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Has Science Proven the Existence of God?

Has Science Proven the Existence of God?  

52 members have voted

  1. 1. Has Science Proven the Existence of God?

    • 1) Yes.
      4
    • 2) No, but it (science) can/has the ability to.
      6
    • 3) No, and it (science) can't/doesn't have the ability to.
      35
    • 4) I don't know.
      3
    • 5) Other (please explain below).
      4


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If someone shows up at my door and claims that their vacuum cleaner will get out the most difficult stains, I'm gonna want proof before I buy it.
Bold added.

And hence, once again, you haven't refuted what I said. It is the vacuum salesman that is the one claiming his product is worth buying. You are not the one claiming anything.

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A collective door shut on Mormonism? Yeah sure. Sorry THL, the burden lies with you, not the church as to the valididty. The Church make a claim, and it is up to you to discover for you if u believe it or not. I mean seriously, if this is the 1970's and I want to go by a car and I check out the Ford Pinto, it is up to me to do the research into the reliability of the vehicle, check into claims if it likes to explode, etc. I don't rely on FoMoCo to tell me all of the great virtues of the Pinto. However, you probably did own a Pinto.

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The Ford Pinto is an extraordinary car. Lightweight and revolutionally styled, this new vehicle gets extraordinary gas mileage and is a death trap!!! No the burden of proof rightly lays with the investigator. Those doing the prostelizing already believe. Also, I believe the LDS Church does a fairly good job of exerting, and backing up their claims. FARMS for your DNA argument, plz.

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No aznative the burden of proof lies with those who make extraordinary claims. That is if they expect others to believe them or their claim to have any credibility.

Our claim is the Book of Mormon is true. It is an extraordinary claim. And we further claim that others can know of its truthfulness if they read it, ponder, and pray about it with sincere hearts and real intents.

Thus, we have presented our argument. If someone wishes to refute it, they must perform the experiment.

If they want to prove the Book of Mormon false on another front then the burden of proof rests on them, not us. We have given our "experimental verification routine" so to speak. (And, frankly, revelation from God is pretty powerful stuff!)

If someone claims something about quantum mechanics, and further claims that it can be experimentally verified, then the burden is put in the experiment, and is no longer on the claimee. To disprove the claim one must perform the experiment and show it doesn't work.

Some claims seem so fantastic, and there are so many in the world, that we cannot test them all. We must pick and choose. But this doesn't mean we have shown that their claims are false. Fantasticity (if that's a word) doesn't imply falsity.

Best,

Zeta-Flux

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Guest The Headless Laban
If someone shows up at my door and claims that their vacuum cleaner will get out the most difficult stains, I'm gonna want proof before I buy it.
Bold added.

And hence, once again, you haven't refuted what I said. It is the vacuum salesman that is the one claiming his product is worth buying. You are not the one claiming anything.

You don't understand. The Book of Mormon pushers ARE the vacuum cleaner salesman in my analogy. The mormon church is pushing the Book of Mormon on the world. They made the initial claim that it is a true book. They have yet to prove it. If a person says they aren't interested because they believe the Book of Mormon is NOT true, you can't then come back and ask that person to prove it isn't true. It is at that point that the door is shut in your face.

Now, to continue with the analogy, lets pretend that the prospect tells the vacuum cleaner salesman, "Sorry, I don't believe your vacuum cleaner can get out tough stains so I'm not interested."

The vacuum cleaner salesman then says, "Oh yeah, prove that my vacuum cleaner can't get out tough stains."

So you show him a grape juice stain on your carpet, grab his vacuum cleaner and try to clean it. It doesn't get the grape juice stain out.

The salesman replies with, "That's not fair. I was going to use my patch of sample carpet, with my own dirt stain. Here let me show you now."

He then proceeds to pull out his sample piece of carpet, put some dirt on it, and then clean it up with his vacuum cleaner. With this demonstration the vacuum cleaner thinks he has proven his product gets out tough stains.

The prospect laughs and kicks him out of his house. The prospect then calls all of his neighbors to warn them about the crazy vacuum cleaner salesman in the neighborhood, and to watch out for him. The vacuum cleaner salesman finds out that the prospect is talking to the neighbors about him and complains about persecution.

