David Hume: Philosophy and Atheism

David Hume

A little philosophy, says lord BACON, makes men atheists: A great deal reconciles them to religion. For men, being taught, by superstitious prejudices, to lay the stress on a wrong place; when that fails them, and they discover, by a little reflection, that the course of nature is regular and uniform, their whole faith totters, and falls to ruin. But being taught, by more reflection, that this very regularity and uniformity is the strongest proof of design and of a supreme intelligence, they return to that belief, which they had deserted; and they are now able to establish it on a firmer and more durable foundation.

– David Hume, (NHR 4:329, Hume’s emphasis)

Cited: Natural History of Religion, in The Philosophical Works,ed. T .H. Green and T. H. Grose, 4 vols. (Dannstadt, 1964)

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38 thoughts on “David Hume: Philosophy and Atheism

  1. Roy, you are ignorant about probabilities and ignorant about evolution. Let me quote PZ for a moment so that you understand what the real problem here is:

    “My prior article was a response to Casey Luskin, an ignorant creationist who used his misunderstanding of genetics to foolishly assert the existence of a major problem, and that’s where we have a conflict: ignorance is not a problem, but stupidly using your ignorance to push invalid ideas is. This question in my mailbox is also ignorant — the fellow really doesn’t understand the basics of genetics — but it’s self-recognized ignorance that, in a good way, prompts him to ask a sincere question.”

    I see no sincere questions from you regarding this science, and so I do not think you are being honest about your regard for it when you write “science is truly a fascinating and rewarding field for Christians who believe the Bible.” That’s not the way you’re using it because you don’t understand why the method works and why it stands incompatible with the method you have used to support your faith-based beliefs. Your confusion is obvious when you assume they are compatible. They’re not. And this misunderstanding you exercise, this ignorance, leads you to widespread cutting and pasting of sciency sounding creationist babblings that misrepresent it. It’s a gish gallup.

    If you were honest about understanding why evolutionary science stands contrary to your beliefs, you would find out why your two questions have already been not just answered but demonstrated to be fully answered. Obviously, you don’t care to subject your faith-based beliefs to such ‘fascinating and rewarding’ scrutiny! And this reveals a motive different from trying to replace ignorance with knowledge. Your motive (if you’re honest with yourself) is to use whatever means you feel is necessary – including science if specific products of it seem supportive – to promote and defend your faith-based beliefs that you merely presume are true. You fail to appreciate that there is a significant probability (and you like probabilities that you think supports your case, don’t you, Roy?) that these beliefs you hold are in error (Bayesean probabilities are useful here). Yet you’ve already demoted the method all of us in all other areas of life other than religion to find out… not because science as a method fails to be of such immense practical use but because you don’t care for it specific products like evolution if it produces knowledge contrary to your beliefs. This method you use – cherry picking – is a guaranteed way to fool yourself and explains why present your ignorance in the name of your faith – rather than dedicating your respect to what’s true – to be what you assume is a character reference rather than the flaw it so obviously is.

  2. Pingback: Philosophical discussions | Random thoughts

  3. @ Theologetics

    “Keep fighting the fight. You’re on the winning side.”

    Wow, what a silly statement! I believe for that to be considered even marginally correct we should see a movement toward religious belief, not away from it…. Therefore, to back up your claim, please show me one example where something known has been overthrown (or simply proven wrong) by the bible.

    I’ll be waiting, OK…..

    • 1. Is there a movement towards religious belief? Yes and no, yes in some Countries, no in others, but there are millions more believers than non and that will not change anytime soon. There is strength in numbers and usually the side with the most strength wins.

      2. You want to know of an example where something known has been overthrown (or simply proven wrong) by the bible? You got this backwards. The Bible was written over a period of 1400 to 1800 years ago. Modern scientific discoveries verify biblical teaching.

      A. To grasp how far ahead of its time the Bible’s instruction proved to be, consider the state of medical knowledge in Egypt, the most powerful nation during the period in which God revealed His health laws to Moses. The Egyptians suffered many diseases because they did not understand the health principles God gave Moses. Their ignorance is illustrated in the Ebers Papyrus, an Egyptian medical text dating from 1500 B.C. (about the time of Moses).

      “The remedies it prescribes make modern readers cringe. A few of the treatments include: statue dust, beetle shells, mouse tails, cat hair, pig eyes, dog toes, breast milk, human semen, eel eyes, and goose guts … To splinters, the ancient Egyptian doctors applied a salve of worm blood and donkey dung. Since dung is loaded with tetanus spores, a simple splinter often resulted in a gruesome death from lockjaw” (S.I. McMillen, M.D., and David Stern, M.D., None of These Diseases, 2000, p. 10).

      The Egyptians believed evil spirits were the cause of illness. Consequently the priest-physicians applied “magical” cures. Conversely, the biblical instructions regarding health maintenance and recovery from illness involve application of cause-and-effect principles—based on true science—that were given thousands of years before scientists developed the technology that enabled them to discover germs, bacteria, viruses, genes and the like. Modern medical science has discovered many principles of good health, but God originated them.

