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About Tristen

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  1. Body invaders

    “it would be much more complicated than a minor behavioral change for this switch to work properly” What are you basing this on? This is why I asked for the details from the OP. How are the wasp proteins in caterpillar parasites different from those produced in the fruit parasites? Are they different at all – or are they all different from each other? Does there need to be any re-programming, or could the same chemicals undermine the “defenses, development, and physiology” of fruit just as well as the caterpillars? How can we assume that a particular chemical reaction is specific to only one kind of host? Maybe the reactions do different things in different hosts, but still maintain the wasp's capacity to parasitise the host - only through different mechanisms. We can't know without the study(s). Without that specific knowledge, you are assuming complex biological rearrangements in the absence of evidential support. Do we even know if the wasp species that parasitises caterpillars ever lays eggs in fruit (or anything else)?
  2. Body invaders

    It's not about you “making it up”, but about narrowing and clarifying exactly what I am responding to. For example, there is no “virus” involved in your example (a commensal relationship that would add increased complexity to the process), but there are particles from the wasp's own DNA that behave like viruses (in the sense that they hijack the host cell machinery to translate the parasite RNA). One of the secular stories is that a monophyletic group of wasps gained this DNA from a virus in an ancestor. This may, or may not, be true. So from a creationist perspective, either God designed the wasp with these particles, or the wasps gained them through viral infection after the fall. Also, according to the actual report (found here: http://www.rifters.com/real/articles/Bezier_et_al_Science.pdf), the proteins involved “interfere with host immune defenses, development, and physiology; this interference enables wasp larvae to survive and develop within the host” and are found in “the microgastroid complex of at least 17,500 species”. These proteins have general functions and are very common among this group of wasps. So it is eminently plausible that the caterpillar-specific process arose as a matter of moving from a fruit “host” to a caterpillar “host”.
  3. Body invaders

    Find me the information and I'll be happy to attempt to incorporate it into my just-so story. For example, are there other possible uses of the "chemicals", where do the "chemicals" come from (the parent wasp or the larvae), do the "chemicals" have any effect on the fruit (e.g. they might subdue an immune response), what is the "virus", and how does it change the behaviour of the caterpillar etc.? There are so many variables to consider. If you want a more detailed story, you need to provide more detailed information.
  4. Body invaders

    It's difficult to offer "specific and detailed" explanations without references to the "specific and detailed" information; i.e. without knowing the molecular mechanisms involved. It's also important to note that what you are asking for is a just-so story about what might have happened in the past. So that's all I'm claiming to offer. Given that there are many species of wasp that inject their larvae into fruit, after the fall, it is plausible to speculate that this ability was applied in a manner not originally intended (i.e. a corruption of the designed purpose); namely, to inject their larvae into caterpillars rather than fruit. If using caterpillars instead of fruit provided some selective advantage for the larvae (as you suggest), then those wasps exhibiting this behaviour may have out-competed their relatives who used fruit instead of caterpillars (i.e. Natural Selection). There is no drastic biological change required - just a change of behaviour.
  5. Harmonizing Paul and the Twelve

