Bob’s evolution of astronomy

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ThePhy

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Bob is not reticent about making whatever changes he needs to in his “scientific” knowledge to keep it in support of the Bible. Specifically, during his show on Feb 11, 2002 (BEL029 – titled “Bob calls the Judge”), Bob is discussing Biblical evidence for the existence of God. His caller, Jim, has just made mention of Job talking about what he believes to be dinosaurs. Bob takes this reference to the book of Job as an opening to bring up another issue. Starting at 50:15 into the show, the following dialogue occurs:
(BE): Jim, let me give you one quote out of the Book of Job. Did you just recently read Job?

(Jim): Yeah, I just got done last night.

(BE): Well 2 chapters before the dinosaur part is Job 38:31. You might want to take a look at that, because - you known the constellations that we see in the sky? The many constellations that are up there - they go back, they are ancient. The ancient ones – there are dozens of them, and they have pictures that go back to antiquity.

And Job mentions some of them, and

(Jim): (unintelligible)

(BE): Say again - the belt of Orion, and the Pleiades, and of all the constellations, about 80-some constellations up there, that are ancient, scientists today, astronomers tell us only 2 of them are gravitationally bound. And I know you know what that means, but let me explain it to any public school teachers listening. Just like the earth is gravitationally bound to the sun, we are pulling on one another, so the earth can’t get away.

Well the constellations, 2 of the 80-some constellations are gravitationally bound – the Pleiades, and the belt of Orion. Where those stars are locked – they are holding one another in place. And Job 38:31, God asks this question to prove how great he is, and how small man is, God says: “Can you bind the cluster of the Pleiades, or loose the belt of Orion?”

What about a statement! Talk about - only 2 out of 80 constellations are gravitationally bound, and here is the oldest book in Bible, surely they couldn’t have known that by any of man’s abilities, but God created the universe, and our galaxy, and he knows the Pleiades, and Orion’s belt, because he made it, and he knew that of all the constellations, those were the two that are gravitationally bound. So he says can you bind the cluster of the Pleiades, or loose the belt of Orion?
Bob is pretty impressed by the fact that the Bible specifically talks of both the Pleiades and the Belt of Orion, and how these are the only two constellations that are gravitationally bound.

It appears that in the 2 years since that show, Bob was informed that he was simply wrong. In fact, the three stars that form the belt of Orion are vast distances from each other, much too far to even minutely affect each other gravitationally. Does that stop Bob – heck no. Just like a stacked deck, just reinterpret what God said in the Bible. In Battle Royale VII, Here is what Bob said about the Belt of Orion:
The Pleiades and Orion: The Bible begins with Genesis, since that book tells about the Creation, but the first book actually written was Job. And in the book of Job, God talks to him, and reveals Himself as God planting astronomy evidence then into ancient history which has become especially compelling today, nearly 4,000 years later. In the dialogue of this ancient book, God asked Job:

“Can you bind the cluster of the Pleiades, or loose the belt of Orion?” Job 38:31

Not until millennia later could modern astrophysicists confirm the fascinating knowledge presented by this verse, which was designed to humble Job before the Creator. For the stars of the Pleiades are gravitationally bound together, “bind[ing] the cluster,” and the stars of Orion’s belt are speeding away from each other, “loose[ning] the belt.” Before we had light spectrometers, radio-telescopes, or the orbiting Hubble, we had the Bible. And in its oldest book, back when men had no advanced technology to interpret data in starlight, the Bible quotes God somehow accurately stating that the stars of the Pleiades are bound together, as they are, gravitationally bound, and that the stars of Orion’s belt are loosed, as they are moving apart and eventually, would completely undo “the belt” from Earth’s perspective. What are the possibilities that of all the stars visible to the naked eye, of all the ancient constellations, of all the infinite number of ways to describe a picture in the sky, that Job would make an astonishingly accurate scientific statement?
Amazing that in two years, the incredible proof of the Bible arising from Job mentioning the only two constellation that are gravitationally bound morphs into the Belt of Orion actually flying apart. And he is carefully silent on the fact that “flying apart” is the norm for constellations, not just the belt of Orion.

Bob is a master at adopting whatever his current belief of since says and making it fit his theology. If he lived for another century or so, he would be preaching how the bible predicted evolution all along.
 
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jhodgeiii

New member
Re: Bob’s evolution of astronomy

Originally posted by ThePhy

Amazing that in two years, the incredible proof of the Bible arising from Job mentioning the only two constellation that are gravitationally bound morphs into the Belt of Orion actually flying apart.

Good observation. Bob does indeed make mistakes at times. On occasion I have even heard him reference urban legend. Unfortunately, this happens to even the best of us with the good 'ol reliable and trustworthy internet. To be frank, in his prior argument I couldn't understand how loosing the belt of Orion could be consistent with being held gravitationally. At least his later argument follows scripture better and makes more sense.

And he is carefully silent on the fact that “flying apart” is the norm for constellations, not just the belt of Orion.

No one at that time knew any of the constellations were "flying apart." Just because God chose to reference only one shouldn't take away from how remarkable that statement of fact was given the era.
 

ThePhy

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To Bob, cinching and loosening a belt are the same

To Bob, cinching and loosening a belt are the same

From jhodgeiii:
To be frank, in his prior argument I couldn't understand how loosing the belt of Orion could be consistent with being held gravitationally. At least his later argument follows scripture better and makes more sense.
The problem I have is how Bob could point to one (incorrect) astronomical idea as amazing proof of a specific scripture in Job, and then a short time later find equal amazement in the same scripture giving support to a totally contradictory astronomical idea. If he really feels the current interpretation is the right one, honesty would have him admit openly that his previous enthusiastic endorsement of the wrong idea must have been based on something other than a correct understanding of the Bible. He knows the implications of admitting that he was incorrectly interpreting the Bible would call into question his exegesis of many passages in the Bible that are scientifically measurable.
No one at that time knew any of the constellations were "flying apart." Just because God chose to reference only one shouldn't take away from how remarkable that statement of fact was given the era.
You are assuming the meaning really was that the belt of Orion would someday be literally “loosed”. I think this is a latter-day spin on how to understand that passage, since for the people in Job’s time and for the intervening thousands of years until recently there was no correct understanding of what stars were to give a correct astronomical understanding of this passage.

Bob still maintains that the scripture in Job is amazing in picking out Orion. But since most constellations are spreading, Job could have picked almost any in the sky with equal validity. Had Job chosen to say that Leo’s legs would move, that would have been equally correct, or that the Handle of the Big Dipper would bend. Even observing the fulfilling of the “loosening” of the belt of Orion is something that would take many more generations of humanity. God better not come back in the next few tens of thousands of years, or the only proof of Orion’s belt loosening will via the detailed astronomical measurements of the proper and radial motion of the stars in the belt.
 

wholearmor

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Wasn't God simply saying that if the belt (also referred to as cords) of Orion were a literal belt, He could loosen it but Job couldn't?
 

SUTG

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Interesting. Bob is saying the exact opposite thing in each of the radio shows, but he claims that the bible agrees with him in each case. :chuckle:
 

Bob Enyart

Administrator
Staff member
Administrator
Admitting My Error to ThePhy

Admitting My Error to ThePhy

Here's a copy of my post from Second Offer to ThePhy thread:

Phy, as I said, I appreciate it when others correct my errors. You correctly identified a contradiction in how I interpreted scientific evidence as supportive of the Bible, and that error hurts my credibility and shows my bias. I presented evidence that Job’s description of Orion and the Pleiades indicated knowledge unobtainable by man until 4,000 years later, which I then interpreted as indicating divine revelation. Later, when I learned that literally half of my evidence was the exact opposite of what I needed for my original argument, I still made the same argument, to that extent discrediting myself and my original argument. Such elasticity of interpretation measures (1) bias, and (2) reciprocal degrees of ignorance and deceitfulness. Your argument, Phy, proves (1) bias on my part (my belief led me to a false judgment); and I claim that it shows (2) ignorance but not deceitfulness.

