Errors of the Bible?

hi i have a weird question that maybe you can help solve i've been researching this for some time. i have heard and found contradictions and outright scientific errors in the bible and i am trying to find a way to prove that errors and or contradictions are there let me give you a few examples, the one that talks about four legged insects is claimed to be false because there is no such thing as a four footed insect but butterflies do have four legs so is their something i'm missing here or what. and the whole bats aren't birds their mammals well my mom asked me what exactly is the classification of mammal and i really don't know, these are only a few and i'm trying to research them all so any help on this would be appreciated. also my mom told me that the errors in the bible can easily be explained using cross referencing and a good bible dictionary and concordance but those weren't written until years after so any errors that you know about either through science.historical etc in the bible any information on said thing would help a lot in my research.
Atheist Answer: 

You're really going at this. Good on you.

Butterflies are all in fact six-legged. The two front legs are sometimes non-functional (an evolutionary hold-over, like the remnants of our ancestors' tails) and are tucked up against the body where they're difficult to see.

Mammals are uniquely identified by the presence of sweat glands, and the related glands which produce milk. All female mammals nurse their young (except in the mammal species that was clever enough to invent "baby formula", although we do still have the option of course). Bats have both.

Birds, on the other hand, are defined most reliably by the presence of feathers, which bats definitely do not have. The only non-bird creatures which ever had feathers were specific late-age species of dinosaur identified as the ancestors of birds.

Internal errors in the Bible (that is, the Bible disagreeing with itself) can be explained, sure, but not always easily or satisfyingly. The Skeptics' Annotated Bible is the best-known repository of Biblical contradictions. Just look for the Contradictions section.

In the interests of fairness, Christian responses to each contradiction are linked in at the bottom of each comparison in the SAB. This doesn't always help the Bible's case, because the explanations given are often quite long and elaborate and not always convincing. But you can decide that for yourself. You've already realised that people have believed the whole book, and some continue to do so, without bothering to reconcile the apparent contradictions.

More difficult to reconcile with the Bible, of course, is scientific reality. The six-day creation story set six thousand years ago contradicts most of biology, geology and cosmology (which is like astronomy but more theory-based and less observational). Just looking at the earth, we have billions of years' worth of sediment under us and just as much evolutionary progress around us and within us. The response by those who still think Genesis is literally true nowadays is to argue that Noah's Flood (not an accepted historical event either) created some of the apparent signs of an old Earth in under a year, and God did the rest via intelligent design and various miracles. This view has yet to gain mainstream scientific support.

On a smaller scale, some of the individual stories contradict ordinary historical evidence. Take Moses, for example. There's no indication that the Israelites were ever in Egypt, let alone working as slaves, wandering in the desert for forty years or forcibly taking any land for the "12 tribes". The Egyptians would have written about some of this, had it happened. The Tenth Plague, which supposedly killed the first-born in most families in the capital including the Pharaoh's, would also have rated a mention. So there's really no place in real-world history for Moses.

Good luck with your own research.

- SmartLX

Atheism is based on Faith and I will explain why!

From a comment by Infinite Force at "I am an independent scientific researcher and I am a blood driven theist. I don't believe in no religions of this world and I don't have any religious documents to make me bias when I do scientific research. I have to say that you atheist are cowards to admit that you have a faith based belief system. Faith - Belief in the un-seen (life spontaneously arising from non-living matter) If you don't believe GOD created you than it's obvious you arose by un-intelligent causes. Chemical evolution has never been observed in this natural world and it is not science. This is only scientist assumptions. Since there is no evidence to prove that life spontaneously appeared on earth it takes ****faith**** to believe you spontaneously arose from non-living matter. The atheism idea is based off of no logic, no evidence, or no reason. It’s just a title to hide behind to attack other people religions when In all reality you are religious your self. You don’t have to believe in a god or gods to be considered a religion. Buddha don’t believe in god or gods and it’s a religion. All you need is an idea that you hold to be true with no evidence to back it up. You atheist have no proof that life spontaneously arose and to believe this is called faith. You atheist try and hide behind science but theist like me are not going to allow you to hide behind the origins of life because I‘m a scientific researcher that love doing what he does, and chemical evolution is not science it‘s only assumptions that have no kind of evidence to back it up. Atheism is identified as a religion! Faith and religion is synonyms please refer to your thesaurus. I am religious because I do believe that there is an intelligent infinite force that created everything and the evidence I have to support this is observable in this natural world. That’s right, I have strong evidence to prove that life arose by intelligent causation and it’s called the Genetic code. I will post my evidence up after this post to prove that the origins of life started by intelligent causation. If you atheist don’t believe it takes faith to believe that life arose spontaneously without an intelligent cause I am asking for you to provide evidence to back it up. If you exercise Ad Hominem or dodge the question I am here to expose your religious concept to people in this forum. You have a faith based belief system and that’s a fact."
Atheist Answer: 

If you're going to argue that abiogenesis is not science, it might help to define science first.

