PDA

View Full Version : Debating the Cause of Death & Aging



jce
06-04-2012, 05:08 PM
I decided to relocate this comment from the previous thread because I believe it is worthy of a much broader debate since death and it's cause is a central theme within the Bible. So, on to your comment about death.


It would be good if you could respond to my answer that death does not need an explanation of the kind given in the Bible. It necessarily follows from the fact that we are compound beings. The Biblical explanation makes no sense because death is a natural part of reality. It gives a false explanation of why we die.

Since you reject the Biblical reason for death, perhaps you could take some time to present a scientific reason as to why we age and die. I have already stated the very rational Biblical explanation.


Much peace to you my friend,

Richard

And as always to you too Richard,

John

Richard Amiel McGough
06-04-2012, 09:55 PM
I decided to relocate this comment from the previous thread because I believe it is worthy of a much broader debate since death and it's cause is a central theme within the Bible. So, on to your comment about death.

It would be good if you could respond to my answer that death does not need an explanation of the kind given in the Bible. It necessarily follows from the fact that we are compound beings. The Biblical explanation makes no sense because death is a natural part of reality. It gives a false explanation of why we die.
Since you reject the Biblical reason for death, perhaps you could take some time to present a scientific reason as to why we age and die. I have already stated the very rational Biblical explanation.

The Bible doesn't give any "reason" for death other than saying that God cursed us. What are we supposed to believe, that God changed our DNA so we would slowly grow old and ultimately die? Is there any reason to believe that? It doesn't give any explanation as to why people die if they fall off a cliff or get crushed under a rock.

The reasons for death are quite plain and obvious. First, death comes through many causes, not merely old age. Predation, disease, famine, accident. It is the natural consequence of being a compound organism. Your position implies that an ant wouldn't die if Adam accidentally stepped on it. That seems unjustifiable and absurd to me.

The scientific reasons for death are rather obvious. The cells of your body are constantly reproducing. But they don't reproduce perfectly, so the longer you live, the more chance there is that you will have a mutation that causes a disease like cancer, dementia, or whatever.

And there is an evolutionary explanation for aging. Natural selection acts only on genes that are vital for survival. That's why fish that have lived for many generations in dark caves lose their eyes. Detrimental random mutations are not selected against because there is no selection for sight in a dark cave. This has been documented. It is a scientific fact that has been observed in many species. Primates and humans have lost a lot of their ability to smell because their reliance on eyes reduced the selective pressure on the olfactory sense [link (http://genome.wellcome.ac.uk/doc_WTD020881.html)]. This may explain why we age. There is nothing to select for genes that make us live longer. We've already reproduced, and it's better for our offspring if we get out of the way before too long. It gives them a chance to reproduce and pass on their new, more fit genes.

jce
06-05-2012, 03:03 PM
The Bible doesn't give any "reason" for death other than saying that God cursed us. What are we supposed to believe, that God changed our DNA so we would slowly grow old and ultimately die? Is there any reason to believe that? It doesn't give any explanation as to why people die if they fall off a cliff or get crushed under a rock.

To recite the Biblical reason for death, it is the consequent sentence of the first man's act of disobedience, passed on to his subsequent generations.


The reasons for death are quite plain and obvious.

Yes, there are many causes of death. Can you cite why the body mechanisms fail apart from unproven theories?


Your position implies that an ant wouldn't die if Adam accidentally stepped on it. That seems unjustifiable and absurd to me.

You and I do not know the answer to that question because the world we've inherited is the only one we know. The Bible states that there is coming a time and place where there shall be no more death and dying, based on the reliability of that statement... there will be no dead ants.


The scientific reasons for death are rather obvious. The cells of your body are constantly reproducing. But they don't reproduce perfectly, so the longer you live, the more chance there is that you will have a mutation that causes a disease like cancer, dementia, or whatever.

This seems to be where we disconnect in the debate, so let me refocus it. Why don't the cells reproduce perfectly? Why are there mutations? What is the cause of the mutation?


And there is an evolutionary explanation for aging. Natural selection acts only on genes that are vital for survival. That's why fish that have lived for many generations in dark caves lose their eyes. Detrimental random mutations are not selected against because there is no selection for sight in a dark cave. This has been documented. It is a scientific fact that has been observed in many species. Primates and humans have lost a lot of their ability to smell because their reliance on eyes reduced the selective pressure on the olfactory sense [link (http://genome.wellcome.ac.uk/doc_WTD020881.html)]. This may explain why we age. There is nothing to select for genes that make us live longer. We've already reproduced, and it's better for our offspring if we get out of the way before too long. It gives them a chance to reproduce and pass on their new, more fit genes.

So the question still remains... Why do these all of these factors work against life?

Finally, to close, here's a quote from an article titled "What causes aging and death":

"As quoted in my course Is Eternal Youth a Possibility?* Consciousness Seeks Its Perfect Expression:* "Science cannot find any reason for aging and death to occur.* As an example, Ricklefs and Finch in their book, Aging: A Natural History state, 'Next to the miracle of life itself, aging and death are perhaps the greatest mysteries.'* In the book How and Why We Age, the famous Dr. Leonard Hayflick adds, "It is not obvious why aging and death should occur...we know of no good reason why aging should happen.'* Nobel Prize winner Dr. Alexis Carrel states, 'The cell is immortal.* It is merely the fluid in which it floats that degenerates...and so far as we now know, the pulsation of life may go on forever.'*

God's very best to you Richard.

John

Richard Amiel McGough
06-05-2012, 03:58 PM
To recite the Biblical reason for death, it is the consequent sentence of the first man's act of disobedience, passed on to his subsequent generations.

Like I said, the Bible doesn't given any reason for death of the kind that you are demanding from me. Science can tell us why we die. For example, we die when we get crushed by a rock because the rock destroys the integrity of the body. The Bible does not give any explanation like this, yet you demand such from me. You are being inconsistent. You have a double standard.



Yes, there are many causes of death. Can you cite why the body mechanisms fail apart from unproven theories?

I wish I could make you see how ironic it is for you to call science "unproven theories" even as you appeal to the Bible as absolute fact.



You and I do not know the answer to that question because the world we've inherited is the only one we know. The Bible states that there is coming a time and place where there shall be no more death and dying, based on the reliability of that statement... there will be no dead ants.

What reliability? The Bible has nothing like the evidence supporting science. Remember, you believe the Bible by faith without evidence, whereas science is based entirely on evidence that can be verified. Look around you! The proof is everywhere. TVs, computers, cars, planes, cell phones - they are all the product of those scientific theories you reject so glibly.



This seems to be where we disconnect in the debate, so let me refocus it. Why don't the cells reproduce perfectly? Why are there mutations? What is the cause of the mutation?

Cells don't reproduce perfectly because other forces interfere with the physical process. This is common knowledge that has been verified. We can induce mutations by exposing DNA to x-rays.



So the question still remains... Why do these all of these factors work against life?

They don't all work against life. On the contrary, natural selection is what drives the evolution of life constantly endowing the organisms with greater and greater adaptation to their environment.



Finally, to close, here's a quote from an article titled "What causes aging and death":

"As quoted in my course Is Eternal Youth a Possibility?* Consciousness Seeks Its Perfect Expression:* "Science cannot find any reason for aging and death to occur.* As an example, Ricklefs and Finch in their book, Aging: A Natural History state, 'Next to the miracle of life itself, aging and death are perhaps the greatest mysteries.'* In the book How and Why We Age, the famous Dr. Leonard Hayflick adds, "It is not obvious why aging and death should occur...we know of no good reason why aging should happen.'* Nobel Prize winner Dr. Alexis Carrel states, 'The cell is immortal.* It is merely the fluid in which it floats that degenerates...and so far as we now know, the pulsation of life may go on forever.'*

Those quotes come from http://www.sunwarriorblog.com. They are trying to hawk their super-foods to keep you young. They have a vested interest in selling their age-reversal products. Surely you could find a better source for scientific data! You don't know the context the quotes were taken from. You don't even know if they are accurate. They don't sound like they came from real scientists. Real scientists don't say things like "the cell is immortal" and they don't talk about "the pulsation of life." From a scientific point of view, there is no such thing as the "pulsation of life." That theory is called "vitalism" and there is no evidence supporting it at all.

Richard Amiel McGough
06-05-2012, 05:23 PM
Finally, to close, here's a quote from an article titled "What causes aging and death":

"As quoted in my course Is Eternal Youth a Possibility?* Consciousness Seeks Its Perfect Expression:* "Science cannot find any reason for aging and death to occur.* As an example, Ricklefs and Finch in their book, Aging: A Natural History state, 'Next to the miracle of life itself, aging and death are perhaps the greatest mysteries.'* In the book How and Why We Age, the famous Dr. Leonard Hayflick adds, "It is not obvious why aging and death should occur...we know of no good reason why aging should happen.'* Nobel Prize winner Dr. Alexis Carrel states, 'The cell is immortal.* It is merely the fluid in which it floats that degenerates...and so far as we now know, the pulsation of life may go on forever.'*

I decided to check out the source of the quote from Alexis Carrel. He was a doctor born in 1873. He didn't even know about DNA! This is so typical of folks trying to push wacky ideas. They quote "authorities" from long ago even when their claims have been shown to be fallacious. Here's what the wiki says (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alexis_Carrel)about his claims:


Carrel was also interested in the phenomenon of senescence, or aging. He claimed incorrectly that all cells continued to grow indefinitely, and this became a dominant view in the early 20th century.[13] Carrel started an experiment on January 17, 1912 where he placed tissue cultured from an embryonic chicken heart in a stoppered Pyrex flask of his own design.[14] He maintained the living culture for over 20 years with regular supplies of nutrient. This was longer than a chicken's normal lifespan. The experiment, which was conducted at the Rockefeller Institute for Medical Research, attracted considerable popular and scientific attention.