    “This idea is the closest to harmonization which I've heard, which is that while God's law never changes, the expression of it has perhaps changed. One confusion about this notion, though, is the assertion that if one feels bound by one part of the law that he must keep all of it. These are Paul's words: Galatians 5:3 "Again I testify to every man who gets himself circumcised that he is obligated to obey the whole Law" ” The point of the Law is to demonstrate that God is perfectly just – and therein our need to be saved due to our inability to wholly keep that standard. Even one act of unrighteousness is enough to breach that perfect standard. The zero-tolerance nature of the Law is intended to reflect this perfection. If someone under the Law breaks the Law (at all), then they are condemned by the Law as transgressors. James 2:10-11 10 For whoever shall keep the whole law, and yet stumble in one point, he is guilty of all. 11 For He who said, “Do not commit adultery,” also said, “Do not murder.” Now if you do not commit adultery, but you do murder, you have become a transgressor of the law. God's favour and salvation can therefore only be attained through grace – because we have all failed the test of earning God's favour. God paid a very high price so He could forgive us independently of our merit. Choosing to be under Law is a rejection of that grace – because if righteousness could be attained through adherence to the Law, there is no need for Christ to be sacrificed for our sins. Subjecting oneself to any aspect of Law is therefore a choice to be accountable to a perfect standard – in its entirety, rather than accepting the grace of God offered through Christ. “it seems that new believers would still perhaps be expected to be observant, as a sign of devotion--what else could "love God with all your heart" mean?” It “could mean” choosing the system of grace purchased at such a high price; focussing our efforts on being reconciled to God and seeking His kingdom – rather than rejecting that grace by trying to earn our own righteousness through adherence to Law. It “could mean” recognising that the blood of Christ is sufficient to redeem us from anything we owed to either justice or the Law. “There are also plenty of places where he makes it clear that loving God does indeed mean keeping his commandments, even the "least" of the commandments. How else could these things be interpreted?” We need to read such claims in context. In Matthew 5, Jesus is explicit that adherence to Law is insufficient in God's eyes. The Law is a shadow of God's perfection. But what God really expects is that people be righteous in their hearts, not just their actions. This could only be accomplished through Jesus' vicarious fulfilment of the Law on behalf of the Jews (remembering that Jesus was talking to Jews (not gentiles) pre-sacrifice (i.e. pre-fulfilment) – and that only Jews were ever obligated to the Law to begin with). A person enters into a higher standard of righteousness than the Law when we surrender ourselves to Christ in faith – because we now have His righteousness and His Spirit. In a sincere believer, the influence of the Holy Spirit will trend a person's behaviour towards righteousness and away from sin. As Paul states, if we walk in love, peace, joy, patience, goodness, kindness, faith, gentleness and self-control, then there is no breach of Law (Gal 5:22-23). Ritual Law is also fulfilled in Christ; e.g. Jesus is our Sabbath rest (from the burden of sin and the Law), our tithe (the first-fruit offering), our circumcision (the removal of our flesh nature), and most importantly, our atoning sacrifice (without blemish). No one is encouraging anyone to break the Law – we are rather admonishing people to recognise Jesus' fulfilment of the Law; to accept that we have been purchased from further obligation or debt to either justice or the Law. “Perhaps Peter was convinced, but there was also this prophecy about how Peter would be led away one day. This has many times been interpreted as foretelling that Peter would be deceived: "Most assuredly, I say to you, when you were younger, you bound yourself and walked where you wished; but when you are old, you will stretch forth your hands, and another will bind you and take you where you do not wish." John 21:18 ” Again, context is important. Verse 19 explains that this was pertaining to the manner of Peter's capture and death – nothing to do with him being “deceived”. “But that's just the thing - there are multiple canonized Bibles. There isn't just "one" that we have