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Everything posted by iCambrian

  1. You said we might disregard all history, but even regarding history we have things like artifacts and archaeology or paleontology and observation of records. These sciences and even history are built upon physical observation. Discovery of the round earth was also something that occurred through physical observation, only of, shadows of a setting sun. The reason you speak of, is reason dependent upon observation, hence the statement in which people say they have to see to believe. Champions of pure reason, without observation, are just as handicapped as those with observation and no sense of reason. However, observation is an integral part in establishing that sound reason, and sound reason integral in establishing right perspective of observation. Both are necessary in establishing truth. However, I will say that it is reason that inspires people to seek observation in confirmation of truth. But without that observation, we just have thoughts.
  2. None of these have been captures by our own senses. It is convenient for people to say...well it was a miracle that happened in the past, and there is no way i can demonstrate it.....but it happened! But there is just no way for me to confirm that...
  3. But it is also the senses that allowed us to determine that the earth is round, that the sun rotates around the earth, and that light refracts through various objects. Your position is self defeating.
  4. Well, I see it not as accepting or rejecting, rather the parts are always accepted, and it just comes down to personal perception. I do not, say, reject the story of Adam and Eve, rather I perceive it in a non literal way, and this is my choice, to accept this perception. And it is each individuals responsibility to advocate for themselves when judging these perceptions.
  5. I suppose it all depends on the person. But yes, if someone took a literalist approach and did believe that the many strories of scripture were all true in a black and white way, and they simultaneously were consistent in believing all things they viewed as miracles, then yes they would believe both in the literal story of Adam and Eve, and the literal story of the virgin birth.
  6. My thought to this is that, you have Saudi Arabia, with plenty of wealth built up from oil exports, and yet, here they are banning teaching of biological evolution in their schools. Im glad someone brought this up.
  7. Evolution and Islam

    @hoskot Many propose that God has had his hand in the process the whole time. It is not a scientific claim, but is also not the same as calling it "unconscious". And that God has created the process and used it in our development. As oppose to literally having a mans rib bone turn into a woman, or a man being made of soil.
  8. My parents actually went against their parents wishes. My grandparents were racist on both sides (and still are to some degree). My mom was exiled from her family and didn't speak with them for years and years. but in the end it was worth it, because it actually broke down a lot of racial barriers and united, previously divided people (40 years later they now all get along) And their choice actually is continuing to break down those barriers as i build my own interracial family/marriage.
  9. at the end of the day, religion is thrown out the window by people seeking to maintain cultural significance and "honor". i think the question comes down to independence. If both the man and woman are financially independent and if they plan well and seek consultation with a religious leader, then they can make it happen. but if the two are not independent, and say, the daughter is dependent on her family, then the daughter may face exile from her family, and be entirely dependent on the man. Which is a huge burden (unless you are relatively well off, financially). Then you have social drama and marital issues as a result of the conflict. it isn't impossible to do, but you just have to look at the interests of both people, and try to figure out what is truly best in the long run, for both. If I were not independent then I would become independent and move out, then you would have freedom to marry who you want. Or if it is the other person who is not independent, they would need to do the same.
  10. Personally, i wouldnt be too concerned about getting vaccines, if that is what you are asking @hoskot. I would be more concerned with things like second hand smoke, our diet, pesticides and herbicides, PFOA and PFOSs, contact with petroleum products, air quality, drinking water quality, coliforms, things like this....
