Debate: Did Jesus rise from the dead?

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Re: Debate: Did Jesus rise from the dead?

Post by Glacier »

janalta wrote:Your attempt to compare people who may have respect for the work and research scientists do to religious worshippers is somewhat ridiculous.
As is calling scientific studies and theories sacred and holy.

Nice try though.

Scientism would probably be a more accurate term, which is really a misappropriation of science. By that I mean people apply the name "science" to areas outside of its domain (such as the metaphysical and philosophical). Worse yet, they demand that others also apply science to areas that it can't be applied by insisting such silliness as, "use science to prove god exists,'" or "use science to prove that such-and-such behavior is moral or immoral."
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Re: Debate: Did Jesus rise from the dead?

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*removed*
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Re: Debate: Did Jesus rise from the dead?

Post by Geckonidae »

cliffy1 wrote:Why are all these discussions on here always between the god botherers and the god deniers? Isn't there anybody of other faiths and spiritual paths around to bring in a different perspective?

I have approached this topic, in the past, with hundreds of people of many different religions and spiritual paths with the intention of finding the common denominators. I find the human experience fascinating and religion plays a big role in how many people experience life. What I discovered is that most people are basically saying the same things, just using different semantics. I tried, unsuccessfully to get people to see that so we could past all the "my god's better than your god" nonsense and realize that we are, at our very core, all brothers and sisters of the same mother and father. So I gave up.

It seems so silly to me that people are willing to defend to the death their beliefs and have no desire to see their neighbour as having a right to their own beliefs. Looks like humming being are doomed to self destruct in wars over semantics, but there you are.


It sounds like you tried unsuccessfully to start your own cult. Perhaps if you had claimed that you had been resurrected from the dead, some of those hundreds of people would have followed you. Or perhaps if you have the same discussion with hundreds of people and you can't find anyone to agree with you...you should take that as a hint.

What was the purpose of your off topic straw man argument? I'm not sure if you're trying to accuse me of wishing death on religious people, or if you just wanted to brag about how enlightened you are. Nobody in this discussion has said anything about not wanting anyone else to have a right to their own beliefs. As long as you aren't trying to change laws based on antiquated superstitions, I will defend your right to have those antiquated superstitions. I'm also fairly confident that nobody that I've debated here would wish death on me for being a filthy atheist.
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Re: Debate: Did Jesus rise from the dead?

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Glacier wrote:The ironic part about skeptics who poo-poo the idea of the supernatural because there's no evidence are the same people who get really upset when anyone questions their sacred theories of which there is also no evidence.


So, do you actually look at people like David Wood and Jonathan Wells as people with the right answers? David Wood, we've covered; he's a psychopath who is intelligent enough to sound convincing, nothing more. Jonathan Wells is another interesting character. Here is what he has to say about what motivated him through his education:

Jonathan Wells the crackpot guy in the Moonie cult wrote:Father's [Rev. Moon's] words, my studies, and my prayers convinced me that I should devote my life to destroying Darwinism, just as many of my fellow Unificationists had already devoted their lives to destroying Marxism. When Father chose me (along with about a dozen other seminary graduates) to enter a Ph.D. program in 1978, I welcomed the opportunity to prepare myself for battle.


Wow. He studied theology and then eventually biology to prepare himself for battle. I think the Wikipedia article does a nice job of summing up what the scientific community thinks of this guy:

A bunch of different contributors on Wikipedia wrote:Wells's statement and others like it are viewed by the scientific community as evidence that Wells lacks proper scientific objectivity and mischaracterizes evolution by ignoring and misrepresenting the evidence supporting it while pursuing an agenda promoting notions supporting his religious beliefs in its place


Science has no agenda. We use science as a way of discovering things about the universe that we inhabit. We use science to explain things, to invent things, and to find new questions that we don't have the answers to.

Back to your original comment, yes, I'm a skeptic who will reject claims of the supernatural for which there is no evidence. Plenty of supernatural claims have been proven to be hoaxes or just ignorant people engaged in wishful thinking. No supernatural claims have ever been proven to be true. And if you think it's wrong to "poo-poo" a supernatural claim without evidence, then tell me where you personally draw the line? If your neighbour knocks on your door and claims that they were visited by Jesus in the middle of the night, would you believe them without any evidence? What if they told you that their dog died, and after being buried in the back yard the dog came back from the dead and then said "I'm the canine messiah." Do you believe that with no evidence?

If society relied on supernatural claims without evidence, then your neighbour could claim that you used witchcraft to turn his wife into a frog, and you would be burned at the stake.

