Son, the Holy Spirit) occupying this same highest office of authority, then all have to have the same highest title of ‘God’ which belongs to this highest office.

Since all Three Persons, The Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit (Matthew 28:19), all equally occupy this same very highest office of power and authority in heaven, and ‘God’ being the very highest title, then all Three have to be called God.

There are some who would say that the triune God, or Trinity, or three Gods/Kings working as one in the highest position of authority in heaven, is polytheism (multiple gods). But the term ‘polytheism’ is applicable only to created gods/beings, since the eternal triune God is the original source of all life and all other gods/beings would not even exist to begin with without an eternal first cause. The eternal first cause is the triune God, the three Persons, all with the highest title of ‘God’ (God/King) who operate together as one (e.g. “I and My Father are one” John 10:30 and 15:26) team or family, and who existed in eternity before the creation of the universe (Genesis 1:1; 1:27). They are not three finite and limited pagan gods. And polytheism (worship of multiple gods) would not exist at all without sin having entered into the world in the first place, after it was created. As the Creator, the “Lord your God” of the Old Testament, who is Christ, the Son, the Word (John 1:1-3), also commanded: “You shall have no other gods before Me” Exodus 20:3. The righteous holy Persons of the triune God of the Bible cannot be called something idolatrous and evil like ‘polytheistic’, since they were together in eternity long before idolatry and evil even came into existence, and they have not nor will ever change or become corrupted (Malachi 3:6; Hebrews 13:8; Romans 1:23; Isaiah 57:15).

So the term “one God” in Scripture means the one and only highest office equally occupied by the three Persons bearing the same highest title of ‘God’ (God/King “the King of heaven” Daniel 4:37).

And for this reason the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit also acknowledge and address each other by the title of ‘God’. For example, the Father says:

But to the Son He (the Father) says: “Your throne, O God, is forever and ever” Hebrews 1:8

Jesus, the Son, says:

“My God, My God, why have You forsaken Me?” Matthew 27:46

“I am ascending to My Father and your Father, and to My God and your God.” John 20:17 (The Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit belong to one another, in mutual friendship, at the same level. So when Jesus says, “My God” in regard to the Father, He, at the same time, means “My friend”)

joe z said...

And the Holy Spirit says through (2 Peter 1:21) David:

“For David himself said by the Holy Spirit: ‘The Lord [the Father] said to my Lord [the Son], “Sit at My right hand, till I make Your enemies Your footstool.”’ Mark 12:36

Fritz Schmidt said...

joe z said...

"Wherever they want. It just doesn't work in dating the earth"
"There is not much point using them at all"

You say it is acceptable to use them as long as it is not for dating the earth. You then say it is not acceptable to use them at all. Please will your clarify exactly which dating methods you consider to be acceptable and when we may use them.

"they give wildly different results for rocks that are of a known age, e.g. from recent volcanic activity"

If a dating method gives wildly differing results with no patterns then there is indeed a problem e.g. perhaps with inclusions in the sample. Isn't there a single dating method for rocks of a known age that doesn't give wildly differing results?

"Like I said, ANY analysis is of no use in giving us the age of the earth because you don’t have any historical data"

That was not the question. I asked if you reject meta analysis. Do you think statistics can be used to highlight trends and draw conclusions.

"That’s what I said"

Good. So we both agree we can use models to find evidence for things for which there is no eyewitness.

"Or they could just be making up/fudging the results"

Ah, you are a conspiracy theorist after all! I had actually suspected it. All the scientists around the world have got together to fudge the results! Lieber Joe, you really live in cuckooland. There is no world conspiracy, and scientists just LOVE proving other scientists wrong. All the points on the graph giving a straight line are not a conspiracy Joe, they are reality.

"What I actually said was that there is only one CREATOR"

Ok creator. But why not 2? You seem very sure of yourself. He would get very lonely on his own, wouldn't he? And I think you will agree creating the universe was a pretty big job. Perhaps he did the planets and his boyfriend did the stars? Please supply some non-biblical evidence for only one creator.

joe z said...

Fritz, it looks like I have been arguing with the village idiot. Keep studying. You might understand it eventually.

Fritz Schmidt said...

Reason 10 : Superstition 0 ?

Stephen said...

Blogger joe z said...

"Fritz, it looks like I have been arguing with the village idiot."


Ouch! I am picking the shards of my irony meter out of my face.

Steve Weeks

joe z said...

Fritz, all the answers to your questions are in the above comments.

joe z said...

Fritz, you say,

"But why not 2? You seem very sure of yourself. He would get very lonely on his own, wouldn't he? And I think you will agree creating the universe was a pretty big job."

So where is your evidence of two creators?

You said,

"Perhaps he did the planets and his boyfriend did the stars? Please supply some non-biblical evidence for only one creator."

Again, where is your evidence for two? Remember that you were the one who originally brought up the idea of two.

You said:

"Reason 10 : Superstition 0 ?"

There is no reason to believe in the old pagan superstition that everything made itself from nothing aka 'evolution'. How can something that does not exist bring itself into existence?

joe z said...

