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Author Topic:   Is God Required for a life to have Direction and Purpose?
wj
Inactive Member


Message 1 of 43 (3100)
01-30-2002 2:14 AM


{A note from Adminnemooseus - This topic was originally started as "A Theory of Creationism", in the "Great Debate" Forum. In August of 2003, it became active again, and took a turn in direction. At that point it was copied to the "Faith and Belief" forum, and retitled to "Is God Required for a life to have Direction and Purpose?". Essentially, you have two different topics in one.}
Evolutionists, your prayers have been answered. Below is a theory of creationism by David A. Plaisted, Professor of Computer Science, UNC. I seek your indulgence to copy it in toto because I'm afraid I might leave out something important if I precis it.
"Creationists are frequently requested to propose a theory of creation, namely, why the particular life forms that exist were created. Again, this is not necessarily easy or possible to answer, but some fairly obvious observations can be made. The universe was created to reveal the love and mercy of God, and life forms were created to be a blessing to one another and to God. Life forms were created in approximately their current state, recently and nearly simultaneously. But since the entrance of sin, degeneration and decay have appeared, and the law of love and cooperation has been to some extent replaced by the law of hatred and competition.
We can assume that organisms were originally created to be best adapted to fulfil their place in existence, which does not mean that they were created to be reproducing machines or fitness machines. As for why the particular organisms were created that were created, the principle of unity and variety, theme and variations, seems to be present. Many body plans are illustrated and many ecological niches are filled. We have soft animals, animals with shells, animals with bones on the inside, moving animals, stationary animals, air animals, animals in the trees, animals on land, animals in the soil, animals in the sea, animals of various sizes, and so on. It is even possible that the Lord did not create all the animals from scratch, but may have taken parts of one animal to create the next one.
As for why the Lord used the same design for different purposes at times, and different designs for the same purpose, we can assume that the same design is sometimes suited for more than one purpose, and that for different organisms, different designs may be better adapted for a given purpose. We can also recall that there has been limited evolution and degeneration since the creation, influencing the life forms existing at present.
The Lord even created the marvelous hereditary machinery found in organisms today, by which life can adapt to changing conditions. It is a marvel of Divine wisdom that the entrance of death, not originally part of God's plan, could be used by Him in this way to enable life to adapt to the conditions of a fallen world.
from http://www.cs.unc.edu/~plaisted/ce/creationism.html
He also provides some testable predictions based on this theory. But we might leave them till later.
[This message has been edited by Adminnemooseus, 08-09-2003]

Replies to this message:
 Message 2 by Quetzal, posted 01-30-2002 8:05 AM wj has not replied
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Quetzal
Member (Idle past 5978 days)
Posts: 3228
Joined: 01-09-2002


Message 2 of 43 (3104)
01-30-2002 8:05 AM
Reply to: Message 1 by wj
01-30-2002 2:14 AM


