• Welcome to Christian Forums
  1. Welcome to Christian Forums, a forum to discuss Christianity in a friendly surrounding.

    Your voice is missing! You will need to register to be able to join in fellowship with Christians all over the world.

    We hope to see you as a part of our community soon and God Bless!

  2. The forums in the Christian Congregations category are now open only to Christian members. Please review our current Faith Groups list for information on which faith groups are considered to be Christian faiths. Christian members please remember to read the Statement of Purpose threads for each forum within Christian Congregations before posting in the forum.
  3. Please note there is a new rule regarding the posting of videos. It reads, "Post a summary of the videos you post . An exception can be made for music videos.". Unless you are simply sharing music, please post a summary, or the gist, of the video you wish to share.
  4. There have been some changes in the Life Stages section involving the following forums: Roaring 20s, Terrific Thirties, Fabulous Forties, and Golden Eagles. They are changed to Gen Z, Millennials, Gen X, and Golden Eagles will have a slight change.
  5. CF Staff, Angels and Ambassadors; ask that you join us in praying for the world in this difficult time, asking our Holy Father to stop the spread of the virus, and for healing of all affected.
  6. We are no longer allowing posts or threads that deny the existence of Covid-19. Members have lost loved ones to this virus and are grieving. As a Christian site, we do not need to add to the pain of the loss by allowing posts that deny the existence of the virus that killed their loved one. Future post denying the Covid-19 existence, calling it a hoax, will be addressed via the warning system.

Carl Sagan - The Pioneers of Science...

Discussion in 'Physical & Life Sciences' started by Sphinx777, Apr 18, 2011.

  1. We teamed up with Faith Counseling. Can they help you today?
  2. Agonaces of Susa

    Agonaces of Susa Evolution is not science: legalize creationism.

    +45
    Christian
    Single
    US-Constitution
    Carl Sagan proposes spontaneous evolution in Ionia (Thales) and on the island of Samos (Pythagoras).

    He states that prior to Thales, science did not exist, but then suddenly, for no reason, miraculously, science spontaneously evolved in Ionia.

    "As it turned out, Ionia was the place where science was born. Between 600 and 400 B.C., this great revolution in human thought began. The key to the revolution was the hand." -- Carl E. Sagan, pseudoscientist, Cosmos, 1980

    Prior to 600 B.C. no human being had a hand?

    After all, Carl Sagan should know since he was there.

    Unfortunately for Mr. Sagan, the Ionians including Thales believed in souls, gods, and daimons.

    "Thales, too, to judge from what is recorded about him, seems to have held soul to be a motive force, since he said that the magnet has a soul in it because it moves the iron." -- Aristotle, philosopher, On The Soul, 350 B.C.

    "Some again (one of whom is Choerilus the poet) say that he [Thales] was the first person who affirmed that the souls of men were immortal...." -- Diogenes Laertius, historian, 3rd century

    "Aristotle and Hippias say that he [Thales] attributed souls also to lifeless things, forming his conjecture from the nature of the magnet, and of amber." -- Diogenes Laertius, historian, 3rd century

    "He [Thales] held the sun and the planets for Gods. And in the same sense Pythagoras, on account of its immense force of attraction, said that the Sun was a prison of Zeus, that is, a body possessed of the greatest circuits." -- Isaac Newton, mathematician, 1690
     
  3. AlexBP

    AlexBP Newbie

    +92
    Anglican
    Single
    Another funny thing is the dating of the records. Skeptics are constantly telling us that we shouldn't trust the gospels because they were written 30-60 years after the earthly life of Jesus. For the Ionians philosophers (and indeed for almost all other ancient figures) the information that we have about them comes from documents written several centuries after their death. Why, then, should we trust the information about them if we can't trust the gospels?
     
  4. Hespera

    Hespera Junior Member

    +180
    Buddhist
    Private

    Potentially interesting info could come from either source.

    Treat either as gospel? Why indeed.

    Why do you think you should trust the gospels to be accurate verbatim accounts of what someone (may have) said?
     
