Thorp, Shannon: Inspiration for Alternative Perspectives on the ID vs. Naturalism Debate

The writings and life work of Ed Thorp, professor at MIT, influenced many of my notions of ID (though Thorp and Shannon are not ID proponents). I happened upon a forgotten mathematical paper by Ed Thorp in 1961 in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences that launched his stellar career into Wall Street. If the TSZ regulars are tired of talking and arguing ID, then I offer a link to Thorp’s landmark paper. That 1961 PNAS article consists of a mere three pages. It is terse, and almost shocking in its economy of words and straightforward English. The paper can be downloaded from:

A Favorable Strategy for Twenty One, Proceedings National Academy of Sciences.

Thorp was a colleague of Claude Shannon (founder of information theory, and inventor of the notion of “bit”) at MIT. Thorp managed to publish his theory about blackjack through the sponsorship of Shannon. He was able to scientifically prove his theories in the casinos and Wall Street and went on to make hundreds of millions of dollars through his scientific approach to estimating and profiting from expected value. Thorp was the central figure in the real life stories featured in the book
Fortune’s Formula: The Untold Story of the Scientific Betting System that Beat the Casino’s and Wall Street by William Poundstone.

fortune's formula

Poundstone’s book doesn’t actually go into detail what formulas actually work in today’s markets because once something works well, it stops working once everyone else figures it out. Thorp’s only published work on how to make money on Wall Street became obsolete and he had to find new avenues of success with secrets he will take with him to the grave….But for those interested, here is Thorp’s only published book on how to make money on Wall Street. As I said it is now obsolete, but it showcases Thorp’s genius and insight. It used to retail for $300 used on Amazon, but then Thorp offered a PDF copy for free:
BEAT THE MARKET
A Scientific Stock Market System
.

So if you want a change of pace from the usual arguments over ID, I offer Thorp’s work and you can skip the rest of what is written below since it is my version of ID inspired by Thorp and Pascal.

Though I had followed Thorp’s work on and off for 10 years, I only recently discovered Thorp’s 1961 article while preparing my own draft of a paper that encapsulates my version of Intelligent Design presented at the Blyth Institute’s “Alternatives to Methodological Naturalism Conference” (AM-NAT 2016). I present to the TSZ readers a draft of a paper that I’m submitting as part of the AM-NAT 2016 conference proceedings. AM-NAT 2016 was a conference organized and mentioned by JohnnyB at TSZ and UD. So if you want to argue ID instead of discuss Thorp’s work, that’s ok too.

I got fascinated by the body of math surrounding expected values partly as a result of Thorp’s work. Because of this body of math, I concluded ID theory has been focused too much on information theory and the 2nd law of thermodynamics, and I’ve argued this is a misguided approach. A more clear cut way to frame the probability arguments is to leverage expected values and the law of large numbers and apply similar mathematical approaches, not the approach laid out by Dembski and his almost intractable conception of specification and CSI.

My approach to the question of ID at the personal and practical level has been more along the lines of Pascal’s wagering ideas than trying to make absolutist assertions about reality. Pascal’s wagering ideas were not limited to the theological questions of heaven and hell, but were originally developed to answer theoretical questions about fair values of wagers in gambling games. His solutions using his notion of “expected value” became foundational in probability and statistics, and the notion of expected (or expectation) values has found its way into the realms of physics, chemistry and finance, etc. I’ve framed ID vs. Naturism debate at a personal and practical level more in terms of what is to be gained if ID is right and what might be lost if ID is wrong and how to move forward in science without formal resolution the question of ID.

In my paper, I focused on a practical (not theological) dimension regarding the NIH’s half-billion dollar research investment into the ENCODE and RoadmapEpigenomics projects. Evolutionary biologist Dan Graur has labeled the ENCODE project leaders “crooks” and “ignormuses” and likened the chief architect of ENCODE, Ewan Birney, to Saddam Hussein. Even money aside, there is an issue of bragging rights as to which group of scientists (ENCODE vs. Gruar) should be praised and which group will have egg on their faces after all the dust settles.

To my surprise, the fight over ENCODE spilled over into a fight over what I thought was a rather innocuous article in the New Yorker that promoted the chromatin-centric viewpoint of the epigenome. I did not realize there was a camp (for lack of a better name, I’ll call them the dinosaurs or the transcription-factor proponents or gene-centrists) that was furious at the chromatin-centrists. ENCODE is not only labeled as promoting an “evolution-free gospel” (verbatim words used by rival scientists in a peer-reviewed publication), but they are also not exactly liked by the gene-centrists for their chromatin-centric viewpoint of the epigenome. Creationists and IDists are more sympathetic to the chromatin-centrists, with the qualification that creationists and IDists in general are more favorable to all forms of non-DNA somatic and transgenerational inheritance mechanisms that may reside outside DNA be it organelle, structural, glycomic or whatever “-omic” inheritance devices that may be out there, not just chromatin based mechanisms.

I’ve qualitatively argued the favorable wager in practical terms is on ENCODE, not on evolutionary theory. Most of the paper is rehash of debates I’ve had here at TSZ, so the material is nothing new. It can be said, my paper is really a product of the debates I’ve had at TSZ. The interactions here have helped provide editorial and technical improvements. The paper is still a draft, the figures and formatting will be cleaned up by the myself, reviewers, and the Blyth Institute before it is published in the AM-NAT 2016 conference proceedings. This draft still has a lot of cleanup needed, so I’m posting it to invite improvements. Some of the material might later be reworked as reading material for the high school home school and/or creationist biology students in college. I don’t consider the paper a professional offering, but a way to codify some of my ideas for later reference.

For those tired of reading and arguing what I’ve posted before and have no inclination to read my paper, I provided a link to Thorp’s paper in the chance it may be of passing interest and a change of pace to some readers in this blog.

But for those interested in my paper, here it is:
Gambler’s Epistemology vs. Insistence on Impractical Naturalism: The Unwitting Half-Billion Dollar Wager by the NIH Against Evolutionary Theory.

ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS
Thanks to all at TSZ who have contributed to the refinement of the ideas in my paper. Thanks to the admins and mods of the skepticalzone hosting my postings. TSZ has been a place where I’ve had the chance to receive critical and editorial feedback on materials I’m publishing in various venues.

PS

I had the opportunity to put in practice some of Thorp’s theory in the casino and so did a group of Christians. Their story is documented in the DvD Holy Rollers. I’m listed in the credits of the Holy Rollers documentary.