Mormonism has a similar history in terms of proving itself.

It came out with the initial claim: "The Book of Mormon is true."

The world repsonded with, "No it isn't."

Mormons replied with "Prove that it isn't."

The world replied with their list of proofs, outlined in the letter from the Smithsonian institute, DNA studies, etc.

Mormons replied with their apologetics and claimed persecution.

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Think about it for any extraordinary claim (out of the ordinary) that any lunatic wants to make it's not up to the scientific community to prove wrong. At some point common sense comes into play and the wackier or more extraordinary the claim the less other people will bother with the claim..because time is valuable to people and there are better things to do.

I'd say calling a substantial portion of the scientific community dishonest based solely on their religious beliefs a rather extraordinary claim.

I find the opinion of someone who admits they can't even clearly understand what is being talked about not sufficient 'extraordinary proof' for this extraordinary claim.

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The Headless Laban,

You don't understand. The Book of Mormon pushers ARE the vacuum cleaner salesman in my analogy.

And you didn't understand that I AGREED with that. :P

And then I pointed out how we put the burden of proof into an experimental process. (Let's test this vacuum cleaner...)

Note: Of course I don't accept all the implications of your identification of missionaries with vacuum cleaner salesman. But I saw your main point, and agreed with it.

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Z-F:  Our claim is the Book of Mormon is true. It is an extraordinary claim.

And we further claim that others can know of its truthfulness if they read it, ponder, and pray about it with sincere hearts and real intents.

That may have been what you've been taught but re evidence you need to be able to provide sufficient evidence such that a skeptic can see it as well. Asking someone to pray, ponder is a process but does not provide objective evidence which can be verified.

Thus, we have presented our argument. If someone wishes to refute it, they must perform the experiment.

There is much more to an argument than that Z-F. You need premises which support the conclusion and the premises need to be true. Praying & ponderng is not evidence.

If they want to prove the Book of Mormon false on another front then the burden of proof rests on them, not us. We have given our "experimental verification routine" so to speak. (And, frankly, revelation from God is pretty powerful stuff!)

Most people not involved with mormonism couldn't care less about it. You are free to believe in anything you wish and it doesn't have to be based on any truths but if the exercise is that you want others or expect others to believe the BOM is true, then evidence is needed. Even though the evidence is not on the skeptics in this case, the skeptics have the evidence that the BOM is not true.

If someone claims something about quantum mechanics, and further claims that it can be experimentally verified, then the burden is put in the experiment, and is no longer on the claimee. To disprove the claim one must perform the experiment and show it doesn't work.

Scientists do understand this concept, any theory must have evidence that can be objectively scrutinzed and verified. The burden of proof is with those making the claim but the experiment is the evidence provided. Scientific theories are open to scrutiny, invariably if a theory has gained acceptanceif it gets thrown out it typically is not that it was wrong but that new information became available and disproved it or provided a better explanation.

Some claims seem so fantastic, and there are so many in the world, that we cannot test them all. We must pick and choose. But this doesn't mean we have shown that their claims are false. Fantasticity (if that's a word) doesn't imply falsity.

You are absolutely right. There are many fantastic claims and we can not test all which is why the burden of proof is on the claimant making the extraordinery claim. They have the positive evidence or should have and therefore it's up to them to provide the information on how they arrived at the conclusion or theory they did. There are degrees of evidence and evidence must be objectively verifiable.

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Me:  Think about it for any extraordinary claim (out of the ordinary) that any lunatic wants to make it's not up to the scientific community to prove wrong. At some point common sense comes into play and the wackier or more extraordinary the claim the less other people will bother with the claim..because time is valuable to people and there are better things to do.

C:  I'd say calling a substantial portion of the scientific community dishonest based solely on their religious beliefs a rather extraordinary claim.

I find the opinion of someone who admits they can't even clearly understand what is being talked about not sufficient 'extraordinary proof' for this extraordinary claim

Another gameplaying disingenuous religious individual. You know a substantial portion of the scientific community is not religious and I didn't say a substantial portion of the scientific community is dishonest. You've lost credibility with me and only supported my perceptions.