Phy, just as I have considered your argument here (and validated your criticism), if you will do a One-on-One against me rebutting my position that time is absolute and not relative, I will commit to responding to two more of your threads (none of which I have read). You said I should have answered this criticism two years ago, but every day that passes I have scores of letters, emails, and voice messages (including from good friends and loved ones), let alone posts at TOL and elsewhere, that I have not answered due to lack of time because work deadlines and my wife and kids take precedence. I don’t know when the last time a stranger in tears called you for help, but for me it was about thirty minutes ago (a boy name Lance just arrested). And being a terribly slow writer—this post has taken me about five nine hours (including the time to select the two parallel examples below)—I don’t go looking for criticisms or challenges to respond to, even on TOL and in the BEL forum, and most such pass unnoticed or as noise, until some rise above other priorities. Over the last 20 years, when I’ve wanted other local talk show hosts to respond to my letters, voicemails, emails, or recorded arguments I’ve sent to them, I’ve never had an expectation that they would in fact even notice, let alone actually read or listen to my rebuttal, and forget about them actually responding. When I send rebuttals to other talk show hosts (columnists, authors, etc.), I feel that doing so is mostly a waste of time, but it helps me think through my rebuttal, and perhaps against all odds, so-and-so might someday see my argument. I love coming to TOL to do Battle Royales and take on the occasional debate, and I always hope to do more than I have time for.

So Phy, you may want to stop reading here, because I’ve acknowledged your criticism and admitted my error, but I invite you to continue. There is more to the Orion and Pleiades error that I made, and for those who are interested, I want to provide a more full account of the error, and make whatever argument that can possibly survive my history on this issue.

The Error

In addition to ThePhy, I have to thank old-earth astrophysicist Hugh Ross of Reasons to Believe, for helping me measure my bias (which then reinforces my desire to handle evidence more carefully, though I admit this thanks to Ross is also a backhanded criticism). Why Hugh? As in the past when I’ve discussed my Orion’s Belt error, I’ve pointed out that a few years ago, I attended his presentation at Southern Gables Church in Littleton, Colo., organized and moderated by Denver newscaster Ward Lucas (an acquaintance); and it was there that I picked up a handout which presented this false argument for Scripture based on the stars of Orion’s Belt being gravitationally bound (and not unbound). I’ve read Ross’s The Fingerprint of God, and took notes at his presentation, and of all that, I only recall accepting this one argument (from Job), and trusting one piece of evidence (bound Belt) as from a trained astrophysicist. That trust was misplaced, but it did give Phy the opportunity to re-assert my bias. Fair enough, and while I’d rather safeguard myself from bias error, when I make one, I’m glad to have it identified.

(Skip this paragraph if you know the relevant Pleiades and Orion particulars.) From the notes I’ve collected on these two constellations: Isabel Lewis of the United States Naval Observatory says that astronomers have identified 250 stars as actual members of the Pleiades, all moving through space in the same direction, and at the same speed. Dr. Robert J. Trumpler of the Lick Observatory reported that, “Over 25,000 individual [measurements] of the Pleiades stars are now available, and their study led to the important discovery that the whole cluster is moving in a southeasterly direction… This leaves no doubt that the Pleiades are… a system in which the stars are bound together…” So the Cluster is not just apparent, but a true gravitational cluster, bound, as they are anciently described. “Can you bind the cluster [Heb. mahadannaw, bonds, bands] of the Pleiades, or loose the belt of Orion?” (Job 38:31). Contrariwise, the three second-magnitude stars that make up Orion’s Belt, almost a straight line as viewed from Earth, are rapidly moving apart from one another, with each traveling in a different direction at a different speed. Long ago, Astronomer Garrett P. Serviss said that, “In the course of time, however, the two right-hand stars, Mintaka and Alnilam, will approach each other and form a naked-eye double; but the third, Alnitak, will drift away eastward so that the band will no longer exist.”

Attempting to Salvage the Orion Argument

Job’s quote of God is of special interest because of all the dozens of ancient constellations he could have named, as best I can see none of the others indicate a binding together. Thus, while this cluster [bonds, bands] and belt primarily speak of a binding together, the other ancient heavenly images cannot be used to directly portray the concept of gravity (binding), such as the constellations of the scales [of justice], the altar, the ram, the goat, the bull, the serpent, the Virgin, the child, the crown, the mighty one, Leo the Lion, the fish, etc. None of those directly signify the concept of a binding together. Thus Job’s quote is uncanny:
God said:
“Can you bind the Cluster of the Pleiades, or loose the Belt of Orion?” -Job 38:31
Whether these constellations were both gravitationally bound or unbound, or one of each, Job’s quote is uncanny in that (1) it calls out the two names of ancient constellations which speak of binding; and (2) it points to extraordinary power required specifically to bind or loose. My bias (belief that has led to a false judgment) led me to accept the argument that this verse is even more compelling because both constellations were gravitationally bound, whereas both observations here (1 & 2) are valid and uncanny, regardless, because they speak generally of the concept and power of binding; and then, (3) a more careful reading of the text (Pleiades bound, Belt loosened) corrects the incorrect interpretation I had accepted and fits exactly with the true relationship of the actual stars.

Thus, the corrected Job 38 argument (my bias in full consideration) is that Job’s quote appears prescient because 3,600 years before Christian creationist Isaac Newton identified the concept of gravity, (1) Job singles out the two constellations which speak directly of binding; (2) points to the extraordinary power that such binding implies; and (3) his poetic description fits perfectly with the Pleiades gravitationally bound and Orion’s Belt being loosed.

Just as Genesis One puts such a priority on the creation of light (the nature of which is fundamental to understanding the universe), and states that the Sun is a light (and thus not a god as the ancient world imagined), this Job 38 passage adds to the cosmological insights in Scripture.

Phy referenced my interview with Michael Shermer, an editor of Scientific American. I began by mentioning that much of the ancient world worshipped the sun (moon and stars) as gods, and as I recall, I asked Shermer if at least we could begin with common ground, and agree that the Bible was correct in declaring on its first page, in Genesis One, that the Sun was a light (Gen. 1:16), and thus not a god, and therefore obviously (as later declared explicitly, Deut. 4:19) it should not be worshipped? Shermer’s knee-jerk reaction against anything biblical moved him to argue that the sun is not a light. (Listen to this 73-second excerpt, or go to the entire interview). Both sides fight bias. And I’d like to compare my problem of elasticity of interpretation of evidence with two major examples that ThePhy must wrestle with. When I give evidence for an isolated argument, it’s embarrassing (though important) to learn (and admit) that the evidence is exactly backward from what I had expected. Whereas, I will give two examples of extremely broad scientific observations which yield evidence exactly backward from what ThePhy and all atheists expect, which do not address an isolated argument, but entire foundational claims of their scientific worldview. If these examples are valid, then ThePhy should be able to admit the evidence is the opposite of what atheistic science would predict, and admit the elasticity of their interpretations. (1) Quickly decaying carbon-14 exists in carbon dioxide gas naturally occurring in wells representing the Permian, Mississippian, and Cretaceous (from supposedly 100 to 350 mya) in roughly equal amounts, indicating recent and simultaneous formation (see CO2 Gas Well Effluent Analysis), yet after decades of beating creationists over the head with radiometric dating, such extraordinary evidence (CO2 appearing everywhere in coal, diamonds, etc.) will not even be admitted as fitting, not into the Old-Earth, but the Young-Earth evidence column. (2) Mutation-based Darwinian evolution seems infinitely elastic in its ability to absorb apparently contrary data as though it were corroborative, including the 453,732 mutations now described in the literature which do not provide a single clear case of adding information to the genome (see Darwinism and the Deterioration of the Genome]), yet during this time evolutionists have only increased their defense of mutation-based evolution of species. These extremely broad scientific observations (for the age of the earth and evolution) yield the direct opposite results of what the atheistic model predicts, yet creationists cannot even get evolutionists to even admit that such broad observations fit better in the creationist model than the evolutionary model. Such admission would not equal a concession, but would demonstrate integrity and courage, and a willingness to objectively analyze the evidence, wherever it may lead. Thus, as I confront my bias, so we all should. Instead, we have TOL’s old-earther Johnny being “unsure” if it is even valid theoretically to sort “evidence into Evidence Columns” for Old and Young Earth.