Carrel's experiment was never successfully replicated, and in the 1960s Leonard Hayflick and Paul Moorhead proposed that differentiated cells can only undergo a limited number of divisions before dying. This is known as the Hayflick limit, and is now a pillar of biology.[13]

It is not certain how Carrel obtained his anomalous results. Leonard Hayflick suggests that the daily feeding of nutrient was continually introducing new living cells to the alleged immortal culture.[15] J. A. Witkowski has argued that,[16] while "immortal" strains of visibly mutated cells have been obtained by other experimenters, a more likely explanation is deliberate introduction of new cells into the culture, possibly without Carrel's knowledge.[17]

Given that Hayflick was cited in both the quote you gave and the wiki article, I thought I should look him up too. Imagine my surprise when I found he was a vocal opponent of "life extension" - they very thing promoted by the people who quoted him!


Hayflick and his associates have vehemently condemned "anti-aging medicine" and criticized organizations such as the American Academy of Anti-Aging Medicine.[3] Hayflick has written numerous articles criticizing both the feasibility and desirability of human life extension,[4][5] which have provoked responses critical of his views.[6]

Talk about irony!

This is a pretty good reminder that you can't believe everything you read on the internet, eh? :winking0071:

David M
06-05-2012, 05:50 PM
Hello Richard and John

I recall reading something a while ago that suggested there is an ageing factor built into the bonding at the start and finish of the DNA molecule that is thought to govern the number of times the DNA molecule can replicate when cell division takes place. As cells die, new cells must be produced by cell division to produce the new cells needed. If replications of some cells can only occurr say 5 or 6 times I was interested to find out the average age of cells in the human body. The following is what I found as a guide.



How old is my body if the cells keep renewing themselves?
An Odd Body inventory

By Dr Stephen Juan • Get more from this author

Posted in Biology, 17th February 2007 09:02 GMT

About a century ago, scientists discovered that most of our brain cells formed during fetal development persist throughout life. But this discovery stimulated other scientists to discover the age of cells throughout the human body. If we look at the adult human body at age 40 from head to toe, the list goes something like this:

•Brain cells of the cerebral cortex (the grey matter) are with you from birth.
•Brain cells of the visual cortex (the array of cells in the front of the brain used for vision) are with you from birth.
•Brain cells of the cerebellum (the structures at the base of the brain) are slightly younger than you are.
•Intercostal muscle cells are about 15.1 years old.
•Gut lining cells are about 5 days old.
•Gut cells other than the lining are about 15.9 years old.
•Skin cells are about 14 days old.
•Red blood cells are about 120 days old.
•Bone cells are about 10 years old.
We do not know precisely the average ages of eye-lens cells, heart cells, liver cells, pancreas cells, fat cells, and bone marrow cells.

Whatever the true cause of why cells die and fail to replicate or replicate properly, the Bible reveals that God set the average of man. No man has lived more than 1000 years. Later, God reduced the average age. Gen 6:3 And the LORD said, My spirit shall not always strive with man, for that he also is flesh: yet his days shall be an hundred and twenty years. Later on the average age is 70 (three score and ten) as recorded in Psalm 90:10 The days of our years are threescore years and ten; and if by reason of strength they be fourscore years, yet is their strength labour and sorrow; for it is soon cut off, and we fly away.

70 years is a generally accepted average age, but only today I saw some news figures comparing ages going back fifty years and cpmparing to now. 50 years ago the average age of men was less than 70 and the average age today is around 78 and generally women live slightly longer than men although their age spans have varied over the years in line with the average of men. There are various life-factors as to why the average age varies according to the period in history a person lived. Whatever the factor that controls age, God knows what it is and can change it.

It does not really matter too much what the average is for God will change things again in the time to come. Exactly what an incorruptible body will consist of is speculation, but if a person is going to live for ever, then that will lead us to speculate all sorts of things that might happen to the body in the kingdom. Instead of speculating what might happen, I am prepared to wait and see, for this is not something that we need to know or worry about in our lifetime.

All the best,

David

CWH
06-05-2012, 06:54 PM
Hello Richard and John

I recall reading something a while ago that suggested there is an ageing factor built into the bonding at the start and finish of the DNA molecule that is thought to govern the number of times the DNA molecule can replicate when cell division takes place. As cells die, new cells must be produced by cell division to produce the new cells needed. If replications of some cells can only occurr say 5 or 6 times I was interested to find out the average age of cells in the human body. The following is what I found as a guide.




Whatever the true cause of why cells die and fail to replicate or replicate properly, the Bible reveals that God set the average of man. No man has lived more than 1000 years. Later, God reduced the average age. Gen 6:3 And the LORD said, My spirit shall not always strive with man, for that he also is flesh: yet his days shall be an hundred and twenty years. Later on the average age is 70 (three score and ten) as recorded in Psalm 90:10 The days of our years are threescore years and ten; and if by reason of strength they be fourscore years, yet is their strength labour and sorrow; for it is soon cut off, and we fly away.

70 years is a generally accepted average age, but only today I saw some news figures comparing ages going back fifty years and cpmparing to now. 50 years ago the average age of men was less than 70 and the average age today is around 78 and generally women live slightly longer than men although their age spans have varied over the years in line with the average of men. There are various life-factors as to why the average age varies according to the period in history a person lived. Whatever the factor that controls age, God knows what it is and can change it.

It does not really matter too much what the average is for God will change things again in the time to come. Exactly what an incorruptible body will consist of is speculation, but if a person is going to live for ever, then that will lead us to speculate all sorts of things that might happen to the body in the kingdom. Instead of speculating what might happen, I am prepared to wait and see, for this is not something that we need to know or worry about in our lifetime.

All the best,

David

Hi David,

Thanks for the interesting response and I agree with everything you have said. But why would God want to reduce the maximum age that man can lived to about 120 years and set the average lifespan at around 70? It also bring up the question that if man can remove the mechanism of aging or remove the mechanism which God set at maximum of 120 years, will we be able to live forever?

I believed that God reduce the maximum age from possible eternity (Adam's time before the fall) to less than 1,000 years (Patriarch time) and continues in a downward trend to a maximum 120 years was because of Man's evilness.

Genesis 6: 1When human beings began to increase in number on the earth and daughters were born to them, 2 the sons of God saw that the daughters of humans were beautiful, and they married any of them they chose. 3 Then the Lord said, “My Spirit will not contend with[a] humans forever, for they are mortal(i.e. corrupt); their days will be a hundred and twenty years.”

To allow Man in his evil state to live forever is tantamount to allowing evil to continue to grow forever. It's like allowing mosquitoes to live forever and spreading the diseases that they carry forever; reducing the lifespan of mosquitoes will reduce the possible harm and rate that these insects may spread their diseases. It's like cutting weeds or grass regularly so that they cannot overgrow in your garden. Only when Man become righteous, will God allow Man to live forever:

John 3:16, "For God gave His only Son that whosever believe in Him will never perish but will inherit eternal life".

Matthew 19:16 Just then a man came up to Jesus and asked, “Teacher, [B]what good thing must I do to get eternal life ?”

17 “Why do you ask me about what is good?” Jesus replied. “There is only One who is good. If you want to enter life, keep the commandments.”

18 “Which ones?” he inquired.

Jesus replied, “‘You shall not murder, you shall not commit adultery, you shall not steal, you shall not give false testimony, 19 honor your father and mother,’[c] and ‘love your neighbor as yourself.’[d]”

20 “All these I have kept,” the young man said. “What do I still lack?”

21 Jesus answered, “If you want to be perfect, go, sell your possessions and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me.”

May God allow us to live forever in His Kingdom. :pray:

Richard Amiel McGough
06-05-2012, 06:58 PM
Hello Richard and John

I recall reading something a while ago that suggested there is an ageing factor built into the bonding at the start and finish of the DNA molecule that is thought to govern the number of times the DNA molecule can replicate when cell division takes place. As cells die, new cells must be produced by cell division to produce the new cells needed. If replications of some cells can only occurr say 5 or 6 times I was interested to find out the average age of cells in the human body. The following is what I found as a guide.


Whatever the true cause of why cells die and fail to replicate or replicate properly, the Bible reveals that God set the average of man. No man has lived more than 1000 years. Later, God reduced the average age. Gen 6:3 And the LORD said, My spirit shall not always strive with man, for that he also is flesh: yet his days shall be an hundred and twenty years. Later on the average age is 70 (three score and ten) as recorded in Psalm 90:10 The days of our years are threescore years and ten; and if by reason of strength they be fourscore years, yet is their strength labour and sorrow; for it is soon cut off, and we fly away.