Here is the trailer. Featured in the trailer is Pastor Mike and other pastors who were part of the Holy Rollers:

holy rollers

303 thoughts on “Thorp, Shannon: Inspiration for Alternative Perspectives on the ID vs. Naturalism Debate

  1. Really, I don’t care what your answer is. It’s no different from anything I’ve heard before. They were just hired workers. They put themselves into slavery. blah blah blah.

    But I would note that the Israelites divided slaves into different categories, debt and chattel slaves.

    So why not mention what sort was being talked about in the bible explicitly? Just an oversight was it?

  2. The good thing about FMM’s response is that he’s acknowledging that slavery is wrong and so is forced to rationalize the bible, rather than just coming out and endorsing slavery when the bible so clearly does.
    This is one of those areas where FMM’s moral instincts are winning out over his religious faith, which is a good thing.

  3. fifthmonarchyman: I’m not a YEC but on this weekend one advance do to creationismsprings very quickly to mind

    quote:

    We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.

    end quote:

    peace

    Wait, there’s still more:

    “I believe today that my conduct is in accordance with the will of
    the Almighty Creator.”

    [Adolph Hitler, _Mein Kampf_, pp. 46]

    Quite the productive “science,” creationism.

    Glen Davidson

  4. Rumraket,

    The good thing about FMM’s response is that he’s acknowledging that slavery is wrong and so is forced to rationalize the bible, rather than just coming out and endorsing slavery when the bible so clearly does.
    This is one of those areas where FMM’s moral instincts are winning out over his religious faith, which is a good thing.

    Yes, which is why I enjoy watching fifth fight the Bible.

    If only he would ask himself the obvious question: Is the Bible really the word of an omnipotent, omniscient, perfectly loving God?

    For anyone who reads the Bible and hasn’t yet drunk the Kool Aid, the answer is an emphatic no.

  5. stcordova: The intent was to express an opinion regarding investment of money and resources, not to insult.

    Then you are a poor writer. When I say that what you do is useless, I fully realize that it’s insulting. But is it true? That’s the more interesting question.

    stcordova: Joe Felsenstein’s a swell guy and I regret I have to be opposing the thesis of his major life work. His work on population genetics outside of Universal Common Ancestry is highly valuable to YECs.

    Hey, what about me? You were attacking my life work more than Joe’s. Have you actually read any of his population genetics work? How can it possibly be valuable to YECs unless you misunderstand it?

    stcordova: Ok, so on to the question of the utility of evolutionary theory. Let us assume for the sake of argument universal common ancestry is true. There are various schools of thought, the Hennigans, and the Transformed Cladists. If I had to pick sides I’d go with the Transformed cladists.

    Here you delve into a subject about which you clearly know nothing. It’s “Hennigian”, and transform cladists do not reject common descent; they just reject assuming it a priori. And their reason for doing that is that they can then use trees as evidence for common descent without (imagined) circularity. Anyway, both those sides are nearly extinct, so it hardly matters what you hypothetically choose. Also, please don’t attempt to lecture me on phylogenetics.

    Where did your diagram come from? You forgot to give a citation or link. I doubt sincerely that represents clustering by protein similarity. I don’t think you have a clear notion of how phylogenetic analyses are done, on any sort of data.

    stcordova: But if one asserts birds descended from a fish from that diagram, what’s stopping anyone from saying fish descended from birds using the same diagram.

    Agreed, based on that diagram. You need to add a few groups before “birds came from fish” gains any support. Add a lungfish, a shark, and a lamprey, and then you will have something. One might imagine you picked that particular tree, wherever it came from, for the express purpose of minimizing the phylogenetic information displayed.

    stcordova: Does it matter to medical research which phylogenetic claim is assumed?

    It might. But more importantly, what makes you think that medical research is the only index of utility?

    stcordova: Worse is that there is not way to experimentally confirm the hypothesis that birds descended from fish.

    What is it with creationists and science? Why is experiment the only proper model of science to you? Certainly divine creation can’t be confirmed experimentally. The fact is that plenty of science is perfectly valid without being experimental. Observation can be just as good.

    stcordova: Does it matter which line of dinosaurs the birds supposedly came from? What practical application depends on resolving the question?

    It doesn’t matter that phylogenies remain unresolved. Nothing of practical value depends on the resolution.

    First, phylogenies don’t remain unresolved. I don’t know where you got that impression. Second, there is in fact practical value to resolving phylogeny, but I don’t see a need to go into that at length here. Third, I ask again why practical value is your only index of value. Why do you have no curiosity about the world for its own sake?

    stcordova: Now one will complain, “we need the phylogenies to see the similarities.”

    Nobody will say that. No idea why you would suppose so. In fact we need the similarities (that is to say putative homologies) to see the phylogenies.

    stcordova: And finally, this will sound harsh, but it’s from Jerry Coyne. “In science’s pecking order, evolutionary biology lurks somewhere near the bottom, far closer to [the pseudo science of] phrenology than to physics.”

    That’s what is known as a quote mine. You really should know that, at least from context, unless of course you picked it naked from some other creationist screed. You should also realize that Coyne would not be dismissing his own specialty.

  6. John Harshman: You need to add a few groups before “birds came from fish” gains any support. Add a lungfish, a shark, and a lamprey, and they you will have something. One might imagined you picked that particular tree, wherever it came from, for the express purpose of minimizing the phylogenetic information displayed.

    What is more, it’s not like there’s anything inherently wrong with fish coming from birds, it’s just that the evidence–fossil and phylogenetic–points to birds coming from (ancient) fish.

    Glen Davidson

  7. John Harshman: That’s what is known as a quote mine. You really should know that, at least from context, unless of course you picked it naked from some other creationist screed. You should also realize that Coyne would not be dismissing his own specialty.

    This creationist practice always amazes me. Sal is clearly very intelligent despite his trained-in delusions, so he cannot help but realize that a single sentence extracted from a lifetime of work, taken entirely out of context, cannot honestly be used to refute that entire lifetime of work.

    Yet creationists continue to pull this ploy, using everyone from Darwin to Mayr to Coyne to Gould. And strangely enough, they select evolutionary biologists known to creationists for this very life’s work!

    The consistent lack of any link to the original context is typical, and probably required by Creationist Doctrine.

  8. OMagain: Really, I don’t care what your answer is. It’s no different from anything I’ve heard before. They were just hired workers. They put themselves into slavery. blah blah blah.

    apparently it’s not.
    But I do think it’s telling that you don’t care about the answer even though you ask the question.