      B. In 19th-century Europe no one knew about bacteria. In a hospital in Vienna, Dr. Ignaz Semmelweis was appalled at the death rate of pregnant women who came to the hospital to give birth. The deaths were attributed to “labor fever.” After the women died, medical students would perform autopsies and then immediately proceed to treat live patients.

      After much observation, Dr. Semmelweis arrived at a revolutionary conclusion: It might be contaminants on the medical students’ hands that were responsible for spreading death from one patient to another. Thus he ordered the interns to wash their hands in chlorinated water.

      He then watched to see the results. “The history books tell us what happened next … In just three months the death rate fell from 18 percent to 1 percent” (McMillen and Stern, p. 20).

      Yet more than 3,000 years earlier God had revealed to Moses the sanitary measures people were to take if they touched a corpse. First, they were to be considered “unclean” for seven days and had to wash with water on the third and seventh days. Numbers 19:11-14 As long as a person was unclean, he was to avoid social contact with others.

      Although it served a ritualistic purpose, this law also protected others from exposure to harmful bacteria, even though people at the time did not know such things existed. The washing procedure cleansed the person of germs, and exposure to fresh air and sunlight between washings assisted in further purification.

      I could go on, listing dozens of examples of medical/scientific/health type teachings contained in the Bible that only recently have been “discovered”, if you like…

      • I’ve seen you copy and paste this exact same piece at least 4 times, Roy. Don’t you have any new material?

        What i was asking (perhaps i didn’t word it correctly) was show me one instance where something believed to be true in science (a natural explanation to some phenomena which was taught in universities, the theory of gravity, for instance) that has been later overturned by the bible, or by information contained in any superstitious belief system. That is to say, name some natural explanation which has been found to in fact be supernatural.

        If you can name one i’ll be suitably impressed. What you will, of course, find is every single thing once attributed to the supernatural has been overturned by science…. Tens of thousands of instances, all flowing in the one direction: away from superstitious belief systems to a natural explanation.

    • The copy and paste came from my blog walktheway.org/the-bible-and-medical-science/

      The Bible is the most widely read book in history. As such, it is probably the most influential collection of books in human history. More copies of the Bible have been distributed than of any other book. The Bible has also been translated more times, and into more languages, than any other book. The complete Bible, or portions, have been translated into more than 2,100 languages. Therefore, the Bible is available in whole or in part to 90% of the world’s population. Each year, it is estimated that approximately 60 million copies of the entire Bible or significant portions are distributed.

      Many educators strongly feel that because the Bible has become so firmly embedded in Western culture, “anyone, believer or unbeliever, who is not familiar with Biblical teachings and accounts will be culturally illiterate.” — Emerging Trends, November 1994, p. 4.

      Gods strength and power is manifested through believers. When we weep because of sorrow; He fortifies us according to His word. Our faith and prayers are many times answered and His supernatural presence is very real to those who know Him, who have heard His voice, felt His touch or been raised from the pit of despair.

      To understand the Power I speak of please read “Sometimes, WIND” at
      http://www.walktheway.org/sometimes-wind/

      • Nice deflection.

        So, back on topic, you can’t give a single example where something natural has been revealed to in fact be supernatural. In other words, there hasn’t been a SINGLE case in history where we have observed a movement from scientific truth to religious truth.

        The movement of truth is in one direction, and one direction only: AWAY from religion.

        As such, i think that proves the statement, “you’re on the right side of history” is patently absurd.

    • John…
      My statement is backed up by the fact that atheism can’t even make sense of knowledge or truth claims without presupposing theism as a basis for the objections made against theism.

      I’ve already had this discussion with you, but YOU are the one who has refused to participate.
      I’ll extend the invitation again: Give me a foundation (not an example, but a foundation) for your knowledge claims and your reasoning apart from God. Give me an account of what truth is in your worldview. Give me these things without borrowing from my worldview, and I’ll gladly discuss why theists are on the winning side with you.
      If and until you do that, I will not feed your trolling comments.

      • Excuse me, but I was responding to your statement “Keep fighting the fight. You’re on the winning side.”

        I do believe I’ve just proved that statement utterly ludicrous… unless, of course, you can identify a single example of where something natural has been later revealed to in fact be supernatural. That’s to say, and example where religion (magic) has overturned some previously held scientific theory.

        Can you?

        As I pointed out to Roy, the movement of truth is in one direction, and one direction only: AWAY from religion (magic). This, to a rational person, would demonstrate you’re on the losing side.

        • A movement of belief from a belief system A to belief system B, or from religion to atheism, doesn’t show that B is any more valid than A, unless you think truth is by consensus. This reasoning is simply a fallacious appeal to popularity, and has no place in rational discussion.

