Merry Christmas,

Peter Forden wrote:


What evidence? (If you want to link Luke's story to Roman history, well, I don't think of the gospels as history, and theologically speaking I think such an approach distracts from what really matters in them. But that's for another forum, as is this whole thread, so forgive my adding to it.)

As I (vaguely, I must admit) recall what I learned in the history of religion class taught by my (Lutheran) pastor, Christmas is very late invention of the Christian church. Almost as late as the sacrament of marriage, in fact. IIRC, most of what we think of as the "traditional" church year etc wasn't sorted out and codified until not much more than about a thousand years ago. The monks had a great deal to do with it: they wanted a regulated year as well as a regulated day and a regulated week. (It was a monk who did the calculations that Gregory used to switch from the Julian calendar to the one we use today.)

Around the time of the birth of Jesus, Rome had about 100 holidays a year, and every Caesar added to the count. By about 100 CE (or AD, if you prefer), over half the year was holidays in Rome. The Christian Church actually reduced the amount of time off for ordinary chaps, to a mere 50-odd days. And of course slaves had no time off at all, except at the whim of their owners. (There's nothing the the OT or the NT that forbids slavery, BTW.)
Some of the fiercest Christians ever, the ones theologically and ideologically related to the Pilgrim Fathers, abolished Christmas in England as soon as they had a chance to do so. Cromwell and his buddies were well versed in church history, and knew that Christmas was an adaptation of the Saturnalia. That's also why some fringe-Christian sects won't celebrate Christmas nowadays (or other originally pagan festivals, which is pretty well all of them.)
As for the sabbath as an opportunity to have a life: that's not how it was. Sunday wasn't a day off, it was a day for serious church going and listening to sermons and reading the bible and repenting and stuff like that. Sort of like orthodox Judaism, but without the arguments and without the music. Ugh!
Pax vobiscum. Shalom. Salaam. Shantih.
:-)
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Wolf wrote:

I'm not sure that's true. I remember reading somewhere long ago that a slave in Rome worked less than our current 40 hour week because of all the holidays. I can't vouch for the accuracy of that, but it does contradict what you're saying.
--
It's turtles, all the way down

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Larry Blanchard wrote:

I think the references was to the free workers, ie ones that were paid wages. I haven't checked lately, though.
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More sin and blasphemy. God is watching and hell awaits you.

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Off topic but still an interesting discussion! These are from several posts.
Paul Newhouse posted:

Now we just do the Daylight Savings thing.

True enough.

As Peter Forden posted, the exact month isn't really known. It's the thought that counts.
Steve Caple posted:

A fellow of few words on this topic. This was in response to me saying; "In the case of school battles, Creationists don't demand that Darwin's theory be removed." But I stand by this. The only thing that comes close to a demand was when they wanted to place stickers in school science textbooks that reminded kids that evolution is still a theory (apparently since modern books forget to mention that bit of trivia). None of the major Creation Science organizations I know of propose removing the theory.
Peter Forden posted:

Hey. Model Railroaders get shoddy stuff for Christmas too.

Racists? Who was the old Catholic church racists against?
Wolf posted:

I'm split on the distraction point. No doubt the Bible can be over studied for it's historical properties but at the same time events, places, names, etc. must be there for a purpose. Personally, the fact so many Bible elements once thought a myth have turned up through archeological finds to be verified as fact, it could be assumed all the detailed history is also there to verify Scripture's accuracy over time which in turn can enhance, as you rightly say, what really matters.

True. Even the Pilgrims themselves didn't observe Christmas or most other holidays. But then again, considering their justified dislike for the Catholic church of the time it's not surprising they would distance themselves from anything that denomination had invented, but over generations these came to be seen as harmless events and eventually accepted. Curt posted:

I'll agree with the last half but I don't think anyone is going to Hell if they don't celebrate Christmas.
~Brad
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snipped-for-privacy@webtv.net wrote: [...]

