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Christianity Vs. Evolution

Yes and no

Posted by Bahleda on 2007-05-11 01:49:28

-Pre-Flood Weather- Your reasoning seems to rely on the idea that polar ice caps are the cause of convection. This is completely false. Convection ovens certainly don’t require polar ice caps. When the sun heats the Earth’s surface, the heat is radiated into the air. The warm air expands, becoming less dense. The warm air rises by buoyancy. After rising, the air cools and contracts. It can’t sink through the rising air, so it moves horizontally and then sinks again. There are, of course, complications involved in real meteorology, but that is the basic process. No where in that process are polar ice caps necessary.

I’d also like to clear up the cause of rain. A cold front meeting a warm front is one way by which rain occurs, but it is by no means the only way. When air becomes oversaturated with water, small water droplets in the air condense, forming clouds. When air currents no longer prevent the water droplets from falling, you get precipitation. That’s another problem. If there is no precipitation but water evaporates, where does all the water vapor go?

-Soft Tissue Preservation- Now I see the problem. I assumed that when you said preserved, you meant fossilized. I have never heard of essentially fresh dinosaur tissue or blood ever being discovered. Can I have a source for that?

Topics that still need resolving – Tomorrow. Probably. I know this isn’t the first time I’ve said this, but I’ve been busy, and that would take a lot of reading. I don’t currently know hardly anything relating to the Earth’s magnetic field. I don’t know much more about the diamond issue, but do you have any sources?

Stu – I don’t want to push any extra subjects on you, but if you know much (or anything really) about the Earth’s magnetic field, you’d probably be able to handle this a lot more knowledgeably than me. If I remember correctly, you seemed to know a fair amount about it. Of course, if you have any objections, don’t worry about it.

Old wise man – When you have time, these topics still need resolving: Helium Diffusion – “Decay rates can indeed change. Nothing, however, can account for such drastic, widespread, and uniform change.”

Dendrochronology – “Dendrochronology is not exact, but it is not inaccurate. No trees have lived for millions of years to confirm long term dating, but radiocarbon dating is short term enough. Dendrochronology agrees with radiocarbon dating, radiocarbon dating agrees with some longer term dating method, etc.”

Tomorrow, I hope, will be a pretty good day to post. Take your time if you want, but if you address these points by early morning tomorrow (Pacific Standard Time), you are much more likely to get a prompt response than if you wait a day.

Posted by Stu2000 on 2007-05-11 08:36:12

QSOs - The only other objects which can be observed at very high redshift (z>5) are galaxies, so using QSOs in a survey is not particularly dubious. I wouldn't call the evidence that quasars are local rather than cosmological "a lot", the only instance I can find is NGC 7319. I've looked through the literature on NGC 7319 and can't find any credible mechanism for producing an intrinsic redshift of 6.4, which is the largest redshift measured from a QSO (comparable to the largest from a galaxy being 7).

The SDSS image is in units of "cz", and as I stated redshift has a complex relationship with distance and time. The inner regions are fairly dense, in keeping with the observed structure of galaxies nearby. The outer regions have a fairly sparse structure, which is predicted by theories of how galaxies evolved many thousand million years ago.

I definitely think that the Copernican Principle applies here - "humans are not privileged observers". Until we have a different vantage point in the universe, the simplest explanation is that we are not the centre of the universe - after all, the only evidence we have is consistent with the fact that we are not! And seen as the Earth is hardly exceptional, there's no reason to believe that this average star in an average galaxy is the centre of the universe. After all, why here? Why not somewhere in Andromeda? It seems extremely unlikely that random chance would place us on a planet which just happened to be the centre of the universe (much less likely than abiogenesis, for example).

The key problem with the Big Bang is that gravity as such didn't exist - all of space-time was contained in one singularity. All the fundamental forces were coupled, so applying traditional explanations tends to fail.

Quantum mechanics could account for initial variations in density, though I'm not sure at what length-scale these would be significant.

Dark matter is a fairly widely (though by no means universally) believed phenomenon. The rotation curves of galaxies do not match the observed matter distribution. Hence "dark matter" is some sort of matter which interacts gravitationally but does not reflect or emit enough light to be observed. When I did astronomy at university, there were "WIMPs" and "MACHOs" (Weakly-Interacting Massive Particles and MAssive Compact Halo Objects) which were the two main candidates for what dark matter actually was - either small particles which don't appear to be present in the standard model of particle physics (they're supposed to interact gravitationally and by the weak interaction, but not the strong), or massive astronomical objects (such as black holes or brown dwarfs).

The alternative explanation for galaxy rotation curves is that our theory of gravity is wrong - MOND (MOdified Newtonian Dynamics). Cosmologists and astrophysicists generally accept dark matter rather than MOND, and currently the data cannot distinguish between them. MOND is problematic for a few reasons - it is claimed it lacks physical justification, and it violates Occam's Razor. In theory MOND could be disproved in the near future by observations of gravitational lensing by dark matter.

So I wouldn't say that dark matter is due to incorrect maths. It is really just a lack of data leading to two competing theories. It is possible though unlikely that they could both be correct to some degree.

