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Author Topic:   The Impossibility Of The Flood
Blue Jay
Member (Idle past 2807 days)
Posts: 2843
From: You couldn't pronounce it with your mouthparts
Joined: 02-04-2008


Message 10 of 100 (463470)
04-17-2008 2:41 PM
Reply to: Message 9 by New Cat's Eye
04-17-2008 1:20 PM


Catholic Scientist writes:
I thought that they try to prove the flood occurred, not in an effort to prove the existence of god, but in an effort to show the accuracy of the Bible.
Without God, the Bible isn't accurate, though: Noah's Ark would just be another mythicized version of a flood story in a region replete with floods, like Gilgamesh. As long as the Bible includes God, the entire thing is suspect until God is verified. They, of all people, should know that you can't prove the accuracy of the Bible without proving God's existence and characteristics.

I'm Thylacosmilus.
Darwin loves you.

This message is a reply to:
 Message 9 by New Cat's Eye, posted 04-17-2008 1:20 PM New Cat's Eye has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 11 by New Cat's Eye, posted 04-17-2008 2:55 PM Blue Jay has not replied

Blue Jay
Member (Idle past 2807 days)
Posts: 2843
From: You couldn't pronounce it with your mouthparts
Joined: 02-04-2008


Message 21 of 100 (464041)
04-23-2008 1:54 AM
Reply to: Message 20 by Rrhain
04-22-2008 11:16 PM


I think it's possible that you're both right: after all, there are a lot of creationists/IDists.
Here's how I see it. There are two steps in the IDist’s argument:
1. Prove the Bible is accurate, so it will be permitted in science and history
2. Once it’s shown to be scientifically accurate, we can use it to prove God
I agree with you (Rrhain) that the overall goal for all IDists/creationists is to prove God, and that that goal definitely permeates the entire process. But, I agree with Catholic Scientists that at least some IDists have made the distinction between the two steps above and are trying to tackle number one without going to number two (yet).
Like Dr. A. said in the OP, if they prove the Flood happened and is explicable by natural processes (as per, e.g. the “vapor canopy” model), there is no support for the miraculous story told in the Bible. So, the best that I could see coming from the Noah’s Ark apologetics is that some events in the Bible will be seen as based on a true story. They will not then convert the whole academic community to biblical literalism.
The question is, do the IDists realize this? I think some do, and some don’t. For instance, Ken Ham definitely doesn’t, so Rrhain’s argument is completely right in regards to him. As for Michael Behe, I personally think would realize it (but I never read Darwin’s Black Box, so I don’t know for sure), so I would lean towards Catholic Scientist's argument in Behe's case.

I'm Thylacosmilus.
Darwin loves you.

This message is a reply to:
 Message 20 by Rrhain, posted 04-22-2008 11:16 PM Rrhain has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 24 by Rrhain, posted 04-24-2008 1:14 AM Blue Jay has replied

Blue Jay
Member (Idle past 2807 days)
Posts: 2843
From: You couldn't pronounce it with your mouthparts
Joined: 02-04-2008


Message 23 of 100 (464108)
04-23-2008 1:29 PM
Reply to: Message 22 by New Cat's Eye
04-23-2008 12:31 PM


Catholic Scientist writes:
Bluejay seems to get it just fine... What's your problem?
Yeah, if Bluejay could figure it out, anyone could.
Okay, serious now. I think he does get it. From Message #16:
Rrhain writes:
They are out to prove the existence of the specific god that caused a global flood and that there is no other. That the Bible is accurate is merely a stepping stone on the way to claiming, "See?! God exists!"
I think his argument was that this doesn't apply to most IDists, because most of them actually do think Flood = God, without realizing (or just ignoring) that they have to tackle the Flood = Bible and Bible = God steps separately. And, in the case of many IDists, I'd say Rrhain's point is a great point, which is also the same as Dr A's original point. And, therefore, I think most of them are doing exactly what Dr A said, i.e. not helping their cause at all by trying to prove the Flood through natural means.
Now, I don't know the ID movement as well as I used to think I did, though, so I could be underestimating them, as you seem to be arguing. But, from the stuff I've read, I'd say your argument gives them too much credit (for the most part).
I personally think, for a lot of them that do make the two-step distinction you propose, the distinction is just a formality to make their theory sound more plausible. It's like when they say they're working to prove an "intelligent designer," not God, but they fully believe (and intend to teach, if they get into the curriculum) that the designer is God, and that proving the designer means proving God, even though they say there is a difference.
So, most have it in their mind that Flood = God, not Flood -> Bible -> God, if even they're trying to make it look like they're doing the stepwise, scientific thing.