70 years is a generally accepted average age, but only today I saw some news figures comparing ages going back fifty years and cpmparing to now. 50 years ago the average age of men was less than 70 and the average age today is around 78 and generally women live slightly longer than men although their age spans have varied over the years in line with the average of men. There are various life-factors as to why the average age varies according to the period in history a person lived. Whatever the factor that controls age, God knows what it is and can change it.

It does not really matter too much what the average is for God will change things again in the time to come. Exactly what an incorruptible body will consist of is speculation, but if a person is going to live for ever, then that will lead us to speculate all sorts of things that might happen to the body in the kingdom. Instead of speculating what might happen, I am prepared to wait and see, for this is not something that we need to know or worry about in our lifetime.

All the best,

David
Hi David,

I'm glad you joined the conversation. That's very interesting info about the ages of different cells. One of the main areas of research is on telomeres (http://learn.genetics.utah.edu/content/begin/traits/telomeres/) which are found on the ends of chromosomes. They are thought to protect the chromosome. They become shorter with age so scientists think they might be the key to the aging process.

BTW - what do you think would have happened to an ant if Adam stepped on it prior to his sin?

Richard

CWH
06-05-2012, 07:17 PM
Hi David,

I'm glad you joined the conversation. That's very interesting info about the ages of different cells. One of the main areas of research is on telomeres (http://learn.genetics.utah.edu/content/begin/traits/telomeres/) which are found on the ends of chromosomes. They are thought to protect the chromosome. They become shorter with age so scientists think they might be the key to the aging process.

BTW - what do you think would have happened to an ant if Adam stepped on it prior to his sin?

Richard

You seems to be saying that by stepping on the ant, the ant would die? Is there anything impossible with God? Try stepping on a grass and the grass would grow again. Try cutting the tail of a lizard or the legs of a crab and they will grow again. What I am saying here is that God can resurrect the ant if He wanted to even if it is crushed to death. Is there anything impossible with God? So can God resurrect any human being even if he is crushed to death....or are you saying that if a man is crushed to death and his spirit will go to heaven to live forever in the crushed state?


God Blessings to all.

Richard Amiel McGough
06-05-2012, 07:52 PM
You seems to be saying that by stepping on the ant, the ant would die? Is there anything impossible with God? Try stepping on a grass and the grass would grow again. Try cutting the tail of a lizard or the legs of a crab and they will grow again. What I am saying here is that God can resurrect the ant if He wanted to even if it is crushed to death. Is there anything impossible with God? So can God resurrect any human being even if he is crushed to death....or are you saying that if a man is crushed to death and his spirit will go to heaven to live forever in the crushed state?


God Blessings to all.
Hi Cheow,

I think you missed the point about the ant. We are not asking of God could resurrect the ant. We are asking if the ant would die or not. The point is that many Christians believe there was no death before Adam sinned. Do you think there was death before Adam sinned?

Another problem with the idea that there was no death before Adam sinned is that the world would have been three feet deep in insects if they never died.

All the best,

Richard

CWH
06-05-2012, 08:24 PM
Hi Cheow,

I think you missed the point about the ant. We are not asking of God could resurrect the ant. We are asking if the ant would die or not. The point is that many Christians believe there was no death before Adam sinned. Do you think there was death before Adam sinned?

Another problem with the idea that there was no death before Adam sinned is that the world would have been three feet deep in insects if they never died.

All the best,

Richard
Thanks for the clarification RAM, I do not believe that humans and animals before the fall lived forever. This is based on the the following deductions.

1.Evidence from archeology which dated millions of years proved that animals do not lived eternally or for a very long time.
2. Why put the Tree of Life in the Garden of Eden for people to ate its fruit and live forever if people and animals were already living eternal life?
3. Eternal life is warranted for humans due to human's intelligence and technological abilities but not for animals. Animals for eternal life...what for?
4. Man was made in God's image; animals were not made in God's image and as such Man should inherit eternal life just like God and not animals.
5. God did not test the animals but humans (Adam and Eve) to eat the forbidden fruit. The test would determine if humans could live forever or not. If God have tested the animals then all or most animals that we see on earth would have lived forever since they did not partake the Forbidden fruit.

God Blessings, Peace and Grace for all.:pray:

Richard Amiel McGough
06-05-2012, 11:08 PM
Thanks for the clarification RAM, I do not believe that humans and animals before the fall lived forever. This is based on the the following deductions.

1.Evidence from archeology which dated millions of years proved that animals do not lived eternally or for a very long time.
2. Why put the Tree of Life in the Garden of Eden for people to ate its fruit and live forever if people and animals were already living eternal life?
3. Eternal life is warranted for humans due to human's intelligence and technological abilities but not for animals. Animals for eternal life...what for?
4. Man was made in God's image; animals were not made in God's image and as such Man should inherit eternal life just like God and not animals.
5. God did not test the animals but humans (Adam and Eve) to eat the forbidden fruit. The test would determine if humans could live forever or not. If God have tested the animals then all or most animals that we see on earth would have lived forever since they did not partake the Forbidden fruit.

God Blessings, Peace and Grace for all.:pray:
Point #1 - I agree completely. We have incontrovertible evidence that animals have been living and dying for millions of years. :thumb:

Point #2 - what would have stopped the animals from eating the fruit of the Tree of Life? God didn't stop Adam and Eve, and there is no indication that he stopped the animals.

Point #3: Why not?

Point #4: If we start using our own reasoning about what should and should not be, why not reject the Bible story?.

Point #5: ???

jce
06-06-2012, 12:16 AM
I wish I could make you see how ironic it is for you to call science "unproven theories" even as you appeal to the Bible as absolute fact.

Here are more quotes: http://longevity.about.com/od/researchandmedicine/p/age_programmed.htm

"There is really no reason that the human body should "wear out" as long as it can repair and renew itself. Something other than time must be at play to cause the inevitable effects of aging. The programmed theory of aging believes that aging and death are necessary parts of evolution, not of biology."

Scientific American: http://www.scientificamerican.com/article.cfm?id=concluding-remarks

"What medical science can tell us is that because aging and death are not programmed into our genes..."

"Although genes certainly influence longevity determination, the processes of aging are not genetically programmed."

Theories on the aging process: http://www.senescence.info/aging_theories.html

"Over the years, many theories have emerged to explain what process or mechanism drives aging... That is why, at present, no consensus exists over what causes aging,"

"Aging is a largely mysterious process."

"Unfortunately, the inevitable conclusion of this section is that the jury is still out regarding mechanisms of aging."

Psychology Today: http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/adventures-in-old-age/200903/problem-darwin-why-do-we-age-and-die-rather-live-forever

"Yet aging presents an apparent paradox for evolutionary theory."

"How does it happen that, after having accomplished the miraculous success that led us from a single cell at conception through birth and then to sexual maturity and productive adulthood...the developmental program formed by biological evolution fails even to maintain the accomplishments of its own work?"

"Unfortunately, the programmed theory of death—that death has a competitive advantage for a species if not an individual—does not seem to have empirical support."

"For science, aging is actually a new phenomenon that is—so to speak—in its infancy."

Clinical Correlations: http://www.clinicalcorrelations.org/?p=2254

"So why do we senesce and die? Proximate answers about mechanisms are emerging but remain controversial."

Physio-Pedia: http://www.physio-pedia.com/Theories_of_Aging

"The mechanism of the actual ageing process remains elusive."

The point of these quotations is to point out that the reason we age and die, as explained by science is a THEORY, not scientific FACT. Death is an appointed sentence as understood by those with faith in the Bible. Biological or evolutionary programming for death is a Theory in which you must place your faith. Either the curse has altered the immorality of man or evolution. Either way, it's a matter of faith.

I have no quarrel with you Richard over this topic, I just feel it is important to understand that this coin also has two sides. There is something at work here that science has not fully answered.

May God's Grace and Favor be upon you Richard!

John

Richard Amiel McGough
06-06-2012, 01:49 PM
The point of these quotations is to point out that the reason we age and die, as explained by science is a THEORY, not scientific FACT. Death is an appointed sentence as understood by those with faith in the Bible. Biological or evolutionary programming for death is a Theory in which you must place your faith. Either the curse has altered the immorality of man or evolution. Either way, it's a matter of faith.

I have no quarrel with you Richard over this topic, I just feel it is important to understand that this coin also has two sides. There is something at work here that science has not fully answered.

Hi John,

Yes, the science explaining the precise mechanisms and reasons for aging is still in its infancy. This isn't surprising since we've only known about DNA for a little over 50 years. But aging is only one aspect of the question. We have a lot of solid scientific answers for the primary question of why organisms die. Disease, famine, predation, accident, etc. It is this that contradicts the Biblical account that all death is due to God's curse. That's why I asked about Adam squishing an ant.

I think it is important to clarify the meaning of the word "theory" in science. It does not mean "unsupported hypothesis." In science, the word "theory" denotes an integrated body of knowledge supported by evidence that explains and predicts FACTS. For example, the "Theory of Gravity" explains the FACT of gravity and makes predictions that enable us to send a rocket to the moon. If the theory did not correspond to observable reality, it would be abandoned.