    OMagain: But I would note that the Israelites divided slaves into different categories, debt and chattel slaves.

    It’s a good thing that the the ancient Israelites are not supposed to be role models for Christians

    quote:
    And Isaiah cries out concerning Israel: “Though the number of the sons of Israel be as the sand of the sea, only a remnant of them will be saved,
    (Rom 9:27)
    end quote:

    OMagain: So why not mention what sort was being talked about in the bible explicitly? Just an oversight was it?

    There is no oversight.

    The Bible does mention slavery a lot just not American race based chattel slavery. I get the feeling you have not spent a lot of time looking into this for yourself instead of just repeating worn out talking points

    quote:

    The slave does not remain in the house forever; the son remains forever. So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed.
    (Joh 8:35-36)

    end quote:

    peace

  9. Rumraket: The good thing about FMM’s response is that he’s acknowledging that slavery is wrong and so is forced to rationalize the bible, rather than just coming out and endorsing slavery when the bible so clearly does.

    I’m not rationalizing the Bible. I’m letting the Bible speak for itself.

    If there is any rationalizing going on it’s from folks who rationalize condemning a document that they don’t even understand.

    I notice you provide no evidence for your charge the the Bible condones slavery but instead say it’s obvious. I would ask obvious to who?

    peace

  10. fifth, to Rumraket:

    I notice you provide no evidence for your charge the the Bible condones slavery but instead say it’s obvious. I would ask obvious to who?

    Obvious to anyone who hasn’t drunk the Kool-Aid.

  11. keiths: Obvious to anyone who hasn’t drunk the Kool-Aid.

    Translation:

    “Obvious to anyone inclined to disbelieve that the Bible is what it claims to be because to do otherwise would be unthinkable”.

    That argument is so circular it would roll down hill.

    😉
    peace

  12. fifthmonarchyman: Translation:

    “Obvious to anyone inclined to disbelieve that the Bible is what it claims to be because to do otherwise would be unthinkable”.

    That argument is so circular it would roll down hill.

    FMM, you win no points denying that the bible goes to some lengths, in multiple places, detailing how to take slaves, keep slaves, remit slaves, and treat slaves. You can’t help but be aware that slavery was SOP in those times, regarded as normal and practiced as universally as the bible writers knew about. Nowhere does the bible condemn slavery.

    You would be more respected (and held in less contempt) if you would make any attempt to be honest about practices common 2000 years ago in Judea, but no longer regarded as standard. Most people here applaud your moral position against slavery. Time to READ your bible, and apply reasoned criticism.

  13. . Have you actually read any of his population genetics work? How can it possibly be valuable to YECs unless you misunderstand it?

    Heck yes, not as thoroughly as I wish I had time for, not cover to cover, but at least I put some effort trying to understand.

    Have you forgotten this thread already, and you even posted comments on the thread.
    http://theskepticalzone.com/wp/absolute-fitness-in-theoretical-evolutionary-genetics/#comment-99045
    I provided the mutational load arguments with links to my derivations using the poisson distribution. How do you think I found out about Joe’s mention of ENCODE in his textbook (which I referenced in my paper) if I didn’t read his work.

    Joe’s written a book on phylogeny, the gold standard in that field as well. I haven’t gotten around to reading it.

    How can it possibly be valuable to YECs unless you misunderstand it?

    If ENCODE is right, then evolution is wrong, that’s the value of the mutational load problem which I’ve stated several times in this thread as it is mentioned in my paper. Graur understands the value of the mutational load problem to creationists because he said: “If ENCODE is right, evolution is wrong.”

  14. stcordova: If ENCODE is right, then evolution is wrong, that’s the value of the mutational load problem which I’ve stated several times in this thread as it is mentioned in my paper. Graur understands the value of the mutational load problem to creationists because he said: “If ENCODE is right, evolution is wrong.”

    I notice you pay no attention to Joe whenever he tells you your understanding of his work is faulty. The genetic load argument is not an argument against evolution. It doesn’t support recent creation. If most of the human genome were under purifying selection, the population would be decreasing, not rapidly increasing. This isn’t something you can see only over thousands of years. It should be visible in one generation. Graur is wrong, or at least hyperbolic. If the most extreme claims of ENCODE are right (i.e. that 80% or more of the genome is under selection, not just “functional” for a very odd definition of the term), then there is something wrong with the idea of genetic load. Not evolution.

  15. No one is refuting my interpretation of the diagram below, and this sort of nested hierarchy isn’t restricted to bone morphogenetic proteins, but will appear with lots of other proteins. It would be a good project for creationists to challenge evolutionists with the problem posed by this diagram. The diagram may or may not support universal common ancestry (UCA), but it certainly questions the idea birds and bats descended from fish.

    Look at how the ray-finned fish cluster together under Actinopterygii. Chickens and other birds (Aves) do not cluster under Actinopterygii. There is the Sarcopterygii fish that is missing from the diagram, but it would not solve the problem. Chickens won’t be under the Sarcopterygii fish class either.

    Yet evolutionary phylogeneticists incist a chicken descended from some fish.

    Sure one might reasonably argue fish and chickens descended from some vertebrate common ancestor, but certainly not the fish. The empirical evidence is that for a fish to evolve into a bird it would have to be the result of exceptional rather than ordinary events as that diagram shows that fish are expected to give birth to other fish, not birds, not mammals not giraffes, not bats.

    Oh, but there are the mechanical problems of evolving a fish to a mammal. Mammals are defined by mammary glands. How can a mammary gland evolve if it is essential for life of mammal? If it is missing, the species dies.

    Evolutionist have suggested junior started sucking on a freak mommy’s over expressive sweat gland. Not only would this sweat gland have to be secreting 100 times more protein and 1000 times more calcium, it requires a few other simultaneous changes to prevent toxicity, and why should natural selection select for a mommy that is sweating milk? Such an unnecessary depletion of nutrition on hot days isn’t a favorable trait. Not to mention junior sucking the sweat off mommy might give her a bad hickey.

  16. From Joe’s book:

    WHYWE AREN’T ALL DEAD. There are several possible resolutions of the dilemma. If much of the DNA is simply “spacer” DNA whose sequence is irrelevant, then there will be a far smaller mutational load. But notice that the sequence must be truly irrelevant, not just of unknown function. If the “extra” DNA has regulatory or chromosome-pairing function requiring it to have a specific base sequence, then mutations in that sequence will still cause a mutational load, even if these loci are not producing polypeptide chains.
    Thus the mutational load argument seems to give weight to the notion that this DNA is nonspecific in sequence. That is now believed to be the case, and the mutational load must give pause to anyone who proposes to find important functions for most of the DNA in eukaryotic genomes, especially functions that constrain its sequence.