I'm Thylacosmilus.
Darwin loves you.

This message is a reply to:
 Message 22 by New Cat's Eye, posted 04-23-2008 12:31 PM New Cat's Eye has not replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 26 by Rrhain, posted 04-24-2008 1:41 AM Blue Jay has not replied

Blue Jay
Member (Idle past 2807 days)
Posts: 2843
From: You couldn't pronounce it with your mouthparts
Joined: 02-04-2008


Message 27 of 100 (464289)
04-24-2008 3:53 PM
Reply to: Message 24 by Rrhain
04-24-2008 1:14 AM


Rrhain, I think you've got too much of an "all-or-nothing" mindset in your argument.
Rrhain writes:
Bluejay writes:
1. Prove the Bible is accurate, so it will be permitted in science and history
But we don't do that with any other piece of literature. Troy was a real place. It was sacked (multiple times).
We still don't teach the Iliad in history or science class.
I don't recall having said that their idea was backed by good logic. I firmly believe that the ID movement is a committee of fools, morons, jackasses and idiots, and that just about every one of them is completely and irreconcilably stupid (at least in regards to science). But, I was never arguing for their credibility, sanity or intelligence: I was arguing that they do have a system of sorts.
Rrhain writes:
Bluejay writes:
2. Once it’s shown to be scientifically accurate, we can use it to prove God
And that's the logical error of affirming the consequent. They assume that the Bible comes from god and then use the Bible to prove the existence of god. Because god, then the Bible. Because the Bible, then god. Circular reasoning, affirming the consequent.
But, Rrhain, we're not necessarily saying the ID position is "if the Bible is accurate, God is therefore real." We're saying, "If the Bible is accurate, there might be evidence it in that we can use to argue for the existence of God." It isn't affirming the consequent because it doesn't necessarily affirm anything.
And, you don't have to start with "assume the Bible comes from God" to make this argument work. You start with "a story in the Bible is supported by physical evidence" (at least, it would if they could find such evidence). Then, the credibility of the Bible goes up, and you can use it to guide archaeological digs or other fact-finding missions, the more of which prove true, the more credible the Bible becomes, and the more likely it seems that the Bible is completely inerrant.
Now, don't get me wrong: I know it doesn't really work this way. I said earlier:
Bluejay writes:
I agree with you (Rrhain) that the overall goal for all IDists/creationists is to prove God, and that that goal definitely permeates the entire process.
and
Bluejay writes:
...most of them actually do think Flood = God, without realizing (or just ignoring) that they have to tackle the Flood = Bible and Bible = God steps separately.
But, just because they have the end goal in mind, obscuring their judgment about the evidence, it doesn't mean they're not taking the necessary steps. After all, their idiocy only extends as far as the interpretation-of-evidence part: they're not stupid when it comes to laypeople, politics or even the actual processes of science. They know they can't pass off the "Flood = God" thing as science directly, at least not to scientists. So, they'll try to do it the in stepwise fashion that CS is saying.
Of course, if and when they find conclusive support for the Flood, they'll naturally start saying things like "We knew this all along. Aren't you going to listen to us about all this other stuff now?" And, of course, finding evidence for the Flood would increase Christian memberships and faithfulness around the world and do wonders for missionary work, and result in lots of conflicts between differents sects as to who is right and initiate Armegeddon a lot faster than anyone was expecting. But, I digress.
Rrhain writes:
Why does it matter that they have an intermediate point? Why is it none of them are ever using this information to justify Greek mythology? ... Then the idea that they are just trying to prove the Bible to be accurate is nothing but a distraction.
That was my point in the post you responded to:
Bluejay writes:
...the distinction is just a formality to make their theory sound more plausible. It's like when they say they're working to prove an "intelligent designer," not God, but they fully believe (and intend to teach, if they get into the curriculum) that the designer is God, and that proving the designer means proving God, even though they say there is a difference.
Admittedly, I should have used "smokescreen" or "pretense" instead of "formality," because that's what I really meant that word to mean.
In short, as I said earlier, I agree with your overall point. But, I think you're making it black-and-white when there clearly are some greys, too.

I'm Thylacosmilus.
Darwin loves you.