There's nothing sacred about the theory of evolution. It wouldn't be a theory if there were no evidence. If Jonathan Wells actually had any real evidence to contribute or anything of real substance to say, the scientific community would listen.

Where do you draw the line Glacier? Do you believe the resurrection myth? Do you believe that Sun Myung Moon was the Messiah and the Second Coming of Christ? Do you agree with what Jonathan Wells has to say about evolution and intelligent design?
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Re: Debate: Did Jesus rise from the dead?

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Geckonidae wrote:If Jonathan Wells actually had any real evidence to contribute or anything of real substance to say, the scientific community would listen.
That's not true, at least not on its own merit. The Canadian doctor from Shawnigan Lake, Frances Kelsey, who died last month at the age 101 was a heroine who stood up against the establishment.

Of course, when you're dealing with subjects where the consequences of being wrong are not as obvious as they were with thalidomide, few people change their opinions because it's much easier to get away with completely ignoring what they were saying, and instead focus on attacking the person's character. People did attack Frances Kelsey's character too, but she was vindicated when the birth defects became painfully obvious.
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Re: Debate: Did Jesus rise from the dead?

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Glacier wrote:That's not true, at least not on its own merit. The Canadian doctor from Shawnigan Lake, Frances Kelsey, who died last month at the age 101 was a heroine who stood up against the establishment.

Of course, when you're dealing with subjects where the consequences of being wrong are not as obvious as they were with thalidomide, few people change their opinions because it's much easier to get away with completely ignoring what they were saying, and instead focus on attacking the person's character. People did attack Frances Kelsey's character too, but she was vindicated when the birth defects became painfully obvious.


Just like Jonathan Wells, you misrepresent the facts. Dr. Kelsey was under pressure from the company that was trying to make money off the drug, true, but she wasn't the lone voice expressing concerns. Dr. Kelsey was concerned about the safety of the drug due to research and evidence from scientists in other countries. Evidence that the drug manufacturer was aware of, but was not required to present to the FDA. This was a case of greed on the part of the drug manufacturer, and lax laws that allowed these manufacturers to get drugs approved with little scrutiny. We're also talking about events that took place from 1960 to 1961. She looked at evidence, expressed concerns, delayed approval, more evidence emerged, and her concerns were validated. You make it sound like she had a lifelong battle with a scientific establishment that rejected her ideas.

If Jenny McCarthy decided to go through medical school and become a doctor, for the sole purpose of proving that vaccines cause autism, then you could compare her to Jonathan Wells. Don't insult Frances Kelsey by dragging her into this nonsense.

Why don't you get back to my questions to you. I'm really curious to know how you view paranormal claims without evidence. What do you believe, what don't you believe, and where do you draw the line?
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Re: Debate: Did Jesus rise from the dead?

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Re: Debate: Did Jesus rise from the dead?

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Geckonidae wrote:Just like Jonathan Wells, you misrepresent the facts. Dr. Kelsey was under pressure from the company that was trying to make money off the drug, true, but she wasn't the lone voice expressing concerns.

And you are totally misrepresenting what I was saying. I never said she was the lone voice, but the buck stopped with her. I could pick many examples were the experts were wrong. Not ALL experts, but the majority. The experts are usually right, but judging truth by what the majority is anti-science (see appeal to authority fallacy). It doesn't matter who is saying what. Instead, it matters what is being said.
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Re: Debate: Did Jesus rise from the dead?

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Geckonidae wrote:
Wow. He (Jonathan Wells) studied theology and then eventually biology to prepare himself for battle. I think the Wikipedia article does a nice job of summing up what the scientific community thinks of this guy:

His religious views, which you and I both would reject, cause you to completely dismiss anything else he has to say without considering it for a second. I actually found some of what he had to say quite interesting. He has two doctorates, how many do you have?
Geckonidae wrote:Science has no agenda.

You are hopelessly naive if you think this.
Geckonidae wrote:We use science as a way of discovering things about the universe that we inhabit. We use science to explain things, to invent things, and to find new questions that we don't have the answers to.

We could and we should and in an ideal world we would but unfortunately science costs lots of money and the funding has to come from somewhere, doesn't it? Enter the agenda.
Geckonidae wrote:....yes, I'm a skeptic who will reject claims of the supernatural for which there is no evidence. Plenty of supernatural claims have been proven to be hoaxes or just ignorant people engaged in wishful thinking

That's great be skeptical, but why be so selectively skeptical?
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Re: Debate: Did Jesus rise from the dead?