Finally

Genesis One states that God gave the heavenly lights to be “signs“ (Gen. 1:14), and Ps. 147:4 that He has named all the stars. Christian creationist Johann Kepler, father of modern astronomy, discovered the three laws of planetary motion, and this young-earther used those laws to calculate the motions of the planets backward hoping to discover the nature of the Star of Bethlehem. Many of the constellations and names of the stars came down to us from the ancients, and the Apostle Paul (Romans 10:18) interpreted Psalm 19:1-6 to mean that the heavens depict the story of salvation.

Phy, you said that Job would have been correct if he had said that Leo’s legs or the Dipper’s handle would move. But Job’s actual statement not only illustrated a scientific truth [though you believe, just coincidentally], but it did so using the two constellations that could best illustrate the binding nature of gravity. My bias and ignorance will continue to give ammunition to atheists and skeptics who reject the Bible as God’s Word. However, Scripture and science present strong evidence of God’s existence and His Word as Truth.

ThePhy should be able to agree to at least this common ground: to admit that unlike much of the ancient world, the Bible was right in declaring the sun a light and not a god; that it is uncanny that the Bible’s creation story gave such priority to light; and that it is uncanny that Job would select the two constellations that depict the concept of being bound, and then ask a question that so well fits with the gravitational relationship of these constellations: “Can you bind the Cluster of the Pleiades, or loose the Belt of Orion?”

-Bob Enyart
 

ThePhy

New member
The Cookie Jar

If Bob had elected to respond with just the core of his first paragraph, I would have considered that a commendable demonstration of honesty. But, not unlike the child caught with their hand in the cookie jar, after admitting the obvious, he then immediately launched into a childish pattern of excuses and distractions.

Admitting error to who???​

Note the title of his post – “Admitting My Error to ThePhy”. I would hope that someone claiming to be a minister of Christ’s church would be concerned with the realization that they had passed on erroneous information their flock. Directing his response to me should not be his primary concern. He passed out the misinformation. Is he actively trying to tell those who might have picked it up from him that it was in fact wrong? If he is, it is nowhere evident in anything I have seen on the KGOV website.

Thanks for Showing Him His Error
(But He Doesn’t Have Enough Interest to See if I Am Right on Other Issues)​

Let me contrast two points in Bob’s post – first:
I appreciate it when others correct my errors.
and a little later:
... I will commit to responding to two more of your threads (none of which I have read).
I’m having trouble reconciling these two. Bob openly admits that the technical content of my post is correct, but then also openly admits that other issues I have raised he felt were not worth his time to peruse. He admits to spending 9 hours on this post, and yet has no idea if the other issues are more substantive than this one. Are we ever going to see the real Christian attitude? You know, the one that says, “Wow, I taught something untrue, and the person who showed that to me says that is just one of several things. I better see if he is right and I have been remiss in other things I said.”
Later, when I learned that literally half of my evidence was the exact opposite of what I needed for my original argument, I still made the same argument, to that extent discrediting myself and my original argument. Such elasticity of interpretation measures (1) bias, and (2) reciprocal degrees of ignorance and deceitfulness. Your argument, Phy, proves (1) bias on my part (my belief led me to a false judgment); and I claim that it shows (2) ignorance but not deceitfulness.
My opinion of Bob’s underlying motivations for making the change in his teachings about Orion’s belt is not the core issue. More important is whether or not he has corrected it to those he passed it on to.

Bob’s One-on-One Fixation​
Phy, just as I have considered your argument here (and validated your criticism), if you will do a One-on-One against me rebutting my position that time is absolute and not relative, I will commit to responding to two more of your threads
For someone having the extreme demands on their time that Bob has claimed, I am amazed at the almost pathological level of interest he has in getting this one-on-one underway. I have pointed out in previous responses to that invitation where his interest is more in dealing with me than in gaining an accurate understanding of the properties of time. In his desperation he has initiated three threads to that effect. I suspect that he wants to leave a legacy of threads inviting me to a debate that he can point to as indicting me if I decline.

In his latest debate invitation to me, DocRob57 responded asking if his son might stand in for me. In response, Bob says:
Docrob, thank you so much, and your son, for the kind offer. From other posts, I've seen that as a possibility. Perhaps on another issue, yes, but on this matter of the relativity of time, I'm hoping to take on a bonafide physicist.
Bob makes some assumptions in that response. I am confident he knows little about my true technical qualifications in physics, whether academic or professionally. I do not know Docrob57’s son personally, but if he is a good student with a few years of college studies behind him on the way to a physics degree, then he is competent to handle the subject well above any technical level Bob can reach.

Of course, if it is “me” Bob is really after, such a replacement for me would blunt the value of a one-on-one, and I would expect him to decline, as he did. If he were sincerely interested in resolving the time issue in a forum uncluttered by multiple posters, then he would have embraced this possibility for a one-on-one as fervently as one with me personally. His response shows he seeks not truth, but vengeance. I must have really struck a nerve, as shown by his inordinate focus on me lately.

And here Bob again dangles a quid pro quo – “I will commit to responding to two more of your threads”. To this I take (mild) umbrage. Since the very existence of the last response from Bob in this thread is because he found my arguments credible, I would expect that would be sufficient incentive to see if my other claims have equal validity. I don’t know how many people he has who have taken the time to respond in detail to technical errors in his science, but I will be amazed if the number of such people is more than two. He says he is busy. If the demands on his time are so severe that he cannot be bothered to look at documented detailed analyses of his errors, then he should just keep on ignoring them. Such an attitude fits poorly with what a Christian teacher of truth should exemplify.

I am not interested in taking Bob's one-on-one bait as a means to get him to look at my other threads. Does he try to cut deals with God like that - "Hey God, I will actually read your scriptures if you first do this neato thing for me."

Maybe he really put the cookie back?​
As in the past when I’ve discussed my Orion’s Belt error …
I must have missed this. The Orion’s belt error (presenting both conflicting accounts) is on the KGOV website, but I have not found anyplace where Bob – as he says – “discussed my (his) Orion’s Belt error”. I ask Bob to provide evidence that indeed he has discussed that error. None of his TOL “defenders” – such as Knight and Yorzhik seemed to be aware that he had discussed the error, or at least they have been absolutely silent on indicating such.