  5. Wiccan_Child

    Wiccan_Child Contributor

    +602
    Atheist
    In Relationship
    UK-Liberal-Democrats
    Presumably because the Ionians were a large group of people with more supporting evidence than a few pieces of text written in hindsight. Similarly, no one doubts the existence of Jerusalem, Bethlehem, and other Biblical tribes and places - there is independent evidence supporting their existence 2000 years ago. But for specific people for whom there is only second- or third- hand evidence written after the event, such as Socrates, Alexander the Great, and Jesus, there is sufficiently poor evidence for us to be sceptical of their existence.

    It's all about the evidence. Jesus just doesn't have any.
     
  6. CaliforniaSun

    CaliforniaSun Well-Known Member

    +41
    Atheist
    Private
    Is this a serious question? Because you almost had me there. :thumbsup:
     
  7. Cabal

    Cabal Well-Known Member

    +452
    Atheist
    Engaged
    UK-Liberal-Democrats
    Indeedy.

    There are documents claiming Alex the G was a ruler over certain territories - we have evidence of that.

    There are documents claiming Alex the G was a god - we do not have evidence of that.
     
  8. Hespera

    Hespera Junior Member

    +180
    Buddhist
    Private

    There are documents detailing how certain people thought Captain James Cook was a god.
     
  9. Cabal

    Cabal Well-Known Member

    +452
    Atheist
    Engaged
    UK-Liberal-Democrats
    There are lots of documents showing how many people become viewed as gods.

    It's a wonder people still believe in any god at all, really.
     
  10. lucaspa

    lucaspa Legend

    +373
    Methodist
    Private
    This isn't evolution, this is invention. Humans do invent things, including ideas. So Sagan is proposing that science was invented at that place and time.

    Do you really think inventions are miraculous? Thales and Pythagoras are the first documentation of the mode of thought that we recognize as "science". Sagan says as much:

    "As it turned out, Ionia was the place where science was born. Between 600 and 400 B.C., this great revolution in human thought began. The key to the revolution was the hand." -- Carl E. Sagan, pseudoscientist, Cosmos, 1980

    Now, why do you use the ad hominem "pseudoscientist"? Do you think your argument is so weak that you have to resort to ad hom? In the event, I guess you did.

    Irrelevant. There are many scientists now who believe in souls and God. Yes, Sagan personally was an atheist. And yes, Cosmos was, in addition to being good science, religious theater. So yes, Sagan did overstep the bounds and tried to use science to promote atheism. But Sagan never insisted that scientists had to be atheists to do science.
     
  11. lucaspa

    lucaspa Legend

    +373
    Methodist
    Private
    You are skeptical that Socrates and Alexander the Great existed? Really?

    There is non-Biblical evidence for the existence of Jesus. A man that lived, preached, and was executed in 1st Century Palestine. As good as or better than for individuals whose existence we don't question, i.e. Pilate.

    So, there is evidence outside the gospels for the existence of Jesus. And, of course, the gospels count as evidence for that. What I hope you are trying to say is that there is no extrabiblical evidence for Christ -- Jesus as divine.

    Now, AlexBP has a point. We can't completely dismiss the gospels as history -- including the religious parts -- without invoking Special Pleading. You can list the reasons you doubt the historicity of the gospels -- including the religious parts -- but you cannot categorically proclaim them false.
     
  12. lucaspa

    lucaspa Legend

    +373
    Methodist
    Private
    You have pointed up an inconsistency. By itself, the criteria that the gospels can't be trusted because they were written 30-60 years after Jesus' death doesn't work. We accept the accuracy of other historical documents written at even longer times after the events. So that criteria is invalid.

    However, as some people have pointed out, Christians too distrust claims about divinity from other religions. For instance, even tho archeological evidence shows that Troy, Mycenae, and Agamemnon existed, do you also accept the claims for the existence of Zeus, Athena, etc. in the Iliad?

    Moving closer to our own time, Joseph Smith claims to have received a history of North America from an angel that documents the appearance of Jesus to the Amerindians. Do you accept that document as history?
     
  13. freezerman2000

    freezerman2000 Living and dying in 3/4 time

    +1,112
    United States
    Christian
    Married
    US-Others
    Sagan never said that before 600 B.C. mankind was minus hands...
    Where did he say that he was there in 600 B.C....that is what your post alludes to...
    FAIL Big time!
     
