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Christian => atheist/evolutionist

nickthengineer
Posts: 251
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3/21/2010 12:33:31 PM
Posted: 6 years ago
I am looking for the input of current atheists and/or evolutionists who are no longer Christians but used to be. I am curious to hear some of the reasons for the switch. Such answers may include but not be limited to:

-hypocritical Christians
-science
-alleged contradictions in the Bible
-peer pressure
-etc.

I asked FREEDO here (http://www.debate.org...) why he switched from being a Christian to an atheist/evolutionist. He didn't answer me in that thread, but I'm pretty sure I also asked him a while ago in another thread but I forget which one so I don't know if he answered or not.

I'm not calling FREEDO out, but I remember that his reason for switching was something along the lines of not being able to answer every question about the Bible where it appeared to be contradictory (correct me if I'm wrong). This intrigued me, because I wonder if he (or any other evolutionist) can answer every question regarding evolution. If not, what was the reason for the switch?

So I'll just open this up to all reasons for switching from Christianity to atheism/evolution. Keep in mind that I am looking mainly for input from former Christians.
I evolved from stupid. (http://www.debate.org...)
GeoLaureate8
Posts: 12,252
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3/21/2010 12:51:30 PM
Posted: 6 years ago
I left Christianity when I started watching conspiratorial documentaries that exposed the roots of religion and deliberate deception. It exposed that the central story of many religions are rooted in astrotheology and were formed as tools of control.

I also started watching atheist/theist debates including Dawkins/Hitchens which exposed the philosophical problems with religion such as:

- Dawkins famous quote "The God of the Old Testament is ...genocidal, pestilential, ethnic cleansing"

- The problems of Crucifixion being a failure of vindication

- Being born guilty because of two naked teenagers who had nothing to do with me

- Religion making us satisfied with not understanding the world

- Religious paradigm is a celestial dictatorship

- Claims of exclusivity and anything else deserves the punishment of an infernal concentration camp

None of my reasons have to do with hypocritical Christians or 9/11 or any of that. That has nothing to do with what the actual religion itself teaches
"We must raise the standard of the Old, free, decentralized, and strictly limited Republic."
-- Murray Rothbard

"The worst thing that can happen to a good cause is, not to be skillfully attacked, but to be ineptly defended."
-- Frederic Bastiat
Mirza
Posts: 16,992
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3/21/2010 1:00:13 PM
Posted: 6 years ago
At 3/21/2010 12:51:30 PM, GeoLaureate8 wrote:
I left Christianity when I started watching conspiratorial documentaries that exposed the roots of religion and deliberate deception. It exposed that the central story of many religions are rooted in astrotheology and were formed as tools of control.
Watch positive documentaries about religion.

I also started watching atheist/theist debates including Dawkins/Hitchens which exposed the philosophical problems with religion such as:

- Dawkins famous quote "The God of the Old Testament is ...genocidal, pestilential, ethnic cleansing"
Old Testament =/= Religion

- The problems of Crucifixion being a failure of vindication
Christianity =/= All religion

- Being born guilty because of two naked teenagers who had nothing to do with me
Your statement =/= All religion

- Religion making us satisfied with not understanding the world
Which religion?

- Religious paradigm is a celestial dictatorship
Rather good dictatorship than worthless presidents like George W. Bush. I don't see how he's better than the King of Saudi Arabia.

- Claims of exclusivity and anything else deserves the punishment of an infernal concentration camp
Which religion are you referring to? My doesn't mind you being a pantheist. You can be whatever you want. Are you talking about Hell?

None of my reasons have to do with hypocritical Christians or 9/11 or any of that. That has nothing to do with what the actual religion itself teaches
Good that you admit it.
GeoLaureate8
Posts: 12,252
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3/21/2010 1:10:47 PM
Posted: 6 years ago
FAIL. He is talking about Christianity. Read the thread title.
"We must raise the standard of the Old, free, decentralized, and strictly limited Republic."
-- Murray Rothbard

"The worst thing that can happen to a good cause is, not to be skillfully attacked, but to be ineptly defended."
-- Frederic Bastiat
GeoLaureate8
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3/21/2010 1:14:39 PM
Posted: 6 years ago
At 3/21/2010 1:10:47 PM, GeoLaureate8 wrote:
FAIL. He is talking about Christianity. Read the thread title.

Oh, I see. I made some blanket statements about "religion" as well. Though, I was just trying to answer the question of why I left Christianity. However, I always tell people that when I refer to "religion" I am referring to the big 3 monotheistic religions (Judeo-Christian-Islamic).
"We must raise the standard of the Old, free, decentralized, and strictly limited Republic."
-- Murray Rothbard

"The worst thing that can happen to a good cause is, not to be skillfully attacked, but to be ineptly defended."
-- Frederic Bastiat
Kinesis
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3/21/2010 1:46:55 PM
Posted: 6 years ago
At 3/21/2010 1:29:09 PM, Mirza wrote:
Yes you mentioned religion as whole a couple of times.

Still, Judeo-Christian theology differs to the Islamic.

Two sides of the same coin.
Mirza
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3/21/2010 1:51:43 PM
Posted: 6 years ago
At 3/21/2010 1:46:55 PM, Kinesis wrote:
Two sides of the same coin.
One side may be heavier than the other. One side may have a nice picture on it, while the other may have nothing. You probably use that sentence metaphorically, but that does not validate the theory about Islam being like Christianity or Judaism. Sure they do share a lot of things, but they also differentiate in others. In fact I think comparing the Bible to the Qur'an is outdated. God as seen in the Bible it totally different to God in the Qur'an. God in the Qur'an is described in the most perfect ways, and deals justly with people. The Old Testament itself is as Richard Dawkins described it, actually. The Bible goes as far as having pornographic content. I don't even want to write it down here.
I-am-a-panda
Posts: 15,380
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3/21/2010 1:56:29 PM
Posted: 6 years ago
I was raised a Catholic, but never really was one par se. I always challenged the concepts put in front of me, such as the trinity. Then I came here, and was opened to the logic of Atheism.

My main reasons for changing was:

- The hypocrisy within the bible.
- God seemed an unlikely concept to me.

Among some other minor ones.
Pizza. I have enormous respect for Pizza.
InsertNameHere
Posts: 15,699
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3/21/2010 2:10:37 PM
Posted: 6 years ago
At 3/21/2010 1:56:29 PM, I-am-a-panda wrote:
I was raised a Catholic, but never really was one par se. I always challenged the concepts put in front of me, such as the trinity. Then I came here, and was opened to the logic of Atheism.

My main reasons for changing was:

- The hypocrisy within the bible.
- God seemed an unlikely concept to me.

Among some other minor ones.

Well good to challenge the Trinity I suppose. It didn't make any sense to me either while exploring various religions.
Puck
Posts: 6,457
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3/21/2010 4:38:49 PM
Posted: 6 years ago
Eh, raised Catholic though belief didn't survive early adolescence nor was it ever strong enough to constitute as really being a meaningful change.

I'd suggest you try and contact DiabloChaosBroker, since from memory he is the one notable conversion shift from here.
FREEDO
Posts: 21,057
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3/21/2010 4:55:00 PM
Posted: 6 years ago
At 3/21/2010 12:33:31 PM, nickthengineer wrote:
I am looking for the input of current atheists and/or evolutionists who are no longer Christians but used to be. I am curious to hear some of the reasons for the switch. Such answers may include but not be limited to:

-hypocritical Christians
-science
-alleged contradictions in the Bible
-peer pressure
-etc.

I asked FREEDO here (http://www.debate.org...) why he switched from being a Christian to an atheist/evolutionist. He didn't answer me in that thread, but I'm pretty sure I also asked him a while ago in another thread but I forget which one so I don't know if he answered or not.

I'm not calling FREEDO out, but I remember that his reason for switching was something along the lines of not being able to answer every question about the Bible where it appeared to be contradictory (correct me if I'm wrong). This intrigued me, because I wonder if he (or any other evolutionist) can answer every question regarding evolution. If not, what was the reason for the switch?

So I'll just open this up to all reasons for switching from Christianity to atheism/evolution. Keep in mind that I am looking mainly for input from former Christians.

I don't know what your referring to with the answers thing but the reason I converted was for scientific reasons and then later becoming very critical of religious morality and the concept of faith. I started out Christian, turned Deist, then Agnostic, then Atheist.
GRAND POOBAH OF DDO

fnord
nickthengineer
Posts: 251
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3/21/2010 6:12:12 PM
Posted: 6 years ago
Eureka I found it!!!

http://www.debate.org...

My bad, it was Floid not FREEDO. Easy mistake.

Anyway, not that I am now calling out Floid, but I am most interested in hearing a response about those who stopped believing in the Bible because they couldn't explain all of what was in it, and then proceeded to believe in evolution even though they couldn't explain everything about that. Do such people just trust the scientists who claim to understand everything about the theory of evolution? On the same token, why not just trust the theologians who say they understand the Bible and can explain it to you or point you in the right direction if you have questions?
I evolved from stupid. (http://www.debate.org...)
FREEDO
Posts: 21,057
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3/21/2010 6:22:29 PM
Posted: 6 years ago
At 3/21/2010 6:12:12 PM, nickthengineer wrote:
Eureka I found it!!!

http://www.debate.org...

My bad, it was Floid not FREEDO. Easy mistake.

Anyway, not that I am now calling out Floid, but I am most interested in hearing a response about those who stopped believing in the Bible because they couldn't explain all of what was in it, and then proceeded to believe in evolution even though they couldn't explain everything about that. Do such people just trust the scientists who claim to understand everything about the theory of evolution? On the same token, why not just trust the theologians who say they understand the Bible and can explain it to you or point you in the right direction if you have questions?

I have never heard of any such person. If anyone is guilty of this it would be the religious who simply explain everything they don't understand with the supernatural.
"We don't know where the universe came from, must have been God!"
GRAND POOBAH OF DDO

fnord
InsertNameHere
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3/21/2010 8:09:38 PM
Posted: 6 years ago
At 3/21/2010 4:55:00 PM, FREEDO wrote:
I started out Christian, turned Deist, then Agnostic, then Atheist.

Is it wrong that I went in an opposite direction? I started out atheist before turning agnostic, and then into a theist but just didn't know which religion to follow, and then finally muslim.
belle
Posts: 4,113
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3/21/2010 8:12:13 PM
Posted: 6 years ago
At 3/21/2010 8:09:38 PM, InsertNameHere wrote:
At 3/21/2010 4:55:00 PM, FREEDO wrote:
I started out Christian, turned Deist, then Agnostic, then Atheist.

Is it wrong that I went in an opposite direction? I started out atheist before turning agnostic, and then into a theist but just didn't know which religion to follow, and then finally muslim.

hard to understand for sure.... :P

At 3/21/2010 4:38:49 PM, Puck wrote:
Eh, raised Catholic though belief didn't survive early adolescence nor was it ever strong enough to constitute as really being a meaningful change.

hehe i wonder if there are a lot of us wandering around...
evidently i only come to ddo to avoid doing homework...
Freeman
Posts: 1,239
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3/21/2010 8:59:18 PM
Posted: 6 years ago
At 3/21/2010 12:33:31 PM, nickthengineer wrote:
I am looking for the input of current atheists and/or evolutionists who are no longer Christians but used to be. I am curious to hear some of the reasons for the switch. Such answers may include but not be limited to:

-hypocritical Christians
-science
-alleged contradictions in the Bible
-peer pressure
-etc.

I realized that I couldn't manage to believe in God after I got finished reading the Bible. There are just some people that aren't affected to any significant degree by religious concepts. I'm one of them.
Chancellor of Propaganda and Foreign Relations in the Franklin administration.

"I intend to live forever. So far, so good." -- Steven Wright
Floid
Posts: 751
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3/22/2010 4:35:09 AM
Posted: 6 years ago
Well, I was raised Christian by two devotedly Christian parents (in the Southern United States no less!). Now saying that, I now realize my parents are way more to the open minded scale than a lot of Christians. For example they do not believe the Earth is 6,000 years old, or that the species didn't evolve (although I would guess that they probably think everything evolved but humans and that we were created), or really make any distinction between Christians/non-Christians as far as how they treat people. They do not really entertain the idea that Christianity might not be true though, so they are dogmatic to an extent.

So I guess I used to be a Christian but I was always an "evolutionist" (I was always a gravitationalist too).

So why did I change? Well, to try to be brief:

A little background:

I always found Christianity boring. This wasn't directly a reason I changed, but I think it definitely fed into it. I am blessed (pun) with a good memory and if you have been to church for a few years and read through the New Testament and skimmed through the Old you have pretty much heard it all. I found repeatedly hearing/reading the same things over and over very dull.

The reason:

As I progressed my way through college and really began studying the sciences, I noticed an underlying idea which is that it is important to approach everything with a level of doubt and uncertainty. Once I did this and stopped looking at it as "This is true and here is why" to "I don't know if its true or not" here is what I found:

The moral philosophies of Jesus are very good. I would stop short of calling them perfect but I also think a lot of the "atheist" authors go way overboard trying to criticize them. They don't attempt to be a fool proof philosophical statement of morality like Kant's categorical imperative or Mill's utilitarianism. They are an easily accessible statement of how to be moral.

Most of the other stuff in the Bible has little use intellectually. Now that doesn't mean it isn't true, it just isn't interesting. So what of its claims? Is there an all powerful creator of everything? We don't know. But when I look at it from a point of doubt, what I do know is that if there is such a creator then I would say it is a reasonable hypothesis that that being wouldn't get jealous if we didn't worship it. So that was a strike against the Biblical account of God. I also think it is a reasonable hypothesis that such a being wouldn't order some of his creations to completely slaughter other entire civilizations of his creations like happens fairly often in the Old Testament. So I can pretty much disregard the entire Old Testament. I think you see the pattern. (It turns out what I have said in the last two paragraphs is exactly what Thomas Jefferson did when he edited the Bible to produce what he found important in it to produce the "Jefferson Bible", although I was not aware of that at the time I was doing this).

So maybe you would want to call the above contradictions I found with the Bible. But this wasn't necessarily a contradiction in the Bible between itself. What I have is a contradiction between what I consider "great" and what the Bible claims a "great" God once did.

Anyway, I found that I had problems with some of the claims of Christianity and that it just didn't really matter to me that much anymore. Is the great all powerful creator of the universe going to punish me when I die because I entertained doubts as to his existence? I would hope not because that would leave me awfully disappointed in God. If I created some thinking beings and then hid my existence from them except for in one of many collections ancient writings which make similar claims, I wouldn't hold in animosity towards them if they said "How do we know this is true?". So if it turns out that the all powerful creator of the universe does, well shame on him.

As to a specific point you seem stuck on:

This intrigued me, because I wonder if he (or any other evolutionist) can answer every question regarding evolution. If not, what was the reason for the switch?

I can't answer every question regarding anything. But I have no problem not knowing everything, in fact it is kind of interesting having things you can think about and ponder and try to figure out.

I think Richard Feynman summed this up best, you can find the video to this on youtube by the way if you search for "Feynman doubt". It will be the first video that comes up.

"If you expected science to give all the answers to the wonderful questions about what we are, where we are going what the meaning of the universe is and so on then I think you can easily become disillusioned and then look for some mystic answer to these problems. How a scientist can take a mystic answer I don't know because ... what we are doing is, we are exploring, we are trying to find out as much as we can about the world.

People say to me, "Are you looking for the ultimate laws of physics?" No I am not. I am just looking to find out more about the world. And if it turns out there is a simple ultimate law that explains everything so be it. That would be very nice discovery. If it turns out it's like an onion with millions of layers and we just sick and tired of looking at the layers then that's the way it is! But whatever way it comes out it's nature, it's there, and she's going to come out the way she is. And therefore when we go to investigate we shouldn't pre-decide what it is we are trying to do except to find out more about it. If you said...but..the problem is why we do you find out more about it, if you thought that you are trying to find out more about it because you are going to get an answer to some deep philosophical question you may be wrong and may be that you can't get an answer to that particular question by finding out more about the character of the nature.

But I don't look it at...my interest in science is to simply find out about the world...and the more I find out and...I like to find out...and there are very remarkable mysteries about the fact that we are able to do so many more things and apparently animals can do.

And other questions like that. Those are the mysteries I want to investigate without knowing the answer to them. So ...altogether I can't believe the special stories that've been made up about our relationship to the universe at large because they seem to be...too simple, too connected, too local, too provincial. The "earth," He came to "the earth", one of the aspects God came to "the earth!" mind you, and look at what's out there...? how can we...? it isn't in proportion...!"
Cerebral_Narcissist
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3/22/2010 4:46:17 AM
Posted: 6 years ago
At 3/21/2010 12:51:30 PM, GeoLaureate8 wrote:
I left Christianity when I started watching conspiratorial documentaries that exposed the roots of religion and deliberate deception. It exposed that the central story of many religions are rooted in astrotheology and were formed as tools of control.

I also started watching atheist/theist debates including Dawkins/Hitchens which exposed the philosophical problems with religion such as:

- Dawkins famous quote "The God of the Old Testament is ...genocidal, pestilential, ethnic cleansing"

- The problems of Crucifixion being a failure of vindication

- Being born guilty because of two naked teenagers who had nothing to do with me

- Religion making us satisfied with not understanding the world

- Religious paradigm is a celestial dictatorship

- Claims of exclusivity and anything else deserves the punishment of an infernal concentration camp


None of my reasons have to do with hypocritical Christians or 9/11 or any of that. That has nothing to do with what the actual religion itself teaches

Isn't it funny that your beliefs are gained simply from what you have been told, have you ever sat down and tried to think about things for yourself?
I am voting for Innomen because of his intelligence, common sense, humility and the fact that Juggle appears to listen to him. Any other Presidential style would have a large sub-section of the site up in arms. If I was President I would destroy the site though elitism, others would let it run riot. Innomen represents a middle way that works, neither draconian nor anarchic and that is the only way things can work. Plus he does it all without ego trips.
mattrodstrom
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3/22/2010 6:29:12 AM
Posted: 6 years ago
At 3/21/2010 12:33:31 PM, nickthengineer wrote:
I am curious to hear some of the reasons for the switch.

I was once a devout catholic.

Then one day I wondered what was so bad about Martin Luther anyhow?? The Church was obviously pretty corrupt at the time... and I couldn't remember the bible mentioning a pope... What gave validity to the Catholic Perspective?

Then I wondered... what was it that gave validity to christianity at all...

WHy should anyone claim any of it as true? How could anyone claim to Know such things were true?

I thought about it a lot, and couldn't come up with any reason for Believing Jesus was the son of god.

I thought about it some more and couldn't come up with any reason for Believing in the Benevolent, conscious, all knowing, creating cause (god) at all.

soo... now I'm an athiest.
"He who does not know how to put his will into things at least puts a meaning into them: that is, he believes there is a will in them already."

Metaphysics:
"The science.. which deals with the fundamental errors of mankind - but as if they were the fundamental truths."
GeoLaureate8
Posts: 12,252
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3/22/2010 11:32:37 AM
Posted: 6 years ago
At 3/22/2010 4:46:17 AM, Cerebral_Narcissist wrote:

Isn't it funny that your beliefs are gained simply from what you have been told, have you ever sat down and tried to think about things for yourself?

Don't be so hasty to make such an accusation. I have actually written several of my own philosophical essays based on my own inquiry regarding metaphysics and religion.

As far as my criticism of religion, I just briefly watched Dawkins and after watching, it sparked me to start thinking more about things and I began making my own conclusions.

And contrary to your accusation, after forming my own arguments and critical points, I would watch more Dawkins/Hitchens debates and would be relieved to see them use important points that I came up with on my own.
"We must raise the standard of the Old, free, decentralized, and strictly limited Republic."
-- Murray Rothbard

"The worst thing that can happen to a good cause is, not to be skillfully attacked, but to be ineptly defended."
-- Frederic Bastiat
Floid
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3/23/2010 3:47:33 AM
Posted: 6 years ago
Sorry, I didn't see this yesterday:

Anyway, not that I am now calling out Floid, but I am most interested in hearing a response about those who stopped believing in the Bible because they couldn't explain all of what was in it, and then proceeded to believe in evolution even though they couldn't explain everything about that

Why? Because evolution is a scientific theory about how species got here and creationism is not. How can that be so? Well, evolution makes testable hypothesis and creationism does not.

A few examples:

1.) Evolution makes the prediction that if we go to areas that have been geographically isolated such that species there have been isolated for long periods of time then you will find that they diversified independent of those in other habitats. Of course, we find this to be true. Take Australia, you don't find many of the species there anywhere else. Or take the Galapagos Islands, the Conga River, etc. In cases where organisms become isolated, they begin diversifying independently.

Evolution's prediction: true
Creationism's prediction: does not make a prediction.

2.) Evolution predicts that if we took an organism and slowly changed its environment then it would adapt to that environment. This has been verified in experiments like the Lenski experiment. They started with a strain of E. Coli which can't feed on citrate. They slowly (over some 20 years) changed the growth medium to contain more and more citrate. Remarkably, one of the stains of E. Coli developed the ability to use citrate as energy! Even more amazingly, using thorough scientific investigation there is good evidence that this required multiple mutations and not a single huge change to the E. Coli's DNA (think irreducible complexity). But I will let you read up on that experiment and their methodology sense my paraphrasing of its results wouldn't do it justice.

Evolution's prediction: true
Creationism's prediction: does not make a prediction

Anyway, there are a lot of other areas where the above pattern is repeated. There is never a single case where creationism makes a testable prediction, which is why it is laughable that some people want to call it science.

But hopefully that answers your question as to why I can "believe" evolution without it supplying all the answers. It isn't because evolution has all the answers, it is because religion claims to have all the answers even though it really doesn't.
nickthengineer
Posts: 251
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3/23/2010 7:16:52 AM
Posted: 6 years ago
At 3/23/2010 3:47:33 AM, Floid wrote:
Sorry, I didn't see this yesterday:

Anyway, not that I am now calling out Floid, but I am most interested in hearing a response about those who stopped believing in the Bible because they couldn't explain all of what was in it, and then proceeded to believe in evolution even though they couldn't explain everything about that


Why? Because evolution is a scientific theory about how species got here and creationism is not. How can that be so? Well, evolution makes testable hypothesis and creationism does not.

A few examples:

1.) Evolution makes the prediction that if we go to areas that have been geographically isolated such that species there have been isolated for long periods of time then you will find that they diversified independent of those in other habitats. Of course, we find this to be true. Take Australia, you don't find many of the species there anywhere else. Or take the Galapagos Islands, the Conga River, etc. In cases where organisms become isolated, they begin diversifying independently.

Evolution's prediction: true
Creationism's prediction: does not make a prediction.

I will comment on your point #1 because I am familiar with this "argument." What you described is not evolution, but natural selection acting on genetic diversity that already existed. Modern Creationists have never claimed fixity of species, yet evolutionists continue to put forth this straw man.

Regardless of how old the earth is, we know how much some species can diversify in only a few generations. Darwin famously observed the finches on the Galapagos islands with different sized beaks and hypothesized that they developed independently to fit their different habitats. We now know this to be false. Two finches with medium sized beaks can have offspring with small, medium, or large sized beaks in only one generation (do a simple Punnett square).

Regardless of its environment, a finch with a small beak has roughly a 1 in 4 chance of being born from two medium beaked finches. But if a small beak is not preferable for the environment, the finch is more likely to die. This is natural selection, and Creationism does not argue against this process. Evolution makes the prediction that natural selection can produce entirely new traits that were not already existing in the gene pool, and this has never been observed.

I hear you. Stop screaming. Yes, I know that evolutionists claim that natural selection must be combined with random mutations to produce the favorable traits. On the off chance that a mutation helps he creature survive, it will do just that (survive) and thus the mutation will be naturally selected for.

I found a credible article with citations from the Journal of Bacteriology that explains that although the e coli in Lenski's experiment "developed" the ability to catabolize citrate, they all lost their ability to catabolize a certain sugar, and some even lost their ability to repair DNA (sounds like a crappy trade to me). Such bacteria could only survive in a sterile laboratory for 20 years. Lenski, throw those bacteria into the wild and expect them to survive and be naturally selected for. I dare ya.
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I evolved from stupid. (http://www.debate.org...)
Floid
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3/23/2010 10:19:42 AM
Posted: 6 years ago
I will comment on your point #1 because I am familiar with this "argument." What you described is not evolution, but natural selection acting on genetic diversity that already existed. Modern Creationists have never claimed fixity of species, yet evolutionists continue to put forth this straw man.

Why then are all the Kangaroos in the world found in Australia? Why aren't their Kangaroos in Africa, or the Americas? Evolution says this is because Kangaroos evolved after Australia split off from the other contents and was geographically isolated and this is what the fossils seem to indicate.

Creationism has no explanation for this.

Of course the above holds for hundreds of other examples. I choose to go where the evidence leads and no further, you don't make this choice. We just have a fundamental difference of ideologies. I was of the same ideology you were until I decided that the opposing ideology had more to offer and was more interesting and honest.

Darwin famously observed the finches on the Galapagos islands with different sized beaks and hypothesized that they developed independently to fit their different habitats. We now know this to be false

I am sure you are aware of this and just accidentally overlooked it, but biology has come a long way since the Punnett square. Lets at least try to stick with science from the last century. If you wish to argue that the Darwin finches are no different than the finches that they are related to, please address the genetic differences that have been identified. Here is one of many references you can refute, be sure to explain how the differnces in DNA and the lineage it indicates is in error.

The Phylogeny of Darwin's Finches Based on Microsatellite DNA Length Variation
http://www.jstor.org...

Or since beaks seem to fascinate you and you claim that any of the finches can have any size, please explain the data contained at the link below, that shows a clear distinction between the beak sizes of the different finch species. The graphs towards the middle might be of particular interest.

Pedigrees, assortative mating and speciation in Darwin's finches
http://rspb.royalsocietypublishing.org...

Regardless of its environment, a finch with a small beak has roughly a 1 in 4 chance of being born from two medium beaked finches. But if a small beak is not preferable for the environment, the finch is more likely to die. This is natural selection, and Creationism does not argue against this process. Evolution makes the prediction that natural selection can produce entirely new traits that were not already existing in the gene pool, and this has never been observed.

The ability of a bacteria to use citrate for energy when it previously could not counts as observing a new trait being formed in my book. The problem with larger animals is that of scale: we just haven't been around long enough to observe it happen. Instead we make predictions about what it would be like if these small selections occurred over long time spans and then see if those predictions fit.

As I have already stated, that line of thought explains why we see various animals in isolated areas. We see variations of existing animals on volcanic islands (such as flightless birds, adapted lizards and shelf fish, etc) because these islands are relatively new and their occupants haven't been evolving that long. We tend to see completely different species on the different continents because these split apart long ago and have had much longer to evolve into different species. And of course then we have the fossil record that seems to show some gradual steps backwards that also fits this framework.

You don't have to believe this, but this is the way science looks at things. You can't make complete observations and test of anything. You have to make what observations you can and accept what framework that seems to indicate and nothing more.

I found a credible article with citations from the Journal of Bacteriology that explains that although the e coli in Lenski's experiment "developed" the ability to catabolize citrate, they all lost their ability to catabolize a certain sugar, and some even lost their ability to repair DNA (sounds like a crappy trade to me). Such bacteria could only survive in a sterile laboratory for 20 years. Lenski, throw those bacteria into the wild and expect them to survive and be naturally selected for. I dare ya.

Wow, that is one whopping straw man argument. No one claims that this same set of mutations would happen in the wild or that the organism was better suited to live in the wild. The organism became better suited for the specific conditions in which it was in. Scientist did this to try to force evolution to happen so that we can observe it. All Dr. Lenskis work did is prove that organisms can radically change to the point of being an entirely new organism due to environmental factors and without the aid of a supreme being. Sorry if you don't like that, but that is science... I guess take it or leave it as you see fit. At least take the fall back as suggested in you wonderful answersingenesis website that this obviously just show that God wanted the bacteria to mutate.

I don't suppose you also claim that many subatomic particles that we can only create during very controlled experiments don't exist either, do you?
DATCMOTO
Posts: 6,160
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3/24/2010 4:12:56 AM
Posted: 6 years ago
At 3/21/2010 12:33:31 PM, nickthengineer wrote:
I am looking for the input of current atheists and/or evolutionists who are no longer Christians but used to be. I am curious to hear some of the reasons for the switch. Such answers may include but not be limited to:

-hypocritical Christians
-science
-alleged contradictions in the Bible
-peer pressure
-etc.

I asked FREEDO here (http://www.debate.org...) why he switched from being a Christian to an atheist/evolutionist. He didn't answer me in that thread, but I'm pretty sure I also asked him a while ago in another thread but I forget which one so I don't know if he answered or not.

I'm not calling FREEDO out, but I remember that his reason for switching was something along the lines of not being able to answer every question about the Bible where it appeared to be contradictory (correct me if I'm wrong). This intrigued me, because I wonder if he (or any other evolutionist) can answer every question regarding evolution. If not, what was the reason for the switch?

So I'll just open this up to all reasons for switching from Christianity to atheism/evolution. Keep in mind that I am looking mainly for input from former Christians.

Allow ME:

Matthew 13:18-23 (New International Version)

18"Listen then to what the parable of the sower means: 19When anyone hears the message about the kingdom and does not understand it, the evil one comes and snatches away what was sown in his heart. This is the seed sown along the path. 20The one who received the seed that fell on rocky places is the man who hears the word and at once receives it with joy. 21But since he has no root, he lasts only a short time. When trouble or persecution comes because of the word, he quickly falls away. 22The one who received the seed that fell among the thorns is the man who hears the word, but the worries of this life and the deceitfulness of wealth choke it, making it unfruitful. 23But the one who received the seed that fell on good soil is the man who hears the word and understands it. He produces a crop, yielding a hundred, sixty or thirty times what was sown."

THAT'S why they no longer believe.
The Cross.. the Cross.
Floid
Posts: 751
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3/24/2010 10:57:51 AM
Posted: 6 years ago
When trouble or persecution comes because of the word, he quickly falls away. 22The one who received the seed that fell among the thorns is the man who hears the word, but the worries of this life and the deceitfulness of wealth choke it, making it unfruitful.

I would like to thank DATCMOTO for the wonderful insight and in depth analysis he presented as always. However, I am going to have to disagree this time. I actually think that having the freedom to not believe is a luxury.

Let me explain, because there are a few facets to this. The first and perhaps most obvious is historical, I live in a time and country in which I can publicly profess to not believe in religion and not have to fear being killed, imprisoned, tortured, etc. I also live in a country where I have freedom of information where I can read whatever view points I choose so that I can make the most informed choice possible. There are countries in the world where this freedom still does not hold and in times not to long past where it was held almost no where.

The second is a freedom presented by my situation. I have a comfortable life and in general don't want for anything. So there certainly wasn't any trouble or persecution that caused me to "lose my way". I can sympathize with those people who find themselves in such hardships that they need religion for comfort. And here I mean real hardships, not what is generally experienced in the United States or Europe. I mean those people who have to decide between feeding themselves or their children or who work 12 hours a day just to eat, etc. If the promise of having something after this life gives them the hope to make it through the day then it has done something good for them. In most of the Western world this is rare though. One can work hard to make a change in this life, so all the time spending worried about the next one is wasted.

So in that regard, I view my freedom to not believe as a luxury also. In any case, I can't say that the above holds true for everyone who "turns away from God", but I know there are cases like mine. My beliefs (or lack there of) were born out of luxury and not out of spite, strife, or greed.