Fritz, you said,

"Ah, you are a conspiracy theorist after all! I had actually suspected it. All the scientists around the world have got together to fudge the results! Lieber Joe, you really live in cuckooland. There is no world conspiracy, and scientists just LOVE proving other scientists wrong. All the points on the graph giving a straight line are not a conspiracy Joe, they are reality."

So are saying that conspiracies are not possible and have never happened on a large scale? You are not much of a historian then. Was what happened in your own country in regard to the Nazis not a conspiracy to gain power and take over the world?

joe z said...

Stephen,

"Ouch! I am picking the shards of my irony meter out of my face."

The irony is not actually in favor of the evolutionary paradigm either.

Fritz Schmidt said...

joe z said...

"Fritz, all the answers to your questions are in the above comments."

I apologise if I have overseen something, but I can't see answers to the following:

(1) You say it is acceptable to use dating methods as long as it is not for dating the earth. You then say it is not acceptable to use them at all. Please will your clarify exactly which dating methods you consider to be acceptable, which are not acceptable, and when we may use each of them.

(2) Aren't there any ways of using dating methods for rocks of a known age, so we don't give wildly differing results?

(3) Do you think statistics can be used to highlight trends and draw conclusions?

"So where is your evidence of two creators?"

As I said before I haven't got any evidence for 1 or 2 creators/gods. I haven't found evidence for any number. You however claim there is one. And only one. I asked you to supply some non-biblical evidence for only one creator.

"There is no reason to believe in the old pagan superstition that everything made itself from nothing aka 'evolution'".

I did not say that. The words are yours (Luke 23:3). How life originally started is not described by evolutionary theory. Please try not to muddle the two again. You said God has always existed because Isaiah says he inhabits eternity. If you want to convince us, please supply some non-biblical evidence that he has always existed.

"So are saying that conspiracies are not possible and have never happened on a large scale?"

I am saying that to get 1000s of scientists all over the world to collectively fudge radiometric dating results is about as likely as a Flying Spaghetti Monster or a talking donkey.

"a conspiracy to gain power and take over the world"

Please supply evidence that scientists involved in radiometric dating want to take over the world. Please also confirm (1) you are not taking any medication for mental issues / paranoia / depression etc and (2) you have not visited or been referred to a psychiatrist in the last 5 years.

Stephen said...

But... back to the original topic, "contradictions", what about the biblical references to the ratio of the circumference of a circle to its diameter? We know this ratio as "Pi", with an approximate value of 3.1416. According to two verses in the bible, the value of this ratio is exactly 3.

2 Chronicles 4:2 "...a molten sea of ten cubits from brim to brim, round in compass, and five cubits the height thereof; and a line of thirty cubits did compass it round about."

1 Kings 7:23 "...a molten sea, ten cubits from the one brim to the other: it was round all about, and his height was five cubits: and a line of thirty cubits did compass it round about."

Don't bother getting your sacred undies in a twist. I know there are several ways out of this one (for example, http://www.purplemath.com/modules/bibleval.htm )

God just wasn't being very precise when he inspired those verses since there weren't any formally trained engineers around.

By the way, it has been suggested that creationists who claim scientific expertise are often formally trained as engineers (See "Salem Hypothesis" http://rationalwiki.org/wiki/Salem_Hypothesis ).

Steve Weeks

joe z said...

Fritz, you said:

“(1) You say it is acceptable to use dating methods as long as it is not for dating the earth. You then say it is not acceptable to use them at all. Please will your clarify exactly which dating methods you consider to be acceptable, which are not acceptable, and when we may use each of them.”

No, I said the technology that is used in the dating methods might be able to be used for other things, but not in dating the earth. There are no dating methods that can be used for dating the earth, for the reasons that I have already clearly explained.

You said:

“(2) Aren't there any ways of using dating methods for rocks of a known age, so we don't give wildly differing results?”

Let me know if you hear of any.

You said:

“(3) Do you think statistics can be used to highlight trends and draw conclusions?”

That would depend on what you are studying and what conclusions you are trying to draw. If you trying to draw the conclusion that the earth is billions of years old when you have no original data from the rocks then the conclusion will only ever be guess work based on the evolutionary world view – the presupposition that evolution is true.

You said: (I response to: "So where is your evidence of two creators?")

“As I said before I haven't got any evidence for 1 or 2 creators/gods. I haven't found evidence for any number.”

In saying “I haven’t got any evidence” and then expecting the other person to give evidence, you have already lost that point from the start.

You said:

“You however claim there is one. And only one. I asked you to supply some non-biblical evidence for only one creator.”

Since you yourself have no evidence at all, then where will you find the evidence for one or two if you don’t go to God’s word in the Bible where we find the Creator himself speaking about His own creation?

You said: (in response to: "There is no reason to believe in the old pagan superstition that everything made itself from nothing aka 'evolution’”)

“I did not say that.”

But that is what you believe in, is it not?

You said:

“The words are yours (Luke 23:3).”

Now you are quoting from a book that you don’t believe in to support your argument?

