The Big Issues (locked)

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This is an index into many of the big issues of this forum, along with summaries of the topic and the major arguments on each side. Click on a link below in order to go to a summary card with details and links to threads.


Religion

Existence of God

Atheism as Truth

The Bible as Truth

“Homosexuality as a Sin”


Politics

“2008 US Presidential Election”

Banning Homosexual Marriage

“Libertarianism”

“The Green Movement”

“Abortion”

“Russia/Georgia Conflict”


Science

Global Warming

Evolution


Arts

Video Games as Art


Philosophy

“Logic”

 
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Ok, as part of our whole “start new threads vs. resurrect old threads” debate, it was suggested by some (Navarre I remember for sure) that we have some sort of reference page identifying the big, common issues, giving links to some of the pertinent threads, and perhaps even brief summaries of the major arguments for each side.

My idea is to create this sticky to do exactly that: act as an index for new and old users alike to look up issues, check out old posts, see the major arguments, and then decide if they want to pursue adding on to them. I don’t have time to create this whole list right now, so I’m looking for suggestions for what issues to include, links to relevant discussion in those issues, and people who would volunteer to write a summary for one side or the other. I’ll compile the results and put them into the first link above as a main index.

Additionally, any suggestions/comments on this thread in general would be well appreciated. I’m thinking the index above will link to specific posts within this thread. Each of those posts would contain a summary of the issue, pros and cons, and links to specific threads. Sound good?

 
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[spot reserved]

 
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Well, this is a pretty good idea. I agree with your approach and would be willing to be one of those “Volunteers”.

 
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I’m glad we can finally get one of these up. I can help summarize topics.

 
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A great idea, but I’m too lazy to help so good luck.

 
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Don’t Tread On Me: A Libertarian Thread

legalization of marijuana

I don’t know if this is helpful but I just figured out that you can click on the time above our avatars and it gives you a link to specific posts. I guess there would be multiple threads for a topic like religion but maybe linking specific posts is better for topics that are pretty much confined to one huge thread.

 
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way to triple post

 
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Way to not understand the point of the triple post. :-P

The first one will be the main index of all the topics. The second one was an explanation of the idea. The third was the first sample post, which is linked to in the first post. So it was very intentional and appropriate.

 
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What happened to my sticky? :( I enjoyed having a sticky.

 
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Definitely a good idea. In another community in which I participated, I was a “Director” of a small unit within the game and had our group’s personal discussions referenced by links. The only problem is getting people to actually utilize your list, but it’s definitely a good idea!

 
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My genitalia fits the thread description.

 
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Cough cough

What happened to my sticky? :( I enjoyed having a sticky.

 
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Cough cough

thats what she said.

 
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The Existence of God(s)

In this post I will argue that existence of god is much less likely than her existence, and therefore the logical position for all people is atheism.

First things first, we should clarify some terms.

A god is a supernatural being usually attributed with powers far greater than humans or any known physical entity. Gods are usually believed to be creators or deities of some natural phenomenon, for example the Abrahamic god is credited with being the creator of all things, as are the deities of most monotheistic religions. While there are many definitions of god, I will be basing my arguments mostly against the Abrahamic god, which will I think cover most other gods. If you feel your deity wasn’t included, I’ll try and refine my definition. The most important thing I must mention is that I argue against an interventionist god. If you believe in a god that has never interacted with this universe in any way, then I am not arguing against your god.

Secondly, we must make sure we’re in the same frame of reference. I will be using logic in my argument, as it has been proven to be our greatest tool to revealing truth. If you do not use logic in your belief system, then this will do very little to convince you otherwise. On the same topic, I will not take refutations like “God is beyond logic” or “You can’t understand God with your feeble human mind” seriously unless you can explain exactly what you mean by that series of words. The series of words “Green almost travelled to the bricks” is grammatically correct, but it means nothing. Unless you can explain your argument, it is not an argument, it is just a series of words.

Now, onto business.

There is no evidence for the existence of any god. None. Not a single piece of verifiable evidence has ever been found to support the existence of a being that is supposedly omnipresent. The history of the universe can be explained from a few moments after it’s birth to the present day, without the need for god anywhere. You may disagree, but in order for that to count as a refutation you would have to present a piece of verifiable evidence that suggests the existence of god more than or to the exclusion of anything else. Good luck.

This takes us to the point of truth, that all that god is without all the faith, religion and tradition, god is just another mythical creature. Existence neither proven or disproved. Hopefully you haven’t fallen into the trap of thinking this makes gods existence a 50/50 chance. Why exactly would it be a 50/50 chance? Just because there are two possible options? There are only two possible outcomes of playing the lottery, you either win or you lose, does that make winning the lottery a 50/50 chance? No. There are many other factors to consider before we conclude the chances of gods existence. Let’s start with an easy one.

God is a form of life. All forms of life are unlikely to exist. Therefore god is unlikely to exist.

The probability of any life existing in any situation is less than 50/50. The probability of life existing is not 50/50 and god must be a type of life, therefore her chance of existing is not 50/50. If the probability of life existing was 50/50, we would reasonably expect to see life on half the planets in the universe. If the chances of all forms of life existing was 50/50, why would we need a god to create us?

Still on sold ground with another one.

All complex life arises from evolution. Evolution requires mating and breeding. The creator must be more complex than the creation. Therefore any god that created complex life must be complex. Therefore either god arose from evolution or she doesn’t exist.

Evolution is fact. I will create a post similar to this one about evolution at a different time and link it to this. The argument for evolution is a lot easier than this one, in fact it’s very easy because there is more evidence to support it than practically any other scientific theory and there is no valid alternative. If you disagree with evolution, I will suppress the instinct that you won’t listen to anything I say anyway and ask for you patience in constructing my argument for evolution. In the meantime, please ignore this particular argument, I have plenty others.

The probability of something being true is based on how many times it has been observed in the past and how plausible it is based on our current knowledge. The following traits are all incredibly improbable in that they have never before been observed and they are not plausible based on current knowledge.

Omnipotence – Omnipotence is impossible, as demonstrated by many examples, such as “Could an omnipotent being create a rock so heavy that an omnipotent being couldn’t lift it.” The following question is a simple yes or no question, with both answers creating the scenario of an omnipotent being not being able to do something. Therefore omnipotence is impossibe.

Omniscience – Omniscience is very improbable in itself, also omniscience and ‘free will’ are mutually exclusive, that cannot exist at the same time. Nearly all theists believe in ‘free will’ so they will have to make a choice as to which they prefer.