Reading the mind of the Dead​

I usually avoid commenting on scriptural passages. The wide divergence of interpretation within the Christian community itself hardly needs yet another viewpoint from an outsider. But since Bob offers Job’s Biblical passage as proof of its scientific correctness, I will touch on it lightly.
Whether these constellations were both gravitationally bound or unbound, or one of each, Job’s quote is uncanny in that …
Poor Job. Anciently he wrote something that eventually was included within the Bible canon. Something which, according to Bob, could not be accurately understood until just a few decades ago when science matured enough. Then Bob finds that Job was “uncanny” in knowing that Orion’s stars were gravitationally bound (or not – pick whichever one fits your personal preference.) But when I talked to Job, he told me that he looked into the night sky and noticed that those stars seemed to be lined up, like the members of a family might be when meeting someone new. He decided the word “bound” fit well, like it is often used in referring to a family unit. He admitted that he had no inkling that those stars were huge, and that gravity had anything to do with anything other than falling apples on the earth. Isn’t it amazing how Bob and others can read whatever science they want into a few obscure words from a simple author of long ago? “Binding” turns into “gravity”, and “loosed” becomes flying apart. If it becomes fashionable, I’ll bet fundamentalists will find Schrodinger’s equation of Quantum Mechanics somewhere in the Bible.

I looked up the way the passage in Job was translated in 17 different Bible translations. For something that so clearly is talking about the gravity to Bob, when speaking of the Pleiades there was am amazing variety of phrasings. The “binding” that Bob says is an ancient allusion to gravity is variously described as “chains”, “cords”, “holding back movement”, “tie up”, and “arrange in groups”. One translation even chose the phrase “catching the eye of”, and that stalwart of the Christian world – the King James Version – speaks of the “binding the sweet influence”. I guess I am just not accustomed to thinking of gravity as a “sweet influence”.

When it comes to Bob’s gravity and the belt of Orion, the phrasings included “loose the cords”, “distracting from his hunt”, “restrain”, “arrange in groups”, “loose the belt”, “loose the band”, “open … attractions”, “loose ropes”, and “untie the ropes”. I leave it to the reader to judge for themselves if these show that Biblical Hebrew scholars agree with Bob that these are clearly ancient references to the gravity between stellar masses.

I am left to wonder about the value of a divine book that I am told is inspired throughout, yet has many such passages that must have been nearly meaningless to Christians in prior millennia, Christians who could not have possibly understood them scientifically. I have numerous scientific texts on my shelf, and there isn’t a single one of them that is so ambiguously written that it is subject to the lexical plasticity that Christians find in their Bible.
(2) it points to extraordinary power required specifically to bind or loose.
What is this blathering about extraordinary power? If gravity is all that is spoken of, why didn’t God just ask someone to make an apple rise, or something equally near and clear, to demonstrate man’s lack of control over it? Why pick some poorly understood things like stars? God needs simple instructions in how to get an elementary point across.

“Mommy – look at that pretty bird outside the window”
(But not at my hand inside the cookie jar)​

One of the least honorable debate techniques is one that Bob uses all too often – that of trying to divert the subject:
And I’d like to compare my problem of elasticity of interpretation of evidence with two major examples that ThePhy must wrestle with.

(text omitted)
I have no need to wrestle with the evidence he gives. This thread is about Orion’s belt, not issues in evolutionary biology or radiology. This is an infantile attempt on his part to divert the subject.

WHICH two?​
But Job’s actual statement not only illustrated a scientific truth [though you believe, just coincidentally], but it did so using the two constellations that could best illustrate the binding nature of gravity.
Why are “these two constellations” the best ones? What difference would it have made if he had chosen the Pleiades and the handle of the Big Dipper? How about M31 and Pisces?

“Mommy, Jamie took some cookies too”​
ThePhy should be able to agree to at least this common ground: to admit that unlike much of the ancient world, the Bible was right in declaring the sun a light and not a god; that it is uncanny that the Bible’s creation story gave such priority to light; and that it is uncanny that Job would select the two constellations that depict the concept of being bound, and then ask a question that so well fits with the gravitational relationship of these constellations: “Can you bind the Cluster of the Pleiades, or loose the Belt of Orion?”
In this thread I am not arguing whether or not the sun and moon are lights, or whether they were worshipped. If Bob wants to address that, let’s move to another thread.

Does Bob Really Get his Truth From the Bible?​

Bob often claims that the Bible should be the ultimate reference source for truth. But does he really follow that counsel? Look at his handling of this passage in Job. Bob admits that he was given some erroneous scientific information about the belt of Orion. And he paired that information up with Job, and broadcast the misinformation as supportive of Job. If, as Bob so fervently claims now, Job actually was speaking of the stars in Orion flying apart, then why wasn’t that clear when he first shoehorned the scientific misinformation into supporting Job? And then to compound the problem, does Bob even hint that at some time he realized that Job was not claiming that the Orion stars were “bound”. No, that came not as any insight derived from the Bible, but from finding out what the stars of Orion were really doing – from science. Bob’s understanding of truth clearly came not from what Job said, but rather what science came up with. No wonder it mattered little what Job really meant. It was not Job that Bob found inspiration in, but in the ability to mold Job’s claims to whatever science said.

Bob doesn’t really don’t know what Job meant in his passage. If he had, he would have measured the scientific misinformation claims about the belt of Orion being loosed against Job’s statement, and rejected it. But instead, rather than relying on a clear understanding of what the Bible meant, he came across something that sounded scientific and seemed to fit, and he broadcast it. He broadcast a science idea, and a wrong one at that, because he didn’t know, (and still don’t) just what Job was really referring to.
 

Bob Enyart

Administrator
Staff member
Administrator
Phy, thanks for responding. I've asked the webmaster at KGOVArchives.com to note the error in my Feb. 11, 2002 show. I share your concern for getting the record corrected.

As to my interest in debating you vs another physicist, I would have rather debated you since we have a history :) . But I am happy to debate my Summit Clock illustration against the notion of time being relative with someone else. So I will now stop asking you to do debate. And I hope that we find an interested physicist who will take me up on the offer.

Phy, I agree that you had no obligation to respond to my examples: of no clear instance of adding information to the genome after nearly half-a-million mutations, yet evolutionists have only increased their confidence in mutation-based evolution; and of C14 in CO2 wells (and coal, diamonds, seemingly wherever we look for it), without Old-Earthers admitting (as far as I’ve seen) that this is extraordinarily significant evidence against their position for which they have no answer.

And as for your other posts regarding my alleged errors, you're right, I should look at them. You took the time to identify them, so I will make the time to read your comments and consider them. Like I said, when something rises above the noise or becomes a priority for some reason, it gets my attention. As for you catching me incorrectly referring to 10 to the 5th power as 10,000, rather than 100,000, I must admit that one also: I'm guilty :( . Even though I've always loved math, on the air, talking and counting at the same time can be distracting, and sometimes while speaking into a microphone it can be hard even to silently and simultaneously count to five (believe it or not), and you caught me (I've been told) being off by a factor of ten. Did you indicate whether that added factor weakened, or strengthed my actual argument? I imagine it strengthened my point. No? So, I'll get to the criticisms you've linked to.