    The mutational load calculation continues to be relevant to understanding whether most eukaryotic DNA has any function that is visible to natural selection. Recent announcements (Encode Project Consortium, 2012) that 80% of human DNA is “functional”, based on finding some transcription or binding of transcription factors in it, are very misleading. Junk DNA is still junk DNA, however often its demise has been announced.

    And additional comment regarding repetitive sequences. ENCODE and RoadmapEpigenomics focused on Chromatin, not merely the DNA component of chromatin. The repetitive sequences have histone RAM memory units associated with them, that is they possess information carrying potential even if the DNA sequences wrapping around them look bland and repetitive. Not only do they possess information carrying potential, but as shown by the diagrams I provided on Eukaryotic DNA repair, they can serve as auxiliary binding or navigation sites as I discussed here:

    http://theskepticalzone.com/wp/thorp-shannon-inspiration-for-alternative-perspectives-on-the-id-vs-naturalism-debate/comment-page-3/#comment-129369

    Because of these facts, the bland looking DNA can serve as scaffolds, ladders, bricolage, parking lots for molecular machinery. DNA isn’t just about providing sequence templates for protein residues, it can serve many more functions than that.

    One of the ENCODE class of experiments is 5C that explores the topological geometric usage of DNA. 5C is part of a larger suite of experiments like 2C, 3C, 4C, 5C, 6C and high-C that show how DNA can be used as part of a complex geometrical scaffolding for both cis-acting (within the same chromosome) and trans acting (between chromosome) for molecular machines.

    This is the case with Transcription Factories and Super Enhancers.

    Below shows how DNA can be used in ways beyond serving as a coding template for amino acid sequences but provides re-configurable scaffolding, parking lots, ladders and roads for molecular machines with road signs on the histone RAM to boot.

  17. stcordova:
    No one is refuting my interpretation of the diagram below,

    What interpretation? And where does that diagram come from?

    It would be a good project for creationists to challenge evolutionists with the problem posed by this diagram. The diagram may or may not support universal common ancestry (UCA), but it certainly questions the idea birds and bats descended from fish.

    I’m afraid all you do here is demonstrate your ignorance. The term “fish” refers to any vertebrate that isn’t a tetrapod. Actinopterygii (“ray-finned fish”) is a clade. Birds and bats are not descended from actinopterygians.

    Chickens won’t be under the Sarcopterygii fish class either.

    Actually, they would. Tetrapoda is a subgroup of Sarcopterygii.

    Sure one might reasonably argue fish and chickens descended from some vertebrate common ancestor, but certainly not the fish.The empirical evidence is that for a fish to evolve into a bird it would have to be the result of exceptional rather than ordinary events as that diagram shows that fish are expected to give birth to other fish, not birds, not mammals not giraffes, not bats.

    Please stop. You’re embarrassing yourself. On second thought, please go on. You’re exposing your ignorance quite well. Of course it’s fairly rare for fish to give birth. Usually they lay eggs externally. And all that figure (Where did you get it?) shows is that birds are not ray-finned fish, i.e. actinopterygians.

    Oh, but there are the mechanical problems of evolving a fish to a mammal.Mammals are defined by mammary glands.How can a mammary gland evolve if it is essential for life of mammal?If it is missing, the species dies.

    There are living intermediates, you know: monotremes. I will charitably snip your bizarre scenario.

  18. ENCODE has contributed to knowledge of chromatin with it’s 5C topology/geometry studies of DNA. It will help resolve the questions about how DNA/chromatin interact with molecular machines in a 2D and 3D context.

    This is a very interesting 5-minute video of a transcription factory. It shows the importance of the 2D and 3D topology of DNA which suggests how important DNA in the non-coding regions could be since it influences how the machines can do their jobs properly. Thus, it drives home the point that ENCODE is right:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Naa-JwGU6PM

  19. I no longer have the reference to the bone morphogenetic protein diagram, but should that diagram be contested?? All it says is fish are similar to fish, birds to birds and fish are more similar to each other than other birds.

    A more well known diagram from Denton’s book is below. Now the evolutionists at NCSE and elsewhere have totally mischaracterized what denton actually said.

    Look at this cytochrome C comparison table. It shows birds are more similar to each other than they are to fish, and fish are more similar to each other than they are to birds. Let us assume universal common ancestry. Ok, from this diagram are fish and birds “cousins” or did birds descend form fish. Phylogeneticists today insist birds descended from fish. I interpret the diagram as saying they are “cousins” rather than saying birds descended from fish.

  20. stcordova,

    Today’s fish and today’s birds are of course cousins. Their common ancestor is long dead.

    You’ve been told this repeatedly, and you keep failing to absorb this simple fact for what it is, an inevitable result of evolution. No one is claiming that today’s fish are the ancestors of birds. That would be impossible.

    Evidence that showed today’s fish to be the ancestors of birds might possibly count as a miracle.

    Glen Davidson

  21. stcordova:
    I no longer have the reference to the bone morphogenetic protein diagram, but should that diagram be contested?

    No, it’s just that it doesn’t mean what you imagine it does. What I’m interested in are the data and analytical methods used to construct that tree. It doesn’t actually look as if it was the result of a phylogenetic analysis; if it were I would expect more resolution within tetrapods. And you shouldn’t post figures if you don’t know what they are or where they come from.

    Look at this cytochrome C comparison table.It shows birds are more similar to each other than they are to fish, and fish are more similar to each other than they are to birds.Let us assume universal common ancestry.Ok, from this diagram are fish and birds “cousins” or did birds descend form fish.Phylogeneticists today insist birds descended from fish.I interpret the diagram as saying they are “cousins” rather than saying birds descended from fish.

    Your big problem here is that you don’t know what “fish” means. Note that except for the Lamprey, all the “fish” you refer to are actinopterygians, in fact all teleosts. And the lamprey is in fact equidistant from “fish” and tetrapods. Lampreys are outside the clade that includes tetrapods and teleosts. If you consider the lamprey a fish, then that little table does indeed imply that birds descended from fish.

  22. Flint: You can’t help but be aware that slavery was SOP in those times, regarded as normal and practiced as universally as the bible writers knew about.