Not bound by the laws of nature, such as the conservation of energy, entropy, etc… – To not be bound by physical laws, you have to be metaphysical. Fine. The problem occurs when you try to posit a metaphysical being interacting with a physical being or space, which is impossible, by definition. All physical interactions require energy, and metaphysical beings cannot, by definition, contain a physical entitiy like energy. Therefore metaphysical beings cannot interact with physical ones. Either god is physical and bound by physical laws, or god cannot interact with our world, if she exists that is.

So we have many valid arguments why Gods existence as it is commonly conceived is either impossible or extremely improbable. Combine this with the fact that there is no evidence to even suggest that a god does exist leaves it very clear that the logical position is that God’s existence is at least as improbable as the other mythological creatures we do not waste our time discussing, such as unicorns, phoenix or the flying spaghetti monster. In this post I have not gone into the other reasons why gods existence is unlikely, namely because the roots of gods conception by human minds is traceable, mainly because to track each god back through the ages would take to long and I wanted to try and make it general. I will add and refine this post based on feedback. I will also add common arguments for god and my refutations for them as they come up.

 
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There is no evidence for the existence of any god.

there is no evidence of the contrary

 
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So you literally didn’t read my post past that point?

 
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there is no evidence of the contrary
That is the evidence

 
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That is the evidence

correlation is not causation mister atheist

So you literally didn’t read my post past that point?

If I could have done it figuratively I would have, sorry.

 
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Great post, Navarre, but this is the wrong thread for it.
Edit Phoenix00017: Oh, sorry I didn’t realize he was writing a summary for your index.

zmmaji, don’t reply to posts you haven’t read fully. I consider it spam because it doesn’t contribute to the thread and is annoying.

Example

Post 1:

I like Kongregate because it has a lot of great games.


Post 2:

I like Kongregate

Why do you like Kongregate?

 
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hes right

 
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No, Navarre’s post is exactly what should be in this thread – I just need to start doing the indexing I was supposed to do. However, this is not going to be a discussion thread, so please do not reply to Navarre’s post. If you feel it needs an edit, you can point that out, but do not reply. If you would like to represent the other side of the argument, feel free to write a similar essay (free-standing essay – do not reply to or reference his points directly), please feel free and we will use it as the counter-argument.

Anyway, I’m beginning to do the indexing. I’m looking for suggestions of topics I’ve missed, as well as comments about ones I have up there currently (too specific, not important, whatever). Also, suggestions for formatting would also be appreciated if you don’t like the current style.

 
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Existence of God

Perhaps the single most debated topic on the internet, the existence of a supreme being is a question that has become an obsession for mankind. The question is not necessarily as simple as it first appears. What is meant by "God"? Can there be multiple Gods? Is this a "Creator", or just a supreme being? Is it sentient, or just an eternal force? In general though, the question refers to a single God as a Creator, most famously the Christian God, but not unlike many other monotheistic versions of a supreme being. For this debate, we primarily discuss the Christian God, though it can be abstracted a bit beyond that.




Affirmative Opinion, written by balcerman:

Few Pros For The Existence of God




This text is not a "complete set of evidences that will convince everyone that God exists". It just makes some starting points which are possible to argue for and with. I don't think it is possible to make a deeper approach in a few-paragraphs-long text.

I believe that this is a fair approach. Navarre's text against the existence of God also contains arguments that are disputable. Some are easy to deny (i.e the reasoning about the probability of God's existence based on biological evolution is failed since God has no biological organism), some are controversial and not evidenced (like unjustifiable statement "Omniscience is very improbable in itself" - why? what such estimation is based on?), some are wrong (like statement "omniscience and free will are mutually exclusive" - they are not; correct one is "determinism and free will are mutually exclusive", and omniscience does not imply determinism). So, few points to start the discussion, definitely not to end it.

In many links provided below you will find not only evidences but also discussions and constructive criticism. It is a good thing.


Contents:


Scientific Evidences:
1. Rational Reality
2. DNA Riddle


Supernatural Events:
1. Miracles
2. Demonic Possessions and Exorcisms
3. The Resurrection of Christ


Personal Issues:
1. Personal Experience
2. Mysticism
3. Simple Experiment: The Atheist's Prayer






Scientific Evidences


In this section you will find some scientific issues which may imply the God's actions in the Universe.




Rational Reality


1. If reality can be completely and trurly described by rational system, it is designed by rational mind rather than emerged from non-rational cause, coincidence etc.
2. Science is a system of rational theories based on the repeatable observations.
3. Science is a complete and true description of reality.
4. Since our reality is rationally, completely and trurly describable by science, it is designed by rational mind.




DNA Riddle


1. DNA is not merely a molecule with a pattern; it is a code, a language, and an information storage mechanism.
2. All codes are created by a conscious mind; there is no natural process known to science that creates coded information.
3. Therefore DNA was designed by a mind.


More detailed description and link to HUGE discussion:
http://www.cosmicfingerprints.com/dna-atheists/






Supernatural Events


In this section you will find descriptions of supernatural events: miracles, demonic possessions, exorcisms and the resurrection of Christ.
I will mostly focus on events approved by Catholic Church.




About rejection of the supernatural events:
There are many atheists who reject the supernatural events events before starting any study on them. They deny because "such events are just not possible".
If you are such a person, take a closer look on your own reasoning. If you deny the miracle because it is impossible, and expect God to perform a miracle, you will miss it even if God exists and makes one. You will fall into circular logic: God does not exist because there are no miracles, and there are no miracles because God does not exist.


Another fallacy is rejecting all supernatural events because some of them were proved as frauds.
Some scientific discoveries were actually falsified but is doesn't mean that all of them are faked. The same goes with supernatural events.




About verifiability of the supernatural events:
For an average reader of this forum, evidences below are verifiable in the same way as the evidences of scientific theories. You probably don't own a supertelescope on the roof, nor a particle accelerator in the basement nor an advanced chemical laboratory at home. You read about scientific theories in books, watch movies about chemical reactions and admire space photos, and you believe that scientiscs do not cheat you with their results, although it is theoretically possible. Movies and photos can be fabricated, theories can be delusive. More, some scientists actually cheat on their results and there are fraud cases in science. But we rather believe that these are single cases which in general does not undermine the credibility of scientists in general.
The same goes with history. You do not have a direct access to historical sources, and even if so, you do not make a complete historical research on the historical events. You rather trust historians that they won't cheat in general, despite the fact that there are fraud cases in historical research as well.
I urge you to be fair with the evidences described below. Do not treat the event as frauds just because you were not a participant or an eyewitness of it. Be a skeptic but do not accumulate criteria impossible to fulfill just to protect yourself from accepting the issues which are conflicting with your worldview. Take a fair study - apply the same criteria as you would normally do.