This is why it is wrong to suggest that there is some sort of equivalence between faith in the Bible and "faith" in scientific theories. Scientific theories are based on facts that can be tested. If they fail the test, they are rejected. Your faith in the Bible is not like that at all. There is no fact that would cause you to reject it. And worse, there is no way to verify most of the things you believe it says. Your beliefs are based on your own fallible interpretation of words written thousands of years ago in languages that you don't understand and you have no way to objectively verify that your interpretation is correct. Case in point, Christians have strongly differed on the meaning of death and whether it existed before Adam sinned. There are four primary views:

1) There was no death of any kind (including plants).
2) There was no death of animals (including humans)
3) There was no death of humans (though plants and animals died)
4) The "death" that came from the curse was "spiritual" death, not physical.

Each of these four interpretations have Christian advocates who passionately believe they have the true interpretation. There is no way to objectively verify which is correct because there are no experiments that could settle the issue. There is nothing but speculation and wrangling over words. This is why the Bible remains an obscure book that people can argue about "till kingdom come." The argument has continued for 2000 years because there is no test to discern between the true and the false. It is utterly fallacious to compare it in any way with the scientific method and scientific theories.



May God's Grace and Favor be upon you Richard!

John
Thank you for your kind words. It is a joy to be exploring these issues with you.

All the very best to you and yours,

Richard

jce
06-06-2012, 01:58 PM
To allow Man in his evil state to live forever is tantamount to allowing evil to continue to grow forever. It's like allowing mosquitoes to live forever and spreading the diseases that they carry forever; reducing the lifespan of mosquitoes will reduce the possible harm and rate that these insects may spread their diseases. It's like cutting weeds or grass regularly so that they cannot overgrow in your garden. Only when Man become righteous, will God allow Man to live forever:

May God allow us to live forever in His Kingdom. :pray:

Hello Cheow

Glad you joined in! I had thought some time ago wondering what the world would be like today if man was immortal in his fallen state. Think just for a moment about the accumulation of wealth. Everything in the world would be under the control of a handful of men and the majority would be subject to the old adage, "Power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely". Even in these short lifespans we see an inequitable distribution of resources. Add to that the standing room only population impact on the land and you quickly find that such circumstances would have required the human race to colonize the universe.

I once created a spreadsheet calculating population growth from Adam to the flood (less than 2,000 years based on Biblical chronology). I can't remember all the details but I think the exponential population result quickly became overwhelming (in the 5-10 billion range). Imagine the bloodshed during that time when the imagination of mens hearts were evil continually!

All of these issues had to have been in God's calculated plan from the foundation of the world and all the adjustments He has made in order to guide the human race along its course over the last 4,000 years. I can understand why He needed to bind Himself to a people group to nurture and shield from the surrounding evil influences in order to maintain some level of control until the time of Christ.

I find all of these scenarios very intriguing.

God Bless you Cheow and hold fast to your precious Faith in Christ!

John

Richard Amiel McGough
06-06-2012, 04:31 PM
... the old adage, "Power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely".
A syllogism based on that as the Major Premise occurred to me the other day:

Major Premise: Power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely.

Minor Premise: God has absolute power.

Conclusion: ???

David M
06-06-2012, 05:35 PM
Hello Richard and all

First of all to answer Richard's question to me about Adam stepping on an ant. First of all, my answers are my own reasoning and not answers that have been given to us by God through His revealed word.

To my mind there is nothing to say plants and animals did not die a natural death before the fall of Adam. Adam's sin had not connection to the animals and plants.

The Genesis story of Adam and Eve is not an elaborate story and if anything the story is economical with words. The fruit of the Tree of Life probably had no eternal life-giving properties and had Adam eaten of that tree instead of the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil, God would have continued to keep Adam alive. We can simply liken this to the brass serpent which the people in the wilderness (after the exodus from Egypt) had to look at if they were bitten by a snake. They died if they did not believe sufficiently to go and look at the serpent. It was not any property of the brass serpent that saved them. However, since the Tree of Life was introduced in the story, it follows on that God could not let Adam have access to that tree as the scripture explains. Gen 3:22 And the LORD God said, Behold, the man is become as one of us, to know good and evil: and now, lest he put forth his hand, and take also of the tree of life, and eat, and live for ever: 23 Therefore the LORD God sent him forth from the garden of Eden, to till the ground from whence he was taken. 24 So he drove out the man; and he placed at the east of the garden of Eden Cherubims, and a flaming sword which turned every way, to keep the way of the tree of life.



Can the life of a plant be compared with the life of a human? The same can be asked about insects such as the ant? We have to then define what we mean by life. God's design includes recycling and we have to take in to account the food chain.

Consider the growth of a fruit tree. As the tree grows, leaves fall off and a branch grows from where the leaf was. Has the leaf died or was that an intended part of the growing process? As trees grow, the roots draw up minerals from deep below the surface and the leaves then fall down to the surface where the minerals are deposited on the surface on which other plants feed as the nutrients from the leaves go back into the soil. Does a caterpillar die when through metamorphosis it becomes a butterfly?

Adam was told he could eat of all the fruit of the trees except from that one tree. Does an apple die when it is picked and eaten or when it falls from the tree? I consider the process to be just a recycling process and necessary as part of the food chain supporting life which has to reproduce to replace those plants, insects and animals that die. So, if by time and chance, Adam stepped on an ant, that and would have been crushed and it would have been recycled earlier than if it had lasted its predetermined life span.

Birds eat worms and insects. Fish eat plankton and large fish eat smaller fish, this is all part of God's plan for plants and animals to reproduce and recycle. Do plants and animals appreciate what is happening? Do plants and animals understand the concept of beauty or is it only humans that can appreciate beauty in the same way that God meant after He had created things and then described them as very good?

Whereas some animals are carnivorous this could change in the kingdom to come. An indication of this is given in Isaiah 11:7 And the cow and the bear shall feed; their young ones shall lie down together: and the lion shall eat straw like the ox.

God is offering humans eternal life. This has not been offered to anything else as far as I can tell. Therefore, death or recycling is intended by God in this present creation and there is nothing to say this will not continue in the kingdom for plants and animals and insects etc. For eternity, those given eternal life can appreciate the beauty of plants and animals continuing the recycling process in the age to come. If this was not the case, then God could make a world full of plastic flowers that would not die and would always look the same, but then what plastic exposed to the sun will last for eternity? As it is, the way God has designed things, we humans can appreciate the continually changing scenery as the seasons come and go. Just as God cause the shoes not to wear out in the wilderness journey of the Israelites, this demonstrated God's continual restoration. God has declared that He will make all things new. If God has said He will give faithful men and women eternal life we simply have to accept that fact and do not have to ask God how can He do this. If the sun has a limited life (all be it billions of years), God will have to continually restore the sun so that it can never cease. This is the sustaining power of God at work that will continue throughout eternity. Hence the aging of God's Creation is of no worry to God, for He has everything under control and will restore things for as long as necessary, even unto eternity.

All the best,

David

David M
06-06-2012, 06:01 PM
A syllogism based on that as the Major Premise occurred to me the other day:

Major Premise: Power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely.

Minor Premise: God has absolute power.

Conclusion: ???

Hello Richard

I can see what your ???? are leading to, but we are talking about power corrupting people. God is not in the same class as people. Therefore, the phrase has no meaning in the context of God.
Man's power is not the same as God's power, so no conclusion can be drawn, because a like comparison is not being made.

All the best,

David

jce
06-06-2012, 06:11 PM
Hello Richard and all

The Genesis story of Adam and Eve is not an elaborate story and if anything the story is economical with words.... God has declared that He will make all things new. If God has said He will give faithful men and women eternal life we simply have to accept that fact and do not have to ask God how can He do this. If the sun has a limited life (all be it billions of years), God will have to continually restore the sun so that it can never cease. This is the sustaining power of God at work that will continue throughout eternity. Hence the aging of God's Creation is of no worry to God, for He has everything under control and will restore things for as long as necessary, even unto eternity.

All the best,

David

Well stated David. And just to link another thought, Scripture states there will be no need for the sun as He shall be its Light.

Blessings to you!

John

jce
06-06-2012, 06:28 PM
A syllogism based on that as the Major Premise occurred to me the other day:

Major Premise: Power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely.

Minor Premise: God has absolute power.

Conclusion: ???

Premise not applicable to God as the phrase was contrived by corrupt men in characterization of corrupt men. The Bible defines the human race as corrupted whether powerful or powerless. It's just that the former enables man to accomplish greater ill. Not to imply that history is wanton of corrupt rulers governing with fairness, they are just few and far between.

As usual Richard my friend, thanks for keeping all of us on our toes.

John

jce
06-06-2012, 07:44 PM
I wish I could make you see how ironic it is for you to call science "unproven theories" even as you appeal to the Bible as absolute fact.

This isolated sentence strikes at the heart of the debate between the scientist's faith in science to provide ultimate answers and the christian's faith in the Word of God to provide ultimate answers.

It's not that all scientists have cast away their faith in the Bible nor have all christians cast off their faith in science even though this tension exists between the two. On one hand, the christian scientist seems willing to accept the apparent contradictions between Scripture and Science being confident that God's Wisdom will eventually prevail in reconciliation of those differences.

On the other hand, the unbelieving scientist seems willing to abandon Scripture, choosing rather to accept that the unification of the two is impossibly beyond human reason.