          The mere fact that you think that religion is magic, established with your parenthetical reference, shows that your own incorrect view blinds you from making any objective claim about religion.

          Religion is not magic, at least, not all religion, and certainly not Christianity.

          If you are asking for something that previously was thought to be from supernatural causes and now is from natural, then you should realize that your own position disqualifies nearly anything from having such a classification.

          Regardless of whether belief system A or system B is correct, if there is a substantial move from A to B (religious belief to atheism), then there shouldn’t be reason to assume that something from the newer, growing belief system ever came before the older system.

          The reason your demand is absurd is because from the beginning of humanity science wasn’t an enterprise, nor was philosophy. Religion was used to explain things. And I’ll grant that some things it explained have natural causes, but assuming that all religious claims are wrong from here commits two errors:

          1. Just because some claims from religious belief has natural causes, doesn’t mean they ALL do (fallacy of division)

          2. Science came about after EVERYTHING was explained by religion. As such, anything that has had a transfer of explanation must have moved from religious to natural explanation.

          The problem is that not everything has moved from religious reasons to natural reasons. I’m not saying that such a fact proves religion, but it does go to show that there are gaps in the atheistic worldview.
          You take on faith that naturalistic explanations exist and will eventually explain everything.
          I take on faith that naturalistic explanations can never explain everything without God.

          As such, we’re back to presuppositions. In our previous conversation, you just shot objection after copied/pasted objection to me. I’ll ask you again to give me a justification for your knowledve, reason, and what truth is on your worldview without borrowing from mine.

          I’ve defended my claim, and I’ve given you more than I said I was going to. I’d like you to actually try and be a part of at least one conversation without trolling.
          If you can. I’ll gladly continue talking.

          • I just asked for a single example, not a philosophical essay or word acrobatics. A simple physical example.

            Evidently, you can’t provide one.

          • It’s not that I can’t provide one John, it’s that your entire question is irrelevant. I already showed that such a question has no satisfactory answer. Please try reading what I wrote instead of just putting your foot down a point that makes no sense.
            I didn’t dodge your question. There is no evidence I can’t answer it. In fact, I did answer it. I gave you the historical background using a statement that even you made, then I showed how the question is irrelevant.
            It wasn’t an essay in “word acrobatics” – although that description shows that you didn’t understand what I said – it was a point showing that the question you asked has no implications, and doesn’t matter. Yet you still want me to give you an example, as if it will prove some foregone conclusion of yours.
            This is your typical position, John. You say something that makes no sense, and when people don’t answer your nonsensical questions, you simply insult them and then ask again.
            Please, if you can’t make sense of what you’re saying, don’t say anything at all.

            Now John, stop trolling.

          • You like using the word troll a lot when you’re losing an argument, don’t you? Not very Christian behaviour. In fact, it only confirms Gandhi’s observation: “I like your Christ, I do not like your Christians. Your Christians are so unlike your Christ.”

            Now, don’t blame me; i was simply proving your rather odd statement (“You’re on the winning side”) to be farcical. You made the claim, I proved it wrong.

            The movement of truth is in one direction, and one direction only: AWAY from religion.

          • How am I losing an argument?
            The only point you made was an irrelevant one, which I’ve pointed out before.
            Who are you to say what Christian behavior is? Christ rebuked plenty of people who falsely held to their misguided views.
            Yes, I’ve called you a troll, and I stand by it. You do the same thing on every single thread: respond to posts, many of which are either not meant to be argumentative points, but rather observations or passive comments, you demand that everything be backed up with evidence while failing to do it yourself, you demand people read through all of the material you post, but you never respond to the material others post. What’s worse is that you don’t even respond to the arguments people make themselves.
            As far as Gandhi’s statement, it’s irrelevant. It’s an opinion of his, and since you and him have the same problem, namely that you are the arbiter of what is true and not true in your own world, not much of what you say leaves you accountable to anyone but yourself. As such, I’ve tried to engage you on your presuppositions, rather than on evidence, but there again, you don’t want to engage with me (I wonder why…), and it is that failure to engage and actually stand accountable for your own claims that shows you are on the losing side.
            Your “proof” that my statement was farcical was a counter argument that was completely irrelevant, as such, you have “proven” nothing.
            The problem with the shift from religious explanation to scientific explanation is that it is not a shift in truth, it is a shift in explanation. You have made a HUGE logical gap to say that the collective movement of explanation of people is any grounds for truth. If you truly believe that truth is by consensus, then I pity you, because that is just plain irrational.

            So here it is John, you have proven nothing, and you have not stood accountable for your own claims.
            Please, for once, answer a question that is asked of you:
            1. How do you account for knowledge on your worldview?
            2. How do you account for logic and reason on your worldview?
            3. How do you account for morals on your worldview (since you make a lot of moral claims about me)?
            4. Why is it okay for you to fill the gaps in the naturalistic explanation of the world with the future hope that naturalistic explanations will arise and not okay for me to do the same thing with supernatural explanations?

