Posted: Jun 07, 2012 5:14 am
by Durro

Hello from Brisbane, Australia, and welcome into the lifeboat ! This is my greeting for all new members and contains some useful stuff for you.

If you haven't seen it already, you may want to take a look at our New Members' Welcome Pack which will give you some helpful resources such as how to use the forum software and also contains our forum rules, which we ask that you abide by at all times.

As a house warming present for you, here's a few laughs for your entertainment.



p.s. a quick tilt at your comments:-

•I exist and I can know things
That's great. Often it's a case of what people choose to learn/know or even what they choose to avoid. We've had a lot of experience here with theists who refuse to look at evidence against their beliefs, so an open minded theist prepared to look at issues objectively would be a welcome addition to the membership. I hope that you know more from your time here as a member.

•there has always been something; nothing comes from nothing
Not necessarily. If you look at the work of Lawrence Krauss which has been mentioned above, he has a convincing argument that "nothing" is inherently unstable and will invariably create virtual particles/energy from the potential energy of nothingness. A brief imbalance in the energy balance and boom, the chain reaction that led to the Big Bang is off and running. It's not a conclusive argument yet, but makes for compelling reading and has scientific support.

•there is a first cause, and it was uncaused
If you're talking about the Universe, see above.

If you're talking about a magic god type figure, saying that a complex entity like that is eternal and uncaused and exempt from the physical properties of the universe is simply special pleading and/or wish thinking.

•there's no such thing as literal randomness, e.g. effects with no cause
I can think of a few - the generation of virtual particles, the decay of radioactive isotopes and quite possibly, the spontaneous energy release which led to the creation of the universe as we know it.

•it's not possible for creatures to fully comprehend a creator, but a creator has the ability to reveal certain knowledge to creatures
We're a fairly advanced and intelligent species, so I'm comfortable that if a deity existed and decided to reveal itself, we'd be able to comprehend the basics of its existence if it took the time to explain it. But if you think that an all-knowing, all-powerful master of the universe chooses to leave very sly and subtle clues about its existence through apparitions in burnt toast or the spontaneous talking in tongues of followers of certain religions, then I'm afraid that that deity is being a bit too obtuse and condescending towards it's creation.

•evolution (not sure of exact definition, but I have an idea) to some extent is observable fact
Yes. I agree and it's nice to hear of a theist acknowledging that. Evolution has been, is still being and will be observed in both nature and in the laboratory setting. In addition to the actual process being observed, there's also a tremendous amount of concurrent evidence of previous evolutionary processes, such as that found in fossil records, morphological similarities of related species, vestigial anatomy, phylogenic arrangements, endogenous retroviral damage in the DNA of related species, shared genes, and so on. And many other scientific fields could have shown Evolution and it's prerequisite conditions to be incorrect - 1 wrong fossil in the wrong rock strata, a young universe, a young earth, etc. But geology, physics, biology, chemistry, astrophysics, botany, archaeology, paleontology, etc all provide further evidence which strengthens Evolution.


Welcome aboard again.