The significance between these two approaches seems to be that for the christian scientist, the Bible answers the central questions of origin, purpose, morality and destiny, whereas for the unbelieving scientist, only the peripheral questions are answered. Evolution, random selection, mutation and chance seem destined to make such answers, eternally elusive.

At least, this is how it is for me.

Richard, I truly appreciate that we can exchange thoughts on what appears to be a never ending dialog on the topic. The good news for the believer of course is that one day, this debate will be resolved to his eternal satisfaction.

Your friend,

John

Rose
06-06-2012, 08:08 PM
Premise not applicable to God as the phrase was contrived by corrupt men in characterization of corrupt men. The Bible defines the human race as corrupted whether powerful or powerless. It's just that the former enables man to accomplish greater ill. Not to imply that history is wanton of corrupt rulers governing with fairness, they are just few and far between.

As usual Richard my friend, thanks for keeping all of us on our toes.

John

Hi John :yo:

The premise is totally applicable to god, because the only god that man can know is the one who is contrived and perceived through mans intellect. Man has no other way to conceive of god except through his own senses coming from his own mind, that is why the biblegod is identical to tribal warriors of the time period. Just think of it, how can any of us know anything except what is perceived through our own senses, so our perception of god is no different...kind of makes you stop and wonder.

All the best,
Rose

jce
06-06-2012, 08:54 PM
Hi John :yo:

The premise is totally applicable to god, because the only god that man can know is the one who is contrived and perceived through mans intellect. Man has no other way to conceive of god except through his own senses coming from his own mind, that is why the biblegod is identical to tribal warriors of the time period. Just think of it, how can any of us know anything except what is perceived through our own senses, so our perception of god is no different...kind of makes you stop and wonder.

All the best,
Rose

Thank-you Rose for your comment.

I perceive my Creator through a spiritual dimension and He has been a Faithful and True Witness to me for 39 years. He has provided me with evidences of His presence and gracious answers to many of my petitions. In addition, I have seen first hand, other lives transformed by His power. If these are delusions to you, they are nonetheless, testimonies of certainty to me.

May God reveal Himself to you in a meaningful way.

Your friend,

John

Rose
06-06-2012, 10:19 PM
Thank-you Rose for your comment.

I perceive my Creator through a spiritual dimension and He has been a Faithful and True Witness to me for 39 years. He has provided me with evidences of His presence and gracious answers to many of my petitions. In addition, I have seen first hand, other lives transformed by His power. If these are delusions to you, they are nonetheless, testimonies of certainty to me.

May God reveal Himself to you in a meaningful way.

Your friend,

John

Believe me John I know how you feel, I was there for almost 30 years...I knew, that I knew, that I knew, the biblegod was real and no one could have told me otherwise. Through all my years as a Christian it was only my intuition that I attributed to god, because all the other thoughts that would come to mind I had no way of discerning which were my own thoughts from what was suppose to be gods. I know now that everything I perceive has to be filtered through my own senses and intellect and the things that I perceived to be from god would mean something totally different to someone else.

Each of us forms our own meaningful image of god through the things we are told from the society we live in and what read, and are taught from the Bible. This is the reason there are so many doctrines and interpretations...everyone perceives god a little differently than the next person. We are all creators of our own god formed in our own image.

Take care,
Rose

Richard Amiel McGough
06-06-2012, 10:43 PM
This isolated sentence strikes at the heart of the debate between the scientist's faith in science to provide ultimate answers and the christian's faith in the Word of God to provide ultimate answers.

It is not accurate to speak of a "scientist's faith in science" as if it were of the same class as a believer's faith in the Bible. There is a world of difference between the two. Scientists base their conclusions of verifiable facts. You base your beliefs on your own fallible interpretations of mere words written in a book. There is no way to verify that those words or your interpretations are correct. There is no way to verify even that the Bible is the Word of God in the sense that you take it.

And there is no reason to think that science will provide "ultimate answers." Questions about "ultimate" things are philosophical, not scientific. And besides, the Bible does not really give any "ultimate answers" anyway. Just think of how many questions Christians are forced to answer with "God's ways are higher than our ways" or to borrow a phrase from your post, the "good news for the believer is that one day this debate will be resolved to his eternal satisfaction." In other words, you have admitted that the Bible does not give us answers to many of the "ultimate" questions." This is common knowledge amongst all who have debated the Bible. The Bible fails to answer many, if not most, of the "ultimate questions." That's my critique of the book of Job. All God did was tell him to shut up because he was an ignorant human. He did not give him any answers at all.

It would be good if you addressed the points I raised. Here they are again:


This is why it is wrong to suggest that there is some sort of equivalence between faith in the Bible and "faith" in scientific theories. Scientific theories are based on facts that can be tested. If they fail the test, they are rejected. Your faith in the Bible is not like that at all. There is no fact that would cause you to reject it. And worse, there is no way to verify most of the things you believe it says. Your beliefs are based on your own fallible interpretation of words written thousands of years ago in languages that you don't understand and you have no way to objectively verify that your interpretation is correct. Case in point, Christians have strongly differed on the meaning of death and whether it existed before Adam sinned. There are four primary views:

1) There was no death of any kind (including plants).
2) There was no death of animals (including humans)
3) There was no death of humans (though plants and animals died)
4) The "death" that came from the curse was "spiritual" death, not physical.

Each of these four interpretations have Christian advocates who passionately believe they have the true interpretation. There is no way to objectively verify which is correct because there are no experiments that could settle the issue. There is nothing but speculation and wrangling over words. This is why the Bible remains an obscure book that people can argue about "till kingdom come." The argument has continued for 2000 years because there is no test to discern between the true and the false. It is utterly fallacious to compare it in any way with the scientific method and scientific theories.
You posted a long list of conflicting scientific opinions about the reason for death as if that was supposed to prove that only the Bible could give us "certainty." That's why I showed that the Bible is subject to just as much, if not more, contrary opinions. The Bible gives no certainty about anything because the book must be interpreted by fallible humans. Only science gives us the hope of actually settling such issues with objectively verifiable facts. Look around you. TVs, cars, computers, cell phones, rockets to the moon. All those things are proof of science. The Bible has no support like that at all.

Again, it would be very good if you addressed the issues I raised above.



It's not that all scientists have cast away their faith in the Bible nor have all christians cast off their faith in science even though this tension exists between the two. On one hand, the christian scientist seems willing to accept the apparent contradictions between Scripture and Science being confident that God's Wisdom will eventually prevail in reconciliation of those differences.

On the other hand, the unbelieving scientist seems willing to abandon Scripture, choosing rather to accept that the unification of the two is impossibly beyond human reason.

Again, this constant comparison of "faith in the Bible" vs. "faith in science" is fundamentally fallacious. Science is based on EVIDENCE that can be verified. The Bible is based on FAITH without evidence. They are as different as night and day.

It's not impossible that the Bible and Science are to be "reconciled" and "unified" but for that to happen many of your current beliefs would have to be radically altered. You know this, because you know that modern science radically contradicts the traditional interpretation of the Bible. For example, you would have to incorporate evolution and the 13.75 billion year age of the universe. And you would have to reject the non-scientific world view of the Bible, such as the idea that there was a recent worldwide flood that killed all the land animals, or that placing striped sticks in front of mating sheep would cause them to produce speckled offspring, or that there is a dome holding up the waters above, etc., etc., etc.



The significance between these two approaches seems to be that for the christian scientist, the Bible answers the central questions of origin, purpose, morality and destiny, whereas for the unbelieving scientist, only the peripheral questions are answered. Evolution, random selection, mutation and chance seem destined to make such answers, eternally elusive.

At least, this is how it is for me.

The Bible gives no explanation for those things. Case in point: Death can be caused by destroying the integrity of the body. It has nothing to do with God cursing anyone.



Richard, I truly appreciate that we can exchange thoughts on what appears to be a never ending dialog on the topic. The good news for the believer of course is that one day, this debate will be resolved to his eternal satisfaction.

Your friend,

John
I'm loving our conversation my friend! You are a real trooper, :thumb:

Richard

Richard Amiel McGough
06-06-2012, 11:05 PM
Thank-you Rose for your comment.

I perceive my Creator through a spiritual dimension and He has been a Faithful and True Witness to me for 39 years. He has provided me with evidences of His presence and gracious answers to many of my petitions. In addition, I have seen first hand, other lives transformed by His power. If these are delusions to you, they are nonetheless, testimonies of certainty to me.

May God reveal Himself to you in a meaningful way.

Your friend,

John
Hi John,

I understand your belief that God has answered many prayers. But that doesn't give any objective evidence for the truth of your beliefs. Muslims believe that Allah answers their prayers. Mormons believe that God gave them a "burning in the bosom" that proves their faith. Hindus believe their prayers are effective. This indicates that the sense of "answered prayers" is very subjective. We see the same thing with "transformed lives" - it offers no objective evidence of the truth of what the believers believe. It only proves that belief itself can have transformative power.

All the best to you my friend,

Richard

David M
06-07-2012, 01:31 AM
Believe me John I know how you feel, I was there for almost 30 years...I knew, that I knew, that I knew, the biblegod was real and no one could have told me otherwise. Through all my years as a Christian it was only my intuition that I attributed to god, because all the other thoughts that would come to mind I had no way of discerning which were my own thoughts from what was suppose to be gods. I know now that everything I perceive has to be filtered through my own senses and intellect and the things that I perceived to be from god would mean something totally different to someone else.