Miracles


In the points below I will treat the miracles as supernatural signs of God.


Incorruptibility: allows some human bodies (specifically saints) to avoid the normal process of decomposition after death as a sign of their holiness.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Incorruptibility


Stigmata: bodily marks, sores, or sensations of pain in locations corresponding to the crucifixion wounds of Jesus, such as the hands and feet.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stigmata


Marian apparition: event in which the Blessed Virgin Mary is believed to have supernaturally appeared to one or more people.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Marian_apparition


Eucharistic miracle: involve the visible transformation of the bread and wine into the Body and Blood of Jesus Christ during the consecration portion of a Catholic Mass or Orthodox Liturgy. Other forms of Eucharistic miracle have also been reported such as consecrated Hosts being preserved over 250 years or surviving being thrown into fire.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eucharistic_miracle


Miracle of the Sun: event on 13 October 1917 in which 30,000 to 100,000 people, who were gathered near Fátima, Portugal, claimed to have witnessed extraordinary solar activity.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Miracle_of_the_Sun


Miracle of Calanda: a young farmer's leg was restored to him after having been amputated two and a half years earlier.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Miracle_of_Calanda




You may find few more miracle descriptions here:
http://www.miraclesofthechurch.com/


Even more miracles, with sources:
http://listverse.com/2008/07/14/top-10-astonishing-miracles/




Demonic Possessions and Exorcisms


Catholic exorcists differentiate between "ordinary" Satanic activity or influence (which includes mundane everyday temptations) and "extraordinary" Satanic activity, which can take six different forms:
1. External physical pain caused by Satan;
2. Demonic Possession, in which Satan takes full possession of a person's body without their knowledge or consent: the victim is therefore morally blameless;
3. Diabolical Oppression, in which there is no loss of consciousness or involuntary action, such as in the biblical Book of Job in which Job was tormented by a series of misfortunes in business, family, and health;
4. Diabolic Obsession, which includes sudden attacks of irrationally obsessive thoughts, usually culminating in suicidal ideation and intrusive dreams;
5. Diabolic infestation, which affects houses, things, or animals; and
6. Diabolic subjugation, in which a person voluntarily submits to Satan.


True diabolical or satanic possession has been characterized since the Middles Ages, in the Rituale Romanum, by the following four typical characteristics:
1. manifestation of superhuman strength;
2. speaking in tongues or languages that the person cannot know;
3. the revelation of knowledge, distant or hidden, that the victim cannot know;
4. blasphemic rage and an aversion to holy symbols or relics.


Exorcism is when the Church asks publicly and authoritatively in the name of Jesus Christ that a person or object be protected against the power of the Evil One and withdrawn from his dominion.


Solemn exorcisms, according to the Canon law of the church, can be exercised only by an ordained priest (or higher prelate), with the express permission of the local bishop, and only after a careful medical examination to exclude the possibility of mental illness.


Sources:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Demonic_possession
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Exorcism_in_the_Catholic_Church




Sample cases of exorcisms:


Anneliese Michel
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anneliese_Michel


Robbie Mannheim
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Robbie_Mannheim


Clara Germana Cele
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Clara_Germana_Cele




The Resurrection of Christ


The death and resurrection of Christ are the most important events in whole history of christianity. Resurrection powered christians from the very beginning two thousands years ago till present. This supernatural event was and is an evidence that Jesus trurly is God. I described the case of resurrection more widely here:
http://www.kongregate.com/forums/9/topics/17035?page=1#posts-356879






Personal Issues


In this section you will find a description of personal and subjective evidence of God's influence.




Personal Experience


There are plenty of people who claim to experience the presence of God in their personal lifes. People of various professions, age, education, temperaments, moods. This experience is described as life-changing meetings with transcendent God. I experienced such events. Many christians I know experienced such events. It is repeatable and amazing. It feels like dating. God starts to speak when you are quiet and when you clear your mind out of thoughts. It's not stupid nor schizophrenic. It doesn't make you mentally ill or unconscious. It's not like you're on drugs or alcohol. The mind is clear, sharp and fresh. You are conscious of what is happening around you. You are yourself all time, and you remember everything after the experience has ended.

It includes irresistible feeling that God is present. After such experience it is extremely hard to convince one that God does not exist. Everyone can make theory about God's nonexistence but if theory doesn't match your experience you will reject it.




Mysticism


Mysticism is a kind of personal experience of God like one described above, but much deeper and stronger. While personal experience of God is available to everyone, mystical experience is a gift to some. It may be connected to visions, stigmata, ecstasies etc. Some mystics participated in eucharistic miracle, such as being able to eat nothing other than the communion host. It is connected to personal experience of God's presence.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Christian_mysticism


There were many christian mystics. One of them is Teresa of Avila.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Teresa_of_Avila#Mysticism




Simple Experiment: The Atheist's Prayer


There is a very simple experiment about God's presence. Anyone can perform it at home. It is based on simple fact about God - that He allows Himself to be known to every person. The experiment is called The Atheist's Prayer:


God, if You exist, allow me to know You in a way which will make me certain about Your existence and presence, in a time which You will recognize as most proper.


Notice that saying this prayer does not stand in contradiction with atheist's worldview, thanks to the word "if" in the beginning.
Just understand it and then say it.




Negative Opinion, written by Navarre:

The Existence of God(s)

In this post I will argue that existence of god is much less likely than her existence, and therefore the logical position for all people is atheism.

First things first, we should clarify some terms.

A god is a supernatural being usually attributed with powers far greater than humans or any known physical entity. Gods are usually believed to be creators or deities of some natural phenomenon, for example the Abrahamic god is credited with being the creator of all things, as are the deities of most monotheistic religions. While there are many definitions of god, I will be basing my arguments mostly against the Abrahamic god, which will I think cover most other gods. If you feel your deity wasn't included, I'll try and refine my definition. The most important thing I must mention is that I argue against an interventionist god. If you believe in a god that has never interacted with this universe in any way, then I am not arguing against your god.

Secondly, we must make sure we're in the same frame of reference. I will be using logic in my argument, as it has been proven to be our greatest tool to revealing truth. If you do not use logic in your belief system, then this will do very little to convince you otherwise. On the same topic, I will not take refutations like "God is beyond logic" or "You can't understand God with your feeble human mind" seriously unless you can explain exactly what you mean by that series of words. The series of words "Green almost travelled to the bricks" is grammatically correct, but it means nothing. Unless you can explain your argument, it is not an argument, it is just a series of words.