    I never said that slavery was not SOP in ancient times. I said the bible did not condone it.

    Flint: Nowhere does the bible condemn slavery.

    What?

    quote:

    For freedom Christ has set us free; stand firm therefore, and do not submit again to a yoke of slavery.
    (Gal 5:1)

    and

    Yet because of false brothers secretly brought in—who slipped in to spy out our freedom that we have in Christ Jesus, so that they might bring us into slavery—to them we did not yield in submission even for a moment, so that the truth of the gospel might be preserved for you.
    (Gal 2:4-5)

    and

    Live as people who are free, not using your freedom as a cover-up for evil, but living as servants of God.
    (1Pe 2:16)

    and

    You were bought with a price; do not become bondservants of men.
    (1Co 7:23)

    and

    understanding this, that the law is not laid down for the just but for the lawless and disobedient, for the ungodly and sinners, for the unholy and profane, for those who strike their fathers and mothers, for murderers, the sexually immoral, men who practice homosexuality, enslavers,
    liars, perjurers, and whatever else is contrary to sound doctrine,
    (1Ti 1:9-10)

    etc etc etc

    Flint: Time to READ your bible, and apply reasoned criticism.

    Apparently it’s you who need to read the Bible and perhaps give it the same benefit of the doubt you would want someone to give something you wrote.

    peace

  23. Flint: detailing how to take slaves, keep slaves, remit slaves, and treat slaves.

    The OT also tells how to easily dissolve a marriage does that mean the Bible condones no fault divorce?

    Of course not

    quote:

    He said to them, “Because of your hardness of heart Moses allowed you to divorce your wives, but from the beginning it was not so. And I say to you: whoever divorces his wife, except for sexual immorality, and marries another, commits adultery.”
    (Mat 19:8-9)

    end quote:

    When the US Government regulates things like narcotics or pornography or homeschooling does that mean it condones these practices?

    How about trying not to apply such glaringly obvious double standards for once?

    peace

  24. fifth, to Flint:

    I never said that slavery was not SOP in ancient times. I said the bible did not condone it.

    It’s obvious to anyone who hasn’t already drunk the Kool-Aid that the Bible condones slavery.

    Your male and female slaves are to come from the nations around you; from them you may buy slaves. You may also buy some of the temporary residents living among you and members of their clans born in your country, and they will become your property. You can bequeath them to your children as inherited property and can make them slaves for life, but you must not rule over your fellow Israelites ruthlessly.

    Leviticus 25:44-46, NIV

  25. keiths: It’s obvious to anyone who hasn’t already drunk the Kool-Aid that the Bible condones slavery.

    Again it’s only obvious if you are already predisposed to believe the worst because to do otherwise is unthinkable.

    Talk about circular reasoning.

    let me spell it out for you

    quote:
    And a second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself. On these two commandments depend all the Law and the Prophets.”
    (Mat 22:39-40)
    end quote:

    If you are reading anything in the OT as condoning something that is incompatible with loving your neighbor as yourself you are reading it wrong.

    It’s really that simple.

    quote:

    “So whatever you wish that others would do to you, do also to them, for this is the Law and the Prophets.
    (Mat 7:12)

    end quote:

    leads directly and inevitably to this

    quote:

    As I would not be a slave, so I would not be a master

    end quote:
    Abraham Lincoln

    peace

  26. fifth,

    I enjoy watching you fight the Bible.

    Let’s see your explanation rationalization of how these verses do not condone slavery:

    Your male and female slaves are to come from the nations around you; from them you may buy slaves. You may also buy some of the temporary residents living among you and members of their clans born in your country, and they will become your property. You can bequeath them to your children as inherited property and can make them slaves for life, but you must not rule over your fellow Israelites ruthlessly.

    Leviticus 25:44-46, NIV

  27. keiths: Let’s see your explanation rationalization of how these verses do not condone slavery:

    It’s your claim that they condone slavery you need to support it.

    To the open minded It’s obvious that they don’t condone because slavery is contrary to loving your neighbor as yourself and the author of the Bible plainly said that nothing in the OT should be taken to mean anything contrary to that.

    An author has the right to interpret his own writings. He is uniquely qualified to do so.

    peace

  28. fifth,

    It’s your claim that they condone slavery you need to support it.

    Read the frikkin’ words, fifth.

    Leviticus 25 is a long list of instructions from Yahweh telling the Israelites what they are required to do, what they are allowed to do, and what they are prohibited from doing.

    They are allowed to buy and own slaves. Yahweh condones it.

    That clearly makes you uncomfortable, and it should. The Bible is not the word of an omnipotent, omniscient, perfectly loving God.

  29. keiths: I enjoy watching you fight the Bible.

    You don’t make sense. Why would I fight the bible if I have “drank the Kool-aid.” If the Bible condoned slavery wouldn’t a true believer condone it as well?

    Ive interacted with many Muslims who have no problem defending slavery because the Quran and the Hadith condone it. My spiritual forefathers have always condemned it. Where do you think we got that from?

    On the other hand it’s only natural for someone like you to fight the Bible and to think you find all sorts of unpleasant things in there that are not.

    peace

  30. keiths: Read the frikkin’ words, fifth.

    I have read it many times.

    It’s simply the regulation of a practice that was SOP in the ancient world written to a stiffnecked hard harted rebellious people in order to lesson the negative effects of their rebellion temporarily. Until the practice could be abolished with the establishment of the New Covenant.

    quote:

    For on the one hand, a former commandment is set aside because of its weakness and uselessness (for the law made nothing perfect); but on the other hand, a better hope is introduced, through which we draw near to God.
    (Heb 7:18-19)

    end quote:

    It’s exactly like the regulations surrounding divorce.

    peace

  31. keiths: They are allowed to buy and own slaves. Yahweh condones it.

    They were also allowed to divorce their wives for any reason. Did Yahweh condone that? Think man

    for once

    peace

  32. fifth,

    You don’t make sense. Why would I fight the bible if I have “drank the Kool-aid.” If the Bible condoned slavery wouldn’t a true believer condone it as well?

    It’s because you’ve drunk the fundagelical Kool-Aid, not the Old Testament Kool-Aid.

    Like most believers, you pick and choose which parts of scripture to take seriously and which parts to ignore. In your case, the parts you take seriously are those that comport with fundagelical dogma.