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OREZ wrote:why be so selectively skeptical?


I don't have time to bother with editing all the appropriate quotes in here...but I'll respond to your points in order.

I didn't start out rejecting what he was saying based on his religious views. I watched the video and saw someone who was spewing BS and twisting the facts to suit an agenda. So then I looked him up to see who he was and what his motivations were. No point in listening to him beyond that point.

OK, you tell me exactly how it is that science has an agenda. What about mathematics...is there an agenda there? There are certainly scientists with agendas, and there are politicians who use science to fit their agendas, but that's not really the same thing is it? The fact that science has to be funded doesn't mean that all science comes with an agenda. Think about all of the research grants that people mock because they seem like a waste of time and money. Countless scientists are studying things that have no impact on our lives...they just do it because there are questions to be answered, not to turn a profit or take over the world.

I'm not selectively skeptical, that's just your assumption. Someone pointed me to an article a while back that claimed to prove that Jesus never existed. I was skeptical of that right from the start, and sure enough the person who wrote that article was twisting the truth just as badly as someone who claims they can prove that Jesus really existed and was resurrected. If I read about some earth shattering new scientific breakthrough, I check to see if the research has been peer reviewed or duplicated before I get too excited about it. So no...I'm not only skeptical of religious or paranormal hocus pocus. I am less skeptical of information that comes from someone that I have established as a trustworthy source, and I've already explained how I establish whether someone is a trustworthy source.
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Re: Debate: Did Jesus rise from the dead?

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Glacier wrote:And you are totally misrepresenting what I was saying. I never said she was the lone voice, but the buck stopped with her. I could pick many examples were the experts were wrong. Not ALL experts, but the majority. The experts are not usually right, but judging truth by what the majority is anti-science (see appeal to authority fallacy). It doesn't matter who is saying what. Instead, it matters what is being said.


It absolutely does matter who the information is coming from. Look at all of the idiots who rally behind Jenny McCarthy and refuse to vaccinate their kids because they think it will give them autism. It was important to listen to Dr. Kelsey not because she was going against the grain, but because she was an objective scientist who had evidence that the drug company wanted to ignore. She wasn't going up against the experts...she WAS the expert.

Taking the word of experts who have actual evidence over some nutjob with an agenda doesn't fit the appeal to authority fallacy. If scientist A has evidence that contradicts what scientists B, C and D all believe to be true, and they ignore his evidence because they figure they can't all be wrong, that would be an appeal to authority. That certainly has happened, continues to happen, and probably always will happen. I'm not arguing that scientist don't make mistakes or that scientists don't sometimes fall prey to confirmation bias or group think, that does happen. Jonathan Wells seems to think that's what's happening with evolutionary science, but he isn't providing any real evidence to support his claims, and that is why he isn't worth listening to.

You still haven't answered any of my questions for you. I really want to know more about your beliefs in the paranormal. Again, going back to the beginning on this thread, the resurrection myth is just one of many ancient paranormal claims for which there is no credible evidence. How is that any different from modern claims of paranormal activities, monster sightings or alien abductions? Which ones do you accept without any evidence, where do you draw the line, and why?
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Re: Debate: Did Jesus rise from the dead?

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I usually don't like to respond to someone's entire post because it gets too large going back an forth. I will make an exception today...
Geckonidae wrote:It absolutely does matter who the information is coming from. Look at all of the idiots who rally behind Jenny McCarthy and refuse to vaccinate their kids because they think it will give them autism. It was important to listen to Dr. Kelsey not because she was going against the grain, but because she was an objective scientist who had evidence that the drug company wanted to ignore. She wasn't going up against the experts...she WAS the expert.

She was an expert. Othe experts (Canadian experts, European experts, Australian experts, etc.) didn't see through the B.S. to stop the approval. She did. She used her expertise to see through the B.S. but many other experts didn't see through it.

As for Jenny, the reason I don't agree with Jenny McCarthy is because her facts are wrong, not because she's not a scientist.

Geckonidae wrote:Taking the word of experts who have actual evidence over some nutjob with an agenda doesn't fit the appeal to authority fallacy. If scientist A has evidence that contradicts what scientists B, C and D all believe to be true, and they ignore his evidence because they figure they can't all be wrong, that would be an appeal to authority. That certainly has happened, continues to happen, and probably always will happen. I'm not arguing that scientist don't make mistakes or that scientists don't sometimes fall prey to confirmation bias or group think, that does happen. Jonathan Wells seems to think that's what's happening with evolutionary science, but he isn't providing any real evidence to support his claims, and that is why he isn't worth listening to.