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Guest The Headless Laban
A collective door shut on Mormonism? Yeah sure. Sorry THL, the burden lies with you, not the church as to the valididty. The Church make a claim, and it is up to you to discover for you if u believe it or not.

You have delusions of grandeur. The mormon church is a drop in the bucket. Nobody cares about it except for a handful of TBMs, Exmos and evangelicals. Outside of our tiny bubble, our little debate is inconseqential to the rest of the world. Nobody cares. If the church makes a claim, it is NOT up to me, or anybody else to do anything. I can't stop and investigate every church's claim. There are thousands of sects out there making claims. If I had to stop and investigate every church's claim, I would have no time for anything esle. There is no burden on me to listen to any church's claim. The crazy street preacher out on the corner is making a claim. Who cares? The mormon church is making a claim. Who cares? Prove yourself. Make me want to listen.

I mean seriously, if this is the 1970's and I want to go by a car and I check out the Ford Pinto, it is up to me to do the research into the reliability of the vehicle, check into claims if it likes to explode, etc.  I don't rely on FoMoCo to tell me all of the great virtues of the Pinto. 

Yes. If you are interested in buying something, you should do your research. Obviously, someone making a claim got you to listen to them long enough to consider it. If someone becomes interested in mormonism, they should research it and not just listen to the missionaries. I would suggest they seek out exmormons, other religions, and current mormons to get as much information as possible about the church before joining.

However, you probably did own a Pinto.

Nope. Not old enough.

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religiously free,

That may have been what you've been taught but re evidence you need to be able to provide sufficient evidence such that a skeptic can see it as well. Asking someone to pray, ponder is a process but does not provide objective evidence which can be verified.

If God answers you in a way you know that the answer came from God, then that is just as much objective as anything else you learn, in my opinion.

There is much more to an argument than that Z-F. You need premises which support the conclusion and the premises need to be true. Praying & ponderng is not evidence.

I'm getting the feeling you really don't understand basic logic here. I didn't say that the method is the evidence. It is the outcome (direct revelation from God) that is the evidence. And what better evidence could you ask for?

Most people not involved with mormonism couldn't care less about it.

I agree. I met lots of people not interested while on my mission.

You are free to believe in anything you wish and it doesn't have to be based on any truths but if the exercise is that you want others or expect others to believe the BOM is true, then evidence is needed.

But what you don't seem to understand is that all I did was share why I believed it, and my testimony, and left it to God to touch their hearts. The burden of proof, in our method, rests entirely on God. I wouldn't care one bean if someone knew intellectually that the Book of Mormon was true, but didn't know it by the Spirit of God. I don't "wish" for an intellectual proof of the Book of Mormon. I give them my evidence for a spiritual proof, and leave it to them to act on it.

Scientists do understand this concept, any theory must have evidence that can be objectively scrutinzed and verified. The burden of proof is with those making the claim but the experiment is the evidence provided.

Exactly right. We explain our experiment. We have our evidence from personal revelation, which we share as testimony. Then others are welcome to try our experiment, or ignore us.

Cheers,

Zeta-Flux

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Z-F :If God answers you in a way you know that the answer came from God, then that is just as much objective as anything else you learn, in my opinion.

Objective evidence is independend of personal feelings and prejudices. You own feelings and experiences do not count as verifiable objective evidence.

Me: There is much more to an argument than that Z-F. You need premises which support the conclusion and the premises need to be true. Praying & ponderng is not evidence. 

Z_F : I'm getting the feeling you really don't understand basic logic here. I didn't say that the method is the evidence. It is the outcome (direct revelation from God) that is the evidence. And what better evidence could you ask for?

Huh? and I didn't say you said the method is the evidence. The evidence needed to prove to the skeptic is objective independent verifiable evidence, not your personal experience.

Me:  Most people not involved with mormonism couldn't care less about it.

Z-F I agree. I met lots of people not interested while on my mission.

Yes and they couldn't care less about proving. You had been saying to me it's the burden of those who don't believe to prove. If you want others to believe you need objective evidence.