Each of us forms our own meaningful image of god through the things we are told from the society we live in and what read, and are taught from the Bible. This is the reason there are so many doctrines and interpretations...everyone perceives god a little differently than the next person. We are all creators of our own god formed in our own image.

Take care,
Rose

Hello Rose

While you retain your biblical quotes in your signature, we have this paradox of you not believing in the God of the Bible, but still happy to quote from the Bible. Unless you receive a direct revelation from God, what other way can anyone come to know God? God has revealed Himself through His word, whether you agree with God's ways or not. Given that God is portrayed a a fearful destroyer of evil people, is there nothing good about God you can hang onto? What about God's love, mercy and gift of eternal life? Is there nothing "good" in these things? Even the word "goodness" is akin to God-ness.

Please keep reasoning from the Bible, even though you do no longer believe in the God of the Bible; we can keep praying and hoping you can see reason again. The fact that others can recognize the Bible is the handiwork of God, means that your assertion that the Bible is work of fiction has to be challenged. If you just take out the parts of the Bible you do not like and that shows God to be a "tribal warrior", you still have a substantial amount left upon which to draw a different conclusion.

All evil is attributable to man in the first instance. If man had not done evil (and that takes many forms) God would not have punished man or had the need to take vengeance. That is abundantly clear in the chapter of Isaiah from which you quote; "come let us reason together". That is what God is asking you do to; the same as He was asking/reasoning with His people to whom Isaiah was addressing. For the sake of those who have not read all our correspondence that we have engaged in where reasoning has been unbalanced, I think it should be made clear exactly what God was saying. I can hear God pleading with His people to cease from evil and wickedness and how fair can God be? It is not fair that God should allow allow the wicked to continue. That was one of the many questions King David asked of God' "How long..." and which we can ask of God now as we see man's atrocities taking place in the world today. Rose, you have no answer to curing the wickedness in this world and you have no judgment to make on the wicked, and you prescribe no punishment. I can speak as one who knows of God's judgment though I know that I have to leave all judgment to God and His son and that I have to refrain from performing the task I would advocate because God says; Vengeance belongeth to me" and in God's good time, He will perform His judgement and get rid of all the wicked who have not associated themselves with Him and His Son and sought forgiveness.

God has spelled out these things and that is why I see God as being fair. He has done nothing in secret and the punishments given out by God stand as examples that we should learn and fear God and fear that He could so easily wipe us out, if He had not also committed Himself to His promises to save those who are faithful and obedient to His will, which if done, is also to the benefit of mankind. Hebrews 10:31 says;It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God. and from what we have read about God's punishments given to reprobates that should stand as a clear lesson to us. I fear that your teaching about God (not having read anything positive about God from you ) is that you are leading potentially innocent children astray from finding the way to life eternal that is on offer from God and we know the warning Jesus has given about preventing little children coming to him.

Just so everyone gets the full context of; "Let us reason together", here is chapter 1 of Isaiah. Note how God wants men and women to refrain from evil. God does not punish those who do good and shun evil. Blame man for putting God in the position whereby He has punished men and women severely as they deserved. How can you stay blind to the depravity of Sodom and Gomorrah and nations like the Canaanites? Had circumstances been different, God would not have dealt with them so severely. Blame man for the punishment of God brought on themselves. See reprobates for who they really are!!!


Isa 1:1 The vision of Isaiah the son of Amoz, which he saw concerning Judah and Jerusalem in the days of Uzziah, Jotham, Ahaz, and Hezekiah, kings of Judah.
2 Hear, O heavens, and give ear, O earth: for the LORD hath spoken, I have nourished and brought up children, and they have rebelled against me.
3 The ox knoweth his owner, and the ass his master's crib: but Israel doth not know, my people doth not consider.
4 Ah sinful nation, a people laden with iniquity, a seed of evildoers, children that are corrupters: they have forsaken the LORD, they have provoked the Holy One of Israel unto anger, they are gone away backward.
5 Why should ye be stricken any more? ye will revolt more and more: the whole head is sick, and the whole heart faint.
6 From the sole of the foot even unto the head there is no soundness in it; but wounds, and bruises, and putrifying sores: they have not been closed, neither bound up, neither mollified with ointment.
7 Your country is desolate, your cities are burned with fire: your land, strangers devour it in your presence, and it is desolate, as overthrown by strangers.
8 And the daughter of Zion is left as a cottage in a vineyard, as a lodge in a garden of cucumbers, as a besieged city.
9 Except the LORD of hosts had left unto us a very small remnant, we should have been as Sodom, and we should have been like unto Gomorrah.
10 Hear the word of the LORD, ye rulers of Sodom; give ear unto the law of our God, ye people of Gomorrah.
11 To what purpose is the multitude of your sacrifices unto me? saith the LORD: I am full of the burnt offerings of rams, and the fat of fed beasts; and I delight not in the blood of bullocks, or of lambs, or of he goats.
12 When ye come to appear before me, who hath required this at your hand, to tread my courts?
13 Bring no more vain oblations; incense is an abomination unto me; the new moons and sabbaths, the calling of assemblies, I cannot away with; it is iniquity, even the solemn meeting.
14 Your new moons and your appointed feasts my soul hateth: they are a trouble unto me; I am weary to bear them.
15 And when ye spread forth your hands, I will hide mine eyes from you: yea, when ye make many prayers, I will not hear: your hands are full of blood.
16 Wash you, make you clean; put away the evil of your doings from before mine eyes; cease to do evil;
17 Learn to do well; seek judgment, relieve the oppressed, judge the fatherless, plead for the widow.
18 Come now, and let us reason together, saith the LORD: though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool.
19 If ye be willing and obedient, ye shall eat the good of the land:
20 But if ye refuse and rebel, ye shall be devoured with the sword: for the mouth of the LORD hath spoken it.
21 How is the faithful city become an harlot! it was full of judgment; righteousness lodged in it; but now murderers.
22 Thy silver is become dross, thy wine mixed with water:
23 Thy princes are rebellious, and companions of thieves: every one loveth gifts, and followeth after rewards: they judge not the fatherless, neither doth the cause of the widow come unto them.
24 Therefore saith the Lord, the LORD of hosts, the mighty One of Israel, Ah, I will ease me of mine adversaries, and avenge me of mine enemies:
25 And I will turn my hand upon thee, and purely purge away thy dross, and take away all thy tin:
26 And I will restore thy judges as at the first, and thy counsellors as at the beginning: afterward thou shalt be called, The city of righteousness, the faithful city.
27 Zion shall be redeemed with judgment, and her converts with righteousness.
28 And the destruction of the transgressors and of the sinners shall be together, and they that forsake the LORD shall be consumed.
29 For they shall be ashamed of the oaks which ye have desired, and ye shall be confounded for the gardens that ye have chosen.
30 For ye shall be as an oak whose leaf fadeth, and as a garden that hath no water.
31 And the strong shall be as tow, and the maker of it as a spark, and they shall both burn together, and none shall quench them.

In this chapter God has told us how we should live, which is part of the same coherent message throughout the Bible. Refrain from evil in whatever form. Let us also examine ourselves to see if there is any evil in us and seek the Lord's forgiveness and mercy if we find anything that is evil. If we say we have no sin in us, that makes us a liar and therefore it does not surprise me that we all need forgiveness on a daily basis. This is the reality to which we should not be blind.

All the best,

David

jce
06-07-2012, 11:14 AM
It is not accurate to speak of a "scientist's faith in science" as if it were of the same class as a believer's faith in the Bible. There is a world of difference between the two. Scientists base their conclusions of verifiable facts. You base your beliefs on your own fallible interpretations of mere words written in a book. There is no way to verify that those words or your interpretations are correct. There is no way to verify even that the Bible is the Word of God in the sense that you take it.
Richard

Hello my friend.

There is always so much to respond to in your replies. So, to keep it interesting and productive I'll respond to your phrase, "mere words".

Mere words are the essential tools of communication... who would know that more than you, one of the biggest peddlers of them. One problem with mere words is that they can be inadequate to describe things which we do not understand.

Consider these mere words: "Is it possible to turn an inflated basketball inside out without altering its compositional state by simply adding one more spatial dimension? If it can be verified mathematically, can it be demonstrated in a laboratory? What if a 5th dimension were added? What could be done with that extra space? What if we added several more dimensions? What magical, miraculous things could we do then? How about things that would be impossible, even inconceivable in 3 dimensions. This illustration merely serves to remind us of how very little we know.

Here's another example of a few mere words spoken rather concisely by the New Testament Christ:

"If I have told you earthly things and you do not believe, how can you believe if I tell you heavenly things?"

I know, that you know, and once believed, these mere words, and I understand that you need no reminders. I write them merely for the benefit of others.

May God Guide your path my friend,

John

Richard Amiel McGough
06-07-2012, 11:29 AM
Hello my friend.

There is always so much to respond to in your replies. So, to keep it interesting and productive I'll respond to your phrase, "mere words".

Mere words are the essential tools of communication... who would know that more than you, one of the biggest peddlers of them. One problem with mere words is that they can be inadequate to describe things which we do not understand.