I started three threads because I made three offers, not to leave a legacy of proof that you declined. Over time, they'll simply recess into the bit bucket of the BEL Forum archives. You have already kindly admitted that I offered to take you up on a live debate and your schedule didn't permit it. I was trying to chide you into a fun debate, that's all, and the effort failed.
Phy said:
I am amazed at the almost pathological level of interest he has in getting this one-on-one underway.
Me? Me?? "pathological level of interest?" Me??? You ciber-stalker you :) . You flew to Denver to check out my Age of the Earth debate and then let everyone know for a year you wanted to debate, but couldn't in person when I did offer, and then told TOL you wouldn't debate me on air, but that TOL was your forum. So, I posted my offer to debate you just 12 days ago, on January 6th. I thought you'd enjoy the opportunity. Apparently I was wrong. I'd committed the Phy-sin of wanting to debate. It was like offering to help an old lady across the street and she turns out to be Norman Bates' mother. Psycho :shocked: .

ThePhy said:
Why are “these two constellations” the best ones? What difference would it have made if he had chosen the Pleiades and the handle of the Big Dipper? How about M31 and Pisces?
Phy, I did address that in the first paragraph under “Attempting to Salvage the Orion Argument.”
ThePhy said:
And then to compound the problem, does Bob even hint that at some time he realized that Job was not claiming that the Orion stars were “bound”. No, that came not as any insight derived from the Bible, but from finding out what the stars of Orion were really doing – from science. Bob’s understanding of truth clearly came not from what Job said, but rather what science came up with. It was not Job that Bob found inspiration in, but in the ability to mold Job’s claims to whatever science said.
Yes, that realization came from reading quotes from astronomers (I forget exactly when, but perhaps when I was fact-checking for Battle Royale VII). I thought that would be utterly clear from my post, that when I picked up false information, my bias led me to accept the gravity claims and argument without much checking or thinking about it, and that’s hurt my credibility, and I’ve had to correct it. And no, I don’t view the Bible as a Science textbook, but rather, I believe it’s teachings are consistent with correct science, and because God inspired it, Scripture shows insights that mere men would not have possessed. Because ancient readers could not have appreciated certain scientific insights has no downside, your criticism notwithstanding. And as for whether I'm now forcing the relationship of the actual stars to match Job’s quote, I’ll let others judge whether I’m forcing it or not.
ThePhy said:
Bob doesn’t really don’t know what Job meant in his passage.
I would think, Phy, that if you ever become convinced that the God of the Bible actually did created the universe, and recalled that the Pleiades is gravitationally bound and Orion’s belt stars are flying apart, that you would think that Job’s passage actually does reveal God's knowledge of the gravitational relationship of those constellations:

“Can you bind the cluster of the Pleiades, or loose the belt of Orion?” (Job 38:31).

-Bob Enyart
 

ThePhy

New member
From BobE:
Phy, thanks for responding. I've asked the webmaster at KGOVArchives.com to note the error in my Feb. 11, 2002 show. I share your concern for getting the record corrected.
I should rejoice at this small concession, since such victories come at such a high cost of time and effort. I imagine that in the next decade, maybe one person will stumble across the correction. But it would be even better if I could forward a hundred pages or so of needed corrections to KGOV shows descriptions to the KGOV webmaster. Just think, that way KGOV might even be restored to a pretence of allegiance to scientific honesty. Wouldn’t that be wonderful?
As to my interest in debating you vs another physicist, I would have rather debated you since we have a history .
I am surprised at your willingness to confirm what I keep saying, that the incentive for the one-on-one is our “history”, rather than a fundamental desire to understand the time issue.
But I am happy to debate my Summit Clock illustration against the notion of time being relative with someone else.
You weren’t happy enough to accept exactly such an offer that was extended to you a couple of days ago.
Phy, I agree that you had no obligation to respond to my examples: of no clear instance of adding information to the genome after nearly half-a-million mutations, yet evolutionists have only increased their confidence in mutation-based evolution; and of C14 in CO2 wells (and coal, diamonds, seemingly wherever we look for it), without Old-Earthers admitting (as far as I’ve seen) that this is extraordinarily significant evidence against their position for which they have no answer.
Just can’t resist tossing some more off-the subject distractions into the mix, can you?
And as for your other posts regarding my alleged errors, you're right, I should look at them. You took the time to identify them, so I will make the time to read your comments and consider them. Like I said, when something rises above the noise or becomes a priority for some reason, it gets my attention.
I take this as an oblique admission that my rantings are no longer just noise, or at the bottom of your priority stack. I feel honored.
As for you catching me incorrectly referring to 10 to the 5th power as 10,000, rather than 100,000, I must admit that one also: I'm guilty . Even though I've always loved math, on the air, talking and counting at the same time can be distracting, and sometimes while speaking into a microphone it can be hard even to silently and simultaneously count to five (believe it or not), and you caught me (I've been told) being off by a factor of ten. Did you indicate whether that added factor weakened, or strengthened my actual argument? I imagine it strengthened my point. No? So, I'll get to the criticisms you've linked to.
I don’t think it did either. It was just am amusing example of mathematical mistakes in the middle of a segment where you were highlighting the lack of mathematical intuition of some of your friends.
I was trying to chide you into a fun debate, that's all, and the effort failed.
No you were desirous of getting me alone in the ring, and then using tactics that would make Mike Tyson jealous.
You ciber-stalker you . You flew to Denver to check out my Age of the Earth debate and then let everyone know for a year you wanted to debate, but couldn't in person when I did offer, and then told TOL you wouldn't debate me on air, but that TOL was your forum.
Ciber stalker? Hmm, I have been correctly accused of sneaking up on glasses of apple cider and snitching them – is that perhaps what you meant? Not ciber – but cider? Nah, I think you really meant CYBER – you know - like CYborg (ala Schwarzenegger).

But yeah, I long ago admitted to having airlines miles that were about to expire, and a free weekend, thus my presence in Denver for your debate. And that I was disappointed at the lack-luster defense that the Hugh Ross people put up. But when my requests for an in-person debate in front of your congregation failed to materialized, I encapsulated some of my ideas in posts that I have put in this forum. By the way, when I asked to meet you in front of your whole congregation, does it still come under the category of “stalking”?
So, I posted my offer to debate you just 12 days ago, on January 6th. I thought you'd enjoy the opportunity. Apparently I was wrong.
No, I have an aversion to tangling with a Tyson clone.
It was like offering to help an old lady across the street and she turns out to be Norman Bates' mother. Psycho .
Arguing against good science will do that to you.

Originally Posted by ThePhy
Why are “these two constellations” the best ones? What difference would it have made if he had chosen the Pleiades and the handle of the Big Dipper? How about M31 and Pisces?
From Bob E:
Phy, I did address that in the first paragraph under “Attempting to Salvage the Orion Argument.”
No you didn’t. Let me make the argument more clear (and I will even resort to debate style question numbering – you should like that). You claim now is that the Pleiades are gravitationally bound (corresponding to “binding” in Job) and that Orion’s belt is flying apart (“loosed” in Job). The Handle of the big dipper is flying apart. Cassiopeia is flying apart. The vast majority of constellations are flying apart. Question TP1: Why is Job’s allusion to Orion being “loosed” more correct than if he had said the big dipper?

As a matter of fact, since the integrity of this whole argument hinges on this gravitational issue, Question TP2: do you have a reasonably accurate layman’s definition of what gravitationally bound even means? If I were to pick any of hundreds of known groups of stars, could you tell me what would distinguish a gravitationally bound group from one that is not? I realize that this is asking a moderately scientific question, but it emphasizes the point I made in my last post. If Job is speaking of specific gravitationally bound systems, it is meaningless if incorrect science and good science satisfy Job’s criteria equally well. If you are measuring Job against science, then science is the standard you are measuring against. If you are measuring science against what the Bible says in Job, then there must be some yardstick internal to Job that unambiguously validates or discredits the scientific claims.
I would think, Phy, that if you ever become convinced that the God of the Bible actually did created the universe, and recalled that the Pleiades is gravitationally bound and Orion’s belt stars are flying apart, that you would think that Job’s passage actually does reveal God's knowledge of the gravitational relationship of those constellations:

“Can you bind the cluster of the Pleiades, or loose the belt of Orion?” (Job 38:31).
Question TP3: Are you aware that this express passage in Job is one that Answers in Genesis recommends not be used in the way you are? Their reason is the same one that I have mentioned – until the recent advance in astrophysical understanding, Job’s words must have been as meaningless as spilled ink on the page to previous generations of Christians.