This message is a reply to:
 Message 24 by Rrhain, posted 04-24-2008 1:14 AM Rrhain has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 28 by Rrhain, posted 04-24-2008 11:43 PM Blue Jay has replied

Blue Jay
Member (Idle past 2807 days)
Posts: 2843
From: You couldn't pronounce it with your mouthparts
Joined: 02-04-2008


Message 29 of 100 (464419)
04-25-2008 1:17 PM
Reply to: Message 28 by Rrhain
04-24-2008 11:43 PM


Rrhain writes:
Name me a single person who isn't arguing exactly that.
I can't actually name specific people who don't argue that, but I can cite a few ICR research papers in which they don't.
Baumgardner, Vardiman, Humphreys, Snelling, Austin and Wise wrote this. Note that the conclusion isn't "God made the earth," but "the flood accounts for the evidence."
Vardiman wrote the first paper listed on this page. It's the one about the vapor canopy: my browser is doing strange things that are currently preventing me from linking directly to a PDF file, so that's why I'm only linking you to the "research papers" page.
Also, there are a lot of research papers on that page about the flood, vapor canopy, etc. They always write those IMPACT articles and what-not for laypersons (particularly Xians), but, in their research, they often don't say "Flood = God." They know they can't scientifically say that. But, in those articles above, they do a lot of "Flood = Bible is True" stuff.
Now, Rrhain, I know that the logic is still missing: the accuracy of the Flood is not an indication of the accuracy of the Bible, etc. But, those two papers do not make the leap from Flood geology to God: they do exactly what CS is saying--the leap from Flood to "true Bible."
By the way, I've never taken the time to read their actual research papers before: I only read the Xian/layperson propaganda crap. Thanks for making me do my homework.
Edited by Bluejay, : dBCodes problem

I'm Thylacosmilus.
Darwin loves you.

This message is a reply to:
 Message 28 by Rrhain, posted 04-24-2008 11:43 PM Rrhain has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 30 by Percy, posted 04-25-2008 2:20 PM Blue Jay has replied
 Message 35 by Rrhain, posted 04-26-2008 12:10 AM Blue Jay has not replied

Blue Jay
Member (Idle past 2807 days)
Posts: 2843
From: You couldn't pronounce it with your mouthparts
Joined: 02-04-2008


Message 31 of 100 (464438)
04-25-2008 3:00 PM
Reply to: Message 30 by Percy
04-25-2008 2:20 PM


Percy writes:
His central point is that they're just hiding the God connection behind a number of intermediate steps.
This doesn't mean they're not doing the research, though: they've written "scientific" papers that conclude that the Bible was right about the Flood, and don't leap to the conclusion of God. They still believe it's all God, but they're not trying to prove that through the research.
This was CS's original argument, and the part that I agreed with:
Catholic Scientist writes:
The Bible says there was a flood.
Look, there really was a flood.
Ergo, the Bible was correct about the flood.
That's all the research papers I provided are "showing": there really was a Flood, like the Bible said. They have their personal beliefs about what it means. And so do I; and so do you. The problem is, they think they get to teach their beliefs alongside the "science": they're not going to restrict themselves to what they can prove, even though they very well do know that anything beyond the stuff in CS's quote above is not science.
That's all I'm arguing.

I'm Thylacosmilus.
Darwin loves you.

This message is a reply to:
 Message 30 by Percy, posted 04-25-2008 2:20 PM Percy has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 32 by Percy, posted 04-25-2008 3:41 PM Blue Jay has replied

Blue Jay
Member (Idle past 2807 days)
Posts: 2843
From: You couldn't pronounce it with your mouthparts
Joined: 02-04-2008


Message 33 of 100 (464448)
04-25-2008 4:13 PM
Reply to: Message 32 by Percy
04-25-2008 3:41 PM