  11. It appears as though there are two different...mercury compounds that are being discussed. https://www.cdc.gov/vaccinesafety/concerns/thimerosal/index.html https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23401210 https://archive.epa.gov/region5/teach/web/pdf/mercury_org_summary.pdf Looks like it is a contested topic, but ethylmercury appears to be less harmful, if at all, versus the more commonly known methylmercury. "Thimerosal, which contains mercury, has been used previously as a preservative in some vaccines. Currently nearly all childhood vaccines are free of thimerosal or contain trace amounts (1 μg or less of mercury) with the exception being inactivated influenza (flu) vaccine; limited amounts of preservative-free flu vaccine (containing trace amounts of thimerosal) are available" Methyl- and ethylmercury have been used previously as fungicides on seeds used for growing crops, but such use is currently cancelled in the U.S. and subject to severe regulatory restriction worldwide. Ethylmercury is a metabolite of thimerosal (ethyl (2-mercaptobenzoato-(2)-O,S), which is a mercury-containing chemical used as a preservative in some vaccines (1, 4, 5, 9-16). For ethylmercury, the exposure pathway of concern to child ren has been via vaccines; however, its use in pediatric vaccines is nearly completely phased out (10) Ethylmercury It has been suggested that there may be neurological effects of ethylmercury exposure from use of thimerosal in vaccines, though studies have reported conflicting results (21-26). Ethylmercury exposure from thimerosal in some vaccines has been associated, in some studies (27-33) and not others (34-40), with autism and other neurological disorders in children. Several scientific and public policy review committees carefully evaluated the data and concluded that there was not sufficient evidence of a link between autism and thimerosal in vaccines (10, 23, 24, 41). In fact, the Institute of Medicine’s 2004 evaluation included an even stronger statement that rejected the idea that thimerosal-containing vaccines cause autism, concluding that “...epidemiological evidence favors rejection of a causal relationship between thimerosal-containing vaccines and autism” (16, 24). Weighing available information with public health concerns, the American Academy of Pediatrics and the U.S. Public Health Service recommended that thimerosal be phased out of vaccines beginning in 1999 (23) (see Considerations for Decision-Makers in this Chemical Summary). Currently all routinely recommended vaccines for infants in the U.S. (except for inactivated influenza flu vaccines) are available as thimerosal-free preparations, or contain trace (very small) amounts of thimerosal (less than 1μg mercury/dose) (http://www.fda.gov/cber/vaccine/thimerosal.htm) (10).
  12. Evolution and Islam

    This is exactly it. And...Christians face a similar dilemma. To be fair, and to be logically consistent...its either an all in deal (all life, including humans, evolved in some way shape or form), or it is an all nothing deal (common descent as a whole is completely false). And, it is a tough spot to be in. And people do not want to be in this spot, so sometimes a blind eye is turned when discussing the evolution of people. In my opinion, all I can really do is, stand with what is apparent (what is confidently understood through science). And where there are discrepancies between that science and faith (or perhaps falsely perceived discrepancies), we have to be willing to say...ya know, there are some things that only God understands". We have reason to support a position of recognizing human evolution. And what comes beyond that, will be debated for a long time, and that's just the way it will be. We could only hope that, others are aware of why we stand with what is apparent, and we could only hope that they are willing to say "ya know, i see what you mean, I'm willing to look past this dispute and we can be brothers anyway". Because ultimately, what we believe in, likely isn't going to affect our ability to pay the bills or to be a good parent or friend etc. It's just a question of how "open minded" someone is, how well people will respond to the topic. Some people might agree, some people might disagree but might not care either way, and other people might both disagree and care a lot. So, we just have to be careful how we interact with people, when talking about controversial topics. We dont want to offend or hurt people, but simultaneously we should be clear in our position. Same with discussing other things like politics and other topics of religion.
  13. cool stuff, thanks. Its always interesting getting a glimpse, almost back in time. Now if only we could find a T rex, or something similar. Sometimes i feel like, horseshoe crabs are really cool, just because they resemble some of the earliest fossils that are known. Its cool just seeing its compound eyes in particular. Just like early trilobites.
  14. Ive heard a few studies now, coming out with the same line of thought. People are just sort of chasing the fossils i suppose, chasing them around back in time. I guess we will see, what comes of it. Finding fossils though in southern europe, may cause people to redirect the locations of their searches, which could result in more of the same sort of findings. thanks for sharing.
  15. @hoskot Missing links is desceptive in it's name. They are no more missing than baby pictures in a family album (can't have an infinite number of pictures for every second of life, and even if we did, there would be half-second "missing links" in the album). No matter how many fossils are found, opponents will continue to say "there are missing links". im not sure what the second part of your post is referring to but I'll take a look.
  16. Ha, just kidding... But, there is evidence for local, large floods. While the majority of change might occur through gradual deposition, erosion and orogenesis (among other processes), there is still room for floods, and evidence for floods. Even very large ones.