    Last edited: Apr 20, 2011
  14. Wiccan_Child

    Wiccan_Child Contributor

    +602
    Atheist
    In Relationship
    UK-Liberal-Democrats
    I am more sceptical of their existence than I am of Queen Victoria, insofar as there is less evidence for them than Queen Victoria. For Al', I'm satisfied that he did indeed exist. For Socrates and Jesus, I'm on the fence.

    No, I'm saying there is little to no evidence that a man corresponding to the Biblical Jesus (in geography, chronology, etc) actually lived.
    Though you're right, there's no extrabiblical evidence for Jesus' divinity, and I would argue there's little precedent in the Bible either - though that's a topic for another thread :).

    And I didn't: I specifically said that some parts of the Bible are trustworthy, such as Egypt, Jerusalem, Bethlehem, the Pharaohs, the Jews, etc.
     
  15. lucaspa

    lucaspa Legend

    +373
    Methodist
    Private
    I am saying there is evidence that a man corresonding to Jesus actually lived. There is non-Christian evidence for the existence of Jesus.
    As much or more than is present for people whose existence we accept.
    Let me modify that. There is extrabiblical evidence. There's no "non-Christian" evidence for divinity. But here we are faced with a Catch-22: anyone accepting evidence for Jesus' divinity is going to be Christian!

    Well, wait a minute. That's not true, either, come to think of it. In the Talmud there is the acknowledgement that Jesus performed miracle healing. That would be evidence for divinity. The authors attribute the power to do the healing to "the Ineffable One" and not God, but that is an interpretation of the evidence.

    I agree that there is little precedent in the Bible for Jesus in particular. There is precedent in Isaiah that at some point there would be a divine human.

    Now we get into another problem. You are saying that the Bible is trustworthy in terms of non-divinity statements. In order to say the Bible is not trustworthy for statements about God, we have to come up with an independent criteria to do that. Otherwise, we are in the position of dismissing evidence for something only because it is evidence for something.
     
  16. Wiccan_Child

    Wiccan_Child Contributor

    +602
    Atheist
    In Relationship
    UK-Liberal-Democrats
    I disagree with this assertion.

    Not really. There could, potentially, be non-Christian sources that just so happen to support his divinity - ten sources that each corrborate a particular miracle, for instance. The problem isn't the nature of evidence, its the nature of divinity - just what ideal document could be presented that substantiates the divinity of Christ?

    It's an interpretation of a religious text using the presuppositions of an amendment to said text - you hold the New Testament in one hand, look back on the Talmud, and suddenly find all these hitherto unnoticed references to a future Messiah. Isn't that somewhat suspect? How do you know you're not falling for confirmation bias? Jews had a foretold Messiah, sure, but it's always struck me as just a little too contrived when Christians find 'evidence' of the Trinity, of Jesus, etc, in the Jewish texts.

    Indeed - a man, of God, born of a young woman, by the name of Immanuel.

    Indeed. And as I've said in my past two posts, things like Jerusalem and Bethlehem have independent, corroborating evidence. We don't doubt the Bible is right that those places exist, because there is independent evidence. It's a stunning coincidence that no supernatural claims are corroborated, however...
     
    Last edited: Apr 20, 2011
  17. Agonaces of Susa

    Agonaces of Susa Evolution is not science: legalize creationism.

    +45
    Christian
    Single
    US-Constitution
    The human hand was an invention?

    I agree. The human hand was invented by God.

    No; they don't. Name one Ionian invention.

    And he is very very wrong to do so. Carl Sagan's revisionist mythology is prejudiced by evolutionist dogma and blatant ignorance of Egyptian and Babylonian science. In actual reality, Egyptians and Babylonians were practicing science before there was a Greek alphabet. For example, Imhotep aka Vizier Joseph, was practicing the science of neurosurgery among other things in the time of Pharaoh Djoser I.