Consider these mere words: "Is it possible to turn an inflated basketball inside out without altering its compositional state by simply adding one more spatial dimension? If it can be verified mathematically, can it be demonstrated in in a laboratory? What if a 6th dimension were added? What could be done with that extra space? What if we added several more dimensions? What magical, miraculous things could we do then? How about things that would be impossible, even inconceivable in 3 dimensions. This illustration merely serves to remind us of how very little we know.

Here's another example of a few mere words spoken rather concisely by the New Testament Christ:

"If I have told you earthly things and you do not believe, how can you believe if I tell you heavenly things?"

I know, that you know, and once believed, these mere words, and I understand that you need no reminders. I write them merely for the benefit of others.

May God Guide your path my friend,

John
Good morning John, yo:

I think it is an excellent idea to keep each post focused on a single point if possible. Of course, it's not always possible but it's a good target to shoot for.

When I said "mere words" I used the word "mere" to distinguish between words that can be confirmed by some sort of objective test as opposed to words that have no such constraint on their meaning. Most of the words in the Bible are "mere words" in this sense. That's why the disputes never end. There is nothing to judge between the competing interpretations except more words.

As for your example of higher dimensions. We don't have access to those dimensions, so we can't test those words directly in the laboratory. But we do have a lot of knowledge about higher dimensions extrapolated from our direct knowledge of the three dimensions in which we live, and so we can make educated guesses. And we can even prove mathematical theorems concerning what you can do with a basketball in higher dimensions. There is no dispute amongst mathematicians about such things once a proof has been given because mathematicians all agree about the fundamental axioms and logic of mathematics. We don't have anything like this in the general study of literature, and much less so in the study of Scripture. Hence, my assertion about the meaning of the Bible as based on "mere words" with no general agreement upon the correct interpretation.

Case in point: "If I have told you earthly things and you do not believe, how can you believe if I tell you heavenly things?" This seems to imply that "heavenly things" are not subject to verification, yet the central message of the Bible concerns "heavenly things." Hence the endless dispute, even amongst those who take the Bible as the "very Word of God." They often interpret the same words with opposite meaning. How then can anyone have any confidence that they got it right?

Great chatting, as always,

Richard

jce
06-07-2012, 01:47 PM
Good morning John, yo:

Case in point: "If I have told you earthly things and you do not believe, how can you believe if I tell you heavenly things?" This seems to imply that "heavenly things" are not subject to verification, yet the central message of the Bible concerns "heavenly things."

Of course they are not subject to verification. That is the point Jesus was making with those to whom He spoke those words. He very simply and eloquently put the world on notice that there are things in existence that are beyond the comprehension of men. And if beyond their reach, they are not verifiable. Does it suddenly make them untrue because they are too hard for us? Of course not, otherwise we would discard Quantum Theory. There are things taking place around us that mathematics cannot fully explain.

So the point being, if one chooses to eliminate all that cannot be verified whether by mathematics or any other formula, then faith becomes meaningless. Now how about that for irony... God pre-determined that faith would play the major factor in coming to know Him. The virgin birth, His miraculous works, His resurrection from the grave, all are beyond scientific verification.

Here's the challenge... God's plan puts His people at a distinct disadvantage due to this faith factor. We don't have access to proofs and verifications which are so readily available to the opposition, and so many things which can't be confirmed with physical evidence are found in the Bible.

God simply states to hold fast to our faith in Him and His Word for it has potential for great reward... Eternal Life!!! The Bible presents this one glorious hope for man to live forever in the Beauty and Glory of the World to come. Why would anyone want take aim at this inspiring hope and turn it into a target?

As Cheow so often states... May God have Mercy on us all.

Your friend,

John

Richard Amiel McGough
06-07-2012, 02:56 PM
Of course they are not subject to verification. That is the point Jesus was making with those to whom He spoke those words. He very simply and eloquently put the world on notice that there are things in existence that are beyond the comprehension of men. And if beyond their reach, they are not verifiable. Does it suddenly make them untrue because they are too hard for us? Of course not, otherwise we would discard Quantum Theory. There are things taking place around us that mathematics cannot fully explain.

So the point being, if one chooses to eliminate all that cannot be verified whether by mathematics or any other formula, then faith becomes meaningless. Now how about that for irony... God pre-determined that faith would play the major factor in coming to know Him. The virgin birth, His miraculous works, His resurrection from the grave, all are beyond scientific verification.

Here's the challenge... God's plan puts His people at a distinct disadvantage due to this faith factor. We don't have access to proofs and verifications which are so readily available to the opposition, and so many things which can't be confirmed with physical evidence are found in the Bible.

God simply states to hold fast to our faith in Him and His Word for it has potential for great reward... Eternal Life!!! The Bible presents this one glorious hope for man to live forever in the Beauty and Glory of the World to come. Why would anyone want take aim at this inspiring hope and turn it into a target?

As Cheow so often states... May God have Mercy on us all.

Your friend,

John
Your answer "brings us by a commodius vicus of reciruculation" (to quote James Joyce) to the fundamental characteristic of all dogmatic religions. They all speak of "heavenly things" for which there is no verification. Hinduism, Judaism, Islam, and Christianity in all its forms ~ Catholic, Protestant, Jehovah's Witnesses, Christadelphian, Mormonism, Greek Orthodox, Independent Baptist, you name it ~ are all characterized by dogmas which must be accepted "by faith." How anyone is supposed to discern the true from the false in this religious menagerie remains an unanswered question.

And this reveals an apparent inconsistency in Christian apologetics. When first confronted with a request for verification, Christians will present a number of arguments such as Twospirits' recent presentation of Bob Dutko's argument for the evidence of the resurrection (http://www.biblewheel.com/forum/showthread.php?3139-Evidence-for-the-Resurrection-of-Christ). But when the arguments are shown to be inadequate, Christians retreat to the position that the claims in the Bible are not subject to verification.

The answer to your question "Does it suddenly make them untrue because they are too hard for us?" is no, such things are not necessarily untrue. But they often are, and since there is no way for us to know, the question is moot.

Your comparison of religious dogmas to Quantum Mechanics makes no sense to me at all. Quantum Mechanics can be and has been verified by many experiment. The Bible is nothing like science.

Your bias towards the Christian faith becomes clear when you say "if one chooses to eliminate all that cannot be verified whether by mathematics or any other formula, then faith becomes meaningless." Obviously, you are talking only about your particular brand of faith. Are you concerned that the Muslim's faith might become "meaningless" if we demand evidence for their beliefs? A Mormon's faith? Why is Christianity the only religion that doesn't need it's claims verified?

David M
06-08-2012, 07:39 AM
Hello Richard and all

The problem we have is that there are many religions. Those which are centered on God and those that are not. We should only have one religion if God is ONE as He claims and there is none else beside Him, but alas, we have many variations of God's intended way of conduct and worship which we call religion.

I can see Richard's point about Muslims or whoever, that they must ask the same questions as Christians must ask themselves. There is no point to Christians arguing with Muslims about moral or social teaching or aspects of their faith. The argument that always will remain concerns the God at the center of their faith. In the case of Evolution, there is no God, so what is the point of arguing with anyone who does not believe in God? I can help a person come to understand what I believe, but there is no point arguing about prophecy in the Bible or any such thing with anyone who does not share the same fundamental belief in God. Does God exist or not? The answer must be yes or no? If the answer is "yes", what do we know about this God? Where does that knowledge of God come from? If we have no source other than a work of human fiction, then we have no basis at all for believing in God. Either, the ancient scriptures were inspired by God (as self-declared), or they are fiction. It might seem a very narrow focus I have to consider only the Bible (God's word) and will use this as the basis for all my arguments, but this is because I have narrowed the field of competing religions down to what I accept is the one True religion.

I appreciate that Richard can ask fundamental searching questions of us all. Many of those questions I find irrelevant having narrowed the field down to the belief in the ONE GOD. Richard knows what is recorded in the Bible and challenges Bible believers (as he has done with me), but conversing with me, as one who has built his house on the rock, is not going to have the house blown own by any wind Richard can now blow against it. Alas, Richard has deconstructed his own house that was built on the same rock. From what I see of Richard's understanding about some doctrines, I can see why Richard was right to demolish it. Unfortunately,Richard is not rebuilding his house on the firm foundations that remain in place to be built on.


Holding on to my belief in God is not to be held down by dogma (as Richard calls it), but I have a freedom to hold on to a certain way of life at the center of which are the promises of God to all those who are obedient to Him and who do His will. That will, if complied with, is to the ultimate benefit of mankind. So at the center of my life can only be a belief in the ONE God. It does not make any difference that there are many religions, as God is ONE, so there can only be one understanding that God intends us to have. That is what I have to concentrate on. It might sound dogmatic, but as Richard likes to say; "The Bible states clearly..." It does not surprise Richard that I am fixed on what I believe, because (like Richard) I can read and understand what the Bible clearly states. There is an obvious difference in the clarity that we each see, but that does not change the Truth that is to be understood. There is no point discussing issues in the Bible, when the foundations to those issues have not been agreed. To me; God IS. All I can tell form Richard is; God MIGHT BE. Hence we have no common foundation on which to build.