    Now, you can’t just dismiss the other parts as false, because then you’d be admitting that the Bible isn’t God’s infallible word. So you argue that the Bible doesn’t always mean what it says — it means what you and your fundagelical brethren say it means.

    So yes, you do fight the Bible, while pretending that you don’t. It’s fundagelical dogma that you swallow uncritically.

  33. fifth,

    It’s simply the regulation of a practice that was SOP in the ancient world written to a stiffnecked hard harted rebellious people in order to lesson the negative effects of their rebellion temporarily.

    No. In that same chapter Yahweh forbids the people from enslaving their fellow Israelites:

    If any of your fellow Israelites become poor and sell themselves to you, do not make them work as slaves. They are to be treated as hired workers or temporary residents among you; they are to work for you until the Year of Jubilee. Then they and their children are to be released, and they will go back to their own clans and to the property of their ancestors. Because the Israelites are my servants, whom I brought out of Egypt, they must not be sold as slaves. Do not rule over them ruthlessly, but fear your God.

    Leviticus 25:39-43, NIV

    It couldn’t be clearer. Yahweh condones the enslavement of foreigners, but not of Israelites.

  34. keiths: No. In that same chapter Yahweh forbids the people from enslaving their fellow Israelites:

    It’s called regulation. When the US government forbids child pornography it does not mean the United States condones regular pornography

    keiths: It couldn’t be clearer. Yahweh condones the enslavement of foreigners, but not of Israelites.

    using exactly the same logic

    “It couldn’t be clearer the United States condones the objectification and exploitation of women (through pornography) but not of Children.”

    use your head man

    peace

  35. keiths: Like most believers, you pick and choose which parts of scripture to take seriously and which parts to ignore. In your case, the parts you take seriously are those that comport with fundagelical dogma.

    I take the whole Bible seriously. It’s you who don’t give a dang about things like context and frame of reference. You pick and choose how you will interpret the text based on what comports with anti-christian dogma.

    You would be livid if I treated what you posted here in the same way you routinely treat the Bible. If I did it with the writings of Darwinists you would call it quote mining and go into a tizzy.

    When you do it you think your actions are enlightened. That you know better what the text means than the experts in the field and even the author himself.

    Talk about blatant unapologetic hypocrisy.

    peace

  36. Your big problem here is that you don’t know what “fish” means. Note that except for the Lamprey, all the “fish” you refer to are actinopterygians, in fact all teleosts. And the lamprey is in fact equidistant from “fish” and tetrapods. Lampreys are outside the clade that includes tetrapods and teleosts. If you consider the lamprey a fish, then that little table does indeed imply that birds descended from fish.

    Hardly. And since this is skepticalzone let me offer a little skepticism.

    The earlier diagram of the BMP (bone morphogenetic proteins) thankfully listed accession numbers, so we can go to publicly available protein databases like Uniprot.

    There is a subtlety in the comparison. Comparing Lamprey to Chicken we get 83.5%,

    http://www.uniprot.org/blast/uniprot/B2016070414483A1C7ED25EE8374758DF3FD545FD167911I

    but doing the reverse Chicken to Lamprey, I don’t even get a ranking!

    http://www.uniprot.org/blast/uniprot/B2016070414483A1C7ED25EE8374758DF3FD545FD166B280?offset=25&sort=score&columns=id%2cblastAlignment%2cblastInfo%2creviewed

    So I had to go to the NCBI website and enter a blast using the Chicken accession number against the Lamprey accession number and got 48%. At some point one with identity that low, one should ask, “How much friggin force fitting has to be done to see similarity?”

    I went to this website:
    https://blast.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/Blast.cgi?PAGE=Proteins&PROGRAM=blastp&PAGE_TYPE=BlastSearch&BLAST_SPEC=blast2seq

    And in the first box put the chicken BMP accession number:
    Q6XDQ0

    and then in the second box put the Lamprey BMP24B accession number. You don’t like me choosing BMP24B??? Then put whatever you think is the closest protein in a Lamprey that matches the Chicken BMP. Since Uniprot didn’t even rank anything from lampreys, you and I know this doesn’t bode well for your claim. Anyway put I put this in the 2nd box for the Lamrpey BMP24B:

    Q6J3S5

    Here is the similarity comparison of Chickens with Lamprey’s Petromyzon marinus
    http://www.uniprot.org/blast/uniprot/B2016070414483A1C7ED25EE8374758DF3FD545FD167911I

    I got that the Lamprey is 48% similar to the Chicken.

    Going back to the comparisons of Chicken BMP

    http://www.uniprot.org/blast/uniprot/B2016070414483A1C7ED25EE8374758DF3FD545FD166B280?offset=25&sort=score&columns=id%2cblastAlignment%2cblastInfo%2creviewed

    what is evident is Zebra Fish are closer to the Chicken at 62.3% than the 48% of Lamprey’s, and even closer to the chicken is the Tasmanian devil at 81.5%. And what do you suppose are the closest? Well I provide the following with some occasional pictures.

    The salamander pictured below at 75.2% is closer to the chicken than the lamprey. And the Zebrafish (Danio rerio) is closer to the chicken at 62.3% than the lamprey.

    Ok, so you might say, “well look salamaders are close to birds because they evolved from fish and branched off from the common ancestor of salamanders and birds which all descended from something like a lamprey.” OK, let’s concede that for the sake of argument, but the problem is zebra fish have BMP that are 62.3% closer to chickens whereas lamprey’s are only 48% similar to chickens so that knocks down your comment.

    You’ll complain, “you’re cherry picking data to fit your pre-conception”. To which I say, “as if phylogeneticist don’t do the same!” From those similarity diagrams one could argue birds desceneded from Tasmanian Devils (81.5%) instead of zebrafish (62.3%) or lampreys (48%). All you are doing is story telling, and one could make stories that chickens descended from Tasmanian devils with your line of reasoning (Tasmanian devils after all are so much closer to chickens BMP proteins than Lamprey BMP proteins) if they so chose. In fact it would be a better story since Tasmanian devils BMP have more similarity to chickens than lampreys (48%).

    But the best most credible argument is that chickens descended from chickens (100%). 🙂

    Let the reader see what creatures are closest to the chicken.