Jonathan Wells didn't say that decent from modification wasn't true, but rather much of the supposed evidence is built upon suppositions, and thus lacks any of the evidence required to be considered "a fact." If his assertions are wrong in the video, why not set the record straight for us with some examples?

Geckonidae wrote:You still haven't answered any of my questions for you. I really want to know more about your beliefs in the paranormal. Again, going back to the beginning on this thread, the resurrection myth is just one of many ancient paranormal claims for which there is no credible evidence. How is that any different from modern claims of paranormal activities, monster sightings or alien abductions? Which ones do you accept without any evidence, where do you draw the line, and why?

I'm not an expert in the paranormal. My brother says that he came face to face with a Sasquatch once when he was working on a ranch. I told him that it was probably just his imagination or maybe a bear. He got really upset with me and said something like, "you were not there, and you did not see what I saw there, so don't tell me what I saw!"

He was right, and that's pretty much my philosophy with religious experiences. If someone says they encountered God, I'm not going to stand in their way, and tell them what they really experienced because I wasn't there. Now, some people are more reliable than others. Some people probably didn't see anything, but some people probably did.
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Re: Debate: Did Jesus rise from the dead?

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OREZ wrote:...I actually found some of what he had to say quite interesting. He has two doctorates, how many do you have?


This actually is an example of the appeal to authority fallacy. The fact that he has two doctorates doesn't count for squat if he chooses to purposefully misrepresent the evidence and ignore facts that don't agree with his point of view. The one thing that he's very honest about is the reason why he pursued his degrees...to wage war on "darwinism." He was never objective; he made his mind up before he ever stepped foot on a university campus. He was only looking for possible flaws in evolutionary theory, and because of his confirmation bias, he ignored all evidence that didn't support his views. He could have 10 degrees, and he would still be an untrustworthy and non-credible source of information. You probably find what he has to say interesting because of your own confirmation bias. It's the same reason why people watch a video by that idiot Joshua Feuerstein. He doesn't know what he's talking about, but he uses some big words, says things with such conviction, that people think "yeah, I knew I was right for not believing in all that science garbage, all them scientists are wrong about everything!" It's all just confirmation bias.

This is from a review of Wells' book, and it demonstrates exactly how he cherry picks his information, leaving out the important details that would completely wash away his arguments:

To see his argument at work, let's look at development, which Wells has referred to elsewhere as "the Achilles' heel of Darwinism". As Darwin first realized, some aspects of vertebrate development — especially transitory features — provide strong evidence for common ancestry and evolution. Embryos of different vertebrates tend to resemble one another in early stages, but diverge as development proceeds, with more closely related species diverging less widely. This conclusion has been supported by 150 years of research.

Wells tries to refute this mountain of work by noting that, in 1891, the German biologist Ernst Haeckel published illustrations of vertebrate embryos that exaggerated their similarity, and that some biology textbooks still display these doctored drawings. This embroidery, however, was first reported by the British zoologist Adam Sedgwick in 1894, and has repeatedly been used to show the failings not of darwinism, but of Haeckel (see, for example, Nature 410, 144; 2001).


Do you think Wells learned about the exaggerated drawings but did not learn that they were later discredited, or that evolutionary theory has never hinged on the validity of those particular drawings? Or is it more likely that he's just a fraud, lying on behalf of his Messiah, Sun Myung Moon.
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Re: Debate: Did Jesus rise from the dead?

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Glacier wrote:She was an expert. Othe experts (Canadian experts, European experts, Australian experts, etc.) didn't see through the B.S. to stop the approval. She did. She used her expertise to see through the B.S. but many other experts didn't see through it.

You were implying that the scientific establishment was against her, and that wasn't the case. I don't know why you're still going on with this. She wasn't the lone voice against mountains of evidence to the contrary, she was using research provided by some of those other scientists who had also had concerns. These countries all had terrible systems for approval drugs, relying only on the research that the drug companies chose to provide. There's nothing here to support your point.

Glacier wrote:As for Jenny, the reason I don't agree with Jenny McCarthy is because her facts are wrong, not because she's not a scientist.


Fantastic. Now I know what it takes for you to see that Jonathan Wells is someone you shouldn't agree with. I'll paste this from my last comment so you don't miss it:

To see his argument at work, let's look at development, which Wells has referred to elsewhere as "the Achilles' heel of Darwinism". As Darwin first realized, some aspects of vertebrate development — especially transitory features — provide strong evidence for common ancestry and evolution. Embryos of different vertebrates tend to resemble one another in early stages, but diverge as development proceeds, with more closely related species diverging less widely. This conclusion has been supported by 150 years of research.

