Sunday, February 10, 2013

More Comments Answered Part VI

Continuing with more comments on our website and our responses:
Comment #24: “You recently wrote that Ammoron was a Nephite and not a Zoramite “Was Amalikiah a Zoramite?” However, Ammoron says that he is a descendant of Zoram in Alma 54:23” Shawn.
Response: It is an interesting comment we are dealing with here. Alma 49:25 states: "And it came to pass that they returned to the land of Nephi, to inform their king, Amalickiah, who was a Nephite by birth, concerning their great loss." Obviously, then, his brother Ammoron would also be a Nephite by birth. Yet, in Alma 54:23, Ammoron claims that he was a descendant of Zoram (Laban's servant), who defected to become a Lamanite (Alma 54:26). In the following exchange of these letters, Moroni is angry, knowing Ammoron "had a perfect knowledge of his fraud; yea, he knew that Ammoron knew that it was not a just cause that had caused him to wage a war against the people of Nephi" (Alma 55:1). Either Alma was referring to Ammoron's statement that being descended from Zoram was fraudulent, or though Amalikiah was born a Nephite, he was descended from Zoram originally, but by the time of these events in 63 B.C., the Zoramites who had been called Nephnites for well over 500 years, were not thought of as Zoramites, at least not to be confused with others called Zoram (Alma 16:5), or the Zoram who separated from the Nephites and his people were called Zoramites (Alma 30:59; 31:1). In any event, Amalikiah and his brother were born Nephites according to Alma 49:25.
Comment #25: “Those who know little about science should not profess to. The evidence for evolution is so overwhelming that only the ignorant can deny it. I agree that God created the earth, the solar system, and the entire universe. He made it. A baker makes a cake. But does that mean that he placed each and every particle of the cake exactly as they are found in the finished product? Of course not! The baker understands how to put the right ingredients together in the right proportions and under the right circumstances to get what he wants. Likewise, God know what ingredients (elements) to mix together in what proportions, at what place and time and under what conditions (laws of physics and chemistry) in order to create the universe and the world in which we live. The evidence is as vast as the evidence cited by Alma to Korihor (Alma 30:44)” Brandon R.
Evolution stops here according to a leading geneticist, who believes human evolution has ground to a halt and that future man will look the same because the forces driving evolution, such as natural selection and genetic mutation, no longer play an important role in our lives
Response: I love it when someone states that “The evidence for evolution is so overwhelming that only the ignorant can deny it.” This makes at least half of the world ignorant in your view, and at least half of the scientists, who have gone on record to state categorically that evolution is an unsupportable theory. In fact, today “there are thousands of scientists who are creationists and who repudiate any form of evolution in their analysis and use of scientific data. Creationist scientists can now be found in literally every discipline of science and their numbers are increasing rapidly. In the Creation Research Society alone there are over 650 scientist members with either doctor's or master's degrees in some field of natural science. Among the additional 2,000 + sustaining members of the Society, many are also scientists with bachelor's degrees, in addition to numerous social scientists and other highly educated people with postgraduate degrees in their own fields. Evolutionists are finding it increasingly difficult to maintain the fiction that evolution is "science" and creation is "religion." When news media personnel and others make such statements today, they merely reveal their own liberal social philosophies—not their awareness of scientific facts.” Now you may disagree with creationists, and that is fine, but to state that “The evidence for evolution is so overwhelming that only the ignorant can deny it” is simply not true. As for your comment that “Those who know little about science should not profess to,” I invite you to read my book “Scientific Fallacies & Other Myths,” which has citings from well-known and highly acclaimed scientists from around the world who would disagree with your view. We could, of course, debate this all day, but those who believe in evolution are rarely interested in a different view and, I imagine, you would say the same for those who disagree with biological evolution. I might add that a baker's cake is made all at once, he doesn't put one ingredient in the bowl, wait a year, add another, wait a year, add another, etc., nor is a portion of the cake baked first, then another portion, then another portion, etc. It is a spontaneous act, as is the baking itself--baking a cake does not take time, if it did, none of us would know what a cake tastes like. Baking a cake, like all evolutionist examples or arguments, is fallacious.
Korihor chiding Alma with rational argument: “Ye do not know that there shall be a Christ”
As for “The evidence is as vast as the evidence cited by Alma to Korihor,” you might be interested in a recent Pew survey taken of 35,556 people, including Protestants, Catholics, Mormons, Orthodox, Jehovah’s Witnesses, Christians, Jews, Muslims, Buddhists, Hindus, and other faiths, and a large number of people unaffiliated with any church. Disagreeing with evolution by ranking is Jehovah’s Witnesses (92%), Mormon (78%), Protestant (70%), Muslim (55%), Catholics (42%). In a country-by-country measurement, Greece, Bulgaria, Latvia, Turkey and the U.S.A. range from 50% believe in Creationism to 25%. In a Gallup poll in the U.S., only 10% believe in Darwinism evolution, 60% of Republicans believe in Creationism to 38% of Democrats, and 40% of Independents, with 4% of Republicans, 17% of Democrats and 19% of Independents believing in straight evolution. Pew research showed the same for Republicans, but fewer Democrats disagreeing with evolution. I guess your "overwhelming" evidence is lost on most of the world--it seems you stand in a "unvast" minority.
Comment #26: “If Israel had no bees, how did the plant life reproduce without cross pollenation? Or was there no plant life that required this?” Mr. N.
Response: Interesting point. Actually, bees are found on every continent except Antarctica, in every habitat on the planet that contains insect-pollinated flower plants. The best known bee is the European honey bee (Western honey bee), which is native to the European, Asian, and African continents. On the other hand, bees are not the only pollinators. It is claimed that the earliest animal-pollinated flowers were pollinated by insects such as beetles before the first bees appeared. Syrphid flies, butterflies, moths and hunting wasps also pollinate, as do to a lesser degree midges, thrips, cicadas, aphids, and shield bugs. In addition, bats, monkeys, lemurs, possums, rodents and even lizards can be pollinators of some plants, as are birds, especially hummingbirds. None, however, are as efficient as bees. One other factor is self-pollination, which can occur when a flower has both stamen and carpel, though few plants actually self-pollinate. Some cross-pollination can even occur by wind. So maybe there were no bees in Israel at one time, but I doubt it.
Comment #27: “The [animals in the Land of Promise] were figments of Joseph Smith’s fertile imagination. Just use Occam’s Razor.” John H.
Response: Occam’s (or Ockham) razor is a principle stating that among competing hypotheses, the one that makes the fewest assumptions should be selected. It is also referred to as (lex parsimoniae) the law of parsimony, economy, or succinctness-- entia non sunt multiplicanda praeter necessitate, “entities should not be multiplied beyond necessity.” Originally a tenet of the reductionist philosophy of nominalism, is more often taken today as a heuristic maxim (rule of thumb) that advises economy, parsimony, or simplicity, often or especially in scientific theories. However, it is not considered an irrefutable principle of logic or a scientific result. Having stated that for those unfamiliar with the comment, let us apply Occam’s razor to the question at hand. The Nephites had to till the ground, ergo, they had cattle; Joseph Smith did not know the names of two animals, ergo he used the non-descriptive names provided (ditto for the two unknown crops and one metal); The Nephites had chariots, ergo they had horses; etc. Yep, Occam’s razor, when applied, shows Joseph Smith’s statements to be factual.

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