    They can find this comparison at Uniprot here:
    http://www.uniprot.org/blast/uniprot/B2016070414483A1C7ED25EE8374758DF3FD545FD166B280?offset=25&sort=score&columns=id%2cblastAlignment%2cblastInfo%2creviewed

    Let the reader see for himself what is most similar to the chicken BMP protein:

    Gallus gallus (Chicken) 100%

    Uncharacterized protein (Buceros rhinoceros silvestris) 98.6%
    https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/a/a9/Buceros_rhinoceros_silvestris_(Rhinoceros_Hornbill_-_Rhinozeros-Hornvogel)_-_Weltvogelpark_Walsrode_2012-01.jpg

    Meleagris gallopavo (Common turkey) 98.6%

    Tauraco erythrolophus (Red-crested turaco) 98.2%
    http://www.magment.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/07/Red-crested-turaco-4.jpg

    Calypte anna (Anna’s hummingbird) (Archilochus anna) 98.2%

    Opisthocomus hoazin (Hoatzin) (Phasianus hoazin) 98.2%
    http://cdn-2.itsnature.org/wp-content/uploads/2008/08/800px-opisthocomus_hoazin.jpg

    Balearica regulorum gibbericeps (East African grey crowned-crane) 98.2%

    Acanthisitta chloris (rifleman) 98.2%
    http://www.bionet-skola.com/w/images/thumb/a/a6/Rifleman_Acanthisitta_chloris.jpg/350px-Rifleman_Acanthisitta_chloris.jpg

    Charadrius vociferus (Killdeer) (Aegialitis vocifera) 98.2%
    https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/2/28/Charadrius_vociferus.jpg

    Nestor notabilis (Kea) 98.2%
    http://ibc.lynxeds.com/files/pictures/857222_10151326174731299_1950194679_o.jpg

    Eurypyga helias (Sunbittern) 98.2%
    http://ibc.lynxeds.com/files/pictures/DSC_3666_TG.jpg

    Haliaeetus albicilla (White-tailed sea-eagle) 98.2%

    Uncharacterized protein (Merops nubicus) 98.2%
    http://gigadb.org/images/data/cropped/bird/merops_nubicus.png

    Phaethon lepturus (White-tailed tropicbird) 97.9%

    Tyto alba (Barn owl) 98.2%

    Corvus brachyrhynchos (American crow) 97.9%

    Pelecanus crispus (Dalmatian pelican) 98.2%

    Fulmarus glacialis (Northern fulmar)97.9%
    http://ibc.lynxeds.com/files/pictures/fulmar3.jpg

    Nipponia nippon (Crested ibis) (Ibis nippon) 97.9%
    http://www.worldwildlifeimages.com/birds/d/78906-5/Nipponia+nippon+_Asian+Crested+Ibis_+Adult_5212+_c_+Roger+and+Liz+Charlwood+_WorldWildlifeImages_com_.jpg

    Cariama cristata (Red-legged seriema) 97.9%
    http://ibc.lynxeds.com/files/pictures/Cariama_cristata_MG_9114-1.JPG

    Egretta garzetta (little egret) 97.9%
    https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/3/31/Little_Egret_%28Egretta_garzetta%29_%284%29.jpg

    Leptosomus discolor (Madagascar cuckoo roller) (Cuculus discolor) 97.9%
    http://cdn.c.photoshelter.com/img-get/I0000sYWP5_eI09o/s/880/880/cuckoo-roller-rainforest-canopy-endemic-0149.jpg

    Pygoscelis adeliae (Adelie penguin) 97.9%
    http://i.telegraph.co.uk/multimedia/archive/02140/penguinChickParent_2140765i.jpg

    Aptenodytes forsteri (Emperor penguin) 97.9%

    Anas platyrhynchos (Mallard) (Anas boschas) 97.9%
    http://imagess3.enature.com/birds/birds_l/bd0396_2l.jpg

    Manacus vitellinus (golden-collared manakin)
    http://www.avesphoto.com/website/pictures/MANGCL-1.jpg 97.5%

    Phoenicopterus ruber ruber 97.5%
    http://www.biolib.cz/IMG/GAL/32062.jpg

    Podiceps cristatus (great crested grebe) 97.5%
    http://www.ouessant-digiscoping.fr/IMG/jpg/Grebe_huppe_face_ad_nupt_04042010_-_Teich.jpg

    Myotis brandtii (Brandt’s bat)
    http://www.naturephoto-cz.com/photos/andera/myotis-brandtii-48x_bra5.jpg 82.8%

    Tinamus guttatus (White-throated tinamou) 97.5%
    http://www.taenos.com/img/ITIS/Tinamus-solitarius/Solitary-Tinamou-2.jpg

    Picoides pubescens (Downy woodpecker) (Dryobates pubescens) 97.5%

    Apaloderma vittatum (Bar-tailed trogon) 97.5%
    http://www.tanzaniabirds.net/African_birds/trogon_bar-tailed/trogon_bar-tailed_WUsambaraMtns_OleKrogh_2009_03a.jpg

    Mesitornis unicolor (brown roatelo) 97.5%
    http://www.taenos.com/img/ITIS/Metriopelia-morenoi/Moreno-s-Ground-Dove-2.jpg

    Phalacrocorax carbo (Great cormorant) (Pelecanus carbo) 97.5%
    http://ibc.lynxeds.com/files/imagecache/photo_940/pictures/B_Great_Cormor_yn_drying_wings_w.jpg

    Cathartes aura (Turkey vulture) (Vultur aura) 97.5%

    Struthio camelus australis 97.5%
    http://www.wildbirdgallery.com/images/birds/struthio_camelus/australis2.jpg

    Gavia stellata (Red-throated diver) (Red-throated loon) 97.5%
    http://content.ornith.cornell.edu/UEWebApp/images/AM_RED_THROATED_LOON_FEMALE_L.jpg

    Taeniopygia guttata (Zebra finch) (Poephila guttata) 93.4%
    https://thumbs.dreamstime.com/z/zebra-finch-taeniopygia-guttata-27271739.jpg

    Gallus gallus (Chicken) 100%

    Chlamydotis macqueenii (Macqueen’s bustard) 97.0%
    http://www.oiseaux.net/photos/niraj.vijaykumar.mistry/images/outarde.de.macqueen.nvmi.3g.jpg

    Ficedula albicollis (Collared flycatcher) (Muscicapa albicollis) 97.0%
    http://www.hlasek.com/foto/ficedula_albicollis_4270.jpg