Science is the formulation of natural explanations for observable phenomena in the universe. Abiogenesis (the emergence of life from non-life), while not yet observed itself, is a natural explanation for the observable phenomenon of life. It is therefore a scientific hypothesis, and yes, it is science. What it is not (yet) is a theory.

Though some natural selection may have occurred in the process, abiogenesis should not be classified as chemical evolution. It may have been a rapid, non-cyclical process instead. We freely admit that we have no clue how it happened.

At least until we do observe a second abiogenesis in a lab or in nature (positing that the event which produced us was the first), not only do we stick to speculation as to how it happened, but we refrain from stating 100% certainty that it did happen. If evidence of intelligent design were to emerge (say, actual physical impressions of fingerprints in our DNA) we would soon abandon the hypothesis that we are the products of abiogenesis. We would then try to determine whether the designer was a god, an alien or an extinct Earth creature, and in all three cases start to hypothesise about the abiogenesis and evolution of that being, if any.

This is the difference between a scientific hypothesis and a faith position. We assume a scientific hypothesis for practical purposes as the best current explanation until a better one comes along, at which point we chop and change. We're not precious about it at all, at least until it accumulates enough evidence to be declared a theory. A man with a faith position defends it to the end, because he usually expects no contradictory (or even supporting) evidence to present itself.

Another difference is that a hypothesis must be falsifiable, which means there must be some hypothetical event which demonstrates it is false. Our abiogenesis is falsifiable because we might find firm evidence of a creator, like a signature or a work log billions of years old. By comparison, what would falsify the intelligent creation of life? Nothing. Even if we achieved abiogenesis in a lab, it might be the case that although abiogenesis is possible, we were still designed.

On the basis of this last point, I submit to you the idea that intelligent creation of life is a faith position where abiogenesis is not. There may be additional ways to establish this comparison, but I'll leave it at that for now.

I've seen the genetic code argument before, you know. The idea is that all codes are intelligently designed, so the existence of one in DNA proves a designer. That's an argument from ignorance because there is no evidence that a code is impossible without a designer. Further, if you present this argument, I can provide examples of naturally occurring codes which have nothing to do with life, like the means by which mineral crystals can transmit their structure to non-crystallised material.

There's another side to the genetic code argument which states that it's impossible for new information to appear naturally. We've been over that here.

- SmartLX

Best Evidence For and Against A Young Earth?

I was recently asked the following on a creationist blog I was invited to read. >>> Healyhatman if there had been a world-wide flood what evidence would you expect to see? What is your best-specific- piece of evidence against a young earth? <<< I made a huge list of the things I thought I would expect to see and added radio-isotope dating / stars more than 6k light years away as answers for the second part. But what are the big pieces of evidence one would expect for a global flood, and what is the single best piece of evidence against a young earth? Which piece of evidence "rules them all" ? Also, why aren't line breaks working?
Atheist Answer: 

Line breaks aren't working for you because the formatting in the answers isn't implemented for the question field (hint hint, powers that be).

As usual I'm going to be very general here because I am not a scientist, but I will try to include key points you can google later.

The number one method young-Earth creationists use to make a young earth plausible in light of geological and paleontological realities is to exploit the most catastrophic world-changing event in the Bible set chronologically between Creation and Armageddon: Noah's flood. This is the raison d'etre of so-called flood geology.

The flood, they claim, carved out the Grand Canyon, wiped out all of the animals we only see today as fossils, and laid down all the strata in quick succession as sediment.
To put it mildly, there are a multitude of potential problems with this.

One is the rigid position of all animals worldwide in the strata. In the chaos of a planet overwhelmed by rushing water, why are all specimens in a given extinct species (say, trilobites) found in the same layer instead of all over the place?

There's one clever explanation that simple animals were drowned first, followed by successively more advanced animals who could fly or were more agile. So the higher they are the longer they held on, and the more evolved they "appear". However you'd expect millions of exceptions to this, for example a small reptile holding onto a floating log. There are many claims of objects found out of sequence, like petrified trees penetrating many strata, but no proven anomalies yet.

Radiocarbon dating is the most straightforward method of disproving the young earth. Using basic laws of nuclear physics, it regularly establishes the age of objects as tens of thousands to millions of years old. Even one such object would prove the earth to be least that old, but this happens all the dang time.

Therefore, of course, there's a huge effort by creationists to discredit radiocarbon dating completely and utterly. There are large margins of error sometimes, but when you're only trying to make sure something is older than six millennia, an error of millions of years out of greater millions hardly matters.

What many don't know is that there are many different forms of dating, based in principle on the initial carbon method but using other particles. Some of these have indeed been found unreliable and are no longer in use (and are publicised by some creationists to represent the whole field as a failure) but this does not reflect upon the methods still used.