Question TP4: Had you lived 200 years ago, and been a pastor and without our current astronomical understanding, what truths would you have said Job was illustrating in his Orion and Pleiades verses?
 

bob b

Science Lover
LIFETIME MEMBER
Hall of Fame
Doesn't anyone but me think it uncanny that God would say the following to Job?

Can you bind the cluster of the Pleiades, or loose the belt of Orion? (Job 38:31).

BTW, it should be obvious to anyone familar with mythology that the reason one would choose Orion to compare to the Pleiades is that in mythology the two were closely connected, not to mention that God throughout the Bible engages in "puns" and loosening a belt certainly is a great one!
 

Johnny

New member
Just to supplement something ThePhy mentioned earlier:
From AiG's "Arguments we think creationists should NOT use"

‘There is amazing modern scientific insight in the Bible.’ We should interpret the Bible as the author originally intended, and as the intended readership would have understood it. Therefore we should be cautious in reading modern science into passages where the readers would not have seen it. This applies especially to poetic books like Job and Psalms. For example, Job’s readers would not have understood Job 38:31 to be teaching anything about gravitational potential energy of Orion and Pleiades. Rather, the original readers would have seen it as a poetic illustration of God’s might, i.e. that God, unlike Job, could create the Pleiades in a tightly-knit cluster which is what it looks like; while God created Orion as a well spread out constellation, again something well beyond Job’s ability. Similarly, Job 38:14 is not advanced scientific insight into the Earth’s rotation, because the earth is not being compared to the turning seal but to the clay turning from one shape into another under the seal.
 

ThePhy

New member
bob b said:
Doesn't anyone but me think it uncanny that God would say the following to Job?



BTW, it should be obvious to anyone familar with mythology that the reason one would choose Orion to compare to the Pleiades is that in mythology the two were closely connected, not to mention that God throughout the Bible engages in "puns" and loosening a belt certainly is a great one!
Welcome to the conversation. If you had just waited a couple more weeks, you would have been a full two years behind in this discussion.
 

fool

New member
Hall of Fame
ThePhy said:
Welcome to the conversation. If you had just waited a couple more weeks, you would have been a full two years behind in this discussion.
That's what I love about Bob b, he's a "better late then never" guy.
 

bob b

Science Lover
LIFETIME MEMBER
Hall of Fame
Johnny said:
Just to supplement something ThePhy mentioned earlier:
From AiG's "Arguments we think creationists should NOT use"

‘There is amazing modern scientific insight in the Bible.’ We should interpret the Bible as the author originally intended, and as the intended readership would have understood it. Therefore we should be cautious in reading modern science into passages where the readers would not have seen it. This applies especially to poetic books like Job and Psalms. For example, Job’s readers would not have understood Job 38:31 to be teaching anything about gravitational potential energy of Orion and Pleiades. Rather, the original readers would have seen it as a poetic illustration of God’s might, i.e. that God, unlike Job, could create the Pleiades in a tightly-knit cluster which is what it looks like; while God created Orion as a well spread out constellation, again something well beyond Job’s ability. Similarly, Job 38:14 is not advanced scientific insight into the Earth’s rotation, because the earth is not being compared to the turning seal but to the clay turning from one shape into another under the seal.

Although I agree we should be cautious, that should not mean that we should be oblivious to passages that may have been intended to speak to not only a single generation but to all people at all times. Thus, there may be different levels of understanding for different eras of history. Pretty clever writing to be sure.

It is very possible that Orion/Pleiades is one of those cases of multiple interpretations for different eras. The science fits and the "pun" of loosening a "belt" reinforces it.

On the other hand Henry Morris' interpretation of Job 38:14 is a bit too much of a stretch for my taste.

But of course caution at all times is good advice (even if less fun ;) ).
 

Bob Enyart

Administrator
Staff member
Administrator
Phy, you criticized me for turning down a student’s offer to debate [empasis added]:
ThePhy said:
[Bob,] You weren’t happy enough to accept exactly such an offer that was extended to you a couple of days ago.
However, I had said:
Bob said:
As to my interest in debating you vs another physicist… I hope that we find an interested physicist who will take me up on the offer.
Phy, if there had been “exactly such an offer,” I would have accepted it. There was no such offer. Let's try not to overstate our criticisms.
Phy said:
Just can’t resist tossing some more off-the subject distractions into the mix, can you?
In my post admitting my error, after doing so, I wrote, “you may want to stop reading here, because I’ve acknowledged your criticism and admitted my error.” Perhaps you think that my admission means that now, I'm going to lay down and die, or less colloquially, cease and desist. I think not. After acknowledging that the evidence was the opposite of what I had thought it was in my isolated Job argument, I’ve pointed out that that the absence of evidence for mutations as a source of added information is the opposite of what evolutionists expected, for there is no clear instance of adding information to the genome even after the literature has discussed nearly half-a-million mutations, yet evolutionists have only increased their confidence in mutation-based evolution.

To me, this example shows in the extreme a refusal to admit that this broad scientific evidence is the exact opposite of what evolutionists expected, and require, for the very substance of their neo-darwinism. Now, I’ve demonstrated that a person really can admit that the evidence is the opposite of what he expected. Now, regarding the 453,000 + mutations described in the literature without a single clear case of adding information (but losing and rearranging existing information), I invite you to admit that this overwhelming evidence is the opposite of what evolutionists had expected the evidence would show, and that this contrary evidence undermines the very heart of mutation-based evolution. Go ahead Phy. It’s cathartic. The truth will set you free.