Now, onto business.

There is no evidence for the existence of any god. None. Not a single piece of verifiable evidence has ever been found to support the existence of a being that is supposedly omnipresent. The history of the universe can be explained from a few moments after it's birth to the present day, without the need for god anywhere. You may disagree, but in order for that to count as a refutation you would have to present a piece of verifiable evidence that suggests the existence of god more than or to the exclusion of anything else. Good luck.

This takes us to the point of truth, that all that god is without all the faith, religion and tradition, *god is just another mythical creature*. Existence neither proven or disproved. Hopefully you haven't fallen into the trap of thinking this makes gods existence a 50/50 chance. Why exactly would it be a 50/50 chance? Just because there are two possible options? There are only two possible outcomes of playing the lottery, you either win or you lose, does that make winning the lottery a 50/50 chance? No. There are many other factors to consider before we conclude the chances of gods existence. Let's start with an easy one.

God is a form of life. All forms of life are unlikely to exist. Therefore god is unlikely to exist.

The probability of any life existing in any situation is less than 50/50. The probability of life existing is not 50/50 and god must be a type of life, therefore her chance of existing is not 50/50. If the probability of life existing was 50/50, we would reasonably expect to see life on half the planets in the universe. If the chances of all forms of life existing was 50/50, why would we need a god to create us?

Still on sold ground with another one.

All complex life arises from evolution. Evolution requires mating and breeding. The creator must be more complex than the creation. Therefore any god that created complex life must be complex. Therefore either god arose from evolution or she doesn't exist.

Evolution is fact. I will create a post similar to this one about evolution at a different time and link it to this. The argument for evolution is a lot easier than this one, in fact it's very easy because there is more evidence to support it than practically any other scientific theory and there is no valid alternative. If you disagree with evolution, I will suppress the instinct that you won't listen to anything I say anyway and ask for you patience in constructing my argument for evolution. In the meantime, please ignore this particular argument, I have plenty others.

The probability of something being true is based on how many times it has been observed in the past and how plausible it is based on our current knowledge. The following traits are all incredibly improbable in that they have never before been observed and they are not plausible based on current knowledge.

Omnipotence – Omnipotence is impossible, as demonstrated by many examples, such as “Could an omnipotent being create a rock so heavy that an omnipotent being couldn't lift it.” The following question is a simple yes or no question, with both answers creating the scenario of an omnipotent being not being able to do something. Therefore omnipotence is impossibe.

Omniscience – Omniscience is very improbable in itself, also omniscience and 'free will' are mutually exclusive, that cannot exist at the same time. Nearly all theists believe in 'free will' so they will have to make a choice as to which they prefer.

Not bound by the laws of nature, such as the conservation of energy, entropy, etc... - To not be bound by physical laws, you have to be metaphysical. Fine. The problem occurs when you try to posit a metaphysical being interacting with a physical being or space, which is impossible, by definition. All physical interactions require energy, and metaphysical beings cannot, by definition, contain a physical entitiy like energy. Therefore metaphysical beings cannot interact with physical ones. Either god is physical and bound by physical laws, or god cannot interact with our world, if she exists that is.

So we have many valid arguments why Gods existence as it is commonly conceived is either impossible or extremely improbable. Combine this with the fact that there is no evidence to even suggest that a god does exist leaves it very clear that the logical position is that God's existence is at least as improbable as the other mythological creatures we do not waste our time discussing, such as unicorns, phoenix or the flying spaghetti monster. In this post I have not gone into the other reasons why gods existence is unlikely, namely because the roots of gods conception by human minds is traceable, mainly because to track each god back through the ages would take to long and I wanted to try and make it general. I will add and refine this post based on feedback. I will also add common arguments for god and my refutations for them as they come up.




Relative Forum Links:

Is God Real...Is Heaven and Hell Real?

God, The Bible, and Religion: A Kong Search for Truth
 
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The Bible as Truth

Even if we agree that there is a God (which of course we don't), the questions "Who is God?" and "What does he want?" immediately arise. The most popular answer on the planet (supported by roughly 1/3 of the world's population) is given by The Bible. So, is the Bible "The Truth"? Is it the holy, unerring Word of God? Is it superior to other religious texts? It is infallible? These are all big questions that get raised, and that not even Christians themselves agree upon. However, all Christians do agree that the Bible contains primarily Truth and that it is in the inspired Word of God at the very least. So, is this true?
Affirmative opinion, written by balcerman:

Introduction


Who is the main recipient?


The main topic of the text below is the examination of Jesus ressurection circumstances.

The text is intended for the people who claims that christianity leans on pure faith without any evidences on it, or who claims that the Bible is not reliable source of information, is faked or its authors are liars / phantasts. Also it may be interesting to the people who are simply interested on the Jesus ressurection evidence.

Since main ressurection evidences can be found in the New Testament, especially the Gospels, it is clear that it has to be proven that these historical sources are reliable, and you will find that reasoning as well.

You don't need to have any historical knowledge to start reading. You will find the introduction to history in the beginning of the text.

It is recommended for you to read at least one Gospel before reading this text. It is hard to consider the source which you don't know. The shortest one is the Gospel of Mark.

Why this text is so long??


Because it contains the historical research. Historical reasoning requres many steps, comparisons and a lot of reasoning.

More, is contains complete path, assuming that the recipient has no knowledge about history and its methods and starts with explanation of this issue.

And it is not long - it is very short. I squeezed hundreds of pages of many books to short text and making it readable and understandable. I had to resign from sources other than the New Testament, like apocrypha or jewish and roman writings that describe Jesus and events from His life, to keep it shorter. I can imagine that after reading this text probably you will end up having more questions than you have now. I believe that it is a good overview.

Why should I believe in what you have written?


I strongly recommend you to not believe me and check these informations for yourself. Try visiting some libraries, possibly at the nearest university. You will find many information in the internet but keep in mind that probably you will find 30% "I think...", 30% of emotions, 30% trash data and maybe 10% of true and reliable sources. There is a centuries-long, deadly ideologic war around the person of Jesus since His teaching is radical, revolutionary, and life-changing. Keep books over the internet, evidence over opinion and keep yourself away from ideological discussions.

Remember that this is a history investigation, not building the ideology. You don't have to take it personally or to change your life in any way.

Some sources


To create this text I used few books and scripts. I took the main construction from the book "The Credible Book of Ressurection" of Josh McDowell (part three).