Dark energy is theorised to explain the expansion rate of the universe, two major theories being quintessence and the cosmological constant. We can tell the universe is expanding due to type Ia supernovae measurements. Dark energy is needed to reconcile the geometry of space-time with the total amount of matter in the universe. Large-scale structure theory implies that the observed matter density is correct, so there must be something else to make up the difference.

So to answer your question, there is a fair bit of evidence for dark matter, but a lot less for dark energy.

Elements - There's a reason all creationist models have a miraculous synthesis of elements - there's no physical way it could have occurred naturally! How did god create the elements? Any scientific theory should at least attempt to answer this question. Applying a supernatural explanation is unscientific, since there is no way to make the theory falsifiable.

Posted by the old wise man on 2007-05-15 01:54:31

Bahleda Pre-flood Weather- My reasoning mainly relies on the polar ice caps for the MAJORITY of the earth’s convection. Convection based on solar heating would only be a minor part in global weather. The southern oscillation is the main drive of the weather for the world, which itself is driven by atmospheric convection from the poles but is mainly driven by hydraulic convection in the oceans. This is the main drive for all the weather for the world. Thus if the ice caps were absent then the atmosphere would be in a state of relative equilibrium reducing the main cause for precipitation. When you talk about over saturation of the air causing rain, you must ask your self “where does the moisture come from”? The moisture comes from evaporation from the oceans which is a direct result of polar convection. If there was no polar convection but only minor solar convection then there would be far less movement of air over the oceans which inhibits the evaporation from oceans, thus less precipitation. Greater equilibrium between oceans and the atmosphere as a result of absent polar ice caps would tend to result in less evaporation from the oceans, thus less precipitation. Of course there would have still been moisture in the air, and this is how the dew and mist formed which is described in the Bible for the pre-flood weather.

Soft Tissue Preservation- This is the link that I had given when I first raised the issue. http://www.creationontheweb.com/content/view/3042/

Earth’s Magnetic Field- If I were you I wouldn’t bother delving into this topic, stu and I have discussed it at length and the facts remain the same; The earths magnet field is decaying, and it is NOT in the middle of a reversal. Neither stu nor I have seen any evidence to the contrary. The earth’s magnetic field is young!

Accelerated Nuclear Decay- At the moment there is no working model for how the rate of decay could change so drastically, but there is good evidence to suggest that it was drastically different in the past. I have always freely admitted that this is problem for the creation theory, but to get up on your high horse and criticize this fact but fail to acknowledge the numerous flaws in the evolutionary theory is nothing but infantile and irresponsible.

Radiocarbon dating is an unreliable dating technique. The obvious reason to question the technique is because it commonly produces dates that are clearly inconsistent with the uniformitarian view. It is far from trustworthy. http://www.creationontheweb.com/content/view/260

Posted by the old wise man on 2007-05-15 02:41:12

Stu QSOs- As far as I’m aware there isn’t any other proven mechanism for producing such a high red shift, but I’m sure you will admit that this doesn’t mean there is no mechanism. There is evidence that quasars lie close to active galaxies, and I don’t think that the current BB theory is strong enough to dismiss this new evidence ‘out of hand’.

The assumption that the universe is homologous is no more valid that the assumption that we are at the centre of the universe. I’m still not convinced that the ‘quantized red shift’ argument is invalid, and until it is proven invalid then it seems to be reasonable evidence for the centricity of our galaxy. If God created the universe, than the earth being at the centre is not random, but it is to be expected. And the earth IS a privileged planet, contrary to your claim. There is no other place in the known universe that is capable of sustaining life, there are numerous feature of this earth that makes it specialized for sustaining life.

Dark Matter- You state that there is a fare bit of evidence for dark matter, but nobody knows what dark matter is. Hypothetical particles are hardly evidence. What evidence is there?

Elemental Synthesis- There are models that deal with how God could have made the elements. To discount a theory of origins merely because you don’t like it is unscientific. If you are truly interested in our origins then any theory has to be open to scrutiny.

Posted by Stu2000 on 2007-05-18 08:27:10

"The earths magnet field ...is NOT in the middle of a reversal. Neither stu nor I have seen any evidence to the contrary." - I haven't seen any evidence that the Earth's magnetic field is NOT undergoing a reversal! And while you can create a theory that the Earth's magnetic field is young, it is equally possible to create one where it is not.

Could you explain why you think field reversals are rapid? As I'm fairly sure this is physically impossible from what I remember of basic physics.

I don't believe the evidence for quantised redshift is at all convincing, so while you may choose to believe it's evidence that our galaxy is at the centre of the universe, I don't think it's strong enough to counter all the other evidence for the Big Bang.

Evidence for Dark Matter includes Galactic rotation curves, the velocity dispersion of galaxies, missing matter in galaxies, and large-scale structure.

You might also be interested in: http://www.nasa.gov/home/hqnews/2006/aug/HQ_06297_CHANDRA_Dark_Matter.html - it appears that lensing by dark matter has already been observed.

So there is something there, which we call "dark matter". The fact that cosmologists don't know what it is doesn't invalidate the evidence for it's existence.

"discount a theory of origins merely because you don’t like it" - I don't discount it because I don't like it, but because supernatural causes are (by definition) unscientific (science is the investigation of the natural world).

Supernatural causes of elemental synthesis are a good example of Occam's Razor coming into play- why invent a supernatural entity when there it is not necessary to explain our observations of the universe?