[...]
Hey, _all_ of science is theory. Every single bit of it. None of it's proven true, ever. The best you can do is increase the probability that a hypothesis is true. And when a new, better theory comes along, you can sometimes specify the error range of the old one. With any luck, you may even be able to continue using the old one, so long as your engineering is well within the middle of the range: see Newton's mechanics, which is plenty good enough for the range of magnitudes encountered in ordinary life.
Science isn't concerned with Truth, but with working models of reality. Whether they are True in some absolute sense is a question science doesn't concern itself with. Individual scientists have various beliefs about this, and it's sometimes entertaining or instructive to listen to them -- so long as one realises that they are talking theology , not science.
And despite the protestations of true believers everywhere, Truth doesn't exist. Theologies are even more limited than scientific theories, because every one of them is a rationalisation for someone's beliefs. As for philosophy - er, I'll pass. I once did philosophy as a minor, but gave up when I saw that philosophers are either wannabe theologians, which is bad enough, or wannabe poets, which is worse.
BTW, the belief in Science, ie, that science is about Truth, is a type of religion. What's funny is that many religionists and New Age wafflers also believe in Science. It gets really funny when they try to adduce Scientific support for their theologies. Go figure.
FWIW, I've read reams and reams of theology, the Bible all the way through twice (a merciful god gave me permission to forget most of it). I still read the Bible - and like all Bible readers, I skip the bits that don't suit me. The bits I like include the ones where God disses religion. Religion erects a barrier to faith, replaces hope with superstition, and twists love into ugly shapes such as exclusivity, moral accounting, and fanatic loyalty.
HTH
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Wolf posted:

Are you sure?. I'd say there are plenty of scientific truths. Gravity is a truth; hold a watermelon over your head and release, and it will hit you every time. Mix certain chemicals and you will get the same reaction every time. And even a model railroad layout is a plethora of scientific truths; if designed properly and electricity channelled correctly, no matter how complex, it will work. These are all proven scientific truths.

If the secular scientific establishment believes this, then why were they so adamantly opposed to stickers in science books that really did no more than point out what you have just claimed?

Is that a hypothesis or an absolutely true statement?

Well don't tell a typical atheist evolutionist that unless you want your throat jumped down. I spent 3 years in some very hotly contested online Creation/Evolution debates (among many other related subjects) with dozens of opponents at different times. Between them and their web sources (including the big Talk Origins site) I learned first hand that they (which are representative of the entire establishment) believe that evolution on a macro scale is an absolute "fact" based on scientific "truths". Unfortunately, as I mentioned before, they have redefined those words and as you rightly point out, have turned their stance into a religion by choosing to believe the unprovable on faith alone.

Well, for your sake, let's hope God disikes the same parts of Scripture as you.
And by chance you were grouping Creationists in as wrongly using science to support their beliefs, I completely disagree. Verifying the accuracy of the Bible, though not necessary, is helpful to many, particularly sceptics.
~Brad fd64
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snipped-for-privacy@webtv.net wrote:

I must not be typical then. I don't claim it to be the absolute truth, just the explanation that best fits the facts. If you've got a better explanation, other than magic, let us know.
--
It's turtles, all the way down

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Larry Blanchard posted:

You mean like nothing exploding for no reason and forming an entire organized universe, or life appearing from nowhere? Sometimes I wonder which side of this issue requires the most faith (or "magic").
I would love to get into a Creation/Evolution debate but this isn't the place to start such a huge discussion. In a nutshell this is one of my primary reasons that Darwin's theory can't possibly work, and I'll leave it that:
Macro evolution; that being species involving into entirely new species is supposed to work on random, non-intelligently directed genetic mutations. Random means random. The chances of a new feature (interior or exterior) beginning to form in such a way as to eventually be beneficial would not even be 1 in 100. Then the new infant feature would be required to go through further random mutations, ALL in the proper direction, in order to become the eventual fully functional feature. An example would be reptile scales turning into bird feathers. This would take hundreds of generations over at least hundreds of years (and that is being conservatively fair to Darwin -yet you could cut the time in half, and half again and my point would still be made). So far we're asking, by the odds, to roll a hundred sided dice 100 times and come up with the same number every time just to come up with one single positive functional mutation series, and already our chances are about zero.
Sub-problem 1; to worsen this scenario; the negative mutations forming in the same community of a particular species would so outnumber a lone positive mutation that the positive mutation would almost instantly be bred out of the species in one generation. Evolution would simply be spinning it's wheels and going nowhere.
Sub-problem 2; New features don't work independently from the body. Scales and feathers for example have entirely different compositions and purposes. In the case of fowl, the bone structure also had to change by becoming lightweight yet strong in order for flight to eventually occur not to mention forearms with feet and claws had to change to simple wing configurations. Beaks had to evolve in order to groom the feathers, etc. Now we have to roll dozens more 100 sided dice, all coming up with the same number to correlate with the first roll in order for everything in the life form to biologically harmonize and be functional.
Sub-problem 3; a new feature is not a simple feature. If you look at the breakdown of the elements that make up a single feather for example. The complexity of it. It becomes clear that the same problems of part 2 come into play within the new feature itself. To work, they have form in such a way to do all they need to do; such as the ability to repel water by their microscopic engineering or develop oils, the ability to molt and replace themselves at the proper time, to be in the correct number, length and overlap to allow for flight and for protection/insulation of the body.
As you can see, the more you break the theory down, the more illogical, absurd and impossible it becomes. At least to me anyway. I've heard very small arguments to the above but none solve the monumental layered problems that Darwin's theory creates.
I can cap-off my view (which by the way is not mine alone but rather a different way of putting what any major Creation Science organization points out) by saying that a final problem rises out of all this by noting the simple fact that random negative mutations would outnumber positives by so much that all life today should contain a collection of infant, limbo, or waning features otherwise described as "vestigial" (commonly "vestigial organs"). Evolutionists do have a small list of these but that list has shortened significantly as most once thought useless have turned up to have a purpose. The handful that is left (which probably also have explanations yet undiscovered) is irrelevant because there should not be a small list to represent all life but rather such a list PER life form. Even Darwin himself admitted confusion as to why he couldn't find this evidence during his years of research.
In short, what we should see today is all life or at least a large percentage in a constant state of flux, evolving into something new. Instead all we see are completed (or "finished") forms in harmony with themselves and their environment. Micro evolution/adaptation (changes within species) is all that has ever been recorded not only in the present but in the fossil record as well. The term "missing link" often refers to monkey to human missing fossils but in fact the problem exists across the entire fossil spectrum.
That was one big nutshell but it's something I've studied a little about, a hot button if you will and I can only hope some may have found it interesting. As I said I won't go into a debate on it and want to get back on topic.
For any further interest on the subject I recommend the following Creation Science sites. If there is a specific topic you're interested in you can use their search engines to bring up articles.
http://icr.org
http://answersingenesis.org
~Brad fd64

They must be invisible turtles cause they don't show up in NASA photos. :)
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snipped-for-privacy@webtv.net wrote:

First of all, evolution has nothing to say about the creation of the universe - that's astrophysics. Claiming that evolution asserts a non-created universe is a red herring.
Secondly, as for the physics of it, I don't see why it's logical to assume a god or gods appeared out of nothing and then created a universe out of that nothing if it's not logical to assume a universe appearing out of nothing.
Third, those who say evolution couldn't work don't realize just how long 4 billion years is. Look up the Burgess Shale sometime for kicks :-).
Fourth, you're right that the subject is not for this newsgroup so I'll stop now.
--
It's turtles, all the way down

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On Wed, 14 Feb 2007 14:46:42 -0800, Larry Blanchard

Yeah, but when yer God and all, those 4 billion years could, in our so-called human terms, be mere seconds. Nothin's incompatible, it's just a matter of scale, eh.
Tejas Pedro
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On Thu, 15 Feb 2007 12:25:12 -0600, Random Excess wrote:

Oh Lord, if you can't take care of us, Won't you please, please let us be? - Randy Newman
--
Steve

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All of you are sinners. Blaming God for your weaknesses. Evolution is a myth we all know that. There is no missing link but some of the RMR trainboard gang makes me question that.
Pray alot and find the truth.