Distraction? It would be a distraction if I brought up this mutation example, without admitting my own error. But I did so clearly, and at the top of my post. I saw your criticism, and raised you one. And similarly, of quickly decaying C14 in CO2 wells (and coal, diamonds, etc.), without Old-Earthers admitting (as far as I’ve seen) that this is extraordinarily broad and significant evidence that undermines their position, since we should find NO C14 in such millions-of-years-old formations, but it appears to be there ubiquitously. Remember, catharsis is good for the soul. Oh wait… you think you have no soul. :)
Phy said:
No you were desirous of getting me alone in the ring, and then using tactics that would make Mike Tyson jealous.
My! What mystical powers you attribute to me! I’m sure your IQ is sufficient for you to spot any logical fallacies, etc., that I might employ. And if your position were correct, with your knowledge, you should have been able to show at least the honest, intelligent readers the error of my Summit Clock illustration of time being absolute.
Phy said:
I was disappointed at the lack-luster defense that the Hugh Ross people put up [when they debated you re: Young Earth].
I was too. If I had known what was coming, I would have paid them to do a better job preparing. It was discouraging. Similar to many of the debates I participate in, or listen to, between young-earth creationists and atheists, old-earthers, etc., such as my debate with Zakath, and even the BR X Openness debate with Dr. Lamerson. In these debates, the opposing sides’ overconfidence undermines their ability to argue their position.
ThePhy said:
Why are “these two constellations” the best ones? What difference would it have made if he had chosen the Pleiades and the handle of the Big Dipper? How about M31 and Pisces?
From Bob E: Quote:
Phy, I did address that in the first paragraph under “Attempting to Salvage the Orion Argument.”​
No you didn’t. Let me make the argument more clear (and I will even resort to debate style question numbering – you should like that). You claim now is that the Pleiades are gravitationally bound (corresponding to “binding” in Job) and that Orion’s belt is flying apart (“loosed” in Job). The Handle of the big dipper is flying apart. Cassiopeia is flying apart. The vast majority of constellations are flying apart. Question TP1: Why is Job’s allusion to Orion being “loosed” more correct than if he had said the big dipper?
BEA-TP1: Phy, I did address that in the first paragraph under “Attempting to Salvage the Orion Argument.”
ThePhy said:
Question TP2: do you have a reasonably accurate layman’s definition of what gravitationally bound even means? If I were to pick any of hundreds of known groups of stars, could you tell me what would distinguish a gravitationally bound group from one that is not?
BEA-TP2 Yes, and yes. :)
Phy said:
If you are measuring Job against science, then science is the standard you are measuring against…
Phy, I already answered this too. Perhaps you just want to read my answer again:
Bob said:
Yes, that realization came from reading quotes from astronomers… I thought that would be utterly clear from my post [and now trebly so]… And no, I don’t view the Bible as a Science textbook, but rather, I believe it’s teachings are consistent with correct science, and because God inspired it, Scripture shows insights that mere men would not have possessed.
ThePhy said:
Question TP3: Are you aware that this express passage in Job is one that Answers in Genesis recommends not be used in the way you are? Their reason is the same one that I have mentioned – until the recent advance in astrophysical understanding, Job’s words must have been as meaningless as spilled ink on the page to previous generations of Christians.
BEA-TP3: Yes, I have been aware, and perhaps a year ago AiG gave that opinion in one of their excellent publications (Creation Magazine I think), and in a subsequent issue, they published a great letter-to-the-editor arguing the contrary. I disagree with AiG on this, and I’m thankful they since published an opposing opinion, and again, that “ancient readers could not have appreciated certain scientific insights has no downside, your criticism notwithstanding.” The ancients did not know the preeminent role of light, “the nature of which is fundamental to understanding the universe,” yet our modern insight enables us to greater appreciate the priority given to “Let there be light,” as the very first “Let there be,” in the Genesis account. And once again you overstate your case, that Job’s words “must have been as meaningless as spilled ink.”
ThePhy said:
Question TP4: Had you lived 200 years ago, and been a pastor and without our current astronomical understanding, what truths would you have said Job was illustrating in his Orion and Pleiades verses?
BEA-TP4: If I had lived 200 years ago, I might have identified two of three truths in Job 38:31. I would have agreed with God that (1) man does not possess the power of the Creator to place the stars in the heavens. And though I lacked our current astronomical knowledge, I also could have applied existing understanding, the cosmology that arose within the Christian worldviews of Copernicus, Kepler, and Newton, which rejected the Aristotle’s pagan Greek, geo-centered solar-system, and then used Newton’s discovery of universal gravity, to point out that (2) “of all the dozens of ancient constellations [God] could have named, as best I can see none of the others indicate a binding together. Thus, while this cluster [bonds, bands] and belt primarily speak of a binding together, the other ancient heavenly images cannot be used to directly portray the concept of gravity (binding), such as the constellations of the scales [of justice], the altar, the ram, the goat, the bull, the serpent, the Virgin, the child, the crown, the mighty one, Leo the Lion, the fish, etc. None of those directly signify the concept of a binding together. Thus Job’s quote is uncanny." Finally, I would not understand (3) the deeper insight of the converse relationship of the stars within the two groups, the cluster bound, the belt being loosed, which would have been lost on me, and would have awaited discoveries of a future generation to appreciate. For “It is the glory of God to conceal a matter, but the glory of kings is to search out a matter” (Prov. 25:2).

And Phy, I’ll go ahead and answer your follow-up questions to my BEA-TP2 now. And you didn't ask me to look up a definition for gravitationally bound, but "do you have" such a definition, so I'll write my own definition on the phy, er, a, that is, on the fly. (1) My layman’s definition of what gravitationally bound means is that the force of gravity between two or more objects is sufficient to overcome other forces (inertia, pressure, etc.), such that the objects move under the influence of one another, examples including (a) binary stars, (b) planets orbiting stars, (c) satellites orbiting planets, and (d) more complex groupings of more than two stars (or other objects). That's the layman's definition I have. Regarding groupings of three or more objects gravitationally bound (which includes constellations), as the complexity of the group increases, the influence of its members becomes complex, and very possibly difficult to describe or predict without iterative computer simulation. (While a computer science student at Arizona State University, I worked as a software engineer associate for a year for McDonnell Douglas Helicopter Company on the Apache Helicopter in their simulation department, and while I'm no expert in any of these disciplines, I still enjoy thinking about such matters). (2) If you picked a group of stars, I could tell you what distinguished a gravitationally bound one from one that was not. How? By the definition I just gave. Sufficient information would be required to determine if the group fell within that definition of gravitationally bound, and we have such sufficient information for the cluster and the belt under discussion. Also, I would apply this caveat, that objects that are gravitationally bound may not remain so indefinitely, but by the working of other forces, they may loose that binding. Gravity is a weak force (compared to others), and its sweet influence causes my wife Cheryl’s hair to fall over her shoulders (rather than sticking out straight as though she were being electrically shocked :) ), and it powerfully keeps all six sextillion metric tons of our earth within a warm, life-sustaining distance from the sun, yet allows my four-year-old son to lift up a ten-pound rock. (What a balancing act!) However, other forces may undo a gravitationally-bound grouping (such as if a comet's closed orbit became an open orbit and it escaped our solar system). For example, the sun slowly losses mass, and that could cause the loss of the furthest solar system objects at the boundary of its (sweet) influence, losing them to their own kinetic energy.

-Bob Enyart
 

ThePhy

New member
From BobE:
Phy, you criticized me for turning down a student’s offer to debate ... another physicist… an interested physicist ... Phy, if there had been “exactly such an offer,” I would have accepted it. There was no such offer. Let's try not to overstate our criticisms.
I hardly think this issue is worth arguing over. I will remind you again that you do not know my real qualifications in physics. And, unless DocRob privately forwarded more information to you than your exchange with him in these forums recently indicated, you are making a substantial assumption about how qualified his son is in physics. I see nothing in his question to you that said his son was a student at all. He only said his son is “is well versed in physics.” Apparently that is sufficient for you to determine the he was not “another physicist” or even an “interested physicist”. But as you have made abundantly clear, the requisites to be acceptable as your one-one-one opponent fit me alone.
…I wrote, “you may want to stop reading here, because I’ve acknowledged your criticism and admitted my error.” Perhaps you think that my admission means that now, I'm going to lay down and die, or less colloquially, cease and desist. I think not. I’ve pointed out that that the absence of evidence for mutations as a source of added information is …
No, I am not asking you to lie down and give up. But I did have expectations, now gone, that you would be a person who would honor the norm of not introducing material that is not pertinent to the subject under discussion. If you were in a formal debate on the Job – Pleiades – Orion question, would you feel equally at ease with dropping a bunch of information about genetic mutations and Carbon-14 dating into the debate? You could always preface the introduction of that extraneous material into the debate with a warning as you did here – “Debate judges, you may want to stop listening here because since I have already admitted to loosing the debate, I am now going to resort to tossing some off-topic stuff in.”
Go ahead Phy. It’s cathartic. The truth will set you free.
Thank you. Already did that some time ago, when I realized that I would be lying to both myself and any God that respects truth if I stuck to the Christian story. The step was big, but as you say, the results have been well worth it.
I’m sure your IQ is sufficient for you to spot any logical fallacies, etc., that I might employ.
You express more confidence in my ability to detect logical fallacies than I have. But your mention of them is significant. I carry some degree of unease in forums like these, specifically because of them. In my “real” world, the need to routinely be sensitive for and guard against logical fallacies is almost unheard of. Why is it that here at TOL logical fallacies grow from rarely found things to major tools of battle? And this is not unique to TOL, but is a staple at every religion forum I have visited.