    Fielding J.W., The Status of Arthrodesis of the Cervical Spine, The Journal of Bone and Joint Surgery of America, Number 70, Pages 1571-1574, 1988
    Probably the first reference to a surgical procedure performed on the cervical spine is found in the Edwin Smith Papyrus, which dates to the reign of Pharaoh Djoser (2686 to 2613 B.C.), the second Pharaoh of the Third Dynasty. This amazing document, more than 4,000 years old, currently the property of the New York Academy of Medicine, is attributed to Imhotep Vizer. With incredible accuracy, considering the time when the document was written. The author identified cervical sprains, vertebral displacements and dislocations, and even levels of damage to the spinal cord.​
    I don't believe in human inventions so yes they would have to be miraculous!

    As it is written:

    "Is there any thing whereof it may be said, See, this is new? it hath been already of old time, which was before us." -- Ecclesiastes 1:10

    And Sagan is very very wrong.

    "He [Thales] held the sun and the planets for Gods. And in the same sense Pythagoras, on account of its immense force of attraction, said that the Sun was a prison of Zeus, that is, a body possessed of the greatest circuits." -- Isaac Newton, mathematician, 1690

    "Again, it is said that he [Thales] regarded God as the intellect (or mind) of the universe and thought the whole to be animate (endowed with soul) and full of deities." -- Erwin Schrodinger, physicist, Nature and the Gods, 1954

    In fact Thales and Pythagoras learned everything they knew from Egyptians including Moses the Phoenician law-giver.

    The real pioneers of science would be the Egyptians and the Babylonians.

    "Witness to this also are the wisest of the Greeks: Solon, Thales, Plato, Eudoxus, Pythagoras, who came to Egypt and consorted with the priests; and in this number some would include Lycurgus also. Eudoxus, they say, received instruction from Chonuphis of Memphis, Solon from Sonchis of Sais, and Pythagoras from Oenuphis of Heliopolis." -- Plutarch, historian, Ethika, 1st century

    "Thales was a Phoenician by birth, and was said to have consorted with the prophets of the Egyptians; as also Pythagoras did with the same persons, by whom he was circumcised, that he might enter the adytum and learn from the Egyptians the mystic philosophy." -- Clement of Alexandria, theologian, Stromata, 2nd century

    "... he [Thales] never had any teacher except during the time that he went to Egypt, and associated with the priests. Hieronymus also says that he measured the Pyramids: watching their shadow, and calculating when they were of the same size as that was." -- Diogenes Laertius, historian, 3rd century

    "After increasing the reputation Pythagoras had already acquired, by communicating to him the utmost he was able to impart to him, Thales, laying stress on his advanced age and the infirmities of his body, advised him to go to Egypt, to get in touch with the priests of Memphis and Jupiter. Thales confessed that the instruction of these priests was the source of his own reputation for wisdom, while neither his own endowments nor achievements equaled those which were so evident in Pythagoras. Thales insisted that, in view of all this, if Pythagoras should study with those priests, he was certain of becoming the wisest and most divine of men." -- Iamblichus, philosopher, 3rd century

    "The Babylonian knowledge, as we shall see, was acquired by Thales." -- Bertrand Russell, philosopher, A History of Western Philosophy, 1972
     
    Last edited: Apr 20, 2011
  18. Agonaces of Susa

    Agonaces of Susa Evolution is not science: legalize creationism.

    +45
    Christian
    Single
    US-Constitution
    Here is the actual history of pre-Hellenic Egyptian science, of which Carl Sagan is 100% ignorant.

    "The scholars of Egypt were mostly priests.... According to their own legends the sciences had been invented some 18,000 B.C. by Thoth, the Egyptian god of wisdom, during his thousand-year-long reign on earth; and the most ancient books on each science were among the twenty thousand volumes composed by this learned deity. So we are assured by Iamblichus (ca. 300 A.D.). Manetho, the Egyptian historian (ca. 300 B.C.), would have considered this estimate unjust to the god; the proper number of Thoth's works, in his reckoning was 36,000. The Greeks celebrated Thoth under the name of Hermes Trismegistus -- Hermes (Mercury) the Thrice-Great. Our knowledge does not permit us to improve substantially upon the theory of the origins of science in Egypt." -- Will Durant, historian, The Story of Civilization, Volume I, Our Oriental Heritage, 1935

    "At the very outset of recorded Egyptian history we find mathematics highly developed; the design and construction of the Pyramids involved a precision measurement impossible without considerable mathematical lore." -- Will Durant, historian, The Story of Civilization, Volume I, Our Oriental Heritage, 1935