Me:  You are free to believe in anything you wish and it doesn't have to be based on any truths but if the exercise is that you want others or expect others to believe the BOM is true, then evidence is needed.

Z-F:  But what you don't seem to understand is that all I did was share why I believed it, and my testimony, and left it to God to touch their hearts. The burden of proof, in our method, rests entirely on God. I wouldn't care one bean if someone knew intellectually that the Book of Mormon was true, but didn't know it by the Spirit of God. I don't "wish" for an intellectual proof of the Book of Mormon. I give them my evidence for a spiritual proof, and leave it to them to act on it.

You I believe were the one to say the burden is on the skeptic to prove. The burden is not on the skeptic, the burden if one wants to prove the BOM true or authentic is to give objective verifiable evidence. And if god exists then it is encumbent on him to provide the evidence to the skeptic in order to believe.

Me:  Scientists do understand this concept, any theory must have evidence that can be objectively scrutinzed and verified. The burden of proof is with those making the claim but the experiment is the evidence provided.

Z-F:  Exactly right. We explain our experiment. We have our evidence from personal revelation, which we share as testimony. Then others are welcome to try our experiment, or ignore us.

It is apparent you do not understand the concept of objective when it relates to evidence expected for proof to the skeptic.

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D.P  Moreover, I can think of a very good reason for making the claim that secular evidence, at least at present and for the foreseeable future, cannot prove the authenticity of the Book of Mormon. One might actually believe that to be the case. I believe precisely that, for example. Does that make me deliberately deceptive? Possibly so, by your exotic definition.

I'd like to hear your good reason why objective evidence can not prove authenticity of BOM. And btw is there such a thing as objective religious evidence as opposed to objective secular evidence? Is so I'd be interested to have it explained to me. thanks

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My friend's dad has a master's in theoretical physics and put no stock in the string theory. Is anyone familiar with the ideas of earth(s) being born and dying by Gold, Bond and Hirschi?

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Hondo -

My friend's dad has a master's in theoretical physics and put no stock in the string theory.

String theory hsa come and gone and now come back again. The trick was instead of working the math in ten dimensions, now they work with the eleven and the math flows beautifully based on what very little I know. M-Theory has brought the strings back in with a vengence. I also enjoyed reading Greene's "The Elegant Universe," which discusses string theory a bit. All in all, it is a fascinating adventure!

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This is one reason you are disingenuous Daniel, because you shift the focus of the argument onto an attack of the other person.

You know me so well that you have many reasons for calling me "disingenuous"?

Go back, "religiously free," and see who it was who replied to my simple statement about cosmology -- to which you have really never responded with any substance, for the simple reason that, as you admit, you know "nothing" about the topic -- with an accusation that I was being deceptive. Don't you dare try to blame your bad behavior on me.

Quote me where I say you are dishonest and I'll explain why I said it.

I'm really not interested in why you said it. It's uncivil, unjustifiable, and a particularly brazen specimen of "poisoning the well."

You claim that the majority of intelligent religious believers are dishonest, too. I'm just one of the crowd.

Mr. Oaks was disingenuous he knows bette, he knows evidence is valuable as proof.

Yawn.

Mr. Polkinghorne knows better than to piggy back religion on science to give it credibility. He knows religion shouldn't be compared against science in deceptive ways to show science inferior to religion.

Zzzzzzz.

I can't remember if I called you dishonest or not

You toss the charge around with such reckless abandon that I'm not surprised you can't keep track.

but I do know you are careful with your words, but not in an effort to be clear in an effort so you don't get cornered.

Which could be understood as a desire to be precise so that I don't misspeak. But you choose -- quite predictably -- to interpret it as evidence of disingenuousness. Very attractive.

Saying there is no evidence or making some evidence

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Matt, you said: "It seems that Religiously Free feels the burden of proof should be on those who say the Book of Mormon is true, while Daniel feels it should be on those claiming it is false.

Which is the right approach? Well, that is different for everyone. There was a thread on the subject a few weeks ago, with some good thoughts (but no one ventured a rule on how to choose where to put the burden of proof in any given situation. If someone has such a rule, I'd love to hear it.)"