You said:

“How life originally started is not described by evolutionary theory.”

Of course it is. Evolutionists call it ‘abiogenesis’.

You said:

“Please try not to muddle the two again.”

It is the evolutionists themselves that make the claim of ‘abiogenesis’, because they well know that evolution needs a starting point. So the “muddle” is coming from your end.

joe z said...

Fritz, you said:

“You said God has always existed because Isaiah says he inhabits eternity. If you want to convince us, please supply some non-biblical evidence that he has always existed.”

Do you believe that something that does not exist (e.g. the universe at one time did not exist), can bring itself into existence? If you say no, then you would be right, which also means that the Creator could not have brought Himself into existence, which means that He has always existed. That would also then explain the existence of the universe which at one time did not exist (something that does not exist cannot bring itself into existence), which would require a Creator who exists independently from the space time universe that He created. Hence, He inhabits eternity.

You said: (in response to: "So are saying that conspiracies are not possible and have never happened on a large scale?")

“I am saying that to get 1000s of scientists all over the world to collectively fudge radiometric dating results is about as likely as a Flying Spaghetti Monster or a talking donkey.”

Yet the evidence pointed out in the various articles which I have given you says otherwise.

You said: (In response to: "a conspiracy to gain power and take over the world")

“Please supply evidence that scientists involved in radiometric dating want to take over the world.”

But they already have. We can see this by the fact that evolution is taught as fact in much of the western world’s schools, and western media also promote evolution as fact. The whole of western society has been indoctrinated by the false idea of evolution (you yourself being a very good example of the power of this indoctrination). This was also Hitler’s dream, to get rid of the Creator and establish his Darwinian ‘survival of the fittest’ world empire (read ‘Hitler And The Nazi Darwinian World View’ by Jerry Bergman).

You said:

“Please also confirm (1) you are not taking any medication for mental issues / paranoia / depression etc and (2) you have not visited or been referred to a psychiatrist in the last 5 years.”

None of the above and I think you are trying to dodge around the issues.

joe z said...

Stephen, you said:

“But... back to the original topic, "contradictions", what about the biblical references to the ratio of the circumference of a circle to its diameter? We know this ratio as "Pi", with an approximate value of 3.1416. According to two verses in the bible, the value of this ratio is exactly 3”

Why is it a “contradiction” when you haven’t taken into account the thickness of the rim of the vessel being measured or whether it was perfectly round? The Scriptures are just talking to the general population and giving a general description, not giving a math’s lesson.

Stephen said...

Joe, I see that Berend has left this thread in your capable hands. ;-)

At the risk of prolonging this hijack, I'd like to try to clarify just one small point.

Evolutionary science does *not* in fact address the issue of abiogenesis. The science doesn't care where the first life came from; that is, of course, an important question which may or may not ever be answered. But that life form, known as the "Last Universal Common Ancestor" is the *starting point* of the evolutionary process. To insist that it is part of "evolution" is simply a straw-man argument. Evolutionary science answers the question "how did life on earth, once started, arrive at its present diversity?" And it answers the question much more completely and convincingly than "creation science". You really should educate yourself more, but I realize you are satisfied with your "goddidit" explanation. Luckily for the human race, including you, there have always been others who are not satisfied with that answer.

We may someday have a good answer to the question of how and where life originated, just as we have learned that the stars aren't points of light on a dome, diseases aren't caused by demons, and the earth is not the center of the solar system. We may even find that there was a "creator", though I doubt it could be the nasty, marginally competent god of the bible. Whatever these answers are, they will be supported by verifiable evidence. The rest is just "a tale... full of sound and fury, Signifying nothing." (Shakespeare)
Steve Weeks

Fritz Schmidt said...

Stephen said...

"But... back to the original topic"

Yes, you are quite right, we have hijacked this thread, apologises to Berend. Furthermore as Joe has totally convinced himself that there is a mass conspiracy in the scientific community, I don't think we will make much headway.

joe z said...

"I think you are trying to dodge around the issues."

The pot calling the kettle black?

Lieber Joe, I notice that you like plagiarising other blogs and quoting Cretin.com ad infinitum. Do you have several alter egos, or are you just incapable for thinking for yourself?

jimothy b said... September 21, 2014 at 1:58 AM (answeringmuslims.com)
joe z said... Thu Oct 16, 03:30:00 PM 2014
"rather than being one of mathematics, geometry or deep philosophy, etc."

james l said... October 7, 2014 at 12:57 AM (answeringmuslims.com)
joe z said... Thu Oct 16, 03:30:00 PM 2014
"Since all Three Persons, The Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit (Matthew 28:19), all equally occupy the same very highest office of power and authority in heaven"

robert S., Australia, 17 June 2014 (creation.com)
joe z said... Wed Oct 08, 11:52:00 AM 2014
"This old original creation still has the original curse (Genesis 3:17) from Adam’s sin (which was inherited by all of Adams descendants) remaining on it."

joe z said...

"Yes, you are quite right, we have hijacked this thread, apologises to Berend."

Fair enough.