    "Nearly all the ancients agreed in ascribing the invention of this science [geometry] to the Egyptians." -- Will Durant, historian, The Story of Civilization, Volume I, Our Oriental Heritage, 1935

    "The oldest mathematical treatise known is the Ahmes Papyrus, dating back to 2000-1700 B.C.; but this in turn refers to mathematical writings five hundred years more ancient than itself." -- Will Durant, historian, The Story of Civilization, Volume I, Our Oriental Heritage, 1935

    "Of Egyptian physics and chemistry we know nothing, and almost as little of Egyptian astronomy. ... Perhaps they knew more than they cared to publish ... the priests regarded their astronomical studies as esoteric and mysterious science, which they were reluctant to disclose to the common world. For century after century they kept track of the position and movements of the planets, until their record stretched back for thousands of years." -- Will Durant, historian, The Story of Civilization, Volume I, Our Oriental Heritage, 1935
     
    Last edited: Apr 20, 2011
  19. Agonaces of Susa

    Agonaces of Susa Evolution is not science: legalize creationism.

    +45
    Christian
    Single
    US-Constitution
    Are you skeptical that Socrates and Alexander the Great possessed telescopes and went SCUBA diving? Really?

    "... sight is made precise by the compass, rule, and telescope." -- Iamblichus, philosopher, Life of Pythagoras, 3rd century

    Bacon, R., The Non-Existence of Magic, ~1265-1278
    IV. On Wonderful Artificial Instruments

    I will first tell of the wonderful works of art and nature, that I may afterwards assign the causes and manner of them, in which there is nothing magical, that it may be seen that all magic power is inferior to these works, and worthless. And first for the quality and reason of art alone. For instruments of navigation can be made without men as rowers, so that the largest ships, river and ocean, may be borne on, with the guidance of one man, with greater speed than if full of men. Also carriages can be made so that without an animal they may be moved with incalculable speed; as we may assume the scythed chariots to have been, with which battles were fought in ancient times. Also instruments for flying can be made so that a man may sit in the middle of the instrument, revolving some contrivance by which wings artificially constructed may beat the air, in the manner of a bird flying. Also instruments can also be made for walking in the sea or rivers, down to the bottom, without bodily peril. For Alexander the Great used these that he might view the secrets of the ocean, according to what Ethicus the astronomer narrates. These things were done in ancient times, and done in our own, as is certain, unless it may be the instrument for flying, which I have not seen, nor do I know any man who has seen; but I know that the wise man who planned this device completed it. And such things can be made almost infinitely, as bridges across rivers without pillars or any other support, and machines, and unheard of devices.

    V. Of Experiments in Artificial Sight

    ... Glasses can be so constructed that things placed very far off may appear very near, and vice versa; so that from an incredible distance we may read the minutest letters, and number things however little, and make the stars appear where we will. For this it is believed that Julius Caesar, on the shore of the sea in Gaul, discovered through huge glasses the disposition and sites of the castles and towns of Great Britain.​
    Sines, G., and Sakellarakis, Y.A., Lenses in Antiquity, American Journal of Archaeology, Volume 91, Number 2, Pages 191-196, Apr 1987
    A recent find in the Idaean Cave in Crete of two rock crystal lenses of unusually good optical quality led to this investigation of other lenses from antiquity. The evidence indicates that the use of lenses was widespread throughout the Middle East and the Mediterranean basin over several millennia. The quality of some of these lenses was sufficient to permit their use as magnifying glasses. The use of lenses as burning glasses in Classical Greece is noted, as is the need for magnifying lenses to authenticate seal impressions. The probability that magnifying lenses were used by gem carvers and seal engravers is discussed. The fine detail of Roman gold-glass portrait medallions and the discovery of a lens in the house of an engraver in Pompeii and another in the house of an artist in Tanis are presented as evidence for the use of the lenses for magnifying purposes. Methods of producing optical quality lenses by simple procedures are also presented.​
     
  20. Naraoia

    Naraoia Apprentice Biologist

    +293
    Atheist
    Single
    The pseudoscientists he agrees with, he likes to label "authors" or some such. It's really cheap.
     
Loading...