Wells tries to refute this mountain of work by noting that, in 1891, the German biologist Ernst Haeckel published illustrations of vertebrate embryos that exaggerated their similarity, and that some biology textbooks still display these doctored drawings. This embroidery, however, was first reported by the British zoologist Adam Sedgwick in 1894, and has repeatedly been used to show the failings not of darwinism, but of Haeckel (see, for example, Nature 410, 144; 2001).


So there you have it. Wells is basing his arguments on the assumption that biologists rely on this exaggerated drawings to support their understanding of evolution. If Wells actually completed his studies, he would know that this is false. He is presenting this "Achilles heel of Darwinism as fact, and his facts are wrong. Now that you know that, you can stop agreeing with him.

You want more? http://ncse.com/creationism/analysis/10-answers-to-jonathan-wellss-10-questions

Glacier wrote:Jonathan Wells didn't say that decent from modification wasn't true, but rather much of the supposed evidence is built upon suppositions, and thus lacks any of the evidence required to be considered "a fact." If his assertions are wrong in the video, why not set the record straight for us with some examples?


See above. I don't think it would be difficult to debunk all of Well's arguments against evolution, but watching his entire video without going insane would be a challenge. Heck, if you really cared about the truth, you could probably debunk all of his arguments yourself with a bit of Googling.

Glacier wrote:I'm not an expert in the paranormal. My brother says that he came face to face with a Sasquatch once when he was working on a ranch. I told him that it was probably just his imagination or maybe a bear. He got really upset with me and said something like, "you were not there, and you did not see what I saw there, so don't tell me what I saw!"

He was right, and that's pretty much my philosophy with religious experiences. If someone says they encountered God, I'm not going to stand in their way, and tell them what they really experienced because I wasn't there. Now, some people are more reliable than others. Some people probably didn't see anything, but some people probably did.


Fair enough. To be honest, I was the same way right into my late teens. I firmly believed in alien abductions, Sasquatch, and most everything else from the Time Life, Mysteries of the Unknown books. Sometimes I miss all that magical thinking.
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Re: Debate: Did Jesus rise from the dead?

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Geckonidae wrote:You were implying that the scientific establishment was against her, and that wasn't the case. I don't know why you're still going on with this. She wasn't the lone voice against mountains of evidence to the contrary, she was using research provided by some of those other scientists who had also had concerns. These countries all had terrible systems for approval drugs, relying only on the research that the drug companies chose to provide. There's nothing here to support your point.


This was perhaps a bad example. I used it because it had just read the obituary 30 seconds before seeing this thread. You and I know there are of course better examples, but it does highlight the mechanism by which scientists can be duped, and in this case by pressure from Big Pharma (trust us it's safe) and progressives (if you support women's rights you'll approve it).

This is the same sort of reasoning Darwinists use to justify using the peppered moth as an example of evolution. Textbooks, darwinists, etc. say it shows an example of how evolution works when it's a very poor example because it merely highlights the "mechanism by which evolution could work."


Geckonidae wrote:Fantastic. Now I know what it takes for you to see that Jonathan Wells is someone you shouldn't agree with. I'll paste this from my last comment so you don't miss it:

To see his argument at work, let's look at development, which Wells has referred to elsewhere as "the Achilles' heel of Darwinism". As Darwin first realized, some aspects of vertebrate development — especially transitory features — provide strong evidence for common ancestry and evolution. Embryos of different vertebrates tend to resemble one another in early stages, but diverge as development proceeds, with more closely related species diverging less widely. This conclusion has been supported by 150 years of research.

Wells tries to refute this mountain of work by noting that, in 1891, the German biologist Ernst Haeckel published illustrations of vertebrate embryos that exaggerated their similarity, and that some biology textbooks still display these doctored drawings. This embroidery, however, was first reported by the British zoologist Adam Sedgwick in 1894, and has repeatedly been used to show the failings not of darwinism, but of Haeckel (see, for example, Nature 410, 144; 2001).


So there you have it. Wells is basing his arguments on the assumption that biologists rely on this exaggerated drawings to support their understanding of evolution. If Wells actually completed his studies, he would know that this is false. He is presenting this "Achilles heel of Darwinism as fact, and his facts are wrong. Now that you know that, you can stop agreeing with him.

He didn't say that biologists rely on these drawings, but rather that text books use them as proof of evolution.
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