    Amazona aestiva (Blue-fronted Amazon parrot 96.3%
    Gallus gallus (Chicken) 98.6%
    Taeniopygia guttata (Zebra finch) (Poephila guttata) 93.4%
    Pelodiscus sinensis (Chinese softshell turtle) (Trionyx sinensis) 87.6%
    Ornithorhynchus anatinus (Duckbill platypus) 85.3%
    Monodelphis domestica (Gray short-tailed opossum) 82.6%
    Sarcophilus harrisii (Tasmanian devil) (Sarcophilus laniarius) 81.5%
    Gorilla gorilla gorilla (Western lowland gorilla) 79.9%
    Callithrix jacchus (White-tufted-ear marmoset) 79.9%
    Homo sapiens (Human) 79.9%
    Pan troglodytes (Chimpanzee) 80.1%
    Nomascus leucogenys (Northern white-cheeked gibbon) (Hylobates leucogenys) 79.7%
    Anolis carolinensis (Green anole) (American chameleon) 79.9%
    Macaca fascicularis (Crab-eating macaque) (Cynomolgus monkey) 79.9%
    Chlorocebus sabaeus (Green monkey) (Cercopithecus sabaeus) 79.7%

  37. Accession number. It’s an accession number

    Did you mean to say, quick, edit while you can. 🙂 Thanks for the correction.

    Ascension number. It’s an accession number

  38. fifthmonarchyman: That you know better what the text means than the experts in the field and even the author himself.

    Chuckle. What on earth do you mean the author of the bible?

    Fifth, who wrote the bible? And when did they explain what they actually meant? As I must have missed that.

    And I think the thing you are missing in all of this Fifth is that if the bible is god’s message to his people then there’s no need to give guidance on how to keep slaves, just ban the practice!

    Sure, let’s agree the bible did not condone slavery for the sake of argument. But it sure did not ban it did it? You seem to be dancing around this notable fact – the banning of slavery could have been commandment 11, could it not? And it was not. Why?

    Did those slaves who lived and died their entire life in slavery have to do that to teach us here and now some kind of lesson? Like kids and their cancers? Or what?

  39. OMagain, to fifth:

    Sure, let’s agree the bible did not condone slavery for the sake of argument. But it sure did not ban it did it? You seem to be dancing around this notable fact – the banning of slavery could have been commandment 11, could it not? And it was not. Why?

    God forgot to mention it. It just slipped his mind.

    Omniscience isn’t all it’s cracked up to be.

  40. keiths:
    OMagain, to fifth:

    God forgot to mention it. It just slipped his mind.

    Omniscience isn’t all it’s cracked up to be.

    Yeah, slavery and rape are clearly less important issues than not making graven images, keeping one day holy, and not taking god’s name in vain.

  41. Patrick,

    Yeah, slavery and rape are clearly less important issues than not making graven images, keeping one day holy, and not taking god’s name in vain.

    “Discharges causing uncleanness” get a whole chapter in Leviticus, but Yahweh can’t spare a sentence to say “Oh, and by the way, don’t enslave people.”

  42. OMagain: Fifth, who wrote the bible? And when did they explain what they actually meant? As I must have missed that.

    God, he explained it in Matthew 22:37-40 among other places.

    I can understand why you missed it since you admitted that you were not interested in hearing the answers to your questions

    OMagain: I think the thing you are missing in all of this Fifth is that if the bible is god’s message to his people then there’s no need to give guidance on how to keep slaves, just ban the practice!

    Banning the practice would have done no good before the gift of the Holy Spirit. No one keeps his commandments of their own volition. Instead they look for ways to more flagrantly break them.

    In Fact if God had banned slavery before the New Covenant it would have only resulted in more and crueler forms of slavery.

    quote:

    What then shall we say? That the law is sin? By no means! Yet if it had not been for the law, I would not have known sin. For I would not have known what it is to covet if the law had not said, “You shall not covet.” But sin, seizing an opportunity through the commandment, produced in me all kinds of covetousness. For apart from the law, sin lies dead.
    (Rom 7:7-8)

    end quote:

    This is basic Christian doctrine that you don’t know about it explains a lot of your confusion on this issue.

    I would advise you to spend a little time actually reading the Bible before you make pronouncements about things you don’t have a clue about

    OMagain: Did those slaves who lived and died their entire life in slavery have to do that to teach us here and now some kind of lesson? Like kids and their cancers? Or what?

    You seem to think that God owes you something or that people are innocent victims for some reason,

    People are horrendous rebels we (all of us) deserve much worse than slavery and cancer. But God in his Grace holds back some of the wrath that we deserve.

    This amazing forbearance comes at great cost in fact it’s part of the reason Christ had to die.

    You would know that if you actually read the book

    peace

  43. keiths: God forgot to mention it. It just slipped his mind.

    God did not forget to mention it. In fact he screamed it out for all to hear since the beginning of time. People have no excuse for not knowing right from wrong.

    quote:

    They show that the work of the law is written on their hearts, while their conscience also bears witness, and their conflicting thoughts accuse or even excuse them
    (Rom 2:15)

    and

    Though they know God’s righteous decree that those who practice such things deserve to die, they not only do them but give approval to those who practice them.
    (Rom 1:32)

    and

    Therefore you have no excuse, O man, every one of you who judges. For in passing judgment on another you condemn yourself, because you, the judge, practice the very same things. We know that the judgment of God rightly falls on those who practice such things. Do you suppose, O man—you who judge those who practice such things and yet do them yourself—that you will escape the judgment of God?
    (Rom 2:1-3)

    end quote:

    Again this is pretty basic stuff. Perhaps you should bone up on it so you won’t come off as foolish in these sorts of discussions.

    Since you seem so obsessed with all things Christian it behooves you to at least have a rudimentary understanding of what we believe.

    peace

  44. OMagain: Fifth, who wrote the bible?

    If I change that “?” to a “.”, then it reads about right.

    Fifth is rewriting the bible. Okay, he is rewriting it with the exact same words. But he has changed the meanings of those words so as to fit his theology.

    We should not be surprised. This is the time-honored way of doing theology

  45. keiths: “Discharges causing uncleanness” get a whole chapter in Leviticus, but Yahweh can’t spare a sentence to say “Oh, and by the way, don’t enslave people.”

    Yep the uncleanliness stuff is more vital in the long term spiritual sense of things. Slavery is temporary and local.

    On the other hand all sin is uncleanness and the prohibitions served as a physical picture of what that does to us and the world around us.

    again basic stuff. not sure how you could miss it.

    peace

  46. fifthmonarchyman: Yep the uncleanliness stuff is more vital in the long term spiritual sense of things. Slavery is temporary and local.

    My personal view is that those who speak so cavalierly about slavery should experience it for themselves.

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