  17. Human evolution and common descent is just as much as an exact science, as the evolution and common descent of any other life form. And if we did find bones of that ancestor, we could very well not even know it, as there were likely many similar species like it, living in similar times. Right now, sahelanthropus seems to be championed as one of the oldest transitionals holding close relation to our shared ancestor. But 10 years from now, who knows what other fossils will be found that may give a more clear picture.
  18. The fact that you cannot challenge biological evolution on scientific grounds is because you are not able to (the war is already won). Next is the question of how you will react. Some bury their heads in the sands of denial, and try challenging science using their unscientific opinions. Others recognize reality and are able to progress by asking, ok, now that we are aware of it's reality, what is next? I have nothing to gain here, fortunately. Truth, has already won.
  19. This is pretty good right here^. Discussions of science, with regards to whether or not a theory is scientifically valid, needs to be held on scientific grounds. Otherwise the theory will be misunderstood.
  20. Its not so much what is confirmed, as it is, what is negated. With the story of Adam and Eve, the alternative of common descent is understood and accepted by many. While with the story of Christ, the alternative is, scientifically, unknown. Believing in the virgin birth would also call for faith in the unknown. And faith in miracles. If a person believes in one miracle, why not any and every miracle? If a person does not believe in miracles, why believe in any miracle at all? Why even believe in God? We all have to pick and choose what we are willing or comfortable believing, versus what we are not. Ultimately relying on some sort of faith based belief for all matters that are not understood.
  21. Nothing in scripture is objective. Because it is scripture. The only thing objective about scripture is that it is commonly written with ink on paper and bound in leather. It is not Jesus himself saying anything, it is simply writing of what someone believes he said. He may not have actually said X at all. In a literal sense, he didn't actually say anything being discussed here, as he did not speak english.
  22. This isnt objective, it is a belief.
  23. You wont be able to find a solution for a paradox that you have conjured in your own mind. Scripture is faith based. It is based on the flawed, written word of mankind, and interpreted through the further flawed minds of people. The only paradox anyone finds in scripture, are those we are willing to construct ourselves, in our own minds. Just the same, it is through our minds that we also find explanations for anything that might even remotely appear to be a paradox. But in the end, it is irrelevant without objective sources of information. The only solution is to step beyond the box of confined religious thinking and to recognize both truths and falsehood in mankinds attempts to discern our origins and purpose through mainstream religious thought.
  24. https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2017/09/170920182116.htm Coral bleaching. Credit: © Richard Carey / Fotolia In the past 540 million years, the Earth has endured five mass extinction events, each involving processes that upended the normal cycling of carbon through the atmosphere and oceans. These globally fatal perturbations in carbon each unfolded over thousands to millions of years, and are coincident with the widespread extermination of marine species around the world. The question for many scientists is whether the carbon cycle is now experiencing a significant jolt that could tip the planet toward a sixth mass extinction. In the modern era, carbon dioxide emissions have risen steadily since the 19th century, but deciphering whether this recent spike in carbon could lead to mass extinction has been challenging. That's mainly because it's difficult to relate ancient carbon anomalies, occurring over thousands to millions of years, to today's disruptions, which have taken place over just a little more than a century. Now Daniel Rothman, professor of geophysics in the MIT Department of Earth, Atmospheric and Planetary Sciences and co-director of MIT's Lorenz Center, has analyzed significant changes in the carbon cycle over the last 540 million years, including the five mass extinction events. He has identified "thresholds of catastrophe" in the carbon cycle that, if exceeded, would lead to an unstable environment, and ultimately, mass extinction. In a paper published in Science Advances, he proposes that mass extinction occurs if one of two thresholds are crossed: For changes in the carbon cycle that occur over long timescales, extinctions will follow if those changes occur at rates faster than global ecosystems can adapt. For carbon perturbations that take place over shorter timescales, the pace of carbon-cycle changes will not matter; instead, the size or magnitude of the change will determine the likelihood of an extinction event. Taking this reasoning forward in time, Rothman predicts that, given the recent rise in carbon dioxide emissions over a relatively short timescale, a sixth extinction will depend on whether a critical amount of carbon is added to the oceans. That amount, he calculates, is about 310 gigatons, which he estimates to be roughly equivalent to the amount of carbon