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snipped-for-privacy@webtv.net wrote:
> As you can see, the more you break the theory down, the more > illogical, absurd and impossible it becomes. At least to me anyway.
Yeah. Whereas the idea that everything was created by your invisible friend in seven days isn't illogical or absurd.
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Did the owner of this ng die or something? Since no one's stepping up, I'll volunteer to be the moderator and keep these looneies from poluting. This is what happens when the courts stopped locking these nuts up for their own good and ours.

I was thinking more along the lines of the creation the whole universe in 144 hours, in 4004 bce, by your infinitely powerful god, who somehow exhausted his infinite power so much that he had to rest the whole next day, then, because of his infinite wisdom and mercy, did practically nothing for the next 6011 years to help his beloved but instead condemed 6 billion females to suffer great pain in child birth because one woman disobeyed him, caused 12 billion people to unnecessarily suffer and toil for their daily bread because two people disobeyed him, then deliberately murdered untold millions of innocent men, women, children, babies and the unborn by creating out of thin air well over 1.4 million cubic miles of water, enough to raise the sea level to cover the peak of Mt. Everest....7+ miles in 40 days (that's 462 inches, or 38.5 feet of rain per hour). Meanwhile, Noe (aka Noah) and his family, being the only humans on the planet not unbelievably evil, constructed a wooden ship large enough to hold 2 of each of the 2 billion species living on the planet (minus those that can survive in salt water) and all of the food needed for the duration; the time it took for the water to evaporate and the sea level to return to normal...........but wait, that wouldn't work, the water just recycles as rain......??? Fast forward to the battle....was it Joshua?? ...when the Sun suddenly stopped and stood still, then later the same day suddenly started moving again........and a bajillion tons of dirt and rock and biomass instantly was torn lose and headed east at 1000 mph at the equator, (slower away from the equator, as the cosine function of the latitude, speed falling to zero at the poles), then a few hours later it repeated, everthing being flung westward at the same speeds. I guess that killed at least every creature on earth larger than a grain of sand, or don't you believe in the laws of physics either? Also, please enlighten us with your knowledge of the four corners of the world, the flat earth, everything in the universe revolving around the earth, the torture, mutilation, emolation and murder of hundreds of thousands if not millions of innocent people by the emmisaries Christ directed to lead and grow his Church, and the countless human suffering and early deaths that could have been avoided but for the centuries and knowledge supression by the Christians and others, continuing to this day; the living proof being you. Given that no one gets to the Judeo Christian heaven but through the Roman Catholic Church, and at that, probably not one in a thousand Roman Catholics are going to make it...........I hope for your sake you picked the right God and Church, given that there are well in excess of 60,000,000 different Gods.

I'll bet you won't :-)