Similar to this geological argument between young-earth creationists and everybody else is the astronomical argument. There are objects greater than 6000 light years away, such that if the universe were that young, light from them wouldn't have reached us yet.

One creationist has developed a bigger cousin to flood geology, namely white hole cosmology. WHC assigns different time speeds to different areas, so that six thousand years here is billions of years at the edge of the universe. Besides WHC, there are other ideas involving light moving faster than the speed of light itself. Needless to say, these ideas as applied in this way are without support in mainstream science.

The first thing I'd throw at them in your situation, Healy, is those distant objects in space. White hole cosmology isn't nearly as well-rehearsed as flood geology, and the responses tend to sound really cool in a sci-fi B-movie sort of way. It might be fun. Either that, or they might concede an old universe and concentrate on a young Earth, which is not a very stable position.

- SmartLX

Self Contradictory atheism/science

Science insists there must be a 'reason' for everything. Yet when asked for the reason that existence came into being, they say you do not need a reason. How can we argue from this position?
Atheist Answer: 

I'm assuming you mean that everything must have a cause.

Even science isn't so solid on causes anymore, having so far failed to find a cause for the probabilistic quantum mechanics of particles even while predicting them to within microscopic distances.

But let's assume everything generally does need a cause. If it's unreasonable to say that the universe doesn't need a cause, how much more reasonable is it to say that its precursor, its cause, doesn't need a cause itself? Is an eternal universe harder to imagine than an eternal god?

If we assume anything with a beginning needs a cause, something must be eternal and you can't escape that by putting in a god. At least we have some reason to suspect that the universe is eternal, as we know matter and energy exist and they can't be created or destroyed. Basic conservation law. Not really knowing jack about gods, we have no equivalent basis for their existence, let alone their infinite age. Given the initial assumption, I'm going with an eternal universe.

- SmartLX

what about NDE's?

hi, i'm an atheist but recently i've been very troubled with a kind of epiphany i had. what if near death experiences are ways of leaving your body to visit other dimensions, heaven perhaps? what if religion is something that is not meant to be proven or disproven and that its about faith. on the other hand maybe people had NDEs in mind when they made the concept of heaven and hell. im just curious as to what your opinions are on the matter. thanks!
Atheist Answer: 

The thing to remember is that someone having a near death experience is, obviously, near death. The brain is in a panicked state. It hallucinates, or dreams, of happy or fantastical things to get away from reality and pain. Since the person knows on some level that death is nearby, thoughts are likely to turn to the afterlife and whatever concepts of it the person has been exposed to. Of course Heaven and Hell are going to figure heavily in these hallucinations. Contrary to what you suggest, I think people simply have Heaven and Hell in mind when they have their NDEs.

- SmartLX

Thermodynamics stump ya?

Either the universe did always exist or the universe did not always exist. If the universe always existed, then it would have reached energy death according to "Heat And You" (see below) an infinite time ago, an absurdity given the universe's present state. If the universe didn't always exist, then either the universe caused itself to exist or the universe didn't cause itself to exist. If the universe caused itself to exist, then the universe would have existed before it existed, an absurdity. Therefore the universe didn't always exist and didn't cause itself to exist. Therefore an uncaused cause (not subject to "Heat And You!") caused the universe to exist. That uncreated entity, for the sake of this discussion, is God. The rest of this argument/question can be found here.
Atheist Answer: 

For the sake of the discussion, did God cause himself to exist? Is that not absurd too? Has he reached heat death?

If the universe has existed forever, it's an isolated, closed system by definition (since there's nothing which is not within it) so it can break even. If it hasn't always existed, why can't something simpler than a god have brought it about? Why do you discount simpler matter or energy reactions, or a previous universe, and jump straight to a fully formed, sourceless intelligence? He's even harder to explain than the universe is.

In general, why don't you apply your questions on the origin of the universe to the origin of God? Is it just a no-go zone?

Jumping to evolution, it does represent a decrease in local entropy. So does building a tower out of Lego: There was no order to the blocks, and now there is some. Would you say it's impossible to build Lego structures, or indeed to build anything at all from unordered pieces? Of course not. You think God did just that.

The key word here is "local". Within a system, entropy can decrease in one area if it increases by at least that much elsewhere. In the case of the Lego, entropy increases in your body as food is dissolved and digested. This gives you the energy to move the blocks.

So a transfer of energy can decrease local entropy enough to create order and complexity. The ultimate energy source for evolution, like nearly all earthly processes, is the sun. Earth's isolated system must of course include the sun. Its explosive fusion reactions increase entropy far more than the natural process of evolution decreases it, so no laws of physics are broken.

Thermodynamics and evolution are perfectly compatible, or else evolution would have been struck down in Darwin's lifetime; research towards entropic principles began around 1803.

So that's why we've heard the Argument from Thermodynamics a lot and yet we're still atheists.

- LX

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