Elihu: The book of Mormon itself shows she is right. When published it had witnesses statements. Joseph Smith himself tried to give it proof. He knew it needed proof. Trouble is if that is proof enough, then why seek the added 'testimony' promised by an angel of light? Truth has reason. God gave reason to believe and obey Him in the Bible, and it has all kinds of evidence to back it up and it only took place in a small geographical area. Just look at the area for the book of Mormon - it should have MUCH more evidence to back it up by now if any was there to find. That is a HUGE problem, but LDS seem to ignor that.

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I understand they are not [now?] trying to find loopholes, deny that mormonism ever considered the Lamanites were from middle east.

Nobody is denying that Lehi and his family came from the Middle East. It looks as if you might need to devote 7.3 seconds more to intensive study of the subject before you can plausibly claim a thorough understanding of Mormonism.

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Religiously Free -

I'd like to hear your good reason why objective evidence can not prove authenticity of BOM.

I am not speaking for Mr., Dr., Bro. Peterson ( :P ), however, from my observations, not very much can objectively be proven to anyone who decides what they will accept and what they won't. String theory, Quantum, Wolfram's new science, Chaos, evolution, whether math was discovered or invented, Intelligent Design, Book of Mormon, Book of Abraham, Historical Jesus issues, even Einstein's Theory of Relativity is still not poven to some, at least to their own satisfaction.

I finished reading Menas Kafatos, Robert Nadeau, The Conscious Universe: Part and Whole in Modern Physical Theory, coupled with Allan Combs, Mark Holland, Synchronicity: Science, Myth, and the Trickster, this last month. I find quite a few folks who just cannot believe that the universe is alive and conscious! I think Kafatos/Nadeau wrote a very serious scientific book here also. This is not the New Age mystical mumbo jumbo one normally reads when this subject rears its head in print either. It is a most serious treatise, and is amazingly well done, with some astonishing conclusions. I am willing to bet, however, that not all the scientific community will find they have proven it.

Proof is a personal matter. Therein lies the rub. What proves something for one, remains an interesting hypothesis and theory to another. I wold argue with religious text, it is all the more difficult for proof to be accepted.

Take the Bible........my recent reading of Israel Finkelstein and Neil Asher Silberman's The Bible Unearthed"Archaeology's New Vision of Ancient Israel and the Origin of its Sacred Texts, has given me some very interesing new insights into how the Bible, and why the Bible is not a proven case. At least how it is written as far as the actual historical events unfold within its written pages. It has been demonstrated (pretty decently in some of their cases I think) that what the Bible says is just not necessarily how it occurred at all. Will this prove the Bible phony though? Not likely. Will other archaeological texts supporting the Bible prove it to be God's word? That depends entirely on who you ask, doesn't it? We all know pretty much by now the Evangelicals think its totally proven. Others differ in their assessments. Proof is simply when one has accumulated enough information on a subject (be that what it may) to personally say O.K., the case is made, for me, I accept it. Proof has never been, nor will it ever be, objective.

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Another gameplaying disingenuous religious individual.

Aren't we all?

The word bigot begins to come to mind. I don't actually like to use it much, but these sweeping accusations against me, Calmoriah, Sir John Polkinghorne, Elder Dallin Oaks, and -- astonishingly -- "the majority of intelligent religious people" almost force it on me.

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Elihu -

it [the Book of Mormon] should have MUCH more evidence to back it up by now if any was there to find. That is a HUGE problem, but LDS seem to ignor that.

I find your comment here a smidgin naive. This is simply a matter of deciding what constitutes evidence and what doesn't. What evidence would you be willing to learn about concerning the Book of Mormon? The FAIR website right here has a huge gallery of materials on it already. Have you read any of that yet?

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relgiously free,

Last response:

Objective evidence is independend of personal feelings and prejudices. You own feelings and experiences do not count as verifiable objective evidence.