Not even close Einstein. Take humans for instance. 6 billion on the planet. Each is different inside and out in countless little ways, so different that you can tell them all apart by a simple glance. Let's say they are each different in 100 ways, there are 6 billion of them, and they reproduce at 4 generations per century. If the population is held constant (say, because of a limited food supply), that equals 24,000,000,000,000,000 variations per million years. Now, since the human case is bogus because of cultural interferences where the best and brightest societies are having the least children, let's use the same numbers for any other animal population. A tiny tiny percentage of these variations will be beneficial to the individual so as to create a tiny advantage to survive long enough to reproduce. Conversely, a small percentage will be detrimental, resulting in fewer or no offspring, and the bad variations tend to die out fairly quickly. The vaste majority don't make a difference either way, or at least we don't know enough to see the differences in the short couple of hundred years humans have been studying these things. Add to that the increasing knowledge that has brought forth the refined evolutionary theory of punctuated equilibrium, where, when times are good and the climates balmy and food is aplenty, things stay pretty constant, but when there is climatic upheaval, the stress to survive amplifies in advantaged and disadvantaged individuals and brings about a more rapid change.
OK, just kidding :-) We all know that the whole universe, including the flat square Earth standing still at the center, is only 6011 years old, and that every creature on it, including white chickens and turkeys so fat they can't fly, dairy cows with humongous udders, thorobred race horses, siamese fighting fish available in 6 different colors, french poodles, blue parakeets, 1000 pound pigs, 100 varieties of roses, miniature tomatoes and ears of corn 10 inches long were all here the 1st week the universe existed.

The negative mutations diminish that chances of survival and reproduction. That's why there is no gay gene.

You really need to read more than one book. I would doubt the compostion of feathers and scales are all that different. Plus, the first tiny feather mutation may have added insulating properties, and when the creature jumped out of a tree with a predator almost on him, that fuzz may have enabled it to glide and hit the ground an inch farther from the tree than without the fuzz, or an inch higher up in the next tree it landed one..............advantages than could very well have been the difference between life and death, and offspring or no.

No they don't. All they have to do is something 0.00001% better than their competition, to live and have babies, or more babies.
such as the ability to repel water by

I'll tell you what's illogical.........people who will believe anything some guy with a vested interest in the corporation he works for tells him, with absolutely ZERO proof of anything. At least the government went after that company who was pedaking bogus weight reduction pills. When is the corporation you joined going to lay out their data for peer review like the scientists do. They spend half their life getting all the formal education that is available, then spend the other half expanding human knowledge to the best of their abilities. They do it in the open, with their theories that seem to expand what they and we see all about us in this universe. If the theory holds up, it can possibly be used for the benefit of humanity, to allow humans better control over nature, to find cures for diseases, improve the standard of living in countless ways, etc. If other smart people find flaws in the theory, it is modified, improved, or thrown out, to hopefully be replaced with a better theory.
If your life is better than living naked in a dirt floor twig hut, cleaning your butt with a pine cone, I posit that everything that has made it better came from those thinking questioning humans you have parasitically taken advantage of, and but for people like you, we would have had a cure for cancer 1000 years ago.
At least to me anyway. I've heard very

Creation Science is an oxymoron.
organization

Let me take a wild guess that you don't have a PhD in paleontology?

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Wayne L spake thus:

You're laboring under a delusion. There's no "owner", no "moderator".* Nobody can kick anybody else out, or stop them from posting. This is Usenet, not a "board". What made you think any differently?
*There are moderated newsgroups, but this isn't one of them.
--
Don't talk to me, those of you who must need to be slammed in the
forehead with a maul before you'll GET IT that Wikipedia is a
  Click to see the full signature.
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It was a JOKE David :-)
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If you are kidding then put a smiley face on such disinformation. If you ar serious ... get real!
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salv`e

I was referring to Washington ,Franklin et al.....:) beowulf
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PeterForden posted:

Now I am only further confused: Washington and Franklin were racist?
Are you speaking of the George Washington that on the committee which he chaired in his own Fairfax county (July 18, 1774), passed an act saying:
"Resolved, that it is the opinion of this meeting that during our present difficulties and distress, no slaves ought to be imported into any of the British colonies on this continent; and we take this opportunity of declaring our most earnest wishes to see an entire stop for ever put to such a wicked, cruel, and unnatural trade."
And who teamed with Thomas Jefferson in a life long effort to end slavery?
And are you speaking of the Benjamin Franklin who along with Benjamin Rush founded the first anti-slavery society in America in 1774?
Never get your history from liberals. And correct me if I'm wrong but I don't think these 2 men had anything to do with changing the old Pagan holidays to Christmas and Easter.
~Brad fd64
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