What was the common foundation on which the writer of the Letter to the Hebrews wrote? The whole of the history of Israel up to the time of Jesus was centered on the ONE GOD. The writer's faith and hopes were based on the promises to Abraham (the father and patriarch of the Nation of Israel). Those promises are the main thread that runs through the whole of scripture, and the coming of Jesus has not changed those promises of God, which are still in force. Abraham has not received his inheritance that God promised him, and therefore, the promises to him remains to be fulfilled. Because of what God had done for His chosen people;like their deliverance of from Egypt, God set them the task of keeping memorial feasts annually. They were commanded to teach their children of the things that God had done for Israel.
Deut 4:9 Only take heed to thyself, and keep thy soul diligently, lest thou forget the things which thine eyes have seen, and lest they depart from thy heart all the days of thy life: but teach them thy sons, and thy sons' sons;
It was this tradition and the fact that God had instructed the Nation of Israel to remain separate from the other nations that the Jews (to this present day) have retained their identity. God has not cast off Israel and that is evident because of the nation that was reformed in 1948. The Jews have remained witnesses to God by their existence to this day; not individually, but as a nation, even though modern Israel are blind to that fact and will be until God removes the spiritual veil from their eyes. What other nation has survived persecution and dispersion? Where are all the governments of the past? They have all vanished and we only have historical records.

In the history of the nation of Israel up to the time of Jesus, we can get in context the opening words to chapter 11 of Hebrews (also known as the 'faith chapter');
(Hebrews 11:1) Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.
Just as the Jews hoped for the restoration of their kingdom in the time of Jesus, hence the disciples question to Jesus when on the Mount of Olives, it was the same hope that the Apostle Paul speaks of when he says;(Acts 20:28) "for the hope of Israel I am bound with this chain..." The hope of Israel will be realized when Abraham finally receives his inheritance. Abraham's inheritance is more than the value of the land promised to him, it is the same promise God has made to all those like Abraham, who have proved faithful. Their inheritance is eternal life in God's Kingdom on earth. That inheritance has been made possible through the death and resurrection of Jesus. Whilst the resurrection is my "hope of things to come", the evidence of things unseen is the evidence based on the scriptures that have been handed down through the generations of the Nation of Israel and to us from the time the New Testament documents were written. The Jews are spiritually blind to Jesus, but they have continued to pass on the eye witness accounts that are recorded in the ancient scriptures, which they have never disputed took place.

It was the eye witness experience of the disciples of Jesus that so transformed them. Their writings and testimony have been recorded along with the words of Jesus and have been handed down through the generations to us. Richard is making us question these words; what they mean and when they apply, as well as questioning the authenticity of the original scriptures. How can you question eye witness accounts that have been handed down through many generations? For a long time, the Exodus story was considered a fable because there was no record of it found in Egyptian records. It has been discovered now that the Egyptians attempted (and were quite successful) to erase parts of their history in which they had not been successful and was an embarrassment to them. Historians and archaeologist have found out what the Egyptians did and have a better picture of events that took place and can now date more precisely when the Exodus took place. The evidence is there; supported by the history of places and times mentioned in the Bible.

Anyone who does not want to accept this evidence, cannot be made to, but why should the words of doubters change the mind of those who accept the evidence for the Exodus? The Egyptians tried to cover it up and erase parts of their history. Where is the evidence from the Egyptians refuting the Exodus proclaimed took place? The onus is on the dissenters to prove their case and not on the part of those who accept the eye witness account. Moses was one eye witness and we have the writings of Moses that form part of the ancient scriptures that were copied (as correctly as possible) and handed down from one generation to another. These are facts, which if one does not want to accept, then no amount of evidence will satisfy. To the doubters of Jesus's day he said; (John 5:46)"For had ye believed Moses, ye would have believed me: for he wrote of me". It was not that they did not believe in the writings of Moses about the Exodus, but they had not made the connection in the writings of Moses concerning a coming of a prophet, who would be Jesus. Jesus never questions the scripture of his day which was their equivalent to our Bible today and which their scriptures forms the Old Testament in the Bible. The survival of the word of God is a miracle when one considers the various attempts throughout history to destroy it. God has performed another miracle by preserving His word. We have the same evidence today about things unseen as the writer declares in Hebrews 11:1

Peace to all,

David

CWH
06-08-2012, 07:32 PM
Hi John,

Yes, the science explaining the precise mechanisms and reasons for aging is still in its infancy. This isn't surprising since we've only known about DNA for a little over 50 years. But aging is only one aspect of the question. We have a lot of solid scientific answers for the primary question of why organisms die. Disease, famine, predation, accident, etc. It is this that contradicts the Biblical account that all death is due to God's curse. That's why I asked about Adam squishing an ant.

I think it is important to clarify the meaning of the word "theory" in science. It does not mean "unsupported hypothesis." In science, the word "theory" denotes an integrated body of knowledge supported by evidence that explains and predicts FACTS. For example, the "Theory of Gravity" explains the FACT of gravity and makes predictions that enable us to send a rocket to the moon. If the theory did not correspond to observable reality, it would be abandoned.

This is why it is wrong to suggest that there is some sort of equivalence between faith in the Bible and "faith" in scientific theories. Scientific theories are based on facts that can be tested. If they fail the test, they are rejected. Your faith in the Bible is not like that at all. There is no fact that would cause you to reject it. And worse, there is no way to verify most of the things you believe it says. Your beliefs are based on your own fallible interpretation of words written thousands of years ago in languages that you don't understand and you have no way to objectively verify that your interpretation is correct. Case in point, Christians have strongly differed on the meaning of death and whether it existed before Adam sinned. There are four primary views:

1) There was no death of any kind (including plants).
2) There was no death of animals (including humans)
3) There was no death of humans (though plants and animals died)
4) The "death" that came from the curse was "spiritual" death, not physical.

Each of these four interpretations have Christian advocates who passionately believe they have the true interpretation. There is no way to objectively verify which is correct because there are no experiments that could settle the issue. There is nothing but speculation and wrangling over words. This is why the Bible remains an obscure book that people can argue about "till kingdom come." The argument has continued for 2000 years because there is no test to discern between the true and the false. It is utterly fallacious to compare it in any way with the scientific method and scientific theories.


Thank you for your kind words. It is a joy to be exploring these issues with you.

All the very best to you and yours,

Richard

Science is invented by fallible men just as you claim that the Bible was written by fallible men. There were many errors created by scientists and they are not always right. Talking about Theory, it's simply means a hypothesis that have not been absolutely proven. To believe in such unproven theories as facts is the same as blind faith. Some examples that scientists are not always right are:
- The Theory of Phlogiston was believe to be true for 300 years because influential scientists of that time said so.
- The Piltdown Man believe to be true for 50 years
- The Flat Earth Theory believe to be true for thousand of years.

Doesn't that also shows that scientists also follow their own dogmas? Some even fake them to try and prove their theories...so pathetic. For some top ten scientific theories that were wrong are shown here:

http://www.toptenz.net/top-10-most-famous-scientific-theories-that-turned-out-to-be-wrong.php

http://blog.chron.com/sciguy/2010/11/the-top-10-most-spectacularly-wrong-widely-held-scientific-theories/

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Obsolete_scientific_theory#Superseded_theories

May God shows us the Truth.:pray:

Rose
06-08-2012, 08:05 PM
Yes, Science is invented by fallible men just as you claim that the Bible was written by fallible men. There were many errors created by scientists and they are not always right. Talking about Theory, it's simply means a hypothesis that have not been absolutely proven. Some examples that scientists are not always right are:
- The Theory of Phlogiston was believe to be true for 300 years because influential scientists of that time said so.
- The Piltdown Man believe to be true for 50 years
- The Flat Earth Theory believe to be true for thousand of years.

Doesn't that also shows that scientists also follow their own dogmas? Some even fake them to try and prove their theories...so pathetic. For some top ten scientific theories that were wrong are shown here:

http://www.toptenz.net/top-10-most-famous-scientific-theories-that-turned-out-to-be-wrong.php

http://blog.chron.com/sciguy/2010/11/the-top-10-most-spectacularly-wrong-widely-held-scientific-theories/


May God shows us the Truth.:pray:

Of course scientific experiments are carried out by fallible men, no one is saying any differently. If an hypothesis fails then it is discarded and the scientist tries again until his experiment holds up to the test. We would have no scientific advancement if scientific theories didn't work, as they say "the proof is in the pudding" that is why we have computers and rocket ships, because science has discovered mathematical equations and formulas that work.

Rose

CWH
06-08-2012, 10:29 PM
Of course scientific experiments are carried out by fallible men, no one is saying any differently. If an hypothesis fails then it is discarded and the scientist tries again until his experiment holds up to the test. We would have no scientific advancement if scientific theories didn't work, as they say "the proof is in the pudding" that is why we have computers and rocket ships, because science has discovered mathematical equations and formulas that work.

Rose

The materials (aluminium, iron etc.) that men used in his creations are made from God....computers, rockets, ships. The intelligent brain is created from God. Everything that man made is from God even scientific laws and mathematical formulas. Science is Creationology i.e. the study of God's Creation. When Man became like God able to create plants, animals, suns, planets, humanoids etc. The intelligent humanoids that man created will describe it as Human Creationology. The Bible covers almost every aspect of science if you are willing to look into it.

God Blessed Creationology. :pray: