Originally posted by NewYorkDore: The Bible is proof of the Bible is just not good enough for me. Others feel differently, but I always find it remarkable that some believers are so skeptical of the science boogeyman and yet are flowing with credulity when it comes to biblical myth.
A few particular points:
a) is the talking snake not in Genesis? Is that not an account of the Lord rather than a testament of a disciple? As such, if the Lord says that a snake talked, then that snake talked. If a gospel says that Jesus' cross spoke, then OK maybe that's ventriloquism. In any respect, if someone thinks every animal in the world sang cumbaya on a boat for a month or so, I don't imagine they'd have a problem with snakes talking.
b) Actually, physics has established that something can come from nothing. One example of this are virtual particles that were theorized by Paul Dirac early in the 20th century. They have been studied and indirectly observed. Quite simply, they are evidence that something can and does emerge from nothing.
c) I don't know how life formed for the first time. Nor does anyone else. I highly doubt any scientist will ever be able to prove how life actually arose, though it is possible (but not yet accomplished) to establish a manner in which it might have arisen (there were actually two quite big steps in that direction in the last month as MIT and NASA scientists announced minor breakthroughs on cell membrane and sugar formation, respectively). Just because something cannot be explained doesn't mean you jump right to "god did it."
d) On whether people who rely on science consider themselves smart know-it-alls, I'd actually argue the opposite. It is biblical literalists who accept the collective wisdom of a nomadic, bronze age culture as ultimate fact who claim to know everything. The entire premise of science is that there are questions that we don't know the answer to and we try to find out what they are. Furthermore, that which we think we know is constantly questioned and tested, particularly when new data becomes available.
e) I'm not trying to make you look stupid any more than you are me. In fact, we're expressing collective shock at each other's position. While some may not like the fact that blind faith gets questioned, it is my firm opinion that belief in biblical literalism is, to any reasonable thinking person, quite preposterous. Your opinion clearly is a bit different.
f) As to your questioning of carbon dating and the other means of radioactive dating, I would question your sources. While it is most certainly true that not all dating methods are accurate for all subject matters, it is entirely accurate to say that "carbon dating" (the commonly use lay term to describe all radioactive dating) as a family of processes is a highly effective tool with entirely acceptable margins for error. It's also a set of methods that has gone through the ringer. I'll trust scientific literature on that over Answers in Genesis.
a) I believe the talking serpent was meant to be figurative and was a "god" of ancient times but not the one true God that we think of today.
b) I believe that this established theory of something from nothing refers to particles we have yet to discover or understand.
c) In general I agree with this statement but I also believe that while if something cannot be explained you don't jump right into "God did it", I also do not believe that you can necessarily explain away some theories that may seem outlandish just because we can't prove them with today's technology. Today's science fiction has on many occasions become tomorrow's science.
d) Agree with the general premise of this but I also feel like there are scientists that hold on to some theories as fact out of arrogance making them no better than biblical literalists.
e) I have to agree with this 100%.
f) I do feel that carbon dating as we understand it is accurate within 500 to 1000 year anyway. In many cases this is close enough. The problem usually arises when bones or ashes that can be carbon dated are found within a stone structure. An example would be carbon dating dates the bones and ashes to a couple of thousand years ago so it is assumed that the stone structure is the same age. Since stone cannot be carbon dated, there is really no way of knowing how old the structure really is. Baalbek in Lebanon might have gone down as a Roman structure forever had someone not realized the Roman architecture was built upon a much older structure. How did they move those giant stone slabs anyway?