You'll find more detailed informations about some of the New Testament copies here:
http://www.skypoint.com/members/waltzmn/ManuscriptsPapyri.html

Lots of New Testament critics texts are on the main site:
http://www.skypoint.com/members/waltzmn/

Sorry for the language errors - I'm not native english speaker.

Why history?


You may wonder why I picked up the history to show you the reliability of some past events. The reason is that I believe that science and humanities are so far the best tools to explore the areas they are created for (and are getting better constantly).

In other words:
- the best tool to explore the characteristics and changes of matter and energy is the physics
- the best tool to explore and criticise the texts is the literary theory
- the best tool to explore the changes of the mixed substances is the chemistry
- the best tool to explore the past of the mankind is the history
- the best tool to explore the life organisms and their origin is biology
etc.

You may disagree with that. I don't claim that these are the best tools ever in these areas. But if you disagree, tell me about better solution, and explain why do you think it is better.

Contents:


1. Very Short Introduction To History
2. New Testament - Do We Have The Original Text?
3. Isn't New Testament a Set of Myths or Legends?
4. New Testament Auhtors - Were they liars?
5. New Testament Auhtors - Could They Know About What They Described?
6. Gospels - Four Stories that Actually Aren't Identical...
7. What Are the Facts?
8. What could happen there?

1. Very Short Introduction To History


The purpose of the history is to explore the past of the mankind.

"And how they are suppose to do that? The past is gone, right?"

Yes, and it is obvious that historicians don't have the time machine to go to the past and explore it directly. But they can explore the artifacts that remain from the part - books, scripts, buildings, monuments etc. We call these artifacts as historical sources. Needles to say, most of the historical knowledge comes from the writings.

This is why it is crucial to remember that what we know and say about historical events is what we found in the historical sources. If you say anything about historical event, you must document it with historical sources and give an explanation on why do you consider the authors of these sources as credible.

The method of history are very similar to the method used in crime investigation. This is why they are often bound together and called historical-judicatory method (I might translated it wrongly, correct me if so).

As in the crime investigation where the suspect is innocent until the guilt is proven, historians assume the "limited credibility" of the authors of analysed text. We are supposed to read the document and listen to what the authors said and not assume the falsification or a lie, at least until the authors will disqualify themselves by giving contradictory or inconsistent informations (J. W. Montgomery).

In the history there is also an assumption that the reasons behind what people do are rational. Example: if a whole nation has migrated from one place to another, we assume that there was an important issue behind that, like more food, danger etc. instead of i.e. fun or lust of harder life.

It is important to remember that history, as most of the sciences and humanities, is about the probability, not the certainty.

I will try to show you that the historical source named New Testament is credible enough to at least explore the Jesus resurrection. To do so, I will have to explain why I consider its authors as credible.

2. New Testament - Do We Have The Original Text?


You may ask the question "How can I read the New Testament if I don't even know if it wasn't changed during the time? There might be that some middle-age pope added something to it or removed something..." . If you wonder about that, this part is for you.

It is very important to remember that in this part I am not saying a single word about what is written in the New Testament. Here I only want to know if the book I hold today in my hands is the same book written almost 2000 years ago.

In this world nothing lasts forever. Everything turns to the ashes in some time. The same goes with the rolls which ancient people used to write on. This is why we don't have any original ancient document. Some of them turned into asked, others were burnt or drowned. If we want to estimate the credibility of the document, we must investigate its copies we have today. We must think about two things:

1. How many copies of the document do we have today?
2. How much time has passed from the creation of the original document and the creation of it's copy?

Needless to say, we want to have as much copies as possible, written in the shortest possible time after the original was written.

How does it look like for the ancient books?

Most of them we have in few copies and are made 1000 or more years after the original was made, which is enough for the historicians and for us to accept the ancient history they describe and to believe that these are the original texts of their creators. Here are some of them:

- "History" of Thukydides - 8 copies, the oldest one is made 1300 years after the original
- "Poetry" of Aristoteles - 5 copies, the oldest one is from 1400 years after the original
- "History of Gallic Wars" of Caesar - 10 copies from 1000 years after the original
etc...

Quite nicely proved are Demosthenes writings, documented with 200 copies, 1400 years far from the original.

The second best ancient book is "The Iliad" of Homer. It is far more well documented than most of other documents. We have 643 copies, and the youngest is from 400 years after the original.

The first one is the Tew Testament with immense number of 24,970 copies, and the youngests are made 50-300 years after the original.

Comparing the New Testament with all others ancient books, tell me: if the New Testament is not credible, then what is? Has anyone completely dropped the history of Ancient Rome so far? Even comparing the New Testament with the documents written much later, it still wins quite often. Are you sure that Napoleone existed? How do you know? From the documents you say?... :)

Basing on the fact that we can be historically sure that the New Testament text is the same as was written originally, we will analyse its text now.

3. Isn't New Testament a Set of Myths or Legends?


"It doesn't make it any better. You mentioned the Iliad of Homer as second best documented ancient book. Even if we can be sure that the text is the same, we still know it's only a myth. Isn't the New Testament the same thing?"

We may answer to that question thanks to the literary theory. There are some characteristics for every literary genre. Exploration of New Testament text reveals that it is far from myths or legends. As for the Gospels there are fragments of poetry as well as parables, but such forms were used to describe the teachings of Jesus (what He said), not the events that happen (what He did). As a whole the closest genre Gospels may be compared to is the ancient Roman-Greek biography. They are also sometimes compared to the reportage.

What does it mean?

It means that the Iliad of Homer is written as myth. It's purpose it not describing the real events but rather explaining the surrounding world as people could do it in the past (like why people live and die, what is good and bad, why there are seasons in the year etc.).

The Gospels and New Testament authors wrote their texts not as a myths but rather as they would want to describe some events that really happened, sometimes amazing, but still real. The purpose of the Gospels is the description of the real events that are placed in specific time and place. There are also text fragments where authors openly say that they don't write myths. Ever seen the myth that says openly it's not a myth?

You can see the difference with your own eyes. The Iliad and the Gospels are widely accessible. Personally it was surprising to me to see a report which partially is so raw instead of drama I expected before reading the Gospels.

4. New Testament Auhtors - Were they liars?


"Even if I can be historically sure that I have the original text of the New Testament, how am I supposed to trust to its authors? They wrote their texts as it would be description of real events but maybe they lied to make some kind of profit?"

The key fact to remember is that the New Testament wasn't written to us but rather to the people who lived in the first century, who actually often knew the events described in Gospels, Acts and Epistles. While authors were writing their texts, they referred the knowledge of their readers, like "You know what we are talking about and you know it's true, because you've seen it yourself".