            If you can’t answer my questions, at least do some self-reflection and see the error of your hypocrisy. I urge you to consider the fact that you cannot adequately explain your own experience on your worldview. I urge you to repent to the God you know exists so that he will show you knowledge of the truth.

            Good day, John.

          • The “only” point i was addressing was your outlandish statement…. which i demonstrated to be wrong. If you care to scroll up you’ll see just that.

            Everything else you wrote was the product of your own mental digressions and failure to stay on topic.

          • The only statement you made was irrelevant. Perhaps you should scroll up.
            As far as my “mental digressions” it was explaining to you just why your statement was irrelevant, and trying (again) to get you to answer basic questions about your worldview, which you still haven’t done. If that is a failure to stay on topic, fine.

            Until next time John. I hope you start answering questions soon. I’d really like to have an open and honest discussion with you someday.

    • en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Troll_(Internet)

      In Internet slang, a troll is a person who sows discord on the Internet by trying to start arguments and upset people. They may do this by posting deliberately inflammatory, extraneous, messages.

      Sounds like the definition fits to me. Is it unchristian to make this observation about another? No. Is it a bad idea? Yes, because the troll may turn around and bite you again.

      What is truth?

      Is there such a thing as something that is always true all the time? Yes, there is. For example, “Something cannot bring itself into existence.” This is an absolutely true statement. In order for something to bring itself into existence, it would have to exist in order to be able to perform an action. But if it already existed, then it isn’t possible to bring itself into existence since it already exists. Likewise, if it does not exist then it has no ability to perform any creative action since it didn’t exist in the first place. Therefore, “Something cannot bring itself into existence” is an absolute truth.

      The preceding example is a truth found in logic, but there are truths that are not logical by nature. It is true that I love my wife. This isn’t logically provable via theorems and formulas and logic paradigms, but it is, nevertheless, true. Therefore, we can say that truth conforms and affirms reality and/or logic.

      Is this what relativism does? Does relativism conform to reality and logic? To be honest, it does to some degree. Relatively speaking, there is no absolute right or wrong regarding which side of your head you should part your hair, if you part it at all. To this we must concede relative “truths” that are different for different people. But, these are relativistic by nature. Examples of relativistic truths are: 1) people drive on the right side of the street in America and the left in England; 2) I prefer to watch science fiction over musicals; 3) snow is better than rain, etc. These things are relative to culture, individuals, preferences, etc., and rightfully so.

      If we ever hope to determine if there is such a thing as truth apart from cultural and personal preferences, we must acknowledge that we are then aiming to discover something greater than ourselves, something that transcends culture and individual inclinations. To do this is to look beyond ourselves and outside of ourselves. In essence, it means we are looking for God. God would be truth, the absolute and true essence of being and reality who is the author of all truth. If you are interested in truth beyond yourself, then you must look to God.

      For the Christian, the ultimate expression of truth is found in the Bible, in Jesus who said, “I am the way, the truth, and the life…” (John 14:6). Of course, most philosophers and skeptics will dismiss His claim, but for the Christian, He is the mainstay of hope, security, and guidance. Jesus, who walked on water, claimed to be divine, rose from the dead, and said that He was the truth and the originator of truth. If Jesus is wrong, then we should ignore Him. But, if He is right, then it is true that we should listen to Him.

      The eyewitnesses wrote what they saw. They were with Him. They watched Him perform many miracles, heal the sick, calm a storm with a command, and even rise from the dead. Either you believe or dismiss these claims. If you dismiss them, that is your prerogative. But, if you accept them, then you are faced with decisions to make about Jesus. What will you believe about Him? What will you decide about Him? Is He true? Is what He said true?

      Truth conforms to reality. Jesus performed many miracles and rose from the dead.

      The movement of truth is in one direction, and one direction only: Towards God and all things Holy.

      • Wow, Roy, I’ll certainly give you credit for being able to go off on a completely unrelated tangent and waste 654 words speaking to yourself. Impressive!

        Now, I believe the subject at hand was you not being able to produce a single event in history where some scientific fact has been later overthrown by religious belief. The point of which being to prove the fact that Theologetics comment, “Keep fighting the fight. You’re on the winning side,” was and is entirely nonsensical. It is, in all reality, delusional.

  4. Agreed! Faith based solely on evidence is a faith that elevates the “believer” to the position of judge. But such a faith is just as easily lost as found, in the event of a tragedy, or enough viewing of New Atheist propaganda. When we let God be the judge, we knowledge isn’t as much of a concern (Ps 111:10, Col 2:3,8, Rom 1:18-22).

    • Faith based solely on evidence is not faith, Theolgetics; we call evidence-based belief ‘justified true belief’ and not ‘faith’. Don’t confuse the vernacular meaning of ‘belief’ with the theological meaning of ‘faith’. Apples and oranges… or, more accurately, bicycles and fish.