that human activities will have added to the world's oceans by the year 2100. Does this mean that mass extinction will soon follow at the turn of the century? Rothman says it would take some time -- about 10,000 years -- for such ecological disasters to play out. However, he says that by 2100 the world may have tipped into "unknown territory." "This is not saying that disaster occurs the next day," Rothman says. "It's saying that, if left unchecked, the carbon cycle would move into a realm which would be no longer stable, and would behave in a way that would be difficult to predict. In the geologic past, this type of behavior is associated with mass extinction." History follows theory Rothman had previously done work on the end-Permian extinction, the most severe extinction in Earth's history, in which a massive pulse of carbon through the Earth's system was involved in wiping out more than 95 percent of marine species worldwide. Since then, conversations with colleagues spurred him to consider the likelihood of a sixth extinction, raising an essential question: "How can you really compare these great events in the geologic past, which occur over such vast timescales, to what's going on today, which is centuries at the longest?" Rothman says. "So I sat down one summer day and tried to think about how one might go about this systematically." He eventually derived a simple mathematical formula based on basic physical principles that relates the critical rate and magnitude of change in the carbon cycle to the timescale that separates fast from slow change. He hypothesized that this formula should predict whether mass extinction, or some other sort of global catastrophe, should occur. Rothman then asked whether history followed his hypothesis. By searching through hundreds of published geochemistry papers, he identified 31 events in the last 542 million years in which a significant change occurred in Earth's carbon cycle. For each event, including the five mass extinctions, Rothman noted the change in carbon, expressed in the geochemical record as a change in the relative abundance of two isotopes, carbon-12 and carbon-13. He also noted the duration of time over which the changes occurred. He then devised a mathematical transformation to convert these quantities into the total mass of carbon that was added to the oceans during each event. Finally, he plotted both the mass and timescale of each event. "It became evident that there was a characteristic rate of change that the system basically didn't like to go past," Rothman says. In other words, he observed a common threshold that most of the 31 events appeared to stay under. While these events involved significant changes in carbon, they were relatively benign -- not enough to destabilize the system toward catastrophe. In contrast, four of the five mass extinction events lay over the threshold, with the most severe end-Permian extinction being the farthest over the line. "Then it became a question of figuring out what it meant," Rothman says. A hidden leak Upon further analysis, Rothman found that the critical rate for catastrophe is related to a hidden process within the Earth's natural carbon cycle. The cycle is essentially a loop between photosynthesis and respiration. Normally, there is a "leak" in the cycle, in which a small amount of organic carbon sinks to the ocean bottom and, over time, is buried as sediment and sequestered from the rest of the carbon cycle. Rothman found that the critical rate was equivalent to the rate of excess production of carbon dioxide that would result from plugging the leak. Any additional carbon dioxide injected into the cycle could not be described by the loop itself. One or more other processes would instead have taken the carbon cycle into unstable territory. He then determined that the critical rate applies only beyond the timescale at which the marine carbon cycle can re-establish its equilibrium after it is disturbed. Today, this timescale is about 10,000 years. For much shorter events, the critical threshold is no longer tied to the rate at which carbon is added to the oceans but instead to the carbon's total mass. Both scenarios would leave an excess of carbon circulating through the oceans and atmosphere, likely resulting in global warming and ocean acidification. The century's the limit From the critical rate and the equilibrium timescale, Rothman calculated the critical mass of carbon for the modern day to be about 310 gigatons. He then compared his prediction to the total amount of carbon added to the Earth's oceans by the year 2100, as projected in the most recent report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. The IPCC projections consider four possible pathways for carbon dioxide emissions, ranging from one associated with stringent policies to limit carbon dioxide emissions, to another related to the high range of scenarios with no limitations. The best-case scenario projects that humans will add 300 gigatons of carbon to the oceans by 2100, while more than 500 gigatons will be added under the worst-case scenario, far exceeding the critical threshold. In all scenarios, Rothman shows that by 2100, the carbon cycle will either be close to or well beyond the threshold for catastrophe. "There should be ways of pulling back [emissions of carbon dioxide]," Rothman says. "But this work points out reasons why we need to be careful, and it gives more reasons for studying the past to inform the present."