This is probably an issue of Bluejay not explaining himself very well (it's been known to happen).
I'm trying to say that I think ID involves more than just a "scientific" way to God: I think they want to take the Flood -> Bible step via "science," and the "Bible -> God" step via religion.
Here's what I mean in relation to your two possible responses:
Percy writes:
There are two ways to respond to this.
One is that that's exactly what they're trying to prove through their "research", that God exists. Their "research" is just one of the intermediate steps on the way to proving God.
I think they know what they can theoretically prove, and that that's all they're trying to prove scientifically. Then, they're just hoping peoples' faith will take them the rest of the way to God. I don't think they're trying to take the "science" all the way through to God.
If they can prove things in the Bible that are testable, then it would help people have faith in the things in the Bible that aren't testable: i.e. God. The papers I provided didn't go all the way to the "God" step, and I think this is why.
Percy writes:
The other less appealing response is that creationist researchers know their research cannot prove God exists, but they do it anyway because it helps hide the God connection. I don't adhere to this view. I think creationists are very sincere about their "research".
I agree that they're definitely sincere: they really believe it, after all. I think they do "research," despite knowing that it can't prove God, because there is stuff that it can (theoretically) prove, and that that stuff could lead people, through faith, to God. But, I think they blur the line a little when they think they should get to teach their belief in God in science classes.
---
I hope I'm making sense now: I don't really disagree with Rrhain's point (in relation to most IDists), but I think it's a little too simplified, and leaves out an important detail or two. Admittedly, this argument is a little different from what I've been saying, but this is what I was trying (and failing) to say from the beginning.
Edited by Bluejay, : Grammar

I'm Thylacosmilus.
Darwin loves you.

This message is a reply to:
 Message 32 by Percy, posted 04-25-2008 3:41 PM Percy has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 36 by Rrhain, posted 04-26-2008 12:25 AM Blue Jay has replied
 Message 37 by Percy, posted 04-26-2008 6:59 AM Blue Jay has not replied

Blue Jay
Member (Idle past 2807 days)
Posts: 2843
From: You couldn't pronounce it with your mouthparts
Joined: 02-04-2008


Message 38 of 100 (464528)
04-26-2008 5:29 PM
Reply to: Message 36 by Rrhain
04-26-2008 12:25 AM


Rrhain writes:
quote:
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
I don't think they're trying to take the "science" all the way through to God.
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
And yet, when you look at their overall action, that is clearly what they are doing. After all, if "they're just hoping peoples' faith will take them the rest of the way," then they wouldn't be so specific about which god you're supposed to wind up with.
This isn't evidence of anything: don't you prescribe how your results should be interpreted in the Discussion section of your papers? Their discussion-section equivalent is written for believers in Christianity: they have to explain how the results fit into the Christian paradigm. So, they're saying, "under these results, it's still okay to believe in God, biblical literalism, etc." That's different from saying "these results prove God."
They didn't say "these results prove God," they didn't mean to say "these results prove God," and I don't think they believe they could ever prove God. They're only trying to prove what they know they could theoretically prove, and using that to rationalize their irrational faith in God.
Rrhain writes:
Remember, science hinges on the ability for you to say that everything you thought you knew about everything is wrong. That there was a global flood is no more evidence of the Bible than it is evidence of the Epic of Gilgamesh, and yet these people never point to Babylonian mythology.
They don't point to Bablyonian mythology because it isn't relevant to the argument: the argument is that the Bible got it right when it said there was a global Flood. The only evidence you would need is conformity of the geological facts to the story in the Bible. This is consistent with my argument.
Of course, this makes it apologetics and not science. But, to them, it's still "science."
Rrhain writes:
"See? We're not talking about god! We never used the g-word!" As if simply not saying "god" doesn't mean you're not talking about god. But look at the keywords in your first reference:
Fountains of the Great Deep
Windows of Heaven
Where did those terms come from? That's right...the Bible. No other mythological source is mentioned. Gee, I wonder if they're not trying to prove god out of this.
That's right... the Bible. Isn't that what I've been arguing: they're trying to prove the Bible is right about the Flood? How does quoting the Bible show that they're trying to prove God, and show that they're not trying to just prove the Bible?
Nothing in what you've said or quoted refutes my argument.
Rrhain writes:
Wait a second..."Noah's" flood? Why not "Deucalion and Pyrrha's" flood? Why not "Ut-Napishtim's" flood? Gee, I wonder if they're not trying to justify the existence of the biblical god.
Rrhain writes:
"Scriptural claims"? What's up with that?
These are all in response to citations of or appeals to the Bible. They are not appeals to God.
Rrhain writes:
If there isn't anybody who doesn't claim an actual flood who doesn't also then use it to insist that the god of the Bible is the one, true god, then how is this argument not an example of affirming the consequent?
Because they never even try to make that step scientifically! Their science only goes so far as to say "the Bible was right" (in Flood-related arguments).
Look, I agree with your point that their motivation is entirely religious. But, they're not just a "scientific" movement: the "science" is only part of it. The "science" deals with stuff that can be proven "scientifically": and I don't know of any Christians who believe that God can be proven scientifically or "scientifically."

I'm Thylacosmilus.
Darwin loves you.