Thanks WJ. Let’s take a look:
quote:
Creationists are frequently requested to propose a theory of creation, namely, why the particular life forms that exist were created. Again, this is not necessarily easy or possible to answer, but some fairly obvious observations can be made. [emphasis added]
I can’t wait.
quote:
The universe was created to reveal the love and mercy of God, and life forms were created to be a blessing to one another and to God.
What evidence can be used to adduce this? Sounds like a bald assertion. What could falsify this claim? Is there anything we see, whether from observation of modern organisms or from the fossil record that would show either the stated purpose of the universe or that organisms are a blessing to one another? What is a blessing in this context? I may come back to this bit later.
quote:
Life forms were created in approximately their current state, recently and nearly simultaneously. But since the entrance of sin, degeneration and decay have appeared, and the law of love and cooperation has been to some extent replaced by the law of hatred and competition.
The definitions in this part are a bit vague. Please define approximately their current state and recently, as well as "...to some extent has been replaced...".
Here at least we have a potential falsification: the statement that all organisms were created simultaneously in their current state. For this to be true, there should be a fairly definitive division point between no living organisms and modern organisms. When this division occurs will be dependent on how the author is defining recently and the methodology he uses to date the beginning. Without that information, we’ll have to rely on modern geology and paleontology (I’ll avoid biology, since that science relies heavily on evolution. Comparing the two is not my intent. We should examine the evidence for the creationism theory without reference to its polar opposite.)
So what does the evidence show? In the first place, geology shows layers of rock stretching backwards in time. Logically, the older (I’m talking relative, not absolute age — the actual dates of deposition don’t matter for this discussion) layers were deposited first, with younger, more recent layers laid on top. If the theory is correct, we should find a point in these rock layers where modern organisms spring full blown, identifying the creation event. Even if these fossil organisms are somewhat different from what we can see out our windows today, we should at least see recognizable kinds appearing simultaneously (i.e, horse kind, dog kind, cattle kind, frog kind, teleost (bony) fish kind etc).
Is this what fossils show? No. There is a continuous presence of life from nearly the very lowest layers to the most recent. Worse, there is a distinct stratification of organisms: dinosaur kinds never appear in the same layer or even above horse or giant ground sloth kinds. Trilobite kinds never appear above or in the same layer as cat kinds. Humans never appear below or in the same layer with nautiloid kinds. This sorting is inconsistent with a simultaneous creation of more-or-less modern organisms. So much for "fairly obvious observations".
quote:
We can assume that organisms were originally created to be best adapted to fulfil their place in existence, which does not mean that they were created to be reproducing machines or fitness machines.
This is a fairly broad assumption. What is meant by their place in existence? What would be the potential falsification for this statement? One possibility would be if examples of modern organisms could be found that were not best adapted to their environment (on the assumption that this is what is meant by place in existence.) However, the theory specifies originally created, and later the author talks about God creating the methods for creatures to adapt after the invention of death (I assume this is the adamic curse?). Therefore this potential falsification is invalid. What positive evidence can be used to adduce the validity of this claim? Since there are no eyewitnesses to the moment of creation, nor any evidence of perfect organisms in the fossil record, there is no confirming evidence for the claim (or against it, for that matter). If there is neither confirming evidence, nor potential falsification, then the claim is invulnerable and hence scientifically null. Any other possibilities?
quote:
As for why the particular organisms were created that were created, the principle of unity and variety, theme and variations, seems to be present. Many body plans are illustrated and many ecological niches are filled. We have soft animals, animals with shells, animals with bones on the inside, moving animals, stationary animals, air animals, animals in the trees, animals on land, animals in the soil, animals in the sea, animals of various sizes, and so on. It is even possible that the Lord did not create all the animals from scratch, but may have taken parts of one animal to create the next one.
As for why the Lord used the same design for different purposes at times, and different designs for the same purpose, we can assume that the same design is sometimes suited for more than one purpose, and that for different organisms, different designs may be better adapted for a given purpose.
Is this the creationist theoretical explanation for biodiversity? I’m not sure what’s the explanatory power of this section. Perhaps one of our creationists can explain it better.
quote:
We can also recall that there has been limited evolution and degeneration since the creation, influencing the life forms existing at present.
The author does not define what is meant by limited evolution or degeneration. Perhaps if the author defines these terms, we can examine what evidence might be available to see if the theory is valid.
quote:
The Lord even created the marvelous hereditary machinery found in organisms today, by which life can adapt to changing conditions. It is a marvel of Divine wisdom that the entrance of death, not originally part of God's plan, could be used by Him in this way to enable life to adapt to the conditions of a fallen world.
Eliminating the references to God and original sin leaves hereditary machinery [ahem] found in organisms today by which life can adapt to changing conditions — the foundation of evolution by natural selection. This seems to be both circular and a contradiction of the opening premise: that all organisms were created spontaneously perfectly fit for their environment. IOW, there is no explanation here of why such a mechanism was required. The need for an adaptational ability was not apparent until AFTER the fall (which was not originally part of God’s plan, eliminating the omniscience answer), therefore there was no need for a perfectly fit organism to have this capability. Since there has been nothing more than limited evolution and degeneration since the fall, there is no requirement even now, if I am understanding this correctly, for such a capability.
WJ: I’m sorry, without some substantial revision, this theory boils down to goddidit, which while perhaps fine for a True Believer , takes it well out of the realm of science. A theory it is, but not a scientific one. As it stands, the theory has almost no explanatory power.
I guess we're still waiting...
[This message has been edited by Quetzal, 01-30-2002]