Actually they do. Personal feelings and experiences count as objective evidence of my own feelings and experiences to myself (but, of course, not to others). :P

But that was not what I was talking about. I was talking about revelation from God to anyone who asks, after reading and pondering, with a sincere heart. They don't have to rely on my experiences and feelings. They can receive revelation for themselves.

Huh? and I didn't say you said the method is the evidence. The evidence needed to prove to the skeptic is objective independent verifiable evidence, not your personal experience.

You claimed that I said that it was the prayer and pondering which provided the evidence of the Book of Mormon's truth. I did not say that. That is only the method towards the evidence. It is the revelation from God that is the verifiable evidence to the one receiving it. <_<

You I believe were the one to say the burden is on the skeptic to prove.

No. I said that if someone makes a claim, then the burden is on them to back up that claim.

For example, I claim the Book of Mormon is true. I further claim that there is a method designed, by God, to have each and every individual (for themselves) receive this knowledge.

A critic can be skeptical of this claim. But they cannot refute it without trying the method.

A critic could also claim that the Book of Mormon could not possibly be true because of some other reason (not related to reading, pondering, and praying). In this case, the critic has raised a different argument, and is unwilling to test the method I outlined. In this case, the burden remains on the critic to back up their claim.

Think of it like this. I claim that water flushes counter-clockwise in the southern hemisphere. I further claim that you can learn this for yourself if you go down to Australia, and flush a toilet. Now, the burden rests upon you to do exactly that if you don't believe me. However, if you feel that there is a way to counter my claim because of some other evidence, you are welcome to provide that argument. But in that case, the burden rests upon you, and not me, to demonstrate the power of your argument (because I have already provided a method for you to learn whether or not I am speaking the truth).

I don't think you will understand what I am talking about, and so I don't plan on responding further. But I think I've made my point clear to most readers.

It is apparent you do not understand the concept of objective when it relates to evidence expected for proof to the skeptic.

First, you seem to freely accuse people of things, rather than assuming that they might simply be confused, or misunderstand you. You really need to stop judging people from your misinterpretations of their words.

Second, you need to look up the definition of 'objective.' Do you not think personal revelation to one's self is objective? If I see a butterfly, with my own eyes, and no one else saw it, does that make my knowledge less objective? If I tell someone else to use their eyes to look at the butterfly, and they see it, do they not now have objective knoweldge of the butterfly's existence?

Best,

Zeta-Flux

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Elihu -

When published it had witnesses statements. Joseph Smith himself tried to give it proof. He knew it needed proof.

And even though it came with this Biblical precedence of having it out of the mouth of two or three witnesses (Joseph came up with eleven), there are still critics to this day who simply dismiss them, and ignoring one of the finest discussions of their authenticity, namely Richard Lloyd Anderson's seminal volume discussing everything about the witnesses to the book! Even when so-called "proof" is presented, it is dismissed with bias. What on earth do you want then?

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I'd like to hear your good reason why objective evidence can not prove authenticity of BOM.  And btw is there such a thing as objective religious evidence as opposed to objective secular evidence?  Is so I'd be interested to have it explained to me.  thanks

My position is, simply, that there is significant evidence for the Book of Mormon, but not enough to prove it true. There is, likewise, no conclusive proof that it is false. It is conceivable that decisive evidence could surface, one way or the other (e.g., a signed and verified confession from Joseph Smith that he made it up, or, alternatively, an ancient stela recovered under impeccable archaeological conditions signed by Nephi, son of Lehi, and containing a portion of Book of Mormon text in an ancient script), but such a discovery is unlikely.

I understand the rest of your question, but it is misconceived. The categories you use are confused, and attempting to discuss the subject using your categories would be futile.

I return to my original claim: Current trends in cosmology (and certain other scientific disciplines) make it easier to defend the notion of some kind of God nowadays than at any time since the advent of Darwinism.

Do you have anything to say about that claim?

If not, I think I'm going to disengage myself from this conversation, which seems increasingly pointless to me. In fact, even if you do I think I'll back out. There is nothing to be gained, frankly, from a discussion about the relationship between contemporary cosmology and religious faith with someone who admits to knowing nothing about contemporary cosmology and who holds dogmatically negative views about religious faith.

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