      But consider the product of faith in the theological sense used to describe causal efficacy in reality if we allow it to be exempt from arbitration by reality. In medical terminology, we call this kind of thinking ‘delusional’. If you find this synonym offensive, then by all means try to establish the difference between a delusional claim and a faith-exempt-from-reality’s-arbitration-of-it claim and you’ll soon find there is none except a degree of piousness.

      But, by all means, blame New Atheists for pointing this out. It’s neither a condemnation nor ‘propaganda’ but an important differential between establishing a justified and non-justified belief claim. And that matters a very great deal if what you are trying to claim has anything to do with its truth value. But if you don’t care about what’s justifiably true and are concerned only with what you believe to be true based on your faith, then you intentionally offer nothing of truth value to any discussion about anything anywhere any time. This choice, of course, is entirely your own and I am quite willing to protect your right to exercise in that choice to remove yourself from adding value to any adult conversation in the service of your faith.

      • A number of problems with your statement, I’ll address them in turn.

        1. “Justified, true belief” is NOT the definition of evidence-based belief, it’s the definition of knowledge. To say that a justified true belief is the same as an evidence-based belief presupposes that all evidence is justified and true. Naturally, any epistemologist would rightfully disagree with you on that statement.

        2. It seems that you are the one that confuses the meaning of “faith” and “belief”, as you have given a butchered definition of what “faith” is, see point #3.

        3. I have never seen anyone in any field define faith as causal efficacy exempt from any influence from reality. That, if anything, is the definition of blind faith, and I would join anyone in making a case against holding to blind faith.

        4. I certainly don’t think your definition is offensive, it’s just a straw-man, and exposes a lack of proper definition on your part.

        5. “try to establish the difference between a delusional claim and a faith-exempt-from-reality’s-arbitration-of-it claim…”

        No need to do that, as I’ve stated above, such a faith is a blind faith, and I would agree it is delusional.

        6. It’s funny that you bring up justification for belief. I should ask, what justification do you have for your knowledge claims? Can you think of any that don’t require you to borrow from a theistic worldview?

        7. You seem to be extrapolating a lot out of a very small comment I made. I am not merely stating that since I believe something it is true. I’m stating that what I believe is true. There’s a big difference.

        8. You pointed out that I simply believe something to be true based on my faith. Well, that’s true for all of us. At some point, every person has to take a “leap of faith” in their reasoning. Even the atheist who has to reason that their reason is valid. They know such justification is circular, but it has to be done in order to make sense out of anything. Similarly, science flies in the face of Hume’s induction problem, but the universality of nature is assumed (taken on faith) to be the case, in order to do science. Don’t take this as a bash of science. I love science, and I believe it has given many great gifts to mankind, but it doesn’t escape the fact that the whole discipline is based on a given assumption that can’t be proven without circularity.

        9. Obviously you wouldn’t be willing to protect my right to “remove myself from adult conversation”. You’ve just made a point in order to prove everything I said wrong (even though much of what you said was a major assumption about my beliefs, rather than anything I actually said). The whole end of what you said was just one long, drawn-out ad hominem that allows you to dismiss my statement on the grounds that it was a religious one.

        If that is the kind of argumentation you need to sink to, perhaps you should remove yourself from adult (civil) conversation…

      • Theologetics, you missed my point: your claim that “faith based solely on evidence…” is not faith in the religious sense of the word. No religious person bases his or her faith as a conclusion adduced from evidence from reality. If this were the case, then religious belief would not align with the geographical location but present an equal distribution in every population. But it doesn’t, and this point is evidence against your blanket assertion.

        A child from Kansas City does not adduce belief in Jainism any more than a child from Rangoon adduces belief in the tenets of Scientology. Clearly, some other factor than reality, other than what’s demonstrably and justifiably true ascertainable from our local environments, is at work here. You no more arrive at your religious convictions from adduced evidence than your ancestors did: all you do now is try to justify it – like they no doubt did – as best you can by picking and choosing whatever seems able to support it while failing to adequately address all evidence to the contrary.

        Part of this technique you use to allow yourself to feel good about your religious beliefs is to vilify anyone who dares to point out the cherry picking and misrepresentations you assert, but you – like so many others – then avoid the legitimate criticism by claiming it to be an argumentum ad hominem. If you’re clever enough to know what the fallacy means, then you’re clever enough to know that it doesn’t apply here because your claim is fatuous. Piety doesn’t alter the fatuous quality of your claim at all and neither does the character of anyone who points this out.

  5. Says the man who died almost 100 years before the publication of On the Origin of Species. A fine mind, but i can’t help but wonder how his thoughts would have changed if he’d lived long enough to have tea with Darwin…

    • I don’t really see your point. Did Darwin dispute that the “course of nature is regular and uniform”? Because that’s all Hume is talking about here. He doesn’t say a thing about the origin of life: just the regularity and uniformity of natural law. Last time I checked Darwin believed nature was regular and uniform as well. So what exactly would Darwin say with him over tea that would change his opinion on this particular subject?