More, there were surrounded by many great enemies. They couldn't lie because these enemies would surely use their lies against them. Paradoxically our biggest enemies are always our best authentication. Do you know why I believe that Americans were really walking on the Moon? Because if it would a fake, Russians, who were their biggest enemies during the Cold War, would surely and easily point that out.

Jesus and His followers claimed that Jesus is a God. Such statement made them many enemies. The two most powerful enemies of Jesus and early christians were:

1. The Roman Empire, with their Caesar worshipped as god; every inhabitant of Roman Empire was obligated to worship Caesar. This is why the faith in any other god or gods was the natural foe of the Empire, and the Israel was a part of the Empire these days.

2. Jews themselves, since they believed that the Jehovah is the only God, and they didn't identify Him with Jesus. For them it was a blasphemy to say that Jesus is a God Himself. Such statements were punished with a death.

The authors of the New Testament lived in the Roman Empire, in the Israel district. What is considered as the biggest argument for the truthfulness of them is that most of them were actually killed by these enemies. As for the apostles, 10 of 11 were killed:

1. Peter - crucified
2. Andrew - crucified
3. Matthew - killed by a sword
4. James, son of Alphaeus - crucified
5. Philip - crucified
6. Simon - crucified
7. Thaddeus - shot by a bow
8. James, son of Zebedee - killed by a sword
9. Thomas - killed by a spear
10. Bartholomew - crucified

The last one, John, wasn't killed. He was banished from his home land and his friends, and condemned to life imprisonment on the island Patmos. Congratulations. Lucky guy.

Many people lie. But I haven't hear about a single person who died for his/her own lies. The solution was simple - to say that there was no such thing as the ressurection of Jesus. And not a single one of them said that? They have to had a really good reason to stand on the ressurection side.

5. New Testament Auhtors - Could They Know About What They Described?


Another question that definitely should be asked here is: "Maybe the authors didn't write the myths but did they knew about what they described? Maybe they didn't really know the events they described? Maybe they describe something they've only heard from others who heard it from others and so on? Or they described the events from 200 years before they were even borned?"

This is definitely the important factor, and it is also used in the historical investigation.

There are two main issues in this factor. Below you will find the description of them.

1. How much time has passed between creation of the original document and the events it describes?


It's quite obvious that the less time has passed, the bigger chance that the document is credible.

How is it with the New Testament, and especially the four Gospels, in which the description of the resurrection is placed? There were many discussions about that factor. There was a time in the past that historians believed that the New Testament was written even in the end of the 2nd century (year 200). But the discoveries of early copies of New Testament in the end of the 19th century have falsified these beliefs.

How Gospels are dated today? Keep in mind that the resurrection event had place around 30 AD

- Matthew: years between 40-60 AD
- Mark: years between 45-60 AD
- Luke: years between 50-60 AD
- John: years between 40-90 AD

It means that first fragments of Gospels were written even 7-10 years after the events they describe. Even today history books sometimes don't describe the events so fast..

How does it look if we will compare to the other ancient documents?

- Two authors of texts about Alexander the Great, Plutarchos ho Chaironeus and Flavius Arrianus, wrote their documents 400 years after the death of Alexander in 323 BC. Their texts are widely accepted by historians and by us as credible.

2. How close were the authors to the events they describe?


Have they participated in these events? Have they seen the event? Or maybe they only heard about it? Or they read about it in another document?

Needless to say, the closer authors were to the events they describe, the more credible their writings are.

The Gospels were written by the people who were eyewitnesses to the events or by people who based on the reports of the eyewithesses. They were inside the describing events or they've heard the reports of those who were inside the events. Nothing much to say here. We will dig deeper into their reports below.

6. Gospels - Four Stories that Actually Aren't Identical...


"Right... maybe Gospels authors are trustworthy since they died for what they was saying. But there are some differences between the Gospels which makes it confusing.. Shouldn't Gospels say exactly the same story to be reliable?"

The answer is: no, they shouldn't be identical.

Ask the detectives or policemen. It is natural that different people describe the same event in different ways. When the investigation is pending, and you have several witnesses to interrogate, there are 3 possibilities:

1. The testimonies are totally inconsistent with each other,
2. The testimonies differ in some ways but they are consistent in main points,
3. The testimonies are consistent including almost all details.

Out of these three possibilities, the most credible is number 2, as confirming the most natural shape of memories of different people. Number 1 means that probably one or more of the witnesses lie. Number 3 means that probably there is a witness conspiracy.

7. What Are the Facts?


"If we have the original text and authors are trustworthy, what actually they say about the circumstances of the Jesus ressurection?"

Facts about Jesus crucifixion:


- Jesus was judged six times: high priest Annas judgement, high priest Caiaphas judgement, Sanhedrin (jewish high council) judgement, Pontius Pilatus judgement, Herod judgement, and second Pontius Pilatus judgement. Three jewish judgements and three roman judgements.

- He was flogged with roman whip called flagrum

- He had to carry the horizontal cross timber called patibulum (weight 35-45 kg) and He couldn't do it, falling few times and finally was replaced with another man

- He was nailed to the cross

- He hang on the cross for six hours

- After 6 hours on the cross, the roman soldier pierced his side with a spear, and the blood and water came out which is a medical proof of death

Facts about Jesus burial:


- Jesus body was wrapped in linen clothes together with and 35-45 kg of myrrh and aloes mixture from the top of the head to the bottom of foots; after that the body was like in a cocoon

- the body was laid in the stone tomb

- the entrance to the tomb was closed with a huge round stone (at least 1500-2000 kg). It was rolled into the shallow pit in front of the tomb entrance.

- the roman guards was keeping a duty at the Jesus tomb; it was set because Jesus enemies were afraid that Jesus friends might want to steal the body because of His prophecy of ressurection

- the tomb entrance was sealed with a Roman Empire seal

Facts about what happened 3 days later:


- the Roman Seal was broken

- the huge stone was moved away

- the tomb was empty

- the roman guards run away

- the linen clothes were still laid inside the tomb, without a body but keeping its shape

- people had seen Jesus alive. A lot of them. More than 500. Including His closest friends. Including people who didn't believe in His the ressurection as you wouldn't believe in mine. Including His enemies who didn't want to see Him alive again.

8. What could happen there?


"So... He ressurected.. right. Isn't there any other possible explanation of what happened? Ressurection is quite a miracle?.. We can't explain things with miracles."