today. The Ethiopian Bible contains 80-some books, for example. The truth is in there somewhere, but man put together the words of the teachers of the time, and the compilations differ. Here are several canonization lists: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Biblical_canon#Canons_of_various_Christian_traditions And before canonization, we had the early Christians, with nothing canonized, who varied in their textual selection even more so. The above referenced Wikipedia touches on this as well. If textual canonization is even slightly disputed, we must recognize that these compilations are man-made and thus potentially subject to fallacy.” Look at the New Testament table in your provided link. None of Paul's writings are disputed by any listed tradition. “We learn through Revelation that even many of the early churches were starting to get it wrong. Paul made reference to groups such as the Ebionites and Ephesians which rejected him completely (Ephesians are later commended in Revelation for rejecting a false apostle...who else could that be?).” Where is this information sourced? Paul was the founding Apostle of the church at Ephesus. Paul encountered problems with some of the Jews at Ephesus (and Diana worshippers), but not by the church. Also, the Ephesians are “commended in Revelation” for rejecting false “apostles” (plural) – not any particular “false apostle”. “This happened before official canons became more than just private reading lists. Is it any wonder that there's still confusion for us on this subject today?” I don't see any “confusion”. Paul has always been considered a legitimate Apostle of Christ – by the first church leaders (inc. Peter and James), and by the church at-large throughout history. You are finding confusion where none exists (which I would suggest speaks to a pre-existing agenda). “Awesome. I'm curious--what was it that convinced you? I guess it's different for everyone.” It was a process. I'd studied several belief systems (including secular beliefs) and found Christianity to be the most consistent by far with the reality I experience. At the time, there was a prophecy in Daniel that put me over the top. But looking back, I'd say that prophecy was more a case of 'the straw that broke the camels back' – rather than the weightiest factor in my conversion. “So far that seems like the most likely definition, yes. Since all have sinned, then it seems fitting that the definition of sin would be the very Torah which none of us could keep successfully.” Everyone from Adam to Moses sinned without a Torah. And gentiles sinned, even though the Torah was only given to the Jews. The Apostle John defined the commandments as faith in Jesus and love one another (1 Jn 3:23). So I disagree that commandments must always refers to the Law. Obviously, if the context justifies it, commandments can refer to the Law. But the take home message of Matthew 19 (in which Jesus does use the Law) is that we cannot enter eternal life without following Jesus – no matter how righteously we think we have behaved. Nevertheless, Jesus was right to say that if we keep the Law without fault, we earn the right to eternal life (but we know that is not a viable option – nor the intent of the Law). “Today, there are flavors of Christianity that do teach Torah observance. There are estimated to be over 30,000 Christian denominations. They differ in doctrines.” We are different parts of the whole body of Christ. Not all have the same revelation of grace. But even though some struggle to reconcile Paul with adherence to Law, Paul's inclusion in scripture has been consistently accepted by the Christian church throughout church history. “majority belief here doesn't necessarily equal correctness. (Matthew 7:14)” Paul's writings meet the same critical standards of other scriptures – in terms of overwhelming preservation and presence in the church since authorship, doctrinal consistency with the rest of scripture and acceptance by Godly authority throughout church history (from the earliest Apostles on). In the light of such strong support, the onus is on those opposing to make a convincing case against. Anyone can apply unreasonably rigid standards against any New Testament work they wish to dismiss. Jews dismiss the New Testament because they think its inconsistent with their understanding of God. Other non-Christians dismiss the entire Bible for like reasons. Paul's inclusion in scripture is at least as well supported as the rest of the New Testament by any objective standard.
  6. Harmonizing Paul and the Twelve