    • As we have seen, genetic science has discovered that variations, which Darwin thought could account for “the origin of species,” actually do no such thing. For this reason, evolutionary biologists were forced to distinguish between variation within species and the formation of new ones, and to propose two different concepts for these different phenomena. Diversity within a species – that is, variation – they called “microevolution,” and the hypothesis of the development of new species was termed “macroevolution.”

      These two concepts have appeared in biology books for quite some time. But there is actually a deception going on here, because the examples of variation that evolutionary biologists have called “microevolution” actually have nothing to do with the theory of evolution. The theory of evolution proposes that living things can develop and take on new genetic data by the mechanisms of mutation and natural selection. However, as we have just seen, variations can never create new genetic information, and are thus unable to bring about “evolution.” Giving variations the name of “microevolution” is actually an ideological preference on the part of evolutionary biologists.

      The impression that evolutionary biologists have given by using the term “microevolution” is the false logic that over time variations can form brand new classes of living things. And many people who are not already well-informed on the subject come away with the superficial idea that “as it spreads, microevolution can turn into macroevolution.” One can often see examples of that kind of thinking. Some “amateur” evolutionists put forward such examples of logic as the following: since human beings’ average height has risen by two centimeters in just a century, this means that over millions of years any kind of evolution is possible. However, as has been shown above, all variations such as changes in average height happen within specific genetic bounds, and are trends that have nothing to do with evolution.

      In fact, nowadays even evolutionist experts accept that the variations they call “microevolution” cannot lead to new classes of living things – in other words, to “macroevolution.”

      Think about this very simple fact; if we did “evolve” as an offshoot from primates, and that is a viable and realistic phenomenon, then why are we the only ones? If this did, and could readily happen, then surely there would be other species who “evolved” into speaking super intelligent beings as we are.

      We can sum up the situation like this: Variations, which Darwinism has seen as “evidence of evolution” for some hundred years, actually have nothing to do with “the origin of species.” Cows can be mated together for millions of years, and different breeds of cows may well emerge. But cows can never turn into a different species – giraffes or elephants for instance. In the same way, the different finches that Darwin saw on the Galapagos Islands are another example of variation that is no evidence for “evolution.” Recent observations have revealed that the finches did not undergo an unlimited variation as Darwin’s theory presupposed. Moreover, most of the different types of finches which Darwin thought represented 14 distinct species actually mated with one another, which means that they were variations that belonged to the same species. Scientific observation shows that the finch beaks, which have been mythicized in almost all evolutionist sources, are in fact an example of “variation”; therefore, they do not constitute evidence for the theory of evolution. For example, Peter and Rosemary Grant, who spent years observing the finch varieties in the Galapagos Islands looking for evidence for Darwinistic evolution, were forced to conclude that “the population, subjected to natural selection, is oscillating back and forth,” a fact which implied that no “evolution” that leads to the emergence of new traits ever takes place there.

      So for these reasons, evolutionists are still unable to resolve Darwin’s problem of the “origin of species.”

      Here’s a link to David Hume’ book, Natural History of Religion
      http://ebooks.adelaide.edu.au/h/hume/david/h92n/complete.html

      • Wow. Just… wow.

        Roy actually believes what he writes and doesn’t for a moment consider that he might not understand what science means, what evolution describes, how it operates, and why we know it is demonstrably true in practice. It is an explanation of extraordinary power and beauty. Yet the possibility of his own vast scientific ignorance coupled with such breathtaking pious arrogance is simply not a consideration worthy of attention. Why is this?

        Well, consider: we sometimes can find religious belief without creationism but we never, ever, find creationism without religion. This is a clue, Roy…

    • First, there are things that are known and predictable out to 3 or 4 sigmas. I don’t think anybody believes these things are wishy-washy. But then there are scientists who are experts in one area who go off the deep end picking up little pieces of theory here and there and speculating ad naseum. I don’t think you need to be a moron to see that there is a vast difference.

      This kind of pseudo-scientific slime is everywhere. Pick up about any book in the “science” section and you’ll read some of the wildest speculation: what happened 50 thousand years ago to bring about domestication of animals, how the human sex drive evolved, where all the dark matter has gone to, or how it is that conservatives have different brains than liberals.

      Don’t get me wrong: there’s nothing wrong with such speculation. In fact, it’s required for science to progress. What I’m concerned about is that the average scientific layman reader — the person who assumes they are just as up-to-date on scientific matters as possible — has no idea where the real science leaves off and where the BS begins. One minute the scientists is talking about Carbon-14 dating of stoneware. The next minute he’s talking about tool use in prehistoric societies. Then he mentions inbreeding with neanderthals. Each of these topics has a greatly different aspect of speculation versus reproducible science, but the reader is left to judge the entire essay by what, exactly? Popularity of the scientist? His or her own political opinions and how they agree with those of the scientist? The number of papers published? The name of the publication it appears in? Phase of the moon?

      Here’s 2 out of 10 scientific facts related to the myth of evolution. The other 8 are just as interesting but it makes for a long rely…

      Scientific Fact No. 1 – Human Egg and Sperm Proves Evolution is Wrong

      The evolutionist ignores the problem surrounding the human female egg and the male sperm in the evolutionary theory. The female egg contains the X-chromosome and the male sperm contains either an X-chromosome for the reproduction of a male or a Y-chromosome for the reproduction of a female. The female eggs all develop within the ovaries while she is a baby (fetus) within her mother’s womb. Evolutionists claim environmental factors cause small changes in the offspring in the evolutionary chain. However, the environmental experience of the female cannot change the chromosomes within her eggs and cannot have any effect upon her offspring. Her body cannot go into the eggs contained within her ovaries at her birth to make an intelligent change. Females cannot be a part of the evolutionary theory for these reasons.

      Scientific Fact No. 2 – Chromosome Count Proves Evolution is Wrong

      There is no scientific evidence that a species can change the number of chromosomes within the DNA. The chromosome count within each species is fixed. This is the reason a male from one species cannot mate successfully with a female of another species. Man could not evolve from a monkey. Each species is locked into its chromosome count that cannot change. If an animal developed an extra chromosome or lost a chromosome because of some deformity, it could not successfully mate. The defect could not be passed along to the next generation. Evolving a new species is scientifically impossible. Evolutionists prove that getting a college education does not impart wisdom.

      • Let me guess, you subscribe to the Discovery Institute AND Answers in Genesis, right?

        Roy, seriously, i won’t even bother with you (and your Discovery Institute/AIG gibberish) except to say i hope you don’t have any contact with children, and to post this simple 4min video about chromosome count.

    • I don’t see how this would or should change Hume’s mind. If anything, your point is along the same lines. Darwin would’ve simply agreed with Hume’s remarks concerning consistency and uniformity. And on a broader scale, nothing Darwin discovered (or the implications of what he discovered) puts theism in jeopardy.

    • Poor, poor, John. Evolution just has to be true, there is no Creator, your whole world spins around the unimaginable odds. When confronted with the truth you resort to name calling, oh how I pity you.

      Borel’s law of probability states that if the odds of an event happening are worse than 1 in 1*10^50, then that event will NEVER HAPPEN.

      Dr. Harold Morowitz, former professor of biophysics at Yale University, estimated that the probability of the chance formation of the smallest, simplest form of living organism known is 1 out of 10^340,000,000. One out of ten to the 340 millionth power is unimaginable odds. This large figure is a “1” followed by 340,000,000 zeroes. As you can see, Morowitz’ odds against even the simplest life evolving were infinitely more than 1*10^50, making them impossible.

      The very popular evolutionist, Dr. Carl Sagan of Cornell University, figured even steeper odds against the simplest life beginning naturally on a planet such as earth. According to Sagan, the probability would be about 1 out of 10^2,000,000,000. Try to imagine ten to the 2 billionth power. Pretty astounding odds. Interestingly, these impossible odds against evolution came from one of the most prominent evolutionists of our time.

      According to evolutionists, we just got lucky. However, the odds against this luck have been shown above. Borel’s law of probability should have been enough to refute evolution completely, but I know that the evolutionary “intellectuals” need more convincing data.

      In regards to the quack science of Ken Miller, there are many anatomical similarities between humans and apes. Our chromosomes are similar as well. We can see these similarities in the banding patterns of the chromosomes. One obvious difference between the human and ape karyotype is that apes have 48 chromosomes (24 pairs) and humans normally have 46 (23 pairs). Ken Miller likes to tell an entertaining “who done it” type story asking where the missing chromosome pair went. He then points quack scientific evidence for a fusion event on human chromosome 2. There is evidence that implies a fusion event may have occurred. Human chromosome 2 corresponds to ape chromosomes 12 and 13. Ken Miller states, “Our chromosome number 2 was formed by the fusion of two primate chromosomes.” Ken Miller assumes common ancestry.

      The biggest problem with Ken Miller’s story is that it distracts the audience from the real issue. It is not the number of chromosomes that is really a significant difference between humans and apes, but the information contained on those chromosomes. According to the evolutionary scenario, our apelike ancestors underwent major anatomical restructuring to develop upright posture, speech ability, and an astounding increase in cognitive function all by random, chance processes. Such profound changes were never observed; they are inferred because evolution has an atheistic basis and assumes there is no creator.

      Despite the superficial similarities between human and ape chromosomes, there are important differences on the molecular level. There are many protein coding genes in humans that are distinctly human and are not found in chimps. Perhaps more significantly are the differences in genes that don’t code for proteins. Genes have been described which code for microRNA (miRNA). The miRNA molecule is not translated, but acts directly to control gene expression. A single miRNA can regulate the expression of dozens or even hundreds of genes. A study of miRNAs expressed in the brain found 51 of 447 new miRNAs were distinctly human and 25 were only found in the chimp. The idea that so many genes were altered so that they are expressed in the proper concentration according to cell type and can effectively control the many different genes they regulate is not what we would expect of chance processes. It is more rational to believe that God created humans distinct from chimps, just as He tells us in the Bible.

      While the evidence for a fusion appears consistent with the evolution model, Ken Miller implies that it is inconsistent with ID or creation models. He makes the ludicrous claim that the only way creationists can respond to this evidence is: “That’s the way the designer made it.” This statement reveals Ken Miller’s inability to think outside his paradigm. As a creationist who finds chromosomal rearrangements fascinating, I can honestly say I never thought of that possibility. One possibility I had considered is that humans and apes (and perhaps other animals too) were created with the same number of chromosomes with similar banding patterns. Since chromosome numbers vary within created kinds, it is not in the chromosome number where we should expect the most significant differences to lie, but in the coded information.
      Although Ken Miller’s story does not properly consider current scientific understanding of chromosomal fusions or significant genomic differences between apes and humans, he promotes it enthusiastically to support his belief that humans descended from apes. Furthermore, he is ardently opposed to teaching intelligent design in the schools, claiming that it is not scientific. He appears to be blind to the fact that the belief that humans descended from apes is a religious (atheistic) one; such changes have never been observed. Thus, he is not able to distinguish between science and religious indoctrination.

      Despite the misunderstanding and wild story telling of evolutionists, science is truly a fascinating and rewarding field for Christians who believe the Bible. The sciences were founded by people with a strong Christian worldview. There are still many fascinating questions waiting to be answered.

    • I have six children, 2 of which I adopted, and 7 grandchildren. We have one still living with us, she is 17 and so precious. They all are happy and successful.

      You are on the loosing side. Atheists comprised an estimated 2.01% of the world population, according to The World Factbook in 2010. Source: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Demographics_of_atheism

      The Christian share of the world’s population has stood at around 33% for the last hundred years, which says that one in three persons on earth are Christians.

      Christianity, in one form or another, is the sole state religion of the following nations: Costa Rica (Roman Catholic), Denmark (Evangelical Lutheran), El Salvador (Roman Catholic), England (Anglican), Finland (Evangelical Lutheran & Orthodox), Georgia (Georgian Orthodox), Greece (Greek Orthodox), Iceland (Evangelical Lutheran), Liechtenstein (Roman Catholic), Malta (Roman Catholic), Monaco (Roman Catholic), and Vatican City (Roman Catholic). There are numerous other countries, such as Cyprus, which although do not have an established church, still give official recognition to a specific Christian denomination.

      Western culture, throughout most of its history, has been nearly equivalent to Christian culture, and many of the population of the Western hemisphere could broadly be described as cultural Christians. Though Western culture contained several polytheistic religions during its early years under the Greek and Roman empires, as the centralized Roman power waned, the dominance of the Catholic Church was the only consistent force in Europe. Until the Age of Enlightenment, Christian culture was the predominant force in western civilization, guiding the course of philosophy, art, and science. Christian disciplines of the respective arts have subsequently developed into Christian philosophy, Christian art, etc.

      Source: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Demographics_of_Christianity#Demographics

      • I admire your patience Roy. Seriously.
        I hope that John learns to engage on as many points that people give him as he demands they do for him.

        Regardless, I want to encourage you for having the heart and the mind you do. Keep fighting the fight. You’re on the winning side.

    • Thank you. John and I have gone around and around several times. If you read any of his blog you will get a idea of the intolerance and hate filled attitudes that are out there. I want to believe they are not so uncivil in real life, and that because of the animosity of the Internet they say vile things.

      Why do I continue? Because he blesses me. Even Christ eat with sinners. John makes a statement, that is contrary to my understanding, and I have to know what is the real truth. It forces me to read and study both sides of an issue and make up my own mind.

      Bless Prayson for his patience. He creates a post, John reply’s with a reference to Darwin and off I go off-topic about the false theory of evolution.

  6. I’ve always heard the first sentence being quoted or paraphrased and didn’t know it originated with Hume. Interesting. Thanks

  7. Matthew 16:17
    Jesus replied, “Blessed are you, Simon son of Jonah, for this was not revealed to you by flesh and blood, but by my Father in heaven.
    Ephesians 2:8
    For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God—
    Romans 10:17
    Consequently, faith comes from hearing the message, and the message is heard through the word about Christ.

    I believe that one can use science, reason, logic and philosophy to come to a natural belief in God and Jesus, the kind of ” dead faith” that demons have (James 2:19 – “You believe that there is one God. Good! Even the demons believe that—and shudder.”). But saving faith (faith that is alive) comes only as a gift from God (Ephesians 2:8). I believe also that science, reason, logic and philosophy can help one get to the point at which they are ready to receive God’s gift of salvation, but they cannot, in and of themselves, produce or generate saving faith.

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