Re: [asa] Empiricism, Faith and Science

From: Iain Strachan <>
Date: Thu Sep 21 2006 - 03:30:28 EDT

> I am arguing from what I assume are Vernon's assumptions:

I can't speak for Vernon on this one. You'll have to ask him yourself

the conservative belief that it is the originals which are inspired,
not the
> copies; also that Moses wrote the text. There is good reason to
> believe that
> Hebrew in the time of Moses did not use the aleph tau to mark the
> accusative
> and especially in a sentence where the object (the heavens and the
> earth).immediately follows the verb (created). The aleph tau would
> not in
> that case be part of the inspired text, so why would the non-
> inspired added
> aleph tau have a divine hidden meaning embedded in it?
> The idea that it is all the more a miracle if the original did not
> have
> the pattern, but it appeared later when a late scribe added the
> aleph tau
> seems to me to confuse miracle with magic. The sudden appearing of
> a numerical pattern in an inspired text when a scribe adds an
> uninspired
> aleph tau is like a genie coming out of a lamp when it is rubbed.
> Even if
> the scribe was inspired to add the aleph tau, having this create an
> amazing
> pattern that did not exist previously still seems more llike pagan
> magic
> than biblical miracle to me.

This doesn't answer my original criticism of your argument. You're
"I don't like this - it's more like pagan magic than a miracle, so God
couldn't have done it that way". Just as Dawkins argues that God
have done it by evolution so there can't be a God.

My point here was that quite a few people have argued that the
pattern in
Gen 1:1 could have been put there by the original authors, because
often played around with gematria & your comment about the aleph tau
being a
late edition rules out the possibility of it being done by humans.
[ I grant
that it doesn't rule out the possibility that it was written by a human
after the aleph tau came into the language].

I do not think the aleph tau is like French pas. Pas is a regular
word, not
> a mere grammatical marker.

OK, so I got it slightly wrong. In fact it is the "ne" that doesn't
have a
meaning. This definition came from an online dictionary:

*1 ne * Adverbe *(a)* *(placed before a negated verb: carries no
as such, and frequently absent in non-emphatic speech)* *je ~
travaille pas*I don't work, I do not work
*(frm)*; *il ~ travaille jamais* he never works

So ne is merely an untranslatable particle that indicated the
following verb
is negated. Hence it's exactly analogous to the aleph tau.

Instead of this nit-picking which seems like an excuse not to
evaluate the
data on its own merits, I think it would be more honest to actually
have a
look at it. Some time back, I publicly challenged Vernon to evaluate
evidence for evolution by examining Francis Collins's paper "Faith
and the
Human Genome", which presents pretty much irrefutable evidence that it
happened. Vernon gave the absolutely infuriating answer that it was
that Collins and other TEs were just ignoring the bible, indicating
that the
evidence presented by Collins didn't carry any weight.

Your objections to Vernon's data are equally infuriating, because you,
equally, are not attempting to evaluate the evidence, but using your a
priori beliefs (about, e.g. the nature of miracles that you'll
believe God
would or would not do) to discredit it out of hand.


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Received on Sat Sep 23 01:36:46 2006

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