There are many theories that try to explain what really happened if it wasn't the ressurection. But when these theories are confronted with the facts mentioned above, it comes out that such explanations would have to be bigger miracles that the ressurection itself. I'm not likely to believe in miracles and this forces me to believe in the ressurection.

Below you will find some explanations other than the ressurection and why are they considered as not sufficient:

A Myth Theory


There is a theory which says that the Jesus ressurection was made up basing on the others deities ressurection (i.e. Osiris, Adonis or Isis). In the popular video Zeitgeist the Jesus ressurection criticism is based on such theory.

There are 5 general arguments against it:

1. Many claims about similarities between Jesus ressurection and dying and reborned deities is a big exaggeration. Scholars often describe pagan rituals with the language taken from the christianity. Such words like baptism or ressurection are used to describe the deeds of deities even if it doesn't have to do much with christianity.

2.Chronology does not confirm dependencies of early christianity from these religions. Available sources about pagan deities that contains any mentions of anything that reminds ressurection come from 2., 3. and 4. century. They were made after the New Testament canon was set.

3. It is highly improbable that the Paul with his rigoristic monoteism and jewish descent had borrow anything from the pagan religions. He rather warned other christians many times to not do that.

4. Death and ressurection of Jesus Christ was placed in the history, in historically described time and place. Other religions in that point were rather ahistorical. They rather reflected the repeatable cycle of the nature, not the linear time with dated events which really happened.

5. Many real similarities which remain after consideration of exaggerated statements may rather reflect the influence of the christianity on the pagan religions, not inversely.

Unknown Tomb Theory


This theory claims that the real tomb of Jesus remained unknown. Most of the followers of this theory says that the Jesus body was dropped in some common tomb with other crucified people bodies.

This theory completely underestimates the direct relations contained in the gospels, which is: it doesn't take all historical facts about the Jesus burial.

Wrong Tomb Theory


This is similar to the previous one. It assumes that the women who went to the Jesus tomb and saw it empty, chose the wrong tomb.

This theory is more a miracle than the ressurection. One mistake is probable. But we know that except for women also Peter and John went to the tomb, as well as other Jews, and then Romans and Sanhedrin. Everybody made the same mistake and accidentally went to the wrong, empty tomb?

The Legend


"Jesus ressurection was a legend - this is what this theory is above."

It was impossible since eyewitnesses spreaded this informations. More, they referenced to what their recipients saw and experienced.

The Hallucinations


"The ressurection had no place, and the people who have seen Jesus alive after His death simply had hallucinations."

To counter this theory some knowledge about the hallucination is needed. Short story long: people who have seen Jesus had various professions, educations, moods, age etc. More that 500 people saw Jesus at once. Jesus not only was seen but also ate the meal, showed His wounds, encouraged people in checking Him by touch. Hallucination won't eat supper with you. Such ideal hallucinations which does all these things would be a bigger miracle than the ressurection itself.

The Thievery of the Body by Apostles


"Apostles thieved the Jesus body so they can tell that He ressurected."

...and they 'reasonably' lied everyone around until they were killed, when they could simply admit that they lied to save their lifes.... Many people would tell a lie to save their live but to lose it?

The Thievery of the Body by Authorities


"The authorities had moved the Jesus body to another, more secure tomb"

The authorities wanted people to believe that Jesus was actually dead and didn't ressurect. Why would they do something that caused them with such problems later? Why didn't they publicly show the Jesus body when the news about ressurection started to spread?

Jesus Didn't Die on the Cross, He Only Fainted


"People only thought that He died, but He only fainted and then waked up"

So... He went through 6 judgements, was beaten to bloody pieces with roman flagrum, was so weak that He couldn't carry the patibulum to the place of crucifixion, His hands and feets was nailed to the cross, was bleeding and choking for 6 hours, His side was pierced with a spear, breathed through a cocoon made of LOTS of spices and linen clothes, then He disentangled from these clothes, moved off the huge stone with His bare hands with nail holes, defeat the roman guards or sheaked through them, walked on His highly wounded feet through the whole town in the heat time and showed Himself to the apostles in a great shape, since they saw a Lord of life in Him.

Sorry, I don't believe in James Bond. It's not that simply that His hit points went from 1000/1000 to 1/1000 and He regained them slowly in a tomb.

The Ressurection


The ressurection takes all facts under consideration. It doesn't bend the facts. It comes out of the facts. So far it's the simplest and only theory that gets all facts together.

Your Own Theory


You can create your own theory.

There are two general rules if you want to think about alternative explanation:

1. you must take ALL facts under consideration
2. you cannot bend the facts to the theory but rather let the facts speak for themselves
Negative Opinion, not yet written:
Relevant Forum Links:

God, The Bible, and Religion: A Kong Search for Truth

YOUR Religion (I included this because it seemed relevant, though not directly on-topic)
 
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Evolution The debate on Evolution has become the symbol of the ever-present Science vs. Religion battle. Science has found evidence to support one theory, while the Bible has clear statements that say the scientific theory cannot be correct. Is the scientific evidence strong enough to be truly compelling? Is it possible to accept the Bible as a metaphor and let the two work together? Or is the scientific evidence being played up by scientists hoping to shut down Christians?

Note that there are a couple of different interpretations of the word "Evolution" that will come up. You'll see the phrases "micro-evolution" and "macro-evolution" thrown around. While technically inaccurate (since there is no real difference scientifically speaking), micro-evolution refers to small adjustments made within animals, while macro-evolution generally refers to anything cross-species or larger. Chirstians do not (and can not) deny micro-evolution, but most deny macro-evolution. Additionally, Evolution is sometimes used to refer to Cosmic Origins. While this is again an inaccurate use of the word, the debate is similar and is primarily on-topic.
Affirmative Opinion, written by Navarre:

There is no confusion, controversy or debate in the scientific or educated community as to whether Evolution Theory is true or not. It is true. The only things debated are the specifics of evolution, the paths it took and the details of why, when and where. The only 'debate' is the one put forward by people who gain there knowledge about the workings of biological diversity from a 6000 year old book written by people who thought that rabbits chew cud and had no idea that DNA existed. I will prove in this post that evolution is scientific fact.