This message is a reply to:
 Message 36 by Rrhain, posted 04-26-2008 12:25 AM Rrhain has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 39 by Percy, posted 04-27-2008 7:29 AM Blue Jay has replied
 Message 40 by Rrhain, posted 04-27-2008 6:52 PM Blue Jay has not replied

Blue Jay
Member (Idle past 2807 days)
Posts: 2843
From: You couldn't pronounce it with your mouthparts
Joined: 02-04-2008


Message 41 of 100 (464702)
04-28-2008 1:08 PM
Reply to: Message 39 by Percy
04-27-2008 7:29 AM


Percy writes:
Now I'm beginning to wonder if you're just making a semantic argument.
I had my suspicions that we (mostly Rrhain and I) have been talking past each other for a while. You know I'm Christian--and there's still a lot of Christian left in me--and I spend a lot of time around Christians. When I hear my Christian friends talking in Sunday School or even in daily conversation about religious topics, I hear very few appeals to logic. In fact, I hear a lot of things that make absolutely no sense, and it bothers me enough that I make excuses to step out of meetings so I don't have to listen to it (Don't tell my wife).
But, to them, it's not supposed to make sense. In fact, I think sometimes it's supposed to not make sense. Even though our LDS church tries to teach us all to be logical, most Mormons don't want God to be logical, so they don't even attempt to put logic toward Him. Under their mindset, I don't think "logical fallacy" is an appropriate accusation, because you can't mess up the logic you're not using. And, if they're not using logic, they're not trying to get at it through the "science." And, this way of (not) thinking is the impetus behind the "missionary" section of creationist papers: it isn't the logic part.
Maybe this is no different from Rrhain's point: I guess not using logic is, in fact, bad logic.
The very fact that they made "Intelligent Design" instead of "Creationism" is proof that they know what their scientific and logical limits are. But, they won't distance it from their belief system, which is why they still put their "missionary" section in, even though they know it isn't science or "science."
{AbE:
Percy writes:
When we say "prove God" in this thread, we just mean prove that their religion is correct.
This would also include my argument of proving the Bible under the heading "proving God": I guess, in effect, they're similar enough to be considered the same thing.}
Percy writes:
If you prove the Bible, you've done as much as most creationists feel necessary in proving God. Proving the Bible is just an intermediate step.
If I were one of a couple hundred scientists working to prove string theory (where by prove I of course mean find a successful test), and the steps to that proof are of the form A=>B=>...=>Y=>Z, and I'm working on the P=>Q portion, how am I not trying to prove string theory?
Does this logic still hold when you know you can't get to Z? To me, IDists see the process as A->Z, but with the Z part untestable and unprovable. In other words, they know it's an impossible step to make. If they know that from the start, isn't the goal of the process then just to go A->Y, and leave Z unproven (but believed in)?
Percy writes:
Bluejay writes:
Nothing in what you've said or quoted refutes my argument.
I know you're addressing Rrhain here, but he and I are making very similar arguments, so I can't help noting that Ray Martinez has said this many times.
Now, that's a little unfair: I argued for "proving the Bible" and he argued for "proving God." His support was a series of appeals to the Bible about the Flood: logically, it doesn't rule out my argument, so it doesn't refute anything.
Edited by Bluejay, : No reason given.

I'm Thylacosmilus.
Darwin loves you.

This message is a reply to:
 Message 39 by Percy, posted 04-27-2008 7:29 AM Percy has not replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 42 by Blue Jay, posted 04-29-2008 12:34 AM Blue Jay has not replied

Blue Jay
Member (Idle past 2807 days)
Posts: 2843
From: You couldn't pronounce it with your mouthparts
Joined: 02-04-2008


Message 42 of 100 (464748)
04-29-2008 12:34 AM
Reply to: Message 41 by Blue Jay
04-28-2008 1:08 PM


Nevermind. I'm officially dropping my argument: it isn't based on anything logical anyway. I think my Christian background was still seeing religion as something different... one of those things where formalizing it makes it sound so wrong, when in fact the formalization is quite accurate. At any rate, it doesn't do anything to derail Dr. Adequate's original point, with which I fully agree.
i still don't think the IDists are trying to take the science all the way, but I also see how that doesn't make a difference, so I'll back down.

I'm Thylacosmilus.
Darwin loves you.

This message is a reply to:
 Message 41 by Blue Jay, posted 04-28-2008 1:08 PM Blue Jay has not replied

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