    “Torah has been God's definition of what sin IS through the ages” The Law contains ritual, administrative and moral rules. Therefore only a part of the law specifically pertains to sin. Sin also existed before the law. The law does not teach the spirit of morality, only the letter. In Christ, we don’t need to blindly follow a list of rules because we have the Holy Spirit to convict us of sin and guide us into righteousness. “Yeshua taught it and observed it.” Jesus was obligated to fulfill the law in order to qualify as the Kinsman Redeemer of the Jews. No one, not even Paul, is anti-Law. But the law has its place in contex – i.e. to guide people to faith in Christ through recognition that God is perfectly just, and we are incapable of attaining righteousness by our own efforts. Jesus taught that strict adherence to a list of rules is insufficient to attain the righteousness required for salvation. “Early Christians followed it” More accurately, it was debated in the “early” church. Some thought it was necessary (e.g. compelled gentile converts to be circumcised). Paul convinced the early church leaders (including Peter and James) that it was not. “The answer on what role Torah plays in gentile Christianity isn't clear to me” The Law demonstrates that God is perfectly just, that He cannot permit any transgression to go unpunished. It therefore demonstrates our individual depravity and inherent need for a Savior. The Law points us to Christ, the perfect, eternal sacrifice, whose perfectly innocent blood purchased humanity from the just consequences of sin. The Law guides us to faith, but could never purchase our righteousness. The weakness is in human flesh, not the Law. So a new covenant is required to save us, one which is between the Father and Son (rather than God and corrupted humans) – one that we cannot break (as the Jews perpetually broke the covenant of Law - see Jer 31:31-32). We can receive God’s free offer of salvation, or reject it – but we cannot break the covenant because we are not signatories. Once we come to faith, the list of rules is obsolete – the Law has done its job. Ironically, if we revert from grace back to Law, we reject the ultimate purpose of the Law. “The church founded by Yeshua has more than the writings of Paul documenting the early followers. There are many versions of the canonized Bible even. There are many interpretations of all those versions.” The canon we have is the one that God has preserved for His believers throughout time. This canon was originally recognised as the compilation of works considered unanimously to be scripture at the time of canonisation. Some groups included disputed texts in their own canons, but are only considered scripture by these groups. Though they have additional scriptures in their Bibles, I am not aware of any such groups that dispute Paul’s authority. “If you weren't indoctrinated with one tradition or another as a child, you'd come into everything trying to sort through the muck and decide what's valid and what isn't, and that's exactly where I'm at.” I converted to Christianity as an adult. The textual history is clear. God used Paul’s ministry to spread Christianity throughout the Roman Empire. Paul was respected by early church leaders as a legitimate Apostle of Christ. The early church agreed that Paul’s writings were scripture – and they were subsequently included and copied throughout history for our benefit (along with the other scriptures). “If one is to "love God with your whole heart", then surely it would mean keeping his commandments” You are interpreting “his commandments” to mean the Law. 1 John 3:23 "And this is His commandment: that we should believe on the name of His Son Jesus Christ and love one another, as He gave us commandment." The New covenant commandments are faith in Jesus and love for one another (i.e. “the fruit of the Spirit … against such there is no Law” Gal 5:22-23) – not strict adherence to a list of >600 specific rules; for which it has already been demonstrated that we are incapable of following completely. “Are they the works without which faith is dead? Maybe? And Paul's teachings seem to contradict this, making them potentially one of the false teachings that the apostles were warned about.” Both Paul and James agree that we are “created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them” (Eph 2:10). “We are commanded to test the spirits. Like I said before--if Paul's legit, I trust that this truth will prevail.” The truth of consistency between Paul and the other Apostles has prevailed for ~2000 years. “Luke was a supporter of Paul. Anything that Luke wrote, Paul might as well have written” Your claim is inconsistency between the Gospels and Paul’s teaching – yet a Gospel author explicitly advocates Paul’s ministry in scripture.
  7. Harmonizing Paul and the Twelve

    If the Law could save us, we wouldn't have needed a Savior. There would be no 'good news'. Jesus often encouraged people for their faith, but criticized those who thought their adherence to Law secured their standing with God. Gentiles were never obligated to the Law - it was always a covenant between God and the nation of Israel. Also remember that the Gospel author Luke is also the author of Acts - dealing primarily with the ministry of Paul (besides the reference Peter gave Paul in his letters - as others have already mentioned).
  8. Why Creation Is Right and Evolution Is Wrong.

    “There is a good summary of what is believed to be the evolutionary series here -- https://evolution.berkeley.edu/evolibrary/article/evograms_03. There are several adaptations that would have had to be made if there really was a transition from terrestrial to aquatic mammal, but one of those would be a limb changing form a leg to a fin in the pectoral region and loss of the limb” There is nothing in this information indicative of a transitional fossil (as I, and Darwin and Gould understand the concept). Pakicetus was initially lauded as a walking whale ancestor based on a few skull fragments and teeth (i.e. no limbs or skeleton apart from those few fragments). The article is here (http://science.sciencemag.org/content/220/4595/403) – Note how they imagined the rest of Pakicetus by the cover art. Then they found a more complete skeleton; finding that Pakicetus was a running terrestrial mammal – and not all that similar to whales at all (http://www.faculty.virginia.edu/bio202/202-2002/Lectures 20202/thesissen et al 2001.pdf). The original Ambulocetus was also based more on imagination than remains (i.e. a highly disjointed, mostly missing fossil), although they at least had a portion of one limb, and perhaps another limb (found in layers 5 metres above the rest of the skeleton). A lot of artistic licence needs to be added to this picture to assume fins (like those in the picture on your link). There is nothing in either of these fossils suggesting a transitional form between legs and fins. The Pakicetus definitely had legs. The Ambulocetus may have had fins/flippers, or specialised arms/legs (and is questionably not a whale at all). But what occurred between those forms remains speculation. “(although vestigial hind limbs are present in some)” So there is a small (~5 inch) section of bone fused to whale vertebrates attached to reproductive organs (and are structurally different in males and females). They must therefore be functionless vestigial remnants of a time when whales had legs. I thought we'd thoroughly covered the intrinsic logic error in assuming no known function means no function. “The limb change may be more of what Darwin had suggested” The story is that fins changed into arms/legs, which subsequently either changed into wings, or back into fins. But there are no intermediate (i.e. transitional) structures in the fossil record demonstrating that process. There are simply fossils with fins, or wings, or arms and legs.
  9. Why Creation Is Right and Evolution Is Wrong.

    Can you point me to something specific? If not, I'll still take a look for myself - just might take a bit longer. And not sure if I'll be responding to what you mean.
  10. Why Creation Is Right and Evolution Is Wrong.

    yes - different quotes by the same person on the same issue. In your provided quote, Gould said "The extreme rarity of transitional forms in the fossil record". In my provided quote he says "The absence of fossil evidence for intermediary stages between major transitions in organic design".
  11. Why Creation Is Right and Evolution Is Wrong.

    “What definition do you think is the proper one? Why would an organism with characteristics of two different classes not be considered transitional?” When Darwin was complaining about the lack of transitional fossils, he was not talking about a lack of fossils with shared characteristics between different creatures. It was the existence of fossils with shared characteristics between different creatures that evidenced the concept of Common Ancestry. Darwin meant a lack of fossils demonstrating intermediate stages of evolutionary structural development (e.g. from a fin to an arm, or an arm to a wing, or from a reptilian scale to a feather etc.). Darwin recognised that one, fully-functioning structure doesn’t just turn into another fully-functioning structure. Evolution theory rather proposes that there must be hundreds to thousands of incremental changes to get from one structure to another. Therefore, the fossil record should be saturated with these intermediate (i.e. transitional) forms – but it isn’t. It should further be saturated with evidence of incremental changes that didn’t eventuate in fully-functioning (Gould uses the term “stable”) structures. Darwin suggested that we simply hadn’t found any because at the time, we were in the early stages of investigation. Gould suggested that the transitions occurred relatively rapidly, and in such a localised context as to limit the possibility of them being subjected to the conditions of fossilisation. And so such fossils would be so rare that we would probably never find any without being extremely lucky. Changing the definition of transitional fossil to 'shared characteristics' answers the objection by Moving the Goalposts. Under the newer definition, there are millions of candidates for transitional fossils. What are all these crazy, dishonest, ignorant creationists talking about by claiming there are no transitional fossils? “Did Gould ever say there were no transitional species?” Whether or not a “species” is “transitional” is entirely speculative – i.e. a matter of subjective interpretation. But that is not what Gould is referring to when he spoke of “The absence of fossil evidence for intermediary stages between major transitions in organic design”. “Gould commented on the rarity, but that was 30 years ago” He says “rarity” in your quote, and “absence” in my quote. Either way, he wasn’t referring to fossils demonstrating shared features (like Archaeopteryx – which has been around for over 100 years). He is specifically referring to fact that of the available “data” not demonstrating the “process” of evolution (i.e. the intermediaries – how we get from one structural form to another). If any true transitional fossil candidate has been discovered in the last 30 years, I’d be happy to take a look. “Like I mentioned previously, the frequency of what paleontologists believe to be transitional is less than what might have been predicted, but if they are legitimate, even a small number corroborate the theory of evolution, not refute it” If a smooth transition can be drawn from one “stable” form to another - that might be compelling. But simply finding a fossil with shared features of other species doesn’t meet the criteria of being legitimately transitional.
  12. Harmonizing Paul and the Twelve

    You haven't provided any argument as to why they should be considered inconsistent. They preach the same gospel; namely that Jesus the promised Messiah, the perfect Son of God, suffered the cross as recompense for the sins of the world – that all who call Him Lord in truth, by faith receive His salvation through grace. There is no gospel inconsistency between Paul’s teaching and the other gospels. Jesus taught the Jews (i.e. those condemned under law), but Paul preached to the gentiles (i.e. those condemned under justice). But the gospels are are the same - reconciled at the cross.
  13. Why Creation Is Right and Evolution Is Wrong.

    Gould was promoting punctuated equilibrium, not claiming that transitional fossils didn't exist. I should probably add here that the hypothetical punctuated equilibrium still is change over very long periods of time - millions of years. Like I said previously in this thread, in my inexpert opinion, the number of transitional fossils is less than what had been expected. That does not mean that they don't exist. The number of transitional fossils is not nearly as important as the fact that quite a few fossils exist that certainly look like they are transitional. "Gould was promoting punctuated equilibrium, not claiming that transitional fossils didn't exist" The reason "Gould was promoting punctuated equilibrium" was to explain away the complete absence of transitional fossils found in the record (as Darwin conceived transitional fossils). You are right that he wasn't claiming they don't "exist", only that we haven't found any, and that their conspicuous absence is a problem for evolution theory. Punctuated Equilibrium is a story generated to explain their absence by claiming intermediate forms to be such rare, short-lived and localised occurrences - so as to drastically diminish the likelihood of them being fossilised (and ergo our finding them in the fossil record). "Like I said previously in this thread, in my inexpert opinion, the number of transitional fossils is less than what had been expected. That does not mean that they don't exist" When properly defined, the current number of transitional fossils is zero. But you are right - apart from faith, we can't claim absolutely that "they don't exist", only that we haven't found any. "The number of transitional fossils is not nearly as important as the fact that quite a few fossils exist that certainly look like they are transitional" None of them "look like they are transitional" in the Darwinian sense of the word. Shared features between species is a fact that secularists interpret to evidence Common Ancestry, not a defining characteristic of transitional fossils (unless you decide to adopt an updated, more evolution-friendly definition of transitional fossil - which, in effect, makes almost all ancient forms transitional - and so is ultimately meaningless as it adds nothing new to the argument).
  14. Why Creation Is Right and Evolution Is Wrong.

    The point is how we mean the term "transitional". If we take the term as Darwin meant it (i.e. intermediate organic structures), there are no transitional fossils. If we take it to mean any species that can be theoretically fit between other species, then the conversation itself is "irrelevant".
  15. Why Creation Is Right and Evolution Is Wrong.

    I decided to quote myself to add to my original point (which was seemingly 'overlooked'). In Origin of Species, Charles Darwin wrote; “Why is not every geological formation and every stratum full of such intermediate links? Geology assuredly does not reveal any such finely graduated organic chain; and this is the most obvious and serious objection which can be urged against the theory.” Palaeontologist (and renowned defender of evolution theory), Stephen J Gould, said; “The absence of fossil evidence for intermediary stages between major transitions in organic design, indeed our inability, even in our imagination, to construct functional intermediates in many cases, has been a persistent and nagging problem for gradualistic accounts of evolution.” (Gould (1982). “Evolution Now: a century after Darwin”, p 141) Neither Darwin nor Gould understood the transitional problem to be about an inability to squeeze species between other species on some assumed tree of life. If we are not using a meaningful definition of the word “transitional”, then discussions over alleged transitional forms are a waste of everyone's time.