Firstly, a definition. "Biological evolution is a change in the genetic characteristics of a population over time." says Talk.Origins. Evolution does not talk about how all of life started, it is not concerned with how it started, only how it changed and diversified. Evolution is not the big bang, abiogenesis, panspermia or any theory of beginning, it is a theory of change. While we're on the subject of theories, a misconception should be cleared up. In the common lexicon, a theory is something that is untested, an uncertainty, an opinion. In scientific terminology, a 'theory' is a hypothesis that has been tested by experimentation and peer review and been found valid. It is possible, in the scientific terminology, for something to be both theory and fact, just like evolution. Evolution isn't a hypothesis, evolution is a theory. It has more evidence supporting it than any other theory to date. As far as the scientific community is concerned, it is fact.

Natural selection is the selection process that shapes evolution. There is no will to evolution, by definition. If any being, man or god, where to try and shape evolution, it would cease to be evolution and would become selective breeding because it would be replacing natural selection with unnatural selection. *Natural selection dictates that any variation that enables it's bearer a greater chance at passing on it's own genes will be more likely to reappear in the gene pool.* That's it. Simple. If what you were born with will get you laid, it's more likely that kids of the next generation will have what you have, because you're more likely to have passed on your genes to them. It's this simplicity that is evolutions greatest strength. Trying to deny that this is true is like trying to deny that healthier people are more likely to live longer. Now you might be thinking "I'm not denying microevolution, but macroevolution is different!", let me tell you, there is no microevolution and macroevolution, just evolution. There is no difference between changing within a species and changing to another species. Also, we have observed speciation. "This":http://www.talkorigins.org/faqs/faq-speciation.html site goes into the details but we have observed many species being created by evolution.

Next, a quick sample of some of the evidence for evolution. Believe me, this is a very small sample. Much of the evidence for evolution wouldn't be convincing to anyone without a decent knowledge of biology, so only certain images and facts are easily translatable to laypersons like me and probably you. This leaves an abundance of fossil evidence, which leads people to mistakenly believe that fossils are the only evidence for evolution.

!http://www.talkorigins.org/faqs/comdesc/images/hominids2.jpg!

This shows the similarities in skulls of humans and our ancestors.

* (A) Pan troglodytes, chimpanzee, modern
* (B) Australopithecus africanus, STS 5, 2.6 My
* (C) Australopithecus africanus, STS 71, 2.5 My
* (D) Homo habilis, KNM-ER 1813, 1.9 My
* (E) Homo habilis, OH24, 1.8 My
* (F) Homo rudolfensis, KNM-ER 1470, 1.8 My
* (G) Homo erectus, Dmanisi cranium D2700, 1.75 My
* (H) Homo ergaster (early H. erectus), KNM-ER 3733, 1.75 My
* (I) Homo heidelbergensis, "Rhodesia man," 300,000 - 125,000 y
* (J) Homo sapiens neanderthalensis, La Ferrassie 1, 70,000 y
* (K) Homo sapiens neanderthalensis, La Chappelle-aux-Saints, 60,000 y
* (L) Homo sapiens neanderthalensis, Le Moustier, 45,000 y
* (M) Homo sapiens sapiens, Cro-Magnon I, 30,000 y
* (N) Homo sapiens sapiens, modern

The following is some genetic evidence. Some explanation is required for it to properly impact. One implication of evolution theory is that all life on earth is related, we are distant relatives of every single form of life on earth. DNA and chromosomes can let us know just how similar we are to other forms of life, the point to knowing is to show a progression from species to species, and find evidence for supposed deviations in the 'tree of life'.

!http://www.indiana.edu/~ensiweb/images/chr.all+.jpeg!

This shows, in portions, schematic representation of chromosomes. Each numbered group shows from left to right the same sample from man, chimpanzee, gorilla and orang-utan. As you can see, the genetic evidence clearly shows that we are incredibly similar to all the other apes. Indeed, there isn't a great deviation between much life on earth. If you think about how many possible configurations of life there could be, all the different shapes and systems (play Spore for half an hour), then think about how many species on our planet have basically the same body in different variations. The genetic evidence has let us start to map the entire evolutionary history of earth.

!http://www.ncseweb.org/icons/figure08.jpg!

This shows the similarities in developing foetus's spanning the species.

!http://www.talkorigins.org/faqs/comdesc/images/retrovirus.gif!

Again, from talk.origins, "Endogenous retroviruses are molecular remnants of a past parasitic viral infection. Occasionally, copies of a retrovirus genome are found in its host's genome, and these retroviral gene copies are called endogenous retroviral sequences. Retroviruses (like the AIDS virus or HTLV1, which causes a form of leukemia) make a DNA copy of their own viral genome and insert it into their host's genome. If this happens to a germ line cell (i.e. the sperm or egg cells) the retroviral DNA will be inherited by descendants of the host. Again, this process is rare and fairly random, so finding retrogenes in identical chromosomal positions of two different species indicates common ancestry."

I have more images if people want me to post them.

Not only that, but there are many things that would instantly disprove the theory of common descent, and have never been found despite many people looking.

Quote:talkorigins.org - "It would be highly inconsistent if the chronological order were reversed in the reptile-bird and reptile-mammal example. Even the finding that there was no overall correlation between stratigraphy and the consensus phylogeny of the major taxa would be very problematic for the theory of common descent. In addition, the observed correlation could decrease over longer time frames or as we acquire more paleontological data�but neither is the case

Based on the high confidence in certain branches of phylogenetic trees, some temporal constraints are extremely rigid. For example, we should never find mammalian or avian fossils in or before Devonian deposits, before reptiles had diverged from the amphibian tetrapod line. This excludes Precambrian, Cambrian, Ordovician, and Silurian deposits, encompassing 92% of the earth's geological history and 65% of the biological history of multicellular organisms. Even one incontrovertible find of any pre-Devonian mammal, bird, or flower would shatter the theory of common descent"

There is plenty of proof of evolution and no proof for any of the supposed alternatives. That is the truth.

Before you ask "What about the missing link?"/"If we evolved from Chimps, why do chimps still exist? Let me tell you both these misconceptions are born from a misunderstanding of evolution. Many people thought that evolution from ape to human was a linear progression, where it's actually a branching tree. There never was a missing link. We didn't evolve from chimpanzee's or any current living animal, all of the ape family descended from a common ancestor, as my images showed.

Also, transitional species wouldn't be alive today, they are transitional. Most of the creatures alive today have changed immensely. The reason that they have changed is that their old forms wouldn't be able to survive today, so why would the transitional forms still be alive?

The strongest argument for evolution that I can make in this form is and always has been logic. If a variation gives you a better chance of breeding, that variation has a greater chance of reappearing. Evolution is scientific fact. If you disagree, you either don't understand it or you have been misinformed.

Relevant Forum Links:

Evolution; Scientific fact or believed by faith?

Theories of Evolution can never be right