This message is a reply to:
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Percy
Member
Posts: 22668
From: New Hampshire
Joined: 12-23-2000
Member Rating: 3.5


Message 3 of 43 (3108)
01-30-2002 11:22 AM
Reply to: Message 1 by wj
01-30-2002 2:14 AM



David A. Plaisted writes:
Creationists are frequently requested to propose a theory of creation, namely, why the particular life forms that exist were created.
I read no further because I don't believe this is what evolutionists mean by a theory of creation. They mean a theory based upon evidence and observation and produced through application of the scientific method.
--Percy

This message is a reply to:
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Replies to this message:
 Message 4 by Quetzal, posted 01-30-2002 1:18 PM Percy has not replied
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 Message 17 by peter borger, posted 12-22-2002 6:49 AM Percy has replied

  
Quetzal
Member (Idle past 5978 days)
Posts: 3228
Joined: 01-09-2002


Message 4 of 43 (3113)
01-30-2002 1:18 PM
Reply to: Message 3 by Percy
01-30-2002 11:22 AM


quote:
Originally posted by Percipient:

David A. Plaisted writes:
Creationists are frequently requested to propose a theory of creation, namely, why the particular life forms that exist were created.
I read no further because I don't believe this is what evolutionists mean by a theory of creation. They mean a theory based upon evidence and observation and produced through application of the scientific method.
--Percy

Percy, although you're right that the Plaisted piece doesn't really constitute a theory, I'm not sure I agree with your description of what I'm (personally) looking for...
What I would like to see in a "Theory of Creationism" should include at least:
1. a list of assumptions
2. a description of what "must" be true for the theory to be valid
3. an explanation or mechanism to show "how"
4. a list of predictions
Ideally, (although I'm not demanding) there should also be some examples of positive evidence or at least an explanation of how the theory could be falsified and a discussion of why the the evidence shows it isn't (falsified, I mean). One can but dream...

This message is a reply to:
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Replies to this message:
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wj
Inactive Member


Message 5 of 43 (3140)
01-30-2002 6:48 PM
Reply to: Message 4 by Quetzal
01-30-2002 1:18 PM


There seems to be a disturbing silence from prolific posters such as truecreation and cobra_snake. Is it simply too early to expect some comment from that side as yet? Or are they putting the finishing touches on their own theories of creation?
I am constantly amused by creationist accusation of dissent in the scientific community over the theory of evolution. My analogy is that the arguments within the scientific community are over red or crimson. The arguments within the creationist community are between black and white.

This message is a reply to:
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Cobra_snake
Inactive Member


Message 6 of 43 (3287)
02-01-2002 10:51 PM


I recently made my biological theory for Creation. It can be found in the "why creation science isn't science" thread. Apparently, Quetzal was at least somewhat impressed with my theory. It's not easy to get a compliment from you mean people!

Replies to this message:
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Quetzal
Member (Idle past 5978 days)
Posts: 3228
Joined: 01-09-2002


Message 7 of 43 (3308)
02-02-2002 4:00 PM
Reply to: Message 6 by Cobra_snake
02-01-2002 10:51 PM


quote:
Originally posted by Cobra_snake:
I recently made my biological theory for Creation. It can be found in the "why creation science isn't science" thread. Apparently, Quetzal was at least somewhat impressed with my theory. It's not easy to get a compliment from you mean people!

Yeah WJ: Check it out! Also check out my replies
.

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TrueCreation
Inactive Member


Message 8 of 43 (3323)
02-02-2002 6:14 PM
Reply to: Message 7 by Quetzal
02-02-2002 4:00 PM


Hey check mine too! Mine didn't take too long though
------------------

This message is a reply to:
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Peter
Member (Idle past 1585 days)
Posts: 2161
From: Cambridgeshire, UK.
Joined: 02-05-2002


Message 9 of 43 (3646)
02-07-2002 9:59 AM
Reply to: Message 1 by wj
01-30-2002 2:14 AM


quote:
Originally posted by wj:
The universe was created to reveal the love and mercy of God,

That being the case why did God base his entire eco-system on the
NEED for each animal to kill in order to survive ? (Even herbivores
kill plant-life to survive).