Sure, we scientists make mistakes, but they are straight out scientific mistakes, of a different nature than the “logical fallacies” – which are clever devices employed to mislead others. In fields fundamentally relying on interpersonal relationships – religion is a prime example – the ability to sway others to your viewpoint is important. The employment of mental trickery can be invaluable in gaining and keeping the support of a group of believers. I will caveat this a bit in your case, since most of my criticisms of your science are based on your lack of scientific understanding rather than mental subterfuge.

In contrast to the theological world, in my world of science my colleagues and I may come together with different ideas, but we also know that our success will depend on our ability to impartially evaluate our ideas. Our ideas will soon turn into experiments and equipment whose functioning cares not one whit for how persuasive we were emotionally. We either discern and abide by nature’s rules, or we fail. Nature knows nothing of and pays no heed to logical fallacies. Not so in the pastorate.

That is one reason many scientists fare so poorly in fundamentalist debates, where the techniques of persuasive argumentation have little in common with the techniques of scientific investigation.
And if your position were correct, with your knowledge, you should have been able to show at least the honest, intelligent readers the error of my Summit Clock illustration of time being absolute.
From the comments in that thread some readers have already voiced their appreciation for the technical content of my responses. Since you have a vested theological interest in disproving the variability of time, it was not surprising that you resisted accepting my response, and even recently admitted abandoning that thread partially because you said I had failed to give answer to your arguments. Yet for some reason it is I, the one whose arguments you have already rejected, that you desired a one-on-one with.
BEA-TP1: Phy, I did address that in the first paragraph under “Attempting to Salvage the Orion Argument.”
Why am I getting the sinking feeling that this is perilously close to the childish “I did too” that can be tossed back at any argument given. I started composing a detailed analysis of the exact wording of Job, and the exact gravitational interactions of Orion and the big dipper, but then I reigned myself in. I felt much like you might if you were arguing over the pattern of dance steps some tribal witch doctor claimed were the most efficacious in casting spells on enemies. You don’t carry much respect for witch doctor’s incantations in any form, just as I am not much impressed by putting a coat of cheap paint on what used to be unabashedly called astrology.

Stars are similar to scriptures – decide what you want them to say, and then pick out the ones that fit your needs, ignore the ones that don’t fit well. I am sure I could not dissuade you from feeling awed at Job’s choosing a couple of the star patterns that so easily catch the eye. And of all the possible ways to think about what Job’s words really meant, you find maximum mileage in force-fitting some obscure scientific meaning to Job’s words. I am so thankful that in my world I am not dependent on such ephemeral evidence.
I don’t view the Bible as a Science textbook, but rather, I believe it’s teachings are consistent with correct science
Since you underlined the above, I take it you tried to accurately say what you wanted. I note therein that the qualifying adjective “correct” was only applied to science. You leave no such leeway in mentioning the Bible. So the ultimate yardstick in determining truth in those areas where science and scripture overlap is the Bible. Even in Job.
BEA-TP3: Yes, I have been aware, and perhaps a year ago AiG gave that opinion in one of their excellent publications (Creation Magazine I think), and in a subsequent issue, they published a great letter-to-the-editor arguing the contrary. I disagree with AiG on this, and I’m thankful they since published an opposing opinion,..
Since the on-line version of Creation Magazine requires a subscription, I don’t have the full text of any of their arguments either for or against the issue. I do find the Job issue still in their recommended “do not use” list.
BEA-TP4: If I had lived 200 years ago, I might have identified two of three truths in Job 38:31. I would have agreed with God that (1) man does not possess the power of the Creator to place the stars in the heavens.
Let me rewind the clock yet a couple more centuries – to predate Galileo. Though I don’t question that Job might use stars to show man’s limitations, yet I question that you would have had even a remotely accurate conception of what those very stars were. Some scholars (perhaps not those you favor) have voiced the idea that the Biblical reference to “firmament of the heavens” was the scriptural form of the idea that the heavens was some kind of dome with pinpricks of light on it. You would probably have been conveying the idea to your flock that man is incapable of putting any of those twinkle light in the sky, without the foggiest notion that you were really talking about huge thermonuclear furnaces billions of times more powerful than anything man had ever experienced.
And though I lacked our current astronomical knowledge, I also could have applied existing understanding, the cosmology that arose within the Christian worldviews of Copernicus, Kepler, and Newton, which rejected the Aristotle’s pagan Greek, geo-centered solar-system, and then used Newton’s discovery of universal gravity,
Yes, I was remiss in including those men in the time window I set. Their insights were not available to the over 2 millennia of prior Old Testament readership.
to point out that (2) “of all the dozens of ancient constellations [God] could have named, as best I can see none of the others indicate a binding together. Thus, while this cluster [bonds, bands] and belt primarily speak of a binding together, the other ancient heavenly images cannot be used to directly portray the concept of gravity (binding), such as the constellations of the scales [of justice], the altar, the ram, the goat, the bull, the serpent, the Virgin, the child, the crown, the mighty one, Leo the Lion, the fish, etc. None of those directly signify the concept of a binding together.
Again I will state that I am reticent to endow astrology – in whatever livery – as a discipline worth serious scientific discussion.
“It is the glory of God to conceal a matter, but the glory of kings is to search out a matter” (Prov. 25:2).
And too bad for the "not kings" - the vast unwashed masses, the widows, the illiterate, the downcast, the poor, … Maybe your god is a bit selective in whom he endows Biblical wisdom on. Whatever inspiration is to be gleaned from such discoveries is as you say, for the Kings. And in regards to “searching out” the Job-gravity issue, who are the Kings spoken of? I have never heard the term King applied to Kepler, Galileo, Newton, Herschel, and so on – those men who were central to understanding gravity and stellar motions.
(1) My layman’s definition of what gravitationally bound means is that the force of gravity between two or more objects is sufficient to overcome other forces (inertia, pressure, etc.), such that the objects move under the influence of one another, examples including (a) binary stars, (b) planets orbiting stars, (c) satellites orbiting planets, and (d) more complex groupings of more than two stars (or other objects). That's the layman's definition I have. Regarding groupings of three or more objects gravitationally bound (which includes constellations), as the complexity of the group increases, the influence of its members becomes complex, and very possibly difficult to describe or predict without iterative computer simulation.
If this is truly a product of your own authorship, without being recently refined by reference to technical sources, then I commend you. I think it is well written at the level I asked. I will take note that in addition to the clarity of concept you demonstrate, you concurrently demonstrate some limitations of your scientific literacy. Case in point – neither inertia nor pressure are forces, as the term is used in science. Herein lies much of your problem, expounding deep enough on issues of science that such details assume major importance. Some of my other threads in this forum that you said you would look at are based on such misapplications of layman’s ideas to science.
 

Nick M

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bob b said:
Doesn't anyone but me think it uncanny that God would say the following to Job?
Of course. Even a 5 year old gets it.
 
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