This message is a reply to:
 Message 1 by wj, posted 01-30-2002 2:14 AM wj has not replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 10 by gene90, posted 02-07-2002 10:49 AM Peter has replied

  
gene90
Member (Idle past 3929 days)
Posts: 1610
Joined: 12-25-2000


Message 10 of 43 (3655)
02-07-2002 10:49 AM
Reply to: Message 9 by Peter
02-07-2002 9:59 AM


All life was supposedly cursed with man from the Fall.
However, plant-eating obviously goes back all the way to the Garden.

This message is a reply to:
 Message 9 by Peter, posted 02-07-2002 9:59 AM Peter has replied

Replies to this message:
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Peter
Member (Idle past 1585 days)
Posts: 2161
From: Cambridgeshire, UK.
Joined: 02-05-2002


Message 11 of 43 (3657)
02-07-2002 10:55 AM
Reply to: Message 10 by gene90
02-07-2002 10:49 AM


quote:
Originally posted by gene90:
All life was supposedly cursed with man from the Fall.
However, plant-eating obviously goes back all the way to the Garden.

I get the cursing part ... but did lions not eat antelopes in the
Garden? Life feeds on life, its the way things are, and if animals
haven't significantly changed since their creation I guess they
always have.

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Replies to this message:
 Message 14 by Me, posted 08-21-2002 10:52 AM Peter has replied

  
redstang281
Inactive Member


Message 12 of 43 (3682)
02-07-2002 1:25 PM
Reply to: Message 1 by wj
01-30-2002 2:14 AM


God created all animals to demonstrate to Adam his immense creativity.

This message is a reply to:
 Message 1 by wj, posted 01-30-2002 2:14 AM wj has not replied

Replies to this message:
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joz
Inactive Member


Message 13 of 43 (3688)
02-07-2002 1:55 PM
Reply to: Message 12 by redstang281
02-07-2002 1:25 PM


quote:
Originally posted by redstang281:
God created all animals to demonstrate to Adam his immense creativity.
This seems to imply that you think he created all other life after Adam "to demonstrate to Adam his immense creativity" however the bible seems to say otherwise....
from the KJV:
"20
And God said, Let the waters bring forth abundantly the moving creature that hath life, and fowl that may fly above the earth in the open firmament of heaven.
21
And God created great whales, and every living creature that moveth, which the waters brought forth abundantly, after their kind, and every winged fowl after his kind: and God saw that it was good.
22
And God blessed them, saying, Be fruitful, and multiply, and fill the waters in the seas, and let fowl multiply in the earth.
23
And the evening and the morning were the fifth day.
24
And God said, Let the earth bring forth the living creature after his kind, cattle, and creeping thing, and beast of the earth after his kind: and it was so.
25
And God made the beast of the earth after his kind, and cattle after their kind, and every thing that creepeth upon the earth after his kind: and God saw that it was good.
26
And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth.
27
So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them.
28
And God blessed them, and God said unto them, Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it: and have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over every living thing that moveth upon the earth."
redstang bore false witness hes coming to hell with me....
Shit.....
[This message has been edited by joz, 02-07-2002]

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Me
Inactive Member


Message 14 of 43 (15835)
08-21-2002 10:52 AM
Reply to: Message 11 by Peter
02-07-2002 10:55 AM


quote:
Originally posted by Peter:
quote:
Originally posted by gene90:
All life was supposedly cursed with man from the Fall.
However, plant-eating obviously goes back all the way to the Garden.

I get the cursing part ... but did lions not eat antelopes in the
Garden?

I believe that fundamentalists assert that carnivores ate grass before the Fall (Please correct if wrong!). It looks as if Grass was created just to get stuffed - dogs pee on it, people jump on it and it gets eaten by cows. I wonder what it did to get punished like this?

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Brad McFall
Member (Idle past 5138 days)
Posts: 3428
From: Ithaca,NY, USA
Joined: 12-20-2001


Message 15 of 43 (27628)
12-22-2002 1:09 AM
Reply to: Message 3 by Percy
01-30-2002 11:22 AM


If baramins are needed to multiplex network nodes into a physical space that does not follow basic principles Einstein believed in that had him not taking Kant seriously and this is done with the future of space exploration explictly in pedagogy there is the possiblity that specifying creation in this manner, both, and any use (but not all or every) of scientific method results in being able to re-read; read further.

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Replies to this message:
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